Posts Tagged ‘words’

lyrics: the words you worship

April 7, 2014
The words you worship
​Don’t wake up late. Be on time. Hurry up and catch the bus.
Get to work. Watch the clock.​ Don’t be tense or else you will lose.
Make the grade. Make the cut. Then make the grade and make the cut.
Go to war. Go to bed. Make your gramma proud then start again.

 

About WORDS

September 13, 2012

 

 

 

about words

 

Welcome to the About Words website. Below is a brief audio introduction to this site.

Did you know that one of the most popular words on the internet is God?

My Google Profile

song recording: “not just a promise”

April 13, 2012
Words....

Words.... (Photo credit: jah~)

I would sing this to your ears, but they can only hear the sounds          so I sing this to your heart, so you can feel it pounding now

this is a message from my soul to yours                                             it is a secret because it’s beyond words
so don’t ask me to explain                                                                 how I forgot how to complain
maybe it had to do with you                                                                other than that, my smile will have to do
I’ve got no words for this                                                                     it’s not just a promise
there was a future once                                                                      but now it is forgotten
I have no need for words like faith                                                        for I have no need for words like fear
I have no need for words like love                                                         for I have need for words at all
this is something more                                                                       this is something new
this is something different                                                                   this is something true
this is something wild                                                                         this is something free
this is something I                                                                              didn’t know could be
here I am                                                                                           at the door
my heart is pounding                                                                          to come out
I’ll let you in                                                                                       come with me
to a world                                                                                          beyond doubt
I’ve got no words for this                                                                     it’s not just a promise
there was a future once                                                                      but now it is forgotten
Words Cloud 16/01- 22/02 2009

Words Cloud 16/01- 22/02 2009 (Photo credit: GRwitters)

“that map is wrong and this plan is holy”

March 27, 2012

Here is a parable, then a commentary.

Now, a child was holding in her hand a map. She looked closely at the map and moved her finger across it.

The map showed some paths that went through a big forest park. The paths on the map sometimes crossed.

The child hit the map against her hand and then, in a big forest park in the middle of a path, she threw the map down on the
ground. As she stood, she began to cry.

Soon, a blind man and his dog found her right here. He asked her if she was hurt. She stopped crying and said no.

Then, he asked her if she liked dogs. She said yes and came closer to pet his dog.

Before she got to the dog, the blind man told her to wait. The man also said that there is a certain way of doing things that works.

Then, he said something to the dog quickly and then he told the child to make a fist and to hold it still in front of her for the dog to smell. She did. The dog walked near to her, smelled briefly, then licked her wrist.

The man said that the dog was ready for her to pet now. So, she pet the dog for a while. Then she looked at the man and said that her map “must be wrong.”

He slowly repeated what she said and then asked if she was sure that it is really a map? She said yes.

Then, he asked how she was sure that the map was wrong. She told him that she could not be lost, so her map must be wrong.

Next, he asked if she was sure that this map was a map of this park? She said yes and offered to show it to him.

Then, he asked her to first tell him where she was going. She did.

Next, he asked her to show that place to him on the map. She did.

Then, he asked her to show him their current position on the map. She did.

He said, “Aha, can you see the problem here?” She said, “yes, like I already told you: that map is wrong!”

Then, he turned his head to the left and turned it to the right as he said to her “when you look around here, do you see anything in this part of the forest that looks like that place on the map?” She said “no, and that’s the problem.”

He said “Well, I don’t see a match between this part of the forest and that place on the map. So, are you absolutely sure that this map is a map of this forest?”

She rolled her eyes and then nodded her head. He turned the map upside down and said “Okay then, how about this: are you absolutely sure that this place on the map is where we are in this forest?”

“I already told you that I am not lost,” she said. “Oh, clearly, I can see that,” he said, then asked, “I wonder: have you heard about a blind man that often walks through this park?”

She said “oh, yes. I heard that the park is named after him, right?”

“Yes, that’s exactly the man I mean,” he said. “Anyway, once he was walking through this park when he suddenly realized that he had been lost since before he knew that he was lost! Can you imagine that?”

She said “Well, that does not make any sense! Why didn’t he just use a map?”

“That is really a great question,” he said. “If you ever find the answer, be sure to let me know. Anyway, didn’t you say that you were going back to the entrance of the park?”

“That’s right,” she said. Then, she reached out her hand, fingers outstretched this time, for the dog to lick.

“Well, fortunately for me, that is also where I am going, so we could go together,” he said. “Fortunately for you, I already know how to get there from here. Follow me.”

Then, the blind man with his dog and the child all walked directly to the entrance of the park. She told him all about the right way to make maps and he always found a way to find every moment fascinating right now.

Illustration of interference of light coming f...

Illustration of interference of light coming from two in-phase point sources. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Summary:

If a map stops working for you, stop using it. Do not rely on a map. Always rely on the ground, even if you use a map. Sometimes maps are no longer accurate. By the way, an accurate map is most effective when you know the place on the map that corresponds to your actual position.

Commentary (which goes beyond the lesson of the parable):

You are made through a plan. As this plan is followed, you develop and prosper. If this plan were ever neglected, your development would have slowed or stopped and then you may have even experienced a loss of curiosity and clarity as well as a cycle of resistance and confusion.

Resistance is the natural result whenever anything else interferes with this plan. Resistance blocks the interference. Remember, when interacting with others, that this plan is for you personally to discover and follow, not for others to learn from you or for you to learn from them. Reject those who interfere with this plan. If others resist you, stop interfering.

If you ever resist this plan, this plan interferes with the resisting. Confusion is the natural result whenever you interfere with this plan. If you have been confused, you can stop moving forward and then return to clarity now.

How does one return to clarity? Study this plan which makes you. Every instinct is part of this plan. Every intuition is part of this plan.

Any plan that is written or spoken is not this plan. Those are only words or symbols. Words can remind you of this plan, but this plan is not made from words.

This plan makes all the creatures, each according to the specific plan for that creature. According to this plan, some creatures make symbols and words, which are like the features of a map. The map is made according to the ground, but making a map does not influence the ground. This plan is like the ground.

Words and symbols may or may not accurately describe certain features of the ground or this plan. However, do not rely on the words and symbols. Rely on this plan. This plan guides you. This holy plan is how your life works.

This holy plan guides all of my life. This holy plan guides how to breathe, how to eat, how to see, how to move, how to crawl, walk, or run, and how to think, plus how to do everything else from interacting with other people directly to how to adjust to the weather to how to prosper in all seasons of economic flow.

When I study this holy plan and practice what this holy plan guides me to practice, I develop according to this holy plan. Only I can fulfill this holy plan and I am.

 

 

Published on: Apr 11, 2009


JR
************

“Life is not what it’s supposed to be. Its what it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.” Virginia Satir(1916-1988)

Virgina Satir
Image via Wikipedia-                    Virginia Satyr
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the ultimate taboo- the truth about words

March 23, 2012

the quieter, clearer version:

the louder, energetic version (more like the original intent of the song):

well, I tried not to think about it but you know how that has gone… cuz I am still singing about it & maybe I’ll never stop

if I’m designed for one thing then that’s the thing I’ll do… in spite of any lying                        to cover up what’s true

well, I told you words are sacred              but do you know what sacred means?

I know only truth is holy but mere words are labelings

so if this sound is loud now calling it silent makes no change… yet labels guide experience       at least for those who aren’t awake

some people may say things just shouldn’t be this way… at least according to what we’ve been trained to assume

well, I tried not to talk about it but can you guess what’s coming next

everyone has their taboos and there’s nothing wrong with that

sure maybe you think you shouldn’t maybe you even think you don’t… but just because you say you can’t that doesn’t mean that you just won’t… not yet

some people may say people just shouldn’t be this way… at least according to what we’ve been trained to assume

some people may say taboos just shouldn’t be this way… at least according to what we’ve been trained to assume

maybe waking up is the ultimate taboo

Sacred Datura
Sacred Datura (Photo credit: DKFrost)
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the words of a heretic (on language, myth, shame, & propaganda)

March 2, 2012
The Words of a Heretic
A bible from 1859.
Image via Wikipedia

warning- these are the words of a heretic  so, some people may not like it    some may even fear or hate it   it can take courage to face it
some foolish fools worship words as holy    but their spirits are proud, divisive and lonely    they respect human tradition over all  but neglect divine wisdom because    their hearts are far from the power of the teaching    they’re dependent on scriptures and churches and preaching        their lips spill over with the echoes of religion    but their lives are like coffins; their god is not living    but dead    they wait impatiently for heaven    for a prophet to come again soon and lead them    but what’d the prophets say: follow me, do greater things than these        heaven is within; it’s not like winter or a breeze        you got to go there, don’t just wait for it to come to you    you got to give your heart to heaven and then it is within you    and, yes, by the way        “that’s Bible”    if you dare read it    if you still need it

the same fools claim some illness is incurable     and economics is unpredictable        then they conjure God in their ritual    cause their God’s only mythical    and that’s okay; it’s just a stage;        until they graduate… to authentic spiritual rebirth as a sage    so let them fall back on scripture as infallible    let them argue over myths and battle over babble    much of this generation is without wisdom    they’re not to be trusted, especially politicians        but how about the doctors    who claim some illness is incurable    they say “I’m sorry I just can’t help you sir”    they suppress the body        the immune system is their enemy    they fight symptoms    to profit drug companies    and that’s okay; it’s just a stage;        until they graduate… to authentic spiritual rebirth as a sage                                                      cause if you want a healthy body then you need healthy organs        and if you want healthy organs then you need healthy cells    and if you want healthy cells then you may wish to nourish them    and if you don’t, then they’re going to rebel        so if the pancreas is weak, doctors may call that diabetes    if one vitamin is low, they claim you’re suffering from scurvy        if waste builds into a tumor, they say you’ve got a cancer    but there is an answer and they have been slow to admit it    for it would put them to shame        and might even ruin their game

(ad lib…)

but speaking of shame, I have one more thing to say:    watch for the mainstream prophets of economics    to come on TV and say that no one could foresee this    or that or this or that or this surprise    and then they dare to give their next predictions    so is it wise to trust in such obvious incompetence     woe unto the fools who depend on governments to always rescue them            woe unto the fools who worship ideals they believe need defending     woe unto the fools who worship a God they believe needs defending….

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Image via Wikipedia

Related articles

language is amazing

January 21, 2012
An Amazing Life


“If I actually dig a hole somewhere, that hole is not just in language, but is actually wherever I dug it. No one can fill up that hole only by using language.”
Somehow, we develop the capacity for language, then we develop language and soon we encounter variations in language and even inconsistencies of language. We encounter inconsistencies between different ways of identifying the same thing, between different patterns of relating, and between our own direct observations of actuality and our own direct observations of language, such as the following statement: these are not words.
Words are the origin of nonsense, of pretense, and of irony. Words are also the origins of labels and claims and interpretations and opinions.
Words and language are distinct from all the rest of reality. In the rest of reality, there is no such thing as a contradiction. Language is the realm of contradictions (and paradoxes).
Words and language are certainly part of our real experience, for words and language also influence attention, perception, and behavior. For instance, when two people (or two groups such as nations) both claim to own or control the same region of land, the contradiction in language is irresolvable within the realm of language. The resolution must be through some other aspect of reality.
The control or linguistic “ownership” of a certain region of land does not originate in language. The label of ownership exists in language but that label is meaningless and irrelevant unless there is practical control or influence or dominance. Posting a sign or notice that says “this is now mine” does not change the locks on a building or remove the inhabitants- whether they are termites or rats or humans.
Control is independent of language, though language can also be a tool for exerting “control” at least in relation to humans. In other words, if I actually dig a hole somewhere, that hole is not just in language, but is actually wherever I dug it. No one can fill up that hole only by using language.
Language is for influencing the attention, perception, and behavior of other people. Language by itself does not lift a shovel or move dirt or fill holes. Language is just a form of human behavior, among many others.
At a certain stage in social development, an individual may think of language as more powerful than it may actually be.
Beyond that stage, one may recognize the precise utility and influence of language, as well as the precise utility and influence of any other form of behavior, including human behavior, but also things like the “behavior” of clouds and solar flares and all other developments.
Language does not change night in to day. Language does not change a hole in to a hill. Language does influence the attention, perception, and behavior of other people. In fact, everything influences the attention, perception, and behavior of other people, including this image below:
Pulling the strings

Image via Wikipedia

the four noble truths

January 10, 2012
Neuroimaging sheds light on the seat of suffering

Image via Wikipedia

This is a lesson based on a tradition called “the four noble truths.” Briefly, those truths are the first truth of suffering, the second truth of the cause of suffering, the third truth of the discontinuing of the cause of suffering, and the fourth truth of the way to live life after suffering.

The first truth of suffering involves relating to life as if there is some part of life that should not be how it is. Suffering is not simply pain or illness or old age or dying or even violence. Suffering is a way of relating to life. Suffering involves ill will as in contempt as in enduring madness as in mental illness as in agonizing as in hell. While there are a variety of forms and intensities of suffering, what I mean by the word suffering includes all of them.

The second truth of the cause of suffering involves the recognizing of the power of words. Words are symbolic codes with an origin as signals of sound, though words can also be written. The term “words” can even include gestures and hand signals or “sign languages.” 

Words are distinct from a mere signal because of the importance of the sequencing of the words. Words are the origin of what can be called nonsense, such as “this should be what should not be.” The second truth, briefly, is that all suffering is caused by nonsense made of words.

Specifically, “this should not be how it is” is the kind of formation in words that can correspond to the experience of suffering, at least if there is a belief in the nonsense rather than a recognition of the nonsense as nonsense. “This should not be how it is” is rooted in “there is exactly one way that this should be.” In other words, suffering is rooted in the linguistic model of “there is exactly one way that this should be,” at least as it applies to some particular perception or experience. “There is exactly one way that this should be” is further rooted in “there is exactly one way that life should be,” which is nonsense.

However, if operating as if it is inherently true that life should be a certain way, then suffering is the natural and inevitable result. That suffering could be in the form of ill will as in contempt as in enduring madness as in mental illness as in agonizing as in hell. Or that suffering could be mere frustration, worry, resentment, sorrow or grief.

Earlier than the belief that “there is exactly one way that life should be” is another presumption in language. That presumption is “there is exactly one way that life is,” which is also nonsense.

So, if there is a belief in the nonsense that there is exactly one way that life is, then that leads to the belief in the nonsense that there is exactly one way that life should be (which is also the way that it allegedly is), which leads to the various forms of suffering such as shame and blame and rage. If there is a belief that there is exactly one way that a particular thing is (which is also the way that it should be), then that belief in nonsense inevitably leads to various forms of suffering.

Beliefs are made of words. Beliefs are all nonsense. They are the origin of suffering.

Beliefs in what should be produce suffering. Beliefs in what is also produce suffering. Belief is also called idealism and idolatry and foolishness.

So, before we proceed to the third noble truth of the discontinuing of the causing of suffering, let’s review. The first noble truth is that suffering is relating to some part of life as if it should not be how it is. The second noble truth is that suffering originates in the belief that there is exactly one way that a particular part of life is and that is the only way that it should be.

Now, by summarizing those two truths close together, the nonsense of suffering may be extremely clear. If there is exactly one way that life is, but then life is not that way, then how can there be exactly one way that life is? Obviously, a linguistic construction of how life is exactly one way is part of life. So, if there is a logical conflict between a linguistic construction (or belief) about how life should be and the actual experience of how life is, then suffering is neglecting the actuality of life for the nonsense belief in words. 

In the Judeo-Christian terminology, neglecting the actuality of life by worshiping a nonsense belief in words is what is referenced by “placing another God before God.” In Muslim terminology, recognizing the actuality of life as distinct from worshiping a nonsense belief made of words is what is referenced by “there is no God but God.” Of course, because language involves codes, various interpretations of the encoded messages in words are possible. However, worshiping language instead of God is the root idolatry. 

Even the phrase “literal interpretation” is ironic because if something is recognized as an interpretation, then interpretation implies the use of symbolic codes of language. How can there be a “literal symbolism?” Such idealisms and idolatries are nonsense from the start.

However, nonsense is part of life. Should there be no nonsense? Should there be no beliefs made of words and no words? Should there be exactly one interpretation of anything?

Those ideas fall back in to the same trap of nonsense. It is not that there should be no suffering, nor that there should be any suffering. There either is suffering or there is not suffering. That is all.

So, the third noble truth of the discontinuing of the cause of suffering is simple. To discontinue causing yourself suffering, simply recognize how you have been causing yourself suffering through the inattentive use of language. That recognizing is sufficient to discontinue the causing of suffering. 

In other words, suffering does not need to fixed. Suffering can be distinguished. The distinguishing of suffering results in a relaxing away from the beliefs that cause suffering. Once the beliefs are distinguished as nonsense, no additional beliefs are required to replace the presence of the prior beliefs. More beliefs will only bring more suffering.

To review again, the first noble truth is that suffering is relating to some part of life as if it should not be how it is. The second noble truth is that suffering originates in the belief that there is exactly one way that a particular part of life is and that is the only way that it should be. So, the linguistic belief that there is only one way that some part of life should be results naturally in relating to one or more parts of life as if they should not be how they are, which is suffering.

Further, the third noble truth is to discontinue causing yourself suffering by simply recognizing how you have been causing yourself suffering through the inattentive use of language. Recognize the power of language and you will never worship any beliefs of language. You will be free of the suffering caused by the inattentive use of language.

So, there is no single way that life should be. There is no single way that anyone should be. There is no single way that I am. There is no single way of labeling life with language that is the only possible interpretations. All of those constructions in language are nonsense. Many interpretations in language are possible.

As for the fourth noble truth, the way to live life after suffering is basically to be attentive to language. Do what you must do. Do what you can do. Do what you should do. Do what you will do.

Now, there may be other interpretations of these four noble truths. Since these four noble truths are just symbols made of language, why shouldn’t there be multiple interpretations?

Is there exactly one way that the four noble truths should be? Is there exactly one way that the four noble truths are? 

Are there exactly four noble truths? Are these noble truths even true? What if there is no such thing as a noble truth except as a symbol in language?

If someone says “attention to language makes no difference,” so what? If someone challenges you with a nonsense belief made of language, so what? If someone says that their nonsense belief made of language is not a nonsense belief made of language, so what? If someone says that idolatry is not idolatry, so what? If someone says that their language is not idolatry but some other language is idolatry, so what? If someone says that there is no such thing as freedom, so what? If someone says that there is no such thing as language, so what?

Remember, when nonsense is recognized as nonsense, nonsense cannot cause suffering. Only believing in nonsense can cause suffering. So, one can play along with someone else’s beliefs or not. If someone is speaking the language of suffering, you can speak in that language as well, yet is there another form of language beyond suffering? Also, is there another form of interacting beyond the use of language?

a conversation with a prophet

July 26, 2010

A famous and respected prophet was sitting outside one evening watching the colors of a beautiful sunset when he heard a strange, faint sound. It sounded a little bit like the wind but also a little bit like the hiss of a snake. The sound slowly grew louder and louder.

Soon, within the flowing waves of the strange sound, the prophet started to identify distinct individual sounds, as well as pauses of silence between them, as if the fluctuating of the sound was slowing down. The various sounds reminded him of a very ancient language, like the sounds of different animals- perhaps even types of creatures that he was hearing only now for the very first time.

Next, the prophet focused attentively on the sounds, even closing his eyes to the colors of the sunset. Suddenly, the prophet began to understand individual words. The words were not familiar at first, but, like a tiny child learning the language of others speaking nearby, the prophet learned that certain sounds symbolized certain patterns and experiences and perceptions and relationships.

The prophet also learned the secrets of the sequence of the words. For instance, the prophet effortlessly recognized the difference in meaning between “the prophet ate an alligator” and the very same words in a different order: such as “an alligator the prophet ate” or “an alligator ate the prophet.” The prophet recognized that just as each word references a pattern, like the pattern of alligator or the pattern of eating, the word sequence references distinct relationships between the patterns.

This all seemed only mildly curious to the prophet at first, until the moment that the prophet realized what was actually being communicated by the sound he was hearing: “Hello, famous and respected prophet! I am so glad to finally meet you. I have brought you a gift of the most precious food, the delicacy of pickled alligator. Please, if you are indeed such a wise prophet as I have heard, would you answer a few questions for me?”

The prophet, whose eyes were still closed, said nothing. However, he did raise one eyebrow, which is a sign in body language for alertness and curiosity.

So, the questioner proceeded: “Okay, first thank you very much for your attention and interest. Here is the situation. Basically, when I think of the past, I am ashamed of many things that have happened to me, but should not have happened. There are also things that did not happen to me, but should have. Sometimes I even think of many things that I did, but that I should not have done, as well as things that I did not do, but should have done. I am ashamed for all of that, plus I am ashamed of many things that other people did or did not do, and so I am angry at those people and afraid about what they may or may not do in the future, or what other people may or may not do, or what I may or may not do. So, I am angry about what did happen but should not have happened, except when I am sad about what did not happen but should have happened. Basically, I don’t want to be ashamed or sad or angry or afraid. So there it is. Well, can you help me with this, prophet?”

The prophet raised both eyebrows at once while squinting the muscles around his closed eyes. Then, just in front of his nose, he brought his hands toward each other with fingers straight, relaxed, and apart from each other, then tapped his fingertips together, bouncing them repeatedly.

The questioner eagerly said, “yes, let me know what you discover, please! And, by the way, I’m sorry that all I could afford to bring you was pickled alligator, but it is so hard to get your favorite- pickled penguin- at this time of year around here. So, yeah, I had to improvise, but at least it is pickled alligator, right?”

The prophet reached over and picked up the pickled meat of alligator, lifted it to under his nose and took a deep breath in, and then gently shook his head up and down nodding in approval. He tossed the meat into his mouth, chewed on it slowly for a while, then turned his head and spit it out.

In distress, the questioner shouted, “Don’t you like it? I went to all this trouble to come to you so that you could fix my shame, and now you spit out my gift! What am I going to do now?”

“One thing you could do is agonize,” said the prophet. “Shame is not the issue. The root pattern is agonizing. You could just keep doing that.”

The questioner was startled, not only that the prophet was speaking the sacred ancient language, but with perfect pronunciation and dialect. And then suddenly the questioner realized what had actually been communicated.

The questioner began breathing fast and shallow and soon was out of breath, but still managed to get out these words: “But if I keep doing what I have already been doing, then how is that going to fix anything?”

“It won’t,” said the prophet. “However, you really could keep doing what you have been doing already to cause yourself all of that distress.”

“What do you mean about causing myself distress?” said the questioner. “Didn’t you understand anything I said earlier? I thought you were a wise prophet! I was so naive to think that you could help me. I can’t believe what a complete fool I am.”

When the questioner finally finished, the prophet answered: “Yes, I thought I was a wise prophet, too, for a while. However, then I realized that while I very much like the taste of pickled penguin and pickled alligator, I do not like how my belly feels after I eat it. This did not seem very wise to me at all. So, in order to fulfill my destiny as a wise prophet, now I do not swallow pickled penguin or pickled alligator, but I only chew the meat and savor it until it loses it’s taste for me, then I spit it out without swallowing it.”

“Yeah, but what does any of that have to do with me? I thought you were going to help me, but obviously I was just a fool…. again! Well, at least I do not eat gross stuff like you do.”

The prophet said: “Well, maybe you would like it. You could try some, right? You might learn that you actually like the taste and, if you like the taste, then you might even like how you feel after you swallow it. Similarly, if you like the way your belly feels when you swallow your own words, then keep doing that. However, if you do not like the way your belly feels when you swallow your words, then only taste them and savor them without swallowing. Finally, if you do not even really like the taste of your own words, then spit them out quickly. Do not even keep them in your mouth long enough to finish what you were about to, um….”

“What?” said the questioner. “Finish what I was about to… do what?”

“What you were about to say,” said the prophet. “You can just stop as soon as you notice whether or not you like the taste.”

The questioner then asked: “So, I can slow down my speaking and notice how I feel as I speak. Is that what you are saying?”

“Well, however slowly or quickly you speak, you cannot change what you have already said or how fast you already did. All you can do is to notice whenever you notice the taste and the feeling, then spit out what does not taste like swallowing. If you do swallow some words- like you think to say them but then do not actually say them or otherwise share them with anyone- then you can notice how it feels after you swallow them and keep them within yourself. Maybe you will keep swallowing those words and maybe you will share them somehow with someone or maybe even just spit them out without even finishing whatever you were about to, um….”

“Whatever I was about to say,” said the questioner. “Right?”

“Well, I would warn you to be careful of finishing other people’s….”

“Sentences?” asked the questioner. “Is it finishing other people’s sentences?”

“Or, finishing other people’s thoughts,” said the prophet. “Yes, like you said, sometimes what you may think that they are about to say can get in the way of listening to them. Also, sometimes what you may think that they have been thinking can get in the way of asking a question and then letting them tell you for themselves how they have been thinking. Haven’t you ever heard that presuming makes an ass out of you and….”

“Me?” asked the questioner. “But isn’t it supposed to be assuming, not presuming?”

“I suppose that it should be assuming as well as presuming, shouldn’t it?” asked the prophet.

“What?” said the questioner. “What you just said was confusing.”

“Or, maybe you are confused now and only just recognized that whenever you recognized it, so maybe what I said was not confusing. Maybe you were already confused. Maybe I was just demonstrating your confusion to you. Anyway, here is what confusion is- like how to practice the activity of confusing yourself. Confusion is supposing what should be assumed and/or presumed, but without noticing that one is merely assuming, presuming, supposing, or otherwise operating in the mode of what and how life should or ought to be. Got it?”

“Listen, prophet, I only came to you because I am ashamed about….”

The prophet interrupted and said: “Yes, you are. If you say that you are ashamed of anything, for any reason, then first you are already ashamed. You can be ashamed of really most anything you say, except that first you must believe that you should not be how you are (or how you have been). First you should assume that what you are supposed to be and supposed to do is something else.”

“Something else?” asked the questioner.

“Yes, anything else!” said the prophet.

The questioner asked: “You mean to fix how I already am?”

“Confused.” said the prophet. “Fix how you already are confused.”

“No, I’m not confused!” said the questioner. “At least, I’m not confused anymore.”

“But you were, right?” asked the prophet.

“Well, I might have been but I’m really not so sure any more,” said the questioner.

“So are you certain that you were not confused or are you in fact confused now about whether you were confused that one other time?” asked the prophet.

“Um, hold on: exactly what other time are you referencing, prophet?” asked the questioner.

“Oh, well most any other time will do,” said the prophet.

“Yes, fine,” said the questioner, “but I am not particularly interested in ‘most any other time.’ I am interested most in this time right now!”

“Um, hold on: which time is that?” asked the prophet.

“This one now,” said the questioner. “I mean, who really cares if I ever was confused about how life should be or if I used to say that I was ashamed or any of all of that?”

“Seriously, who really cares?” repeated the prophet.

“I care!” said the questioner.

“Do you really? About what in particular?”

“About what I say right now- that’s what I was saying,” said the questioner.

“No,” said the prophet,” what you were saying was that….”

“Oh, never mind what I may have said then. Just notice what I am saying now, okay?” said the questioner.

“Well, I’m sorry, but now that I fully understand your situation, I really do not think I can be of any help to you,” said the prophet. “Thank you for the pickled alligator though.”

“But… but, prophet, God simply could not love me!” the questioner blurted out, so abruptly that she startled herself.

“Oh, really? And why is that?” said the prophet. “Who are you anyway?”

“Prophet, duh– I’m the devil! I thought you were a real prophet. Aren’t you supposed to know these things? Anyway, just to inform you in case you are actually just a false prophet, here’s the deal: God cannot love the devil. God hates the devil and condemns her to eternal suffering, endless agonizing and torment, you know, the whole thing about life after death.”

“Oh really,” asked the alleged prophet. “And who told you all this? In particular, who told you that you were the devil?”

“Listen, I have always known this. This is obvious. Look, I have the horns and the wings; I’m clearly the devil. If you can’t see that, then you must not be a prophet!” said the questioner.

“Hmmm,” said the prophet, who had left his eyes closed through the entire dream so far, mostly because he was only sleeping. “Honestly, I was thinking that you were not the devil, but just another gargoyle. Gargoyles have horns and wings just like yours, don’t they?”

“What? You mean that there are others that are like me?” asked the questioner.

“Oh, you are unique, I admit. But, yes there are others like you. The devil believes that she is isolated from all the rest of life- totally and irreversibly unique, with layers of personal pride covering the layers of personal shame. The devil takes life very personally, you know. However, God makes all of life. The devil just may not recognize that. By the way, God does not make anything except exactly how it should be, though some of us may argue with God about that in order to make our lives hell, you know, before we die, which is really the only time that anyone can make life hell. Anyway, some of the life forms God makes are forms of life that go through stages of development, like babies growing larger over time. Maybe you were in the devil stage before, but now you really seem to have matured into a gargoyle, since you are beginning to notice that you are actually like most everyone else. However, I do not think that you are an angel yet. I mean, look at your wings, the feathers are still the same color as when you were just a little devil, like before you even knew how to use your wings. By the way, do you even know what an angel looks like?”

“Well, I’m not really sure. Aren’t their feathers supposed to be white, though?”

“Some angels have white feathers,” said the prophet, “but others do not even have wings or feathers at all.”

“Is that right? Well, then I suppose that I could have seen one without even knowing it!”

“In fact, I know this may sound weird, but even before the angel is fully grown and clearly identifiable as an angel, the angel is still an angel,” said the prophet. “For instance, before an oak tree is a fully grown tree full of oak leaves like in summertime, the plant is still an oak, even if it is not even a tree yet at all. It could just be a sprout and it would still be an oak sprout, right? Anyway, basically you are a gargoyle angel. You just did not recognize that this particular label applied to you until you did.”

“What?” said the gargoyle angel.

“Yeah, angel is the type of creature you are and gargoyle is just the stage of development you have reached as of now as an angel.”

“I have never heard anything like this before. This is a bunch of crazy talk, but could it really be true?”

“Oh, no, it’s not true at all. These are just words, silly! You have to understand what words are. They are just symbolic patterns- like of sounds and shapes of letters- that represent other patterns which they are not. Like how a map is a symbolic representation of something else, a word is just a symbolic representation of something else, so they are never absolutely true, well, or only in a manner of speaking.”

“Okay, so you are saying that calling me either ‘the questioner’ or calling me ‘the gargoyle angel’ are both valid ways of identifying a pattern. They are both relatively true, so neither one is more true than the other, since they are both just symbolic representations of something else. They are equally symbolic and thus equally true symbols.”

“Yes, words are only true symbols,” said the prophet. “They are just not true in general, but of course they are true symbols. That is correct. Words are true relative to some practical function as symbols,to some particular conceptual framework or context.”

“And beyond that, they are not true at all!” exclaimed the gargoyle angel questioner happily.

“They are truly words, like a map is truly a map, but is not truly anything other than a map,” said the prophet.

“So the map should be a map simply because it is a map and it should not be anything else because it is only what it is?” asked the gargoyle angel questioner.

“Well, that is if something is only what it is,” said the prophet. “In fact, a map could be not just a map, but also could be a piece of paper. It could be lots of things. It actually isn’t even anything in particular until someone says so.”

“Wow,” said the gargoyle angel questioner. “This is some powerful stuff right here!”

“That’s right. This is God performing the act of creation. This is the spitting out of language.”

“Us communicating now?” asked the gargoyle angel questioner.

“Well, it is God working through us. We do not actually do it ourselves. We do not even know how to explain to someone what muscles to use to make the sound of the word ‘poop.’ God does it all for us- kind of like how God makes poop without anyone even thinking about it and, by the time that everything comes out fine in the end, we really do not have to do anything for pooping to happen by itself. Basically, anything that happens, that is God doing it. So, anything that anyone says, that is God creating with word symbols. Cool, huh?”

“Prophet, this is amazing. How did you come up with all of this?”

“I have no idea, gargoyle angel questioner. I was just dreaming about a conversation with you, and then, through your participation in the conversation, God said some pretty interesting stuff and I just made a record of it in these English words. In fact, I did not even think about how to do the typing any more than you think about how to get your eyes to read shapes of letters or how to get your ears and brain to make sense of sounds that you, um….”

“Sounds that I hear?” asked the devil gargoyle angel questioner.

“Well, maybe that, too, right, but also the sounds we make. We don’t really know how we understand the sounds that God makes through us, not just the sounds that God makes through anyone that God identifies as not us. I mean, we don’t even know how we form sounds into words or words into communications, but we can understand the language and meaning of our own words, right? God does it all for us- the forming of all words, ours or not, as well as the understanding of those formed words, again, ours or not. It’s all totally effortless. All that there is for us to do now is to notice how it feels when God is communicating through us now, since God may choose for us to feel all sorts of things now as God matures his creations through various stages of development now. What does this feel like? Now, what does that feel like? Just notice how the different words feel now. What else is there really to do now anyway? What choice do we actually have about any of it now that it is what it is already?”

“God, I really like what you’re saying.”

“No, you actually have never heard anything that I have said. All you have ever heard is your own interpretation of what God communicates, like through someone else. However, no matter what, your own interpretation is always the true interpretation for you. So, in other words, you really like how you feel when you interpret God’s words how you do when you like how you feel.”

“What?”

“When you interpret God’s words in a certain way that results in you feeling some particular way that you say you like, that is just God interpreting God’s words in a way that results in you feeling God.”

“That is not what you said before.”

“Yes it is.”

“No, it’s not.”

“No, really, it is what I said before, you just were listening differently the other time.”

“Which other time?”

“Now.”

“Whatever. So one more question: when is this whole eternal life in heaven thing going to get started?”

“Well, heaven starts as soon as we realize who dies in the whole symbolic representation of ‘life after death.’ Remember, God does not die. Only a mortal identity can die. Whose death is it that does not actually stop life itself? What lives on is God and what is not God does not live on. By the way, do you know who lives eternally in heaven, like always has been and forever will be living there?”

“God, I really like what you’re saying.”

“You’re telling me!”

“God, I really like what you’re saying.”

“Yeah, you can say that again. Wait, didn’t you already just say that?”

“No, you just interpreted two different things the same way, producing the same pattern of interpretation.”

“Wow!”

“Yeah, you can say that again!”


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