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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-286


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 286

                 Tuesday, 17 October 2000

Topics:

                 The other thinking side
                           Zoe
                    Re: Brian Matthews
                    The HAL Principle
                  Pining for the Fjords
                 What does BS do to you?
                Cruel Hoax, Mr. Sherwood.
                      The Full Monty
                       re Buzzcocks
            Still Believe in that Chunky Stew
         News from Andy but not quite news for us
                  Dury, Williams, HATS!
                         Dear Dog
                 The Man Who...Questions
                Gwine down the crossroads
              We too want peace. Of Siberia!

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    Chalkhills is compiled with Digest 3.7b (John Relph <relph@tmbg.org>).

J.U.M.P.I.N.G. jumping in gomorah, I'm religion free.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 09:07:58 EDT
From: Jxnsmom@aol.com
Subject: The other thinking side
Message-ID: <6e.3e67cc8.271c57ae@aol.com>

Brian said:

<< But you're STILL an atheist, as far as the adherents to that particular
 subject of worship would be concerned. >>

STILL don't agree (and I've already explained why not).

<<My post was labeled "The thinking side" by someone else earlier in the
thread (in case your 'thinking self' had not noticed) >>

According to the digest archives, the first post from Worrier Queen in Vol.
6, #279, where this specific thread started (although I don't think she meant
it to), was labeled "When words are not enough," to which you replied with an
Re: of the same name, to which I replied with "The other side" to which you
replied in Vol. 6, #282 with the subject line "The thinking side" -- no Re:,
and the first time that phrase was used, according to the search engine. Did
Mr. Relph label that post for you? Hate to be petty, but if your "thinking
self" is going to be sarchastic, I want to clarify things.

<<And you can have your belief system.>>

That's right, I can. And thanks!

<< You are apparently stupidly happy with it. >>

My, such a clever mixture of XTC reference and insult. Happy? Immensely.
Stupidly? No, not by any definition of the word.

<<If I can't see it, hear it, taste it, touch it, or feel it, then I have no
good reason to accept its existence. Nor should anyone else.>>

"Nor should anyone else"? Is that a decree?

<<And don't start with 'love' or 'mathematics'... I feel love and can see the
very real effects of mathematics on our world.>>

And I can feel love from a higher power (which my religion happens to label
God) and can see its very real effects on the personal lives of many, many
people.

Duncan said:

<<Explain -- what the hell IS it that makes these ditzy Bronze Age fairytales
so damn attractive and so immensely powerful -- even in the face of  hard
science and of technology that presents us daily with so many
incontrovertible examples of why all that old stuff is just fake, fake, fake
...?>>

While some religions may believe they are, science and faith don't have to be
mutually exclusive. One is of the head, one is of the heart...both can and do
work together in the same body. I fully accept the findings of science and
technology, but I have yet to see incontrovertible evidence that proves there
is no higher power. If you know of an absoultely irrefutable example, please
share. I and the other billions of reasoning, intelligent, and spiritual
(yes, all three together) people worldwide who follow some type of religion
would be interested.

Amy

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 08:24:32 -0700
From: "Macdonald, Robert " <RMacdonald@bcbc.bc.ca>
Subject: Zoe
Message-ID: <46C2D3D3D981D41187E300508B6670347611A5@bcbcmail.bcbc.bc.ca>

	Just to let you people know....  I am sure that you had given me an
A for originality, but actually my new little girls name is
Zoe....not.....Zoi which somehow come out through the email I sent.  I even
re-checked my sent message thinking that spell checker had messed me up or
something...but no.... somehow between my place and Mr. Relph the spelling
had magically changed.

	Thanks to all of you for the kind emails back though!

	Cheers

	Rob

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 14:29:22 EDT
From: PSandford@aol.com
Subject: Re: Brian Matthews
Message-ID: <f9.3a05505.271ca302@aol.com>

Buy a good torch buddy, I bet it gets awfully dark up there........

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 19:59:30 +0100 (BST)
From: Rory Wilsher <rory_wilsher@yahoo.co.uk>
Subject: The HAL Principle
Message-ID: <20001016185930.21864.qmail@web1501.mail.yahoo.com>

Hillians

"Central Intelligence Agency" <dracon@worldreform.net>
suggested coming up with new names for XTC. So I
applied the HAL principle all the way through the
alphabet. Most of it was complete garbage (hey,
there's a name! Damn! Taken already), the only
possibilities I can find are:

MIR: the name of a delapidated Russian space station.
Not exactly inspiring.

SOX: apparently, this is a word appended to the names
of US baseball teams to denote the colour of an item
of hosiery.

Me, I'm sticking with good, ol'fashioned ECKS TEA SEA!

Rory "I'm talking for free, I can't stop myself"
Wilsher

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 14:50:28 -0400
From: Jeff Eason <eason@mountaintimes.com>
Subject: Pining for the Fjords
Message-ID: <3.0.6.32.20001016145028.00867b40@mountaintimes.com>

H'lo Chums,

All this religious banter makes me pine for the days when people merely
wrote about abortion, gun control, and, oh yeah, XTC. Has it ever occurred
to anyone that the ideas of Heaven/Hell/Afterlife/Reincarnation were
concocted simply because the thought of punching the clock and decaying
like a piece of meat is just a little bit depressing? Make the best of your
time on Ol' Terra Firma and treat others as if there were a tireless and
ill-tempered God looking over your shoulder, that's what I allus say.
Pulled the old stereo system out of storage this weekend--Sony turntable,
Panasonic amplifier, Acoustic Research speakers, etc. None of the equipment
is less than 15 years old. Put on my old vinyl copy of Go 2 and cranked
that baby up. I know it's an old debate but I'm seriously convinced that
analog music has a quality that digital sampling has yet to capture. Some
say it is a warmth, I think its more of an "oomph". Anyway, I will be
spending the next few evenings playing the early XTC albums that I never
replaced on CD. I have all of the albums on vinyl until Skylarking and
everything after on disc.
I think maybe why some XTC fans have a hard time getting into the earlier
albums may be the remastering question. Or maybe they were meant to be
heard as two sides of an album as opposed to a single disc. I'll have
several test groups on hand: one listening to early XTC on disc, one
listening to early XTC on vinyl, and one receiving a placebo made entirely
from sugar and water.
I'll post the results here later.

Jeff "Because we have the technology" Eason

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 13:01:32 -0700 (PDT)
From: brown <mb2@deltanet.com>
Subject: What does BS do to you?
Message-ID: <200010162001.NAA02098@mail2.deltanet.com>

Greetings to all my fellow monkeys with car keys,

Feeling a bit down today and in need of a pick-me-up so I turned to the
whirling dervish that is Black Sea...and it didn't disappoint.  This
firecracker of an album is very INFECTIOUS.. it drags you in and pogos your
ass 'round the room, from start to finish.  How many of you coffin dodgers
out there are reminded of your angry, or at the very least, mildly peeved
young punk/punkette days when you hear Black Sea?  Come on, Mr. Bernhardt
and I aren't the only ones.. 'fess up, people.

Pancho wound up his rehab application by offering this...

<<Cocaine never allowed me to see God, with heroin I was
in heaven.  I do love XTC although I try not to deify them.
..the quality of mercy is not strnen (quiz)>>

..nor is it peeled, blanched, french-fried, or julienned..

I'll take mine lightly breaded, please!

Debora Brown

Merry Mummer Day to all*

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 14:39:28 -0500
From: chris vreeland <vreecave@realtime.com>
Subject: Cruel Hoax, Mr. Sherwood.
Message-ID: <39EB5944.8669749@realtime.com>

Now he (Harrison Sherwood) tells us! Quote:

>I do NOT propose to lead a project to collect amateur cover versions of
all 347 songs listed in the Chalkhills Discography. I certainly don't mean
to discourage anybody who does intend such an undertaking, but please
understand that my original suggestion to do so was satirical in
intent. I'm sure most of you understood this, but I just want to be
completely clear.<

Oh, bugger.

And I just this weekend finished arranging the entire Lure of Salvage
album for Slidewhistle, Contrabassoon, Didgeridoo, Autoharp, Finger
Cymbals, and Fifty Voice Children's Choir, comprised of "at risk" urban
youths. What ever am I going to tell all those kids?  You're really
breaking their hearts, mister. They were all looking so forward to the
Big Ceremony, when all 2000 of us Chalkers personally handed the
finished product over to Mr.'s Partridge and Moulding.

It's back to midnight basketball and four on four plainsong competition,
I guess...

Chris Vreeland

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 17:58:13 -0400
From: "Tim Kendrick" <tim63@earthlink.net>
Subject: The Full Monty
Message-ID: <001701c037bc$30009de0$4dd60f3f@tim63>

Hi everyone!

Just a quick note to say I saw Yazbek's THE FULL MONTY
in New York on Saturday night.  It's only in "previews" right now,
with the official opening coming up.  It's a GREAT show!
A lot of fun!  I predict it will be a big hit.  Go see it!!!

(Yazbek mentions working with XTC in his bio.)

Tim K.

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 23:11:25 +0100
From: "Pledge" <PLEDGE7@btinternet.com>
Subject: re Buzzcocks
Message-ID: <002e01c037be$06e29380$bf6a073e@PLEDGE>

I'm probably not the only one to post this info, but on Friday's "Never Mind
the Buzzcocks" on BBC2 Kirsty McColl & Sean Hughes 'performed' the intro to
Making Plans for Nigel as part of the "guess the intro" round.

_____________________________

Thanks to Adrian i'll be able to make myself look a smartarse when the
programme is repeated.

Pledge

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 18:13:47 EDT
From: Hbsherwood@aol.com
Subject: Still Believe in that Chunky Stew
Message-ID: <17.c5266b1.271cd79b@aol.com>

Oh, goodie goodie.... Once again, like the return of the swallows to
Capistrano, the biannual eruption of the Whole Stupid Fucking Dear God
Thing.... Let's all have a nice, long wallow, shall we?

Ed Kedzierski gives us this admirable observation:

>Whenever
>someone dismisses a singer they don't like with "they can't sing", it gets
>my hackles up, because I know I'm about to get into an argument with someone
>who's operating in a different context and working from different premises,
>so the whole thing's going to be an exercise in frustration.

Perhaps not coincidentally, this same principle applies to any discussion of
religion, which is exactly why our wise and farsighted ancestors declared it
off limits at the dinner table.

I'd like to suggest that unless your thoughts address directly the subject of
religion AS IT RELATES TO THE MUSIC OF XTC, you keep them to yourself. There
is absolutely no excuse for mentioning it in this forum otherwise. It's
disingenuous at best to say that since Andy Partridge once wrote a song about
it, the topic is fair game--particularly when you view this as permission to
grind your own ideological axe, to the utter weariness of the rest of us.

One "Dear God" does not an atheist make. Nor does authorship of "Rook" make
one an Episcopalian. Partridge's religious beliefs are far more nuanced and
sophisticated than either side in this silly argument is giving him credit
for, and to claim him as an ambassador for your own particular take on
reality is an insult to his intelligence (not to mention ours).

Harrison "Kali/She is so jolly/She nearly made off with Pancho's wally"
Sherwood

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 18:25:39 -0400
From: cbisson <cbisson@mediaone.net>
Subject: News from Andy but not quite news for us
Message-ID: <39EB8061.75BC2122@mediaone.net>

Just got a handwritten note from Andy on the back of my Wasp Star
poster- (the big big one that I sent to England back in May) and thought
you all might want to hear what he has to say.... although it really
isn't "new" news.

"Chuck
"We can do 3 volumes of demos
at the moment (1) Homegrown, which
will be demos of Wasp Star (2) Fuzzy
Warbles 1 and 2, material from 92
onwards.  Everything else I'm afraid
is owned by Virgin
"Andy P."

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 18:18:33 -0600
From: Phil Corless <philco@micron.net>
Subject: Dury, Williams, HATS!
Message-ID: <3.0.5.32.20001016181833.00a7ce00@pophost.micron.net>

I can't believe I've never heard of Ian Dury before.  Picked
up the following discs in a used bin this weekend:

Ian Dury - New Boots and Panties
Ian Dury & The Blockheads - Do It Yourself

Why didn't anyone clue me in before this?  The man is (was)
brilliant!

Okay, now the tricky part.... I like the new Robbie Williams CD,
"Sing When You're Winning" and highly recommend it to those
who like that ear-candy type of stuff.   No flames please.

Lastly, if you haven't bought your Chalk Horse hat yet, I've
got plenty of extras:
http://netnow.micron.net/~philco/chalkhat.htm

- Phil

My eBay Auctions:
http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/philkar/

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 22:11:22 -0400
From: "Brian" <mattone@bhip.infi.net>
Subject: Dear Dog
Message-ID: <009401c037df$8c552980$2b0affd1@Brian>

Tschalkgerz!

Roroy Wilsher quipped oh so amusingly:
>Brian Matthews: Check down the back of the sofa. If you don't find it, at
least you should get a handful of change.<

No thanks.
I don't bother looking for nonexistent stuff.

And David van Wert chimed in:
>Also, Brian Matthews, a minor semantic quibble: anyone who believes in any
one (or more) of the 2500 gods is not an "atheist."
An atheist, by definition (and etymology), believes in no god whatsoever. I
think the word you were looking for is "heretic." Or
perhaps "heathen" or maybe "hell-bound sinner." But if you hear a Christian
call a Hindu an atheist, the Christian is wrong. And as far
as "love and mathematics" comparisons go, you have to understand that just
as you "feel" love, other people "feel" some god or other.<

Ah. So these people are trained to recognize the difference between "true
metaphysical experiences" (an oxymoron if I've ever heard one) and the
chemical cocktail that one or more of their glands dumps into their
bloodstream when experiencing certain emotional states?
Show me how!!

>For you to dismiss their feeling is just as presumptuous as for me to
dismiss as absurd this so-called "love" you claim to have felt in
your life. But I won't do that. <

Too late. Your wording of this sentence already did what you said you
weren't going to.

>If you say you felt it and it was real, then that's cool by me. But face
it, you can't prove a thing.<

Don't have to, with an emotion that we KNOW exists.

>Those gooey notes you wrote and received, that incredible devotion that
gripped your insides, those nights you sat awake gazing tenderly at the
beautiful person in bed beside you--those are no more valid proof than some
3,000 year old scroll or temple carving is proof of any god. I'm just
accepting your word for it, Brian. That acceptance is easy for me because
I've felt it too. Someone who has never felt love, however, might have a
harder time accepting it and think of you as an irrational fool compelled to
impose some mystical concept of "love" as a pointless social justification
onto the need to fuck. But not me. I do believe in love.<

Good for you!
I don't believe in a god because it doesn't exist.
I reserve the right to tell people they're off their nut if I so think
that's the case.

-Brian Matthews
http://www.stonetrek.com

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 23:16:11 -0500
From: "Jason Feehan" <jwfeehan@earthlink.net>
Subject: The Man Who...Questions
Message-ID: <4120001021741611810@earthlink.net>

I rarely write the list, but there's two items I have questions about.

1. First the one that bugs me--on the tribute album A Testimonial Dinner:
I swear I hear Rueben Blades sing aloud at 4:28 into the song The Man Who
Sailed Around His Soul ---"And I hate that XTC!" Does he or doesn't he?
Sometimes I think, why would he say that, I must be hearing things. Then
other times I think, ah, Rueben snuck in something. I can no longer tell,
it's all my ears hear 4 years after purchasing the disc.

2. The thought hit me that the opening of I'm The Man Who Murdered Love is
the sound of Love being shot three times and screaming in agony as he dies.
Has anyone else reached this conclusion?

Again I apologize if these questions have been brought up before, but I
could use an answer(s). Especially for the first one.

Jason
http://www.beatnikturtle.com/

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2000 06:41:26 GMT
From: "Duncan Kimball" <dunks58@hotmail.com>
Subject: Gwine down the crossroads
Message-ID: <F168zscE8NpqhNPPzQT0000669b@hotmail.com>

Phew - is it hot in here, or is it just me? Nothing like a religious
argument to get the brimstone flying!!

From: "Steven Paul" <spaul@armstronglaw.com>

>Remember the story of the blind men around an elephant.
<snip>
>The teacher says all are right, because each has seen only a part of the
>elephant.  Just like us, we can only see or know a small part of >diety
>-just because we define God with our own limited vocabulary and >vision,
>doesn't mean we aren't partially right.

I think you've might have the wrong end of the stick there Steven. I've
always interpreted this little (Budhhist?) parable as an illustration of the
limitations of perception, and the essential futility of any 'absolute'
explanation for life, the universe and everything. To me, this still seems
me much more in accord with the
rational/scientific/observational/experimental approach, which in effect
says "Well, we know X and Y and we can infer Z from it, but that's all we
know, and we're not sure of thev rest, so we'll do
some experiments and see if we're right."

The opposite (and in my view irrational, illogical, lazy) approach is to
avoid or abandon all attempts to explain the phsyical, perceivable universe
and resort to the Bible or EST or Anthony Robbins or L.Ron
Hubbard or whatever Crutch de Jour is currently hobbling down the Kosmik
Katwalk.

>Because after all, we're all light.

Maybe it's this Middle-East thing, but I don't see a lot of light around at
present. Quite the opposite, in

fact.

>Insistence ain't existence.
>-Brian Matthews

Nice one, centurion!

From: David van Wert <mcknife@earthlink.net>

>Though I have no religious affiliation myself, I think it's only fair
>to point out that both Darwin and Einstein repeatedly acknowledged
>their beliefs in a higher power

I'm being picky, David, but I think it's been pretty well established that
Darwin (privately) abandoned his religious beliefs once the full
implications of his theory became clear to him. I'm not sure what Einstein's
religious convictions were. Kabbalsim doesnt seem too left field. I assume
he was Jewish. It wouldn't surprise me if he did believe in God, as
contradictory as that might seem -- after all Australia's own John Eccles,
one of the leading neurologists of the 20th century, was an avowed dualist.
(talk about embarassing your country). Ironically, Crazy Al's rigidly
deterministic, Newtownian approach was rapidly superseded by the development
of quantum physics (which he hated) and chaos theory. Point being? nobody
has ALL the answers and pour moi the fact that he was a brilliant physicist
AND he believed in God can't be taken as evidence of anything except his own
gullibility. Anyway I was talking about what their work in phsyics has shown
about the nature of the physical universe, not what they believed in the
privacy of their own homes.

>And as far as "love and mathematics" comparisons go, you have to understand
>that
>just as you "feel" love, other people "feel" some god or other. For
>you to dismiss their feeling is just as presumptuous as for me to
>dismiss as absurd this so-called "love" you claim to have felt in
>your life.

Unfortunately, David, you fail to acknowledge the fundamental difference
between these 'qualia'. Both are internal emotional states, both are equally
valid to the subject and (at this stage) equally "unprovable" in scientific
terms. One can describe them, but there is no objective comparison or test
for how "true" your experiences are compared to mine. However "Love" in the
amorous/romantic sense, is demonstrably directed at real objects -- friends,
family members, pop stars, cars, goats -- whereas the devotional feeling
directed at a putative deity is a socially-conditioned fixation on a purely
abstract idea which has no
provable basis in phsyical reality.

[Digression: Here's my unified field theory about what is *really* wrong
with the world. It's biological, and it's the unfortunate combination of two
nasty human behavioural tendencies. One is the social instinct which
predisposes us to comformity and and submission to dominant individuals. The
other is a widespread, social practice/process [Jesuits mastered this
centuries ago] which arrests congitive development, leaving large numbers of
humans stranded in a marginally "pre-adult" -- and highly suggestible
developmental state. Hence, they are unable to differentiate between those
concepts corresponding to or derived from real objects, events and processes
-- like life -- and concepts of a purely abstract nature, like gods, angels,
fairies or democracy. Indeed, many people seem to be unaware that these are
even "concepts" at all and seem absolutely convinced that these things
actually exist simply because they can think about them. These are, I regret
to say, the kind of people who sent presents to the TV station when
characters in the soaps get married.]

>But I won't do that. If you say you felt it and it was
>real, then that's cool by me. But face it, you can't prove a thing.
>Those gooey notes you wrote and received, that incredible devotion
>that gripped your insides, those nights you sat awake gazing tenderly
>at the beautiful person in bed beside you-- those are no more valid
>proof than some 3,000 year old scroll or temple carving is proof of
>any god.

Except that a real, beautiful person was actually there beside you. (Ooops.)
It's like paranoid delusions, David. One cannot discount the real terror and
force of the delusions that schizoid people suffer, even though 'normal'
people can't experience them directly and are reliant on the accounts of
sufferers to inform us of what they experience and how they feel. They are
INTERNALLY true for that person. However, it is absolutely clear that the
delusions these unfortunate people suffer are the result of internal mental
dysfunction, and not the action of outside forces or perceptions. A simple
process of elimination can easily establish that no-one else in the room can
hear those voice from the telly that are telling you to kill your mom with a
hammer, so chances are it's all in the canyons of your miiiiiind. (Of course
the same could be argued for colour blindness, but that's another story...)

>Someone who has never felt love, however, might have a harder time
>accepting it and think of you as an irrational fool compelled to impose
>some mystical concept of "love" as a pointless social justification onto
>the need to fuck.

Well I've felt love, and it's very nice, but I'll take a pointless fuck
anyday.

>I do believe in love.

See, that's what I'm talking about. How exactly do you "believe" in an
emotional state? What the hell does that statement even mean anyway?

Finally -- Todd -- we loves ya, but chill out, babe! You're gonna have an
aneurism.

>And just why are those two things -- God (whatever he/she/it might be) and
>physics -- mutually exclusive?

I don't want to make you even angrier but ...  they are mutually exclusive
because:

- one is a spectacularly, demonstrably  successful system of rational,
logical structured inquiry which enables us to observe, quantify, define and
manipulate the physical universe. Thus we can go to the moon and stuff.

- the other is a manifestly sad and futile case of mistaken identity, in
which those brave attempts through the ages to poetically express the
eternal, inexpressible, ineffable nature of existence have been misread by
the ignorant, distorted by the cynical and enforced by the mad, with the
result that most of our world is still being built -- or torn apart -- on
the basis of a bunch of infantile fairytales that were blown out the window
the day Galileo first put eye to telescope.

>By saying yours is the only "reasonable"
>path, you're demonstrating that you're just as close-minded as any
>hellfire-and-damnation Bible thumper.

Hendrix put it best: "You can't believe everything you see and hear, now can
you?"

In parting, I leave you with some reassuring words from The Great Teacher:

Oh no I don't believe it
You say that you think you know the meaning of love
You say love is all we need
You say with your love you can change
All of the hate, all of the fools
I think you're probably out to lunch

Oh no I don't believe it
you say that you think you know the meaning of love
Do you really think it can be told?
You say that you really know
I think you should check it again
How can you say what you believe
will be the key to a world of love?

All your love, will it save me?
All your love, will it save the world
from what we can't understand?

And in your dreams you can see yourself
As prophet saving the world
The words from your lips
I just cant believe you are such a fool

(Frank Zappa, "Oh No", 1967)

Duncan "The devil made me do it" Kimball

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2000 03:13:56 EDT
From: KINGSTUNES@aol.com
Subject: We too want peace. Of Siberia!
Message-ID: <42.c064038.271d5634@aol.com>

Holy Hill, Batman!

>Whenever we abandon rational thought and the
>scientific method in favor of dogma, and, hard, quantifiable evidence is no
>longer a requirement for the acceptance and belief of a theory - people
>suffer.

I agree completely.  Besides this, it is the realization that the world is
full of different faiths that have grown with each unique culture and
modified with each intercultural reaction.  As an individual reaches the
rational point of seeing their own religion as only one of many, one can
properly question the dogma of their beliefs and begin the process of
rational understanding.  But it is so difficult for so many people, as these
dogmatic traditions are so deeply rooted in their traditions, holding them
hostage to their belief systems and causing them to behave in irrational and
unfortuantely dangerous ways.  As I say this now, look to the Middle East.

These people are prisoners of their religions.  The violence will never stop
until they take a cold hard look at their beliefs and begin the road to
rationality.  Ghandi understood this.

This is going to catch flack, but I'm going to throw it out there.  I feel
that the only way the Middle East thing will be resolved is for Jews and
Moslems to stop being Jews and Moslems.  It's that simple.  You wanna see how
powerful the chains of the dogma game are?  Watch the reactions to this from
Jews and Moslems on this list.  You are prisoners of your beliefs!!!!!    And
some of your brethren are willing to kill for it!  This is what "God" wants?
And you hold the key to unlock yourselves.  The great irony is that Hebrews
and Arabs are directly related, historically.  How sad.  Life is so precious.
 Martyrdom is simply recessionist stupidity, just another road to death.  Put
your guns down, or find another planet, please.  We're tired of it!

The same holds true for Northern Ireland, Yugoslavia, India/Pakistan and
wherever else this nonsense goes on.  I'm sick of it.  Aren't you?  Piss on
religion!

I am an ex-Catholic.  I will never return to Christianity or any other
religion, where bloodshed for righteousness has played a role in the history.
 This is not an act of atheism.  This is an act of rationality.  The next
evolution of humanity, if we make it.

>Atheism is not an act of faith, it's the renunciation of faith.
I knew I'd have trouble with this.  This is a tough point for me to make.
I've probably worded my argument poorly.  My point is that atheists make
their renunciation of faith in the terms of the faith they are renunciating.
"Faith" is one of those terms.  As long as you argue within the terms of the
Christian system, you are still hostage to it, even though you are renouncing
it.  Am I a little clearer?  Don't renounce it, just drop it.  But be aware
that that act can open to other possibilities.

> It's very easy to believe in God (see above for my extremely precise
definition) >without believing in Satan.
Not in the fundamental Judeo/Christian/Moslem system.  The last two
especially depend on the concept of salvation.  You have to be *saved*, so
you need something to be saved from.  You can't have one without the other.
However, in more liberal Christian traditions, your point is respected.  I
spent several years as a Unitarian / Universalist.  Universalists believe in
a totally forgiving God, without Hell.  Of course, they are scorned outcasts
to the mainstream fundamentalists.
***********************

>but the books really seem to degenerate into tarted-up "I was so fucking
wasted >that I saw...(fill in the blank)" stories.
The drugs are only used in the first two books.  Journey to Ixtlan, the third
book, focuses on the lessons *not under the influence*, if you will, during
the period of the first two books, from 1961 to 1972.  Drugs as an avenue for
altered perception are not mentioned again at all in the remainder of the
series.  While they play a role at the start, Don Juan actually is reluctant
to use them.  And when he does, he does so with the strictest guidance and
procedure.  The experiences that Carlos endured with the drugs in the early
days were actually quite frightening, and required the building of a
discipline of sobriety (a word Don Juan *constantly* used) to help survive
the onslaughts.  Not your standard hippie acid garbage.  (BTW, Don Juan was
scornful of the drug culture.)  The drugs provided a boost at the start, but
abandoned as soon as possible.
This statement is classic of the sort of misunderstanding surrounding the
Castaneda series.  Sorry, Ed.

It's all there in the books.

>I once thought a tree was 'Mescalito' (thanks to Castaneda) but then I came
down >and it went back to being a tree.
No you didn't.  "Mescalito" does not exist.  It was one of many ploys to draw
Carlos into the apprenticeship.  You were missing the point.  That's OK, a
lot of people did, including myself (although I always suspected something
else was going on from the start). Unfortunately, this stuff is all people
remember, and it completely distorts their understanding of the series.  Like
I said, most people who get caught up in the metaphorical nonsense of the
frist two books never go on to read the important writings.  As Joseph
Campbell would say, they are lost in the metaphors.
***************
>> It beats the cardboard cutout model of Genesis.

>I dunno, my model from the PG era is pretty nice, actually.

Actually, I like my cardboard cutout pop-up in my Stand Up LP by Jethro Tull
better!
*****************
>Mummers: Should traditionally be given cakes and ale.
>However, I'm told that your modern mummer demands hard
>liquor.

Being from the Philly area and knowing real live Mummers myself, I can
testify to the truth of this!   ("Really??  Live ones???, Wow!!!!)
*****************

"What was that about hats?"
"Oh, people are not wearing enough of them." - MP

Yerz metaphysically,
Capt. Carlos :)
************
"Someone stood at a window and cried
    'One tear,
I thought that would stop a war
But someone is killing me' " - Grace Slick

"And when the church got though
they traded their beads for bottles
smashed on Railway Avenue
and cut off their braids
and lost some link with nature" - Joni Mitchell

"So many people have died in the name of Christ
that I can't believe it all." - Graham Nash

"Will you tell them that the reason why we murdered
    everything upon the surface of the world
So we could stand right up
    and say we did it in his name?  - Our boy AP

"I got a million of 'em!"  - Jimmy Durante

------------------------------

End of Chalkhills Digest #6-286
*******************************

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