I Believe
(A Treatise On Life In The 21st Century)
by Scot N. Kaeff
(c) 2001 Scot N. Kaeff/Diabolical Kitten Publishing

These are my views.  I reserve the right to amend or
change them if the need arises.  I am not writing this in
an attempt to sway someone else's viewpoint to match
mine, but rather to organize and make tangible how
i see the world.  Feel free to comment to Scot Kaeff.

I believe that reality is subjective to the individual, but that all reality is based out of an objective, difficult to see, main reality.  We all live within the realms of our senses, what we see and feel, and we all interpret this reality in different ways.  We must understand that we don't all see things the same way and that compassion for other points of view is necessary.  Strength and understanding of one's own reality, however, is necessary before compassion can make an appearance, hence much of the misunderstanding in the world today.

I believe that there are few differences between Republicans and Democrats.  The quest for power has superceded the quest for leading and making a better county, for fighting to attain freedom.  The issues and platforms are fronts for a power struggle that is slowly strangling society, in the United States and elsewhere.  So are comfortable debates and fodder for ad hominem attacks like the liberal versus conservative farce.  Ask a politician what he or she believes and you will receive a memorized stream of banter, not truth.  But, then, politics was never about truth, it was about power.  We have forgotten the main tenets upon which this country was built upon:  freedom, liberty and truth.

I believe that capitalism is good, but that human greed is evil.  Hence there will always be a dichotomy in human life in the Western Hemisphere, and the world.  Again, compassion must come into play.  Without the workers, there are no consumers nor producers and the chain breaks no matter what the CEO's and companies want.  Capitalism is a chain that has become weak with greed.  Like any other platform upon which a society has been built, barring tribal societies, it has grown, flourished and is slowly killing itself with comfort.  Can it be saved?  Yes.  And I am not directly pushing for socialized features to be added to a capitalistic society (greed, again, comes into play), but the structure of realizing our symbiotic relationships with each other, not our parasitic relationships which have come to the forefront, is necessary.

I believe that morality need not be based in religion or have a religious foundation.  Basing morality and ethics on religious precepts brings the debate between religions to the forefront as opposed to the main issue, morality itself.  Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative (the principles of humanity and universality) should be the reference point, or at least it is for me.  Simple, beautiful.  Treat others as you would have them treat you (take off on the "golden rule")...but that opens up so-called deviant behaviors.  The principle of universality says to treat others in ways that are universally acceptable.  Beautiful.

I believe that the death penalty, if instituted properly, is worthwhile, though not as a deterrant.  There are some crimes for which the only punishment possible is death - eradication from society due to hostile or sociopathic intentions.  The gamut of these crimes is open to debate to a certain extent.

I believe that today we live to work instead of working to live.  For many years the point has been taken off of survival and placed on comfort for many people, though not all.  We work for our television and car, not our survival.  To be unhappy in a job should not be considered.  Find something else.  But first, consider why you work in the first place and what you hope to gain.  It is about survival first and the job is not the important part, it is merely an means to an end.

I believe that time is a collar we put around our own necks.  Of course, we need to rationalize a timeframe to life in order to accomplish things, but time in and of itself is a chimera.  Time has been created by human beings as a way of marking change.  If an alien were to land here and you said to it that you would meet it for lunch at one o'clock, it would have no idea what you meant.  But think about how tied we are to time, to our watches and our alarm clocks.  Human beings create boxes and grow themselves to fit into them...it is a shame that we do not build more interesting boxes.  Time...a necessary evil to make society work smoothly, but not the dog collar that some would have it be.

I believe that love is one of the most important things in life.  Sexual love, the love of friends, the love of a companion, the love of family...all important and necessary.  Love of an activity is included too, such as music, a job, writing.  Love is not something that a dictionary definition can cover.  It is individual or, at its best, a language spoken by two, a group, or at some point, everyone.

I believe that money, though necessary, is not a goal in and of itself.  Too many feel that the amount in their bank account reflects their importance and usefullness in the world.  Quite the contrary.  Your usefullness is measured by your deeds, as is your importance.  You can be rich, but if your money came through poisoning the world or people, you are a poor, poor man.  Money, like a job, is a means to an end, not an end in itself.  The focus is the important thing as money is simply a tool for trade.

I believe that life is a sacred thing, a privelage and a learning experience for a greater existence in the cosmos.  Life is not to be taken for granted, especially in our fast-paced, technologically advanced world.  Things change from second to second.  Explore, experience and take it all in...wonder and wander in nature as well as the cyber-world.  Euthanasia, when one is at such an advanced state of bodily breakdown that these things are no longer possible at all, is a viable recourse as long as there is closure to the earthbound life, which may not be possible is the breakdown is very advanced.  In the end, life and death are both personal choices.

I believe that death is not the end, but a doorway to a new beginning.  I believe in reincarnation, though possibly not in typically accepted senses of it.  I believe that existence on the overall scale is far beyond human comprehension, just as God is.  I believe that there is a greater power, energy if you will, that binds us all and encompasses us all.  We are spiritual beings above and beyond the bone bags that we reside in while on earth.

I believe "...the Tao is called the Great Mother:  empty yet inexhaustible, it gives birth to infinite worlds.  It is always present within you.  You can use it any way you want."

I believe that art may just save the human race.  Artists are mirrors for society, showing the things that cannot normally be seen, saying the things that most do not have the words for and being what normally cannot be.  Art mirrors every age of existence, from the earliest to today.  Art is the essence of human expression, from poetry to television, from painting to movies, from music to performance.  The creations of humanity's heart.

I believe that wisdom is gained through experience and the educated application of experiential lessons.  Wisdom is also gained through razor-like cuts through the veil of lies and deceit that cover most peoples' realities.  Wisdom comes with compassion.  Wisdom comes with intelligence.  Wisdom, ultimately, comes with action.

I believe that experience, along with being a prerequisite for wisdom is also a prerequisite for living a full and well-rounded life.  Without experience, what point has life?  Living, by its mere definition, requires going out and being in touch with things.

I believe that God is not a being, but a force.  The personification of God is a human creation, just as time is.  Most folks have to personify God to attempt to understand the divine force of the universe;  it is the best way to grasp the infinity, to bring it closer to home.  In reality, we all pray to the same God, just using different languages.

I believe that Hell is an interesting concept for many reasons.  The idea of a place where "bad" people go when they die, just as Heaven is a place where "good" people go, the Christian ideology, is pretty neat.  I do not hold with the idea of Hell as a place of torture.  Think about it.  The devil, Satan or whatever you choose to call him (note the personificaiton again) is a fallen angel.  Probably pretty angry at God, right?  So why would he want to do God's bidding and torture souls sent to Hell for living "bad" lives on earth?  (See May 24, 2000 journal entry.)  I would think, and do, that the devil would enjoy this as a recruiting opportunity for his army or whatever you might choose to call it.  Those who are "bad" would have so much in common with the devil anyway.  Or, of course, it could be the opposite.  Or it could be a devil ego-trip.  I will not pretend to know.  As I said, interesting concepts.

I believe that human beings, in the simple fact that we are all human beings, are equal in the respect they deserve.  Equality ends there.  In truth, the concept of equality is clouded by the specifics it demands.  A track athlete can run faster than I can - we are not equal.  A computer scientist can program better than I can - we are not equal.  Equality is based upon respect, not actions or attitudes.  Equality is not based on color, race, creed, religion, sexual orientation or anything of that nature.  Those are paints on the bus and are not relevant to the bus itself in its intrinsic existence.  Having said that, we need to be careful with our statements.  The reason for debates over hate crimes and special laws for minorities or groups is an inherent lack of respect for other views, beliefs and lifestyles.  A law cannot bring respect...only an open mind can.

I believe that your moral code and mine may not jive.  I believe that your lifestyle and mine may not jive.  I believe your views of the world and mine may not jive.  But if we carry respect for each other as human beings, as living, rational, sentient beings, the intrinsic respect for another human being, we can get along and live side-by-side...eventually.

I believe that technology has indeed superceded humanity.  Life is measured in mouse-clicks and bytes now.  The new age is not one of compassion, but of electronic synapses and television pay-per-views.  Which came first, the circuitboard or the programmer?  Not that I am a Luddite by any means, but I do believe that a modicum of restraint is sometimes a good thing.

I believe that image is far to important to entertainment industries such as music and film.  Granted, a part of entertainment is the suspension of reality, but reality has so many faces that need to be utilized instead of the same old thing that is constantly used.  Break new ground.

I believe that music must have a soul.  That, to quote Ian Astbury, you've got to bleed a little while you sing.  There is not a lot of blood left on stages these days.

I believe that poetry and music have many faces and the flavor of the month in each is usually just a passing glance at part of the train of art.  Staying true to oneself is of the utmost importance.

Robert Fripp said it best:  "Fear is a preparation for failure."

I believe that what goes around comes around, and that there is a lot due to come around pretty soon.

To Be Continued....

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