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Thoughts on God, Religion, Time, Suicide, and Tom.

June 25, 2022

Suicide..

Why that is one of Tom’s topics will not be clear for awhile, dear reader. Let’s say he’s got a host of good reasons, both mental and physical, which you may read about later in this post, should you stay until closer to the end.

Suicide..

Tom did some research. Although possible to overdose on psych meds, including anti-anxiety drugs such as benzodiazepines, some of the most addictive chemical compounds ever prescribed.. this was just not a dependable method. Less messy than cutting one’s wrists in a bathtub, but just as ineffective.. yes, both methods can work, but there is a strong chance both methods will fail. That the suicidal person will be found in time.

No, it is the more messy methods of ending one’s life that are effective. Gunshot to the head works well, as does hanging, and jumping from a great height, although somehow people have supposedly survived jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. How that is possible, who knows.

The average hop from a five story building should do the trick for most folks.. but life is strange, and that leap might only result in paralysis.

People have even survived self-inflicted gun shots to the head somehow.

Perhaps they should have used a more powerful caliber, or would that have mattered?

Is fate so terribly cruel, or chance so terribly arbitrary, that some of the most desperate people end up in even more desperate straits?

Let’s not dwell too much on suicide for now though, because, for now, despite chronic and constant physical pain, despite realizing fully how much he had failed to live his life, and despite how much he feared the morrow, Tom was, at this moment, the moment of 12:25am on June 25th, 2022.. still typing..

Tom is still alive, though he might not be by the time you are reading these words..

Let us move on to…

God..

Or many gods, or whatever, the soul of the universe, such an empty term, “universe.” Some divine Mind.

Shorthand for God for those who do not accept the word “God.”

Too sectarian, far too sectarian, that word.

When asked if one believes in God, one had better follow up that question with a most suitable response, “To what God art thou referring?”

“Umm.. just. you know..God “.

“Yes well.. tell me about your God..”

And then, after a bit of an awkward pause, you will likely get some spiel about Jesus and etc.

Hindus and those Buddhists, including those who believe in gods, bodhisatvas, etc. do not feel the need to proselytize, nor do Jews. In fact, some rabbis tend to discourage people from converting to Judaism. 613 commandments are hard to keep. And you thought there were only 10, and, like me, fail at keeping those, and forget what they even are.

Muslims convert in their own fashion, but are not likely to bother you while you are reading a newspaper on the bus.

Most Christians are not likely to bother you either, mind, just a few here and there. Because most Christians are not doing their jobs, and do not care about the Great Commission of Christ.. to go unto all nations, preaching, baptizing., and all that.

Don’t worry about most Christians hassling you, whether they be Protestant, Orthodox, or Catholic.

But look out for those earnest, well-scrubbed Mormon boys on foot or pedaling their bicycles.. MOPs, as my brother calls them.. Mormons On Patrol.. and occasionally and intentionally blocking sidewalks as one walks down one’s path.. these boys really are in earnest, and ready to spread the gospel according to their modern-day prophet, Joseph Smith.

Modern by today’s standards, anyway.. Smith having founded the Mormon religion in the 1800’s, and I don’t mean the 1800’s B.C. either.

What is the point of using “B.C.E.?” Politically correct and all that but still judging time roughly by the birth of Christ.

What we are needing is a time overhaul. Not “Before Christ” or “Anno Domini,” “in the year of our Lord,” nor the secular counterparts, “Before the Common Era,” and “Common Era,” but a genuine and linear path of time from the prehistoric to now.. one continuum, for that is what it is.. not flowing forward only after a certain time, and before that, the numbers going backwards. Not how time works. From the Big Bang until now.

But it is too late for a calendar of time overhaul, I suppose.

And anyway, when would one start the measurement of the beginning of time?

No one in academia could suitably answer that question, I think. Some even question if the Big Bang happened. And there is some debate, if it did, when?

So here we are, at whatever time I am writing this, and simultaneously at the time you are reading these words.. at whatever time it is, and C.E. or AD, still measured by the birth of a certain itinerant preacher who may or may not have been God in the flesh.

No, not fair we judge time this way, even though there are more Christians in the world than practitioners of any other single religion.

And, lest we forget, there are more people on this planet who are not Christians than those who are.

Easy for me to forget? No.

Drowning in my religious fixation, mom’s Catholic television, my father’s voice on the phone from his $6,000 a month small small but comfortable room in an assisted living facility.. partially furnished, organized, and decorated by me, his suicidal son.

My mother, a convert to Catholicism, dedicated though she be without much in the way of any spiritual feeling of connection, and my father, who has recently become much more zealous in his faith (did someone make a change to his psych meds, or did he finally find his calling.. or is there a difference?), wanting to convert those who are fellow residents in his facility.

A breath of fresh air for Tom, though not nearly enough on which to subsist.. to just barely get a thought or tiniest bit of feeling caused by seeing storefront of Crone’s Cupboard, a gift shop specializing in products those on the margins, the 25% or so of Americans called the “nones,” and the “spiritual but not religious.”

All “spiritual but not religious” are “nones” as in “no specified religion,” but not all “nones” are “spiritual but not religious.” Atheists and agnostics, who just can’t be bothered with, or are too tired of, all that “God” stuff, are “nones” as well.

There is one truth, maybe, but no way of knowing what it is. The subjective feelings and experiences of a fellow human being cannot help me.. at all.

Pascal’s Wager.. if one lives one’s life as though there were a God, and, if I remember correctly, if one’s God is the Christian god, one’s life lived in such a way as one would believing in that God, would win the wager, even if there were no such God, because one would be living a virtuous life, and therefore, be benefitting both others and one’s self.

Whereas, living as though there were no Christian God, one might live a life that is damaging to self and others, and end up in hell. For all eternity.

Homer Simpson, an animated wise fool, though mostly a fool, but not in this instance, said, “But what if you believe in the wrong God, and follow the wrong God, and in doing so, make the real God angry?”

There is no answer to Homer’s question.

There is none to Pascal’s question either, perhaps, except that posed by the fictional character, Homer Simpson.

No one really knows.

Not the well-scrubbed, earnest young Mormon lads, nor me, nor you.

At this point in time, Tom paused to take a walk.

He was a bit surprised that, for the first time in his life, his very rare bout of drinking too much was a partaking of port and some cabernet savignon and not malt liquor or other beer, and some of the hard stuff.. he reacted better to the wine, and because he drank wine, did not throw up the increasingly expensive groceries he had earlier consumed. No mess to clean up, at least.

He walked into the night, a greater distance than he had planned, being far gone enough to miss a turn, and found himself thinking the grassy space to his left that he stumbled into was a backyard missing a fence, and not a front yard.. which he realized after about a minute, and then kept on walking.

He made it home and is now typing again.. the feeling of an almost panic attack still present.. he did partake of some dark chocolate, including some mixed with coffee, along with all the food he ate previously, despite his chronic constipation and worry over his constipation.. he heard Elvis died of constipation.. which is actually possible.. one gets sepsis.. but anyway..

No.. just typing, and perhaps going to bed by his usual 1:30 am or so. He has taken his psych meds already. Why not take the prescribed four different meds to get to sleep when one had worked?

He is scared to face tomorrow.

All those empty hours filled with pain.

He was planning on going to see the new Elvis movie, and perhaps going to a seafood restaurant, after, and going much further into credit card debt to be out for lunch with people who are strangers to him, and whose company in which he is very uncomfortable.. successful people.. some who are world travelers.. too many mostly happily married couples, and those who mention spouses and children, than he can bear. He is not even comfortable in his own company..

He has not lived his life. Not at all.

He has no anger toward those who have, just deep sadness and madness, having recently realized what he has missed, and only recently realized all this because he is less obsessed with religion, specifically Catholicism and Jesus, like he has been for many years, nor as much obsessed with musical instruments than he had been.

Terrible realization at the age of almost 50. Yes, you might say.. plenty of time to go.. but this is NOT good news to someone with chronic, severe physical and mental pain.

Another recent realization being that of knowing exactly when he most deeply went wrong. In 1998, he received a phone call that, after having applied and been interviewed, he was offered a job at the new location of a bookstore chain. A full-time position, and that being the only kind available.

He had already stopped attending some classes, but still declined the job offer, because he had not yet completely dropped out, and did not think anything of his declining the offer for decades.

But the phone call on a weekday afternoon in 1998, that he received in the employees’ booth of the recreation room of a not-at-all famous California State University, would have changed his life immeasurably.

Had he taken the job, he would likely have lived a “normal” life. Worked a full-time job, eventually moved out on his own, had several relationships, including one that resulted in marriage, never went on disability, stayed much more mentally healthy as a result, never developing constant pain in his body that cannot be medicated because it is created, like the ringing in his ears, by his mind.

It is a terrible thing to know just where and when one has truly gone wrong. Perhaps worse than just wondering.

He is obsessed with, among a few other things, this afternoon in the spring of 1998.

His life gone, and yet, he lives.

While on his walk in the dark..

Spotted one of those maibox-sized “free libraries”- take a book or leave a book.. inside it, he could see, by the light of the street lamp, a book entitled “Resisting Happiness.”

Hmm.. hope?

Ha ha ha..

Yes, he usually resists writing, and writing doesn’t make him happy, and he rarely writes, though it passes the time more quickly, because he is afraid of writing, as he is afraid of most everything..

But he is writing, happy or not, and waiting until he is not scared to to go sleep, or rather, until his pills take a bit more effect, or until the too much food he ate has digested some.. or.. well.. he will eventually sleep..

This book, “Resisting Happiness..”

No mention of God in the description on the back of the book.

However, he flipped through the book, even though he knows, as best anyone can, that he is hopeless, but not willful enough (or enough as of yet?) to commit suicide.

And the book turns out to be a religious text..

The author, Michael Kelly, writes that old chestnut.. “everyone has a god-shaped hole” and cannot be happy without finding happiness in God.

Tom wonders .. a zen koan perhaps.. “what does a hole-shaped god look like?”

Hmm..

Ok.. enough brain baking for now..

Suicide..

God?

Different teachings.

So far as this author knows, the Roman Catholic Church, had, a little while back, changed the teaching from suicide equals damnation to.. well.. not sure exactly..

Still a grave sin.. but God being more merciful than previously thought.. not necessarily sending a suicide soul into hell.. God who made mental illnesses, just as he made minds, unless you believe that all that God creates is good, and since the Devil cannot create, anything that is bad is just a perversion of the Good, and that perversion is caused by the Devil, but anyway..

Other faiths… reincarnation .. Hinduism and Buddhism.

Tom paused for awhile from writing, but is still awake at 1:51am, due partially to alcohol causing a rapid heart rate, him having consumed some dark chocolate, including a bit of coffee-laced dark chocolate, after the other foods of his rare eating binge and consuming more alcohol than usual, which isn’t very much, but still..

This answer about suicide and reincarnation sums it up just fine, and he doesn’t want to go digging too much at this time, so..

From the wesite Quora, where he once contributed many answers, accidentally in two different accounts, and is quoting an answer by someone else now..

“Your lives do not repeat.

The next life is a completely new life. However, if you commit suicide, you lose the privilege of a human life. Which means you will lose the privilege of conscious awareness for many many many cycles (you will enter into “great darkness”). Your next life will then take the form of a tree or a plant or some low sentience life form.

Suicide is forbidden. The suffering that one undergoes in subsequent births is quite significant.

It is better that one exhaust one’s negative karma vasanas here and now, so that they are done with those forever. If you are sad, let it drain out of you, as you chant a mantra such as Om Namah Shivaya – adoration to Lord Shiva (etc.). If you are happy, you are using up your positive bank balance. So, the key is to keep doing positive karmas so that the future is positive.

If the present is negative, keep going until that negativity is fully exhausted.”

  • from Quora.com contributor Satya Vaan.

The old question..

A reason I am not Buddhist.. if my life is not reborn.. if I am not reincarnated, what is?

How can my being be impermanent, as Buddhists claim, if something gets reincarnated?

Well anyway.. point being, down the ladder you go and you come back as some “lower” form of life and cannot reach Nirvana until you reincarnate as a human again.

I would rather come back as a tree, one of the neighborhood squirrels, or a well-treated pet any day.

This doesn’t seem like punishment.

Human life does, most human life, anyway.

Either Tom is alive, or he is dead. He is alive at this moment, which means any and all human suffering is possible.

But much of human pleasure and goodness is no longer possible for Tom.

He is almost 50 years old.

He doesn’t have 25 or more years of an at least somewhat happy marriage, nor has he helped raise any children.

He’s not really enjoyed much of anything almost all people on this planet have enjoyed.

He can pretty much guarantee he will wake up with the same caused by the mind and therefore probably impossible to medicate pain caused by the mind that is torturing him (a part of himself is torturing himself), because that is how he feels when he wakes up.

He deeply regrets how, on Monday, by the simple act of eating just a bit more than planned of food, including food he has in the past caused himself harm with, in his psycho-somatic battle with food and with his mind, caused immeasurable pain, since he ruined his rare blessing of feeling better than usual and then ate the wrong foods, though not even a large amount.. and thereby caused the pain to come back.

In other words, he violated a law his mind came up with. Thou shall not have cookies topped with peanut butter after thou has eaten a meal of reasonable size. And so the psychosomatic pain came back, not in his abdomen, or not just, but pretty much all over. This was supposed to be day one of no pain, but Tom blew it, ate a few extra mouthfuls of veggie stir fry after his meal, then had the audacity to eat two cookies and a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter.

His atypical ocd can take on different forms.. and fixations .. and food is one of them..

He triggered severe phantom pain that causes real muscle constriction and pain, on Monday, and obsesses on regret.. many regrets..

And tomorrow likely another day of madness of free time.

Or, unlikely but possible.. if he feels well enough to volunteer at a thrift store.. and drive there.. he will feel insane and in pain while putting away knick knacks.. decorative candle holders, figurines, various misc. that he calls, in his mind, “random crap,” although he bought a decorative candle holder himself last year from a thrift store, and at least one figurine he put on display a few days ago already sold, and all purchases go to helping people.. so his painful life has the tiniest bit of significance.

Not exactly off-setting the potential of negative karma of eating meat almost all his life, polluting by driving a car, and simply not living his life.. but rather being a lifelong “poor timid soul” as Theodore Roosevelt would have called him etc… but a bit of good done.

Though not nearly significant enough to equal the pain he has been experiencing.

He is not Beethoven. Grimacing his way through severe stomach ailments and losing the ability to hear, but still a genius at work composing something magnificent.

Tom is not much of anything really, and matters a lot only to his immediate family.. and a little to very few others. One who stays most of his life in his room watching the same shows and movies over and over again, reading the same novels over and over again, does not make many friends, nor have a great impact, or any, upon the world.

Oh well.. maybe this is not so serious a thing.. the farther one backs away from Earth, the smaller we all look, until it seems all life, or rather, all individual lives, have no significance..

Unless Depeche Mode is right, in one of their earlier songs, “Everything Counts in Large Amounts,” or.. we are all interconnected and all that.

Whatever, Tom thinks.

After 2am.

Time for bed, yet more dread, and even sleep, if possible.

He was planning on seeing a movie with random strangers, including a few he could have been friends with, but made the wrong choice to be a stranger.. from a meetup group, but won’t get out of bed early enough, likely.

And maybe this is just as well.. although seeing the movie passes time. Two hours that he won’t have to spend at home.

But regardless..

As he keeps living.. time will pass.

He keeps thinking he will die within a few months without having to commit suicide, but this is not rational, as, physically, he is in rather good health.

He is a careful driver in a first world city with some of the safest drivers in the United States.

So not likely, sadly not likely, he will die by some gentle natural cause, many many years from now.

And he probably won’t commit suicide, as one of his sub-personalities.. what Carl Jung would have called a “complex,” wants himself not dead, but alive and suffering..

Yes, one part of his psyche does indeed want him alive and suffering.. he has self-harming behavior.. eating the wrong foods, or drinking alcohol despite being forbidden by two of his health care professionals.. and suffering the psychosomatic consequences of pain and regret.

The alive and suffering part of his mind wants him around. Keeps him from killing himself. But there are good parts of his mind too, realizing that he is of value to his mom and dad, and does not want to grieve them.

He carries his miserable daily burdens for them.

Were he to commit suicide, his mom, who has had a bit of heart trouble in the past, might have a worse heart attack and die. Or she will otherwise be in a horrible state were her son to end himself. She would also likely sell the house which she so dearly loves.. no more greenery outside all the windows, nor yard to work in if Tom takes his life.

And his father would be terribly grieved too.. and a few others, such as his brother and aunt would mind, and so would his manager at his job, and the few people on facebook who like his frequent photo postings and rare essays like this one.

He ends this posting now.. and will eventually try to get some sleep, though he fears tomorrow, with good reason.

The end of his post, but not his life.

;

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