10 Proverbs for You to Ponder

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  1. If religion produces blind sheep, then atheism produces deaf dogs. Between the two, there’s some pretty good comic potential.
  2. If to live for tomorrow is to miss today, then to live for today is to miss tomorrow. Best to avoid linear time altogether.
  3. Go with the flow. True, you’ll eventually hit rapids and be sucked into a watery grave. But at least you’ll be well-liked.
  4. From Vladamir Lenin, we learn,  “The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.” From elementary school, we learn that there are ants in your pants, causing you to do the boogie dance all the way to France. What God hath hidden from the wise and prudent, he hath revealed unto babes.
  5. There are spiders all around you. In your vents. In your couches. Under your covers. Yet when was the last time you told them … any one of them … that you loved them?
  6. Zero population is the answer, my friend. Unfortunately, no one seems to have yet formulated the question.
  7. Of all the constants in the universe, the one that has the most bearing in our lives is the speed of Grandma.
  8. Who needs reality when there’s consensus reality? I mean, if it wasn’t posted on Facebook, did it really happen?
  9. It is better to be feared than to be loved. It is best to be so feared that you confuse people into thinking they’re loving you. That way you’ll get unquestioned obedience plus chocolates.
  10. From the legacy of George Washington Carver, we learn that that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. From the legacy of Andre the Giant, however, we learn that bigger is better.

Well, that was an interesting exercise. Good night.

Download free eBook – Prionser of the Molepeople

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If you like the book, please feel racked with guilt until you’ve left a review on Amazon or GoodReads! And please spread the word!

Big, Big City

Phew, I finally (meaning good enough for now) finished mixing “Big, Big City” (the first song of the album for my musical BUMS!). My goal was to have every track completely mixed and ready to go by two Saturdays ago. Of course, reality has its own time table. I would love any comments.

Look to the Stars

indexLast night, I was lying on my driveway, stargazing. I thought how incredible it was to be breathing the air of the only known atmosphere on the only known ball of rock that can sustain life in the known universe (stressing the word known). How fortunate we are to be traveling on this particular ball of rock at who-knows-how-many miles-per-hour through through who-knows-where in the great never-ending vacuum. And when thinking about traveling through space, it’s only natural to think about traveling through time.

Perhaps inversely proportional to the vastness of the universe is our ability to comprehend the universe. Our mortal lives are like sparks from a campfire, here for a moment, then gone forever. It would be such a shame to waste such precious moments.

I wondered if a common problem the citizens of this planet often fall into isn’t an incomplete version of the philosophy of Socrates, to begin with “I know nothing,” but then to stop there. That is, to cling to the mantra of “I know nothing” throughout our lives, when it comes to the subject of our place in the universe and the great beyond, perhaps we’ll discover, when our lives are at an en, that we’ll die still having learned nothing. I felt as if we don’t have time to go back to the drawing board and reinvent the purpose of life, one day at a time, because life itself is so fleeting, we’ll inevitably miss that very purpose in the process.

If you’re unsure of what the purpose is, I suggest looking to the stars. They have a great deal to tell. For as Joseph Smith affirmed, “Could you gaze into heaven five minutes, you would know more than you would by reading all that ever was written on the subject” (TPJS, p. 324; cf. HC 6:50).

The good news is, you can!

What’s with the insistence on the reality of reality?

855238_1318607051730_fullWhat’s with the insistence on the reality of reality? What if the only reason people don’t achieve fairy tale feats is because of having fallen prey to the limiting cynicism branded as realism? What evidence is there that a pragmatic way of living leads to greater fulfillment than an idealistic way of living? There’s billions of data points on this earth to suggest that ordinary lifestyles yield ordinary results. But what of the extraordinary people out there? How many people who are living their dreams got to where they were through ordinary means?

What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ (and most every religion) but an insistence that the fairy tale world is the real word and the world around us the illusion? Without rejecting the meaningful opportunities presented to us in this world, what if we lived by the logic of the fairy tale world? That is, what if we really believed that true love conquers all, and good will always overcome evil, that divine assistance will aid heroes on their quests, that true power is virtue and bravery?

It’s typical to dismiss fairy tales as out of touch with reality. But if this is true, why do our souls connect so much with fairy tales? What if our souls were trying to tell us something? As Plato illustrated, if we had spent our whole lives wandering in a cave, we might assume that the whole world is the cave, that we know the ins and outs as well as is possible to know. Of course, we’d be dead wrong.

On the other hand, it wouldn’t make sense to base our lives on an exterior reality we know nothing about, ignoring the reality before our eyes. So, one might ask, what’s wrong with accepting the reality presented to us for what it is? My response is that God is in the details. From superficial glances, we may think reality has everything to do with commutes to work, social media, and kitchen sinks. But if we’ll call upon our other faculties, i.e. our hearts, we may also discover that the reality we care most for has everything to do with swashbuckling heroes and beautiful maidens. And in comparing the findings of our various faculties and sorting by priority, we may then discover that there is, in fact, a practical means for achieving the mystique of swashbuckling heroes and beautiful maidens. We may indeed discover that our failure to live the fairy tale life is in fact a failure to see reality for what it really is.

As far as I’ve been able to perceive reality, this much I’ve concluded: the soul is immortal. Goodness will previal. Wrongs will be rigthted. Love really does conquer all. And the universe is absolutely amazing. So amazing, in fact, that there’s no god reason — no reason at all — to make tomorrow’s chapter of your fairy tale anything less than fantastic.

A Family Drama and a Happy Ending

Tonight there was some epic drama in the house of Gashler. When it was bedtime, six-year-old Ariah insisted that she had to sleep in the tent (a little play house we bought them for Christmas). The problem was that there wasn’t enough room in there for three-year-old Aspen, and Aspen didn’t want to sleep in the bed all by herself. I asked her why not, and my heart throbbed as she explained, in her tender three-year-old way, her fear of the darkness. I tried to convince Ariah to sleep in the bed with her sister, but Ariah insisted that she needed a break from Aspen, who followed her everywhere, and who unreasonably insisted that Ariah follow her upstairs or downstairs when no one else was there because of her fear of being alone. After all, Ariah reasoned, she was a growing girl and needed some privacy!

I tried to mediate, to get one party to compromise with the other, but neither would bend. Finally, to my dread, I realized that the only solution was to allow little Aspen to sleep in mommy and daddy’s bed. Nuts. Meanwhile, six-month-year-old Percy squealed with cold indifference toward the whole affair, spouting nonsense and flailing his limbs for no reason whatsoever. How could he be so callous amid this crisis?

I transported a contented Aspen to my bed, where I issued cold orders to sleep and be quiet (bed time often spans hours of delays an diversions, requiring parental militancy), then proceeded to clean the house before Teresa came back from work. My hope was that Aspen would soon fall asleep, and I would be able to secretly transport her back to her own bed (Percy adds enough grief to our sleeping arrangements without an extra body taking up space). About ten minutes later, I heard Ariah calling me from the stairs. I was about to bark my usual, “What are you doing out of bed?” when I noticed the tears in her eyes.

“I miss my sister,” she sobbed.

And so the two of us returned to mommy and daddy’s bedroom, where Aspen, feigning snoring, eagerly threw off her covers. The sisters happily embraced, then returned to their own bedroom. Oh, the drama.

I Duel My Wife

G251_ppTonight Teresa and I had our first real duel. Our weapons were wooden rapiers. Teresa wasn’t fond of the idea to begin with, as it was past 10:00pm, and she was ready for bed, but fearing that she would fail a test if she said no, she humored me. At first she was stiff and entirely defensive. I confess that I was going easy on her. But as I let her take some jabs at me, and her confidence grew, the wheel suddenly turned around, and I was on the defensive. I’d never seen her so aggressive. The fight grew much more intense than I would have possibly expected, and there were times when I was genuinely afraid of her whipping blade.

By the rules of our duel, she was the first to score ten hits. While we caught our breaths, she said with a smile, “I think I’m finally open to the idea of coming home at the end of the day and having you leap out from concealment, tossing me a sword, and shouting, ‘Have at thee, coward!’ ” This was music to my ears. There’s nothing I’ve ever wanted more than a wife who will battle me. My boyish dreams are finally being fulfilled!

After all, the truest of love (as we learn from the movies) is only to be found following the truest of violence. Couples that stay together, slay together.

I Duel My Wife

Tonight Teresa and I had our first real duel. Our weapons were wooden rapiers. Teresa wasn’t fond of the idea to begin with, as it was past 10:00pm, and she was ready for bed, but fearing that she would fail a test if she said no, she humored me. At first she was stiff and entirely defensive. I confess that I was going easy on her. But as I let her take some jabs at me, and her confidence grew, the wheel suddenly turned around, and I was on the defensive. I’d never seen her so aggressive. The fight grew much more intense than I would have possibly expected, and there were times when I was genuinely afraid of her whipping blade.

By the rules of our duel, she was the first to score ten hits. While we caught our breaths, she said with a smile, “I think I’m finally open to the idea of coming home at the end of the day and having you leap out from concealment, tossing me a sword, and shouting, ‘Have at thee, coward!’ ” This was music to my ears. There’s nothing I’ve ever wanted more than a wife who will battle me. My boyish dreams are finally being fulfilled!

After all, the truest of love (as we learn from the movies) is only to be found following the truest of violence. Couples that stay together, slay together.

The Peformer’s Itch

rock_starTeresa and I are both getting the performer’s itch. We want to get out there and blast our guitars, light up the stage, and feel the energy of the crowd.

Of course, as my wise older brother once related to me, if everyone was at complete liberty to do whatever they wanted in life and be financially sustained in doing so, chances are there would be many more rock stars in this world than PHP developers, and with an overabundance of rock music that no one wants and a lack of office software that everyone needs, the economy would crash. Thus it seems the real world has a way of compelling us to fulfill its needs, whether through nagging wives, hungry children, or sheer pride. And boy have I felt this cold, stiff hand of compulsion.

I don’t resent it. Though it’s been a path I wouldn’t have chosen on my ideal road map, I think I’ve actually been fulfilling my calling, in part, by learning to use the left side of my brain over the last few years, i.e. by having real jobs. But having thus invested in my dues to the world (I’ve at least made a down payment), I’m feeling the time is drawing nearer when my yang will be complete, and I’ll be at liberty — that is, compelled by conscience — to reinvest in my yin. Teresa’s feeling the same.

It probably doesn’t help that we’re reading Cary Elwes’ new novel As You Wish, which is fueling the hair-brained idea that if he could make it big, we could too.

Anyone else having delusions of grandeur? Or have you come to grips with being another brick in the wall?