Decayed Laurels,…A Fictional Universe.

I recently just set up a sister site to this one that is going to be the home to the universe/settings that I am generating.  I’m trying something different, and that is to have something called a “living novel”.

The idea is with there being so much….stuff being generated on the web nowadays at a rate that is seemingly constantly increasing it makes a sort of sense to try and publish a novel that updates on a near weekly basis.  Say a chapter per week.  It sort of seems ludicrous to do so voluntarily and without getting paid, but the idea is to push forward into a new type of “media”.

I won’t be getting paid for the posts on the sister site right away, but the intent is to setup a patreon eventually, or some sort of donation button if it takes off.  There are a few reasons why I’m doing this this way now.  The major reason being I have found myself on welfare now because of the “medical issues”, and thus my income is presently restricted somehow.  In addition I have more time than ever right now being I actually don’t have a job…, so in order to keep myself busy.  I am doing this.

Overall, this project, The Decayed Laurels Mythos, as been something I’ve been working on alone for the past 4-5 years during college with the intents of doing a commercial release as a final product.  That mindset has changed, it is simply a lot of work to come up with a final product(s) that may, or may not be successful .  With this route, I think it allows me to keep working on my ideas, and to slowly build up a body of followers.

Hopefully you’ll like it as much as you seem to like my current blog.  I am trying something that is also different with the narration of the story.  The present narration follows the same character in at least two different “Reference Frames”.  It’s arc is called “The Wanderer”, and it deals with a notion that we may be able to separate mind from body (a theme I’m working with).  Thus there are going to be in most chapters “two halves” one from one perspective/reference frame, and one from the other.  They are cognitively implied to be happening at near the same time with different aspects of the characters awareness.

In addition there is an aim on adding in other narratives in the overarching mythos/universe.  They may, or may not take place at the same time, and with the same locations.  Think vignettes of characters that appear in the main arc, or other planets within the fictional universe.

Thanks for following so far,


Here’s the link to the sister site:


The Death of Good, and Evil.

This article is going to start getting into the aspects of my roleplaying game design.  Namely Moral Relativity.  Well, as one could extrapolate from a postmodernist perspective where the judgment of cultures is supposedly impossible due to relativism.  There is no absolute judgement of cultures to be made.  Ex; I can’t readily criticize Arabic culture because I haven’t grown up under it’s umbrella.  Just as it’s aberrant for me to throw rocks at Christianity.

Simply because I haven’t had the exposure to the doctrines.  I haven’t “lived that life”, so how can it be “moral, or right” for me to judge aspects of it?  I don’t think I can as an outsider, for my words are likely to mean little.  “You’re an outsider, go be a sinner, deviant, exile elsewhere…etc.”

Although I am a human, and I can judge based upon a human perspective which isn’t something I want to get into too deep here, at least right now.  Instead, I want to postulate and explore what is “Good” and what is “Evil”?

Good can be defined through several other terms; Virtue, Honor, the Right, Justice, …etc.

Evil can be defined in similar terms; Vice, Sin, Dishonor, Injustice…etc.

Seems simple enough, right?

Well, here comes the wrench.  What if these are merely words to justify, or certify a standing?  That justice came about through Eye for an Eye, and Tooth for a Tooth (Hammurabi Code) which as far as I know, it did.  Thus right there, justice is based off of revenge.

Going off on a slight tangent, consider lions…those kings of the savannah.  It was a common practice amongst the males of said species to commit infanticide when they took over a pride.  Running along with this little tidbit, one could imagine “lion culture” being perfectly fine with this.  Thus at a base lion morality, must be somewhat okay with murder.

Now it’s obvious that we aren’t lions, but are we any different?  Do our nearest genetic relatives, the chimpanzee, have odd little quirks like this?  Well, they’re more prone to violent resolution of disputes than say a Bonobo who would rather screw/fuck out a solution (imagine that).

Thus we could imagine, a “Chimpanzee culture” to be more tolerant of violence, and a “Bonobo culture” to be more “conceited”, or used to indirect and passive aggressive resolution of conflict.

The theme I’m running with here, is a notion that our “biology” helps shape our culture, and to extent our culture can shape our biology in the long run.

Say only the passive, and spiritual portion of the population became monks, nuns, and priests.  Now if they adhered to their vows of celibacy, they’d select themselves out of the genetic pool/population.  They aren’t breeding, thus their traits aren’t in the pool anymore.

Where does that lead us?  Well, it might lead to a hyper aggressive society, or what have you, but the take away point is that our morality is based upon our genetics/species to an extent.

Humanity, if viewed by an alien species, I could easily imagine the notion that they wouldn’t know how to “judge us”.  Reaching way back to the beginning of the post, they haven’t lived as humans, but judge us they can.  We may have hostile relations with them.  Thus they’d likely see us as their form of evil, but at that point it gets a little silly.  Is it evil for a shark to eat a fish?  What if they too are a predatory type species?  Would it be evil for them to eat us?  We’d say so, but to them it’d be the natural order.

Thus in some ways, our conceptions of Evil start to fall apart.  Now one could say that it is only meant to be a tribal inclusive title.  As in only a human could call, or consider a human evil.  And yet, can we?  Who are we to judge?  If one of us was Hitler, or Stalin.  And we met the other, and walked away thinking…man that is one evil bastard would either of us be “Right”?  We can’t make those judgments.

This also seems to apply to the Good, in some way.  I can in theory call “Stalin” a great man, and many of the older Russians do, as far as I know.  Am I going to do so, not likely because I’m an “American”, and I can’t like that “Tribe”…because politics.  Thus if Good is only “Good” because of our interactions with said individual, or property, or idea (ideas, and objects can be good too, right?).  Everything that helps me or mine, is Good, but isn’t that a selfish Good?  And yet being selfish is “evil”…

Anyways, just my thoughts on the matter.  To me, I think these terms are somewhat obsolete because Good, Evil,…all of it is Human.  It is Human to kill the way we do.  It is Human to love the way we do.  And is it ever right, as a Human, to condemn or judge another Human for an action they do?  I don’t really know, in some ways yes, when they break common Human/Societal Norms, but then we get into the mucky issue of who’s in the Right?  If it all made sense at the time we acted, and we can only act with the knowledge/assumptions that we’re capable of understanding…., and if current society approves of our actions while later society doesn’t…can we be prosecuted?

Kinda like with all the Sexual Harassment, or Rape charges flying around at the present junction in time.  It was “okay” in the past, but now?  Is it now?  One has to remember, that we create our societies.  And our societies reaffirms ourselves as entities.  The odd thing, is that we don’t always have a say.  We may think we’re being just, and reasonable…, and the next thing you know you’re in jail, the hospital, or whatever institution.

Therefore what sort of errors, or misdeeds may we do?  The Human Kind.  One of my internal jokes is, from an “alien perspective”;

An alien, upon hearing of a fight, or explosion in some sector of the Galaxy;  “Well, the Humans’ are at it again….”

…is that the way you’d have us be known?

We Are Works of Art.

(Building Upon: (The Light of Postmodernism, and Its Very Own Cave).  Point #7; Good, Evil, and Every other Moral/Rationale Descriptor is based upon Perspective.).

And with art, comes the sense that not everyone “gets” what the art is about.  Take a look at modern abstract art, and it physically doesn’t represent much.  A few blobs of paint upon a canvas, and it leads one to speculate upon their emotions.  The red reminds me of passion, and rage.  This is nothing more than old school symbolism.  Red can be used in any sort of painting or image.  It should be sufficient that I don’t “get” modern abstract art.

Tying our sense of self to this notion that we are actors upon life’s stage.  One can easily come to terms with a notion that not everyone will understand, or appreciate our performance.  What you consider a great performance, or enactment may just be “eh” to me.  And vice versa, this is postmodern relativism.  My value system doesn’t have to relate to yours whatsoever.

Running with that notion, it is coupled to our inner sense, our introspection.  Are we being authentic to ourselves?  Am I fulfilling the role I feel I should be portraying in a manner that is consistent with my value/belief system?  This is where we get into the “Penitence” post.  I’ve found a reason why I posted it, or at least I’m conjuring one up now.

The reason, I think, is that it was meant to illustrate that all of us go through those inner turmoil where we don’t know how to act.  We’re just as judgmental of ourselves as we are of others.  Is this a problem, it can be.  We are petrified of the different, the unknown, and the strange.  Sure some people may lean into the transitions, but overall.  We like it when reality makes sense, even if it is a little bubble that does.

And a little bubble it is, regardless of what we think the scope of our awareness may be.  For instance, it’s starting to dawn on me that not many people have a non-religious based perspective.  I fell out of religion when I was six or seven years old.  Not entirely through my own actions, but it just precipitated out that way.  The last time I stepped into a Church with intentions of belief was probably close to tow years ago.  And it simply didn’t click with me.  I’m 28 now, pretty much, and so I’ve been without Religion/God, for about 20 years.  Yes there’s been times that it has bubbled up, but they’ve passed.  Mostly as my understanding grows.

Yet for many individuals, Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, Moses, …et al are significant factors in their lives.  To me they are historical figures, ones who almost summon up the same reaction that someone saying Thor would (technically not true because I know a guy named Thor….).  And is my way “wrong”?

To some, or maybe a lot…I’m starting to realize, Yes.  My way is “Wrong” simply because I haven’t been cultured to the dominant “culture”.

Although we’re hitting the stage, where we’re having the power of individuality.  That the individual is starting to have a presence in life.  Most of us aren’t uneducated slaves toiling away at our overseer’s jobs.  Our language, and our privileged place in history allows us to reflect upon Humanity’s Past.  And say, yeah we as a species did some stupid things, but let’s not repeat them.  Hopefully.

We have to dive into the unknown, swim in the eddies and currents of being woefully misplaced, surface when the need demands, and overall Live in the absence of space where other generations have tread.  Else we are doing ourselves, and our progenitors a disservice.  Their history is incorporated into traditions, moments and aspects that we chose to propel forward or to discard as unnecessary burden.

We should look to places where our languages, our experiences fail us, and dive in.  In order to have new experiences in order to talk about, and delineate new portions of reality.

That is what makes our lives art, we aren’t a set plan.  An if A then B, or proceed here from C to D.  Plans are to be acted upon.  Art conveys meaning, and expression.  We are meant to convey our personal sense of value onto the next generation.  We are vessels for our Ideals.  In addition to being the crucibles which purify the essence of those Ideals.

Even the word, Virtue, to our present understanding it means “moral high quality”, in essence, to the ancient Romans.  Vir the stem of Virtue, simply meant Man.  This something didn’t know months ago.  It is something I realized as I was looking through Latin Grammars, and it clicked.

We are living in our concepts, our perspectives of the world.  We are actors who don masks to perform, but is there an inherent state of wrong to this?  I can’t honestly say, so maybe we all need to realize that nothing is set in stone.  It all is dust going to dust in our lifetimes.  Our perspectives die with us, and that is a good thing.

I just found this last night, and it resonated with me;

Morality, A Perspective.

(Building Upon: (The Light of Postmodernism, and Its Very Own Cave).  Point #7; Good, Evil, and Every other Moral/Rationale Descriptor is based upon Perspective.).

Perspective, one word, and it can change our entire outlook on the world.

My perspective:  There is no good or evil in the world because the world really isn’t motivated by said factors.  Natural disasters aren’t biased morally, they don’t strike “evil towns” more often than “good towns”.  Disease is generally based upon our own personal constitution, and integrity of our being.  Not moral quality.  I can’t pray away my ailments, and I can’t have a broken leg mend because I’m a holy person.

People, are motivated by said factors, but the caveat I’ve noticed is that everyone thinks they’re doing good.  Else why bother?  The problem as I see it is that The Good is so open to interpretation which is fine, but we seem to forget that.  I haven’t yet met a person who’s actually proclaimed that they are constantly in service of Evil, and I wonder why?  Is it because of the baggage the term carries, or our own incompetency to see what we actually do outside our own cognitive lens?

I’d say the latter.  Most definitely the later.  For fun, let’s toss in a concept of Sin.  Sin from what, or proscribed by who?  I can’t fully state.  Let’s say it’s just a moving vector that varies from season to season.  A child needs to be “conditioned” for society, right?  They have to have their character built, but how many of us have resented our parents for the very same reason?  Sin…, is the ever-ripening fruit.  Sin can be sex, hypocrisy, murder, or even any of the concepts to be considered evil.

And so, when it was implied, “to have eaten from the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil”.  Is this what they meant?  That one can’t grow up without tasting that forbidden fruit?  That fruit of knowledge that they too may be “Evil”…because they cause their parents to resort to tactics that their own parents felt coerced into enacting?

Emotional Blackmail?  The birch, or the belt?  The cuff of one’s hand?  Is this the origin of Sin?  That idea that we can’t escape the experiences of the past, and we’re likely to propagate them forwards?  In truth, I think that’s why all of us are “Evil”.  Not from some malignant being that is conspiring against us, at least I hope not, but from our own poetic justice.  We can’t seemingly act in a “good” way unless, or until we’ve been punished for our evil ways.

What does this tell you about us as a species?  That we’re really so clever as to warrant a civilization worthy of our efforts, a Utopia.  Even as grey, and bleak as the one we do have?  It is sometimes during the night where I start wondering, what would happen if our elders left?  That there was an entire generation skipped, or gone?  Who would we look to for guidance?  Who would be the foundation, or the spine in our principles?

Lord of the Flies by William Golding, has been a goldmine of thoughts for me in my life.  What happens when a pecking order has to be re-established?  Is it possible to have a society re-orient itself if there was a void in history?  I don’t think so.  I, myself, in my personal history have “keystones” that signify what I considered to have been significant events in my life.

The changing isolation in elementary of always having to find a new friend every year because the previous friend moved away, or went to a different school.  Being the “odd one” because I was either too tall compared to average, or reading more than everyone else.  I recall reading parts of the Redwall series by myself in 2nd grade, and those were/are 300+ page novels.  I don’t ever recall reading a “young adult novel”….except perhaps Harry Potter…which first came out when I was roughly in 4th grade, and I read those before they started becoming huge in 6th grade (how hipster, eh?).  Come 6th grade when Harry Potter became popular, I was working my way through a series.

The Riftwar Cycle ( ), and at some point Elminster in Hell by Ed Greenwood which….had some interesting scenes in it.  Probably a lot more graphic than a 6th grader needed to be reading.  Suffice to say, reading about a character getting disemboweled (graphically) along with having their mind flayed for answers to a question… can have an interesting effect on kid’s mentality.  Especially when they were found of wizards, and sorcery.

Oh, and 9/11 happened then too.  7th and 8th was social hell as it always is, but it was nothing like Elminster in Hell thankfully.  I didn’t get eviscerated, and no one else did as far as I know.  Invasion of Iraq happened then too, and the war in Afghanistan during High school.  Somehow or another during 7th or 8th grade I found myself reading Chickenhawk ( ) which was an autobiography of a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam war.  Allowed for some interesting perspectives to form when the wars started in Iraq, and Afghanistan.

If anything, it is some of those experiences, and books that I’ve read/witnessed that makes me think that perspective can be highly mutable.  In turn it was other books, having bounced around with Moral Relativism (say written from the perspective of the antagonists side) that really opened up my mind which may or may not be a bad thing.

It made me realize that for all that we claim to be good in the world, we often aren’t.  We are simply masquerading our intents because we’re afraid of losing out on what we desire.  Fear often motivates a lot of us.  Fear, or insecurity.  What happens if I lose my Job?  What if I can’t pay the bills?  What…if?

But then I simply remember, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” -F.D.R, and, “Fear is the mind-killer…”, -Muad’dib in Dune by Frank Herbert.


Forging An Identity.

(Building Upon: (The Light of Postmodernism, and It’s Very Own Cave).  Point #2, Too an extent, the World revolves around the Observer, You. & #3 There are, multiple reference frames, and modes of being. ).

I think I’ve said, and alluded to it before.  Although I can’t remember which posts right now, so bear with me.

I know I’ve mentioned the thought that a person doesn’t have a soul until they actively strive to create one.  Perhaps I need to clarify, and support that claim a little more.  I’m not sure if it entirely makes sense to those who read, but I’m going to run with this topic in this post.  If it’s redundant, skip over it.

By soul I mean a sense of self, not awareness, but a self that has a noted value system.  One that wasn’t handed down, and defined for a person.  A value system that takes into account what they feel suits their lives.  Kinda sounds paradoxical, and it is, you don’t have an identity until you have a value-system, but this value system is based off of your judgment (identity).

As odd as it may sound, that’s what I think the truth is.  A person is raised in whatever belief/social system they are (Christian, Islamic, Hindi, Buddhist…etc), and it becomes a cornerstone of their identity.  Moving to a slightly less touchy subject, I’m switching gears to language, but still holding onto this theme.

In most school systems they teach, and codify a language to you.  This is fine, for it allows one to communicate with reliance/skill/understanding to those around themselves.  Example, I learned mainly English in my academic life, and that was it.  Actually, I learned a little bit of German too, but I’m probably at an elementary level in it.

Language, like English, allows one to make sense of the world, and structure it.  Much like a religion/core value system does.  What it doesn’t always do is allow one to develop themselves (I can’t rewrite the rules of English to my amusement).  In Latin, and old roman cultures (based off of the grammar books I’ve been teaching myself from).  Women, and daughters were numbered, and that’s what their name was.  Secunda, sounds like a name right?  It means Second Daughter.  Kinda offensive I’d imagine.  You are just my second daughter, and thus I call you Daughter #2.

Latin, huh?  English may, or may not be better.  Same with German.  Helmut, is a German boy’s name, but it means helmet…, as in the head-ware.  My name Richard, comes from a pair of words “ric” meaning ruler, leader, king…etc., and “hard” meaning strong, brave, hardy…etc.  Now like most people, I didn’t choose my name, it was chosen for me.  And this is where I’m starting to get at my point.

We tie our identities to our names, “Hi, my name is Richard, or I’m Richard”, but our names don’t necessary reflect upon who we really are.  They kinda signify an object.  Like Secunda.  I am not the “Richard” if there ever was one, but I’m an instance of “Richard”.  And people make assumptions based upon our names, that were given/assigned to us.  Our object identifiers, and our handles.  Government bureaucracy, and the society built around it takes our identifiers, and makes it our “Identity”.  According to the U.S. Government I AM Richard.  I even have a nifty little number that applies solely to me, or it should…at least in theory.

Now getting into the aspect of forging an identity, I am Richard, but I am also Not Richard.  To make sense of this I’m going to have to jump to Sartre’s Authenticity.

In said concept, a person isn’t the role they are acting out in public, or even in private.  If I was a student yet, I fulfill the role of a student, but it is not who I truly am.  Who I am, is the identity behind the mask, the sense of Self that lives within said role, and makes it act.  The role is like a mask, and a persona….just like our names are until we make efforts to “Own them”.  My “Richardness” is a mask for my “I”.  And if all of this makes some sense, I’d say you’re on track to having an Identity.

An identity is formed by the values we consciously choose to accept, endorse, or be complacent with.  It is also formed by the values we strive against.  A person may take away my “Government Identity” of an issued number, and the like.  And yet it will have no effect on me, other than maybe making my external life more difficult.  Thus when an “identity is stolen” it is little more than a mask that is lost.  What a person can’t lose is their sense of value, and what they actually chose to value.

Now, to develop this more.  I grew up in a Christian/Humanist environment.  Thus those beliefs are sort of the foundational stones of my belief/value/ontology.  They used to be the load bearing stones, but I have since removed some of them.  Either so they could be updated, or because I didn’t agree with the system they fostered.

I’ve used the “language” of my foundation/upbringing (English, and Christian/Humanist Mindset).   Simply because I have no other one readily available to develop my own “value system” which I won’t explicitly lay out…at least not overly intentionally, there may be traces of it appearing here and there.  Although overall, I don’t see the point in telling someone , or acting like my “Value system” is superior to theirs…simply because I don’t know if it is.

Overall, this is what I mean when a person has no “Soul”, or “Identity” until they actively take time to make one, and joy be told.  It seems to be an active piece of life.  Everyone seems to do it as they grow older.  At least a little.


(I’m not sure why I’m posting this, but maybe it’s in part due to the now cultural zeitgeist.  Along with having read this article tonight; .  It makes sense right now to do so, so without ado).

(What follows is a slightly “creative retelling” of life events that have shaped my Life.  I wrote it as a public catharsis for a Creative Writing course in college.  I don’t know if any of the classmates could guess the motive behind it, but the story is “true enough”.  Personally,  I wouldn’t be surprised if some guessed it, but no one said anything back then).



“Swing a little more. A little more, the merrier, swing a little more. On the Devil’s dance floor…,” I continued, poorly reciting the lyrics to “Devil’s Dance Floor” by Flogging Molly while making myself ready.

The next time the phrase, “swing a little more,” left my lips. The belt was well on its way. Making a whooshing sound as it flew by, and establishing a loud report of a crack. It struck my back, and in my demented state it felt good. My arm recoiled, and with it the next swing began across the opposing shoulder. As the improvised whip landed upon my bare flesh for a second time. I started to stagger around in a circle. Dancing around the couch in the living room where I practiced this art. Not from pain, but from a personal desire to keep in motion. By this time the lyrics to the song were forgotten, but the lashing motive was not.

I was rectifying the external world with the internal. An act of hate some might say while others would recognize a punishment for guilt. My initial motives were unclean. I reflected while swinging; seduce and manipulate a relationship to my advantage, for all I felt for her was desire. Love some might say, but these feelings were new and raw for me. I couldn’t discern them, so I continued on with the scheming, and plying of the “game” at the time. Courtship is what it is generally referred to as. The subtle dance, and play of thoughts and words hinting at a culmination of passion.

Regardless, of what courtship is described as. We played this game of intrigue for nearly half a year before the flogging in the night. The reason the verbal dance lasted for so long was because she was in a position of power over me. A class TA, and action on my part couldn’t be taken to stymie or goad progress. It was mostly flirting on her behalf because remarks such as, “I like watching your eyes while you read.” Probably don’t qualify as simply being nice. After an entire semester of hearing remarks in that vein. I’m sure anyone’s resolve against such behavior would surely be broken down, and so I had fallen in “love”.

As it turned out, she already had a boyfriend, and I stumbled and choked upon the information while trying to swallow it. My gag reflex kicked in, and I rejected such notions. False ideals began plaguing my thoughts. Gallanting notions mostly about “saving” her, and other stupid nonsense I now realize. Anyways at the time the dreams I held seemed so perfect, and I set about the motive of plotting how to subvert their relationship. The first act in my plan involved kicking it up a notch into friendship instead of being mere acquaintances, and she was highly receptive to such an action.

Her response was more receptive than I was ready for. She had a glimmer in her eyes when I asked about being friends, and she responded with, “I hoped you would do something like this.” It turned out she had sought me out on Facebook prior to my move of enacting a friendship, and she mentioned how she knew I didn’t have one. This struck a nerve of paranoia because of what I was planning. Regardless, we exchanged contact information, and eventually I joined Facebook. I don’t know how I should have reacted to the information I gleaned off of the site, but it made me realize that she wasn’t worth pursuing. Mostly because of her legion of “friends” which numbered in the thousand at the time, and pictures of her lap dancing guys with a bottle of alcohol in her hands.

Upon being faced with the harsh light of realization. My malignant thoughts dissipated into the void from whence they came. I plummeted, and absconded from friendship with her through cowardly means. Through employing an email sent to goad her into rejecting me the means were concocted to reduce any form of the relationship to rubble. It worked, but it was just another blow to any sort of personal integrity I held.

Hence further provocation for the lashings which had kept going while I had retreated inward from the current external pain through use of my reflections. Pain, something that was never foreign to me, but gentleness was. I couldn’t understand what had made her seem so soft and empathetic, but it didn’t matter anymore. I had turned on her, but at the time I portrayed it as more of retribution for an injustice of perceived deception. That of who she was, and confusion about what had made her so.

The confusion about her had spread to other aspects of my life, for this is the age at which our personalities are molded. Freedom from the yoke of parental, and school control had granted total responsibility for one’s own life. I knew this, but couldn’t grasp what it fully meant until now. There would be no more punishment for infractions unless they be severe. It didn’t feel right. What kept a person in line? No crucifixes adorned my walls, and with such notions, the idle promise of rewards in an afterlife held no sway. The power of the law held some control, but it also seemed so distant from everyday life. It just didn’t seem right somehow. A person could be a complete ass to another, and there would be no guaranteed repercussions. Other than the falling out with the person with whom you were an ass to.

I’m not sure what led me to this stage other than guilt because it didn’t feel right to have acted towards her in the manner that I did, or had at least planned on enacting. As a result I tried making amends by apologizing for my actions, and explaining what I had intended. It didn’t work out, so in a fit of desperation or by some other impaired thinking. My leather belt had slunk into my dominant hand, and within moments I had started swinging away while reciting a song that seemed to somehow fit. About thirty lashes had passed before I stopped, and not from roommate intervention. For they were sound asleep in their own room. I had just requited because I heard a voice whisper out to me, “A kiss from God.”

Delusions now, auditory hallucinations mostly, but they began plying my ears every so often. I was broken. Was it through her actions? No, for she had done very little since we had departed ways. It was mostly through my own deeds, and performances. I thought back to an expression I had heard a long time ago, about how only an insane person hurts themselves in some form or another. I had just done so, and yet it seemed well within reason. Scourging the wickedness from my body with my belt.

Slowly I began to realize that I must’ve done something right. If I felt enough guilt to whip myself, for thinking about stealing her away and how I acted towards her. Just how would I have felt if I had actually followed through with my plans? Further thoughts began pouring forth which mostly revolved around what sort of girl would I be worthy of? After all if the only girl that seemed to be interested in more than a cursory manner turned out to be a girl like her…just what would I warrant? Bittersweet notions for sure, and they sat heavily upon my consciousness.

Twin notions began raging in my head. One being pride, which spawned with the idea of “shouldn’t I deserve the best?” because I’ve always reached, or exceeded the bar that was set for me. I considered it a feat that I’ve made it so far, and that I would be transferring to a prestigious college in the coming year. Especially after taking into account the berating I’ve always received from my elders, and peers. It mattered not if they were kin or kine, for they always had a sharp remark on the tip of their tongues for me about some perceived slight.

The other idea came about through the prior notion. It’s hard to describe it in a simple word, but I understood it as despair about being worthy enough of a quality relationship. I had developed a thick skin in my life, and it caused coarseness in my actions. It was only matched by a slight misanthropic hatred towards the human species I currently held. One trait that would soon be leaving me.

However, my mind became overwhelmed from the pain, thoughts, and emotions I had endured in the past few moments. I crumbled to the floor, and laid the misbegotten belt upon my lap where I gazed at it. Serenity, or at least something that felt like it entered my awareness. My mind quieted, the pain in the back subsided to a dull throb, and my emotions cooled. A period of calm before the proverbial storm, and then I was sundered with tears.

My roommate entered the room at this point. Taking stock of the image I presented. I realized that the redness in my eyes was only matched by the crimson upon my back, and they were only left to wonder why my belt was curled in my lap. A questioning look dawned upon their face to which I countered, “Is it better to hurt yourself, or hurt another? Assuming someone is going to get hurt regardless?”

Flummoxed, they just stared, so I gathered myself and brushed past them to my bedroom. I needed a rest. I glanced at my bookshelf on my way into my room. To see the Arthurian classics lying upon their sides along with numerous other books. Most of them regarding ethics, morals, and other flights of fancy.

“All my perceived knowledge and wisdom, yet I don’t know how to act,” I whispered, “I’m much like Don Quixote, I guess. Errant on my path, and seeking lofty romantic ideals. Treading through Hell in some form like Dante too, yet I have no Virgil to guide me.”

A sigh escapes my lips because another realization buried itself into my consciousness. I’m no fictional character, and I’ll have no heroic ordeal. My mettle will not be tested, and I am not a “chosen” one. I glimpsed at these notions before, yet they were never familiar as they were now. Just who I was anymore I couldn’t define. Thoughts about my self-identity began forming. Do I take up the mantle of my future job, and current studies? Enshroud myself in my hobbies like I’ve done in years past? Conform to whatever clique that I so desire which is something I’ve never done?

A shudder of revelation courses through my body, and I utter, “I’m just me.”

One night of lashing is all it took to realize who I felt I should be. I couldn’t live with myself if I followed a path of deception which was illustrated by how I reacted to my intentions towards her. Skewed they probably were, but if it didn’t feel right to abide by the social constrictions of complimenting and praising someone you simply sought to “experience”. That wouldn’t be the path to follow, but the right route is often hidden. It is too hard finding the positives in some situations, but it is often easier to weed out the negatives.

In a moment of absentmindedness. I naturally reclined onto my bed back first, and suddenly winced at the pain that exploded throughout my body. Jolted upright, I reached back to inspect the damage. No blood, and not a cut. Just some welts.

“Luck I guess,” I murmured.

Apparently my roommate had recovered his senses, and had knocked upon the door frame leading into my room. Glancing in he asks, “are you okay?”

As my eyes wander down to his wrists to confirm the age healed scars. I respond, “yeah.”

Unhindered he continues, “do you want to talk?”

“Not right now,” I reply, “maybe later tonight.” Knowing that he had been through similar events in his life, and was destined to bear his wounds until death. I was comforted by knowing that I was not alone in the troubles that plagued me. Reassuring him I say, “I just don’t want to pick at fresh wounds right now.”

“I understand, and boy isn’t life twisted,” he quips.

“Stranger than fiction,” I answer.

“Heinlein, right?”


At that we both chuckle.

“Well, I’ve got to get to work, but we’ll talk tonight for sure,” he says.

“Okay,” I respond.

Lying upon my back, and gritting through the pain. I try to fall asleep, but it doesn’t come readily. I roll over onto my side to reduce the pain, but it did not further my cause of seeking sleep. Resigning myself to spending a few more hours awake I get out of bed, and make my way towards my computer. Opening up Winamp, I start playing some music. Flicking through the songs by hitting the next button. I skim through “Love Hurts” by Nazareth, “Piece of My Heart” by Janis Joplin, and others like them not wanting to really listen to songs about heartbreak, relationships, sex, or anything that relates in some way. I pause momentarily to listen some of “Play With Fire” by the Rolling Stones, and “Behind Blue Eyes” by The Who. Songs about vengeance, being dangerous, or some such bullshit. Getting tired of them I jump to Ozzie’s “No More Tears”, and follow it with Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man”.

The beginning of a new personal breakup routine. Just spending time, listening to music, and emphasizing with it. Breaking up, something I’ve never had to deal with before, but listening to music seemed to be so much better than eating a bucket of ice cream. It also came across as infinitely better than feeling guilty about personal actions, and flogging oneself over them.

The Door’s song “The End” starts playing as I drift to sleep in my chair at my computer.

The Hold My Beer Aspect of Thinking.

Some things make sense, somethings don’t.  It’s when they make sense is when you have to test the thoughts either by proving them yourself, or against another.  We need to soundboard out our own logic, and thoughts for we can make an easy assumption that we’re all unsteady thinkers.

We’ve hit some sort of point in life, and in reality where we’re able to impact it according to our whims. Actually we’ve probably always been able to do so.  Otherwise we wouldn’t be actors in Reality.  We’d be objects, and well there’d be no real interactions.   It’d be just like a blade of grass swaying in the breeze with no one to even acknowledge that it’s doing so.

Thus, when it comes to thinking, it’s better to be somewhat doubtful instead of overly confident.  I can think that, but maybe I should have someone else think along with me.  You know distribute the problem.  And it doesn’t have to be to the same people you actually like!  It may actually be fun, if not funner to throw those really weird thoughts out there to those parties that you seem to jar/disagree with.

You know, “HOW ON EARTH COULD YOU THINK THAT!” type of reaction.  And that may be enough of a jarring to get one to reconsider either their notions, or for the “opposing party” to question their own notions.  And if you can clearly think it, it doesn’t always mean it’s a good idea.  Hence an aspect of, “Hold my beer”, in thinking.

An example of this; The effects Hitler had on a generation was a great thing, and in turn the person that was Hitler wasn’t as evil as commonly portrayed.

To defend this notion, think of the Holocaust, yes it happened, but think of the reactionary events against it that happened after it was revealed.  People started to realize and understand on a deeper level what a human can do to each other when blindly lead.  And it put doubt/questions on the value of a “Heroic Strong Leader” that can brute force, or bend their opposition to heel.  Yes, millions of people died from the ensuring genocide that Hitler enacted, but how many more where saved?

The very institution of the Concentration Camps, caused us to revisit, and revise thoughts about eugenics and what it means to be human.  Eugenics, as far as I remember was originally an American thought, and it was slowly building up in America before Hitler came about in Germany.  Thus if Hitler didn’t happen, we’d likely have a greater impetus to destroy “undesirables” today.  If simply because the thought patterns would’ve continued slowly, and somewhat benignly.  A slow growth, and gentle eradication of “the unwanted”…, and with that thought we get to the point where there likely would’ve been an extreme narrowing of the Human Experience/Character.

There wouldn’t be any of the symptoms we witness today.  No gays, no queers, no autistic, no down babies….etc.  No schizophrenics, no depressed, no bi-polar…etc  Simply because of the extremist position, and sudden lurch to it that Hitler enacted.  We can say that there is now many types that are alive today, if not most of us, that can actually make an effort at enjoying life.

The same, or a similar thought pattern can/could be applied to Religion.  The Catholic Church, when hit by Luther’s Reformation Hammer, caused a major upheaval in the social order of the day, “What the peasantry reading?  In their own common tongue nonetheless, absolutely preposterous!  I’ll stick to the educated man’s tongue of Latin, thank you very much!” (Not always connected, but some events precipitate others).  The Protestant reformation was a huge thing, in some ways it lead to the American Experiment.  And caused numerous fiefdoms/princes/kings to butt heads in all new, and inspired ways.  Also the notion of the printing press.  More books, more readers, more languages…more “thoughts” that need to be “beer checked”.  The same goes for the Internet, more ways to say, “Hold my beer”…cause I’m gonna think something stupid, and try it!

You’ve got to remember, in most situations, it made sense at the time.

Word Salad 101 (A Primer in Language Construction).

I was just perusing the web, and out of curiosity I decided to plop in “and/or” as a grammatical function.  It turns out using such a connotation is apparently “wrong” by the almighty style guides.

There is some sense to be made there, but in another case there seems to be some ridiculousness to be found too.  Take for instance, this expression; “You may have cake, and/or cookies”.  It seemingly sounds sensible, but apparently it isn’t.  You can’t have both cake and cookies nor may you have cake or cookies.

Just for fun, I want to try to ram as many of these connectives together in a few phrases and see if it’s possible to make sense of the.  Starting with trying to ram three of them together, let’s say and/or/either.

It is possible, if seemingly to do so, to have a car and/or/either a vehicle with an electric, gasoline, or diesel engine.

In some ways, it doesn’t seem to work, but let’s examine it.  It is possible to have a car.  It is possible to have a car and a vehicle.  It is possible to have a car or a vehicle.  It is possible to have either a car or vehicle.  Hmm…  It is possible to have a car, or/either a vehicle?  It is possible to have a car and/or/either a vehicle that has an electric engine.  It is possible to have a car…, and so forth with various permutations.

To me there seems to be a possibility that there is a usage of and/or/either.  Let’s get a little bit more logical.  1) “and” implies a conjugation that brings in the following as an additional component.  Ex; You and I are going to figure this out.  2) “or” implies that there is a disjunctive between one or more components.  Ex; You or I are going to figure this out.  3) “either”, again implies that there’s a dis-junction between components.  Ex; Either I am, or you are going to figure this out.

Although wait here, there’s an “or” that slipped in with the either in that last one.  Now is it possible to try to slip in an either with an and?  Let’s see, Either we are, and we can’t, or we are, and we shall.  It doesn’t seem natural to leave it Either-and, but maybe there’s an innate reflex against doing so.  Maybe it’s a conditioned response?

….who knows!  And yes, this was brought about by mashing together ideas from “Many-valued logic”, and “Linguistic Relativity” ( ). For fun, imagine combining the different directions that one refers to time (forward/backward/left/right/top/down) into a sort of “3d” mapping of time.

That’s something I’ve been intellectually toying with, and I call it an “onion of time”.


The Resurrection

As a public and personal reply to the Crucified Lord, I realize that Christianity is lauded as something that unites, and creates a community.  As does every other religion.  Not a big difference there.  Note; I don’t feel, or think I have a personal grievance against Christianity, and I can readily admit that in the past that it has done a lot of good things.  Safeguarding schools of learning during the dark ages, encouraging, and supporting the refinement of social mores.  These are good things that Christianity has done, and should remain the things that they focus on.  This notion that God would or wouldn’t support this, or just the plain obsession with God…, Deus.

This is what I find really peculiar about the way it’s bandied about, and it may just be my personal age (ignorance).  It just seems odd to resort to idolatry of a term which is what it seems like to me.  My personal understanding of faith, I feel is more nuanced than what I feel the stereotypical understanding (broad generalization here…, so apply discretion if needed).  I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the simplified concepts of tribalism that seems to resolve in religious communities.  To my perspective it should be a period of intellectual, and emotional development while under a safe space.  Not a cudgel to bandy about, or a “moniker” to adopt to fit in.  Why yes, I’m a good Christian….

There is so much more to this notion (Christianity), and having never fully made it through the narrative (I’m working on it) of Christ’s Life.  It seems to me that it’s sorely misunderstood.  Not just the Bible, but the a concept of what religion can be.  At it’s base, from my perspective, Religion is a belief about the World.  It is the ontology (intellectual/mental/philosophical foundation), or the ground upon which one sets their edifice in order to construct their worldview, and life.

Mathew 7:24-27 (King James Version)

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and if fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be linkened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

( )

From this it should be possible to see, or understand that this is exactly what it says.  Christianity is a foundation of thinking…is it The foundation of thinking, no.  It is simply a way to make sense, and understand the world around oneself.

Going back further; Exodus 3:14 (King James Version)

And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.

( )

To me, and at this time, the “I AM THAT I AM” (or “I AM WHO I AM”) seems to me a base realization that it is “I’ness” that founds, and sets that first stone in an ontology.  It is not “Richard, Bob, Susan, or Marley” that does it.  It is our own sense of “I’ness”.  The consciousness we have ourselves.  We have to think for ourselves, and with thinking for ourselves we have to build our own foundations.

Take for instance that we’re all born ignorant, and unaware of the world around us.  Our parents set up the basics of our foundation, and worldview.  Is it safe for us?  Is it going to provide for us?…etc.  We have an instinctual drive towards somethings, sure, but what I don’t know is if people always move beyond the security of their homes.  The security of their communities, and the security of their worldviews.  This is where I think Religion could excel, as pushing an individual out further, and further of their “comfort zone”.  Alas, Religions are institutions, and over time institution’s motives change according to the heads that change (which can be good).

Take for instance, a person who lives at their parent’s home their whole life (metaphor about adhering to one Doctrine/Ideology for one’s whole life).  Are they really living in accord with who they are, or who they could be?  An existentialist says, and implies that existence precedes essence.  With that simple expression, is a huge notion that in order to be considered an “individual”, or to actually have “essence” (a soul).  One doesn’t merely have to “Exist”, they have to actively strive to create it.

Thus I don’t think a person who’s going through the motions, and isn’t expressing themselves in any manner.  Even if said expression causes conflict with the almighty status quo.  Is an entity.  They are there, physically, but are they there “Spiritually”?  No.  For what are they, they are just a domesticated …thing, not an evolving, and growing being.

Look around society, and you see cultural trends, or groups of people who act in accord with each other.  A group identity, but do you really truly see individuals?  A person that is so exceptionally different that they stick out without effort?  Not because they always want to, but simply because they do.  Kierkegaard alluded to some of these thoughts with his Knight of Faith, and so did Nietzsche with his Ubermensch.

A person who loves their individuality, and their uniqueness fully?  All to the point where they’re willing to suffer any slings, and barbs that life throws at them?  Should a religion foster this mindset?  That we are all unique, and different?  And with that, a notion, that we’re all Human, all too human.  We run the entire spectrum of behaviors that we’re aware of because we’re only aware of what it means to be “Human”.  That it’s okay to be “different”, or one of “those”.  The “Other” in everyone else’s conception of what it means to be alive?  That until you know one, and their life…they are merely a stage character?

Or should religion be about safeguarding against fear?  I much prefer the notion that it’s meant to uplift, and revive the Human Spirit.  That it’s meant to foster reflection upon what it just means to be “Human”.  Humanity has a story, and every one of us has a chapter in that book.  Do you wish for yours to be unique?  It is already, but do you truly wish for a “stage presence” in someone’s life?  What does it take to be comfortable in one’s skin?  Over being afraid of the judgment from the “Other”.

I think it is fear of ourselves, and what we may potentially do.  There is freedom in our lives, freedom to kill, freedom to hate, freedom to wound…, but it is our choice whether we do so.  It is always our choice.  It’s okay to think, “What would Jesus do?”, or “What wouldn’t Jesus do?”…a bigger question is; “What would I do?”…, and “can I live with having done it”?  That is the harder set of questions.  To be responsible to oneself, and that is what considered being an adult is, is it not?


Isolation & Despair.

I just watched a free episode of “Mind Field” on youtube, namely the one about Isolation.  It…sort of triggered some old memories.  If you haven’t watched it, I’d advise doing so, but take into consideration the following comments I’m going to make.

In 2010, I had moved to a different state, and was on a “fast track” for “life success”.  I was going to get an aerospace engineering degree at one of the more prestigious colleges for such a program.  It was about 1000 miles from home, and I was a huge introvert at the time.  I had no experience with really contacting people, nor having a desire to make social connections.  I was a high school nerd that was more focused on personal “success” than at actually relating to people on a sociable level.

Suffice to say my social skills were limited, and I had just essentially jumped into a crucible.  In addition to this I was trying to cope with a friend’s death that had happened a year earlier (on my own), and a grandparents death a year before that.  I was extremely depressed, and was thinking like “Huckleberry Finn”.  In other words, wouldn’t it be cool/neat to see who’d go to my funeral?  I was having nightly thoughts/worries that no one would care to attend, and I would essentially be forgotten about completely.  I was going through what I’d imagine was a form of “Survivor’s Guilt”.

I felt like I was a false friend to all of my friends in highschool because I made no effort to get to know them outside of school.  I didn’t hang out with them, and the only social interaction I had been during school, and at the occasional lan/halo party.  I didn’t think anyone really “liked”, nor “cared” about me because of past bullying in Jr. High.  And it was a wound I was hiding throughout highschool where I had somehow became “inadvertently” popular.  I was recognized as one of the “nicest guys” (legitimate?), but I was secretly extremely judgmental of everyone.

Giving the background to my experiences, an a context to what I’m building up to is what I’m aiming at for right now.  When I had gotten to college I was hoping things would change, and they did to an extent, but they really didn’t in another way.  I had a girl take what seemed to be an interest in me during a course, but she was also the TA for the course while I was a freshman (perceived power imbalance).  And she already had a boyfriend, which to some doesn’t make a difference, but to me it did.  I was still in the stage of “being a white knight”, and actually caring about ethics/morals.

Thus when I moved, I was dug into a little bit deeper of a hole because of this.  I was depressed, and I went “Stalkerish” with trying to make amends for perceived slights that I had made.  Even though she was in a different state herself.  It was weird, it was the only social connection I seemed to really have.  It was the first time I felt “love” which I attributed to a warmth in my chest (Oxycontin produced), and I crunched it because I felt like it was misguided.  That I had been emotionally played like a harp.

Then I started isolating during this year in 2010,  I would go to campus, and classes, but didn’t care to interact with anyone that was “real”.  Namely because I felt like I didn’t know how to, I was still extremely judgmental, and I was hurting deeply.  I would then return home to where I was living, essentially by myself.  I was living with a brother that’d be out-of-town on weeks for work.  I got essentially to the stage of “psychosis” that was referenced in the above video (Isolation via Mind Field).  One where’d I would be dissociating, and talking to myself because I simply couldn’t believe the “Reality” I was in.

This went on for a few months, where I was still “functioning” on an outer level, but on the inside, I was completely torn apart.  I had nothing, and I had no one.  I met a few people on campus, but I was rendered paranoid about who they were by that time.  “How would this impact my future”?  Type thoughts, are they good “enough” to associate with?  I had wanted to work at Skunkworks (Top Secret Clearance Required) which is a division of Lockheed Martin.  I couldn’t tell from a cursory level, so I didn’t really associate with anyone.

This paranoia, eventually branched out into a global paranoia in the breakdown of my mind.  I had very little simulation, I couldn’t play computer games like I normally would because my computer didn’t have a graphics card, and I had no other physical goods.  All my books were still at home in MN.  Thus I got into a habit of just drifting off in thought while music (my only stimulation, or so it seemed) played on youtube.  I had pretty much nothing going on in my life during the summer because I made no friends, and I couldn’t find a job.

Therefore, I just sat at home staring at the computer screen going through the motions of living, and listening to music.  During about this time, I started to get agitated, and arguments with my brother ensured.  It created a fairly large rift between us at the time, which thankfully has been healed for the most part.

Regardless, I clearly made it through that, but I wanted to make some observations of what I noticed in comparison to the video.  Yes, people do breakdown like that, and it can happen that fast.  I dreaded reading some of the comments where I had a hunch people would be “boasting”, “oh, I could do that!”.  No, no you can’t.  Well, you can, but I wouldn’t advise it.  It is extremely unhealthy.

In my experience of it, I had;

  • Started dissociating, and realizing that the whole nature of reality was a “construct”.  That a “block” is defined based upon the user, and the context.  I would make “jokes” that I was going to “walk around the block” to my brother, who naturally thought I meant a city block.  Whereas I was thinking from a bird’s eye view, his house was a “block”.  Thus I was just going to walk around his house.
  • In said dissociation, I made a “connection” that “No1” cared, and “No1” became my “deity/god-figure”.  This came about because the keyboard I had at the time had the “n, o, and the 1” rubbed off (it was a refurbished office computer).
  • I started talking to myself, and not realizing it, apparently.  Up to the point where I was having entire conversations, for lack of stimuli.  And conversational partners.
  • I went through the shifting sleep cycles which as you could imagine caused arguments with my brother, and in turn caused more dissociation (rejection of Reality).
  • I had a few days, where in some sort of regression state, I felt like I had “emphasized” with Jesus during his walk to be crucified.  I was imagining that I was spiked through the feet, and hands like Jesus.
  • I would walk around, in a delirious state, thinking/playing “Make-Believe to Make it Real”.  This notion is an idea, that everything in Reality is a byproduct of someone’s fiction.  And one time, I felt cognitively jarred to the point where I thought I was a Simpson’s Character.
  • I had rationalized myself to a pure materialist nihilistic state, in which I was chemicals interacting, and producing changing hormones….etc.  Why was I, an “I” out of what could be considered “rocks…, and errata”?
  • + more…, but I want to switch gears here.

From said experience, and alienation, I’ve realized just how fragile a human psyche can be, but also how resilient it can be.  I had essentially, hit rock bottom, emotionally, socially, intellectually, and I had decided to “dig”.  And I feel it’s been my “digging” that has saved me.  Getting out of said state (no pun intended), of isolation and the co-partner despair.  Was brought about by getting immersed in “culture” again.

I feel to an extent, like I’ve hit that “state of nirvana” because of said isolation, but if that be the case, I don’t think it should be as lauded as it is.  I’ve felt like my “ego” has died, that I “don’t have that inner conflict anymore”, but to me …the cost almost seems a little too high.  At least from this vantage point in time.  I don’t move in “normal circles” anymore, and I have a hard time playing the “game of life” which may be a give or take thing for some.

The sad part is, that I sometimes miss those “hallucinations” because with them often came a feeling of ecstasy which is a little odd.  And things seemingly made “sense” in those hazes.  More sense than it does in the “real world” in some ways, and that I don’t know what to make of.

As I tried to make sense of what happened, I began to realize, that I couldn’t tell if I was under-stimulated back then or if I was overstimulated.  To me, there’s probably not much difference anymore.  And I started to turn towards mysticism which for someone in a Science program, isn’t apparently advisable.  The only way, I feel like I could make sense of it anymore is through an “appeal to an outside power”, aka “A God”, so I really don’t know what to make of it.  And I know I started this as a game design blog, but who cares?  It may give some insight into my eventual publications when they happen.