Friday, July 12, 2013

Dennis on "Stardust"

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorLet's face it, THE reason anyone gets involved with Theology, Bibles, Churches, Torahs and Synagogues or Korans and Mosques is because just below the surface of EVERYONE is the fear and concerns about not living, but dying.  We are the only sentient beings on the planet that know we will die sooner or later.  Chewie my hilarious Shih Tzu has no sense or her yet to be announced passing so lives the carefree life of a dog unconcerned about attending church or holy day services or being absolutely sure of ending up in the absolutely true only Church of God under the only true leader on earth.  Christianity has that kind of pressure behind it, at least in the Churches of God, Splits, Splinters and Slivers.

The other pressure is to become perfect or mature as our heavenly Father is perfect or mature but I can't deal with that either.  I have a looooooooooooooooong way to go and always did.

Billions of human being have come and gone to date.  But as long as it is not us, no problem.  They no doubt thought the same way back in their time.  When I see a picture from the 19th century of crowds of people in Times Square or during the depression, my first thought is, "they are all dead."  That picture is a slice in time that has come and gone.  All pictures are that way.  I know the answer to my youthful question or musing over what would happen to the Worldwide Church of God when Herbert Armstrong or "even" Garner Ted and others were DEAD?  I never for a moment thought any of us were going to live and be the exclusively changed in a any moment or twinkling.  I am too Dutch and too practical for that.  What was the chance?  Zero mostly!

My lovely, kind, generous, compulsive, small world dear mom died a few months back.  I have her cremains right over >>>>>>>>>>>.  All that she was is now reduced to star dust again from which we all sprang.  As Physicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson notes.  "None of us would exist if stars had not had the courtesy to puke up their guts into the universe and provide us with all that became us."  I like that.  I don't mind going back to being stardust someday.  I like it better than getting planted in an expensive box in a concrete vault in a boring place wearing a suit and tie!  Blech! It's easier to think of mom as Star Dust again and more philosophically correct.  I suppose if we buried the dead so they could nourish the earth I might feel better about that but we don't.  

Pause....Ok, back.  My sister just called and said my dad has gone into the confusion and angry stage, he is 97, but had a nice talk last night with his own mom and dad who came to visit him.  He wanted to know why his room was purple. It is not uncommon for those entering their last days to have such conversations with their long dead parents or grandparents, or even children. It is common.  My mom talked to her father just before she passed.  Somehow that is encouraging and seems unconnected with them being in good or bad places.  He also threw the wastebasket thru a window so I know he wants out.  Sigh...   You can live too long in our culture I suppose.  I really love my dad and will miss him....  Both my parents were very nice editions of Stardust highly organized and conscious of itself. the bigger picture, all this COG leader bluster about being an Apostle, a Prophet or of all crazy things, an Elijah to come yet some more or a Joshua the Dumb Ass Fake High Priest of 2013 is all related to our knowledge that our lives are limited in scope and have an expiration date.  All religion, sane and insane stems from this knowing.  The Wonderful World Tomorrow helped me cope with the not as Wonderful World Today.  The Kingdom of God raised my hopes and lowered my fears while living in the Kingdoms of Men.   

I'd like to share some thoughts on death and dying that are not grounded in religion or hoping something is true but having no actual proof of it being true.  Proof to one is mere belief and wishful thinking to others.  Faith, in my actual experience is what we have before the facts change it once again.  

I really love the perspective in this commentary on dying. I include just the introduction to interest those interested in such things and where to read the rest of it following.


Part I: Meditations on a Cemetery

I have always wanted, when I die, to be cremated rather than buried. The living, not the dead, are the ones who have need of the space and resources that would otherwise be used for a burial ground. On the other hand, if there are to be graveyards, this is how they should be – a good place to be at peace, to be alone with one’s thoughts, and to remember. They are, after all, for the sake of the living and not the deceased.

It is a warm, peaceful summer afternoon. Serried rows of headstones rise from the expansive green lawns, interspersed with flowers and hedges; great trees shade the graves at their feet in musty reddish-green and cool dappled gold. Other than the soft chirping of crickets in the grass and the gentle rustle of the wind, drowsy in the late afternoon sun, it is still and silent, creating the impression that this is a place separate from the world. 

Most of the graves are plain white headstones engraved with the names of those who lie buried there. Some are polished granite or marble markers, the letters carved in them as sharp as if chiseled yesterday, while others are softer limestone, their inscriptions weathered and dimmed by time. Among the headstones is the occasional tall white mausoleum; some are freestanding, their sides clad in ivy, while others are built into hillsides. Some of the older graves are covered in beds of moss, while a few – I notice one or two – are freshly dug, plots of raw earth in the peaceful green. Where the land rolls, worn stone steps lead up from the winding main path to enable visitors to walk among the gravestones.

Small, colorful flags ripple in the wind at the head of each veteran’s grave. I note in amazement how many there are, and I am reminded that blood is the eternal price of liberty. While most other people have engraved headstones, many of the veterans have only small, flat metal plaques set into the earth, paid for, I presume, by the government for their service. It seems strange, and yet somehow fitting, that they should have such humble memorials. 

In this place, with thoughts of transience uppermost on my mind, I inevitably reflect on the words of others who once pondered the same things. At such times, I think of the question posed by a long-ago psalmist – “What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” – or the Buddhist who meditated on the crematory smoke arising from Toribeyama. Walking through a cemetery, one is forcefully reminded, above all else, of the fragility of human life.

 We tend to take for granted that our lives will continue indefinitely; rarely do we think about how we all – you yourself, everyone you know, everyone you love or care about – will grow old and, one day, will die. Through familiarity, we begin to believe the people, places and situations that surround us to be permanent. It is a natural and human tendency, and a habit difficult to break – difficult, that is, unless one is confronted inescapably with the truth of our own mortality. A quiet walk in a cemetery will accomplish that....

It is rather long so you can find the rest of it here:

At 63 and with my Dutch heritage , parents who lived into their upper 90's and aunts and uncles who lived to 99 or the one who still lives at over 100, I am a bit panicked.  lol.  In their world they worked where Kodak and Bausch and Lomb actually made good on their retirements.  We'll just leave it at that.    The last time I was in Rochester to visit dad I stopped at Mount Hope Cemetery which has amazing grave sites.  Some headstones are 40 feet high and their are whole streets of Mausoleums which are creepy and beautiful. I stumbled upon Frederick Douglas's grave which I had not idea was in Rochester.  I found one that said "Bausch" on it and wondered where Lomb was if this was "The" Bausch.  Low and behold....Lomb's mausoleum was right next to it!  Together in life. Together in death.  Same street!

Maybe it was just a coincidence...

At any rate, so many if not all of the current COG gurus and goofballs are selling hope.  They are doing what religion is meant to do but I think they do it very badly in their case.  All kidding aside, it is obscene that a Gerald Flurry sees himself in the Bible as "That Prophet" and then proceeds to stick his theologically ignorant nose into everyone's business.  Ron Weinland, who followed me after I left Ohio has been the same kind of arrogant and deluded minister since way back.  It just got worse and ended badly.  His hope is hopeless and also ignorant of actual theology as actually presented in the Bible.  And what can we say more of Dave Pack who now epitomizes both theology and title taking gone nuts.  In my world the more one needs titles , the less of a genuine human being and servant to all one can actually be.  Any man who sees himself spoken of in the Bible in these days is one to be avoided.  It is not so and all 25 proofs aside, Dave is not any Joshua the High Priest of Haggai nor was HWA any Elijah to come or Zerubbabel.  That is just nuts and over reaching if there ever was any.  It would be merely silly if it wasn't actually dangerous to your spiritual, financial and emotional health. 

Gotta go...Doing chair massage for the employees of a local health food store this morning.  If I ever rubbed any of you the wrong way...or do..come see me now... :)

Let me leave you with my favorite and to the point short overview of in just what way we are stardust.  In my next life, if there is one, I want to reincarnate as Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson.  This knowledge in our time bring tears to my eyes and absolute wonder, far more than anything any minister could ever deliver.  Do yourself a favor and watch two short sermons that are 100% true and deeply encouraging no matter who you are or where in life you reside along the very thin line we call the times of our lives. 

Certainly better by far than the long winded and self serving sermons of a Ron Weinland-Dave Pack or Gerald Flurry.  These men are also stardust but currently with excessive amounts of hot air and baloney mixed in my humble and yet experienced opinion.

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