Thursday, 29 March 2012

The Origin of Divinity?

I heard a theory a while back that's really stuck in my brain...I take it out and play with it when I'm bored.  The theory is that the reason so many people and cultures around the world believe in God or a god-like figure is due to our early childhood experiences.

As babies, we are all exposed to gigantic, all-powerful, godlike, incomprehensible beings. These beings are also known as adults!  Most commonly your parents!  I don't think it's a stretch to consider that your thoughts on God may later be shaped, subconsciously, by "memories" or impressions of your parents from when you were an infant.  Perhaps people who's parents treated them great and took care of them always instinctual feel nothing but love for God, while people who's parents were neglectful jerks are angry at God?  People who's parents loved them but who also experienced some sort of trauma in infancy (proving that their "god" is not infallible) could be the ones who, like me, struggle with the concept of God.  Like Mulder says, "I want to believe."

This is, of course, all complete speculation...but I DO find it fascinating...

For an example of how early childhood memories can strongly influence one's feelings well into adulthood, I need look no further than my own life!  Let me tell you a story about's a true story, although I personally have NO memory of it.  My mom told me about it!

So when I was a baby...I don't know how old but I guess under 2, we went on a picnic or something.  Anyway, there was a watermelon.  Somehow, my little toddler self managed to sneak away and swipe said watermelon and proceed to eat the ENTIRE THING!  I then became violently ill for some lengthy period of time.

As I said, I have NO memory at ALL of this incident.  All I know is that for as long as I can remember, long before I heard this story, the sight or smell of ANY MELON is very unpleasant to me and that watermelon, TO THIS DAY,  makes me feel incredibly disgusted and nauseous!  I heard the above story at some point and thought "oh, that makes sense!"   The story validated what I already felt about watermelon and thus both story and feeling are true!  Case closed.

Soooo....what if for as long as I can remember I have always felt deep inside that there is a gigantic, all-powerful being who is poorly defined and yet who watches over me and takes care of me...who loves me and wants what's best for me!  Then, what if later on someone told me about God and I just thought "oh, that makes sense!The story of God validates the feeling I already had from early childhood and thus the feeling and the story must be true...just like the watermelon!

Of course...unlike with the watermelon, the credit for my feelings about God are misplaced....they should be feelings about my parents!  My baby mind just got them mixed up....well, I was only an infant after all...

Do we all make this mistake?  Could this simple mistake be the origin of the concept of a divine being?  We know for fact that events we can't remember from infancy can strongly effect our opinions on matters for the rest of our lives!

Well, I'm not saying God doesn't exist or trying to reject or belittle anyone's religion or beliefs about spirituality.  Please don't lynch me or warn me about hell or any of that crap.  I just think this is an interesting idea!  If the essence of faith is doubt...well, food for thought....

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Springtime & the Power of Writing...

Happy Spring everybody!  Sure looks like it out there today!  Spring is in the air...people seem more upbeat...girls are wearing less's great!  Not that we had much of a winter anyway this year, but it's still great to feel that rush of new life in the world...

So earlier I was listening to the Skeptic Tank podcast with Ari Shaffir and guest Duncan Trussell, discussing Buddhism primarily but more generally, life...Anyway one of the topics mentioned was something that I strongly endorse these days...something that's really helped me in the last several years...I have also been hearing it a lot out in the world lately and that made me want to pass it along!  All I'm talking about is simply the idea that you should have obtainable goals and write them down!

Well that's sort of two things but both are super important.  First - goals.  One of the things I sometimes ask people is "What do you want out of life?"  A large number of people don't actually know!  Most will say something vague like "to be happy" or "to have a good life."  "To be successful." 

Great!  But what does that MEAN to you?  My good, happy and successful life is probably at least somewhat different than yours! What measures success?  What's a good day?  What makes you happy?  Be more specific!  Paraphrasing something brought up in the podcast, if your lifelong dream is to visit the Eiffel tower, you don't just start travelling vaguely in the direction of make specific plans!  You buy a ticket to Paris, you make reservations, you talk to travel experts, you make concrete, rational plans! 

And yet, most people don't have anything near that specific and well thought out in regards to the shape of their whole life!  For most of my time on Earth, my idea of life was completely vague and generalized, relying on chance and impulse alone to move forward or make any changes.  That worked out so well for me that by the time I was 30, I was waking up depressed because I hadn't died in my sleep the way I was hoping to.  Obviously I needed to re-evaluate my lifestyle...

Since those dark days, I started creating specific, obtainable goals to make myself happier or better in some way.  I haven't always succeeded, but I've been making progress and now, at 35, I am the healthiest and the happiest I've ever been!   Particularly in the last 2 years my life has really turned around for me, and I attribute this to having specific goals to achieve or work towards.

Oh and the thing that has helped me the most - WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS!

If you're anything like me, thoughts flow through your mind like water flows over the falls, constant but ever fleeting!  Thought is gone as quickly as it came, never to be seen again...maybe to be vaguely remembered at best.  Writing down a thought is like scooping a bucket of water out of the single it out from the whole and make it important and useful.  Suddenly, you can quench thirst or extinguish flames!

You've given your thought power and made it memorable and important!  If your thought was written down, it has the power to change things...even the world!  The Bible, the Constitution, every book you've ever read, almost everything important or long lasting that anyone's ever done...all started with a thought that someone wrote down!

So here's what you do if you want to change your life:

1.  Think of what you want out of life...your ideal situation.  Be specific and get into the little details.  Nothing is too small!  Visualize!
2.  Create small, manageable goals to get you closer to this ideal life you've imagined.
4.  Start working towards your goals, one at a time.  Baby steps is fine...time is all any of us have!  Don't set yourself up for failure..just work a little at a time to gradually make your ideas real!  

Ain't nothing to it but to do it...

It may take years but trust me, it's worth it...set goals.  Write them down!  If one of your goals doesn't succeed, don't be discouraged.  Remember:  Failure is just training for success!! (Thanks Kevin Smith!)

Oh, and if you want to live the public life, you can do like I do and share your ideas and your goals..nothing like a little accountability to make you motivated...that's why I share all these ideas with you!  You don't have to share what you've thought of with the whole internet though....even a couple of friends will do!  Being accountable really does help though!  You can do it!  You can do ANYTHING you want to little tiny step at a time!

Limitless undying love folks! 

Friday, 16 March 2012

Bullet Girl and the Infinite Delay...

So as you may well know, I usually write Stryder's Dementia columns ahead of time in a little spiral notebook and then type them out on the day I want to post them.  This week, however, I have nothing written for this blog.  That's not to say that I haven't written this week!  Actually, I have written so much I could probably fill 5 or 6 blog posts!  See, all week I've been writing a character bible and backstory for my (incredibly slowly) ongoing creative project.  You may remember THIS?

Well, I decided almost immediately that the story written there, although interesting, wasn't enough to write a lot about all by itself.  Chapter 2 of that project started talking about a female lead, girlfriend character to the suicide solution dude (whose name, I don't know if I revealed, is Daniel.), a character named Carrie O'Connor.

Anyway, since then she's become the hero of the story, lost her association completely with Daniel, and instead become something totally different.  Betraying my renewed love affair with comic books over the last 6 months... 

Carrie O'Connor has a secret.  An orphan girl who lives in a small apartment above her uncle's auto shop in East York, she's starting her first year at Ryerson University.  For the most part she's a normal lower-middle class girl...except that for her 18th birthday she received a gift, a family heirloom from her mother, now dead 13 years.  This gift was an antique puzzle box, carved from a type of wood Carrie had never seen.  When she placed her hand upon a carved relief of a giant tree on the top of the puzzle box, it opened as if by magic.  Did the box glow as if aflame for a moment, or was that only Carrie's imagination?  

Inside the box were two matched antique six-shooters and a pendant, a single bullet attached to a silver chain....

Not to worry, Daniel's still involved in a pretty meaningful way, although he and Carrie haven't met as my story opens.  This week I've actually been writing up all the supporting characters and a HUGE backstory that could almost be it's own novel regarding the origins of the puzzle box and guns.

Anyway I don't even know what I'm writing right now.  Ideally I think I'd like a graphic novel format, a la The Watchmen or V for Vendetta, or even a series like the Scott Pilgrim books.  Unfortunately I can't draw AT ALL.  It takes me a week to draw something mediocre.  So unless I can find a partner then this will either have to be a novel (I'll have to re-write the earlier part in 3rd person) or a screenplay or something.  Maybe both.  Obviously this is going to take YEARS....

Oh yeah, Carrie O'Connor also has another name.  When she wears the pendant and picks up the guns, she's transformed into Bullet Girl!

Oh and don't's supposed to be a dumb name.  Irony! 

Limitless Undying Love y'all!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Limitless Undying Love...

I have to start remembering (And I know, this makes me sound like a jerk) that all of the people out there really are humans too, with your own deep, complicated universes floating through your minds.  Sometimes it's hard, particularly in a job like mine where you see about 10,000 people every day, to remember that all of them, all of YOU, are, in most ways, just like me!  It's so much easier to think of other people as if they were trees in a forest or sprites in a video game...present for scenery or simply to help me on my path, but devoid of any other raison d'etre other than for my use or enjoyment.  Obviously, this is totally wrong and quite a selfish point of view.  Isn't it?

Ok, it's actually impossible in a big city for any human being to treat other, randomly encountered humans in an appropriate and respectful way.  I wish I could take the time to learn everyone's name and at least one other important fact, but I can't...I wouldn't even make it across the street and everyone around me would think I was a crazy person for showing unsolicited, sincere interest!  If a stranger came to me in the street and was genuinely curious about my life, I'd be immediately and deeply uncomfortable and suspicious.  I'd absolutely be looking for an escape route right away.

And then I complain that I'm lonely, have a hard time meeting people, and sometimes feel isolated in my daily life.  Gee, how odd.

Last week I finished both my posts here and over at Fruitless Pursuits with the line "Limitless undying love" from the Beatles song "Across the Universe".  I got a compliment on my "new tag" and it made me think about it a little harder than I had originally.  I felt less than truthful because I don't feel limitless undying love for most I have limitless and undying ambivalence.  Perhaps general well wishes...but love?  I think not.

But I *WISH* that it was true.  I guess that's a start...if I should be the change I want to see in the world, then I must be the change that I want to see in myself.  So it may not quite be love yet, but at least I must make it a point to be a kinder, friendlier stranger.

It's a kind of love!  We're so isolated here in Western alone and so programmed to be that independent!  Every man for himself!  Live the American dream and get ahead of everybody! 

Bull.  It shouldn't be like that and it doesn't have to be!  Maybe I can't treat everyone I meet as a long lost brother or friend, but I can make a conscious effort to be more open, more friendly and just to care!  Care about everyone's need and not just my own.  If we all do this, it won't be such an overwhelming task.  It doesn't have to be that hard...just a smile and a kind word every now and again make the world a nicer place.  Kindness without personal involvement is an option.  Let's do it!

Limitless undying love!  Make it Real!!

Friday, 2 March 2012


When i see an arrogant teenager walking around like the king of awesomeville, knowing everything and doing no wrong, it's just ridiculous and funny these days...nature taking it's course even.  I remember my own days of over-compensation...trying to prove I was king only led to being court jester....shocking!

I do, however, wonder about these older, senior citizen types that I see who still act like they know everything and are the most-entitled members of society.  What's up with that?  I wonder if they've been that bull-headed their whole lives or if it's some weird age-entitlement thing?  "I'm old now and have seen everything so do what I say or else I will WRITE A LETTER!!!"

I don't my age I think everyone should have learned that they aren't the greatest, smartest, most amazing person to ever walk the face of the earth and that this is is not a competition.  Put another way, I'm saying by 30 or so a person should have learned a little humility and how to just relax and step back from a situation without having to meddle.  There's a reasonable chance that if you're only peripherally involved, you're unaware of everything that's going on and thus likely wrong in your conclusions.  It's not personal, that's just logic.  

Anyway, so these older but entitled folk...the ones whose attitudes mirror those of most 16 year olds...did they never grow up or did something change as they got older that made them revert to adolescent bluster and entitlement? a teen my bad attitude came from over-compensating for my own low self-esteem after realizing just how far in over my head I actually was!  In other words, FEAR dictated my behaviour.  Perhaps fear is the same thing motivating these elderly tyrants?  Fear of being past one's prime, of not being as relevant or needed as you once were...fear of being marginalized...perhaps even fear of dying?  I suppose that's enough stress and fear to make anyone over-compensate.  I just hope that I never fall into that trap.

From what I can see, the only real point to existing is to attempt to learn and grow throughout one's life and try to make the world around you a better place than it was when you came in.  Nicer, healthier, more enlightened as possible.  Age should be, by and large, completely irrelevant.  Of course this may be an unattainable ideal but the attempt...the the important part anyway.  Putting forth the effort to challenge oneself.  Trying to push along the progression of the species in tiny little ways...make things a little better in the world if we can! 

Of course that's just me and I may have a totally different outlook tomorrow...who knows?  I do know that I don't want to end up grumpy and embittered in 30 years, thinking I'm the only one who knows anything and that the world owes me for some reason...wondering why it won't pay up.  If I seem to start sliding too far in that direction (Lord knows I can be a condescending know-it-all) please do me a favour and slap a little sense into me!

NO ONE is ever irrelevant if the can validate themselves!  Irrelevance can only occur if one searches for meaning, validation, approval...basically self-worth...from others instead of from within.  Ironically, if you can achieve your own sense of self-worth and validation from within, in my experience people around you will also start to treat you as a worthwhile person and reinforce your inner peace from without!  It's win-win!

I guess all of this is a very long winded way of saying...I wish everyone would just take it easy and be happy and hope that I always do, too.

Limitless undying love y'all!