As far as hellfire goes, I would not lose too much sleep over the thought that your ‘sins’ in life are going to have landed you in a pit of fire for eternity. That isn’t what happens. In anycase, when you are dead, you do not feel. You could sit in a cauldron of boiling water all day. Your burning happens while you are living. That is what conscience is. That is also what dumb public opinion is. A branding. Should it be negative opinion that follows your happenings – and your management of those happenings – you will feel the burn. That burn is what you learn from. It is not often easy to be thankful to those who cause you to burn in this life, in fact it is most often the desire of those under fire to do some serious damage to the person or institution doing the burning. However. There is always the charitable process of instant forgiveness via the grace of God – if that way is for you. Or – you tolerate the burn and try to understand what is causing the friction in your days.
If you should find that it is you that is causing friction for yourself because you are being an arsehole in life – and again, both men and women qualify as arseholes – then you must accept the burn. You allocate to yourself your suffering. You will burn until you are made humble enough to realise that the way you think and the way you behave towards others does matter. You will burn until you adjust your attitude to include the understanding that everything you do in life is measured. Every single thing. If you are feeling friction because external prejudice is criticising you or your choices, you need to distance yourself from the idiots who practice that prejudice. Burning because you are gay, for instance, is unacceptable. Burning because you dare to follow your heart? That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my life. Who dares persecute a person who decides to follow what might appear to the masses to be an ‘unconventional’ path in their pursuit of purpose? Convention, as a norm, is a load of shit – and tradition is not much better. They both confine dreams, thinking. Tradition and convention are constructs. Reconstruct them.
There are those who enjoy burning. And there are those who enjoy being on fire. Leave them be. It depends what you have been trying to achieve with your life as to how close you will have ventured to the flames and how long you will have exposed yourself to their heat. Fire is transformative, no matter how you look at it. The hotter your spot – and we all know what hot means – the more corrective your karma. That is such a simple concept to understand. Let karma play out the way it must. It has your best interests at heart.
And keep in mind that for a phoenix, fire is necessary for rebirth. For rising. In the same way the burn caused by your conscience is necessary. If you have no conscience, know that you are going nowhere.
This world is over-populated. Use contraception in any shape or form. That is the first fact to get into your head. The second, is that birthing more than two children in this day and age is not just irresponsible, it is selfish. How many times must you duplicate yourself in this world? It is immaterial how much money you have. If you love children enough to want ten, then adopt for god’s sake. Do you know how many children do not have families on this planet? What can they learn of Earth? Theirs’ will be an emptiness within that will be very hard to fill. If you cannot cope with the idea of adopting – and some people do not want to bring up another’s progeny – that is fine, but do not flood the world with your seed. Men must update their thinking – more is not more. Less is more for 2013 and beyond. If you cannot conceive, you do not rush to the hospital for IVF treatment. You wait and you see what Nature has in store for you. Why force her hand, time and again? Who do you think you are, demanding of her with your impatience? Do you not think she – of all – knows best? Do you not think she is measuring your bodies for success? Of course she is. She is waiting for the perfect time. Each time you conceive unnaturally you are missing that window. Her pace is that of patience, as a guide in life you cannot hope to find better. If you want a child more than anything in the world, then you know as well as the next person that any child will do for you the same job. That is important to understand.
Children love unconditionally for a very long time. Their capacity for forgiveness – if that is even what it is to them – is humbling to see as a human being. It is sad to think about how many times an abused child will try to make sense of what ‘love’ is. They will forgive time and again without question, in pursuit of love. That is what a child is born expecting to be shown. Love. Remember – if they are damaged children, they will have to be taught what love is. You cannot expect a child who has been kicked around or fostered in five abusive families to function normally. That would be insane. That is why social services in every country in the world needs more money to do the job they are trying to do. We need to take the problem out before it happens. Also, you cannot move a child every five minutes and hope they will be well-adjusted to function in society at the end of it all. You are affecting their sense of identity when you change their environment. Appreciate that if you move a child from school to school, and/or house to house, you are forcing them to rely on change as a constant. This can be a risky business. If you pile the witnessing of domestic abuse on top of that and/or substance abuse, you are showing the child that violence is acceptable and/or that addiction is a potential path to follow. Addiction to anything is not recommended, food included. A lot of people are addicted to food and refuse to admit it. That is no different to many alcoholics sitting at the AA. Whether their ‘Twelve Steps’ is what to take from their ministering I can’t say, but I have heard that following God up the steps is required. That all makes sense if you believe there is a God. There are a lot of alcoholics who do not think there is a God. This reality should be taken into consideration.
The church should really swallow its contraception and abortion arguments. It is time. If it cannot swallow its pride on this and give real ground as well as ideological ground as an institution then it is failing its followers. It is choice that humans seek, not strict governance by a set of backward rules. The Catholics in particular can reshuffle their policies, their celibacy laws have bred abuse and paedophilia and their issue with contraception is going to lose them followers faster than the revelation of their true wealth. The Catholics must be called upon to explain why they have so much of this planet’s land under their belts. They need to free up space, they need to sell on and move out. The poor need houses. The church can sell their properties and pay for the housing. That is what any charitable institute would do. And a humble religion – which all religions aspire to be, surely – will have a humble portfolio. I think the Catholics need to show their willingness to really help the people change the state of their planet. How else can they redeem themselves? Alms, are alms.
How do you forgive the guy who sells you fake tickets for a Justin Bieber concert in Johannesburg? After explaining to the children who arrive at the turnstile after a two hour wait – children whose ages range from 6 to 11 – that mommy somehow bought rubbish tickets from a con-man, you must stand outside with the children and watch everyone around you go into the stadium. What do you say to the broken smile of each child? That kind of cruelty to children cannot be forgiven. Not in any hurry. How senseless a human being do you have to be to know (and care less) that you are selling a non-experience to a child with stars in their eyes? It’s shocking. It is an outrage that people do such things in the name of money. Worse still, selling fake tickets for a meet-and-greet. Conscienceless. These people with no scruples should be named, and shamed. Then prosecuted. One by one.
Forgiveness is tricky at the best of times. I often wonder who we think we are that we give out forgiveness like God’s blessings bestowed. If someone has wronged you, I suppose it is your right to decide whether or not they deserve to be forgiven, but be careful that you are sure what is wrong and what is not. In this age I think it’s the feeling of forgiving that is wrong. I think too often we go about it in a self-righteous manner and self-righteousness is a dangerous game for anyone to play. Do not hand out forgiveness like alms. Be aware that it is serious – if you choose to forgive (which is advisable for your own peace of mind) then you must know you mean it. True forgiveness comes where you can coerce your heart into complying with your mind. If your heart cannot let go of a hurt, you cannot forgive. It is simple.
Forgive where you can. Remember it is destructive to hold on to a hurt for too long. The hurt stagnates, it becomes boring to think about and its persistent nag is a drain on your energy resources. Get over it. People hurt each other. That is what they do. Expect people to be unpredictable, perhaps thoughtless on occasion. Expect disappointment. We are all learning, that is important to remember, too. How can we get the best from one another if we aren’t allowed to make mistakes with our handling of each other along the way?