Val offers his views on dogmatic aspects of cultural paradigm with its religious, political, and medical sterile indoctrinations and taboos.
Curiosity is the lust of the mind.
-- Thomas Hobbes
A Curious Mind
Right at the start let me tell you that I have absolutely no arguments against any tradition -- be it religious, cultural, ethical, or purely entertaining -- let everyone honor what they consider sacred.
It's only that I happen to have this very curious, inquisitive mind with this passion to jump around the cultural paradigm box like a man possessed and question everything.
Let me give you a simple example. Every time I see on TV a horse rider, it a sort of amazes me how one species is using another species for their transportation. Most people will just take it for a given -- something that has been practiced since the beginning of the time.
But not me. I have to find something strange about it. Can't help it. Like we don't see it with any other pair of beings -- say a dog agreeing to transport a mouse for its faster getting from here to there. I know, I know, it's a crazy example, but to me, just as "odd" is to see a human on the back of a horse.
O.K., while it doesn't go under the title of this post as a "tradition" -- at least it gives an illustration of my level of curiosity.
Much more than by horse riding, I have been puzzled by this tradition of baptizing little babies, who obviously had no say in what deity and messiah they will-should-must believe for the rest of their lives.
Like, how can anyone choose for you what you should believe in -- and it's even happening in this so called "free world". Baby or not, you are bound to grow up into an adult, when you are normally allowed to choose your own beliefs. Hey, they don't "baptize" you into a Republican or a Democrat, right?
I was baptized as a Catholic, thank you for asking; and for the last 77 years I have visited some cathedrals exclusively as a tourist. Felt a kind of funny as I looked around to see what I was supposed to do.
Didn't see much hygiene in dipping my fingers into that holy water where the guy before me possibly had picked his nose prior to dipping his own religious fingers in it to receive a blessing from it.
So. my parents obviously did it for themselves when they had me baptized. O.K. it didn't hurt like a covid-19 vaccine would have if I agreed to take one, as to receive the blessing from the deity of Big Pharma, calling all shots on this tiny speck of the universe.
Anyway, I don't know if baptizing was one of those things where I should feel grateful for something, or violated for my own right to choose for myself being ignored. I may tell you as soon as I figure it out.
Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.
-- James Stephens
The Mystery of the F-Word
I gave you a fair warning about my extremely inquisitive nature, so don't be surprised now, as I am questioning the origin of the f-word, meaning "fuck" -- for all those who might have thought that I was going to talk about "fairies".
As people age, they usually become just more of the same, with just some added complexity to it. So, here I am at this age of 77, still scratching this same forehead I scratched in my twenties -- over this puzzling "f-word".
I mean, how did it ever become an obscenity?
One day when you younger folks reach this age, you may pick your own word to wonder about -- this one is mine.
It would be, like one morning an ordinary dude like you or I, got out of his bed, and as if having an epiphany got this idea how to contribute to the mankind -- decided that "from now on, this "f-word" is to become an obscenity. Never to be spoken at public places -- god-forbid in churches!"
With the only exception, if you would happen to get a flat tire on the road, or while calculating your taxes to be paid to the government. And that word would only be valid in English speaking countries, while all others should make up their own obscenities, according to their own culture and mentality.
What makes it such an amazing proof of human capacity to be brainwashed is the fact that it just had to be ONE SINGLE PERSON who came up with that idea -- not that people collectively decided upon it.
You see where I am going with this?
How the hell did that "f-word" become an obscenity after that one dude said so?
How did people adopt it as such? Was it because the word "intercourse" was too long to say after they had a flat tire or accidentally hit their finger while using a hammer, or upon hearing that mother-in-law was coming for Sunday dinner.
I know, all this sounds like a humorous matter, but I am quite serious here.
You go ahead and try to make up a word and proclaim it to mean a swearing word, and the world will laugh at you. Maybe because they already have enough of them -- well, we may never find out why people follow suggestion one dude and ignore another, while they are both proposing an equally valuable addition to the Webster's dictionary.
Curiosity is one of the great secrets of happiness.
-- Bryant H. McGill
Good Teachers -- Wrong Classroom
How does all this play out in peoples' minds?
I just don't get it; I understand that some important discovery gets passed from generation to generation; but how something like a belief survives from one millennium to another -- if it's not intended to be followed?
O.K., knowing more than enough about human suggestibility, I will allow that we fall for suggestions from a skilled influencer -- we got a garden variety of them in our governments -- but in most cases it turns out to be "temporary love", before some other clown takes over the big part of the audience.
But why in the world did we need a belief, even a bunch of different versions of it, if we were not going to follow them -- of course, other then being able to parrot all their verses.
Can you see why I am not getting it?
For a good number of occasions I've been harboring this idea that maybe I was one of those cosmic souls from another planet reincarnating on earth and now having issues with understanding human logical reasoning.
For, does the whole long history of senseless wars, with a plethora of other brutalities, look like people have been following "the holy word" about love, compassion, tolerance, harmony, support, absence of greed, pretenses, lies...what are the other words.
Not only that we made up all those beliefs, but we also built all those head spinning architectural marvels in forms of cathedrals, temples, mosques, and synagogues -- as if to convince ourselves about the validity of beliefs which we don't intend to follow.
Was it all meant to be just a tradition, like Halloween, or Thanksgiving, with our spiritual teachers and messiahs being as important to us as a Santa Claus?
No, I am not kidding, folks, and even less am I being blasphemous. I have enormous respect for all Teachers of the mankind, but then I get quite puzzled at times -- like when a church-going President attends a Sunday mass only to issue an order for a bombing on Monday.
Why does he do it? Not to defend the country from any intruders -- but for some dubious "national interests" sake.
And then, what is all this about "Bible study groups"?
I see two possibilities there:
1) The holy book was written in such riddles that it is taking some studying to decipher all its messages.
2) Since it took millennia to understand it -- we may be talking about some really slow, if not challenged learners.
In either case, we are witnessing a massive misinterpretation of those high teachings, or a massive unwillingness to live by those rules.
Every now and then I see people frowning as I am asking such questions. Some even said I was "against" their religion. No, I am not. I simply don't understand why bother having a faith and then not follow its tenets.
Like I see these folks -- "religious, and god-loving" as they call themselves -- but competitive, constantly bragging, badmouthing others, lying and pretending, showing off, hating politicians, intolerant to poor ones seeking a better life in their country -- just like their own ancestors used to do.
As long as they are mincing some religious words in their mouths, that makes them religious in their minds.
Well, long ago, I had this nice conversation with a priest at a wedding party, and at the end he told me: "Val, you hardly mentioned god, but I think you are closer to him than many of my parishioners".
I know, I know, I already bragged about it in another of my articles, but these religious folks obviously need to read something more than once.
O.K., I don't need to say anything more in order to be even more hated -- if that's what it seems that I wanted to achieve with this satirical text.
It may take some of those more awakened to see how that was not my intention at all, but rather to open up their minds to some of their own curiosity, to examine some things that have massively been taken for just some givens.
© 2022 Val Karas