Random Thoughts 4-26-2009

This week I received what I hope is the last medical bill for my three-day trip to the hospital in January.  This one was for the ambulance that took me from one hospital to the other one.  The distance was twenty miles and the trip took about thirty minutes.  Counting prep time to get me on and off, about an hour.  The total charge was almost $1400.  My insurance, which is supposed to pay 85%, payed just over $400 leaving me to pay over $900 out of my own pocket.  I’m beginning to understand why Americans are going to places like India for medical treatment.

Once again we have a clean cut, well mannered, good looking young guy accused of murder and everyone is saying they are surprised, it can’t be him.  How many of these will it take before people realize these are exactly the type who often do rape, murder or commit other crimes, partly because they know nobody will suspect them?

This Wacky World

Researchers at the prestigious Max Planck Institute in Germany recently did a major study on human spit.  They discovered that spit was pretty much the same everywhere despite regional differences in diet.

In Italy, since banks have little money to loan out to small businesses due to the global recession, the businesses are turning to another source: the Mafia.

A young man in Australia was arrested for breaking into sex shops.  He didn’t steal anything when he broke into them.  He just inflated rubber sex dolls and had sex with them.

A Saudi man divorced his wife by texting her the traditional (more or less) “I divorce U” three times.  The Saudi court upheld it as a legal divorce.


Scripture: The Apocalypse of Peter 15

And my Lord Jesus Christ, our King, said to me, “Let us go to the holy mountain.” And his disciples went with him praying.
And behold there were two men there, and we could not look upon their faces, for a light came from them, shining more than the sun and their raiment also was shining and cannot be described and nothing is sufficient to be compared to them in this world.  And the sweetness of them…that no mouth is able to utter the beauty of their appearance, for their aspect was astonishing and wonderful.

It is reasonable certain that this scripture was not actually written by St. Peter, but that doesn’t change the truth found in it.  The spiritual beings, Light beings, that appeared to Jesus and were seen by the disciples that accompanied him are well described here.  This gives you some idea why I refer to them as Light beings.  Later, in this document Jesus tells Peter they were Moses and Elijah, two great prophets, now physically dead, but very much alive in the spiritual world and still working to enlighten and save others, which is why they appeared to Jesus on more than one occasion.  I particularly like in this passage the indication that it is difficult, if not impossible, to accurately describe spirits and spiritual things because our languages are intended to describe material things.  This often leads to inaccuracies, and differences in descriptions from various prophets.  It is not that they saw different things, but they describe it differently because they can only approximate a description of something spiritual.


You Get What You Prepare For

    There are a lot of self-help books and gurus with various methods and ideas of what success in life means.  One thing most all of them agree on, however, is that you have to prepare for what you want.  If you want to be a doctor, you study medicine, not art.   If you want to be a painter, you study art, not biology.  If you are learning to write poetry, you read and study good poetry and take poetry writing classes.  
   Most self-help books and gurus will also tell you that you can’t just study the subject, you have to practice it and set goals for achieving it a step at a time.  Otherwise, your like the person who reads diet books, but doesn’t loose weight because he doesn’t do what the books say, he just reads them.
    So you have to study, practice and set goals if you want to achieve something specific in life.  I think just about everyone understands that and most accept it as true, even if they don’t practice it.
    So where did we ever get the backwards idea that if we want to live in a peaceful world we need to train to fight in wars, spend most of our tax money on weapons of war, and spend most of our time preparing for wars?  It just doesn’t make sense.  Oh, I’m not naive enough to suggest that we would have world peace if we simply threw away all the weapons of war.  It’s definitely not that simple.  The animal nature that is a very real part of us and must be acknowledged will always want to fight.  It’s very territorial.  But animals can learn to live together in peace and so can we, but we need to do it by preparing for peace, not war.  
    I think if we spent just ten percent of what we spend on preparing for war on studying peace and how to live together in peace, we would have far fewer wars.  Also far less violent crime and terrorism since they are essentially small-scale wars.  The government, specifically the Defense Department, spends millions each year on war games and on consulting think tanks to help them plan wars.  I think it’s time to have some think tanks plan for peace, to have diplomats conduct peace games, and to spend a little of our money on weapons of peace.  Of course, the weapon of peace I most recommend is spiritual development.  Spiritual people are always peaceful people because they control their ego and recognize that we are all one.


The Importance of Being Creative

    I think everyone will agree that creativity is an important positive aspect of human behavior.  A recent article in the Huffington Post discusses the importance of creativity and states that it is as much a basic need as food, water and sleep.  I couldn’t agree more.  I also agree that, despite suggestion boxes and similar idea sharing programs, most big corporations do not promote creativity, they stifle it.  The reason, I think, is usually because those ideas and suggestions are being reviewed by people who have had years of experience at suppressing there own creativity and so, whether they realize it or not, do their best to stifle creativity in others.  Another reason they stifle creativity is to protect themselves.  They don’t want to loose their job to someone more creative and innovative so they try to stifle that creativity in others.  And that stifling of creativity just keeps getting passed down to the next batch of new employees.  I suggest reading the Huff Post story for more information on that, but I really want to touch on another area the article doesn’t mention.  
    Why is creativity such an important need in humans?  Secularists would say it is because being creative helps us survive so it is simple survival instinct, but I believe otherwise.  Creativity is an aspect of the Creator.  Apparently, a very important aspect of God since just saying the Creator automatically told  everyone I was referring to God.  And we are created in his image, which doesn’t mean we look like God, but that spirituality, we share to some degree the powers of God including the ability to be creative.  God is the creator so we are creators.  It’s as simple as that.  But corporations are not the only ones that stifle creativity.  Parents, friends, school teachers and society can do it also.  It’s not surprising, to me anyway, that very spiritual people are more creative than the average person and that most creative people are somewhat spiritual.  If you think your creativity has been stifled to some extent, than developing your spiritual side will help.  Also, here are two books I’ve read and recommend:

  • Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg – developing writing creativity, but can aid in all creative endeavors
  • The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron – developing creativity in writing and arts, but also any creative efforts

Both of these books are used often in creative writing courses.  There are probably other good books and courses on developing creativity, but I haven’t read or attended them, so I can’t give any specific recommendations.