Sunday, January 20, 2019

Vancouver Motorcycle Show 2019 Tradex Abbotsford

The weather was so fine I could have motorcycled to Tradex Abbotsford, an hour’s drive out of Vancouver.  The Vancouver Motorcycle Show is a great event for all riders and wannabe riders.
Laura said, “I remember when we rode on the Harley here  years ago I was frozen when we arrived.” Many years there’s been snow and ice on the road making the trip on the bike out of the question. I’ve had my Harley Electroglide, which I rode across country and back  to Sturgis ,in storage at Trev Deely for the winter this year.  However  I”ve been enjoying the KTM 690 enduro which is lighter and handles better on the slippery roads in winter rains.
The Ford F350 truck,  feeling neglected since hunting season, was thankful for the drive. Gilbert could come along that way too.  It turned out to be the busiest show in years with trucks and cars backed up to the highway.
“Do you think the Seattle Motorcycle stunt riders were the draw this year?” Laura asked as we slowly moved along in the steadily moving line. There’s lots of parking at Tradex but the volume just has to get through the gates
“That probably has something to do it.  But I think the diabolical cost of gas taxation and vehicles has far more young people and women choosing motorcycles and scooters. Remember when we were in Italy and you commented on all the young women on scooters .” I said.
“The girls like the crotch rockets, too “ i said.
“They sound like bumble bees,” Laura said. “I’ve always like the rumble of the Harley.”
Motorcycling in America had once been for the fat old guys like me,  the stereotypical ‘bagger’  rider.  We’re still the Harley Davidson customers given the size of the bikes, the luxury cruisers and the prize tags associated with these high end machines. The HD Sportster Class has always been the attraction for the intro or  young rider. I liked when Bueill was designing the racers and the companies were linked .But now the girls are loving the 500 ccc and 800 cc Harley Davidson’s so suited to the city and surroundings.
"600 cc is all the bike you need even for the BC mountains," a lifelong motorcyclist friend told me years ago.  My brother Ron had ridden across Canada on a 150 cc back when the Japanese motorcycle invasion occurred at the same time as the British music invasion hit the west.  Yamaha and Honda bikes were all the rage with everyone wanting the big 250 cc’s.  I ‘ve loved the 250 cc’ motorcycles I’ve had and still think they’re the best off road size allowing you to take to the deer trails and go where no road goes.  The 600 and above makes a whole lot of sense when you want to take a passenger or some luggage.  I loved my Buell Blast 600 cc.  Suzuki’s 650 is the most popular in this range.  Kawasaki makes some nice bikes too.
My favourite bike was the Harley Davidson Roadster, one of Sporster class, 1200 cc , just like the WWII Harley and Triumph 1200 cc war bikes. I bought mine at Barnes.  That bike took Laura and me motorcycle camping all over BC and to round ups.  We road to Kamloops on the high way, did a hundred miles on logging roads to hot springs and ended up one time driving up to Alkali lakes for meetings, rodeo dances and sweat lodges. I loved camping near Powell river in the pup tent we took to put up beside the Harley,  calling Dad in Winnipeg on my cellphone with Laura beside me to have a chat while the rain was beating down on the tent outside.  Gilbert road on the back of my Electroglide to Sturges North where we camped in the pup tent and  loved hearing Burton Cummings in Merritt.
There’s a lot of truth to the saying that a man remembers his life by the vehicles he has . Women I know judge time by their children.   I bought my present  cruiser, 1600 cc Harley Davidson Electroglide to drive across the US and back thousands of km to attend the annual Sturges Motorocycle Ralley in North Dakota.
This years’ show was all about motorcycles.  Every shape and size.  Last year there’d  been a lot more quads.  The Slingshot three wheel car like a bat mobile though was all the rage.  I must admit I loved the Harley Fat Boy. What a beautiful bike.  The other one I truly loved was the new KTM 790 Adventure. I’ve got the 690 and love it but that extra hundred cc would be great on the highway. It’s heavier though so there’s a trade off. Last year the BMW and Triumph bikes stood out but this year the Ducatis were all the rage.  Aprilia bikes are becoming more popular too which isn’t surprising since they’re favourites in Europe.
I loved seeing the guys from the Christian Motorcycle Association and Gospel Riders. Both Laura and I loved meeting guys who had travelled around the world on their motorcycles.  Laura had read Jeremy Kroeker’s first motorcycle travel book and loved meeting him at the show.We got his latest book , Through Dust and Darkness, the stories of  his travels in the middle east.  I dream of riding my KTM down through South America liked my Turkish friends who rode their BMW’s to the southern tip and back.  They’re now having children in Germany but following their journey gave me a lot of joy that year. Right now I’m following Grace Macdonald’s Sidney to Paris journey on her KTM 690.  It’s an exciting fun read.  Vicarious enjoyment. Biker porn.
This year there was a lot of accessories as usual.
“It looks really good on you,” Laura said when I tried on a new leather vest.  When a beautiful girl says an article of clothing looks good on a fat old guy its a guaranteed sale.  I liked the neck closed protecting one from the wind compared to the standard v neck leather vests. The guy beside me getting one, said. “These are Vancouver Vests and those neck vests are  California weather .”  We laughed.
Laura and I had our standard hot dog and coffee at the show. We walked around and looking at the bikes and great people watching.    Then we were back with Gilbert.
On the way home we visited Victor  who showed us his continued work on changing his Sportster into a Trike to accomodate his hip injury. It’s an amazing skookum job.
Then it was back home for pizza night and TV.  Laura and I, a couple of wild bikers with Gilbert the biker dog, watched outlaw chases from the comfort of the couch. .

Friday, January 18, 2019

Angry People Kick Dogs

Displacement is the term for the expression of an emotion meant for one person but transferred to another person. The classic example was of a person who was chewed out by his boss then walking out the door kicked the dog who was just lying there.

Killing the messenger - this is the strategy of silencing those who tell the truth to delay the retribution or the secret getting out.  The messenger brings bad news.  The classic example was , “Your army was defeated,”. No one wanted to bring the emperor bad news because angry people killed the person who brought the news.

Projection - Denying something about one’s self, the information for instance that your problem is you are angry, a rageaholic, bitter, unloving, unforgiving, alcoholic, addict, slut, wasteful,  whatever behaviour is unbecoming, and angry person will project, throw this back at, the person giving the information. “I”m not that, you are.”  This is like kindergarten fighting. “Your mother wear’s army boots.”  “No she doesn’t your mother wears army boots”.  Often there’s today a subtle or not so subtitle psychopathic twist. “I”m concerned you think I’m - angry, a slut, a liar, a cheat, etc -  I think you must be that to be thinking I am.”  

Generalized anger - commonly a person won’t direct their anger specifically at the target but rather that use a sniper rifle use a shot gun or turn round and round while holding a machine gun to ensure that they take out whatever threat or memory that triggered their fear and anger.

Anger is fear.

Abraham said depression is anger turned inward.  Hence suicide.

However commonly rather than look at ‘one’s part’ in a situation the angry person will blame all those around them.  

Unfortunately today in our society promising instant happiness and instant solution people who have not learned ‘acceptance’ faced with difficulties will become hypersensitive and externalizethe problem.  It’s not that they ‘choose’ this husband or wife and now are in a divorce. It’s not they they voted for this government and now have no money and are facing their dying years paying for his parties and orgies. It’s not that they wasted their inheritance when young and now don’t have money. It’s not they they spent their money on booze and drugs and now can’t afford a bus ticket.

The society of ‘free stuff’ teaches people that they are not accountable and that someone from the government or someone else is the cause of their pain and suffering. Further someone else from the government or elsewhere will fix the problem Unfortunately the people who suffer most and have the least autonomy are most easily duped by promises. They watch TV, a propaganda source if anything and expect that when they go in for help they will encounter the perfect actor who has a whole team helping them appear sweet for that one half hour sit com.

In the complaints department of life everyone is in line.  Self pity masquerades as depression all the time. Unfortunately antidepressants can’t cure self pity, Amber of entitlement.

I resist kicking my dog, hug him instead, because having been kicked all day I have to learn to love. I know they’re afraid. I know that fear produces anger.

I also know that forces have always use angry fearful people to hurt others and act out their political desire.   

There really are people who like kicking dogs and people.

I call to you God

I call to you God. Hear me Lord Jesus. Holy Spirit Come. Lord of lords. Divine and sacred. Wee small voice within. Sound of heaven without. All that is. Here and then and tomorrow. I call to you. Still my fear. Touch me with your love.  I love you Lord. I love you Jesus. Holy Spirit Come.  Forgive me for my double mindedness, my worry and negativity. Help me Lord to go forward. Be thou my rear guard. Be though my flanking force. Be thou the wedge of light I follow. Be with me in all I do to day.  Help me to follow you Lord. Let me be gentle and caring and focussed and kind. Help me to solve the myriad puzzles that come to me each day. Fill me with energy to do thy will.

Thank you Lord for this life. Thank you for the rest of night. Thank you for Gilbert and George my furry companions. Thank you for this home, this roof that kept the down pouring rain ootside, the furnace that gave me heat, the toilet that takes waste from inside to outside, the water system that brings fresh water in. Thank you for the clean air. Thank you for this body with it’s mostly working parts.  Thank you for the exercises and the couch. Thank you for my fingers. Please keep them safe. Thank you for my eyes and ears and mouth and hands and feet and heart and lungs and abdomen. Thank you for family with their good cheer and momentous events transpiring. 

Thank you for expresso. Thank you for Ipad and Kindle and books of history and writers and story tellers. Thank you for science and chemistry and neurotransmitters and synapses. Thank you for the amygdala and hippocampus, the frontal lobe and pituitary. Thank you for serotonin, gabba, norepinephrine, dopamine, threonine, ATP, nerves, bundles, ion pumps, hormones and messengers. Thank you for the moments of eureka, the great and small insights. 

Thank you for love Lord. Thank you for the glue of the universe. May I know it more deeply. May I show it more surely. Help me Lord. Be with me. May I walk with you and lie with you and sit and stand with you.  Please Lord use me as a vehicle for your love. Let me be your hands your mouth, your eyes and ears and servant.  Please Lord quiet my mind, still the fears within me. Lessen the pain.

Help me in all I do to guide others to see the possibilities and potentialities. Help me to refuse to join them in their self condemnation and restriction of possibilities. Help me magnify placebo and nullify nocebo. Help me restore hope. Help me help the healing process.  Help me weed out the interfering variables. Show m how I can best serve the stranger who comes to me in pain and sorrow.

Help me avoid the anger, hate and shame that hurt people throw around them indiscriminately randomly like feces hoping it will stick to some wall. Too long have they not known or not accepted where their faults lie and blamed others and demanded that others change when only their changing can still the pain that is grating on them. Help me help them to take their hands out of the flames.  Help me help others. HElp me help myself Lord.

Thank you Lord for the gifts of healing and training that you have bestowed on me. I have served you faithfully mostly and ask that I continue to do so as best I can.  Take my méager offerings and transform them. Mould me.  Lift me up.

Please Lord I beg of you. Be with me as I try my hardest with every tactic and strategy, with every means I have to steer people from danger, death and disease. Protect them from the poseurs who would claim to serve them serving themselves and using them for their weapons.  I know there were promises galore and that the wounded person is bleeding without the beds, the medicine, the doctors or the nurses they paid for and were promised. Help them to direct their anger where it belongs and not at me who is one of the last left in the field . The rich and powerful and aloof stay furthers from the front lines and take all the resources that were promised the troops and the injured. We have none of what was promised bu their are infinite committee and police and generals and chiefs and back room deals.  Help me make up for what is lost. Help me despite the soul destroying weariness of standing with the lsst survivors facing the disease hand in hand at very least when there are rooms so very far from the front with all manner of great ideas and smugness and back slapping and award giving each other. Let me forget that Lord. Let me focus on my role. Let me focus on the person I am with. Let me focus on the here and now and try whatever I can to help them this day.  Help me help them to change and help me to change.  Together we are burdened by the graft and corruption.  Help me see the light. Help me walk through the darkness. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death Thou art with me.  Let me feel your presence. Let me see your path. Hold me up Lord. Stil my fear.  

Thank you Lord. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Mother Love

She is talking, matter of factly. The child is playing quietly beside her.  He is studying a book. She continues speaking adult to adult. But the child quiets for an instant and she reaches across to him touching him. He continues to turn pages. It’s a brief second. Like a ignition switch touch.  Two spines entwined. I’m outside of this. The adult talking to another adult. One whose body held this child with hers for short of a year. But now still connects with a spiritual umbilical chord.  The child is comforted by the touch. Goes on with his childishness.  HIs mother is close. All is well in his world. She is beautiful in her grace

I sometimes feel this with God. My own mother long dead.  Overworked.  Used up, depleted. Spent. Sweet in death as in life.  Now there are moments when I’m comforted by synchronicity and sacredness. It’s not the same. But it’s as close as I can come long past the age of this child, this side of the other place, called haven. Where my mother is.  

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Jesus Baptism: Christian Theology , Materialism and Faith

Evolution says we developed from the ape.  We are as humans very similar to chimpanzees.  One of the important differences from animals that man appears at times is the ability to ‘self reflect’ or ‘internalize’.  Tool making was once a distinguishing feature but we now know that not only do monkeys make and use tools, birds, which evolved directly from dinosaurs and even fish and insects use tools.  We don’t know if they have imaginations or they think so called intellectual questions. Indeed in the matter of quantum physics, string theory and different dimensions cats may as we have presumed be only present in this dimension utilizing the teeniest fraction of their intelligence.

The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy posited that mice were running the earth as an experiment.  The Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment by Thaddeus Golas suggests that our present state of awareness is a reflection of our general anxiety and depression.  The enlightened mind is capable by contrast of God like insight and capacity. Certainly neurologists have long noted we don’t appear to use much of our tremedous brain power, something most brilliant students have heard from their teachers or parents.  

Aetheism whose principle social expression to date is communist socialism  a pure fantasy that the world is solely materialistic and man’s principle goal is power.  The world according to aetheists is divided into the oppressor and the oppressed. Later cultural Marxism following on the Frankfurt school and the fall of the International Marxist Socialism  of the USSR and the National Socialism of Nazism.  China continues with it’s totalitarianism for now with  the consequent increasing murder of those who are different. Communism has recently killed millions.   One considers this devolution of aetheism into the tribalism and law of the jungle of so called primitive man to date perhaps to be the most primitive and reductionist analysis of humans to date.

Even the superstitious primitives and tribal humans posited an unseen world. Local Aboriginals fore fathers claimed there was a Creator and that humans had a relationship with the creator and all of creation.  Creation gods abound in history.  

Aetheists claim at best a Big Bang.  Dr. Mario de Beuregaard, neuroscientist author of Spiritual Brain gives the best description of the PSEUDOSCIENCE that dominates the politics of today.  

The question of the Big Bang is tied to Marcus Aurelius and St. Augustine. We simply don’t know that yesterday exists any more than we know tomorrow exists. We even must ask others about our supposed birth and must rely on ‘memory’ to conclude the history of our own existence.  An elegant analysis of time and intelligence simply showed it was impossible for a monkey to learn to play piano like Bach in the time given from the proposed Big Bang To now.  Owen Barfied described the fundamental function of the brain was to ‘save the appearances’.  We fill in the gaps and we make up things.  We are a fanciful creature. 

Indeed the argument has been made that the big brain of the human is an evolutionary development that was for deceit. That a wholly honest animal would signal to a lion it wanted to eat it and get eaten.  The Book of Tells, How to Read People’s Minds by their Actions is a classic text for gamblers by Peter Collett.  It shows that man has attempt to succeed with the development of a ‘poker face’ and various other deceits which are apparent as incongruences between what is said and what is shown.  Actions apparently speak louder than words. Trojan Horse is one of the children’s classic tales of enlightenment. Today we have journalists, fake news and Wikipedia. 

Christians believe in Jesus Christ.  He is an unseen god, also the son of an unseen god, who promised to send his believers an unseen god to serve them.  The Trinity, is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Gospel which translates as the Good News says that Jesus was born as a human child and did miracles. He was baptized by John, preached in the temples of the day, taught and interpreted the scriptures of the day for ordinary men and women, then  healed people with sickness by asking his father for healing.  He said he served his father and he was an advocate for man. His father was in heaven.

Heaven is not of this earth. It may be inside.  The detractors of faith always put heaven in the sky when it’s clear that Christians have described heaven as connected to the nous or spiritual heart centred in the chest.  

The powerful men of the day faked being spiritual for profit. The soldiers and police of the day lorded over the physical world taxing and stealing the work and profits of others. They saw Jesus as a threat.  His own people’s leaders betrayed him to the conquering army’s leadership and he was crucified.  

The Good News is he resurrected from the grave and rose to heaven. This rising was described in a sense into a different dimension however it’s hard to describe with certainty for the knowledge of the galaxy as we know it today was unknown to the followers of Jesus perhaps.  Whose to say he wasn’t beamed up by God. Alien intelligence just begs the question.  There is little doubt  that he taught his followers, walked their world and that they too gained the ability to heal and enlighten. If we believe in a linear yesterday as opposed to a stellate now.  We awake each day and sleep only to awak with a new set of memories and priorities.  Fragmented hard drives etc.   Even the notion of infinity in in doubt to an agricultural people who viewed time only so far as a ‘long time’.  Greek philosophers, all of which were religious and spiritual, not at all aetheistic, like some philosophers today, have to a large extent conceptualized and described modern ideas thousands of years ago.  That Jesus resurrected was not a  ‘idea’ before him.  Reincarnation was an old idea. It was not only a Jewish idea which is evoked in the book Evolution of God by Princeton University’s Robert Wright. He addresses some of the early ‘rewritings of the bible’.  The earliest text of the Jewish Torah is definitely abridged by a later priestly writer much like the editing of Christian writings by the Council of Nicaea. Ideally there would be a prime text with a ‘commentary’ but some ideas are expunged especially by the STATE which is never truly in favour of FREEDOM of SPEECH as seen today with the latest hydra of Censorship under the guise of protecting people from Hate Speech despite history’s lesson that the Government is the most hateful creation of all time.   Christianity’s fundamental message is that Government Kills God.  Beware of Government.  In the  case of Jesus there were ‘witnesses’to his resurrection. .  The most important of the  skeptics was ‘doubting Thomas’.

Jesus taught Love God and Love your neighbour as yourself. This is not something we’ve seen our state leaders and politicians doing now nor apparently in 2000 years since Jesus was killed by the Government of his day for this Revolutionary Idea.  Christians remain the most persecuted people in the world.  .  

Neitze by contrast posited a Superman God and argued that Christianity was a poor man’s God. Jesus was seen as the ‘servant god’ , a vulnerable human baby who was eventually killed on a tree.  The early God’s of empire had been God Kings.  The Magna Carta of England had placed restrictions on the political figures of the day.  Even today the political figures insist they are intrinsically superior.  Locally the ‘hereditary chiefs’ of the aboriginals lord it over others of the band in the classic tribal hierarchy that had the ancient ‘nobility’ of Medievalism arguing that greatness was in the blood and breeding.  
God king leaders are still common in the world today though not as overtly as such in the west as they remain in the east.  Pride goest before the fall the Greeks taught. Hubris remains an issue today.  Most nations are lead by Committee, a central gang with a particularly physical world clever man who once was called the ‘big man’.  Some argue a small group of families rules.  Niall Ferguson’s The Square and Tower study of networks undermines most conspiracy theories as the world is a complex and interconnected as the neutrons and synapses of an individual brain which is said to have as many connections as stars in the galaxy.  We may well be looking at our own thoughts when we look at the sky. Apparently the Chinese put a rover on the dark side of the moon. Trust the communist to be ultra secretive.  If luck has it a new generation of spy novels will develop with Bruce Jenner playing an East Indian James Bond seeking an Oriental communist spymaster made by the Turkish film industry with Oprah as the new spy girl. Strange is the new reality.

The Hindu religions having no difficulty with reincarnation long argued that the ‘illusion’ or Moksha of this wis that the world is the ‘material’. The world is spiritual like the Gnostic movie, the Matrix.   Einstein argued that Energy and Mass were related solely by time and speed. Mass being slow energy.  

Christians believe in general that God created the world and that his Son Jesus elucidated the plan and purpose of creation.  We would be wise to follow his plan.  The scriptures give a glimpse of this.  The law of attraction as developed by Emmett Fox and other later Christians popular in California suggests what Pascal premised was true. Aetheists not wanting God die and that’s it. So it’s really best if they get all the toys and conquer and have baby temper fits and arrogantly spout nonsense because a loving God wouldn’t force an afterlife on such trolls.  Or are they baby souls who just refuse their soul food.

Christianity was  derived from the teachings of Jesus as observed and recorded by Luke,Mathew and Mark and later John.  St. Paul wasn’t an actual witness or confidant of physical Jesus and took his theological background from Judaism which had fundamental difficulty with the idea of a ‘servant king’ or a man who preached ‘love’.  St. Paul stoned the first Christian he could and only stopped stoning Christians when he was told by God not to.  He then spread churches and helped develop the Christian teachings into a sect that became a religion.  Jesus, by the way, did not say, spread churches.  The institutions and real estate and money and land are all interpretative. Jesus did say carry the message.  Theoretically this could have meant solely word of mouth or because Christians lived a certain way this way would spread. Indeed the Way remains the most threatening thing to the Secular Authorities. 

Constantine in 300 ad made Christianity the State Church of the Empire.  He wed the Christian teachings to the Greek and Roman Empire of the day.  He called the Council of Nicaea to begin the process of ‘orthodoxy’.  Prior to  c . 300 there was a lot more Christianity.  Even Paul and Peter disagree in the existing gospels.  Further when Jesus is questioned about people performing miracles in his name he doesn’t really get into splitting hairs but says if they are healing and doing good so be it. He does have his objections to the rich.  He says you “cannot serve both God and money”. That’s a direct quote. Ironically Jesus doesn’t talk about same sex marriages but he does talk about money and fear which are often not the topic of church sermons especially when there are insurance agents and bankers attending..

Do not be afraid was a principle ‘command’ of Jesus.  When I told a friend I was a Christian psychiatrist he said that was an oxymoron. Certainly Christian psychologists were not a necessity when Christianity was a more encompassing religion than a Sunday affair. Robert Graves in the Golden Bough discussed the purpose of all the religions of the world to the common man.  The superstitious role of the Christian pastor is as scapegoat. Fields of Blood by Karen Armstrong showed clearly that the spiritual leader of the day in all religions, not just Christianity,  must support the material leader of the day or he was likely go the way of Thomas Beckett.

The  Council of Nicaea  rejected fundamental ideas about matter and god and spirit and human.  To be a state church orthodoxy the interpretations had to be made into law to give work for lawyers and beurocrats and ensure that religion followed the state power of the God Kings of the Day.  Constantine never stopped being a God King. Roman Emperor, he himself was a Sun Worshiper , not that original as God Kings go. Egyptian God Kings were always  the  party favourites.  Constantine’s Sun Worship was the reason for the Sabbath becoming Sun Day rather than traditional Hebrew Saturday. Jesus was liked by the Centurions. Aetheists aren’t particularly common in foxholes. Constantine was a warrior and he saw the soldiers of the Way were superior to pagan soldiers.  The Milvian Bridge clash won him the Roman Empire.

The question for the enlightened was if there was anything beyond the gospels in the first three hundred years of Christianity which might well have been what Jesus said but didn’t appeal to Constantine or church leaders or an empire builder like the wealthy Rabbi  Paul. The Gnostic Gospels were found and these suggested secret teachings but had a cloak and dagger feeling which is too much based on the political ways of the world, inclusive and exclusive.  Jesus said ‘if you have ears you will hear, not a secret society.  

The Good News was fairly inviting. Jesus said, “Follow Me’.  He also said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”  See here, ‘deny themselves’ and ‘pick up their cross’.  That’s the rub.

The God of the Psalms who Jesus taught said  “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me I will answer. I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them with long life and give them my salvation.”

Aetheist materialism has a number of arcane beliefs which scientifically are seen as ‘hypothesis’, not ‘facts’ but ‘assumptions’.  No one except perhaps Justin Trudeau has been more scientifically illiterate than Lawyer Obama.  Merkel who trained as a scientist should be ashamed of herself but as an East German Stasi she really knows the power of deceit and fear. 

 In contrast Christian spirituality says historically this man and these men said this about reality and God and how can we reconcile what is seen and unseen. We seem to do just fine with WiFi but have more difficulty today with idea of Prayer.  

Physics with it’s string theory has no difficult with religion.  The vast majority of scientists and philosophers of all time had no difficulty with God.  Aetheists are a very tiny minority of very loud and often very angry depressed anxious people.  

Jesus said ,” Do not be afraid’.  Jesus said.”Pray”.  He actually taught prayer specifically.  

Good news.  The real world goes beyond death. The real world has greater depth and breadth than this ‘known’ world. The  male age of rationalism was followed by the female age of emotionalism and we are already in the  the most advanced age of intuition. Migration serves to dilute the age of Aquarius which was as terrifying to the war machine today as Christianity has always been.  

I wonder what the Emperor and Church Father’s and the Orthodoxy proponents suppressed of the teaching of the first three hundred years. It is clear that their ideas were rapidly challenged as the church proceeded to divide and grow almost imediately following the Council of Nicaea. The Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Catholic and the Coptic Christians were early divisions. The umbrella of the Church as a whole existed because each of the subsequent divisions were maintained as monasteries.  These divisions within the Christian world were seen in the Buddhist and Hindu Religions as with the Muslim political religion. The divisions are predictable in the orthodoxies. Each line of each Creed speaks to the divisions of early years.  Luther is a Johnny Come Lately.   

The history of spirituality argues that spirituality is like genius. It has a pure ness about it. There is a light which attracts insects.  This light can be either for earthly benefit or may be destroyed as potential risk to earthly power.   The Library of Alexandria might have been arson. Certainly the Vatican library long argued the place of ultimate censorship has everything about it that we ascribe to Roswell. 

The story of Jesus is a powerful teaching story what is claimed by the unenlightened as ‘merely’ ‘myth’ yet those who know might argue that as all is ‘myth’ the most powerful of ‘myths’ and indeed the most practical.  

Jesus Christ. 

I was in church today. Today was the Baptism of Jesus Day.  As a congregation we were asked to repeat our baptism vows.  We all qualified.  We’re in. We’re saved.  We need not be afraid.

I pray. The mystics teach that prayer and breath go together. The Dessert Fathers and St. Augustine taught the same.  Breathe. Pray.  Do not be afraid.  

Jesus Christ.  I am a spiritual being living in a material dream.  I am indeed a dreamer in God’s dream. I am made in the ‘image’ or ‘imagination of God’.  I am a spiritual being living in a spiritual world.  

St. John who baptized people in water was asked if he was the Christ. He said he wasn’t but that he was coming. He said the Christ would baptize in the Holy Spirit.  When St. John baptised Jesus in water he saw that God had baptised Jesus in the Holy Spirit.  There is a sense that such Love can be seen like a lightning which allows the visualization of the energy we call electricity.  Imagine seeing love. Perhaps only the blind do.

Do not be afraid. Pray. Jesus Christ.  Holy Spirit Come. 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Ethiopia? What am I thinking!

“What am I thinking?!” I thought waking today from a night of bad dreams. I was in Athens again being surrounded by Muslim young men screaming “infidel!”. They surrounded me like hounds and a bear, shoving me, trying to trip me, ripping the gold cross from inside my shirt. I broke from the circle before they could knocked me down and pile on me. Then I ran, faster than the speed of sound.  I was back as fly in doctor in Churchill when the gang of dock workers began punching me, surrounding me, knocking me down, putting their steel toed boots to my kidneys. Again I escaped.  Youth, athleticism.

Before going to bed I finished reading , North to Lalibela: Searching for Ethiopia by Duncan Lanser.  He and his friend traveled the Northerrn Historic Route I’m planning on following.  That was in 2015. It’s a sad account of a third world country with poverty, out of work teenagers and aggressive begging. Immediately they were mobbed and Duncan’s buddy Mike had his cell phone stolen.  Duncan had his flashlight stolen. Everyday throngs harrassed them at first friendly then with hostility demanding they buy this, give this or take this guid. It’s a really sad tale with little talk of the obvious incredible history and beauty of the place and land. There are obviously reprieves and nice people they meet but the police are unhelpful and there’s a general anti western atmosphere even in the tourist centres. As well there’s bed bugs, malaria mosquitos, parasites in the water, and just generally each day seems like they have to go through a war zone of demanding hustlers to get to a church or museum. There’s also the altitude which affects respiration and heart rates.  No wonder I have bad dreams.

Last week I was at the Travel Clinic -Vancouver Coastal Health -on Broadway - delighted to have Dr.Angela Ernst give me all the vaccines I need, including meningitis, and provide me with the Malarone protection against the Falciparum Malaria , Blackwater fever.  I even had my Yellow Fever certificate from years back updated and already had Hep B and C but needed my Tetanus renewed.  Apparently traveller’s diarrhea is fairly ubiquitous so I’ve antibiotics for Ethiopia’s Montezuma’s revenge, something I first encountered in Mexico. I was actually feeling rather elated and confident as insects were my principle fear.  I still must be concerned about rabies, a problem in Ethiopia, especially as I’m interested in meeting the famed Galada baboons. 

Asked why I was going to Ethiopia I explained that I wanted to visit the Coptic Churches but Muslim Brotherhood linked terrorists were blowing up Coptic Churches in Egypt. I’d been near  IRA bombings seen the effects, been repeatedly evacuated when I lived in London as a young man. I saw the after effects but wasn’t actually bombed so won’t tell a Hillary Clinton war story about that. My intrepid gorgeous partner Baiba at the time did come home from work one day with face scratches from flying broken glass, the building across from her office blown up.  So I joked and said I’d chosen Christian Ethiopia over Muslim Egypt because “I’d rather face “mosquitos than Muslims” The Sunni terrorist seem to be always Wahabism .There show no respect for other religions   A fellow recently in Cairo said he was robbed consecutively the first three days he left his hotel and mugged the fourth day. He caught a plane home having foregone seeing any of the tourist sites of Egypt. When I wanted to go there and went to Turkey instead the travel advisories were against any Canadian travelling in Egypt without being in a guided group. 

The Canadian and American consulates have a warning against going to parts of Ethiopia especially the border of Somalia and Sudan,and  Eritrea and Djibouti even has cautions.  There are border clashes between the Ethiopian military which sounds like a very impressive group and tribal and terrorist neighbours. Al Shabam the ISIS and al Quada related  Muslim terrorists bombed the main city of Addis Ababa more than a decade back but have had multiple terrorits attacks thwarted by Ethiopia’s fine  anti terrorism unit. This year there have been terrorist attacks in other parts of Ethiopia. Right now there’s tribal conflict in Oma to the south where there are so many colourful ancient tribes. Also there are troubles in the Danekil Depression, tectonic action, volcanoes, hot springs not only is the landscape prohibitive there’s been advisory of risks to tourist.

I read In Ethiopia with a Mule by Devia Murphy, a young Irish woman trekking alone along this northern route in 1968.  The bugs were terrible and she too was mugged and robbed, seriously once by a known criminal and murderer and a couple of times by opportunistic thieves. The police and authorities were extremely helpful. As Amharic is the official language and few spoke English , language was a problem in difficulties as it was for in 2015 Duncan Lanser. 

Ethiopia’s attractions are  associated with it’s history of conflict.  

Axum or Aksum is the northern city that was the site of a great empire. King Exana influenced by his childhood tutor, Frumentius, introduced Christianity to Ethiopia in circa .300   The Queen of Sheba of Biblical times, Queen of the South, Ethiopian,. visited King Solomon of Jerusalem circa 550.  Judaism was present from early days  .  Abyssinia is the  name historically for the Ethiopian Empire. Because Christians couldn’t pilgrim to Jerusalem because of the Muslim attacks the idea was to create Lalibela as a “New Jerusalem”. Hence the apparently unforgettable incredible rock churches.  The Aksum empire which became Christian had been pushed south by Muslim invasion. Lalibela became the new capital fo the Zagwe Dynasty. With Ottoman assistance the Abyssinian (Ethiopian) empire was overtaken in 1529. The Muslim onslaught was only stopped with the assistance of Christian Portuguese. 
1632 the new capital was at Gondar.  (What surprised me was that Yemen where Aden is, across the Red Sea, was once part of the Ethiopian Empires. Canada is presently selling war materials to  Saudi Arabia in the Yemen War against the Hthoui Rebels - small world). 
In 1896 Ethiopia defeated an Italian invasion. Menelik II and Hailie Selassie increased modernization. Hailie Selassie
I read Evelyn Waugh’s quite funny eye witness account of Haille Selassie’s coronation in his book Remote People (Evelyn Waugh, 1930)). The Rastafarians saw Hailie Selasie as as the new Messiah.
Between 1935 and 1947 Ethiopia was occupied in WWII by Italy only to be freed by British and Ethiopian rebels restoring Haile Selassie to the throne.  Ted Allbeury’s fast paced novel, The Girl from Addis is an novel about a British Agent in this era that read’s like an African Version of Smiley’s People. 

Haile Selassie was overthrown in 1974 by the murderous communist DERG Regime. The Red Terror with the murder of hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians followed by a famine that killed millions. That famine was reminiscent of the  USSR central socialist agricultural policy that murdered millions of Ukrainians.

In 1991 the Derg fell and Federal Democratic Republic under Meles Zenawi followed. The Ethiopian Military began to train with the US army and a counter terrorism task force with military advisors was established Ethiopia.  In 2006 Al Quada linked Somalian forces fought with Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Army winning and then withdrawing after the Battle of Mogadishu. Somalia remained in the hands of a small African Union force and the Somalia Transitional Government. Pirates operated out of Somalia for years after stealing ships and giving rise to the great Tom Hanks Captain Phillips movie about the US container ship Alabama pirated in 2009.   The Federal Government of Somalia, first central government since war, was only ushered in in 2012. 2017 Mohammed Abdullahi Mohamed was elected President and appointed Hasan Khaire as his prime minister.  There continue to be clashes along the Ethiopian and Somalian border.  

The Ethiopia Prime Minister is Ably Ahmed. He is Ethiopia’s first Muslim Prime Minister,  President Sahle-Work Swede is the first female president. Ethnic strife persists in Ethiopia. The colourful history of Ethiopia in ancient times and continuing to today has given rise to a variety of influences on the country’s architecture and people.  

(I read Wings over Ogaden by Tom Cooper an amazing account of the of the Ethiopian - Somalian war 1978-79 showing the extraordinary sales to Ethiopia of multimillion dollar weapons from the US, Europe and Russia.  Similar sales were made to Somalia. The gripping  movie Black Hawk Down with unforgettable war footage as engaging as the beach scenes of Saving Private Ryan, letting audiences catch a teeniest grip of what has forever been called the ‘fog of war’ was about 1993 . US troops withdrew in 1994.)

Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Ahmed Hussen,under Liberal Globalist PM Justin Trudeau, was  born in Mogadishu, left Somalia as a teen in 1994 and  became a lawyer in 2012 in Ontario Canada. It has been his policy to bring millions of migrants into Canada. 

I enjoyed reading a question in North to Lalibela which was a boy was asking Duncan, “do you think all of us Ethiopians are beggars’.  No , he responded,  but as a tourist he said, he was exposed disproportionately to beggars. 

The Lonely Planet guide series did make a point in one article comparing the relative risk of terrorist attack, or deaths or dismemberment or disease in Ethiopia  versus the chance of death or disease in North America. I’m more likely to die in a traffic accident than a terrorist attack.  Certainly if I take the precautions I am likely to have a very good time but now that I’ve learned of the teen boy assaults and thefts I’m going to take more precautions about that.

 I talked to Brilliant Guide Services and really think that going with them I’d have had a safe grand time without any risk at all. They were very helpful.  The trouble is I’m still able to be independent and I want to go slow at churches and avoid markets or crowds.  

So as with every expedition or adventure I’ve been on ,I have had moments of loss of faith. What am I thinking? I believe that it’s going to be increasingly difficult to travel in future with increasing divisive leftist politics and religious extremism.   We have a lot to learn from the Swiss and others.

I love that the Israelis air lifted some 30,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel when the DERG aetheist communists threatened them.  I used to feel towards my country the way the Israelis I know have felt towards there’s.  Part of the experience of travel has always been that it makes me appreciate Canada more. Canada for me is like my mother, I can criticize her but I don’t take kindly to anyone else criticizing her. 

What I love to see travelling is that planes fly, businesses run, people have babies.  All the lies of over population and war and politics are constantly exposed by the faith and endeavour of ordinary people. The principle problems in the world today are still greed and avarice, politics and envy.   It’s the problems I hear at the university, in the church and in my own workplace. 

Personally like everyone else today I can be a great’ critic’ but the fact is I’m thoroughly impressed that the human race crawled out of the water onto the land. I have trouble getting off my couch. Travelling I see the profound evidence of the greatness of men and women. I look forward to seeing the Lalibela Churches just as I looked forward to seeing the NASA launch pad. or 

Life is dangerous. There’s only one way out.  I dont want to be diseased or maimed but I’d rather see life as a journey where we help each other than something I really believe I could hide from.  The latter were described as leading  ‘lives of quiet desperation’.  What am I thinking? I’m thinking I’m going to Ethiopia.  I expect God will as always care for me and I will learn most likely a little more what I don’t know and what a pompous fool I can be in my ignorance. 

I also look forward  to seeing LUCY, our 3.2 million year old ancestor. The world’s not going to end any time soon. We’re still muddling along though the names have change,  gossip probably remains the same. 

Two Coptic Christian Ethiopian nurses cared for my mother in her last year. They were so loving and caring. I vowed then to go to Ethiopia one day to learn about the people, their home and this religion that made them so caring of a stranger.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Gun shot

“Get down!” He screamed in the crowd even as the first victim fell, The crimson painted her back as blood pooled around her.

He guaged the sniper direction of entrance and exit wound like finding north on a tree from the presence of the moss.

The sniper was moving to her second target still standing in the square.  A trousseau sculpture about to fall. SHe liked he way her bullets reached out and knocked the people over like bowling pins.  SHe had no emotional. Efficiency was her motto.

Under and behind the truck tire, he scanned the building a half mile away as people continued to exit the square bodies falling like bowling pins.  

At last he saw the open window. 8th floor.  He spoke quickly into his cell floor.  “8th floor,  Pink high rise. Open window.”

It was all he could do.  A team was headed there from outside of the kill zone.  He knew by the time they arrived the killer would be gone.  More shots rang out.  More bodies fell.  The last one was going back to help a woman, a friend, a lover. The two died.  The paper would show next day that 12 had died.

Next day the police had no clue.

She long left the square and boarded a train.

He had his Glock 9 mm in the shoulder holster.  It had been easier to get it onto the train. The plane would have been faster but  there would have been more hoops to jump. He didn’t like chasing a sniper carrying only a Glock 9 mm but it was better than going unarmed. The way things were going in the west , only the criminals would be armed soon. They had their own weapons manufacturing and soon would be building bazookas.  Every Afghan village could produce an AK 47. Not much to it.  Modern weapons were getting deadlier but the tech to create them was getting more available.  3 d printing was even a stage further forward.

On the train the passengers about him were reading, sleeping or listening to iPods. He would have napped if he could but sleep evaded him. He was wearing a tan cordoroy jacket and jeans. He took a Toblerrone chocolate bar out of his jacket and had a generous piece.  

She’d got on the first plane out of the city.  The rifle was shipped by purolater, broken down into parts. Even if scanned, placed in a box with the right miscellaneous mechanical parts, no one would see the rifle parts.  She’d be able to observe the site where it was to go when she got there to assure her even more there was no concern. Right now she wanted to nap off the rush she’d just had.  Pulling her black tongue low over her eyes , she curled innto the window for a nap. She hardly noticed the plane take off.