Thursday, October 29, 2015

Who are you?

You have a nationality. You belong to a group or a tribe.
You are a leftist or a rightist, a protestant, a Hindu, a something.
You have a professional role. You have an identity.You are a clown or a crook.
You are a looser or a smart ass. You are an actor in in a play, or in different plays.

However, your character is not You.
You are not Hamlet or Ophelia when you are alone in your bed.
You are not the good girl or the bad boy in the bathtub by yourself.
Who are you, really, when you're alone with yourself;
just sitting here, or lying here, reading this?
Who are you when you are not acting? Who are you, really?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Simply human

Religion is not just about beautiful words and rituals, community
and marvelous buildings. Religions have throughout history
also caused much anguish and sorrow: war, oppression of women and children,
witch-hunts and persecution.

Many political ideologies are similar to religions. 
It is possible to condemn atrocities that have been carried out by Nazis 
or communists, but it is not OK to say that Protestants, Catholics and Hindus
have caused immeasurable suffering in the world.

For the time being, it is Islam that causes the most problems. 
In Syria, Iraq and Yemen there is a war between Sunni and Shia Muslims.
In Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya and many other countries, 
deeply devoted muslims are fighting terrible wars,
obsessed with the dream of establishing Islamist regimes
similar to that in Saudi Arabia.

In the seventeenth century, Catholics and Protestants fought
for thirty years here in Europe. But the conflict did not end with
the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The bitter conflict lived on.

The crusades, the genocides of indigenous peoples in the colonies
and slavery in the American south are other examples of atrocities
committed by pious Christians. 
The conflict between Jews and Palestinians is also a religious conflict. 
It is obvious that religious beliefs and labels can cause unspeakable suffering.

I think that we who are not religious, and who are not possessed
by any political ideology must be clearer that there is an alternative.
Perhaps this could be helpful for those who want to defect.
It is possible to live a good life without being a follower of any particular doctrine. 
It is possible to simply be human.

You don't have to be a Christian, a Muslim or a Hindu.
You don't have to be an atheist.
You don't have to be a neoconservative, a libertarian or a liberal,
a communist, a socialist, an environmentalist…
You can simply be a human being.

If you insist to cling to your particular religion or political doctrine,
if you can't give it up, then you must, at least, accept the idea of a
pluralistic, secular society and stop complaining about other peoples crazy ideas,
If you can't even do this, then you are a part of the madness.
Then you are fooled, bewitched, mesmerized.

Friday, October 9, 2015


Your heart is just a pump, your eyes are just camera lenses
and your ears are just ordinary microphones. 
Your brain is a computer and your mind is the software.

Your body is simply a machine, a robot,
organs and limbs assembled by the biological evolution.
These organs and limbs are made of atoms, mainly carbon, oxygen,
hydrogen and nitrogen. At a more fundamental level,
all these atoms are made of elementary particles.  

Your consciousness, your sense of I, is created in your brain. 
When you are anaesthetized before an operation your sense of I disappear.
You're gone. When you die, you're gone forever.

You are not a mystery. You are nothing but a machine.
To be alive is not a miracle. Modern science has it all figured out, practically.
Mystical experiences can easily be explained by modern neuroscientists.
A mystical experience is simply a hallucination, a delusion.

You have to be realistic, otherwise you'll go under like a ship in a storm
You have to have money. Someone has to bring home the bacon.

If a religion or spiritual belief system makes you feel less anxious,
or if it´s helpful to you in some other way, fine. Go for it.
But first you have to make sure that there is food in the fridge
so that your kids don't have to starve.

However, then what?
You have food in the fridge and a roof over your head, safe and warm,
with a nice family and friends. This is not enough. You need something more.
You need more money, more friends and more sex partners.
This is what life is all about.

If you have a million dollars, try to get a billion.
If  you have a billion, try to get ten billions.
If you don't want to come across as too greedy,
you can always get involved in some charity work or start to collect art.
Be realistic. Nothing but money counts, really.