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  • mistermuse 12:05 am on September 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Creation, early color film, Henry David Thoreau, , John James Audubon, John Muir, national parks, naturalists, , , Theodore Roosevelt,   

    THE NATURAL LIST 

    You’ve heard of Charles Darwin. Also, concordantly, Henry David Thoreau. If you’re really into national parks, naturally you’re familiar with John Muir (“Father of the National Parks”). If you have an avian fixation, you’re birds-of-a-feather with John James Audubon, world famous ornithologist and painter of our feathered friends.  But I suspect that the name of John Burroughs probably drew a blank when you saw it in my last post.

    Fame is fickle. In his day, Burroughs (1837-1921) was as well known as any of the above naturalists who remain well remembered today. But, according to biographer Edward Renehan, he was more “a literary naturalist” than a scientific one, which (along with his rejection of religious orthodoxy) may account somewhat for his fading into relative obscurity.  Whatever the case, Burroughs, who was a contemporary of Thoreau and Audubon, a good friend of Muir (as well as of Walt Whitman and Theodore Roosevelt), and has been called “America’s Darwin,” has been left in their shadow. More’s the pity.

    The last of his many books was ACCEPTING THE UNIVERSE (1920), from whence the quote in my 9/20 post. Other quotes I like from Burroughs’ works include these:

    Nature is not moral. There is no moral law until it is born of human intercourse. The law of the jungle begins and ends in the jungle; when we translate it into human affairs, we must take the cruelty of the jungle out of it, and read it in terms of beneficent competition. Man is the jungle humanized.

    The greatest of human achievements and the most precious is that of the creative artist. In words, in color, in sounds, in forms, man comes closest to emulating the Creative Energy itself. It seems as if the pleasure and the purpose of the Creative Energy were endless invention.

    How beautifully the leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.

    Only a living tree drops its fruit or its leaves; only a growing man drops his outgrown opinions.

    I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    I close with a curio: a 1919 prizmacolor film of “a day in the life of John Burroughs,” which ends with words wise in the ways of what really matters:

     
    • arekhill1 12:04 pm on September 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I am already campaigning for Darwin Day as a national holiday for rationalists. They should put this guy on a postage stamp, at least. Thanks for bringing him to our attention Sr. Muse

      Liked by 3 people

    • mistermuse 1:37 pm on September 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      An excellent suggestion, Ricardo. Now that America has the “FOREVER” postage stamp, we have a stamp fit for making up to Mr. Burroughs for his country’s forgetfulness.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 4:08 pm on September 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You never know Muse. Sometimes these type of people come back into vogue. Naturalists might become the subject of some documentary or movie. Hey almost no one had heard of Scott Joplin until that movie The Sting. Till then Muse, you keep them alive.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:55 pm on September 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Among Ken Burns’ many great documentaries was THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA (in which John Muir was a major figure), so it wouldn’t be a stretch for him to do one on naturalists.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mike 8:24 pm on October 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Gifford Pinchot, flawed though he was, created the conservation ethic. He found the way not to wreck the economy of man while at the same time not clearing all the forest in the process.

      He did however oppose Muir a few times and his view was economic only as he didn’t value preservation for the sake of beauty; his biggest flaw in my opinion. Though likely viewed as an enemy by some contemporary conservationists, Pinchot and Teddy Roosevelt did help to get the ball rolling in the process of creating National Parks.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:12 pm on October 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for pointing that out. I agree with your opinion of Pinchot’s biggest flaw, but, as they say today, whatever works!

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 4:48 pm on July 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Creation, , , , , On the Origin of Species,   

    GOD, MAN and CHARLES DARWIN 

    I was very unwilling to give up my belief…. Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. —Charles Darwin

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    I have on occasion speculated that if I weren’t a deist, I would without doubt (or more accurately, with doubt) be an agnostic. For me, atheism is a non-starter; I cannot rule out possibilities beyond the point where mere mortals have the capability to ascertain. For me, the difference between an atheist and an agnostic is humility: we’re limited humans. Even if you and I don’t believe in the ‘revealed’ God, why fall into the trap of conflating man’s invented God (religion) with the fact of creation and thus the plausibility of a creator, divorced and absent though He (It) may be from what He (It) hath wrought?

    These thoughts were in the back (but not too far back) of my mind as I was reading CHARLES DARWIN – A SCIENTIFIC BIOGRAPHY by the late Sir Gavin de Beer, a British scientist and author of many books on zoology, embryology, genetics, etc. I’d come upon this old book while library-browsing, and realized that, while we all know what Darwin was famous for, do we really know Charles Darwin, the man? What was he like, and what did he believe at various points in his life as his thinking evolved (pun intended)?

    Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind in getting to know Darwin is that he was “The man who struggled with his own ideas” (BBC website), keeping silent for 20 years before going public with his painstaking research, and describing his writing On the Origin of Species as “like confessing a murder.” Its publication in 1859 represents “one man’s struggle with the most radical idea of all time — the idea that humans shared a common ancestor with apes.”

    Darwin was born of Christian parents in 1809 at Shrewsbury, England, the son of a successful physician and a mother who died when Charles was eight years old, after which (quoting de Beer) “his home upbringing devolved largely on his elder sisters to whom, in spite of their persistent fault-finding, he was ever grateful for instilling in him the spirit of humanity.” Additionally, his grandfathers were important Enlightenment figures: Josiah Wedgewood, anti-slavery campaigner, and Erasmus Darwin, a doctor who ‘wrote the book’ (ZOONOMIA) on the radical idea that one species could transmute into another.

    Darwin’s father wished him to become a doctor, but after realizing that his son had an aversion to practicing medicine, he (quoting de Beer) “proposed that he [Charles] take holy orders in the Church of England. Indeed, at this time in his life, he felt so convinced of the truth of his religion” that he accepted. But after three years of studies at Christ’s College, he considered the time “wasted. His greatest pleasure was collecting beetles for the sheer joy of collecting.” After meeting men of distinction in botany and other fields, he studied geology and read books “from which he derived a zeal to travel and study natural history.”

    A set of fortuitous happenings led to a position as a neophyte naturalist on the HMS Beagle, which set sail from England in Dec. 1831, not to return until October 1836….five years of meticulous observations, collecting specimens and exhaustive exploration too lengthy to detail here, but which began a new chapter in the history of science.

    Years later, “The result of his experiences was that (says de Beer quoting Darwin) My theology is a simple muddle; I cannot look at the universe as the result of blind chance, yet I can see no evidence of beneficent design, or indeed of design of any kind, in the details….the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wonderful universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God; but whether this is an argument of real value, I have never been able to decide. I am aware that if we admit a first cause, the mind still craves to know from whence it came. Nor can I overlook the difficulty from the immense amount of suffering through the world. The safest conclusion seems to me that the whole subject is beyond the scope of man’s intellect.”

    “Darwin never felt any but the most friendly and charitable feelings for those who differed from him in matters of religion, provided that they were honest. This is amply confirmed from both sides. Rev. J. Brodie Innis wrote to Darwin, We often differed, but you are one of those rare mortals from whom one can differ and yet feel no shade of animosity, and that is a thing of which I should feel very proud if anyone could say it of me. Darwin’s description of their relations was equally generous: Innis and I have been fast friends for thirty years, and we never thoroughly agreed on any subject but once, and then we stared hard at each other, and thought one of us must be very ill.”

    And now I feel I know Charles Darwin, the man.

    P.S. My thanks to Richard Cahill, whose July 23rd post “God, Man and Donald Trump” inadvertently suggested my title for this post after I thought better of my original (or more accurately, less original) title.

     

     

     
    • DoesItEvenMatterWhoIAm? 5:02 pm on July 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Very cool! I like this post as both an Anthropologist and an Agnostic! Very well written! ♡ Melanie

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mél@nie 10:06 am on July 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        excellent, indeed, so same here, Melanie… 🙂 btw, I’m Mélanie from Toulouse, France… 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • DoesItEvenMatterWhoIAm? 10:07 am on July 27, 2015 Permalink

          Hi! How fun to say hello around the world to another Melanie!!!!

          Like

        • DoesItEvenMatterWhoIAm? 10:08 am on July 27, 2015 Permalink

          Oh by the way I am in Salem, Oregon, USA

          Like

    • mistermuse 6:24 pm on July 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks! You are the (even better) female equivalent of a gentleman and a scholar 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 6:26 pm on July 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m basically an agnostic but choose to err on the side of belief in a higher power simply because I feel more empowered when I do, And the world seems more magical.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 7:40 pm on July 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I’m not so sure that we fall on different sides of the deist/agnostic comparison – your belief in “a higher power” sounds similar to me being an agnostic if I weren’t a deist. Perhaps it somewhat depends on one’s definition of deist. As I understand it, no deist believes in a revealed God, but some may believe in the efficacy of prayer and/or even an afterlife. Personally, I believe prayers are useless and a possible afterlife is “beyond the scope of man’s intellect” (to quote Darwin).

        Like

    • Don Frankel 4:54 am on July 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Who else can I have these conversations with? We’ve been on this subject on and off for the last few years. I’ve realized something about you and Richard and other people I know, their religious upbringing seems to almost have been traumatic. In that, someone or someones tried to brow beat all of you into believing. I was brow beaten into non-believing. Makes me wonder why people get so excited about it all. Or should I use the term stimulated? Mental illness ran rampant in my family.

      What most people don’t want to realize is we just can’t know. We are stuck with these pathetic little things we call minds. We can’t see or hear things that are happening around us all the time. We can perceive just so much and understand it seems, less.

      Darwin is a prime example of how we are at our best when asking questions and at our worst when we assume we know all about something, we can’t possibly know.

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    • mistermuse 6:53 am on July 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, your upbringing strikes me as a prime example of that old saying to the effect that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. Perhaps I am another example, though under different circumstances (my parents divorced when I was 12 and from that point I grew up without a father; looking back, I see that as the beginning of a traumatic period, though I didn’t understand it at the time). Anyway, I’m glad to have gotten to ‘know’ Darwin, because I didn’t realize the anguish he went through in evolving into the man he became – a man I can thoroughly empathize with and relate to.

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    • arekhill1 10:33 am on July 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      While I appreciate anybody paying attention to me, if there is an afterlife, Darwin must be fuming in it for being mentioned in the same breath as Trump, Sr. Muse.

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    • mistermuse 12:21 pm on July 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      No doubt that’s true, Ricardo….plus, the fact that The Donald represents a major step backward on the evolutionary ladder would seem to raise questions about The Theory. Darwin can’t be too happy about that, either.

      Liked by 1 person

    • scifihammy 11:35 pm on July 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I never saw this post in my Reader – some posts have been appearing lower down among ones I have already read.
      I’m glad I came to have a look at your Blog and find this very interesting essay on Darwin. I think it is hard nowadays to imagine just how difficult it was for Darwin to accept his own theory and present it to a narrow-minded world. I got his Origin of the Species out of the library once. It is a massive work, both literally and figuratively.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 6:32 am on July 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      That’s an excellent point about Darwin….and it seems that “narrow-minded world” will ever be with us. In the past 100 years, we’ve seen everything from the Scopes Monkey Trial to the present violence and barbarity of religious fundamentalism. Not much evolution in that world.

      Like

    • M. Talmage Moorehead 10:49 pm on August 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      “For me, the difference between an atheist and an agnostic is humility…”

      That’s brilliant! I love it. Thank you.

      Talmage

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:58 am on August 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I “humbly” (working on the more realistic “semi-humbly,” but evolution is a slow process) accept your judgment. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Like

  • mistermuse 10:13 am on March 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Creation, , eternity, , , , the afterlife   

    MORE ABOUT THE BEGINNING 

    I hadn’t intended to write a follow-up — much less a serious one — to ABOUT THE BEGINNING (my last post), but after thought-provoking comments by Don Frankel and Michaeline, I had to face the soul-searching question, “Am I a muse or a mouse?” The answer is a squeaker, but I decided to face the muse-ic and go where mice-men fear to tread. So let’s go back to, oh, About The Beginning.

    That title, of course, referred to the coming into existence of the universe. In that post, the words after WHAT ATHEISTS BELIEVE proclaimed the nonexistence of a creator, i.e. the “Nothing” that “makes sense”….as opposed to the revealed creator, the biblical God of believers. For me, neither scenario passes the smell test. Here’s why:

    It is said that man cannot live without his illusions. Perhaps that is not entirely a bad thing….if the alternative is unbearable. If you don’t know what you don’t know, perhaps illusion is the saving compensation. That, to me, largely explains  the “revealed” God of religion. But if that need for “faith in a power stronger than ourselves” (to quote Michaeline) is as subject to perversion as any other human want, is it not also a force for good? In any case, that’s a proposition that is beside the question here; a fairy tale is still a fairy tale no matter how benevolent. The greatest saint in history has either gone on to eternal life or not, irrespective of his or her faith. We cannot believe our way into what may not exist.

    The atheist’s position is a different kind of challenge….not in an adversarial sense, because this isn’t a debating contest, but a reality search, no matter where the search leads….even if the reality turns out to be beyond human reach. Certitude, in such a case, is for dogmatists….which atheists are not above, in my view. Barring absolute proof, how is certainty that there is no god any less dogmatic than certainty that there is?

    Don refers to “idea[s] in Physics” (such as the search for a theoretical “God particle,” which is beyond my pay grade and perhaps beyond finding). A less pie-in-the-sky idea in Physics is the Big Bang Theory, which (to my unscientific mind) is entirely plausible, but which addresses only the means (how the universe was created), not what was behind the means….or behind the scenes, for the more theatrical-minded among you.

    As a creative writer, I can’t get my head around creation without a creator. This post didn’t write itself, and I can’t see a universe creating itself, no matter how miniscule the brain behind these words or the particle that exploded into a universe. But then there’s always the question, who created the creator? Whence cometh God? Ah. That calls for another theory. Here’s mine (it’s probably not original, but what do you want for nothing, as an atheist might say):

    There is no such thing as time outside of creation. The creator has always existed. But that doesn’t necessarily mean human beings have souls which will pass into that timeless realm after death. Then why did the creator bother? What’s the point? As the late vocalist Peggy Lee asked, Is that all there is? We may never know.

    Presumably, a creator who created and sanctions such misery and suffering as is our lot on earth would be the same “person” our souls would be at the whim of in an afterlife. Of course, many of us are fortunate enough in this life to experience more than enough love and empathy to offset the madness. Based on this mixed bag of a creation, can it’s creator be other than a mixed bag?

    I guess we’ll find out soon enough….or not.

     

     

     
    • arekhill1 11:46 am on March 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Sr. Muse, you fail to mention the Big Toot Theory of the Beginning, which was that our universe was blown out of the rear of some hyperdimensional bovine in another, better universe. I’m grateful for that, because it gives me a chance to mention it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 12:16 pm on March 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      That’s one of the things I like about you, Ricardo – you don’t give a toot, even though the universe may have. Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve become quite a big tooter in my old age.

      P.S. Unlike the other two positions in the second paragraph of my post, the Big Toot Theory definitely passes the smell test.

      Liked by 1 person

    • ladysighs 1:01 pm on March 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I won’t say many but know there are more than a dozen nonbelievers that don’t give a toot what others believe. So what’s the big fuss? The fuss comes when ideas are pushed on us and our lives are controlled by these ideas. 😦
      (nothing new)

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 1:34 pm on March 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Well, that’s the holy terror of religion, isn’t it: trying to force the belief on others that only their sect, denomination or cause knows the will of God and has all the answers. As for nonbelievers who don’t give a toot what others believe, that’s no skin off my nose (but I would hope they care about something).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michaeline Montezinos 6:25 pm on March 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Having been the skeptic practitioner of two religions, I think that I do not need doctrines or directives on how to live my life. I believe if a person has tried and suceeded in living a life that suits her abilities and needs, then that life is to be enjoyed to the very end. What may or may not come after is not worthy of my conjecture. Actually, I think that dead is dead and there is no going forward or backward.
        What is the creator if there is one? Some people are still wondering what actually happened. My question is, does all this speculation actually make a difference in our daily lives? I have always felt a connection with others regardless of their station in life. I have tried to share whatever I had with those less fortunate. Living life to it fullest is more important to me than wondering about the philosophy behind it.

        Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:55 pm on March 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Philosophy admittedly isn’t everyone’s cup of poison hemlock, and far be it from me to criticize those who don’t have a taste for it….but I think it’s safe to say the world would be a much poorer place without history’s great philosophers. Though such thinking may not make a difference in most daily lives, even Jesus reportedly said, “Man does not live by bread alone” (though according to the bible, he had God, not philosophy, in mind when he said it),

      At any rate, one of the implied takeaways from my post is that “all this speculation” makes no difference whatsoever in what (if anything) happens AFTER this life. Nonetheless, for those who can’t help but think about it, I can relate (more often than not, with tongue in cheek).

      Like

    • Don Frankel 2:13 pm on March 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Muse I think you’ve turned this up, down and sideways as much as anyone ever could. I just don’t think there’s any definitive answer to any abstract concept. The human mind can only do what it does and it can’t do that.

      Like

    • mistermuse 3:15 pm on March 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Don. You’ve pretty well summed it up. Between writing this post, the last post and the comments, I feel like I’ve been working on this for six days and it’s time to rest. Conveniently enough, it’s Sunday.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Sam373 11:11 am on March 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      The problem with these questions is that the created although created in the image of the creator, limits itself and thus limits that which created it, he or she.
      Consider this, life is a school where one learns what one does not know. Life as we know it may be but a moment of eternity. But what can the student learn if the student refuses to consider the possibilites.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:52 pm on March 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Regarding your first point, irrespective of how the created “limits itself,” I would suggest to you that the created is intrinsically limited – at least, in this life. For example, the created has a limited lifespan, limited powers and limited mental and physical capabilities….and is therefore limited in the extent to which it is “created in the image of the creator.” We can hope for an eternal afterlife in which all that is wrong is made right, but who knows?

        As for the rest, I would amend the first sentence of your second paragraph to “life is a school where one SHOULD LEARN what one does not know,” for not only do some “refuse to consider the possibilities,” but many are never granted the opportunity….such as those who die or are killed in infancy, are born with severe brain damage, or are raised brainwashed in circumstances from which they cannot escape even if they knew they were brainwashed.

        Nonetheless, I respect your thinking and appreciate your thoughts.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sam373 2:16 pm on March 23, 2015 Permalink

          The Creator is Spirit and we are in his image and likeness Will continue forever.
          That spritual part of us gives life to this flesh. This physical existence is temporary and I believe one of many classes.

          Like

    • mistermuse 3:54 pm on March 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Far be it from me to try to persuade you that what you say about “continuing forever” is only belief rather than knowledge, because I am no more convinced that it is false than I am that it is true. I only know that I do not know. That is why I am neither an atheist nor religious (unless you call being honest with oneself and believing in empathy and love “religious”).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sam373 6:26 pm on March 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Honesty is the begining of trust.

        Religion is to do anything consistantly, right?

        Belief in a one God concept is an individule’s decision; regardless of others pro &/or cons.

        Like

    • mistermuse 7:43 pm on March 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Well, I wouldn’t define religion that way unless meant in a non-religious sense; for example: I am very religious (conscientious & consistent) about responding to comments to my posts.
      As for the rest, if you’ll pardon the pun, I’m having a devil of a time imagining who could disagree.

      Like

      • Sam373 8:41 am on March 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        If i may, I have a lot of respect for you for even intertainig these conversations.

        Religion is what many, most of us do; but the creator requires relationship.

        Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 1:10 pm on March 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      The respect is mutual, but relationship with creator seems to be anything but mutual….at least, not in any non-delusional way. Yes, many have claimed to have communicated with God – anyone can claim that, and even believed it – but God has never communicated with me, and if someone were to claim that’s because I’ve never been open to Him, I would say two things: 1. How do you know that? and 2. I was once a practicing Christian – give me a break!

      I don’t mean to be flip, but “mutual” means “mutual.” If God “requires relationship,” He knows where I am (not vice versa) – how is it not up to Him to start the relationship; not just with me, but with every human who has ever existed? We’ve been around for tens of thousands of years – what is He waiting for? How much longer do humans have to kill each other over their conflicting beliefs that God has made himself and/or His will known to them or their prophets?

      No, my friend, I’m afraid that if there is ever to be a REAL relationship, it will be in the next life – if there is a next life. And, as I suggested at the end of my post, the nature of such a relationship is problematic in more ways than one.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sam373 5:43 pm on March 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      The creator has communicated with me a number of times but not as often as I WOULD LIKE.
      too often to my requests the response as not what I wanted to hear. Nevertheless, I am persuaded.

      I am a follower of your writings.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:22 pm on March 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      It sounds as if I have succeeded in my intention not to be a proselytizer to my way of looking at things. I wish you the best.

      Like

    • barkinginthedark 12:58 am on August 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      okay…this is a question i have pondered…physicists all agree that the universe is expanding…yes? So – what is it expanding INTO? continue…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:26 am on August 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Into the continuing great unknown. If that be a copout of an answer, so be it — a better answer is beyond my pay grade. Good question, though.

        Like

  • mistermuse 5:35 pm on March 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , believers, Creation, , , ,   

    ABOUT THE BEGINNING 

    WHAT BELIEVERS THINK

    Nothing
    atheists say
    makes sense.

    WHAT ATHEISTS BELIEVE

    Nothing
    makes sense.

    WHAT GOD SAYS

    Nothing.

     
    • arekhill1 6:12 pm on March 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      No comment…oh, wait a second

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:55 pm on March 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Some might say it’s ancient history, but I guess you said all you have to say in the bible.

      Like

    • Don Frankel 4:31 am on March 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      “Sometimes nothin’ can be a real cool hand.” Luke

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    • mistermuse 6:15 am on March 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You must be referring to Matthew, Mark and John’s buddy, Cool Hand. Too bad the other three didn’t live long enough to make movies.

      Liked by 1 person

    • ladysighs 7:34 am on March 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      🙂 ++++

      Like

    • Don Frankel 7:41 am on March 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You have to admit Muse that was inspired. You know we’ve discussed religion and belief over the years and I hate to get serious but I have to take a moment to thank you. I got to examine and think about this in ways I never would have if you hadn’t put your religious history and thoughts out there. Like I’ve said I didn’t get any religion growing up so it has all been a great mystery to me. But my latest insight is this and I say latest as it might change any day.

      The idea of God or a Creator exists in the brain, don’t ask me where but it’s a concept an abstract concept. Maybe its the most abstract concept we have but it is sitting there. When someone discusses what they believe they are telling you their odyssey and how much they abstract. Believers who never contemplate or question and atheists who do the same thing aren’t abstracting and they don’t have much of an odyssey.

      There is an idea in Physics called the God particle. I don’t think I could explain it very well but it’s the essence of all matter and it is something that is searched for. A holly grail maybe? But one scientist asked. How will we know if we find it as we are it?

      Whether their is a God or not is a question, an abstract concept like most abstract concepts; justice, fairness, love, honor. There is no definitive answer. No one knows. You may think whatever you want and how much you explore it and what insights you gain, is what it’s about.

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    • mistermuse 9:26 am on March 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, no need to hate getting serious on my account. I welcome getting serious….in a thoughtful (as opposed to a dogmatic) way. To me, it’s not “getting serious” itself, but entrenched, doctrinaire positions that make it a turn-off. If life, and the big questions surrounding it, don’t warrant serious searching, I don’t know what does.

      I greatly appreciate what you said in your first paragraph, and as for the rest, if you don’t mind, I will take it up in a full posting (probably my next one), as there’s too much to discuss in a comment like this.

      Like

    • BroadBlogs 12:55 pm on March 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thought-provoking.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:22 pm on March 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you. There can be a fine line between being thought-provoking and preaching. If anyone says I crossed it (either here or in my follow-up post), I will of course…..blame the reader!

      Like

    • Michaeline Montezinos 5:38 pm on March 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I think of “God” now in abstract ways. Like Don said, the abstract concepts of justice and fairness are, in my opinion, ways to live one’s life that promote peace and goodwill.
      After watching the mindless cruelty. torture and killing by the Middle East terrorists as portrayed in the movie, AMERICAN SNIPER, I have seen true evil. To counter act that some have placed their faith in a higher power that will protect them from the evil surrounding them.

      It is the human brain that has carried this idea from the moment we rose from prehistoric man to something more civilized in thought and behavior. How evolution happened is based on science and so is the idea of the “God particle.” We, as scientists can neither prove this is true nor say it is a false concept, When it comes to supernatural beliefs we place ourselves in a position of speculation.

      To argue from a stand of logic and scientific knowledge is commendable but it is still based on human thought and belief in the end. Is there a supreme being like us watching over all that is going on the planet Earth? Perhaps, but to dwell on this and lean on this idea is basically a ignorant postion. Ignorance is not being stupid, just being unknowing. and to this end we are all unknowing.

      People believe in whatever satisfies, comforts and protects them. It is not wrong to believe someone is out there listening to our pleas and our thoughts. We all can use some faith in a power stronger than ourselves sometimes. Others are confident that they can use their skills and strengths to conquer their problems without any gods.

      There are great mysteries in our minds concerning our existence and in our tiny solar system amid the infinite universe surrounding us. Which should make us humble in our search for answers. Right now this is what I believe. But that may change as we explore the outer reaches of our Milky Way. Who knows what we may find?

      Like

    • mistermuse 10:20 pm on March 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I very much appreciate your thoughts, Michaeline. I had already promised to address Don’s comments in my next post, and will add yours to what I take into consideration in that upcoming piece. It’s a conversation to be continued.

      Like

      • Michaeline Montezinos 6:03 pm on March 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        That would be fine with me, mistermuse. I do not apologize for the piece I wrote although it wa a bit lengthy. I expressed my thoughts as best as I could communicate them. Use my reply as you wish.

        Like

        • Michaeline Montezinos 6:36 pm on March 14, 2015 Permalink

          I got the impression you thought I believed in a supreme, benevolent being watching over us. I don’t anymore because to do so would make me feel stupid and foolish. I don’t claim to be and atheist or an anarcrist. I just believe in myself and the amount of talent I may have. I also know my limits but I try to push them beoynd the false boundaries I may have placed before me. In any case, I have always despised being labeled or being put into a category. I guess I think I am beyond classification, dear mistermuse.

          Like

    • mistermuse 8:22 pm on March 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Michaeline, last I remember, you were a committed Jewess, so I didn’t realize that is no longer the case. But in any case, whatever you believe is OK by me (as long as it’s not an antimuse). 🙂

      Like

    • Michaeline Montezinos 11:05 pm on March 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I am of the Reform Jewish faith, so you are correct. However, we Jews are allowed to NOT believe in a God. We are respected if we have the intelligence to question the existence of anything that is not in tune with what our knowledge shows us. I do follow the tenets of the Ten Commandments because those rules are a guidance to living a good life. I do believe in treating people and the creatures of the Earth with respect and kindness. I avoid temptation and strictly keep all my vows and promises. After all, what kind of wife, mother, aunt, and writer would I be if I was just a dumb sheep following the masses?
      Now, mistermuse, shame on you for even thinking I would be against you in any way. I admire your tenacity, your wisdom and your kind comments regarding my writing. You are the standard bearer of all I want to be and you inspire me. Please, never again question my loyalty. As I used to tell my girls when they were silly, “Don’t make me come up there. I will straighten out your behavior; you won’t like it either.” That ususally worked. Be who you are and do not change for me or anyone else.

      Smile for me, Mr. Muse because I like you very much!

      Like

    • Mélanie 5:28 am on March 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      another wise, witty and intelligent post… HL = huge like! ❤

      here's kinda "prayer" of a great and wise contemporary French writer:"Mon Dieu qui n'êtes personne, donnez-moi chaque jour ma chanson quotidienne, mon Dieu qui êtes un clown, je vous salue, je ne pense jamais à vous, je pense à tout le reste, c'est déjà bien assez de travail, amen.” – 🙂 my quick & ad-hoc translation:"My God, who are nobody, gimme my favourite song daily… my God, who are a clown, I greet you, I never think of you, but I do think of all the rest, it is already enough work, amen."(Christian Bobin)

      Like

    • mistermuse 6:26 am on March 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      No problem, Michaeline – I did smile for you at the end of my last reply, but I’ll be glad to do it again. 🙂

      As for Reformed Jews being “allowed” not to believe in a God, I can’t get over the strangeness of a monotheistic religion which regards belief in God as optional….but that’s probably because I was raised in a very dogmatic religion, Catholicism. I know there are many atheistic Jews (Woody Allen & Carl Reiner come to mind), but I don’t know any atheistic Catholics, because that would be a contradiction in terms – neither the Church nor the atheist would consider that person to be any longer a Catholic. I certainly don’t consider myself one, although I still think there’s a creator (a word I prefer to “God,” a name which smacks of an almighty ego rather than an almighty designer/artist).

      Anyway, I found a pertinent piece titled “I Don’t Believe in a God – What Should I Call Myself?” which may interest you:

      http://valerietarico.com/2012/06/04/i-dont-believe-in-a-god-what-should-i-call-myself/

      P.S. You may have taken the word “antimuse” (in my last comment) too seriously – it was strictly tongue-in-cheek, not meant to cause you consternation! 🙂

      Like

    • mistermuse 6:42 am on March 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Melanie, I appreciate the quote, and I appreciate you even more.

      P.S. I take it Christian (Bobin) isn’t a Christian.

      Like

      • Mélanie 4:09 pm on March 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        thank you, Sir! frankly speakin’, I think he’s more a pure French “cartésien” like me(a skeptical Cartesian=a follower of Descartes), but I’m not sure…

        Liked by 1 person

    • Michaeline Montezinos 1:45 pm on March 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the smile, mistermuse. I did read the posting by Valerie. I recall I had read it before. She writes about labels for those who either have a strange belief in God, like soft atheists, or those who claim not to believe. Somehow all of these labels just turn me off. I think what or who a person believes is important to that person only.

      Jews do follow the teachings of Judaism by being attuned to the spiritual and wordly needs of their community. Many are are do gooders and I am proud of them. I was raised as a Catholic so I know the pressure their teachers place on believing in strict doctrine. Later I surmised that it was impossible that God could be only One and yet three persons in the Holy Trinity, that is, Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. It just did not make any logical sense to me. I wasn’t going to take it on “faith” either.

      Also, I was shunned by the same Church that embraced me with all his holy sacraments. Why? Because my husband had divorced me after committing adultery with a woman who had been married. He married her as soon as she divorced her devoted husband. Somehow the community of elderly women Catholics blamed me for this great “sin.” I was the broken hearted victim not the perpertrator of this mess.

      I studied all the other great religions and thought of converting to Judaism. Luckily my new husband had been raised in that religion so I studied to be a Jew and went to temple. I was converted before our child was born two years later. I was happy then as my spiritual beliefs were similar to my new religion. However, I later grew to examine Judaism as a religion. Besides believing in One God and the Ten Copmmandments, I felt out of place. Because being Jewish is also a way of living with many rituals and practices. I had not grown up and learned this from my family. So I began a journey to seek out where my faith in the supernatural would lead me.

      Many folks say their human relationships are complicated. So it was and still is with my religious and spiritual beliefs and revelations…it’s complicated.

      Like

    • mistermuse 3:01 pm on March 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Wisely said, Michaeline – labels, it seems to me, may be important to those who think they’re important (for whatever reason), but a muse by any other name would smell as sweet — even after not bathing or showering for several weeks. Though I call myself a deist, I didn’t seek to become one – it’s just a representation of where I now find myself on that thorny path labeled “spiritual journey.”

      Like

    • Michaeline Montezinos 10:41 pm on March 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for the compliment, mistermuse. It warms me Polish heart, it does.

      ##############################################################

      I have a difficulty believing I am “wise.” But the proof is in the pudding, I surmise.

      You can be called a deist, or any name you won’t resist. But never a catholist.

      Descriptive labels can be fine, but too many are a waste of time.

      If the shoe fits don’t deny its power to exist. Without it, we would limp all the time.

      We are certainly entitled now to be called something better than a cow.

      So label onward and be brave; an honest label is not a knave’s.

      I know the truth will prevail and aliases are to no avail.

      Why I wrote this ode so off the wall, must be due to the many falls,

      And the stitches that itches upon my head

      will be much calmer once I put them all to bed.

      Like

    • Michaeline Montezinos 10:49 pm on March 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I wrote this as the words were flowing fast.
      I don’t expect this silly poem to ever last.
      Yet I wrote it especially for you, I think,
      Just hoping that it dosn’t stink! (Hee! Hee!)

      From MEM or M&M, alias Mickaleen, Michelynne
      and Mickey the mightier Mouse 😉
      to mister mickey muse…

      Like

    • mistermuse 7:52 am on March 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Methinks you’ve been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day a wee bit ahead of time, me fine Mickaleen colleen. I suggest cutting back on the Irish whiskey and drinking more Irish coffee for the next day or two. 🙂

      Like

    • Michaeline Montezinos 6:15 pm on March 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Verily, you are a wise lad me muse but its not the whickey I use,
      Just the thought of me grown up up gal and her lassie pal
      That be comin to visit me on St. Paddy’s Day that makes me wanna jig!
      Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you, mistermuse, and here’s an Irish kiss,
      But dont you tell your missus miss or we all be in trouble big!

      Like

    • mistermuse 8:09 pm on March 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Speaking of not telling, I forgot to tell you I liked the two poems in your comments last night (especially the first one). Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

      Like

    • The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap 10:09 am on April 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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