Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category (feed)

Regarding honor killings

“Pregnant Pakistani woman stoned to death after marrying for love. ‘Honour killing’ in broad daylight outside Lahore high court involved father and brothers,” says The Guardian.

A terrible thing, of course. But the also disturbing thing is that the commentators at the Guardian continue to get it wrong. They place “religion” and “non-education” as the reasons why these honor killings happen. I’m sorry, but these people, these supposedly progressive and smart readers of The Guardian, think only skin-deep.

YES, religion is often the vehicle where this terrible action materializes. But it’s not the reason why it happens. As someone who was beaten rather regularly by my traditional Greek father for having my engagement break apart in the early ’90s, I can tell you, there was no religion behind it. And education has often little to do with all this too.

It was primarily social pressure.

You see, when you live in tribal-like communities (like most non-Westerners do), where everybody kind of knows everybody else in the vicinity at large, there’s extreme social pressure to maintain status and control within both the group, and within the family. My father constantly used to tell me that “we live with others”, hence, in his mind, he was supposed to maintain an IMAGE. The image of a strong family man. A man who had everything under control. A man where you could TRUST to give him a job (my father was a house builder, a profession that requires trust).

As such, having a daughter breaking up her engagement to a man from the same village, it was a social disaster for him (in his own mind at least). The gossip that ensued was unbearable for my family. So he acted out any way he knew how to maintain his illusion of control.

I have forgiven my dad, I hold no grudges whatsoever. In fact, there is nothing to forgive, because I know where he’s coming from. Exactly because I can understand his limited point of view, and even if I don’t agree with it, it’s enough for me to not hold grudges.

Besides, the people who carry out these acts are victims themselves. Victims of their own inability to escape cultural programming, and victims of the closed society they’re in. Close societies like that do have their advantages (they never let one of their own go hungry, for example), but you gotta play with their unwritten, irrational rules to gain their support. Societies are exactly as twisted as humans can be, because they’re made out of humans.

So, Primary reasons of honor killings/beatings:

– Re-assuring of one’s social status by doing what others expects you to do according to the local societal rules.
– Power and control within the immediate and extended family (ego and super-ego at play).
– Illusion that this way they save the rest of the family (by taking out the bad apples, the family is again pure enough for the society’s expectations).

Secondary reasons that act as permission, rather than as the main reasons:
– Cultural traditions masquerading as religious laws
– Low educational status
– Dowry and other such financial assets getting lost

So there you have it.

TheoCosmology v1.0


Let me start by saying outright that I’m not a cosmologist or a physicist. I’m an artist. As such, all I have to get me going is my imagination. So I present nothing more, or less than just that.

The question

I’ve searched long and hard on both science and mystical religions to find out more about the universe and God. Buddhism, Kabbalah and New Age spirituality got me closer to understand this “consciousness” that exists behind all this infinite possibility, that most people call “God”. They claim that One is All, and All is One. Science on the other hand, gave me a more concrete, rational picture of the laws that govern the universe we live in, and offered hypothesis about other universes too.

In my personal view, spirituality and science don’t collide. It’s just that we’re neither spiritually or scientifically evolved-enough to see some of the connections.

However, neither spirituality, nor science, was able to give me any answer to my question: “why?“. Why did creation of this or other universes happens at all? Is it some random act of cosmic chance? Is it God doing some art or math for the fun of it? Is God trying to “experience itself”, as newer schools of spiritual thought suggest?

But the question again is “why”. Why does God want to have fun? Why God wants to even experience itself? And why something random could happen on such a cosmic scale?

So this question of “why” kept coming back to my mind for weeks now. Last night, while watching a very nice speech by a Kabbalah rabbi, he said something that set off in my head a series of thoughts that helped me put together this theory. He said: “we don’t know why God created the universe, we can’t be in the mind of God“.

And then it hit me.

What if this is exactly where we are situated? In the very “mind” and “brains” of God?

A potential answer

Step 1:

Picture this universe of our own, living in its own container box. The box is just a visualization to make this theory more comprehensible.

Now picture that in this universe there are infinite number of dimensions or densities, most of them, invisible to us. In spiritual teachings, these are called vibrations, or frequencies.

Now picture that this universe generates an infinite number of parallel universes, based on our own, branching out in every cosmic moment. Modern quantum physics call this phenomena “many-worlds interpretation”, which manifests when there’s an interaction at quantum level. Each of these parallel universes also branches out the set of dimensions/densities as well when they clone-out.

All of these (almost?) infinite “planes of existence” exist in the same box, it’s just that they’re invisible to each other.

Step 2:

Now picture the Multiverse theory, which says that next to our own universe box with everything it contains, there are an (almost?) infinite number of other universe boxes, which are completely different than that of our own. Even their natural laws could be different.

Each one of these universe boxes, have their own dimensions, densities, and parallel universes, which also extends them almost infinitely inside their own box.

So now picture all these infinite amount of universe boxes that could exist, situated next to each other. It extends forever up and down, and it looks like a matrix, doesn’t it?

Step 3:

Each one of these universes is evolving. There are epochs where they are just made of gases, then they have solid matter, then have mostly dark energy etc. During these epochs, its own natural laws might shift a bit, as itself (and all of their parallel universe branches, independently) evolve. In the same way, galaxies and planets within, also evolve, in some abstract way.

According to a new theory, each universe expands up to a point, and then it stops doing so. During the time of its life, the universe generates more energy (gravity does, in a sense). But as time goes by, mass becomes heavier, because gravity becomes increased (as this new theory also predicts).

In my opinion, gravity is nothing but a force generated by the “weight” of all other parallel universes and densities living in the same box space as we are. As more and more parallel universes are created (with planets & galaxies often manifesting on the same coordinates within the box), each one adds a tiny bit of “felt” weight in the box.

Eventually, after a few billion years of universe life, the universe collapses onto itself because of the immense gravity generated inside that “box”. It’s possible that the “matter” of that universe gets recycled afterwards. More on all this later.

Step 4:

Let’s have an intermission here, using some spiritual ideas for a moment that will come handy in the overall theory.

I was never taught real religion at school. The version of religion I was taught, is the same type of “pop” religion that 99.9% of the religious population gets taught too: nice little moral stories of deities or prophets doing some miraculous stuff, and a judgmental God that generates fear. Each one of these religions tell these stories a little bit differently. Wars have been fought over that, millions of lives perished.

What I found though, when I did my own research on the field of spirituality and mysticism (which I separate from “religion”) is that there is no true division between these traditions! From Sufism to Judaism and from Buddhism to Zen, Hinduism and now New Age, the mystical parts of these traditions are 95% in agreement! You will have to understand my surprise to learn that Kabbalah (an Abrahamic tradition) believes in reincarnation! I could not believe my eyes when I read that!

First it was surprise, but then it was anger. Why the heck was I never taught about the true essence of these philosophies at high school? Why was I subjected to silly little stories of “pop” religion instead? But that’s an article for another time.

So basically, what I found is that these traditions agree on all the main points of “what’s really is going on”:
– We are all One.
– We, ourselves are too what folks call “God”. Others call it “Source” or “Supreme Being”.
– We are Creator Beings. Whatever we think, it manifests. Either in this reality, or as a parallel universe branch-off. And more.
– Lose the Ego, and you will unite with Everything.
– There are other dimensions/densities (“realms”) within our own universe.
– There are carrier waves and portals everywhere in the universe (wormholes).
– The chakra points can do a lot of things, including instantly transport you to other realms or places within the “box”.
– The meaning of life is life itself! To experience, to learn, to be happy! To live with the goodness of your own heart as a moral compass, is the same thing as “serving God”. You need no preachers or laws to know right from wrong. You’re your own compass.
– The “soul” is nothing but a small part of God’s conscious energy, gifted to you. Our essence is made of God, and so we’re always connected to the Source.
– God’s essence is Love. There is no “good and evil” or duality in its realm.
– We and everything else in this box are here in order to learn and evolve. This includes inanimate things, not just biological ones.

This last point is important. Evolving means doing something that hasn’t been done before. And I believe that this is what Source is after from all these universes it spins off in every moment of its Existence: Novelty.

Step 5:

Remember that God is after novelty. Also remember that we, ourselves are Creator Beings. We and everything else are connected to Source at all times, exchanging information with it at every level.

The only way for God to achieve creation and novelty in its vast multi-dimensional matrix of “boxes”, is by mixing and matching every little detail that manifests in a universe (and/or its parallel universes) with at least one of the other universes that are.

Bam! A new universe was just created!

The new universe was created either on a new box, or by occupying the “space” of a “dead” universe that had collapsed itself earlier. The new universe has traits that no other universe ever had (novelty). It’s the embodiment of evolution of some, or all of the universes that ever existed before it. The data of this new universe flow withing the matrix structure immediately, and as the new universe creates novelty, and it mixes and matches, even newer universes are created. And this repeats forever and ever, ad infinitum.

Prime Creator said to these extensions of itself, “Go out and create and bring all things back to me.” — (supposedly) Pleiadian scripture

Step 6:

What all this means is that God itself, the Source, evolves. Not accepting that God evolves, is like thinking that God is “static”, and that’s like calling it “dead”. It surely isn’t dead, in fact, God is the very definition of Life. Sure, it is All that ever Was, Is, and ever Will Be, since there’s no time from its point of view. However, from our point of view in linear space/time, it evolves. God is essentially Perfect, but Incomplete from our limited standpoint (since in our own time of reference, it hasn’t exhausted all possibilities and combinations just yet).

So far, I think all this takes care of the explanation of how things work in general terms on my theory. The following is my proposed “why”.

Step 7:

Now picture that immense, infinite, multi-dimensional matrix of universe “boxes”, full of light. Now imagine a universe box collapsing onto itself, it has reached its end of life. The box transmits its last data, sends its matter to recycle, and it goes dark.

Matrix of Universe Boxes

Since we’re talking about immensely many universe boxes, and a “time” where the life of a whole universe feels like a nanosecond, now imagine this whole matrix of boxes lighting ON and OFF real fast, seemingly at a random order.

What does this picture of on/off screens reminds you of?

Exactly! A computer! Or a biological brain! If you want to call that ON/OFF signal “bits” or “neurons”, is up to you! The point is: WE (everything in every universe) are making God able to THINK.

So not only we put ideas into “his head”, not only we are these ideas, not only it experiences them through us, but we provide this Entity its very Consciousness.

“God is consciousness” mystics say. “Science must take consciousness into account” a Stanford professor suggests.

Step 8:

And it goes further than that. Not only God is a Mind (Consciousness) that evolves, but it also generates more energy than the energy it originally put into creating a new Universe box. During the life of a Universe box, its increasing gravity creates energy.

In other words, God is a perpetual Entity, in every conceivable way possibly. It grows in every conceivable way possibly (intellectually, energetically etc). We are part of it, and it’s part of us. We are One and yet, at times, we have to take part in the illusion of Separation through the manifestation of these “materialized” Universes, in order to allow both to grow. It’s a symbiotic relationship with ourself!


So this is my explanation of the “why” creation(s) happened. In its most fundamental level, it’s because of self-preservation. If the seeds of creation didn’t exist in God’s virgin, original version, this Entity would not survive (exist). It’s the ultimate law that every living thing follows in our own realm too. As above, so below.

Atheism, Religion and Spirituality

The wars continue on. There are these who say there’s a God, these who say that there isn’t one, and everything in between. I spent many years as a Christian Orthodox, then an Atheist, and now I identify with New Age Spirituality.

The problem with spirituality is that atheists see it as religion, and religious people see it either as atheism, or as something heretic and distorted. However, I don’t consider this type of Spirituality to be a religion. I don’t even consider it strictly a “belief” either, because there’s at least some degree of proof in it. Neither I consider it atheism. To me, it’s just the natural order of things in the universe.

What is Spirituality

To me, Spirituality is like saying that “the keyboard that I type this in right now exists, not because I believe it does, but because it I can see it with my own eyes”. In my opinion, Spirituality exists somewhere in between traditional religion and atheism, and it’s on the opposite site of agnosticism. In short:

Religion: I believe that this keyboard exists. I was told it does, and I have faith that it does.
Atheism: The keyboard doesn’t exist. End of story.
Agnosticism: I don’t know if the keyboard exists or not, there’s no proof of any kind.
Spirituality: The keyboard exists. I can see it with my own eyes, so I have personal proof.

Why it’s not a “traditional” religion

Religion in the modern times seems to be prescribed as anything that is unattainable and mystical. It’s all a mystery. God did this, God did that, God said this or that, you should fear God, you can’t understand God. This is the crux of all “pop” religions, as I call them. Be it Abrahamic religions, or the “pop” versions of Eastern religions, it’s all about fear, silly ritual, and organized endeavors. The few that do get these religions right are usually only monks and mystics. The rest of the population, is simply controlled by religion, they live in fear, and in blind superstition.

Spirituality on the other hand, is freedom. There is no organized cult behind it, and there is no fear. There is no control, or dogmas. There is only one teaching: LOVE. Everything else, is secondary. Spirituality proves to the individual by his/her personal experience that everything is One. That there is a loving consciousness where everything interconnects, making us all part of this same Source Being. Some would call this “God”, and that’s ok. Others could even call it simply, just “everything”. But as I said, Unconditional Love is the main teaching.

Why it’s not atheism

Atheists do not believe that anything apart from themselves and the visible or scientifically-understandable universe exists. While they’re usually open to ideas of parallel universes and such (as proposed by math or quantum physics), the idea they resist the most is that that there’s a God. There are atheists who just in need of proof, and there are atheists simply because they hate what religions have become and they see no point in believing in a ruthless God (nor do I, for that matter).

Obviously, spirituality is not atheism per se, since it accepts that there are realms beyond the visible, and of course, it accepts that a person can attain knowledge that we’re all part of the same Source Being/Consciousness.

Personal proof

The difference with both religion and atheism is that with Spirituality you can have personal proof that God exists. You can feel, and see “God” right in front of your eyes. This is not something that the vast majority of traditionally religious people can claim. Most of these believers live in the dark ages of “blind faith”.

Of course, personal proof is not scientific proof, but that’s just because science hasn’t reached that level yet, being able to detect higher frequencies of Being, which are also full of life. But the point is, that these realms are real enough for the person experiencing them to transform him/her. Why do you need an experiment to tell you that what you see in front of you is real or not? If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. Even if it ends up being a powerful hallucination, it’s real-enough to the person who experienced it. What is “real” anyway? Physics haven’t even answered that yet!

“A human being is a part of a whole, called by us ‘universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.” — Albert Einstein

How To

Experiences range from astral projection to other planets, to other realms that live in different frequencies, to time travel, to parallel timelines, to different universe bubbles, but the ultimate destination is to be connected with Source. When you do, then all the knowledge of what has ever been, is, and ever will be, is yours (although, you’re not “you” anymore, as you will also experience what is called “ego death” in order to connect with All). While One with the One, you will feel unconditional love for all, a type of divine ecstasy and acceptance that it can’t be felt while on your human body. It’s a type of feeling that is not analogous to the feelings we can experience while in our 3rd density/dimension body.

There are two ways to connect to the Source:
1. The easiest ways are via DMT/Ayahuasca, or high doses of magic mushrooms, LSD, and possibly mescaline (I’d avoid Salvia, it transports you to lower densities instead of higher ones).

The public has been conditioned to believe that these “drugs” produce hallucinations, or that they’re dangerous. I believe that the government is just myopic on that respect. If you start reading DMT trip reports, you will find yourself puzzled about the similarity of reports on the various realms. There is a plethora of aliens or higher beings contacted via DMT, but some have canning similarities between reports. For example, the “machine elfs”, or the beings of Pure Light. The lower astral parasites that feed on your energy, and the “demons” (possibly life forms that simply evolved to ingest life force from souls in order to survive). These drug trips, especially on DMT, look more real than real to the user. With LSD and mushrooms, which are less intense and don’t always transport you to other realms, you can experience telepathy and literally see the fractals that constitute our “holographic reality”.

I mean, it’s surely of wonder how when high on some of these substances you can see an entity flying around your room that you never noticed before, only to have your dog chasing and barking at it at the same time. Makes you wonder.

A small amount of people on hallucinogenics have connected with Source. They don’t always attain its high frequency, most of the time they end up somewhere in the middle of all things. It’s a crapshoot.

2. Meditation. This is the harder way, but also the best way in both astral safety, and navigating through the higher realms, to eventually reach Source. It might take years before you do, but when you do, you’re truly Enlightened, and the connection doesn’t get severed (as it does with hallucinogens, that simply offer a glimpse of what is).


At the end, no matter what I write, atheists will break apart this article picking on words and sentences, and the religious people would do exactly the same thing. But it doesn’t matter. Personal proof is all I need. I need neither our existing (limited) science, nor blind faith. The middle road works for me for now. If anything, I continue to live a type of life that is more akin to an atheist (in terms of not interfering with other people’s freedoms as some Christians/Muslims do). My day to day life hasn’t changed one bit when I became Spiritual. All it changed was the way I viewed the Cosmos. I do not feel alone anymore, there’s life everywhere. I now don’t fear death because I’m Eternal.

Atheism 2.0 is ridiculous

TED published a video today by Alain de Botton, suggesting a “religion for atheists”. Basically, atheism that “incorporates religious forms and traditions to satisfy our human need for connection, ritual and transcendence”.

I must thank Alain for thinking of us atheists, but his views are myopic. Bollocks, even.

He goes on to say that education does not provide true guidance and that humans need (spiritual?) “help” all the time. Weird, because I don’t really need any of that kind of help — not any more than my normal relationship with my partner, family, or friends provide. I’m glad that I live in one of the most progressive places in the world, so people here are smart & intelligent to provide me with tangible, objective, no-bullshit advice should I need one.

I practice love, generosity, and forgiveness on any chance I get. I’m not trying to boast, but now that my major health adventure is over, I do try to help out my community (I teach free filmmaking classes for kids, and I have other plans too). But I need no God, or church, or priest, or doctrine of any kind to tell me to do these things. I know them in my head to be right because they make perfect sense, not because a deity said so. When I left Christianity back (I used to be religious in the ’90s), my opinions about love and forgiveness didn’t change. Becoming an atheist did not make me unethical. It made me more objective, and more analytical instead. But the compassion remains, I did not become empty. In fact, I see more inhumanity within religious groups today than I see between atheists.

Alain de Botton makes the mistake of thinking that atheists need extra guidance, that their education is dry and sterile, but this is not the case. While there are certainly atheists that are assholes, at least the kinds of atheists that I know are extremely smart, humane, understanding, and true freedom/liberty fighters. Societal progress is one of our major objectives of course, be it via fighting for universal healthcare, anti-corruption, environmental etc. If our society becomes more free, humane and open-minded, the citizens will be happier, that’s the idea behind our “movement” (personally I don’t see us as a movement at all, but some do). We must endlessly continue moving towards a society that’s for each-other rather than against each-other. In other words, true love. Not love instigated by a deity, or fear, but true human love.

Regarding “transcendence”: You want to transcend? Listen to music, take LSD. Or wait for future technologies. But I don’t see how trying to reach a mythical being transcend us anywhere other than the abyss. It’s just a state of mind, and in our current situation, I find it not helpful. Maybe in the future we find a technological way to save our conscious forever, or able to communicate with a higher being (e.g. a Type III civilization alien) or something like it, but today we don’t have this technology, so it’s counter-productive trying to get “high” (basically that’s what it is), instead of actively helping one-another.

Regarding “ritual”: Not only I don’t need rituals, I in fact hate rituals. It is stupid play-acting bullshit. From all his arguments, this was the dumbest one.

Regarding “connection”, it’s the only legitimate point Alain has. But I don’t need to have calendar days (as he suggests) where I join others to do specific useless things (“staring at the moon”, really?). True connection comes when people come together to solve problems, or to help one-another. Not at certain dates, but all the time. When the one becomes many, but is still singular and free. But again, I need no God to do all that. What I need is a goal (== problem that needs fixing), and a few other people who would join in the effort.

Is “The Tree of Life” a pessimistic movie?

The Tree of Life” is hailed as one of the masterpieces of filmmaking, and it’ll probably be a contender at the upcoming Oscars. The cinematography is amazing, the editing even more so, and the impressionistic “hidden” puzzle messages is found throughout the 140 minute movie’s scenes or scarce dialog.

The movie tells the story of Jack, a successful architect. Through his flashbacks we see how his early life in the ’50s and ’60s made him the person he’s today: an unbalanced, confused and rather sad person. But that’s where the norms stop. A lot of viewers were put off by the way the story is told: in a very fragmented way (“Memento” is traditionally narrative compared to this movie). On top of that we get some seemingly off-topic imagery of the birth of the universe (a 10 minute non-speaking sequence).

Personally, I didn’t mind the way the story was told. I’m used to experimental cinema (I spend quite some time watching experimental short films on REDUX via the GoogleTV, or on Vimeo via the Roku), so I actually like the impressionistic approach to editing and filmmaking. Without such efforts, there’s no progress. Apparently, a lot of filmmaking students use this movie as their main study, same way Kubrick’s “2001” used to be in the ’70s & ’80s.

Where I hang up with “The Tree of Life” though is on some of the message(s). There are many messages on this deeply philosophical movie: grace & mercy vs nature & violence (and how we should achieve balance between the two), how small & insignificant we are compared to the universe, how everything dies but something new is born from it, how much glory there’s around us to keep up move on even after something traumatic happens to us, our need to heal, how we are all finite and so we must make the most out of our relationships — since that’s all we have.

Obviously I don’t disagree with many of the messages in the film. But the movie tries a bit too hard to show us that “we are nothing in the cosmic time”. On a personal level this is of course right. We’re all going to die, we are all less than nothing in the sea of everything.

But on a grander scheme of things, as a species, or as a collective consciousness (for when species won’t matter anymore), I refuse to believe that there’s nothing we can do to stop the end of our existence when our universe dies. I refuse to believe that we live in this universe (“we” as in a collective consciousness of all sentient beings in the universe) only as long as our universe is also alive. This does not resonate with me, because it’s a very Christian approach to life, the universe, and everything. It’s very limiting, very mold-y, very dogmatic, very restrictive. The Church has tried for centuries to mold us and remind us of what we aren’t or what we can’t be (God), and how we should strive to find happiness in our little, insignificant existence. Maybe out of just plain revolting, or maybe because I don’t believe in limits, I can’t give up easily to strive to be more than I am.

I always thought of myself as a pessimist, but in this case I feel I’m more optimistic than Malick, the writer/director of the film. Like Stephen Hawking, I also believe that there is an ultimate prize for having a chance in living, and that prize is to evolve and become so advanced, that the Universe, its laws, and its limitations and dangers won’t matter anymore. In that scenario, we could out-survive it. Maybe by creating the means to move to another, younger universe, or maybe by controlling our existing one from tearing apart. I don’t know how, and surely we won’t know how for a few more millions or billions of years yet (“we” as any species or collective consciousness with the capability to reach that state, might not be humans who get that ultimate prize). But one thing is certain, I won’t give up our fate to universe’s laws and rules. I will do my best to overthrow these laws, and rules, if they get in our way “to live”. Because as I mentioned in the beginning of this article, without such bending of the norm, there’s no progress. Progress is vital to me.

So overall, I just have trouble with the deeper meaning of the film when taken in a grander context (the film invited discussions such as this after its Creation sequence, which was in itself grand). The film works on a personal level, but I have the feeling that Malick has either a bit too much of a Christian influence in his philosophical and existential opinions, or he doesn’t see all the possibilities. The funny thing is that many Christians hated the film, just because the Creation sequence featured evolution & big-bang, and not a God Creator. Malick obviously tried to get both atheists and Christians to like his film (evolution/creation scenes and existential questions for atheists, and God, prayers and overall deeper meaning of the film was meant for Christians). But the movie’s dinosaurs & CGI won’t fool me.

Overall the rest of the deep meanings of the movie are great though (if only when applied at a personal level), and filmmaking-wise the movie is revolutionary. It’s funny that most people who hated the movie, hated it for its “incoherent” editing and “pretentious” feel. Personally, I found these elements amazing on the movie. Where I have a problem with the movie is in a few of its deeper meanings instead.

Rating: 8/10

Generational ships, fembots, and life after death

I had a very weird dream this morning. More intense and cooler than usual.

So, Earth was dying, and a few select people were put on an auto-pilot spaceship, on a way to another habitable planet. The ship’s interior was emulating Earth’s natural look (mountains, rivers, etc), and there was a bright sun too. Kind of like a mini Dyson Sphere.

A few hundreds of years later, there were a few thousands of us. Resources were scarce, so we were teamed-up in small groups, to protect them. Violence would erupt if someone from another group would try to steal our stuff.

On top of all that, some technology from the “old world” would survive. There was this guy, who had acquired 4-5 fembots, and he was addicted to them. Basically, having sex with them would trigger a feeling similar to recreational drugs + orgasm (fembots could release some chemicals that would enter the bloodstream fast), and that made them irresistible and addictive. The ultimate “high,” I suppose.

Anyways, at the end, I dreamed of this huge tsunami-like “solid water” that the rivers suddenly changed into. The people taken away from it were screaming. My mom said, “put something on your head, we’ll be dragged out, in the sun, for a while”. I couldn’t find a hat, so I just put on my head… some underpants. Soon later, the “solid water” had moved up to our apartment, and it took us away too. Some quick thinking on my part was “if I could take one thing with me, what should it be?”. So I grabbed a knife (if anything, “Survivorman” on TV has shown that all you need is a knife. The rest is just skill and knowledge).

Soon enough we were dragged away by the solid water. I asked my mom, who was dragged away along my aunt, if she knew what was happening, and she replied “yes”. Apparently, the knowledge that we lived on a ship, has survived among a few of us (not everyone knew it/believed it). I started crying in my sleep, thinking “we’ve arrived, we’ve arrived!”. To top my melodramatic dream, there was actually a music score accompanying the whole thing! I guess the filmmaking “audio is as important” moniker, has been engraved deep in my subconscious, enough to make me have a soundtrack in my dreams!

Anyways, amidst all the excitement of “arriving”, I woke up.

This dream today reminded me the 4-5 “past life” regression sessions I had in the late ’90s (I wrote about these here before). While all of these regressions featured different “life stories” in different times/places (and in one occasion a different planet), the ending was always the same. Supposedly, after we die, when we’re ready to leave, we go through a vortex that hangs above our dead heads, and we go through it. Soon, we see the Earth becoming smaller and smaller. Eventually, we reach a waiting place, that some weird lifeforms are running it. Religious people would call these “angels”, I suppose, but I’m not religious.

When your turn has come, you appear before a judging panel, and you answer for yourself “how well you did in your life”. After you gave your opinion to them, you become your own judge, as you re-play your whole life in front of you. Then, you break down and cry, for all the bad things you did while alive. Supposedly, each individual also has 1-2 very specific goals in their life. These goals must be achieved. Being “good” is only half of the story.

So you choose your next life, based on what you must learn, or repeat your goals if you didn’t achieve them in the previous life. You can choose the sex, place, major events that must happen to you (good or bad), so you can learn via them. And this repeats many times, until you “graduate” (I guess some religious people would call this “nirvana,” but I’m not religious). In each life, you only take with you the “juice” of your previous experiences, not the memories. And you’re usually spending your life with the same key people over and over. For example, your father in one life, can be your wife in another. Role-switching is common.

I don’t believe in any of that of course (neither I believed in it back then), although it was fun to be part of such an “experiment.” I mean, why not, since there was no harm done. It’s interesting to think though that if there’s a shred of truth in it, then it would make sense as to what a Type III Civilization would do to educate their children. Think about it.

Instead of educating them via traditional methods, or via pre-conditioning their brains, they educate them via real life lessons. Each consciousness (aka “soul” for the religious, but I’m not religious) is transferred into the body of a primitive species, and let them live whole lives as such. In their terms of time, this whole life experience might only take a few minutes. So they might be able to “graduate” from this life school, within a few days or weeks of enrolling, but having acquired hundreds of life experiences as different species, learning all that you must learn to be a trustworthy member of a Type-III Civilization, in regards to your peers, and the other not-so-fortunate species in the universe.

It’s like virtual reality, but designed to teach youngsters how to become adult beings, fast. Some religious people would call this a process of “becoming God”, but I’m not religious. I would see it more like a school, where you can’t cheat your way around.

I mean, the last thing we want in our galaxy is a little brat, with super-advanced technology, blowing up whole planets just for fun. Right? Right??

God is first?

I was just viewing an image online from a devoted “Christian” car. He/she had written on the car “First God, then people…”.

I don’t know about other religions, but I have a good understanding of Christianity, since I studied it both in school and church, like any other good Greek would do early in life. And at least for Orthodox Christians (and for most Catholics too), the New Testament is the *main* book of Christianity. Meaning, that while both the Old and the New Testament are accepted, the New Testament is exactly that: “a new deal between God and Man”. And as every new deal and contract, it has new rules. New rules that Jesus put forth for his believers that overwrote the old rules that were put forth by a jealous, revengeful, self-centric God. That’s why Jesus’ cult became so popular in the first place: because the new rules made more sense to people who have been asking for a humanitarian-based religion, in a world ravaged by war.

The new rules are these: love, forgiveness, love your neighbor as you love yourself, etc etc. Christianity aims to make the living world a better place. And this can only be done if you put people first, not God. If you put God first you end up being a mujahid, not a true Christian. If you put God first, you are missing the whole point of Christianity. This is no different than idolizing the never-present school board for giving out the rules on how to behave in the school playground, instead of actually enjoy playing with the other kids, and be nice to them in the process. Putting God first makes no freaking sense.

As I have written in the past, I am not a believer anymore, but I do consider myself an “atheist humanist”. The way I live my life is not different than what I was taught by the Church. If I can help a fellow man, I will. It’s just that I don’t believe in the supernatural, and I don’t do things because of fear of a being called “God”. When I’ll die (and I feel it might be sooner rather than later), I will just die. The end. This blog will be the only thing that’s left of me for those who choose to remember me. This is why I get so personal some times in public.

But one thing is for sure, even in my deathbed, when I will probably start praying despite being an atheist (part of the human nature, I guess), I will still not put God first. If he exists, he should feel free to put my praying requests at the bottom of his queue if I am on the wrong about my priorities.

Opinions: freedom of speech or jail time?

Here’s what I don’t get.

Remember that douchebag who said that the Holocaust never happened? He was jailed for expressing his opinion — albeit an admittedly misguided and wrong opinion. He was jailed for disrespecting a powerful slice of the western society, for something that happened 70 years ago and doesn’t directly affect the everyday lives of their descendants today.

And then, there’s the Pope. Who went to Africa and told people to not use condoms! He also expressed his opinion that people should only have sex with their exclusive partners, and as such they don’t need condoms. Thing is, life ain’t like that, people have sex all the time — married or not. By instructing the much-struck by AIDS African people to not use condoms, he instigates a major violation of public health, given that the Pope is a person of authority and has millions of followers.

So the crazy guy who simply professed that a HISTORICAL event didn’t happen, but didn’t really hurt anyone (except possibly some feelings), gets jail time and death threats. The guy who puts the lives of millions in danger TODAY, gets to go about his business.

Sign o’ the times my friends, sign o’ the times.

Update: The Pope comes around about condoms and AIDS, 1.5 years later.

U.N. body adopts resolution on religious defamation

A United Nations forum on Thursday passed a resolution condemning “defamation of religion” as a human rights violation, despite wide concerns that it could be used to justify curbs on free speech in Muslim countries,” says Reuters.

Sad, just sad. A step backwards for freedom of speech. I don’t understand how the western countries allowed the fundamentalists win this one. A disgrace of a law.

Delicious recipes for Christian Orthodox fasting

I am not religious at the slightest, but my brother’s family is. They were fasting during the first 15 days of August (Orthodox Christians usually fast before Christmas, Easter and leading to Mother Mary’s day). Greek Orthodox fasting disallows all blood animal products, meaning that eggs, dairy and meat from fish/birds/mammals are disallowed, but shellfish are allowed (because they have nothing that resembles red blood — obviously a convenient technicality even if the Bible mentions pork and shellfish as unclean in general). On Good Friday, olive oil is disallowed too.

As a kid I was forced to fast for Easter (usually just the week before), and I hated every minute of it (even if I loved the Easter time in general). Truth is, while my mother is an excellent cook, she has a limited repertoire when it comes to recipes and ingredients. She only wants to eat and cook the recipes passed to her by her mother. She is extremely closed-minded regarding new ingredients and tastes (I can easily picture her face of disgust when I mention mushrooms or shellfish, for example). This severely limited our tastes during the Holy Week, making it almost as unbearable (on purpose, I suppose) as the tortures Christ had to undergo for the week.

So here are some very nice recipes I have gathered that could really make the fasting time pleasant. They are all Mediterranean-inspired, and delicious, all carefully cooked by Kalofagas — a Canadian Greek cooking blogger. Some of the recipes might include some dairy elements, but these can easily be omitted without diminishing the taste of the dish.

Mussels Saganaki With Mustard. Omit the feta cheese. Great with mushroom wild rice.
Vegetarian pizza, with non-dairy (fasting) cheese (sold in some places in Greece). I did this twice for my brother and his wife in August. I used non-dairy hard cheese, bell peppers, chili peppers, tomatoes, olives, onions. Mushrooms are equally nice but unfortunately in my home area, Epirus, very few people trust mushrooms so I didn’t use them.
Prawns saganaki. I cooked this last night! It was delicious. Omit cream cheese.
Prawns Tourkolimano. Again, omit feta cheese.
Grilled Sesame Scallops. Great when served with some pasta or fries.
Tomato Fritters (omit the egg) and Kolokithokeftedes (again, use fasting cheese). Serve with a fasting dip, like the Macedonian Makalo (which is the Greek version of ketchup), or Hummus.
Tagliatelle With Zucchini, Tomato and Fresh Herbs. Add some stir-fried shellfish or mushrooms to make this recipe even better.
Potato Salad for Good Friday (no olive oil). And another potato salad too.
Vegetable soup.
Briam Florinis.
Thai Green Curry With Scallops & Shrimp. Might be a bit difficult to get all the ingredients in Greece.
Soup With Mussels and Ginger. Omit the heavy cream.
Greek Chickpea Soup. Substitute chicken stock with vegetable stock (note: not all vegetable stocks in the market are vegetarian).
Scallops Provencal.
Shrimp With Capers and Dill
Octopus and Pasta Bake
Cuttlefish Lemonato, and Artichokes a la Polita
Dolmades Gialantzi
Black-Eyed Pea Salad, and Octopus With Vinegar
Ladenia (Greek pizza)
Kampanoules With Peppers and Basil (omit the cheese)
Seafood Pasta
Shrimp With Mastiha liquer
Cuttlefish With Saffron and Potatoes
Melitzanosalata (Eggplant Salad)
Spanakorizo. Another local variety asks for more spinach, and some lemon too.
Rice salad
Shrimp Salad With Avocado and Pasta Shells
Roasted Red Pepper Dip
Imam Baildi
Rice Salad
Leonidio, Tsakones and Eggplant (replace feta cheese with tofu)
Fassoulotavas Makedonikos
Shrimp and Pasta

And of course, there are all the “normal” Greek fasting foods, ranging from bean soups to lentils (in this lentils recipe omit the sausage, and use olive oil), and from yemista (use some olive oil) to green beans (use some olive oil).