Tuesday, October 27, 2015


This is the poem I'm most proud of.  To digest a vast religion like Hinduism and dare to summarize the gist of it into a short poem was my most ambitious project. To test my accuracy, I sent it to a Hindu teacher and asked if I'd gotten it right. He wrote back and congratulated me and said yes.
I (modestly) believe that the 5th verse of this poem is the most condensed theology ever written as it states in 11 words the essence of nearly all religious belief: That eternity is acting in time.


Only one thing has ever existed:
Hindu’s call it Brahma.
The universe is Brahma “dreaming.”
Hindus call this “cosmic drama.”

All the stars and all the planets,
Real and solid as they seem,
At their core are purest spirit;
Grand illusion, Brahma’s dream.

Thus the universe is Brahma’s
Grand and cosmic stage
Where He’s playing all the parts,
Directing, writing every page.

The play began at zero
With the bang of cosmic shatter.
In a billion fleeing galaxies
Spirit “descended” into matter.

Omniscience--went to dimness,

In breathtaking cosmic self-deception;
He put divinity “on the shelf”;
To go adventuring in time
Simply to amuse Himself.

Somewhat like the king who,
Bored with endless royal pomp,
Slips into a pauper’s clothes
To enjoy an earthy romp.

There were things He yearned to do,
Commonplace with you and me,
Simple finite earthy things,
Impossible in eternity:

Like risk, make love, learn and grow,
Strive and fail, hurt and cry,
Do great evil, be redeemed,
Live a life, be born and die.

So Brahma put Himself “to sleep”
In an act of Godly scheming,
And dreams a dream so cleverly,
That He does not know He’s dreaming.

Our galaxy is Brahma whirling;
He hides inside a trillion lives,
Enjoying bold performances,
Creativity and surprise.

He is the cobra and the mongoose;
He is the innocent child at play.
He’s everything both good and evil;
He’s both predator and prey.

Both tragedy and triumph are
Equal fun in Brahma’s eyes.
It’s all a game of let’s pretend;
No one ever really dies.

When our bodies die, we are reborn,
Shortly back into the game.
And our new body is what we’ve earned
With deeds of good or shame.

Our duty’s to play the role we’re “in,”
With all the courage that we’ve got,
With depth of feeling and fervent passion
Like the actor George C. Scott.

You and I are Brahma conscious,
Dim and flickering though it be,
And when I look you in the eye,
It’s Brahma looking back at me.

Once you know that God is you,
You are free to enjoy the game.
Or you can opt yourself right out;
Return to Brahma whence you came.

The thousand gods that Hindus worship
Are merely aspects of the one,
As a thousand rainbows are
Reflections of a single sun.

Since life is drama, Hindus can answer
The toughest theological knot:
Why is there evil in the world?
Why, just to thicken the plot!

Curiously, Hindus believe that history
Rolls faster and faster downhill.
What began as splendid perfection
Decays to the darkest of ill.

The universe will end in chaos.
Our world will vanish like steam.
As matter dissolves into spirit
When Brahma wakes up from his dream.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  Einstein's idea that matter creates space and that time is relative to speed is considered the most subtle thought that humanity has produced.  I agree---and I propose that the second most subtle thought was this GUESS at what existence might be all about.  The Baghavad Gita has dazzled thinkers all over the world.  I have attempted to boil it down to these 21 verses.

Sadly, most Indians know almost nothing about the religion they profess---any more than Christians know theirs.  They are caught up in superstition and magic like all the others. No better--no worse.

That we do not know the purpose--if any--of existence is a bitter pill for all of us to swallow.  Only the brave can do it.  ONLY THOSE WHO HAVE SWALLOWED THE PILL CAN LEGITIMATELY SPECULATE.  All others are brainwashed and cowardly believers--who will wreck our world (overpopulation, crazy, frozen ethics, pretensions to certainty, taliban-like fanaticism) if reason does not prevail.

After you have swallowed the bitter pill--you can legitimately speculate. It is a fun and perhaps psychologically useful thing to do. The Baghavad Gita is the most elegant speculation to date.  Far better than Christianity.  So If you feel the need for a WHY to your life---try this theory on.  It is a happy why-in the big picture.  And it has a plausible answer the question of why is there evil in the world, (verse 19)

Saturday, October 24, 2015



Buddha said he didn’t know
How or why the world was made,
And he knew nothing about any God.
But as he sat in the Bo Tree’s shade,

He experienced enlightenment and in a flash
saw the pain of the world all about.
"Everyone has an arrow in his heart,
and I see how to take it out."

The 1st Noble Truth

Pain is inherent in life,
Unavoidable, necessarily so
Because of adjustments we must make
To the world’s unceasing flow.

Pain is the challenge of our existence,
Sufficient reason and rhyme,
To stimulate our grand adventure
Of eternity acting in time.

The 2nd Noble Truth

Suffering, however, is needless.
It comes when we struggle and resist
The flow of our own experience
As life makes turns and twists.

Wishing things were different,
Endless cravings and desires
Cause our upsets and frustrations,
Discontents and inner fires.

The 3rd Noble Truth

But we can learn to know ourselves;
We can diminish our cravings,
Which in exact proportion will
Dampen down our  ragings.

It is possible to be happy,
To cultivate a mind
That’s open, passionate and awake,
Responsive, involved and kind.

The 4th Noble Truth:
The Eight-Fold Path

And here is how that task is done:
Right views, intent and meditation,
Right effort, speech and mindfulness,
Right action and occupation.

The Illusion of Self

The deepest truth we need to know,
Buddha’s profoundest conclusion,
Is that none of us are “real;”
Our very self is an illusion.

Like Bruce Willis in the movie Sixth Sense,
The truth we need the most
Is to discover for ourselves
That we are only a kind of “ghost.”

When our inner eyes are opened,
When our ego comes undraped,
We see ourselves like fleeting whirlwinds
A swirling breeze has shaped.

We are not a solid self,
And we will vanish back to wind.
Our ego is only a clever illusion
We foolishly promote and defend.


 Over and over egos are born
Over and over they die.
Only a Karmic core of tendencies
Pass on to the brand new guy.


Each new personality and life,
Making advances or retreats,
Determines the status of the next-to-be-born:
The gutter or easy street.


If somehow you become enlightened,
 You break the cycle of Rebirth,
Are absorbed into Nirvana
And never return to Earth.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: Origional  Buddhism was not nonsense---and it was not religion.  It was PSYCHOTHERAPY.
And good Psychotherapy---and still is.  But the doctrines of reincarnation, karma and nirvana were added later by enthusiastic diciples---along with a host of other superstitions like prayer wheels, prayer flags, demons etc.   Subsequent followers could not resist the temptation to wrap this fine philosophy in crazy superstitions like all the other major religions.  Tibetan Buddhism evolved into a theocracy with the monk class exploiting the working class.  I don't know how I feel about Japanese Zen Buddhism--they focus on the enlightenment aspect--and leave off the superstition.

Perhaps some of my readers have a better take on the evolution of Buddhism to its current state.

Next up:  HINDUISM-- (my finest poem I promise you)

ADDENDUM: I urge my readers to scroll down to the  comment posted by Michael for a profound take on this series.
It delights me that I have readers of such acumen.

Saturday, October 17, 2015


The last time I wrote about this I received a death threat,  My response is to not publish my location till I've left.  Anyway, I've lived longer than the average bear already--Ill take my chances and tell you what I think.  I begin with my best condensate of their views.


There is only one God, call him Allah.
He creates as an act of mercy,
Sustains and guides and will someday judge
Every Jack, Jill, Suzy and Percy.

Humans are made to worship Allah,
To rule over nature and construct
A social order of justice and truth,
merciful and not corrupt.

Evil in the world begins with Satan,
An enemy angel who tempts us all
To be proud, selfish and petty,
Eat pork and drink alcohol.

God wants us to rise above this evil,
Build character in our lives,
Obey his laws, benefit humanity,
Have no more than 4 wives.

He asks five things: Profess the faith,
Pray five times daily, give alms,
Once in a lifetime visit Mecca,
Fast during Ramadan.

This message was given verbatim to Mohammed,
Written in the Koran book.
He’s the final prophet God will send,
No need to further look.

History will end on judgement day
When Allah will choose where we dwell–
The righteous will live forever in heaven,
The wicked are sent to hell.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:   In the snake pit that religion is---Islam is the Cobra--and it seeks to eat all the other snakes-- a dreadful religion with a dreadful history.  It has morphed itself into the number one problem in the world.
It's doctrins are no more or less unbelievable and unverifiable that those discussed so far and it brainwashes its children like christians do-- but it has added a prison wall of a doctrine that makes escape from it so dangerous that few try.  That is the doctrine that whoever renounces the faith must be killed.  It has thus immunized itself against critical self examination and reform.

The Indoctrination and fear inherent in Islam has a billion people in its grip behaving like mindless automatons guided by stupid and savage leaders.
We delude ourselves to think we can live in peace with them. They are beyond reasoning. Hunnington (The Clash of Civilizations)makes the case clear.  (also recommended:  Sam Harris--THE END OF FAITH)
The only cure for this fanaticism is a shattering defeat. That's what it took to disabuse the Japanese of their divine emperor/destiny delusion.  

Would you like to see rational minds discussing these issues? click here and here and here

Thursday, October 15, 2015



There is only one God
and He has chosen the Jews
As His special people, to proclaim His views.
God and the Jews have made a deal;
To them His laws He will reveal:

What He expects in human behavior,
And if they obey He will be their savior.
If they stray, then He will punish
Or send prophets to teach and admonish.

For all our evil we eventually pay;
Justice will come on Judgement Day.
God wants the Jews to enlighten the world,
To give humanity a priceless pearl:

The truth of His oneness, His will and intent,
And it’s all written down in the Old Testament.
And God gave them land to serve as a base;
Palestine, as home for the Jewish race.

He will send a Messiah in the fullness of time
Who will rid the world of fear and crime.
The ruler the earth has long been needin,’
He will make the world a peaceful Eden.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  This too is nonsense---and no respectable mind on earth believes this. The notion of being God's chosen people has brought enormous persecution down on their heads for centuries.
That being said---there is an aspect of Judaism that the whole world should pay attention to,  They are smarter and more successful than other cultures---and they have contributed to humanity far out of proportion to their numbers.  21% of Nobel Laureats have been Jewish-- despite the fact that they constitute only two tenths of one percent of world population.  THEY ARE DOING SOMETHING RIGHT.  I decided to find out what that is.

Turns out the work has been done for me in this book. If you don't have time to read it, I will tell you the conclusion:  In AD70 Jewish survivors of the Roman destruction made a decision that set in motion a CULTURAL IMPERATIVE that every Jew should be taught to read the Torah--so that they would not forget their heritage.  This one thing---this leg up-- being able to read-- created a FEEDBACK LOOP that is operative to this day.  (a feedback loop is an action that results in more of that action--the accellerated squalk of a microprone in front of a speaker is a feedback loop)
How this "leg up" has worked its way through history is an interesting read.

So what has been learned:
1. Jewish success is not genetic--it is cultural.
2. Only some Jews take the above story seriously,  If you're curious what modern Jews believe click here
3. And while we're appreciating disproportionately contributing cultures--consider the Scots and the debt civilization owes them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_the_Scots_Invented_the_Modern_World

Next up:  Islam

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


I'M GOING TO DO THEM ALL---ALL THE MAJOR ONES---and if you doubt that I can condense a complicated religion like Hinduism into a short poem--stay tuned.


Backwards in time, all the way to infinity,
Three Gods in one formed a Holy Trinity.
They made angels and then gave birth
To all the stars and planet Earth;

A world of animals and a special plan
For two special creatures called woman and man.
In the image of God a her and him,
With freedom of will created He them.

One of the angels, a prideful hellion,
Led lots of others in a losing rebellion.
Banished from heaven and bitter as gall,
He hatched a plan to wreck it all.

He seduced the couple into sinning
That’s when death had its beginning.
Furthermore, all us kids and kin
Somehow inherit their will to sin.

And the wages of sin is death and hell,
An awful place to forever dwell.
But there’s one hope and only one:
God had a plan; He sent His Son.

His name was Jesus, born year zero.
He’s our savior, teacher and hero,
Born of a virgin, lived without sin;
Our way out of the pickle we’re in.

He was fully God and fully man,
Flesh and blood of a Jewish clan,
With supernatural power to raise the dead
Or feed 5 thousand with a fish and a bread.

He redefined God as mercy and love,
A caring Father in heaven above.
Then He died on a cross to pay for our sin
And 3 days later was alive again.

He lingered awhile then His mission ended
At the Mount of Olives, where He ascended.
Somehow the death of God’s own son
Atones for all the sins we’ve done.

But there’s a catch in this Christian plan:
You must believe, repent, and be born again.
If you don’t believe and won’t repent
Then after death to hell you’re sent.

If you do believe and do repent,
Your life is blessed and more content.
And when you die to heaven you’ll fly,
The ultimate pie in the ultimate sky.

This whole story is written in a book,
And all these doctrines if you carefully look.
The book is called the Holy Bible,
Inspired by God so it’s surely reliable.

And Christians believe Christ will return.
Then the righteous will rise and the wicked will burn.
Sheep and goats sent a separate way

As history ends on Judgement Day.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  This is a ridiculous story--just on the face of it.  It was pieced together from several myths and ideas floating around the middle east by one man: the apostle Paul.
It struggled awhile with a complicated competing myth called Gnosticism.  Christianity won out largely by the use of force.
Most of the one billion Christians know very little about their religion--It is mostly a comforting culture for people too lazy to think.  It has done incalculable damage to people's minds and even bodies.  There is no convincing evidence for the truth of this myth.

Next up Judiaism!

Sunday, October 04, 2015


Thoreau said that thousands are hacking at the branches of evil to every one person hacking at its roots.  I agree and I want to hack at what I consider a root cause of evil in the world---indoctrination of children.

I was indoctrinated in the Southern Baptist faith and  was 27 when I escaped.  That crazy belief system and culture damaged my intellectual growth, inflicted guilt, stole happiness, wasted time and energy, imposed prejudices and much more.

I recognize that currently, almost everyone is indoctrinated into some belief system and culture.  Every cocoon must hang from some tree and so every one of us comes to consciousness within some culture. Most cultures have crazy components to it. (Catholic: birth control abortion divorce, infallibility of Pope----Mormons golden book, magic underwear etc) A key question is whether you can break free and construct your own value system. Regretably only about 20% of us do so.

I believe we should stop indoctrinating our children.  I think it is possible to teach values without doctrines. Here's apoem I wrote years ago:


What if all the religions of the world were forced somehow to compete on a level playing field? Perhaps a world, weary of religious strife, finally traced the problem to its roots: the indoctrination of children? And what if this were outlawed? Parents could still share values with their children, but not doctrines. Children would reach age 12 or so with their minds more open. And when they demonstrated sufficient mental competence and curiosity, they would be allowed to visit the Religion Warehouse.

The Religion Warehouse

Kids are gathered outside at eight,
Doors are opened at nine.
They are here to sample religions of the world,
All strung out in a line.

Row upon row, every living faith
Represented in spacious booths.
And every booth has people anxious
To share their “eternal truths.”

They have pamphlets and films and all 27
Major “holy books,”
The Bible, the Koran, the Bagavad Gita.
Every kid’s invited to look.

As they wander up and down the aisles,
Believers of every bent
becon children into their booths,
Like barkers at a side show tent.

The Christian section has 200 booths,
Each with a different slant
On God, salvation, Jesus and heaven,
That they wish to implant.

There are nine different versions of Islam,
Six different kinds of Jews,
A host of Buddhist sects,
A hundred types of Hindus.

The New Age section is replete
With people pushing “spiritual” stuff,
Smiley-faced believers in a thousand things,
Like crystals and superstitious fluff.

The American Indians drummed up a crowd
With dancers adorned with feathers.
Truly believing that Shamans can heal,
And Kachinas can change the weather.

Cults took up a whole wall–
Gurus of every stripe,
Dominating tyrants trolling
For the total submission type.

The atheist booth had scrappy folks,
Dead sure in their conclusion
That religion is the opiate of the people,
A dumb and deadly illusion.

Agnostics had a cheerful booth
With banners above and below.
The upper one said, “Keep an open mind;”
The lower said, “Nobody knows.”

The Mormons were talking ‘bout golden books.
The Quakers pushed peace and hope.
The Amish urged us back to the land.
Catholics said obey the Pope.

Back in the corner were Unitarians,
Of all the churches most odd;
The only church that didn’t claim
To have a message from God.

Muslims were a backward lot,
Their religion frozen in time,
Their nations ruled by autocrats,
Their women treated like slime.

Voodoo believers sacrificed chickens;
Spiritualists summoned ghosts.
Urantia folks told of flying saucers;
Tantrics urged sex uppermost.

On and on the religions stretched.
Children came and went until
In a day or a year, their minds were clear,
Or perhaps just had their fill.

Then back to the world, having chosen
Truths” that suited their taste.
Most took bits from several faiths,
With a job of “cut and paste.”

Gone was arrogance and dogmatism.
Their study of religion and history
Lets them tolerate ambiguity,
Embrace the human mystery.

In a few short years, religious wars ceased;
All nations made a truce.
Every civilized person now agrees
Indoctrination is child abuse.

Freedom to choose your religion
Is a universal human right.
Parents stopped laying their “trip” on kids,
And the world sleeps better at night.

 I say to my readers:  If you have escaped your indoctrination---created your own value system--you are a part of life's solution.  Congratulations.  If, on the other hand you believe the doctrines your parents told you---you are likely part of life's problem.