Short Meditations: Judgement, Faustus the Imp, Invisible Sky Friends and a Curse Against the City of Tyre

Abide

Judgement

Don't live under other people's judgements. Judging people is one of the worst character traits I know. I reserve judgement for those who judge and try to walk with compassion otherwise. Judging people is one of the ways we routinely and callously hurt each other. It's how we enforce social rules of one kind or another, and you know what I think of rules. It often presents as an outright refusal to see or acknowledge a different point of view.

Untangling yourself from other people's judgements, especially if you've taken them on over years, is very painful and hard. Particularly hard and painful if they won't see it of course. 

Then people judge you for rejecting their judgement. In that situation you actually cannot win, they're not interested in discussion only in being right. It's a standard character trait in most people, myself included of course, so it's worth watching out for.

It's in situations where the judgement is presented as an attack, and one you're supposed to take on board. In that situation the right response, I believe, is to stand up for yourself because you also have compassion on yourself and reject the judgement. I think you can both acknowledge how damaging judgement is and still have compassion. If you go into attack mode to defend yourself you're just as bad. You're doing the same thing. So stand up for yourself, including being real about the judgement and the fact that it hurts you, but don't reject the person doing it.

Even when you're being judged use compassion. I think compassion is how you understand people. You can still come to the conclusion that they're a bit nasty and you have to be a bit careful with them, like boundaries, and still have compassion. I think compassion, hard to do when you're in pain or afraid of being hurt, is the most sensible way to see the world - and compassion goes hand in hand with wisdom and wisdom isn't gullible or weak.

Basically judgement is "you are bad". You can reject that whilst staying willing to discuss your opinions. The judgement presents as people telling you what you meant rather than being willing to listen to what you meant.

If you're in the wrong, because you misunderstood something, the judgement that this makes you a bad person is also still wrong. You can accept the mistake and attempt to rectify whilst still rejecting the idea of "blame" or that it makes you a bad person. People want you to respond to judgement with guilt as a way of proving you've accepted their point of view. That is actually a facet of evil. Why do you want people to feel bad? Surely having them see your point of view without having to feel bad about it is a much more sensible way to get them to see your point of view.

We're not bad people. We do get things wrong. Even genuinely bad people are bad for a reason even if that's only genetics and privilege. They didn't ask to be born. They might need wiping off the face of the earth, but we can do without it being personal.


Faustus the Imp

Every demon will tell you the devil sent them. Don't listen to them. They lie!

I think this one was called Faustus. Let them plead for their souls like everyone else. You know what he said to me? "We're gonna need some actual Nazi killers before this day is done", "you better find me some then" I replied, "bring them to me".

The cheek of that imp. I like him, he can stay. If he finds me some hunters that is.


Trauma

The moral imperative is to resolve your own trauma lest you inflict it on others. 
Alas, the cruel joke of life is that the only way to resolve it is to inflict it on others. For whence did it come, and thusly it departs also. 

So choose well and inflict wisely. 

Judiciously.

Turn to look upon your demon and it flees in the direction of your gaze. Thus you may never see her clearly, only her heel in parting.


Invisible Sky Friends

Once again, in a debate on Facebook which I'm enjoying increasingly these days, someone said "it ought to be considered a mental illness to talk to your invisible sky friend", as a way of demonstrating what they thought of religion. I have an interesting history, with religion. My favourite religion, of which I am an ordained priest, is Dudeism. It is a religion which manages to be wholly true by having but one teaching. Abide.

On the topic of invisible sky friends here is my reply.

I have a different take. I think "god" is an evolutionary facet of the human mind. It's how we connect to "everything" on a subconscious level, and what the conscious rational mind thinks it believes is more or less irrelevant. The flotsam and jetsam of the mind and something to argue about or kill people over, alas. The conscious and rational mind is such a small part of the totality of who we are.

For sure Sturgeon's law applies to religion just it applies to everything else in life, but there is also great beauty and wisdom to be found in religious teachings that many overlook. For example this beautiful philosophy on the nature of love and was the heart of my own Christianity, when I was a Christian. It was the foundation of both my belief and practise. 1 John 4: 7-8
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
More importantly in my own life and the lives of others I have seen that transcendent experiences are beautiful, especially shared ones. Religions of all kinds seem to chart humanity's attempt to find and honour those experiences in their lives and all have varying degrees of success and sometimes horrible failure in that goal as they are all human constructs and symptoms of the human condition. To disdain them all without second glance, and to dishonour those who seek truth and beauty through them, seems like a sad mistake.

I can only say that because I have seen beautiful things and beautiful hearts in and through religion and I've known beautiful love through the idea of god, as well as experiencing the full range of human failings and cruelty.

The religion is abstract, the cruelty is real and comes from people. I despise the false and ugly religion that does such harm, and which did such harm to me too. I really hate it. I hate dead religion with every fibre of my being. But not because the ideas of god and gods have no value, I hate it because it could have such value and they pervert it for evil reasons.


Intersectional Feminism

There's a lot of misunderstanding by those, usually white, who object to the idea of privilege. For many, who have felt their own suffering keenly, the idea that they are advantaged over others seems to minimise their suffering and convey an obligation they don't want.

I think what people miss is that privilege isn't a negative. We're all privileged in some ways and oppressed in others. That's why intersectional feminism, the creation of black women philosophers, is beautiful. 

The understanding that many axes of privilege and oppression intersect uniquely in every life. 

So we use our privilege to help others where we can, because the oppression that we've experienced enables us to empathise with others oppressed in the same or different ways.

A black man has male privilege. A straight cis black woman has privilege for her sexual and gender identity. That doesn't minimise their suffering, it's just a statement of reality. As a white cis male I have a lot of privilege. As a Jewish neurodiverse cult survivor, pansexual, ex-homeless, ex-prisoner, ex-christian I've experienced many kinds of oppression too. Intersectional feminism helps me to understand myself and the world. It's a useful lense, a tool and framework for understanding.

Privilege isn't a very hard concept to understand. Some people work very hard not to understand it. Denying the suffering and oppression of others is evil. Accepting an unjust society without objecting and speaking out is evil. Don't be evil.


Ayahuasca

The active ingredient in Ayahuasca is DMT, one of the most powerful psychoactive substances known to man. You can't absorb DMT via the stomach, it doesn't cross the blood brain barrier, so normally you vape it. Sometimes DMT is mixed with another herb, like Salvia, to make Changa which you can smoke. A DMT trip is intense and powerful and very visual and lasts about fifteen minutes. It always floors me, gripping the ground and speaking into the earth.

The leaves of Ayahuasca contain large quantities of DMT. The root, which is a mild toxin, acts as a fixative. So if you take both you have a powerful trip that lasts about six hours, during which you can't walk for the first few hours probably, and most people purge (puke) due to the toxin. Some people have visions, some people find great healing from trauma, and some people go mad. 

I've taken Ayahuasca seven times, each time with Shamen. Taking Ayahuasca in sacred ceremonies is part of the Shamanic religion. The plant is the mother Aya and drinking the tea is a sacrament. Like any psychoactive she will mislead you if that is what you want.

Unfortunately due to the Psychoactive Substances Act of 2016 Ayahuasca is now illegal in the UK. Religious persecution.

When looking for a Shamen Sturgeon's law applies. Unless you trust to the fates, which we all must of course for we are in their hands.

There is a stronger form of DMT, 5-MeO-DMT called the God molecule, contained in the toxin of the Bufo Alvarius toad. This I have only smoked twice, also with Shamen. 


Curse Against the City of Tyre

Part of a letter I sent to the Jesus Fellowship Community trust and senior leaders in February 2018. This was the cult I lived communally with for ten years and was a member of for the best part of twenty years.

Unfortunately what I warned of in this letter is now happening. I may have been a bit angry at the time. This curse against the city of Tyre, according to the legend, was delivered by the prophet Ezekiel and is recorded in Ezekiel chapter 26. Although Tyre was later destroyed it wasn't quite in the manner of Ezekiel's prophecy. Close enough though.

It is possible that the only memory of the Jesus Fellowship Church will be the evil it did, the only record in the book of life against those who led it the suffering you caused. Don't let that happen. Behave honourably. This is one of the fates that awaits you.

Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Tyre, and I will bring many nations against you, like the sea casting up its waves.

They will destroy the walls of Tyre and pull down her towers; I will scrape away her rubble and make her a bare rock. Out in the sea she will become a place to spread fishnets, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord. She will become plunder for the nations, and her settlements on the mainland will be ravaged by the sword. Then they will know that I am the Lord.
...
They will plunder your wealth and loot your merchandise; they will break down your walls and demolish your fine houses and throw your stones, timber and rubble into the sea. I will put an end to your noisy songs, and the music of your harps will be heard no more. I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishnets.


Identity

I identify as an outgoing introvert. I'm an introvert, I find social scenes tiring and I recharge my batteries by myself or with small groups of close friends. I can don the mask of the extrovert though, and enjoy social scenes and meeting new people. 

I'm a Leo born in the year of the Tiger. 

I'm of the Slytherin house, Gryffindor rising. 

The last time I took a Meyers Briggs test I got ENFP (campaigner). I used to get INFJ (idealist). Things change. 

Interesting and fun frameworks to understand yourself with. 


"You tell people you have a Jewish mother and they say I don't really understand what that's supposed to mean, and you say yeah, you got it."

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