Archive for the ‘spirituality’ category

Fidelity and Philosophy

July 2, 2018

This is Part Four (and the conclusion, finally) of a post on the journey of my music listening from high-fidelity to mobile phone earbuds and back again.  You should probably go back and read Part 1 , Part 2, and Part 3. Or not.  If you’ve stuck with me through four parts, thank you.  I hope you learned something … I certainly did (which, of course, is one of the reasons I write).

AGPTEKAs of Father’s Day, I was the proud owner of an AGPTEK H3 HIFI High Resolution Lossless Digital Audio Player and a pair of 1MORE Triple Driver In Ear Headphones.   Anxious to try them out, I installed a 128 gB mini-sd card and loaded my music collection, mostly stock MP3 files.  As I mentioned in Part 3, high-resolution  audio should be regarded as a marketing term.  Case in point: my player can’t play in high-resolution unless the music files are … and MP3 files are not.  Still, the difference from my phone and basic earbuds was striking.  Acoustic guitars were crisper and clearer, drum beats were sharper and orchestral passages didn’t sound as muddy.    Since the source was my MP3 files, the improvement in the sound he heard is due to high-quality electronics in the music player and the quality earbuds, not so-called high resolution or even better file formats.  But it does speak to the improvement in fidelity that better equipment can provide. (more…)

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What I Believe

April 8, 2018

This is a very personal post, a product of working the first three steps of Al-Anon again with a friend.   I wanted to capture my spiritual beliefs at this moment in time.   Over the years, I have learned that talking about God in public often leads to being evangelized, both by true believers and non-believers.   Hence, I have elected not to allow comments on this post.

park sunriseI believe in God. Since I spent a substantial portion of my adult life as an agnostic, searching for a God I had trouble believing in, that is remarkable. I believe that without God, nothing else exists. One of my favorite spiritual authors, Rabbi David Rubin, says that God is unknowable. Everything we think we know about God is a metaphor.  So, I choose this one: Reality exists in the mind of God. That notion could, I suppose, reduce God to being the clockwork of the universe or even the master clock-smith tending that clockwork. But I also believe man is linked to God because each of us has a soul, a spark of the divine, that places God in us and us, collectively, in God. We are not God, either individually or collectively, but we have a direct connection and divinity within us. That gives us a purpose. I believe that purpose is to continue the act of creation. In the Kabbalah, it says that God has already experienced being perfect but it is through us, imperfect beings with his divine spark, canyon5that God can experience becoming perfect. When we make the world a better place, we are acting in accordance with God’s purpose, but we have free will do do otherwise and, just as importantly, to serve God’s purpose in our own unique way. I believe that our unique creativity as a species is evidence of our role in creation. I believe that God works in the world primarily through our actions, but I don’t discount the possibility of miracles directly from God, though I’m fairly certain I’ve never seen one, unless you want to count the Grand Canyon at dusk or a Maui sunset. (more…)

Metaphorically Speaking

August 6, 2017

park sunrise

In 12-Step programs, we spend a lot of time talking about God because they are spiritual programs based on no particular form of religion.  God first appears in the 2nd step as a power greater than ourselves (who) could return our life to sanity … or, more simply, a Higher Power.   For some reason, in men’s meetings, some guys choose to abbreviate this to HP, as in, I’m better off if I turn my problems over to HP.   Because I’m an engineer, HP has always meant Hewlett Packard and there’s no way I’m turning my problems over to them … or to Dell or Lenovo for that matter.   But then again, turning things over to God under any name has always been a challenge to me.  12-Step people often say that when they turn things over to God, God does for them what they couldn’t do for themselves.   People tell stories of difficulties turned over to God that resolve themselves miraculously  … often sounding as if that’s how the world always works.  With these cynical eyes God gave me, sad or tragic outcomes are as likely as good ones whether I turn my problems over to God or Hewlett Packard or no one at all.  Cliches like, Sometimes things that initially appear bad turn out to be good, and Everything happens for a reason, don’t help much, even though both have been true in my life sometimes.  But for twenty plus years I have been turning someone I love over to God and that someone continues to struggle.  I don’t blame God for his problems but I do wonder why God’s help doesn’t help.  Likely something to do with free will.  There are those who tell me I should banish this person from my life as a way of getting out of God’s way.  That doesn’t feel right but I’m certainly not certain. (more…)

Angels

April 2, 2017

This is a repost of something I posted at the end of 2009, the year I started Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog.  I don’t remember what was going on but obviously I was looking for guidance.  This has been a difficult few months and I find myself looking again.   The same thoughts apply.

Years ago, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.    When she went through surgery and the subsequent radiation, my son’s cat, Mr. B, was staying with us.   Mr. B was an affectionate people-loving cat to start with but when my wife came home from the hospital, he became her constant companion.   He’d curl up next to her on her pillow whenever she was in bed and drape himself over her neck when she came home exhausted from radiation treatments.   A genuine bond formed between them.   After the twelve weeks of radiation were over, we made plans to go back east and visit our families.   The morning we were leaving, Mr. B was killed by a coyote in our front yard which was devastating to both of us.    I don’t remember which of us it was that suggested that he was an angel who’d been called home because his job looking after my wife was done.    Interestingly, when I told my sister what had happened, she suggested the same thing.  Of course, we aren’t the first to suggest that our felines might be angels … Allen and Linda Anderson’s book, Angel Cats – Divine Messengers of Comfort, is full of similar stories. (more…)

Good. Bad. Indifferent.

July 10, 2016

park sunset1I will tell you that this post could be a ramble.  It addresses a topic that’s been rattling around in my head for months and unless I write it out, it won’t stop.  It might not anyway.  I am fortunate to be part of several men’s meeting where guys talk about life and how they live it in a much more intimate way than I have ever known before.  Sometimes, I get to see our similarities, how we all do our best to deal what life deals us and how we can learn from each other’s struggles.   Other times, I get to see differences in the way we view the world … and the way we deal with it.  In those instances, it would be nice if I could just say to myself, This is what I do … that’s what they do.  But sometimes, their way looks easier if I could only mange to follow suit and I need to articulate my beliefs … to myself. (more…)

The Real World

April 26, 2016

P1020197Friday afternoon, I drove to Arrowhead Ranch, a camp and retreat center in Lake Arrowhead, for a retreat with a group of about 40 men from my Thursday Night Men’s Meetings.   That is my official … if not totally genuine … reason for not posting since last Wednesday.   The truth is, nothing inspired me to write.   Yes, Jack London said, You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club, but since writing is my avocation not my vocation (avocation sounds so much more grown-up than hobby, doesn’t it?), sometimes I choose to just wait.   Or retreat, in this case.  But here I am, back again.  Did you miss me?
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Happy Now

March 22, 2016

snowI am sitting at the kitchen table in my daughter’s house in Herriman, UT.   Through the window in front of me, I can see an early spring snow flurry lightly coating the back lawn with white.  My daughter just got home from work, stylish and beautiful (much more so that she believes, but isn’t that true of many of us?).   I’ve been sitting here, writing and emailing friends for a couple of hours.  I am at peace.  I am happy.  It is all too rarely that I stop to acknowledge that kind of happiness, simply being in a place I want to be, doing what I enjoy doing.  Too often, I want the Capital H Happy.   You know.   Everything is going well, the future looks bright and, by the way, any unhappiness from the past is resolved, forgiven or forgotten. (more…)