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Benjamin-Newton.com and Cloudy.diamonds Books Online in Parts by Ben Huot

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Complete Introductions Collection 1 - Chapter 3

Ben Huot

June 28, 2011

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Table of Contents

Chapter 3

Discover the Website from Encouraging Words

3.1 Why So Serious?

3.1.1 Childhood Experiences

I am a very unusual and a very complex person. I also had an unusual childhood and have had untypical experiences as a young adult. School was really boring to me, but I enjoyed learning on my own through reading, especially: historical novels, news magazines, and encyclopedias. I was also very silly and had a slap stick style of humor. I grew up in the 90s when the economy was going good, America was thought of as the good guy, we had relative peace in the world, and it looked like people in power were going to take the environmental problems seriously and fix them before they got real bad.

3.1.2 The Military Experience

But all this changed, when I joined the military. In the time that I got off the plane, to when I met my first Drill Sergeant, I lost all my appreciation for the lighter side of life. When I signed up for the military, I didn't realize the life and death decision I made, until I went into the Gas Chamber at Basic Training. This is the time that the psychiatrist that first diagnosed me believed I had my first psychotic episode. A few months later, I got an allergy induced (not contagious) pink eye, which I suffered with constantly, until I was on my first antipsychotic in the hospital for a week (I realize that my allergic reaction was increased dramatically, due to the stress of being mentally ill, without medication).

3.1.3 College Experiences

I went to college, when I got out of the military, for 2 years and I picked up another year, after I tested out of a year of college, at the end of my time in the military. I was only in the military for 13 months, but I completed all my training and made it to my permanent duty station, before I left the military. I started taking business classes, because I thought it was the best way to get a good job, but hated it. I was in constant pain due to my pink eye. I changed my major later on to Journalism, shortly before I ended up in the mental ward of a local private hospital.

3.1.4 Experience with Mental Illness

After I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia, I had trouble reading or writing, but finally started again and then, at the end of that summer, I entered into a group home, with 8 other mentally ill men. I didn't have much money: less than $300 a month, at first. Then the following summer I got my permanent pension, from the VA (100% disability) and I got my first apartment. I got my disability a few months before September 11 and, if that had not happened, I would likely be an infantry soldier in Iraq now.

3.1.5 Experience Recovering

We tried various in home care workers, to help me with cleaning my house and making sure I took my medicine, but got so frustrated working with them that I entered a retirement home, for two years. After being picked on for all that time by senile people, I left for my own apartment again, next to an apartment complex for the mentally ill, who had their medications managed for them, and I contracted their services for about 6 months. Now I live totally independently.

3.1.6 The World Today

The situation in the world today is a very serious one. We don't just have an economic recession. We are at the very limits of what our planet can provide in terms of oil, soil, and drinkable water. At the very least our economy has permanently contracted. We cannot leave Iraq or Afghanistan any time soon, even if all of Congress and the White house were in agreement. Whenever oil gets too expensive, our entire economy will collapse very quickly and we will have to learn to live without electricity and modern plumbing. We are also going to have some great problems with most major cities having to deal with sea level rises, we will be getting El Nino every year on the west coast of the Americas, and New York city and Boston and everything down to Florida will be getting hurricanes bigger than Katrina, every year. Europe could go into another ice age and India is going to have a major water shortage.

Being intelligent does not make life easy and knowing the answers to problems does not help, because the people in power don't listen to us.

3.2 Main Ideas

3.2.1 Why Study the Old World?

* Have you attended public school but didn't like it precisely because you wanted to learn and you were bored out of your mind?

* Were you more interested in clubs and extra curricular activities because your school work was so repetitive and dull?

* Did you get so disillusioned by the public school system that you decided to put off college and join the military or start out in a trade?

* Do you enjoy reading and learning about other cultures and are tired of studying the American Revolution and the American Civil War?

* Are you tired of reading white American and English literature?

* Do you enjoy learning about other cultures?

* Do you see the supernatural as important in everyday life and realize that Science is not the solution to our fundamental problems?

* Have you had trouble classifying yourself into a particular social group and are more interested in helping a few friends and close family than becoming famous?

* Do you really want the world to be transformed and realize that God is the answer?

If you have had similar experiences and feelings, I invite you to Discover the Spiritual Old World with me.

3.2.2 Main Objective

Broader World View

When I present different ideas of mine, I am not doing so to persuade you, but to stimulate your thinking and help you find a broader view of the world. I think that the world is becoming too analytical and is relying too much on facts and on Science as their only sources for truth.

Holistic Worldview

It is not that there is no place for linear thinking, but that there is also value in holistic, artistic, and creative approaches to problems as well. I am not trying to get rid of Science, but rather show people that the spiritual world is just as important and that emotions are as useful as facts in decision making.

Think For Yourself

I could have argued some of my main philosophical ideas more directly to the point that they would be much more persuasive, but I am more interested in getting you to think for yourself rather than just getting my ideas adopted. I want people to come up with their own ideas and take responsibility for their outcomes rather than just regurgitating what they were told.

What God Wants

I believe this idea of coming up with your own ideas is an integral part of the Bible. God wants us to freely choose to follow Him and to choose to follow him with our intellect and emotions as well as our spirit. He wants us to really believe in what He values and take risks in applying these truths we need to accept whether we understand them or not in the best way we know how.

Christ and Christianity

We need to see beyond a set of doctrines and realize that Christ is more than what a systematic theology can explain and accept Him as a role model and as an individual. We need to pursue a life as it was lived by Christ in its entirety and to do so we must use our intellect and emotions to apply His personality and values to our very different situations.

3.2.3 How I Can Both be a Free Thinker and a Christian

Christianity is about Free Choice

Many people associate free thought with Atheism and Science. But the most real part of the world is the spiritual world and the thing that defines humanity is our free choice. Although Science is not rejected by specific Biblical Scriptures, a worldview that sees things only from a material perspective misses out on so much.

Christianity is Multicultural

Many colonial powers tried to use Christianity, to control people in the third world and in their own countries. But, if you read the Bible and talk to most people in the world who call themselves Christians, you will realize that they come mostly from the third world and are very often very anti-western. Christianity is the world's most popular and culturally diverse belief system and it did not get to the point it is today, by advocating the domination of people.

Christianity is Misunderstood in the West

The reason why Christianity has been used to support the establishment is because it is a poor person's religion, but all the negative ideas people have tried to make the Bible say are not in there. People in the West need to read the other books of the Bible that you don't here often in Western churches, like the Prophets and they need to re-read the Letters of Paul in a totally different context, to really understand what the Bible is all about.

The Church is not the Problem

The Church dominated Western Civilization, in Medieval Times, but the basis for Democracy and Capitalism has nothing to do with the Bible. The basis for modern ideas of toleration are often thought of as a result of the Enlightenment. But, if you read John Locke's Letter Concerning Toleration, you will realize that the basis for not pressuring someone into believing in something comes from Biblical concepts.

Why Christianity is the Best Religion

Christianity is the best belief system, because it effectively deals with our spiritual selves, in a way that no other belief system does. The Bible explains the way to freedom and dignity, for all those suffering. Christ is a loving God, who saves us from destroying ourselves and we are now seeing the destruction of Revelations taking place before us. We are beginning to realize that our Apocalypse is self induced and the environmental disasters, that we will be experiencing, are all the direct result of sin and greed. Our problems are not a matter of us not being smart enough or things that can be avoided through technological advancement.

Solving our Problems

Our true enemy is not the devil, but our own selfishness. God wants us to be creative and happy in life, but He knows, as He has lived as one of us, that we need Him in our lives, to find fulfillment and joy. We need to embrace the spiritual side of life and live as God intended us to, or else we will destroy ourselves, not just economically, but morally and emotionally. But God wants us to make this choice of our own free will. And God has different paths for all of us, but they start with a simple prayer.

3.2.4 My Style

What is Unique About Me

What makes me unique is not the topics I write about, but the situation I am in, as well as my passion and commitment to pursuing truth. I have lots of time, unusual experiences and a unique perspective, and I don't have to earn a living, so have pursued education in a number of areas. Since I enjoy helping others, I decided to give back, by writing about what I have learned. I even give away my creations for free. I can promise you that I will not write about something, unless I thoroughly understand it and can give a unique perspective on the topic. I also do not profit from anything I write about.

Clear and Concise

The simplest explanation of why my books are so short is that I believe that people don't have much time, so I don't want to waste it with unnecessary repetition. I find it hard to read long books and believe that most books can be shortened to a twenty page essay. I also find repetition very frustrating, as I get it the first time. I was inspired, by seeing how brief some of the most famous Chinese writings were, like the Tao Te Ching. My books are a compilation of many shorter essays and poetry.

Why Non-Fiction

I write mainly non-fiction as I that is what I read. I read non-fiction, because reading is very difficult for me, since I have Schizophrenia and if I make the effort to read, I want to learn something. Reading is not enjoyable in and of itself for me, but I do enjoy learning. I have also liked reading mostly non-fiction as a kid, as well.

My Interest in Philosophy

Many people study philosophy to learn how to debate and are interested in the technical subtleties of the discipline. Philosophy affects me very personally and in very practical ways. My interest in philosophy is about learning to make better use of my life. To me, one of the most important parts of philosophy is ethics. The reason I have been interested in philosophy so long and why Asian philosophy interests me so much is the passion mystics and philosophers have for their beliefs. If you read Hafiz, Kabir, Rousseau, or Nietzsche; you will understand what I mean about having passion for their beliefs.

I write about what I know and what I have read a lot about. I started reading philosophy in college, as I found out I was good at it and the Existential and Chinese Philosophies I studied in school explained much of why I thought the way I did. I actually had been a Christian Existentialist and Philosophical Taoist as a kid and just had not known the proper terminology. As early as middle school, I understood paradox and believed that people couldn't be objective.

When I was in college, it seemed like every class blamed White Christian Males as the source of all the problems in the world, but I realized that things started getting exponentially worse as atheism became more acceptable and mainstream. The world was not nearly as screwed up in medieval times when the church was in power, as it has in the twentieth century, where atheist ideas were the basis for policy. Most of the world that was supposedly persecuted by Christianity is now more Christian, than any other religion. Most people in the developing world understand that Christianity has nothing to do with Western Civilization.

Managing Complexity

There is something more to my style and how I design. My desire is to keep things as simple as possible. I constantly have people I know say that what I write or explain is too complicated and people who think they are experts say that I am oversimplifying. My desire is to make my communication as clear as possible, while being faithful to the message.

I already think that most things in life ten to be too complicated for not a good enough reason. Simply said, I hate splitting hairs, using advanced words, and do not use subtlety much at all. I want to be very clear about what it is I believe and what it is I stand for and I don't want to waste people's time with unnecessary details.

I do at the same time strive to keep things complex enough to do them justice. I can simplify things down to certain point, but beyond that people need to realize that not everything is a simple as operating an iPhone. Not everything can be reduced to a Powerpoint presentation or bullet points.

3.3 Research Issues

3.3.1 Why Spend So Much Time and Effort?

I have been studying and writing about philosophy, religion, literature, history, and art (the humanities), for 11 years, for a number of reasons. First, I am a disabled veteran and get a full pension from the VA, and do not work for an income, so I have lots of time. Second, I want to make a difference and when I do something I fully commit to it. Third, I have chosen a very complex and broad field, so it has taken this long to get enough material for writing books. Fourth, I enjoy it and have complete control over it, while I do not have that kind of control in many areas of my life. Fifth, it helps me to deal with my mental illness by keeping busy.

To really be good at something and to make a difference in the world requires a tremendous effort and a big commitment. Things that are worth doing take a long time. You cannot expect to accomplish something important without a real struggle and a lot of patience.

Books are not written overnight and websites are very difficult to design and maintain. Many people want to put as little effort into something as possible, while I do the opposite. It really shows how much you know, when you write about something. You cannot take the easiest route and get good results. We only live once, so we need to get the most we can out of it.

3.3.2 The Scope of My Research

The books which I have read and recommend, which are the basis of my understanding of philosophy and religion, were chosen very carefully. I have deliberately chosen not to read certain books, for various reasons. I only chose books that were well written and clear and concise. I have focused my reading mostly on Asian classics and most the books I have found to be helpful in improving myself.

I have specifically avoided many typical Greek, Roman, and white American and English writings, because they are so over read and recommended and represent a very narrow view of the world and most of what I want to change. I usually only read one book by each author, unless I feel it is very important. I also have avoided books that were very expensive and/or very difficult to find. I don't read many female authors as I usually cannot understand them. And most importantly, I have avoided reading certain book or areas of philosophy because the Bible forbids them.

The following list includes my exact reasons that I have quoted form my Book of Lists, which lists the books I recommend, as well as survival equipment and various other things as well.

* If you see a book that you think should be on the list but is not, likely I have already read it and didn't include it because it was too hard for others to read or it was poorly written including being too repetitive or not being clear and concise.

* I have also particularly focused on Asian and classical texts, and have especially tried to limit the Greek, Roman, white American and English writing to as few works as possible, because I think those areas are over read and I have little interest in them after having to read so many of them in high school.

* Most of the works I have included I agree with or at least partly agree with and believe can be useful for personal growth except for most the books or the topics contained in "History - Establishment" categories which I believe are only worthwhile for understanding history.

* I also have usually only included one book by each author and not necessarily the most famous, but rather the most useful one.

* Another consideration is the cost and availability of the works. For works that are difficult to find or expensive to buy, I have generally stayed away from.

* I generally avoid female writers as most of them I cannot understand.

* This is also a great list for Christians who want to study world religions and philosophies without studying the occult.

3.3.3 Why Reading is Good Research

Misconceptions about Expertise

Many people learn most of what they know from conversations. Many people also think that if someone is a different religion or that they are from a different part of the world that they are an expert on the subject. Many people think I am an expert on Schizophrenia because I have the disease. This is all nonsense.

Most Knowledge is in Books

The bulk of knowledge is contained in books (and most of that is only in print). I remember the first time I heard about the Library of Congress being available online. I was really impressed that they had scanned in all the books, until I found out that they just digitized the directory system. I remember in the early 90s people thought that all information was going to be available in digital form, but Amazon.com understood that books were going to be around for a long time and made a business with it, entirely with people who already had access to the Internet.

Books Work Better

There is a reason colleges still use text books and have people write papers. It is hard to get the same amount of information put into video or multimedia presentations. I first tried to explain philosophy in multimedia, but it did not work well.

Writing Preserves Information Better

The written word helps preserve things as they were originally designed. Have you ever spread a rumor around and found out after going through several people that it evolved into a life of its own. People even when they are witnessing the same situation like a car accident give totally different explanations of what happened.

Culture is in the Written Word

The only way to reliably transfer information into the future is through the written word. And that is one of the sad things about this generation becoming functionally illiterate and having little interest in reading anything is that the basis for our culture is in writing. How could you turn the philosophy of the Enlightenment into a movie or explain the Bible in a multimedia presentation?

3.3.4 Frustrations with Web-Based Content

Problems Networking

At one time, I had hoped to expand upon my work and get other people motivated to create their own, from their point of view, but I have found there is no interest. I see great things on web pages sometimes, but it is all copyrighted and I can never get anyone to return my email. Most people put everything in the junk folder, unless they already know the person and are so afraid of scams that it is very difficult to network with other web site owners.

Barriers to Sharing

The problem with anything good you find on the web is that you cannot use it or copy it, but that the same time the person who created it takes it off the web very soon, so we lose all record of it. Also, people seem very resistant to putting thing in PDF files, which make it much easier to archive information. Then most people, if they can write well or produce great art, cannot produce a site that is not visually offensive, or know so little about it that it is inaccessible to even the most advanced users.

Why I Do It Myself

Since no one else is willing or able to create free content and keep it available consistently, I think long and hard before I link to someone doing something similar to what I do. And most people are motivated solely by money, so I would have to pay, to get anyone to contribute anything, but I don't have the money. I hear people all the time recommending I use professional Adobe software, but I cannot afford to, as no one will pay me for what I do.

3.3.5 Why I Didn't Read in the Original Languages

Another branch of the humanities that I have not gone into is languages and linguistics. There are several reasons for this. One is that I cannot speak or listen very well and the other is that it would be impractical and for not much gain.

I have wanted to learn Chinese and Arabic, but I took French in school and never learned it very well, as I have trouble hearing different words that sound similar. I was also very bad in Speech Club in high school. I even have trouble speaking and understanding English.

I don't move my lips enough, because I have learned to not move my lips, while thinking out load, as I don't want my thoughts to all be public, for people who can read lips. This happened once in high school. I also speak very fast and have such a wide range of knowledge that it is hard for many people to keep up with me.

Another barrier for me learning another language is that, if I have to do something every day, it really stresses me out. To keep up languages skills, you have to practice daily. I also would have to find someone who knows the language to practice with and then I have to meet with them at regular times.

If I wanted to read even the most basic selection of Asian philosophy and religion in the original languages, I would have to learn at least 10 languages and many of those are not in modern usage. A tremendous number of the most important texts have modern English translations, so I did not have to limit my reading, by not knowing the original languages.

3.4 Distribution Issues

3.4.1 Reasons for Websites

I am giving my books, songs, and artwork away for free, because I am a disabled veteran and if I sold them, I would jeopardize my pension. Another reason is that I think too many things in life cost too much money. Where most people who want a free culture express these views by stealing music and movies, because they think they cost too much money, I have taken a proactive approach and have instead released my books, songs, and artwork for free.

The greatest things in life are free and the greatest works have no copyright. If I want my work to last, the best way to do it is to not sell my copyright and license it for free distribution. Like most good writers and revolutionary thinkers, I will likely be thought of as more important after I die. As it is, the only writers who make much off their books are people who are already famous.

The website also allows me to reach people all over the world with similar interests with relatively little cost. And as media is going more and more digital, it makes sense to make use of this relatively new media.

3.4.2 Why I Don't Sell my Books in Stores

If I wanted to have my books sold in store, I would have to sell all rights (the copyright) to each of my books and would likely only get $5,000 for each. Then I would not be able to release them for free or sell them at cost or distribute them online or in any other way at all.

Second of all, I would jeopardize the long term survival of my books. When you sell your copyright, since copyrights extend for 75 years after the author's death or 95 years after the date of creation, unless my book sells well enough for that entire 75-95 years, then it will be discarded and totally lost to future generations during those years. No one else will be able to distribute or copy the book until that period is over, so there would be no way to "save" it.

To promote a book in just one store costs $10,000. I tried giving my books to my local library, but they turned me down when they saw the word "Christian" on some of the books. Also, it is more likely for me to find several hundred people interested in my work worldwide then I would find in my home town.

Also, I think most people who would be interested in this kind of work already have Internet access. As my books are freely distributable provided you don't change anything in them, you can print them out and give them to other people you know who don't have Internet access.

3.5 Religious Issues

3.5.1 Philosophy and Religion

Philosophy is Going Beyond the Basics

So you already have a religion and you wonder why you need philosophy. Philosophy is to religion, as math is to science. You can be born again and have eternal life without learning much about philosophy, but if you are the kind of person that just does the basic to get by, than all means don't bother. You don't even have to be literate, to be born again. Many people get by without the most basic understanding of math or science.

Philosophy is not for Most People

Not everyone has time to learn about everything in depth. Philosophy is not for everyone. Society needs many more engineers, than it needs philosophers. But if you don't want to learn about philosophy, because you already have done the bare minimum for you religion, then you might at least want to re-examine your attitude, as it will not get you far in life. Doing the bare minimum will keep you at a boring, unfulfilling job, for the rest of your life.

What Kind of Person are You?

Philosophy is for those who want to get more out of life, for people who know life is short and they want to discover what is most important in life. They want to understand why things are the way they are and what they can do to change things. Philosophy is for people who cannot live life without examining themselves and their place in the universe. Philosophy is for people who cannot be satisfied, by a one sentence answer. Philosophy is for people who enjoy thinking and learning.

3.5.2 Popular Misconceptions about Philosophy and Religion

Just as with any other topic, in philosophy and religion the same word can have more than one meaning and most people have an inaccurate perception of the way things work. Just like in computers, the popular sound bites are based on people writing about something that they have not read enough about and many people who do know enough about it have agendas and are trying to push a certain viewpoint (which they have no problem compromising the facts in order to do so).

The bulk of my books are used to explain how different things like Christianity, Existentialism, Taoism, Mysticism, Paradox, Liberal, and other terms are used incorrectly or have alternate meanings (that are different from what people imagine them to have). These inaccurate conceptions are the result of faulty common knowledge and the oversimplification of writers.

One very widely held misconception about Eastern Philosophy from the Christian community is that it is somehow related to the New Age movement and so is incompatible with Christianity. The reality is that Christianity has already been synchronized with Greek Philosophy and Paganism, which has kept the Christian community divided, because of a lack of understanding of paradox (which is the basis for most Biblical theology). The New Age movement has taken things from every religion and has taken as much from Christianity as it has from Eastern Philosophy and what it is has taken from Eastern philosophy does not include the ethics or emphasis on discipline, which are the most important parts.

3.5.3 The Kind of Christianity I am Promoting

I do not wish to change the theology of Christianity: I take both sides of most divisions in the church in theology. I believe that Jesus was a man and eternally is God, that salvation is by faith alone and still by faith plus works, that Free Will and Predestination are both true, and that Jesus came at the end of the 1st century AD and will come in the future at the same "time".

What I do wish to change is everything else. I do wish to change the philosophical, political, artistic, generational, regional, organizational, and perceived opposition aspects of the way Christianity is practiced in America. Philosophically, I wish to bring the church in America to a mystical and existential Christian approach to Scripture. Politically, I wish to bring a fiscally liberal approach to Scripture to the church in America. Artistically, I wish to bring a multi-cultural approach to Scripture to the church in America. Generationally, I wish to move the focus onto the generations succeeding the baby boomers, to the church in America. Regionally, I wish to bring a developing world center of gravity and approach to Scripture to the church in America. Organizationally, I wish to have the church in America organized by network, instead of top down and linear. Finally, I wish to to move the focus on threats to the church from Atheism to Paganism.

3.5.4 Another Perspective on Orthodoxy

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

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1 Corinthians 1:17-31

Some would say that I have an more open view of what is acceptable for Christians, but in reality I just have a different view of what is orthodox and Biblical and what is not. I am really hesitant to learn anything about spiritual warfare or the occult especially from non-Christian sources.

One of the reasons why I have studied about Asia so predominantly is because I am interested in other cultures but I didn't want to get involved in or learn too much about Animism which is an important part of many ancient African and Latin American cultures.

I also believe that the Church has been synchronistic in its use of Greek philosophy and religion in the development of Christian doctrines and the the study of Scripture. The warning against that comes from the first part of 1 Corinthians before the Apostle Paul starts to talk about sex and is quoted above.

The Bible is fundamentally Asian and makes more sense and is more accurately interpreted if thought of from a traditional Asian worldview. A good way to get this point of view is by reading classical texts in Asian philosophy, literature, and religion.

I also do my best to avoid learning about mythology other than the specifically Christian-based Tolkien view on English mythology.

3.5.5 Rich White Men

Some people have assumed when I refer to "rich white men" that I am talking about community leaders or small business men. This is totally not true. When I talk about "rich white men", I am referring to, at the most, a few thousand people who control most of what goes on in the world. I am referring to organizations like the Council on Foreign Relations or 33rd degree Freemasons and similar groups.

I believe that these kinds of secret societies are pushing for a one world government and are pushing the ideology of the New Age movement and are supportive of an occult worldview. This sounds like a conspiracy theory, but there is little secret about these groups' objectives.

I believe that the Theosophy movement was one of the early organized efforts to bring about these objectives. I believe that this is also a white male dominated group who are principally English and American in nationality.

The methods of these groups consist mostly of starting big wars to shift the balance of power in the world and have infiltrated public education and the media to promote the occult and a one world dictatorship. I believe that all of the national leaders of most world powers and anyone else who has a chance at winning an election at that level are supportive of these objectives or realize that they do not have the power to work against this movement.

Either way, no one consequential in world politics is working against this effort and many are willing participants. I do not believe that we really have a democracy in America, but rather that people's souls are owned by the media and public education, so that there is no effective resistance to this effort politically , economically, or socially.

3.6 Artistic Approach

3.6.1 Overview

I do most my art with the computer and the themes I illustrate are typically based on my reading and writing which is primarily about the religion, philosophy, and literature of Asia. I am not talented at the technical skills of drawing and painting but I do have an eye for what looks good and that cannot be taught.

I have had basically no formal training in art and like doing so as a release and a way to relax, so I am not interested in learning new artistic skills, at least in the short term. I use my skills on the computer to craft my illustrations. I use a wide variety of different programs to get different effects. I generally use free programs and programs from small companies, often with restrictions, so that I almost never pay over $150 for any one graphics program.

The last part of the book is done with Scribus and Inkscape, 2 open source graphics programs. I vectorize the illustrations with Inkscape by: clicking on the PNG image I open up, then choosing "Path", then "Trace Bitmap", choosing the "Colors" option, and then clicking on "OK" to apply. I then move the vector image over and delete the bitmap version, move the vector image back to where it was, and then save as in the default SVG format. I use Scribus for the publishing program part. I import the SVG versions of the graphics, resize them to fit on the page, and then I create the PDF, with the following options: under General, choose "PDF 1.3" for "Compatibility", check "Compress Text and Vector Graphics", choose "Lossless - ZIP" for "Compression Method", "Maximum" for "Compression Quality"; under Fonts, choose "Outline All"; and under Color, choose "Screen/Web". This works well for publishing with Lulu.com.

For the screen versions, I use the PNG versions with iPhoto and export to web page for the web gallery version and with Keynote I use the plain black theme at 800 x600 resolution, export to Quicktime format for the interactive slideshow version, and then I compress it in Zip format to reduce the size.

3.6.2 World Beliefs Illustrations Book

My first illustrations book, World Beliefs Illustrations, is organized by belief systems and I used a wide variety of programs for each illustration that looks like it was done in a different style.

I used Expression before Microsoft bought it, the "lite" version of Painter, Toon Boom Studio Express with Photoshop Elements filters, Gimp, and drew some by hand which I later scanned in.

3.6.3 Ethics and Discovery Illustrations Book

For my latest illustrations book, Ethics and Discovery, each image is generally a composite of work done in multiple programs. Most of these illustrations has a photographic component.

The first part, Justice and Common Sense, was done with my photos plus using a plugin in Photoshop Elements. I used the Alien Skin nature textures plugin, I purchased separately, in Photoshop Elements to create the effects in the illustrations plus I used the shapes and layer styles features, that comes with Photoshop Elements, and this was all done on top of and with my my own personal photographs. The ideas the graphics were illustrating different are things that bother my a lot about modern society including injustice and just plain stupidity.

The second part, Discover the Old World, was done with a variety of different programs. The graphics come from web graphics used for my website. I also included some of the original images used to create the various composites.

I used Carrara Express for most the logos, the "Discover" word with the lighted candle, and for the landscapes which also utilized a number of models, I purchased at the DAZ3d online store plus what I was able to download free from them, and what came with Carrara Express. The logos are explained in the website themes section. The landscapes have some other features on them including Asian art form my previous book as well as a rendering of water, done with a Photoshop plugin called Flood.

The background for most the images is a spotlight on a golden-orange-yellow textured background. I created this each time it was used from scratch, with Photoshop Elements, by first creating a layer with just one color, applying the golden textured layer style, simplified the layer. Then I created another layer, by choosing black and a yellow orange for the foreground and background colors, and then applying the render clouds filter on a new layer. Then I changed the opacity on this new layer, so that you could see a glow over the golden texture, and then merged the 2 layers. I then applied the same render lights filter setting each time. This background was to symbolize the idea of "discover" with the concept of someone using a flashlight to explore a dark and undiscovered treasure with a gold surface.

The maps were copyright free from 1812 or were given away for free online and a lot of the lettering was done with a Mac OS X only program called Art Text, which utilizes the built in Mac only graphics feature, that small developers can use to differentiate their programs and be able to sell for a very low price.

I use Toon Boom Studio Express for a lot of drawings, because the limitations of this cheaper version apply to the animation abilities and the draw features are very impressive, especially with the latest version, after they have added most my suggested features. A number of the original images, used for the different website type of content/multimedia sections, were created originally in Toon Boom Studio Express. I then I used the "auto paint" feature, with different settings for each drawing, in Painter (the full version) to give a more natural painted and organic look, to the simple 1 dimensional illustration. Then I brought the image into Photoshop Elements, cut out the white parts, and then applied various artistic filters to each image. I later added a cut out photograph, I took from living nativity, to each section to make it look more Asian.

3.7 Other Issues

3.7.1 Philosophical Issues

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.

89

2 Samuel 22:31

Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

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Psalms 2:12

The ideas come together like this: I don't think that anything happens as an accident. I think there is a reason for everything and everything fits together to form a meaning. We just aren't able to understand it because of our limitations. We assume that because we have free choice the universe can't be planned. We think that because of suffering and uncertainty that life is meaningless, because we can't accept that God places limits on himself too. I accept that there is meaning in life with faith, not by reason. God respects and values our freedom to the extent that he will allow us to spend forever in Hell if we want to reject His love and His plan for our lives by the simple step of praying a prayer of accepting that God is greater than us. God also allows much suffering to happen on earth because he values people and want them to carry out His plan for reducing the world's suffering. Unfortunately, few people follow God's lead and because of this we are primarily responsible for the world's suffering.

3.7.2 Family Values

The main problems that this site deals with are not things I learned from reading, but things I have felt from an early age. My family was influential in fostering my imagination, independence, and my concern for others. Naturally I was interested in philosophical problems of suffering, uncertainty, and free will. Recently, I have had to learn about limits very quickly to deal with a recent living situation. So it is natural that I devoted a website to sharing with the world some of the the things that are important to my family.

3.8 Branding

3.8.1 Website Themes

All my website addresses are named benjamin-newton with different extensions, including: benjamin-newton.com (Simply Ben), benjamin-newton.us (The End of the Beginning), benjamin-newton.net (Ben Academic Fast Track), and benjamin-newton.info (Ben Labs).

The Simply Ben (pink and orange benjamin-newton.com) website is named so because it is a simplification of my website which was reduced to about 1/10 its number of files mainly due to assembling the texts together as complete books and narrowing down the number of photos on the website. It is more streamlined and clearer in organization. The logo is of a cross and the yin yang symbol as my philosophy is based on Christian Existentialism and Chinese Philosophies (Taoism, Neo-Confucianism, Zen Buddhism) and the wheel symbolizes influences from the major Indian belief systems (Bhakti Hinduism, Theravada Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikh faith) elements.

The End of the Beginning (blue and tan benjamin-newton.us) website is based on the idea of a new era of my works. It is has an African and New World theme. The logo is of a guy praying to God, either Muslim or Christian as those are the major rapidly growing world religions of the 21st Century.

The Ben Academic Fast Track (green and blue benjamin-newton.net) website is themed after the concept of a business school in Portland, Oregon for working students going back to college to further their education. It is the Fast Track to getting all my books together with maximum efficiency. The logo is of the front of a tall building.

The Ben Labs (black and orange benjamin-newton.info) website is the place for my new developments before I can find a place for them. The logo is a "play on words" as Taylor was my sister's dog who was a black Labrador Retriever or "Lab" breed. If you see writings here, that later disappear, then they are likely in the books section. Follow the link "philosophy books" from any of the front pages, to get there.

3.8.2 Logo Explanation

I should explain what the logo is meant to be representing. The guy is a pen, which is me, which comes from my first poem in Philosophy Core, called Creative Process, where I refer to myself as doing Tai Chi, with my pen being my body. The idea is based on "the pen is mightier than the sword" so I created "the Bible is mightier than the pen".

The Bible is shooting out flames because in Ephesians it talks about spiritual warfare and the Bible is the only armament that is offensive. (It means offensive instead of defensive. These are common terms used in combat. The sword is the only spiritual weapon. All the other armaments expressed in Ephesians are protective and defensive in nature like a shield, a helmet, a breastplate, etc.)

The flames are meant as in James when it talks about being purified by fire or struggles with temptation in our lives. Isaiah also was purified by a live coal to his lips by a Seraphim. So the usage of fire is not evil or anything violent. Think of it as purifying.

I would ideally like it to show the sword turned inward to his chest, symbolizing like in many fantasy books that when they defeat the great evil force in the world, they are left with the greatest task, which is to defeat the evil within. The Bible is said to be a 2 sided sword, with the ability to cut between bone and marrow, and show the truth. Christ's tongue is said to be a 2 edged sword in Revelations, to defeat the Devil with. The reason I didn't show this is it looks like he is committing suicide.

The spiritual warfare is not against people, ideas, or even spirits. It is about fighting for the purity of our own minds. It is an internal thing. Like the Native American proverb "my greatest enemy is myself ". This purity is in regard to our own sins and does not refer to purity in any other sense. But this is a process, not an outcome, as it is not possible for us to live without sin.

This warfare is only spiritual in the sense that it is not militant, social, economic, or political. This is for my own moral and ethical development and consists of practical qualities I try, with Christ's help, to cultivate like humility, compassion, kindness, and seriousness and do not correspond to anything supernatural.