(Warning: The following journal of random bloviating is apt to include explicit language from time to time. They're just fuckin words. Don't be priggish for the sake of your aspired peers. Get over it. Your pre-teen, if you have one or more, is currently discovering them on their own without your knowledge and taking every opportunity to wear them out like the soles of their thumbs on their cell phone.)
Epistle to the Zygotes - Zyg. 25 or 6 to 4
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” And strive to exercise empathy in your daily life. Full stop!
There you go. That's the only passage you need from the Bible or any proclaimed religious dogma. It covers everything if you think about it. The rest of the books are basically somewhat useful to a certain extent as an interpretation of oral history written by people who weren't there, prone to exaggeration for dramatic effect and whose access to libraries was severely limited.
It also was meant to serve as an allegorical instruction manual as to will of God (based unrecorded personal conversations with said Entity … usually alone … in a remote location where no one was apt to be), a million times more complex than the instructions to Monopoly and with a zillion more variations on interpretation and local rules. Coincidentally, it served as the impetuous for the creation of the "one true" religion/church by the people behind the publications who knew there was untold wealth to be had by serving as the interpreters, officiates and enforcers of said rules which were obviously intentionally unintelligible to the masses.
Of course, agreement about "one true" was continually subject to modification and off-shoots due to local rules or the just plain inconvenience or discomfort with some previously adopted interpretations. These modifications and off shoots usually culminated in war and bloodshed, similar to those so popular in the geo-political/ideological arena.
Funny isn't it? Humans seem to be totally unable to be without classification or affiliated with a randomly defined label. It's something that has always been encouraged by numerous shrewd, unscrupulous humans in their quest for wealth. Then after becoming so rich that they have run out of ideas what to do with their wealth other than look at it, they just die having spent a lifetime creating untold misery for others. Ironically, due to the accelerate pace of information technology, we now have been deluged with a tsunami of mostly useless information and the legacy of these individuals will likely get buried and forgotten in daily data bytes of millions of ebooks, digital mags, thousands of video streaming channels, 8 crillion YouTubers, TikTokites, TwitterTwits, FacebookAddicts, RedditForgetits, and PinterestsinaDress's.
Could data be the next "one true" religion? Where's the Lawnmower Man when you need him? Thoughts and prayers! (I'm fucking kidding)
Just be nice.
One of my favorite writers is Mark Twain. We had to read Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer in school. However, in later life, I kept coming across unrelated passages of his which begged me to delve deeper into his work. So I bought an eBook of his complete works and am currently engrossed in his non-fiction travel journal Innocents Abroad. I love this. You can pick it up read a few pages and come back to it days later without missing a beat. I'm starting to have a similar experience with Kurt Vonnegut. Both were hilarious. Their observations of life and their perspective of others, when considered along with when they lived, are a wonder. Twain, in particular, gives the historical narratives of the Bible a unique grounded perspective during his visits to the Holy Land in the 1867.
I've recently been struggling on the two novels I have in the works. One of course is the sequel to Itchiwan, titled Pukwudgee. The other is tentatively titled Book of Joe. This was going to be the forthcoming fifth Holy Gospel by Joe (semi-fictional, artificially enhanced me) which coincides with the end of the world, thus will be largely unread. The plot of this book revealed itself to me, in the dead of the night, in a Prednisone induced state in preparation for one my numerous scans in the aftermath of treatment for oral cancer. This book could be the big one! There is so much I wanted to cram into it. Commentaries on life, views on humans, God, The Book of Revelations, basically Life, The Universe and Everything (stealing a concept from Douglas Adams, to emphasize the magnitude, which by the way I determined he was off by 3 - I'm just kidding. Don't go pulling out your fricken super computer to check my calculations.)
But the other night, I had another Prednisone epiphany (this time I was taking the mind expanding drug to treat poison ivy). I have come to the conclusion that I'm trying to cram ten pounds of shit into a five pound bag, which will lead to a poor, if not messy story. And God came to me … in my room …while alone …without a suitable recording device nearby … and said unto me, "Why don't you just make The Book of Joe part of your B.L.O.G. and record your pearls of wisdom (in your own mind) as they come, without form, and before they fade away in that alcohol damaged perforated file section of your brain. And for the novel, just go with the title I gave you on your last Prednisone induced sleigh ride, Ying, Yang & Sometimes Y. You can reference Joe slaving over your gospel in it."
Eureka! I thanked God for the capital idea and asked where he/she/pronoun-yet-to-be-determined had been. God responded "Everywhere, nowhere, wouldn't you like to know. Got to go."
Shit, I love my talks with God. I wonder if Prednisone is addictive. Must wear you the hell out, being up night after night and such.
Don't read with the goal to just to get to the end. Read to ponder.