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

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Complete Introductions Collection 2: Chapters 6-12

Ben Huot

July 1, 2018

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Table of Contents

What is Failure?

My Life

When a general devises a strategy for a war, they can only plan the first part, because everything in the war afterwards has to take into account what the enemy will do, which is unknown because the enemy doesn't know how you will respond to what they do. Life is like this too. You can make all the good choices you can, but you never know what life will give you.

I was going to go to college and become an international business manager for distribution. Things changed very much for me in the next few years after high school that changed the direction of my life forever. I never would have guessed I would be doing what I am now or living now before then.

What is failure and what is success? This website was founded on absolute failure. I left the military early, I did poorly in college and wasn't able to finish. Then I found out I was mentally ill since the military, after my psychotic episode.

I have a very short official work history, so that while I believe everyone contributes equally by merely working their job for money, I want to contribute as well. I have tried to work with local non-profits, but they have not worked out because I could never do anything that felt significant to me. I do my writing as a kind of volunteer work to help make a contribution to society in lieu of my working. I realize this is not required or expected of me by anyone.

I have kept in a repeating cycle of learning to rest and take it easy and then working hard to document that. I don't plan on giving up writing, but I do plan on doing less in the future and feeling less like I need to do more.

20 years later I have published many important books, even though I only started it to share poetry with my uncle. I plan little ahead on what I am going to add to my website or books. I am not sure what I have accomplished or not is worthy of calling my work a success.

Websites are just so much work to do now. I think we have reached a critical point where computer security really needs to be addressed on a much more profound level and must be resolved to a certain degree, or the entire world system could easily collapse on itself (sooner than it would otherwise). I still want to share my writings with others, but I need to find a way to make it easier to do and less error prone.

There is only so much I can do in life as I am mentally ill and dealing with that alone is a huge deal and accomplishment in and of itself. I especially want to be able to document what I learn about Schizophrenia so that others can learn without having to learn by experience.

The Industry

In a business, you can do everything right and then things change that are out of your control and then you lose your business. We are in a position now globally where there is no growth anymore. This does not mean everything will stop, but everyone will have the same wealth or less over time, averaged out. People have bought the last things they needed years go and the iPhone was the last thing people wanted to buy that made more than peanuts.

Everybody today wants to sell something to make extra money, but nobody wants to buy anything. Electronics are dirt cheap, but no one has a job anymore. Online stores like Amazon.com are now putting out of business physical stores. Everybody wants to either become the next Amazon or Google or give up.

Computers continue to reduce the need for jobs by automating them. Businesses also need less and less people to make the programs over time as well and now everybody wants to be a programmer. If you want to sell something, you have to get people to upgrade and survive the big name players copying you and putting you out of business. The internet helped the lunatic fringe at first but is now going to help the big technology companies solidify their market control.

Right now there are some huge changes going on the technology industry. There are now two sets of people in developing website: the ones that create the software that runs them and those who assemble the pre-made parts together. There is very little design work available, because businesses generally don't care about design because it is considered unnecessary, pretty, and takes a lot of time to do right (although users care very much about this).

Everybody now just copies the stuff Google, Facebook, Amazon and the like do. In design, the middle has disappeared and so you either use a child's toy tools on the iPad or iPhone, or the mega-complicated, old, and unreliable Adobe software on Windows. The other choice is to just write the whole design in an elaborate program yourself using hundreds of different interlinked programs.

There are huge problems in how to make money off websites as well. Advertising or in app purchases worked for a while, but there is so much junk out there that only the biggest names/ established players survive. Advertising is being blocked because the ads are out of control and makes the websites unusable. They cannot charge for access as few people will pay making the amount they have to charge ridiculous.

They never should have offered services for free. People like me are offering better quality for free. People are now making money off our personnel information and connecting the digital world to the physical one to track everything we think or do anywhere.

These same companies are constantly having this personnel information stolen, because of poor choices in building their software to save money up front and saving money by not maintaining them. Even those that aren't cheap, and do all the right things security wise are affected by the leading security software being full of holes.

Avoiding Pain in This Life

The best thing in life to me is to avoid suffering when possible. Be responsible and follow rules (including the Ten Commandments) and common sense, because that will enable you to control the problems that you bring to your life - the only ones that you can fully control. Keep taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Eat lots of vegetables, take all medicines as prescribed, go to counseling, volunteer, and keep reading the Bible, praying, and going to church.

In general, thinking long term is the key to making good decisions. Bad signs include doing things in secret or you have a bad feeling about it. If you are not sure of the morality of a particular decision, don't do it. Always side on caution and use your conscience.

Avoid anything you don't want to tell your mother about and stay away from anything addictive. Avoid anything too good to be true or something that comes too easy. Nothing is free and everything costs something.

Keep learning as much as possible and find joy in it. Be as self sufficient as possible. Never rely on anyone for anything you can do yourself.

Keep busy doing something productive (like a job), work hard at it and give it your best, to keep yourself out of trouble. Always keep a huge amount of savings on hand and always allow extra time to do things. Always obey authorities who rule over you without complaining.

Try not to anger other people, because they might be vindictive later on. Remain as anonymous and unimportant as possible so as not to get unnecessary or unusual attention of criminals, the government, or angry neighbors. Do not trust anything someone says or how they appear for anyone asking for money or personnel information from you.

Be careful not to break things, especially other people's things and even more other living things. Never loan anything to others - give or don't. Forgiving others sounds hard, but it is harder to stay angry. You should forgive others for yourself not for them, just as God wants us to stay away from sin for us, not for Him.

It is good to have others like you, it is better to like yourself, and best of all God already likes you no matter who or where you are in life. It is good to care, better to empathize, but greatest of all is to forgive and love unconditionally. Is is good to take care of yourself, better to take care of your family, but best to take care of your everlasting life.

Avoiding Pain in the Next Life

You will find in life you serve God or the devil as there is really no option to serve yourself. It is actually a great honor that God still cares and wants us to be His children, even though we brought suffering into the paradise He created.

Avoiding unnecessary suffering by ending up in Heaven rather than Hell can be achieved by through a complete change of heart and submitting your will to God's. This is not demanding or abusive as God is not a person and is actually our Creator. Emperors and leaders of vast religions have submitted themselves before God throughout all of history.

The important thing to realize is that life is a kind of waiting room, where what happens afterwards makes what happened before hand largely irrelevant. Life is like being in the womb and death is like being born. Just like they say to middle and high school kids to just stick with the program and then most of life will be much better. Just as we live the vast majority of our lives as adults, so life on earth is really a very small part of our entire life which will be everlasting after death.

So do not worry about what you achieve on earth, because you will do so much more in Heaven. You will look at the greatest things people accomplished on earth like middle school science projects or like still putting on their resume what they did in elementary school when they are over 40. Just get your key to Heaven and try to find something constructive to do in life, to pass the time.

We are all born once, are all called to be born again, and will all live forever. Heaven is free but it will cost you your pride. God will forgive you for anything, but the catch is you have to truly be sorry for it, change who you are and submit yourself to God wholly. You also have to forgive everyone else, no matter what they do to you or those you love.

I once found it difficult to deal with many people on the bus, but after several encounters, I think that others see me as a bus person now, too. I thought of complaining about the smell of pot on the bus but realized that I might smell bad sometimes too.

It is not very good to be hypocritical about anything in life, especially not for someone who tries to follow any philosophy or moral code. Jesus did not like hypocrites and unbelievers and believers alike feel the same. It is extremely bad for the spread of Christianity.

Mission

Intro Page

I have written up what I have learned over the years and put it online, because I would rather learn from reading than experience. Learning from experience is too painful. My experiences are useful to learn about because these areas are not written about very well and they have a very strong effect on those who live through these experiences. The most important things I document are serving in the military and living with Schizophrenia along with the faith and philosophy that helped me through it.

Another major area I have documented are my design decisions on my website and how I decided to present my experience and ideas. I am learning all the time how to be as clear, concise, and direct about explaining things as possible. I want to reach as many people as possible and my website to last as long as possible so I focus on performance, accessibility, maintainability, compatibility in all my design work.

My big goal in life is to reduce the pain both I and others suffer, unnecessarily. I also seek to get closer to God and continue to help my family, as both have done so much for me. I am Christian and in some ways like other Christians and others ways very much unlike other Christians. I am doing fine financially and realize that there is very little money to be made in this kind of writing, so I am happy to produce and maintain my website at no cost to the visitors.

If you want to give money, I recommend the farm sanctuaries as my preferred charity. Everything they do is legal and they do some very nice things for animals that are not easy to do. Unfortunately even though people are often treated like garbage throughout the world, most people think animals are even less important than people. Animals are God's greatest creation.

More importantly, if you want to support me better, pray for me and my family. We could all use prayer but nothing in particular. The best thing you can pray, if you don't know is to pray that God's will be done. One of the most powerful things to pray is to thank God for what He already has done for us. Prayer is just talking to God.

Should you follow my advice? The better idea than just thinking the same as me is to think critically about everything and everyone, including me. Do I want to change your mind? I would rather convince you to think and create things by yourself. I like the idea of teaching others the importance of thinking and creating as I do not have time to everyone's thinking and creating for them.

I also can be and likely am wrong on many things. You should never follow anyone blindly other than the One Creator God. I definitely do recommend the Bible and the Christian God, unconditionally. My values are humility, compassion, kindness, and seriousness. I also think creativity and hard work are very important too.

Shifting Values

1 Corinthians 1:17-31

this subsection quoted from the Bible

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.

No Power

this subsection written by me

You may have failed in life and have no power, like me, but you can still save us all, while being perfectly peaceful, unknown, and perfectly safe.

You can accept reality, follow all laws, risk nothing monetarily or your personal safety, with no money or power, be a threat to no person or group, and your contribution left entirely unknown, without needing any followers or to convince anyone of anything and still truly revolutionize the world.

We all know the world is going in a bad direction, and we fight war after war and start revolution after revolution, trying every solution we can think of, and things have just gotten successfully worse, in every measurable way, from every point of view. What if we are going about it all wrong? Consider the enemy is really us. People are the problem, but specifically we are our own problems.

We see that things are wrong, because we are blindless followers and not in control, but our real problem is that we are in full control. We need to give up control to God. It is not that we need to avoid following, but just that we need a better leader. God is our true, best, and most natural Leader. He will save us from ourselves, if we choose to accept His help.

The evil within is the ultimate battle. If you can defeat the evil within, and achieve full self mastery and control, you have one the war. But we need to understand that we cannot do this on our own and need direct divine intervention. The good news is that God cares about us and intervenes constantly. He only wants us to ask, as He wants us to control our own fate and make our own decisions. Luckily God is all powerful, perfectly good, and merciful.

What we need to start this journey is the forgiveness of our sins. We need a miracle and that is convince us, to submit ourselves to God's will. All human plans have failed. We need to follow God's plan now, everyday and constantly.

Complete Failure

this subsection written by me

I started my website, after my complete failure in college and the military, ending my tour in the military early and failing out of college. At the time, I was studying Chinese Literature, for my Business Management Major breadth requirement and I learned about Confucianism and Taoism. I was inspired by reading Chuang Tzu, to write poetry, which I put online, to share with one of my uncles.

Along the way, I tried again, at college, as a Journalism major and that summer, and, when I was making up credits, I took an Existentialism course. As I later found out, I had been mentally ill for several years, in addition to my chronic allergic pink eye. I used ideas from Philosophical Taoism and Christian Existentialism to help me deal with my personal crisis: trying to figure out how to manage my Paranoid Schizophrenia.

Most Important Jobs

this subsection written by me

Many people feel that they are just a cog in the machine and their jobs and roles in society are boring and unimportant. Nothing could be further from the truth. The things we as a society don't value are the most important of all. A modern society could function, without some of the leaders and specialists, but not without the cleaning, transportation, waste and pest management, and various other types of maintenance.

The "dirtiest" jobs are the most important. What is the biggest difference between modern and premodern life? It is modern plumbing, trash removal, and chemicals that make it easier to be clean and pest free. If you want to stay healthy, you have to take care of your body and mind. The same goes with any housing, factory, office, road, or plot of land. Even though you may not have time, to do more for others in your free time, you are already doing a helping job, like nurses, school teachers, and social workers.

We can all find significance spiritually, because God is concerned with every one of us, as individuals, regardless of whatever we have done or what place we find ourselves in, geographically, socially, and financially. He knows everything about every one, but He uses it to help us, and free us, not force us to conform or scam us. God cares about who you are, not what you have done, or your place in society.

God cares about stuffed toys and animals, just like He does people.

Rich and Famous

this subsection written by me

Most people want to be rich, famous, and young and believe that they need to take a lot of risks, to have a happy life. When I joined the military, I took on many risks, but it was not fun: I did have a lot of adrenaline going, but it was all very scary.

Right now, I feel similarly, although in an entirely different situation (because of having Paranoid Schizophrenia). It is not fun either. When you have a high, you have an equally low level of depression afterwards. On anti-psychotic medication, you have both happening, at the same time.

Since then, I have I tried to live as low a risk life, as possible. Taking risks and going on wild adventures is not as fun, as you may think. Living what most call a boring life is really quite a blessing. I am also much happier being older and learning certain things about myself and the world, than I was when I was younger.

I found that I am in a very good situation, where I live in both United States and in the northwest corner of it. I already "won the lottery". Even if you were born in America, and were in the luckiest 5%, you would have a real hard time finding a job in this state, as the job market is extremely brutal and unforgiving.

There are some many interesting parts of the world, but I would never want to live there. There are many more poisonous, aggressive, and larger pests there. Furthermore, there is even less concern for the environment and it is often very hot there.

The best of the interesting parts of the world can be experienced in literature, which I can get in English very cheaply and easily. It also is now very unsafe for Americans overseas, especially in the touristy areas.

Slaves to Technology

this subsection written by me

Technology is designed to liberate us, but it actually makes us slaves. We see our society as us vs. them. We see the struggle as material and we see it as outward. We can't seem to accept that technology is really neither good nor evil, but just gives us more power. Why does technology become mandatory and we end up serving it?

It is because we make technology an idol. We are merely projecting our internal battle onto the development of technology. What would an artificial intelligence think of us? We think of computers as being objective, so what would they make of our situation? Computers would likely see us as the problem.

If we have self control, why do we let computers pull us in and keep us dependent upon them. We talk about society forcing us to serve machines, but we never consider that we never struggle against, it in ways that we do have control over. Are we really addicted to how we use computers at work or are we addicted to them for entertainment or distraction?

We may not be able to be free from technology, or be able to truly live off the grid and be independent of others' choices, but it is our choices that have the most control over our lives. What is bigger than corporations, the government, or our pride? - the Lord Jesus Christ.

God is always bigger than any of our problems. The solution to our sins always begins with prayer. Make time for God and He will make time for you. Seek God and He will answer you. Trust God and He will help you overcome.

Obeying laws and contributing to society is not weakness. We all think that, if we had the power, that we would fix everything. Submitting to authority and following rules is a good thing. Certainly there is evil in society, as we are governed by other people, but it does not fix it to put someone else in charge.

Our biggest problems in life are not caused by society, but by our own bad decisions. Society and the physical world are illusions and its concerns are misdirects. We are being distracted, to fight and struggle against each other, rather than with the evil within.

Alternatives to Reason

this subsection written by me

Our society ingrains deeply in us, from a very young age, to never question fact or reason. We see being "irrational" as a negative. It is not that we should reject reason, but that we should broaden our view of the world, like the rest of the world does today and the entire world, throughout the vast majority of history. Facts will never answer our most important questions or help us find solutions to our worst problems.

There are many other ways to decide what is true or right than just facts. We learn from world religions and philosophy that many other things (faith, tradition, scripture, prophecy, history, fate, theology, prayer, worship, charity, volunteer service, religious laws, forgiveness, free choice, intuition, common sense, life experiences, divine intervention, mystical experience, meditation, and similar methods of inquiry) can provide us with better answers, than just reasoning with facts alone.

What is Faith?

this subsection written by me

Faith is not about understanding; it's about a choice. You will never fully understand God, because He is infinite. We are not asked to fully understand God, to believe. The decision to believe, by definition, has to be in absence of full understanding.

If you try to fully understand God, before you choose to believe, not only will you never make that decision, but you will also never provide complete "proof" for your belief. But we make most decisions without full knowledge, explaining everything about the situation or topic. It is perfectly natural, to not fully understand and that is what faith is about.

Paraphrase from Discovery Channel Documentary

If everyone is crazy but you, you should take a long look in the mirror. -- paraphrased from the Manhunt: Unabomber series on Discovery Channel

What Should You Do?

this subsection written by me

Do not believe what I say, just because I say it. I am mentally ill. Consider the ideas yourself. Do they make sense to you? There are undoubtably errors in my thinking. In any discussion about opinions, you should agree with some things and not with others. I do not want any followers. My ideas make sense to me, because they are not my own.

Anyone who has studied Asian philosophy and religion know that these ideas go back further than the time of the Buddha, Lao Tzu, or Confucius. the same is true with Plato and Aristotle. There are no new ideas in philosophy. There will be none, in the next few hundred years. What is different is the combinations.

Existentialism has some similarities with Taoism, but I have not read any books uniting the two schools, before I started my writing. I have combined these two schools, to create my own unique combination. The big similarities are paradox or non-dualism and humility.

Some of the greatest philosophers united major schools of philosophy. Some examples were: Bodhidharma, Maimonides and Thomas Aquinas, Kabir and Nanak, and Hegel and Sartre. Existentialism is not ancient, as it comes from the 19th and 20th centuries, but the ideas come from the Apostle Paul's writings, and the ideas are timeless and classic.

Popular Misconception of Nietzsche

this subsection written by me

Look what happened to Nietzsche. He is often described as an Existentialist, but there is much more to his philosophy. Nietzsche was an independent thinker, much as Kierkegaard was (and they desired to read each others works). He wanted people to not be weak in their exercise of free will, to stand up for themselves, and not just blindly follow leaders. He wanted strong people, not strong leaders.

Nietzsche was a fan of the philosophical and artistic ideas of ancient Greek paganism. He based his ideas on the Greek philosophers, before Socrates (these Pre-Socratic works only exist in incomplete fragments). He wrote many books, one about aesthetics (The Birth of Tragedy) and composed a volume of poetry (in The Gay Science - no he was not gay). He had some original ideas on the afterlife (eternal return).

Nietzsche did not like Germany (or German Culture) or Christianity (or the New Testament). He was a fan of the Eskimos (north men) and the Old Testament. He was a big critique of Nationalism and Fascism (or faith used to promote politics). He was an anti-Christian, because he believed that the traditional Church ideas about following the government ("God and country") and New Testament ideas like forgiveness promoted the idea of a "slave race".

Nietzsche was a "positive nihilist" - he believed life had no meaning, but this did not discourage him from enjoying life (like Camus). He also served as an inspiration for Postmodernism and the deconstruction of opposing ideas, like modern religious values (The Antichrist and Thus Spoke Zarathustra).

He died of syphilis and his sister was a NAZI (and inherited the copyright for his work). She heavily edited one of his unfinished writings (The Will to Power), to reflect Hitler's views. And Nietzsche gets blamed. Heidegger was a National Socialist (although not a fan of Hitler) and Hegel helped inspire communism, but you never hear that used against them. This is the context I am writing under.

What I Believe

First and foremost, I believe the Bible (and Murphy's laws), but doubt everything else. Consider reading the Bible, to see if my ideas fit into your understanding of your Biblical worldview. If you don't respect the Bible, try to find the parts of my writing that reaffirm what you already believe.

I am not hear to change your mind, but to re-enforce what you already believe. Too many people think they are the only ones that are right. If my ideas are right, they likely come from somewhere else. So what is different about my philosophy is that I admit my ideas not unique.

1 Corinthians: 2

this subsection quoted from the Bible

And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.

Spiritual, Emotional, and Physical Reality

To many today, the only real world is what they can experience physically. Many of us know that there are many more ways to suffer and many other ways to understand and experience things. Physical suffering pulls us into the physical world violently against our wishes to leave that reality. But those who do not know that suffering transcends the physical world do not truly know suffering. Suffering comes from our own bad decisions, but it takes place in our minds, where the physical and spiritual world intersect.

To say that the physical world is the only one, because it is the only thing you can experience is like saying because you are blind, the physical world does not exist to you. We may not identify the true sources of our pain and of what drives change in the world, but that does not make it any less real. Just like not knowing about the history of another nation or the personal lives of individual people make those experiences any less real to them. Not knowing why you are in pain does not make it hurt less.

So whether we believe it or not, the spiritual world does affect us greatly. We may not want to accept why it works the way it does or purposely keep ourselves ignorant of this understanding, but that does not make something less real. You may not understand why someone hates or distrusts you nor they be able to even verbalize it, but people feel the way they do regardless of evidence. Whether or not there is evidence available to prove what we know to be real by experience, finding the evidence does not actually change anything.

So evidence will not change reality. Our opinions rarely change, because of this either. Some things that all of us agree are real can be hard to define. Emotions are one example. We know we love certain people, but we don't know why we do. Life is filled with us running into things we don't understand and dealing with them, without us ever fully being able to explain them. We make decisions like career choices, where even after years of training, we later find that they are not like what we thought they were.

We make decisions early in life that affect us more greatly then we could ever imagine before hand and then later experiences like illness or injury dictate our life to be entirely different, than we could ever have believed. Life is full of uncertainty, but we still feel the effects of what drives reality.

Cause and effect seem simple enough and they explain a lot, but they operate in more areas than just our bodies and minds. We feel all the effects of other people's choices, even if we do not know what they were and our own, even if we don't think that they are significant enough to be consequential.

Reality is what it is regardless of what we want it to be. We hurt emotionally. even when we have no rational reasons. to feel the way we do. But our choices, especially how we respond to others choices. can be what we want them to be. We cannot change what someone else believes. or even what they choose to do, but we can choose our attitude towards the situation.

We will suffer and we will make bad decisions, but that does not need to define us. We can find hope beyond the physical reality and we can overcome our own issues, but we need to look to a higher power, while still acknowledging our complete responsibility, for our own choices.

When you do something wrong to someone else, it does not matter much to them, if it was unintended. You don't stop having a broken arm, because the person who gave it to you signed your caste. It does of course matter spiritually why you do what you do. The significance of intent is one of the most basic differences between physical and spiritual reality. Just like the physical world, the emotional and spiritual worlds operate according to specific parameters.

Faith is when you believe in something you do not fully understand and that is the way in which we perceive God. Of course, believing in God does not make Him real, but Him being real gives you good reason to believe in Him. Belief in something does not make it real, but believing in someone real has value.

God has no responsibility to solve our problems or prevent our suffering, because He never caused sin to happen. But God does still intervene constantly in the world. In fact, if God did not intervene at all, after He created the world, believing in Him would not solve any problems. Knowing God to be real and following Him matters, because He intervened, to take our place in suffering the penalty, for our immoral choices.

It is great that God is perfectly good, so we know He won't create problems for us, but it is essential for our protection that He is also merciful, because we do create problems, that we seek God to help us through. The full penalties for our bad decisions are incomprehensibly horrid. That is why God treats immorality or sin as such a serious issue. He went to the greatest lengths possible and likely suffers eternally for our sins.

It is hard for many to understand why God chose to forgive any and every sin and base the criteria for salvation solely on what He did for us. It does not seem to make sense, from a human point of view. Humans have a hard time accepting the idea of forgiveness, until they need someone to forgive them. Animals understand forgiveness though, although they seem to be the only ones doing the forgiving. So what we really need as people to overcome our bad decisions and immoral acts is the forgiveness of sins. And for our world to heal, we need to forgive the sins of others.

Meaning in Life

Many people talk about finding meaning in life, but what do they mean? What exactly does one do that is meaningful and to whom? How do we know we are doing enough? For many people, sports, video games, Hollywood, drugs, or music are the key to a fulfilling life. But that is not enough for me and many others. But at the same time, is more than that realistic, especially when you have a severe disability? I think our expectations are too high.

We are expected as Americans to solve everyone's problems, because we have so much more wealth than the rest of the world. Most Americans though have very little extra time and those that do have very little money. To most people, their family is more important than anyone else's and so they usually devote most their free time to that and the single over-achievers often spend their free time putting themselves into better shape financially. And with all these vices on the Internet, we have very little left to give.

Is it even possible to find meaning in life and how should we respond? Reading is one way to find meaning in life, but if you spend so much time on that, you sacrifice time to spend on other life experiences. The more you learn, the more you learn that you know very little and this knowledge helps little to improve your or anyone else's life and you can get easily discouraged.

To see the cause of our problems, in the world today, you have to have a very wholistic worldview, which is contrary to the way society wants us to think and act. Our leaders say that we are unwilling to do what is right and stand out from the crowd, but the work world does not support that premise. Famous people all want you to think for yourself and be open minded by doing exactly what they say.

This is where I see religion providing an answer and Christianity actually providing a solution that works. Life is short and has little meaning by itself. God is the ultimate source of meaning, perfectly good, all powerful, and wants to help us out. We are really the source of our own problems.

The situation we are in, where we find no meaning in life, is caused by our decision to attempt to live without God's help. Just like it doesn't work well for us to live well without a good diet or enough rest, spiritually we need to find meaning. The only meaning in life that will improve our lives is Christ. And the situation in which we will find that meaning will be after we die.

So it seems odd to many people that Christians only really expect to be happy after they die, as it appears as nihilistic and cynical. Life is hard and short for most people throughout history and there is only so much time and money to try to deal with life's continual challenges and setbacks. You don't need to do something immoral to destroy your life. You can do so by just not taking care of your health or failing to engage in networking.

Do not get discouraged, if life is very difficult, and you feel like giving up. Just find and then maintain your faith until you die, and you will be happy forever. Americans are mostly unhappy, because they expect too much out of life and we think because we have more money, we can avoid the principle causes of suffering in this life. Intelligence rarely help avoid many of these problems and self control only solves some.

Many solutions to finding purpose in life are based on making yourself smarter, imparting you with special knowledge, developing more discipline, or making yourself richer. Creativity and motivation seem to me to be the best ways to make your position in life all it can be. Combine that with prayer and praising God and you will find it more encouraging than just trying to become smarter or richer.

What does a psychologist often tell you to do when you are feeling depressed or having a lack of meaning in life? Volunteer. When you change your focus on solving your problems, to solving someone else's, you get perspective and often find out your situation is much better. That is actually encouraging. We need to expect things to go wrong, get worse, and life to generally be difficult and just surviving is quite a challenge. This is the way things are in the other 95% of the world and the other 99% of history.

Neighborhood by the Road

Like a room full of wood fire smoke

Like a low fog down by the river

Like the neon green grass constantly being mowed

Like the splashing of rainwater under car tires

Each step I take and as I look around

There are big groups of people walking together

The trashes are full of new electronics

And people on bicycles root through the trash

Walking along the side of the road

Littered with dog poop and broken glass bottles

The street is a tribute to a great leader

And the big thing here is a football stadium

I don't go one way because I fear falling off the bridge

I don't go another because the apartments are depressing

I don't go to the nearest mall because of the homeless trash

I don't go to down to the park and river because everyone is fishing

Everyone has a big dog and a big car

But not everyone has a job

The stink of pot is everywhere

Except in front of the pot store

When you have so many trees

There are many little birds

When you have so many cell phones

You get poor reception

We are all looking down walking

Me to avoid stepping in poop or glass

And everyone else

To play a never ending game

We take everything with us on these little machines

Be careful not to drop yours

They cost a lot to fix

But they still work with broken screens

What is the cost of modern life

Less and less jobs over time

Everything costs a dollar

But no one has even that much money

I consider todays world

And compare it to others

Before, after and parallel

We have too much of a good thing

People can even die of water overdosing

Too many things are too easy

We can afford too much sugar

No wonder everyone has diabetes

We have the local mental health, National Guard and juvenile detention

Just a short walk away

And this is the wealthier end of the road

The police seem to be constantly patrolling

Maybe there are too many students

Or just too many apartments

At least the stadium keeps expanding

And we can buy more cars just up the road

Gift of Boredom

To many people

Life should be an adventure

They want to be a hero

In an action movie

Or be famous

And have a huge number of fans

In real life

No one plays a theme song

When you are going through something tough

No one claps or pays money to see you

Your adventure does not end in 2 hours

You do not get advertised in commercials

And you are not monetized with games or toys

You do not get your own website

You don't get a gold star in Hollywood

With the other famous people

You cannot afford to travel between LA and New York

You do not have time to show up in the best clubs

A hero in real life

Often cannot release what happened to them

Life in the military is far from exciting

It looks cool to jump out of an air plane

And it sounds cool to fire assault rifles

But the greatest adventure in the Army

Is carrying things around and cleaning things

It looks cool to be in combat

But this part of the military is terrifying

Until you get a leg blown off

Or catch on fire

You are either terrified or bored to tears

There is no in between

Torture is not cool in anyway

Even though most action films

Seem to think it necessary for their plots

A life of boredom

Sounds like a movie without a plot

And a life lived like that

Of no importance

But today the real luxury

Is being off social media

And not having to carry a smartphone

You surely can do great things with fame

But is distracts you from your own life

Who you are matters more

Than what you do

Just because you do not record something

Does not lessen its importance

You have only so much time and energy

No matter who you are

Do you want to spend your life

Gaining low quality friends

Or spending time with people

Who care about you unconditionally

Jesus changed the world

More than anyone else

But he didn't travel far

He wrote no books

We do not know what He looked like

He didn't even own a house

And He would be considered homeless

And likely mentally ill today

He received no awards

And no one paid any money to see Him

He did not live to middle age

He only really spread His message for 3 years

He had not children or wife

His entourage was by no means special

And His friends uneducated and poor

He was not even a citizen

Of the empire He lived in

But He did forgive sins

And we can live forever because of Him

Not in the underworld of the pagans

But in the paradise of the Bible