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Day 215 & 216- Dec 24 & 25 - Big Bear Lake, CA

Hey, it's Christmas Day! For many people on the this planet, today is a special day and for many it is not. I find the holidays to be an interesting conflict. I love the happiness that people share and I dislike that people utilize the festivities to propagate their belief systems on to others. My dad was raised as an Orthodox Jew. My mother was raised as a Southern Baptist, two quite extreme and opposing viewpoints. Growing up I was faced with some interesting realities. My parents were two people with conflicting belief systems yet I love and trust them both. Trees with bad apples and big boats with an earth load of critters and seas spreading apart and babies that just come. As time went on I noticed that it was so strange that there seemed to be so many arguments in the world around me based on things that I have never seen nor had any logical indication that I would ever see happen. In fact, a lot of these things seemed a heck of a lot less plausible that the things I saw in movies that people readily would laugh at me if I showed any sign of believing to be true. How come an ocean can spread apart and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang can't really fly? Airplanes do it! Something is fishy. So today I will share a bit of what I think goes on.

**** Dave Rat History of Religion ****

A long long time ago a bunch of humans are all running around and some Abraham guy is cruising around in the desert and he sleeps with this one chick and she ends up being super grandma to this Jesus guy. Eventually a bunch of humans start rocking out and saying this Jesus dude is the best rapper in the world and so damn good that he is part of the rock show of God. Meanwhile there are a bunch of humans that call themselves Jews that are big into the solo God thing and are not buying in to a new dude joining in. The Christians are all about, "Hey, come on Jew people, check him out, he the one" Jews say "Cool guy but, hey, "hello!, he aint the magic man, and we aint rap fans anyhoo, the God guy is a solo artist." This is where it gets interesting. It turns out that this Abraham guy was a bit of a player with some super sperm and he had gone out and partied with this other chick and she got knocked up and her super grand kid is none other than this Mohammed guy that shows up like centuries later. Turns out that he is also a rapper and builds up a huge fan base that call themselves Muslims. All the Christians are like "Hello, just another rapper but not the OG that we rock to." The Muslims are all like "Y'all are crazy, Mohammed is the Man and he supercedes your outdated old school Jesus' beats and rhymes." Meanwhile the Jews are like "What in the heck are are y'all talking about? They is just dude's and neither of them rock with God." So they all beat the crap out of the Jews and then started kicking each other's asses ever since.

**** End Dave Rat History of Religion ****

It seemed I had somehow been born into an unsolvable situation and refusal to take sides with one against the other, I did much pondering. What if they are both right? Does one have to be wrong? Can multiple conflicting perceptions be simultaneously correct? Is there truly anything that is right or wrong? Hmmmm, here is snippet of the confusion that roams my mind from what I've distilled from the ponderings

The people that are the most wrong, get the most angry. What better way to be right than to fight?

Almost all religions believe the same basic life guiding bits and they just argue about the details. I try and live my life by finding the threads common to all religions and skipping the arguments. Arguments are boring anyway.

Religions are like living entities. Like all other forms of life there is an inherent desire to perpetuate and reproduce and populate. Though most religions may be warm and fuzzy on the outside, they still make a lot of poop and will bite you if you mess with them.

Religious pre schools are often cheap or free as it is a good way to increase membership by recruiting small minds.

All books are words, not truths, nothing ever is truly true in the purest sense of the word, there are just things that less or more people agree with. For something to be truly and perfectly true, everyone would universally agree on it. Try and find something that everyone on the planet agrees on. And that brings to mind...

Never under estimate the ability of human beings to believe the most incredibly absurd and zany things, even if everything in life and survival points to the contrary.

Faith is what humans call 'believing the unbelievable,' sometimes it works out and amazing things happen and it can bring people together for celebrations of common happiness and sometimes in the words of Borat "Not so so much" and faith brings wars and death and hatred and a bunch of human critters spend their lives killing each other rather than eating food and making cool things and hanging out with their little people.

When groups of human minds all focus in harmony in a particular direction, it is an incredible, powerful and real sensation. It is such a powerful, real and amazing feeling that humans have decided to sell and market in many forms. Religions sell it in the form of prayer, rock shows sell it in the form of concerts, motivational speakers sell it in the form of inspirational gatherings and sporting events, well we know how exciting they can be by how well they attract humans en masse. Whether you chose to pay for it or join an orginzation like a religion that gathers to share the sensation, it is important to know that the sensation is natural and free and can be created without cost or strings attached.

Finally, no one really knows the answers or what will happen next, be very very suspicious of anyone that claims to know.

So here we are in the season where nearly every religion on the planet is plugging their holiday into the winter solstice and branding the dinner and family gatherings we share with the strings of their own perpetuation. And to me, it is all good and a beautiful, magic and wonderful thing to see all of us humans clustering and drawn together by love and wrapped in celebrations of life. Strings or not I wish Happy Holidays to all, regardless the your belief system that you have chosen to guide your life. To us and all our friends and everyone else whom with we share this planet. Here is a holiday cheers to warm people. To people that do their best to navigate through life in a positive way and even though we screw some things up. Here is to people that care but do not care so much that it ruins their happiness. Here is to people that strive to succeed but do not fall into the predatory weakness of stepping on others to do so. Happy Holidays! And in the words of The Barfly "Drinks for All My Friends!" Whatever drink that it is that you chose to be drinking.

The hoping I am 'not so much' boring,

Dave Rat