Saturday, September 30, 2017

Burnaby Rain

When I first came to the West Coast as an adult, I stayed in Burnaby.  The magnificent hues of rich green foliage, shrubs and grass amazed me.  Canada’s rain forest.
Today I remembered that as I heard the heavy rain falling on my roof. I pushed the button that extended the awnings on my home and a deluge of water poured off. It had  been trapped in the folds.
I turned on the electric fire feeling the warmth challenging the chill. I'd left the outside door open with only the screen door to keep the cat and dog from escaping.  I lit a lavender incense stick enjoying the rich fragrance as it joined the heat.
Then I brewed some Sambucca tea and  poured the rich exotic elixir into an elegant grey and white tea cup . I added a dab of honey and savoured the fragrance as I swallowed the sensuous creation.   It reminded me England, the time I lived there,  My latest memory was of Ireland. I always think of Britain when I have tea.
I was putting pictures up that I’d previously had up in my office, before it closed. Cherished photos, etchings, paintings and engravings.  So many memories.  Oxford, Singapore, Saipan, Scotland, Ireland, St. Petersburg, Mexico, the SV GIRI.  I couldn’t decide. How high, where. Holding the St. George engraving my friend George came to mind.  I had to sit. Each picture holds a favoured memory.  I found I couldn’t even decide the placement of the cross I’d brought back from Rome.  Jesus.
I thought how I’d once imagined myself this old, smoking a pipe, drinking Irish whiskey, sitting in an old house with a fireplace and writing desk, looking out on a forest scene and lake or sea. Now I’m lightening up, giving stuff away. I don’t even smoke or drink anymore.  I’d rather wear a skirt than sport a moustache or beard.  I especially like a cup of tea.
So often the rain was an enemy at sea, obscuring vision, making the deck treacherous, my glasses fogged, the north Pacific seas in winter,  rain  freezing on the rigging.  I didn’t like it either motorcycling year round , squinting into the face hurting sleet praying my tires would maintain their grip, hoping the distracted signal impaired Vancouver drivers would see me.
Here in Burnaby the plants thrive and literally sing in the rain.  They are alll a glow with new found wonder. This is their time. This is their season.  I can’t pout in face of such celebration.
However, I can’t say it sounds like pitter patter. Heavier.  Like an invasion of Lilliputian paratroopers.  I fear for my roof.  The water seeks to get in everywhere.  The soldiers who’d been to Afghan told me the sand was like that.  Invasive.  I’ve always associated sand with vacations.  I first met this Burnaby rain on vacation.  I imagine that’s why I like it so much better than Vancouver rain and work rain.  So often I ‘ve fought the rain to get to work.
Here I can sit in the warmth of my home looking out my window at the magnificent forest sipping my delicious tea as I thank God for all the wonders of sights and sound, and smell and taste. I am especially thankful for this weekend.   I am  waiting for my friend. She’ll help me hang things.  She’s wise that way.
And luscious like the foliage.  And tasteful as the honeyed tea.
We have dinner and a movie planned.  After hanging memories.
She reminded me to get the pop corn and I did.
What a wonderful way to enjoy a Burnaby rain.
Indoors, curled up on the couch together, with the dog and the cat.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Trudeau and my spirituality

Every day Trudeau attacks my Canada and my people.  Every day he breaks another promise and steals more of our present and our future.  Every newsflash shows him partying and lying, looking high and generally nauseating me. Two thirds of doctors want him gone. It’s not enough that I’m not alone.  Every spiritual person I know sees his lust and ego but his hair, the propaganda, the lemming parade and special interests groups, like the corrupt Quebec millionaires and Saudi billionaires have their puppet. I retch.
Spiritually, I am taught to love my enemy.
But my favourite Christian theologian C.S. Lewis encouraged the soldiers in the Battle of Britain to resist the Germans.  The old testament David was a great warrior. Jesus carries the blood of David.  He’s not some peace nik. He had limits.
He taught love God and love your neighbour as yourself.
To understand my relationship with Trudeau I have to consider Bonhoffer who felt that Hitler deserved to die.  The Centaurians were converts to Christianity.  The American soldiers in Italy who fought back Nazis were in AA.  The Buddhist priests fought back against the atheist Chinese invaders while the Dalai Lama was fleeing to India.  The spiritual Indians fought the Muslims as did the Sikhs who had been massacred by the thousands.
I visited Meteora and Capadocia to meditate on the right path when the tyrants and lizards and bugs are in charge. The Lawyer Lenin over through the Russia duma democracy then re wrote history with countless lies but first killing millions before Stalin took over and killed so many millions more. Mao the atheist out killed them both with hundreds of millions dead while Hitler another socialist only killed mere millions in his gas chambers.
If I was killing babies and the only way to stop me was by killing me then I’d want you to stop me. The effete intellectuals of Toronto disparage the police while those protected students of Ottawa with their fat cat politicians and their short memories leave the soldiers in the field exposed. They’d rather spend money on new desks than armour.
I asked my sponsor what should I do if someone is hurting me. Defend yourself as best you can. But what about praying for your enemy. “There’s no time for praying in a firefight. You just react”.  But what about politics where Trudea’s attacks on democracy, freedom and the middle class, doctors and old people and business and farmers is a daily event.
Just as I struggle to think of something good to say about him, he opens his mouth with another utterance of elite stupidity and self serving deceit.  Yet my Christian aunt told me that if you have nothing good to say about them you should be quiet.  But the Dalai Lama is not quiet. Churchill took over from Chamberlain who like Obama had created a mess of world politics with his strategy of appeasement at any cost.  Then Churchill put a stop to that later when an early response would have saved countless lives.
Every time I’ve capitulated to government they’ve just taken more and more like all bullies do. Beurocrats have no ‘enough' switch. They’re ravenous and progressive. Arendt describes the beurocrats of Nuremberg as having the ‘banality of evil’.  I see that in the coward haughty eyes the beurocrats I know today, corrupted and silent. Locally 20 billion dollars of illegal drug trade took place every year for a decade or more and not one of the people who were paid to care lifted a finger to help. Instead they got rich and fat and the toll of dead went up.
I look at Trudeau and listen to him and I see a beta version of myself, self centred, arrogant, married to the wife desperate for money and clothes, slow, afraid.  She’s like his mother.  He married his dope head mother. Another dope head Trudeau.
And in politics they say it’s like a street fight. If you play pillsbury rules you really shouldn’t be in the game.  It’s a bout money and sex and all the Robert’s Rules of Order went out years ago when Pierre Trudeau shouted fuck then lied and said it was ‘fuddle duck’ then turned his tanks lose on Canadians so that one day his son could joke about whipping out some jet fighters. Both of them are nancy boys unlike the English men who serve in the military.  Pierre Trudeau was an effete intellectual who argued with his leftist and nazi friends in Montreal and Parisian cafes thinking himself so brave just as Justin Trudeau lives a safe life as a drama teacher with a trust fund.
And I feel that when he stops hitting me and hitting Canadians with his taxes and lies and favouritism and anti christian and anti doctor rhetoric I should take the spiritual high road. But Dalai Lama lost his country to Trudeau’s friends, the Chinese Communists. The anti semitic media focuses on Israel all the while the Chinese Communist government genocides.
How can i focus on the positive and forgive and forget and rise about the attack.  I read the propaganda and it’s daily liberal lies, the pornographic huffington post stuff that made playboy look like gospel reading by comparison.
I want to be loving. I want to do as God would have me do. I say Thy will be done. But I think of Bonhoffer and his response to Hitler and Churchill and now I hear Trump and Pence talking on behalf of millions of men an women who think Trudeau is a dangerous dork.  The UN is a disgusting atheist islam war machine that is everything that it was set up to be against.  The Chinese have become the greatest enemy since Hitler and are allied with Islam in hope that when the final days come they can kill them faster than they can be killed. Like the Pact between Hitler and Stalin

I don’t know. I ‘ll ask sponsors and ministers.

End of day

End of Day
- by William Hay

The computer crashed as I closed the last file.
I believe it sensed the day end.
The dog rose to go.
I gathered papers in my tote, then my coat.
Evening light came through the window.
That witching hour evening hue.

I’m due to visit a hospital.
The day is not yet done.
There’s a  meeting later.
I miss my sweats, and tv and   couch
This suit is more foreign the older I get.
I didn’t want to leave home this morning.
It’s like that with long days.
So many people.So many calls.
Paper work and payments.
Writing cheques with anxiety.
It intrudes from the past when the drug addicted woman
Acted out her spite doing that new old game of victim violence.

Today I hear the sound of geese passing overhead
Hear the song  of a new season.
The smell of burning forest has gone with summer.
The red tinge around the sun has gone too.
This is a great day, a great evening.
I’m two thirds through.

The beurocratic lawyer hates me.
I carry the unbearable burden of beurocratic abuse
But smile, remembering the ‘incredible lightness of being’.
Oh to be a window washer in a communist country.

With that memory I follow the dog out.
My  friend  is waiting at the hospital.
Hospitals trigger  pain.
I cross the threshold.
I am once again where  the lies like flies once flew.

I focus on the present and my friend.
He’ll be glad to see me.
I am always welcome in hospitals
No matter how afraid I am today.
They once were different places before all this.
I strive to remember then.

My family, friends  and patients enjoy my visits.
I push the the memories of terror aside.
He needs me as I once needed him.
We've held each other up over many many years.

His face lights up. He's going to be okay.
 We laugh and remember.
The good times. Way back when.

I pray he gets well. There’s been too much death
The callousness and lies of lawyers and beurocrats crescendo,
Drama queens demand centre stage.
They push the grieving and the dying to sideliness.
All the money for medications and research has gone committee.
They Carne and Pole dance. The music is loud and techno.
Somewhere a whip snaps. Another slave takes the lash.

It’s Wednesday.
The week is halfway done.
The nightmares and sweet dreams wait to wrestle for my sleep.

I finally head home.
"It don’t matter," I remember the Vet told me, years ago
When the enemy could still be seen .
Night is fast approaching.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Gratitude and Mental Transmission Repair

Please God help me to look at the good in the world today. Help me to be thankful for the sunshine and blue sky, the clean air, that my breakfast was fresh food and healthy, that I have a shower and indoor plumbing, clean clothes, a good sleep in safety and quiet. Thank you for my dog, Gilbert, who woke me with his little body cuddling and squirming beside me, then his face licking good morning. Thank you for his sight. Thank you for my brother and father and mother, grand parents, aunt and aunts and uncles and cousins and nephews and nieces and all the extended family some of who yet remain in this world and give me the joy that those who have passed did. Thank you for my special friends. Thank you for my acquaintenances. Thank you for the government workers who manage the roads and communications. Thank you for the churches and school and hospitals. Thank you for America which protects Canada and the free world from dictatorships and communism.  Celebrate our strengths and assets as people, our belief in freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech. Helps us to protect these central tenets of democracy and society and civilization that has never been greater, feeding and clothing and keeping safe more people and more percentage of people than the world has ever known. Thank you for rocket ships and Star Trek and Star Wars and western novels and television. Thank you for NCIS, Friends and Seinfeld and Big Bang and Turner Classic Movies.  Thank you for the Bible and Jesus and the stories of the prophets and ministers and radio evangelism. I love listening to the uplifting inspiring discussions of the holy bible so much better than some of the alternative radio that can really sour my day with the deceit and propaganda. But there God catch me and protect me when my eyes stray from the roses along the right side of the path to all the manure on the left.  Help me to appreciate that the manure on the left gives food for the right. Guide me in discernment. Help me help others. Help me inspire my patients. Help me help them to stop their addictions and enter a life of recovery as opposed to the slavery they now live in. Lets talk less of ancient history slavery and more of the slavery of lust, gluttony, speed, heroin and nicotine and alcohol and the increasing cannibis epidemic and rising road deaths.  Help me Lord to have hope. Help our leadership so deluded in Canada rise about it's selfie and serve the people. Help me focus on the geography and history and anthropology and sciences of Canada and not be distracted so much by the borderline psychotic screaming of the mental asylum called Ottawa and Quebec.  Help me Lord keep above the ever present drag of hopelessness with world affairs. Help me be reminded that Canadians and Americans and British French and Poles and Russians joined together with Australians and others to overthrow the tyranny of Germany under Hitler and now that another tyrant of Eastern Germany Merkel has risen with again that Bismarkian world dominance delusional of grandiosity and cocaine , help me believe that this too shall pass as Pierre Trudeau left us the same as Justin Trudeau will leave us only please God make it sooner and see Lord how easily I fall. Let me have more faith and strength in my convictions to see the positives today. Help me look at the flowers and the babies and the new buildings rising and the new innovations in technology and trust that the righteous are overcoming the criminals that seem so prevalent but really are a minority in public office and the city of Vancouver. Thank you for the parks and the clean streets and the garbage collection and the recycling bins and all the gas stations and hydro and electricity and power plants and the airport and the satellites and the rocket launches and the submarines and great ships on the water. Thank you for the industry and the magnificence that Chicago once was and the beauty today of Coal Harbour Vancouver and the great bridges and the men who work in the shadows keeping these bridges safe. Thank you for the steelworkers and dock workers and the unions and guilds and the doctors and nurses and health care technicians and the rare not creepy administrator who is not in her or his  position through sexual favour or family or ethnic group alliance but actually has some competence and meritocracy. Help them today for they must feel so alone in that swamp of deceit and greed. Help the good leaders in the Canadian healthcare who aren't Nazi Communist bastards and whores but are actually trying to serve the people and help doctors and nurses and patients survive the nonsense that so often comes down the pike as tankers of shit. Please God see, how my mind slips gear. Fix my mental transmission and help me to stop slipping into reverse but to move forward despite the storms and the millions of pounds of burdens in taxes and lies and moving the finish line that this government does to burden those of us unlike them that actually work.  Please Lord let me rise about this and see the joy and pleasure in a flying bird and cloud shape like a puppy. Help me to smell the roses. Help me Lord to focus not on pain but on whatever is possible and good. Help me change my perspective and gain more patience and forgiveness and to know grace as your grace is so bountiful.  Thank you Lord. You know I need your help. Please strengthen me today and help me to do thy will not my will. Thank you Lord.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Cosmic Christ and Jesus

Jesus was the man who was God born incarnate.
The zen master asks, "Does the butterfly think the philosopher or the philosopher think the butterfly?
The relationship between God and man is a covenanted one.  Grace is the action of God.  God freely gives of his love and we receive.  God is the prime doer.
But the God of Biblical proportion is Omnisicient, Omnipotent, and Omnipotential and absolute,  alpha and omega. So that means that there is divine reality.  God created the heavens and earth. God is the heaven's and earth. All is God stuff. God is imminent and emimnent and all such words and transcendent and elsewhere and present, all and beyond.  It's God.  God is.
Life is matter and energy and as we mature spiritually we move from seeing the solids to the energy and the web of light that is life. We experience the Godness of stuff and existence and ourselves and our love.
The question of existence is 'do we exist?" What is reality? Are we imagining this or dreaming this? Are we the dreamer or the dream?
The Jesus story. Jesus is the baby then Jesus is the man. Jesus lives.
 It's the most incredible idea that God came down. A key story in the Bible is Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. On earth prior to Jesus ,leadership was only top down.
In the normal conventional earth social reality, shit falls down on the little people and the littlest gets the greatest shit. It was the reality of the Christian world before Jesus.  It's military rule.  It's Herod and Caesar and the Chinese Emperor.
By contrast in the Jesus story God humbles himself to be a baby.
In all the other God is either separate or if man becomes God he raises himself to be a God and transcends this world.
But Jesus said the Good News was with his death ,reality, which had been rather and sordid, became immensely different. The death of Jesus was the enlightenment of creation.  There was darkness then there was light. The light is in all creation now. A switch was thrown and never thrown back.
The death of Jesus, the sacrifice of Jesus, was the God becoming God moment of light throughout the universe.  The experience of Christ Consciousness is like Samadhi or Nirvana or mystical rejuvenation or enlightenment or rapture or transcendent bliss. It's pure Joy. It's in effable . Christians have collectively described this with all manner of miraculous experiences  and real behaviours with extraordinary otherworldly gifts. Not only is it something personally experienced, it's also been well documented and evidenced so much so that it's just another everyday event to anyone but the rulers of this world.  There is love and fear.  The rulers of this world are so afraid, so terrified, so inhuman that they killed god and to this day continue to kill God in denial of God, love and light. Straw men.
There's fear and love.  Jesus is love. Fear is absence of love and absence of Jesus.  A dark hole.
Jesus and his followers are in a spiritual war on earth individually and collectively. Evil and Good.  Right and Left.  Wrong and Right.  Up and down. Odd and even.  It's an intrinsic dilemna for the individual, a moral and ethical dilemna and a community and world spiritual war..
Choose Jesus or don't choose Jesus.  Choose God or don't choose God.
That said Christ Consciousness is like a state one comes and goes with, that second sense of feeling alone and not alone.   I can reach for God but God must reach down to me.  It's a dance. It's a love match.  I hug God . God hugs me.  It's the song of song.
In the Sistine chapel God and Adam touch.   Christ is the light in between. Jesus Christ is the Word.  
The Holy Spirit is the interface.
When Jesus was baptized by John,  the Holy Spirit descended like a dove upon him. Jesus said, 'the advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything"   The Name of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ the Word.
The spiritual is the lightness of being.
There's a 'gravity' here, a 'graveness', we are weighted down in this world by the deathness of this place  But "Yea though I walk through the valley of the Shadow of Death, thou aren't with me."  
 Jesus said "I am the way and the truth and the life."
We are reborn in Jesus. As Christians we become intimately aware of our immortality. Reborn we  do not die at death.  We pass through death to new life.  That is the God news of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Why is the Bible Important to Christians?

It’s Sunday morning. I woke with a sore back. That’s better than yesterday. Yesterday I woke at 4 am with a sore mind.  My sore back is from lifting good stuff and doing good work.  I guess my sore mind comes from that too.  No good deed goes unpunished by this government. My job is to focus on the blessings not the curses.  Only my back hurt this morning.  All my other body parts were in good working order.  I slept in till 830 am and Gilbert let me.  and what a blessing that was.
Now I’ve not been to church in weeks. I say I’m a winter Christian because summer and fall I’m usually at sea sailing,  or camping in the woods.  This year I was on my lawn chair out back lot enjoying the sun and  reading a lot.  I read the Holy Bible most days.  I talk with Christian friends and do Christian service.  I’m praying all the time and meditating some.
The Holy Bible is a source of comfort and wisdom for me.  I began reading it as a child and studied it seriously in various theological institutes and courses. It’s a part of all church services no matter how “liberal”.  I learned in theology that one should not ‘cherry pick’ the Bible for phrases to support one’s own position but rather see it as a gestalt.
There’s an ‘old testament’. It includes the Torah or Jewish Bible and prophets.  Jesus was Jewish. His first disciples were Jewish. The writers of the Bible were Jewish.  The translators, not necessarily.  Neither were the interpreters.  Christianity is a ‘universal religion’.  It’s open to all. It’s inclusive and not exclusive.  According to the Pew Report, as of 2010 Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion, with an estimated 2.2 billion adherents, nearly a third (31 percent) of all 6.9 billion people on earth.”
Once a ‘word of mouth’ religion with many writings over time the Holy Bible became the collection of writings of the church. The Bible was a collection of the ‘books’ or ‘writings’ of the Christian church with some ‘books’ such as St. Thomas being considered questionable as the orthodox Christian religions have rejected the ‘gnostic gospels’ as being ‘outside’ the mainstream that continues till today.  The Councils of the Church through the years have addressed these ideas and come to a consensus of truth, or orthodoxy.
Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Mathew 5:17.
To me that means that the Torah and the writings of the prophets are still important.  I love the Psalms which are the Songs of David and quoted by Jesus. The Holy Bible of Christians is divided into an Old and a New Testament.  Testament simply means ’tale’ or ’telling’.  The Old Testament comes before Jesus and the New Testament comes after Jesus. It begins with the four Gospels: Mathew, Mark, Luke and John.  These give witness to the life and death and teaching of Jesus.  The latter parts of the New Testament are the stories of the Apostles, the leaders Jesus surrounded himself with  while he was alive, and the writings of St. Paul, the Rabbi who converted to Christianity and along with the apostles started the first churches. Paul, as well as being a Jew, was a Roman citizen and a tent maker. Only the rich could afford tents and travel so Paul was part of the then ‘tent-setter’ group and travelled all around the Mediterranean of the Roman Empire of the day.
The Old Testament is preempted by the teaching of Jesus.  It is  an older version of the truth.
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  John 14. 6.
I loved the matter of fact way a Theologian said, “The Jews were wrong then and they remain wrong today.”  What he was referring to was the fundamental rift between the Old Testament and New Testament. Christians see Jesus as the Messiah or God/Man  which the Old Testament speaks of but the Jewish authorities rejected him and with the Romans, the ruling world empire of the day, killed ‘Son of God.’  Today the Jews continue to believe that Jesus was a prophet and his teachings were summarized in the ‘teachings of Q’, a source of wisdom sayings which appear to overlap with the words attributed to Jesus in the Gospels, especially Mark.
The fact is, much of what Jesus said, is common sense and spiritually un original, except in it’s godliness.  Prophets and religious leaders including Zarathustra and Moses and others have said similar things. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, the law of divine retribution or karma, is in one of it’s various form central to all great religions.   Ecumenicalism is about finding the ‘similarities’ in various religions and focusing on these rather than the differences, yet the differences count, since to name a thing one must scientifically speaking have ‘sensitivity’ and ‘selectivity’.  Fraud is best maintained in generalities.  In the 60’s it was called ‘drug talk’ or ‘tarot talk’ because as long as anyone didn’t refer to money, drugs, sex or action everyone could be ‘free and love’.  As long as someone else is paying the bills, it’s easy to ‘love one another’.  This is the difference between adolescence and adulthood and was for a long time the difference between men and women as until recently the female and children of society were cared for and protected by the men. The Devil is said to be ‘in the detail.’
So each division in the history of religion and specifically in the church revolve around one key factor.  Jewish men were ‘circumcised’ as children. a tribal genital mutilation of boys.  St. Peter and St. Paul in the early days of the church when Christianity was seen not as a new ‘religion’ but as the ‘new’ Judaism, a ‘universal’ religion versus the ‘local’ Old Testament, tribal Judaism, debated circumcism.  The decision was that Christians did not need to have their male genitalia tampered with to be spiritual.  Jews to this day believe otherwise.
Muslims like Jews believed that Jesus was a prophet,  Muslims, Islam, believe in the genital mutilation of men, called ‘Khitan” or circumcision.  It is not mentioned in the Qur’an but in the Hadith. The Muslims in contrast to Jews and Christians also believe and practice genital mutilation or circumcision of female children.  However it is less widely held as a requirement of Islam than male circumcision.
Catholics and Christians don’t disagree on children genitalia but Catholics insist the Pope is the direct descendant of St. Peter.  When Emperor Constantine of the Roman Empire made Christianity the State Religion he became the head of the church as well.  Later the role of Spiritual Emperor for the World Catholics remained even though the Pope’s earthly territory had been shrunk to only the tiny state of the Vatican by various wars and invasions.  In Anglicanism or the Church of England the Queen is the head of the Church since King Henry VIII rejected the authority of the Pope and made himself head of the Anglican world Church.
The Catholic Church has the most centralized contro,l even more so than the Orthodox church.  When Constantine moved his seat of power to Constantinopolis, today’s Istanbul, the first major political division of the Church took place, with Roman Catholicism headed by the Pope in the Vatican. The Eastern Orthodox Church is headed by a Holy Synod.  It is the second largest Christian church. Both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches have Bishops as leaders but whereas leading Bishops are chosen to ’select’ the Pope in the Catholic church,  in the Orthodox church government is by the Holy Synod (council) and each Bishop is considered equal though a head bishop or patriarch is somewhat equivalent to the ‘arch bishops’ of the regional Catholic churches.  This first ‘East West” split of Christianity occurred in 1054 ad.
In the Anglican or Church of England begun by King Henry VIII there is a Synod but the Archbishop of Canterbury, is representative of the Queen and akin to the patriarchs.
The first division of the Christian churches in the West or Roman Catholicism were political and territorial with Germany separating from Papist Vatican rule.  Martin Luther began the Protestant Reformation of the church given rise to the division today called ‘Christian’ and ‘Catholic’ , the first principle of reformation being ’the proper source of authority in the church.’  Protestantism rejected the notion of Papal Supremacy.
Protestantism is now one of the three major divisions of Christendom after Roman Catholicism and Othodox.  They do not have a central human authority or structural unity. The Holy Bible and the local Church tend to have primacy in Protestantism which accounts for 900 million adherents and nearly 40 % of Christians worldwide.  Since the initial ‘territorial or political separations’ from Rome, the subsequent Protestant divisions have been more to do with biblical interpretation and theological divisions.
A major division between Martin Luther and the Pope in his day was the belief in ’transubstantiation’.  These divisions are really deep and superficially they look like any family argument to an outsider  over time.  Organizations and religions and countries and all human endeavour beginning with family and divorces contains the humanity of emotions and especially anxiety.  Jesus said over and over again. “Do not be afraid”.  Yet obviously even the leaders of the churches had their share of humanity.  It’s been said that Anxiety is ‘measure of your distance from God but equally a measure of your humanity’.
Transubstantiation refers to the ‘conversion of the substance of the Eucharistic elements into the body and blood of Christ.”  Eucharist is the central rite or ritual of Christianity.
“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat, this is my body.”  Matthew 26:26
This occurred a couple of thousand years before quantum physicis and modern interpretations of ‘reality’. Dualism, the idea of the separation of matter and spirit was central to Plato and much philosophy and thought prior to Jesus.  Even today ‘blood’ is powerful and in medical science divisions like ‘genetics’ compete with the influence behaviour or of ‘environmentalism’.
The questions comes down to the crux of whether one believes we are ‘material beings living in a spiritual realm’ or ‘spiritual beings living in a material realm.’
The power of the priest and Pope was central to the ‘transubstantiation’ process given that the ‘bread’ became the body of Jesus with his touching and saying so but later Christians felt that there did not need to be an intermediary between Jesus and oneself.  Hindus have little difficulty with the notion of transubstantiation because of their and subsequent Buddhist concepts of the nature of creation are fundamentally different from the west philosophically.  They perceived reality as dualistic, but not so much as matter and energy or matter and spirit, but as ‘true or false’.  Moksha is the ‘false reality’.
When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment in the Law, he said.
“'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40.
Another area of debate in the church has been surrounding the idea of the ‘prime mover’.  This is expressed in the ‘faith’ and ‘work’s and ‘grace’ debate.  If God is first and first mover then ‘GRACE” the love of God saves us. Salvation in Christianity is the saving of the soul from sin and death.  Sin was the description of the world as not perfect.  St. Paul said in this life, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
Today’s ideas of ‘addiction’ and ‘habits, good and bad’ all focus on this central premise of ‘imperfection’.  The word to ‘sin’ came from archery where the archer wanted to hit the bullseye every time but simply didn’t for a variety of reasons.   Newton and other physicists and ultimately Quantum Physics looked at these relationships just as Einstein and St. Augustine both considered ‘time’. With Grace we are saved because of God’s love whereas with ‘works’ we are saved because of human’s work.
The disciples asked Jesus “‘ Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  Matthew 19:25-26.
Since Luther in the 16th century Protestantism has grown and divided while maintaining a lose association under the heading of “Christian".  Some are local or community churches while others are world wide. Some of the main Protestant Christian churches are Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, Pentecostal, Methodist, Mennonite, Adventist, Reformed, Evangelical, Non denominational and more. All Christian churches refer to the Holy Bible, most importantly the 4 Gospels, or ‘good news’, the stories of Jesus, by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
An area of debate in the church and religion in general is the ‘divinity of Christ’.  The Christian God is said to be a Trinity, ‘three in one’ God, best taught to my mind by St. Patrick.  It’s not specifically a teaching of Jesus in the Bible though it’s implied as he says “I and the Father are one” and promises the “Holy Spirit”.
Jesus says, “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever - the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”
Dr. James Houston of Regent College talked of this as the Personhood of God, three persons in one.  My friend Bernie while alive loved to pray, “Holy Spirit Come”.
To become a Christian as with all religions, one can be born in a Christian family or raised Christian. Christians baptise or christen their babies with sprinkling of water or immersion in water as John the Baptist first Baptised Jesus.  Once christened or baptized a Christian remains a Christian for life unless they renounce their relationship. It’s a bit like being a member of a Country.  Unless you renounce your ‘citizenship’ you can always return. It is not uncommon in all religions for the youth to leave the family and family religion only to return to the religion with having their own family or matuation.
For a person who has not been born and christened or baptized as a child the way to become a Christian is to walk into a church and observe. I call this being a ‘church tourist’.  Christians invite others to attend their church like they do inviting people to go to the movies with them. Christianity is not a ’secret society’ but a welcoming religion.  Christian services are great entertainment and everyone is welcome to attend and observe. They are the source of the greatest music with the likes of Bach and Elvis and countless others getting their first experience of music in the church.  The ’sermons’ are often great lectures, like those of Dr. Peter Elliott  or Dr. Carl Ridd when he was alive or Dr. James Houston.    The key to understanding a sermon is that you don’t have to agree with it but rather it, like any ‘lecture’ forms the basis of discussion and is by nature ‘thought provoking’.
I often tell people to explore churches and other religious organizations much as you would when picking a cafe or night club. For young men I say ‘hang out’ at the church with the highest density of beautiful women. For young women I say choose to return to the church with the highest density of handsome young men. For those with small children perhaps return to a church with lots of small children.  These people are principally neighbours and it’s a spiritual club no different than the local gym is a ‘physical club’.  Spirituality is however much more comprehensive than a mere gym. It’s also relatively ‘free’ at first, as everyone is invited to attend and the old church adage was to ‘put a buck ‘ or even 25 cents or a penny in the basket when it was passed around. Ultimately when one chooses and becomes a member of a church they voluntarily contribute and are encouraged to by the board who pay the rent at the church and physical taxes and tuitions and salaries. Some churches remain small and poor while other churches become ‘mega church’ major corporations of great wealth.  Neither is ‘better’ in a spiritual sense anymore than a martial art sensie with a few students is less than a major dojo with many franchises.  Such discussions of size refer more to quantity than quality. Personally I’ve liked little and large churches.
To participate more specifically in churches there are classes and ultimately baptism or formal joining with the church membership in some ceremony.  Historically this often meant simply saying “I believe in Jesus Christ” as the name of Jesus Christ which is derived from the words “God within and God Will Come Again” is itself considered holy and transformative. Yahveh the name of the Jewish , God the Father, meant “I am, that is who I am”.  Hence, the beingness of God, the creator.  The third person is the Holy Spirit.
Various councils over the 2000 years of Church history and the individual churches have come up with a legalistic formulation much like the ‘articles of faith’ which one signs whenever one gets new software from Apple or Microsoft.  I don’t read the whole agreement and sign ‘i agree’ without consulting a lawyer. There is the possibility that Apple or Microsoft have slipped in a line ‘you will give your left kidney and testicle if you agree’. I have faith at this time and joining a church have considered overall the ‘details’ but even while I’ve not ‘agreed fully’ with some details I’ve ‘agreed in principle’ as I do with Microsoft and Apple, a couple of human companies not even known for their holiness.
When I join a church or any club or even accept software I am today making such decisions.  But ‘joining’ comes after being a ‘tourist’ and people join churches because they like the people. Churches are the ‘people’ especially the more local, community and independent churches which are commonly formed today around someone with a Bible who says let’s get together and talk about this Holy Book.  Then because they want a place to meet as they grow in numbers they get into renting then owning spaces and developing schools and more. Ultimately in the past groups of Christians created hospitals, universities and whole nationstate and even continued world empire. Some might say we’re seeing the third Christian empire today.
Being a Christian then comes with study and association. It’s about community and consideration.
“I believe.”  It’s a joy for me to say this today.
Thank you Jesus Christ. Thank you Lord God. Holy Spirit Come!

Friday, September 15, 2017

"The Christians" by Lucas Hnath, Pacific Theatre

We all loved “The Christians” by Lucas Hnath at Pacific Theatre.  Sarah Rodgers directions were so very good I didn’t once think the show was even choreographed. It was that smooth.  I loved the choir and the songs and Lonnie Delisle the choir director.  The costumes by Sydney Savannah were priceless, some of the choir members truly reminding me of classic ‘church ladies’ of my childhood. The hats could well have been from my mother and aunt’s closet. It was that real.  The play was such a romp, like a televangical mega church experience in the small Pacific Theatre.  Sound designer Rick Colhoun can take a bow for that. His surround experience had me thinking of the recent U2 concert we’d attended.
Tre Cotton played Associate Pastor Joshua while Ron Reed played mature Pastor Paul.  They were perfect. The younger and older man and all the dynamics of leadership.  Always there was a mirroring of what was being said of God and Jesus and Biblical teaching and the behaviour of those in dialogue.  Macrocosm and microcosm.  The intellectual and emotional, flawlessly juxtaposed. Brilliant writing and acting.  Erin Ormond played Pastor Paul’s wife Elizabeth.  She and Paul were truly deep with the bedroom discussion of relations and agreement and disagreement, truly over the top.  Unbelievable intimacy and  theatre.  Yes I felt like the very fault in society today was being plumbed, the challenge of conservatives and liberals, whigs and tories, republican and democrat, change or no change, truth or untruth.  The whole dance of the present was happening there before us in the words and acting on stage.  I loved Lucas Hnath’s writing as it touched the soul of church and society today.
The idea revolved around ‘hell’.  Did it exist? What was it? Really a question of carrot and whip.  Funny too. The images that played out in words.  Punishment and guilt. Redemption. All the while the big words were reduced to little behaviours, questions and expressions.  Congregant Jenny played by Mariam Barry reduced it all to how to pay for food for her son and clothing and costs and what was true.  She was so real.  Lofty theology met honest social work.  All happening in an amazing play that was broken up in bits with music and song then deeply spiritual questions. I loved it.  Allan Morgan playing Elder Jay really questioned the cost to the church and the attendance issues, marketing, building, debts and sales, politics.  Funny considerations in the midst of deciphering what God is saying.  Central to all was the  "urge to communicate but the distance was insurmountable."
Our friend Lorne had driven in from Chilliwack for it. We’d gone for a great meal and super service at Cafe Barney before the play discussing taxation of the poor by the elite and the ungodly corruption of our present. government. Then we were at this play with it’s whole other higher set of challenging ideas.   Anna and Kevin met up with us after having just returned from  their monumental cross country expedition with the god kids.  Laura and I love going to church with them all and having a White Spot or Earl’s after church lunch.  This was  opening night and a really fine full house night indeed.  After we all talked  of art and ideas and culure and travel.  Lucia Frangrione, my favourite playwright, was there and we even got to say hi.  Other friends of Pacific Theatre we’ve come to know because they, like us, love this theatre so very much were there too, all of us happy with a truly great production and performance.
Thank you all for a  great night of theatre and some very loving challenges to heartfelt thought.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Opening Rifle Hunting Season, Pemberton, BC and Bear Scare.

The wildfires have really affected this year’s hunting season. All the areas where I normally liked to hunt these days were closed to ATV’s.  Pemberton had a ‘senior hunter’ tease saying we could hunt doe but as it turned out in the fine print only on a postage stamp owned by the local government officials. Still I could save my new truck and use my Honda Pioneer 500 ATV in the Coastal Hunting region.
I wanted to camp one last time while the weather was still good. I had this Napier truck tent which we’d used in the spring.
The trouble is the rains we all wanted arrived Friday.  I just couldn’t bring myself after clinic to load the truck in the downpour.  I had so much organizing to do with the recent move too so Laura, Gilbert and I planned to leave first thing Saturday morning. Friday turned out to be a marvellous day of rest with bits of tidying and a whole lot of cozy cough reading.  We also watched the incredibly fun Robin Williams “RV” movie on DVD. When the rains let up we walked Gilbert meeting up with Dave and Emory doing the same rounds.  Great night of soft cozy king size bed with room for Laura and Gilbert.
Morning came. More rain.  I made coffee and enjoyed my new built in radiant fire heater.  The idea from yesterday had been to leave early so we wouldn’t be setting up in the dark and wet.  As the day progressed with more rain and more cozy book reading I felt increasingly guilty about not making Recovery Day in New Westminster. I was following it on Facebook but also packing for hunting and not really wanting to go outside or see anyone because I was on vacation. Vacation for me is getting away from work and people and even friends.  I tolerate Laura and the dog.  I just loved being on the couch reading.  I always think others get to do this but I never get enough of it.  So many I know are retired so ‘time’ is their’s.   Laura and I are constantly on the clock at the beck and call of beurocrats, colleagues, patients, lawyers, taxmen and countless ‘officious’ and increasingly angry people.  It was so sweet to be in the safety of my oh so comfortable and enjoyable home.  Why not stay home?
It was still too ugly outside to hunt, though of course when it’s ugly and raining is when the game are moving about and the fish are biting.  I loved another night in my own comfortable bed with Laura and Gilbert.
Sunday, we loaded the truck. It was thinking about Gilbert and that tipped the scale. Hunting is a dog’s dream.  He’s free to run and pee and poop anywhere. There’s so much to sniff. He’s with his favourite pack. And we’re doing a dog thing.  Hunting.
Having stopped at the gun storage locker I was armed but then all that was needed was the ATV.
Well that was a surprise. When I drove up on the ramp the ramp simply exploded out from under me leaving the rear wheels hanging. I’d done nothing different than I had a hundred times before. While others often don’t attach their ramps I had mine tied below to the chain hooks.  In future I am anchoring the ramps above and below with two straps.  If I’d been in the woods I’d have just backed the truck to a hill and drove the ATV off but in Vancouver I called BCAA.  BCAA is truly one of the greatest organizations in the world. I love their roadside assistance.
“I’m just learning to use the lift. This is great,” the young man said when he arrived and saw my dilemma. The older more senior guy guided the young one in the delicate lifting of the back end of my ATV till it was free with not damage to tailgate. I drove the ATV forward the rest of the way into the box, thanking the BCAA guys profusely.
I’d already loaded the camping gear before loading ATV Charles so with Charles tied down we headed north.
Squamish is our now favourite stop with the Canadian Tire, Starbucks, Escape North, Independent Grocers, Burger King all in one place with several gas stations to choose from.  Outfitted with dog food, and more mosquito repellant from from Canadian Tire, a new outdoor camping dress from Escape North for Laura, ground espresso coffee and Americano for me, and a thermos full of groceries and Whopper burgers for us all we headed north.   It was a beautiful day to be driving up the Sea to Sky Highway.  Lovely views of snow capped mountains and deep blue ocean. Traffic was better too, it being Sunday.
At Pemberton we filled up one last time with fuel. I believe in going backwoods with my fuel tanks full.  One never knows.  Then a final quick stop at Spud Valley Hunting and Sports Store right in town where the brothers supply all the very best in back country camping fishing and hunting gear.  I just needed more 20 gauge grouse load having remembered the shot gun but forgot to bring the box with ammo. I had my stainless steel Ruger break down 22 long rifle, Ruger Mini 14 .223 caliber back up deer gun and my all time favourite, Ruger Stainless Steel 30:06 rifle, “Sexcaliber”.
When I’m on the ATV I just have a grouse gun and the main big game hunting rifle. I love my 30;06 which I load with the 180 grain Federal Nosler Partition bullet. My old friend Bill Mewhort introduced me to the Nosler partition.  With the 180 grain it’s a good load for deer, moose, elk and bear.  I’ve shot 30:06 in 150 to 220 grain loads but have settled in the 180 grain because it’s sufficiently powerful enough for bear which can always interrupt a hunt but good for all other game as well. I don’t have to change the sites which I would have to do if I was changing the loads from 180.  Whenever I think of powerful calibers and the bigger and better rifles I remember the story of grandad shooting a bear up close in the head with a 22 LR.
I love Pemberton. It’s a great little town I’ve been coming to for 30 year.  I remember staying in the horrid little old rooms in the Pemberton Hote. The bar back then  was just full of drunks like something out of a cowboy dime novel. It’s always been a farming and  rodeo town and a railway town.  It remains those. The last decade though has seen it make the transformation to tourist town.  Now it’s the ultimate  hiking, white water canoeing, cyclist,  river and lake fishing, destination. It’s always full of beautiful young people dressed in the latest outdoor gear.  Duffy Lake Road since being paved is one of the great motorcycle routes.  Then there are hunters like me.  The valley still produces the potatoes the remain the best on the planet, outside of Ireland.  Hence the name Spud Valley.
It was another half hour of driving on a main logging road gravel with hardly a pot hole, to get to the wilderness campsite. I remembered picnic tables but there weren’t any, just one outhouse and a dozen or more sites by the river, but a ways back, because of flooding concerns.  With all the inland hunting closures I’d worried that this campsite would be full but when we arrived there was only a couple of  other hunters with a couple of ATV’s.  I’d come across a half dozen other hunters at another site the next day but really the place was empty compared to other times I’ve been there. Pemberton has always been a late season hunt because at this time of the year only the local resident deer population are bout. When the snow comes hundreds more deer migrate through. The heat this year and the flies have pushed the deer high up by the glaciers.  In the past I've climbed the mountains up to the glaciers.  Also I’ve horseback hunted  high up there all years ago.
I’m the lowest of hunters now. A road hunter. It’s not because I can’t climb. I’m not as sure footed and really do worry about twisting an ankle or breaking a leg these days.  I don’t have the balance for leaping from rock to rock and have learned this by painful falls. That’s humbling.  I used to run up and down mountainsides and carry deer out of the woods on my back.  I’ve carried  quarters of moose out of the woods a mile or so on my back.  I now have to hunt close to road only so I can get the game out. Ever since I quartered that last elk I shot early morning and had to spend all day hauling the thousand pounds up out of the valley, I’ve been very much aware that I’m not the world class athlete I once was. That dead elk almost killed me. It doesn’t help that I’m more a desk jockey these days and love my couch, Netflix and Hagen daz ice cream.
“The sign said there were grizzly bears,” Laura said as we drove along.
“Mostly black bear, grizzly bear are rare.”  I said, having learned from past experience that Laura’s not a big fan of bears.
“The sign said the bears are ‘aggressive’. “ she continued.
“That’s only because vegetarians have been feeding them.It’s only by the hot springs.” I countered. ‘They shouldn’t let vegetarians out in the wilderness because they don’t know how to behave around wild animals.” I joked.
She wasn’t looking happy.
She wasn’t happy either when there was only one other site at the campground with a couple of hunters.
“I’m scared of bears,” she said.  I didn’t think it needed repeating.
“That’s why I have the truck tent. “  I said.
“ On Facebook, I saw where a grizzly bear went through the side of an RV and where bears broke into a truck.” she said. “Catherine and her husband don’t tent anymore in the north because of bears.”
“That’s because people left open food in their camp or their vehicle.  They shouldn’t let people like that out in the woods. Around here there are only black bear. The grizzly bear are further north. I’ve got a whole lot of fire power and a bear tag as well. If a bear comes to the camp I’ll shoot it. It will save me hunting for it.  Besides bears hate dogs and Gilbert’s a vicious bear dog. You should have seen him chase the big bear we came across last year. ” I told her. The truth is I’d seen grizzly about a few miles north of here up by the hot springs.  I’d only seen black bear scat in the region. I’d expected other hunters around or I”d not have planned on this place. I leave Laura alone when I go off hunting and like to know she has others to call on if she needed help.
Having campers around is a mixed blessing. Vegetarians and other city folk who aren’t aware of animals or their behaviour are a real hazard in the country where their stupid behaviours  attract animal violence.  They don’t know carnivores from herbivores.   Undersocialized and  being leftists they ‘blame’ the animals which then get the animals killed by forest rangers. Then because these immature adults can’t take care of themselves we get all manner of funding for more and more police to protect them from the wilderness.  It’s never their fault or their behaviour that needs to change.  The next thing we’re not only living in a police state without freedom in the city but the wilderness is full of police to protect campers from the wilderness.   I loved when Sarah Palin said ‘We consider it child abuse to take children camping in Alaska without a gun.’  The fact is that animals are almost always scared of humans and almost always run from loud noises, except those bears that have been fantasized as potential lovers by Canadian feminists. Canadian feminists having regulated all  real men to the point of castration then write novels about sex with bears.  These folk ruin the outdoors as much as the young people who bring the ghetto blasters and drugs and turn bits of God’s country into the DTES.
I don’t want to shoot a grizzly.  I don’t have a tag. As my friend Dianne says, “No one is concerned about an endangered reptile and snake , but they sure get excited about creatures that have furry cute babies.” I’m just out hunting in hope of shooting a deer so I can add to the barbecue and  eat venison stew through the cold winter. I like my own cooking and I love coming home to frozen stews and curries I just need to microwave for a nutritious meal at the end of a long hard day of work.
I also like camping, the outdoors, that my dog can run free in wilderness campgrounds. I love my truck. I love quadding. I love shooting.  This weekend I shot a lovely three shot pattern with a bull’s eye with Sexcaliber, my Ruger 30:06.  I didn’t need to shoot more. Last weekend I’d shot off a whole lot of cheaper 22 LR rounds and .223 target practicing.  This weekend Laura did some target practicing with the 22 Rifle.
At the campsite I unloaded the Honda Pioneer Side by Side  with some trepidation hoping the extra tie down strap would stabilize the ramp.  Backing up is always scarier than riding up onto the truck.  Laura is helpful as a second set of eyes.
Once ATV Charles was off the truck I could settle into setting up the Napier truck tent. I was a little concerned as I’d only done it a couple of times in the spring and found I’d lost the instructions.  There was some colour coding to the poles so it really wasn’t that difficult.  In no time I had it up and only had trouble getting the fly over the top which I did with the help of the broom. It was evening by the time we had the tent up and Cabelas air mattresses and MEC Sleeping bags in. There’d been a moment of drizzle but it let up. I considered going out on an evening hunt but thought Laura would appreciate the company since it was rather ominous.  Increasingly I don’t like evening hunts which have never been as productive as morning hunts.I really don’t like gutting and cleaning game by flashlight, especially if I’m in grizzly bear country.  When I’ve had to it’s been a race against time with a flashlight in my mouth, ears open and a loaded rifle close at hand. I’ve loved having my dog with me when I’ve shot game in the evening.
So instead I got the Coleman stove set up and boiled some white potatoes with the water I’d brought in in the 5 gallon blue container.  We have got into using paper plates on the the aluminum camp plates to reduce clean up.  I fried up pork chops I’d had in the cooler with ice in it.  Virgin olive oil works wonders for cooking.  I’d brought the Honda 2000 generator and had a safety lamp hung from a tree on a screw driver to use as hook. I’d pounded it into the tree with my hatchet to use as a hook. I’d have preferred a nail if I had one.   A lovely halo of light and happy sound of the generator in the background kept Grizzly Bear thoughts  away.  While Laura had been sitting in the Orange Canadian tire lawn chairs worrying about bears Gilbert and I had systematically been marking our territory around the outskirts of the camp.  Men do that.
“Why wouldn’t the other hunters come this weekend? Do you think the Grizzly Bears are that bad that they’d scare away the hunters?” she asked as we were enjoying pork chops and potatoes with butter and little fat cherry tomatoes.
“No. I thought there’d be a lot of hunters but it was on Vancouver Island that opening season was the biggest event. Here hunters come out later because the animals are up so high. I don’t think hunters are bothered by grizzly bear.” I said that. It’s a fact, thought, thata lot of hunters don’t like hunting where grizzly bear are common. It’s an unspoken reason why most moose hunts are done as a group, not just because of the size of the game but because there’s comfort in numbers, moose and grizzly sharing the same habitat.  Most hunters aren’t bothered by black bear who many hunt. One fellow I love hunts them annually with bow and arrow but I doubt he’d take on a grizzly so willingly.  He uses a tree stand and wounded grizzly have been known to tear out  trees and  maul the hunter in revenge.  Personally I’d hunt cows if farmers would let me.  Though I’ve shot charging bear and charging moose and been stalked by a wolf pack it’s never been my plan. I’m a comfortable hunter especially as I get older. The fact is, I was glad that Laura was with me and I was saved from the evening hunt.  We were in bed early then, all the garbage and food inside the truck.
I’d bought Laura a new bear banger, showed her how to use it and made sure Gilbert went with her when she made the short trek to the outhouse in the dark.
My principle animal deterrent now is the truck key fob which allows me from bed to flash lights and make loud honking sounds. I sleep with a rifle at my side but no ammunition in the barrel and a hatchet and a knife. I’ve punched a bear in the nose that was trying to get in my tent years past but really prefer not to have company other than Laura and Gilbert. Gilbert is a major source of alarm.  Little dogs are the best alarms even if they do disrupt the sleep, overreacting to squirrels and raccoons and such. The beauty of the tent is it’s high off the ground, and you can stand up in it and it’s dry.  Getting up in the night though to pee is a challenge. I had to lift Gilbert up and down. I couldn’t find my leather mocassins.  So barefoot I’m out with Gilbert enjoying the night. Alone and naked out for a pee,, I’ve often enjoyed the night and moonlight and actually danced.  Not this night.   The sky was cloudy. Great air and sounds and yet, I couldn’t help but consider I didn’t have a key fob, a knife or a rifle and here I was in t shirt and shorts some ways from ‘home’, i.e. the safety of my truck.  Man’s advantage in nature is ‘tools’.  I was glad to get back into the tent with Gilbert and lie down in my Dako sleeping bag beside the beautiful blond.
In the morning the chimes of my iPhone alarm went off at 6 am.  I ignored them and buried the phone hearing the next campers heading out in their ATV’s.  I got up a half hour or so later early dawn, the light just coming up.  I hadn’t slept well. I’m not comfortable on air mattresses. I miss my bed.  I’d been worried about bears.  I had felt the responsibility of Laura and Gilbert upon me. Now I wasn’t keen to leave Laura in the dark.  So I made coffee. I love coffee, especially, Starbuck’s Expresso made in stovetop expresso machine over a Coleman Stove.  I made a press coffee too for the thermos.  Laura got up and joined me as the sun’s light was coming over the top of the snow capped mountain in front of us.  Part of the problem was Fen Shui. I’d allowed my head to face south rather than north.  So now we were aligned right watching the sun come up sitting in lawn chairs in God’s country.
“This is the grizzly bear’s home. We’re only visitor’s”  Laura said,  sipping her coffee with cream and honey.  I had had bacon sliced up at the butcher and was now cooking this up in the frying pan.. The smell was exquisite.  In my mind, I heard the Eagles singing, “sun’s coming up and I’m riding with lady luck’.  Laura really liked the bacon sandwiches on the fresh bakery grain bread.  It was a glorious morning.  Gilbert doesn’t like pork or bacon so just like last night I got him some of the sliced roast beef I had for sandwiches later to day.  He really likes sliced roast beef.  We were all happy campers then.
I loaded the gear on ATV Charles. I’d forgotten the grab bag I usually had for knives and shells so made do with pockets on the ATV and in my clothes.
I left Laura with the bear banger and Ruger 22 LR Rifle. She has a her firearms permit and has been deadly accurate with the 22 rifle.  “Remember my grand father killed a bear with a 22 rifle.”  I said.
“I’m not leaving the truck till you get back.” she said. She had her magazines and a truck full of treats and really, where else in the world is more luxurious than the cowboy cadillac 2017 Ford F350 Lariat edition Truck.  I knew she’d be safe and set out with Gilbert as my side kick.  He stands or sits in the passenger seat taking his duty as a hunting dog very seriously.
We headed up the rocky back woods trails and then along the hydro trails.  Finally I drove 10 km further to the main that heads through the mountains.  This was where two large groups of a half dozen hunters each were located. Normally seeing other hunters isn’t a positive experience for me but seeing these guys tenting was reassuring. There really were very few of us in this huge region though so perhaps it was all the wild fires and the ban through out the province on open fires and various other regulations as a consequence of the wild fires and the hot weather that had put other hunters off.
“It’s too hot to hunter this early this year. I’m waiting till later,” Rick had told me back in the city. They hunt from a cabin up north which the fires almost destroyed.
I did enjoy the quadding. I hoped mostly to see a grouse for Gilbert. I had the 20 gauge shotgun and was ready to make his day. Gilbert stands up beside me and me watches everything on the road ahead with his one remaining eye.  We got up really high, to the very end of where the loggers had gone. Everywhere there was old black bear scat.  One area there was some new day old stuff but only one area high up where old deer droppings were too. I met another young hunter with is very excited chocolate lab.
“My dog flushed a deer and a couple of grouse back in there. I didn’t have a 22 with me.” he said. The dog climbing out of the passenger window to looked over the roof at Gilbert who was sitting upright beside me.  Gilbert looked like  a general waiting for his driver to finishing conversing so we could get back to the hunt.  This was dog world.  Gilbert was in heaven.
“I’ve got a 20 gauge shot gun along just for grouse. In fact, the truth be known I’m grouse hunting for the dog and have the rifle along for bear and deer only if I’m forced to shoot them.”  we laughed and he headed up hill to the area where I’d chosen not to explore further. I headed down hill taking the branch roads and exploring each. This was great country for hunting especially on a quad and many places one could ambush deer going up or down at dawn or dusk. Yet nothing was here.
It was afternoon by the time I got down off the mountain meeting a off road motorcyclist on a big Triumph Tiger. I loved the way he was outfitted. He had a shot gun along and was looking for grouse, out on a day trip from Vancouver.
“I have to work tomorrow or I’d stay. Are there any grouse around here?” he asked.
“I’ve not seen any but I just talked to a guy who flushed a couple with his dog. I’ve not been up here a couple of years but it used to be great grouse country. Last weekend bow hunting  by Duffly Lake I saw a few ptarmigan but missed them with the bow. Nice rig you have.I’ve a Harley but I don’t take it off road. I used to take a Honda 250 backwoods before I got the Pioneer.   Have you read Ted Simon’s travel’s around the world on his Tiger 500? It's an incredible read. “
“No I’ve not but it’s now on my list. Thanks."
A typical back roads brief encounter.  Most hunters are friendly but only socialize at camp.
Gilbert was happy to be back on the road. He’s a serious hunter.  What he didn’t know was I was just heading home.  He actually might have known that too since he just loves Laura and loves getting back to camp to protect her.
Laura was in the truck unmauled when we got back to camp.
“Didn’t see a thing.  Only old black bear scat high up. Nothing fresh. No grizzly sign.  Animals all must be high up. Not even one grouse for Gilbert.”
“Ah, poor Gilbert, “ she said.
I’d drunk the thermos coffee at the top of the mountain where the logging road ended and eaten a chocolate bar but had been thinking about the roast beef after that.
I made up a couple of roast beef sandwiches with mustard and shared a few slices with Gilbert. He doesn’t like the bread or mustard, prefers his roast beef straight up.
Laura and  I sat looking at the river and mountainside.
“The hunters left.  I felt safe when they came back and were packing up. I sat out here and enjoyed the camp but when they left I got in the truck again.”
“I saw them passing on the road leaving.”I told her.
“You know I don’t feel like there’s any deer here. I could shoot a bear but I’m not particularly interested in bear. There don’t seem to be a lot of grouse and frankly I don’t like the dust and dirt and could just pack up and head back. We’re be hunting again Thanksgiving from a motel or resort.  It’s a really dirty dusty dry year even with the recent rain.   I’ve come to like showering or having a swim after hunting.  Gilbert’s had a great time but if you don’t mind I could go back to town and enjoy being in the trailer.'
“I don’t mind at all,” she said, trying to conceal her enthusiasm.
“I really didn’t mind leaving you with other hunters around but I don’t like the idea of going out and leaving you alone in grizzly bear territory. I didn’t tell you before, but I’ve seen grizzly bear just miles north of here when I used to to go up to the hot springs."
“I’d stay.I’m okay in the truck but  I didn’t sleep last night.” she shared.
“It’s settled then.  If I thought there was more chance of seeing game, maybe. I also missed the campfires at night.  Especially in bear country.  I felt safe in the truck tent but don’t like leaving you this far out in the wilderness. Alone I feel safe tenting with Gilbert but worry about you.   If we were back where the other campers were or the guys next door had stayed maybe, but as it is, I’m game for going home.”
Laura didn’t put up a whole lot of resistance to that idea, despite being a regular trooper.
So we packed up.
The tent came down, the gear was loaded. I put out the ramps with double straps and gingerly loaded the ATV. Then everything was tied down, one last check, then we headed back. It was a short drive back to the main road. I felt good returning early.  Having moved with lots of disorganization still I looked forward to a day of puttering.  I also needed to take the truck in to get the plastic gate cover reattached. The truck was due for a check up too and I had to get Burnaby Hitch to install a fifth wheel hitch as well.

The irony was that driving out of the campground we actually saw a 2 year old black bear on the road. Later driving out of Pemberton I saw another young black bear in the ditch.
It was a great drive down the Sea to Sky with beautiful views.  I was thankful the storage lockers were open. Their offices closed but the lockers were there to allow me to unload all the gear and leave the ATV.  Back home we unloaded the food and cooler and dirty dusty clothes.
Then I was in the shower.  I love the shower. It was glorious. Thank you God for hot water soap and  showers.
When I was finished my quick shower Laura moved in for a lifetime of luxurious bathing.   I made us chicken noodle soup and we sat on the couch reading that evening. I fed Gilbert tidbits of left over roast beef.   He was up on the couch between as happy to be home as we were.  It was another great hunt concluded.
I was rather glad to not have to shoot a grizzly bear mauling my girlfriend and risk hitting Gilbert because you know he’d attack anything that threatened Laura.


Thursday, September 7, 2017


I believe dreams are a special reality. Dr. Carl Jung called them the "collective unconscious".  I believe they are this and more, as sometimes my dreams show me what I believe is heaven.  The best of dreams include my former dogs returning to visit and visits from deceased family members.  Those are most comforting. I've always loved Robin Williams movie, "What dreams may come." Our sense of linear time is illusion like so many of our other subjective perceptions.  Working as I have so long with mental processes and the so called mentally ill I've gaine a fine appreciation for the diversity of possibilities or potential of experience.
This morning I woke from the deepest of dreams.  I didn't know what the sound of the alarm clock was.  It took me time to find it and turn it off. I was only slowly coming to my awareness in this present state. it's like that sometimes, like I've cross over into another life or a different dimension.
I was so engaged in my dream.  I remember flying with explorer Anthony in his white experimental plan. He aimed it first for what looked like a round rifle sight. We were literally skimming flat over the surface of this peninsula with me fearing we'd crash only to lifted upwards when we passed this little peak the height of a house and then we were aerobatic.  We shot straight up at incredible speed and the ride was a sensational rush.  I remember trusting Anthony and thinking I'm glad that I do.  There were a couple of others in this incredible machine with me but I don't remember who.
Then in another fragment I was at a conference in Turkey with an old gay friend, all of us researchers and doctors.  I was interested in a pamphlet which disappeared.  I was thankful to be with this old school friend but feeling he'd changed little and glad to meet two friends I suspected were gay though frankly I never knew, only I felt safe in their company and appreciative of their wisdom and life experience. One was Dave. I had that sense of being in a socially awkward moment in a foreign country feeling lll at ease and there was Dave smiling and so trustworthy. I remember relaxing but then going into the scientific conference and seeing that the pamphlets were now no longer in the lobby but under view in the main room.  A rather suspicious little man suddenly thrust a red and black poster in my hand saying this was the one you wanted.
The poster was like those I'd seen from the old Soviet era in Ulyanovsk in the Lenin museum.  Black and red and loud. I'd just been telling someone how Lenin's house was the ultimate in beurgeosie and his family socialized with the czar.  I remember rolling this poster up and fearing that if I were caught with it I'd potentially go to jail. It was some 'radical' , an intellectual I didn't know. But there was so much intrigue and espionage in the air and people about were so thrilled. I was somehow caught up in this fervour.
I remember a girl too, pretty and warm.  We were walking and talking near the water.  I felt safe in her company too.
Then I was in a drawing room and the men were discussing Donald Trump in lowered voices not quite whispers. The gay men were welcoming him as the only force which would still the jihadist forces that would kill them.  We had to remember this was in Turkey where the leadership longed for return of the Ottoman Empire. All over Europe there were these individuals from the upper classes who wanted the 'old days', the French their Napoleonic era, the German's the days of Bismarck, the English , their days of Victorian Empire.  It was a heady place with all the competing elements and these extremely worldly narcissistic fiercely nationalistic voices all threatened and overwhelmed by Trump. America was number one in the world and no one wanted diversity or democracy or any such public consumption idea, they all just wanted to be number one.  They wanted to have their old glory and to take back the position of leadership from Trump. Quite in contrast to the views of opposition forces at home he was considered in this discussion a genius and greatest of leaders, a regular Washington, de Gaulle , or Churchill or Bismarck.  The views were those of leaders who merely admired greatest, like a collection of Martial artists standing about after the world champion has been declared, discussing his attributes.  There was an element of the Hessian Glass Bead Game in that room, something of a library, where men through the ages had discussed kings and queens like one might football or hockey or soccer coaches.  There wasn't any of the partisan stupidity but simply admiration and a lack of speculation about where he was going. The future was unknown just as it had been when Stalin and Monty and Patton had been walking on the face of the earth.
Because this was Turkey and so many old communists were among the jihadists I felt they kept their voices low and I was a listener but just by being there caught up in the intrigue and knowing that outside of America and indeed in fewer places even in the west this conversation that was so original and pragmatic could not go on without risk to the lives of the individuals. I loved these men talking openly among themselves knowing that they so wanted freedom and yet here we were all potentially facing jail for just participating in discussion.
Politics and religion are topics that are taboo in most of the world.
I thought fondly of my friends and found myself walking down corridors in this grand old hotel where the conference was occurring.  I was carrying this poster and didn't even know the man and had been involved in a political discussion and I had openly gay friends and had myself such history and now was in a country where I could be arrested and tortured for my sexuality, my political belief and my Christian faith.
I awoke from this exciting heady dream and felt youthful again, like I had when I'd left home and gone to Europe and encountered so many ideas and later studied at the university.  I laught when I think of the abuse of the word 'diversity' by those who fear anything but their own echo chambers.  White is black and black is white in the midst of change. The adage 'confusion is the harbinger of change' goes right along with 'cloud of unknowing' and 'fog of war'.  The present media favourites speak with a certainty that shows the limits of their exploration. Always there is uncertainty and fear with such uncertainty. The ancients spoke of 'awe' with talk of God and change.  The silly think they want change but mostly they just want dominance and escape.  The Chinese blessing and curse is , "may you live in interesting times'.
I'm in an unsettling move.  Kim Jong sun is shooting nuclear missiles over Japan.  China and Russia seem still allies despite one being Christian and the other aetheist.  The Middle East is ever uncertain with Israel the only sanity in the region and increasingly Canada joining with blood thirsty monarchs over the friendship of Jews increasingly persecuted as Christians are in this new 'progressive' and 'tolerant' society of increasing hate and violence within.
I was comforted by my dream.  I thought of my friend Anthony flying that plane and Dave being at the conference and the sweet girl by the sea. It was all reassuring but fascinating and full of intrigue. I felt was an observer in a James Bond movie though more likely I'd be in a Flashman novel somehow.
Now I'm coming into this world and have to face those in the downtown epidemic, helping and cajoling and begging and selling sobriety and abstinence. I'm invested and present. I want my patients to live. I know it's the de rigor to be detached and cold , just giving out the medication. But I've been through watching my brother sick and dying with his doctors and those I most admired and those he most was enliverned by were terribly human as I am.  I am dominated and ruled by cold Confuscian beurocrats who make rules and stay as far from reality as their desks can place them but they are ego driven and demand we all mirror them.  Some colleagues dress like government beurocrats and lawyers.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I fear I should cut my hair and forego my sandals but take comfort in my colleague who comes to work in shorts and my other colleague who has such a sense of humor having escaped from a country which was like ours is sadly becoming. Her charm and wisdom comfort me.
This world is as exciting as my dream. Yesterday the ride to work on the Harley was exhilarating. Today I've got to drop off the laundry so much take the sports car. Gilbert my dog will enjoy coming along.  Soon he'll have George as company and I'm looking forward to the weekend with Laura.  Both our homes are in dishevelled disarray as we're both moving.  I'm making major headway on the clutter and now just must discard more and more to make my place simpler.