Tag Archive: philosophy

I am reminded of two commercials… Libby’s and Smuckers. Both finally were honest about the nature of brand-based advertising. In the case of the former the jingle went, “If it says “Libby’s, Libby’s Libby’s” on the “Label Label Label” you will “like it like it like it” on the “Table table table.” Smuckers took the direct approach; “With a name like Smuckers… it’s got to be good.”

Is the name really sufficient to identify something’s worth or quality? The classic “Saturday Night Live” had their response to the name making the Jam But in the 1970s… SNL had a driving and vicious look at the world that has only been rivalled of late by Jon Stewart on the Daily Show.

So in this worlds where we are seeing the war of Gay Marriage vs. Equal Marriage for all … words as always become weapons of mis-definition and weighted egregore. The great saint George the 14th (For those not keeping count that is George Carlin) said it best that…”There are no bad words… Bad thoughts… but no bad words.”

We use words to define and refine who we are. This can be either by single words that we try to master, own, re-direct, or any other number of verbs. My personal favourite will always be ‘slut.’ This word contemporarily still carries with it darkness or often an ugliness directed at a woman who enjoys having intercourse; often times with more than one partner. There is no gentle word for this behaviour for a woman in English. There is no gentle or even not-so-gentle word for the behaviour in a man. Though sadly, in a man it’s just behaviour that is expected and underwhelming when revealed.

These words can also be sentences, phrases, or oaths. Promises we make to ourselves or to others. I will be this way. I promise to do that thing. I resolve to lose twenty pounds in the New Year. And in truth we find ourselves fixated on the guilt when we either don’t live up to these phrases or worst condemn ourselves when we unconsciously or worse yet consciously break them with intent.

Sometimes we seek definitions to hinder, soften, or deflect other definitions. I am a heterosexual, white, and married male. Each of those words carry the weight of an entire polar opposite group who have members that avidly resent me just for having one of those. For each group represented by one of mine descriptors there are members that have committed (and still commit) great injustices. So, I deflect by finding comforting terminology that subdues each one. I actually consider myself a Queer, Jewish, Pair-Bonded, ummm… err… Okay… Now I mis-quote Meatloaf: “Three out of four ain’t bad.” Well, two out of four.. It’s never okay to admit Judaism… there’s still groups out there that think Semitic Genocide is still a good plan.

Queer? But you said you were hetero?!?! While I’m not going to go fully into my sexual views in this posting (as thanks to the Facebook revolution I now have active co-workers reading my blogs 😉 but suffice it to say; that I tend to view my views as avant-garde and often times challenging to the norm. This ability to see both sides of the line and to try to pull both sides closer has served me well as an ordained priest. Especially when offering pastoral counselling.

Priest? But you said you were Jewish!!! (And now I see the old Giggles and Goggles routine from the Electric Company. And please… This is a show that ran in the 70’s and 80’s. Any programme you saw from the last 5 years calling itself “The Electric Company“… Wasn’t even close. But look… we come back to the power of names and words.

My last post was about the change of my name. It’s interesting how people have reacted to it. There have been the obvious two camps. Those that knew me by my birth name and those that never knew me by that name. Society seems to not really have a strong acceptance for men changing their names at marriage. As I said before, it’s an interesting argument with civil servants who ask for my wife’s birth name but not mine. Of course there is one subset that does stand out, those that were there when the transformation began.

My name change happened outside before it happened on the inside. This is similar to the Watchman character of Rorschach who put on the name until one day something changed inside of him that made him change from being a man calling himself Rorschach to becoming Rorschach even out of costume. I can say with all honesty, The Greg calling himself Andrei was not a great person. He kind of sucked in many, many ways. There are those that probably would never be able to really accept the Andrei I am as I wear Greg’s face and carry the name Andrei. Again, the reference here is to an amazing two-part Doctor Who. The 2nd part “Family of Blood” really hammers home the idea of “The Doctor wearing an identity” while the identity itself has a life of its own.

Doctor Who also gives me another inspiration for this twisted web of the value of a word or name. In one episode we meet creatures that use the power of words to build, control, and destroy. Yet, when they try to use the name of a contemporary woman to kill her, it fails. She is merely rendered unconscious while the creature exclaims that ‘the name has lost its power and meaning to these people.” We’ve come a very far way from the worlds of “Earthsea” where people used public names because their secret names carried so much power over them.

Perhaps in reflection this is a possible reason why the Jews were so hunted and hated. Their entire language and alphabet is built on the Thoth-ian concept of the power of the word and the letter. The Hebrew alphabet is often referred to as the “Alephbet of Flame” as each letter looks like it was breathed out by the Old Testament God him-(white, male, straight)-self. The Hebrew Torah itself is copied by hand so that every letter looks and is placed exactly where it always is required to be. The deepest layers of Hebrew Mysticism come from the power of words and the numbers they represent.

So, while we wish to control words, we must also understand that words have power. A name can be as powerful an identifier as an epithet or slur. But power comes from within as well as from without. We can take on the power of a word as quickly as we can let ourselves be crushed by its weight.

Words are magickal creatures. They have a life and a power of their own. We keep them, we wield then, we use them, and we abuse them. But we have no choice… Words are the doorways to the unspoken magic that transcends the voice of creation and destruction. This is the magick that exists without sound or form. And when we unlock that power… maybe we won’t need words to cause each other harm.


This is another posting that are comes from the site Formspring. Again, these will be marked with a FQ at the beginning of the post title and the post will be appropriately tagged. (Eventually, I’ll stop adding this upper bit)

Is there anything you wish you could do over and do differently, and if so, what? Is it possible to live a life without regrets, or are just the words of the young and arrogant?

Nothing beats a light-hearted and easy question. Once again I have to give two answers to the first part. The quick answer, which is not the accurate one, is “Of course, there’s tonnes I’d love to go change.” (Correct answer is forthcoming)

I’m one of those people who’d love to go back in time and whisper in my younger self’s ear a few choice phrases at the right time. I’d love to lose a few savings accounts and find a couple of lost treasures. My grandmother’s kitchen table had SCORES of photos from my youth from the time I was born until about the age of 10. I would KILL to see those photos again. As it is, I now have ONE photo from my childhood that is not a school picture. And even those are only recent additions.

There are {en:Significant_other|SOs} that I’d love to stop my self from dating and mistakes I made in the carelessness of youth. There’s one very special person to me that I lost due to a combination of bad timing, bad decisions, and worst of all: being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Do I wish I could do over and do differently. … The correct answer is “No.” Does the idea entertain me to no end? Oh, absolutely. And I can sum up the accurate reason for never wishing this in one word. “Aiden.” I wouldn’t have my son in my life right now if anything in my life had been different. Even though the film is utterly traumatic, I recommend “The Butterfly Effect.” Actually, I don’t. I think I’d like to go back and prevent myself from having seen it. Read {en:Ray_Bradbury|Bradbury}’s “{en:A_Sound_of_Thunder|A Sound of Thunder}” from his collection “{en:R_is_for_Rocket|R is for Rocket}” ({en:Serenity_(film)|Yes, I’ve read a book. Try not to faint.})

And anyway I did role-playing games as a kid. I know what a Dungeon Master thinks when you make a wish. This never works out well. This is a true moment to enjoy what you have and not try to “what if” yourself into “what could have been” from the myriad of infinity. Granted… Having a child you love will do that to you.

But wait… there is more. Is it possible to live a life without regrets, or are these (ed. mine) just the words of the young and the arrogant?

I must greatly fight the urge to type, “Yes” and then end the post. But would I regret such a move? Personally, I think regret is a natural process of maturation. Just because you’ve done something that in your heart was the best decision, it doesn’t mean it’s not going to hurt, cause annoyance, sadness, … what have you.

I am estranged from the immediate blood family that raised me. This was neither an easy decision nor a quick one. It took a lot of soul searching, a lot of learning who I am, and what I need to be a healthy and functional individual. Most of this happened as the result of the loss of my father. Some could reason that his condition was aided by me telling him to go to a shelter. There have been so many things that I have done, that even after years of doubt and pain, in my mind, I know they were the right things. Doesn’t make it any easier. Not having a father today to ask what I was like as a boy as I try to raise my own… Oh, yeah… There’s sadness and sometimes there is even depression.

Look at the definition… It’s {en:Regret_(emotion)|regret}. I think it’s actually an incorrect definition of ‘regret’ that causes the young and arrogant to say that they shall live without regret. The problem is that most people think, “If I have regret; then I admit that what I did was wrong.” There are many actions I wish I had not done. Some seemed like the right decision at the time. Some still seem like the right decision. Some absolutely were the right decision and I still wish I hadn’t done them.

Do I feel that I had consciously violated ethics or morality in my life? No. Do I feel that I have actively been dishonourable at points in my life? I do not know. I think honour is one of those things that is like Karma. It can be spent and earned. Honour is not something we teach to the young. Matter of fact we completely cheapen the idea of Honour by tying it to excellence, which is at times very far from Honour. And as an A-Honour roll student in my youth… I know of what I speak.

Do I reflect on actions of my youth and question my ethics at time? Oh hells yes. I can clearly see one if not two people who I can say I acted beyond improperly with and would twelve-step myself oblivion to try to make amends for the behaviour of an under-21-year old. One person that I knew has said they don’t even want to hear my name again. So much for forgiveness. These are in addition to the person I lost.

I’ve made mistakes. Granted, I don’t think that I’ve actively ever set out to hurt anyone. I have called people out on breaking the rules and have been tenacious about it. I’ve had less than pure thoughts and thank the universe that I’m Jewish and don’t believe in Hell.

So, I have regrets. This doesn’t answer the question. The question was: Is it possible to live life without regret, or are these just words for the young and arrogant. The reduction is Yes. Yes on the first half, no on the second. I think inevitably people have to decide for themselves those wonderful old concepts of “Right and Wrong” and the relative responsibility for actions in relation to a persons place and emotional connection to it.

Huh? Well, lets be honest. A psychopath isn’t going to feel any regrets or any emotion about their behaviours and they come in all ages and arrogance isn’t always on the menu.

Scared yet :?)

Do you believe in angels?

This is a really good question. I’ll say right off the bat… chreubs with wings and halos.. or any human with wings and halos… Not so much.

Now, I am a ceremonialist. LBRP at 20 paces and all. So I invoke the power of the archangels. And for visualization I go all the way. Michael: Big Guy.. flaming sword.

But belief… That’s a different question. The concept of Angels in ceremonial magick, kaballah, and some biblical studies is sort of the middle management between the divine and physical world of existence.

You know I have enough problems trying to find my physical purpose and my attainment of a divine that transcends everything I might proscribe to it.

Now… There is the concept of the Holy Guardian Angel, I kind of view that as the first step to divinity beyond the perfection of self in this world. And maybe it is a separate entity or a projection of the divine that specifically deals with issues between me and the divine…. as opposed to everyone else.

As a kid I thought that Jim Croce was my guardian angel….

So… 93 == YMMV

I’m really not sure what’s really up there beyond what I see. And I find the less I try to personify it, the better I begin to touch it.

Does that help at all?

Saturday, much to the surprise of family, I did not use my laptop for 24 hrs.

In fact, I didn’t use laptop, computer, cell phone, etc.

Personally, I felt I’d been spending too much time locked and loaded in.

Granted, Saturday was an easy day to try this because a good part of the day involved OLO.

Unfortunately, OLO gave way to me getting hit by the cosmic junk currently going around this week. (Less than fun).. To the point of missing princekermit‘s debut as a Deacon in the Mass. (Of which I reallllly wanted to attend)

Today, I’m recovering as best I can. I’m popping cough drops and corporate-pill-box multi-symptom cold tablets.
I am experiementing with another self-discipline test. I have managed to not put on my glasses today.

I have 20-35 vision. Which makes me highly functional, albeit blurred slightly at range. I can’t clearly read my name plate on the door about 15 feet away. However, I can read the spines of the reference books about 2-3 feet away with practically no blurring.

So, why am I doing this.

I have been noticing that I’ve been acting more impulsively of late. I don’t mind being in a schedule or having a rigid daily practice. However, I do mind when I do things automatically without thinking. A good example of this is loosing my glasses when in fact they are in the pocket of my shirt. Another example is forgetting where I’ve put a half drunk can of soda.

I want to have better control of the things I do. Why I do them. When I should and shouldn’t be doing things. And most importantly, keeping track of the things I do. (Yay to ADHD absent mindedness)

So… We’ll see how this little experiment goes.

Translation: Do I ever post on the topic again or is this just the “Distraction du jour”


(Opens brain case and pokes at his own brain)

“No, no. Don’t tug on that. You never know what it’s attached to” – Buckaroo Banzai to Sydney “New Jersey” Zweibel while doing Brain Surgery.

So, Wendy got herself a crew of ruthless men and brave…

Sorry wrong epic.

This post is dedicated to the massively awesome bioentropy who posted an embed of one of my favourite XTC songs. “Dear God”

Embeded beyond the cut