21 September 2004

Quote of the day

Filed under: Quotes

“One of the indictments of civilizations is that happiness and intelligence are so rarely found in the same person.”
– William Feather (1908 – 1976)

21 August 2004

Quote of the day

Filed under: Quotes

“A gift, with a kind countenance, is a double present.”
– Thomas Fuller (1608 – 1661)

15 July 2004

Quite a trip

Filed under: General

I used to be a very violent person. Complete with frequent outbursts of anger coupled with physical actions towards objects (but never people, not because I was “above” that, in the state I am describing I believe that I merely hadn’t moved on to that stage yet). I felt as if life was out to get me, that I couldn’t get a break and that everything and everyone was put here by some malevolent  force just to mess with me.

I, like most people of my generation in the US, was brought up in the Judeo/Christian belief system. In my case it was a little of everything as I lived in New York (Jewish influence) went to a Catholic elementary school (because I was such a discipline problem that I was kicked out of the local public school system, and later even out of there) and went to an Anglican church where I sang in the choir (no idea what the deal was there, looking back it probably had something to do with my mother wanting to look good in social circles, she was really big about that). I think that between the required masses at the Catholic school and the services I worked in at the Anglican church that I spent more time in church than either of my parents. I don’t recall them going to church, either to watch me, or in any other capacity. Perhaps that is just my memories of that period being hazy, but I don’t think so. I don’t recall any specific instruction as to codes of ethics as I was growing up, rather snippets of things that my parents used in their daily lives.

As I grew older, and a little wiser, I gradually began to expand my horizons and around the time my mother began her final illness, discovered Buddhism. I discovered that rather than my destiny being determined by a large book of dogma translated through five or six dead languages before reaching mine (and perhaps losing some of the meaning in the process) that my destiny was in fact determined by me, and no one else. No god was going to decide if I was righteous or wicked. No savior was going to decide if I were a saint or a sinner. No, the only person responsible for my own happiness was me.

How liberating that was!

I don’t preach my beliefs to anyone. If someone asks me, I am more than happy to tell them, but I don’t practice the conversion theory that so many others do. I simply do what is good for me, and wish for the best in others, but don’t meddle.

Over the years many people have asked about my outlook on life, I am frequently mistaken for a person of “religion”, which I don’t consider myself. Rather, I consider myself a seeker of knowledge of all sorts.

It’s been quite a trip.

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