Friday, December 27, 2013

Recipe- Ginger Peach Cookies

A webcomic I love reading, Girls With Slingshots, recently posted a recipe. I asked for, and received, permission to share it here. I have not gotten to try them, but they look really good, so I will definitely be trying them sometime soonish.

Here you go:


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Love, Religion, God

For Thanksgiving (Americans celebrate this on the last Thursday of November) this year, I went to see my biological family. Dad reminded me of something that I had forgotten. He reminded me that every single one of us has access to a wellspring of love. Some people call the source of this love God (as my father does). Whatever you want to call it, humans are capable of touching an incredible love that is so strong, it drowns out all else. Every human can touch it. Once touched, it can be hoarded, in which case it gets harder and harder to touch it. Or it can be shared with other living beings, in which case it gets easier and easier to touch it. But every one of us can touch it, can feel it.

I believe that the purpose of our lives is to spread as much of this love in the world as possible. I believe that Buddhism and Christianity were attempts by real, living people to show other people how to spread this love. Buddhism is currently more successful, as a lot of people twist the message of "Jesus Christ" (I don't believe that's his real name, but it's how we remember him) into a message of hate. But it's possible that Buddhism had been twisted in such ways back when it was new.

I believe that when we die, we will be shown everything we did in our lives. And what we recognize and feel about it is what determines what happens.

1. The person accepts the bad things they did, and forgives themselves for it, while reveling in the good that they did.
2. The person does not accept the bad things they did, and/or cannot forgive themselves for it.
3. The person revels in the bad things they did, and abhors the good.

In the second case, the person is forced to watch it again and again, until they come to terms with it. There is escape from this: accept that some of the things you did really were bad, and forgive yourself for it. Then you bump up to the first.

In the first case, the person is giving a choice of where to go. I do not know, but I hope, that the person can leave messages for loved ones who follow, explaining their own choice, and get such messages from loved ones who preceded.

In the third case, I believe the person is destroyed, the soul rejected.

What evidence do I have for any of what I say? The only bit I have is this: every person reading this can access the wellspring of love. Open your "heart", and feel the love. Realize that some of that is for you- you are loved. Just for being alive, you are loved. Unconditionally. No matter what you have done, what you think you have done, you are loved.

I do not believe hell exists. Those who are beyond redemption are destroyed. Those who could be redeemed but refuse it, are trapped in something that seems like hell. But it's not hell as we think of it, because they can break free, if they only learn to love themselves despite what they've done. If they accept and forgive.


1. You are loved.
2. You have access to a wellspring of love.
3. Your task is to spread the love from this wellspring through the world, in any way, shape, or form.
4. When you are shown the evils that you did, repent them, accept that they were evil, that you really did do them, and forgive yourself for them.

As for me, I want to go to a universe where magic and unicorns exist. Where I can be immortal and learn everything there is to know. Where I don't have to experience pain, but if I want to, I can. Where hurts and sickness can be experienced or healed outright. Where things can be as challenging or easy as I want them to be at that moment.


The bible. It's not the literal word of God. It was inspired by something. Call it God if you want. But whatever inspired the bible does not speak any human language. So the original writings were already translations. And they were translating ideas that humans didn't have words for, into human words. It's like trying to translate concepts of weather from Eskimo into Hawaiian before the Europeans came along (note1). Stuff is going to get weird.

Then, after you've taken an inhuman language and translated it into human, you've got people coming along translating the translation into other languages.

So, the old testament is a recording of the oral traditions of the Hebrew nation. Some of those stories, they believed to be true at the time. Some of them, they related as truth, but were fable, parables, not meant to be taken literally. Each one was meant to teach a lesson, or tell one person's story as it was perceived by someone close to the original person, then passed down from person to person by word of mouth. Ever play telephone? How about a more accurate version, where you can actually talk in a low voice to the next person. Stories get exaggerated in the telling. Girls do it. Boys do it. Everyone does it. We exaggerate. Or understate. 10 people becomes 100, and 100 people becomes 10, so damn easy.

There is one verse in the bible which can definitely be taken literally. Well, one chapter, really. Lots of people love this one, and for good reason. It speaks a greater truth.

1 Corinthians 13

        1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

        4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

        8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

And yet, even this is messed up. Many people use only the middle paragraph, but they put the first sentence of the second paragraph as being the end of the thought. It's not the end of the thought. It's the beginning of a new point: that love is the only thing that never fails. That wellspring of love which each of us can touch will never fail. It will always be there. All you have to do is touch it, and spread it. Show it to other people through your actions. Treat people will love and respect, with decency that used to be common. You don't have to swear by Jesus to access this love. You don't have to go to church to access this love. You don't have to sing praises, though you might want to when you really feel it. All you have to do is open your "heart", and let it in, then open your self, and let it out.

Note 1: Eskimo into Hawaiian because Eskimos know everything about weather that Hawaiians know, plus they know about frozen things, while Hawaiians don't. Sure, Hawaiians have storms that Eskimos don't have, but hurricane can translate into "sea-storm which destroys villages". How do you translate "snow" into a language that doesn't even have a concept of "frozen"? "water which is hard as a rock" might do for ice, but "dust which makes you cold as death" will get translated as "poisonous dust", not snow.


So yeah, that's my message to everyone. Let in the love. Let the love shine through you. You will be happier, better able to deal with what you have, and what you don't have.

I love you.