Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I want to invent a magazine or create a magazine called “Meek Magazine”. It will be the Post Secrets of magazines. Instead of glorifying people who are already successful it will focus on people who are struggling but still find a space to let love and peace reign. It will include effective tips for making it spiritually in this world from ordinary people struggling with great challenges in day to day life.

Hang on I need to check and make sure this magazine doesn’t already exist…

Ok… so there’s a “Spirituality and Health” Magazine which has a bunch of happy people on its various covers…

There’s also a very Buddhist-looking “Spiritual Awakening” Magazine…

And then there’s  couple magazines that look wayyyy too space cadet crazy to be taken seriously.

There is also no “Hardship Magazine” featuring the struggling unknowns of this world.

Alrighty then J Looks like everything is free and clear for take off.

My magazine will also feature a look at various religions and the way people interpret and integrate them into their own lives. What do you get out of your beliefs?

I don’t read much in general, but this magazine I might actually pick up and read through.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Reasons and Revelations

I was a weird kid. I remember walking around the playground, looking up at the sky, and wondering what the purpose of life was. Some days when the sky was overcast and white I wondered if it was god’s blank sheet of paper –His canvas- that He often chose to paint on. I would often stair outside the window at school and day dream about different things. I was never really hip to the times or present to the moments around me.

I remember wondering about reincarnation and feeling a strong sense of familiarity with the concept. I believed I chose my mother and these circumstances up in some place of light from a list of people I could literally see before me. But I never talked to anyone about anything. At least not until the 6th grade when by accident I had written a paper on how I’d wished there was a pill that made people live forever because I feared the uncertainty of death so much. My teacher took me aside and asked me questions about it. It was embarrassing. I made the mistake of trying to talk to my family therapist about the paper, but she told me she wasn’t that kind of therapist.
All I understood at the time was that nobody understood. 

Then I met Katie. We really didn’t talk until high school though. It was sophomore year when she came as a freshman. I was a lonely loner who had acquainted myself with her in the 8th grade. I was in the locker rooms at lunch reading books and avoiding the world. She kept trying to include me in her group –which grew quickly into a bright and elated woven quilt of friends. I felt I belonged more in the shadows than with them –an odd fitting puzzle piece. But she always built me up and looked at me like I could do anything. 

Katie had the white light. The first person I ever knew who had it. Michelle, another girl in our group, had it as well and I felt closest to them, though I often hung out with other girls who’s company was equally appreciated. 

I was tall and quiet. Not a good combination. Like a giant Sasquatch who follows the group around but never quips in –lumbering over in silence. I was just listening. I often felt that since they carried on conversations just fine without me I had nothing of any real value to contribute anyway. 

I grew more and more tightly bound to the group and soon I joined them on Tuesdays for FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). I was a non-athlete non-baptized non-officially-Christian who had never read the Bible.  But I liked the sandwiches they served at the meetings, and my friends were there, so I went and pretended to know what the hell was going on. They mostly preached to us about not having sex, doing drugs, cursing, lusting, hating God, drinking… things I wasn’t doing anyway. And I wondered, “Why preach to the choir? If there were any teens doing that why would they go out of their way to hear someone preach that they shouldn’t do what they were going to do anyway? Unless they really liked the sandwiches too…” 

I never really felt/ heard God in any of it. But Katie seemed to have something to do with Him. She had the white light. She led the group. She was the one everyone turned to. She would go out and talk to complete strangers and try to make them feel better. She was the one building everyone else up. I later found out she was an Aries –my builder sign. She represented God far more than any preacher I saw at the FCA meetings. 

It was from Katie I first desired to read the Bible and find out more about God. I still felt close to Him in my own way, but I felt He didn’t think about me much. But I wanted to reach Him. I tried to read the Bible once, but like a burger that’s too thick for you to take a bite into, I didn’t quite know where to begin. But when I stepped onto the Santa Clara University campus, the path was laid out for me. Let the professionals handle it and lead me through the Bible. 

SCU requires you to take 3 religious courses throughout your 4 years in college. The first is called “Religions of the Book” –aka studying directly from religious scripture. Everyone always takes the same class “Western Religions” which studies Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. 

My teacher was a Sagittarian priest/ douche bag. He was very anal and particular about the readings. Unfortunately for me most of the kids in that class had directly transferred from Catholic schools who had already covered the Bible in depth. I then found myself out of my depth in the class because the teacher assumed everyone was already familiar with the Bible. I hated him for it. He f*cked up Christianity for me. It hurts. 

The Bible was never intended to be quickly skimmed through and Cliff Noted. I was a random semblance of names being born from names wandering from one ancient foreign land to another. I missed the stories and the point. Christianity and Judaism blurred into one and I was getting marked down on my interpretations of what exactly was being expressed and spoken of in the Bible –which was a lot more metaphorical than I realized. I felt like an idiot. 

But with Islam it was different. We walked slowly through those waters and chartered our course with care and patience. I understood Islam and lost Christianity. 

The 2nd class your required to take on religion is more from of a historical perspective. I took “The Religious History of America” which opened my eyes to the evolution of various religions in America and how they changed over time. Often Christianity was used in abusive ways towards citizens –justifying things like slavery and unjust laws. Needless to say my views on Christianity became tainted –not for the religion itself but for the people who took advantage and bastardized it. 

The 3rd class you take on religion is a free-for-all. It can be on any religion –and in fact is required to be one you are unfamiliar with. I took “Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism and the way they relate to Nature”. My eyes were opened through Buddha’s. It was then I realized I had the choice to change my perspective and see things in a different way. It opened my mind and it opened my soul in a lot of ways. It freed me. But I still felt deeply attached to God –who at this point I felt I could not reach or come to be accepted by thanks to all those nice sins listed out in the Bible that still excluded me even in my uneventful life. 

It was then that I handed my life over to Him. I was lying in bed one night silently crying. I couldn’t take the fact that I was “trapped” in a body and a world that never gave a sh*t about the things I held incontrovertibly relevant. I just wanted it to end. So I figured if I’m not going to do anything with my life I’ll hand it over to God and maybe He can make something out of it. Even if I become a nun and only help one person in this life it would be more significant than anything I could have otherwise achieved on my own. So I did it. I silently told God whole heartedly to take it. Take my life as your own and do what you will with it. It’s yours. 

Shortly after that the dominoes began to fall. 

I was diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder and put on medication to combat it.
I joined Toastmasters to practice public speaking.
I joined Twitter and started a blog.
I started working at a temp agency.
I was led to Usana and found out about my health and how to better take care of my body.
I moved out and got my first apartment.
Found out about the Zodiac signs and started studying them to understand myself and others.
Started writing heavily.
Met Alex who walked me through the beginning of the Bible and helped me realize God’s vision.
I also learned that I had my own level of inherent spirituality I could trust in.
I was then led to WFG from my friend Ayu and learned about Financial Planning –which is really important in a recession.
Started working more at Amulet.
Started creating art of one form or another on a regular basis.
Started attending church regularly.
Felt happier and more secure in my life.
Grew exponentially as a person. 

My life came together after I gave it to God. It’s like the gathered all the broken pieces up and sewed them together. By 2011 I knew I wanted to get baptized. But I didn’t think I was “worthy” or that I could until I read the Bible all the way. 

I don’t remember the exact moment I committed to the concept of baptism. I had seen earlier classes for it in the church programs earlier in the year but never really pursued it. I think it just began to sink in on me closer to the event that there was nothing to wait for. If in fact the world did end on 12/12/12 –what excuse could I use to explain to God why I hadn’t committed fully? I was kidding anybody. And my thoughts kept returning to the welbeing of my soul and the desire to commit fully to this path. 

I’m not delusional. I know my path doesn’t include fame or stardom or money or power or anything glamorous and maybe not even romantic love and kids. I’ve always been on a spiritual path –much to the confusion of some family and friends. It is what it is. No use pretending. So why not just deliver myself over to it fully? 

I decided Thanksgiving –a week off of work- would be the most convenient time to do it. I didn’t even know if they were offering baptism at that time but I committed to it. My mind locked into place and I decided to do it with no hesitation or looking back. Thanksgiving week before 12/12/12 it will be done. 

My sister had wanted to join at one point and my step mom said she wanted to get baptized as well. I didn’t care who did or didn’t come along –I knew what I was going to do. I wasn’t looking back or waiting for anything or anyone. 

Then I checked the program that week in early November and saw there was officially going to be a baptism class. I took it. There were only 3 Sundays you could sign up for to get baptized. I signed up. I felt at ease and looked forward to it. It felt right. A long time coming. 

Then I watched the Mayan Crop Circle documentary and thought, Crap. Life isn’t ending. The world will go on. Crapsicles. Oh well. I’m still getting baptized either way. I don’t care. I’ve committed and either way going forward I’m walking God’s path. 

When the day of came I was nervous. Every Sunday besides that one had been full of sunshine and warm colors. This day was gray and the sky looked like an epic storm of clouds. It was also very foggy and more foreboding than usual. I looked up at the sky and thought, Alright there better be a good reason for this. Like a rainbow or something you’re going to show me. What are you doing God?

Then we took off for the church at 10:30am. I was wondering if my dad would come –he dressed up and drove my step mom and me. I found out on the way that a few family friends would actually be there as well. I was excited. Then I went back to being eager/nervous when I was putting on my polo shirt in the changing room. Should I wear glasses? Why did I wear light blue jeans, I was supposed to wear dark blue jeans. What should I say when I’m asked why I’m getting baptized? Will the water be cold? 

I was so happy waiting in line to get in the dunk tank. I was so happy. I kept smiling and feeling excited and blissful. The dunking itself didn’t feel very magical –kind of awkward. But afterward I felt like I’d just gotten out of a shower after hiking in the woods and the dirt for 3 hours. I felt refreshed and renewed. And afterwards when I watched the service I felt like I really belonged.
It’s a special thing when you find your place. I feel good. But I’m also starting to experience the inconvenience of trying to live a “good” life. I really wanted to make fun of this woman today. It was an Aol.com news post. “Woman Let Ex-Husband See Strange Thing”. The woman has big poofy red hair, drawn-on eye brows, and wayyyyy too much make up on. I wanted to post a link to the article on Twitter with the tagline “Woman Let Ex-Husband See Strange Thing –was it her reflection?” It would have been hilarious. 

But then my good old conscious kicked in and said, That’s not nice and it won’t help anyone out. Who knows what she may be going through. Don’t take the cheap shots. You’ll be better for it in the long run.

I have to think more about what I do. It counts more than ever since I aligned myself with God’s ideals. It’s something you have to build yourself up to. I’m also having issues deciding which necklace to wear. I’ve got pre-baptism necklace which is a shape that has a hint of the cross in it but is clearly geared to a more spiritual person –which I think represents my “old self”. Then there’s new cross #1 which is more “modern” and abstract. Then there’s cross #2 which is simple but, sober, but beautiful. I’m wearing all 3. I can’t decide. Maybe I’ll switch off between them each day. I don’t know. I’m kind of attached to each of them. Craps. 

It’s also been interesting to see people’s reaction before and after the baptism.

My sister: “So your blog says you’re getting baptized, what’s up with that?”
Me: “I’m getting baptized in Thanksgiving”.
My sister: “Oh that sounds cool. I think I should too. How do you get registered or whatever?”

My dad: “So I told Kari about you getting baptized and don’t tell her I told you but she now wants to get baptized along with you.”
Me: “Ok”.

Kari: “So I heard you were getting baptized at the church.”
Me: “Yup”.
Kari: “What made you decide to get baptized.”
Me: “It just feels right and I’m ready for it.”
Kari: “That’s awesome! I don’t want to step-in on your baptism but if you don’t mind do you think I can go to the baptism class with you and get baptized as well?”
Me: “Yah sure.”
Kari: “Cool. I was baptized when I was 8. The Mormons won’t let you baptize babies because they can’t consent so they wait until you’re 8 and you’ve been convinced it’s a good idea for you to officially consent to it. I always felt pressured to get baptized and never felt comfortable in that religion but I went along with it and just told myself I was getting baptized for God and no one else. I think I’m ready to get baptized again, only this time it will really be my full decision and in a religion I genuinely believe in.”

My mom: “So what’s happening on Sunday that you can’t stay the whole weekend?”
Me: “I’m going to get baptized on Sunday.”
My mom (smiling excitedly): “What?! When did you decide to get baptized?”
Me: “A couple weeks ago. I took a class and now I’m going to get baptized.”
My mom: “That’s great! I want pictures.”

My coworker: “You got baptized and you didn’t mention it?! Awww I wish I’d known earlier…”

It’s still weird for me to see people surprised and happy about it. I honestly assumed no one would care.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Last Thursday I had some time to kill and some boredom to slay so I went into the "movie department" of Hulu.com to find something to watch. I somehow ended up sifting through documentaries and decided to watch 2.

The first documentary was  from 2009 and was called Cropsey. I thought it was about ghosts and haunted houses. What it ended up being about was a man suspected of kidnapping and killing several children in the 1980s on Staten Island.

They found out that the man suspected had a mother who was in an insane asylum and when he grew up he worked at a Mentally Challenged Facility for children which was later condemned for their abusive and neglectful treatment of kids. A film was made exposing the horrendous conditions displayed at the facility and showed many children curled in a fetal position on the floor naked. It was disturbing and upsetting to watch.

When the building was shut down many of the former workers moved back in underground and created camps in the woods where the facility was built. One of these men was seen with the children on the day they were kidnapped. 4 of the children were mentally challenged. 3 were girls under the age of 15. One girl's body was found buried not far from where the man had camped.

The documentary goes into the town's attempt to find the other children, prove the man had killed the others, and explain or try to understand why he did it. The best explanation that was given was the one a man who had housed the killer says the killer himself gave to him when asked. He said that he saw the kids and since they were mentally ill assumed that like the kids in the facility had been, nobody wanted them. They were a burden on their families and should be exterminated.

Many of the children in the facility had been abandoned by their families and "given up on" and dumped by society in a lot of ways. It was a dumping ground for imperfect, unwanted children and the killer felt he was doing was continuing to keep these kids swept under the rug where no one had to bother with them.

The next documentary I saw was a 2010 film called Mayan Prophecies And Crop Circles - An Extraordinary Connection. This film examined crop circles and how many of the symbols shown matched symbols used by the Mayans to represent various things and denote certain astrological events that were predicted to occur. One crop circle forecast an eclipse which did then happen on the date indicated.

These signs seemed to be more of a response to humanity and warnings of upcoming events. It also explained the Mayan calendar and washed away rumors and stereotyped theories of what it was said to predict.

Basically the Mayan calendar suggests that the Sun is entering a new phase as a star. This phase will bring greater eat -hence the global warming. This heat will then cause our environment to grow harsher and the physical conditions on our planet will worsen. At the same time the magnetic poles on the earth will switch which is going to throw everything out of whack for a couple years. The planets are also aligning which is frightening to anyone who has ever seen any sort of movie in which that kind of event occurs.

But rather than saying it's the end of the world, the calendar suggests that it is in fact the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. They said that every era up until this one has been one cycle of hell after another. We are now enter a phase of "heaven" that will be cycled numerous times. This will be a time of greater spirituality and closer connection to "heavenly beings" and God.

If we look back on Cropsey and the events that occurred less than 40 years ago to today we can already see the shift in altruism in humanity. Facilities like that would never be allowed to exist now. Technology has brought with it Transparency. Transparency allows for the greatest level of accountability we have ever known. You can't hide anything these days. All truth comes to light. No wrong goes unseen -at least not for long.

Accountability is what makes people strive to act good. Fear of being condemned and outcast and rejected by society propels people to do well in society's eyes. Thanks to cameras, videos, the internet, newspapers... you can't keep bad actions hidden. We are therefore moving towards a more open, honest, and transparent future in which bad is punished and good is rewarded. Everyone seeks the reward of leading a more virtuous life.

I was kind of disappointed to find out the world wasn't ending. It's still going round. Oh well. At least people getting more spiritual will at least make the future more tolerable. As for the aliens -I think the documentary proved well enough what they want. I'm frightened and yet cool with the whole alien thing now. Not entirely thrilled at the possibility of communicating with them if that ever occurs though.

I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said, "Evil sins". At first I interpreted it to mean evil (malicious) sins (wrong doings). Then I thought about it and changed perspectives to evil (a bad person) sins (does wrong). Bad people do bad things. Sins aren't evil -they're mistakes people make that lead them off track and have the potential to lead to evil. But when someone is evil or does evil to the extent that it becomes inherent to their nature they sin without trying. Wrong doers do wrong. I don't know -it was just kind of interesting that the way we interpret things can be related and yet shift the meaning of what we see.

2AM Again

It was Friday morning before I headed to mom's. 2 am. I hear a woman talking very strait-forwardly to a man who sounded like a violently pissed off Eddie Murphy in the street.

He calls her a whore and says she cheated on him so needs to get her sh*t and leave his house now.

He went on and on yelling. There was pounding on the walls. I heard what sounded like screaming or crying. That's when I got up and debated whether or not to call the cops.

It's a tough call to make. You don't want to waste the police's time and call them this late at night unless you're really sure the feud is going to turn violent or get out of hand. I listened closely out the window for some indication that a line had been crossed and outside assistance was needed.

30 minutes of back and forth and yelling and all went silent. Which still didn't bring me any pace because I wasn't sure why things were silent -is she dead or did she leave?

She left.

Don't cheat on guys who are violent/angry/aggressive. Just don't do it.

Thanksgiving Week

I have so many things to write about I don't know where to begin.

First off let me say I was officially baptized today. It was great!!!

Thanksgiving week:

Monday and Tuesday help Jos with her event, eat amazing crepes at a cake bakery for lunch, visit Andrea at work because she's left holding up the fort while everyone's on vacation.

Wednesday go to Toastmasters and have a fun informal meeting trying to remember movie quotes then go visit Andrea at work and begin a graphic design Winter Poster Contest Entry for a musician from San Diego. I must win!

Thursday go to dad's house and watch Taken and another movie until it's time to chow down on turkey.

Friday drive up to visit mom and spend most of the day hanging out with my friend Chelsie as she tries to sell $5 tickets to raise money for the Children's Crisis Center. Also then help her mom get a fake fireplace from Kmart and put it together -a story in and of itself.

Saturday wait for my sister to show up, go out to breakfast with Dean, come home and find out my sister texted mom and told her she wouldn't be coming to visit for Thanksgiving, and spend the last couple hours watching a creepy movie called What Lies Beneath. Then drive home and crash (fall asleep).

Sunday morning wake up really sleepy, go over to dads, bring change of clothes for baptism, wait until 10:30am and decide to leave without Emily because she's a flake and probably slept through her alarm clock as usual. Talk in the car with my step-mom and my dad about how kind of sad it is that Emily is sleeping through her own baptism and now she'll have to do it alone if she decides she still wants to do it at all. My step-mom said it best, "When it matters to her, she'll see it through. If not, she won't".

Go to the back entry of the church and go through the run through of the baptism process. Feel really happy and elated to be there. Decide not to wear glasses during baptism so they don't fall off in the water. Step-mom goes first and then I go. I speak, say "Yes", and get dunked (not all the way because I'm too tall and the water's too shallow) mostly. Feel refreshed and renewed like I just got cleansed by a shower. Get dressed and then find out Kari's sister and her is there, Kari's friend is there, and our friends Leslie and Greg are there. Even my dad showed up. I wasn't expecting anyone to care, but family came to celebrate. It was awesome!

I was given 2 cross necklaces -one from Kari's friend and one from Kari -neither of which I was expecting, both of which I love.  

Go to lunch with the family gang and have a really good veggie burger with avocado and some curly fries. Talk with everyone including Kari's sister who I don't get to see very often.

Go to dad's and decide to head to my apartment to get my cell phone I left and write a few blogs before returning to go out to dinner tonight to celebrate Kari's upcoming 50th birthday. Busy day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Griping About Bickering

There's a quote by E.Y. Harburg that reads:

"My heart wants roots. My mind wants wings. I cannot bear their bickerings."

To which I would argue in correction:

The soul wants roots -aka a deep connection to something stable.

The mind is a river always flowing this way and that with no clear sense of direction unless prompted to -hence the worrying.

The heart just wants.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Birthdays and Signs

So the revelations of the "book of birthdays" continue...

There are 20 days per sign. There are 12 signs. Each sign therefore has 20 different personalities that fall under it leading to a grand total of: 240 different individual personality types.

More importantly it seems that within each element -be it emotional, spiritual, or mental- these individual personalities also tend towards a sign within that element. This means that -depending on what day you were born -you may have a predisposition to shifting to another sign within that same element.

For example:

A person born under the Pisces sign can have a predisposition to tendencies that resemble more of a Cancer-personality type. If certain conditions are met in that person's life they can very easily turn into a Cancer. Likewise a person born under a Cancer sign may have a predisposition of tendencies favoring Cancer traits -making it harder for them to turn into another sign type within their element.

Ultimately knowing your nature and why you do the things you do can help you overcome the tendencies in your life that hold you back from becoming whoever you feel you were meant to be. It also shows why certain people heighten and succumb to their flaws -especially if their experiences have played into the hands of the vices they are prone to.

Being "Vegetarian"

My friend Jos and I were talking last Friday. We were going over the menu for an event we're having in February. It became more of a debate as time went on.

I had mapped out the menu thusly:

Cold Brunch Items: Muffins, croissants (even though I don't like them), yogurt, granola, pastries, fruit salad...

Jos said she wanted bacon, potatoes, and eggs. Meat and starches which I argued was neither healthy nor included vegetarian items. She said we could incorporate croissants and fruit salad. Apparently she likes croissants. We were worried about giving people enough to eat and being mindful of other people's diets.

Lunch: Sandwich items because that's all lunch is... and maybe a salad.

Jos agreed because that's all there is for lunch apparently.

Dinner: A Caesar salad, chicken (because it's the cheapest "meat" to have), green beans + mashed potatoes, and one desert.

Jos wanted to throw in more meat options. She also wondered if the vegetarians would have enough to eat. I told her that's the problem with being vegetarian -all meals are focused around meat. Then she kind of disagreed and said we could always add salmon to make it more vegetarian friendly. I was confused and laughed saying, "Fish still counts as a meat Jos." Then she said not really. And I said, "The reason I know fish counts as a non-vegetarian protein is because Paul McCartney said he was fishing and saw that the fish he had on the line was fighting and struggling for its life and that's when he realized animals value living and don't want to die and that's the day he decided to become a vegetarian."

Jos said, "Ok then," in a very sarcastic let's-move-on tone. She said vegetarians could figure out their own thing. I was kind of like, "Hey..." because I sort of included myself in that category. Then Jos said, "Well you eat meat don't you?" And I said I was an aspiring vegetarian who struggled to not eat meat and was currently on a diet that only allowed for meat 3 days out of the week.

She said, "Well then you're not a real vegetarian. It's either all or nothing." I said it was more like trying to stop smoking. You have to wean yourself off the habit and it was a lot more challenging than it looked. Jos just kind of rolled her eyes at me and said, "I could never give up meat..."

It made me wonder, despite my ideals with regard to humane  animal treatment and eating healthy why has it been so hard to commit fully? I keep getting frustrated with myself for drinking chocolate shakes and giving into cravings I know are bad for me. It's hard enough walking away from cookies during the holiday season -let alone meat altogether. But my aunt does it well. She has food allergies though and can't have gluten and a bunch of other stuff.

I suck at follow through. I know I need to do better on a lot of physical levels -like exercising for example. But I don't. It's just hard getting in the habit. It's not that I can't -I just give in to my greater desire to be lazy and give in.  

The Campaign Against Pain Foundation

So my Cause will be called The Campaign Against Pain and the charity foundation itself will be the Power Foundation. Actually that name is up for debate.

A Call to Power Foundation
Power for All Foundation
(it has nothing to do with electricity and I want to convey that. strength kind of power)
The Foundation of Power

I want to use my last name in there somewhere. Maybe I'll just make it the Campaign Against Pain Foundation. I don't know.

Names aside, here is what the organization will aim to do (pending the fact that I check and make sure I haven't already written about this before):

 The organization will focus on 5 main things:

1. Housing
2. Infrastructure
3. Medical /Health Center
4. Education System
5. The Environment

These things are to a country what the internal systems of the body are to us.

The foundation will start in Brazil -taking on the biggest country in South America first. After 3-5 years in Brazil it will then move onto the other countries in South America. After South America, Central America and lastly Mexico.

The ultimate goals of this foundation will be:

1. Increase prosperity throughout areas of poverty.
2. Raise the quality of life and the socioeconomic health of the countries in South America.
3. Maintain native cultural heritage and strengthen the sense of national identity.
4. Ensure that the cities and areas within the country grow strong together simultaneously.
5. Bring South America to the standard of life enjoyed by the U.S. and Canada as well as Europe.
6. Develop opportunities within South America's international trade and make this continent an equal power in its own right to more developed countries.
7. Protect the natural environment, landscape, and animal life in South America by using as many "green" construction materials as possible and raising awareness and appreciation within South America for its natural abundances.
8. Allow and encourage locals within the country to participate in the execution and implementation fo the 5 areas of change by hiring workers to carry out the creation of buildings, organizing institutions, and procuring medical positions wthin hospitals -therby stimulating the local economy within.

I estimate between 10-20 million dollars a year will need to be raised in order to maintain a state of steady growth towards these goals (starting in Brazil). These funds -if not self procured - shall be received through various social media facets as well as the patronage of successfully wealthy individuals (Donald Trump will be excluded -we don't need his bullsh*t).

A "Headquarters" will be established in Brazil and proficient staff hired to help.

I will divide the 5 focal areas of improvement into departments headed by experts in the various fields. These leaders will then hire a capable team to help carry out each set of objectives as they come.

I will also start another department fulfilling a subcategory of "6th" focus. This department will be geared towards recruiting volunteers. These volunteers can be from any age or area of expertise and will be integrated into an area that best utilizes their skill sets. The volunteers will be called "warriorteers" and will be an active and vital part of carrying out the goals of our foundation.

The Pyramid and Other Ponderings

Why the pyramid? The symbol was something I questioned last night in my waking day dreams. What the hell does it represent?

The best I could come up with was the Holy Trinity. Also the fact that it was a firm structure with a solid base leading upward. Then I watched a show today in which a woman was drawing through the will of a spirit leading her hand. The drawing had an image of 3 spirits (3 were known to be in the house at the time) looking up and trying to get to a pyramid with a bright light at the top of it.

All this got me thinking -what if the triangle symbol was actually something spiritual that had been interpreted for spiritual purposes. For instance if there was a spiritual doorway one had to pass through to get to heaven and the doorway looked like a pentagon and symbols of pentagons were then drawn by spiritual people not knowing what it referred to directly. Most people would acknowledge it as a "spiritual symbol" without realizing exactly what it related to.

So I thought, The Triangle/pyramid is a spiritual symbol -as is the circle/sphere representing eternity, life, and the world. Kind of like mandalas/ dream catchers/ Islamic symbols.

Then as I'm watching this show the whole "Indian burial ground" thing kept coming up. If cemetery plots were dug up, I wonder how many ghosts would then haunt. Maybe it's not that Indian burial grounds have any special significance to them beyond the obvious -you're disturbing an area deemed to be sacred that rested the bodies of members of a specific faith. The same with catacombs in Europe and the Pyramids in Egypt. And this also got me thinking -pyramids in Egypt, how were they so clued into that obvious spiritual symbol? And I decided that when people live out in nature it is easier for them to be "in tuned" with more spiritual phenomenon since they aren't as distracted by things like technology, office work, and common concepts of perceived reality.

The Native Americans also had a similar experience -and I did also wonder what became of them spiritually. I don't think they believed in God or even gods. They did acknowledge nature spirits. They were known to have premonitions and strange spiritual rituals. They were definitely connected to something -although I'd place it in line with Wiccans worshipping nature spirits. I'd have to study other symbols and practices of theirs to get a deeper understanding of who exactly they spiritually as tribes. Their only saving grace I can see was their dream catcher mandalas.

I believe people who live in the natural world tend to be more spiritual and less enlightened and can therefore be more easily led astray. But that doesn't mean they also don't happen upon spiritual insights into what lies beyond the physical world.

Monday, November 12, 2012

First Day of Class

I knew Thanksgiving was coming up and I would have a week available to do whatever I needed to do outside of work. I knew I wanted to get baptized. 

I didn't really want to go alone, but I was going to do it one way or the other. My sister found out about my plans and asked me, "So you're going to get baptized?" She said it in kind of a sarcastic way. But I was completely strait with her and said, "Yah." She shifted mood and said, "Oh that's cool. I might want to too. I think it would be good." I was kind of shocked and a little confused. In my head I was like, You know this is kind of a commitment right? Not something you do on the fly just because you feel like it...But I figured a baptized sister is better than not, and who knows -maybe she's found God in her own quiet way and just hasn't been open about it. 

Then somehow word got to my step-mom Kari about our plans to get baptized. Kari has been going with me to church for the past 7 months or so. She decided she wanted to go to. I was really surprised by that. It's just hard for me to see her as a spiritual person since she's more mentally oriented. But I do believe her faith is genuine. 

Today we went to Baptism class. I didn't know what to expect or even how long a program it would be. I thought they might grill us on questions from the Bible or make us prove how committed we were to God. An older man who mentioned he'd been married for over 40 years proceeded to tell Kari, my sister, 5 other women, and I the basic concepts associated with baptism, the logistics of how it would be done, and what the commitment implied. We then went around the room giving a 2 minute summary of the reason we were each going to get baptized. 

The first women teared up and cried a little. She said she had always understood that she loved God but until recently she hadn't known that He loved her back. She said that once she felt His love she knew she wanted to commit to Him. 

The second woman was kind of off-putting. She seemed like a rich housewife who was there because people kept telling her to do it. But she said she had a dream where she saw her name on a baptism certificate and God said, "Just how committed are you?" So she decided to get baptized. 

Then I spoke. But it was Emily I was most curious to hear from. She said she had been to several churches, but she always heard God most at Christian churches. She always felt closer to Him there. And baptism is something she's ready to do. I was moved by the fact that she did connect to God personally. But I was also concerned that she was kind of going along with Christianity because I was. I want her to fully understand the messages and the reasons behind why Christ is the way to go. I just want her to really be conscious of the greater meaning and relevance behind this -not just sentiments and not religious logistics, but the Truth and Wisdom that God given to us. 

Kari spoke. It was kind of funny because she alluded to Mormonism and her negative experiences with that religion, but she referred to it as "a negative religion she didn't believe in". Kari told me that Mormons don't actually baptize babies. They want the consent of the individual. So they wait until the child is eight and is fully capable of making such a decision. Kari said she was forced into the baptism, didn't believe in their traditions or beliefs, but went ahead and did it because she still believed in God. Throughout she always believed in God. And for someone who has had a negative experience with a religious institution and no longer believes in their teachings to 1. Go to a church of their own free will and 2. Still believe in God, is a testament to her spiritual perseverance. 

The next girl who spoke was an Asian girl in her early 20s. Raised Catholic, baptized young, consistently there for God and going to church, wants to reaffirm her commitment by being baptized again. 

The woman after her was in her early thirties and initially looked well put together. She started crying a couple seconds into her story. She had been through a lot of hard struggles and her mom started going to church. And she decided to go with her. She then let God in and felt like he was there for her. She started breaking down. She said her life had changed completely. She "couldn't express it". And yet she did. Nobody cries like that unless they've been deeply affected in a personal way. She said that this church felt like home and she was ready to openly proclaim herself to God. 

The last girl was a woman from South Africa who wore a bright yellow hair tie and a vibrant dress. She said that in South Africa Muslims and Christians get along pretty well and there isn't much conflict. She was raised Muslim (though she had never really felt connected to that religion and just kind of went along with it).  Then she married a Christian and fell in love with Christianity. She said it felt like the truth. She started sneaking out at night to go to distant churches so her parents wouldn't find out. Then she moved to California and her husband started going to this church. She started attending in May and decided she was finally ready to be baptized as a Christian. 

After this session was over I discovered there was no "follow up" class or classes. We just picked a date to be baptized. Thanksgiving weekend. Sunday. 11am service. 

The weird thing is Kari is the most nervous about it. She kept telling me that she wanted a "private" baptism. My sister said, "Why you didn't have a private wedding. This isn't something you're supposed to hide or anything." Smart monkey. I told Kari I get nervous being around small groups of people, but when I'm on stage in front of large masses of people I'm actually not nervous at all. I just kind of see them as one indistinguishable blob. "Hi blob! How's it going? :)" 

I'm not worried. I was a little confused about the whole Holy Spirit thing because the baptism teacher didn't really seem to think baptism caused any sort of actual spiritual change within the person. He said that it was just symbolic -like a wedding ring. He said, "I've seen people who wear wedding rings but aren't faithful. People who get baptized and then turn from God aren't necessarily more 'saved' than those who have been devoted to Him throughout their lives and haven't been baptized". I've heard otherwise. And it was kind of a balloon-deflating-downer view of things since I was there to get baptized. I guess we'll see.