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Thursday, July 5, 2007Do We Possess Our Souls?
It is tragic how few people ever ‘possess their souls’ before they die… Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.. —- Oscar Wilde
I love to take something like Oscar said and start digging in it . I believe what Heidegger said… I think it was something like “Existential analysis has the character of doing violence, whether to the claims of everyday interpretation or to its complacency and tranquilized obviousness…” So get ready Oscar….
I am not quite sure how I cannot be the Other. The only examples of not being others are those stories of children who are brought up by wolves, none of them I believe survive well once they discover the Others…. All of us are trapped in the Others. It can be argued that even original thoughts are not original, they are built on some thought before or some connections someone made due to life experiences, some finding of one kind or another. I can imagine a 21st century teenager dropping by in to a day in the 1st. century, now there would be an original human…..
I am guessing Oscar is just frustrated with something… maybe he is watching the rest of us and believes we can do more to “claim our souls” — I would like to ask him what does a human like that look like? What does his/her days look like? Or maybe Oscar is just upset with himself… some standard he possibly set up for himself. Or maybe he showed up for himself - at the moment he said this - as a human “not good enough.” Well that is what being here is all about…. Not being good enough… We all have our projects.
We don’t have a choice Oscar… we are stuck being the Other, at best, another version or a newer one. I say enjoy it anyway.. nothing wrong with being the Other…
Nachket’s eyes narrowed as he scanned the skyline cautiously. From his vantage point in the trees, it should have been fairly easy to see quite a distance in most directions; as it was, however, the thick black smoke that the hills here seemed to literally leak out of their pores obstructed the vast majority of his view. He shook his head and began to work his way back down the tree, dropping silently to the ground next to Ramadeur.
Ramadeur jerked a finger in the direction the undead were moving. “Any sign yet?”
“None that I can see.” Nachket shook his head. “It’s too hard to see over the smoke that fills this valley.”
“Then the legends about this place are true as well.” Ramadeur and Nachket began to make their way back to the wagon where Seline was ensconced. “The smoky foothills really do produce smoke. Amazing.”
“Be a great place to hide an army.”
“That it would, yes. I’m assuming that is the reason that Hinton is driving us here; Naguilla’s army must be getting close. His forces are moving faster, the closer to the hills we get; we must be almost on the dragon’s damnable doorstep.”
“… and then?”
“And then… I… don’t know.” Ramadeur’s thoughts were interrupted when an undead man approached, carrying a bag. “Looks like food has arrived.”
“Ugh.” Nachket visibly flinched. “I can’t stand thinking that something dead has touched the food. Are we not to even hunt?”
“We’re to wait, it is out of our hands now. But I fully agree.” Ramadeur yanked the bag out of the undead man’s hands and slung it over his shoulder. “I don’t even want to know why the last few deer they’ve brought to us had teeth marks around their necks.”
Nachket shuddered. “Hinton… will let us go afterwards?”
Ramadeur did not reply. Nachket grew silent as well as they entered the camp and Sandor approached.
Sandor took the bag off of Ramadeur’s shoulder and grinned. “We any closer?”
Nachket shook his head. “Not that I can tell. The smoky foothills earned their namesake today, I couldn’t see a thing.”
“Well, we’ll be there soon… enough…” Sandor’s voice dropped as he looked in the bag. A wry grin split his face as he said, “Actually, I believe things are about to get very interesting, indeed…”
“Why do you say that?”
Sandor reached into the bag and pulled out the decapitated head of a goblin. “How are your taste buds for goblin meat?”
* * *
“Master Grish! Master Grish!” The goblin ran through the camp, blood oozing down his back from his wounds. The other goblins in the camp simply ignored him, though some of the larger ones shoved him aside as he slammed into them.
Finally, the wounded goblin arrived at a large tent and pushed his way through the guards into the interior. Inside, only a small goblin stood, rummaging through a stack of papers. The goblin looked up and snarled, “What is it, fool?”
“Mast… er Grish…” Panting, the goblin collapsed to his knees, trying to catch his breath. “I bring news!”
“You do.” Grish placed the papers back down on the ground and approached the wounded goblin, his hands on his belt. “Well, then tell me.”
Grish frowned. “We’ve cleared them from the tunnels, I’ve promised Naguilla as such. Tell me I’m wrong, and you die here.”
“N… No!” Flailing, the goblin grabbed Grish’s tunic and pulled himself back up. “No! The undead… they’ve found the outer scout postings!”
Grish’s frown deepened. “What is your name and rank?”
“Tharp, scout. I was one of the six scouts on the far side of the smoky foothills. They came in swarms; we could not hold them back, we were not prepared for as many as what came, Master Grish, the undead are coming!” Gibbering madly, the goblin released Grish again and sat back, his voice reaching higher octaves with each sentence.
“How many?” Grish slapped the goblin savagely. “I need to know how many!”
“Over… over a thousand, easy!”
“A thousand.” Grish frowned. “In one location, a thousand is false hope. A thousand undead in one spot means that tens of thousands of undead are scattered throughout the foothills already. We might even be surrounded by now, but I doubt that yet.”
“Good work, Tharp. And rest assured, you do not need to worry about the undead, scout.” Grish walked behind the scout and pulled a wicked knife from his belt, stabbing downwards savagely time and again until the corpse at his feet no longer twitched.
Grish tossed his knife onto the body and left the tent. A few of his officers shot him a questioning look, which the goblin brushed aside with a casual look. Grish moved over to his pony and told the nearest man, “I will be gone for a bit. When I return, I want the patrols doubled just to be on the safe side.”
“Yes sir!” The goblin saluted as Grish spun on his horse and galloped away to the north.
“Wonder what that was about.” One of the lieutenants shot his companion a questioning look.
The companion shrugged. “No idea, but it couldn’t have been very important. He’s not even riding toward Naguilla’s cavern. So it’s probably nothing.”
Hey there, fellow internet survivalists! Ever wondered what’s the craziest, least sensible group of people on the planet? No, it’s not Islamic fundamentalists. No, not turbo-militant creationists. No, not the evil crazy cat ladies either. It’s followers of a ‘religion’ called Scientology. Though I use the term religion very loosely, like how worshipping a dried pear that looks like Ronald Reagan is a ‘religion’.
Lead us, Linda!
Okay, now that I’ve made myself a target for assassination attempts, you’re gonna ask... why’s this? Those Scientologists are just nice guys with a really lame rip-off crucifix as their logo. Yeah, that’s right. They have a cross, but it also has a sharp, hazardous ‘X’ going through the center. Way to go originality. Well, first… to explain things, their Religion was started in the 1950’s by… get this: it was started by a goddamned science-fiction paperback writer. L. Ron Hubbard was his name, and the ‘L’ stands for Linda. To be fair, if I had a first name like fucking Linda, I’d want to start some kinda evil cult too.
Anyway, so this religion tests people with cheesy magazine back ‘yes/no’ questionnaires that only the reincarnation of Jesus-Gandhi-ChefBoyardee could pass. When you invariably fail, they offer free ‘help’ courses… such as being told that you suck repeatedly while having cold water thrown in your face until you agree to pay their rather ‘competitively’ priced counseling fees, so you can learn all of the secrets of the universe. Not a bad deal, huh?
Secrets… well… Here we go. I’m going to try and explain… but what they think makes the plot of DUNE look crystal-clear by comparison, without the hallucinogenic spice. So like… this is what pastor Hubbard says: Precisely 75 million years ago, a tyrannical galactic alien emperor named Xenu controlled the whole galaxy, including our blue planet Earth, which was called Teegeeak back in those days. Overpopulation was really messing up his empire though, since 180 billion people lived on each of his hundred planets.
Mental health and volcanos. Nice dichotomy there, Linda.
To solve this problem, Emperor Xenu used his elite psychiatrist legions to trick people into being injected with knock-out chemicals, and put them into futuristic spaceships that look exactly like airliners, but with hyper-techno-advanced rocket engines instead of jet turbines. He flew them all to the Planet Teegeeak… I mean… Earth, where they all were stuffed into volcanoes, and blown up by multiple nuclear bombs for some reason. Wow. This sounds like a perfect solution to America’s homeless problems. Oh, and then Xenu decided it was such a waste to nuke mountainfuls of people, so he collected all of their souls into little boxes, like the way the Ghostbusters catch ghosts, to prevent their souls from reincarnating into humans to overthrow his rule. The souls have to watch shitty movies inside these soul-catcher boxes for all eternity, much like the awesome television show, Mystery Science Theater 3000, where two robots and a custodian watch movies and mock them in space.
So anyway, the Evil Overlord Xenu was overthrown by his own government, and locked up in a volcano, where he’s trapped by an eternally-powered forcefield and is still living today. Uh huh. Those souls (called ‘Thetans’) then escaped the theaters and are possessing humans, causing them to feel bad, have shitty lives, and not ever get laid. So basically, blaming your problems on ‘Thetans’ and not ‘Your own fucking ineptitude’ is what this story promotes. Well, that’s about it. Damn accurate depiction of the ancient universe, I say. Only one catch. They tell you this stuff after you’ve already spent about $50,000 dollars on ‘treatment sessions’, which only serve to show how much of a goddamn idiot you are, and why you should never, ever be allowed to breed.
This religion is fucking sad, I’ll tell you that. They’re the ‘Church of Scientology’ officially, but… I got to wondering. What the fuck is the word Scientology? I can tell you what it’s not though, and that’s Science. No, they instead have Scient™, the low-carb, low-fat, fact-free version of science, promoted by Linda Ron Hubbard, author of such masterpieces of literature as ‘Battlefield Earth’, the story of how the Earth gets taken over by aliens who look like white guys with green eyes and dreadlocks.
When you're at the bottom you really can't go anywhere else but up.
So back to the topic, Scient™ology is based on the exorcising of those darned Thetans from your body, as they cause all kinds of things. They’re why you get sick after gorging your fat dumb ass on six cans of beef stew. They’re why your armpits repulse woodland animals after you fail to bathe in a month. They’re why you can’t get a date to save your life, even after showing that (un)lucky someone your collection of batman figurines you’ve collected for the last 28 years of your life.
To do so, you use a special set of techniques that Linda Ron Hubbard has himself perfected. One of which is called ‘Dianetics’, which quote:
“...this new science of the mind or this new philosophy had a significance for mankind that was greater than the discovery of the wheel and equal in significance to the discovery of fire."
Oh modesty, your name is Linda. Yeah, well, Dianetics involves apparently the ritual of throwing money at Scientology, while they tell you how much you suck, and how it’s okay to suck, because giving them money lets them help you suck less. Measure the suckitude, they have special hyper-technological doohickies designed by Linda Ron Hubbard himself called E-Meters, that measure your levels of gullibility. No, it’s true. It’s claimed they measure ‘Theatan Possession Quotient’, but that’s really window dressing for pure gullibility, with a side of godawful stupidity. I myself have had the ‘fortune’ of being offered a free E-Meter testing to show how possessed I am once. This pair of Scient™ologists cornered me in a park and asked if I wanted all my problems to be solved, forever and ever and ever. So to show me how massively fucked up I am, they told me to squeeze a little box attatched by wires to a multimeter, a device used by nerds to make radio kits by measuring if electricity gets from point A to point B.
Travolta's money being put to good use.
So I got ‘tested’, and found out one astounding fact. How possessed I am is directly related to how hard I was squeezing the box. Real scient™-ific device you have there, fellow inhabitants of Teegeeak. Personally, I’m an indifferent atheist, and laughed in their faces, when they began to comment about how my thetan levels were off the charts. Duh, all demonically possessed people can grip a fucking cube.
Know what’s the saddest fact of all? About 50,000 people actually believe in this stuff, and are waiting for Linda ‘Super Jesus’ Ron Hubbard’s return to save them from the legions of Thetan posssessed people with surprisingly strong grips. Honestly though, this isn’t entirely funny stuff. People have DIED to these guys, like a woman named Lisa McPherson, a member who was locked in a closet for seventeen days. I say, that’s a pretty shitty way to go. ‘Yeah sure, Sign me up for this cult that shoves people in closets without food or water for three weeks, after I’ve paid them my life savings. Great deal! But now at least I have Xenu-Repelling Decoder Rings!’
Anyway, what can you do to protect our beloved planet Teegeeak from the forces of Scient™ology? Simple. If you see a scientologist, who says anything about ‘E-Meters’, ‘Operating Thetan Levels’ or ‘Xenu’, you hit them square across the face with the hardest, bluntest object available, and tell them that the reason they’re such useless fucks, is because they’re useless fucks. That’s when you give the poor saps a quarter as a start to replace the $80,000 dollars they’ve wasted on Thetan-B-Gone Spray, Gold Plated Deluxe E-Meters, and Linda Ron Hubbard water-transfer decal sheets.
So well, I’m probably gonna get massively sued. But hey, like I care. I’ll just mention Beloved Leader’s effeminate first name, and hope that’ll cause heads to explode in clouds of blood, bone and liquefied stupidity. Anyway, this rant is getting quite long, and I’ve got to head back to the frontline in the fight against the forces of dumbassery. Until next ranting, denizens of the internet(s)!
How did the universe begin? Did it have a beginning at all? These questions may have been the subject of speculation and debate for millennia, but they have not been widely discussed for the past forty years. Ever since the discovery of the cosmic background radiation in 1965, the overwhelmingly predominant view has been that our universe began about 14 billion years ago in a cosmic fireball known as the "big bang" and that it has been expanding, cooling, and evolving ever since. Recently, though, a small but growing number of theorists have begun to challenge this conventional belief and to pursue a radical new history of the universe. According to this new idea, there was a big bang, but this was not the beginning of space and time. In fact, in the version proposed by Neil Turok and myself, the big bang has occurred myriad times in our universe's past, repeating at regular intervals during which galaxies, stars, planets, and life form anew. The result is a "cyclic universe" in which cycles extend far into the past and into the future—and perhaps forever.
A challenge to the reigning paradigm of cosmology may seem ill-conceived at this time. One reads almost daily how astronomers have been able to verify the expansion and cooling predicted by the big bang model with great precision all the way back to the first second after the universe's creation and have produced detailed portraits of the various stages of its subsequent development. It is important to understand, though, that all these astronomical observations do not prove that the big bang was the beginning. This notion comes from a theoretical extrapolation back to a time beyond what can be observed using the equations of general relativity, Einstein's theory of gravity that is used to calculate how the expansion of the universe changes with time. The big bang is formally defined as the moment when the equations say that the temperature and density of the universe became infinite, and it is impossible to extrapolate back any further. Concluding that this represents the beginning of all space and time is suspect, however, as Einstein himself once pointed out. Properly construed, finding that the temperature and density become infinite is an indication that the mathematical equations underlying general relativity have become invalid, not that this is when the universe began.
To understand what really happened 14 billion years ago, it is first necessary to have an improved, complete theory of gravity, probably one that incorporates the laws of quantum physics, which Einstein's theory does not, and a precise understanding of the behavior of matter at high temperatures and pressures. String theory is the leading candidate for such an improved theory of gravity, but it has not developed to the point where it can definitively answer whether the big bang is the beginning or not.