Candles and Seashells

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Collection of seashells isolated on white background with clipping path.

You would be surprised how much seashells and candles have in common.

We all stood by in silence, powerless the first time we were able to view a journalist beheaded in Afghanistan. As we watched the filming of a murder, we all took a deep breath and fed into the lie that lives that is Islamic nations. Now, in my newsfeed on every social media outlet available, there is a murder to be seen every day. A woman has been stoned or shot. A man hung and sent to prison. I have seen hundreds of murders online, in the name of Allah, and in the name of Islam. I have seen. I have read the horror stories of men persecuted, women raped, and acid thrown in their faces. I have watched an entire theatrical remake about a woman called Soraya, who was stoned because of a rumor, and because she merely touched a man’s hand. I sit in wait for a man named Raif Ali to be let out of prison, for writing a blog about free speech. He was ordered 1000 lashes and 10 years in a Saudi prison. We see these things scrolling through Facebook, we block them out, cover them up, and move along with our day.

Shortly after the bombing by an Islamic couple in California at a government office, I sat in the same government office in another city. It was filled with immigrants registering social security cards. I was there to dot some i’s and cross some t’s on some paper, so I could get some copies of my own social security card. The air was thick and hot because it was summer, and the office was extremely over crowded. There wasn’t even anywhere to sit. As I waited with my envelope of proofs for my replacement card, outside the room I noticed several women and men in wait. The women all had on thick black burkas, and many of them had on only a hijab inside. I was fearful. For obvious reasons, 9-11, the California bombing, the many murders you can view on YouTube in the name of Islam. *I sighed* and hoped nothing would happen. I felt badly for the women, but it was an understood choice that they made, especially now that they lived here in the U.S. and were there to register social security cards. Ask me if I am afraid of Islam. Yes, I am. But am I afraid of Arabs? Pakistani’s? Afghan’s? Saudi’s? No. Islam is a religion, not a race. But, the point of this article is not that I am afraid of Islam. It is that they are too.

I recently came across a guy who was held in a Turkish prison. I met him at Starbucks for a coffee. He was held in prison for writing. The action of writing. What I am doing right now, so freely and carelessly, as a free woman. He was held for 2 years in solitary confinement, and for another 2 he was held, and tortured. He escaped prison and fled. He entered a United Nations program and was shipped here to the U.S as a refugee.  For writing. He was a short guy, with long hair and tiny stache. Our conversation was not well tolerated in the Starbucks. There was a woman nearby, obviously Muslim in a nicab. Just so you know the difference: A nicab can show the face. A burkah has only a small eye slit or a covering over the eyes, and a hijab only covers the hair. She overheard our conversation about another man, stuck in an Islamic country, looking for a way out. I had enlisted the help of my new-found comrade to find out some information for a person I had been speaking with online, about fleeing their Islamic nation for fear of persecution. I had him in my list for years, because at some point he was an exchange student at the college I was going to, and we had been in the same biology class. He was from an Islamic country, and had been there as an exchange student. I had no idea at the time, because I was married and didn’t really get to know a lot of people from the evening biology class.

I’d like to define what persecution means, for all the white people in the back. People in Islamic countries are murdered for being Christian, Atheist, or anything other than devout Muslim. The men are hung, they are shot, beaten, and executed. The women are buried chest deep and stoned with large stones and they are raped. I have seen, not only with my eyes, but also with my heart.  And, it means that their government backs these practices sometimes. It varies from country to country what the rules are, but either way, its a dangerous place for anyone not quite suited for a box.

My friend is a good and brave man for doing what he is doing. It has left an imprint on my heart larger than I could ever imagine.  He is a modern hero for science, for free thinking, and a martyr for freedom against tyranny.

He is a man in Pakistan who reads Dawkins, Hawking, Sagan, Adams, to name just a few; the words of our free-thinking predecessors, and lives in danger just to know them. He is everything we stand for in this country, and every reason I support immigration.

This is the writing of a free thinking guy

I’m a person of “Reason.” Because it is a tool I use to survive, survival by staying cognitive. I haven’t met a person in my 21 springs who doesn’t use the word ‘because’. Everyone uses reason but some with very bad logic. By bad logic, I personally mean, that stars are shining because there is god. In such situations, I cannot argue anymore. Yes, you cannot argue against reason because by reason you make your argument. I like arguing, even with dumbest people I know, but sometimes I’m forced by myself to stay quiet when I meet people who have renounced the use of reason, like religious fanatics. Reason is what keeps me from doing absurd, like to suicide bombing, having sex after I’m dead, or jumping off buildings to fly like a bird, or praying to pass a test instead of studying. Without reason, I think the word ”because” would be meaningless. I have an obligation to make my beliefs cohere with observable reality whenever possible. Reason matters immensely, without it I can construct no coherent framework for understanding anything. Reason is the most powerful thing ‘behind’ logic, for there is no logic without reason. Reason is the capacity for consciously making sense of things, applying logic, establishing & verifying facts, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information. If I say someone, ”I love you.” That doesn’t mean I love you unconditionally. Yes, I love you because you’re an intelligent piece of meat, decent & beautiful, because you’re helping me doing my things. I know such love seems rather self-interested business, but it is ‘real’, so is Reason. And I’m a reasonable person.

Absolute Truth

The most beautiful thing about absolute truth is that, ”It cannot be known.” Most true statements are true in virtue of how things are. There is some aspect of the world, of which they give an accurate representation, and this is what makes them true. For example, ”It’s now raining” is true because it is now raining. And absolute truth is something very different; as I only see a ”mental rock illusion,” I don’t have any idea what a real rock is like or they exist. Only the construct in my mind that ‘might’ reflect a tiny piece of reality and distort it drastically. If I had ”objective-vision” I would wager the dimensions wouldn’t be three dimensional but would be ”many” fractional dimensional and shaped more like an oscillating oozing twisting network of smooth inside out tree fog.

1- Touching is a signal sent from cells sent from cells sent from. From something poking or chaos-agitating at cells.

2- Eyes only see what ripples poke energy bumps against chemistry inside your eyeballs of different ‘speeds’ of light that always moved the same speed.

3- Light is just electromagnetism, we have no clue what that really is.

4- Sound is just being bumped over and over by air.

5- where we’ve come from?

We come from other stuff as material patterns, that material is may be a construct of possible nothing crumpled upon itself. One possible origami shape of ”nothing” that when crumpled becomes ”3D” imagination because of the folding, if not seen it can’t move or be more than nothing. Since it can crinkle it must be conscious, and can crinkle because crinkle is just dimensions. That are inevitable, that cannot be without being seen.

6- where universe come from?

Conceptually from nothing, logically-causally from nothing. Temporally maybe only ever from itself. Because one nothing is one thing but two things because it is oneness in the 1st place and before the 1st place is a 2nd place and a negative 1st place and it keeps growing until it sees itself.

7- is god first cause?

God isn’t the 1st cause but the 1st cause could be the god, depends on definition. Is the absolute fractal god? It wasn’t consciousness creating, that’s certain. That must be caused by inevitability.

8- are religions good?

Dogma must be outgrown. It drowns the masses in ignorance. It is worth learning from, there is truth in everything. Some religions are good, some corrupted.

9- conclusion:

When one admits that nothing is certain one must, I think, also admit that some things are much more certain than others.

This quote by Bertrand Russell is my conclusion so far.

Spiritual

Spirit comes from a Latin word, ‘to breathe’. I breathe air which is matter but thin. That thin matter vibrates at my frequency when I feel spiritual. When do I feel spiritual? I feel spiritual when I recognize my place in this universe coming all the way down from Observable universe to Virgo supercluster, to Local group, to Milky Way galaxy, to Solar system, to Earth, to continent, to nation, to province, to city, to hamlet, to my home, to my co-ordinates. I feel spiritual when I see a slug with four noses, a shrimp with five pairs of legs and with heart in its head, a giant squid with largest eyes, a dragonfly with lifespan of 24hrs or a star with lifespan of trillion years, a jellyfish without brain, an octopus with three hearts. Yes, surely, I feel spiritual when I see homosapiens in black-coat and tie, but I feel more spiritual when I see that there are 177,147 ways to tie a tie, according to mathematicians. I feel spiritual when I get to know that William Shakespeare invented words in English language, or when I see that a scientist (Einstein) died before he could complete his greatest discovery, he spent years on his theory, but died with his unfinished papers still sitting on his desk. I feel spiritual when I see bug collectors patiently giving names to a vast collection of insects, or a paleontologist giving names to primitive fossils like Tiktaalik, or anatomists dissecting human cadavers while learning the name and organization of human body, or a neurologist winning Noble Prize on the discovery of slow viruses where people eat their friends. I feel spiritual when I imagine that what happened to a caveman when he ate mushroom plant? When I start to vision stuff, thoughts become things, now look at it; music, art, communication, ideas etc. I feel spiritual when I hear about hypothetical future tech, like cybernetic augmentation, nanomachines or mind uploading. And I feel spiritual when I see a hunk of biological tissue which is known to think, remember, attend, solve problems, tell jokes, want sex, join clubs, write novels, exhibit bias, feel guilty, and do a zillion other things. I feel spiritual when I see humans evolving from stagecoach to steam locomotive, from bicycle to steam-powered train, from steam-powered automobile to Early aircraft, from airplane to combat airplane, from Bell X-I rocket plane to Rocket, from space shuttle to TAU deep-space probe. I feel spiritual when I see places like Mauritanian desert, cool mosques, synagogues, temples, Zen gardens, churches and ashram where people wearing Yarmulkes, djellaba, talisman, prayer shawl, tefillin, Hasidic, khimar, ihram and believing in immortal soul, breath of god, presence of angels, power of prayers, effectiveness of rituals, validity of incantations, communion with voodoo spirits, hemoglobin-based miracles, the virgin’s tears, the resurrection of crucified men, the magical properties of cowrie shells, the value of animal sacrifice, the transcendent effects of Egyptian saltpeter, or prayer wheels. Most of all, I feel spiritual when I see homo sapiens finding ways to circumvent the natural limits. I don’t know of any other spirituality or state of being spiritual.

As Mark Twain said that the brightest mind cannot examine sincerely and conscientiously if it’s been trained up in childhood in a superstition of any kind. So I doubt if I could do it myself, nevertheless here is my shot on soul. I don’t know from where came the word soul, it is generally regarded as essence of life in organisms which leaves when an organism dies. I wouldn’t mention what philosophers had have to say on it as Socrates, Plato or Aristotle did because I think it wasn’t their job. I don’t know at which moment soul is embedded into the body because conception is an instantaneous event. In humans, a live birth occurs when a fetus shows sign of life as ”voluntary movement or heartbeat.” Most of the ideas suggest that mind is what we ought to call soul. Here, I’m inclined to ask where goes the soul when an Acephalous which lacks a head be delivered? Or an Anceps which has incomplete brain? Or an Acormus which has thoracic structures in head? Or should I continue stating about an Amorphous and more? If soul makes a human conscious or able to function, then where does it go when a person is in ‘persistent vegetative state’ where person is neither functioning nor conscious? And persons come back from that state, too. Where does soul depart when a person is sent for CPR? Or when he’s in Aystole state? People have come back from that state. I’m not familiar with states of consciousness where a person lacks in ability to speak, recognize, feel and even to eat, so we can change a whole personality just by settings of brain. I laugh when I hear that an immaterial soul is affected by a bullet, an arrow or a hard strike. If by producing chemical imbalance in brain you can induce depression in people, then how can you consider yourself more ‘holier’ than a dog, a spider or a cockroach? I’ve learnt that even I and a tree are identical. If you can feel emotions, write poetry, sing songs, play politics and follow religions, it doesn’t mean you’re separate or superior than entire tree of life. Emotions and motivations reside in your brain, there sensations are perceived, memories are stored, reasoning takes place and decisions are taken. There’s no ”I” hovering over our heads because ”I” doesn’t exist until you turn into an adult. ”I” is all about nurture, not nature.

I am an anarchist because I execrate politics. I dislike nationalism, patriotism, and extremism of any kind. I like Archimedes not only for his invention of Zero but also for running naked in the streets of Syracuse. I dislike Aristotle for his claim about women’s teeth, prime mover and dualism, but I like him for his study in classifying animals on the beaches of the island of Lesbos. I like Newton for his ocular study through pushing a blunt needle between his eyes, Vincent Van Gogh for his paintings. I like Galileo not only for his invention of telescope and discovery of the moons of Jupiter but also for his cleverness when threw in jail unlike being mad like Socrates. I like cricket because of Eoin Morgan, cosmos because of Carl Sagan, biology because of Richard Dawkins, mind because of Steven Pinker, brain because of Patricia Smith Churchland, limbs because of Neil Shubin, sex because of Matt Ridley, porn because of Mia Khalifa and reasoning because of Sam Harris. I like meanders because of patterns, waxing gibbous because of incompleteness of mountains because of height. I’m an omnivorous, love staying naked, an introvert, alone like a turtle, but have a brain of a mammal, or should I say I’m brain? I hate cumulonimbus clouds because of thunderstorm, and I like monogamy because I dislike polyandry. I stand with anthropic principle, Copernican principle and principle of mediocrity. At the end I would say that I’m an avatar of Scott Adams.

Most of that is forbidden in those places, so as an American, I can use my voice so that others can be heard.

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