My Past Thoughts on Birth

When I was a kid I thought little about birth. Then, when I grew …

Hold on; rewind. Let’s take this back to basics. What is birth? I suppose I think of it as a bookend. The other one is obviously death. They stand like … I don’t know … matching dark curtains at each end of a lit room. You don’t know what’s behind either of them and yet you’re always aware that they are there.

If I lived in an actual room like that (as opposed to the metaphorical ones I just mentioned) then I’d want to know what lies behind each curtain. But how would I find out? The birth curtain is unassailable and the death curtain can be pulled aside and passed beyond. I’m leaving the pleasure of the death curtain for the far future (hopefully), but I wonder about the birth one.

What if they both lead to the same place?

So, yeah, now that we have some kind of working definition of birth then we (I) can work out what I thought of it when I became older than a kid. In theory.

My teenage years (and every year since, when I think about it) were spent reading. My fodder back then was speculative fiction with science fiction being my favourite type. There were lots of stories about all kinds of futures but none of them, that I remember, were about what happens before birth. So it didn’t occur to me to think about that subject as a teenager.

In my late teens and twenties, I read many books on Buddhism and thinks like that. Those books were (and probably still are) full of ideas on what happens to the soul/spirit when it leaves the body. Buddhism goes for the transmigration of species as a core tenet. In other words: you leave one body and enter another body and the new body is not guaranteed to be human. In fact, you might even end up being a rock.

Now, when you think about it: if you die and you end up taking a new body, this means that when you died before your current birth you were in a different body. There might have been a gap in between, but, essentially, birth and death lead to the same place: another experience like this one. So that’s what I thought about birth when I was in my twenties.

In my thirties, I stopped bothering about wanting to pull the curtains of birth and death aside and I started to make sure that I lived a good enough life now so that when I go elsewhere (after death) it ends up being a nice place. I have to say that I must have been quite nice in my last body because this body is pretty good and the circumstances I find myself in are pretty pleasant.

After my thirties, I continued in the same vein.

What about you? Thoughts?

God’s Love is Pretty Good.

It’s difficult to think about love without thinking about His love. Awareness of God is not the way I was brought up, but it’s my reality now. Not that I think about Him (or love) much. But He certainly affects me. Without Him I’m a colouring book fresh from the shelves. With Him, I’m a dog-eared, cat-scratched, child-dropped (and mother picked-up) book that’s been dragged and carried from room to car to garden to table along with a case of coloured pencils that have had their rainbows transferred, page by page into my being so that I’ve become what I am: whole.

The kind of love you have for God isn’t the same as the love you have for people (or any other thing). It’s different because it’s not tied up with something that goes through a birth, life, death cycle. The kind of love that’s attached to temporary stuff (anything but God) is shattered into a million tiny shards; the kind that hurt when you stand on them and get them stuck in your fleshy parts.

The other thing about God is that God is willing to give something for nothing. Normal love is always an exchange: if you give me that then I will love you; if you love me then I will do this for you. With God around, it’s kind of refreshing not to have to make bargains all of the time.

A proper life is built on proper love. You know where you can get that? Yup, from God.

Head and heart; they both have different mechanisms. If you love with your head then that’s like paying lip-service to it; it’s like not walking the talk. Loving with your heart is triumphant. Stick the things you truly love in your heart and then introduce them to God so that they can become friends. You’ll remember things that you’ve put in your heart and introduced to God better than if you just have them in your head.

If you’re loving towards God then, basically, you lose all the useless stuff in life that hurts you. It’s like you’re made into something without rubbish. Being without rubbish feels pretty good in the same way that yellow plasticine is better than the brownish mass that’s the result of a mixture of different colours of plasticise.

Give love. It feels good. Better to give good love though; the kind God has. That said, no kind of love is bad love. Not really. Just do the best you can. Be the best you can be.

Good love stops bad stuff from happening. Try it. You’ll see what I mean.

Whatever you do, always try to give love rather than try to take it. Things work out better when you give. Life’s less complicated when you give. These tangled webs we weave aren’t so tangled when we give love. And it’s even better still when it’s God’s love we give.

Love God once and God gives lots of love in return.


How to Queue Well

Photo by Lum3n on

I’m going to try to do something out of character in this post: I’m a gonna try to stick to the point. And, as you can see, I’ve already failed! Because – as any fule kno – sticking to the point is nothing to do with queuing.

Or is it!

Nope. Definitely not.

I mean, obviously I could establish a link by using the kind of convoluted thinking that comes easily to me, but would you appreciate the attempt? What’s that – you would?! Because that’s why you come to my blog? For my especially twisted reasoning and my habit of going off on extreme tangents?! Well, who would have guessed it. Thank you. I’m humbled.

Okay then – here’s my twisted logic: I have a lot of thoughts in my brain. In order for them to come out they have to queue up. Now here comes a leap – try to follow me. I am my thoughts. Bold assertion, right? Well, not so much when you think about it. Without actions I would still be me. Without words I would still be me. But take away my thoughts and I would cease to be me. Even if I just change my thought then I would, the more of them I change, move steadily away from being me. So, yeah – it follows that, when I queue up my many thoughts in order to let them out inside my mouth (or my fingers on this keyboard), I’m queuing myself up. And to have any chance of being understood by the people that I’m talking to, I’m going to have to learn how to queue (myself) well.

So, yeah – that was the logic. Do you like it? Yeah, no – me neither.

Still, we can finish off the mental exercise if you like, and then we can move on to the banal reality of queues at supermarket checkouts.

How should I order my thoughts? Well, how about I start by assigning a priority to them. The important ones should come out first and the trivial ones should go to the back of the queue. The way to do this is to decide their relevance to what’s going on out there in the world. So if, for example, you’re talking to your Auntie then you should (first and last and) only let out thoughts about the things that she is doing and saying.

Here’s an example:

Auntie: do you want a glass of juice?

Thoughts at this point might range from ‘Auntie, I’m not five anymore – I want a beer!’ through ‘I wonder how many gold medals Team GB has won in the last half an hour since I checked’ to ‘yeah, sure – juice would be real cool’. Obviously, there are going to be other thoughts too, and the thoughts that you would have will be totally different to mine, but the takeaway point is that you should bump the last thought on that list to the front of the queue and push the others back into the oblivion from which they came. So:

You: yeah, sure – a glass of juice would be super, thanks. I’ve always loved the way you add water to lemon squash.

Easy, right?

There are big advantages to queuing appropriately. For one, there’s the crisp note of medium denomination that your auntie always slips into your birthday card, and then there’s the fact that it will oil the cogs of society, which will mean less war and nasty situations like that. If only we could teach certain World Leaders this simple lesson, right?

So, yeah – that was an example of the kind of cartwheels my thought process goes through. Don’t try this at home, kiddies.

And now – the point of this post: how to queue well in supermarkets:

  1. Stand placidly in that queue like you’re a cow grazing in a field
  2. Give way (to people who have a single chocolate bar in their basket) like a rabbit in a hedgerow
  3. Move forward like an ant following a trail
  4. Arrive at the checkout like a (slightly muted) puppy dog
  5. Put your shopping on the belt like one of those robots that make cars (erm, don’t make the noises)
  6. Pack your bags out like you have OCD (a common mental health condition where a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours)
  7. Interact with the checkout assistant like you’re chatting to your auntie
  8. Drive the trolley outside like you’re Lewis Hamilton on holiday
  9. Drive home like you want to get there safely.

I’ll stop there because we’ve gone waaay beyond our original remit (and because you look like you just fell asleep while reading this post).

Anyway – hope this was useful.

Now get some rest – you have a big day tomorrow.

Thinking of You

How many people do you reckon are thinking of you right now? Would you like more of them? Would you like to be famous so that many people are thinking of you right now? Would you like to be so famous that millions of people all around the world are thinking of you?

If they were, do you think you would know about it? Would you feel the pressure of all that attention like air pressing against your skin? Do you believe that people’s attention is an energy that can touch and affect you?

Would you want that in your life? Would you want waves of attention lapping (or pounding) against the shores of you?

Or do you suppose that it depends on what they’re thinking about you? If they were thinking good things (whatever that means to you) then would you be okay with it? But what if you were famous for something nasty or unpleasant? Would you try to be nicer if you felt depressed as a result of the downward pressure from all those thoughts? Or would you even make that connection between being unpleasant and feeling down?

There were several directions I could have gone with this so how did I end up here, putting the responsibility for how you feel on your own head? It’s unkind. No wonder I feel so down. Quick, Robert – do something nice. No, not like taking a nap. And no, not like eating some chocolate. Yes, I know they are nice things, but that’s not what I meant. It has to be nice for someone else. No, it doesn’t really matter who. Yes, that would be nice. Okay, do that then. Yes, now. Okay. Good. Well done.

I Create My Own Experience

I’ve been sent surveys asking for my experience with organisations. Strikes me that the way I feel depends more on me than them. If I engage with institutions in an interested and interesting way, then my experience is generally positive. If I don’t, then it often isn’t.

I sometimes forget that I’m talking to people. I forget that they have their own individual lives, loves and feelings outside of their role as a company peon.

Therefore, I’ve decided to be more engaging and engaged in my interactions with the people working for corporate bodies.

Here’s my plan:

  • Take every opportunity to speak up
  • Make friends with people I talk to
  • Remember that peeps really matter
  • Learn as much as possible from folk
  • Realise that I’m not always right
  • Listen to the advice that I receive.

Right, I’m going to fill in a couple of surveys now.