Reflection 2019

A Reflection 2019

Funny being asked to write this because by myself I would not have thought to write something about my religious ideas. I was raised and was a very involved Presbyterian in Sydney. I was very much a Reformed Christian sincerely believing all that that involved and preaching regularly in my church. I read Elaine Pagels Gnostic Gospels and suddenly a whole world opened up, I discovered that the early church was not as I had been taught. I read a lot and realised that I had been deceived, much of what I had been lead to believe was simply not true. I guess the worst part was in discussion with various church officials I discovered they to knew this and simply decided never to mention it.

That really is a very simple version of a process of reading and study that took me over 20 years. I kept a blog for many years and rereading it now I see the anguish, anger and often hostility emerge and dissipate over time. I moved in my thinking from a Reformed position to Panentheism to atheism. The Sea of Faith helped me with that, I was part of the Sydney group and helped to organise the first Sydney conference. It was wonderful to hear Don Cupitt speak and to spend time speaking with Lloyd Geering, a truly remarkable man. Sadly whilst I understood Lloyds commitment to the Christian church I could not share it. So I walked away from the church completely.

I have been content with my position on God and have seen little reason to change it until recently. I am convinced of two central ideas:

1) There is no “God”
2) There is no possibility that a being I could call “God” could conceivably exist.

The first I think is hardly a new position although the second I think deserves a minimal explanation. I feel that it is highly unlikely for a theistic style God to exist and conceal that existence. I do not consider being more powerful is enough to merit the title of “God” so hence I feel it is close to a zero possibility that such a being exists.

So you might ask, what has changed? Again my reading and of course now listening to the wonderful variety of podcasts a newish conception has been slowing growing. In particular
Yuval Noah Harari’s books and speeches and also Jordan Peterson (Maps of Meaning in particular). The idea that the concept of “God” is in fact shorthand for the power of the evolving human mind in particular the power of language to describe and then create the world. So the concept of God, and the associated beliefs are actually a reflection of the combined human “mind” reflected directly in the development of human language. Like the idea of Tillich that God is the “ground of being” except “God” is shorthand for the collective wisdom of humanity embodied in our language. Very much like Jung’s “collective unconscious” but again totally embodied  and expressed in our language. So our highest aspirations and our deepest knowledge is revealed through our language, in our stories, in our theology, in our philosophy and also in our daily discourse.

As part of this I have been drawn again to the Christian tradition. Feeling that it expresses the highest of these aspirations for me, I realise that is more than partly due to my own upbringing and experience.  However when I look at the progressive Christian movement I find strong interests in Indigenous issues, the environment and gender issues; whilst I am engaged with each politically I have little interest in these as faith issues, so the movement does not draw me. In the same way I find traditional forms of worship very much like a pantomime and cannot honestly participate with genuine engagement. Talking with many friends of different views I find in this a commonality. A feeling that the Christian faith has value but little to no interest in any form of worship.

As always life goes on, thinking, reading and meditation go on and with them the march of the human heart.

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As good a place as any

Of late I have been thinking of life, how short it is and what to do with it. Not so much feeling depressed as oddly melancholy of not really knowing or understanding the why? Not the big WHY, just all the little ones.

I gave up working at a place I came to hate and although I foolishly clung to it leaving it has really given me a fresh start to my working life. I enjoy work and the challenges it brings.

My problematic feelings actually stem from the bigger picture. So somewhere in between the big questions and the small things that are to little to worry about. So where to from here?

I had forgotten about this blog altogether and discovered it by accident. Guess I will give it a go and see if I can breathe some life into it. Perhaps somewhere along the way I may even come up with some good ideas.

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The Binge

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I feel I can blame my brother!

He started it and now I’m hooked.

I watched the ending of The Soprano’s on television but did not begin the show from the very beginning.

My very kind brother loaned me the DVD of the early series to catch up and I loved it so much I watched episode after episode back to back. From that point on I have become addicted to watching television in chunks.

I have seen

The Soprano’s

The Wire

Game of Thrones

Star Trek – Next Generation and Voyager

Game of Thrones

Weeds

I have missed a few I guess but the point is made. Some shows seem so much better watched in this fashion without ad breaks. Given the nature of Australian television I’,m not alone in this transition. Three massive factors are contributing to this change:

1. The stubborn refusal of networks in Australia to show programs within a reasonable time frame, and our pay television’s ridiculous costing structure. The option most often taken is piracy. Given that we will be waiting or paying anyway why not simply buy the DVD?

2. Even when programs do make it to Australia the inability of networks to follow any schedule means following a program on free to air is next to impossible. The two most used strategies are the time shift/secret schedule, this means a change of timing not just week to week but a change in time from published viewing times even from the stations own online guide. The second is the idea of randomly showing repeats mixed with new episodes so there is no way to know in advance which will be shown when. Then just to mix it up we throw in unannounced double episodes.

3. Finally the fact that many hit shows either never make it to our shores or networks pull them from the schedule.

All in all the future of television is looking less than rosy for anything other than live sport. Just a few thoughts on television in 2014.

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Tech Notes

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I am going to make this a regular feature of this blog. I am interested in technology and how people use it.

My background is varied. My brother and I started with a Vic 20 and manually coding games from a magazine. With no form of storage everything vanished when we switched the computer off.

Over the years I have had an Amiga, IBM AT clone, Apple II, Windows and osx computers. In terms of OS I use regularly OSx, win7, Linux(Mint &Ubantu), android and IOS 7. I have no firm allegiance and will buy the best tech and OS to get the job done at a reasonable price.

My Favorite Apps at the Moment:

* Wunderlist – I love this to do list which is so powerful and runs across ALL platforms. So handy at of course FREE!

* Symbaloo – Is my favorite start page by far. Forget bookmarks, this is so much easier. You set up on the site all of the links you use, you can have multiple pages which are tabbed so a start page and as many special purpose pages as you need. Once use log on everything is available at a touch from any browser on any platform. A bonus is you can access other peoples pages sharing useful links they have found. Price: FREE!

 

What apps do you use regularly?

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2013 The year in Review

At the end of every year we all wake up a little the worse for wear and maybe with a really long to do list of things we want to achieve in the new year.

I would like to know what it is you have read or film you have watched that made an impact on you in 2013. They don’t have to have been released/published last year just impacted on you.

To start I will suggest 5 titles in each category, please feel free to make contributions of your own.

Books:

Let the Right One In  – John Ajvide LindqvistEbba Segerberg 

Nos4a2 – Joe Hill

Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore – Robin Sloan

The Art of Fielding – Chad Harbach

Debt  – David Graeber

Movies

Hugo

Exam

Jobs

Sexy Evil Genius

Searching for Sugarman

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A new year a new blog.

I began blogging some time ago now and I have found the experience both encouraging and thought provoking.

I began blogging to sought out my views on religion. I had journeyed from a conservative Christian faith through a very liberal  period to Atheism. This was a long journey and my first blog contains much of my story and my changing views.

Looking back now I can see the anger and frustration working itself out in that blog. I don’t think that way any more. I do not harbour that anger any more. Time I think has healed much of the frustration and intemperance.

For the record I do not believe in any God/s. I also do not think it is possible for the all powerful God humans often talk of to actually exist. I do not think Jesus Christ actually lived on this earth, I think he is a powerful fictional figure that has resonated deeply within our culture at the most profound level.

All Holy books were written by humans and deserve no particular reverence or deference. All beliefs are ideas open for discussion and debate and non deserve special status.

All people deserve respect and as such their beliefs should be treated with courtesy. To ridicule a person is a sign of disrespect and a personal insult.

This new blog will be a place to discuss ideas concerning lots of different things that interest me or attract my attention.

For those interested :

My religious blog: http://waynus.blogspot.com

My food blog: http://myplace-foodwineandallthatgoeswithit.blogspot.com

My blog of ideas and views: https://waynewaynus.wordpress.com

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