Before Science

Before Science

Back before science

                They used the shaman

                                To explain.

He performed

                Ritual dances

                                To bring the rain.

He always ate the choice,

                Enjoyed the power.

Was waited on

                Every hour.

His pronouncement were the truth –

                Explaining mysteries without proof.

They wrote it all down

                To become the gospel word.

It mattered little

                That most was just absurd.

It did not need

                To be true.

As long as people

                Stuck to it like glue.

Opher – 26.6.2022

Religion is powerful. It is tribal. Its dress and ritual are intermixed with our cultures

Its messages can be interpreted in many ways. It is always open to interpretation and malleable. Most things can be justified.

The absurdities are glossed over.

The cultural influences carefully ignored.

Everyone is able to pick and choose the bits they want to. It can be used to vilify all war and sanctify war.

The establishment find it very useful. It is used to vindicate them. Its power is deployed. It unifies the tribe.

Putin uses it – appearing with ceremonies and religious patriarchs.

Ukraine uses it. Soldiers cross themselves and die with renewed vigour.

When The Lights Go Out

When The Lights Go Out

When the lights go out

                The show’s over;

A brief yet vivid

                Supernova.

No amount of faith

                Will alter the fact

That we’re never, ever

                Coming back.

Once is all there is.

                Nothing more,

                                Nothing less.

All we can do

                Is to

                                Give it our best.

Opher – 25.6.2022

How much better life is when you are not living in fear or hope of the next life. Each moment is precious.

You only get opportunities once.

Suck it in. Lap it up.

We live in the midst of wonder.

This invention of an afterlife was deployed to exploit soldiers. It was instilled to remove the fear of death so that they would be fearless on the battlefield.

This invention of heaven and hell was a control mechanism. Nothing more.

Live for today.

This moment is all we have.

Driving through Egypt – armed militia, machine-gun posts, rural backwaters and tied up Nile River Cruise Boats.

Islamic terrorism has shut down tourism. Everywhere you look is poverty. There are machine-gun posts and armed militia on street corners. It’s like a country under siege. All the cruise boats are tied up. People des[perately need the tourist money in order to help them develop. In the rural regions, it’s still horses and carts.

I took these shots from a moving car.

I can’t help thinking that religion has played a big part in creating poverty.

Luxor – The Temple of Karnak

It was extremely impressive to see the remains of this incredible temple. It is salutary to see how mighty empires and religions fall. Our empire, culture and religions will one day be nothing more than a historical relic. All our lives and beliefs no more than traces.

The Corona Diaries – Day 743

Yesterday I was charging up and down the country running my youngest back to London. I’m not used to driving 550 miles in a day.

It’s quite a shock to be in London again. Gives perspective to life. The cosmopolitan atmosphere. The buzz. The crowds. The traffic. The greyness. And above all – the enormity of the city.

Henry is living in a part of the city that is mainly Jewish. There were a lot of Hasidic Jews going about their life. They were picking up kids and attending what looked like a school. There were security guards roaming the street. There was menace.

A couple of doors up from Henry’s there were a number of Muslim’s coming out of a large house. They too were all decked up in full Muslim gear. The contrast of tribal gear was fascinating.

I could never have coped with all that. Too much of an intrinsic rebel. I found it hard enough with my school uniform, cub and scout uniforms. Always in trouble. If I had been born Muslim, Jewish or anything else I think I would have been pushing the limits and questioning it. But then you never know. The power of indoctrination is very strong. I’m so grateful my parents brought me up with freedom.

I’m sure I shouldn’t but I find these religious costumes laughable and disturbing. I find it hard to imagine that anybody really believes that any god would really give specific instructions on how to dress. Surely these people realise that these things are cultural, tribal identifiers??

I find the way that women are meant to dress and act misogynistic. It reinforces their inferior standing for me. Why should they have to cover their hair? Why do they have to wear shape disguising robes? Are men that weak that they are incapable of dealing with their own lust? Isn’t it like blaming the women for the lust of their men? Or is it just another way of controlling women?

Mystery to me why these women are prepared to put up with it.

There is also the weirdness of people wearing clothing that originated in hot climates in the cold and drizzle of an English Winter. Bizarre! I’d like to see an Asian Arctic expedition! Or Asian Astronauts. But that’s just me. It’s no more hilarious than the British Raj all dressed up in their starched collars, jackets and pith helmets in the Indian heat. Equally risible.

On the positive side, I do enjoy the friendly clashes of cultures and the cross-fertilisation of ideas, cultures, perspectives, attitudes, foods, drinks and philosophies. Hybrids are always stronger.

London is a dynamo.

In the pub, watching the football, it was packed – as if covid had never happened and was now completely forgotten. So much so that a mask would have looked strange.

I drove back from London to my little village where they still wear masks in the local shops, where it is largely monocultural, where there is clean air, greenness and little traffic and I reflected on how predictable, mundane and boring my life has become. Everything here is so sedate.

Long ago, when I lived in London, my friends were much more mixed – Black, Asian, Jewish, Muslim, Greek, Australian……………. I never had a minute. People were always dropping in. There was always something happening. There were events, gigs, art, meals, friends…………….. Life was full and lively.

There was no time to get things done though. I was experiencing not creating.

It was only when I moved to the more tranquil regions that I was able to find the time to harness all that experience into creativity.

I enjoyed my brief visit and noted the shades of violence and tension that was present – close to a fight in the pub – but I don’t think I’d want to live there anymore.

I’m happy here in the village where trendy and hip are esoteric strangers.

Stay Safe.

Israel – More from the Wailing Wall

I found it fascinating to watch the zealots following the rules.

This human need to believe in gods goes way back into our primitive past. The tribal elements are manifest. We commit so much of our time, wealth and emotional state into these religious systems.

Just think if all that time, energy and money had been directed to say – removing poverty or green issues.

I saw lots of fervent belief or display. I didn’t see god anywhere.

Poetry – Layers

Layers

Beneath the layers of the mundane

                Lie a multitude of others.

Levels of intrigue,

                Layers of lies,

                                Echelons of power.

Buffeted on waves.

                Ordinary life an illusion.

Stability

                A chimera.

We live a lie we believe.

                The invisible power struggle go on unseen.

Bacteria floating on a thin skin over a cauldron of lava.

The cynical underworld,

                Covert operations,

                                Manipulations of the state.

                                                Power games.

Black ops,

                Lawlessless.

                                Tyranny and control.

Civilisation a veneer.

                Pursuing the ordinary

In an illusory stability.

                Reality is more sinister!

Opher – 18.1.2022

We live a precarious existence; fragile creatures on the thin skin of the earth’s crust. Underneath us is an ocean of molten lava.

That crust splits, tears, erupts and shifts pouring forth fire, shaking the world apart and creating tsunamis.

The fault lines are not merely physical.

As we eat our Weetabix and prepare to pick up the newspaper gangsters are running protection rackets, planning raids, extorting, pimping, dealing and killing in a billion dollar industries.

Political and religious terrorists are plotting, The CIA, police and covert groups are running operations.

Governments are deploying tactics, troops and undercover operations.

We live ‘normal’ lives in the midst of vast power and intrigue.

Poetry – Prehistoric policing

Prehistoric policing

Put on your veil!

Pray each day

And obey without ceasing!

Or else

You’ll be subject to

Prehistoric policing!

Read the scripture!

Follow the dogma!

Not to do so is a sin!

If you do not

You’ll be hammered with

Prehistoric policing!

Do not question

The tenets of faith!

Throw all logic in the bin!

Faith is not rational.

It needs to be enforced

With prehistoric policing!

Opher – 2.11.2019

I was driven to write this poem by a video clip of a poor woman who was shot through the head for going to the market without her veil. The Nazi religious police stopped her, beat her and forced her to her knees. They recited verse, gathered a crowd, put a gun to her head and blew her brains out – all because her face was not covered.

Across the world millions of women and children are subject to prehistoric policing. They are forced to spend hours memorising scripture. They are forced to wear heavy robes and full face veils.

This is not religious freedom. This is slavery.

These religious fanatics create a fascist tyranny! Their misogynistic view of religion is draconian and prehistoric.

Religion should be a matter of choice – not coercion.