About Me

Ideas are my bread and butter and I have plenty to share!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Win for Humanity

I woke up this morning dreading the news, afraid that the political forecasts of close elections was going to bring about another recount fiasco putting people in charge whose ideas are from the dark ages. Imagine my giddiness upon reading that not only did Romney not win, but that my home state made history.

We passed gay marriage at the polls.

Maryland joins us in this, making it impossible for those frustrating farts to call it an anomaly. Growing up here in Maine, I did not think we'd be one of the first two states to pass marriage equality. I know too many people who are clouded by religious dogma. I was pleased to see 99% of my facebook friends cheering today, and saddened to see one or two who felt like we'd slid into barbarism. *shakes head*

But anyway, for the first time, I am proud to live and have been raised in Maine. We have a long way to go, I have a feeling the schools the area I was raised are still taking time out of the school day for 'Good News Club' and thinking it is just as important if not more so than actual education...I'm stopping myself there before I go on a tangent. I'm happy today, no derailments!

If I had my own place, I'd be throwing a party for all my friends who share in this great moment. Rainbows and techno music and my brother would be guest of honor. I cannot express how pleased I am by this.

Viva Equality!
Viva Atheism!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Melody Sheep

For those of us who enjoy a little techno with our science, I want to share this. I love melodysheep for creating music out of talks and lectures some people might find boring. So much better than another song about romance, in my humble opinion. Here is one of my favourites from his Symphony of Science:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Atheism and Wicca

Life has a way of contradicting itself. My life experience has led me to hold dear the beliefs of atheism, that everything has a scientific basis. However, I do believe that there are things we have yet to explain. My husband, on the other hand, is finding a deep meaning in Wicca. Wicca itself, I have no problem with. People do not force "Wiccan ideals" on other people the way our politicians are trying to use Christianity to sanction their own ideas on what should be law.

I'm not here to rant on our current politics, though it is a hot-button issue for me. What brings me to write is the concept of being an Atheist Wiccan. I want to encourage my husband, Patrick, to follow his path, I've already seen the good it has done for him. I do manage to irritate him with my own views, occasionally finding an article I find too good not to share about evolution or some other topic we don't agree on...but all I really want is for us to be able to bond over our differences.

I know that traditionally Wicca centers on the worship of nature deities, the Trinity Goddess for example, but from the research both I and Patrick have done, there are many different paths within the Wiccan faith. I don't know that I could ever believe anything without reservations, I was raised on Science and I enjoy the process of understanding, of questioning. However, I have seen my husband manage things not quite explainable, though also not measurable.

I find that I believe some people have abilities as yet unmeasured. I've seen that Wiccan spells and meditations can have perceptible results, though not so obvious as telekinesis. My hypothesis is that there are types of energy we have yet to perceive, that some people have managed to harness through use of their brains. Magnetic fields are invisible to our eyes, yet can be manipulated to create amazing, magical, results. I think if we focus, perhaps humanity will eventually discover a scientific basis for such things. I'm as skeptical as anyone about ESP, ghosts, precognition, but rather than think them impossible, I know they are impossible to prove at this point in human history, and there have been too many con artists who take advantage of blind faith for me to believe in any one person.

Another scientific explanation for Wiccan spells lies in psychology. A majority of the spells I have seen have focused on the practitioner's mind-set. If you don't believe you can accomplish a goal, you never will. The spells seem to be a advanced mediations, to enable the practitioner to realize their goals. Almost every spell I have seen describes itself as enabling the practitioner to realize the desired results, that the spell alone will not change circumstances. You can't get a job if you don't look for one, but the spell can give you the self-confidence to succeed in the interview.

My question, my thought, is that if belief is a core tenant to successful spell casting, does that faith have to be in the Trinity Goddess? In Gaia? In a personal diety? Or could the belief simply be that you do not yet understand the mechanism, but that it is somehow real? I doubt we could have advanced as a species if the great minds who nearly single-handedly advanced our civilization blindly believed. Yet, they had to experiment. Electricity at one point was magical, but through experiments it was eventually measured and defined. Science is always making new leaps, as an Atheist I believe we will never know everything there is to know. A belief based on history and observation, not simply blind faith.

So, it is with this mindset that I embark upon the mysteries of Wicca. Perhaps I will discover something as life-altering as electricity was...the adventure lies in trying. If I can simply lay the groundwork for minds greater than my own to follow, it will be worth it.

Personal Growth...

I'm not sure what to write about today, but I know I want to write. Right now my life is a waiting game, and there isn't anything I can do about that. I had a conversation about using this time to grow. Sounds so easy, right?

One idea thrown out on the topic was "finding religion." I find it absurd that religion is still thought of as positive personal growth. Yes, it means I need to find my own sources of comfort. I cannot use the crutch of a divine being, or of an afterlife that will be better than this life. This life is all we have, we should enjoy it to the fullest.

That being said, I have a hard time letting myself live because I am in part living for my husband. I have fibromyalgia, a condition that really isn't even understood let alone treatable. Yes, there are medications. No, they don't work for me and from what I've read, they rarely do much in general to help a patient with fibromyalgia become more functional. I tried one that got rid of the pain, but I was basically a vegetable, not a good tradeoff.

So, how do I grow when I can barely function? I need to be comfortable enough in my own skin to try even without someone to catch me and hold me when I am left in so much pain I can't even think. I feel I grow with each book I read, with each talk I listen to, and when I talk to people from other places in the world.

It all comes down to one thing, though. What is the point? For everyone it is different. I choose to focus on what makes me happy. People make me happy, though being an introvert I need certain people not a crowd. Games make me happy, and can take my attention away from the hole of missing my loved-ones leaves me, as can books. Books can steal away days. My husband sometimes plays a game out of talking while I read and seeing how long it takes me to realise he's even there. =)

So, I don't think I'd be doing much different if I were able. The main thing I'd do would be find a gaming group so I could play some Dungeons and Dragons. I need a vehicle and/or a place to gather before I can do that again. So, anyway. I try to better myself each day, even if some days it is simply figuring out how to effectively run missions in Guild Wars with only myself and heroes...=P