Poetry – More But Not Enough

More But Not Enough

More galaxies than grains of sand on every beach.

More stars than can be counted or imagined.

More time than has ever been.

More space than can be crossed.

More dreams than can fill a head.

More awe than we could ever wonder at.

More than enough mystery to last forever.

Yet not enough life to even risk a guess.

Opher 9.6.2017

I wrote this after watching a programme about the beginnings and beliefs of the Islamic Death Cult of ISIS and their literal acceptance of selected texts from the Koran. They interviewed one of their Jordanian architects. He recited texts and called them the word of Allah.

He disgusted me.

He sanctified slavery, butchery and torture using words from the Dark Ages. He claimed, unflinchingly, that they were god’s instructions and superior to any laws of man, that humanity and compassion counted for nothing.

I wondered how any mind can accept these words without doubt as to their origin. I wondered at what brainwashing had taken place to create such blind acceptance.

The Koran, Bible and all other religious texts are artefacts from an ignorant, uneducated age. Those books were written and compiled by people, not god. They come from cultures who were misogynistic, nomadic and tribal and it shows.

The world is full of mystery. It is an adventure of great wonder. To use moribund texts from the Dark Ages to justify misery and horror is obscene. Life is short. It should be a journey of love, music, happiness, friendship, dance, art, nature and writing, not of hatred, division and violence.

These people, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu and whatever, who put their faith in relics from the past are missing the mystery of life. Theirs is a waste of a life; a journey of death. True meaning lies in discovery and wonder.

Poetry – The Answer

The Answer

Answering grievances with bombs –

Settling scores.

Defending beliefs with guns –

Instead of love.

Proving points with power,

Threats and murder.

Dividing and demeaning,

Fighting and hating,

Despising and killing,

Controlling and enforcing,

Instead of arguing our case

And allowing others to weigh it up

For themselves –

Demanding, destroying and subjugating –

In a merry-go-round

Of politics,

Religion,

Race,

Nationalism

And economic greed

Where war is always the answer.

Opher 30.10.2016

The Answer

There are rare occasions where war is the only answer – when an evil is too great to ignore. But those times are few and far between.

Wouldn’t it be better if people talked about their dreams and beliefs, argued their case and, no matter how strongly they felt, were able to accept and get along with those whose views are different?

Yet this seems not to be the case.

Politics and religion stir up division and hatred and unleash war and violence. People are forced to comply.

War is a terrible thing. It invariably stirs up more hatred. It makes matters worse.

It is not necessary that all people agree or believe in the same thing. How many religions, professing love, peace and harmony, seek war or strictly enforced customs, to enforce their views on anyone who doubts their validity? How many countries seek to increase their power or gain wealth through war and stoke up racism, division, fear, hatred and nationalism as an excuse?

poetry – Righteous Arrogance

Righteous Arrogance

There is a righteous arrogance

That is only matched by ridiculous ignorance,

As we give our allegiance

To the indoctrinators of innocence.

And they betrayed us with impudence

With child-molesting expedience.

They did not even believe their own penitence

As they exploited with diligence.

From the portals of time

When all was complete mystery;

When conjecture was prime

And truth lost in the history,

They devised the excuses

For ‘what was’ and ‘what would be’;

They devised scriptures

To explain earth, sky and sea.

Without instrument or knowledge

We scanned heaven and earth

And gave ‘holy’ men a pledge

Of what their status was worth.

With their tall hats and rich cloaks

They ruled the warm hearth.

While we toiled in the fields

And they watched us with mirth.

In this time of great understanding

We can now clearly see the story;

Based on the evidence we are handling

Of the battles so gory

And the parts that ‘they’ stand in

As they assumed the glory.

Heaven and hell they were peddling

Fear the currency so hoary.

We find that the Ark does not hold water

The stories were fable

To ensnare sons and daughters;

Tales for dark nights round the table,

Not facts to take to the altar

Or Gods on which to hang a label.

For we have intelligence that does not falter

And knowledge that makes us more able.

It was all a pretence

That should remain past tense.

Opher 10.8.2015

Righteous Arrogance

I am an antitheist because I do not believe there is a ‘god’, I believe the scriptures were all devised out of the minds of men and religion does more harm than good. So I would like all religion to end.

That does not mean that I would actively persecute religious people or that their beliefs should be mocked. I believe that as the evidence stacks up and the scriptures are revealed as medieval products of superstition – belief will wither naturally.

I have respect for anybody who chooses to believe in whatever they want.

I will oppose anyone who wishes to indoctrinate children or force their views on others. Religion should be a free, personal choice.

I would oppose any fundamentalism or theocracy. I do not see religion as having any place in schools or governments. That is dangerous and reprehensible.

Modern history has clearly demonstrated the hypocrisy in religion. The priests who abuse children clearly do not believe their own doctrine. The Jihadists who kill, torture and rape clearly have a perverse view of religion. The drunken, fornicating monks and cardinals, the Borgias all flouted their own doctrine. If they had really believed in what they were spouting they would have lived quite differently. Then we have the intolerance and viciousness – inquisitions, pogroms, crusades, Jihads, genocides, witch burnings and torture.

It is still going on today.

Our knowledge of how these scriptures were put together by primitive Middle Eastern cultures clearly shows that they are contrived.

Religion has its basis in the ignorance of men exposed to the mystery of life and the universe. The viewpoint and intuition of thousands of years ago does not hold any truths for me. It was superstition not wisdom.

I decided to put these personal views of mine into a poem.

Poetry – We used to worship – religion and faith.

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We used to worship

The lesson of the past is that things come and go. So many gods who were universally worshipped have toppled into oblivion. Gods and Goddesses thought so powerful that they constructed the universe and ruled all things, and either gave or withheld their assistance to humans, have been long forgotten. Where are Hrouda, Rura, Tiwaz, Vercana, Amon, Ash, Hu, Ket, Mut, Ptah, Aife, Blai, Clota, Cred, Ixtab, Mudu and a million others. People put their faith in them. People willingly died for them. Prayers, rituals, costumes and sacrifices were conceived to satisfy these deities. Their assistance was sought and praise was heaped upon them when it worked, and excuses found when it failed (we were not following the instructions were we). So many forgotten tribes were the ‘chosen’ ones.

So many religions waxed and waned.

Yet the ones we presently subscribe to are the real ones; the only real ones. They will never wane.

For one who does not believe, such as me, the prayers, costumes, rituals and entreaties, look silly.

If there is a mystical force it is within all of us, all the fabric of the universe, and not embodied in some human created god. There is no such thing as such a human construct as paradise or hell.

I cannot wait for the waning, for an awakening. We have life, an incredible universe and we live in the midst of great wonder and majesty. We are surrounded with astounding wonder. That is surely enough.

 

We used to worship

 

We used to worship the sun and moon;

We thought they were gods,

But now we understand what they really are –

Only rock and gas –

And the mysticism has dissipated on the solar breeze.

 

We used to worship trees, rocks and streams

And pray to the spirits that resided within,

But now we understand the molecules

Possess no spiritual qualities

Other than the wonder that resides in our own minds.

 

We used to worship Zeus, Apollo and Baal;

Make sacrifices, follow rituals

And offer up our prayers.

Now they, and the thousands like them,

Are banished to the past.

Their universal power no longer of consequence.

 

How many virgins?

How many sheep, goats and cattle,

Had their throats slit

In a futile attempt to curry favours

From a human god?

 

No lessons from the past

Seem to impact upon us now.

Our beliefs in Jesus, Mohamed and Moses

Will last for ever.

The will not eventually

Follow the sun.

Will they?

 

So I will sit in awe and thrill to a sunset,

Lie beneath the stars and absorb the majesty,

Smile with soft eyes at the spectrum of life

And relish the warmth of love and friendship.

It is the closest to worship I can achieve.

It’s enough for me.

 

Opher 22.6.2016

Belief? What is it? Where does it come from? What use is it?

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Belief

What is this thing we call belief? Where does it come from? Why do we need it?

 

I cannot help thinking that if I had been brought up in Saudi Arabia I would be a Sunni Muslim, if in Iran a Shia Muslim, if in India a Hindu, if in Brazil a Christian Catholic and if in Mississippi a Protestant Christian.

 

If I had been born in Greece a few thousand years ago I would have worshipped Zeus as the god of all gods. If I had lived in Britain three thousand years ago it might have been the Green Man or the Sun. If in Egypt it might have been Isis.

 

I could list a thousand Gods and Goddesses that mankind has worshipped, sacrificed to, prayed to and beseeched. The forgotten Gods and Goddesses are ten times as numerous.

 

Belief is built into our genes.

 

I am fortunate. I was brought up in a loving family with no attempt to indoctrinate me into any religious belief or political persuasion. I was left to investigate myself. My adolescent obsessions with mysticism and belief were tolerated without opposition or ridicule. I was left to think.

 

I went through my ‘religious phase’ and came to the belief that all religion originated in the minds of men, prayer was pointless and worship a psychological prop.

 

I believe that religious belief is mankind’s attempt to come to terms with an infinite universe, the mystery of life and death and a purpose for what we do. It comes from a psychological need and a brain that is hard-wired to seek patterns, purpose and a reason. We cannot understand a system with no beginning, no end and no reason.

 

Do we need belief? No I don’t think so. We can create our own purpose and appreciate the wonder and awe around us.

 

We certainly do not need religion in order to have morality. We can make a far better code of human rights without the hypocrisy and contradictions present in all religions with their obscure pronouncements. We can make a clear code of ethics without the ambiguities.

 

We can do without belief. Perhaps we have evolved enough to start to do without.