Holy Smoke !

© Georgios Alexandris | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Georgios Alexandris | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Why do random people feel the urge to give me advice?  People I’ve never met, who don’t know me from Adam, or more appropriately, from Eve, seem to feel at liberty to give me their un-thought-out advice and opinions… about me!!

I smoke – there is is – hellfire and damnation upon my soul – blah blah blah, yawny yawny yawn. Build a bridge and get over it.

I read something recently that said “Smoking is the ultimate sign that a person is not coping”.  Psychologically “they” meant.

Oh really?  Do ya think?    I would have gone for a few other things first.

Let’s try… um… heroin addiction, what about alcoholism (the obvious kind and the hidden high-functioning kind).  Um… how about the corporate high-flyer addicted to coke (not the soda kind), or the spousal abuser, or the child sexual/ physical/ emotional abuser, or the hooker addict, or the poker machine gambler who blows their entire pension every week, or the habitual Xanax user, or the workplace sexual harasser, or the corporate monster who has no ethics, or the warmonger, or the racist, the sexist, the ageist, what about the rapist, the kidnapper, or the murderer…  are they “coping” better than me ?

I smoke.  I don’t do any of the above things !!!

So bugger off OK, if you’re one of those people who says to people you DON’T EVEN KNOW, “Oooo, naughty… shouldn’t smoke you know… it’s BAD for you!”

Oh, no shit Sherlock… what’s your next case Watson?

I always want to go into mock-shock and say…

“Oh hell, why the f**k didn’t anyone TELL me??”

“There’s no signs anywhere… there’s no information on the subject.”

“How could I possibly have known this?”

Apart from the fact that, buying cigarettes or smoking related paraphernalia in Australia is now akin to asking for the dirtiest, most violent and offensive pornography.  (In fact the porn is probably more acceptable). It’s all “under the counter”.

Psssst mate, got any baccy back there?

The counter-person eyes you with a look (Australian Nanny Government mandated) that says you are FILTH.  The Nanny Government Department of Adult Education runs courses that “shop people” go on, in order to achieve the correct mix of scorn, pity, derision and disgust.

Fool that I am (and given that I roll my own), after being handed a breath-wheezingly revolting packet of horrible, dry, pipey-smelling tobacco (the kind of thing a salty old sea dog like Cap’n Ahab might smoke), complete with it’s graphical wish for any number of chronic illnesses upon me, I was bold enough to enquire as to whether I might purchase, for a small price, made up of MY OWN MONEY, a packet of filter tips and some papers ?

The shop-counter-attending-person even put his hands on his hips !!!

He looked at me as if to say, “Now this really is a bridge too far – you dirty, dirty slatternly woman.  Get thee to a Nunnery – a SMOKE-FREE Nunnery.”

Puff Puff Puff *  (angrily).

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rooshkie. x.

“God” Disclaimer.

© Marilyn Barbone | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Marilyn Barbone | Dreamstime Stock Photos

(NB:  OOOps… this was meant to be a seasonal post, and I forgot to hit the “publish” button… Never mind, my closing wishes for happiness are the same.)

I’ve been a spiritual seeker for such a long time now, that I tend to use the word “God” quite casually, of course knowing full well what I mean.

However, no one else is inside my bizarre, amazing, fabulous, little mind, and I did get myself into trouble, whilst having a conversation in a pub recently. Somehow, it came ’round to something in which I used the word “God” quite matter-of-factly. The person I was debating with, being an atheist, jumped on that in order to discredit my argument, which wasn’t really about “God”, or the existence or non-existence thereof.  Many educated people find it utterly lacking in rationality that an educated person can believe in a “God” (Whatever that is). I don’t think “belief” and provable fact sit in the same camp – they can’t.

He looked quite triumphant that the chink in my armor was, to his mind, the opiate of the masses. He pounced. I gave up. Too boring to try and go all the way through what I’m about to go through here, in the context of a slightly warm pub debate, fueled by booze, with someone who’s interest was in “winning”, not in exchanging ideas or seeking truth, and, based upon his motivation, who I didn’t respect sufficiently to try and convey my worldview to.

I happily capitulated. He was smug in his empty victory; but actually had no idea that instead of trying to explain my use of a simple three letter word, which carries the weight of the world on it’s tiny semantic shoulders, I wanted to go home to bed.

So, it requires elucidation.

Elucidation, love that word… to shed light… to enlighten.

I do not follow any prescribed religion. I do not believe that the archetypal Christian God, including Christ, or Allah, or Jehovah, or Buddha, and so on, were “divine” beings. Nor do I disbelieve the existence of these “prophets” on an earthly, mortal plane, as beings perhaps more “enlightened” than their peers, and possibly in possession of a connection to their source which rendered them “divine” in the eyes of others.

I do not take as Gospel, if you will pardon the exhaustingly ubiqitous pun, any of the Holy Books of any of the world’s religions.  I consider them to be anecdotal, or perhaps fables.  Stories to guide what was largely an illiterate populace.

My own spirituality is a rather cherry-picked group of beliefs, acquired over a long time, from many sources. As far as I’m concerned, anything of a spiritual nature, which resonates with me, is fair game for my spiritual tool chest.  Nothing is excluded simply by virtue of it’s origins, and nothing is taken with any kind of fundamental angst… I use the tools I need in order to find MY peace with the unknowable… one of those is a sense of humour about religion and inverted commas spirituality.

When I use the word “God”, I use it as an overarching and universal term in the English language to mean the ineffable concept of there being a spiritual essence from which a part of all of us comes and to which a part of us returns… the spirit, the soul, call it Maureen for all I care… it’s just a word.

I believe in Maureen.

Meaning that I think that we are more than simply flesh and bones destined to be worm fodder.  I believe there is something… as simple as a kind of energy perhaps… which is eternal and infinite.

And “science” supports this… that at the infinitesimally smallest level, everything is simply energy vibrating at different frequencies,   My friend Einstein (and I do think of him as my friend), both a scientist and a spiritual man, said…

“Energy cannot be created or destroyed,

it can only be changed from one form to another.”

So even if you doubt the existence of a soul, or a spirit, then you still have to acknowledge the existence of this enduring energy – if energy endures in one form or another – why not a proportion of “my” energy, or “your” energy.

Why would it be inconceivable that the form taken by the portion of “my” enduring energy (after my “mortal” death) is what we refer to as “spirit”, “soul”, or simply “essence”.

I suppose the main difference between my type of “believer” and an atheistic scientist is that I believe this essence contains something of “us” in addition to the sub-atomic particles.

I feel as though the acknowledgement and development of this enduring something within us is our raison d’etre. This essence in us is good, is pure and kind and decent and compassionate and loving and seeks love… and life chucks all kinds of stuff at us to see how good we are at finding this fundamental essential goodness, and retaining it, and fighting for it.

Einstein also said this… “Co-incidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous”.

Have a happy holiday / festive season / not relevant day… etc…

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rooshkie. x.