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"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to
  one who is striking at the root."
- Henry David Thoreau
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Shakespeare's Hamlet musing about suicide:

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep— No more—and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep;
To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil?

What About Death?
04/26/2019

Philosophers and psychologists will tell you that two things motivate higher life forms including humans: Eros and Thanatos, fulfillment and death. We spend our lives trying to maximize our pleasure and fulfillment on the one hand and trying to avoid suffering and dying on the other.

When I foresee the abyss, the blackness of death ahead, it breeds existential gloom, a sense that everything ultimately is meaningless--a bleak awareness that our struggles soon will be forgotten and ignored, like those of past generations. I'm haunted by the Bard's rant: "All our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." - James Haught, "Purpose Driven Lives", Free Inquiry, June/July 2017

So, why does God allow death and suffering? Why in his love, mercy and forgiveness doesn't he just keep everybody alive? One obvious answer is that death is the clearest indication that WE are doing something wrong. And that if there were not death, there would really be no hope of ever coming to the necessary truth. Yes, death CAN be a surcease from unbearable suffering but it is the stark, ultimate indication of failure!

Some people, not willing to look this issue full in the face, say that they are not afraid of death. But that is mendacious because one never knows until faced with it. And really, death is nothing much, as Shakespeare indicated. It is the continual being at risk and the process of decay and dying that we don't like and try to avoid. Yet it seems that everyone dies, and everyone has been dying for so long that death is considered as inevitable, that no one escapes the grim reaper. We REALLY BELIEVE in it, and have fashioned our concepts and theologies to accommodate it.

"Everybody wants to go to heaven,
but nobody wants to die"
Bill Bonner

However, in the four canonical Gospels and including the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus states unequivocally that he is offering us immortality now without dying. Altogether there are 43 verses or passages where he states this clearly either in the positive mode—"you will live"—or in the negative mode—"you will not even taste death". Almost all theologians and Bible readers, accommodating the reality that we know so well, jack these statements around to be metaphorical or surmise that they apply to some later reality or life, so that they don't literally mean what they say. This is flat out intellectually dishonest and untenable! The message may or may not be true—that is actually a different issue—but you have to be at least temporarily irrational to not read the words for what they are, to not hear Jesus offering immortality now without dying. You don't believe me?  See: Eternal Life

If for whatever reasons you decide there is no truth to these sayings, then walk away, don't look back, end of story. BUT, if Jesus is who he says he is, then the unavoidable conclusion is that something is monstrously wrong in our thinking, even in the thinking of people that DO hear him saying this, and say they believe it. BECAUSE THEY DIE ANYWAY!

Remarkable Premise

Again, the remarkable premise of this site is that the greater message of Jesus has NOT been understood, and that being because Christian apologists have tried to mix Jesus with the rest of the Bible and understand his message within the ancient paradigm of the angry, lawgiving, catastrophe-raining, center of power and control, Old Testament God. Oh, they have mixed in portions—sometimes generous—of Jesus, but they have not seen the gracious, serving, human Jesus as the paradigm, the truth that fits the paradigm, and the inspiration to care—the way, the truth, the life and the light. They have not listened to him alone, framed by the real issues, and have not understood and followed his reasonable, simple instructions.

Billions have listened to and followed the religion founded by the disciples and apostles to what end? They have let these casters of shadows darken and override even the clearest words of Jesus! The whole enterprise of Christendom has turned into a disharmonious hoping and coping system while we wait, and then wait some more! This is what Jesus had in mind? This is the good news? What part of "My sheep listen to MY voice" and "My sheep follow ME" do we not hear? What part of "No man comes to the Father except through ME" do we not get?

"Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved with mankind,
Therefore, send not to know,
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee." - John Donne

And so, death reigns supreme and we continue to just die in our ignorance and confusion, our sins!

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