Practical guide for Planet Friendly, 21st Century beings

The Multiple Stages of Faith


I was pondering this issue the other day and discovered that if you drill down a ways, into the origins of this powerful emotion [if it is an emotion] there is a lot more going on than one would expect? Especially regarding the cultivation of faith in human beings as a process of maturation and faith as an instinct in the animal kingdom.

Faith in the animal kingdom: animals, not just human animals, also appear to practice faith on a daily basis to assist them in their day to day survival and interaction with their fellow animal species. In the case of wildebeest or antelope or any herding animals, they have faith that when a predator advances on them there will be a member of their herd to sound a warning thus allowing the rest of the herd to seek an escape route. Otherwise they would each have to be on guard every moment of every day and rely only on themselves to determine the level of danger and appropriate escape route? They follow their herd in whatever direction it takes them and have faith that they will escape and live to graze again. Schools of fish and dolphins practice the same kind of faith. Where do we go, what do we do and where is the food?

As human beings, most of us are born into a single family unit, completely helpless and in need of 24/7 care and protection, to be provided to us by our immediate family members (or guardians). They must satisfy our considerable, immediate needs in order for us to survive the day so, through the daily experiences of hunger and satiety, fear and consoling, cold and warmth, we first learn to have faith in the people taking care of us. We learn through these ‘experiences’ that the deeds of our guardians are mostly positive and in our best interests, thus our ‘Faith’ in them as providers is justified. This would be the first stage in our life long experience with faith and trust. [In the case of child abuse though, I expect the opposite would be true where we would learn that people can’t be trusted and therefore we would develop a ‘lack of faith’ in them and a faith only in ourselves].

The next phase begins when our family members ‘teach’ us to extend our established faith beyond the deeds and actions and learned experiences of our immediate family unit. This would then be our first ‘leap of faith’ that we would encounter as impressionable youngsters? They could teach us to have faith that the car won’t crash on the way to school because Mom is a careful driver or because traffic is usually light at that time so it shouldn’t be a problem or maybe that the rain won’t melt us if we get caught outside in it and that everything will be ok if we happen to fall down and skin our knees. We are taught to have faith that everything will usually turn out alright during and after these mundane, everyday life occurrences. After a while then, we accept these everyday experiences as just a part of life and add these truths to our list of truths, and as part of our faith. We also incorporate, into our expanding and existing faith, the belief that what our family members tell us regarding everyday events and problems, are ‘truths’ and need not be questioned. Once again, our faith has been built upon facts and experiences.

Then there is the ‘family tradition’ type of faith also, where generations, or possibly this particular generation, believes in a specific religious institution and the children of the family are therefore expected to believe in the same religion and have faith that their family members are correct, and by proxy, the specific religion and religious claims are also correct (e.g. truth). We are taught then, to have faith in the tenets and writings of this family religion and to consider the purveyor of these ‘truths’ (pastor, priest, rabbi, bible, torah etc.) to be as trustworthy as our own family and to regard what we are told by these writings and purveyors to be unquestionable truths as well. We have now reached the second leap of faith stage; that being the belief that what we have not experienced for ourselves is true because we are told that they are true and our own personal experiences are not necessary as proof or validation. Our latest lesson in faith is now to learn to have faith in the unknown by second hand knowledge, passed down by unknown and unseen authors of a religion they can’t verify or question. Their faith is now required to be unwavering and unquestioning.

This is the point in our lives where we separate the faith-ful from the faith-less. This is when we begin to choose whether to believe or to disbelieve. This is the point in every human beings’ life when we must decide whether to believe whatever we are told by our trusted sources or to question everything until we gain the necessary knowledge to make our own decisions. This is also the juncture where we are judged by the faith we have cultivated or have not cultivated. Faithful or Faithless? We must choose and choose wisely. This is where the politics of religion enters the picture.

‘Faithlessness’ as a definition of the absence faith is really only used in a religious context since no one really knows or cares about our extent of faith in any other context. No one is ostracized (except possibly on a local level) for their lack of faith in government or purity of food or future direction of the stock market? We are really only judged by our respective religious institutions and their practitioners on our ‘extent of faith’ and our perceived ‘loyalty to the faith’ or conversely, on our apparent lack of faith and hence, disloyalty to ‘the faith’. ‘Lack of faith’ seems to be a relatively local stigma regarding the lack of faith in a particular religion or ideological area. The exception would be during a time of war when our faith is called patriotism and we are judged on our extent of patriotism by our fellow citizens and expected to give our all to the war effort without question. Aside from a war effort, we are judged by our local religious institution for having a lack of faith in their religion and a stigma is placed upon us on a local level as ‘disbelievers’ or infidels but as we venture further from the source of this stigma, the effect tends to wear thin and we are not judged as harshly by others of a different religion as long as we don’t interact with them or their particular brand of religion. In anonymity, our faith is our own and we can begin to cultivate our own faith and our own beliefs or choose top believe in nothing if we wish?

If we say out loud in most circles that ‘we don’t believe in god’ or the prevailing religion, we are looked upon as some sort of godless beast. At this stage, to be ‘without a god’ is unheard of and sinister. “Are you an Atheist?” “Do you believe in the Devil?” In a lot of societies, the local religious institution has dirty words that they teach to their flocks in order to vilify the non-believers; Atheist, Devil Worshipper and Godless are but a few. Not to ‘believe’ and have faith in the prevailing religious sect is to be an outsider and untrustworthy. The “If you’re not with us you’re against us” attitude is prevalent. Both camps have chosen sides and we’re in one or the other. Faith in the Universe is unacceptable as an alternative to either side.

Also from the stage of religious faith, if we have gone with the program and believe what we are told, we are then taught to extend our faith well beyond even our own local religious institution and to have faith in our government and elected politicians; to have faith that the laws they legislate are just and in our best interests and long term welfare. At this stage, faith becomes a tool, not for us but for the purveyors of religion and politics. Our faith is counted upon to maintain the status of the religion, to re-elect a government and politicians and to believe what we are told so as to maintain the status quo of the present hierarchy. The more we question, the more of a liability and nuisance we tend become to them which is probably the reason for the practices of ostracization and scarlet letters seen through the centuries, possibly starting with the inception of the first human settlement?

So, we’ve learned to have faith, initially based on life experiences, then we were taught to extend our faith into areas outside of our own experiences. During these latter stages we each chose a path to take and are now living by the decisions we made and the faith we’ve accumulated or haven’t accumulated. One thing is for sure, the longer we stick around, the longer will be the list of people that are counting on our faith in them to maintain their status quo. Should we just ‘believe’ what we are told or should we just keep questioning until we find ‘truth’? Should we have ‘faith’ or do we even require ‘faith’? Is faith all-encompassing or is there still room for free-will somewhere? These are all questions we could ask ourselves ad infinitum or until we cease to exist on this planet and one more thing is also for sure; when our planet ceases to exist our religions and our faith will cease to exist as well. Is there an easy answer to all of this or does the truth lie in the unanswered questions? Someday we will all know, or not.

tweet-Blogging Post # 2

EVERYTHING HAS A BACK STORY. As I was driving down the road the other day on my way to work, looking at the scenery on either side of the car, I realized that everything I saw planted or built along the way had been touched by human hands at some point and that everyone who either planted or built or maintained the objects I was looking at had a backstory as did the objects themselves. There was a backstory for the entire timeline of the neighborhood, the light posts, the houses, the roads, the grass, the trees, and so on and so forth. After about five minutes of this I also came to the realization that if I didn’t stop thinking about it I might go nuts? Who can tolerate that much information anyway?

Now that Blogging is dead – let me introduce ‘tweet-Blogging’

I thought I would start tweet-Blogging to keep up with the times. Short bursts of self-professed witicisms and observations will hold back the carpal tunnel monster and provide a forum for tweet-Blogging responses as well?

Let’s give it a try, shall we.

#1. Taking a wrong turn in life is a bitch. But, taking multiple wrong turns is even worse because, at some point the wrong turns taken can seem impossible to retrace and correct? And sometimes they are.

On Personal Development
March 29, 2010, 6:43 pm
Filed under: Articles of Interest, New age, Philosophy, Universe Mind


To me, the advent of the Personal Development field is absolutely the greatest thing to hit the humanist scene since the concept of Free Will. Here’s why …

One day you’re sitting in your office cube, or in the middle of digging your last ditch of the day when a little light suddenly flicks on in your mind, illuminating the words ‘DEAD END’ (or ‘LOSER’ which is not a nice thing to call yourself, but more on that at a later date). Well, this little light is actually you telling yourself that you’ve made some wrong choices somewhere along the road of life and now is the time to make some better informed decisions concerning your life’s direction. It’s an epiphany that’s long overdue. It’s also a gift since you now know that something has gone terribly wrong and all you need to do now is find out where, when and how it happened and how you can fix it.

This is the self discovery phase when you begin to examine your current mindset and find out how it has led you to this present reality. Many have had this epiphany as they were toiling away one day in a dirty, noisy factory or languishing in an office cubicle at a dead end job. This moment of self truth is a very powerful motivating tool for turning a life of self imposed mediocrity into a self fulfilling life experience. It can keep on working for us too, as long as we keep it fresh in our minds and guard it jealously from errant negativity (our own thoughts). This initial experience can also be very daunting as well as we suddenly see our mistakes amplified and focused upon in our minds. It can shock us into a depression or even make us angry at ourselves for being so blind to our previous errors in judgment. Instead of hating ourselves though, for getting into this mess in the first place or getting depressed about the impending doom ahead, there is a path that we can all take to effect the change of lifestyle which has now become both imminent and imperative? This path would lead straight to the field of Personal Development.

Personal development shows us that when it comes time to make drastic changes in our lives, the first logical place to start is by looking inward to our own cause and effect paradigm. It also provides a list of questions to ask ourselves and makes our introspection a more positive and fruitful endeavor rather than a self loathing and self deprecating experience. The list of questions one can ask themselves is endless and as customizable as any program ever implemented as the choices are as boundless as our imaginations and just as powerful.

It illuminates a reality that is self driven and self guided. It also enlightens us to our past foibles and future pitfalls. As it turns out, we were not meant to follow the paths of others as these paths often lead to mediocrity and wasted lives. We were meant to step out of line and carve our own destinies using our minds and our thoughts as road maps and compasses for our own life adventures. We can see the results of these types of thoughts and actions every day if we open our eyes and pay attention. Think about how many ex-Generals or ex-Colonels from the military who are sitting in a cubicle in your office or working on the production line at the factory? How many business moguls do you know of that have worked the same job for the last twenty years? How many owners of successful businesses do you know that have worked beside you for any extended period of time within the last ten or twenty years?

The common thread among them appears to be a matter of mindset and the ability to construct and shape their own destinies. Anyone who has personally experienced the self discovery phase knows that gaining control of thoughts and actions is the first and most arduous step in the process towards a new self guided destiny. It’s a matter of watching what you say and think, and learning to see our world from the new perspective of an enlightened being. Personal development is the key to a healthy happy life experience and is definitely here to stay. If we all make use of our own powers of self-persuasion and self guided destiny the world will be a much nicer place to be. Next time ‘Self talk’ will be examined as it is the key to convincing ourselves of our own inherent powers.

Is the Earth ‘trying’ to Eradicate us?


Is earth’s Geology and natural evolutionary processes trying to eradicate us, along with all of our fellow life forms? Do we stand a chance?

As everyone knows, geologic time moves much more slowly than the time scale we use in our fleeting human life spans. We marvel at the brief life spans of flies and insects, some measured in just days, but most fail to realize that in terms of earth geological timelines, we are the flies. In fact, we may not even be noticed as inhabitants of the earth by our geological counterparts? No matter how hard we try, how far we drill, how much we dig and scrape or how much we pollute it, the earth just keeps right on changing and arranging, unimpeded by man or beast. Volcanoes, tectonic plate movements, earthquakes, tidal waves, tornadoes; all part of the grand scheme of our earth to reinvent itself and re-sculpt it’s features, as the molten magma at it’s core just keeps flowing, day in – day out, like a huge steel mill, melting and crushing and forging all the elements around it.

Could this be the function of a living planet in our universe? To wipe itself clean in anticipation of the next iteration of life until its life span is over?

Scientists date the formation of the earth back to 4.6 Billion years ago. The first human beings arrived approximately 2.5 Million years ago. So, if you’re counting, that would be ( 4.6 billion – 2.5 million = ) four billion five hundred ninety-seven million five hundred thousand years that the earth was inhabited by non-human life forms.

Some of these ancient life forms can now be found as fossils, embedded in sedimentary rocks and carbon dated back millions of years. Interestingly enough, as proof of our imminent demise, fossils of ancient sea life and sea floors existing millions of years before us can now be found at the highest peaks in the world. Sea beds from ancient oceans thrust upward to form the tops of modern mountain ranges. That’s geology at work, creating one thing while destroying another (e.g. nature’s way). Our tectonic plates simply move about the earth, like huge islands of rock floating on a sea of magma, until they run into something. That’s when they begin their work, grinding either over or under the neighboring plate, heaving up the earth ahead of it into mountain ranges and grinding the old plate under its massive weight to be recycled into the waiting magma, life forms and all. Nothing is spared and nothing is wasted. It’s a perfect system of give and take.

This will be the future of all life forms on our planet ,until the planet itself cools and its geologic life processes cease to function, thus transforming itself into a dead world unable to sustain life of any description. Just cold rock hurtling through space along with all the other cold rocks.

So, the question remains, is our earth trying to eradicate us? Probably not intentionally, but more so, as a consequence of its own life processes, similar to the process of killing bacteria when be bathe ourselves? It’s all just natural and a point to ponder when thinking too far out of the box regarding humanity and it’s importance to the planet and our universe. Everything comes, everything goes. The universe goes on ashes to ashes, dust to dust, magma to rock.

September 11, 2009, 4:33 pm
Filed under: Articles of Interest, Energy, gardening, Green, hobby farming, New age

OK everyone, now that we have an overview of how to procure water free from industrial usage, municipal tax and utility company charges we now need to determine whether we can actually drink the stuff? What’s in it? Is it safe? Can it replace groundwater?

Rainwater, since it falls through the atmosphere, will inherently contain whatever particles and pollutants it happens to pick up on its way down to earth. It is naturally soft water and devoid of minerals since it has not yet interacted with the rocks or soil. It also has a low ph level and is slightly acidic due to a reaction with carbon dioxide in the air. It is usually safe but requires various stages of filtering before being considered drinking water. Always check with your local drinking water filtering/purification standards before drinking local rainwater.

Normal drinking water or ground water, as we know it, is created when rainwater falls to earth, picking up minerals along the way through its interaction with the rocks and soil, becoming ground water or ‘drinking water’ as it leeches through the soil and rocks into the underground aquifers, lakes and streams. Nature’s supply chain can get corrupted though, when human beings pollute the ground so thoroughly that our potential source of drinking water is forced to leech through polluted rocks and soil. By the time it ends up in the underground aquifers and lakes it needs to be tested and treated for a myriad of chemicals deemed harmful to human beings. One day its potable water from the sky then the next day it’s become contaminated (poisoned) by local industry, landfills or farm chemical runoff.

Our normal groundwater/drinking water also contains minerals that we human beings, over the millennia, have come to rely upon for our daily health and well being, which rainwater happens to be devoid of. But these minerals, which are absent in rainwater can, according to experts, be acquired by adding certain foods to our diet and in most cases it is actually easier and more efficient to absorb them through food rather than through our drinking water.

A quick primer in minerals; our bodies consist of approximately 4% minerals, classified as trace and major minerals. The trace minerals are; zinc, iron, copper, selenium, fluorine, iodine and chromium. The major minerals are; calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, chlorine and sulfur. These minerals are useful in forming bones and teeth, regulating cellular metabolism, maintaining normal heart rhythm, neural conductivity and muscle contractility among other things.

So, now that we know what our bodies require and what we must avoid in order to live a healthy life we now need to figure out a way to get our drinking water free and clear of any government or industry involvement and clean. Our way out of this conundrum is to catch the water before anyone can use it and abuse it. Rainwater is the answer. You don’t need to be a tree hugger to understand the benefits of government free, industry free, tax free water, although it helps?

Rainwater does require treatment though, in order to become drinking water and depending on your part of the country the rainwater may be completely un-drinkable due to heavy atmospheric pollution? Some research has been done on the issue of rainwater treatment and filtering for human consumption and the following is an excerpt of a very informative article on the subject that I found during my research for this article and is quite useful in our understanding of the technical requirements of filtering rainwater.

Excerpted from Short Note 4 Expatriate Bangladeshi 2000 Md. Khalequzzaman, Assistant Professor of Geology, Georgia Southwestern State University.

Full text available at

Studies of the chemical composition of rainfall have been carried on for many years starting in late 1880s in the United States and in Europe. Rainwater collected in various parts of the USA contains (in milligrams per liter): Fe (0.015) , Ca (0.075-1.41), Mg (0.027-1.2), Na (0.22-9.4), Ca (0.075-1.41), K (0.072-0.11), HCO3 (4-7), SO4 0.7-7.6), Cl (0.22-17), NO2 (0.02), NO3 (0.02-0.62), and Total Dissolved Solids 8.2-38), and pH of 4.9 to 6.4. Although most of these concentrations fall within the safe limit prescribed by the US Environmental Protection Agency, some exceed safe drinking water limit.

Rainwater in rural areas – away from atmospheric and industrial pollution – is fairly clean except for some dissolved gases it may pick up while traveling through the atmosphere. Some scientists consider rainwater as the “gold standard” of water. However, rainwater is not free of pollution. It contains most of the atmospheric gases in dissolved form in proportion to their abundance. In addition, rainwater contains sediments, dust, aerosols, particulates, and anthropogenic gases that result from industrial discharge, biomass and fossil fuel burning. Gases such as H2O, SO2, NH3, NO2, N2O, HCl, CO, and CO2 are produced in substantial amounts by burning of fuels, by metallurgical processes, and by other anthropogenic activities, and also by biochemical processes in soil and water. Carbonates, nitrates, and sulfates in the atmosphere can react with water vapor and form carbonic, nitric, and sulfuric acids, respectively. These acids washed down with rain and form acid rain, which is detrimental to ecosystem and water quality. Since rainwater is not pure water, some precautions will have to be taken before the water is consumed. Sediments will have to be removed, and water further purified by using a reverse osmosis distillation system. This is a membrane permeation process that separates pure water from a less pure solution containing dissolved chemicals. Rainwater purifying techniques also involves passing through a pipe surrounded by an ultraviolet light, which kills most pathogens. Based on the Texas Water Development Board’s “Texas Guide to Rainwater Harvesting”, a scientist named Krishna developed a rainwater harvesting system in 1998 and received approval from the city of Portland, Oregon, to use his system for all household use. The rainwater harvesting system costs less than $1,500 and consists of the following components: a 1500 gallon plastic cistern, a 1/2 horsepower shallow-well pump, plastic (outdoor PVC and indoor CPVC) piping, two particulate filters in series, rated at 20 and 5 micron particle sizes, an ultraviolet light sterilizer, screen covering the cistern, a 20 gallon water butyl rubber diaphragm pressure storage tank, and a reduced pressure backflow prevention device. The cost to install a similar system in Bangladesh will be much less, because indigenous equipment will be cheaper than buying from the United States.

Rainwater harvesting is in use in many parts of the world. There is a long established tradition of rainwater collection in some parts of Alaska and Hawaii. City of Austin, Texas, offers rebate for using rainwater for some household uses. According to the “Sourcebook Harvested Rainwater”, in some areas of the Caribbean, new houses are required to have rainwater capture systems. Hawaii apparently is currently developing (or has already developed) guidelines. The island of Gibraltar has one of the largest rainwater collection systems in existence. Rainwater offers advantages in water quality for both irrigation and domestic use. Rainwater is naturally soft (unlike well water), contains almost no dissolved minerals or salts, is free of chemical treatment, and is a relatively reliable source of water for households. Rainwater collected and used on site can supplement or replace other sources of household water. Rainwater can be used as drinking water if proper treatment is done before using. McElveen, a physician from Texas, also developed methods to treat rainwater for drinking purposes. For drinking water treatment, McElveen relies on 5-micron and 1-micron cartridge filters and an ultraviolet (UV) treatment. He runs an Environmental Protection Agency test every 8 months for the same contaminants as municipal utilities test for: heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, pH, and hardness.

So there you have it, Rainwater can be used as a source of clean, free drinking water as long as it is not overly polluted by local air quality and is properly filtered according to strict guidelines for drinking water purity in your area. Unless you live very close to (or in) a major urban center or near heavy industrial activity the chances are pretty good that you already have a constant source of free, clean drinking water falling from the sky just waiting to be collected, filtered and used by you and your family for years to come. By using these rainwater collection and filtering techniques along with green housing designs like the Earthships we could all someday live in a world where natural resources are no longer squandered and polluted but instead are coveted as a free natural resource that anyone can afford and maintain by themselves anywhere on the planet?

It’s worth a shot so; let’s start collecting our FREE WATER before they figure out a way to charge us for it!

Reference ; explanation of different types of water

Nothingness (revisited)


Nothingness or Everything-ness (oneness)? Human beings think if they can’t touch or feel something, hear or see something, or smell something – then it doesn’t exist. The box has nothing in it so it is empty, there is no box so there is ‘nothing’. When our bodies (vessels) expire we descend into nothingness? The flipside to this way of thinking (philosophy) would actually be the opposite of popular opinion, in fact. If one thinks about it long enough and examines the facts, one would realize that ‘nothingness’ could in in fact be ‘oneness’.

It’s not a new idea, I realize, except that it has been used before almost strictly in the context of religion, philosophy and that oxymoron of all oxymorons ‘religious philosophy’. I would pragmatically agree that in the context of universal beingship (no ism’s attached) nothingness would be the oneness with everything (everything-ness). In our sentient vessels we are detached from everything around us and cannot comprehend the existence of anything outside of our own thoughts without the interaction of our senses. Our animal senses are separated into individual sensations or functions thereby causing us to think that we are somehow ‘supposed to be’ separated from the fabric of our universe as individual beings, not thinking that the universe surrounds us all like water in a bathtub or like a ‘universe suit’ or energy soup. It touches our skin but we can’t ‘feel’ it, it is our unseen second skin yet we dismiss it as non-existent because our senses aren’t tuned to it’s frequencies and our minds can’t resolve the concept.

Our minds and senses are the only instruments we have to detect the universe but unless we train them to think outside the senses, we will remain completely blind to the obvious. A veritable brick wall standing directly in front of our faces. If evolution is kind to us and the rest of our fellow earth beings it will allow us to ultimately grow into our ‘universe suits’ and become extinct as meat puppets. Our senses can then combine into one energy sense and we will see everything as it is which, is everything all at once, as it really is all the time, forever and beyond.

On the subject of ‘death’. Death is a word feard by humans as the END of all things. The END of existence. We get hung up on endings and think that everything we know and love should go on forever when we really don’t ‘know’ what forever ‘is’ ? Is there possibly an eventual end to ‘forever’ like maybe, when we’re done with this universe? When we expire, our senses would really have no other place to go other than back to their origins which is ‘everything’. They (we) have no choice but to reconnect with the universe on an elemental energy level in the ‘end’?