Let Yourself Be Surprised

It sounds silly, but sometimes we are too sure that we already know everything – we go through life sure that we know why something is being done, or who did it, or how something works. We’ve read that book and now the book is closed. Allow yourself the opportunity to be surprised by something … Continue reading “Let Yourself Be Surprised”

It sounds silly, but sometimes we are too sure that we already know everything – we go through life sure that we know why something is being done, or who did it, or how something works. We’ve read that book and now the book is closed. Allow yourself the opportunity to be surprised by something being different from what you thought you already knew.

A thousand metaphors are going through my head that I want to explain this with. The Flintstones – the difference between watching them as a child or from watching them as a man with a wife and child.

I heard this phrase earlier today “Let yourself be surprised” and I dismissed it, I threw it in the same category as a thousand other motivational phrases. And I forgot about it while it bounced around in my head and broke a few things loose. While I wasn’t thinking about it, that phrase was thinking for me. And, lo and behold, here I am, surprised to be writing and sharing that same phrase I dismissed. It’s wisdom and I’m fortunate that my brain held onto it when my ego dismissed it.

Another metaphor, my favorite re-purposed for this moment. Imagine a small lake with an island in the center, on the island is a statue with many faces, each of them representing a different aspect of what it is to be human, our emotions, thoughts, feelings. You could look at one face and then continue on without going all the way around the lake and thus missing all the other faces – if you only saw one face, you could easily tell yourself that you had seen the totality, a statue with a face in a lake – but if you walk the shore and continuously look – the faces are different -and the wind changes the water, and the reflections of the sky change with the clouds, and the seasons change the foilage, and..and…and…you could spend eternity seeing a million different lakes with islands and statues…and the only thing that has really changed is you in both time and space.

Let yourself be surprised.

Nobody likes to be faced with hatred

It’s a good thing to keep in mind in the world as it is today. If you are staring into the eyes of someone ordered to do their job and looking at them with hatred – that hatred is going to be returned.

Hatred has never put an end to hatred. Only love has or can accomplish that Herculean task.

We may be asked to fight against evil, but if we can find compassion and the ability to love our enemies (even while we fight them) then we just might have a chance at defeating them.

These are not just hollow words. When you are faced with all of the awfulness that the world can muster – you will need to fight, I’m sure of it, but you will only win if you fight with love.

Lost Tribe of Isreal in Solomon Islands

Cargo cults, the Lost Tribe of Israel, and the Solomon Islands

This is the kind of story that totally fascinates me…the intersection of cargo cults, Jews for Jesus, Muslims that drink alcohol and eat pork, and legends of a huge hoard of gold…awesome…and real…not television…plus the Lost Tribe of Israel in the Solomon Islands

Mysterious Israelis are buying copra in the Solomon Islands and as Michael Field reports, the Islanders believe they are the Lost Tribe of Israel.

A couple of men, one wearing a flag of Israel, have shown up in the Solomon Islands, claiming they are ready to buy copra at high prices. They?ve headed off to remote and poor Malaita Island where indigenous Melanesian people believe they are survivors of the lost tribe of Israel.

Despite science and DNA testing, the Lost Tribe myth lives on strongly in the South Pacific. It?s more than a quaint story in the Solomons; north Malaita people have rejected recent Australian aid projects, saying they are too busy growing copra for Israel.

The Lost Tribe story has a long track record here with the Encyclopaedia of New Zealand noting missionary Samuel Marsden suggesting Maori had ?sprung from some dispersed Jews?. Thomas Kendall said Maori originated in Egypt.

Te Ua Haumene who founded the Paimarire Church or Hauhauism claimed that in September 1862 the Angel Gabriel had visited him and revealed that Maori were one of the Lost Tribes.

The Israeli connection is a problem in the Solomon Islands which was the scene of a civil war on its main island of Guadalcanal where locals objected to people from Malaita moving in. The war only ended with the arrival of a regional intervention force, including New Zealand police and soldiers.

One of the combatant units, the Malaita Eagle Force (MEF) featured the Israeli flag in their iconography. A governor-general of the Solomons even made an official visit to Israel.

The Solomon Islands has been populated for around 5000 years. The first European ashore was Spaniard Alvaro de Mendana in 1568 who believed it was the site of the Biblical King Solomon Mines.

Dr Jaap Timmer of the Dutch Leiden University describes on an anthropological web discussion list serve how he had experience with the Lost Tribe movement in the Solomons.

He says archaeological and other evidence does not sustain descent from Israel: ?However, I would not deny the parallels of Old Testament and Melanesian tribal cultures, which strike Melanesians very forcefully when they read the Bible.?

Growing numbers of evangelical Christians in North Malaita believe that the Lost Temple of Israel lies hidden at a shrine that was previously used for ancestral worship in the mountainous interior of their island.

Others want to build a full-scale replica of the temple believing it is pre-ordained for a country named the Solomon Islands.

The claim frustrates mainstream churches. “Missionary Christianity is often associated with the British colonial government, European superiority, and Western ways that are believed to have polluted social life and governance in Solomon Islands.”

The Temple claim also evokes traditional land disputes, with fears that the temple would attract Israeli tourists, prompting inter-tribal jealousy.

Two disputed temple sites exist on Malaita and Anglican Bishop Terry Brown on the island says one of them is tied up with a self-proclaimed prophet and failed politician, Michael Maeliau, who leads the “Deep Sea Canoe Movement”.

He has been to Israel a number of times and has links to American neo-Israel fundamentalist groups there. Deep Sea Canoe Movement talks of taking Christianity back to Israel.

Bishop Brown says that they are serious groups.

“They, indeed, often have legitimate grievances against both governments and the more established churches,” he says.

But people could not be totally uncritical, as the groups can be dangerous. Bishop Brown recalled that the Lord’s Resistance Army of Northern Uganda started out as one such neo-Israelite movement.

“The groups and beliefs are in constant mutation and fluctuation, interacting with traditional beliefs and practices,” he says.

Mixed in are various forms of Christianity, cargo cultism and land disputes. Movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Rastafarianism even have a play and Bishop Brown noted that a kind of Islam was even involved.

A group from the capital Honiara claiming to be Muslim recently arrived at Malaita?s Auki, saying they had come to burn down churches. They were arrested for making a public disturbance.

“The first generation of Malaita Muslims were conventional; the second generation (many ex-MEF militants) is syncretistic, giving up, for example, neither pork nor alcohol.

“Indeed, there is some question whether they are Muslims at all. One only hopes that the Middle East situation of Jew vs. Muslim does not resurface here as Malaita Israelite vs. Malaita Muslim.” Continue reading “Lost Tribe of Isreal in Solomon Islands”

The Sex Score in a Bizarre World Lab

Sex Score and Universal LabHe took his coat off and hung it on the peg,, where it always was, waiting for him to take it wherever he went. He walked into the kitchen, melancholy, and full of wonder as his mind thought back to the days of his youth. Working on yachts and falling in love at every port until the list of loves became like a list of books he’d  read. And forgotten.

It was no longer  simple  to answer  how many women he’d slept with or how many times he’d been in love. He had to second guess himself. In recent years he’d answered with

“ You really don’t really want to know that” and if pressed he would say “Four”. It was the magic number. Not too many, but not too few. Only it was such an outrageous lie.

Bizarre world in which you were expected to keep your own score as you went and nearly every other person was keeping their own “score”. It turned it into a giant competition for the good and the bad.

Life was confusing enough without developing this incredibly complex game called Love. It was a constant battle to remain afloat in the overcrowded sea of humanity.

He set his briefcase down and walked into the living room, grabbing a banana as he passed through the kitchen. He sat in his lazy-boy recliner and reached for the remote control after rocking the lever back as far as it would recline.

Kicking off his shoes he wondered to himself, “ Why are my socks so nice. Why do they have designs woven into them.Certainly not because I like them, but as a part of the game. At some point I decided that nice socks would make it simpler to seduce women.”

He kicked off his shoes one at a time. Right foot first, then left foot. They dropped to the floor  beneath the footrest of the recliner. He knew they would get in the way when he went to un-recline, but at this point he didn’t care. Later he would be annoyed with his earlier self for creating more work for his later self.

Life is like that. The now you is usually making decisions for the later you, and usually,  they are lousy decisions. Maybe you get it right more often as you get older, but you still screw up every time you do anything important.

Hindsight is 20/20, Foresight is often blind.

If we knew the future would we let it happen, or would we change the future, making it unknowable. Knowing too much is worse than knowing nothing most of the time.

What if you knew you’re destiny and hated it? Would you create it by trying to evade it? In which case would you have created it without the knowledge?

Does the universe have clockwork motion which gives us 70 or 80 years before we have to return to our places? What do we want?

Now is the time to communicate with our future selves so that we don’t regret any decisions later, make the best decisions possible.

What should I do? Do what you think is right.  Don’t hold back in your beliefs, explore them, trust them, make the most of your hunches and talents. It isn’t really what you think that counts.

Do you get what I’m saying? It makes sense to live your life as if every decision is your last.

When does it end? We don’t know. I t goes on as long as it goes on so make yourself at peace today. Find what it is you need to do.

What you would regret in your last moments. So what if you thought it would go on, you’d have more time.

You don’t that is the nature oft eternity. The world isn’t the friendliest place in the universe. It is made to solve problems.

Think of the world as a laboratory. The picture you had as a child was not entirely wrong. The Universal  God is a consciousness, which works in a clockwork fashion to an ultimate goal.

Humanity and life are a way to solve certain theoretical problems. Life is placed within the universe in various situations to which the best solution is found through adaptation.

It is not the word of anything. Each planet not a lab, but a test tube contained within the vast workshop-lab that is the universe.

Resistance. Sometimes harder is actually easier.

I have to admit that I am tempted to feel disappointment at the early reception to the little book I recently produced.

Feeding the Spirit.

Out of a thousand followers on twitter, four hundred friends on facebook, and the hundreds of readers who come here every day, the reaction consisted of two people telling me that Islam is a bloodthirsty and violent religion, 5 people ‘digging’ my post, a stranger writing to tell me that my combining of capitalism/marketing with religion was offensive, and the three people who have read it so far telling me that they thought what it was saying was important and good.

As to sales, I admit that Mink Hippie is the only one who bought a copy and if she would have asked me first, I would have gladly given it to her instead.

So, yes. I am tempted to be disappointed.

But I am not. I repeat, I am not disappointed.

One thing I have learned in choosing to tread the path of my life is that when you are doing something right, there is usually resistance. I have written about this in Feeding the Spirit. Essentially, the Creator has given us all the opportunity to live a fulfilling and joyous life. We are born perfect beings who, if left alone, would do just as we should. Unfortunately, the world is set up in such a way that we are misled down paths that look easier and promise faster rewards. The sad truth is that those paths often lead us into the sticky situations we have all experienced. Unhappy places to be.

Imagine that you are walking down a road and it splits. One side looks well trod and the other sort of overgrown and abandoned. You decide that you would rather follow the well trod path than clear the detritus from the other. A short way down the path you realize that it is well trod because thieves and robbers have made it their highway. You have thieves ahead of you and robbers behind you. You desperately want to make it back to the other path but there is overgrown thicket between you and it. At this point you have several choices:

1) Pretend to be yet another thief
2) Become a robber
3) Claw your way through the thicket, getting scratched and bruised along the way.

It would have been easier to choose the slightly more difficult path in the first place. But most of us do not. Instead we follow the well trod path until it either changes us or we realize we have made a mistake.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in this life. I’ve followed that well trodden path too many times with the same result. I know where it leads.

So I am not disappointed with this resistance. It means I am doing something right.

Want more like this?
Why not pick up a copy of Feeding the Spirit

And while you are at it, if you could take a second to digg my book, it would be very much appreciated.