Forum posts made by aussiescribbler

Topic Muslims outraged at police advert...
Posted 20 Sep 2010 08:43

If it was only one guy then it isn't a big issue. There are crazy people all over.

But it raises an interesting issue, that of reverence for other's religious beliefs. I believe we all have the right to freedom of belief, but also believe we all have the right to totally disrespect the religious beliefs of others. The truth doesn't need to be treated with reverence. Only a delusion is so fragile that irreverence can harm it. When some muslims threatened to kill a cartoonist for drawing a cartoon of Mahommet, or Salman Rushdie for writing The Satanic Verses, this was an admission on their part that they know their beliefs are bullshit. If they truly believed what they claim to believe, nothing could disturb them. Down through history there have been martyrs who truly believed in their faith and far from minding it being mocked they took death as a compliment, a confirmation of the validity of that faith. After all, if someone is so threatened by the beliefs of an unarmed person that they feel the need to kill them, that is pretty powerful evidence of the power of that idea.

I could paint a picture of Jesus fucking a donkey up the arse. That wouldn't detract one iota from the truth and beauty of Jesus' words. And anyone with any sense would realise that it is nothing more than a ludicrous product of my sick mind. But if I tried to display that painting in an adult's only art gallery in many, otherwise open-minded, countries in the world, I would be thrown in jail. Why? Because there are many Christians whose faith is so fragile or based on such a delusional idea of who Jesus was, that they need the rest of us to collude with them to keep it alive. But this is dangerous. Remove the survival of the fittest when it comes to beliefs and you end up with a barren and insipid culture.

Topic The New Ten Commandments
Posted 20 Sep 2010 00:54

even atheists when their narrow-mindedness is compromised by LSD have been known to see God.

Can you expand on this point? Was there a study on LSD and atheists that was published that I'm totally missing? dontknow

For most orthodox Christians, the wisdom of using a drug to elicit deep religious insight may seem blasphemous. There is perhaps some comfort in hearing that atheists under LSD frequently report meaningful religious experiences. (In one LSD group, for example, of which less than 10 per cent of its members were "believers," terms such as God, the Divine, deep religious experience and a meeting with the infinite were used in over half the follow-up reports.) But on the other hand it is rather disconcerting to hear religious professionals report they have had their only profound revelations after using psychedelics. (An experiment conducted with 69 theologically trained individuals in religious locations indicated that over 75 per cent had what they considered moving spiritual insights under LSD, and over half—fully aware of the implications of what they were saying—declared that through the intercession of the drugs they had "the most important religious experience of their lives.")

The problem is that we live in a neurotic state which fractures our perception of the world. Only when our neurotic blinkers are removed by meditation, hallucinogens or psychosis do we get a glimpse of the whole picture. My own path has been through psychosis. I don't recommend it, but I had no choice. During a psychotic episode everything is jumbled up and rational judgement is not accessible to sort out what ideas are literally true and which are only symbolically true. Every psychotic idea is true in one of those ways, but taking symbolic truth for literal truth can lead to being locked up for taking one's clothes off in public. Only when reason returns can one begin the slow process of sorting out the symbolic truths and seeing what they are trying to tell us about ourselves and the world. It is also helpful to compare one's experiences with the writings of others who have explored this territory. But when it all gells and you become comfortable with it you can look at society like a clock-mender looks at a clock, knowing exactly how it works.

I read your post, and it seems like you're tying the phenomenon of "creativity" to having been inspired by "God." Please correct me if I'm wrong thought... that's just how I interpreted it. When you speak of God being evidenced through our ability to be creative, to love, and to question/think, I just see them as evidence of being a higher order of species.

As you said, "living intelligent beings don't need to write poetry or paint beautiful pictures. We can live without those things, and yet some of us do create them". To me, creating and expressing something brings us pleasure, whether it's because of our own accomplishments or the reinforcement or approval of someone else. After all, most people produce poetry or paint pictures in order to share them with others, so to me, it's a form of social expression. A pleasure-induced release of dopamine is reinforcing of certain behaviours. I don't see it as anything tied to God, or evidence of a higher power compelling one to do this.

Many other species show evidence of creativity, high order intelligence or some pair-bonding (which can be seen as the animal version of what we call 'love'). I'll mention dolphins, primates, and some species of birds to name a few. I don't think God is influencing them either.

I do understand many of the reasons behind human beings wanting to believe in a higher power, but I don't see our complexity as a species as any evidence for this.

My argument is not for the existence of a "higher power", but of a lower power. A seed growing into a flower is not following commands from a higher power but giving expression to the potential within. To me God is simply the idea that the universe is one indivisible entity. Therefore anything that happens is an expression of God blindly seeking to be more. George Bernard Shaw expressed a similar idea when he said : "To me God does not yet exist; but there is a creative force struggling to evolve an executive organ of godlike knowledge and power; that is, to achieve omnipotence and omniscience; and every man and woman born is a fresh attempt to achieve this object. We are here to help God, to do his work, to remedy his whole errors, to strive towards Godhead ourselves."

Creativity in other species is to be expected. They are also a part of God.

If all you want is to release dopamine you just have to eat chocolates or masturbate. You don't have to write Hamlet or paint the Mona Lisa . Painting Starry Starry Night didn't get Van Gogh paid or laid. We create because we have a drive within us to be more than we are now.

Topic The New Ten Commandments
Posted 19 Sep 2010 21:16

I would like to address this persistently claimed fallacy that atheism is a form of religion.

Atheism is an absence of religion. Claiming that it is a religion is like saying your favorite hair color is "bald."

I also find it funny that religious people tend to use that claim as some sort of insult. As if to say "See! You are just as stupid as we are!"

Atheism is not a religion. Not a club, organization, philosophy or team. It is the absence of belief in gods.

If anyone thinks that atheism is a religion, then please tell me what you think "religion" is.

And this idea that atheists are all aggressive and have an "irrational desire to prove others wrong" is false as well. The majority of the millions of the atheists in the world do no such thing. For most atheists, non-belief is not an overriding concern in their lives. They brush it off in the same way that you would brush off the idea of fairies or vampires. 65% of the population of Japan is atheist. I haven't seen any hostile atheistic literature from them. In fact, I have had to actually really search for prominent atheists that have taken some kind of stand. The few that do, tend to get a lot of publicity simply because of the fact that religion has always been seen as "immune" from intellectual scrutiny. People like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens write about it because they care about how religious beliefs impact the world.

I would apopologize for my "irrational hostility" but after all...god made me this way didn't he?

I agree with you. Atheism is not a religion. Personally, I've never said it is. It is, however, a faith. You could have faith that your football team is going to win the Super Bowl. That isn't a religion. Or maybe it is for some. But it is a belief unsupported by evidence.

And atheists are not all aggressive, true. There is an arrogance involved in claiming that, because we have never seen any evidence, therefore we never will. But I doubt if any of us are free of that kind of arrogance in some part of our belief system. And fixed beliefs, in and of themselves, needn't make us aggressive. It's the old problem, you never see the quiet drunks, only the ones who pick fights.

It is important for me to point out that I'm not a friend of religion. Quite the opposite. I argue heatedly with believers and non-believers alike. I may believe in God, but that doesn't mean I believe in religion. I believe that the principle enemy of religion is God. The purpose of religion is to try to place restraints on God. And it is God, not atheists, who will eventually destroy religion.

I like to debate these questions not because it matters to me what others believe, but so that I can test my own beliefs. If we get angry when our beliefs are challenged it is because we know that our beliefs are unfounded. I seek out any challenges that might release my anger so that I can further open my mind to a well-founded perception of reality.

Topic The Worst Person in America
Posted 19 Sep 2010 20:16

mmmm, I think my choice would have to be Michael Moore and I'm not alone in this. In the book 101 People Who Are Really Screwing America (link to the amazon page), they list him as the number one person screwing up america. The rest of the people are dignified with an explaination as to why they are included. But for Micheal Moore they had his picture and a quote from him. That's it. I've seen some of his "documentaries" and have nearly laughed myself silly as they are just ludicrous.

Michael Moore is a film-maker of questionable integrity and taste, but to blame him for "screwing America" is laughable. All he is is a man exercising his right to free speech. He may get people thinking about things and asking questions, but I don't believe anyone has unquestioning faith in his every word. If people in America are moving away from the kinds of beliefs that you have it is because they have lost faith in those beliefs, probably because of the failings of those who represent those beliefs and put them into practise. Moore is not the only critic of the political right. Noam Chomsky and Errol Morris are far harder to dismiss, but reach a smaller audience. To blame Michael Moore for "screwing America" is simply to shoot the messenger. (Which is not to say he doesn't deserve to be shot for his dress sense.)

Topic The New Ten Commandments
Posted 19 Sep 2010 08:45

On further reflection, I need to correct myself. Atheism is a faith.

Atheism is not "not believing in God". That is agnosticism. Atheism is the positive belief that God doesn't exist. Since it is impossible to prove the non-existence of anything, any such belief is a form of faith, i.e. belief not supported by reference to evidence. If we say, "Fairies don't exist!", that is a statement of faith, because we can't actually provide evidence of the non-existence of fairies, only point to the lack of such evidence for their existence. To lump a belief in the non-existence of fairies in with belief in a supernatural deity may seem absurd, but clarity of thought requires precise and consistent definitions.

There are four possible positions on the existence of God, which can be divided into two broad categories :

1. Scientific (i.e. open-minded assessment of evidence or lack there of) :

a. Agnosticism - looking for evidence but finding none.

b. Gnosticism - looking for evidence and finding it - e.g. Carl Jung's studies of synchronicity and the collective unconscious.

2. Faith-based :

a. Faith in God.

b. Atheism - faith in the non-existence of God.

The concept of gnosticism is a controversial one. The gnostic claims to "know God exists". I'd probably have to put myself in that category as long as it is understood that the supernatural religious God is a delusional projection of the God I know warped beyond all recognition into some kind of grotesque bogeyman. To me God is a principle or process of nature that I see unfolding around me everyday. Energy has no need of matter. Yet some energy takes the orderly form we call matter. Matter can exist fine without being alive, yet some matter can move and consume and breed. Life doesn't need to be intelligent to survive, but some life can think and ask the questions I'm asking now. Living intelligent beings don't need to write poetry or paint beautiful pictures. We can live without those things, and yet some of us do create them. But what if it is the intrinsic nature of energy, when circumstances allow, to become ordered into something more complex than itself? And what if that potential flows on through matter, when circumstances allow, to become alive, and so on through each new level of creativity? This is like a seed which contains the intrinsic potential to be a flower, something which is realised when it is planted in the soil and watered. Within each of us the equivalent of this creative principle is the soul, that is our genetic orientation toward love and creativity. As William Blake and Oscar Wilde both pointed out - the soul is not separate from the body, it is the body. We don't understand the mechanisms of such an unfolding universe, but we can't deny that matter and life and intelligence and love exist and, presumably must be the outcome of some natural process, since we have no evidence of an external creator. Religious dogma says "God created the universe and life". Whatever this creative principle is is what did that. Religious dogma says, "God is Love". The creative principle in human society that binds us together into communities and makes it possible for us work together to find understanding of our world is love. So why would the direct evidence for such a process become invisible to us and our awareness of it mutate into a monstrous oppressive bogeyman? Because the battle to understand nature and ourselves has, over the centuries, led us to become severely insecure and neurotic - projecting our fear of the God we know inside us outward into a vision of a judgemental tyrant that wanted to punish us. The God we know inside us is quite simply our enthusiasm - that's what the word means - "God within". But this is a powerful force which can easily disturb and even destroy the frightened narrow ego within which we live. Now all of this probably just sounds delusional to those who have a more conservative view of the subject, whether atheist or believer, but it is worth pointing out that it is very hard to describe the colour blue to a blind person, and even atheists when their narrow-mindedness is compromised by LSD have been known to see God.

Topic The Worst Person in America
Posted 19 Sep 2010 07:38

"The face of evil is always the face of total need."
— William S. Burroughs

People like Phelps are so deeply wounded they don't know how to not attack others. He does these things because he secretly suspects he is a monster, yet who will convince him otherwise when his behaviour is so monstrous? It's a sad situation all around. When it comes to the homosexuality we have to remember that, hard as it may sometimes by to accept one's sexuality when it runs contrary to social expectations, to accept homosexual feelings when you believe they will condemn you to burn in Hell for eternity must be virtually impossible. And he probably didn't chose that belief but had it imposed on him when he was a defenseless child. Abusive as he is, he is also the victim here.

Topic The New Ten Commandments
Posted 19 Sep 2010 02:02

Once again...great mediating skills.

I would address this foolishness, but its been covered ad nauseum in other threads already. If you can't grasp the difference between believing in something and not believing in something, then I guess you never will.

Well, I'm off to work. I'm going to "proselytize" somebody into "believing" that they need an ACL reconstruction.

While atheism is not itself a faith, most atheists seem to have an irrational desire to deny the meaningfulness of religious concepts. No product of the imagination is meaningless, all express what lies beneath the surface of our psychological and social reality. Imaginary concepts which are embraced and treasured over hundreds of years by individuals who are prepared to die to preserve them clearly plumb the depths particularly deeply. That doesn't mean there may not be dross amidst the gold. Excavating the subconscious is not an exact art. And it doesn't mean that many, at least on a conscious level, may not completely miss the meaning of the words they embrace and act in total contradiction to them. But the meaning is still there for those who want to look for it. Christianity is a good example. The words of Jesus often go straight to the heart of what it is to be human and give good advice, if you ignore the supernatural concepts which were the only way to talk about these things in a pre-scientific era. But the Christian churches, while preserving those valuable words, have often acted totally contrary to them - torturing, murdering, condemning, oppressing. Very far from Jesus vision that an acknowledgement of our own imperfections and forgiveness of others could open up our ability to love one other.

Recently an atheist (should I say "fellow atheist" if I don't believe in a supernatural God) told me that he doesn't believe Jesus existed because there is no conventional historical evidence. To me this is madness. Not doubting that there was a Jesus, even though the idea of Peter and Paul making him up as a hoax seems like a rather far-fetched conspiracy theory. But to dismiss a profoundly meaningful part of our culture simply because you couldn't verify its source is like finding gold in the street and not keeping it because it has no bank marks.

Admit it or not, we all have our faiths. We all believe what we want to believe and ignore evidence if we don't like the conclusion to which it would lead us. What atheist wants to believe in God but is frustrated by the lack of evidence? Most atheist don't like the idea of a God and are happy there is no evidence. If we are lucky, our faith evolves throughout our life adjusting to new evidence when we can find an acceptable way of integrating it. Without care the breakdown of a faith can lead to suicidal despair. I've been there before. The more neurotic we are the more fundamentalistic the dogma to which we are liable to cling. Unfortunately fundamentalistic dogmas tend to increase our state of neurosis. But we are all intensely neurotic. Materialism, depression, anger, vanity...these are all symptoms of neurosis. There are two aspects to our neurosis : 1. Insecurity from childhood that leaves us obsessed with proving ourselves in some way worthy. 2. Fear of all the emotional urges we have had to repress to fit into society, mainly aggression and parts of our original polymorphously perverse sexuality. The answer might be to embrace the concept of our own worthlessness. This sounds perverse, but what better way to get off the self-justification merry-go-round than say, "I'm worthless. So what." And we need to make friends with our Id (all that repressed aggression and sexuality) through sick humour and other forms of unbounded taboo-free self expression. If we can do these two things I believe we can liberate our deep instinct to love each other unconditionally (no need to call it "God") and live in a state of ecstasy that we have only previously experienced during orgasm.

We all have our delusions. That's mine.

Topic The New Ten Commandments
Posted 14 Sep 2010 21:25

He does an awesome job with that one. Most of his arguments are unassailable, but he does kind of go against his own principles when he talks about not even thinking about using others as your property. Like the coveting commandment, this would be a commandment against thought as much as deed. I for one like to fantasise about using people as my personal sex slaves and I don't think there is anything wrong with that. Also, he neglects to mention that Jesus did his own alternative commandments. He got them down to two :

30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

The first is contentious in that we don't all believe in the same God or any God. But if we do believe in a God, then loving him, in and of itself, will do noone else any harm. If, however, we believe that he wants us to hurt others and our love leads us to act on such a belief, it could be problematic.

But I see nothing at all wrong with the second of his commandments. It makes no mention of God. And the wise have always realised that our neighbor IS ourself :

No man is an island

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

John Donne

So I would be very happy for this commandment to be placed on all classroom walls, public buildings, etc. Let those who might object explain why they think it is bad or dangerous advice. (And it may be important to emphasise that he didn't say "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, as long as he isn't a Democrat, a homosexual or an athiest.")

Topic Do you believe in "God"?
Posted 13 Sep 2010 08:13

I think it is possible to not believe in a supernatural god, and yet to believe in the validity of the words of Jesus. We have to remember that in a pre-scientific age the only way to describe aspects of deep psychology was through myth. Where I live in Australia it might be aboriginal stories about the Dreamtime. In ancient Greece it was tales of Promethus, Oedipus and Medusa. As psychiatrists such as Freud and Jung discovered, these are not just stories, their cultural tenacity lies in the fact that they describe in symbolic form aspects of common personal psychological experience. The myths of the Bible, such as Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel and Noah and the Ark, speak of aspects of our history as a species. They are clearly not a factual history, but a race memory handed down in the form of stories. No story that we create is entirely fiction. When we use our imagination we express truths about our psyche, often without realising, and the stories which take hold and acquire the kind of cultural value that leads to them being passed down from generation to generation are those which speak most helpfully to our unconscious.

I think that all that Jesus was was an exceptionally unneurotic, unrepressed, psychologically naked, individual. The history of the human condition has been one in which we have all had to learn to conform to society's expectations, most of our aggressive feelings and much of our sexuality has had to be repressed, because, if we didn't accept repression we would be ostracised and, if noone accepted repression, society would collapse. But the price we pay is that repression puts us at war with ourselves and leaves us with a fragile, insecure ego. The feelings of insecurity make defensive feelings of aggression more likely, which means more repression, etc., etc. But, if someone has an exceptionally untraumatic childhood, so that their ego is very secure and not obsessed with self-justification, then their aggressive feelings would not be so great as to need repressing, and they would feel comfortable enough with their sexuality not to feel compelled to act upon their sexual desires if doing so would conflict with what they were trying to achieve, and thus sexual repression would not be necessary either. I believe that what lies at the heart of the human psyche is an instinctive orientation to unconditional love. All that separates us from that instinct is that backlog of aggressive and sexual feelings which we repress, and the insecurity of our ego, which fears that which we have repressed, and also fears the inevitability of its own death, by which I don't mean necessarily physical death, but the dissolution of the ego that seems to be threatened by the love instinct's desire for unity with all of our kind.

Jesus talked as a poet talks expressing ideas in parables and symbols. God means many things to many people, but I think that to Jesus God was the love instinct. It needn't have been just something internal. I don't understand synchronicity (Jung's term for the phenomena where an external event coincides meaningfully with a profoundly meaningful internal thought), but I've experienced it quite a few times. I still don't believe in the supernatural. All I can think is that patterns exist in nature (think of a snowflake) so why not on a larger scale that we only glimpse occasionally. While I refuse to believe in a supernatural god, the experience of synchronistic events which seemed to be giving me a comforting message in a time of crisis, have sometimes made it seem like God was looking out for me. So it seems quite likely to me that Jesus experience of God was probably external as well as internal, but something natural, not supernatural. To me, Jesus was the ultimate psychiatrist. Not blinded by neurosis like the rest of us, he could see us for who we really are, what troubles us and why we are always fighting with each other and judging each other and more concerned with ourselves than with others. And he wanted to set us free by explaining that we were all in the same boat and that honesty, forgiveness and sharing would provide the social climate in which we could rediscover our inner instinct for love, and thus "never have to die", because it is only the ego that dies, the instinct for love, being the same in all of us will last as long as the human race.

The problem is that few seem to have understood what Jesus was on about. When he talked about life after death, they thought he was talking about a life for the ego after physical death, something which is clearly impossible. And, as the story was passed on, people turned ordinary events into "miracles". To drink water with a man as loving as Jesus would be like drinking wine with anyone else, but pass that on a few times and suddenly he's turning water magically into wine. The problem is that recognising Jesus for what he was would mean acknowledging that they were seriously neurotic (or "sinful" to use the language of the time). The only other way to explain what made him different was to believe he was something magical. I'm sure he would have been very sad to see how things turned out after he died. He clearly didn't want to be worshipped. The only people who want to be worshipped are those who are extremely egotistical (i.e. insecure).

While some (like the gnostic Christians) tried to discover the real meaning of Jesus words, the organised Christian churches all-to-often became a travesty of his vision. They crucified him a second time by associating his name with intolerance, torture, warfare, greed, pomposity and meaningless rituals which mocked the simple sense of his advice. But I think Christianity is a bit like a time bomb. The churches may pervert Jesus message, but they preserve his words. They carry at their heart the seeds of their own destruction. Not so long ago, unquestioning religious conformity was the norm. Today, with books like "The Divinci Code" and "Jesus the Man" reaching millions and an increasingly strong athiest movement, religious dogma is being put to the test. To hold firm when you are actually living by the words of your prophet is one thing, but when you can easily be shown to be a hypocrite it's not so easy. Especially if the fruits of love begin to sprout amongst the "sinners" in a way they never have amongst the "believers".

In general, Christianity has become a force for repression rather than for liberation of the soul (our deepest instinct for love). Improvisation teacher Keith Johnstone, in his book "Impro : Improvisation and the Theatre" (Eyre Methuen, 1981) says this about repression :

"Grotesque and frightening things are released as soon as people begin to work with spontaneity. Even if a class works on improvisation every day for only a week or so, then they start producing very ‘sick' scenes : they become cannibals pretending to eat each other, and so on. But when you give the student permission to explore this material he very soon uncovers layers of unsuspected gentleness and tenderness. It is no longer sexual feelings and violence that are deeply repressed in this culture now, whatever it may have been like in fin-de-siecle Vienna. We repress our benevolence and tenderness."

Some look at the internet with its proliferation of porn of various kinds, hate literature and all things gruesome and grotesque and see this as a sign of terminal moral decay. I see it as a global improvisation. Dark and troubling things are bound to surface from a couple of million years of repression, but by allowing ourselves to freely explore this material we will discover what lies beneath - our capacity for "benevolence and tenderness" - our soul.

“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. 24 “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. 25 “Behold, I have told you in advance. 26 “So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. 27 “For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 “Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather." Matthew 24:37

Clearly the idea, popular with Christian churches, that Jesus is going to return as an individual is contrary to his own words. But what he says here is completely in keeping with what I've described. The rising of the loving instinct and the world it makes possible (whether called the Son of Man or the Kingdom of Heaven) is not centred in any one individual but would be able to be seen all over the world. The last sentence is a reference to fundamentalism. That which is "dead", i.e. inflexible and unforgiving and thus least capable of the spontaneity that characterises love, attracts those who are most needy and self-obsessed. This is not to be judgemental though, it is just an acknowledgement that those of us who most need love, may be the last ones to be able to receive it.

Topic Do you believe in "God"?
Posted 08 Sep 2010 08:37

Satanism is pretty cool, too. I hate the idiots who think it's actually about worshiping the devil and satanic rituals. /sigh/

What is Satanism about? I'm vaguely familiar with Anton Levay, but I'm sure he wasn't the first to use the term about himself. I do know that there have been examples of teenagers who claimed to be Satanists, read up on the subject and "sacrificed" animals. Anyway, I don't think anyone is an "idiot" for believing that it is about worshipping the devil and doing satanic rituals because that is what the name implies. Satan is the term used for the personification of evil in the dominant religious belief system in our culture. Surely someone who didn't want people to think they were worshipping what Christians and Muslims consider to be evil would not call themselves a Satanist. They would come up with a name that wouldn't be so readily misunderstood.

My suspicion is that Satanists call themselves such because they want to rebel against their Christian parents. The problem is that this makes them just as much a prisoner of the Christian belief system as a Christian is. To be truly free of anything means not feeling compelled to negate it. I think the same thing about people who make a big song and dance about their atheism. To simply not believe because you can't see the evidence makes sense, but to make a cause of it suggests that "the lady doth protest too much".

When it comes to the question of worship, my advice is don't. If you are going to worship something, only worship something you want to destroy, because that is what happens. The problem with worship is that, being subject to the laws of human psychology, we can't help but come to secretly resent that which we put on a pedestal above us. The Catholic Church worships innocence as symbolised by the "Virgin" Mary and the baby Jesus, but this leads to a situation where they torture innocent children with fantasies about a place called Hell and some priests end up molesting children. Some say that has to do with their not having wives but I think it has more to do with the fact that we naturally end up wanting to attack what we feel inferior to. But we can see this with the whole of the Christian religion, where people believe Jesus was God, but they don't listen to a word he said. Take the last supper. He said that the bread was his flesh and the wine was his blood and that people should eat and drink like this in memory of him. It seems obvious to me that, since, like all prophets, he spoke on behalf of the loving principle within us which he felt very strongly, what he was saying was that anything that is shared is the physical flesh and blood of "God" (of the loving principle) and that if we wanted that loving principle to remain and wanted to be a part of it then we could do so by something as simple as sharing. But the church, rather than trying to work out the simple point he was making, turned this into an empty ritual involving wafers and wine. Really, that's just a way of telling Jesus to "Fuck off!" When we come here to Lush Stories to share our sexual fantasies we are doing something that is closer in spirit to the philosophy put forward by Jesus than anything the Pope does.

Topic Do you believe in "God"?
Posted 07 Sep 2010 01:55

The problem with the term "God" is that it has become so contaminated by association with specific delusions and dogmas that those of us who do not believe in the supernatural, but do believe that there is a purposeful creative principle at the heart of an unfolding universe might be better off trying to come up with another name for it. What I believe in is a "God within" rather than a "God without". Not a cosmic magician designing the world but an unacknowledged intrinsic tendency in energy to, where the conditions allow, form matter, and for matter, where the conditions allow to become living matter, and for simple living matter to become complex living matter, and for complex living matter to become intelligent living matter. Because this is what has happened. This is how we come to be here discussing the existence or non-existence of God. The chances against intelligent life occurring by random chance have been calculated to be astronomically high. So it stands to reason that if it has happened, then the tendency for such meaningful order to unfold was an intrinsic part of the ingredients. At each level of development parts somehow come to form a whole that is more than their sum. And on the level of human society that also happens. We come together to form groups or communities which are more that the sum of the individuals who make them up, and the force that draws us together in this way is what we call love. Here we have a principle which "created the world and all life" and which is synonymous with love. These are claims that are made for God. I think the concept of an old man who lives in the clouds and listens to our prayers, loving us and forgiving our misdeeds, is a cultural recognition of this creative tendency, but in a form which is more comforting for some people. As a manic depressive I learned some time ago that every delusion contains the seeds of a truth. A delusion is the best approximation for the truth that we can come up with when in a wounded state. As we heal we can exchange the delusion for the naked truth of which it was merely a symbol.

Topic Ok look. It is disgusting for a guy to have a picture of his dick as his avatar. Who else agrees wit
Posted 14 Aug 2010 01:38

Thanks for pointing that out, nicola. But, damn, I can see it here fine. Am I the only one? I'll post it as a photo on my profile page just so all my work in creating the .jpg isn't entirely wasted.

Topic Ok look. It is disgusting for a guy to have a picture of his dick as his avatar. Who else agrees wit
Posted 13 Aug 2010 22:17


Topic I am naked because .....
Posted 11 Aug 2010 01:16

because clothes, eh, they're so yesterday...

Topic Songs that makes you cry
Posted 08 Aug 2010 21:30

Well. I'll give two songs that totally destroy me.

The Ballad of Lucy Jordan (when sung by Marianne Faithfull)

The morning sun touched lightly on the eyes of Lucy Jordan
In a white suburban bedroom in a white suburban town
As she lay there 'neath the covers dreaming of a thousand lovers
Till the world turned to orange and the room went spinning round.

At the age of thirty-seven she realised she'd never
Ride through Paris in a sports car with the warm wind in her hair.
So she let the phone keep ringing and she sat there softly singing
Little nursery rhymes she'd memorised in her daddy's easy chair.

Her husband, he's off to work and the kids are off to school,
And there are, oh, so many ways for her to spend the day.
She could clean the house for hours or rearrange the flowers
Or run naked through the shady street screaming all the way.

At the age of thirty-seven she realised she'd never
Ride through Paris in a sports car with the warm wind in her hair
So she let the phone keep ringing as she sat there softly singing
Pretty nursery rhymes she'd memorised in her daddy's easy chair.

The evening sun touched gently on the eyes of Lucy Jordan
On the roof top where she climbed when all the laughter grew too loud
And she bowed and curtsied to the knight who reached and offered her his hand,
And he led her down to the long white car that waited past the crowd.

At the age of thirty-seven she knew she'd found forever
As she rode along through Paris with the warm wind in her hair ..

It beautifully captures the sadness of lost dreams exchanged for a life of quiet desperation. And it was used perfectly on the soundtracks of two of my favourite movies - T helma and Louise and Montenegro .

Song for My Mother by Dean Friedman

In the hollow of your arms, snuggled up all safe and warm,
you used to tell me tales of unicorns and kings.
But how could I comprehend all the things you told me then
of your madness and your struggling?

And my mind would swim in fantasies, like a piece of driftwood in the sea.
I had no touchstone for reality. You were my reality.

Like a dark and unlit room or the far side of the moon,
your insanity spoke emptiness and fear.
And no matter how I tried, how I questioned and I pried,
I just could not penetrate that thin veneer.

And I know you tried to comfort me, to soothe and reassure me.
But then your strength would always fail and in it's place a silken veil.

Like a dried and wrinkled prune, A deflated toy balloon,
I came home and found you strewn across the floor.
And as they lay you on your bed I heard you say,
"If I am dead, how come it just keeps on hurting more and more?"

And you left me in the early spring. All they said was, "Mommy's resting."
And how was I to know, so young, it wasn't something I had done?

So please try and understand, I will love you as I can.
I do not blame you; you're not guilty.
But still there's no way to describe the relief I finally found
upon learning it was you, and not me, that was crazy.

It looks like nothing makes me cry like a woman who's nuts. But its a beautiful song that doesn't pull any punches about the agony of mental illness.

Topic Promiscuity Test
Posted 08 Aug 2010 08:50

Or maybe it's just because I love sex! And it isn't very often that a woman can catch an STD from another woman!

Apart from herpes, syphilis, yeast infection, AIDS from bleeding herpes...etc. I thought the same as you until I recently saw the excellent feminist porn documentary Too Much Pussy in which the issue was discussed. As was pointed out in that documentary, safe sex information for straight men and gay men is much easier to access than it is for gay women. who often don't know the dangers they face or precautions they should take.

Anyway, I got 20 on the test.

Not surprising that I haven't been making the rounds of the bedrooms of America, since I live in Australia. And some of the questions don't really apply. I don't drive, so no cop is going to give me a ticket either way. And I don't have a partner so noone can walk in on me having sex with them.

Sex for me is all in the mind, and I change my mind regularly, doesn't that make me promiscuous? geek

Topic Does a writer's gender make a difference?
Posted 08 Aug 2010 02:05

The writer's gender does make a big difference to me when I read a story. As a fairly passive guy with very limited sexual experience who felt very inhibited about sexuality in his formative years, the sexiest and most liberating thing for me is women openly expressing their sexuality. When I was in my teens I felt like a dirty little pervert. Surely the girls and women I lusted after were pure-minded individuals who would reject me in utter disgust if they knew what a horny little wanker I was. Of course I gradually learned that not all women were like that, that, in fact, some of them were as horny as me, but our sexual maps are laid down early, so, still, the sexiest thing for me is a dirty-minded woman. This means that an erotic story written by a woman can appeal to me on two levels, while one written by a man can only appeal on one. The stories themselves can be exciting and arousing, but in the case of a story written by a woman, the fact that she is sharing her naughtiest secret fantasies with me is an added turn on. And the same applies when it comes to readers of my stories. If guys read them and like them, that's great, but what inspires me to write is the idea that women might read my stories and find them titillating. If I had a hot body I could be a stripper and get a kick out titillating women in that way, but I don't, so the one way I can experience the thrill of dampening women's panties is in the realm of fantasy. hiding

Topic Forum Game: Sexy Chain
Posted 06 Aug 2010 23:50


Topic I am naked because .....
Posted 05 Aug 2010 12:07

...enlightenment stole my clothes while I was swimming in the stream of consciousness. sunny

Topic Quick question, Dick or Cock?
Posted 05 Aug 2010 09:26

Well, I've been criticised for using the word "dick" too much in my my sister. Noone else seemed to have a problem with it, but she said that it made my stories sound juvenile, like the work of someone who hasn't actually had much sex, which is true. I use the word "cock" as well if I'm going for a more forceful sound. But I'm not ashamed of using words like "dick" and "stiffy" because I think there is something sexy about regressing to that adolescent world when we were permanently horny and sex was a new discovery. And I like playful sex which sometimes means refusing to act like a grown up. bootyshake

But, having said that, variety is the spice of life. flower