Tuesday, 21 October 2014

What I Should Have Done

What I should have done while still at boarding school:

become more aware of other people;
become less introverted, insensitive, inconsiderate, selfish etc;
thought about society and politics;
seen through religious indoctrination more quickly;
practised zazen.

However, "should" implies "can," whereas, at that time, I was completely incapable of doing most of these things. "Should" can only mean "It would have been better if..." A completely different upbringing and education would have helped.

If we knew that some adults meditated without any supernaturalist belief, then we would have had the opportunity to inquire further. Years of merely reading about religions in general and Buddhism in particular could have been bypassed.

Friday, 3 October 2014

What We Know Through Science

There are four forces.
Matter is composed of molecules, atoms and sub-atomic particles.
Properties of particles differ qualitatively from those of macroscopic objects.
Time, volume and mass differ with velocity.
Light speed is an upper limit for acceleration of mass.
Simultaneity is relative.
Mass and energy are inter-convertible.
Natural laws and inanimate matter generated life.
Species were differentiated by natural selection.
The Sun is the center of the Solar System.
There are planets beyond Saturn.
The Sun is a star.
Stars generate heavy elements necessary for life, then explode, thus spreading the elements through space where they condense into a second generation of stars and planets.
There are many galaxies.
The universe is expanding.
There are black holes.
There is dark matter and dark energy.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014


After decades of practicing zazen, I experience extreme distaste for many aspects of myself, past, recent and current. However, I feel exactly the same distaste for the behavior of some, though not all, of the people that I have interacted with. Blame is inappropriate. Distaste is not.

In particular, Catholic indoctrination reinforced by physical coercion was simply abominable. At least I learned how not to bring up a child or to educate young people. Many good and intelligent people never see through or break from their early conditioning and pass it on to the next generation. Members of each new generation have to think and inquire for themselves. Anyone could have been taken as a child and indoctrinated as a Muslim instead of as a Catholic or vice versa, yet each thinks that, fortunately for them, they have been brought up in the one religion that happens to be true as against any of the many that are so obviously wrong.

I started to inquire, at first by trying to rationalize received doctrines, but was paying insufficient attention to the bastards around me.