For The Idea Anonymous

“Hello Anonymous!

This may be the wrong place to post this, which if that is the case please advice me where to put this commentary and I will happily do so, I want to throw the following idea out there and hear feedback: the creation of Named.

Anonymous is genius, there is no denying that and anyone who does is a fool. However, from what I have researched, watched, and garnered, Anonymous’ greatest asset is its very own weakness: you are anonymous. You are unnamed, and therefore unknown (this is generally speaking, as I do recognize there are some who are proud to proclaim their Anonymity). This is a major problem as what is unknown is feared by people. People need something named in order to understand. Which brings me to Named.

I wont lie to you, I know nothing about hacking, am limited in my knowledge of computers, and will not ever try to claim to be smart (in fact, the more ‘See-spot-run’ I can make life for myself, the better). However, I am 23, I am a woman, I am educated in philosophy and world religion, I am a USA citizen, I am a world traveler, I am not pleased with the current state of humanity, I am wanting to make a change, and I am Named Samantha Britell.

I would like to create a sister group to Anonymous in which people are human; where people speak their minds, discuss things in respect, and are informed. Named is a state of being, when and where people acknowledge when they do something wrong on their own accord. Named is an idea that revolves around what ‘name’ is in and of itself: the term by which a thing is known.

The greatest fear in our world today is of fear itself. Yet, if we cannot name our fears, how can we ever expect to become better? How can we ever expect governments to become better when we cannot properly address the problems and offer coherent solutions? We cannot. Which is why I come before Anonymous in order to ask if you would allow a sister to stand beside you, and let her be Named.

What she can offer Anonymous is balance. Where Anonymous seeks active resistance, Named can give passive resistance. Named can offer an unabashed search for the end of fear through discussion with any and all who wish to participate. Named is that which seeks to know any and all things in order to improve humanity for the better by acting in accordance to that which is the highest in human strength: thought.

I do not know if this interests you, however, it is an idea I have sat on for quite some time. My hand is laid on the table, let me know what you think.

Warmly,

Sam”

 

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In Death, There is Life

The demise of a government is not something that can be ignored. Nor is it something that can be prevented. That which is created by mortal hands will inevitably fall wayside to mortality; the ending of a creation is something that naturally occurs. That the United States is facing a point in her existence in which her the future life-span is being questioned, and that thoughts regarding the preparation for a potential demise of her place in the world are being discussed, is not something to be shocked about, nor fearful over. It is a natural state of being that something ends. That being said, a discussion must begin amongst my generation and the generation that follow me: how shall we, the future of the unknown future of our country land, spend our energies in the coming years?

Shall we continue to engage in the current and existing political process? Shall we continue to hold fast to the current state of events? Or, shall we direct our energies to the creation of a reformed political process? These questions are a reality which we must embrace and welcomed as friend, not shy away from in fear of demise.

History is the collective story of our fathers and mothers, generations and generations past. We were birthed into a world from what they cultivated for us; were raised in the arms of technology and are learning the struggles of life in a world in which our forefathers and foremothers fought before us. Yet, we are now faced with a struggle that is new to even our forefathers and foremothers: we are struggling against an explosive growth unlimited physical creativity of our kind on a planet that is physically limited. Our burden is now the struggle of balance; the balance of a rampant growth of physical creation against the needs of a limited physical space.

We can no longer focus on ourselves and what we wish for our children and our children’s children. We must face the fact that in the years to come for our quest to secure resources for our children and children’s children, we will destroy our world and with it all of our children. The beauty of our creative ability is also its very own cruelty: in order for us to create, we must destroy and rearrange a former creation. The creation of an artist’s painting requires the destruction of elements to create its color, the destruction of an animal’s hair or skins rearranged into a woven clothe and stretched across a wooden frame rearranged after the destruction of a tree, and likewise for the brush. In a similar way, the birth of a nation requires the destruction and rearrangement of another. Let us not be fools blinded by the beauty of our creation to forget that in its glorious birth we have rearranged the destruction of a former life. We must face this very human truth; we must accept that our beauty is our cruelty. Likewise, we must not cast blame on just groups or individuals for the inevitable destruction and rearrangement of our country.

Yet, let us not fret in the destruction and re-arrangement of a country. Let us not waste energy wailing and bemoaning death for the end of a time is not the end of life; life continues on in the memories we have of the beloved former creation. But let us not forget that what is former is now past, and what is now is an uncertain future; one which we must create from what once was. Let us now turn to the hope and idea of a beautiful creation of a world balanced.


A Letter to the American People

Dear American Citizens,

The crass and unabashedly blatant failure of all members of our nation to engage in honest discussion and discourse regarding how to best restore our nation to a more even-keeled and stable position is appalling. If an ethical and moral America is what you seek, then take the log from your eye, stare at your reflection and see every single error you have made. If it is a just and equal America you seek, then get off your butt and start showing justice and equality to all, not to just those you favor.

We citizens have been childishly pointing our fingers and scapegoating current and past presidents for what we deem to be horrible failures. Here is the reality: we should be pointing those very fingers at ourselves; we elected them into office, any folly they make is of our own creation.

You may disagree and loudly proclaim that you did not vote for this president, or that you did not vote for the past presidents. That the current woes are not of your doing because you voted for the “better” option. Yet, this only shows how naïve you are to think that your voting against a president gives you the right to complain or blame whoever resides in the White House. You are just as at fault for the winning of the candidate you not choose as you are for the loss of the one you chose.

Poppycock, you cry? Nay. The loosing of your candidate resides in the fact that your candidates arguments were not strong enough against the others; regardless how you feel, more people voted for the candidate you did not choose. Likewise, the winning of the candidate you chose rested on their arguments and ability to sway people. The winner is the most popular. How gross we are.

How trite we are, dear Americans, to base the governing of our country on popularity! How sad and meager we are in our love of soap opera dramas and catch phrases! How pathetic we are to make excuses for our own mournful, self-chosen ignorance! We have reaped every single woe that has befallen our nation for our insipidness!

Do you raise your voice in exclamation that I am wrongly accusing our citizens of not caring enough; of mindfully choosing a life of blissful ignorance; of being, dare I say it!, unpatriotic? Then you have only furthered my argument.

Every failure of America is our failure. Every success of America is our success. We are not a Nation divided, we are a Nation united. We rise together, and we fall together. As such, we must honestly acknowledge our mistakes as individuals and as a collective to better ourselves, our country.

Every single person who calls themselves an American must take responsibility as both an individual and a member of our nation and realize that the words that spill from our mouths define who we are as individuals and will either help or hurt our nation as a whole. Words are not to be thrown about lightly, but chosen with care. Think not solely of yourself when you speak out; think of the people who you could damn or uplift. Think and speak with dignity, pose, and a mindset to help, not hurt, and what a nation we could build!

Our nation was built upon the backs of men, women, and children who had been displaced by force or by their own choosing. We were built upon the dreams of people who suffered, but never gave up hope. We are here today because of the people of our past who thought of a world in which we could live in safely, where each person helps another, where the government is formed of informed men and women who look to protect those who suffer, where each citizen takes the time to keep themselves and their neighbors informed to help their government. We have strayed from this vision, and we must seek to return to thought and discussion, for if we do not, we risk all.

“By the people, for the people” is for which we stand. Let us remember this, dear Americans.

-A Concerned Youth


Vulnerable 4; Ave Maria, A Tribute to the Deceased

It’s been months since I wrote a Vulnerable post, and I believe it is time to write another one.

 

Ave Maria, a German rendition, is playing from my laptop right now, and once again, I am crying softly. Ave Maria is perhaps the only song that can bring to me to tears whenever I hear it. To me, it is both deeply beautiful and deeply sad.

I used to listen to this song over and over as a child, and every time I listened to it, there was always a statue of Mother Mary smiling sadly at her infant son. And as I stared at the soft face of the Mother of God, I would envision her weeping silently, her smile never wavering. She wept for life, for death. She wept for something I couldn’t see.  Yet, she was always smiling. Now, as I hear the song, I envision her, and still she weeps with a smile resting on her lips.

Today, as I listen to Ave Maria, I weep. I weep for something I do know. I weep for something I have lost. I weep for Mary. I weep for her son. I weep for God. I weep for Sophia. I weep for Logos. And then I smiled. A soft, sad smile. It was somewhere in the middle of praying for mercy at the hour of our death that I smiled, and it was for no reason except at that moment, I knew what harmony was: the moment of life ending.

A few months ago, I saw death, I watched as a beloved uncle passed from this world into the next. While circumstances that led to his passing were unkind — he had fallen ill with an untreatable lung disease — the moment of his passing was of such peace that every being in the room was brought to tears. For me, however, the time for tears to flow until they should cease needed to wait as a brave face, strength in the heart, peace in the soul, and the love of those in mourning was needed more than the tears of passing. I tasked myself with selecting the music and the passages to be read at the funeral, determined to pick the passages that would best capture my uncle’s love for those around and the love everyone had for him. The result was magnificent.

Countless numbers of people came up to our family saying it was not a funeral service they attended, but a true celebration of life. We were warmed, feeling that we had done my uncle justice in celebrating his life. Yet, the comment that nearly broke my resolve not to cry was the comment of a passing stranger: “It must be a wedding ceremony!” Everyone who had a hand in planning the service had desperately wished make the celebration like a wedding service my uncles deserved, but were unable to have. That a complete stranger would say that they thought it was a wedding brought a soft, sad smile to my lips. Yet I didn’t cry, I refused to. I wanted to be strong for my family. Today is the day that I finally broke down, and allowed myself to weep.

Ave Maria was the song that everyone unanimously agreed must be played at my uncle’s celebration. I did weep when it played, but I kept as much of my tears at bay as possible; my grandmother needed support then. Today, as it played, I wept without reserve, and allowed myself to actually revisit my uncle’s passing.

Nothing could have been more peaceful than his transition. He was not suffering, he was surrounded by those he loved and who loved him. When he departed us, it was softly, gently, and everyone knew he had reached a place we can only dream of. It was a moment of tears and soft, sad smiles.

As I lay my hands on my uncle, I saw that death is the moment when the eyes fade gently into paler color. When everyone feels the sigh of a breath being released. When time stops for a moment in respect, before gently pushing us again into movement. When life passes from the eyes, the body stills and there is calmness as coloring pales softly, as though saying a sweet goodbye to those around. The color fades for a few more seconds, before settling to a pale earthen tones, and then everything in the body stills, coming to a moment of complete and utter rest. This is death, the moment when the body is at earthen rest. When death finishes it’s task, the body is left for the loved ones to weep over, while the life has been whisked off to a place we cannot see.

He was taken exactly twenty-four hours, just before 6pm on September 12, 2011, after I had called my mother and told her she needed to come back as I fear he only had a day left with us. Yet, while his life was calmly, softly, and kindly pulled from his body, in the moment of passing, there was, and is, a promise of something more. When the glitter of life fades from the body, you can see there is a distance that is being crossed. You can actually see that the eyes are focusing on something unseen. My uncle’s gaze was fixed on something as he was passing, and just before he completely moved on, he shed a tear and smiled softly. Not five minutes later, my uncle faded from our world and was brough into a new one, a soft smile and tear ending one world and beginning a new one.

Ave Maria, Gratia plena. Maria, gratia plena. Maria, gratia plena. Ave, ave dominus. Dominus tecum, Benedicta tu in mulieribus, Et benedictus. Et benedictus fructus ventris, Ventris tuae, Jesus.

Ave Maria. Ave Maria, Mater Dei, Ora pro nobis peccatoribus. Ora pro nobis. Ora, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, Nunc et in hora mortis, Et in hora mortis nostrae. Ave Maria.

 


Facing the Facts.

I have strayed too far away from what I hold dear, and in doing so am too close to crossing into the obscene and obscure.

College provided me a structure of classes, study time, physical work, and leisure time. Intellectual curiosity and a desire to learn more, understand more, were my closest friends. I was very much in love with my ivory tower of books, papers, pens, lectures and discussions. However, my time there was up, I graduated and it was “time to be a part of the real world”, as my parents told me. And thus began my decent.

Since leaving my tower of ivory in May (has it really been 6 months?!), I’ve discovered several things about myself: 1)I have a horrible habit of spending more than a I make, 2) when I lack a schedule, I lack drive and desire to accomplish anything, 3) I horribly, deeply, and miserably miss my college and my dearest friends, and our long dinner discussions, 4) I utterly miss companionship and human interaction with people my age (ah, the downfalls of living peacefully away from any major roads, towns, or people in general) 5) I am constantly desperate for meaningful conversation about metaphysics, Forms and Ideas, and the divine, primarily because I want a mental stretch, 6) while I  have dutifully applied to many, I am honestly terrified of not landing a job, 7) I have no idea what kind of job I want, and 8 ) I am miserable with my current state of external and internal affairs. Pitiful, aren’t I? But this is where I stand and I acknowledge it.

I need to re-group and re-focus myself; if not for myself immediately, then for the safety of my future financially. I do currently have two part-time jobs — as a hostess on weekends at a local pub and a sales associate at a local clothing store — however, these jobs only have me working a total of 20 hours over a span of 3 days, leaving me with far too much time. I have been trying to fill the remaining four days by reading, writing, and sketching, but I’m still lacking drive… So, I now face the question: what do I need to do to get out of this slump?

  1. I need to control my thoughts more, focus them on the divine and not the mundane.*
  2. I need to obtain a legitimate job in order to at least feel more secure about myself financially (I hate that this has to be a priority…).
  3. I need to find a person or people with whom I can have semi-constant, mentally stimulating conversations with.
  4. I need to keep a workout schedule.
  5. I should try to find away to be with people my age more (pretty bad when your father says “you should get out more”…); which is probably happen more when I actually have a normal working schedule.

You may have noticed that I *’ed my number one “need”. I will be honest, I allowed myself to slip from constant questions, pondering, and musing on the concept of the divine and what I need to do to be closer to what is good (even though I still have no idea what ‘good’ is). I’ve become crasser, more obscene and obscure. I’ve been failing to philosophize, the one thing that I feel closest to God when doing, and as I write this sentence, I feel my eyes tearing up.

I have been failing to be selective in my actions and thoughts, and I am ashamed that I have allowed myself to slip from Sophia and Logos. I have not been a philosopher these last few months, and I am deeply ashamed of myself. I have not been knowing my craft at all; I have been ignoring her. This needs to change.

I am a phila sophia, a lover of wisdom, by nature, but I have not been dedicated to her in the last few months. The consequences of my actions are apparent to me: I am restless, with out course, and pinning for something more. As I realized earlier this evening, I become a prat when I do not have Sophia in my heart and Logos in my head; I spend more time thinking about things that are not important, gossip, and matters of the material.  It is sad that it wasn’t until tonight that I realized this, that I didn’t notice my own slip into the crass, but now I know, and shall actively push myself to be a philosopher once more, begging Sophia and Logos to forgive me and set me back on the course to the ‘good’ again.

So here I sit, writing my sins out for the world to read. It is therapeutic to write my mistakes; I believe in an earlier post I likened this blog as a form of confession for me. I hold this still to be true. In in confessional form I ask this of you:

Dear reader, forgive me for I have sinned; it has been several months since my last confession.


Sin

A friend asked me to read Timothy Keller’s, “The Reason for God” a while ago, and I started it, set it down for a few months, and just picked it up again. The first part of the book I found to be a bit… well, a bit repetitive to what I’ve read before. I found myself re-acquainted with thoughts that I had written about while I sat trying to figure out God my freshman year in college, re-reading arguments by philosophers and religious leaders I’d encountered and grappled over in the past. It kinda of bored me to be brutally honest. Part two, however, provided me with a bit more sustenance and matters to ponder over. Chapter eight and nine were very much like part one for me, but chapter ten, “The Problem of Sin”, provided me with a refreshing wording and take on sin.

In the second part of chapter ten, “The Meaning of Sin” Keller quoted Kierkegaard’s The Sickness Unto Death: “Sin is: despair not wanting to be oneself before God… Faith is: that the self in being itself and wanting to be itself is grounded transparently in God.” Keller continued on to say, “Sin is the despairing refusal to find your deepest identity in your relationship and service to God. Sin is seeking to become oneself, to get an identity, apart from him.” I found Kellner’s choice and method of explaining sin to be very close definition to what I understand as the normal, ‘duh’, everyday acceptance of the notion  ‘people make huge and small mistakes all the time because they are not ‘all powerful’.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is that I understand more clearly what Keller is calling sin than any other Christian I’ve talked with or read, and it’s pretty much identical to what I understand to be the fault of humanity in general. I think the major difference, between me and Christianity in general, regarding ‘sin’ is that I don’t express or voice it as a “evil that people need to be saved from by the power of God”; I don’t see “sin” as cosmic force of evil. Rather, I understand “sin” as a very normal part of life. It’s the mistakes we make, everything from burning bread to failing a test to lying to getting into a car crash to theft to murder. It’s everything that is not ‘Good’.

I hesitate to frame this sentence as I fear someone will read this incorrectly, but I don’t see or understand “sin” as a shameful, I see it as errors we must learn from and work to fix. That a “sin” is not something to run from and avoid because it’s evil, but rather, “sin” is not accepting one’s error.

For me, I understand “sin” to be failing to admit when you’ve done something wrong; failing to come clean about your mistakes, regardless of how small or large they are; failing to admit you are wrong. This is “sin”. This failure to admit being wrong, in my understanding, is because of failure to seek the Truth, failure to Know the Truth, and failure to attempt to Be at One with The One. For me, failure to accept your “sin”, your short comings and errors and mistakes, is failure to acknowledge who you are as a being of limitation, of being human.

I have never understood why people have read the story of “The Fall” and concluded that “sin” is a supernatural curse on humanity for Adam and Eve’s transgressions. It always seemed so obvious that Eve made a mistake in taking the Serpent literally (go back and re-read Genesis; God tells the earthling not to eat from the Tree before Eve is even created — technically speaking, God told Adam, not Eve), Adam made the mistake of trusting Eve with out first considering the fruit she was giving him, and that in making that mistake they both realized, ‘oh crap! we def just took a cookie out of the cookie jar!!’ and tried, like any other person whose made a mistake and is fearful of the disappointment and potential consequences, to hide the fact that they made a mistake (if you’ve ever baby sat a kid, you totally know what I mean when I say it’s completely obvious when a kid is trying to hide the fact they did something wrong). The Serpent was cunning, and like any cunning kid in the playground, tried to see if s/he could get someone to do something that isn’t exactly wrong, but clearly wasn’t done in goodwill — the Serpent never came across as a ‘evil devil’, rather, a realistic scenario of a being exploiting another person’s trust for personal humor. …But then again, I was the child in CCD that raised her hand and asked, “Sister, why am I supposed to curse the Serpent if it allowed me to have my mommy and daddy and baby brother and my friends today?”

Maybe I am just strange, but it is worth considering: is evil really evil if it shapes us into who and what we are today? Perhaps evil is truly just what we dislike or are comfortable with, simply because we do not understand it or want to understand it. Perhaps the reason I understand “sin” to be the mistakes I’ve made is because I recognize, or accept or think, that it makes no sense to simply label things as ‘evil’ or ‘good’; that I recognize that without what people call “evil” I would never know, let alone understand or experience, what people call “good”. I understand that I need “evil” to understand “good”, and that without “good” I could never understand “evil”. As such, I understand my mistakes, my “evils”, my “sins”, to be necessary in order to better understand myself, the world around me, and how I came to be.

You could say, in a non-traditional way, that I ‘relish in my sin’; and in a way I do: I accept my mistakes and misdoings as having shaped me into who I am today. I don’t run from them, I embrace them and use them as tools to be a better person and member of humanity in the future.


Philosopher Stripped Bare

Part of a world known and unknown, born from a womb that cannot be recalled.Words used, mulled over, enjoyed as a rich wine, feared as a tool of violence. Seated apart from most, confused at first, yet soon to grown accustomed too. Seated apart to see what is and was, what could be, what could never be. A throne of a simple rock to view the tangled world from. Words exchanged over food; words of confusion, of understanding, of laughter, of misery. Of silence. Of protection. Deeds kept hidden and never spoken of until another can sit on a throne of a simple rock to view the tangled world from. Not one to be out, hidden more or less. Acknowledged, but never seeking acknowledgment. Been, being, and will be. Searching. Seeking. Peering. Finally, a muse caught and treated with tender care, till the muse slips away. Searching again. Seated on a throne of a simple rock to view the tangled world.