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  1. Recently, I enjoyed a wonderful conversation with an old, very knowledgeable friend, on the subject of reincarnation and past life memory. Like me, he is often asked questions about aspects of the esoteric and our discussions began with him sharing a post from someone asking why, if reincarnation is true, did this person not have any past life memories. Suffice it to say we have fun talking about reincarnation in general with each other before he went back to his inbox and I went to my own. But, it seemed a good topic for my overdue blog post, so here are my thoughts on the subject, in general.

    Is Reincarnation True?

    I do not think anyone can prove this, either way, but there are reams of compelling stories which seem to support it. Opposed to this are sceptics who deny it across the board, but, they sort of have to. I mean if we do not have souls at all, and end upon death, there is nothing to reincarnate with anyway. But, true or not is really not a critical point to believe in. The vast majority of us here are all about living this life, and the challenges raised in it, and getting it right the best we can. It is not relevant if this is the first time or tenth we have faced the same issue or how we failed at it before. As a result, this has never been a topic I spent much time teaching back when I was doing that heavily. 

    Is Reincarnation An Eastern Religious Concept?

    It is true that in India this is taken so far it creates a caste system there of low to high, but, in the West it survived apart from that as a more general and normalized passage all souls go through after a death, before returning again to live anew, rather like a string of pearls. For most in the West, it is not even a religious concept, but a private belief apart from their religion, due to other factors. There are those who say that Christianity denies it happens, so it is false, and a lot of Christians who think there may be truth to it. Many Pagan belief systems accept it, but, not all do. So, yes there is an Eastern view of it and a Western view of it and the two do not reconcile into a religion or religious dogma for both of them.

    Why Do Some People Have Past Life Memories? Are these real? 

    Because I lean more heavily to belief in reincarnation as being possible than not, I would say yes, some of them are true. I know I have some memories of my own, which are why I do tend to believe. Not all of them are, though, maybe even most of the loudest claims you will find online these days are false claims. Back in the 70's when this first got really big in the West, every girl I knew had been Cleopatra before. I knew several Marie Antoinettes, two Alexandras and... well, really that was it for the girls. The guys varied, some Merlins, a few Alexanders, only one King Tut surprisingly, and a couple Pattons.

    Mind you, these were the ones talking loudly and for whom at the time it plainly meant a great deal. In hindsight, I see this as a very young and naïve period in the Western spiritual evolution and not one of these folks today is still spouting much of anything about the whole topic. It served me well, because I felt so minor to not have a memory like all of that. Mine was really small beside all that grandeur. It started in poverty and sank to worse when I was taken away by raiders to become a slave boy who nearly ended quite badly and predictably in the vices of the times. I did not tell many about it, worked on it hard, meditated on it deeply, was intensely curious and dubious, to be honest with you. I got more recall but nothing I was able to verify today. Not a single thing, for a long time. But, it did serve me in those years in encouraging me to meditate a lot in the first place as young as I was, and when it faltered, I would get a flash of another memory and that would have me refreshed and looking into a new window into my supposed past lives.    

    The question is WHY would someone have a true memory anyway? From a life that is over with, one would suppose it is useless now. The answer is that it is not useless to you right now. That life had some issue you still deal with now, or it can provide an insight into some problem you wrestle with now. Things you got to face again to finally sort out, or a skill you need to pick up and take farther this go round. 

    I do  think that many people have past life memories. Just they do not label them that way. An affinity to somewhere you never have been at all, the odd recognition of something you cannot possibly know, maybe, but, not a clear memory of knowing who you were, what was happening, what it looked like, what it smelled like, how it felt. I do think they can have at least a few minute glimpse into one of their past lives. Most will decide it is a dream or from some book or movie they watched. Maybe so. Maybe not. Maybe you watched that movie because the "dream" was true and you felt drawn to it. Maybe you really are just fantasizing. But, this will require you to seriously soul search and determine the truth of it. I can't do it for you. The main test is, what did this glimpse show me? What does it shed light on for me today? What was the same? What is not? If something, then use it and be happy. If nothing, then it is "neato gee whiz" stuff - have fun and move on. Don't get side tracked. Too many people seem to be consumed by this past life drama, and why? Live now. Being Cleo once before will not pay for your coffee at Starbucks.

    ------

    Still recovering from a near fatal game of tag team with the flu so will end this here and come back to it as more comes to mind. My mental file structure for writing it just went out on a smoke break and I don't smoke anymore :o

     

  2. When I was two years old my parents traveled to the south east of  England and had  hard time finding a Hotel room, after sometime they tierdly went in to a pub called The Swan  in Deal which was owned by an scottish couple they first thought we were germans until my parents told them that we were from Sweden and  they then luckely had a room for rent. Our friendship grew and later on they sort of adopted us we got to know their family and friends . After they had retired as publicans they mooved into a flat on Freemensway in Deal and that area later got kind of rough and my dad was at the same time looking for an investment and found a house in Deal which he later bought for George and Una.  

    At the moment i have to leave you in suspence but dont despair the story gets better unfortunately i have to stop writing now but will finish this tomorrow 

  3. Name: Timothy Green Beckley's Screwed by the Aliens - True Sexual Encounters With ETs
    Publisher: Conspiracy Journal Productions
    By Timothy Green Beckley and Sean Casteel
    Contributions by various writers.
    Overviewed by: Paul Dale Roberts
    Comments: Timothy and Sean have me at "sexterrestrials".  It appears that many UFO documentaries, UFO books try to ignore the sexual encounters that aliens have with humans.  It appears that it has been going on for a long, long time, for in Genesis 6:1-2, 4 it says: "they saw that their daughters were fair and took them as wives."  This book should be in every paranormal enthusiast and paranormal investigator's library as a reference tool, as a bible when investigating anything extraterrestrial.  Timothy hits it on the nose when he says: "No,this isn't porno,but it might as well be to some individuals, as many of the cases described are about as salacious as they come....... this material is said to be true and not fluffed up..."  Some of the stories will have you sitting at the edge-of-your-seat.  One story that hit me like a rock was the story of Suzanne Brown from Cheshire.  The story happens in 1965.  A five foot tall Nordic alien with shoulder blond hair.  Suzanne received visits from this alien at the age of 12 and they appeared to be loving. Things get real, when one day she wakes up with her clothes soaked in blood and YES, there is a lot more.  This book will take you on a journey that will touch upon Aleister Crowley, hybrid race known as the Nephilim; people with a Muslim background who see the incubus phenomenon as a proof that they are being haunted by a Jinn; Rosa from Tuscany who received unwanted attention from aliens who swiped her stockings!  Let me tell you, I could not put this book down!  Yeah, there is more!  Here are some examples:  Tara Green says she was raped by reptoid aliens since childhood.  Her story is compelling and you will be glued to every word of her story.  Sexterrestrials have been around since ancient times, you hear of old stories of fairies abducting humans, angels having intercourse with humans, etc.  This book will open up your eyes.  You will be fascinated with Brad Steiger's Intergalactic Sex!  John Keel talks about The Mystery of the Bedroom Invaders.   Tim R. Swartz - A Flying Saucer Love Story, the ET Guide to Picking up Earth People!  You will also love all of the photos, the drawings in this book.  For example the beautiful drawing of an Extraterrestrial Seductress and the humanoids from the famous Villas-Boas case!  In this book you will also see the connection to our media, our movies from Flash Gordon to Buck Rodgers. You will get the scoop on sexual probes.  One story in this book that brings shivers down my spine is the Villas Boas case and this book really gets into some details.  Brad Steiger talks about phantom pregnancies.  There is so much in this book, I could actually write a book about this book!  Get a shocker with Timothy Beckley's reveal on the Birth of an Alien Hybrid - The Christa Tilton Story!  It's bad enough aliens have been manipulating our DNA, but it's even worse when they are forcefully having sex with various people!  Screwed by the Aliens is a Summer blockbuster movie unfolding in my hands.  This book is absolutely AMAZING, can't get enough!!

  4. Mention must be made of an archaic cultural site discovered in the Valley of Mexico in the 1920s, which has come to be called Niven’s Buried City. William Niven started his investigations in that same valley in the early nineteen hundreds (1910), and in the course of his research, he encountered enigmatic stone artifacts and tablets, which had no discernible connection with any other Mexican cultural sequence. This was curious! However, it was not until the period of 1921-23 when he hit archaeological "pay dirt" at Santiago Ahuizoctla, a hamlet contiguous to Amantla. At that time, he discovered the "infamous" tablets and the evidence of an archaic culture of a high order. For a short time, his discoveries set the archaeological world afire with rampant enthusiasm. Then, most sadly, his discoveries were summarily discredited by the mainstream academic culture and its media. He was made to look a fool, while his artifacts were carried off and scattered far and wide. William Niven died a broken man in Austin, Texas in the 1930s. It is sad to contemplate that he died without ever having his work properly evaluated by the scientific prowess of today’s world. We know not where to find his works though there is rumor that some are hidden away at a distinguished eastern university. Such is an example that could face us with this project.

     

    Teotihuacan, the great city near to Niven’s excavations in the Valley of Mexico, has always caught my imagination, even as a boy. It looks like a great space port with pyramid-like structures lined up on a 4 kilometer rampway for travelers departing and arriving for destinations now long forgotten. At an early age, I can recall thinking upon great flying machines, perhaps saucers, sitting on top of all those little launch pads lining the road of the dead (dead-our idea, not theirs). Too many space movies; one would think that the MIR space station would have ended such dreams!

     

    It has been estimated that Teotihuacan supported a population of 200,000 persons at one point in its florescence. Many of middle American’s old cities seem to have this otherworldly look of high sophistication that was either emulated by other cities at a later date, or were part of an older civilization that was to some degree very advanced. Teotihuacan represents more than that, it has the engineering built into its structure to suggest more than what is told to us by today’s archaeologists. Were the cities of Mexico old memories of a time far away in the minds of their well educated priests? Or, could they have been the whispers of a very ancient Enmayi tradition that bled through to show itself 4 million years later? To do this, the Enmayi had to have a seat of civilization somewhere on Earth that lasted as the stalwart to carry these traditions forward. Where is such a site?

     

    Teotihuacan presents another feature that is also arcane to the extreme. Peter Tompkins, Graham Hancock and other historical writers have pointed out, time after time, that enormous, thick sheets of mica were found by Leopoldo Batres on the fifth level of the Sun Pyramid in 1906. Later, at 350 meters down from the Sun Pyramid, reported by the Viking Foundation, another mica slab was found of considerable size: some 27.4 meters square (90 feet square). To the astonishment of all archaeologists, it was identified as a type of mica that is found in Brazil, and nowhere else. This begs the question of why was this particular type of mica removed and transported some 3218.6 kilometers (2000 miles) to be incorporated into the building site at Teotihuacan? How could something this large be transported in a stone age period of history? It is also to be noted that similar finds of Brazilian mica were discovered in certain Olmec sites. This is the "silver bullet" of the archaeological world which proclaims that the technology of the ancients is far removed from what we consider it to have been. Mica is utilized as insulation to atomic expressions.

     

    In my estimation, the importance of the discovery of mica, which had been transported thousands of kilometers from its place of origin to its final resting place, is equivalent in historical importance to Dr. Oppenheimer’s comment upon the detonation of the first atomic explosion in the deserts of New Mexico. At the time of the explosion, he was heard to remark that "it was the second [ time ] for humanity to experience such." He was, of course, referring to the old Sanskrit tradition that the first atomic device was detonated in the area of the ancient Indus Valley civilizations some 8,000 years ago. The very old ruins of Mohenjo-Daro certainly reflect that this is indeed what occurred, with thousands of its fallen resident’s bones recently found radioactively "hot" in the bottom of the old streets of the city.

     

    In the old Mahabharata, we find that there were references to flying machines and a frightening white flash of an ultimate weapon that destroyed cities, and caused the survivors to rush to the rivers to cleanse themselves of the unseen killer. The evidence of classic radiation sickness, such as hair and nails falling form the body before death, are everywhere in the ancient writings. With all this strong corroboration of evidence from our planetary past, we should not decline the information offered by all this data that our celestial messenger has poured forth in the last few weeks.

     

    From my vicarious youth, I have wondered about Mexico. Were those old tribes a part of this powerful technological base that peeks to us between the lines of mythological history? The gods seem to appear out of space and time, as did the Sons of Annu, the Sumerian god of gods. One wonders if Claronu’s nickname for Anjona — Annoo-a was the same leader of the Niberu, as translated by Zecharia Sitchin in his body of highly informative and passionately charged books about the Earth Chronicles. Annu was the Anunnaki god who brought genetic engineering to Earth. We have data that supports some of these researchers, so why do we not announce the truth to humanity?

     

    Today, expeditions into the volcanic wastes of Mexico are showing that cultures were present earlier than the Olmecs as Niven believed. Were these first people the sons of the Enmayi who had risen in technology over and over again through the cyclic volatility of this unstable planet of garden-like beauty? Cast back into the barbaric states of human evolution time and time again, they continued to climb back out of the agglomeration of defeat to strive once more up the ladder of be-manship. While the poles of the planet wobbled around the globe, they fought to maintain their traditions, each time of destruction, they restarted the flame of the hand that sees – becoming the minds that move. Even the art attributed to the Olmecs seems more modern, with their head-mounted lenses on space helmets that often seem to have support systems attached to their bodies. It is all more relevant now, after having this immense data before us from out of Time.

  5. Ephesians 2:1-10 By Grace Through Faith

    And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

    “Reading the Fine Print”

    When you think of the Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde…usually the first thing that comes to mind is his wit. He was quite the socialite in Victorian era London and he had such a reputation for be a conversationalist that people were always writing down what he said. To this day you can still buy books of his wit and wisdom. Just to name a few examples, on hard work he said that “Work is the curse of thedrinking classes.” On living within one’s means he said “Anyone who lives within their means simply suffers from a lack of imagination.” 

    On good versus bad he said “It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious." And on happiness he said “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go." Isn’t that the truth? In short, he was extremely funny…and brilliant. 

    But arguably one of his greatest literary masterpieces is the exact opposite of all that. The Picture of Dorian Gray which was originally published in 1890 is a dark, brooding, and haunting novel about the evil and wickedness that resides in human nature. In comparing that to our Epistle reading for the day…if the Apostle Paul had read his book he probably would have put a blurb on there that said “very accurate.” 

    Dorian Gray was this very good looking, young and wealthy aristocrat who was the subject of a famous artist’s portrait. At first, Dorian is a good and kind man, but through the artist he meets another wealthy aristocrat by the name of Lord Henry Wotton. Wotton teaches Gray about a hedonistic worldview…that beauty and sensual fulfilment are the only things worth pursuing in life. 

    Because of this, Gray is filled with this overwhelming sense of pride and vanity. He comes to believe that his beauty is his most important quality and he’s terrified of losing it and growing old. So one night in a fit of rage…he curses the portrait and he sells his soul…ensuring that the picture, rather than he, will age and fade. The wish is granted. He descends into a world of vice and amoral experiences. He maintains his youth and beauty while the portrait records every one of his sins and becomes extremely warped. One tragedy after another ensues. He wrecks all kinds of lives. He ends up killing his friend the artist. 

    The novel finally ends when he looks at the painting. He goes into the drawing room, throws back the curtain covering his portrait…and he’s appalled and horrified. He sees this disgusting and monstrous image of who he really is…and he destroys it…which ends up killing him in the process. 

    This is grim stuff. It isn’t light reading….but it is a masterpiece and like I said, this is a book that the Apostle Paul would have applauded. See, I think Dorian Gray is a perfect visual representation of the human condition….of what being ‘dead in sin’ as Paul calls it actually looks like. The things that we do because of our condition may not appear to affect the outer person…not on the surface….but they affect us on the inside. It’s so easy for us to say that we’re all basically good…but I wonder….do we look more like the Picture of Dorian Gray on the inside…without God? Maybe it’s not as extreme as that, but the possibility is definitely there. All in all, this is a complex question. Our Scripture lesson for this blog meditation is one of the most commonly quoted passages in the entire New Testament. 

    It was instrumental in the Protestant Reformation and in the thought of Martin Luther….that we are saved by grace through faith. Now as I researched Ephesians chapter 2 this past week…one thing that really stood out to me is how a lot of commentaries and even sermons take the text in one of two directions. You can either emphasize the bad in humanity or you can emphasize the grace of God. Now both of these things are important, but there’s a lot going on here. In fact…this thing reads….almost like a giant run-on sentence. It’s a mouthful…and because of that…it’s easy to miss the fine print. 

    The great Episcopalian social activist and theologian William Stringfellow once said: “Biblically speaking, the singular, straightforward issue of ethics and…of politics…is how to live humanly during the fall. Any viable ethic must deal with human decision and action in relation to the other creatures, notably the principalities and powers in the very midst of the conflict, distortion, alienation, disorientation, chaos, and decadence of the Fall.” 

    In short, what he’s saying is for us to arrive at any real sense of ethical behavior…we have to be real about our situation. We have to be real about who we are. This isn’t an easy thing to do. In fact, I think that might be one of the reasons why Christianity is in a bit of decline in America. The dominant view of our culture, going all the way back to the beginning of the 20th century, is that humanity is basically good and our main problem is that we lose touch with our inner goodness. Oppressive or distorting societal structures are usually to blame for this. For example, if you’re born in poverty…you’re more likely to turn to a life of crime. Now there’s certainly truth to all of that. 

    But Stringfellow shatters that myth as a sole responsibility…arguing that these structures are in place because we’re fallen. Poverty exists because we’re fallen and it’s in our nature to horde our resources rather than to share them. Yes, we’re made in the image of God and there’s good in each and every one of us. But we’re fallen. As Paul says here, we’re ‘dead in our trespasses and sin.’ We don’t want to go in to a room and see this ugly portrait of ourselves like in the Picture of Dorian Gray. But this is the reality of humanity and it isn’t an easy one to face. And the thing is we don’t have to be Dorian Gray. This comes about simply as a result of our orientation. If we allow ourselves to be shaped by self-interest rather than orienting ourselves towards God and loving our neighbors…then we become a kind of Dorian Gray. 

    Now that’s an important point here. God is the source of life. God is the source of all that is. But what it means to be a child of wrath is to pursue the opposite… the way of selfishness….the way of Dorian Gray…is death and nothingness. See there’s a lot of bad teaching out there that makes God into a vindictive bully. He’s angry. He’s ready to smite everybody. But that’s not the case. 

    A few weeks ago we learned as we studied Noah’s flood that God promised that He’d never act in a vengeful way towards humanity again. He was the first repentant. So what this means…to be children of wrath… is…you’re going to get exactly what you pursue. God says this world, this age is perishing and He wants us to live for the age to come. But when we pursue the nothingness of this world, our reward is of the world. We’re perishing, dying by our own design. 

    And being a person of faith doesn’t make us immune to at least some of this Dorian Gray effect. One of the great saints of monasticism, John Cassian in his famous work the Conferences observed how so many monks and nuns who’d supposedly renounced wealth and the world….became possessive over silly things like a book or a pen. At one point, he describes a monk who flew into a rage over losing a dull pocket knife. He must’ve been having a pretty bad day. But you get the idea. The voices of people like William Stringfellow tell us that an ethic of nice just doesn’t cut it. We’re not as good as we think we are. 

    This is why I think Lent is such an important time in the Christian year because it teaches us that the road to an Easter resurrection has to pass through repentance of all that we’ve done and all that we’ve failed to do. Things like denial, passive neglect, scape-goating, or rationalizations on our parts only delay our healing and add more scars and blemishes to our own portraits. 

    And yet…things do get better. 

    In fact…if you, my dear reader, own a Bible in your home….I want you, if you’ll indulge me for just a moment, to go get it out and set it down next to whatever device you’re reading this on. Then turn to this text and pause for just a moment and look at verse 4. What does it say there? It says “But God.” Now if you’re like me and you underline and highlight your books, I want you to draw a little arrow around those words “But God.” Don’t worry. It’s not blasphemy. It’s not sacrilege.

    Why an arrow? My friends, the key to this whole text…is in those two simple words….”But God.” While everything seems grim and hopeless, look more carefully at Paul’s words. For me, for all of you, for every follower of Christ…all of that stuff is past tense. You were dead…you once lived….But God. That arrow…there’s a movement here. You’re no longer what you once were. Paul says “But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.” 

    This is the most important thing I could ever share with you my dear readers…and I mean ever: you are loved by God. That’s it. You are loved by God. If I didn’t love what I do, I could probably just retire if you get that one thing. See what Paul does here in verses 1-3 is diagnose our condition….and then he says in verse 4….you’re cured. You’re healed. And notice how all of this is also past tense. It’s already been done. It’s already happened, once and for all. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross has changed us from being these “children of wrath” to being His dearly beloved children and friends. Sin, death, and the devil have been defeated. 

    There was once this infinite gap between God and humanity…but it’s been closed. We’re now reconciled to God through the bridge of Jesus Christ and the cross. 

    I want each and every one of you to meditate on this today. Let it really sink in. Just like John Cassian once said, we’re never completely free from our old nature in this life. When we struggle with the sins and the imperfections in our lives…when we become obsessed with material things and our material pursuits….when we fail and when we falter….we need to remember this. 

    Instead of being depressed about our struggles…we need to remember that we are loved by God…even if we’re losing our daily battles. Jesus walks into that drawing room, throws back that curtain covering each of our portraits and no matter what He sees there…whether it’s just a few minor imperfections and blemishes or whether it’s twisted and rotten….He says….I love you anyway. I can do something with this. 

    And I’m not just being poetic. I’m being literal. In verse 10 when it says that we’re a work of God…the Greek word for work here is “poiehma”…which translates into “poem” and “work of art.” We are God’s poetic work of art. 

    We are God’s poetic work of art. Isn’t that incredible? I want you to feel loved today…becausethat’s our reality. I’ll take this flawed and messed up painting and I’ll erase every flaw and every imperfection with my nail pierced hands. And I’ll redo it…and I’ll make you beautiful again. And every time you stumble, and every time you fall I’ll paint over it again and again…because you’ll always be beautiful to me. 

    That’s what grace is. It literally means “unmerited favor.” God loves us even if we don’t deserve it. We don’t work our way into God’s Kingdom. We don’t buy our way in. All we have is bit coin. It isn’t really worth anything. No.  We’re beneficiaries. It’s just like if someone left us an inheritance of unimaginable wealth. We can’t repay it…but we respond with our loyalty. And that’s just what faith is. Belief plus trust. We trust in what God has done for us.

    Now at this point we could say “amen” and call it a day. A lot of sermons on this text do. But if we did, we’d be missing the fine print.When I was a kid I had the original Nintendo and every game used to come with an instruction manual. I never read them. I’d just dive in and try to start playing the game. But then I wouldn’t know what in the heck I was doing. I’d just end up dying over and over again. After about a hundred “game over” screens I’d finally pick up the instruction manual. And that’s how it is with us spiritually sometimes. I’m saved. I’m good to go. But wait a minute. You’ve got to read the fine print. We’re not done yet. 

    Verse 10 says we’re “created in Christ Jesus for good works.” What this means for us, simply put, is that by God’s grace we were created to create goodness in the world. See, we’re not saved by works….we’re saved for works. 

    We don’t get into the Kingdom of God with our works...we bring the Kingdom of God here with our works. They’re part of the goal that God had in mind saving us. God has set things up so that each and every one of us here has the opportunity to do good works. It doesn’t matter if you doubt your ability. It doesn’t matter if you’re scared to step out in faith. Each of us has an eternally designed job description that includes the tasks, the abilities, and the places to serve. You may not even know it…but you’re ready for work. 

     And I’ve got to be blunt. If you want a sign that you’re truly alive in Christ…if you want a sign that everything I’m saying today is true and applies to you….this is it. You’re God’s beautiful work of art…and that should fill you with a Spirit driven desire to create more beauty in the world. To create life where there’s death. 

    This is how we show our appreciation for what God has done for us. This is how we bring glory to God in a world that so desperately needs it. We should be doing good works in every area of our lives. We practice it at work, at school, at home, in our families and in our marriages. Now is that you? Does good works describe and define your life? That’s the fine print. That’s the sign of life. 

    Maybe that doesn’t describe you. Your faith is important to you. You read your Bibles and your devotional books. You pray and you come to church on Sundays. All of that’s good. All of that’s important. But it’s not the definitive sign of life that we see coming from the great “but God” change in us.

    And as ministers people like me…we have to admit our own mistakes as well. We have to be real with ourselves too…and that’s part of the problem….when we reduce salvation to a moment in time…as if being saved is simply so that all of us can go to heaven when we die. Is that why God saves us? No. That’s honestly bad teaching. We are God’s work of art and He saves us out of love and He wants us to respond by giving that love to others.

    So if we’re not doing that right now…the good news is we still have time. In fact, when you go home today…or when you have time later this week…just type in to Google “United Methodist Spiritual Gifts test.” 

    Even if you’ve done one before, it’s always good to look again and see where you might be growing. So if you take just 20-30 minutes of your day to do this…you’ll start to see God’s magnificent brush strokes in your life. You’ll start to see what you’re capable of. And I’d love to hear about it. You can comment on this blog or private message me. I’d love to learn about all  spiritual gifts of my readers and how you’re using them because it inspires all of us to get to work ourselves.

     Oscar Wilde created a lot of beauty in his lifetime, beauty that we still appreciate today. And a lot of it was through humor. Yes, it’s true that he was really funny. But some of his statements were profound. He was in many ways a philosopher, and sometimes he spoke like a theologian. He once said:  “Everyone may not be good, but there's always something good in everyone. Never judge anyone shortly because every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” That applies to each and every one of us in this Sanctuary today. There is potential in all of us. God has put an end to the death to which we cling and He’s given us new life as His works of art in creation. 

    And when we heed His call to find our place in God’s mission, we too become artists. Thanks be to God. Amen.

     

  6. image.png.8026a78c6e78c87e5cddebab7f91158f.png

     

    To rekindle our ‘Child-Soul’

     

    April 15—I was listening to some children playing. “I love children. It is I who gave them all these delicate thoughts and feelings: complete trust, docility, a thirst for Jesus, candor and purity, absolute surrender and the forthright glance. You must keep the same sentiments with you right through life. For they come from Me and I so love to find them again in you when you are grown up. So find your child-soul again and give it to Me.”

     

    Bossis, Gabrielle. He and I (Kindle Locations 912-915).
     Pauline Books and Media. Kindle Edition.

     

    When I was very young, 23 to be exact, I was driving into Atlanta for a Doctor’s Appointment.  In 1972, Atlanta was not really that big of a city, so the traffic was no way near as bad as it is today.  It was a Monday, and I was not in a pleasant mood.  No reason, just in a bad mood.  As I was driving along settling into my being irritated by everything, a car passed me by.  In it, standing next to her mother, who was going at quite a clip, was a small child.  A boy, and as I looked over, he smiled and gave me an enthusiastic wave.  It was so unexpected, that it sent a feeling of love through me that dissipated my bad mood.  Such is the power of a child who is still open, loving, and in a way showing us something of the childlike nature of Our Lord.  For Jesus was open, tender, unafraid of pain, and overcoming bitterness and the temptation to withdraw.  The child if it survived it’s mom’s driving, would be around 50 at this time.  I would think, no matter how he turned out, that inner child-soul is still there.   I do believe that for most of us, one of our purposes in life is to either retain that child-like soul or to recover it as we make our way through life.  One way is to play.  I do not think we are ever too old to play.

    Br. Cassian, before he entered was a teacher of small children.  I have no doubt he was very good at it, since I see how he relates to those with whom he comes in contact within our retreat house.  He draws people out, makes people laugh, listens intently, and can look into people’s hearts.  He is a very playful, intelligent, and mature man.

    We have a bulletin board in one of the hallways in our bottom floor.  It was used for years by Br. Alan, for our newspaper.  He would cut it up and place it along the very large board so that more than one member of the community could read.  It was sort of a gathering place, but over the years was used less than before.  Br. Alan is now retired from that duty, so the board, until recently was left empty.  A space begging to be used.  Br. Cassin found a good use for it. 

    He placed words on the board, many words that could be placed in sentences.  So for a while, some of us would play with words.  I loved making up silly sentences, with no meaning at all.  For instance:

     

    “Dance, eat, moon and sun, emptiness and fullness”.

     

    Another monk would post a sentence, under my words:

     

    “You speak fluff words”

     

    Just a play on words, but I found it freeing, fun, and a sort of dance with the others who would play along.  We also had magnets which would be used to make up patterns, which I found really interesting.  For I believe, words and the designs were not as random as might be thought, but also just play.

    Then one day, Br. Cassian put up some colored tile.  In the past, I used to play with cord and makeup wall hangings from many different colors moving them around in patterns that would just create themselves.  I also did some three-dimensional hangings, start with one cord and building off of that.  An outer and an inner layer.  I just moved colors around as I was led to, and again, was surprised by some of the images that came out of that. 

    I was discussing my compulsion to make everything symmetrical, everything had to be balanced with its twin side.  He said, ‘You know Mark, asymmetrical also has its beauty”.   So I am trying that.  It is kind of difficult, so I have to in some small way force myself to not make both sides the same.  I find it freeing on a deeper level, perhaps because it is expanding my ability to play.  Such simple tools, colored tiles, or words arranged in an order not so adult or linear.

    I am not a rational thinker, so perhaps that is why I like balance in the world outside my often inner chaotic, overly colorful world.  Yet it is freeing to bring both outer and inner worlds together in such a manner because it is played after all.

    I could not let go of my ‘over-thinking’ self when trying to ‘play’ sports.  Which made it into something I hated, it was work, because I could not let go and ‘just do it’, as they say.  Then I discovered that I could replace sports with dance, and could when dancing, not think at all, but let the rhythm take over and carry me to some pretty ecstatic places.   Just movement, play, jumping up, and down, to the beat, and just being.  I can do that when I write for some reason, since I just sit and let it happen, sort of like making my rope hangings and just allowing some inner ‘child’ to lead me.  Play heals I believe.  Work also has its place, an important one, and I guess can be played as well, but not spontaneous. 

    I still overthink, but in writing, it seems to flow like a river, and I don’t have to work at it, and in that I find healing, and perhaps even though I often overdue the struggle aspect of life, it is still playing and I find a release when writing, but also sending, they seem to go together.  One day I may not need to write.  I am both glad that would happen, and also sad if it actually did.  I am a mess, no wonder I overwrite.

    Yet I do want to dance with words, with my work, and my prayer and my ongoing wrestling with God, which is a dance as well.

     

    Towards the inner child

     

    So, Lord, I dance and you lead,
    I fight you and you wound me deeper,
    I limp when I dance but you also heal,
    round and round we go,
    one day I will stop fighting
    and my wounds with finally be healed
    because then my child-soul will be truly alive.—Br.MD

     

  7. A man awake

    So it’s 4 am. I woke up around three and I was dreaming about a friend. She just had one of her breasts removed due to some pretty aggressive stage three cancer. I’m scheduled to bring a meal to her and her family today. 

    She has two older children and she just had a little girl last year. She is a leader in our community and frankly an amazing person. I am married of course, and so is she, but we still  share a certain kind of bond. It’s more built around respect because we share similar passions. One of those passions is the work we do around us. Together we lead a parent group that is focused on preventing and managing bullying in our schools. It’s been a huge success. We work directly with school board members when parents come to us when a kid is haveing serious bully issues, but the teachers and principals won’t do anything. 

    We act as an advocacy group and the board members love us because we prevent things from blowing up on social media and even the news. We had a tragic suicide a few years back, and this woman and I are dedicated to preventing it from happening again. 

    Anyway. Just like most people in my life, they have no clue about my alter ego, white crane feather, and this sort of double life I live. 

    I was feeling helpless and a little angry at the universe for putting such a deserving person through the ravishes of cancer. I decided it couldn’t hurt to try something. I have done things like this before, but never against cancer.

    If you have ever read my blogs before, when I go OOB I see disease as monsters. Usually zombie like entities with blank unintelligent eyes. Sometimes particularly nasty viruses and things, the creatures are more active and aggressive. The Noro virus we had a few years ago were these evil little Witches. 

    I usually blast them with light. I really don’t know if it helps at all, but when you see them, you can help but want to get rid of them. I have seen them around my children and wife when they are sick, so I can’t just leave them there even if I’m just bat **** crazy and it’s all

    in my head. 

    You hear this term “thoughts and prayers” all the time that has become fairly meaningless. Well my version of thoughts and prayers is to fly over to her house out of body and kick that things ass, and that’s what I just did. Is it meaningless? I can’t tell you that. All I can write about is the experience. 

    After waking up, I went back under. I initiated the meditations and waited for the right time. Vibrations for me are very faint these days. I suppose I’m used to them so they don’t course through my body in powerful currents any more. I sort of miss them and I sort of don’t. The same thing with the loud noises. They are no longer there either. I don’t miss those. 

    Now, I can just sort of tell when my brain is in the proper stage to exit my body. It’s hard to explain, but it’s like everything becomes extremely crisp and I can feel everything touching me even the air in sort of a heightened reality. Simple enough. I just get up and I’m OOB. No matter how many times I do it, it is alway a trip to see my body laying there. The room is dark, I shouldn’t be able to see so well, but I can. 

    I walk down stairs and straight through my door. I don’t have the problems I used to with these things. I have learned to focus and the mental hangups about physical obstacles are no longer there. 

    I launch into the sky. I’m a little disoriented at first because...well.... I have never flown to her house and the neighbour hood looks a little different from above. She lives close to me, but to get to her house you have to take a bunch of streets that go around a green belt. I’m shocked at how close her house is as the crow flies. I really could use a wrist rocket and lob at her house and get pretty close. 

    I really just find her house because her husband has a bunch of toys. A bass boat, a huge RV, and a giant truck. I walk through her door and find the master bedroom. Her little one is sleeping in between her and her husband. She is watching me. For some reason when I am in the other space little children look like they are always awake. I know in normal reality her eyes are closed, but in this reality kids that age never close their eyes. Weird I know. Just an observation. 

    Just as I thought. There is an oily looking entity slithering around on her. Cancer? The drugs she is on? I don’t know. She just had her fricken boob cut off. Who knows what kind of nastiest are around and even her own psychic constructs could be an issue. 

    Anyway. I grab it and send light through it to disintegrate it. Easy enough. It squirmed a lot like a snake, but it died. 

    Then I did something I haven’t done in a very long time. I don’t like to do it actually because sometimes I feel like I’m violating someone. No one knows I do this crazy ****, and if they did, they probably wouldn’t speak to me, so I have to do it without her consent. It bugs me a bit, but I get myself over it and do it. 

    I reached my hands into her body. No I’m not grabbing her boobs. I simply stick my hands in her torso and I let my consciousness spread throughout her whole body. It’s a very strange sensation because it’s really wet and I can literally feel every part of her insides as if my sense of touch expanded to everything. I don’t really know how to describe that. The insides of people feel actually quite gross. It’s all wet and squishy and sort of hot. 

    I check her lymph nodes and other places cancer might have spread. She is missing some. The doctors removed a few. I can’t really detect anything it’s just touch. I decide to take a different approach. I decide to have a look. Okay this is going to sound really crazy, but I actualky stick my whole head in her chest cavity and start to look around. I purposely change my perspective and create like a virtual environment. Almost like a movie or CGI of the inside of a human body. I search everywhere and eventually find what I was looking for. I can only describe it as little dark stars. It’s as if blackness was shinning. There are not a whole lot. I just start to zap them like a video game. I search around more until I’m satisfied I have gotten them all. 

    When im done, I simply snap myself back to my own body. No real need to fly back. I probably don’t even need to fly there, it’s just a habit. I then grab my phone to write about it here.

    Did it help? I don’t know. I suppose I never will unless the unthinkable happens and she dies then I know it didn’t. 

    Sorry for typos and bad grammar. I really dont feel like editing 

     

    Thank for listening. 

     

     

  8. Meeseek's Pointless Blogs

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    Greetings,

    It has come to the point where I've decided to leave UM due to some personal reasons in which I wont be as active at all upon UM. During the time I've been here I'd like to thank :wub: the ones who played a active role in my activities and etc. It's now time for me to go and farewell to you all :st.

  9. When art is a mystery....

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    When I create I always want to express something, a feeling, a thought, a mystery.

    Through the process of creating, my mind starts to fly into another dimension.

    A mystery is unfolding in my mind's eye, my mind's wings are fluttering in a happy dance.

     

    MyArt-TheRedRoom.jpg

    I call this piece of art "The Red Room"

     

  10. and then
    Latest Entry

    A chronic lack of civility in our public discourse has led to an approaching breakdown of social order.  When it comes, when the nastiness reaches a critical point, who will be willing to back down and compromise?  When hotheads shed blood, who will reach across to make peace?  WWII ended 73 years ago.  Is our institutional memory so short?  Do we so little value what has taken 2 centuries to build?  Finally, are we so full of hate that we'd rather lose all than admit an error and compromise?  Our electronic media is our access to the wider world.  How are we to understand what is happening in our world if we cannot trust what these arbiters of truth tell us?  There is yet time for cooler heads to prevail but that time is shrinking.

  11. Experience Blog

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    This year has been one of the most growth-inducing years of my life. It began with a break up after a 3 month relationship I expected to go further than it had. I went through depression of course, not knowing what I did wrong, and desperately trying to fix the relationship any way I could. I had my mind set on suicide once the pain got unbearable. I planned out goodbye letters, and had other information written down so things could be taken cared of when I had gone. Something in my mind told me to pray for help instead - so I did. February came along and I began researching Archangels because of one I heard of shortly after praying. Archangel Michael was the first one I had researched, and the more I looked, the more curious I became and once I knew I could ask them for help, I started calling out to them and praying every night for something to happen. It started the domino effect that paved the road towards my Spiritual awakening in March, then Kundalini awakening in April. I've been visited by many of the Archangels in the last 6 months, and I have a direct cord connecting me to Michael. It's so powerful, when he's with me I can feel heat cascade down my entire back. I have many experiences to voice about, and I plan to do so in this blog. All events are true, and I use to be an atheist, so if people are concerned with me making this stuff up - there is no way I could possibly make things of this significance up!

    Until next time, have a good day!

  12. StarMountainKid
    Latest Entry

    I thought I'd put the rest of my fiction here, gradually. This is a little story I wrote several years ago.

     

    Like A Rainbow

    “Oh! Look how beautiful the rings are!” Grandmother exclaimed, looking out of the window to the majestic planet floating brilliantly in the velvet blackness. “Like a rainbow! It’s just like home!”

    Marie and I looked at each other, then to the window. “Yes, it is beautiful,” Marie murmured, then turned away. She looked at me sadly and whispered, “There’s nothing for us here, John.”

    “I know, dear,” I said, taking Marie’s hand. “We’ll not tell grandma. Not just now, anyway.”

    Marie sighed, and glanced back to her mother. “No, but when the end comes, what shall we say to her?”

    I thought for a moment. “I think she’ll understand. She probably knows, anyway, dear. We all have to face facts. We’ve not found what we’ve been looking for these long years, and now it’s too late. We knew this was a possibility when we began.”

    “I know,” Marie said, placing her other hand on mine. “We can accept it, but I feel most for the children. They've known nothing but this.” Marie gestured to the grey walls of the cabin. “They’ve not seen how lovely it was. Sometimes I wonder why we ever left. There was still some hope, wasn’t there?”

    My mind went back to the beginning. “No, dear,” I said. “There was no hope left, this was our only chance. I don’t regret our decision; it all would have ended there as well. This is a better ending.”

    Marie looked into my eyes. “Perhaps you’re right. It’s only…” She looked at the old woman sitting beside her. “I think we should do it now, John. I can’t take this any longer. I’ll get David, he’s in the playground. He won’t like coming back to the cabin, but I’ll give him some ice cream. We’ll make him happy until…” Marie’s eyes were now moist with tears.

    “Shh,” I said. “Grand…” But the old woman looked away from the window to us and smiled.  

    I looked past grandma to the planet with the beautiful rings. “Like a rainbow,” I said, “and just like home.”

     

  13. Jonny Bristolian
    Latest Entry

    Just over 12 years ago I joined this site. I was in my early 20s and noticed something strange in the sky. I took photos then went online on my old PC and came across this forum to share my experience. It was great and opened up my mind to so much more. Since then I’ve learned to look beyond what we can see. I don’t post very often but I read very often. Personally I don’t have many experiences that are worthy of sharing on here but I do appreciate others stories and experiences.

    That leads to me, now. For most of my adult life I’ve suffered with depression and anxiety. It’s getting worse. Realising that 12 years has passed since that day I registered on here is a major eye opener. Then I had a few ideas and dreams of where I wanted to be in the future. I’ve not achieved much of that. I bet most of us would think that in a decade into the future from now, loads of things would have changed! Aliens would be here, ghosts and monsters would be easily detectable but nope, all is as it was. It’s a good thing though because no matter how much technology progresses, those same questions we asked years ago still remain.

    Ive began looking for personal answers. Why am I here? What’s my purpose? Is it all just random events or is the simulation theory real? If so then are any of us really in control? Are we the highest power or are we just left alone to think we are? Are we insignificant like that random ant hill in Africa?

    Having depression is strangely soothing for me. I can’t get excited and I’m used to feeling alone and disappointed. If we are alone and are just a freak of nature doomed to disappear when the sun explodes then fine, I can deal with the pointlessness of it all. But what if we’re not a freak of nature? What if we’re here for some reason? Test? Experiment etc? 

    Who gets those feelings of “there’s something more than this”? I do constantly. I’m not religious but I do believe there’s something out there with a degree of control but I have no idea how to find out! I’ll keep searching!

     I try to ignore the distractions in life, they seem to be set up for us like TV, sport, video games and so on. They seem to mask or hide something. Why do we need to be entertained when we have the instinct to explore? There are so many unanswered questions but we ignore them and instead go shopping or go drinking or fall asleep watching TV!

    The people on here, keep up the good work! Keep searching and asking! Share what you find! Silent observers like myself appreciate it .

  14. Tales from the Mist

    Goddess of the Mist
    Latest Entry

    5b63c01b7b944_Gabepicture.jpg.1ada1bd7ee151ff49130e74123959fab.jpg

    Through a rift in the atmosphere, found with a purpose

    still so enthralled, the angel crawls

    to the edge of the night

    and looks down

    Hell is as much a metaphor in heaven as it is on Earth:

    “Close enough,” he decides, as he surveys what he’s found

     

    Earthly delights are what he’s after

    smoking and drinking; music and laughter

    He thinks of himself as a rogue player, wandering adventurer

    heartbreaking slayer

     

    The ladies adore him, his rugged handsomeness

    irresistible charm

    his smooth caress

    With his wings folded tight, he can blend right in

    among the cacophony of celebration

    the nightlife and parties, the sin

     

    You see, he grows bored with heaven

    all its pureness, so tame

    He craves the soiled imperfections

    the struggle and the game

    Which is why he often finds himself in a lovely stranger’s bed

    enjoying earthly pleasures; letting his passions be fed

     

    Sometimes his wings are discovered - with shocked delight and glee!

    But until the morning light they are difficult to see

    Which is why before the dawn returns

    he must make his exit swift,

    his lover sleepily calling, “Gabe…..”

    as his wings give him lift

     

     

     

    ©Goddess of the Mist

     

     

     

     

  15. Doors Shaking

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    Friendly_Ghost
    Latest Entry

    So yesterday, my three cousins and I were laying in bed watching movies. It was around 11:30pm or 12:00pm, and the door in my cousins room started shaking slightly. We were a little creeped out, but just assumed it was the fans in and outside of the room. It continued after a while, so we just opened the door and put some things in front of it. Today, it started again. My aunt claims it has never happened before, because I'm just visiting when it happened. We turned off any fans or air circulating through the house. No windows or doors were open. The door continued to shake, but much harder. When we would open it, no one was outside. Nothing. So we just cracked the door, due to heat, and the door once again shook. While it was open. Later, all of the doors started to shake slightly while closed. Not really sure what's going on here, any thoughts?

  16. Here's the affable and wise Irving Finkel, the British Museum's Curator of Cuneiform Clay Tablets from Mesopotamia, discussing that ancient culture's ghost lore, @ 6 min.:

     

  17. newbloodmoon
    Latest Entry

    So a couple weeks ago I said I was going to take a break from the internet.  Well I had some reasons for this that I just won’t get in too.  So anyway this will be my final post here at UM so I can put things in order.  Before anyone jumps the gun and thinks the absolute worst, no I’m not going to jail, and I am Not going to hurt myself.  I just have far too many things on my plate at the moment to be coming and posting here.  Thanks to all the people that I have become friends with here, I will not forget you.  So let me bid you all a fond farewell.

  18. rashore
    Latest Entry

    You breathe the air of your sweat, light and shallow.. the liquid air around you without breath to give you respite. The sun above does little more than remind you that your flesh can cook in the steam just like that nice batch of veggies you dressed with a cool cucumber dressing last night.

    Then you hit the shade while the hot wind does whip up-blowing the debris of seasonal blossoms gone to seed and dust from the streets... and it's a cool blessing. You are happy that the sweat pops up to be blown off.. and take a moment to drink deep of that iced beverage.. swat a sweat fly or two. Too hot for skeeters to be bugging, even their spawn is dying in the water tanks, much to the dismay of the birds that like to eat and drink while perched on the ledges.

    The high light of summer is already past us, and has been for a couple weeks. We are now on the hot steel slide into the dark.

  19. Russian World News RWN

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    Short post. My Photo. The Arseniev Museum in Vladivostok. Second floor. Hall of Archeology. On the left under the glass are the medieval bronze mirrors. The Jurchen Empire. The Primorye Territory of our Far Eastern region is very rich in these historical relics.

     

    18595а.jpg

  20. Well, all the search parties have returned. It turns out that the first search party had already come back and just went straight to bed (apparently they emphasized the “Party” part of their title)… Stern notes were posted in the personnel folders of all involved…

    This year’s route has been selected and without further ado, here it is:

    The race will begin in the Grand Central Square, in the heart of the UM Complex… All racers will be sorted by their teams, in order of talent, winning records (and bribes of course)… Each team will be lined up in one of the many (mostly) straight (and mostly paved) streets that radiate out from the Grand Square (it’s not really square shaped – it’s just named that to confuse people)… When the starting bazooka is fired, the racers will all rush inward onto the (mostly circular-ish) traffic circle (known as a roundabout to some), and will speed around counter-clockwise for three full circuits… At this time the Grand All-High Inquisitor Mod will pull the lever that opens the “Ancient Endless Spiral Stairs of Doom” (which have been mostly covered with the cheapest grade of plywood we could find – so that it forms a 15 mile long 60 degree spiral down ramp…

    The “Ancient Endless Spiral Stairs of Doom” were the result of a Public Works Project by a group of Inquisitor Mods a few thousand years ago… The original plans were for this to be a rather short spiral staircase down 15 meters to a lavish train station, which was to be built to begin linking UM’s far flung areas together… However, the designers abbreviated 15 meters to 15 m which the construction crew mistook for 15 miles… After the construction crew had gotten started, it was discovered that no one had invented trains yet, so the Inquisitors scrapped the project but neglected to tell the furiously digging crews… When the bottom was reached it was discovered that they had dug down into a series of ancient lava tubes, Prehistoric mammoth-gopher tunnels and some of the original dungeon levels…

    Upon reaching the bottom of the “Ancient Endless Spiral Stairs of Doom” those racers that survive will be directed by rapidly strobing neon lights down the twisting tunnels and chambers, along the Ancient Grand Gallery with its view that overlooks 30 deeper levels (watch out – no safety rails!)  and finally along the Ancient Underground Sea (be cautious… there are “things” that live in there and they have tentacles!)…

    The racers will then find themselves emerging from the underground at the base of the World famous Icanseemyhousefromhere Mountain and across the lovely and scenic Misty Marsh of Miasmic Wonder… (The Race Committee would like to take this opportunity to give a heartfelt thank you to the many “volunteers” (and their next of kins) who worked so hard (and for so little pay) to layout the plywood over the swampy ground to form the roadway for the racers to use…)

    After crossing the Misty Marsh, the racers will travel through the Eastern Artillery Impact Zone (B), where as they speed along they will have the pleasure of witnessing the production testing of the latest model of Rocket Assisted Pogo-sticks for Seniors – which should amuse the racers to no end…

    Once across the Impact Zone (which will most definitely be probably not receiving artillery hits at the time of the race – but you never know!) the racers will pull into the courses sole rest stop, where they can stretch their legs, get a cold frosty beverage (on sale from the Renegade Beer Balloon Fleet) and change their pants (as necessary), The Noggin’ Knockers Band will be providing musical entertainment (for a small fee they will move on and play somewhere else) and everyone is encouraged to polka for a bit before getting back on with the race…

    The next leg of the race is perhaps the most dangerous… It is across the heart of UM’s “Land of Lost Tax Accountants”… Racers are advised to make all speed through here as the Tax Accountants are likely to ensnare you into a lengthy and hideously boring Tax audit – so beware!

    After escaping the clutches of the Tax Accountants, it is directly into the Eastern Squiggle Reserve, where the racers will attempt to evade the rather lonely squiggles who are just looking for someone to pet them and take them home – racers are reminded that Squiggle Anti-Dote, chain-mail gauntlets and anti-itch cream are NOT on sale at the final rest stop – so bring your own!

    And the final leg of the race is into the Eastern Oubliette Zone of the Central Complex, where the teeming mobs of fans will be waiting excitedly for the racers to speed past as they pelt them with rotten fruit, water balloons and glitter bombs…

    So that’s the route for this year’s race… Study it, form your strategies and remember that June 3rd is the final day for Bribes to be placed (unless of course you bribe the officials to accept later bribes) – and may the best tricyclist (and best briber of course) win! (or at least survive)…

  21. 2018-05-31_204128.thumb.jpg.201be5287790aa5f3a1144f73fd4209d.jpg

     

    Dedicated to Sir Spike Milligan and Syd

     

    ~

  22. Spyro the Dragon is quite possibly one of the single most influential and important parts of my life. ^_^ That may sound strange given that Spyro is just a simple little polygonal 90's platformer videogame about a miniscule purple dragon who collects gems and breaths fire, but to me personally it has meant so much more...

    61v4CXiLksL._SX342_.jpgSpyro_2_Ripto's_Rage.jpgcover_us_large.jpg

    (Images Above - cover art from the original trilogy games released for the Sony Playstation console)

    I had a rough childhood dealing with abuse (that I won't go into detail here), and so my mind was already naturally an escapist. I've always been an avid daydreamer who would escape the problems of the real world mentally into my own little fantasy world in my head. I've done so as far back as I could remember. So when I first came in contact with the first Spyro the Dragon game when I was only five or six years old, I was instantly transported to a whole other magical world that I had the freedom to explore.

    It was the first video game I ever played, and it was introduced to me by my father (the source of my abuse) of all people. In it you could travel to other worlds, each with a life of it's own. Filled with magic and mystery, as well as interactive things in the environment. The game actively encouraged exploration. To look over every nook and cranny for hidden treasure. To travel (and escape) to all sorts of different, new, and exciting worlds. I played it every time I went over to my father's house for visits. It was my means of coping. You played as a little purple dragon who was the smallest of the bunch, and didn't have much in terms of abilities. But he had a lot of spunk, and wasn't afraid of anything. By playing as Spyro, I felt as though I could take on the world. Like no matter how big the challenges are, and no matter how small you are, those challenges could be overcome. It gave me great encouragement and inspiration. Spyro was my hero growing up.

    Spyro was actually even my first ever imaginary friend (Lol, clearly I didn't have many friends growing up). And in fact, one of my most precious possessions is Spyro stuffed animal my dad gave me. He spent hours and even days on ebay bidding for it until he finally got it just for me. It wasn't for a holiday or special event, he just did it out of the kindness of his heart because he knew how much Spyro meant to me. To this day, it's the only true gift my father ever gave to me. After getting it though, I exchanged my imaginary friend Spyro for the stuffed animal Spyro. I treated that thing like they do in those old Calvin and Hobbes comic strips. It rarely ever left my side, and I treated that thing like a member of my own family.

    I may sound like a total mental case by saying all this, but Spyro truly has been the single most influential part of my childhood. And it affects me on up to this day into young adulthood.

    I've always loved videogames, and Spyro is undoubtedly what got me into gaming in the first place. But it was never about 'gaming' for me per say. It was all about the escapism. Call it, a 'fantasy simulator' if you will. It never needed to be complex or super dark or realistic or have brilliant game mechanics or whatnot. That's why I honestly fell out of the gaming craze around high school really. Partly because of what I just mentioned, but also partly because I honestly didn't have much money to keep up with all the new consoles and didn't feel like my money would be best spent on new games that I only half cared for. I just can't get into all these stat-heavy RPG's or FPS clones personally. I miss the old days where gaming was simple. I love old school 3-D collectathon platformers. That's why I'm so happy that 3-D platformers seem to finally be making a come back! And most importantly, so is Spyro! :D

    Yes, Spyro the Dragon is coming back, completely remastered (or should I say remade) from the ground up!

    Enter: The Spyro Reignited Trilogy

    For those who don't know, Spyro the Dragon has been suffering as a franchise in recent years :hmm: (most notably ever since the release of Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly in 2002, which pretty much single-handedly killed the franchise from being so bad). The first 3 games that were released on the original Sony Playstation system in the late 1990's are regarded by fans to be the greatest in the series. However after the 3rd game, the development team behind the originals lost the rights to Spyro and thus the franchise spiraled downward pretty much in a verticle fashion from that point onward. The franchise has suffered through 2 different reboots (each one completely different from all the rest), with the second reboot being basically an entirely different game series that merely used the brand name 'Spyro' as a subtitle so as to bring in more original Spyro fans as a cheap marketing gimmick. <_< Needless to say, Spyro the Dragon has been pushed ever more onto the back burner for quite some time now...

    However, now thanks to the new Spyro Reignited Trilogy, the original 3 games are coming back with brand new amazing HD graphics and re-released as one single game 3-in-1. :o Just check out the side-by-side comparisons here:

    DaBkCefXcAEDJn2.jpg

    And for all new images released thus far:

    I never would've imagined in my wildest dreams that my childhood idol and mascot, the original 3 videogames that helped me cope with horrendous circumstances, and helped to define such an incredibly core aspect of who I am, would ever see such a triumphant return like this. This is not just another reboot of the franchise, or some brand new game entirely. It's a 100% complete remake of the originals, simply eith better graphics, better sound quality, better everything. It's like the videogame gods looked down and read my mind and magically turned what had always been a hopeless fantasy to me, never to even in the least bit see the light of day, and made it into a reality. I'm simply amazed. Words can't even begin to express how much this remake means to me.

    Spyro is more to me then just a game. And the Reignited trilogy is more than just a simple remake. They aren't just remastering a 20-year old videogame, they're remastering my childhood. You may find it silly and weird for me to still be so invested in what is essentially a kids game, but certain things like this stick with us for the rest of our lives. Spyro will always be the #1 most defining aspect of my early childhood, and I'm incredibly grateful to be able to now play the new Reignited Trilogy in all it's HD glory! :lol:

    Thanks for letting me share this tidbit of my soul with all of you.

    This is Aquila King, signing out. ;)

  23. I have just looked back through this blog. I am shocked to find that I started it mote than 11 years ago, My original intention was to blog my thoughts on... well any thing I had a thought about really.

    In those more than 11 years I have had several periods where I have not made an entry for years on end. In fact this will be only the 83rd entry. It seems that I have less than 8 thoughts a year.

  24. Just Another Girl
    Latest Entry

    Why is it when people divorce they use the kids to get what they want? It is like a game to see who can get the most out of it. Why? I'll tell you why. People can't grow up and see what they are doing to the kids. It's like the kids can't do one thing without hurting one of the parents. They are pulled and thrown around as if they are nothing but something to be owned.