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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Post 20, impressive

I'd set my alarm to go off at this time so I could text Trisha to go to work. I'd forgotten why I was texting her, so the text kind of just said "uh, I'm supposed to text you, I forget why, bye." Apparently I'd sent the text an hour late as I was supposed to send it at 5 rather than 6. Sadly I got back into bed and, I'm not tired.

I've taken some Nyquil to both curb my headache and hopefully get me back to sleep, but in the 20 or so minutes before it kicks in I thought I'd write.

So I have this irrational fear that I'm going to fall asleep and never wake up. That I'll just die in my sleep. Sounds peaceful I guess, but it scares the hell out of me. I don't want to stop existing. I don't ever want to stop existing. I got to thinking tonight while laying there, just about every religion in the world teaches a form of immortality for us whether it be resurrection, reincarnation or an experience like rebirth into a new world, they all kind of seem to teach that we go on. They are all frighteningly similar:

Islam believes in an afterlife where there are seperate levels of heavan and hell which you can attain based on your deeds in life, sound familiar? I suppose it makes sense for an Abrahamic religion founded by a man called by many a prophet who found some texts in a mountain long after the departure of Jesus Christ to sound similar to another Abrahamic religion founded under similar circumstances.
Hinduism believes that we do things in life and accumulate karma. Based on the goodness or badness of this karma we are brought back to Earth in a situation that could be quite pleasant, or rather terrible. So terrible that you may come back as a chicken.
Buddhism believes nearly the same as Hinduism. You accumulate karma and based upon your karma you can come back as the next Steve Jobs or possibly in a "hell realm" where you would live a life in which you'd attempt to improve. (Maybe Earth is "hell realm, wonder who I pissed off in my last life?) They have a fascinating belief of what happens between life where you are confronted by a light and thoughts of deeds of your life and these thoughts try to keep you from the light which is immortal salvation. If you lived a poor life the light is impossibly to confront, but if you lived one of goodness and service you can follow this path. Many of us are unable to confront the light will be helped by Buddah's to choose a life where we are able to help others so we may have a better chance next time.
Sikhs believe that our soul belongs to a spiritual universe where we reincarnate and store up goodness until we have filled up enough good deeds to meet with God. At this point we can choose to stay with God or to choose to accept a lower class and continue serving our fellow man. There are also lower classes such as plants and even microscopic life, but it's unclear to me how one attains these, I would suppose they'd be a punishment of too many poor lives.
Christianity is where it gets complicated, every Christian sect seems to have their own twist on the afterlife, but the main point is that Christ died and saved us from our sins and we are here to prove that we are worthy to accept his sacrifice. Our life accumulates.. for the lack of a better word.. karma and on judgment day we are assigned a new home based on our works. Some sects of Christianity, Universalists for example believe salvation is for all, you simply start with more in the afterlife based on how you conducted yourself on Earth. Then there are seventh day Adventists, which I won't pretend to understand, but are far more strict than even Mormons on who is and is not saved and basically you and I and everyone we know will burn in fire and brimstone when Satan comes to reclaim the rest of us. Christian Science (whatever that is) believes that there is no eternal judgment of heaven and hell and that we move freely between different states in another plane of consciousness. Honestly that sounds somewhat sci-fi to me, but I can't tell them they're wrong. They teach that we can experience heaven here if we so try enough. All that has to be done is to conquer sin through Christ.

Even looking back at ancient religions in Greece and Rome say that we are judged after death and sent to heaven or hell. After a period in hell we can be reincarnated to try again. Zoroastrian beliefs state that after you die you stay on Earth for 3 days with your corpse chanting some prayer. Then after this you are judged using scales (a term of any measurement, not simply weight) to see if your good deeds outweighted the bad, or if they were more or less equal. Then you are sentenced to one of 3 afterlives.

So extremist beliefs and slight differences aside, those all sound almost exactly the same to me. There is an afterlife, if we don't quite get the afterlife we want, we may choose to continue learning and try to achieve this ideal afterlife. The major differences I believe between religions are more ethical than metaphysical. What is good and what is bad? In India killing cows is bad karma, in America telling your neighbor you won't come to their BBQ and eat a burger is not thought of very highly.

It's comforting to think that all these billions of people who can't seem to agree on anything happen to agree, in a loose sort of way, that the afterlife is basically the same. Our existence continues and it continues in a way that a life of good deeds is rewarded with a pleasurable afterlife and a life of bad deeds is punished with a not so fantastic afterlife. That seems incredibly convincing to me. It makes me want to be a good person. It makes me want to give my peanuts to a homeless guy begging for money and makes me feel good about it for the next week because of the friendship him and I will have now, even if we never see each other again as mortals, and because of the overwhelming good feeling that I had inside me. Good karma feels nice!

Now if people could simply quit arguing about what's good and what's bad. If we could just accept each others differences and share an idea of a God who is smart enough (and he IS smart enough, trust me, he's God.. or they're God.. or she's God, whatever) to differentiate between who was trying to be good and who didn't give a damn, then all 7 billion of us (minus a few scientists who are absolutely convinced that nothing happens at all after death) could agree and get along just fine.

The only problem with this is that it would create a somewhat xenophobic society. We value civil rights and universal suffrage in western society, middle-eastern society will never see this viewpoint and if we concentrate on that, we will fight. Fighting over who's God is tougher, when in all likelihood it's the same God, seems like an incredibly fast way to get bad karma. If we simply accept that we're all trying to just be good people and serve the people most dear to us in the best way we know how, why can't we all end up in the afterlife together? The God that I know exists would be accepting of Christains, Jews, Muslims, Taoists and Buddhists alike, as long as we all gave it all, whenever we could on Earth. He would reward us accordingly. Whether this be with a world of my own or another life on another world where I am someone of power or with some reward I can't comprehend with my human mind in the ensuing rebirth as something greater, I can't say for sure. I like to believe the first, but I can't say that IS how it is. Only that an afterlife must exist, and it must be based on rewards I earned as a human.

I guess I figured after my last blog a nice pacifying "can't we all just get along" blog was a good followup. I really want to believe that when I talk to my grandma she acknowledges it in a way I just don't quite understand. I want to believe those hundreds of funky stories where a dead person is revived and can describe stuff that would have been impossible for them to know because they perceived it through some extrasensory means in the "afterlife." Such a happy thought. I miss my Grandma dearly. I want to be her friend again.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Your facebook status update is stupid.

I was just going through about a weeks worth of facebook updates from my friends and I came across something that I decided really annoys me. When people update me on the status of the menial achievements that their babies accomplish, or worse... when they write an entire blog about them posting pictures that their child is never going to look back on and think, "Wow mom, I'm so happy you took this pantsless picture of me in complete and utter confusion about the world."

Do new parents honestly think the average person cares at all that their baby rolled over? Do you think I care that your baby isn't having green turds anymore? Seriously, how boring is your life if you think that updating me on stuff that your pet human just learned to do, that most puppies can do at birth, is interesting? Or is this just all a contest amongst parents to show off what new tricks they taught their children to get a head start on properly competing with parents in your LDS ward about whose children are the most spiritual and baptized the most people on their spiritual crusades.. err.. missions?

Also what is the deal with texting facebook every stupid thing that you personally do yourself?
7:32 - Going to the park with friends!
7:41 - Playing on the swings
7:46 - Just went down the slide, I love my friends!
7:50 - Now we're getting ice cream
7:52 - Mikey moo'd at some cows out the window.
>>> Comment from Brandon - Please shut up, your life is boring. Quit pretending like you're enjoying yourself. Obviously you're not enjoying yourself or you wouldn't be texting facebook every 5 minutes or worse, playing on your smartphone. By the way, I hope you are texting while driving and get a ticket.

Other updates that are really stupid too are the overly-dramatic updates on ones love lives that you would not find strange from a junior high school student, but mind you probably a good 90% of my facebook friends are 18-26. "Oh he treats me so great I'm so happy I have such a wonderful boy." or "He's such a dick, why can't he just treat me right?" Better question, why do you think your 650 facebook friends (of which you know well, maybe 4) give a damn? Then the ever so appropriate messages from lovers to each other of, "I love you baby, you're always on my mind.. except when I had bed-shaking sex with the neighbor last week which is why I'm saying this publicly so no one doubts our pure love for only each other." Okay maybe I added that last part in, but really? This needs to be done over facebook public messaging? An "I love you" text message, phone call or email wouldn't cut it? That's cool and all, I understand that you're ugly and never got anyone all through high school, so now you're proud of your first ever relationship and want to announce it to the world, but consider your age next time.

Sigh, I really am a dick sometimes, I'm sorry. Maybe I'm simply unhappy with my life and the only way I can deal with how terribly she treats me and how verbally abused I am is by displacing my rage on others through my blog that no one reads. Nah, I'm full of crap. Life is great. You really do just annoy me. *glare*

PS. If you're from the Southwestern US and considering changing your major to geology, don't do it unless you like scorching hot deserts in July.

Hey, one more month until I move back to Logan! I'm excited, can't wait to be around cool roommates and sexy ladies again.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer is almost over

*sigh* one month later. So much for being active at updating my blog. My fish sure were hungry. I hope someone had been active at feeding them in my absence. They were still alive though, so that's a good sign. (The fish up a little higher on the page if you don't know what I'm talking about.)

This summer, so far, has not exactly been my idea of a restful relaxing vacation. I've had three jobs, none of which are/were exactly exciting. I started out as a census salesman. I would go door to door an do census questionnaire forms for retards who are too good to simply send the form in that comes in the mail. Then that kind of ended a lot faster than I had anticipated so I was forced to find another job. I got a job waiting tables at a pizza place called NYPD. The pizza was all right, the people were pretty cool, but the job itself made me feel like a huge underachiever. I'm 24, shouldn't I be past the whole working at a pizza place thing? In the entire restaurant there were about 5 people older than me. Then I got a job as an exploration geologist tech where I kind of just do labor for a geologic company rather than actually doing any geology itself. I hammer posts into the ground and collect soil samples. Not test soil samples - no, just collect them. I'm hoping someday it'll look good on a resume though. Plus the pay is good. One thing I can say about this summer is that I've made a lot more money than I did last summer. Last year I was about $1000 more poor than I was at the start and this summer I'll end with about $4000 more than I started with, so that's pretty good, right?

Anyway, I'm going out to Wells (where?) Nevada to collect soil samples on Monday. I am hoping I don't die, though this is a possibility as this job honestly scares the hell out of me sometimes. Running into a rattlesnake and being hours from civilization (okay, maybe 20 minutes from Tooele) isn't exactly what I consider a safe workplace.

At least I've had more companionship this summer than I did last summer. Now having Skype dates and playing video games together is fun and all, but when it's 80% of what you have in the way of human contact for 3 months, it sucks. This summer has been fun. I've dated a whole lot more (real dates, not Skype dates) and even seen some of my old high school friends a few times. I've not been to Logan to see my friends there at all, though I have hung out with James a handful of times which is cool.

I've really become confused with life the past month or so though. This job I have really makes me consider if geology is something I'm interested in at all. The job sucks, period. <--- that is a period. I don't care the pay, it sucks and honestly rocks aren't that interesting to me. I was at a museum yesterday and they had quite the rock collection and like they were cool and all, but whatever. My day wouldn't have been any less complete had I not seen them. Trisha however went gaga over some old anthropological baskets and shoes. Why can't I feel passionate about something like that? I'll admit geology is more interesting than engineering was, but that isn't saying much. Tacos are more interesting than engineering was. I think the main advantage geology has is that I'm better at it.. or maybe it's easier. So what? I am going to finish my undergrad. That's definite. One more year? No way I'm changing. Then do I get a geology job or.. what? I'm 24 and I still haven't any idea what I want to do for a career because I can't seem to find anything that I say, "Yeah, I could do this for 30 years." about.

Another thing about my future that really really scares me is marriage. Do I want to get married young? All my friends have or are doing it. I'll be 25 and with the overflowing idiot 18 year old population of Logan, Utah I can pretty much guarantee that if I wanted to marry within the next 15 months I could. It would be nice to get married, and have kids before I'm 30. Or do I first want to actually establish this career of mine first and have make 50k or more a year while being single and buy the things I want to buy like a 370Z and a 55" TV while just kind of living on my own? If I can have a few nice things being single living off crap jobs having a real job while being single would kick so much ass I can't even tell you. Why can't I do both? :( I want two lives. Then I can live them both and whichever turns out better at the age of 35 I'll pick up on and follow from there. Sure I guess there's nothing wrong with marrying at say 32, but what if I lose someone in that time that I really loved and have to settle for someone else or what if I end up like my uncle Duane did and die single? Neither of those sound like very good outcomes. Though maybe I could get a great job at 25, marry at 28 to someone I really love and life would be grand. Though what are the chances of that? Psh. Nothing goes as planned, ever, right? Is that a chance worth taking when failure could potentially mean I end up alone, which, would be the most depressing thing ever regardless of how many sports cars I had.

*sigh* I guess blogging about it really doesn't help me solve the dilemma.