Posted: August 21st, 2011 | Author: Darwin Harmless | Filed under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
I realized today that I’ve stopped claiming to be spiritual. I used to protest, when people accused me of being closed minded and shallow because I reject all religions, that I am a deeply spiritual person. What I actually meant was that I have feelings too. I’m loving. I’m kind. I value people. I go all mushy inside at the sight of a baby. I scratch old dogs behind the ears. I live for my relationships. But I’ve come to understand that “spiritual” for most people means: believing in utter bullshit about the soul, the separation of the identity from the physical body, and pernicious nonsense regarding ESP and nothing happens by coincidence.”
So no. I’m not spiritual. I don’t believe we have a soul. I don’t believe that the I of who I am can be separated from my physical body, no more than a whirlpool can be separated from the river, with due credit to Alan Watts for that metaphor. And I’ve stopped claiming to be spiritual. I’m emotional.
I believe that the only things that matter are the things we decide to make matter, though many people seem to be unaware of making such decisions. For most people, what matters is imposed on them from outside, and beyond their control. I believe that we create our own reality. I have experimented with being mean and nasty to people, and I’ve found that it doesn’t make me happy, at least not in the long run. I like a world with harmony, a world in which people are pleasant to each other. A friendly and happy world. I find that I live in such a world provided I consider the feelings of others, and am pleasant myself. Oh yes, and avoid loud and obnoxious people. As a result, my life is full of love. My world is very pleasant. But this is all cause and effect. It’s not spiritual. Not at all.
Posted: August 2nd, 2011 | Author: Darwin Harmless | Filed under: Cicumcision debate, How Weird is our Culture, Opposing bigotry, sexuality | 2 Comments »
The day before yesterday I stood with thousands of people lining Robson Street in Vancouver to cheer and clap and whistle as group after group flaunted past in the Pride Parade. This time there were no bozos shouting hate messages. The good vibes were intoxicating. Everybody was smiling, cheering, encouraging, accepting.
As a celebration of diversity, the parade could not have been more diverse. I was please to see church groups marching, and very please to see them balanced by the humanists and atheists.
The age range went from infants in arms to grandmothers and grandfathers. Ethnic diversity included caucasians, of course, side by side with blacks, Filipinos, Asians, even Sikh.
The surprises included the delegation from the Conservative Party, historically the most reactionary and obstructionist political organization with their fight to prevent gay marriage. Pardon my cynicism, but I guess they see the political value of giving people what they want.
Other political participants I was particularly delighted to see the parade were intactivists (those opposing infant male circumcision), a delegation of only three, one of whom was an infant.
All the time I was watching this outpouring of love, tolerance, acceptance, peace, good feelings, the thought kept coming to my mind: who could be here in this crowd and not feel the love. Who could look at those attractive young bodies and call them “disgusting”? (see the comment by @Habbit under my Left Handed Analogy post and my response.) Only a very sick and damaged person.
The other thought that kept rising: this is great. This is how we fix the world. Not by demonstrating against, but by demonstrating for. By showing the kind of world we want to live in, and showing that we can live it.
The pride parade has evolved from a celebration of gay men, to a celebration of TLBT and now Poly, to a celebration of diversity of all kinds. I was proud to be there.
I’m out of Canada again now. It was great to drop in for a visit, and to catch the parade. Gotta love that country.