Nature is so wonderful. We need to treasure it, look after it and nurture it!
Changing a guitar into a bomb,
A machine gun,
A helicopter gunship,
A roaring machine of death
Or a vehicle of love.
Through a tremolo arm,
With an elbow,
The back of a hand,
Teeth and soul.
That had never been heard;
A tsunami of emotion
Of our alternative
Opher – 16.8.2019
I was fortunate enough to catch a look at the film of the Woodstock festival recently. It took me back to the ideals of my youth. We were so naive – but brave, so optimistic and full of hope, so earnest and determined.
This is the new world we built.
We fought for freedoms, nature, equality and an end to racism, sexism and elitism with big dollops of love and fun.
It’s a battle that is still going on.
I watched Jimi play, all those years ago, at Woodstock – not long before his death. He brought reality and Vietnam into the fight. War is the result of all that greed and inequality. He conjured up great emotion.
We had the alternative vision and Jimi was our magician.
He worked his magic in our ears and minds and helped open our eyes to what was wrong in society.
Kyoto is a fabulous city. The temples and pagodas are beautiful. Very different to the Chinese!
There Are No Answers
There are no answers
To the heavens,
There are no answers.
There are no answers
There are no reasons
To be found
There are no answers.
But there are mighty questions
To be wondered at.
To sit among the wonders of infinity and wonder – that is remarkable. I find myself surrounded by questions with no answers in sight.
But it is good to wonder.
Mystery to Misery
Rocks, Stones, Moon and Sea
Sun, Lake, Sky and Tree
Stand the Stone, Eyes that See
Locked in Books and Decree
I woke up this morning with this poem in my head. I think it sums up my feelings about spirituality and religion. There is a vibration that runs through the universe. It is something to marvel at. It seems to vibrate through nature. I can become ecstatic at the sight of a rock formation or sunset. I feel the power of the sky and sea. It connects. It is when humans try to give that mystery a name, call it a god and worship it, try to load their psychological needs on to it and lock it in words, holy books and decrees that they reduce it, misrepresent it, and begin to use it for their own power. Spirituality good; religion bad.
The words in those holy books are written by people who seek dominion, ownership and authority over something that cannot be confined, defined or reduced.
We are all part of that mystery. It exists within us and without us – as George so succinctly put. People whose minds are limited by the texts are imprisoned by their own limitations.
Nature is what I worship. Flowers and trees are better than churches, temples and mosques. More truth.
Miniscule in Reality
Glowing dawns and standing stones,
Mystic storms, vibrations in the wind
And majestic trees.
Skies that swirl with stars,
Chasms of glowing rock at sunset
And crashing seas.
There’s a wonder at work –
A celestial spectacle of awe.
There’s a mystery in the mind
That’s knocking at our door.
Standing before the horizon
Outlined against infinity
Feeling large against the sky
But miniscule in reality.
Opher – 1.8.2016
Miniscule in Reality
I am always in awe of nature; there’s a wonder at work. Infinity with its swirling galaxies, spinning atoms and amazing mysteries of consciousness is inspiring, is full of majesty, is uplifting.
There is a harmony in a sunset, rainbow and the glow it produces. There is a spirit in the rocks, trees and seas. To sit beside the crashing waves and feel the breeze in ones face connects us to the universe. To feel the sun upon the face and bask in its benevolent warmth is to feel the congruence.
There is a mystical force that is natural, beyond religion, and integral to that dynamo of nature through which we are all one.
Calm and peaceful, without barriers as the vibration of energy
flows through and on, forever.
I’m going to worship the sun.
At least it is real.
I can feel it on my face.
I can see it in the sky.
The sun is not imaginary;
Not an invention.
It gives me light.
It gives me heat.
It gives me life.
I do not need to talk to it in a cave,
Or on any mountain top,
Or in any wilderness.
The sun appears before everyone.
It does not make demands on me,
Or gives me lists of things I must not do,
Or lists of things I must do,
Things I have to wear,
Things I must not eat.
The sun is kind it merely gives expecting nothing in return.
I do not have to pray to it to make it shine.
It just shines.
It does not know that I exist.
It does not care.
It does not threaten me with eternal torture,
Or promise me eternal pleasure.
It came from the same place as me.
It made the atoms of my body.
It will die like me.
I am happy with the sun.
It will do very nicely.
Opher – 17.4.2021
Just imagine for one minute that there is no god.
Doesn’t that make a mockery of all the fantastic effort and sacrifices people all over the world have made?
Yet we can’t see this god. He rarely answers our prayers – if ever.
Why is it that only a certain few people have ever claimed to have spoken to god and received instructions from him? And always alone in caves, up mountains or in wildernesses.
Why is god so shy?
Why does this god give different, and very precise, instructions to different people?
Will wearing a veil, eating pork or beef, wearing a turban or devoutly praying really make that difference to him?
I always laugh when some who is saved from disaster thanks god. They never ask why god allowed the disaster in the first place or why he didn’t save the equally worthy people who died in the disaster.
If we have to worship something I’ll settle for the sun. The sun’s good enough for me. It’ll do for now. I might eventually transfer my allegiance to the moon though. She’s more mysterious.
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 tens of 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 an all too human god?
No lessons from the past
Seem to impact upon us now.
Our beliefs in Jesus, Mohamed and Moses,
In Shiva, Rama and Buddha,
Will last for ever.
They will surely not, like all the rest, eventually
Follow the sun.
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.
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, of such superstition look interestingly absurd. While I adore the pageant, majesty and colourful creativity I share with Freud the view that I am witnessing a mass hysterical psychosis.
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. I do not believe there is 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.
Hardwired to Worship
Hardwired to worship
Subjugation is elation
Programmed to ritual
Bliss through abdication
We have the need to pray
It is a must to believe
The supernatural is quite natural
As the way to perceive
Believing gives us purpose
When faced with mystery
Genuflect without aversion
Through politics and history
God watches over you
Through plague pestilence and death
Give thanks for his bounty
As you draw your last breath
Hardwired to worship
Programmed to believe
Elation in prostration
Nature flatters to deceive
Our success as a species comes from our intelligence. We are programmed through our DNA to see patterns and seek solutions. It made us brilliant hunters, farmers and story tellers.
We could see the habits of our predators and prey, discern the changing of the seasons, make tools, design shelters, transport and use our imagination to create what did not exist.
We tell stories like no other creature we know. Even the whale’s songs cannot compete.
Our greatest talent is our ability to solve problems and seek out solutions. That works brilliantly in our natural habitat but comes up short when faced with things beyond our comprehension.
When faced with the sun, moon, death and purpose our imagination worked overtime but our problem solving proved limited. We invented deities and paradise.
At first it satisfied the curiosity. Now we are in thrall to our own creation and it stalks our days.