The Ramblings of the Titanium Don

Explorations of Conscious Reality Creation and Other Matters

Month: April 2012

Sexual equality

Heterosexuals and homosexuals are equals.  Period.

And it does not matter where people fall between these two extremes.  It does not matter if you are gay, straight, bi-sexual, omnisexual or asexual – everyone is equal.  That is the long and short of it.

In the 1920’s, there was a movement for equal rights for women.  In the 1960’s, there was a movement for equal rights for black people.  Now, there is a movement for equal rights for homosexuals.

It should not matter if you are a man who loves a man, a man who loves a woman, or a woman who loves a woman – if you want to share that love with the world and be married, you should have the right to be married.  I don’t care what church or other organized religion says it is wrong – marriage is an institution between the two people involved, and the standings of any religious organization should not enter into it.

I have been working in benefits administration for the past year, and in doing so, have learned one of the biggest ACTUAL reasons people oppose homosexual marriage: Money.  Of course, it’s all about money.

Taxes are different for married couples.  Retirement plan rules are different for married couples.  Health plan options are different for married couples.  A lot of these things save married couples money.  So, allowing this population to marry means that money will be lost.

But as with many things, the money issue is hidden under supposed moral, religious, and ethical qualms.  People use these intangibles in a cowardly deception to hide the fact that it’s all about the money.

And yes, I am certain some people DO oppose homosexual rights under moral, religious and ethical reasons.  But that does not mean that anyone has the right to deny people who are not heterosexual from marrying, or any other entitlements heterosexuals have.

In the interest of full disclosure – I am a straight male.  And I believe that just because someone feels a different type of attraction to other people than I do does not mean they should be denied the right to have, express, and openly show that to the world.

I am attracted to women.  Which is, I guess, ‘normal’.  But the so-called ‘alternative’ options not only do not offend me – they do not affect me.

Against gay marriage?  Don’t get one.  That does not give you the right to bar others from getting one.  In what way does allowing people who love one another ‘degrade’ the supposed ‘sanctity’ of marriage?  In what way does this lessen the ‘moral’ standing of the nation?

How many heterosexual marriages end in divorce?  How many heterosexuals marry two, three, four and even more times?  How are these things acceptable, but a man marrying a man or a woman marrying a woman not?  It is utterly illogical.

I acknowledge some religious organizations oppose homosexuality.  I know that some people simply have a moral opposition to it.  We are all entitled to our opinions, and our beliefs.  But what that DOES NOT give you the right to do is to oppress the beliefs of others.  Your way is your way – it is not superior, better than, or otherwise more right than that of anyone else.

The ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ is a travesty.  There is no reason to define marriage as strictly between a man and a woman, especially in a nation that prides itself on its diversity.  We are not a nation of one religion, one morality, one code – we are many.  And that does not give anyone the right to deny anyone the right to love whom they want, and to express that love.

And yes – I extend this to polyamory and polygamy.  Marriage is between the people who are involved in it – and if multiple women all agree to marry the same man, or a poly triad wants to be married together – why shouldn’t they be?

Love is never a bad thing.  And if two people, doesn’t matter their sexual preference, care to express that love by marrying – there is no valid reason at all why they should be denied this.  Keep your personal moral code to yourself – and stop interfering with the rights other people should be entitled to – even if they are different from you!  The world needs more love.

Heterosexuals and homosexuals and everyone in between these identities are equals.  Period.  The end.

Pathwalking 17

Probably the single greatest obstacle to Pathwalking is fear.

FDR famously said “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  Yoda stated that, “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”  And in Dune, Frank Herbert gave us the Litany against Fear: “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

When it comes to walking one’s path, in all likelihood the single greatest obstacle is fear.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of the reaction of others.  Fear of ridicule.  Fear of failure.  Fear of success.

We are constantly presented with choices.  Every action and inaction on our part will have an effect on our life.  Some of these choices are simple – wear the blue pants or the black?  Button-down or polo shirt?  Chinese or a deli sandwich for lunch?  Some choices are more complicated – this job, or that?  Do I go on the date?  Do I drive down that unfamiliar road?

The simpler and less far-reaching the decision, the less concern making a choice will generate.  But for really big decisions – buying a house, proposing marriage, taking a new job – there is a palpable fear.  And that fear can be so overwhelming, we choose either not to act, or we let the fear choose our path for us.

I am a victim of this problem.  (And by victim, I mean of my own making).  I sometimes have stood before a choice, and when faced with the options before me, either made no choice – or chose the familiar, and went on letting my life live me, and took no risk.  Rather than take the chance and see what new challenge might be before me, I cowered in the familiar, and allowed life to just happen around me.

I didn’t really do everything that was necessary for me to pursue a career related to my college experience because I preferred the less risky, more comfortable stability of the friendships I had built.  Rather than go to NYC and attempt to immerse myself in theatre; or Podunk, Iowa to take a radio DJ job, I chose to remain in my comfort zone, close to friends – even though this presented me no career opportunities.

I also chose to take comfort in those friendships, and the nest I would build myself, and took no major risks that might upset my place in that world.  I stagnated…and continued to move forward as the universe paced me.  Life was living me.

Then one day my life was forever changed (see Pathwalking 8 for the story).  And for the first time, I well and truly chose to take control, in order to recover as I felt I must.  I accepted no limitations, no possibility of failure, no fear.  And for the first time since leaving high school, I walked a path I was choosing.

Years have passed since that time.  And I have flirted with this process.  Sometimes I am the ultimate champion of walking my path.  But all too often, I am in need of all the things I have written about in this pathwalking series.

Why?  The primary issue, the main distraction, the premier obstacle has been FEAR.

I am not afraid of much, on the surface.  When it comes to tangibles, I am fearless.  But what I do fear are tremendous intangibles: failure, success, abandonment, ridicule, disappointment, love, loathing, loneliness.  I fear both feeling and not feeling emotions.  I fear disappointing both myself and those I care about.

There, I’ve said it.  My own primary obstacle to this whole concept of Pathwalking is fear.  Despite all I have known, all I continue to learn and experience, I am in a constant struggle to overcome and silence my intangible fears.

How do I overcome the fear?  That is the question.  Identifying the fear is the first step in overcoming it.  The challenge after that is to deal with it, move past it, and overcome it.  And that will be the next Pathwalking topic.

What do YOU fear?

 

This is the seventeenth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

Pathwalking 16

Do I deserve to be happy?

Have I earned the right to walk my own path?  Am I good enough, smart enough, wise enough, deserving enough to be one of those people who can choose and walk their own path?

Yes.  Yes I am.  And Yes, you are, too.

One of the biggest problems with seeking, finding, and walking your own path is exactly this.  Am I deserving of having this choice?

There are a lot of factors, a lot of influences, a lot of established systems which we find we have and/or need to provide validation.  And given those, one of the hardest questions we face, and ask, is simply: Am I Deserving?

We are taught that if we “do good”, follow the “golden rule”, act ethically and morally, we deserve to receive our desires.  But we are also taught that we have to “behave”, act accordingly, and meet certain expectations in order to “deserve” things.

Problem is – who’s expectations are we meeting?  Who determines whether we “deserve” something or no?  Is it up to mom and dad, unseen Powers-that-be, God?

The answer is, really, it is up to ME.  It is up to ME to find my own happiness.  And it is up to YOU to find yours, too.  And YES, without a doubt, we deserve to be happy!

Paying a visit to Dictionary.com, we find the following:

de·serv·ing.

verb (used with object)

1. to merit, be qualified for, or have a claim to (reward, assistance, punishment, etc.) because of actions, qualities, or situation: to deserve exile; to deserve charity; a theory that deserves consideration.

verb (used without object)

2. to be worthy of, qualified for, or have a claim to reward, punishment, recompense, etc.: to reward him as he deserves; an idea deserving of study.

In both of these, this speaks of being worthy of or qualified FOR what one deserves.  And in this case, there is no outside persona you need to prove yourself to, there is no judge to say you are or are not deserving.  This is all about YOU.

There are certain things that EVERYONE is entitled to.  We ALL deserve them.  And I believe that they are universal.

EVERYONE deserves happiness.  Everyone deserves abundance.  Everyone deserves peace.  Everyone deserves prosperity.  Everyone deserves love.  EVERYONE.

I cannot think of a single emotional or logical argument against happiness, abundance, peace, prosperity and love.  These are the things we ALL strive for, they are the greatest desires underlying our every action, I believe.  And we ALL deserve to have them.

This is the point of pathwalking.  To seek and find happiness, abundance, peace, prosperity and love.  The most positive, the most constructive intangibles we can imagine are what we seek from walking the path.  Every day will not be perfect, and we will stumble along the way, get lost, get diverted – but when all is said and done, these are what we most want, at the deepest level of our existence.

And WE DESERVE THEM.  We deserve to have these things.  You and I deserve to not only have these things, we deserve to be able to share them.

Do I deserve to be loved?  Do I deserve to be prosperous? Do I deserve to be at peace?  Do I deserve to live an abundant life?  Do I deserve to be happy?

Absolutely, undoubtedly, resoundingly, YES.  Yes, yes, yes, yes and more yes.

And so do you.  And so does everyone.

We are deserving.

 

This is the sixteenth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

Another open letter to the US Congress

Dear Congress,

Congratulations on failing us again.  The American People are coming to thoroughly appreciate just how little you do that serves our needs.

I mean, really, why bother to pass a bill that might increase the taxes on those who can afford to pay more taxes?   No, instead, let’s propose another round of cuts.  Cutting funding for various programs we dislike is a great way to raise revenue.

Except, wait a minute…it doesn’t.  Last I checked, and I will admit, I am no math whiz, so I might just have this wrong, but – last I checked, you have to BRING MONEY IN in order to INCREASE revenues.  How does a federal government do that?

Bake sales to raise BILLIONS are impractical.  So are car washes, raffles, and tricky trays or auctions.  As such, I believe you, as a cash-strapped federal government, need to levy taxes in order to gain revenue.

Which means SOMEONE has to pay money in taxes.  So how come, rather than increase the tax rate (which is currently at it’s lowest in DECADES) for those who can afford to pay more taxes, you continue to overtax the middle class, and only cut cut cut?

I don’t care which side of the aisle you are on – clearly, you are on the side of the extremely wealthy.  Whether it’s a wealthy individual or a corporation, you will do NOTHING that you perceive would offend them (and by offend them, it’s pretty clear this translates to ‘cause them to NOT fund your reelection efforts’).  You cater to them and their needs – which just shows you care more about money than doing your job and offering fair governance.

We the People are not innocent in this.  We are not too bright, in that we keep reelecting you.

To my fellow average Americans who might read this that are in the same boat I am – when you see these self-serving individuals up for re-election, try to choose someone ELSE.  Preferably someone who is not representative of either dominant party, as it is time to make that system BREAK.  Instead of reading about endless bickering, pointless posturing, and wondering who will do something about this – let’s take responsibility, and be the ones to actually DO something about this.

You, Congress, are on notice.  Shape up, and start working for us again – or you might just see what it was that caused the founding fathers to rebel against THEIR leaders, and found a new nation.  All you serve are your obscenely biased parties, your own interests, and money.  Those of us making up the majority in this country are neglected, and about all we see from you are new laws restricting things having to do with our bodies.  And frankly, you do not belong in our bodies, our personal lives, and choices as such.

Your cozy perch above the law is not as stable as you seem to think it is.  When We the People become more proactive, you’ll have to answer to us again – as you should have been all along.

Gender Equality

Men and women are equal.  Period.

Apart from a difference in specific chromosomes, and a difference of reproductive organs, men and women are equal.  End of story.

And yet, even with all the knowledge we have, all the resources available for our education today, there is a movement to deny that equality.  There are laws being passed all across the country (not to mention the rest of the world) that deny women the equality they not only deserve, but are absolutely entitled to.

This is not simply a “war against women”.  It is a terrible, reactionary, unacceptable movement to lessen one gender.  It is a movement to disempower, disenfranchise, and frankly de-humanize an entire group of people.  And for what?  Power?  Money?  Religion?  A false sense of superiority on the part of those taking these actions?

In the interest of full disclosure – I am a man.  And I believe, without a single doubt, that women are equal to me in every way.  I don’t care if you want to argue that they lack the same physical strength of men – that’s an untrue stereotype.  Women are capable of the same things men are, capable of making their own decisions, and deserving of being paid the same as men for the same work.  Period.

As a man, I have NO RIGHT AT ALL to tell any woman what she can or cannot do with her body.  If she wants to get pregnant, have an abortion, get a nose job, to weigh a half a ton, to work or stay at home, or roam the countryside or do ANYTHING at all – it is HER decision, not mine.  Period.

Who do these people think they are, the ones making these laws that interfere with a woman’s right to choose, a woman’s right to be paid the same as a man, a woman’s given right to have equality?  Where does the arrogant superiority being displayed come from?

If I am asked to provide counsel or advice, I may do so.  But I defy you to tell me what gives any man any right to inform a woman as to what she can or cannot do.

I count amongst my friends many men and women – and I treat them all the same, no matter their gender.

I am making this statement to support my female friends, to let the world know that as a man, I believe that WOMEN ARE MY EQUAL.  Period.

Pathwalking 15

It’s a trap!

A lot of people believe that this entire concept – consciousness creating reality, the law of attraction, the power of positive thinking, etcetera – is nothing more than hooky-spooky, crunchy hippy, new-agey bullshit.  They think life happens, you cannot direct it, control it, you can only do your part, do your job, and get on with it.  All this feel-good reality creationism is ludicrous drivel.

This is the easiest trap to fall into.  Especially when you are part of this routine:  Get up, go to work so you can earn money to pay the bills you have to live as you choose.  Do your job, no matter how annoying, demeaning, degrading – you HAVE to work, you HAVE to earn money, or you’re another drain on society.  Go home.  Sleep.  Repeat the cycle tomorrow.

Oh, and while you’re at it, you also need to find a way to establish some sort of social circle(s), an emotional/sexual relationship with someone, create and raise a family, and still exercise, sleep eight hours a night, and eat normal, healthy square meals.  And don’t buck the system, while you’re at it.

We are awake anywhere from twelve to eighteen hours a day, or more.  And we are expected to spend AT LEAST eight of those hours at some sort of job, so that we ‘earn our keep’ and ‘play our part’ as a productive member of society.  Anywhere from two thirds to one quarter of any given day we spend in this cycle.  Is it any wonder we fall into this trap, and find it hard to get out again?

I am not advocating we all quit our jobs, form communes together and spend our days in meditation or combing beaches or singing alleluia or kumbaya.  While that has certain advantages, that’s a trap of a whole different type.  No, what I am advocating here is that we recognize that we can have more from our lives – and we can choose to make more of them.

If I am spending anywhere from one quarter to two thirds of my day in a single place – don’t I deserve to be content, or even happy there?  Don’t I have a right to do something that is of my own choosing?  Is there any reason I can’t both be a ‘productive member of society’ AND walk a path of my own choosing?

Of course not.  I have every right to demand more from my life.  There are more than enough mindless drones trapped in their routine – why should I be?  Why should you be?  And really – why should anyone be?

Some people neglect to take power over their lives because it is scary.  It is full of uncertainty.  Some people just don’t get past the point in childhood where you seek, desire and NEED direction from others (elders, parents, teachers, etc).  So they look to others to make their lives for them – and that, really, is the greatest trap of all.

Parents, teachers, religious leaders, politicians – they are NO DIFFERENT from me and you.  THEY make decisions, they make choices – and while they can provide you with guidance and feedback, ultimately, it is YOUR life, YOUR decisions, YOUR choices.  And while some direction from others can be helpful, it should not be the last word.  Yes, that can be really really easy – but it also denies you control over your own existence.

The next time you seek guidance from without, consider if that guidance empowers you to make your own choices, or robs you of them.  Avoid the trap of letting the ideals, actions and morals of others dictate your life.  Take your power.  Find your happiness.  Walk your own path.

This is hard.  It takes effort.  It will often feel like you are going against the grain, against the current.  But the more we practice, the more we make the effort to walk a path of our own choosing, the easier it becomes.  The effort pays off, and we learn to empower ourselves.

The reward is worth it.  Because the ultimate reward is to be happy.  And don’t we all deserve to be happy with our lives?

 

This is the fifteenth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

Pathwalking 14

Over the past several weeks I have explored many of the aspects that go into my Pathwalking concept.  This week, let’s take a more in-depth look at a single, necessary aspect in successful pathwalking:  Accountability.

More than once, in writing entries on topical rants in this blog, I have touched on this topic.  It is my belief that the single greatest problem in the world today comes down to accountability.  No one seems to care if they take responsibility for their actions, or just how important that really is.

Why is it important?  Why does being accountable matter?

Because, to put it in simplest terms, in order to deal with, overcome, repair, or otherwise handle any single issue that comes up in this world, you have to take account of your own part in it.  And not just errors and mistakes…this applies to every action, inaction, decision, indecision, movement or pause that you make.

Society is constantly looking for where to place the blame.  We need to fault someone for grand issues like global warming, high gas prices, taxes; and more personal issues like emotional disorders, eating disorders, mental illness, relationship problems, and so on and so forth.

The thing is, the longer you cast the blame, the further from actually resolving your part in the situation you will get.  Yes, arguably, it takes two to tango, and some things you can squarely place the blame onto another.  HOWEVER, even so, if you carry a grudge, bear ill will, or otherwise continue to hold onto negativity from a situation, you go NOWHERE.

Pathwalking is about consciously looking for, seeking out, and choosing your way.  It is the idea that rather than let life just happen, you will take direction, take control, and MAKE it happen.

BUT – to do this, you have to not only control thoughts and emotions…you have to look at how you see the world at large, and consider if you are accountable for all the things in your power to take responsibility for.  Do you accept your own role in how things go down in your life – do you make yourself accountable – or do you seek to place blame instead?

If you do not take responsibility and be accountable for your emotions, your actions, your thoughts, but instead place the blame on other people, circumstances or events, you will never succeed.  And this goes beyond the concept of pathwalking, I believe this is a general statement on life.  If you are not accountable for anything, but only blame others, can you be successful in any endeavor?

But, you might argue, look at all those fat-cat tycoons who lie, cheat, and steal.  Look at our political leaders, look at all those people who have success in their lives, but are never accountable for anything.  How can you say it matters, when clearly our examples show us it does not?

Because, I will argue, they may have money, they may have power, they may have followers…but I doubt they have happiness.  I doubt they are ever content.

And maybe, while publicly they are not accountable, privately, they know and acknowledge full well who and what they are.  They have chosen their own path, empowered themselves – but would rather hoard their empowerment than share it with others.

Because, when you boil it all down to its core, pathwalking is all about empowering yourself.  You make choices, you feel what you feel, you seek to walk a path of your own choosing.  Some people cannot accept that life is meant to be abundant for everyone, and out of fear that we’ll run out of things, they don’t want to share, they don’t want to empower.  Because they can only see enough for themselves, and not enough for everyone.

This is why I put this here every week.  Yes, pathwalking is my own personal journey, but it is not meant to be for me alone.  I want, no, I NEED to share this with you.  I don’t care if you share my approach precisely, or if you agree with it or me…I care that you see and find your OWN empowerment, and happiness.  I want to help you to see the world as I see it – full of abundance, infinite possibility, and hope.

From time to time I forget this.  I find myself placing blame sometimes.  I forget that I have to be accountable for MY reactions and MY feelings and MY thoughts.  It is the purview of no-one other than me.  And that is where the accountability comes in.

Do you take account for all that you are responsible for in who you are?

 

This is the fourteenth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

A REALLY Radical idea – Breaking up the Union

I’ll just put this out here.  It may be time for the union to split.  It may be time for secession of states/regions from the union.

These fifty, majorly diverse, geographically wide-spread states clearly no longer function well under a single banner.  So maybe it is time to give serious thought to splitting the union, and starting fresh.

Yes, I am suggesting that the United States of American split up.

The central government and its bureaucracy are failing us further and further.  No effective, useful changes are happening.  Health care reform is of no real use to anyone but the insurance companies; the war on drugs wastes unbelievable money; Wall Street is no better regulated; modern day robber-barons loot and pillage at will, having bought our ‘representatives’ every election cycle.  No one cares that their PROFITS are in the billions of dollars – somehow they, and the wealthy, need tax breaks.

National elections, like the current Presidential debacle, show the amazing and, frankly, scary depths of the divide across this country.  That, and the incredibly backwards laws being debated out there that deny hard-won rights to women.  It is hard to believe this is the 21st century, between the attitudes of the potential candidates and these frighteningly backwards initiatives happening far too frequently.

We have always lacked a single, defined way of being.  You can identity people of other nationalities far more easily…like the French, Germans, Koreans, English (and I acknowledge this does involve stereotyping)…but American – not so much.  People from the deep south are nothing like people from the northeast who are tremendously different from the people of the west coast who have very different attitudes from the Midwesterners.  And those are very broad generalizations.

Let’s face it.  Apart from the Slavery issue, the Confederacy might not have been such a bad idea.  I know you might want to throw stones at me, but let’s be serious here.  How vastly different are the attitudes of Northerners from Southerners?  How much do the people of the South identify themselves as separate and apart not only from the North, but the rest of the union?  If it hadn’t been about slaves, but simply about wickedly different philosophies – would the Confederacy have been such a bad idea?

We are, geographically, immense.  Not counting Hawaii or Alaska, the continental forty-eight cover an amazing amount of space.  Population wise, we are the third largest country on Earth (just over 310 MILLION people), while area wise we are the fourth largest (almost 3.7 MILLION square miles).  How does one government successfully govern such an enormous population over such a broad space?  Frankly – it doesn’t.

This is why I am suggesting this drastic idea.  This is why I am beginning to believe that the only solution to our national crisis is secession.

Ideally, how might this work?

I covered this in a fiction I wrote once, but that doesn’t lessen its possibility.  I can see certain states banding together to form new regional entities.  They could form new nations with common interests over a FAR smaller distance, and with much more similar interests and ideals.

For example – the Northeast.  If Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey formed an independent nation, I think the greater co-prosperity sphere they would form could be hugely beneficial on a lot of different levels.

And certainly, a nation of that size would be far more manageable.  And as different as these states are from one another, they still have enough similarities in attitude and approach that such a merger is not beyond plausibility.

Now I am not advocating that we split up the union, form new nation-states, and then close and arm the borders.  No.  I am suggesting that we bypass the existing central government and its overwhelming bureaucracy and try something more easily manageable.  I am suggesting we break away from the existing union, and start anew,

Is this a perfect idea?  Of course not.  It is fraught with tons of uncertainty, not to mention reliance on human decency to create something LESS corrupt than what already exists…plus it could make for some ugly divides that people would really rather not be a part of.  But no idea will be perfect.  That doesn’t mean this idea is BAD…but it’s an idea.

What ideas have our politicians got to fix the country?  Business leaders?  Community leaders?  Religious leaders?

How about you?

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén