Nonfiction Blows Sometimes

I TOTALLY get why people read escapist fiction.

 

adult book boring face
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I am a seeker. I read nonfiction to find answers to big questions.

One big question of many that perplex me when it comes to the State of Israel and Jewish people is: Why are 14.2 million people more newsworthy in the West than the other 6.86 billion people of the world? Is there more to this than media control, ownership, or the claimed disproportionate number of Jewish people working in Western media? I don’t know. When I don’t know something, I read, and keep on reading until I find answers. This tiny segment of the world’s population endlessly reminds us of their stories of persecution; some of these stories are based on historically documented facts, while others have so little empirical evidence they border on the mythological. A media spotlight affords a tiny state some protection from transgressors, but in doing so, it can also cast a shadow on any freshly dug graves.

If you want to truly get a handle on a culture, you must dive into their indoctrinations.

The world’s religions mastered indoctrination long ago, so this, I thought, would be a good area to acquire a better grasp of a people without diving into the more volatile areas of politics and economics.

Yesterday’s read began with enthusiasm as I found a book which was touted to be: A Guide to Jewish Wisdom; something that appealed to me on a couple of different levels even though I am not Jewish, and have—putting it mildly—a general dislike of almost all religions for their exploitive,  for-profit business model which excludes aid to anyone who is not a paying customer. Firstly, this book appealed to the researcher inside me as I am usually forced to open dozens of books over several days just to find puzzle pieces which I then have to make notes on and later assemble into something that makes sense. It’s a good day when you find an author who has done all the work for you. Secondly, I have not given Judaism its due, relative to the volume of reading I have done on all of the larger religions. Oh sure I have skimmed the Tanakh and read the greatest hits of the Torah in my fact-finding missions to compare stories from other religions, but I really did not have a “feel” for this group’s beliefs. I really hoped this book on the mystical side of Judaism: Kabbalah, would give me a better understanding of the big picture.

A great many authors should thank their lucky stars I don’t publish reviews or ratings below three stars on a five star scale.

This book dodged a bullet. When we choose a nonfiction book to read, we are encouraged to pay attention to the credentials of the author as though only a credentialed person can put forth a valid thought—or so the publishing world a.k.a. print media would have us believe. The author is a Rabbi and an educational psychologist so I expected a balance of theology with logic and reason. What I got was a heavy dose of mysticism, magic, and the supernatural with a smattering of references to empirical research that, at best, offered a weak endorsement of how the magic worked. The spiritual mumbo-jumbo, of course, told the believer how to think and live “correctly”:

‘You must be a giving person.’

In fact, there was an entire paragraph on how to appropriately greet and compensate a Kabbalist or Hassidic rebbe if you were ever fortunate enough to garner their attention.

‘You must not be an egotist.’

And yet the author saw fit to publish a photo of himself with the Dali Lama instead of one where he was feeding or counseling “displaced” Palestinian children.

In fairness, I expect hypocrisy in all books from theologians, however once you strip away the nonsense, there were about fifty pages of good reading where the author succinctly explained: The Ten Sefirot, the meaning of the Star of David, and he interpreted a number of commonly used Jewish religious terms while passing along some insights into Judaic “philosophy”. The book was just 200 pages so I’ll give it a 1.25 star rating.

Every book will give you something.

What did I learn? Nothing Earth shattering, but it would appear that Judaism:

  • Is a very complex belief system which requires significant interpretation.
  • Has a significant number of teachings related to self.
  • Places women closer to men in terms of equality.
  • Has roots in Zoroastrianism.
  • Is open to different planes of existence, science, and multiple universes.
  • Believes they have all the answers.
  • Believes Hebrew is the Holy tongue—necessary to enter a higher reality.
  • Believes their religious men are above the average follower.
  • Believes the Torah contains a hidden spiritual code supported by mathematics.
  • Codify beliefs into law in much the same way Muslims do.

This lackluster book did however point me at a new target of inquiry. It seems that in the 1700’s a scholastic elite were the only ones with access to Jewish literary works. This wreaks of potential tampering akin to Constantine or King James. I’ll let you know if anything interesting turns up once I have chased down this lead.

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I am salmon. Hear me gurgle? Part 2

What if awareness and obliviousness are more closely related than we think?

Why then do I persist in swimming against the current?

My study of people led me to become slightly detached socially. I would prefer to sit on the outside looking in so as not to influence the outcome of the experiment I was observing. While I had, and have, the ability to mix and mingle with the best of them, my preference is to watch others make the attempt. It is far more entertaining. Live social interaction between young men and women in clubs was at the top of my list. A room filled to bursting with horny people and yet only a very few leave with someone. Two attractive people lock eyes; one musters up enough nerve to approach the other; one says something stupid and then they part. Few will make the effort again after one failed attempt.

There is a paradigm in psychology which states:

‘People with the highest IQ’s are the most prone to substance abuse. They abuse alcohol or drugs to come down to the level of the rest of humanity in an effort to better fit in.’

Is it possible all the alcoholics and drug users I encounter are the pinnacle of human development? As a youngster, I was told I possessed a genius level IQ. I rarely drink and never do any type of drug. Could it be the substance abusers are so far above me intellectually, I cannot comprehend their thought processes? Perhaps I have had it all wrong throughout my entire life. Maybe I am the “dim bulbon the tree struggling to understand humanity without the necessary smarts to comprehend what is right in front of me. It would explain much.

“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”

IT IS SIMPLER to follow your glands and have a child at an early age; be a slave to your job in order to pay the bills and get divorced ten years later only to do it again with someone else. You will never have idle hands and your brain will reorganize itself to the life you have chosen so you have a hard time changing. Most of the inhabitants of the planet choose this for themselves. It is why they nest and attempt to hide from the outside world usually without success. They romanticize their relationships with significant others, pets, and children, picturing themselves surrounded by loving creatures in their golden years without ever acknowledging the realities of their choices until it is too late. This is why old ladies are found dead with their corpses half-eaten by their pets.

IT IS BETTER to live obliviously? Regrets will not surface until middle or old age, if at all. Without introspection, you will not look back and wonder if you could have done more with your life, had you only chosen differently. It is possible to live, die, and be forgotten like billions before without leaving a timeless legacy.

The young well-educated people who could change the world end up too busy with their diversions to make a difference. They genuinely embrace being oblivious. I hope they like the oblivion they are helping to rush humanity toward.

I push awareness in a world content in its obliviousness.

I push knowledge in a world content with misinformation.

I push tolerance in an intolerant world.

I push change in a world resistant to it.

I push rationality on the irrational.

I push for abstinence in a world of full of addicts.

I push responsibility to irresponsible people.

I push being scrupulous in a world where everyone angling an agenda.

I push spiritual health in a world without conscience.

I push physical health in a world craving drug soaked fats.

I push mental health to people intent on doing crazy things.

I push emotional health to people with an endless capacity for self-absorption, self-obsession, self-doubt, and self-pity.

I push for excellence in a world striving for mediocrity.

I push humor on people who rarely laugh.

Perhaps it is time I started PULLING.

Is the Dalai Lama aware or just oblivious because of his meditative serene environment?

Are any of the sciences aware or are they oblivious because of the singular vantage point of their discipline?

Is a family guy who is a good husband and father oblivious or is he aware he is doing what he was meant to do by always swimming downstream?

I am a flawed human as all humans seem to be. I pose questions looking for answers and am rarely surprised by the facts when they are published. I genuinely hope I will have learned all the requisite lessons in this life so I do not have to come back here again. I appreciate the fleeting bits of love, joy, goodness, laughter, happiness and SERENITY that come my way, but overall, this place is no fun. If there is a higher plane of existence, I hope I am ready to be allowed in. If Earth and this plane of existence were a vacation destination, I would rate it one star in a five star rating system.

I am incapable of following the words of Reinhold Niebuhr. Instead, I remain the UNWISE one who cannot ACCEPT mankind must go obliviously into oblivion. I will continue to swim upstream in the hope I can influence a select few to go out and change the world before the human race reaches the point of no return.

I wrote this on a dismal rainy day. I am fine. Really, I am. I know this reads like a suicide note. {He wrote, laughing out loud.} Writing a blog is a better way of venting than getting drunk and having a domestic; which, should you not be aware of the statistics, is the number one call to the police across the planet on a daily basis.

I promise to write the next one on a glorious sunny summer day after getting laid just to continue the experiment with a different set of controls.

See you then.

P. S. Does anyone have a morally loose woman you could refer?