Even after Wikileaks has released emails that tell of virulent contempt, if not hatred, for the Catholic Church and for Catholics by key figures in Hillary Clinton’s campaign organization, Catholics will likely vote by a wide margin for Hillary Clinton. And, they will provide sufficient numbers of votes to be the margin of victory in this presidential election.
But, why will that happen?
There seems to be an all too human need to believe in something.
Have (space) aliens replaced the ancient pagan gods as the overseers of humans on this planet in many people’s minds? Many ancient myths and religious texts from around the world are currently being reinterpreted with a bias in favor of aliens over supernatural beings (gods) as being the actors or players in these diverse myths and beliefs.
The US mainstream news media is working over time to help elect Hillary Clinton as president. But, in much of social media, madame Hillary is being excoriated (read shredded, ripped, etc.). This is one noteworthy dichotomy, and it gives indication that the monolithic mainstream news media no longer has a monopoly on the publication and widespread distribution of ideas and opinions.
Are we begging the question here?
To a greater extent than perhaps we care to admit to ourselves, the culture we are born into does limit us and define us.
The purpose of religion is to teach people how to love God. That was said by Srila Prabhupada (1896 – 1977), a Vedic religious teacher and prolific author who helped to popularize the Vedic religion, Hinduism, in the West in the 1960s and 1970s.
If we accept this statement, then we will likely conclude that some religions are doing a poor job of fulfilling their purpose.
Loving God, we think, requires more than just attendance at ritualized worship services, more than reciting (by rote) Scripture verses, more than socializing and fellowship with like-minded co-religionists. Loving God requires an internal change – call it a change of heart if you like. One needs to go beyond the mere outward displays of religiosity and work at centering one’s consciousness on God and awakening what Prabhupada referred to as our “innate love for God” – that is deep within our souls.
This is the central question facing voting citizens in the US in the approaching November election. What is at stake is the future course of the country for all citizens, young and old alike, engaged and apathetic alike.
The founders and framers of the Constitution knew this question well. If you read the US Constitution, you can see that their answer was that government was to be made the servant and constrained to remain the servant of the people, otherwise, if not constrained, the government would inevitably grow in power to become the people’s master.
This election is about us, the people of the US – about who we are, and about what we value.
In California, there is a ballot initiative (Proposition 62) this November election to do away with capital punishment in the state. Effectively, there is no death penalty now as a death sentence translates to 20 to 30 years of court appeals, and death row inmates are dying of old age in San Quentin prison. There have been very few executions in the past 50 years in California, yet there have been many, many murders over the years.
The Catholic Church is publicly endorsing Proposition 62 as the Church opposes capital punishment for convicted capital murderers.
Here we reprint with editorial comment our earlier essay (from June, 2012) on this issue.
All throughout our lives we really are at the mercy of others. No kidding and no exaggeration here. From the time we are conceived until the time we die, we are not only dependent upon other humans but we are too often at their mercy.
The Shroud of Turin is believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.
I had wondered about the history of the Shroud of Turin prior to it entering recorded West European history in the 14th century (shortly after the time of the “Black Death” or pandemic of bubonic plague).
Remember, if you can, when life was fresh, new, awe-inspiring . . . like the morning just after the sun has peaked above the horizon. Is not this what we are hoping to find again as we journey on through life – this sense of wonder for life and for the world that we lost in our childhood?
In this post, we share links to some of the music slide show videos we put together on our YouTube channel.
Here is an easy listening instrumental song by Hiroshima.
Healthy sexual intimacy within marriage can be an area of frustration, even confusion, for some married Christians. Yet, fulfilling sexual intimacy within one’s marriage is something not to be taken for granted nor neglected.
In this short essay, we provide links to some helpful resources in this area.
Can mental illness be contagious? And, if so, how can such a contagious mental illness be spread?
The spread of an infectious and contagious disease usually requires a means or path of transmission called a vector. In the case of a viral or bacteria infection, a person has to come into physical contact with the virus or bacteria to contract the disease.
If various forms (or “strains”) of mental illness can be contagious, then what are the physical vector(s) in the transmission of the disease?
These images are from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico last week.
A moment of zen, a brief flash of zen experience, interpretation free experience, or the state of “no mind” can happen anywhere and any time. It can occur while walking along a beach at sunset, or on a mountain top, or in your mind’s eye, or even in an imagined world. Perhaps one really experiences zen, or satori, when one steps outside of one’s mind for an instant.
From my wife’s trip to Mexico last week, we have this view of the Pacific Ocean.
copyright 2016 – larrysmusings.com
The age-old question for our species, perhaps the defining query of humans is: what happens at and after death? Or, in other words, do we survive (bodily) death? Let’s consider these questions and a book that addresses them in this essay.
Walking back along the Chesler Park trail to the trailhead and parking area, we see these views under a midday sun.
Here we see large rocks in the foreground with rock spires in the distance.
If the soul is thought of as clay, it can be difficult to mould or to shape. There is a certain resistance or inertia to change embedded in one’s human nature. If one can achieve constructive change in one’s self, there is always the possibility of reverting to an earlier form or going back to bad habits (relapsing, or backsliding so to speak).
“The greatest conqueror is he who conquers himself.”
This is a saying or aphorism from eastern philosophy. A possible meaning is: It is more difficult to gain mastery over one’s self than it is to impose one’s will upon others. You might conquer a neighboring tribe, kingdom, or nation, but you would not be happy or content.
Another possible meaning is: If a person has total control of himself, and does not give in to emotional impulses (reactive anger) that often can be self-defeating and harmful or destructive, then he can be free of much needless grief, regret, and frustration in life.
Think about that for a moment.
Again we see violence in the streets of a US city. This past weekend the scene was Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The spark that lit the fuse appears to have been the slaying of an armed black man by a black police officer.
But, why do we hear, from audio of the mob in the streets, chants and screams for beating any and all white people who may be travelling down the city streets?
Let’s consider that there are other reasons (than police shootings) for this growing, or at least simmering, black rage in America’s cities.
Do we really know about the nature of God?
Well, yes, we have the revealed religions to tell us of God’s nature.
But, some may wonder: do we humans impute our hangups, our biases, our character traits (or even character flaws) on to God, or at least on to our concept of God?
The sexual love the spouses share with each other is naturally giving. Sadly, among married Christians there is much confusion on this subject of sexual love, with some spouses needlessly suffering from unhealthy inhibitions and even feeling shame in the marriage bed. This is so unnecessary. Letting go of, or shedding these inhibitions and shame will open you to a deeper, richer emotional intimacy with your spouse during your lovemaking.
Mutually fulfilling lovemaking is not the only necessary ingredient for a successful, lasting, happy marriage – but the reality is that it is one of the key ingredients! And, God intended that both spouses enjoy sexual fulfillment within their loving marriage. (If you doubt this, consider the sexual capacity (for arousal, desire and pleasure) in both the man and the woman all throughout each month. Of course, the emotions are also intimately involved.)
Why do we humans do the things we do?
Why are we always tinkering?
Why do we show no self-restraint?
Why do we play act at being God?
We may not have very good answers, but it is important to raise the questions in these days.
The small placard on the wooden man says “tinkering”. (All photos in this essay were taken at the Exploratorium in San Francisco this past Saturday, 20 September 2014.)
Earlier this month, we walked over to the California Academy of Sciences. It is within walking distance from our home. We took these pictures there and share them now.
This picture shows a species of cat, the Pampas cat (Bolivia). Note that this exhibit is a picture, not a “stuffed” animal. So, we are seeing a picture of a picture.
We now present some pictures of various desserts taken during a recent vacation in Mexico.
This house was recently painted with an unusual color. We think it is catchy to the eye. The house does stand out from the adjoining houses especially under a sunny, afternoon sky.
A plant enclosed within a secure glass entryway is visible from the sidewalk. This view caught our eye as we strolled through our neighborhood on an evening walk not long ago.
We now present some pictures of various fruit dishes taken during a recent vacation in Mexico.
A tray full of succulent, sweet Kiwi fruit. Whether from New Zealand or from Chile, these are very healthy to eat. We have found that slicing the Kiwi along the length of the fruit allows one to push or squeeze the fruit out of its skin and directly into one’s mouth. It is an unorthodox way to get to the fruit, but it is much quicker.