Thursday, September 27, 2007

It's been a while...

since I took time out to write down some thoughts that don't pertain to novel #2. I haven't settled on a title yet, for now I'm calling it Dirty Deeds. It will probably change at some point, but DD will work for now. But that's not the point.

The fact of the matter is, I haven't been writing much at all for the last couple of weeks. I've worked on some revision, but I haven't written any new material. I need to get back to it. I've been productive in other ways the last couple of weekends I've painted some interior walls here in the hacienda, and I've been reading and doing some research also, but I haven't been creating. I reached a point in the story where some significant events are about to happen and I'm not exactly sure how I want to play it out, so that kind of slowed me down, and then I started this painting project, so... blah blah blah. Get back to it.

I've been doing some research on different religions. Actually, just one so far. I bought the book The World's Religions by Huston Smith. I'm on the first chapter, which is Hinduism. Pretty interesting stuff, actually. I was kind of surprised to find that I share quite a few beliefs with the Hindu.

I guess I should provide some background to put it in context. I was raised as a Christian, not real strict, we went to church on Sunday when I was young, up until about age 10 I guess, and then it tapered off. But I always believed in God and Jesus and the Bible, though I'd never read much of the Bible until I was out of college. Never could make it through the Old Testament, but I've read the New Testament a couple of times. I can't quote any scripture and I don't know who said what, but I like Ecclisiastes. I believe in much of what is contained in the Bible. And if for some reason I'm unable to complete this thought, it's because I got struck by lightning, but I think some of what is commonly preached in Christianity is bullshit. I don't think the only way I get into Heaven is by accepting Jesus Christ as my saviour. I believe that living a life according to what Jesus preached will get me into Heaven, but I can pick up pretty much the same lifestyle from most of the other major religions, probably some Pagan beliefs as well. Anyway, this isn't a rant on Christianity, but Christianity is the basis of my beliefs on the soul or sprit or whatever you want to call it. So now I'm learning what the rest of the world believes about the concept of the spirit and the purpose of life.

I like what the Hindus believe about karma. I like the concept of karma, always have. I like the idea of cumulative karma, too, because I'm also open to the idea of reincarnation. I don't think Heaven is a place that you go to, I think it is more of a progression of the spirit into something better than where I am now. Hell is a regression into misery. At least, that's what seems intuitive to me, and it fits with my desire for the existence of a spiritual justice system.

I haven't gotten all the way through the Hindu chapter in this book, but I'm dialed in to most of what I've read so far. Buddism is next up. This book has chapters on pretty much all the major religions and some less known ones as well.

Anyway, I guess I've rambled enough for now. Peace and good karma to the ones who earn it...


At 7:57 PM , Blogger Ann (bunnygirl) said...

Since you're reading up on religions, check out the Dhammapada. It's a Buddhist text that says pretty much everything Jesus said, but without all the narrative stuff that clutters the New Testament. Short and to the point without all the stories about who went where and did what.

I'm not thrilled with the versions I've found online, but here's one:

At 8:23 PM , Blogger Wonderwood said...

Hey Bunnygirl! Long time no see, I hope you're doing well. Thanks for dropping by, and thanks for the link. I'll check it out. I've always been interested in other religions, just never have taken the time to learn much about them.

At 5:47 PM , Blogger GutterBall said...

I'm cool with many religions. I'm nominally a Christian, but I get my answers from The Big Guy himself, not any particular person or preaching style. I'm more of a prayer than a worshipper, if that makes sense.

Ironically enough, even the Muslim religion has fascinating bits -- on paper, it's nothing like what the radicals have made it. It's like the difference between crazy Christians who off starlets for being "the whore of Babylon" and the little old lady who dons her Sunday best for the Church social on Wednesday nights.

Try not to judge any religion by its most vocal practitioners. They're usually the ones you want to avoid.

At 5:17 PM , Blogger Wonderwood said...

Hey GB! I see we have similar thoughts on religion. I never thought closed-minded on other religions, but in reality I guess I was. I think most people who are raised as a believer in a particular religion are by nature closed-minded to others. Why else would it be called "faith"?

The idea that I had to accept Jesus as the one and only savior has always troubled me, but I was raised to believe it, as are all Christians. The problem with that, for me, was that the God I believe in wouldn't be that way. I'm not saying I don't believe Jesus existed and was a holy man, but I'm pretty sure Ghandi made it to heaven without professing any such exclusive beliefs. Nevertheless, I've always harbored that thought and the resulting fear if I were to entertain the possibility that other religions are valid and maybe there has been more than one divine holy man to tread the earth.

Anyway, I'm rambling now, but the point is, it feels liberating to finally say, "I'm going to open my mind to other possibilities". God gave me a curious mind for a reason.

Good to see you, GB. I hope all is well in your part of the world.

At 9:02 AM , Blogger Kanani said...

Ah, you know, sometimes you've got to fill yourself with all sorts of knowledge in order to write.

I call it a period of brewing.. and at some point you'll use all the stuff you've read.

Anyway, glad to see you around!

At 6:04 PM , Blogger Wonderwood said...

Hey, Kanani! Nice to see you as well. I agree, I'll use some of this research in my writing, probably by having a character who is experiencing the same curiousity that I am.

I hope you're doing well. You really should check out the crapometer blog, there are some very talented writers that submit and comment. I've learned much about the business and art of writing from the people there.

You should drop by, you'd be an excellent addition to the group that regularly comments there.

Take care and see you around!

At 3:33 AM , Blogger writtenwyrdd said...

Religion soothes the soul, but religion that damns one without hope because it's not "the one, true" religion seems like it does anything but soothe.

I'm a pagan and our beliefs aren't so different from those in the bible. I'm a Unitarian, and we accept all beliefs as valid sources of inspiration on our personal chases after meaning and God (big G or little g plural.)

It's so unfortunately true, though, that more crimes and horrors have been committed in the name of religion than for any other cause. Even Hitler was seeking some religious basis for his actions with all the research into mythology and paranormal (imo).

At 12:47 PM , Blogger Wonderwood said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 12:48 PM , Blogger Wonderwood said...

Wyrdd, it sounds like we share a lot of the same beliefs. I'm looking forward to the chapters on Paganism. Thanks for stopping by!


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