What is Versicherung? and Is there a God?

First of all, let’s admit that the real reason Versicherung has come up is that I am an American woman in Germany.  I saw that word for well over a year before finding out what it means in the language with which I am much more familiar. 

Just to give you the idea:  this long word with 4 syllables that breaks nearly all English word regulations for normalcy is painted onto buildings that look like they do business.  I kept noticing it.  Naturally, the local people gave the impression they felt it was normal.  Given how many of them are Germans and this is their country and their language, that isn’t all that astonishing.  That didn’t make me that comfortable with it, at least not at first. 

Believe it or not, Versicherung just means insurance.  That’s all it is.  I know it looks more like some Bugaboo or bedroom closet darkness monster, but it isn’t.  It is just a weird way of saying insurance.  Imagine what it must be like to be them and to find out that the freaky alien noise insurance just means versicherung.  Well, that’s cross cultural drama.

About: Is there a God?  In truth, this question is directly addressed in the first chapter of a short introductory philosophy book called Five Big Questions in Life and how to answer them.  I did write it.  What qualified me?  5 years of formal philosophical study along with years of contemplation and like so many Americans, decades of spiritual practice as part of ‘having a religion’.  All of that put together with writing ability led to this practical yet surprisingly complete short guidebook through some of life’s deepest and most challenging questions.  You can buy it here:  http://www.amazon.com/Five-Big-Questions-Life-answer/dp/1617208647/ref=sr_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1358978603&sr=1-12&keywords=Five+Big+Questions+in+Life

What happened?

It did cross my mind to do something for you.  Yes, I mean you.  I wasn’t that sure what it would be.  Like yourselves, I was born and grew up and during the long years of childhood and part of the early adult years I wondered what kinds of things I might do to make myself more of a benefit than a nuisance to society.  I know that normally, you probably don’t think of yourselves that abstractly – aren’t other people always society, and not ‘me’ ? [looks around puzzled, like when a teacher calls on someone who is caught off gaurd] Actually it is you.

Well, at some point I managed to write something relatively coherent and once I had it crossed my mind that I might be able to make myself useful and to earn some money – OK, ok, really I was thinking ‘a very good living’ but still, I had visualized it as fine reward for doing really good work – for you.  Weird, but true.

During the past 10 years I have managed to come out with a few things.  In some cases, I found someone who needed help to put their book project together and they paid me to help them.  That’s really what ghostwriting is.  I was grateful to have the work and their help with marketing.  In addition, I managed to author a couple of books which have made it a bit further.

The projects are not all the same except that they are written in the English language, are books and I have something to do with them.  Here are some links.  Have a look.  After all, it was done for you, hoping you would like it.  http://www.amazon.com/Mutual-Funds-Book-Invest-Returns/dp/1601380011

http://www.amazon.com/An-Adventure-in-Indianapolis-ebook/dp/B001F0QG7U/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1358891424&sr=1-1&keywords=An+Adventure+in+Indianapolis

http://www.amazon.com/Five-Big-Questions-Life-answer/dp/1617208647/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1358891470&sr=1-7&keywords=Five+Big+Questions+in+Life

For a more complete listing, visit Uranian Fiction.  Do yourself a favor and snatch up one of these bargains today.

 

Cross cultural ignorance

You know, some of the time we are just too right in our negative judgments about other cultures.  Even though that is true, there are also numerous cases where we are totally wrong in our negative judgments of a different culture but don’t know why that is.  The real reasons are hidden from us.  We are so ignorant about the whole reality of the other society that we jump to conclusions which are wrong for where they are but do make sense compared to what it is really like where we find ourselves – in the real world. 

Music for Healing

Music is known to be powerful and yet how and why it is, have been a matter of argument for hundreds or even thousands of years. 

It is possible to use music for a variety of purposes, including self manipulation of the emotions or as a means of expressing emotions. 

Music can also be used to heal.  Today, I would like to share 2 samples of music that was written with the specific purpose of healing at least one person.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2CvZ6MzMX0&list=FLIM4EHLl2B2KTX0QuRuuWFg&index=3  This piece is newer, but claims to have been devised as ancient wisdom.  Here is a good moment to point out that newer or older is not always what determines whether or not something is better.  This is only worth mentioning because normally we may tend to assume that something is better either because it is the latest invention or else because it is ancient wisdom.  In that respect we are not always consistent even in ourselves.  Jezebel Decibel advises only listening to this for 5 minutes daily in the beginning.  You can go directly to her if you want more advice on the Solfeggio music.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjcrmvkZ2tQ&list=FLIM4EHLl2B2KTX0QuRuuWFg&index=45  This is the other.  This was created to heal the hearing of a King.  Even though it is old, hopefully you feel it is good enough for you.

Pilgrimages – is it so strange to be plural?

Most of us have heard of religious pilgrimage.  For some there are also professional pilgrimages: in the old days – writers and actors and actresses would go to New York City or Los Angelos.  There are other places of course, but the reality is that these are two great places for people seeking to advance in those professions.  For advanced education people could consider wherever they go to university to be a sort of pilgrimage.

For religious pilgrimages, there are a variety of places and events, depending to some degree on what you are like.   For Jews and Christians and Muslims there is Jerusalem in Israel, but for Christians and Muslims that is not the only place – this is probably fortunate if only for the sake of convenience.

Having grown up Unitarian Universalist – General Assembly is also an official place of pilgrimage.  In another sense, for Unitarians and Universalists, Boston, Massachusetts is also a sort of ‘Mecca’.  That is because the oldest and first American congregation is based there in Boston and the majority of families for whom there really are generations of Unitarians and/or Universalists may well be in or near Boston.

Of course there is Mecca, for Muslims.  Being very ignorant about Islam but knowing slightly more than nothing, like most of you I realize that the 5 prayers every day are supposed to be done facing in the direction of the city of Mecca.

Pilgrimages can be deeply personal and may not make sense to the wider public.  Some are ‘niche’ places, such as Lothlorien in Indiana.  As in the case with many initiations, either this means something to you or else it does not.  If it does, then you know what it means.  If you have an intuition about it, but not a logical reason, there is a good chance you are correct about your intuition.

Well, in general I am in favor of people conducting pilgrimages.  The effort and the experience of it are meaningful.  Some of it is simply the effect of ritual and part of it is the pure influence of experience.  Whether it is main stream or not, I would tend to advocate pilgrimage.

Feel free to give your point of view through posting a comment.

 

Second Languages and Feedback about You

As you may already know, the system of WordPress shows me your blog and the titles of a couple of posts if you click like at mine.  It is true that I have gone and read some posts by other people because the WordPress system showed them to me after I posted something.

What I find tells me only that I don’t really know how to predict who will find or read one of the blog posts.  Usually, what I have done for months now, is post the blog to the FB friends list and to Twitter.  This exposes it to hundreds of people.

During the past several months I have noticed that how the information travels from there and who ends up receiving it is not always clear.  Over at FB, I have also observed that a variety of people experience pangs of anxiety when s/he [they] post and post only to end up feeling as though they have failed to really connect with anyone.

As many of you already know I currently reside outside the USA but remain ‘proud to be American’ and have every intention of moving back there hopefully before I turn 50, but maybe not until then.  Due to this situation, today I used a second language when I went out in public at those times when I interacted with anyone else in person.  In reality, cultural difference can take some getting used to.  I have heard of people who leave their own nation and go someplace where they find they feel more at home.  For my own part, I have always really liked where I come from.  I am not blindly uncritical of it, but I like it – from my home town to most of the other places that I have lived.  Dislike of where I was did not cause me to go elsewhere.  The motives were ‘other’.