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October 07, 2009


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Very enjoyable article, Brian.

I enjoyed it so much that I read it aloud to my wife.

She really got a laugh out of this line.

"I've found that a glass of red wine doesn't send me to hell. Just into a bit of relaxation and improved health."

So true! And, what a relief not to have to harass the waitress or waiter every time we go out to dinner to order something!

Nice. I enjoy your blog a great deal and I've only recently discovered it.
Thumbs up!

Happy birth and blog day!! Of all the blogs I follow, I've followed this one the longest (with a break here and there). And, of course, you're the only blogging compatriot I've met in person, though me thinks at a different Salem coffeehouse.

So, I raise my mug to the next five years and beyond...

Happy birthday Brian. Thanks for sharing this blog with us. Its like a breath of fresh air! Also it assured me that there is a way out from cults also.

Googling about information about the similarities between Taoism and Zen, I stumbled into your May post about Ray Griggs' book, "The Tao of Zen". I enjoyed that post (You wrote, "Speaking personally -- as if I had a choice ... "; I loved that), and just ordered the book. I will be peeking in periodically, to see if I like the rest of your writings as much. Happy 5th.

Brian, happy birthday for then! Thanks for the post on that day. It is interesting to read that there are so many page views per day... but very few comments. Are they all Buddhists and Satsangis I wonder??!

Catherine, thanks for the not-very-belated happy birthday. I make the entire month of my birth a holy period, sort of like Ramadan but with a lot more self-indulgence. So your greetings are still timely.

Regarding commenting, I visit quite a few blogs each day, but I don't comment very often myself. So it doesn't surprise me that the blog visitor to comment ratio is what it is. Most people are readers, not writers, on the Internet.

Brian - love this blog which I have just discovered.
About 8 years ago I asked an unthinkable and dangerous question: Who would I be if I didn't believe in God?
I have let go of the spiritual life for an inner life which simply allows for all experience. Nothing to brag about, no unseen authorities to invoke.
As a practicing heretic, I enjoy a profound freedom and, surprise: an awakening heart.
joy to you!


Nice comment. Look forward to reading further comments from you. What would it be like to "not" engage in belief or non-belief? Just simply live life. This life could be inner and outer, and possibly void of any heretic practicing. The "awakening heart" term was nice too.

Katie, thanks for the expression of love and joy. I resonate with your courage to ask the "unthinkable and dangerous question." Of course, it turns out that asking it is the safest place to be, because then we aren't afraid of imaginary terrors like hell, sin, god's wrath, and so on.

I bought the following bumper sticker this week:

As I began to investigate with questions that cannot be answered easily or if at all, I began to see that beliefs are ever changing, dogma is the glue that holds beliefs together and the need for answers invokes belief systems.
Who would I be if I didn't need any answers?

I also began to watch as my beliefs were more routinely questioned that I have some consistent values, ethics that I had somehow neglected in my pursuit of the big Enchilada: GOD CONSCIOUSNESS. (or Enlightenment or whatever...)
Now I pay attention when I compromise a value such as kindness, honesty, respect. I really feel it when I am not true to these human ethics.
So now rather than cultivating and cherishing beliefs, I cultivate my human values. Very healthy for the human heart to recognize and take care of its values.


Another very nice comment. Keep up the good comments!!!

"Who would I be if I didn't need any answers?"

---You probably would still be a very nice person. Nothing wrong with answers, however, there are times when I wonder what an answer was before it become an answer.

"Now I pay attention when I compromise a value such as kindness, honesty, respect. I really feel it when I am not true to these human ethics.
So now rather than cultivating and cherishing beliefs, I cultivate my human values. Very healthy for the human heart to r0ecognize and take care of its values."

----Girl friend, if you run for President, I'm in line to vote for you. This kindness, honesty and respect are all good values. Keep up the good work

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