Does Michael Jackson Get To Go To Heaven?

michaeljackson

Well as many of you have probably already heard Michael Jackson died today. I’m a little ashamed to admit the first thing that popped in my head when I heard he had dies was… is Michael Jackson going to heaven or hell? This is such a random and silly question to pose to ones self especially when I don’t particularly believe in heaven or hell. The funny thing is my belief in heaven or hell has nothing to do with the thoughts arising in my mind.

And that’s how the mind works, one minute your working on a powerpoint presentation on photosynthesis and the next you’re pondering the purpose of all mankind. I’ve learned to just observe and go with the flow.

So in the spirit of going with the flow I think the question I posed myself deserves examination. Does Michael Jackson get to go to heaven?

When I ask myself this question immediately another question comes to mind and that is, does it really matter? To answer the second question I’ll firmly say no it doesn’t matter but for the purposes of intellectual stimulation and semantic banter why not say yes it does matter.

I’m going to cast my vote now and say Michael Jackson does get to go to heaven! Let us assume the worst that all the rumors about him are true with regard to his indiscretions with underage boys, Jesus juice and the whole 9 yards… I say he still goes to heaven.

The reason I say this and let me clarify again (I don’t believe in a actual heaven) but Michael Jackson from what I have gathered lived his life in hell.

I would dare say that with Michael Jackson’s death today in his last breath it would have been a sigh of relief. Just think about it, that poor man (boy) never got the chance at a normal childhood. Think about it every time you’ve seen him on television in an interview he seemed like a child trapped in a mans body. Painfully shy and reclusive for me it was almost painful to watch him interviewed or questioned in front of a live audience, and do you remember the staged kiss between him and Lisa Marie Presley?

The only time we got to see the real Michael Jackson was when he was on stage doing his thing, singing and dancing… that’s when he let his guard down and that’s when you could see who Michael really was.

For lack of a better phrase… “God bless Michael Jackson” and amen he’s finally free!

I’m sure the next 2 weeks will be nothing but sensationalized news coverage and all kind of celebrities coming out of the wood works to say how much they loved Michael Jackson. But after these next few weeks, week by week, year by year and on to the next generation perhaps all the rumors and silver tongued news reporters will fade into the past and all that will be left is his music and legacy as a great entertainer.

None of us got to know who Michael Jackson truly was because that poor man didn’t even know who he was. So I’ll shy away from the canned response Michael Jackson R.I.P. that I’m sure everyone and their mom’s will be posting and twittering over the next couple of days.

Michael Jackson… don’t rest in peace, Michael Jackson spread your wings and fly, dance on clouds and show the angels how to moon walk. Today is not a day for mourning but a day for celebration, Michael Jackson is finally free and gone from this hellish life of under a microscope.

Peace and love to the king of pop!

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Memorial Day Is Anything But Memerorble

memorialday

Hello to you all, I’ve been gone for over a month now and haven’t been writing but I can assure you… I’m back, with purpose!

Today I’d like to talk about what most of the country has forgotten, ironically on this very day “Memorial Day”. The topic of today’s discussion is none other than purpose.

What is your purpose?

Today, Memorial Day we’re supposed to be remembering those who have fallen in the many wars and battles securing our liberties and freedom. Please excuse me if you are offended by me saying so but it seems to me that Memorial Day is everything but remembrance.

Living here in southern California I can assure you that Memorial Day is nothing more then a sign that Summer is here and reason to go to the beach. I would like to note that before heading to the beach you would be hard pressed not to stop at Macy’s to pick up some new attire as they are always having their annual Memorial Day sale!

Let us assume for a moment that in a perfect world, Memorial Day wasn’t a big beach party and people actually did stop to remember our fallen soldiers. In this perfect world where we all stop pay our respects, watch the parades and television specials… at the end of the day what good would have come of it?

Basically I’m trying to figure out (1) what is the point of remembering that people have died in wars most of us know nothing about and (2) if we actually did pay our respects in remembrance and not party… would our simple “remembering” contribute any progress or advancement to mankind? After all these soldiers were fighting for our progress and advancement correct?

So back to the perfect world envisioned where we all actually do pay our respects. Simply paying our respects in my opinion isn’t good enough.

I would think that anyone who has actually died in a previous war wouldn’t want anyone to romanticize over that fact but rather take advantage of the opportunities secured for them. Some might argue that having a party, going to the beach and cracking open a Bud Light is taking advantage of the opportunities secured for them but I’m assuming anyone reading this post is educated, articulate and at the least a “C” average student… so let’s not go there.

On Memorial Day we remember those who have fought so bravely or those who were all but forced to fight, but what exactly were they fighting for? This is a loaded question I know but it is a question worth examining because after all it is Memorial Day.

On this Memorial Day do we remember those Native Americans who fought against those who came to this land uninvited? On this Memorial Day do we remember the southern confederate soldier who fought to keep slavery alive?

As you can see we are in deep waters here or a slippery slope whatever you prefer, my point being that this day deserves more than high fives, sun tan lotion, barbecues and drunk driving. Memorial Day should actually be the one day out of the year were we all collectively try to remember how this came to be, the United States and what is our purpose.

When I stop to ask myself this question, what is my purpose it is abundantly clear to me that it has nothing to do with a 9-5 job, a new car, designer clothes or putting a ring on anyone’s finger in a facade most of us continue to perpetuate. My life’s purpose or your lifes purpose for that matter has nothing to do with anyone else but rather everything to do with you.

Do you want to share your life with someone else? How about figuring out what your life is about first?

We all want to be a part of something bigger but don’t know the first thing about ourselves. I’m married to this person, or I’m from this state, or I’m an American… how can you be ANYTHING when you don’t know who you are?

Again I ask, what is your purpose?

If you think it is your purpose to have children, start a family or hold a high ranking job with a six figure income then it is time to do some serious soul searching. All of those things are secondary and cannot be truly enjoyed or realized unless you know what your purpose is.

I cannot tell you what your purpose is but only remind you that you have one. In a world full of distractions it is all to easy to forget or for that matter to have never even put the question to ones self.

So on this Memorial Day, let us forget what we previously celebrated and let us remember who we truly are. On this Memorial Day let us find our purpose in life and from there manifest a life and world worth remembering.

What is your purpose?



Zencast 186 – Mindfulness of Speaking Pt.5of7, Gil Fronsdal

Speaks on what is possible with right speech, using your imagination to envision what is possible for us as individuals and your relationships with other people. Can one speak in a way that allows you and others do develop? Is there a way to speak so that there is more harmony between individuals and the community as a whole?

In any case I’ll let you listen to this Zencast and make of it what you will, as always your comments are welcome.



Zencast 185 – Mindfulness of Speaking Pt.4of7, Gil Fronsdal

In this episode Gil begins to talk on the ethics of right speech, this episode is more focused on what to avoid as opposed to what to act on. Gil then goes over some of the different ethics: taking care of yourself, minimizing harm for others, etc.

One of the more interesting precepts with regard to taking care of yourself is to be mindful that you never lie. This precept in particular I take a great personal interest; I’ve been especially mindful of this in the last year of my life. Telling even what seem to be harmless or little lies can definitely come back to bite you when you are most unexpected. If one is truly mindful and aware of their speech one would never lie, not even the little lies.

One of my favorite stories that Gil gives in this episode with regard to lying is that even in the society of the Devil the one precept that they follow is that there is no lying. He then explains that even in a society such as the Devil’s there needs to be a level of truth otherwise even that society wouldn’t function.

Ah yes… the truth shall set you free indeed.

In any case I’ll let you listen to this Zencast and make of it what you will, as always your comments are welcome.



Zencast 184 – Mindfulness of Speaking Pt.3of7, Gil Fronsdal

Welcome to number 3 of 7 in this Zencast series on mindfulness of speaking with Gil Fronsdal.

The focus of this talk is on the dangers and opportunities in speech. The idea is quite simple, if one can understand the range of opportunities and dangers in speaking then perhaps one will find it easier to communicate others. It is also pointed out that how someone speaks is a good indicator of how someone feels about themselves.

In this talk Gil says a wise person avoids what is harmful to ones self and others, a wise person engages in what is beneficial for ones self and other people. This may seem like common sense to a lot of people but when it comes to speaking a lot of the times we forget how harmful words can be.

It seems as though a wise person is someone that understands clearly what it is that causes harm and what it is that is beneficial when speaking. This understanding and awareness of ones speech brings about a wonderful ability to communicate from a place of clarity and compassion.

Enjoy the Zecast as always feel free to leave comments or ask questions.



Zencast 183 – Mindfulness of Speaking Pt.2of7, Gil Fronsdal

Here is the second audio Zencast on the topic of mindfulness of speaking. This particular chapter in the 7 part series is probably my favorite.

Gil starts of the conversation by reminding us that right speech requires awareness and mindfulness. He then goes even further and asks that you acknowledge the relationship between you and the person you are talking to. If you examine closely you can see that there are 3 parts to your relationship. First there is you, secondly there is the other person to whom you are speaking and lastly there is a third entity which is the actual ‘relationship’ between the both of you.

Both people have their wants, needs and agendas but if you are mindful of this then the health and vitality of the relationship can thrive because you are aware that your individual needs aren’t always what is best for the relationship.

Later Gil also asks you to look at why you say the things you do, what are your intentions? From the simple and mundane statements you make throughout the day to the more intimate conversations if you can look at why you said what you said closely and with care it will bring light to your intentions.

Gil gives a wonderful example of someone telling their friends that they found this great new restaurant and they had the most wonderful dinner. Gil then suggest perhaps if you were the person in the example there could be several reasons why you said it. Perhaps you just wanted to share the information with your friends or perhaps if you go deeper and examine it, maybe it was your intention to point out sub-consciously that YOU are a good picker of restaurants and YOU are very good at this.

The example is a bit silly but I’ve applied this practice to my own life and I can tell you first hand that if you examine why you say the things you do, you’ll find out a great deal about yourself. We’re all a bit silly!

Enjoy the Zecast as always feel free to leave comments or ask questions.



Zencast 182 – Mindfulness of Speaking Pt.1of7, Gil Fronsdal

Gil Frosdal begins this 7 part series on the topic mindfulness of speaking. Gil starts off by sharing some personal stories from his life to illustrate the effects of speech. He points out that sometimes one can say something they didn’t mean to say and those effects will last for a great deal of time, perhaps longer than anticipated. If you consider this then its fair to say that being mindful of what you say is very important so that you don’t say something that you will regret.

We’ve all been involved in heated debates, arguments or conversations and we’ve all probably said things to others that we later regret.

Wouldn’t it be nice to never say something you’d regret again?

After listening to this entire series on mindful speaking I’m confident that with practice and mindfulness it is possible to speak in a way that you are in control 100% of the time. The mindfulness that is required to manifest ‘right speech’ takes awareness and practice, equally listening is just as important.

One of the most helpful tips I got from this first audio lecture is to pause before you speak. Something as simple as this allows you time to gather your thoughts and compose yourself so when you do speak you speak from the heart and with compassion.

With that said I’ll leave you to the audio lecture. Please to comment if you have questions or would like to share stories of your own with regard to the topic.

Peace,