the daily doyle


Rest in Peace? Me? Not on Your Life!
July 28, 2012, 2:36 am
Filed under: Philosophical stuff

Rest in Peace Denny.

I don’t even know Denny, never met him.

But he’s in my thoughts and prayers tonight. Ok, I don’t really pray usually, which is a subject for another article. But the dear departed Denny is in my thoughts; I’m telling the truth about that part.

And I’m thinking: “I hope he’s not resting in peace”.

Somebody wants Denny to rest in peace. My brush with Denny’s life (or death I guess) lasted about 2 seconds. As I was riding my motorcycle north on US19 in Clearwater, I spotted a car with white lettering all over the back and side windows. The largest text said, “Rest in Peace Denny”.

I’ve seen many such signs and even seen a few tombstones that literally say R.I.P. But this time, for reasons unknown, I got to thinking about it. And I’m a little confused.

“Rest in Peace” conjures up an idea that the departed are, well, resting, or their friends and relatives at least want them to be resting. The confusing part is… most people belong to some religion that holds a belief that people live again, that this one physical life is not all there is. Their views of where we go after the body stops living are pretty diverse – heaven, hell, back to Earth (which seems to be a little bit heaven and a little bit hell).

So with this belief system in place, why would so many people choose the “rest in peace” line? I’m stymied. I really do not know why this is the case. In a few cases, I could surmise that the person was such a troublemaker that you really do hope he is resting and causing NO trouble anymore. But that explanation can’t explain why they seem to apply the same message to everyone.

Someday, I will die. I’m not happy about this fact and I have every plan to put it off for many many years. But eventually, I’ll find myself at the wrong end of a gun barrel or something and well, whoever is left will gather around the Richmond/Callaham Funeral Home, admire the flowers, tell stories, laugh (I hope) and maybe cry a little. I sincerely and fervently hope that nobody says, “may he rest in peace”.

Amongst my friends and family, probably half or more are Christian or Jewish. Slightly less than half are Scientologists. And whatever single digit percentage is left is a mix of just about every religion on Earth. And, with the exception of a handful of atheists, they all believe, supposedly, that I will continue living in some form.

So please do not say, “may he rest in peace”.

I have no plan to rest. I’ll be up to something – you can count on it!

Even if it’s true that there is nothing else but this one life, if the Atheists are right, don’t wish me into oblivion. Give me some credit, and a fighting chance. If everybody who ever lived is just… gone, so what? Maybe I can be the first one to beat the system. Cheer me on! Say “Go Doyle Go! Don’t Stop Trying!”

Resting forever just really does not sound like fun to me. Even Hell sounds better than that. Eternal torture is preferable to just… nothing, in my book. And I suppose a lot of my friends will be there – IF there is a Hell.

So let’s change this odd culture of “may he rest in peace”.

I think B.R.B. (Be Right Back) would be awesome on a Scientologist’s tombstone!

For a Christian, maybe something like… “I’m in heaven, see you when you get here; take your time” or a simple, “on to bigger and better things”. Isn’t a more positive message than R.I.P.?

Denny, I hope you are having a great time, wherever you are. I hope you’re not resting in peace. I hope that heaven, or whatever you were promised, is everything you expected. Live on Denny, wherever you are!

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The Scientology Creed, Part Two
June 26, 2011, 4:59 pm
Filed under: Philosophical stuff

This is the continuation of an earlier article regarding the Creed of the Church of Scientology. That article discussed the first few points of the creed. Now part two of the series continues where part one left off.

You can find the earlier article here: http://the-daily-doyle.com/2011/05/25/the-scientology-creed-part-one

The Scientology Creed is read aloud at the beginning of every Scientology Sunday Service. While Scientologists and their guests may have heard this dozens of times, most have not taken the time to read it carefully, examine what it says, and see how they can apply it to their own lives.

From http://www.scientology.org:

“The Creed of the Church of Scientology was written by L. Ron Hubbard shortly after the Church was formed in Los Angeles on February 18, 1954. After Mr. Hubbard issued this creed from his office in Phoenix, Arizona, the Church of Scientology adopted it as its creed because it succinctly states what Scientologists believe.”

Framed in that way, it seems important for a Scientologist, and the friends and family members of a Scientologist, to understand its meaning. It’s also vitally important for anybody reading the creed, or for anyone studying anything for that matter, to understand all the words contained in the material. Mr. Hubbard used the term “inalienable” several times, a word which also appears in the United States Declaration of Independence. The word means, “absolute, inherent. something that cannot be transferred or sold or taken by anyone else.” Inalienable is a very strong word, implying that a right is inherently part of each person, that it cannot be separated from the person by anyone, ever.

The entire text of the creed can be found here: //www.scientology.org/what-is-scientology/the-scientology-creeds-and-codes/the-creed-of-the-church.html

The creed begins with “We of the Church believe” and that phrase applies to the first eleven lines of the creed. My previous article on the creed took up the first four lines, so we begin with the fifth line:

“…That all men have inalienable rights to their own defense.”

This is not the same as the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, referring to the right to bear arms. This is much more basic, covering essentially any method of defense, appropriate to the circumstances. This is simply a clear message that we have a right to be secure in our persons and the right to protect our family and our possessions against anyone intending harm.

“…That all men have inalienable rights to conceive, choose, assist or support their own organizations, churches and governments.”

In limited view, this is the right to vote. But it is much more. The creed asserts that all men have a right to create new groups, join any group they wish, and to promote the survival of those groups. That’s a big deal. Scientologists support anyone’s rights to build and maintain strong groups to accomplish whatever goals they set for themselves. This could be a dangerous thing, right? There have been evil groups. Would a Scientologist defend the rights of the KKK to build a new group in Montgomery? No. The answer would be clearly NO because a group such as the KKK, dedicated to the destruction of another group, would violate other points of this creed, harming others and taking away their rights.

Scientologists do support the general principle that free men (and women) do have the right to be a part of any group. Scientologists know that the evil amongst us is a very small percentage, that man by and large is good, decent and constructive.

“…That all men have inalienable rights to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter or write upon the opinions of others.”

This is a big one, the freedom to think and communicate freely what you want. It describes my right to pick apart the Scientology Creed and give my opinion on it. Freedom of thought and speech are so fundamental, who would ever think they could be taken away. They can and in many places they are.

“…That all men have inalienable rights to the creation of their own kind.”

This is certainly a beautiful thought, that men and women do have the right to come together and to create the next generation. Again, in our mainly free world, who would ever imagine that this right may be taken away. Again, it has been and is taken away, in various parts of the world.

That’s it for now. Look out for part three.

-Doyle



The Scientology Creed, Part One
May 25, 2011, 11:25 pm
Filed under: Philosophical stuff

Do you think it’s possible to hear the same thing 100 times but never quite notice how beautiful it is? I think the Pledge of Allegiance is that way, for Americans anyway. We all learned to recite it but do we even think about what it means?

It’s the same way with the Creed of the Church of Scientology. For anybody who has ever attended a Scientology Sunday Service, you’ve heard it. It’s read at the beginning of every service. But how many have bothered to really read it and really see what it means.

If you haven’t heard it or read it, you can find it here: http://www.scientology.org/what-is-scientology/the-scientology-creeds-and-codes/the-creed-of-the-church.html

The title of this article includes the phrase “Part One”. I thought I would take just a few parts of the document and write about them and maybe take up some more of it later.

The Creed of the Church of Scientology was written by L. Ron Hubbard in 1954, shortly after the first Church of Scientology was formed.

The creed begins with “We of the Church believe” and that phrase applies to the first eleven lines of the creed.

The first line, is:

“…That all men of whatever race, color or creed were created with equal rights.”

Of course the part about all races, colors and creeds is beautiful. In these days, we expect that everything is going to apply to all races, etc. For most of the history of the world however, in most places, race equality has been unknown. Human rights and prosperity have often been divvied out along racial lines. Possibly in the future, again some races may be greatly favored over others. But I think we’d all be better off if race were not a factor in rights of levels of success.

The last part of this line, “created with equal rights”, is very interesting. It does not say that everyone should have equal rights, or that everyone deserves equal rights. It very precisely says what it says, that all men… were CREATED with equal rights? This is a really beautiful statement and very real. Right now, not everyone has equal rights and not everyone should have. Criminals, convicted and in jail, plainly do not have the same rights as everyone else who is not imprisoned, obviously. They were created with equal rights but later began to lose rights as a direct result of their own actions. It even implies that rights are very precious things that you are created with but that you may or may not have all your life. In the real world, our rights have to be cared for and safeguarded, always.

The next line is “…That all men have inalienable rights to their own religious practices and their performance.”

This one is all about freedom of religion, obviously a good thing. It uses the word “inalienable”, a word also used in the United States Declaration of Independence. The word means, “absolute, inherent. something that cannot be transferred or sold or taken by anyone else.” Inalienable is a very strong word, implying that a right to religion is inherently part of each person, that it cannot be separated from the person by anyone, ever.

Next: “…That all men have inalienable rights to their own lives.

I suppose this could be taken to mean a number of things, including the fact that slavery is wrong. And can also just mean that each person has a right to live, and not to have his actual life taken away by another.

“…That all men have inalienable rights to their sanity.”

Now this one is very interesting. Again, not all men are sane, so this is one of those rights you obviously have to protect. I believe that to a large degree this one is directed toward any individuals or groups who might attack or attempt to alter the mental state of other, leading to their detriment. Thus any purveyor of mind-altering drugs would be in violation of this tenet, whether that drug may be cocaine or Ritalin, or any other concoction sold on the street or in the drug store. Governments who engage in brainwashing and mind control efforts would likewise be antipathetic to this point of the creed. There are also more subtle instances where this applies. How one is treated affects his sanity. Forcing someone to live under oppression or suppression or under constant distress and worry, can destroy that person’s hope for sanity. Again, though this is considered a right, each person must fight to maintain it.

And with that, this article (Part One) is done. There is a lot more information in the Creed to discuss so I am looking forward to Part Two.

P.S. The use of the word “men” does not imply “No women”; it simply is the grammatically correct way to represent all people, men and women.



Who Do You Listen to?
May 22, 2011, 11:17 pm
Filed under: Philosophical stuff

If I wrote something insightful and brilliant, would you believe it, accept it as your own and continue to believe it from here on out? I hope not.

If I wrote something stupid and unworkable, would you grab onto that? I really hope not.

Some people have trouble discerning whether an idea is brilliant or worthless. Sometimes what we think of an idea is based on its source. Who said it?

It’s an interesting phenomenon really, that the same idea has a different value depending upon who you think said it.

I hope that my readers enjoy my articles. I’d like to make you think and come to your own conclusions about the topics I bring up. I don’t particularly want to change anybody’s viewpoint just based on the fact that I write a certain thing. That may be a hard concept to grasp. I really do want to change viewpoints but I don’t want anyone to just follow what I say. I want you to take a look at the information I’ve provided, consider my opinion, do some more research, compare that with what you already know, and then… agree with me. Get it?

Who do you listen to? This is a question really about authority, “experts”, any name you’d like to call the people whose words are listened to by others.

I could think of endless examples.

Politically, Democrats listen to Barack Obama and I think far too many listen to Keith Oberman and Jon Stewart. They are comedians, you know that right?

Republicans listen to Rush Limbaugh, Ronald Reagan and conservative economist, Milton Friedman. I’ll bet most of you never heard of Milton Friedman, which is a tragedy. Someday I’ll write a whole article about him.

Catholics, I think, listen to the Pope, yet most of the ones that I know feel free to disagree on the subject of birth control.

Most of us listen to doctors when it comes to questions about our health. This is generally a good thing, they have gone to school for years and probably do know something about the body. The medical profession has done a good job of earning our trust. However, sometimes that trust is misplaced. In some cases, the desire to push profitable drugs and provide a quick fix has displaced standard medical practice. Sometimes you shouldn’t trust your doctor.

This is especially the case in the practice of psychiatry. For a long time, most people have trusted doctors. Conversely most people have distrusted psychiatrists. They’ve been called “shrinks” and worse. Samuel Goldwyn is famous for saying, “Any man who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined. In a more serious vein, there is this quote: “You take the cards you’re dealt. I’m now ferociously healthy in body and mind. You couldn’t pay me to go near a psychiatrist again. Stopping seeing them was my first step to getting well.” -Margot Kidder

Psychiatry, distrusted, needed a better way to become trusted. What better way than to “morph” or evolve into a branch of medicine and borrow the trust that had been built by the medical profession?

None of us should ever blindly trust a medical professional. We must, must, must in this day and age do our own research, come to our own conclusions and protect our health.

Possibly we should all be somewhat wary of getting our opinions, beliefs, principles from anyone. We should take care to examine everything we hear from at least a slightly critical perspective.

Yet, there is some practicality in assigning different value on the words of one man versus another. If you’ve listened to a particular source a few times or many, and all has worked out well, naturally you are going to label his statements, “most likely good”. This is sensible but one should still put in a little work to verify each piece of information.

Personally, I’m a Scientologist. I’ve read the work of L. Ron Hubbard extensively and his words have been very useful to me. When I study something in Scientology, I place a high value upon it based on past experience. Yet I am still careful to see that it makes sense to me and it’s something I can use. Even L. Ron Hubbard himself emphasized the importance of this, stating “What is true is what is true for you. No one has any right to force data on you and command you to believe it or else. If it is not true for you, it isn’t true. Think your own way through things, accept what is true for you, discard the rest…” That quote is from the book The Way to Happiness, Chapter 7, entitled Seek to Live With the Truth, which you can read in full at this link: http://www.thewaytohappiness.org/thewaytohappiness/precepts/seek-to-live-with-the-truth.html

So who do you listen to?

One more thing. Definitely do not use me as an example of perfect grammar. I do know grammar very well but I like to bend the rules. For example, the title of this piece with that preposition dangling at the end is just ghastly. But somehow “To Whom Do You Listen?” just didn’t have the same punch.



A Country Boy Can Survive
May 6, 2011, 1:11 am
Filed under: Philosophical stuff

My theory is – a country boy can survive anywhere but a city boy could never survive in the country. Maybe it’s just because of the song.

I wonder if there is anyone reading this who doesn’t know the song. It’s Hank Jr. Hank WILLIAMS Jr. Bocephus. For anyone who might not know. Good song, check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4s0nzsU1Wg

The lyrics are just great – “you can’t starve us out and you cant makes us run”, “ain’t too many things these ole boys can’t do”, which both sound pretty tough. The song also shows some humility in these lyrics, “we say grace and we say Ma’am and if you ain’t into that we don’t give a damn”.

I’ve sung this song, to myself, many times, maybe just to remind myself to keep surviving. I sang it once while I was rigging the wiring up to steal 220 volts from the control panel of a running elevator for my arc welder while straddling a 4-foot water puddle at my feet. I survived.

I also sang it in my kitchen in Caracas while making up some cornbread, chicken and dumplin’s, oh so good. That’s really surviving.

I sang it at 3am walking through Sydney’s red light district where the, um, ladies of the night probably are not ladies, if you know what I mean.

I sang it in Amsterdam as I forcibly ran off a guy who was bothering my female companion and me, saying some rather improper things to the young lady. I suppose he was trying to sell us drugs, not entirely sure, but he ran off, as intended.

A country boy can survive.

So what of a city boy? Is it fair for me to suppose that someone raised in the city won’t have similar survival skills? It’s probably very unfair. I guess it depends a lot on the person.

But I think there is something to this idea that country people do survive better. This is just my theory but it could have some merit. When you grow up in civilization, like a city or town, some place with infrastructure and people who do various things to help everybody survive, I think you get into an interesting mindset. I think you get the idea that no matter what happens, you can find somebody to tell about it and the problem can be solved. If you’re hungry you find somebody who’ll sell you something to eat. Nothing wrong with that. It works for the environment you’re in.

In the country however, it’s a different mindset. If you need something, you get it or make it somehow. There is no “ask”, there is only “do” which sounds like some saying of Confucius but probably isn’t. In the country, if you need food, you kill it or pick it, or plant it and pick it later.

I think a country boy can apply “get it or make it somehow” to life in the city much better than a city boy could apply “find somebody to complain to” in the country. Just a theory.

Thanks for reading.

Doyle