Chicken-Flavored Soup for the Druid’s Soul


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Reflections on a Ritual

Berkeley poet Julia Vinograd sent us this contribution.

A carelessly flung branch flaunts an armpit of moss, roots plunge the willing earth, blind, sucking, stabbing like the touch of a bride's first cry upon her wedding night, a finger flute that raises fertile corpses into heavy scented white improbable petals, a mockery of pink and sweaty flesh, a marriage of the living and the dead around the still troubled ancient pool of the heart full of smooth water rounded stones remade like any memory with constant use...

And treacherous ripples of desire to break that mirror before a straying falcon shatters its impatience with his own.

Drink of thirst that stains all mouths with silence. No god, no mortal or any other merchant comes here, where circling trees rear at the sky like stallions in a storm and leave perfume-laden wounds upon the sun.

At night eyes climb implicit tangled jungles of which the moon is the not yet planted seed. Beguiled by purity and sacrilege, lightly dancing, only fingers touching...

No one looks at a single leaf or asks what color sap pulses in private midnight veins.

Worship went mad here once, then fell asleep and vines embraced its dreams.

While delicate ferns sprout from its snoring nostrils, only wild things enter: small, bright-eyed skittering coins of fur rest, are gamboled, lost, replaced, forgotten.

Old ghosts and fledgling sparrows test each others' wings and a great stone breast waits to suckle whatever thrives on all the clean ruthlessness it aches with... who will relieve it after so long a time?

The call is of green thorns still more tender than tight buds. Come sharpen, come open, come storm silence with itself and grow at last till no reflection taints the pool impaled upon your eyes and well content.

Smokey The Bear Sutra

This story appears to be anonymous,

and "may be reproduced free forever. "

Once in the Jurassic, about 150 million years ago, the Great Sun Buddha in this corner of the Infinite Void gave a great Discourse to all the assembled elements and energies: to the standing beings, the walking beings, the flying beings, and the sitting beings - even grasses, to the number of thirteen billion, each one born from a seed, were assembled there: a Discourse concerning Enlightenment on the planet Earth.

"In some future time, there will be a continent called America. It will have great centers of power called such as Pyramid Lake, Walden Pond, Mt. Rainier, Big Sur, Everglades, and so forth; and powerful nerves and channels such as Columbia River, Mississippi River, and Grand Canyon. The human race in that era will get into troubles all over its head, and practically wreck everything in spite of its own strong intelligent Buddha-nature."

"The twisting strata of the great mountains and the pulsings of great volcanoes are my love burning deep in the earth. My obstinate compassion is schist and basalt and granite, to be mountains, to bring down the rain. In that future American Era I shall enter a new form: to cure the world of loveless knowledge that seeks with blind hunger; and mindless rage eating food that will not fill it."

And he showed himself in his true form of

Smokey The Bear.

A handsome smokey colored brown bear standing on his hind legs, showing that he is aroused and watchful.

Bearing in his right paw the Shovel that digs to the truth beneath appearances; cuts the roots of useless attachments, and flings damp sand on the fires of greed and war;

His left paw in the Mudra of Comradely Display - indicating that all creatures have the full right to live to their limits and that deer, rabbits, chipmunks, snakes, dandelions, and lizards all grow in the realm of the Dharma;

Wearing the blue work overalls symbolic of slaves and laborers, the countless men oppressed by a civilization that claims to save but only destroys;

Wearing the broad-brimmed hat of the West, symbolic of the forces that guard the Wilderness, which is the Natural State of the Dharma and the True Path of man on earth; all true paths lead through mountains;

With a halo of smoke and flame behind, the forest fires of the kali-yuga, fires caused by the stupidity of those who think things can be gained and lost whereas in truth all is contained vast and free in the Blue Sky and Green Earth of One Mind;

Round-bellied to show his kind nature and that the great earth has food enough for everyone who loves her and trusts her;

Trampling underfoot wasteful freeways and needless suburbs; smashing the worms of capitalism and totalitarianism;

Indicating the Task: his followers, becoming free of cars, houses, canned food, universities, and shoes, master the Three Mysteries of their own Body, Speech, and Mind; and fearlessly chop down the rotten trees and prune out the sick limbs of this country America and then burn the leftover trash.

Wrathful but Calm, Austere but Con tic, Smokey the Bear will Illuminate those who would help him; but for those who would hinder or slander him,

He Will Put Them Out.

Thus his great Mantra:

Namah samanta vairananz chanda mahoroshana Sphataya hum traka ham main

I dedicate myself to the universal diamond. Be this raging fury destroyed

And he will protect those who love woods and rivers, Gods and animals, hobos and madmen, prisoners and sick people, and musicians;

And if anyone is threatened by advertising, air pollution, or the police, they should chant SMOKEY THE BEAR'S WAR SPELL:

Drown Their Butts

Crush Their Butts

Drown Their Butts

Crush Their Butts

And Smokey The Bear will surely appear to put the enemy out with his vajra-shovel. Now those who recite this Sutra and then try to put it in practice will accumulate merit as countless as the sands of Arizona and Nevada,

Will help save the planet Earth from total oil slick,

Will enter the age of harmony of man and nature,

Will win the tender love and caresses of men, women, and beasts,

Will always have ripe blackberries to eat and a sunny spot under a pine tree to sit at,

And in the end will win highest perfect enlightenment.

thus we have heard.

The Druids and the Stars

An old Druid and his student are camping on a mountain, set up their tent, and are asleep. Some hours later, The Druid wakes this faithful friend. "Look up at the sky and tell me what you see."

The student replies, "I see millions of stars."

“What does that tell you?" asks the Druid.

The student ponders for a minute. "Astronomically speaking, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Time wise, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, it's evident the Gods are all powerful and we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you, teacher?"

The Druid is silent for a moment, then speaks. "You idiot, it means someone has stolen our tent!"

The Accident

Bob and his father are driving in a car. They have a terrible accident, and Bob's father dies. Bob is seriously hurt and taken to the hospital in an ambulance. He has to have surgery. The doctor comes to look at Bob and exclaims, "I can't operate on him! He's my son!" Who is the doctor?

The Donkey

An old man, a boy and a donkey were going to town. The boy rode on the donkey and the old man walked. As they went along they passed some people who remarked it was a shame the old man was walking and the boy was riding. The man and boy thought maybe the critics were right, so they changed positions.

Later they passed some people that remarked, "What a shame, he makes that little boy walk." They decided they both would walk!

Soon they passed some more people who thought they were stupid to walk when they had a decent donkey to ride.

So, they both rode the donkey! Now they passed some people that shamed them by saying how awful to put such a load on a poor donkey.

The boy and man said they were probably right so they decided to carry the donkey. As they crossed a bridge, they lost their grip on the animal and he fell into the river and drowned.

The moral of the story: "If you try to please everyone, you will eventually lose your ass."

Chickens & the Coop

by Mike of Monument Grove RDNA

After watching "Chicken Run," I received this story from my Japanese teacher. It is by Abe Kobou, and I've translated it into English for you.

A long time ago, chickens were still living freely in the wild. However their life was not an easy one, for they were chased about by weasels and cats; so much that there day was divided between searching far for food, and flying out of the reach of predators.

One day as they were pecking, a human came up to them carrying a bunch of timber and tools. He offered, "I will build you a wire-covered house in which you will be safe from predators." The chickens looked distrustingly at him. "Look here, I do not have claws like a cat, nor do I have fangs like a weasel. There is no reason to fear someone as harmless as me, is there?" The chickens began to discuss this, but the human quickly proceeded to construct the house without waiting for their decision.

The chickens inspected the entrance, which had a large lock that could only be opened by a human hand. When they pointed it out, he said,” If you could open it, so much more could a weasel or a cat. Do not worry, if it is food you are seeking, I promise to bring some and fill your food box everyday." This impressed most of the chickens very much.

One chicken, distrusted the honeyed words of the human. "Perhaps," he said, "you wish to still our eggs, and sell us to the butcher?" The man smiled and replied, "I have only a wish to protect you. Why, indeed, perhaps you yourself are receiving bribes from the weasels and cats to dupe your fellow chickens from this safe alternative?"

This immediately divided the chickens. As the wise chicken could neither prove nor disprove his innocence, he was soon doubted and ostracized from the group. A great debate broke out, but eventually the sensible faction decided, "Let's try it for now, and if we don't like it, I'm sure that we can renegotiate an equitable change of the contract." That decided the issue and their victory was sealed. The human, genteelly opened the door wide and the chickens stately marched into the coop. The rest, as we all know, is history. (See "Chicken Run" the movie, 2000)

Where Did All the Celts Go?

By Ian Friesland

I couldn’t be farther away from Ireland (or my native Belgium) but my thoughts fly to that distant land, and I ‘d like to write a little about it. The RDNA is not exclusively Celtic (we’re not, but we all have our favorite traditions), but most other Druid groups are definitely in the Celtophiles section. The problem as I see it, is that people study ancient Celts, but ignore the modern Celts.

We appear to be in a love-hate relationship with traditions. We love ancient Celtic Traditions but not modern Celtic traditions with hundreds of years of shaping by Celts (yes, under Christian & alcoholic influence.) Certainly, age sometimes empowers the survival and attractiveness of some beliefs beyond their practical usage (i.e. “fossilization.”) For me, the age of the tradition is just one pointer on its feasibility; but it’s applicability, wisdom, timing and associations must also be taken into account. As an example, we don’t do ritualistic murder anymore. As Mortus said in his/her essay on Death and Sacrifice in Samhain’s issue, the RDNA dropped human sacrifice when our mores and perceptions on the issue had changed, even though livestock (deadstock?) is cheaper now than ever before in history.

Irish and country folk of Europe still carry out several life-affirming (& life-denying) activities that may or may not have continuity from pagan times, often under the guise of various saints, despite the otherworldly orientation of monotheism in general. You know this, already. It’s hard to tell whether or not these traditions were carry-overs from a bygone organized religion or rather, perhaps, simply natural developments from working daily with (or against) Nature’s mysteries on the farm and forest. But the Celts are still here, but they’re mostly speaking English nowadays, so no complaining about the difficulty of translating “Old Irish,” just go next door and talk to McPherson and start or revive traditions.

How many American Neo-Pagans can explain the Dail of Ireland, name 7 living Irish poets or dramatists? Talk about the devolution process’ effect on Celtic nationalism? Explain the economic situation of the Welsh economies? What about Brittany’s (ahem, not Ms. Spears) engulfment by France or Galicia by Spain which we don’t hear about because most of us don’t read French or Spanish after High school? Mad cow or foot & mouth disease (I’ve got that I suppose)’s role in the devastation of the crafting culture? I’m not calling upon you to march the streets of Dublin with placards, but if you feel such a connection to these ancient Druids; how about helping their grandchildren continue the living culture?

Picking a Path

By Mike

We don’t know as much as our ancestors collectively. We may add a new piece of knowledge & technology, but in matters of the soul, we are often merely treading old paths in a well-trodden forest. Although you may try to blaze a new trail, you are likely to cross several old trails in the process. One day, you might stop blazing and pick one of those trails out of convenience when you see a destination that can be reached the more easily by that path. Perhaps one day, you’ll open a space for an arboreal farm.

Ideas are like seeds, they come from a tree or flower and grow up by themselves. Some are self-pollinating others reproduce by cross-pollinating. Like the bible adage, the growth of seeds depends on the ground in which they begin. If transplanted to new territory, they may grow or wither. Trees and plants reproduce by excessive distribution of seeds, such that a few will make it to maturity; while the bulk of them succumb to the stresses of the world. Most teachers know this about students and the need for balanced growth.

A small imbalance in the body can soon kill, if untreated. Hopefully, most students will notice deficiencies in their training. As Confucius said, “When I show three sides of a square, they should come up with the fourth. But dear Ching! When I show him one side, he shows me the other three!” It is far easier to destroy individuals than groups, but a slow group collapse can be most devastating. A poison can kill more than a medicine of the same amount can cure, but an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. As Darth-Vader learned, if you wish fame & power, a dubious achievement, the quickest way is through infamy and harmful actions. Most do-gooders and saints go unrecognized, because they need not recognition. In these matters, a little well-timed guidance goes a long way.

The Two Pots

From Stacey

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for the task for which it was created, but the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself and I want to apologize to you. I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.

The water bearer said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path." Do you notice that there are flowers only on your side of the path but not on the other pot's side? That is because I have always known about your flaw. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you have watered them. For two years, I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."

Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We are all cracked pots but, it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.

Take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them. There is a lot of good out there. Blessed are the flexible, for they are never bent out of shape.

Remember to appreciate all the different people in your life! Or, as I like to think of it, if it hadn't been for the crackpots in my life it would have been pretty boring and life certainly wouldn't have been beautifully interesting...

Chop Wood, Carry Water

From Stacey

A young student asked of the Master "what did you do before you became Master?"

The Master replied "I fetched wood and carried water."

The Student asked "What do you do now that you are Master?"

The Master replied "I fetch wood and carry water."

-Lao Tzu

Now, just about everyone who has hung about spiritual circles for any time has heard this. It may not be from Lao Tzu, legendary composer of the Tao Te Ching, maybe 2500 years ago, contemporary, more or less, with Gautama the Buddha, as it is often said to come from Ch'an or Zen sources. But what does that matter?

We may take the ordinary events of life as unimportant when we engage on what we perceive as the `great mystical journey.'

Still, what does this cost us? Is it worth the price?

We have this trip to take; but can we say which parts of life are more or less important?

After the powerful `peak experience,' it always seems to go back to this: "Chop wood; carry water." Maybe we have to learn that no thing in life is more than another, and each is part of the warp and woof, the interwoven strands, the weaving, of its tapestry.

Is enlightenment then just that, the putting down of the heavy load we have carried and been burdened by, our suffering?

Are we then like Sisyphus, who was condemned by Zeus to push the heavy boulder up the hill, nearly to the peak, only to, forever, have it slip from his grasp to the bottom again, only to have to start again over and over from the beginning?

"Before Satori, 'Chop wood; carry water;' after Satori, 'chop wood, carry water.' "

The Ten Laws of Murphy

If anything can go wrong, it will.

Nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

Everything takes longer than you expect.

Left to themselves all things go from bad to worse.

Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.

Mother Nature is a bitch.

It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.

If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

If you can keep your head when, all around you, others are losing theirs, you just don't understand the situation.

For every human problem, there is a neat, simple solution - and it is always wrong.

Gold and Silver Harps

A Druid priest passes away and goes to Tir nan Og.

Upon her arrival, she is awarded a silver harp for her good deeds on earth. As she looks around, she notices a scruffy looking fellow with a beautiful golden harp.

"Why does he get such a beautiful harp when a good Druid priest, like myself, gets only this silver harp?" she asked.

"Well," said Mannanan, "over here in Tir nan Og we reward results. Every Solstice when you preached, people slept. Those who did pray were only going through the motions. That man got people to pray every day, and when they prayed, they meant it with all their heart!"

"Which church is he from?" asked the priest.

"He's not from a church," said Mannanan, "He was a New York City taxi driver!"

The Mona Lisa

Richard Kehl, "Silver Departures"

A Twentieth Century-Fox executive in Paris arranged for an exhibit of the fake paintings used in the movie "How To Steal A Million." He phones Howard Newman of the New York office, who said the fakes could not be shipped because they were on tour.

"What should I do?" asked the Paris man frantically.

"Get some originals," said Newman. "Nobody'll know the difference."

The Oak and the Maple

By Darren

And one winter day Maple asked Oak, "Why must I bear this snow?"

And Oak replied, "Because you have spread your branches."

And Maple asked, "Then why did I spread my branches?"

And Oak replied, "To catch the wind and sun, those things that give you life. And here, sometimes, the wind brings snow."

And Maple asked, "Then why have I come here?"

And Oak replied, "The winds blew, and you rode them. You liked them then, and laughed at the joy of spinning."

And Maple asked, "Then why did I grow here?"

And Oak replied, "Because the soil is good, between the stones."

And Maple asked, "Then why did the stones not stop me?"

And Oak replied, "Because you knew what you must do."

And Maple asked, "What is it, then, that I must do?"

And Oak replied, "Spread your branches. And bear some snow."

Understanding is Nothing.

By Henry Miller in Plexus

"You understand," said Chaydem, "but the reality of it escapes you. Understanding is nothing. The eyes must be kept open, constantly. To open your eyes you must relax, not strain. Don't be afraid of falling backwards into a bottomless pit. There is nothing to fall into. You're in it and of it, and one day, if you persist, you will be it. I don't say you will have it, please notice, because there's nothing to possess. Neither are you to be possessed, remember that! You are to liberate your self. There are no exercises, physical, spiritual, to practice. All such things are like incense- they awaken a feeling of holiness. We must be holy without holiness. We must be whole... complete. That's being holy. Any other kind of holiness is false, a snare, and a delusion."

Approaching Death

by Irony, Volcano Grove, -Rainier Maria Rilke's work.

I reproach all modern religions for having handed to their believers consolations and glossings over of death, instead of administering to them the means of reconciling themselves to it and coming to an understanding with it. With it, with its full, unmasked cruelty: this cruelty is so tremendous that it is just with it that the circle closes: it leads right back again into the extreme of a mildness that is great, pure, and perfectly clear (all consolation is turbid) as we have never surmised mildness to be, not even on the sweetest spring day. But toward the experiencing of this most profound mildness which, were only a few of us to feel with conviction, could perhaps little by little penetrate and make transparent all the relations of life: toward the experiencing of this richest and soundest mildness, mankind has never even taken the first steps- unless in its oldest, most innocent times, whose secret has been all but lost to us. The content of "initiations" was, I am sure, nothing but the imparting of a "key" that permitted the reading saw the word "death" without negation; like the moon, life surely has a side permanently turned away from us which is not its counterpart but its complement towards perfection, towards consummation.

Way of Salami

Submitted by Mike, quoting Mark Walsh

Nothing in the deli is more important than anything else. There is no hierarchy. Salami may be $5.99 a pound and baloney $1.99. But you eat salami the same way you eat baloney, and you digest salami the same way you do baloney, and you excrete salami the same way you do baloney. Once you realize this, price becomes meaningless

Way of Service

Submitted by Mike, quoting Mark Walsh

If you are constipated, study your face in the mirror. Be familiar with it. Know it intimately. Learn to recognize that look in others. When someone comes to the deli with the look of constipation on their face, give them no options. If they ask for baloney, do not respond with "We have five different kinds of baloney, what kind of baloney would you like?" take the nearest baloney and start slicing. Giving options, in this case, gets you caught from behind.

Way of Cheese

Submitted by Mike, quoting Mark Walsh

The way of cheese is in the re-creation. A stick of American cheese slices perfectly into 147 slices. I know. I have counted. When you can slice a stick of American cheese and re-stack it so it is impossible to tell the stick has been sliced, you will be enlightened.

Provolone cheese operates against all the laws of the deli. It comes packaged in three-foot long sticks; it melts and turns soft quickly; it does not slice properly. If a deli clerk gets five perfect slices in a pound, he is luck. If a deli clerk never finds satori, it is because of provolone cheese.

Life is suffering. Provolone cheese is amoral and persistent. Accept it into your life. Let it happen.


J. Krishnamurti Think on These Things.

Submitted by Irony.

You try being alone, without any form of distraction, and you will see how quickly you want to get away from yourself and forget what you are. That is why this enormous structure of professional amusement, of automated distraction, is so prominent a part of what we call civilization. If you observe, you will see that people the world over are becoming more and more distracted, increasingly sophisticated and worldly. The multiplication of pleasures, the innumerable books that are being published, the newspaper pages filled with sporting events- surely, all these indicate that we constantly want to be amused.

Because we are inwardly empty, dull, mediocre, we use our relationships and our social reforms as a means of escaping from ourselves. I wonder if you have noticed how lonely most people are? And to escape from loneliness we run to temples, churches, or mosques, we watch television, listen to the radio, read, and so on...

If you inquire a little into boredom you will find that the cause of it is loneliness. It is in order to escape from loneliness that we want to be together, we want to be entertained, to have distractions of every kind: gurus, religious ceremonies, prayers, or the latest novel. Being inwardly lonely we become mere spectators in life; and we can be the players only when we understand loneliness and go beyond it. Because beyond it lies the real treasure.

To My Teacher

From Stacey of the Baccharis Grove

Here is the translation of Ryokan's poem that reminds us very much of Emmon Bodfish, the founder of the Live Oak grove of Orinda Ca. who passed away this year in a violent death. All who knew him, remember him as a wise person with much to share with his grove. Stacey pictures Emmon's grave much like this this poem as he is buried among the redwoods. Ryokan's translated poem is taken from "Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf" translated by John Stevens

An old grave hidden away at the foot of a deserted hill,

Overrun with rank weeds growing unchecked year after year;

There is no one left to tend the tomb,

And only an occasional woodcutter passes by.

Once I was his pupil, a youth with shaggy hair,

Learning deeply from him by the Narrow River.

One morning I set off on my solitary journey

And the years passed between us in silence.

Now I have returned to find him at rest here;

How can I honor his departed spirit?

I pour a dipper of pure water over his tombstone

And offer a silent prayer.

The sun suddenly disappears behind the hill

And I'm enveloped by the roar of the wind in the pines.

I try to pull myself away but cannot;

A flood of tears soaks my sleeves.

Some Quotes on Life

From the Volcano Grove

He who mounts a wild elephant goes where the wild elephant goes.-Randolph Bourne

The world's spiritual geniuses seem to discover universally that the mind's muddy river, this ceaseless flow of trivia and trash, cannot be dammed, and that trying to dam it is a waste of effort that might lead to madness. -Anne Dillard

Prayer is not the moment when God and humans are in relationship, for that is always. Prayer is taking initiative to intentionally respond to God's presence. _L.R. Keck

I felt it better to speak to God than about Him. -St. Theresa of Lisieux

After ecstasy, the laundry. -Zen saying

To confront a person with his own shadow is to show him his own light.

Wisdom is not like money, which should be kept in a safe.

If you are greedy in conversation, you lose the wisdom of your friends.

If you see wrongdoing or evil and say nothing against it, you become its victim.

One who refuses to obey cannot command.

If you build a poor wooden bridge across the river, it never seems to rot until you have to cross it yourself.

Good fellowship is sharing good things with friends.

The one who asks the way does not get lost.

The string can be useful until a rope can be found.

However poor the crocodile becomes, it hunts in the river, not in the forest.

People count what they are refused, not what they are given.

Power must be handled in the manner of holding an egg in the hand; if you hold it too firmly it breaks; if you hold it too loosely it drops.

No friendship except after enmity.

Make friends when you don't need them.

He who pulls a branch, brings the leaves with it.

Before you marry keep both eyes open, afterwards keep one shut.

God made the sea, we make the ship; He made the wind, we make the sail; He made the calm, we make oars.

Fright is worse than a blow.

The knife does not know its owner.

When two elephants struggle, it’s the grass that suffers.

The lion which kills is not the lion which roars.

Every man is honest until the day they catch him.

At the bottom of patience is heaven.

The grumbler does not leave his job, but he discourages possible applicants.

Virtue never stands alone. It is bound to have neighbors.

The river rarely rises above its source.

Is benevolence really that far away? No sooner do I desire it than it is here.

I have yet to meet a man who is as fond of virtue as he is of beauty in women.

To be wise, know your fellow men.

The gentleman agrees with others without being an echo. The small man echoes without being in agreement.

Men of antiquity studied to improve themselves; men today study to impress others.

What the gentleman seeks, he seeks within himself; what the small man seeks, he seeks in others.

Learn widely and be steadfast in your purpose, inquire earnestly and reflect on what is at hand, and there is no need for you to look for benevolence elsewhere.
Soldier and the Professor

A soldier and a professor were on a plane. Tiring of conversation, the professor suggested a game of riddles to pass the time.

"If there is a riddle you can't guess, you give me a dollar and vice-versa."

"Okay," agreed the soldier, "But you are better educated. I'll only give you fifty cents."

"All right,” said the professor, "you go first."

"Well, what bird has four legs swimming and two legs flying?"

The professor thought hard. He did not want to miss the very first question. The soldier’s face lit up with a wide grin. Finally the professor said, "I don't know; here's a dollar. What's the answer?"

The soldier hesitated for a moment, then said slowly, "I don't know either; here's your fifty cents!"

That ended the game.

No Vacation

The late columnist Arthur Brisbane declined to accept William Randolph Hearst's offer of a six-month paid vacation in appreciation of his good work.

"There are two reasons why I will not accept your generous offer, Mr. Hearst." said Brisbane. "The first is that if I quit writing my column for half a year, it might affect the circulation of your newspapers. The second reason is that it might not!"

Where There's a Will...

A lawyer was cross-examining a witness. "You have just testified that you heard the shot at exactly 11:32 P.M. How did you know what time it was? Did you look at your watch?"

"No," the witness said, "I looked at the sundial in the garden."

"That's stupid," accused the lawyer. "How could you tell time by a sundial at 11:32 at night?"

"Well, I had a flashlight," the witness admitted.

Other is Better

"The Grass is always greener on the other side." If you were a judge how would you deal with this human belief?

A very famous and affluent official died and left equal portions of his wealth to his two daughters and sons-in-law. However, there were no precise prices on the land and homes that he passed on to them, each had a unique market value. Dissatisfied with the arrangement, each daughter believed the other party got the lion's share.

After the grandiose burial ceremony, the daughters filed civil lawsuits against each other, claiming that their own shares were less than the other's. In court, the judge asked them, one after the other, whether they thought they were treated unfairly. They each gave a firm "Yes.”

The clerk recorded every word and let sign all the statements. The judge then asked them to provide an inventory and turn in a list of the inherited properties. They gladly complied with this request.

After they finished, he announced his decree; "These two daughters must exchange their inheritances with one another." The daughters were shocked. Each had hoped to gain more than the other. However, they could do nothing but accept this ruling.

Happy Alliance

P.T. Barnum, the great showman, used to exhibit a happy family. This family consisted of a lion, a tiger, a wolf, a bear, and a lamb, all in one cage.

"Remarkable," a visitor said one day to Mr. Barnum. "Remarkable, impressive. How long have these animals dwelt together in this way?"

“Eight months," Barnum replied. "But the lamb has to be replaced occasionally."

Real Reason

After winning a few battles and overthrowing the previous dynasty, King Jeb overheard that there was a wise man who dwelled in the capital, and decided to pay the man a visit.

The wise man was surprised to meet the king, but courteously conducted the king into his shabby lodge. After brief amenities, the noble visitor politely asked the wiseman about his opinion for the collapse of the previous dynasty. Pondering for a moment, the man said he could not answer that question right away, and suggested the king come back tomorrow. The king agreed.

The next morning, the king arrived punctually. Knocking on the door, he received no answer. After patiently waiting for a few moments, the king began to be disturbed. Then some neighbors told him that this old man had fled the house last night in a hurry. The emperor felt cheated and betrayed.

"Your Majesty," his prime minister remarked, “I believe I know the reason. He is indeed a fine, old-fashioned gentleman, who didn't want to openly criticize the last emperor, who technically was his master. By intentionally breaking his promise with us, he cleverly conveys some of the most important causes of the previous dynasty's downfall. I think his deliberate absence indicates that trust and credibility are essential for the prosperity of an empire. Abusing both, the previous emperor lost his huge dynasty as well as his precious life. Your Majesty must always keep that in mind."

The emperor agreed with this perceptive analysis and with satisfaction left. His own dynasty was to last 200 years

The Cage

"Look at that one-the one staring at us through the bars. Doesn't he look intelligent?"

"Yes, there is something uncanny about it."

"Walks on his hind legs, too, and swings his arms."

"There! He's got a peanut. Let's see what he does with it."

"Well, what do you thing about that! He knows enough to take the shell off before he eats it just like we do."

"There’s a female alongside of him. Listen to her chatter at him. He doesn't seem to be paying much attention to her, though."

"She must be his mate."

"They look kind of sad, don't they?"

"Yes. I guess they wish they were in here with us monkeys."

Return to Me

by Pablo Neruda, Chilean, 1904-1973

Return to me, oh sun,

to my wild destiny,

rain of the ancient wood,

bring me back to the aroma and the swords

that falls from the sky,

the solitary peace of pasture and rock,

the damp at the river-margins,

the smell of the larch tree,

the wind alive like a heart

beating in the crowded restlessness

of the towering araucaria.

Earth, give me back your pure gifts,

the towers of silence which rose

from the solemnity of their roots.

I want to go back to being what I have not been,

and learn to go back from such deeps

that amongst all natural things

I could live or not live; it does not matter

to be one stone more, the dark stone,

the pure stone which the river bears away

How to Love Nature

by John Burroughs, American 1837-1921

Nature-love as Emerson knew it, and as Wordsworth knew it, and as any of the choicer spirits of our time have known it, had distinctly a religious value. It does not come to a man or a woman who is wholly absorbed in selfish or worldly or material ends. Except ye become in a measure as little children, ye cannot enter the kingdom of Nature- as Audubon entered it, as Thoreau entered it, as Bryant and Amiel entered it, and as all those enter it who make it a resource in their lives and an instrument of their culture.

The forms and creeds of religion change, but the sentiment of religion- the wonder and reverence and love we feel in the presence of the inscrutable universe- persist... If we do not go to church as much as did our fathers, we go to the woods much more, and are much more inclined to make a temple of them than they were.


by Antonio Machado, Spanish

Wayfarer, the only way.

is your footsteps, there is no other.

Wayfarer, there is no way,

you make the way as you go.

As you go, you make the way

and stopping to look behind,

you see the path that your feet

will travel again.

Wayfarer, there is no way-

only foam trails in the sea.


by Rainer Maria Rilke, German 1875-1926

I live my life in growing orbits

Which move out over the things of the world.

Perhaps I can never achieve the last,

but that will be my attempt.

I am circling around God, the ancient tower,

And I have been circling for a thousand years,

and I still don't know if I am a falcon, or a storm,

or a great song


byJalal ad-Din ar-Rumi 1207-1273

Some nights, stay up till dawn.

As the moon sometimes does for the sun.

Be a full bucket pulled up the dark way

of a well, then lifted out into light.

Something opens our wings.

Something makes boredom and hurt disappear.

Someone fills the cup in front of us.

We taste only sacredness.

Rules of Hollywood Paganism

By Michelle Curtis, March 1996

1. Pick one faith and stick with it. Dilettantism is the mark of the amateur.

2. Avoid needless embarrassment. Practice the correct pronunciation of your gods name in the privacy of your room before chanting it in public. Flash cards are often helpful.

3. Never invoke anything bigger then your head.

4. Avoid all cabbalistic jewelry over 10 pounds in weight. You're just asking for trouble.

5. Citronella candles may not be used in rituals. I cannot stress this enough. Pastel-colored candles in the shape of cute animals are like beacons to the Dark Lords.

6. Always keep your kit with you: candles, chalk, incense, silver knife, thugee knife, service revolver, garlic, cabfare, condoms, change.

7. Never be a cultist that goes to rough up the investigators. Ransacking hotel rooms is probably safe but going round to beat up the good guys a definite no-no.

8. When Black Mass goes awry, stay away from the cult leader. enraged daemons always go for the pompous.

9. Don't gloat.

10. If you do gloat, never reveal your plans.

11. If you gloat and reveal your plans, never leave the investigators to die slowly. They don't.

12. If you do gloat, reveal your plans and leave the investigators to die slowly don't have the audacity to look surprised when they show up to foil you.

13. Investigators always arrive at the last moment to foil you. Start a half hour early. They hate that.

14. Select ceremonial robes that are easy to run in while still affording ample concealment.

15. When a religious artifact begins emitting light, close your eyes.

16. When mutilating cattle, avoid the ones with the testicles.

17. During ritual sacrifice, taking bits home "for later" is now considered bad form.

18. Blood tests are now required of all sacrificial victims before the ritual. The effects of HIV+ offerings on the average maletic deity have never been witnessed by anyone living or even intact.

19. Contrary to historic belief, drugs and invocations do not mix. When the shit comes down it is vitally necessary to be able to discern between the gibbering monstrosity to throw holy water at, and the gibbering monstrosity that will go away after a few hours, some B-complex and a hot bath.

20. Never play strip tarot.

21. Piety and belief are powerful things and few forces in nature can stand against one who is true to his faith and his soul. However, it is also true that gods are on the side of the heaviest artillery so be prepared to change sides at the drop of a hat.

22. For those situations where a fresh living sacrifice is just not feasible or possible, the lower ranks of daemons can be fooled by microwaving a previously frozen chunk of ex-victim and cleverly jiggling it. A mock victim sculpted of spam is right out.

Order of Chocolate Contemplatives


Once again the high holy days of the Order of Chocolate Contemplatives (O.C.C.) are at hand.

The O.C.C was founded in 1893 when my great-grandmother opened an old trunk in her aunt's attic and discovered secret documents and recipes recorded by the mysterious Fraulein Verboten. These documents describe an ancient order whose purpose is to find enlightenment through chocolate, a task that its current members pursue with diligence, with guidance from their Secret Chefs on the astral pan. Initiates explore all the psychological, sensual, mystical and psychoactive properties of this profound substance.

If you wish to join the O.C.C., dip yourself, or a part of yourself in liquid chocolate and dedicate yourself to the pursuit of chocolate- ness. You may also post to alt.magick regarding the history of chocolate, its psycho-active properties, its relationship to Candlemas or Yule, favorite recipes, which signs should be the WATER and FIRE sign(s) for chocolate and why, or your own experiences exploring chocolate's exquisite pleasures. These articles will be collected in the Chocolate Chronicles. This is also a time for renewal when old members of the O.C.C. are encouraged to proclaim their love of chocolate in the same way described above.

The high holy days of the O.C.C. start on February 1st and go on for 14 days, culminating on the 14th of February, a day long associated with love and chocolate. The groundhog is the animal guardian of the O.C.C. and chocolate groundhogs are always in good taste. St. Valentine is the patron saint and also one of the Secret Chefs. On the final holy day, St. Valentine's Day, chocolate is celebrated in a special way the entire day long -- in thoughts, word, deed and ingestion. Many (choc rats) opt for a sensual finale, while some (choc doves) for a more meditative and sublime chocolate experience. The choc rats also prefer popular chocolate treats whereas the choc doves go for imported, pricey brands. Despite these superficial differences all are pursing the celebration of chocolate, and I hope that the factional sniping will not occur this year. Whatever your style of celebration it will work provided that you celebrate chocolate with chocolate.

Many new initiates ask about sex-chocolate. Information on this is not publicly available for your own safety. Also, members of high rank are bound by oaths and cannot discuss it. General information is in the book _Secrets of the German Sex-Chocolate Magickians_, so the curious can read this. Please do not inquire further.


First, if you start late, go ahead and do several days at a time mentally in order to catch up, but only eat the prescribed 1 piece of chocolate per day, until the 14th, otherwise you could blow-out your chakras and digestive system. Lectures aside, this is not a time for gluttony. Chocolate can really knock your socks off and should be treated with care. Feel free to circulate this, in its entirety, wherever you wish.




ANIMAL: Groundhog


SIGN: Taurus


ARCHANGEL: Uriel/Ariel

CHOCOLATE TYPE: Nuts and caramel and/or other ingredients mixed in.

Mine for the surprises. Brownies with chocolate bits and nuts are good for new initiates. Nothing too risky. Chocolate is strong enough, as is.

MEDITATION: Life is good. Life is a beautiful, sensual experience. The two main secrets to life are put before you:

1.) Life is what happens when you think of something else.

2.) Sometimes the only (or easiest) thing to change about a situation is your perception of it. Thinking about this will give you insights to make your life more enjoyable. Experiment with different energy patterns in your daily life. If you're an assertive go-go-go sort of person lay back and go with the flow and watch how people respond. If you're usually laid-back then rev up a little and see what happens. Learn to use both ying and yang to your best advantage. Reinforce your revelations with savory chocolate to make them stick. The purpose here is to use your energy most effectively to make your life as happy, and pleasurable as possible. deity, virtue

1 Bmilges limits his words

2 Barnafa is content with his lot in life

3 Benpagi knows his place

4 Belmara uncomplaining acceptance of suffering

5 Balceor trust in the sages

6 Blisdon good naturedness

7 Bynepor patience





SIGN: still being decided....

POWER: emotion


CHOCOLATE TYPE: Chocolate dissolved in a liquid. Chocolate mousse is especially good. Mugs of hot chocolate are good too (but no instant please.) For more advanced members, try chocolate liqueur or chocolate in coffee. MEDITATION: Consider how to flow through life with as much pleasure and as little pain as possible. For each action there is an equal and opposite reaction, so take care to do yourself a favor and *not* invoke your nemesis. Consider how to make your life simpler on all planes. Then take the next step and learn to have not just neutral experiences, but positive ones! Every act, idea, interaction, feeling, sensation, can bring you positive energy. Learn to find chocolate everywhere and learn to give it freely. Take the highest and lowest -- turn everything into expressions of love and appreciation and give back the same in return.

deity, virtue

1 Bonefon moderation in frivolity

2 Bermale moderation in conversation

3 Bragiop moderation in sleep

4 Blintom moderation in pleasure

5 Bazpama moderation in worldly affairs

6 Bvtmomo moderation in business affairs

7 Babalel knowledge of scriptures



ANIMAL: Snakes


SIGN: to be decided...

POWER: will


CHOCOLATE TYPE: Milk chocolate. Nothing in it. MEDITATION: Here we first encounter the scandalous past of our holy substance -- its affiliation with the cruel and hot southern gods. All you've heard about their cruelty and their relationship with chocolate is true. But fear not! They were practicing the dark side of chocolate. They were mixing chocolate with fire and emotion. Emotion needs to be cooled, in water. It’s far more effective to mix chocolate with fire and WILL. Therefore, the key word for this week is WILL. Use the strength you've discovered in chocolate and filter your thoughts and words with purpose. Imbue every act with meaning. Throw things out -- useless ideas and possessions. This is a good time to end any relationships that suck out your vitality. You are not the same as you once were, you are now changed -- stronger and better. Treat people with respect and restraint.

deity, virtue

1 Bnagole deliberation

2 Brisfli discussion with students

3 Branglo debate with colleagues

4 Bernole attendance on scholars

5 Basmelo purity

6 Befafes joy

7 Bobogel humility





SIGN: Aquarius

POWER: Inspiration and creativity


CHOCOLATE TYPE: Pure dark chocolate.

MEDITATION: This is your final point of ascent. Focus on the highest intellectual enjoyment you have of chocolate and the chocolate teachings. By now you should be seeing chocolate everywhere and in everything. Look and you shall see. Feel the joy of chocolate in everyone and you (m)eat. You are now approaching the brink of ecstasy. If you have started any projects, now is a fortuitous time to complete them. If you are procrastinating about something, start it now -- you'll feel much better. This is a time to resolve old difficulties, conflicts, feelings and ideas. If you have trouble doing this, visualize all your problems in a pot with chocolate, melting away, then go to bed early and sleep purposefully on the troubles. In the morning you'll see the answer. This is also the time to consider the *opposite* of all you've contemplated in the prior weeks. Think of when and how to use the opposites. Finally, go through the prior 4 weeks of work, contemplating what you learned and invoking the deities of the days and the archangels of the weeks to give you strength and guidance. Sleep on what you've learned.

diety, virtue

1 Basledf reverence

2 Bmamgal awe

3 Blumapo intuitive insight

4 Besgeme understanding

5 Bapnido orderly speech

6 Bornogo attentive listening

7 Baligon study

The final day: the 14th of February

On the final day, revel in all you've learned. Celebrate in your own style. You are on the brink of enlightenment and ecstasy now. Ask the deities and Secret Chefs to give you purity and strength. Do whatever is necessary to push yourself over the edge. Today and today only you can eat as much chocolate, wherever and however you like. :)

Merry Whatever

From Glenn McDavid

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral, celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all...No reindeer or barn animals were injured during the making of these greetings.

As well, please enjoy a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 1999, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great, (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only "America" in the western hemisphere), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform, or sexual preference of the wishee. These sentiments will not affect any equipment as yet unscanned for Y2K problems.

(By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.)


From: Glenn McDavid

Found on an ancient clay floppy disk:

Subject: The Third E-mail to the Corinthians

Date: 24/03/65 21:07:33 ROMAN standard time

From: Apostle Paul (


File: Epistle3.txt (104201 bytes)

[Only the first part of this message is displayed. The entire message has been turned into a text attachment, encoded in 128-bit MIME and can only be read if you have an obscure program that you won't have heard of.]

Paul, an apostle of Christ and a slave of the Lord, to the brothers in Corinth who are using e-mail accounts other than AOL. I will send a separate message to those using AOL accounts, knowing how primitive their e-mail service is at the present time.

This is the third e-mail I am sending to you. Did you receive my other two? I have had no reply from you yet, and a "fatal delivery" error message for the second e-mail, in which I wrote about love, faith and hope. I will send it again, just in case.

I sent my second message to the congregations throughout the whole of Asia Minor, but my service provider considered this to be spamming and closed down one of my accounts. To those who are using Web based e-mail accounts, I will send Timothy to you with my message on foot. It will get there quicker.

Philemon and Titus send you their love. I found their e-mails amidst a flood of junk mail and get-rich-quick messages, in which there is no real profit.

Look - I hope you don't mind, but I think I'll stick with the parchments next time.

Anyway, I wanted to write to you on the important subject of..

{End of Message}


I have recently had an awakening where I realized that enlightenment consisted of an openness, and awareness to what is. I am seeking to broaden my openness, becoming more fresh, and more of a beginner. I have also made vows to help liberate all beings, and would like to gain knowledge to do so. I am eventually hoping to reach the point of the absolute boundary between chaos and order, the center of the wheel as it were, and to be able to dance at that point. I am also seeking a community of like-minded folk, as well as a system that will help fill in the infinite gaps in my knowledge. Here is a little something I wrote regarding what I have learned recently.

to be like a CHILD who views every thing with freshness

to be an EXPLORER curious about what they will encounter

to be an OBSERVER interested in what they can discover

to be AWARE of the stream of life as it flows

to be able to SEE what is happening around you

to be able to be fully PRESENT in the current moment

to be AWAKE enough to experience the beauty of life

to be a QUESTIONER of strongly held assumptions

to be a BEGINNER still able to learn new ideas

to be a STUDENT who realizes they do not know

to be NON-JUDGMENTAL open to each situation as it arises

to be ADAPTABLE to varying circumstances

to be UNCONDITIONED not set in any certain way

to be BEYOND conceptual extremes

to be FREE from machine-like living

by Ruth Ann oskolkoff/95


All life is interconnected so live with simplicity

All life is sacred so live with compassion

All life is changing so live with awareness

All life is a teacher so live with humility

by Ruth Ann oskolkoff/95

Football as a Fertility Rite

Author unknown;

Obviously, Football is a syndrome of religious rites symbolizing the struggle to preserve the Egg of Life through the rigors of impending winter. The rites begin at the Autumn Equinox and culminate on the first day of the New Year, with great festivals identified with bowls of plenty. The festivals are associated with flowers such as roses; fruits such as oranges; farm crops such as cotton; and even sun worship and appeasement of great reptiles such as alligators.

In these rites, the Egg of Life is symbolized by what is called "The Oval,” an inflated bladder covered with hog skin. The convention of "The Oval" is repeated in the architectural oval-shaped design of the vast outdoor churches in which the services are held every Sabbath in every town and city. Also every Sunday in the greater centers of population where an advanced priesthood performs. These enormous churches dominate every college campus; no other edifice compares in size with them, and they bear witness to the high spiritual development of the culture that produced them.

Literally millions of worshipers attend the Sabbath services in these open-air churches. Subconsciously, these hordes are seeking an outlet from sexual frustration in anticipation of violent masochism and sadism about to be enacted by a highly trained priesthood of young men. Football obviously arises out of the Oedipus complex. Love of mother dominates the entire ritual. (Notre Dame and Football are synonymous.)

The rites are preformed on a green rectangular area orientated to the four directions. The green area, symbolizing Summer, is striped with ominous white lines representing the knifing snows of Winter. The white stripes are repeated in the ceremonial costumes of the four whistling monitors who control the services through a time period divided into four quarters, symbolizing the four Seasons. The ceremony begins with colorful processions of musicians and semi-nude virgins who move in and out of ritualized patterns. This excites the thousands of worshipers to rise from their seats, shout frenzied poetry in unison and chant ecstatic anthems through which runs the Oedipus theme of willingness to die for the love of mother. The actual rites, performed by 22 young priests of perfect physique, might appear to the uninitiated as a chaotic conflict concerned only with hurting the Oval by kicking it, then endeavoring to rescue and protect the Egg.

However, the procedure is highly stylized. On each side there are eleven young men wearing colorful and protective costumes. The group in so-called "possession" of the Oval first arrange themselves in an egg-shaped "huddle," as it is called, for a moment of prayerful meditation and whispering of secret numbers to each other. Then they rearrange themselves with relation to the position of the Egg. In a typical "formation" there are seven priests "on the line," seven being a mystical number associated not, as Jung purists might contend, with the "seven last words" but actually, with sublimation of the "seven deadly sins" into "the seven cardinal principles of education."

The central priest crouches over the Egg, protecting it with his hands, while over his back quarters hovers the "Quarterback." The transposition of "back quarters" to "quarterback" is easily explained by the Adler School. To the layman the curious posture assumed by the "Quarterback," as he hovers over the central priest, immediately suggests the Cretan origins of Mycenaean animal art, but this popular view is untenable. Actually, of course, the "quarter-back" symbolizes the libido, combining two instincts, namely, a) Eros, which strives for even closer union, and b) the instinct for destruction of anything which lies in the path of Eros. Moreover, the "pleasure-pain" excitement of the hysterical worshipers focuses entirely on the actions of the libido-quarter-back. Behind him are three priests representing the male triad.

At a given signal, the Egg is passed by sleight-of-hand to one of the members of the triad who endeavors to move it by bodily force across the white lines of Winter. This procedure up and down the enclosure, continues through the four quarters of the ritual. At the end of the second quarter, implying the Summer Solstice, the processions of musicians and semi-nude virgins are resumed. After forming themselves into pictograms representing alphabetical and animal fetishes, the virgins perform a most curious rite requiring far more dexterity than the earlier phallic Maypole rituals from which it seems to be derived. Each of the virgins carries a wand of shining metal which she spins on her fingertips, tosses playfully into the air, and with which she interweaves her body in most intricate gyrations.

The virgins perform another important function throughout the entire service. This concerns the mystical rite of "conversion" following success of one of the young priests in carrying the Oval across the last white line of Winter. As the moment of "conversion" approaches, the virgins kneel at the edge of the rectangle, bury their faces in the earth, and then raise their arms to heaven in supplication, praying that "the uprights will be split." "Conversion" is indeed a dedicated ceremony.

+++ The Church of Apathy +++

Join our Church of Apathy... when you get good and ready, or around-to-it. This is the official church for those that don't wish to identify with a specific religion. For those that feel that atheism and agnosticism are just too much damn work. Others, who believe that their religion solves all their problems, need not apply. We are a relatively New Religion with new attitudes.

We are Apathists. We seek no converts. We distribute no pamphlets. We ring no doorbells.

The Church of Apathy was thought about by its Founders for several years, before they decided to organize on December 26th, 1968, they decided not to become tax exempt, nor claim any guidance from any divine source. In 1979 they decided to look around for a suitable church site, but that effort proved to be too much trouble, and besides they really didn't care where they met anyway. The founders thought they should have a clergy person, but so far all that applied were rejected. They asked stupid questions about our not having a prayer book with writing in it. Some complained that we didn't have a Symbol or a Logo identifying our religion. Some wanted us to light candles, bless wine, chant, and sway. kneel, pray, or in general "carry on" like mainstream religions.... all of these candidates for the clergy person were rejected.

We soon will be celebrating the 30th year of our founding. We Apathists encourage those that share our deeply rooted apathy to think about joining our church as non-active members. We seek no donations nor offerings.... you keep your money, and we'll keep ours. As we have no mother church, postal address, telephone number, or website, we are sometimes difficult to locate. However if you have faith, and are not in any big rush to join our Church of Apathy, you are the type of person that could benefit by being an Apathist.

We are happy to say that in almost 30 years, not one of our members has been called "a dirty Apathist" to their face, they have demanded, and received "apple fritters" as their religious rights, in prisons and university cafeterias, and our Religion is not part of any college course on "Comparative Religions,” and as far as we know, none of our faithful have been healed, saved, or converted. Some have rented from Avis but we consider that as free will.

Someday we would like to sponsor our own TV ministry, but we haven't figured out as yet what to preach about. We strongly believe that one should not take YES for an answer.....but if they do, they do.

We do have a motto: Don't Bother Us...and We Won't Bother You.

--writ by Rubin....reluctantly

Why did Isaac’s Chicken Cross the Road?

P.E.I. Bonewits (ADF): Real crossing-the-road, we have seen, is a very interwoven and complicated subject. Our conclusion could be that real crossing-the-road is the build up of chicken emotion in conjunction with chicken concepts to vary the modulation of chicken energy so as to effect the modulation of the road's energy. That's all! Perhaps it is unfortunate, though, to use the word "chicken" in relation to it, since the "C" word is being used now in a way it was never used before in the English language and is an utterly meaningless term without a qualifying adjective. And this, of course, is the fault of the medieval Christian Church, through the Gothic Chickens it invented and used as the basis of persecuting men, women and chickens. The word "chicken" itself comes from an Indo-European root, "cheeka/e" meaning "one who lays eggs," and it has no relation to the later Anglo-Saxon word for "wise spirit of flight," as so often stated by certain contemporary "Chics." An'Chk'Rrhod ("Our Own Chickens on Our Own Roads"), an authentic Neo-Chicken Rooster tradition, offers the best of paleo-, meso- and neo- Chickenism...

A Pagan Pledge of Allegiance

Author: WolfSquint

I Pledge Allegiance,

to the Earth,

And all the Creatures which inhabit it,

And to the Oceans,

Which give us Life

One Planet, under sky, inter-dependent

With Energy, and sustenance for all.

The Whole World Stinks

Wise men and philosophers throughout the ages have disagreed on many things, but many are in unanimous agreement on one point: "We become what we think about." Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "A man is what he thinks about all day long." The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius put it this way: "A man's life is what his thoughts make of it." In the Bible we find: "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he."

One Sunday afternoon, a cranky grandfather was visiting his family. As he lay down to take a nap, his grandson decided to have a little fun by putting Limburger cheese on Grandfather's mustache. Soon, grandpa awoke with a snort and charged out of the bedroom saying, "This room stinks." Through the house he went, finding every room smelling the same. Desperately he made his way outside only to find that "the whole world stinks!"

So it is when we fill our minds with negativism. Everything we experience and everybody we encounter will carry the scent we hold in our mind.

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