Saturday, December 28, 2019

Trudeau's Perilous Permission for Racism

I will attempt to begin with a reasonable and logical path, hopefully one we may all agree with. 
  1. To be against racism is to be synonymous with being FOR equality.
  2. To believe in equality - by its very definition - means being against inequality. (This sounds redundant, but needs to be stated to reveal the flaw in a particular position's logic. What would the opposing position be? Anti-racist but pro-inequality?)
  3. To believe in equality means the equality of all people.... 
  4. Read it again: all people. 
  5. One more time: ALL people.

It is not a subversive or subservient agenda focused on some misplaced sense of justice, retribution or vengeance. To use the analogy of a totem pole, it should not be about turning the totem pole upside down, but laying it on its side (to stay with the idiom, there ceases to be a "high man on the totem pole," not a reversal of that "high man.")

Let us be clear here: If one group's agenda truly is "to turn the totem pole upside down", this is a position of Anti-racism/Pro-inequality, an  untenable position.

Its opposite (and only truly tenable position) - Anti-racist/Pro-equality - does not allow any sense of justified-discrimination. It does not embrace a zero-sum equation belief; that one's loss means another's gain, as a necessity.

This is not to say an individual should not be accountable and responsible for their actions or crimes. It is to say an individual cannot be responsible or accountable for their ancestors actions or crimes. To believe the latter is in itself a form of racism.

There is a dangerous, passive political momentum right now that not only allows, but encourages this perilous position and those subterfuge individuals that engage, promote and manipulate through it.

As defined by Wikipedia:
"Racism is the belief* in the superiority of one race over another. It may also mean prejudice**, discrimination**, or antagonism** directed against other people because they are of a different race or ethnicity."

* Belief. This is an intentional act and position, not an accidental one. Ergo, you cannot be an accidental racist. Racism is a deliberate act or position. It may be based upon erroneous not inaccurate information, but nevertheless is a conscious decision.
** Prejudice, discrimination, and antagonism are all beliefs manifesting in action. 

Racism necessitates two things: Intent and malicious action. Contrary to Justin Trudeau's definition, one cannot be an accidental racist. Intent DOES matter. (And this is not to say unintentional actions cannot harm).

(For further and better understanding of one's intent, see TedTalks withSally Kohn's Emotional Correctness:

Actions and words may be inappropriate, rude, insensitive, belligerent, unlawful and hurtful without being racist. To believe otherwise is to group Nazis, KKK, those guilty of genocide and White Supremists into the exact same category as one who spouts off an inappropriate comment. (These are not excusable, but neither are they the same things.) This position is actually lessening the perpetrators of these horrific crimes and/or worldview. Watering them down, if you will.

If we embrace and if we allow Trudeau's re-definition of Racism; if we allow this lack of distinction, we are ultimately allowing Trudeau's Perilous Permission for Racism. We are allowing malicious groups with a hidden agenda power. We are feeding a new breed of racists.

I am an advocate for semantics. Once we can successfully label something, we can identify it, better explore it, and ultimately, understand it, or, as the case might be, bring it into the bright light of day. It currently finds its existence in the security of shadows.

These two forms of "Racism" need to be properly named and identified. For one is a wolf in sheep's clothing, and incredibly dangerous to our true growth of multiculturalism and equality.

Entering Tao; Taoist Meditations

Here are some typical Taoist meditations that you should do outdoors. I hesitate to call them meditations; maybe a contemplation or reflection. A better term would be "quiet watching". The method is the traditional outdoor meditation of quietly watching an object. A reconnection to nature is the cure. If you feel rushed and hasty - or are a rushed and hasty person - do this meditation.

Watch the Sky

Lie down in an open meadow on a fine day and look up at the sky. (Yes, you'll need to stop whatever you're doing and carve out a block of time. Yes, you do have the time). A few floating white clouds pass across the deep blue.
The deep blue indicates the depth of the sky. What you can reach is only the blue colour, not the depth of inexhaustible space. 
As you quietly watch, do not be disturbed by any passing object, especially clouds. 
This will guide you to reach the depth of your own mind and spirit. 
Use it to reach your depth.

Watching the Mountain

Sit quietly some distance away so that you can have the whole mountain within your view. By observing it, you can learn its independence and grandness (or smallness if need be).
It does not yield. It stand there, decade after decade.

Watching the Waterfall

When you need to cleanse away your worries, the toxicity and contamination of the world around you, or your disappointed thoughts about some failure or something lost that cannot come back, use the waterfall.

Sometimes emotions can be destructive.
Go to a place with a large waterfall and sit near the bottom, but not so close as to get wet.
By looking at the waterfall coming down from the sky, you will be washed and cleansed by it. Your emotions and experiences will all be washed away.
The water comes from the highest of the mountains, it rushed down to hit pond and stones beneath it, pounding through the obstacles in your life.

Through perseverance a stone gives way to the water.
You can learn this perseverance.
Reflect upon this quiet watching.

Watching the Tide

Sit at a safe place by the side of the ocean or harbour. When the big tide comes rushing in to attack the stones at the shore, sit quietly and watch. No matter how strong the tide is, remain in quietude. On the one hand, you are the tide rushing to the shore, but on the other hand, you are the shore where the rushing water stops. From the two forces, movement and stillness, you will attain the unity that exists above the conflict.

Watching the Bonfire

In expreriencing the ruelty of the world, you have been disappointed and frustrated. You have been pushed into a cold corner, and your heart has become iced over. You do not find any hope in your world. You do not find any good friend in your world. You do not find any good support in your world. So sit at a right distance to watch a fire in a fireplace or bonfire. Let the fire burn away all your troubled thoughts. Let it burn off all the cruel experiences. Warm your cold heart. Let your heart return to warmth. Although people in the world may treat you badly, imagine that they treat you as though you were the one being sacrified in life to the unseen deities. Let your feelings be burned as the sacrifice in the fire. Let it cleanse you. The warmth will reward you, revitalize your heart, renew your interest in life, and reactivate your courage to confront any difficulty in life. It will enhance your bravery to move into your bright future.

Watching the White Clouds
In a late spring, summer or autumn afternoon, you will see the billowing white clouds in the sky transforming into cities, mountainsm, villages, or animals. Some clouds bring very pleasant scenes or figures, but some do not. All the things you see have no connection to you, just quietly sitting there. They are so remote from you. Allow everything to transform in front of you without attempting to manage them or to keep them the same. Similarly, objectively watch yo life, all expereinces, and all evetns. Let them pass by. Let your spirit attain clamness and quietude. You become achieved by training it to watch the tranformation of beautfy or ugliness, of different colours and shapes of clouds, without building attachment to them. Clouds can also carry you far, far away, but do not allow yourself to be carried away; always find yourself unmoved.

Then in your life, when you have thoughts or troubles, bad or good expereiences, let them be the clouds, because you have already formed and trained yourself by watching the clouds in the sky. Let the clouds carry themselves away but your spirit be independent. Also, when you have problems in your life, go into your garden. raise your head, and look at the clouds and sky above. you. Your training will return to you in a few moments, and you will find calmness and dettachment from you troubles.

Watching the Still Pond
The water in the pond is so crystal=clear, you can even see fish swimming in it. Sit near it quietly, letting your mind be the water. All the fish enjoy the freedom of sweimming in the pond; they are not bothered by wind, because they are in the water of life, not the ater of death. Why allow your mind to be so crowded with negative thoughts? Learned from the example oft he pond so that no thought or emtional experience bothers you. By watching the pond, you attain calmness. There is no source of disterbance in your sight.

Watching the Evergreen Trees
In wintertime, the proud and undefeated spirit of these trees does not yeild to the pressure of the cold or snow. Quietly standing year after year without winking or frowning, all the needles or leaves stretch and grow as they should, undisturbed. The straight, sturdy trunk is the root of your life. Observe it to help you regain your strength of life in adverse conditions or in the cold world.

Watching the Blossoming Flower
In spring, summer, autumn, and even winter, flowers are blooming. They take their support from the weather, continuing to bloom dispite inclement weather. No human individual need be withered by the negative curcumstances in life. Let your life blossom like those flowers, in the sense of the fullness of your spirit and fullness of your life strength.

Hua-Ching Ni, "Entering the Tao", pg.135-138

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Sun & Moon, poetry by Michel Weatherall

Sun & Moon explore emotional quandaries through an enigmatic lens. The sobriety of madness, the fretting away of the poet's sanity.

It is fear and hope given voice in the same breath.

Sun & Moon is available at
and numerous other platforms of your choice!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Ngaro's Sojourney: Book Review

A fusion of Robert Lewis Stevenson's "Treasure Island" and Edgar Allan Poe's "The Narrative of Gordon Arthur Pym of Nantucket" with a splash of Maori and a light seasoning of Lovecraft.

An epic (movie-worthy) stand-alone (and the first  book of a new series, Fractures) as well as deeply steeped in a shared universe of The Symbiot.

Brian Lumley's influence is especially clear in Weatherall newest novel, Ngaro's Sojourney.

Stephen King, Clive Barker, Brian Lumley, Robert Lewis Stevenson, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft... All strong influences - I see great things for Weatherall!

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Refuse Chronicles - A Book Preview

by Michel Weatherall

A true homage to Lovecraft and the genre of Weird Fiction.

Witness the rise of a truly vicious and lethal villain the likes of which we've never seen in the entire Symbiot-Series.

It's modern-tech vs ancient forgotten evil. It's Lovecraft with teeth and bullets!

Murder. Mystery. Sci-fi. Ghost story. Subtle comedy. Traditional monster-story. Action. Historic. Spiritual. This anthology of assorted novelettes runs a complete gamut as they weave together to bring this series to its final and brutal conclusion!

"Be prepared: There is no tomorrow!"

~ ~ ~

The Refuse Chronicles is the fourth (print edition) title of The Symbiot-Series.

The entire series are as follows:

The Symbiot

The Hunt: Symbiosys


The Refuse Chronicles

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Necropolis - First Reading

In Late September 2015, I had the opportunity to have a sneak preview of the as-of-then unfinished book by Michel Weatherall, Necropolis. Once again, I have had the lucky opportunity to read its first (as of yet unpublished) manuscript.

One thing struck me. There are powerful women characters in this book.
Not damsels in distress nor secondary background characters. Not pretty eye-candy (well, some are). These are powerful women facing nearly insurmountable challenges.

From Donita, the adventuring, gun toting heroine from the '30's to Veronica ( (from both previous books, The Symbiot and The Hunt: Symbiosys), s), to the main character, Tamara.

(Spoiler) Even the struggles with its antagonists, Amber Miller, and the 1930 Alia Moubayed only to mention a few. Even Tamara's dead mother - Marie Gibbons - plays an intricate role. The 1930's Donita takes on men in one-to-one combat and even Lovecraftian monsters! Veronica faces down a madman!(Spoiler ends)

Yes, there are men in this book's character list, but its main characters are predominantly women.
I am impressed and happily surprised!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Tong Il and Humanity's Unification

Of all the patterns (tuls) in Taekwon-do, I find the 24th and final pattern the most interesting. (I myself have only 'achieved' the 13th pattern, Po-Eun).

It is probable that I may never learn the pattern Tong Il But as unlikely as it is of me learning this pattern, I believe I can most definitely learn from this pattern.

The 24th and final pattern, Tong Il “denotes the resolution of the unification of Korea which has been divided since 1945. The diagram symbolizes the homogeneous race.”

Historically the concept of a Korean homogeneous race” is a scary idea. It would appear to have political agendas, hopes, aspirations and even discrimination, racism and hatred. However, I choose to interpret General Choi's views of Korea as a microcosm of the world.

Unification of humanity itself. 
The end of conflict. 

Whether or not this goal can one day be realized, it is undeniably a great and noble cause. Whether it be religious or political intolerance or ideological differences, we all share the same biology. We are one, whole and homogeneous people.

I believe Religion teaches to look out for one's own. The downtrodden, the poor, the sick. But Religion has always been insular - inward looking. It is still indicative of Tribalism. 
Spirituality, without the inhibitions and limitations of Religion teaches Compassion and Solace for all - without conditions or terms. 
I believe it is Tribalism that is humanity's biggest challenge today. I believe it is the biggest challenge this world currently faces.

I believe in this goal behind the philosophy of Taekwon-do. 

Ultimately, we are one tribe.

The Industry of Relgion

When anything becomes an industry it becomes compromised and corrupted.
Education, Health Care, etc.

When Spirituality becomes an industry it becomes Religion.
Religion is the Industry of Spirituality. Religion has been compromised and corrupted.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Necropolis, by Michel Weatheall; a book preview

Scheduled for release early 2016, I have had to opportunity to preview Necropolis, the final installment of The Symbiot Series.

~ ~ ~

Woven throughout this entire literary piece are the stories of characters forgotten about from the original novella, The Symbiot. Written as three separate pieces, following 6 story lines set in 3 different ages, Necropolis is intricate storytelling!

The first piece tells the story of the fall and demise of the ancient Egyptian man-god, Pharaoh Nyarlathotep. 

The second brings us back to the characters we left in the previous book, ten years later. The promises hinted at in TheHunt: Symbiosys, do not disappoint and come to fruition in Necropolis, with full blown Lovecraftian-mythos monsters! 

It's Modern Tech versus forgotten aeons-old evil, with a reminiscent flavouring similar to Grandma Death's fictitious book (Donnie Darko, 2001)!

~ ~ ~

It has been a decade since The Hunt and the Gibbons' children are humanity's last hope!

The conclusion of The Symbiot Series spans three millennia - from Pharaoh Nyarlathotep's genesis and demise, to the discovery of the derelict Japanese Destroyer, the Yamayuki, to the world shattering rising of R'lyeh!

The world is at its end!
R'lyeh has risen!
Cthulhu's high priest has awaken!
Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Fhtagn!

Monday, August 31, 2015

"The Uncontrolling Love of God", by Thomas Jay Oord: Review & Commentary

(By Guest Blogger/Writer - Michel Weatherall)

I will begin this book review with a spoiler.
Sometimes we hold onto something so tightly, we cannot ever let it go. We become blind and forget we are even desperately clinging onto it. These are blind Sacred Cows.
I believe many religious traditions are guilty of this and thus struggle with the theological problem of pain, suffering, and evil.

The answer is simple but heretical.
God cannot be both omnibenevolent and omnipotent.

Either God is All-Powerful, but not All-Loving...
or God is All-Loving, but not All-Powerful.
You cannot have it both ways. ("Almighty" and "Omnipotence" are not synonymous. "Divine love preconditions God's almightiness". Pages 188-191).

I personally have come to this conclusion several years ago. I opt with the latter: God's Love trumps God's power. Let me tell you, it isn't a popular position. And not having the theological clout makes this a difficult position to hold.

Thomas Jay Oord sees this clearly.
He expertly juggles herculean theological challenges that - although any serious amature theologian may not know their proper terms or nomenclatures - should most definitely recognize and identify. Christian or not, these challenges are the undertow of our reality, one way or the other, with serious practical implications. They are important questions and should not be disregarded or relegated to the realm of speculative contemplation. 

Personally, I approach these issues from a perspective of 'God' akin to something like the Hindu concept of the Brahman, or the Taoist's Tao, but I still hold onto the Christian belief of God being - not loving - but Love itself. (And in chapter 4, pg. 83, he systematically lists the 'types' of Providence-beliefs, including mine (pg. 94-95). And just in case, my gentle reader, you're curious, my views of God's providence falls somewhere between points 4-5 (God is Essencially Kenotic - God Sustains as an Impersonal Force). My point being, we all begin from a certain paradigm and this book is written with that understanding.)

An old ex-pastor friend of mine used to tell me that I had to be careful how I chose to write about some of the theological concerns and issues I often address. He said, I often had interesting and valid points that certain religious groups would do well to hear and listen to, but the risk was to avoid putting it in such a way as to turn them away.

My friend was right. But sometimes I think there is value in being up front and honest; in thinning out the herd; in weeding out the garden; separating the chaff from the wheat.

This is a book many religious groups would benefit well to study.
Thomas Jay Oord has balls the size of church-bells with some of the theological issues he addresses in this new book. He doesn't shy away or attempt to sidestep some of the most difficult theological challenges there are, but rather embraces them and faces them head-on. No doubletalk, no Christianese, no churchtalk. In fact, he chastises some of these less than satisfactory and submissive answers. This is not a watered down selective theology made to look pretty.

The existence of evil. Free Will vs. Determinism. Libertarian Freedom. A non-all-controlling God. Regularists vs. Necessitarians. Natural Law. Euthyphro's dilemma. Evolutionary Emergence. Divine Kenosis, divine impassibility & mutability, and the list goes on!
This is no light of fluffy read.
I have given his previous book, "The Nature of Love: A Theology" a great review, but my one complaint was that he needed to significantly expand on his concept of Essential Kenosis. This book promises to do just that.

Ultimately, in my humble opinion, this book is a sequel to "The Nature of Love: A Theology". In my review of "The Nature of Love: A Theology" the only real criticism I found was that Thomas Jay Oord's revolutionary concept of "Essencial Kenosis" needed more fleshing out.

In "The Uncontrolling Love of God" he does exactly this, not only going into significantly more detail and exposition, but also summerizing and exploring popular and currently held beliefs and theories that have attempted to address these difficult issues, and ultimately come up short or have failed.

I am an adherent to "Essential Kenosis", have come to these self-same conclusions myself. However, in "The Uncontrolling Love of God", I feel that the author needed to better explain how "Essencial Kenosis" addresses random harmful (genuinely evil) acts.

"Essential Kenosis" adequately explains the existence of pain and suffering in our world while maintaining God's inculpability and inability to intervene when dealing with individuals of free-will or agency. But once "Essential Kenosis" launches into issues of non-agency, or the inanimate, or aggregates, or 'laws of nature', it becomes less than crystal clear.

I admit, part of the fault may fall upon the reader (myself) for I have not given this particular issue thorough thought or exploration. It is definitely something I personally need to better address. But let's be clear here: I am not the one proposing "Essential Kenosis" (even though I edorse it). The burden of onus lied upon the author, Thomas Jay Oord, and I'm not convinced he followed this through thoroughly enough. Maybe this could be material for a new book? (Essential Kenosis, part 3?)

This becomes more problematic and convoluted as he attempts to address the issue of Miracles. Although the section pertaining to divine miracles is detailed, I will do the injustice of simplifying it (it is still worth the read) in saying I feel as if he is dancing and weaving around the problem of divine miracles by redefining it; possibly becoming fixated on 'hammering a round peg into a square hole'. He is attempting to force the Christian criterion of Miracles into "Essential Kenosis" where I am not sure it fits. I think a simple point of its beauty is missed: Essential Kenosis does not have to be exclusively Christian.

There is a near insurmountable challenge present when dealing with Christian Miracles: It is nearly always accepted as God intervening.  The author offers a new paradigm to consider. When free-willed agents (us) interact with God's uncoercive desires and will, this collaborative effort leads to a future closer to God's will or hope for the universe - what we might call the Kingdom of God (not the Heaven of the Afterlife); that maybe, this paradise-like world is within the natural scope of the 'laws of nature'; it is not supernatural, but simply natural; a simply unrealized potential. 

Although I am not a fan of approaching theories based exclusively upon the biblical witness, Thomas Jay Oord goes far beyond this method, building upon observation and evidence from Science, Philosophy and Theology. This book is thoroughly grounded.

"The Uncontrolling Love of God" belongs on any religious, spiritual, or theologian's bookshelf. This is a must read!

Five stars!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.