Friday, 27 February 2015

New Book Website

My publisher has just launched the new publicity site for my book.

It's the focal point for all the marketing and I'll be updating the blog and media section regularly.

Check it out!!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Losing our lands, gaining the world

I was talking to someone the other day about land rights, here and abroad, the middle east, all that stuff. You know what its like. The endless to and fro about who was there first, the injustices and horrors.

I thought about the ISIS stuff, the christians, and all the other religious wars and persecutions. I wondered about the Jews claim to their God given homeland, the cries of the Palestinians, the Ukrainians, and all the other eastern Europe conflicts. The aboriginals, the American Indians, on and on through history.

So much is tied up in national identity and its relationship to the land. Humanity has what I would call an obsession with the land being integral with their identity. The history of countless generations becoming an almost physical part of the soil they stand on. Every nation on earth has this.

Countless "superior" nations have invaded and conquered weaker nations and tribes, dislodging them from their native lands, often cruel, and even genocidal. Often those earlier nations did the same with even earlier cultures and tribes. It's a cycle that humanity keeps going through.

History proves that man learns nothing from history. This seems to be a prime example. People tromping over each other, claiming some superior reason or right - often a "reclaiming" of old lands that are their heritage, as if who they are is inherent in the particular patch of earth they "own".

Sure, there are nations that "get it" in the sense that no one owns the land. But they aren't that common any more. Many of them have been forced into the same "ownership" mentality.

How sad that humanity keeps thinking that anything outside of themselves - external to them - is of such value that they are willing to kill for it!

I understand the spiritual connections to the land, but as a species we keep elevating that connection to our personal and corporate identity. We think that if we don't stand together with our tribe on our "ancestral" land (and that goes for any country/nation/tribe/culture) we will lose all meaning and hope.

What a waste!

Seriously, it's a tragic delusion that focuses on the external, the material, as if that is what makes us who we are.

Patriotism - what an absolute ripoff! Yes, I love the country I live in and all the benefits I have as part of that culture, but patriotism is a deep "us and them" arrogance. It says we are better, stronger, nicer, happier, we have better morals, better government. It separates into tribes and build walls. It stands in defiance against humanity's unique unity.

My country is no more special than yours. I love where I live, but its not my identity. We hold ideals as if they magically make us better. We think our "rich" heritage actually means something. Sure its interesting, but its not WHO WE ARE.

America, the Middle East, ALL of us. We are humanity, we are one! This isn't some hippie drug induced dream - its the only way forward. No religion will ever provide a solution, no political system will make a difference. Only our determination to break apart those paradigms and actually see each other as loving beautiful people, will make any difference.

How do we do this? How do we actually get to this point? We simply start doing it. We stop being patriotic, one individual at a time. We stop looking for our identity in others, in our environment, in our culture, in our family. We still love them, but they are not US. It's not an unachievable pipe dream. Its as simple as letting go and choosing to see with eyes that love - exercising empathy and compassion, over and above our obsession for cultural identity.

It's simply living loved.

Monday, 2 February 2015

What am I?

I've been chatting with one of my besties about just tearing apart the traditions of religion, the bible, the church and even the basic premises of christianity, but not putting forward a positive alternative.

It's something that I often worry about, and I must confess there is a lot of satisfaction in attacking that which has caused myself, and countless others, far more damage than we realised.

I'm still a recovering fundamentalist with a lot of deep hurts and a lifetime of cognitive dissonance to work through. I have had to face issues of faith head on, and be (hopefully) honest and open enough to go wherever that leads.

I can only speak out of my own paradigm, and share what has been involved with becoming aware of that paradigm and all its implications. It's a long journey, and I've been encouraged to share that journey by many who have been inspired or can relate in some way to it.

So these days I get asked if I'm a christian... what are my beliefs... why don't you spell out what you are trying to say...

But I can't answer these questions, because trying to define who I am in these terms is a major part of the problem. We are so hooked on certainty, to the point that we will kill to maintain it; the idea of not having a clear label to categorise and assess everyone with is completely untenable.

I just can't offer another religious platform to replace what I'm tearing down. Unless you can call my bottom line of love a religion - which I guess it is in a way!

So here it is - you can label me with this if you want, if you can put a name to it, its the best I've got so far. Are you ready for it? Its really complicated and full of profound depth! OK? Deep breath...

Love everyone, no matter what.

Now if you can fit your own religious constructs and paradigms around that and maintain that bottom line, then we are doing well. Believe what you want! But if that's not the bottom line then your beliefs are detrimental to humanity. After 58 years, its all I'm left with. And you know what? It feels good! It's awesome actually, to be able to let go and let love be the ONLY "rule".

Some say its too idealistic and simplistic and doesn't relate to reality - that we need complex moralities, belief systems, legal systems... we can't be trusted, we are corrupt at the core, we are incapable of anything good, we always resort to our ego driven selfishness, and on and on with why love just isn't enough.

I call bullshit! Yeah, it means we have to stop, use some self control and take responsibility for our actions and thoughts. Sure its a process, its a journey. We can make it simple or complicated. Most importantly we can BE love to everyone else. And when we can't, we can receive love until we CAN give it.

Have we ever thought that instead of judging and condemning, demanding justice, rights, taking offense and wanting retribution, we should simply encourage each other to see love in everything? Seriously - if we simply challenged each other to live with empathy - if we helped each other to find a solution based in love - if we assessed every situation in life with "is it love?", "will it produce love?"...

Remember, its a process, we aren't looking for perfection - just a willingness to live loved.

Its friggin simple!! I care naught for religious constructs any more. If you think the bible can help you to live loved, and can be bothered spending years sorting through it all, then go for it, and I'll respect that. If you think the Koran, or any holy writings will help you live loved, then awesome - do it! But I'll keep challenging anything that crosses that bottom line of love. I care not for sacred cows and taboos. If any doctrine (no matter what "scriptural" support it may have) requires endless mental gymnastics to make it "love", then you can stick it where the sun don't shine.

Once we have that fundamentally rooted and grounded as the only basis for life, then we can ponder "greater" issues - not the other way round.

Yes, for me at least, there is a better way, a way that is so simple that we keep missing it, because we keep wanting the fruit from that old "tree of the knowledge of good and evil". Yep, we have been duped by that tree for sure. The "Eden" life isn't some stupid ideal - it's already in us if we can be bothered to look for it.

Like I keep saying over and over, and will continue to say...

Live loved!!!!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Confession time!

I'm up to over 1200 friends on Facebook
Every time I look at my computer there are usually 50 or more notifications staring at me.
My Silent Gays page has about the same number.
This blog also gets a lot of hits!

Sometimes I think I'm only a few clicks away from disaster. I could post something that would over step the mark and lose all my christian friends. Or I could post something really christian and be subject to mocking from my atheist friends (although not very likely these day)

I feel like I walk a narrow line, of respecting and honoring people's personal journeys, and challenging religious paradigms. I have a christian heritage that I hate and love at the same time. I can relate to all the horror stories about religion. I know exactly how my atheist friends feel about the psychopathic God christianity has created. I understand and embrace the so called "new age" ideas of universal unity and love. But I also understand the validity of core chrsitian beliefs - I've seen how well they work for many, the psychological value as part of their journey.

And I still have my own journey to walk. Every day I discover more about who I am, my personal paradigms, what drives me, my reactions and passions, my impatience and deeper anger. I surprise myself some days, when I get angry with my son, or so easily judge that strange person in the supermarket.

There are people now looking to me as one who has insight. Hey - I've written a book and run a support network!

But I'm just me, still one click away from posting something really stupid, of offending someone who is genuine and simply doing the best they can.

Perhaps I just want to please everyone, to find acceptance. Not surprising given what I've been through. But I do feel the pain that so many others experience at the hands of religion pretending to be Christ-like. I feel the emotional and spiritual abuse that is dealt out to millions in the name of Christ. But I can't burn my bridges when I want to still reach into the church and love the unloved and abused.

It's my passion, and yeah, sometimes I'm just one click away from "fuck it".

So there you have it. It's quite a responsibility looking at all those "friends" and "likes", and knowing that people are actually reading my book. Please remember that I'm just a human like you. I question everything, make far too many mistakes (just ask my son), offend people, and don't ask me to organise anything bigger than a cup of coffee!