Yule and Christmas #Yule #Christmas #Yuletide #Xmas #TrueMeaningOfChristmas

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I am an atheist. That doesn’t mean I hate God or am angry with him for not making me wealthy or genitally blessed; I simply don’t think he exists. I wasn’t abused as a child, I’m not in deep pain or distress, I don’t see a shrink, and I’m not a Devil-worshipper. I simply think that the facts do not show that God or gods are real. Furthermore, I think the facts show that, on the balance of probabilities, the Christian story (and the Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, and so on) is not true. I see the lot as myth.

Yet Christmas is the most important day of the year for atheists.

Let’s not forget at this time of the year, that Christmas always has had Christian and non-Christian elements. I tend to use the word “Yule” for this non-Christian festival that takes place around the Winter solstice. Yule, the olden Germanic, pre-Christian winter time of feasting. Holly, snow, pine trees, yule logs, feasting: this is just as much as a part of the season of “Christmas” as mangers, three kings, Bethlehem, and Jesus.

Yule is the festival of friends, family, feasting, boozing.

And yes, Yule is the time for thinking of others, gentleness, giving, and reflection.

But for me, there is no incarnation of God who was born this day.

Let us all respect each other at this time: Christians and, err, Yuleians.

So Merry Christmas and a Happy Yule 2016 to you all!

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Random Images 7: Science

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After Reading Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 Again (Poem)

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Introduction

This is probably the poem of mine that I am most proud of. It’s riddled with flaws, yes, but I think it has a little merit, too. Either way, I thought I’d like to share it here. I already posted it on my YouTube channel.

It’s my reading of Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 (in the Bible, if you don’t know what I’m going on about) in the light of my Epicurean mindset (as in Epicurus). Like all poems, this one is abandoned not “finished” (that is, I tweaked and tweaked and tweaked until I just stopped and never went back to it).

After Reading Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 Again
by Bryan A. J. Parry

The reason Nature seems to test mankind
With cold and stone-hard stares, and unmoved mind,
Is just to make him see what’s plainly true:
He’s like an animal, nay, is one too.
You don’t believe me? Why then, let’s just think.
As man is born, so is the beast, then blink
Your eyes, and both have died, caught in some snare,
Or else disfigured far beyond repair
So soon thereafter breathe the final breath,
Dispatched to earth, the source of life and death.
So man has no advantage o’er his brother,
As wretched death claims one, he claims the other.

Did I say “wretched”? Actually, it’s worse.
The brilliant mind of man can seem a curse;
Illumination, yes, but searing heat,
So awestruck man performs a wondrous feat:
He stoops, then squints, and fumbles in the gloom,
So hastening through his misery his doom.
But animals, whose brains are dim, live thus:
They flit, they drink, they eat: no sordid fuss.
A man of reason can’t conceal his mirth:
Poor man is heaven-bound, yet beast to earth!?
Kind Nature’s given beasts to simple pleasures.

If only man would use his mind: it measures
Out every thing that he could ever need.
They are: to flit, to drink, to love, to feed.
This recognition of kind Nature’s goal
Produces gladness, elevates man’s soul;
The joy and pleasure transcend mortal frame:
This soaring spirit ills can never tame.

 

featured image edited from http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jMyo8OMjLcI/TbbH-mcqRhI/AAAAAAAAA2U/lRaYT6u5_9k/s1600/kjv1611.jpg

© Bryan A. J. Parry