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November 15, 2018

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Life is not fair.

JB says: "There is nothing mysterious or incomprehensible about the origin of suffering. It's overtly obvious why we suffer."

Please explain "why we suffer" ??

Jen: "Please explain why we suffer?"

Suffering is the inevitable product of simply being conscious.

We are each one a weak, fragile being programmed with categorically unfulfillable drives in a world populated with innumerable competing interests.

Suffering is not a mystery as religion would gave you believe. It is not the result of karma, or original sin, or because an angel became enamored with himself and rebelled.

JB, you say: "We are each one a weak, fragile being programmed with categorically unfulfillable drives in a world populated with innumerable competing interests."

What is this programming you speak of, does this come from our parents, our genetics, our upbringing etc. But then, it still does not make sense to me, because we are all born in totally different circumstances, different countries, some countries at war and some where many people are suffering and born into disease and famine. Then there's the opposite, people born into wealth and comfort. Its all so extreme and is it all a game of luck?

The theory of reincarnation and karma suits me because otherwise there is no point in living if life is so unkind and unfair and its all a game of chance.

JB:

Suffering is a mystery to those who wish to believe there is some meaning to life, some set of rules that if followed, will free us from this prison-house. A higher set of rules than the cause and effect ones here, where a little rain, and the paper bag of life is destroyed. Some other place that operates on different rules.

Jen:

There are such rules. And there is such a place. Which I think you already know.

So then why all these beliefs? Focusing on them, we free our attention to go into that natural higher place.

It's very simple. It's what is already inside each of us, but requires practiced focus on something that will move our attention out of this place onto something higher.

All the fables, myths, mystical stories, and legitimate spiritual teachers, etc. have only this one end in mind.

So you may pick whatever point of focus, worship, imagery you like which represents to you the highest good, the ultimate perfection. Sometimes inspiring readings can get you to that calm place to begin your inner focus. Could be a podcast guided imagery. But that should be the launch pad. Then find something within you that represents the ultimate good, and give that all the love and tender attention within that you can.

Your point of focus could just be "love" as it was for me when I was young. I believed "Love" was a real thing, a real force, a real being that was God. For me Love was God. So I focused on "Love" and sought Love in it's purest and highest form in my heart.

It helps. It takes you somewhere.

But make it the most perfect imaginable. Something that to you represents perfection beyond all this. Because that will be your destination. It doesn't have to be clear. You could give praise and loving attention to "all goodness"...And in contemplating that, you will change. And you will find yourself with a deeper understanding of true goodness.

And this will alter not only your outlook and attitude, which is of course most important. It will alter what happens around you, within and outside.

We all still have our destiny to live through, but having access to something greater every day changes the picture entirely. And how we deal with things.

If you must work in a war zone, being able to go home to a palace every evening and to love ones waiting to greet you makes it much different. Then you do a better job as a warrior.

And when the war is over the home you can go to is a familiar and fine place, and you know how to go there, having been many times.

This is the entire point of all religions, at their core. The path you walk within yourself. Their effect on your thinking, and the effect of that on your conscious awareness. And that is grounded in practice. And that practice that becomes a continuous partner throughout the day, as well as a period of pure dedicated attention at your special time each day.

If you want to change the world, change your thinking.

Change your focus, change your object of contemplation. And hold that time, your time, as sacred.

Dear Jen,

Greetings with peace,

We suffer before we always keep our self with worldly affairs, if we learn to keep our self with supreme then at one point suffering will be end, it is possible through yoga, yoga has many types but to achieve this goal bhakti yoga is superior and easiest and fastest. We have a supreme power within us that is also known as kundalini slowly when nerves get purify and mind get stable (aprox 3 to 5 years it takes) then that supreme energy walk upward it makes some sensation at navel area then heart area then burning sensation at chin and eyebrow and then three nerve meet between eyebrow that is ida , pingla and sushmana, in vedas this meeting point known as Kashi, to bathe in this kashi one attain moksha, but human are so ignorant they think kashi is place in india (varanasi) they go there and dip in the water of varanasi think they achieved mokhsa at kashi, kashi is within us and to reach this kashi need long time, dedication, then after some time from right side of head one pressure pick it up and you hear a big bell sound like OMMMM and high vibrations , that day you get aware with cosmos energy and from that day pain pleasure become same , happiness suffering turn same , that point is known as no suffering point ,this is long journey, but one with true dedication can reach to Kashi and attain mokhsna, without attaining Moksha it is not possible to make end of suffering, to attain Moksha o unknown human walk on path of Yoga. to walk on path of yoga o unknown human do not find any guru only start your journey with true heart, if you are true and honest Guru will appear

Warm regards
Yogini Neetu
Hans Cosmos Yoga & Meditation

Brian

You’re going a bit too fast here !
Nobody knows whether re-incarnation is a fact or whether it’s not.

In this world cause and effect do seem to make sense (let’s keep the quantum ‘stuff’ out of it).

Therefore if I cause a lot of suffering here in this world, to others, where does that go ?
Completely without any consequence ?
I seriously doubt it.

It is said we are here to learn. If we cause suffering and hurt and harm to others, without feeling it, then perhaps we have to learn what that is like.

If there is no re-incarnation then does it all get settled here in this 3 score and ten.. ?
Or what ?

As has been said “the law of the karma is extremely complicated”

At our level, here in this world, the jury is out !
And there is no end to the mind and its chattering..

Just my tuppence worth...

Pain is the body's instinctive way of telling you something is wrong. Either to avoid a situation (remove the hand from the fire) or to alleviate the pain by licking (some animals) or us, take an aspirin or see a doctor and so forth.

Suffering is quite different. It is the story we tell ourselves through our thoughts and beliefs and it revolves around the self, a sort of self-ache. Do plants and animals suffer? We talk of a tree suffering during a drought, but no, it is just responding to the situation – it is we who are suffering in wishing it to be otherwise. Perhaps some sentient animals suffer, those who have a self-image, but we have taken it to an extreme.

Thoughts (used here as being synonymous with mind, self and memory) can inform us as to what we can do about pain or they can tell us some story about why we have the pain in the form of blame or resentment – making us self-obsessed. Or, we go further, inventing unnatural reasons for suffering. Simply put, pain is a physical response whereas suffering is psychological or thought induced.

As for suffering and the meaning of it all. There is no meaning to it, only invented ones. And it is the same mind/thought process that creates suffering from pain as creates (or wishes) to find meaning in it. Life is its own meaning, we confuse the issue (many issues) by wanting things to be other than they are. Our 'self', fuelled by the need for survival and continuity has little option but to create unreal questions and come up with unreal 'answers'.

Blaming karma for caste system. It is as absurd as saying hate crimes in America happen due to Church/ Gospels. Law of karma has nothing to do with caste system in third world in fact this law of karma advocates respect even for animal and plant life forms. Evidently law of karma operates at much deeper level than even atheists think it does. So many people acquiring heart diseases due to their uncontrolled rabid emotions, eating habits and type A personality, their subtle actions/karma even with their emotions, food and approach towards work is causing fatal disease in their hearts and killing them.

Turan: "Suffering is quite different. It is the story we tell ourselves through our thoughts and beliefs and it revolves around the self, a sort of self-ache. Do plants and animals suffer?"

Yes, I think that animals suffer. This is one of the reasons and that I, and millions of other people, are vegetarians. We try to limit suffering in an existence where suffering can only be limited, never extinguished.

This story that suffering would be extinguished if we just got rid of the pesky self-idea and the stories it tells is, itself, just another story.

Turan: "we confuse the issue (many issues) by wanting things to be other than they are."

And the story that suffering can be surmounted if one could only grasp "no-self" is just another example of wanting things to be other than they are.

The more interesting thing about suffering in the present being related to the past is recent findings in science, That is that trauma in previous generations results in traumatized tendencies in the offspring. It used to be thought that this was purely psychological but it appears it is more than that.

Say I'm allergic to cherry blossoms and they are everywhere in my town. Is my suffering due to something I did in my past life? According to new studies, it is highly likely that I am responding that way because cherry blossoms were somehow associated with a traumatic events in my ancestors, with whom I share some genetics.

This phenomena may be part of the reason people have tended to overstate karmic associations.

Roll that back a little, and you could say that you are born into a particular family at a certain time and place and THAT is your karma, since just about everything is an outgrowth of that in one way or another.

How these atheists sleep during night while all through day they be-fool innocent gullible people?? When I ask these atheists why energy of atom is not exhausting itself after zillions of years, they either become rabid or timid in illogical and perverted reasoning. Their days are numbered

J.B. In my view, suffering is synonymous with the mind and thinking. And as I mentioned animals that have a self image quite probably think about themselves – and experience suffering. Even so, whatever the degree of awareness in 'any' living creature, inflicting degradation and pain shows an insensitivity that thought sadly justifies and sometimes even derives pleasure from. I'm reminded at this moment of concentration camps where the ill treating of prisoners was 'justified' by 'thinking' of them as vermin.

There is no possibility of getting rid of the self-idea or attempting to grasp 'no-self' as such attempts is just the mind/self latching on to another concept to further maintain its structure. To be aware of the mind/self/thought process is all one can do initially – which includes the thought of wanting things to be other than they are.

It is perhaps pertinent to note that all our opinions and comments here are also the mind/self's attempts to maintain and continue its story. The more entrenched our own story the more the felt need arises to defend our self-story. Defending the illusory self is the same as defending a religious belief – or any belief; it threatens the very basis of who I believe I am.


Joe. Yes generally quite so. Karma from some Buddhist's view is the result of reactive or automatic conditioned thinking.

Vinny:- "Their days are numbered". Yes, join the mortality club.

Turan: "Defending the illusory self is the same as defending a religious belief – or any belief; it threatens the very basis of who I believe I am."

And zealously defending of the "no-self" concept is the same as defending a religious belief, which makes sense since, historically, it is a religious belief.

The "no-self" story is just another strategy to transcend suffering but, like all other strategies, it has never worked. The principle drives, such as the drive to survive, remain thoroughly untouched.

The drive to survive, like all drives, is marked by struggle and hardship...and futility. No amount of thinking, no ceasing of thinking (as if that were possible) can change that.

I understand your need to have it otherwise though. Humankind has been doing this since time immemorial.


Following ascetic principles of Saints lead to self mortification and denial of many worldly pleasures but it starts breaking the patterns of mind about independent identity and self preservation. When this happens, mind stops [ just like when it stops during listening to music or watching movie] and atomic energy realm opens up with sound like gushing electricity/ similar to electricity passing through high tension wires and that is trance mentioned in religions. Only a believer of God / Saints would undergo all the hassle of following asceticism and breaking the patterns of mind to experience trance/samadhi

Kabhi aey haqiqat e muntazir nazar aa libas e majaz mein
Hazzaron sajdey tadap rahey meri jabeen e niaz mein
[Sufi Poetry]
Translation : O formless awaited reality of God, Appear in material form before me
My thousand prostrations are waiting quiveringly

All is suffering. Being kind and having compassion for others is more important than caring about one's own suffering.

Spence, your last comment to me was very annoying. Stop preaching. I don't need your advice. I wasn't talking about my own suffering. I feel for others in this world, I have true compassion for people and animals. I am an empath. I am what I am.

The part of divine energy which never came down on earth as human beings or lower beings is called Rooh e qudsi / Sacred Soul which never developed desires for material universe. Beings created from this part of divine energy come as Scientists/ Saints and do innovations beyond intelligence of humanity. Those path-breaking inventions then shape the future of humanity

Eric Robinson wrote:
Therefore if I cause a lot of suffering here in this world, to others, where does that go ?
Completely without any consequence ?
I seriously doubt it.

It is said we are here to learn. If we cause suffering and hurt and harm to others, without feeling it, then perhaps we have to learn what that is like.

If there is no re-incarnation then does it all get settled here in this 3 score and ten.. ?
Or what ?


It is a belief that all this has to get settled.

You say "we have to learn"
How exactly do you learn?

Do you remember what you did in your previous life?

If not, then what is there to learn?

Can you learn if you have no memory of your past life?

Of course not

So that makes a mockery of the idea that we learn from the actions of a past life.

Hi Jen
I apologize.
You had written that you wanted to believe in an afterlife but had no evidence of it.

I wanted to encourage you to hold that belief enough to conduct some internal work that might give you at least some evidence. So my comment was mostly method.

But a) one size doesn't fit all and
b) there may be more meaning in an individual's lament and desire for better things than a recipe for a solution.

So, let me say that all this talk of suffering must not be a complaint or a lament. It is just a statement of observation and belief. And it is worthy of acknowledging without any effort to fix.

J.B. :- “And zealously defending of the "no-self" concept is the same as defending a religious belief, which makes sense since, historically, it is a religious belief.”

Not necessarily. Yes, there is the no-self of Buddhism though what interests me also is the findings of modern brain studies that point to the 'self' as being illusory (illusory in the sense of not being what we think it is – a separate entity. It does not need defending, just stating where the issue arises – particularly if the theory makes sense to you, and to me it does. The no-self theory is not a story or a strategy – and, is not intended 'to work', it is just a fact that the self is a construct. Many would disagree but mainly because the 'self' is seen as synonymous with soul.


J.B. :- “The drive to survive, like all drives, is marked by struggle and hardship...and futility. No amount of thinking, no ceasing of thinking (as if that were possible) can change that.”

Struggle, hardship and futility is quite a personal way of expressing life which takes us back to the idea of suffering which is psychological and sustained by thought. (The following is from Psychology Today) “When psychological pain generalizes, it seems to be about the self - a kind of self-ache, if you will. As the alarm of pain intensifies, fixing our focus on distress, we become self-obsessed. Eventually we identify with the pain, in a subtle or overt victim-identity.”


J.B. :- “I understand your need to have it otherwise though. Humankind has been doing this since time immemorial.”

There is no 'need to have it otherwise' in this instance as it (self, thought and suffering) is a fact of our day-to-day mental life. Life, living just is and no amount of denial as to the mind/self/thought process can change that. What I feel is important is to understand this process, not to use the findings to prop up an ego/self structure through clever arguments – which after all are just ploys to maintain our insecure self-structures.

Turan: "It does not need defending.... Many would disagree but mainly because the 'self' is seen as synonymous with soul."

Once again, you are attempting to dismantle a straw man. No, the general suffering associated with life is not caused by notion that one must defend their soul. I urge you to read Brian's post on selfhood.

Turan: "Struggle, hardship and futility is quite a personal way of expressing life"

Well, life is personal. There is no "life" apart from individual living beings.

Turan: "it (self, thought and suffering) is a fact of our day-to-day mental life. Life, living just is and no amount of denial as to the mind/self/thought process can change that

Yes, suffering just is. It is a fact of life and nothing can change that.

Spence,

This is my Path, what I like to practice: emptiness, nothingness, living in the present moment, unknowing, letting go.

Of course I still get triggered and have a long way to go...

Zen...

First Noble Truth - To live means to suffer
Second Noble Truth - The origin of suffering is attachment
Third Noble Truth - The cessation of suffering is attainable
Fourth Noble Truth - The path to the cessation of suffering...

The final goal, Nirvana, is a condition that can be attained by leading a balanced life - a gradual path of self-improvement.

People who believe in Ruh/ Soul without transmigration. If you have believed Soul then negating transmigration is foolishness. It is like saying I believe in atom but not in atom bomb. If we look carefully transmigration is happening daily, at sleep we lose waking consciousness and after waking up the changed consciousness is present in changed body. Every hour our body is changing in one form or another. Logically transmigration is happening not only daily but hourly

First
Nobody is hurt because everything is illusion

The less you see that the more is the casual pain

Second
You know my opinion which is parallel to RSSBs
Brian created Brian
It might be long ago but you did
and you created a universe that handles well "Action = Reaction"

Third
Even before birth in a seven chakra matrix you are asked if you agree
Each jeeva says OK because s/he wants go higher up
than were s/he is
but indeed underestimates that pain can be harsher than he thought
,but he knows the WHY
Jeevas also accept and know there will be amnesia

Fourth
Brian, tell me a more acceptable way in crime scenes
than that the perpetrator receives what he did
and that in the most educational way

I know you find trump awful. > > >. how should that person learn !
only by feeling the same
Until now btw he made less victims than many former president
let's hope he will not panic

five
How come not only half of people believes in karma
but over 70%

Six
Jews believe in karma

Seven
Yes it is very wrong to judge on former lives
And it should be every day on CNN that
very very indescribable high Jeevas
are begged to be born in a 7 chakras matrix
because it it the only EXIT from/via dusty molecules
and quantum and from whatever forms exist in th the 7 regions. . . . .

The flag of India has the symbol) >> THE CROWN CHAKRA
is the ONLY exit to the supreme power You really are
But it is silly to leave it by that
The third eye is the entrance in the plane - The Crown is the Concorde
super speedy plane
These most high Jeevas are everywhere where sadness exist
beaus the have asked to eliminate bad karma from 10 even hundred lives

So, . . . judging a begger and a sick man like Stephen is wrong
HE could be such a high jeer
putting us all in spiritually shadow

Let me end with the fact that no one is obliged to do the exit


Famous US Psychic Edgar Casey explained karma very well
Would be good food for Brian - and regain the spirit from
before your ego was so much crushed

Parents asked why 3 kids were all handicapped
He said The blind born one took out the eyes
at the Spanish Inquisition
Th triple one did crippling at that time
The deaf one did beat the victims

But why WE have to suffer said the parents
Cayce : YOU WERE BOTH THE JUDGE. !

The Almighty Creator did make all this for our pleasure
But we wanted just more, . . before the time was there
We stole
a smile
a job
a car
a wife / man
a country
a planet ( long ago)
a galaxy
a Big Bang c.s.

We are not punished

We only have to give it back

Please, Brian do not edit here this in - You once shall have to UNDO that
So let me save this for 100% accuracy in the web archive.org
All can see there the up to now 30 by U deleted comments!


777

With 2. SS. Soldiers accompanying German Wehrmacht for Razzia 
and they were 2 houses further, my mother took me going to that jewish man at the other side of the street an changed cloths to womans of that jewish man
and took him between myself (7) and her,
to our house where we had a cave with 10 jewish and 20 dutch men already

I still feel his trembling the whole long 50 meter
She risked herself plus me and other 4 children

WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT LOVE BRIAN, and Heroism
Repent pls
or u hv to prove it
She gave never up her meatballs in soup
but was anyway initiated by Charan
What was your merit ?
Ah Yes . . . that book you don’t support



J.B. :- “Once again, you are attempting to dismantle a straw man. No, the general suffering associated with life is not caused by notion that one must defend their soul.”

On the contrary J.B., many people suffer when there beliefs are threatened and beliefs are sustained by mind/thought. We are constantly engaged in maintaining the 'self', the 'me', (although there isn't one) and defending and maintaining its contents (our particular knowledge, our opinions and beliefs) is the cause of much of our suffering.


J.B. :- “Yes, suffering just is. It is a fact of life and nothing can change that.”

Of course suffering is a fact of life – mainly due to the habit of the ego/self's attempts to avoid psychological pain as when our ideas and opinions are threatened. Again, the piece from Psychology Today is relevant :- 'When psychological pain generalizes, it seems to be about the self - a kind of self-ache, if you will. As the alarm of pain intensifies, fixing our focus on distress, we become self-obsessed. Eventually we identify with the pain, in a subtle or overt victim-identity.'

Yes, the 'self-ache' as the writer puts it and 'becoming self-obsessed' is without doubt a huge area of suffering. Nothing to do with Karma, just the insecure ego/self – quite naturally – defending itself. Perhaps our instinct to protect our organism has evolved to protect the mind's contents – the 'self'.

@Turan
That's it
attachment to temporal stuff

about the self - a kind of self-ache

brings forth Stalin hitler etc, . . really big evenements

So let's attach to sweet eternal stuff


777

PS
how come my safari corrector insists on Stalin with capital s
but allows hitler in undercast
I have a 'psycho-complex' that I can't use capital for such guys


Hi Jen

I agree with all four tenets of Buddha you have listed (and the eight fold path of right living behind it).

1.Suffering is a part of life.
2.Our attachments are the reason we experience suffering, including attachment to this body (that would need to include calling our sensation of pain a kind of attachment)
3. There is a way out.
4. That way includes a balanced life (and that includes meditation / focused contemplation of some form to help us detach from all this, and the balanced way of life to support that).

We may only differ on the details, and I'd call that customization for each person.

But if someone fails at one approach they should be a good scientist and try something else, exactly as you are doing, within these basic tenets.

If one method doesn't work, adjust the approach.

Love it.


The same maligned cognitive process that has given us the wonders of science, has allowed us to unearth incontrovertible facts of life. If relegating them to the column of belief/opinion seems to help ease suffering for you, then by all means do it.

Let's examine facts versus beliefs/opinions.

The weakness and fragility of the human organism: Fact.

The unfulfillability of one's inborn drives: Fact.

The ultimate futility of one's inborn drives: Fact.

Being in a world populated with near infinite competing interests: Fact.

The inevitability of disorder/disintegration/entropy overtaking order and integration with absolutely every single particular: Fact.

And finally...

There is harm in simply coming into existence: Fact.

Well JB
The joy of creating, the joy of accomplishment, the joys of life..
These are also there.

It makes the suffering all the more intense. You should like that!

@brian

no choice
there is only ONE exit program

777

Spence: "the joys of life..It makes the suffering all the more intense."

Very astute Spence. This is something that not many realize. Our marginal moments of "happiness" only work to frame our suffering in even greater relief.

Even love and compassion are thoroughly saturated with pain.

Turan: "Again, the piece from Psychology Today is relevant..."

Actually, it isn't. You see, it has been taken grossly out of context.

This article, written by a self-help book author spewing the typical psychobabble tropes and platitudes, is written on the basis of a presumption of the self.

For instance, he writes that we are not "powerless to heal, improve, or repair" and that "the first crucial step is to take responsibility for your emotions and pain." He goes on to stress that is imperative to "act according to your values," and to "redouble effort to achieve success."

Needless to say, all of this is nonsensical in the context of no-self, as is what you quoted.

Souls who became unstable in higher regions of divine light / immortality developed desires for Material universe and Carnal desires. Through big bang the creative process was started to make material universe for them. But material universe is incompatible with immortality/ suffering free existence which is only possible in pure energy regions of divine light. The path back to those regions goes through Trance/ Samadhi which requires very high strength of Ruh/Spirit force. That strength can be attained by fighting with Nafs/ Carnal desires/Corrupt people in this universe. The spirit force units which lost total control on themselves were given animal bodies. If these lower level souls were given human body they would have caused blood lust violence in this world.
Re.f Myron Phelps Notes on Sant Mat

In case there is still any confusion as to the perspective from which the Psychology Today article is written, Steven Stosny is also the author of:

The Powerful Self: A Workbook of Therapeutic Self-Empowerment

This book promises to be "a potent new approach to self-empowerment with scientifically validated success, the Powerful Self treatment model is rapidly spreading the psychology of growth and creativity all over the world. Enhance your sense of self for better health, well being, and success."

Hi JB
You wrote
"Even love and compassion are thoroughly saturated with pain."

Yes, it makes melodrama.
And turns every comedy into a tragedy.

And the prevailance of tragedy so predictable it is one dark, sick comedy.

Interesting discussion going here, thank you.
I still think Brian’s ‘condemnation’ of 777 is somewhat harsh....
The law of karma is extremely complicated, the human genome is extremely complicated... (but what progress has been made in understanding that )

From a ‘scientific’ point of view surely it is an interesting ‘conundrum’ to work on .
And lesser mortals (even societies) who (politically) try to form a specific association between some disability now and the theory of karma, are out of their depth.

OshoR:No end to the mind’s chattering.....
Some people are just not able to inflict torture on others...
Some people are.
My view is that when you have suffered greatly you do not want to wish that on anyone...

So that’s how you learn.
There again the mind can throw a million or more other viewpoints into the mix

No use of blaming . . . 777

Blame this one
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10215754297783484&set=a.1144957937191&type=3&theater

777

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