Thursday, September 14, 2017

"How the Hell Did I Get Here So Soon"


     "How the hell did I get here so soon," this, a cryptic lyric from the above Tom Waits song, "I Don't Want to Grow UP", may most accurately describe my mood the past few years.
     If you're familiar with BEYOND THE RUBICON, you know this blog has addressed some interesting subjects and been down what some would call strange and also more serious paths, some of these being conspiracy theories and also thoughts after my mother's passing.
     These years are best described by that great German word: ANGST. 
    
     This entry marks a new beginning for this blog and it comes after what most would call a "mid life crisis".
I've reflected on much the past six years and if I've learned anything, its that learning and growth is a continual process. Many would think this is obvious, but maybe not.
     I can only guess but I think most people realize sometime in their twenties (at least here in these great, United States) that one never exactly "arrives" or reaches a point where they're an adult and that they've "grown up." I learned it at 45. Experience in "Mid~Life" has rather loudly screamed through a major heart ache/break, financial challenges, and what may be typical, dissatisfaction with one's state in life and choice of profession, "FAILURE!"
     Now if I remained at this crossroad or mental place, believing this to be my permanent state and chose, whether consciously or unconsciously, to dig in for the long, boring road to the grave, Wait's song would be the perfect blues for that road. By GRACE, I can only say that Providence has allowed to see that there is more, that the future time can be redeemed, and that "it ain't over til its over!" I believe God has brought men and women into my life to be both mentors and also speak prophetically.
     So, ya boy is back (or maybe I should say "the man", lol)!
     Moving forward this blog will be a notebook of sorts to continue to explore faith, art, poetic ramblings, and lessons of life.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Heisenberg~ PART 1

 
Mr White...
Walter.
One begins watching Breaking Bad knowing that we will see the evolution of a man. One, however may not anticipate how our perception of this one protagonist, Walter White, would transform from one of empathy and compassion to a sad resignation of watching the Fall of one human to an anihilation of  one spirit. What I watched was the fall of Prometheus, the fall of Lucifer, one man who attempted to "build an empire", steal fire from the "gods", and "be like the Most high" and descend to the depths of evil, the evil of the transformation of a good CREATION to separation from all he loved and attempted to protect.
     Breaking Bad may be the story of how the "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." Most approaching the show will know that Walter begins "cooking" and creating Meth Amphetamine with the GOOD  and assumed noble of intentions of leaving money for his family to continue to live on after he has died, a means to an end, though those means may be distasteful.
     We learn that Walter has Lung Cancer and that it is his definite death that drives him to make the decision to begin and engage in this criminal activity. We assume that this is a good, timid man who makes the desperate choice to begin selling drugs for love of his family. The average viewer, myself included, at the beginning of the show, hopes that somehow by the end of Season 6, Mr. White will find redemption, that somewhere along the way the end will justify the means, and even that at some point Walter will begin to "fix" the negatives he will do by somehow doing good. We hope for redemption.
      With each episode and season, this begins to not be the case. As I watched the show I saw seceding actions away from his own humanity. The first was the  murder of that first drug dealer in Jesse's basement, then allowing and watching Jesse's girlfriend, Jane, choke and die on her own vomit,  (someone whom he could have saved quickly), then Mr White killed Jesse's drug dealer competitors running over and then shooting them, the poisoning of Jesse's girl friend's son, ordering the  assassination of Gale, the assassination of Gus, etc.
     The question one begins to ask is, are these questions of a good man descending into depravity and moral evil or evidence of a man who always  was evil and self serving but  in which circumstances and the disrobing of his personal timidity REVEALED, Mr. White's true character.
      Several moments throughout  the 6 seasons suggest maybe Walter always was who is actions revealed him to be, Heisenberg. There was the flash back where we see Mr White with Skyler, his wife, buying their home. Here we clearly see Skyler, liking the house and wanting to buy it and make an offer but Mr. White suggests that maybe  they can find something better and more, that somehow this small and quaint house was not ambitious enough. Later we also see him turn down an offer to have all of his chemotherapy and treatments payed for by his wealthy friends out of a sense of "pride". We later learn that it was his selling the small percentage of that company (which made them wealthy) which was one of the KEY motivations for his later wanting to build and leave "an empire". The audience begins to learn of this deeply ground hurt "pride" which fuels most of his actions. Finally, in the last episode we see his final confession to Skyler that the actions that he took and his choices, were for himself and not them, however by this point it seems too late for redemption, it's as if he's sealed his fate.
     The writers of the show may have shown the answer to the question, " For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"

Friday, March 18, 2011

MARANATHA, Even so, come...


Before we continue to prepare for the coming zombie apocalypse and on a serious note, and especially in light of the tragedy in Japan, I am in serious reflection on what may be the KEY event of our generation, the return of Christ.
As a person of faith, I take this reality very seriously. Could Jesus truly return in our time?
Of course, I am not the first to ask this, many are. Even the early Church and the Apostles believed the LORD would return in their time. Both people of faith and those who do not confess in a Faith or Religion, have considered this. Prince, before his conversion and re-introduction to faith and God by Larry Graham, his mentor and the bassist for Sly and the Family Stone, sung about the SIGNS OF THE TIMES-


This post is primarily an appeal to those who do not believe to consider and to re-consider His coming.
What is an encouragement but also an alarm is that Jesus spoke of certain world events before his return. He said, "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you ARE NOT TROUBLED (emphasis mine); for all these things must come to pass , but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All of these are the BEGINNING (again emphasis mine) of sorrows." Matthew 24:6-8
Now I am not surprised by the doubt and disbelief and even mocking by those who do not share this faith. In Matthew 24 Christ also states that His coming will be like the days of Noah where many did not believe and carried on life as if there was no warning. He warns, " But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be." (vs. 37-39)
The Apostle Peter writes in his own letter, that Christ's coming is sure, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9. Peter also writes that Christ's coming will be surprising, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up." (vs. 10) He therefore writes, "Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godlinesss...looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;" (vs. 14)
Lastly, in the Gospel of Matthew, Christ encourages, "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming," and "Therefore you also be ready for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." Matthew 24: 42 and 44.
So my appeal to the believer and non-believing person is to PRAY to Christ and ask Him to reveal the truth of these matters. Ask Him to reveal Himself! He stated "Seek and ye shall find...", Matthew 7:7 and also that all who come will "in no wise be cast out" John 6:37
Let us be able to say like the Apostle John at the end of his Revelation, MARANATHA, even so "Come Lord Jesus" Revelation 22-20


Sunday, September 26, 2010

JUNK FOOD O' GLORIOUS JUNK FOOD!

I have come to the realization that I am a junkie.
McDonalds
Burger King
Kentucky Fried Chicken
Popeye's.
The Real World
TMZ.COM
Perez Hilton.com
The Jersey Shore
Keeping up with the Kardashians
and of course Paris Hilton.
I recently saw a documentary, PARIS HILTON INC. (featured below)that truly helped me see my addiction and realized that I have contributed to the state of our present dumbed down culture by my enjoyment of and participation in these TV shows and my consumption of fast food.
I am the FAST FOOD NATION.
This film illustrated so vividly our present media culture:

I have reveled in this woman's sordid affairs, almost been amidst the sheets via. a vivid imagination, and am just as responsible for where our culture is.
If I am a microcosm of the macrocosm, I believe our society so enjoys and participates in this celebrity, star gazing because we want to be a part of the party. There is still some part of us that is that lonely, outsider high school kid who wanted to be near the "popular kids", the most beautiful, the rich kids. And these wants have been transmitted to adult lives. We don't want to just watch the train wrecks, we want to be a part of the wreck!
We've all been BAMBOOZLED:

Paris Hilton understands the show and communicates this in the film. While the masses call her a dumb, rich slut, she's smiling to the bank! Paris is very aware of this minstrel show and uses it to her advantage- to market, to promote, to be seen!
It was as a result of this film that I am now beginning to take simple steps to not entertain, make profitable, or engage in these medias.

"The Journey of one thousand miles begins with one step."- CONFUCIUS

This will be a journey of one thousand miles for me and maybe for some of you. I love my junk.
I will miss Britney.
I will miss my girl Snooki.
I will definitely miss Kim and her clan,
but like any recovery, I must take it one day at a time, one step at a time.
Maybe if we all start to remove the junk from our lives and what we support with our dollars and time, the culture, our society, our nation, and our families will be more powerful and more wholesome!
Peace!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Leverage: WONDER TWIN POWERS ACTIVATE!



Wonder twin powers activate!
This Saturday morning cartoon was one of my favorites. With fondness, I recall waking up at 6 in the morning, retrieving a large tupperware bowl from the cabinet and filling it with Frosted Flakes and then watching the Superfriends.

I believe this was one of the first shows that taught me about the importance of team work. Ideally, I would have learned this through actively playing in some type of little league, however I did not. I was very much a latchkey kid and one of my best friends was the television.
Now, why do I bring this up? Lately I've been reflecting on and listening to many conversations of friends, acquaintances, and peers at work regarding our American economy and this "recession". Many of us are working harder, looking for that second (maybe even third) job , aiming "to make ends meet."

Recently, I heard though "that ends do not meet, that's why they're called ends." Maybe there is a wiser way to earn money? The past few years Ive been learning about "leverage". As J. Paul Getty, the founder of Getty Gas stated, " I'd rather have the efforts of 100 people working for me rather than 100% of my own efforts!" This is a new philosophy.
Robert Kiyosaki describes it best:


Now this is challenging: building a business!
I offer this as a consideration not because I'm a networking marketing guru, but to suggest that we all find our passion and then build our business from this.
Maybe it's a film company.
Maybe you want to sell cookies.
Maybe you want to begin a new clothing line.
Whatever it may be discover and begin to build it!
As we discover our "true north", our drive, maybe then from there we can begin to build new income streams and find the freedom for the lives we want!

Friday, May 28, 2010

And then quiet.- O DEATH WHERE IS YOUR STING PT. 5

Ultimately when a loved one dies we go through stages, passages. No one's journey is the same. What I will suggest though is the need for Ritual to grieve. Ceremony that allows us to travel through this time and to come out stronger, wiser.
Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross suggested that everyone goes through 5 stages:
denial
anger
bargaining
depression
acceptance.
So there is a process.
It was a year before I could place a picture of my mother in my room and look at it and reflect on her life without feeling extreme sadness.
I knew I was healing when I could listen to the Intruders great song, " Ill always love my Momma"


And every major faith has ritual to grieve for the dead:
Those who practice Judaism-


Muslim-


Buddhist-


And Christian-


This last response is what has resonated with me the most. The belief that this world has meaning. That this, our personhood is unique, and that we will see our loved ones again because of what Jesus has done. As Jesus said in the Gospel of John, chapter 11 verses 25 and 26, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
"And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die."
This was no pat response. Jesus wept. As the writer states in vs. 35.
For me there was hope in this.
And a new joy: I would see mom again.
I am Eastern Orthodox Christian, and on Pascha morning (Easter) we sing this triumphant hymn:


CHRIST HAS RISEN!

This faith gives me strength now to walk forward. I now can begin to remember Mom, accept the sadness and yet know there is a new hope.
Again as Paul the Apostle declared in I Corinthians 15:55:
"O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, Where is your victory?"

May I recommend a consideration of this offer of hope- Christ is Risen!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To all my friends- LONG MAY YOU RUN!




Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sometimes It Snows in April.- O DEATH WHERE IS THY STING. PT. 4




"Our loved ones remain with us
in our thoughts
memories
stories."

In memory of our loved ones, I think Prince sung it best!