My parents were the first in their families to complete university. Both were infused with Christian spiritual and religious ideas mixed among Irish, English, French and indigenous Sioux ancestry, beliefs, and spiritual traditions.
Blind Faith ~ Can’t Find My Way Home ~
Mom and Dads’ lives and roles were defined by intelligence, literacy, grace, pride, courage, kindness, good hearts, compassion and joy.
Indigenous – Blues From the Sky: House Of Blues – Chicago, IL – [December 9th, 2000]
MATO NANJI – guitar, vocals; Levi Platero – guitar; Bronson Begay – bass; Douglas Platero – drums.
My father’s mother, told fortunes with playing cards at the dining room table. Her visions about futures transcended faith and reason. Velzora Laura Brown-Flanagan was a well-established doll doctor. Her basement, the doll hospital, was filled with thousands of dolls heads and myriad weighted sets of eyes gleaming.
Nana taught me about flower gardens, railroads, parakeets, rivers and fishing. Her house in Cedar Falls had a screened porch out front… and railroad tracks, a river, a bridge and a dam out back. It was a red house. The basement stairs were littered with dolls heads, bobbers, tackleboxes, fish-buckets, nets and fishing poles. When visiting Nana and Bompa, in Iowa on the river and having my fortune told… I could hear my train a’ comin’… right outside her back door.
‘RED HOUSE” – INDIGENOUS @ Callahan’s. Jan 2015
Nana, and my father, her son Jim… rejected Roman Catholic traditions. Jim became a Quaker and then a Friend. After theological seminary and graduate school, he became a Protestant minister, a religious journalist, a college professor and a practitioner of Para-normal Psychology: a study of psychic phenomena, visions and dreams…
My Mom Lois was Iowa-born, and a prodigious reader. She enjoyed working as a substitute secondary-school teacher. She worked part and/or full-time as a secretary with the St. Louis Christian Home and then with the National Benevolent Association. She completed a college degree in her “spare” time. Her dad was a machinist, golfer and gardener. He served and retired from the Merchant Marines. He told wonderful stories and tended his gardens up to and including his 93red year. He collected old Packard automobiles. My mom’s mom died young, but her step-grandmother was an artist.
Lois was the first in her family to attend college, but she published a book.
Indigenous- Hear My Train a Comin’ / Voodoo Chile
I was never able to accept blind-faith contradictions of my parents’ beliefs and traditions, but I know the power of faith. Life can be difficult and complex, but human beings can embrace sorrow until it blossoms into joy.
Blind Faith Sea of joy. at London’s Hyde Park, 1969
Laguna Pueblo Reservation, Casa Blanca , New Mexico
Atheism may be the last word in theism… but golden rules are useful guides….
One of the most important criteria for any complete education is skepticism. Systems of beliefs and articles of faith should be rational considerations, even if they may include existential ideas.
Why limit ourselves?
“Science and religion are compatible, declares Einstein, who views science as a basis for a “cosmic” religion embraced by scientists, theologians, and all who share a sense of wonder in the rationality and beauty of the universe.”
Einstein develops a coherent view that transcends antiquated religions about fear and modern religions about ethics. Albert’s concept of cosmic religion combines science and religion, with science forming the basis for more enlightened views about religious and spiritual ideas.
In essays on aphorisms… Einstein muses about pacifism, disarmament, and relativity. His schematic view transcends myths, gods, devils, dogma, worship and prayer tokens. He concurred with Spinoza’s metaphysical and semantic acrobatics…
“The religion of the future will be cosmic religion. It will transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology.”
~ Albert Einstein
In considering Abrahamic traditions (Deism, Atheism, Agnosticism and Existentialism) I’ve found isms overrated. Regarding philosophy and religion, I’m a gardener who enjoys blues, reading, writing and planting seeds.
The blessings we bestow upon one another: nods, winks, hugs and kind touches or words, are more important than prayer and more essential than worship.
The rest is commentary, art, science or fiction…
Humans can embrace love, courage, peace, justice, truth, lies, science, fiction, mystery, quantum reality and joy. Everyone can find their own way… because there’s more than one way home.
More Than One Way Home · Keb’ Mo’ Just Like You Released on: 1996-06-18 Mixing Engineer, Producer: John Porter Composer, Lyricist: K. Moore; Composer, Lyricist: J.L. Parker; Background Vocal: Jackie Farris and Jean McClain Producer: John Lewis Parker Unknown: Joe McGrath Percussion: Munyungo Jackson; Assistant Engineer: Howard Willing; Drums: Laval Belle; Assistant Engineer: John Strother Keyboards: Tommy Eyre; Assistant Engineer: David Bryant Assistant Engineer: Posie Muliadi; Bass: James Hutchinson Assistant Engineer: Kenny Ybarra: Assistant Engineer: John Sorenberg: Mastering Engineers Vlado Meller & Joe Gastwirt
“The intangible dreams of people can have a tangible effect on the world….
“The challenge is in the moment, the time is always now.”
“Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death–ought to decide, indeed, to earn one’s death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life.”
“… One is responsible for life:
It is the small beacon
in that terrifying darkness
from which we come
and to which we shall return.”
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“It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself, and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.”
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“People who believe that they are strong-willed and the masters of their destiny can only continue to believe this by becoming specialists in self-deception.”
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“You don’t have a home until you leave it and then, when you have left it, you never can go back.”
James Baldwin (1924 – 1987)
James Baldwin told us, “The intangible dreams of people can have a tangible effect on the world…. The challenge is in the moment, the time is always now.”
the rest the essay: http://www.ThePortlandAlliance.org/JamesBaldwin