Taxi's Articles

Bedtime Story For Gilad

In a recently published article, Gilad Atzmon wondered where the concepts of ‘chosenness’ and a ‘vengeful god’ come from.  Here below, I posit a plausible answer to his poignant questions.

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Imagine it’s four thousand years ago and you are the chief elder of a small pagan tribe living in what is now known as Yemen.  You have chosen to pitch your tribe’s tents near an oasis that’s also shared by, say, half a dozen small Arab pagan tribes.  Paganism, with its orgiastic sexual promiscuity, its lawless blood-sacrifices and hyper-irrational superstitions is the zeitgeist of the day – and you, as tribe leader are becoming more concerned for the safety of your tribe because the new four-horned pagan god of your nearest neighbor’s tribe is an aggressive god who instructs his worshipers to raid and kill what they can by night to appease him.  You stoically start to wonder how best you can insure your tribe’s safety: you spend all day performing pagan protection rituals and prayers; and your nights you spend sleepless in nerve-knotting anxiety: over-thinking everything and hitting one mental wall after the other in search of a solution to your security crisis.

Soon, you’re worn down emotionally and mentally and crippled by anguish and despair.

Soon, the fears within you multiply causing you bouts of melancholia and paranoia and loss of appetite.  You look everywhere but you can find no reprieve from your laden mental agony and exhaustion.  So profound, intense and unbearable is your solitary anguish that you begin to doubt the protective powers of the very pagan gods you yourself worship.  Doubting your gods thus day and night, you soon enough therefore decide that you are no longer a pagan: that worshiping effigies and natural phenomenon and inane objects has never produced any reliable results anyway; and has certainly not guaranteed you safety, especially when as a wandering tribe in the past, you had been repeatedly ambushed and your animals and half your women were dragged off away by brutal raiders.  Yes, you fully realize that paganism is futility itself.  You feel strange but brilliantly liberated to shed the mantle of paganism.  You look around you and you start to see pagan folks as inferior, as physically uninhibited but mentally enslaved.  You are thrilled by your internal discoveries, but this euphoria is soon shot down when you realize that you now have a much bigger problem:  what do you next worship?

You’ve killed off your old pagan gods and you need to fill the void with something… something?… yes, something… something that would be… even… better – even bigger and scarier than anyone can ever imagine!  Well, you have to think super big so you can sell why you dumped the old gods to your cynical brother and to others in the tribe.  Domestically, your tribe folk absolutely need ‘stuff’ to worship; and foreign policy wise, your neighboring tribes are always curious to know what ritual you performed, whether it worked or not, and you have to be able to convincingly accommodate this normal pagan curiosity, otherwise they would view your tribe as unconventional and shrouded in dark secrecy; they will accuse you of nefarious and antisocial activities; they will spread ugly rumors about you and your tribe; they will disown all previous trade deals with you; exclude you from important regional social events, and humiliate you by calling you a godless crackpot and a feeble tribal chief: which in turn would invite violent raids and unwanted hostility – the very thing you’re desperate to avoid.

You sit under stars alone outside your tent and wonder what kind of new gods you can kneel to, impressive gods unlike any other in the pagan world around you.  But… where, where on earth does one find such a mighty and hidden collection of gods, you ask yourself.  You find no answer to this question, hard as you try, and so you think to yourself: perhaps I can start by finding the first god and when that’s done, I can be looking for the next one and so on and so forth.  It seems like an awful lot of mental work is ahead of you and you despair at the impossible challenges you’ve entangled yourself in.  Then it hits you!  All you really need is ONE GOD!  ONE GOD!  Only one!  A god who is so imbibed with mystery and magic and might that he works from a grand and fantastic invisible realm – a god who is absolutely everywhere, yet unseen by the human eye as his face is too powerful for a human to behold without causing injury and even death to the beholder: for you, there’s no more praying to multiple silly effigies anymore (yet ironically, you still believe in paganistic magic).

You start to think that this conjured ONE GOD of yours is so very powerful, by far more powerful than any and all pagan gods in this desert and the next – more than that, your god is the very creator of everything, creator of the dead and the living, creator of even every single pagan god on earth!  Yes, these are the foundational qualities of your new god.  Yes, you will now mentally toil to tailor-make this hybrid ONE GOD of yours: adding to him, polishing here, trimming there, exaggerating where you can, even plagiarizing from other pagan gods’ cloth and promises that please worshipers – hoping also that this preoccupation with god-making that now has you completely occupied will help mentally distract you and reduce your random bouts of paranoia.  But it doesn’t.  You spend half your time fine-tuning your ONE GOD model and the other half wrestling with terrible sun-stroked mirages of blood and visions of perpetual demonic genocide.  Yet despite all this, you finish the task of creating your ONE GOD.

You tell yourself that your ONE GOD is the best idea you’ve ever had in your long life – you’re blown away by your own creative endeavors – you’re giddy with joy that you’ve finally solved your religious problem.  But… you still need to figure out a way to get this ONE GOD to provide you with security for your tribe, especially that some of your neighbors might be skeptical and worse: offended that you’re declaring their gods are nothing more than the small children of your ONE GOD, that their gods are merely created and not powerful creators themselves; that your ONE GOD can snuff them out any time he pleases: being their creator and all.  You know that this kind of religious offense will attract unrelenting brutal violence towards you and your tribe from pagan zealots – maybe your offended neighbor tribes will conspire against you and together set your tents on fire while you sleep: burning you and your tribe into a pile of charred bones and ending your rogue bloodline for once and for all: genociding you completely with no mercy and no remorse.  You shudder at the thought of a torturous death and the savage annihilation of your tribe.  You cannot bear the thought of causing and helplessly witnessing such an event.  This becomes your darkest pathological fear and very quickly you become deeply haunted and terrorized by hellish scenarios of gruesome mass murder.  Killing the pagan gods seems to have now led you to the dark night of soul itself, but you know with absolute certainty that there is no returning to the failed pagan gods.  There is nowhere else to go to except forward with the ONE GOD concept, despite its dangers and its predatory shadows that torment you.

Under a scorching sun, you walk alone burdened and still looking for the answer to your impossible security problem.  There are so few of your tribesmen and you cannot raise an army large enough to defend your new ONE GOD concept against a whole region of pagans, numbered in the hundreds of thousands.  No, no human army can help, you tell yourself, but… a supernatural bag of curses will certainly work wonders on the superstitious pagan mind.  Yes!  You know this for a fact because you are an ex pagan.  Threats of colossal and deadly retribution from your ONE GOD will stop any pagan in their tracks and make them think twice before attacking you.  Yes, this is it: your invisible ONE GOD’s wrath will be your valiant shield, your indestructible army!  And you have just the perfect sales pitch for it!

First, you will assemble the neighboring tribes and yours too.  You will tell them all that at great risk to your own life, you would like to share with them a most unusual religious experience you’ve recently had.  You will tell them a beautiful story about how a new god visited you when you were walking the desert alone; that this god is the most wondrous and kind and helpful of all gods; that this god claims sole reign over all existing pagan gods; and that those who follow him will each be given a true heaven all to themselves as reward.  You will spin and exaggerate all the positive aspects of this ONE GOD, you will wax lyrical about his beauty and his astonishing divine powers.  You will say that this new messianic god has arrived to save mankind from illness and poverty and suffering, that if men followed this ONE GOD, they too will live in eternal wealth, security and physical and spiritual fulfillment.

Immediately after you’ve disarmed your skeptical listeners through the power of poetry and promises of utopia, after you’ve buttered them up nicely with rare sweet honey, you will then proceed to tell them, with soulful tears in your eyes, that this new ONE GOD has chosen you and your bloodline to be the very first followers: divinely privileged above all others and favored till eternity.  With earnest conviction you announce to your riveted audience that the ONE GOD has promised to generously reward and bless all those who help you.  You watch your listeners’ eyes now widen with wonderment before you quickly dim the light in your speech.  You clench a fist and crease your brows in sudden anger and forewarn them that your ONE GOD has also darkly vowed to utterly smite all those who injure you!  You will firmly and bleakly caution your listeners: you will tell them your ONE GOD works in such mysterious and powerful ways that anyone resisting your message from him tonight will go to sleep and never wake again – that your ONE GOD is capable of killing whole tribes in the same second by merely thinking it.  You basically put the fear of god into the hearts of pagan men.

This threat of imminent death will play havoc with any riddled-with-superstition pagan mind – nobody now would dare threaten or question you.  But you know that you still need to do more convincing – long term persuasion is necessary.  So, to re-enforce your ONE GOD declaration and warnings, to back up your fantastical claims, you will wait a couple of days after your confessional then pick a petty public fight with your drunken, deadbeat nephew.  He will insult you in public and you will later poison his drink in secret under the cloak of moon; and when he is found all contorted and dead the following morning, you will point at his pitiful corpse and in horror cry: my God did this!  My ONE GOD did this!  You will raise your head and arms to the sky and declare thus divine proof of your vengeful god’s existence.  You will do this again several times over: you will nefariously incite then murder a couple of travelers, and also poison the doubting wife of the tribal chief whose pagan god has four horns.  And so the word about your ONE GOD and his astoundingly devastating powers will henceforth spread among other tribes, who will either subsequently follow you, or else leave you alone in peace: fearing your ONE GOD’s deadly vengeance.

And so it was that you would have created for yourself a way out of failed paganism and its religious wasteland; you would have created the most powerful god in the history of mankind and made yourself high priest; created the first mental weapon of mass destruction; and also you would have created definitive tribal security, provided by no less than, God, himself.

Next, being a nomadic trader at heart, you will seek ways to acquire gold and riches using your very own and successful ONE GOD brand name.  You will declare that all your blessings are personal gifts from the ONE GOD – that he enriches you because you were chosen by him to be his very first follower – that whoever becomes a faithful follower like you, he too will receive the title of ‘chosen’ with all its divine and extravagant advantages.  New followers from other tribes are seduced and begin to join your ONE GOD world order. You tax them for teaching them hundreds of new prayers and other religious rituals – you make yourself a fortune as high priest.

Your tribe becomes wealthy and feared – you and every single member of your tribe soon become rich elites in ancient pagan Arabia.  Your grandiose scam you would eventually share on your deathbed with your closest family members; but after you die, they will swear to secrecy and never utter a word of it to anyone.  Your fabricated ONE GOD story would thus continue and evolve and soon enough become a rooted religious system: all based on your self-appointed claims of being chosen by the ONE GOD who will mercilessly and brutally punish your enemies and protect you, and only you, the chosen, for eternity.

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72 comments:

  1. Taxi says:

    Humanity, in all four corners of the world has been pagan since man lived in caves some 170,000 years ago.  Paganism therefore has had the longest and deepest influence on the human mind. 

    Despite the spread of monotheism, Buddhism, Hinduism etc, I still see strains of paganistic rituals and beliefs imbibed in all religions available to us in the 21st century.  Certainly, there is by far less paganism now than 170,000 years ago, but nevertheless, paganism still grips patches of the human mind and religious dogmas.

    Therefore, we will always have religious wars till we are rid of our paganistic inclinations.

  2. Taxi says:

    I am not an expert on religion nor do I want to be one.  In my younger years, I probably spent a good decade reading copious and numerous books on religions of the world.  I don't read books on religion or even on spirituality anymore – haven't for at least two decades now.  I simply have zero interest in either spiritual or religious writings.  I find them both paganistic and juvenile distractions from the stone-cold reality that I prefer to live in: we are here on earth, alone, with zero knowledge of why and wherefore.

    I personally don't need either religion or spirituality to do good, to do the right thing.

    • bintbiba says:

      Right you are, Taxi, 

      You spoke my mind and spirit that I could never say as concisely and fulsomely. 

      We do not need religion or even spirituality to be moral humans; just common sense, intelligence,  human empathy, sensitivity plus great capacity for love and self-discipline!

      All common human attributes not necessarily monopolized by religions!

    • Taxi says:

      We do not need religion or even spirituality to be moral humans; just common sense, intelligence,  human empathy, sensitivity plus great capacity for love and self-discipline! – bintbiba

      A fine and succinct list, bintbiba – a list that I'm sure everyone, including religious folk, can agree on – except that religious institutions will add to this list a bunch of unnecessary human-enslaving dogmas to aid in their ancient and ongoing racket.  Such is the way of the world.

       

      • samivesusu says:

        If we do not need religions why are they there? clearly the ability to believe as oppose to knowing is within our capacity as humans  ..

        Religion doesn't have to agree with rationality, it often celebrates our ability to extend beyond the rational…  

      • Taxi says:

        Gilad (appearing as Samivesusu),

        We invent gods for comfort.  Well, fake comfort, that is.  Hard for fickle humanity to accept existentialist reality.

        We are born with no tooth, no talon, no fur no bowl of food in hand – more helpless than any other animal, we are born.  We are also born with no knowledge of why or wherefore and with no physical god or indisputable sign of god.  We're born as if flung recklessly into this world to either sink or swim.

      • samivesusu says:

        yep.. but we invent god for a reason,,, however,,, it is enlightening to witness what kind of gods different people invented… accordingly we should ask why did the Jews, for instance,  invented such a non ethical god… and why do they follow such an entity .Similarly we can ask why did Christians and Muslims universalised the Jewish god,,, 

         

      • Taxi says:

        Like my story posits, the Hebrews invented a genocidal god to project grand powers of protection they themselves did not possess.  Like a puffer fish that blows air inwards thus quadrupling its size to scare off bigger fish – this is how I see the jewish religious posture.  They continue to 'puff up' because the ruse still works – and very well, I may add.

        To my mind too, prophets Jesus and Mohammad legitimized certain aspects of the Hebrew cosmology by repeating them.  This is for the following reason: not even their clear, honest and advanced intellects could escape or fully shake off the insidious first root of paganism: planted in the mind of humanity since humankind took to sheltering and living in caves: planted since awareness and importance of 'self-preservation' became active and organized in the human-animal mind.

        Planted originally by the first primordial fear experienced by humans: fear of thunderstorms: fear of petrifying thunderstorms crackling, booming and falling unstoppable over the heads of cavemen and savage animals alike.  Looking like the fiery spears of an angry and punitive creator: to a primordial pagan mind, no doubt.  This explains why the first pagan gods to be worshiped by cavemen in all four corners of the world were the thunder gods.  Yes, thunder was the first to be worshiped because thunder was the very first natural phenomenon that was collectively deeply feared.  Even giant, savage animals (that man himself feared) were also terrorized by thunder and ran for refuge when  thunderstorms would break out.  I see judaism as still utilizing mankind's primordial fear of thunder – even their religious imagery depicts this.

        You cannot totally wipe out 170.000 years of paganistic beliefs and mental inclinations with just 4,000 year of monotheism.  Evidently not.  Especially when monotheism itself suffers from strains of paganism and superstition.

        Maybe there is no single or multiple gods.  Maybe it's just creation: an amoral force of sorts creating-itself-creating-itself-creating-itself and so on and so forth.  Maybe we won't get the next piece of the god puzzle till paganism is completely rejected and discarded by the collective human mind.  When there's no more fear of symbolic 'thunder' in the human mental blueprint.

        This is the best I have, for now – my intellectual life is still evolving and I have not yet found an absolute explanation for this subject matter – one that I fully understand myself, or one that is wordable.

      • samivesusu says:

        It all makes a lot of sense.. and you really don't want to reach an absolute answer.. only progressives and marxists have absolute answers …

      • Taxi says:

        Yikes!  Heh!

        Don't get me started on the fake Progressives of the 21st century – I can't deal with lunatics and lunacies right now.

        And Marxists?  The trendy ones with an American Express credit card in back pocket?  Yeah right!  Fakesters too for sure.

        There used to be a time not too long ago when one could find a couple of likeable attributes in Progressive and Marxist ideas.  But no more.  Pretty much everything now has been kicked askew by culture bullies to mean something else completely, even the reverse.  Poor words and their meaning.  Taken a good beating and subsequently as a result, the human communication system is black-eyed, cross-wired and tongue-burned.  That's what a long-term deluge of fake news and intimidating misinformation will do to the face of a society. 

  3. Taxi says:

    One can profoundly appreciate the forces of nature without having to 'worship' them – without having to build alters to thunder and fire and kneel before them.

  4. Taxi says:

    The vast, ancient Arabian desert had a rich tradition of seers whose names have been long forgotten.  Seers tended to flourish in the time-gap between prophet and prophet (and there were quite many such prophets back in the day).  For the most part, these seers tended to focus on foretelling the approach of positive forces, like predicting the next coming prophet or the birth of a gifted child.  They were also known for alerting the approach of 'evil forces', like imminent raids, wars, inter-tribal homicide, and 'god-inflicted' diseases.  They also concerned themselves with forecasting the weather: deadly sandstorms, auspicious freak rains and such.  From preserved records, many seers describe how a tremendous, blinding and excruciating pain in their skull would proceed their 'second sight' visions.  It is notable that so many of these recorded seers had shared the same intense physical experience.  Modern neurology studies into this have equated the seers' torturous experience with a migraine attack – an attack that if severe and acute can lead to hallucinations.  So what these ancient desert seers took for some kind of other-worldly vision was, according to modern scientific method, a wanton attack of migraine. 

    Migraines, btw, have been around for a very, very long time.

  5. galiluigi says:

    Brilliant! Now if only Gilad could say what he wants without using 'Jew', 'Jewish', ‘Judaism’, ‘Judo.’ After all, apart from their religion, they are non-existent.

    • samivesusu says:

      Never!… This is what I want to do… talking about ‘Jewishness’, ‘Judaism’, the ‘Judeo…’. When AIPAC dissolves, Soros gives up and JVP lets us free, I may consider moving on… And BTW you are obviously wrong about Judaism and the Jews… you may have to read more Atzmon actually…

  6. Taxi says:

    Sometimes I experience the world like a witness looking at a hologram.

    Sometimes I really feel like there's not much to this world.  Disposable world that we so deeply value – this life, all life, that we consider sacred.

    'Sacred'?  What a tricky-dicky word.  So very powerful.  Lofty.  Inspirational.  Yet, so very dangerous.  Probably the most dangerous word in the human dictionary.  The very word-concept that's responsible for our primordial illusion of grandeur.  Our illusion of power and permanence. 

    I ask you, dear humans, how can we (or other lifeforms) be 'sacred' when our so-called god put the earth that we live on, our home and our sustenance, put it all on a slo-mo collusion course with the sun?  I don't see how we, physically and spiritually, can be so precious and important to 'god' if he ultimately aims to burn us and his whole creation to cinders.  What a wicked ultimate destiny this so-called god has designed and prepared for us!  We obviously don't mean much to him to blight us all with such a horrid end.  No, we are not sacred at all: we are nothing but this slow-burning kebab meat for a cosmic barbecue party.

    But seriously folks, even if humanity managed by some miraculous fortune to achieve utopian peace and perfection,  god's invisible hand will still push us and all life on earth, eventually, straight into the infernal sun.

    Utterly boggles the mind why life as we know it was created in the first place at all.

    I take from that: that I know nothing.  I understand nothing.  I am nothing.  And I don't care. 

    I don't care for this 'god' plan and his petty-minded, uncreative, imperfect, temporary creation.  Useless, illogical creation.  I also most certainly don't care to play the puerile power-games that 'god' invested and hard-wired into mankind: I don't care to be beautiful or rich or famous or enlightened or even healthy – I don't even care for the soft opiates of love – I don't care about anything that feeds the illusion of permanence. 

    And I don't care that I don't care.

    • bintbiba says:

      What a state of affairs, dear Taxi.

      My tuppence' worth…

      Whereto goes infinity  has to be wherefrom infinity! Nothing  ever had a beginning, nothing going anywhere! 

      My sure road to insanity, I know, (if not already there myself), just struggling to fathom the unfathomable! Better forget about caring or not caring, and just Being (that is if we really Are!).

      If nothing is sacred (humankind’s invention, to elevate and supplement the god pre-installed, remember…) then nothing matters any more.

      But then we revert to…. what? We have our reasoning brain, emotions and instincts(?) from the insensate that may still need to evolve in Time to reach the levels of thinking, moral creatures! If it all goes pffft into ashes in a few million years, then so be it! Who knows, but maybe some other more successful enterprise could rise from the ashes of what once was!

      The mere fact that you agonize and cogitate about it means that you do care (a great deal in your own specific, meaningful way!

      It is what it is.

    • Taxi says:

      I was shocked and very disappointed when I first arrived at the idea of 'non-sacredness', but no more.

      I honestly don't care and am very happy with that.  It doesn't bother me not to care at all.  I'm very happy not to care.  I feel liberated for it.  I seek nothing anymore – I have no more desires and no more ambitions, thank god (if you'll pardon the pun).

      All I have right now is my simple and satisfying life in the countryside, and my ISness.  I'm traveling light for the rest of the journey, and I love it.

      • bintbiba says:

        "I'm traveling light for the rest of the journey, and I love it."

        And ‘amen’ to that (sorry for pun ). It has taken me nearly 80 years to get to a semblance of that, dear one!

    • Taxi says:

      There is a state of mind where one can discard the paganistic concept of 'sacred' and yet positively remain in utter wonderment and appreciation of the beautiful aspects of life. 

      Just because the logical mind rejects the concept of 'worship at alter' for its unpleasant enslavement, it does not mean that the logical mind does not heartily and profoundly appreciate the magnificence of a thunderstorm or a dew drop glinting in sunlight.

      What is behind the concept of divinity, after all, if not the experience of stunning beauty and breathtaking goodness?

  7. Taxi says:

    So, today, paganism created a little conflict in my household.  Here's what happened:

    My gardener is a 29 year old Syrian Muslim.  He lives with his wife and three little girls in a cottage by the main gate of my farmhouse compound.  Apart from taking care of my lawn, trees, flowers and organic veg garden, he also does some driving for me and takes care of the chickens I keep.  He is a wonderful family man, exceptionally polite and accommodating, relaxed, honest, and prays to Allah five times a day.

    My housekeeper is a Christian Filipino – she's a 36 year old mother of three (her kids live with their deadbeat dad in the Philippines).  She's a very sweet country bumpkin, always smiling, hard-working: cleans, cooks for me and helps me with my 5 rescue dogs.  Before she came to live with me, she had never before slept in a bed, never cooked indoors, never opened a fridge door or operated a washing machine – she'd lived a dirt-poor life, sheltered from the progressive world by the slums and poverty of her isolated village – but, her rustic gullibility is positively charming and she is very kind, especially to animals.  She lives with me and the dogs in the main farmhouse; she has a very elaborate and colorful alter to Jesus in her bedroom, she prays every night at bedtime and she religiously goes to church every Sunday.

    My gardener speaks Arabic with a tad of English he's picked up from me.  My housekeeper's mother-tongue is Ilocano and she's picked up a little English from me and a smidgen of Arabic from my gardener.  I (of course) speak English and also what in Lebanon they call 'Armenian Arabic' (broken Arabic).  The common language often used in my household is therefore Pidgin English.  (Being a wordsmith, I often detest having to resort to Pidgin English, but I bite my tongue and use it for the sake of convenience and expedience of communication).

    I've had both gardener and housekeeper living and working at the farmhouse for a couple of years now and despite our vast differences, everybody gets along pleasantly and harmoniously. 

    But today was different.

    My gardener brought in some fresh eggs, like he usually does, and among the eggs today was this tiny one: this tiny egg that's a forth of the size of a normal egg.  Apparently, it's pornographically called a cock egg, or, the more family-friendly: rooster egg: an egg that's laid by a cockerel, not a hen!  Indeed, a very rare phenomenon, my gardener said.  Being an urbanite for most of my life, I'd never heard of it till today and I'd certainly never seen anything like it before, but both my gardener and my housekeeper had, and both certainly had very strong opinions about it.

    All three of us huddled close over the kitchen table, our eyes pouring over and admiring this little egg: it was an absolutely adorable and perfect little miniature, you know, a stunning and impeccably curved creation; and for a few seconds, I inspected it with gentle fingers and with utter fascination.  I asked if it was generally safe to eat a rooster egg and my gardener and housekeeper, they both simultaneously and excitedly yelled out two opposing answers at the same time: one shouted 'yes' in one ear, the other a firm 'no' in the other.  Their loud and confusing outburst startled me and I took a step back from the table.  It confused me even further to now see them stare each other down with hostility.

    Housekeeper: No you no eat, I tell you no eat no!

    Gardner: Yes for eat!  For madam eat!  Boy chicken for madam so eggz to madam – yes nice from god for madam.

    Housekeeper: No no no eat nobody eat – very bad for eat!  Bad 'tings!

    Gardener: Me you no good eat – only madam only madam eat – you eat, me eat, very bad – madam eat good from god nice.

    Housekeeper: No, no eat!  You don’t informajun – you speak zero – very bad!

    Gardener: Not me zero!  You of zero!  Good – good eat!

    And like so this ludicrous pagan argument went circular and on till it drove me nuts and I stopped it with firm hand gestures.  When all was calm again, I proceeded to question each on the thinking behind their answers.

    My housekeeper, though a life-long devout Christian, believes that this rare rooster egg is very powerful: that if broken for any reason, it unleashes evil forces, therefore it must remain intact, placed in a small box and hidden in the dark of a stored suitcase, thus eventually bringing wealth and fortune to the owner of the suitcase.  That's the kind of power it has, she insisted.  Emotional, she begged me to keep the rooster egg for herself.  Because I really didn't care about the egg, I wanted to say yes then and there to indulge her, but decided to google 'rooster egg' first and find out more about the quirky little bugger.  I told my housekeeper that I would think about it.

    My gardener, himself a life-long religious Muslim, he too attributed magical powers to the rooster egg.  His native farmland lore says that when a rooster egg is laid, it is a very special blessing from Allah, that it brings good fortune and that it would be an offense to Allah for the owner of the rooster not to eat the little egg.  Visibly worried, he said that if a second party ate the tiny egg, or a rat assaulted and broke it, then a terrible tragedy will strike the rooster's owner (yikes that be me!).  He advised me to eat it as soon as possible and I assured him that I would, while crossing my fingers behind my back.

    So now I have this pagan egg drama going on in my house.  I have no idea how I'm going to resolve it.  I'll have to find a way that doesn't upset either gardener or housekeeper – one that hopefully doesn't involve me having to eat the darn thing either cuz I'm now totally turned off.  I will sleep on it and see what happens tomorrow.

    But in the meantime, I googled rooster egg and was stunned to find so much folk literature on the subject.  But confusingly too, some scientific information on the phenomenon is contradictory.  Some sites claim it as an impossibility, a rooster being male and all, while other sites claim that a rooster can have sudden and temporary reverse-genderization (or is it genderification?) and would under these rare, biological-hormonal anomalies be able to lay an egg, albeit a small dud one.  Anyway, these rooster eggs apparently have no yoke, hence the small size.  Some say that the chicken that lays a rooster egg is a weak chicken that must be rushed to the vets and hooked up to feeding drips.  Others say to slaughter that chicken quick because it's possessed by a sickly, contagious spirit.

    And this, dear reader, is the problem with internet research: often you get contradictory information that you have to somehow discern for yourself.  This is also the problem with paganism: too many contradictions for any consistency, efficiency, or long term system-unification to ever occur.  A problem too when monotheist are not really monotheists in their internal machinations – and they don't realize this inconsistency in themselves.  They are externalized monotheists but internalized pagans.  I think most of humanity is in this state of being, regardless of what religion they follow.

    I can't believe how much time was spent on this little egg today – I'm vexed about this kind of waste of time and I have a mind to smash that celebrated little egg in front of both my gardener and housekeeper, point at the broken shell and egg-ooze and say:  There!  You see!  No good no bad no god no gold here, just egg, just small-small egg, okay?!

    But I can't do that now, can I?  They're such sweet people and I don't want to traumatize their fragile belief systems.  It's their right to live in whatever mental realm they choose, in whatever fantastical universe they determine best suits them.  And besides, what steady alternative would I have to offer them if I were to shatter their beliefs?  My current world view is immersed in an ideology of nothingness.  All I have to give is a solid nothing.

    It's impossible to sell nothingness as a religion.  And that, my dear readers, is why I'm very fond of it.  You can't buy this nothingness and you can't sell it either.  It just dawns on you out of the blue. 

    Or.  It doesn't.

    • bintbiba says:

      What a story, Taxi.

      I can see your dilemma!   May I suggest you tell them you went into deep meditation and consulted your own personal Spiritual Guide and was told that since the rooster belongs to you, you get to decide what to to do with the ruddy egg! Of course you say it very kindly, as is your wont!! That you respect their differing beliefs implicitly, but reserve the right to decide according to your belief. They MUST give you the same rights you gave them in expressing their strong beliefs!

      Either get the dogs to bury the little treasure ( as in the dog ate my homework!), or you announce that your Spiritual Advice came in the form of: [all 3 of you share in the beneficence of the little treasure!], with each of you making a small concession!

      In my youth, our tiny little babies first ever shoe was sent to be dipped in a solution of brass/copper and inscribed with whatever you wished…( my 61 and 56 year old sons still have them!) . Boil the egg first so it does’t rot and install it in a glass box for you all to gaze in wonder upon the golden marvel created by happenstance . If they wish, let them set it up on an altar for their own delectation.

      So no-one prays, no-one eats, no-one denies anyone’s nonsense belief.

      You break it, you own it. It is yours to do as you wish. Kindly said with great respect.

      And please forgive my bit of nonsense here!! 🙂

    • Taxi says:

      LOL bintbiba – no need to apologize at all.  Thank you for your suggestion.  I can't spend any more time thinking about pagan eggs – I'm on total overload with egg info right now!  But I will sleep on it and see how it all looks tomorrow.  One thing's for sure, I'm going to have to do some lying.

      It's just a question of what kind of lie I can come up with by tomorrow.  Oy vey laugh

    • Taxi says:

      I do like that story of baby-shoes dipped in brass.  Not heard of it before but I have seen on my travels thru antique shops, baby-shoe sculptures made of porcelain.  Thought it was just some kind of Victorian upper-class fashionable indulgence.

    • Taxi says:

      Okay so I didn't feel like telling lies yesterday and today I don't feel like lying either – so I haven't yet resolved the pagan egg drama yet.  Needless to say, my home and garden help are still a tad aloof with each other and they tried to open the subject with me again, separately, to put their case forward again, but I just waved it off and said I was still thinking about it.

      I know what I have to say – I just have to psych myself into it first.  Basically, I have to stoop seriously low and fix it a-la  Hillary Clinton (and 99% of politicians): make 2 opposing statements on the same issue. 

      When the time is right (probably tomorrow), I will lie and tell my gardener that I got inspired to eat the egg this morning so it's in me now and Allah will not be offended – I will also swear him to secrecy (on his children's lives and the holy Quran) not to tell the housekeeper that I ate the egg, but to say that I had decided to keep the egg to myself.

      Then, I will proceed to give the egg to my housekeeper – I will make her swear on the bible and her kids not to tell the gardener as this will upset him – that she should avoid a conversation about the egg with him, but that if she was put on the spot, to say that I kept the egg to myself.

      This way, both will feel that their knowledge scores one hundred and not the offensive "zero".

      And that would be the end of that.

       

  8. bintbiba says:

    A little white lie, dear one, is never harmful, (except to the one proffering it, perhaps). It is always done with the intention of soothing/sparing a very awkward situation, or saving a friendship which is always based on truth and frankness, or even helping someone who is feeling very dejected and down in the dumps feel better about him/her self!

    In this imperfect world, many a difficult and severely messy situation can be improved peacefully without rancor or bitterness, with a little Diplomacy, even when one’s core belief is never to utter an untruth or be a hypocrite! Otherwise the problem festers and a precious relationship suffers for very little reason; especially where in your story the reasoning of the 2 opposing individuals is based on ignorance and irrational superstition, which goes against everything YOU stand for!

    Maybe through your interaction with them, they may end up understanding and realizing that being superstitious and taking these mythical ideas seriously is not what mature adults do!

  9. Bornajoo says:

    Dear Taxi 

    Thank you for your beautifully written piece 

    At SOAS I did a degree in comparative religion. There were many theories as to how the concept of the one monotheistic god came about; from the ancient Pharoes (and copied by Moses), from Zoroastrianism etc. 

    But I do prefer your version. It's very human and feels grounded in reality

    The Jewish god is indeed a very vengeful entity and comes across like a mafia godfather. Whatever his little tribe does whether right or wrong, he protects them at all costs and lots of innocent people outside of the tribe are killed! And this tribe where I originated from still act with impunity because they feel that this god will continue to protect them regardless of what they do. Thank god (not the nasty Jewish one, the symbolic nonexistent one) I'm no longer part of the tribe  

    Reading through your article and subsequent comments about your attitude towards religion I can't help detecting, however inadvertently or unintentional, a very Buddhistic leaning. 

    (disclosure: I'm married to a Buddhist) 

    You have taken the grand step of removing yourself from the consumer society and retired to the simple life in the country, away from the never ending wants, desires and temptations of city life. No mean feat and not easy to do. You are removing 'desire' from your daily life. You've realised that in the end it takes you nowhere except to an empty place 

    As your comments suggest, you are sticking to the principle of non-attachment as you have come to realise that attachment to anything only leads to disappointment and further suffering. 

    I'm fairly certain you don't have a torture chamber up there in your farm and it's clear you are someone who adheres to the principle of 'ahimsa' (non violence) towards any living thing

    And the way you dealt with the rooster egg can easily be defined as the use of 'skilful means'. Lying, or even killing (if absolutely necessary to prevent something far worse from happening) is allowed in Buddhism. So your little lie to your gardener and housekeeper falls under the principle of 'skillful means' as the end result was to eradicate tension, bad thoughts and to bring back harmony to the household  

    I see lots of similarities with your lifestyle and Buddhism, even though I'm fully aware that you are not following any kind of Buddhism 

    Out of all the universalist religions, Buddhism appears to have the philosophy to deal with all the realistic 'human' aspects of our daily lives. The early Buddhist ascetics studied the world, their lives and the way that the human mind works through introspection and careful observance. They came to the conclusion that in the end all desires lead to suffering and the only way to stop the cycle of suffering was to remove oneself from the material world and release the mind from the temptations and entrapments that come with it. 

    I admire the philosophical side of Buddhism but not the metaphysical supernatural side. In fact I wish they left out the whole reincarnation bit and kept it purely as a human philosophy 

    I hope that harmony and equilibrium returns to the household as soon as possible! 

  10. Taxi says:

    Bornajoo, thank you for your great comment.

    I am definitely not a Buddhist – especially the branches that have too many rituals bells, candles, smoky incense, silk robes etc to me all represent pagan ritual.  With all due respect to religious practitioners, I have an aversion to religious ritual – I see it as self-deluded theater for toddlers.  At best, I see it as a pacifier of unsettling inquiry.  Evidently, humanity has not found it possible to reach a true 'god' experience through external stimuli – only one's 'perception' of god is experienced through ritual.  Seems to me that internalized, arduous, rational inquiry sans pagan distractions may be of possible value here.  And I use the word 'god' for lack of a better word.  If we were created as animal in body and crowned with an un-animal, rational brain, then surely somewhere within our vast-scaped mind, not outside of it, lies a direct channel to the creation-creator.  Only as internalized individuals can we possibly arrive at the 'god platform'.

    One must discard all images and ritual that incite or promise the evocation of god.  You cannot 'ritualize' god.  You cannot 'concept' god.  You cannot put any adjective or man-made mask or punctuation on god.  You cannot rely on existing definitions of god.  You cannot assume a single glimmer of knowledge of god.  This god thing is utterly unwordable, unreachable, unknowable.

    The closest school that follows the above is Taoism.  Yet they falter when it comes to giving females access to their hierarchy.  This confirms that all religious institutions, even the best of them, Eastern and Western alike, have constitutional faults and fault lines, have inhibitors and limiters: to varying degrees they are riddled with prejudice and supremism.  Fake supremism, I should add.

    My non-attachment to worldly matters may fit the Buddhic template, but it's actually my rational mind that has led me to non-attachment.  I mean, knowing that one's life on earth is limited, knowing that one cannot take anything material with them after death, knowing also that no one, not even the most enlightened human has ever returned from death with any sure and consequential revelation – all of this forces my mind to deduce that life is indeed temporary and materialism is of no consequence outside of terra firma – so why then umbilically attach the self to stuff that doesn't last and is of limited value?  It just doesn't make sense to do this.  It seems to me that to attach is to be handcuffed and blindfolded.  To attach is to be illogical.  Of course, it's difficult to detach from the people one loves dearly – but it is very possible to profoundly love yet love without attachment.  I believe this is repeatedly practiced by animals:  they love and attach to their young on a temporary basis, then love and detach when their young are ready to face the jungle alone.

    I do not say here that a path of non-attachment guarantees finding 'god'.  It is still to be proven that anything in this world guarantees a rendezvous with god.  But what choice do I have but to be in logical non-attachment when all religions of man, past and present, have evidently failed at delivering their promise?

    Regarding the principle of 'ahimsa' (non violence) towards any living thing, I cannot personally claim alignment with that – I mean, in a general sense yes, but, for instance, only yesterday I had to kill a poisonous snake in my orchard:  it had backed up one of my dogs against a wall and I had to, in the sudden heat of the moment, lift a heavy nearby rock over my head with both hands and violently throw it down atop the snake's head – instantly killed it.  Yes, for some five seconds, I became a weaponized cavewoman.  When the danger had passed and I snapped out of this archaic state of mind, I truly felt a strong grief for the way its life had ended – but I did not feel any guilt for killing it whatsoever.  Living in open countryside, you are occasionally put in compromised and life-and-death uncompromising situations.  You do what you have to do – there is no place for guilt under these circumstances – grief, yes, but not guilt.

    Maybe a Buddhist master may have been able to somehow peacefully lead the snake away from my cornered dog, but I certainly don't know how to do that.  Although I am in non-attachment, I am not really that advanced or in full control of myself or my surrounding.  This is fine by me – I have no ambition to advance.  If it comes, it comes, and if it doesn’t, then… well, whatever.  I really don't care.  I'm not on any mission to save myself or save humanity from anything.  Well, except save humanity from zionism…  But I'm doing it for a laugh.  Something that chuckling, big-bellied Buddha himself would approve of, I'm sure

     

  11. chu33 says:

    Check out what a fraud Bernie Sanders is in this video. This was the great hope of the democratic left?

    http://forward.com/fast-forward/370906/bernie-sanders-says-bds-wont-solve-mideast-impasse/

     

    Angry Arab says: Thursday, May 04, 2017
    It is high time that the leftist cult of Bernie Sanders is set aside, once and for all
    This is one of the most revealing cowardice I have seen in a politician. He tries to have it both ways. His idea of criticisms of Israeli aggression and occupation is this: I don’t agree with Netanyahu all the time

    • Taxi says:

      Old haggard jew and closet-zionist. That’s what I’ve always thought of Bernie Sanders. And people bought that he was an anti war candidate lol. After Clinton stole the election from him, all the DNC had to do was show him a Samsonite full of dollars to put a lid on the scandal and that’s exactly what Sanders did: he urged his betrayed followers to vote for Hillary then bought a nice new house, thank you very much.

  12. Taxi says:

    My new philosophical conundrum: is truth more important than people?

    Tough – so goddam tough to figure this one out. 

    Any light shed on this question by readers would be greatly appreciated.

    • MguitarF says:

      I believe the choice of truth over people in general is a mirage, because I believe logic is inherently an emergent artifact of historical, i.e., human social and cultural, thinking. However, the choice of truth over everyone in your life might be real; I feel pressed into that corner too.

      The truth is that I entertain several competing theories of truth, but the one I stated here, after Protagoras and developed by Joseph Margolis, is the one mostly on my mind these days. Each philosophy seems to have its own problems which its leading philosophers like to neatly sweep into a corner nobody at the moment is paying attention to.

      I doubt perfection even exists, at least not yet. I sometimes cling to the belief—and this is where I get religious—that over time all the sentience of reality have been and are gradually, albeit with perturbations along the way, creating the laws of reality, in fact, creating reality, homing in asymptotically to perfection. I cling to this because it's the most solid thing I can see that can keep my long-term hope alive. (But note that this philosophy rejects anti-psychologism, so it's immune to dismissals of "Oh, that's just your little psychological passifier.")

      • Taxi says:

        Hello MguitarF,

        I’m currently riding a thought-wave that tells me that even attachment to ‘truth’ is, well… meh.

        Because there is no formula to life, it’s therefore not necessary for philosophy to provide and produce an absolute. Like everything under the sun is in a constant state of flux and movement, so should the philosophies of man be. I’m presently gleaning that perhaps in some instances, people are more important than the truth. Humanism above truth: is where I’m at today.

        Love above truth is another gray area in Ethics. I imagine myself to be the kind of person who would hide their beloved friend from the law if that friend had committed a crime. I know, I sound like an outlaw here but to me it’s an example of how complex the choice between people and truth can be. Yes, a world where there is no judgment, no right or wrong but just events unfolding that need addressing – this strikes me as a world that is at peace with the vicissitudes and transient essence of life.

  13. MguitarF says:

    That sounds healthy. I agree with most of what you said, and feel all of it. I would rephrase this:

    “perhaps in some instances, people are more important than the truth. Humanism above truth” 

    to this

    ‘There are conflicting truths, and we’re sometimes put in the difficult position of being forced to choose one over the other to some degree.’

    Following the pragmatists, I’ve come to see that logic is a species of ethics (the science of what should be done and believed), and rests on aesthetics, (e.g., elegant and simple theories should be believed over clunky and complicated ones), and shifts as aesthetic ideals of culture shift. (Cf. the fact/value dichotomy.)

    As I see it, truths were not pre-fabbed Forms waiting throughout eternity for men to discover, but rather, truths are emergent ideas from the activities, mental and physical, of men (or possibly of all sentient beings.) Emergent is the key word. I think of birds flying in big V formation. No bird or group of birds planned the formation; each one naturally finds the path of least resistance, and the V emerges. Similarly, the truths of life (propositions) emerged from human activity; and this explains the conflicting truths we find.

    (OK, this is important, but really too complex to describe briefly. Truths are propositions. Purely uninterpreted brute reality has no truth value until a proposition is formed; even thinking or feeling “it is” is a proposition. The limits we feel that brute reality places on propositions is due to our inherited embodiment. cf. ’embodied cognition’. And our particular embodiment was also due to the ways nature’s habits arose from its earlier patterns of habits. According to C.S. Peirce, taking on a habit is a sort of natural proposition. It’s all emergent from earlier forms, going back asymptotically to pure randomness.)

    I unfortunately grew up assuming that the true order of the world, if understood correctly, is perfect. Choosing ‘truth over people’ caused me problems. Sometimes I was just plain wrong, but still… I eventually came to believe that life is not a Swiss watch, not in understanding or in truth.

    I learned in my teens that most of life relates quite well to musical ideas, and music soon became my Bible. The not-a-Swiss-watch idea was made clear to me in an interesting book of creating writing about tuning a piano, entitled, The Seventh Dragon, The Riddle of Equal Temperament, by Anita Sullivan. In it she likened the tuning system to the calendar, and my whole world opened up. This was my Eureka moment. Her metaphor became my go-to metaphor for making sense of life’s variety of truths. Here’s the analogy:

    We would like all the important cycles to match perfectly: the Earth’s rotation, the Moon’s orbit, the Earth’s orbit; but they don’t, so we pick which is most important and compromise the others. I would prefer Easter and Ramadan be on the solar calendar, but oh well, I can roll with it. The western music tuning system is similar: it was considered most important to divide the octaves into 12 steps and to make all the steps equal in size. But in doing this you have compromised the purity of other intervals, e.g., a C and G no longer vibrate at rates making a perfect 2:3 ratio. It’s now 2:2.9, or something off like that. And C and E is most harmonious at a 4:5 ratio, but when the steps are equally tempered it will be more like 4:5.3.

    I believe all the truths of life are related to each other similarly to that to some degree. It’s more pronounced in aesthetics and ethics, but I think it holds true even in the hard sciences.

    A paper, actually a transcribed lecture, that I return to often, is directly related to your concern. A Second-Best Morality, by Joseph Margolis. You might find it valuable like I did.

    Matt

    • Taxi says:

      Thank you MguitarF for your great and thought-provoking comment.  I learned much from it.

      As I see it, truths were not pre-fabbed Forms waiting throughout eternity for men to discover, but rather, truths are emergent ideas from the activities, mental and physical, of men (or possibly of all sentient beings).

      Yes!  Many a poetic philosopher, both Eastern and Western, has likened 'Truth' to the unfolding petals of a flower (the lotus and the rose, respectively).  Truth in essence is constantly unfolding and therefore further enlightening the longer it’s pondered upon.  There are no absolute truths except for one: that of the imminence of death.  What you yourself call "conflicting truths", I would call 'differing perceptions of the same undulating truth'.  You will always have this phenomena so long as the collective human mind remains undisciplined and fractured.

      I'm particularly interested in what kind of idealist environment you grew up in that gave you the false impression of the world as "perfect", if "understood correctly".  Voltaire, the French rationalist, maintained that 'everything that happens in life is the best of all possible cosmic options, therefore life is prefect'.  However, he soon changed his mind when the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 killed over 60.000 people in a single day and destroyed half of Lisbon and all of its ports.  He lamented this horrific destruction and mass loss of life, changed his position and began to criticize philosophers who thought 'all is well with the world', as well as the clergy who explained the Lisbon catastrophe to their flock as being 'the will of god, thus must be embraced and accepted without question or prolonged grief'. 

      Obviously, the concept of perfection is utopian and non-existent.  As long as suffering exists, man-made or 'god-made', it is very problematic to think of the wold as a picture of perfection.  Some people say that the imperfections of life is what makes life perfect.  But this is semantic nonsense.  The brute reality and immeasurable suffering and injustice constantly, relentlessly surrounding us, proves otherwise. 

      Music, as you well know, fundamentally relies on mathematical equation – mathematics being the most inflexible and disciplined of concepts that man has arrived at – the most immutable rationale to date.  Music, however, as you rightly point out, breaks out of the mathematical mold in order to cater to the simpler aesthetics of the human ear.  For ancient Greek philosophers, this was a diversion away from a 'true' music which they referred to as the 'Music of the Spheres', or 'The Music of the Gods'.  They felt that any other music that didn't aim to achieve a disciplined connection to 'god' was an escapism from 'god' and not instructive towards the union of man and god.  I am neither a musician nor a musicologist and so please feel free to correct my understanding on this.   I would love to one day read the 'Seventh Dragon' and 'A Second-Best Morality'.  Very fascinating from your description.

      Thank you again for a truly enlightening comment.

      • MguitarF says:

        By "world order" and "life is a Swiss watch," I was only thinking of the laws regulating our world; and I considered the emotional consequences of free will, with its moral choices, to be outside of that, only bound to it by the mechanics etc. of our choices. I knew there was suffering, it was just shuffled neatly away in a separate category.

        Looking back, I can see that in my intellectual thoughts, that is, in trying to make overall sense of my world, I focused heavily on the order and precision of math and science at the expense of the less precise and less orderly fields of life. I thought mostly about things I had a handle on. This is human nature: we recognize patterns and ignore random noises. What constitutes a pattern and what constitutes noise is relative to your hopes and purposes*, so the more you narrow your hopes and purposes the more black-and-white your world seems, but the more annoying the noise becomes! And purposes are filtered according to what you have control over. The pain in my life, and the suffering I heard about in the world, didn't make clear sense, and this was more so early in my life; there was little I could do about it, so it became like white noise. I endured it while it lasted, but the less I understood and had control over it the less I would continue to think about it. I thought about things that would focus my mind, rather than things that would bewilder it.

        * This is argued conclusively and in depth in The Order of Nature, by C.S. Peirce. Peirce's explanation here is crucial to my more mature understanding of 'the order of the world'.
        https://en.m.wikisource.org/wiki/Popular_Science_Monthly/Volume_13/June_1878/Illustrations_of_the_Logic_of_Science_V

        Maybe at root of the jewish problem is that evil in their upbringing and the psychological isolation in their social surroundings caused most of them, or at least too many of them, to form and cling to an overly black-and-white view of the world and to relentless drive toward the difficult but well defined goal of usurping power from others. There's nothing like a difficult but well defined goal to focus the mind away from psychological demons.

        Matt

      • MguitarF says:

        My last paragraph was overly course. Sometimes I toss ideas out there that aren't yet well refined because I think the listener will nonetheless extract the good from it and, mutatis mutandis, put it into, or eventually work it into, its more precise place, e.g., applying the right percentage of its inclusion in the overall problem, and applying the right amount of vagueness or indeterminacy of it and how it connects to the overall problem.

        We're all guilty of over-preciding the world, (rendering the world with too much precision), in our minds, but more so in our language. Our sentences would be tortured if we qualified every subject, predicate, and their connections by degrees of probability, inclusion, efficacy, and whatnot. So we get our ideas out there in rough form trusting that listeners will put the subtleties back in. 

    • Taxi says:

      Your openness is very illuminating and appreciated.

      "…  I thought about things that would focus my mind, rather than things that would bewilder it."

      I've spent a lifetime empathizing and identifying with the underdog – and there's a price to pay for this way of being, mainly endless frustration at the changeless world.  Only recently have I been able to emotionally disengage from the 'bewildering' (yet without loss of my empathy).  I definitely see the world differently for it – I see the world in a (slightly) clearer light. 

      But it came so naturally to you, this disengagement from the turbulent world.  In a sense, this is to be admired, though the pitfall there lies in over-disengagement and losing touch with suffering humanity.  Either way one deals with the bare wounds of the world, it is really a question of applied balance that's key here.  Yet this desirable balance can takes decades to be arrived at.

      The links you included in your latest comment: I've read the first one and will make time to read the rest soon enough.  Thank you.

      But you're right, I do get the gist and meaning of your "last paragraph".  I didn't find it coarse in content, but indeed it came at me from sideways 🙂

      Sometimes, using words to 'allude' to meaning describes the concept better than direct words ever could.  Poets and prophets are known to work language in this way. 

      Language ceases to be science when the human creative spirit animates it.

  14. Arthur Dent says:

    Dear Taxi

    Came across your work and just had to open an account to reply to you. 

    You describe yourself as a wordsmith and how true this is so. Your writing is of high quality. 

    I need to comment on your 'rooster egg' comment; your story of such being of as much value as this piece itself, in my humble opinion. It shows very well how your opinions on paganism manifest negatively in reality, very astutely put.

    I would like to council against lying to your workers however from a Christian anarchist position based in large part on the works of Tolstoy, Jaques Ellul but mainly on the piece by Frederic Bastiat: 'La Loi', which if you can should be read in French as it is so much more eloquently presented, as any wordsmith appreciates. Deception in the law is the root of all evil and to your workers 'You Are The Law', as Judge Dredd said, you owe it to them to be so as the concept of the 'the little white lie' is a deception in and of itself. The Christian anarchist understands this as 'lies beget lies'.

    So pleased I found your site, can't even remember how I got here, Henry Makow maybe?

    Much love. 

    AD

    • Taxi says:

      Hello Arthur Dent, fellow Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy traveler 😉

      Thank you for your kind words and for your sound advise regarding the 'rooster egg' saga.   I really appreciate it.

      And how right you are with your advice: yes, honesty is always the best policy.  My initial instinct was to tell the truth but in the end I foolishly opted for the 'rainbow' lie so as to conclude this episode without rocking the boat for an indefinite period.  I regret doing that now.  My intolerance of paganistic, non-rational thinking got the better of me.  I should have had enough patience to cultivate foresight – I should have sat both my workers down and explained to them that I simply don't share either of their beliefs and that I was going to dispose of the rooster egg myself –  without necessarily divulging to them the method of disposal (probably, while walking my dogs, thrown it out into the wilderness for a lizard or a nocturnal animal to find).  I should have told my workers the truth and asked them to forgive me if this offends them – I should have told them it was better for our friendship and coexistence that I always tell them the truth.  I think they would have understood and respected that.

      Big fail on my part, regrettably.

      Arthur, one doesn't really need high-brow literature to know that honesty is the best policy, but I thank you for directing me to 'La Loi' (The Law, by Frederic Bastiat).  I shall order an English translation of it and read it on a lazy summer's afternoon.

      Thank you for taking the time to communicate a very important message to me and to readers:  people in positions of power must put forth the truth above their own weaknesses – people in positions of power are in effect guardians of the truth and must therefore behave accordingly.

      I will never forget your comment and your valuable lesson.  Thank you again for visiting Plato's Guns.

  15. Arthur Dent says:

    Dear Taxi

    So glad you found my post helpful, truthfulness is always more helpful than deception.

    I have realised that I might be infringing on copy write rules by using this name so I am going to close this 'handle' and open a new one, not to hide in the shadows at all; of course this is not my real name and of course we both know why I chose the name. I am some bumbling idiot English man surrounded by aliens that I don't understand. 

    I think the new 'handle' is going to be "Les dents d'Arthur", look out for him, he may have more bite, having more than one tooth.

    By the way you don't need to buy 'La Loi' as it is free online, I've read the original and the modern translation, the French (our perennial foe and consumers of the legs of the Anura) gives far more depth to the authors thinking; Bastiat being a forgotten genius.

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  16. Arthur Dent says:

    Last one Taxi

    Despite his lucidity he was a Mason and a member of the Lodge of 'La Zelee', this can't but draw one's thoughts to possibilities of deception on his part. I've never researched this Lodge but it always seems that when you do 'nefarious' is never far below the surface. 

    There is also a free online biography about him by a fallen Principal of some University, edited possibly by Lew Rockwell, haven't read it yet, only came across Bastiat on Saturday.

    Regards

    Chris

  17. Taxi says:

    Arthur Dent, please keep the name.  It's a fantastic name!  It is not a copyright infringement to use it – social media is full of avatars named after famous characters, be they living or deceased – myself, I am using the name 'Plato' right here at my website.

    I love The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy – I mean not the horrid film version, but the book(s) and the original radio play, which I was fortunate to follow on the radio every Sunday as a youth when I lived in London.  Good memories.

    And yes, I see the connection you alluded to between the injustice done to Arthur Dent by his government and Bastiat's message in "La Loi".  Very good and original juxtaposition.

    And thanks too for the tip on Bastiat's book freebie – I shall seek it out on the net.

    Again, definitely keep the name!  And if you choose to discard it, then at least you must, must, absolutely must keep Arthur's signature robe 🙂

  18. Arthur Dent says:

    Yes I love my dressing gown.

    I have a plaque in my house that I bought for my wife a few years ago, it hangs in our kitchen from which i will quote; “everything is better in your pyjamas”. Arthurism indeed.
    I’m wary that the Christian anarchy thing might not sit well with the estate of Terry Pratchet, I know plagiarism is inevitable but…….

    I kind of like the idea of ‘Les dents d’Arthur’.
    Lovely to interact with you brother/sister?

    Chris

    • Taxi says:

      Your fondness for pajamas – life spent in pajamas – hilarious – and I totally relate!  I spend most of my days in pajamas too, I kid you not :-).  Living a semi-reclusive life in the countryside, I now hardly see the point in wearing anything else but pajamas.  It's my reaction to having lived in image-obsessed Los Angeles for 18 years (I now live in a Levantian village in south Lebanon).

      Great that you visited Plato's, Arthur.

      Oh, and I am a she/her/sister 🙂

       

  19. intertwiningserpents says:

    If G-d had provided us an utterly perfect dream world that would include an everlasting sun and no thunder and lightning etc then why would we ever wish to strive for nirvana/permanent cessation of being and end the duality finally to become G-d/nothingness forever?.

    Surely we wouldn't desire to cease reincarnating if all was utterly perfect in a utopian dream world and that is why everything is pretty much just fine as it already is and just because the sleeple masses don't know how to attain nirvana at the present it doesn't mean in the future that they wont.

    The whole point of 'the illusion of life' is for us to learn how to become G-d/nothingness without the duality and thus cease reincarnating back into this dream world.

    • Taxi says:

      Hi intertwiningserpents.  Your comment is based on the unproven assumption that reincarnation exists.

      The concepts of burial and of reincarnation came to us from early caveman who observed the yearly return of the seasons and the sprouting of new life out of dead seeds.  They thought that if you buried the corpse of a human, they too would return/sprout again in the following seasonal cycle.  Evidently, never did such a thing ever occur, despite the trillions who have lived and died and got buried.

      Just because nature is cyclical does not mean that Homo Sapien life is.  Nature is a lot easier to decipher than the cosmology of man.  It seems to me that we have 'stages' of life (babydom, youth, old age), instead of cycles.  We are born, then one day we die.  This much, we are 100% sure of.  We have a point of beginning and a point of cessation.  Connecting these two points thus creates a line and not a 'circle' of life.  This simple observation and the lack of verifiable testimonials makes me think that reincarnation is a failed concept.

      • intertwiningserpents says:

        I just noticed this reply after scrolling down.

        Just because science does not have any hard evidence that reincarnation is possible it certainly does not mean that there are awakened beings alive today who know that it is very very likely attainable.

        your caveman comment regarding reincarnation is pure theory on your part.

        its pointless me debating 'spirit' with someone who is so lacking in understanding of what spirit really is.

        sorry if I offended you by saying ancient hebrew tribes didn't invent a G-d but they connected with G-d but I was merely commenting on truth.

        your assumption that I type 'G-d' has anything to do with Judaism or whatever is quite ridiculous…I do it because to me by not spelling 'its' name properly(yes T–i G-d is an it and not a he)it points out the nothingness of all that there is.

      • Taxi says:

        … reincarnation… very very likely attainable.

        Yet it's NEVER happened since the beginning of time.  Not even in nature is there "reincarnation", ie: a dead tree is NOT reborn, but its seed indeed creates A BRAND NEW TREE, similar to the mother tree BUT NOT A 100% EXACT, IDENTICAL REINCARNATION of it – science has proved this already.  I think it's actually YOU who is theorizing while I'm assessing according to available facts, or lack of existing facts.

        People who base their existence and beliefs on the intangible concept of an external ancient "spirit" are pagans lost in a pathological fantasy land.  They are usually anti-intellectual and depend on caprice and mythology to justify their rootless philosophy.

        There is no proof whatsoever that the ancient hebrew tribes "connected" with god – in fact the opposite is true: so full of violent prejudice and ill-intent towards the 'other' their writings are.  But you are free to believe this nonsense and to spell the word 'god' the way the swindling hebrews do.

        I'm not "offended" by your belief system, but I am definitely bored and uninspired by it.

        Some of us are seekers of the truth and some of us are seekers of comfort and escapism from reality.  Neither is better or worse than the other.  The question here and always has been is:  which school of thought actually helps humanity in the long run: uncomfortable truth or false hope?

  20. intertwiningserpents says:

    The truth of the matter, is that the 'tribal ancients' of the old testament times didn't invent a G-d, 'they found a way' to actually connect with G-d that even now 4000 years or so on the vast sleeple masses are totally clueless about.

    It says in the bible that Abraham sent his sons east bearing gifts and this was most certainly to India and if they hadn't gone then Hinduism as the birth of religion wouldn't have occurred because Hinduism was born out of what the ancient Indians learnt from Abrahams sons and this is why the word Brahmin comes from A(brahm).

    As this Jewish saga nears completion the vast sleeple masses shall finally awaken and learn how to connect with G-d just like the ancients did.

  21. Taxi says:

    I'm sorry to say, intertwiningserpents, but the 'bible' is not a reliable source of facts.

    Plus, I don't believe that the biblical character of Abraham, if he ever existed, would know more about the god-thing than what the best of modern man has to offer.

    All these religious sects that claim special esoteric knowledge that they keep secret all to themselves are just private, puerile god-clubs.  They have given ZERO aid to the world.  They talk the talk, but they certainly don't walk the walk.

    And Hinduism?  Come on, intertwiningserpents, the Hindu gods are depicted as having eight arms, elephant trunks and such.  I just cannot roll with that.  Ever.

    Consider here that the ancient trade routes were like our modern internet: connecting people and their ideas:  a platform for the exchange of new ideas between differing cultures, not just goods.  Indian traders on the move may have very well encountered friendly and generous believers of Abraham from far away lands and incorporated their names into their fantastical cosmology.  Worth considering this plausibility.

    I do not for second believe that the ancients were more 'connected' to the god-thing than we are in modern times.  Indeed, when we read the histories of the ancients in the four corners of the world, we see giant patches of grim, anti-humanitarian ignorance in their societies and priesthoods: untouched by enlightenment, by kindness and divinity.

    I do not subscribe to the messianic vision of the world.  There is no external savior and no rescue from the mass waking-sleep that we are all in.  There is only the individual birth, followed by their comic-tragedies, followed by death.  And it was always forever thus.

  22. intertwiningserpents says:

    Ancient cultures throughout the world were definitely far more connected to spirit than todays material cultures with their obsessions with (un)smart phones and moronic celebrity selfies etc…They had far  more time to explore nature properly(it was all they had) and were far far more connected to it and were able to learn from it how to directly connect with G-d and that is a matter of fact that todays sleeple, non spiritual masses are totally clueless about.

    Hinduism unlike Buddhism wasn't the teaching of an awakened Avatar and arose bit by bit after the Vedantic period and more than a thousand years after it is said in the bible that Abraham sent his sons east bearing gifts and a thousand years is plenty of time for the truth about spirit that the ancient Rishis((and Mayan high priests for that matter) definitely knew about to become lost and that helps explain the 'eight arm mythology' of Hinduism but the reason the elephant became a Hindhu G-d is deeply meaningful and that reason is linked to why cows became sacred in India and remain so today….We don't see such mythology in Buddhism because it was the teaching of one awakened master who for an 'absolute certainty' about 2500 years ago was able to directly connect with the divine.

    If the bible isn't a reliable source of facts then why do you state in one of your pieces that Jesus was an Athenian?.

    How can you say Buddhism has given ZERO aid to the world?..he was a masterful teacher of goodness and again if we study 'exactly' what he taught we can very easily see how 'ultimate truth can get lost over time'….just one example is that he taught that' there is no self' and yet after his death they made so very many statues of him throughout south and south east asia..so pathetically ironic!..its basically as ridiculous as a smart phone celebrity selfie that they just  cant wait to inflate their own sense of self when they post the image on facebook for all their friends to view……Lets all pay homage to the selfless Buddha and worship the statue of himself…sleeple!.

    I completely understand how difficult it is for one to comprehend the unknown.

    • Taxi says:

      I have often stated that there is no proof of Jesus's existence – that despite this, the message of humanism associated with his figure remains important and valid in our times.  I'm more than happy to correct my semantics and say that the 'character and attributes' associated with the figure of Jesus are Athenian, instead of my shorthand of "Jesus was an Athenian" that apparently so irked you.  I'll go further and repeat (yet again) the fact that the only Abrahamic prophet whom we know definitely existed is that of the Islamic prophet Mohammad.  We have not a single proof of the existence of Abraham, Moses or Jesus.  All we have on them three ancient dudes is what the jewish cultists have written – and it is a FACT that jewish writings on religion are infested with self-serving lies, contradictions and not with the unadulterated truth.  Numerous examples of this exist in the old testament/torah.

      If you read my comment again, you will note that I never said "Buddhism has given ZERO aid to the world".  I wonder here how much prejudice you already felt while responding to my statements.

      The rest of your comment is neither original, radical or enlightening – I've heard your exact argument a thousand times before and because it lacks evidence, I cannot intellectually digest it as 'truth'.

      We will just have to agree to disagree at this stage and leave it at that.  You should know that I especially have no interest in debating people who spell the word 'god' as "G-d".  This in itself is indicative of a judaic brainwash – something that I find particularly nauseating.

      You are welcome to comment further, but I will delete your comment if it contains nothing new and only repeats your earlier unsubstantiated assertions.  I will be doing this not for censorship, but to spare myself and my readers unnecessary waste of precious time.

      Here, I thank you for your input and wish you luck in your personal godly endeavors.

  23. intertwiningserpents says:

    'reincarnation has never happened'……how do you know this?…how would you know?…..what a ridiculous comment……its like a british tourist visiting Tibet and a local telling them that  last early in the last entury Britain invaded Tibet and the tourist responding….'it never happened'.

    so much the sleeple have to learn….and unlearn.

    you may have to delete some of your own comments in the future T–i.

    • Taxi says:

      There is NO EVIDENCE of reincarnation, dear interwiningserpents. Nobody has ever provided evidence of it and you yourself, in the course of this conversation, certainly haven’t either.

      The example of a “british tourist” you provide is moot and idiotic – there is plenty of evidence to support the British invasion of Tibet, but there is ZERO evidence that supports the existence of reincarnation.

      Your religious arrogance is a turnoff: neither you nor your pretentious ‘hebrew ancients’ have a clue about god. I don’t claim to have a clue either. In fact, my whole argument is that NOBODY knows this ‘god thing’, and if they did, it’s unwordable and not found in either modern or ancient text.

      It’s best that you now stop posting your aggressive, religious delusions of grandeur – they will be deleted without further notice.

  24. intertwiningserpents says:

    'nobody knows this god thing'… 'religious arrogance'……just wait and see how the future proves you completely and utterly wrong.

    what about all the people who claim to have lived past lives….my parents gardener told me once that he had past life recollections of trench warfare..

    how can a child rapist/murderer or jewish bankster etc escape punishment but for reincarnation and the law of nature that is karma?…..how can a poor little innocent English girl called madeline be abducted whilst on holiday in Portugal but for past life crimes in the mirror that is life? …the ancients learnt all this from the divine and can be learnt again now once the ancient secret is revealed.

    my comment about the tourist in Tibet was merely a comment on how easy it is to not believe the truth of the past……how many of todays 60 odd million british people even know about francis younghusbands bloody mission in Tibet?

    • Taxi says:

      When you insist on asserting that your ideas on god are the real thing but provide not a single piece of evidence to back this up, and when you simultaneously poo-poo others (the “sleeples”) for not thinking like yourself, then I categorize this arrogant attitude as a ‘delusion of grandeur’.

  25. intertwiningserpents says:

    when one knows they are right then what other option does one have than to tell the other that they are wrong in trying to change or suspend their belief on the matter?.

    when one has very little knowledge about a subject matter such as 'spirituality' then surely it is best to keep an open mind and not tell the other who is claiming much knowledge that they are wrong …. the only one lacking humility in this scenario is the one who knows that they lack knowledge on the subject matter.

    lets just wait and see in the future if it becomes generally far more plausible than is currently believed that ancient Israelite tribes in Egypt or back across the red sea where they originated were the catalyst to spirituality and religion due to them connecting with nature and god as I very firmly believe they were doing.

    not all knowledge is available on the internet and that is a fact.

    • Taxi says:

      I refer you here to the contemporary jewish-isreali historian and academic, Shlomo Sands, who thoroughly, methodically and meticulously researched and found not a single shred of evidence that supports the jewish-spun tale of an exodus from Egypt.  His book is titled 'The Invention of the Jewish People'.  Relevantly, since the publication of his book several years ago, not a single israeli or jewish or gentile historian or academic has dared to risk reputation and come forth to debunk his solid findings.  Evidently, therefore, what Mr. Sands presents and deduces in his book is the unadulterated facts as he discovered them.  Interwiningserpents, I recommend you read Sands' book before you ruinously attach yourself any further to yet another jewish religious lie found in the old testament.

      Moreover, it behooves you to read the works of ancient Arab historians too, jewish and gentile alike, who were documenting the acts and 'character' of the first Hebrews in real time.  These desert Arab-Hebrews you so praise and put on a spiritual pedestal most certainly were NOT connected to a spirituality or a divinity – certainly, their rabbihood wasn't.  Records clearly show that all they ever cared about was how to accumulate, dominate and control the currency of the time: the date harvest.  Substitute the date fruit with shekels and will see that they have not one bit changed in their greed and pathological desire to dominate 'the other', to inflict mass suffering on gentiledom through sleight of hand and wilful deception.

      Thankfully, most of the world realizes the jewish religious scam – explains why judaism is the least popular religion of any religion on earth – and why it will always be bottom of the pops for bottom feeders.

      I write the above not to irk you, but as a genuine and friendly share: for your consideration.

      • intertwiningserpents says:

        just as with jews throughout the world today not every Israelite back then would have been so self serving and greedy and so therefore a positive spiritual element could very easily have existed alongside the negative and self serving Erev Rav that supposedly came about after the golden calf episode.

        its no coincidence that prophets like Amos and Moses were animal herders from bible times(wasn't Abraham also a herder?) just like Krishna was in India and is linked to why cows became sacred in India as I mentioned….I really cant see a cow herder dominating anything but their cows can you?.

  26. intertwiningserpents says:

    'not a single piece of evidence/……it is in fact evidence when it says in the bible that Abraham sent his sons east bearing gifts and that the ancient Indians would later call the highest thing in Hinduism (A)brahma…

    yeah right it was all to do with trade that they would call brahma after some trader or whatever from a far away land.

    plenty more evidence that what I claim is true but if you cant open your mind to this first piece of evidence then why should I bother?

  27. intertwiningserpents says:

    also Abrahams wife was sara and brahmas consort was saravita.

    its clear to me that if you believe the bible story that what Abrahams sons brought to india in the form of gifts or knowledge led to the birth over a thousand years later of the birth of religion in Hinduism and I maintain that spirituality came about from the Israelites experiments in nature in the old testament times..

    • Taxi says:

      Hinduism is older than judaism. Vedic culture is approximately 5,000 years old; jewish culture is approximately between 3,500 and 3,800 years old. But I’m sure your jewish teachers/masters have convinced you otherwise: convinced you that they are the very first seed of religion itself, that god’s light shines out of their fucking asses!

      Perhaps a little anthropological perspective can be helpful and illuminating to you here. You really need to consider the immense effect of the eastern Trade Routes on the spread and morphing of philosophical and religious ideas; on storytelling; on science, medicine and tech innovations of the time; on music, art, fashion, architecture, culture, cuisine – on pretty much everything. There are also, notably, many names shared in the east between different cultures – numerous shared names especially between Arabia, India and Persia going all the way back to pre-Abrahamic times. Abraham’s wife, Sara, was certainly not the first woman to be named so – and of course, it’s no surprise that India would have its version of ‘Saravita’, considering the Trade Route Effect and all. Here I propose that the name Sara has roots in Saravita and not the other way round: because Vedic cosmology is older than the jewish one by a good one thousand years: giving more than enough time for the Hindu Saravita’s vibrant name and reputation to travel from Indian temples to Arabian souks; then consequently be customized to suit Arabian tongue and alphabet, an alphabet that does not include the letter ‘v’ – thus Saravita is shortened simply into the softer-dreamier sounding and easier to pronounce, ‘Sara’.

      It’s the epitome of naivety to believe that the ancient hebrews were so pure and oh so holier-than-thou and that it only went pear-shaped for them after “the golden calf episode”. Only people who don’t know jewish history and also lack insight into the human condition would say such a thing.

      Honestly, I despair at conversations like this where I don’t learn anything new from the opposition. What a waste of time and opportunity. I’m definitely not doing this tomorrow. Pff. Good night from the Levant and a lovely peace to everyone – except to those who plot evil against us.

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