Giving Up Fables and Labels for Social Authenticity

Birth of a guest blog published first at Guest Blog

Earlier this week one of my Twitter Friends, Ron Tenin, @rpt62960,  posted a blog, on his website with this intriguing title:  Atheists Take Note – You Might Be Wrong. My twitter response led to an invitation from Ron to write this guest blog.

Bishop Milton Wright

Episcopal Bishop Wright was not the first one to get things totally wrong. We should cut him some slack though. 

We should also overlook his paternalistic bent to organize the minds of the faithful on that 1896 Sunday morning in Dayton Ohio, as he delivered truth from on high.  After all, is that not what we need society’s leaders, like bishops, to do?  Should we not leave it to the few who know what’s up to direct and control the lives of the many who don’t, and for their own best interest at that?

“If man was meant to fly,” Bishop Milton Wright declared, “God would have given him wings!”

Like the rest of us who at times claim divine or perhaps self-appointed infallible endorsement for that which we know little or nothing about and, even more, to plead for change in that which seriously frightens us, Bishop Wright, too,  on said subject was more beset with personal haunting fears than divinely chosen to represent Deity.

It wasn’t really his 26 year old son, Orville, that troubled the  bishop so much as it was Orville’s three years older genius brother, Wilbur, who had a mind to catapult himself through the air on little more than a motorized kite with good prospects of killing himself and maybe his too easily led and spell-bound brother as well in the process, thus depriving the bishop of his progeny. Perhaps thundering about his version of what God “wants” from the pulpit might offset the bishop’s feared outcomes regarding his aeronautically inclined sons.

The appeal to infallibility on matters betraying our profound ignorance, disguised personal agenda and fears has become a hallmark signature of modern discourse.  I do not intend to rail against this, however, but suggest – and sincerely so – that we should kindly and gently overlook it.  I assure you, this strange meme is a social deficiency in transition out the door, its demise hastened as we continue to require more and more transparency, authenticity and accountability in our dealings with each other.

In addition to declaring divine endorsement for our opinions we further resort to the curious practice of confirming ‘certainty’ and authority by labeling our enemies and all non – or wrong – believers.  Label it and it is so.  The truth is defended and the enemy –  always those labeled ones with the black cowboy hats – is vanquished.

As a seminary student, a lifetime ago, I was urged to establish (read label) and defend a personal theology to stream me and carry me through life.  This, I was told, should provide a decent living and afterward take me hopefully to heaven if I got it right – albeit, possibly a different heaven to those with different theologies.  Labeling offered the religious community a welcome hammer-lock on the “truth” and a comfortable alternative to the struggle of faith and the soul-wringing quest to accept and embrace the miraculous and divine providence in the joys and sorrows of daily living.

It was apparently important for me to determine whether God was supra or infra-lapsarian, whether I decided that “baptized” babies who were sprinkled with water had the same chance of making heaven as adults who were solidly drenched in a water tank, river or lake. I needed to declare whether eternity was to descend on human history in a pre, post or a-millennial time frame and whether that should indeed come with a side label of mid, pre or post tribulation.  Finally, I needed to avoid the ‘moral failure’ label as determined by the righteous ones (read right-to-us), a designation that came with an automatic life suspension from church leadership and likely loss of a passport for heaven. God and all of heaven’s angels apparently held their breath awaiting my verdict (labels), my luck in getting it right and my pluck in staying the right-to-us course.

Later in life I settled for being a pan-millennial (it will all pan out in the end) and Little Bo Peep theology (leave all of God’s people alone and they will come home wagging their tails behind them.)  In fact I have come to understand that we are all already home.  Not aware of this beautiful truth just yet we still desperately dream and scheme of how to create hell on earth to ensure that our version of a sad, lonely, dangerous, and of course right-to-us, reality is widely adopted.  It is clear that this is the strategy.  What is not as clear is any possible gains that may be realized from this design for self defeat and misery.

As an unenthusiastic champion of religious labels and absent a passionate interest in theology there turned out to be minimal prospect for me to experience and understand life primarily within the benefits and embrace of an ecclesiastical context.

Now, I sincerely said we should cut people some slack who are casting about trying to be “right” when clearly in over their heads.  You would not be angry at someone, who asleep, dreams that they are a pink elephant, would you?

Understand, people are asleep. They are dreaming of being trapped in sin, shortages of every kind and separation from each other and from the All-That-Is. They dream that they are defined and limited by time and space. In this dream they are a body that finds itself possibly among some good but certainly mostly among other bad,  dangerous (and un-right-to-us) bodies.  Their body can hurt, or be hurt by, other bodies. The ‘gladiator’ rules are that the last body standing wins.  In case of a tie, the more beautiful and thinner body gets the trophy although it has not exactly been determined what the trophy is about.  It can’t be about fame because that needs admirers and in this aspired scenario everyone else’s body is dead.  It can’t be heaven because that’s about community and sharing… joy, gratitude, kindness and that stuff.

Add labeling to this contrived context of our self as marginalized, challenged and  isolated this spawns social behaviour and rationale as bizarre as this invented and impoverished construct of life. For example, if you follow and trust U.S. politics you could be forgiven for believing global warming is a derivative of the political will of the people and that it has no reality outside of this scope. If Americans vote into power the Democrat label, global warming is acknowledged and remedial legislation and political initiative is activated to ‘save the world’.  If a majority of people vote the Republican label the problem is instantly solved on election night because there is no global warming.

In the case of a divided vote, tune in your favourite, self-echoing entertainment on Fox News or ESPN and join the label war. The enemy is always the one you paste with negative labels.  Pro Choice/Pro-Life for example are home team shirts while Pro-Abortion/Anti-Abortion are labels pasted by the nasty enemy side for away games.  God or self-as-god is always on your side as you fight against “treachery” or for a cause célèbre, be it liberalism or conservatism, abortion, homosexuality, atheism, pantheism, God-fearing Christians,  immigrants, terrorists, anarchists,  criminals, military supported economics, new agers, libertarians, neo-cons, science, scientism, secularism, humanism, humanitarianism, transhumanism, fundamentalists, libertarians, heathens, the 1%, the unwashed masses, carnivores, vegetarians, more guns or less guns and a host of other issues that divide.

If you are a government, strategic labels like “foreign fighters” or, even more sinister, “insurgents”, are handy to introduce and ingrain for it will allow you to invent whole new illogical and separate systems of legislation and incarceration once those unable and unqualified to lead themselves have bought into the “truth” you have created with these auspicious new labels.  If you are a government official it is imperative that you look straight into the camera when you ‘deliver’ these newly minted labels.  You must look deadly serious without a hint of a smirk or smile.  Using phrases like “read my lips” and “make no mistake” should seal the matter. Studies show wearing a simple and plain red or blue tie will help maximize the authenticity of this construct. Suits will further the cause if, like political truth, they are some shade of darker gray.  Black of course would be too final and might hint that the walls of total depravity have already been breached.

The religious version of this is leveraged by pronouncing God to rhyme with mud, flashing anger in your eyes and imagining those who disagree with your fears in agony of the hell fires they deserve.  Words like smite, punishment, duty, purity and laws are effective, as are also a sprinkling of scripture verses clarifying what God hates… King James version venerated and preferred by some.

I suggest we set aside all this uproar and dramatic finger pointing. Being asleep to reality and believing we are the arbiter of how things really are, we routinely deny the wonder of life and the glory of every single person we have met or ever will meet.

I offer a more enlightened approach that can enliven society and help us escape this madness.  It will also considerably lighten our journey as we can dispose of all labels and their debilitating emotional baggage.

An introduction to this wholeness is found in two defining questions that Albert Einstein posed. First, “Do you believe you are in an always friendly or an always hostile universe?” and, secondly, “Do you believe all of life or none of life is miraculous?”  These are bifurcated issues that cannot be straddled with any more ease or comfort than a tall picket fence nor mashed together with any conceivable survival of credibility, coherence or logic.  A helping of each, though too often opted for, is a recipe for impotence, disaster and confusion.

–  It should be observed that not everyone seeks to eliminate confusion. Confusion is sought by some as a valued strategy to achieve their ends. Having lost their moral compass and a purposed way in life, the goal becomes simply to stay ascendant in the game and win at all costs by deliberately introducing the mayhem of non-logic and grabbing control in the midst of intentionally seeded confusion. –

The real insight into the accelerating change toward social enlightenment and progress that is upon us lies in these  two poignant questions of this sage who left us almost six decades ago; it also lies in a new understanding of the real quarterback of our bodies and a smart society, the human heart.  That is for another blog and until then I leave you to contemplate the wisdom of Albert’s two questions and look forward to hearing from you.

Of course we can also label Albert as a “wayward soul” then we can dismiss our responsibilities for his message of love and quench any light that could brighten our path as a society and reset our errant moral compass.  😉

Most Important Decision

Two Ways Miracle 2


About Börje Melin

Borje Melin Canada Sweden USA Advocate, Researcher Local Fuel & Food Systems, Net Zero Energy Housing, Blockchain Encrypted Currencies, Wellness Researcher, Carpenter, Government Consultant, Writer, Social Media Developer, Hiker, Farmer, Photographer Follow me on Twitter as @BorjeMelin In 1982 working as a major industry headhunter and financial consultant I had a disturbing and transformational encounter with my immediate future. I saw the world on fire, economically and environmentally, leaving people desperate for survival. Within weeks I permanently left all that was familiar and plunged into international travel/residence and countless promising business pursuits in search of an adequate response for myself, my family, my immediate and my extended community to this troubling vision. Thirty years later, and still en route, I am finding my way in #socialmedia and self publishing to gain a leveraged voice and new like minded friends to discover and embrace practical and genuine solutions that at minimum require a radical restructuring of all inherited social institutions and reformulation for first stage economic and ecological survival then welcome of an inevitable universal prosperity and well-being. INTERESTS: National Happiness Factors, Neurocardiology, Transition of Ineffective Global Institutions, Bridging Ancestral Health Wisdom and Breakthrough Medical Technology also Advocate for its grassroots access and distribution to rebalance and popularize Healthcare, MOOC, Government/Private Industry Collaboration, Alternative Fuel Systems, Bi-Fuel Vehicles, Closed-Loop Farming, Aquaponics, Distributed Small Scale Energy Generation, Off-Grid Living, Self (e)-Publishing, New Currency and Banking Systems, Reform of Partisan Political Systems, Electricity Demand-Side Management Programs, Women Leadership, Inter-Regional Based Trade Systems and Technology Transfer, Railroad Construction, Extractive Industries Reform, Self-Propagation of All-Inclusive, No-Fee, Highly profitable Recycling Systems, Strategic International Consulate Support for Island and Other Tiny Countries, Intuitive and Heart Based Project Development
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5 Responses to Giving Up Fables and Labels for Social Authenticity

  1. Glen Quiring says:

    Thank you for your post. I found it interesting. I too, when to Seminary and spent more than a decade studying theology, church history, philosophy. I found the pursuit stimulating.

    When I returned to the marketplace I discovered that Religious organizational leaders where doing as you say “labeling.” As one who, for some reason, have chosen to work in such organizations, I find that many of these organizations (with their respective authority figures) form up in a defensive posture as a way to keep a modernist culture in force. It is what they know, it is the world that they can live in and manipulate.

    The transition to a more progressive culture is underway not from said leaders but from the youth who don’t resonate with modernism. Despite that, there is significant indoctrination occurring with youth, but reality often breaks the back of indoctrination sooner or later.

    Again, thanks for posting.

    • Börje Melin says:

      Thank you, Glen. I find your words comforting and encouraging. My seminary years were initially halcyon days of discovery and adventure. Venturing into the Hebrew language, for example, was so exhilarating I had an accompanying six month excitement headache. By the end of my third year a heavy shadow started to steal over me. This truth was not intended to be lived, it seemed, but rather wielded as professional credentials of sorts, traded for an income and showcased as a preacher etc. on Sundays etc. It seem it was something we said and did but not some wonderful essence that we were. In short order I cycled through para-church group leadership, church ministry and finally church planting roles, then settling for a quiet back pew. My sense of all this being about a profound inner experience that would inevitably shine to others as needed seemed an inadequate and naive premise to many of my clerical professional friends, congregants and even close family who signaled frustration with me and my inconvenient way of seeing things. To the mutual relief all around I went into business and soon after a personal pilgrimage and daily discovery now for over thirty years that a spontaneous life directed by these truths yields more joy and completeness than I could remotely have anticipated. I do regret, however, my inability to share this with my past fond friends and family whose ways and mine have parted.

  2. Loved this beautfully written post … captures the essence of my frustration with “self-appointed infallible endorsement for that which we know little or nothing about” and “the curious practice of confirming ‘certainty’ and authority by labeling our enemies and all non – or wrong – believers.” I am more amazed every day at how difficult it is to have an intelligent conversation with people with different points of view. The conversation always seems to start with the conclusions, instead of the premises, leaving you no where to go. Thanks for this!

    • Börje Melin says:

      Mary, I deeply appreciate your insightful comments. I, too, have become more reflective of the barriers I encounter so frequently to meaningful conversation. Some years ago, I was seemingly randomly invited to an extended study over some years of the Kabbalah at a synagogue. There I was taught to listen and speak to people non-verbally and to how to send them love regardless of physical distance or circumstances. I had opportunity to experiment with this and was astonished at repeated dramatic change of behaviour almost instantly from even openly hostility to cooperative and apologetic responses. This made me understand we operate from a different base than our brains tell us. It also demonstrated the invincible power of love and that we turn the other cheek because of this invincibility not because of weakness or even meekness. Each time now that I am inclined to be frustrated with those appearing so unreasonable and out of touch I am reminded that any reaction on my part to their dysfunctional behaviour only challenges my invulnerability and nothing else, that the only connection with reality is through a heart of love that some are in touch with and many not.

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