Tag: religion

Put your worries in the hands of Providence – Episode 180

The Story: Have a little faith that things will be okay

Many people have an aversion to the word “faith”, because they think it refers to a superstition. However, it’s perfectly rational to have faith – at least a little bit, and you will see for yourself if you look back over your life, examine your experiences, and project the likely future.

Every day of your life, or almost every day of your life, you have woken up once more. Every day of your life you have faced your challenges, in one way or another, by yourself or calling on the support of loved ones, and helping your loved ones face their challenges. I know this is true, because you wouldn’t be reading this if you hadn’t. You might not have always found a perfect solution, but without a doubt, you did find a solution.

You might have gone through dark times, and you might even be going through dark times. Even so, when you look you can find things to be grateful for. If you’ve lost your house, you may still have your family. If you’ve lost your family, you may still have your health. If you’ve lost your health, you still have your life, perhaps even surviving against terrible odds. So, in one way or another, things have worked out for you.

In all probability, your life is much better than that worst case scenario. You may even have had the fortune of finding a partner to share your life with, or been blessed with children whom you adore, who inspire you to previously unknown purpose and resolve, or perhaps you have found some wealth by well-timed investments, or even just managed to get by, day after day – even when it seemed that fate was against you.

Think about when you were a child of 5 or 10 years old. You probably had many ideas of how your life would turn out. Your life probably turned out very differently to how you expected, and when examined, you may well find that it turned out much better than expected – with intricacies finer than the finest painting, and details that you never anticipated which delight you. So, things generally do work out, and you can expect that things will continue to work out.

Whether you think of it as a metaphor or a literal expression, putting your worries in the hands of Providence, expecting things to work out – providing you take all reasonable steps to protect yourself  and your loved ones – makes sense. If you take that first step towards faith, opening the curtains just a chink to let some light shine in, who is to say exactly what it might illuminate, what courage it might grant, what change it might bring. Go ahead. Find out for yourself.

The Eps:

Being grateful in Bangladesh – Episode 178

Everyday existential crisis – Episode 176

The Links:

Ayahuasca Diaries – Why I believe in God by Macey Tomlin

The Cash:

If you enjoy our posts, please become a patron on Patreon, or have a look at The Paradise Paradox’s page on Steemit where you can join, earn money, and upvote our posts to help support the show! You can also find a lot of additional content which is not posted on this site, with Kurt’s posts on Steemit.

We really appreciate all of your contributions! Every cent and satoshi we receive lets us know that we’re doing something worthwhile, that you are entertained by our program, and that you’re starting to question what you know more and more. Please be generous. Donate to The Paradise Paradox. Or buy some stuff on Amazon using this link. Or buy some of our great T-shirts here.

The Episode:

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Everything is Meaningless – Episode 169

The Story: Life has the meaning that you put into it

When you’re a child, life can seem simple. Perhaps the adults around you even give you a simple framework with which to view the world – something like, God loves you, Jesus died for your sins, and as long as you love God and do good, it will be alright. You accept this as a valid interpretation of events – and perhaps you even believe it is the only valid interpretation. Many people live their lives in this way. Perhaps occasionally they have a niggling doubt, but in some way they make it work and feel happy.

Others won’t be so satisfied with a belief system like that. When they start to see the holes, it’s the beginning of the end. Sooner or later, it’s going to click with them that the interpretation of the world that was given to you, was a lie. You plunge into existential despair, not really knowing what to believe. You become a nihilist. “Everything is meaningless,” you say. But then you go a little too far. “Therefore, life is pointless.” You might even believe that you’re special for having discovered this secret, and for the deep-seated dread that you feel in reaction to it. And in a way, you’d be right.

Remember, there is no pressure. No one will force you to evolve. You can stay at any one of these levels as long as you wish.

But, in your own time, you do evolve. You’re not content with the empty cup of meaninglessness. You decide to set your own rules, play your own game. You decide who you are and what you accept from yourself. Some people might call that “self-actualisation”. You know that life is meaningless, you embrace it as true, and you see it as a blank canvas on which to create your own masterpiece, designing a form of living which delights your soul. Because, why not?

Join me in a reality-confronting episode of … The Paradise Paradox!

The Cash:

If you enjoy our posts, please become a patron on Patreon, or have a look at The Paradise Paradox’s page on Steemit where you can join, earn money, and upvote our posts to help support the show! You can also find a lot of additional content which is not posted on this site, with Kurt’s posts on Steemit and Aaron’s posts on Steemit.

We really appreciate all of your contributions! Every cent and satoshi we receive lets us know that we’re doing something worthwhile, that you are entertained by our program, and that you’re starting to question what you know more and more. Please be generous. Donate to The Paradise Paradox. Or buy some stuff on Amazon using this link. Or buy some of our great T-shirts here.

The Episode:

To download the audio, right click and press “save as”.

Remember to subscribe on iTunes or subscribe on Pocket Casts.

If you enjoyed the episode, don’t keep it a secret! Feel free to share it on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Reddit, or your office bathroom wall.

Catholicism in Mexico: A death cult?

When I walk into a church in Mexico, I can’t help but escape the images of death. There will normally be several idols of Christ, bloody and beaten, on a cross or in a coffin. In the Cathedral in Guadalajara, there is a mummy in a glass coffin, which supposedly belonged to a martyr, a young lady beaten to death by her father, enraged by her ambition to be a nun. I saw a similar mummy in Pachuca, Hidalgo, with a similar story. Apparently this story is repeated in churches all over Mexico – an archetype, a story too good to be told just once, like a rerun of ‘I Love Lucy’.

The other day I walked into the sacred art museum, which is attached to the Cathedral. In the first room we walked into, while looking at the paintings, I had the uncanny feeling that the people in the paintings were looking at me, or waiting to look at me. My companion also felt that there was something dark about the place. (Unfortunately, I can’t show you any pictures of the museum as they asked us not to take photographs.) In another room, there was a stand intended to hold books for a chorus, in the shape of a ziggurat or burial mound, with Christ on a crucifix at the top. The whole thing was painted black. Again, I felt I shouldn’t turn my back on it. I wondered about the dark things this object had seen, wondering if children had been abused while perched on its shelves.

In another room, there was a particularly gruesome picture of Christ, apparently already very dead, with Mary Magdalene by his side, holding his hand. His hand was by her mouth, but instead of kissing it she appeared to be sucking it. In front of Christ stood a dark female figure in a black robe with very white skin, tears streaming down her cheeks. I assume it’s supposed to be Mary, but it looked like Death.

christmemegravenimages6c40e.jpg
In the entire museum, I saw Christ as an infant, as a dying man, and as a corpse – almost always in states where he wasn’t capable of teaching anything. The only exception was a handful of paintings depicting the scene “Christ among the doctors”, in which Christ is about 12 years old. The Sermon on the Mount was never portrayed. I wonder if that’s a decision of the curators, or of the Mexican artists over the centuries, or of their commissions from the church. Perhaps there are different ways to interpret it, but to me the message seemed to be: your god is impotent and helpless.

I hope I don’t offend anybody with this post, as this is just my experience as an outsider looking in, and obviously there are subtleties that someone more familiar with Catholicism would notice. However, I do think that people should be wary of these types of images. A man might make a fine idol for you to pray towards, and you might even kiss its feet, as I’ve seen many people do. If the man controls the image that you pray to, you can be sure that he also controls you. God needs no intermediaries.

Episode 21 – God Mode

In this episode, we take on a huge subject, perhaps the biggest. We’re talking about God. Who is God? What does He/She/It do in Their spare time? What’s Their phone number? We find the answer to none of this questions in this exciting chapter of The Paradise Paradox.

To download the audio, right click and press “save as”.

Remember to subscribe on iTunes or subscribe on Pocket Casts.

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Related links:
‘Pastafarian’ posed with colander on head for gun licence
Hunab Ku on Wikipedia
Sacred Geometry
No, You’re Not a Dummy For Believing in God
The Good Lord on Facebook
Render Unto Caesar aka Pay Your Damned Taxes
God is an anarchist
Dao De Jing
Principia Discordia