Stray Thoughts and a Better World


1.  Seeing this pond idea someone developed into reality like pure magic, I thought first, ‘Huh.  I could do that by the side of my house where I have the garden I can’t manage to keep up with now.  It always floods during the wet season due to an underground stream there.  It’d be a lot of work, but I have a neighbor who’s a landscaper that’s offered to cut us a deal if we ever needed some work done, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility.  Might consider this.’  My second thought was, ‘Oh!  I can have my cake and eat it too!’  See, because if I had a swimming pond there like this one, I could plant my garden in clean soil in floating containers.  Fewer weeds will be able to get into them and NO slugs!  Slugs can’t swim!  My plants couldn’t get flooded by ground water either… just maybe rain overhead….  Hmm.  Must be a way to mitigate this; some sort of filtered runoff system? But hey, when I had weeds to pull that had planted themselves via wind currents, or when I wanted to pick some veggies on a hot summer day, I could just wade in and do it.  It’d be a pleasure.

2.  The news these days seems all bad; heartbreaking so.  So I’m limiting my intake.  Still it sneaks under the wire at me.  There’s nowhere I can really hide from it and when it finds me I must then needs treat it like any other problem (LOTS of very heavy problems) and acces it for possible solutions.  This in itself is a problem because there’s more there than anyone can adequately deal with.  Still, I have my ideas.  Can’t help it.  Those sneak under the wire at me too.

3.  Population control. It wouldn’t need to be as draconian as the methods China had to employ to get their population under control.  Understand that they needed to do it that way because the majority of the population believed in having a minimum of 10 children per family and weren’t going to stop doing that even if they devoured every last resource they had.  I don’t think we have that problem here in the U.S. where small families of only 2 or 3 children are more the norm. 

The problem here comes more from unexpected and unwanted pregnancies.  Okay, probably immigrants from places where large families are the norm as well.  Either way, I think it would be wise for everyone from adolescence up to have birth control patches in placed to be removed only when the person has reached full adulthood, decided they are ready for children, and can prove they are physically, emotionally, and financially fit to do a good job. 

This would not only decrease our national reproductive rates, but it would make sure that only good parents have children, one has them by accident, and there will be no off-spring induced poverty putting excess weight on our social support systems, schools, roads, housing, and natural resources of all sorts.  Traffic, crimes (pretty often the result of crowding and poor upbringing), pollution, will lessen.  The job market will improve with the lessening population pressures.  As too the housing market and all markets.  Fewer other species will go extinct with less pressure from us on them.

3.  We should not engage in trade with countries that hate us.  Whatever it is, we can get it elsewhere, oil included.

4.  No one’s special aptitudes or talents should go to waste.  Schooling, public or private, should include job training and apprenticeships into paying jobs upon graduation.  No one has to look for work.  No one ends up homeless when it takes too long.  They’re trained for the position they will take from the first time they show interest in a particular profession.  This can potentially change as they grow older and there should be leeway for that as well.

5.  Another thing that should be taught – or at least encouraged – in schools, is thinking for ourselves; problem solving 101 without having to go to authorities/leaders for “right” answers all the time.  Both objective though and subjective introspection should be given ample leeway because when they don’t, leaders/authorities gain power over us and they WILL take advantage of it to do very often very unethical things.  This power needs to be wrested from the power mongering types.

6.  Anyone in whatever leadership we still have that wants to go to war with some other country should himself get in a ring with the leader of that other country (assuming mutual bellicosity) and duke it out to the death.  We should NEVER offer up our son’s or daughter’s lives in their stead.

7.  Violent criminals should undergo permanent serotonin therapy and psychiatric treatment to prevent their ever being violent again.  But if they’re too far beyond the pale, they should just then be put to sleep at the local dog pond and no more angsting over it.  Some can be reformed, some can’t.  Read about it in your Library of Congress.

8.  Dogs and cats should NOT be put to sleep at the local dog pond.  That’s just stupid and fairly evil; a very rotten response to the unconditional love and loyalty they’ve given us.

9.  Money gleaned from taxation should ONLY go toward public infrastructure and social programs.  It should not be loaned to other countries or to overpay politicians or political campaigns or bigwigs private jets to China or anywhere.  Enough already.  We don’t need royalty anymore.  We need support for the people by the people.  The leaders allowed must always remember they work for us and are in no wise above us or exempt from common law.

10.  Laws should only concern themselves with our public lives and interaction with others.  My freedoms stop where your begins and vis versus.  Do unto others as you would have done unto you.  If it hurts no one, then do as you please.  Laws that go beyond these maxims are extraneous and oppressive.

11.  Yay!  Sakura Con is this weekend!  Can hardly wait!

12.  Yay!  Easter is on Sunday and I… er… I mean the Easter Bunny gets to hide eggs all over Mom’s garden for the grandkiddies and oh the Easter Bunny is really good at this!  Baskets too!  Well, sand pails in this case… but you know.

13.  Jeb actually asked me if I wanted a live pet bunny for Easter.  Of course I said yes.  I love bunnies!  Can’t believe he thought of that though.  I didn’t think he liked them.  Wow.  Happiness!




Posted in Uncategorized, Relationships, News and politics, Architecture, Design, Family, Pets, social pychology, Animals | 6 Comments

Breaking Free

“Got a call from an old friend we’d used to be real close
Said he couldn’t go on the American way
Closed the shop, sold the house, bought a ticket to the west coast
Now he gives them a stand-up routine in L.A.

I don’t need you to worry for me cause I’m alright
I don’t want you to tell me it’s time to come home
I don’t care what you say anymore this is my life
Go ahead with your own life leave me alone

I never said you had to offer me a second chance
I never said I was a victim of circumstance
I still belong
Don’t get me wrong
And you can speak your mind
But not on my time

They will tell you you can’t sleep alone in a strange place
Then they’ll tell you can’t sleep with somebody else
Ah but sooner or later you sleep in your own space
Either way it’s O.K. you wake up with yourself”

- My Life by Billy Joel

Ha.  May I should write a song about this too.  Something along the lines of…

I don’t need to be told what I should believe, who our creator is, who I should be, who I should shun, what I’m going to do, or where I’m going to go once I shuck these earthly raiments.

The fact that I don’t believe as you do doesn’t mean that I’m broken.  I’m just being myself. 

I’ve set my mind free of the constraint that others tried to force on me, the ideas I couldn’t swallow, the impossible things I couldn’t convince myself of, much less anyone else; all that negativity they tried to tell me was somehow good, all those imagined fears I just didn’t feel…

You can live with that fear if you want to. I have enough to deal with just in this life and I much prefer just confronting them to forever running away.

I’ve left religion behind me. I’ve broken free. And no, I will NOT get back in that cage.

Meh.  I’m not much of a song writer though and I haven’t picked out tunes on my piano or written sheet music for years now; not since my children were very young in point of fact.  Couldn’t focus enough anymore.  I’ll spare you all my attempt to sing because, focused or not, it might hurt your ears.  Anyway…

The question of a young Muslimah posed on Yahoo, “Why are young people leaving Islam instead of defending it?” made me roll my eyes and sigh but it was more about the responses than the question itself.  According to them, people like me (apostates from Islam) don’t really exist.  We’re only trolls sent from the enemy masquerading as ex-Muslims so to shake their deen.  Uh-huh.  Whatever helps them sleep at night. 

The Muslimah lamented that she’d been told by her friends leaving Islam that it was all about terrorism.  They naturally didn’t like being associated with that.  Who would?  But that wasn’t Islam, according her.  That was against Islam.  They just didn’t know enough about Islam and that’s why they made these “wrong assumptions” and left it.

Several allegedly “non-existent” former Muslim came on to say that maybe people left Islam because it wasn’t true.

The Muslimah didn’t want to hear it of course.  This was impossible in her estimation and the whole thing just made her feel sad so I refrained from contributing to this discussion.

Instead, I read elsewhere many an article about people who were leaving religion… many other religions, not just Islam.  Islam and Christianity appeared to be feeling it the most however.  I found a mullah, for instance, complaining of so many young Muslims and Muslim “reverts” quietly appostasizing… and some not so quietly.  He thought it was because all they were taught rules, not deen, so didn’t really understand the “beauty” of Islam.  His Christian peer, a pastor, thought that people were leaving Christianity and other Abrahamic religions because it had only taught them who to hate and what to fear and they didn’t really hate those people (other religionists or atheists or pagans or gays, etc.) or fear those things (eternal damnation, devils, witches, pagan ways, etc.).  Both of them and many other religious leaders were of the general opinion that they would not be losing followers if only their peers had taught their religions better and the once-followers had really understood the “beauty of faith.”

Personally, I don’t think so.  Yes, those are excuses for leaving religion – surface rationales if you will, but the truth is it just doesn’t make sense to those of us who have stopped to think about it objectively, putting faith on hold.   We just had to stop and think about it when so many things little and large stopped making sense to us.

One thing I’ve heard so often from former co-religionists, both Christian and Muslim, was that I couldn’t really have belonged to their religion at all if I could leave it.  This isn’t true. 

Like many other apostates, I once tried very hard to fit into the religious framework.  I tried to believe.  I looked for answers in teacher as well as the “holy” books and all I really found were more questions.  Disturbing ones that religion had no answers for, but my heart already knew: something wasn’t right.  To make things right some things, like religion/philosophy/politics/morality, have to be thought of outside the box and well beyond Group Think. 

Believing without question seems too much like making important life-changing decisions while drunk off ones ass and waking up the next morning with an embarrassing tattoo in a prominent place and no memory nor understanding of how the hell it got there.

Uhm…. not that I’ve ever been drunk or anything.  I don’t even drink.  Never have.  Don’t like the taste and I’m wary of its physical and mental effects.  I’ve witnessed such enough to know I definitely don’t want to partake.  Just making an analogy here though.  Not saying there’s anything wrong with drinking – just with making important decisions at the same time or immediately after.  You know what I mean.

Okay, I’ll stop now.

Posted in religion, social pychology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments


I’ve been pranked by my own mind!  The traitor!

See, yesterday morning when I was sleeping off the time before my shift began when I heard another car drive up and voices, door slamming and such, so I came partially up from the depths of sleep and opened my eyes to look around.  I didn’t raise my head or sit up though as I didn’t want whoever it was to see me there.  This meant I didn’t see whoever it was either. 

It was still pretty dark out and I knew I had more time to sleep, but didn’t drift immediately off.  Instead, I lay looking at the windows and then the upholstered ceiling above me.  And then I was floating up toward the ceiling, through the blanket, just lightly bumping my nose against it before floating right back down again.

This was/is something for me to get excited about as, for all my reading on the subject, I still don’t know how to do it on purpose.  It just happens now and then but very rarely.  I was stoked!  Yes, I know that dreaming is soul travel too, but you just suddenly bounce from place to place without a sensation of leaving here to get there when you travel that way and you’re not quite (sometimes not even close) to the you that went to sleep in your own bed.  When you embark from an awake/partially awake state, you get to see the whole journey and remain very firmly the person you are in your waking hours.  You know?

I floated back up a second time.  This time, I went through the ceiling and hovered a few feet above the car in the cool open morning air before falling back down again.  This time, though, I knew I was going to do it again.  I had it all figured out.  I might not understand the mechanics, but I knew the feeling because I still felt it and was determined to hold onto it.

I floated up and down several times; mostly to the ceiling and back, but sometimes through it a few feet above the car again.  Then I got all the way to the top of the tree in front of the car – really congratulating myself then - but that’s when I saw Jeb walking toward the car to wake me up so I fell right back down again.  He found me already looking at him through the window when he got there.

So this morning, while I lay in the car to sleep  before my shift, I decided to try and stay awake so I could do it all the way this time.

Bah.  I fell asleep so fast I didn’t even see it coming.  That light in the tunnel was an oncoming train.  Well, not really, but you know what I mean, right?

Yet there I was floating up again, stopping just sort of the ceiling… which turned out to be the bottom of a bunk bed.  The car does not have bunk beds.  This should have clued me in right there, but I was too excited to pay any attention to messy little details like that. 

I floated up through the upper bunk, then the stucco ceiling, a musty attic, the wood shingles, and finally out into a starry moon-lit sky – another few inconvenient clues I managed to ignore.  I had a brief thought of, ‘Hey wait a minute!  None of this is right!’ but quickly dismissed it.  I knew who I was and where I was supposed to be, but to look too closely would have been anticlimactic to put it mildly.

There was the roof of a rambler style house with a familiar looking garden down there.  The back garden was cut into three tiers down which a little waterfall tumbled.  Each tier had a lawn on it, sparkling with dewdrops, and the slopes between were thick with blooming flowers save where a curving steps made of railroad ties ran up to each level. 

Drawn, I landed on the bottom-most tier closest to the house and took in a deep breath of rose, jasmine, chrysanthemum, and pine – which came from the forest on one side of the garden and house.  Oh I liked this place and I knew it!  It was my home from the age of 5 to 14. 

Currently, there is no longer a forest beside the garden and I knew that, but it didn’t stop me from seeing it just the same.  It was all just as I remembered it at the age of 14 and I fully expected my parents to still be inside it.  I figured it would be nice to drop in on them but since I haven’t lived with them (or my mom at least) for many years now, I thought I’d just go around to the front door and knock properly.

I went through the gate to the woodsy side of the house and was just walking past the wood pile when one of the big frogs I used to feed as a kid showed up in the moonlight and jumped up right onto the front of my coat.  I was glad to see him so I told him “Hello there Leopold.  Nice to see you again,” and let him stay there.  He seemed to like the ride.

The front of the house look different enough to me that I hesitated when I got there to knock on the door.  I couldn’t say how it was different… just somehow.  I had a dawning thought of ‘Why would my folks be here anyway?  They moved – we ALL moved  from there when I was 14.  New people will be living here.’  inconvenient thought that.  I brushed it aside and knocked on the door anyway. 

‘My hand didn’t go through the wood like air.  It should have if this were a real OBE.  I also wouldn’t be physical, much less visible. Who cares?’ I irritably commented to myself just as my mother was opening the door and evincing surprise at finding me there.  She could see me.

She invited me in.  My step-dad Fred was also there.  Not my real father as he’d been when I was a kid.  Nope.  Just Mom and Fred and a little toy poodle named Jeana.  Okay, that worked.  I was tired of trying to be perfect in this experience.  I’d just accept things as they were.

The earth tones of the 70s were starkly absent from the decor.  The carpet was a different color (a lively pattern of turquoise, rose, and mint), the drapes were different, the layout of the rooms was different.  The kitchen was pretty much the same though.  Even so, and despite my determination to just accept things, the jig was abruptly up.  I knew I was dreaming. 

Damn it anyway.  I’d been fooled.

Please excuse me while I go away and sulk over this.


Posted in Family, Paranormal, Pets, Spiritual, Thoughts and Dreams, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Stuff and Such

1.  I made a yummy stir-fry of sliced kielbasa with onions, garlic, and shredded cabbage and carrots (your basic coleslaw vegetables) with a side of red skin potato salad.  The boys want me to cook.  They insist they do.  But when it was ready and on the table, they took half an hour to get there because they were so tied up in their Call of Duty.  Grr.  When Jeb cooks, he’ll follow me around the house irritably nagging me to hurry and get to the table.  I was ready to just put away the left overs by the time they showed up.  Male type people!  Does a  body really need them?  I mean seriously…..

2.  I finally found my Xanga archives!  I’d just been going to the wrong page to sign in is all.  But before I found the right one, I tried googling my avatar name, Ampbreia, and was surprised to see it show up in a testimony.  Granted, my testimony is there, has been for years, but this was in someone else’s testimony.  Turns out I’d made a difference for him, which was very nice to know.  I also recognized him from way back when I used to be an active participant in the forums there:  I’ll call him Ahboo; not his real name, but it will do.

He was there a lot too; a very fiesty hardliners at the time.  This was around 7 years ago I guess.  Towards the end, we’d both mellowed out some and were doing more talking than actual arguing, just trying to understand one another’s view point.  But many of the long-time forumers had left and some of the new ones that took their place were so very crudely argumentative and rude to visiting Muslims and some of them had a regular cow over the fact that Ahboo and I weren’t really arguing any more but had settled into respectful conversation.  I got a flurry of private messages, some quite angry at me, telling me not to believe anything he said, that he couldn’t be trusted, and even that they thought he was a terrorist set on luring apostates into harm’s way.  Not that this never happens, because it DOES.  But I trust my instincts and my instincts were telling me he was sincere, so I didn’t listen.  I did, however, soon leave because the forum was becoming a place I no longer wanted to be.

I should explain here that Islam, despite being a large organized religion that many people are born into, is nonetheless very insecure in that it commonly uses fear and blunt force to make it’s followers adhere to it.  This being the case, people who leave Islam to convert to other religions or non-religions are typically arrested and executed for it.  If you leave it and you happen to live in Dar Islam, it’s therefore a good idea to go quietly so you might stand a chance of living a little longer.

I’m worried about Ahboo.  Not only is he obviously feeling very isolated in the midst of an entirely Muslim society that would kill him if they knew he wasn’t, but If he really is/was sincere as I felt him to be, then he made a big mistake by posting his email address in the testimony in the hope that fellow apostates would reach out and touch him.  Others might have reached out and touched him as well.  I hope not, but it’s a likely scenario.

I tried his email myself.  I just wanted to reassure him that he wasn’t as alone as he probably felt he was.  That I’ve heard from many apostates of Islam that live over there.  They’re just afraid to tell each other because they don’t know who would turn them in or not.  Heck, even family might.  But his email didn’t work.

Ahboo, if you see this and recognize yourself in my description, please let me know you’re okay.  All right?



Posted in Family, Middle East, Relationships, religion, Terrorism, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

By the Long Count


By the long count, I’m just a starling

Alighting on a moment,

Flitting away on a spark of light,

One downy feather drifting down in my wake

By the long count, we can be like the lilies of the field,

Carefree and beautiful in just being,

toiling not,

wanting not,

but our arrested moments won’t let us.

By the long count, I do my penance and wait…

In a moment all our moments can drop away

while our souls fly free into the endless light,

skipping away on the sky,

debating their frivolity and value alike.

Posted in Poetry, Spiritual, Thoughts and Dreams, Uncategorized | 3 Comments


I watch the sun rise in gold and pink splendor, shooting down the valley filled with the mist rising from the river there, looking from my plateau for the moment like an inland sea.

By noon, the mists are gone and there are green fields there instead, cows placidly grazing, pristine from afar but the air is way too country if you have to drive through it down there.


The graceful Lipizzaner horses, necks proudly arched, manes groomed, are led from their elegantly appointed barns into the yards by their trainers and put through the motions of dancing.  They are the pride of our valley.


Drought all summer and there comes torrential rain and flooding with the  Fall.  The valley floods.  It looks again like an inland sea.

Neither cows nor horses can swim indefinitely and though many struggle to rescue them, way too many drown, bloated corpses floating down the valley with flotsam of house and fences and cars… Only two of the Lipizzaner’s survive and it’s years before they come back to our valley again.  It surprises me that they ever did.

The snow is heavy that winter, not something we’re used to.  It blankets the muddy valley and the cows are all tucked away.  From my perch, I can see a glacier, a river of ice in an ice age past and yet to come.

snow1980a001 snow1980b001

The spring is unusually warm and wet.  A new mushroom appears in the valley: red with white spots, Fly Algaric, deadly poisonous to humans when fresh, hallucinogenic when prepared a certain way.


Cows are less picky.  We watch them chasing their own tails, spinning dizzily, bellowing, and falling over like drunks, dopey, not dead, and a certain breed of mycologist flood gleefully into the valley then, leftovers from the hippy generation.

They call the mushrooms Magic.  There’s a reason, you see, that the caterpillar sits smoking a hookah on one in Wonderland and secretly rules everyone there.

Calm for several years.  More floods, fewer deaths.  Houses being built Egyptian style on raised foundations.  The insurance companies are becoming leery and weary of insuring flood plain homes and livestock.  New levies have been built and hold most of the time at least.


The snow melt swells the river and again the valley floods.


The swans are delighted.  They live for this place, graceful necks arched over their own reflection, drifting into the red glow of sunset.





OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe pictures of the mushrooms and the horse are not mine.  I’ve seen them, but never had a camera handy when I did.

I took the first two snow pictures (one from my bedroom, the other from the front door in the opposite direction) from my home on the other side of the valley from me now in December of 1976.

I took these pictures of the flood in November of 2006; the ones before in the summer of 2003.  I wish I had some of what it looks like in the warm seasons when sunrise is early and I’m leaving for work.  I’m not supposed to take a camera to work and don’t want to leave it in the car all day and I’m always to much in a hurry to get to work to ever stop.  It’s difficult not though.  Those are the times when the sight of the valley arrests me the most: filled solid with fluffy white sunlit clouds, the hills rising within and around it like islands and shore.

I glance to a little forward in time and see it as a genuine  inland sea with salt marsh at its edges rather proper beaches.  Either way, it’s no longer just a river valley that floods a lot.

A little more forward and the trees on the shores are inexplicably dying though there are now some big and healthy looking ones on the tiny islands dotting the sea.  Soon there are no trees on the shores and only a few on the islands.  There’s a lot of dry rotting logs everywhere and very little greenery.  The sky is cerulean blue, strangely cloudless like the sky above a dessert.  But it’s not warm out in this vision; it’s rather cool and very dry everywhere except in the salt marsh and sea.

A gallop further – a hundred years or a thousand, maybe more, the surface of the sea is smooth and white.  The shore is white.  The islands are white.  I realize the sea has frozen, a glacier, and everything is covered with snow… in July.

That’s it.  I’m not looking any further.  There’s something disquieting about something that can metamorphose into such different states and still be fully recognizable because it masquerade’s so often as what it will be that it gets confused with what it is.

Here’s what the valley looks like in snow.  I took this picture on a day in 2011 when I decided not to drive in the stuff and stayed home instead:


It looks almost like its far future self… ALMOST being a key word here.  Take away the barrier, the power lines, the trees, and the glimmer of river there….  The scene is at once breath-taking and chilling.  I’m sure I’ll be back here to see it again then.

Ha.  I wonder if those houses on the high foundations will still be there or if it’ll only be the foundations?  Pretty sure those, at least, will survive.

Posted in Animals, ecology, nature, Thoughts and Dreams, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Death and Passages

It was calm and sunny this Saturday past and many of the people of Oso were enjoying the good weather out in their gardens and patios while others relaxed indoors playing games, watching television, reading their newspapers, or sleeping in.  On the roads going by were couples and families out for a drive in the country.

There was absolutely no warning before the slope above, sodden from heavy rains in the weeks previous, suddenly gave way and burying and sweeping away a neighborhood of 60 homes, around 200 human residents, and unknown numbers of animals and passers-by.

Voices could be heard from beneath the mud crying out for help, but the mess that had engulfed them was like quick sand, impassable for the whole rest of that day.  By morning, there were no more voices heard.

It took 3 days for rescuers to really start making headway as the mud slowly solidified in places.  They’ve rescued several people alive but have found more dead, already suffocated.  Of course already suffocated.

One old man they managed to pull out alive said he’d been sitting in his easy chair in the living room, his wife in her own easy chair beside him when suddenly they were buried.  He doesn’t say how he managed to breathe in his 3 days awaiting rescue.  I assume there was an air pocket there somehow.  He only mentions that he stuck his cane through the mud to signal for help.  All he’d talk about when they first dug him out was, “Please, rescue my wife!  She’s right there!  She’s right there!” And she was.  Only she hadn’t made it.  He can’t talk about her without sobbing.

I have trouble wrapping my head around what that’s like, for either of them; for ANY of them.  Buried alive.  What a chilling concept!  And to think in Christendom and many other traditional societies, it was common to punish people by burying them alive.

The thought of that is like a scab I just have to pick at.  I don’t know if this is normal or not, but when something really scares me, I really can’t stand living in fear so I go out of my way to confront it as best I can.  If I were stalked, for instance, I would stalk my stalker.  Been there, done that.  Chased a would-be rapist into a marsh with my car after he’d tried and failed to grab me with evil intent very clearly on his mind.  Another story for another time.

I read of a woman accused of aborting her baby when she miscarried and the magistrate ordered her buried alive between layers of thorns with a bowl placed over her face that had a hole in it for a straw to her mouth to pass through (apparently for breathing or for blood to spurt?).  She was to be jumped on three times by the executioner before being covered with earth.  Lucky her, a compassionate noble woman over rode the magistrate before the sentence could be carried out and the accused was then drowned instead.

Another live burial I read about it was later declared a Saint by the Catholic church.  I cannot recall his name, just that he was a priest who had something to do with the building of a new cathedral that was going so badly that everyone started saying it was the Devil himself trying to prevent its being built.  So future Saint guy offers himself as a sacrifice to god in hopes of, what, god deciding to defeat the Devil and let the cathedral be built?  Not sure.  Seems kind of crazy to me, but the intent was selfless.

His sacrifice involved his being buried alive.  If it worked, he said, and the cathedral could then be built, he asked to be dug up again.  Again with the strange logic is that with no apparent physical protections, he did expect to be dug up alive and, oddly enough, when the cathedral was finally completed many days or months afterward, he WAS dug up alive.

Unfortunately, the first thing he did after his face was cleared of dirt and he’d taken a deep gulp of air, was start talking.  He said he’d been dead for most of the time he was buried and he’d seen a wonderful Afterlife.  His friends started talking happily of miracles and Heaven.  Then he started talking about how there really wasn’t a Heaven and a Hell, that this wonderful Afterlife was for everyone, not just Believers, and they buried him right back up again to shut him up.  They didn’t want to hear it.  It shook their narrow minded little worlds.  And there he was left to die again.

I read quite a lot of stories about people being buried alive by accident and just as many, if not more, about they’re being buried alive on purpose.  Some of these stories were people’s memories of past lives.  Naturally, this led me next to wonder what happened to the people that had done this terrible thing to them.  What happened to bad guys in general: terrorists, murderers, rapists, pedophiles, dictators, torturers, theocrats, the pitch fork wielding rabble, the Nazis, Westborough Baptists, Fred Phelps, the cruel fundamentalists that aren’t any fun at all for anyone but ARE mostly mental…?

I tried googling “Past life memory as a dictator” but all I got was a list of dictator and lists of all their monstrous insane deeds that somehow their people actually put up with for a time when often it only took a small number of very pissed off people to overthrow them, though some ruled for a long time.  Why were they even tolerated?  It was DEPRESSING!  But really, what did I expect?

I didn’t really want to go there.  The irony of this is a novel manuscript I’ve been playing with since my 25-year-old son was a baby.  It has an evil dictator in it that’s really an alien conqueror out to enslave the tattered remains of the human race after a huge natural disaster.  I have no problem with the other characters.  I’ve dreamed them so often, they’re like old friends.  But the dictator; he’s a PROBLEM.  Every time I compare him to real-life dictators and theocrats I read about, he comes out looking like a pussy cat.  I just can’t seem to wrap my head around the level of evil that really exists out there, let alone write about it.  You know?

Anyway, so I started just looking at past life memories in general and had more success.  Didn’t find any dictators proper, but I did find some murderers, robbers, and a few Nazis… and found them reborn into ordinary lives but with left over terrors of not only how they died but also of the things they did to others.  I also found many of their victims.

Detour here.  Several of the books I’ve read about inter-life experiences, regressions, and progressions, have mentioned that those whose souls have brought a great deal of injury to other souls are reborn immediately upon their deaths.  Other souls are cared for at inter-life healing centers before mainstreaming into life on the other side, enjoying themselves, travelling, assessing their just-completed lives, helping others, and/or going to schools before deciding to be reborn again at their leisure.  Rebirth is never intended as a punishment, but as a chance to overcome character flaws and become a better soul.  Needless to say, the most flawed require the most concentrated effort.  If they were feeling vengeful when they died, they have a chance at getting vengeance as well as the chance to let it pass and get over it.  If they were cruel to others, they will have the chance to experience what they did to others or even to be forgiven.  They will be attracted to the souls of people they knew in their lives past whether friends or enemies and they will eventually work out their differences.  They have all the time in the universe, as ephemeral as time really is.

I found the cases I read about supported this very well and I should have known I would.  Sometimes I see bits and pieces of the past lives of others as well as my own.  I saw one, for instance, that my son Andy and daughter Amy once shared back in the late 1920s or early 1930s.  In that life, he was Japanese and she was a glamorous young American woman with green eyes and long auburn hair.  I gathered they were lovers or very close in some other way.  But I saw them quarrel atop a roof top where there was a garden and that he pushed her over the edge in a purple-faced jealous fury.

She landed face-first on the windshield of the car my incarnate soul was driving at the time.  I was staring, shocked, into her eyes as the life poured out of them.

They came to this life as my children in order to work out whatever their differences were then.  They fought viciously throughout their childhood and I swear almost killed each other on occasion, but are now best friends.

I also read stories of people facing their deaths, most often with no pain, or pain that was only temporary.  Then a letting go, a surrender, happens and an eider-down blanket of calm falls with light shining into their personal darkness like light at the end of a tunnel.

Birth, rites of adulthood, initiation, marriage, divorce, and death… These are all important rites of passage, the journey or transition between one state of being and another.  The most painful of these common ones anyone remembers is Birth, not death.  Few people enjoy having to go through the helpless vulnerability, the voicelessness, the relearning of basics that comes with babyhood all over again.  Beyond that, it’s regret that comes next as the worst thing; regret for all sorts things done or not done.

Ironically, death, the most feared, is the easiest. Even so, considering how suddenly it comes and how our lives and souls are so intricately entwined, it best to do like the song says and “Live life like you’re dying.”  You never know when you’ll have to say goodbye to someone or something you love and/or desire even if is only temporary in the greater scheme of things.

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