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in a sepia tone aww yeah.

Dave Shaffer
Age: 22
Gender: Male
Location: Mansfield, PA
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some poetry

1927 Max Erhmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.
why I don't believe in god
Monday. 5.1.06 4:52 pm
I have thought a lot about this since the last time I wrote a blog and I think I finally have some good thoughts to put down about it.

I was talking to my friend Jess the other day and the conversation steered itself towards religion and God and all this stuff. The current state of affairs in America is that if you don't believe in God, the Christian God, like our fearless leader, then you're a godless heathen with no sense of morals and you're doomed to hell for all eternity. Clearly we have to say fuck that. But why though? I mean, with all the emotional assault we're under and all the pressure to believe, why do we have to keep ourselves under it? The weakness in us would say, shut up, just do it. Believe it so that you don't have to deal with the angry people trying to shame you into it anymore.

But we can't. Well I can't anyway, and I'm the only person that matters to me as far as religion goes, cause I don't care what anyone else believes. I just want to be free from the hurt that it causes or whatever.

So anyway, getting back to the point, I have thought a lot about why I don't believe in God and I wanted to get it down.

If you look at a person and see how they act, you realize that they act the way they do because everything in their life has taught them to act that way. They are conditioned to believe what they do because their life has told them to, and the fact that this is possible continues to be remarkable to me for some reason, and that's with just one person. There are 6.5 billion people on this planet, and so if you consider that there are 6.5 billion different ways a person can live, you realize that humans are capable of absolutely anything. WE RULE THE WORLD and this amazes me.

People are capable of anything.
Education - people can learn to be experts at any subject they want to be. Or they can learn(?) to fail at everything and not "learn" anything from education institutions
Music - people can learn to make beautiful music that touches the innermost core of their souls, which has made it a unifying force that can momentarily bring together all of mankind
Science - people have learned to deduct information from the world around us and the progress this has made has given us a lifestyle that is incomparably awesome
Society - people have created a world of economic classes of people. Whatever grammatical sense that makes. We have a society even in America of lower-class, middle-class, and upper-class people, economically speaking anyway. The classes all have lifestyles that cater to the needs they have. Low-income people have stock car racing and taxidermy shops and go 4-wheeler riding in the woods. Middle-class people have cut up hotdogs for lunch and fake butter spread and have block party barbecues on the weekends. Upper class people have yachts and smoke fine cigars in leather chairs while discussing politics and economics. It's not that anybody is less worthy of anything, far from it, it's just that people are capable of it all. And then to talk about upward mobility - everyone is capable of escaping their class and moving upwards into the world. Sometimes I wonder if that's such a good thing but we can leave that alone.
Technology - I'm typing on this computer right now because someone had an idea that it would be cool to make a machine that can do binary math problems really fast. My monitor is a 17" LCD because someone had an idea that a cathode ray tube monitor was harmful to your health and might give you cancer. I have an iPod that plays music because someone thought it would be cool if you could have a music player capable of holding a jillion songs that fits in your pocket. My friends came over to my party last night and took pictures on their digital cameras because someone thought it would be good if we could capture our lives on a medium that was less fragile than photographic film.
Language - people have created words and grammar to communicate the thoughts they have and to help understand their emotions
Psychology - oh man, this is a good one so I'm gonna leave it alone. Let's just say that the fact we have figured out that people's feelings can be sort of quantified and studied and controlled, and that people can help other people with understanding their feelings, is quite possibly the greatest achievement humans have been capable of.

All this shit. We don't need God. We have ourselves and if we're alone in the universe then that's all that fucking matters. We have us and we need to stop trying to make ourselves feel so god damn guilty about everything and just enjoy our lives, because we only have one life. And we aren't going to live forever.

Who wants to live forever anyway?
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Quoth the Gryphon: "We're all gonna be worm food some day, so we damn well better have fun on the way there!"
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