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By Roz Rogoff

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About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Religion?

Uploaded: Nov 17, 2015
This is a blog about religion and beliefs. I wrote this almost a week ago; so it isn't a response to the recent shootings in Paris, but it is somewhat related.

This is a blog about my belief systems. I'm not trying to criticize anyone's religious beliefs, but I do not accept the mythologies presented in the religions I'm familiar with.

There are many religions though out the World that I don't know anything about. One of those might be closer to my own belief systems, but I'm not looking to join any organized or even disorganized religious group.

I was raised Jewish and my maternal Grandmother who lived with us, was raised Orthodox. She emigrated from Hungary when she was 12 years old with her older sister who was 14. Her father lived to 103 and died in 1939. Grandma Ida lived to almost 98 and died in 1970. My mother will be 100 next year; so clearly members of that side of my family live a long time.

I just turned 73. I'm not sure if I will live to 100 or if I even want to. Of course we don't know what happens after we die, but I'm inclined to believe nothing. Whatever our life force is, it dies with us or moves on to something else.

I don't believe in heaven, at least not the one with angels sitting on clouds playing harps. I used to think a lot about heaven when I was 12. What happens if someone remarries? Whom does she live with in Heaven, Hubby number 1 or hubby number 2? When you die, are you that age in heaven or do you revert to another age, and if so which one? There are a lot of unanswered questions about the Biblical heaven, and even more about the Biblical Hell.

So I came up with a different concept – the All Pervasive Energy or APE. This is kind of a merging of science and religion. Science has proven that the Universe is steeped in energy that flows between the planets and stars. It is believed to be the afterglow from the Big Bang that formed the Universe. I believe the APE is what religious people sense as God.

I do not believe in the Biblical version of God as an all-powerful male figure who looks over us or possibly punishes us, very much like an old Jewish patriarch.

The APE is like PG&E; it is a stream of energy we can plug into but has no knowledge or concerns about us. We plug into this energy to draw from it and use it in different and powerful ways, but the energy is how WE use it not how it relates to us. We tap into the APE; it does not bestow itself on us.

When we die our energy could dissipate and merge back into the APE. I’m not sure if that fits the concept of Karma, but I'm sure someone will explain that here.

There are a lot of religions and belief systems in the World. Something is there that humans want to grab onto or fit into, but we create whatever this is for ourselves. When these mythologies become institutionalized in religions, and the power is captured by those who want to control it and control us, then we give away our piece of the power to the institutions. That's not for me.

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Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Nov 17, 2015 at 4:20 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Lakota Dakota Sioux Indian Prayer:

O great spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds, and whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me.

I come before you, one of your many children. I am small and weak. I need your strength and wisdom.

Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset. Make my hands respect the things you have made, my ears sharp to hear your voice.

Make me wise, so that I may know the things you have taught my people, the lesson you have hidden in every leaf and rock.

I seek strength not to be superior to my brothers, but to be able to fight my greatest enemy - myself.

Make me ever ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes, so when life fades as a fading sunset, my spirit will come to you without shame.

Author Unknown.
Translated from Lakota Dakota Sioux language.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 17, 2015 at 5:15 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

Michael,

Lovely. Thank you.

When I was very young, around 8 years old, we used to play Cowboys and Indians. The Cowboys were the heroes and the Indians were the villains. Now I know better. Too bad the wrong guys won.

Roz


 +   2 people like this
Posted by beach bum, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Nov 18, 2015 at 7:44 am


As the great Willie Nelson would say (or sing), my heroes have always been cowboys.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 18, 2015 at 9:14 am

I remember eating eggs and lentils when my father died...ugh

a few days later some of the younger folk ate french fries and burgers...

signed,

anony


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 18, 2015 at 12:53 pm

Also...when we sat Shiva, I thought that I would go batty...everybody sitting down nobody talked and it went on and on and on...as a senior citizen, it's more appropriate for me to simply sit...takes time and silence to understand the moment.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Nov 18, 2015 at 11:21 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

"Too bad the wrong guys won."

Hmmm, interesting comment Roz. I guess the US has done absolutely nothing good for the last, say, 250 years eh?

Wow.

I believe in American exceptionalism. I feel sorry for those who don't thank their lucky stars that they were born here or somehow managed to immigrate. I've visited many places in the world where the citizens have literally no hope to attain a lifestyle that even our poorest Americans lead.

To think of the major events just in the last 100 years that would have adversely impacted the world had the US not been involved. Your own grandmother emigrated to the US (the US!!) and you think that would have been possible if the "cowboys" had lost?

Sincerely.







 +   6 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Nov 19, 2015 at 7:53 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Actually the cowboys lost.

It was the United States military that invaded the Indian camps, raped the women, bashed the infants heads into trees and rocks, and murdered the men.

It was the first holocaust.

Certainly not a part of American history anyone should be proud of.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 19, 2015 at 2:17 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

Dan,

My reply was to Michael Austin who is a Native American. They were born here first and had their land stolen from them. That's American history. Not all of it is as rosy as you want to believe.

There's a lot of opportunity for immigrants in this country. My family came over from parts of Europe in the 19th Century. They settled in New York City, which at least was purchased from the local Indians.

Thanksgiving is celebrated because the Wampanoag Indians in Massachusetts brought food to the early Pilgrim settlers. Maybe you should thank them too and apologize for the horrible things (see Michael's post above) that were done to the Indians for "American Exceptionalism."

Roz


 +  Like this comment
Posted by beach bum, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Nov 19, 2015 at 3:05 pm

Roz, given the organic sins committed during the creation of this country were so ugly, have you ever considered moving to a different nation? This is a sincere question.

If you haven't seriously considered it, why not?



 +   3 people like this
Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 19, 2015 at 3:25 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

Beach Bum,

I did not commit those sins and my family did not, and most Americans living today did not, but some did and some are still doing it, e.g. taking advantage of other people for racist or greedy motives. I try to expose them and work to see that they do not succeed. Do you, or are you too lazy lying around the beach all day?

Roz


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Nov 19, 2015 at 3:37 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Roz,

So you and I did not commit those sins, yet I have to apologize? How do you square that circle?

Again, wow!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by beach bum, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Nov 19, 2015 at 3:39 pm


Hi Roz, I work 12-15 hours a day in a small business..supporting my family and paying a lot of taxes. In my free time my wife and I devote a lot of time to charitable causes.

Does that not fit your narrative?


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 19, 2015 at 4:04 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

Why do you use the nom-de-blog Beach Bum? That has a negative connotation for me. So I replied accordingly.

Dan, Since you defend winning the West as one of the great accomplishments of America, you should apologize to Michael for ignoring or dismissing the horrible treatment of his people.

I agree that keeping this continent all one country, well except for Canada, has helped make the USA exceptional. But that doesn't excuse some of the methods used to accomplish that. Taking land from the natives mostly by force, breaking treaties with them, relocating them to barren reservations (which backfired in Oklahoma when they struck oil), are not among America's greatest accomplishments.

Mathew 7:3 "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?"

It is not patriotic to ignore our real history and wave the flag as if everything America or Americans have done is perfect, and anyone who points out the log in your eye should move away.

Roz



 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Nov 19, 2015 at 4:32 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

I should apologize to Michael now??

So using your logic, since I have ancestors who are from Germany I should apologize for the holocaust? Even though they emigrated before it occurred?

Does "jumping the shark" mean anything to you?

You just can't make this stuff up...


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Cathy Roberson, a resident of Birdland,
on Nov 21, 2015 at 2:27 am

I do consider all the ideas you’ve offered for your post.

They’re very convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are very brief for starters.

Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton was nice forty years ago, a resident of Castlewood,
on Nov 22, 2015 at 12:01 pm

If I was born in America does that not make me a Native American? If not what then?
Where did the Indians, ( native Americans) get this land ?
Did the native Americans ( Indians ). War with others to take or push them off certain lands?
Why did you buy a house on stolen land?
Should you not give it back?
Is this blog for real?
Are you serious?
Anyway thanks for the laugh. Quite a humorous Ahhhhhhhh. Point your trying to make. Hahahahahhahahaha


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 22, 2015 at 3:20 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

I have a motto, "Don't feed the trolls," so go ahead and "jump the shark." I'll be posting my next blog soon on another subject that interests me. Goodbye for now.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park,
on Nov 22, 2015 at 5:52 pm

Billie is a registered user.

Roz,
I try not to feed on troll-bait, but I want to answer one particular troll's questions before you take the column down.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park,
on Nov 22, 2015 at 6:10 pm

Billie is a registered user.

@pwnfya
Wow, you do manage to inject your bigotry into just about every subject posted on this site. No surprise this particular thread drew your brand of vitriol.

Let me try and break it down for you. Assuming you were born in one of the 50 states that comprise the United States, you are a native-born American, just like every other person born in the United States - no matter their race, creed or religion. Notice the use of a "small n" on native.

Native American, let me repeat that so you can focus on the capital letter "N" on Native, indigenous Native American pre-Columbian ancestors inhabited the Americas around 8000 BCE, migrating to the Pacific Northwest around 5000 BCE.

Native Hawaiian ancestors, repeat Native Hawaiian (big "N"), are the indigenous Polynesian people dating back to about the 3rd century.

Around 50,000 years ago the Behring land bridge allowed the migration of indigenous Alaska Native (again, big "N") ancestors into what is now known as Alaska.

Just in case you didn't know, "indigenous" means they were here first. All the "tak[ing] or push[ing] them [indigenous people] off certain lands" happened from those who were not indiginous to the Americas, Alaska or Hawaii.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 22, 2015 at 6:36 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

Great post, Billie. I'm not planning to take down this blog or close the comments. I'm just moving on to another blog and leaving this one for anyone who wants to continue with it, including the trolls. I really appreciate your intelligent comment. Please feel welcome to add to any of my blogs, even if we disagree. At least I learned something useful from you, and I hope other readers will too.

Roz


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park,
on Nov 22, 2015 at 8:30 pm

Billie is a registered user.

Thanks Roz.

I won't be adding any more comments to this particular thread since the last time pwnfya responded to something I said it was to hope that I, and another poster, were killed in the near future. Now I just say what I want to say and let it go.

Have a wonderful holiday.
Billie


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park,
on Nov 22, 2015 at 8:31 pm

Billie is a registered user.

Thanks Roz.

I won't be adding any more comments to this particular thread since the last time pwnfya responded to something I said it was to hope that I, and another poster, were killed in the near future. Now I just say what I want to say and let it go.

Have a wonderful holiday.
Billie


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Nov 23, 2015 at 8:17 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Gah!

Definition of Troll: Web Link

Can you PLEASE get the definition right and use the word correctly?!

Example:

"Instead of sticking to the subject of Religion and Beliefs, Roz tried to derail the conversation by changing the topic to Cowboys and Indians."

That is what a TROLL does!

Sincerely.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Nov 23, 2015 at 8:31 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Billie,

Do you have a link for the difference between (n)ative and (N)ative? I've done a search but can find no distinction.

Just curious.

To be sure, there is a difference between Native and Indigenous.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park,
on Nov 23, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Billie is a registered user.

@Formerly
Unfortunately PW restraints ("You have too many URLs in your comment") won't let me post all the web link references I wanted to, so I've pared it down to the following to answer your questions and provide appropriate references per your request and still need to break it down into two parts. Here you go. Hope it helps.

Dictionary sample:
"Native American", n., "A member of any of the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere. The ancestors of the Native Americans are generally considered by scientists to have entered the Americas from Asia by way of the Bering Strait sometime during the late glacial epoch."
Web Link

Encyclopedia sample:
"Native Americans in the United States are the idigenous peoples from the regions of North America now encompassed by the continental United States, including parts of Alaska." "Not all Native Americans come from the contiguous U.S. Some come from Alaska, Hawaii and other insular regions."
Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park,
on Nov 23, 2015 at 1:02 pm

Billie is a registered user.

continued:
CDC:
"American Indians and Alaska Natives are people having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment." and

"The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defines "Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders" as people having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
Please note the use of a capital "N" on Native and the association of Native with indigeous and original peoples."
Web Link


Please note the use of the capital "N" on Native and the association of Native with indigenous and original peoples.

---o0o---

One of many sources stating the same definition for "native-born":
"belonging to or associated with a particular place (as a country) by birth therein a native-born American"
Web Link

Please note the use of the small "n" on native.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by anony, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 23, 2015 at 1:22 pm

well well well mr. know it all...if you're soooooo smart...splain the diff between porkchops a'n raisins....duh....


 +  Like this comment
Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 23, 2015 at 3:06 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

anony,

You sound like Cholo. He would know the answer to this. I doubt Dan does. Raisins are pareve, meaning they are neither meat nor milk. Porkchops are treif, meaning they are meat from a forbidden animal.

I stopped eating pork this year. Not because I'm Kosher but because pigs are smart animals and it would be like eating a dog, which are eaten in some countries. I still eat birds, so turkeys are not safe from me on Thanksgiving.

Roz


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Nov 23, 2015 at 7:36 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Billie,

Thanks!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 24, 2015 at 10:36 am

Roz...please spare the life of a turkey this year...there are always tons of veggies, stuffing, pie 'n whip cream, donuts, bagels and cream cheese, nice tomatoes, salads galore...please please please give those innocent birds a rest...cheep cheep...VIVA BABY BIRDS GALORE! HOORAY!

ps piggies are very intelligent beings and i luv them for that and because there is a place for them on this planet...same for pidgeons...it has been discovered that they can pick out cancerous cells in humans...feed the pidgeons!
PIDGEONS FOREVER! VIVA!


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