Sorry I am not as active on here as I once was. I've been very busy with my new career as a independent writer and editor, writing web content, blog articles, and editing seven nonfiction books for authors. However, I just wanted to check in and say thanks to you all on this US holiday of Thanksgiving. I've come to the understanding that life is much simpler once you remove God from the picture and start taking responsibility for your own life and the circumstances surrounding it. It lacks in no quality, and in fact brings a sense of peace in life. Of course, you have to sift through the muck of being human first, but once you're out of that rabbit hole, you can breathe easier. I hope you all find the same peace.

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Thanks Barry. Good to hear from you. Yes, there is much more to be found and appreciated once we escape the cave. I am happy for you. Please feel free to link a few blogs if you like. I was in the USA last year for Thanksgiving to visit some family and just spoke with them on the phone. Hopefully I will get over again early in the new year.

Hi Barry, good to see you back! 

Hey Barry, what a delight to hear from you. Happy thanksgiving to you and yours. Sending buckets of love and peace to you my friend.

To you and yours as well, Strega. It'd be good for us to talk sometime. I am a far healthier man then when we last spoke.

You were always a wonderful man Barry. It just took you a bit longer to see it yourself. It'd be lovely to catch up :)

"life is much simpler once you remove God from the picture and start taking responsibility for your own life and the circumstances surrounding it. It lacks in no quality, and in facts brings a sense of peace in life."

- it does seem that way, doesn't it?  Religous people usually seem to have so much stupid useless shit to worry about - which I think is a shame.  On the other hand, it is known to improve people's health and longevity, so it must have benefits.  If you ask me it's the judgementalism that's the real problem - God only loves you if blah blah blah. 

I don't think it's so much religion that improves life, but a belief in a "higher power" which brings hope and builds community. A higher power doesn't need to be a fairy tale. It just needs to be something that provides meaning to life in an otherwise senselessly chaotic world.

Yes, optimism, and a community, are very important.  I've also seen it said that prayer lengthens people's lives because it is a meditative practice, and this has well documented health benefits. 

Meditation, yes. Prayer done in this manner, most likely. Prayer for the sake of prayer, I am doubtful. This is based on my own experience and observation. I've had more success at achieving emotional balance, stability, and clarity using meditation than I ever did using "prayer." Prayer, to me, has always been disconnected to the mind and body. But once I began meditating everything opened up. When I first started meditating, I did it every day twice a day. The sessions would last up to two hours. Then slowly this reduced to 40 minutes each. And now I only meditate when needed at 30 minutes a time. It's quite healthy, and so much more productive than offering up lamentations or desires to a being I am disconnected from. When I meditate, I am connected to my whole self, and to my environment. It makes a big difference. But, I can only speak for myself.

Oh, as for the "God only loves you if..." Yup. Kind of defeats the purpose of the argument: "God is love, and God's love is unconditional."

Yeah, it's not love if you are in fear of what or whom you love. The "fear clause" makes it conditional. Prayer is a waste of your energy. Meditation is recharging it.....effortlessly.

Miss you Barry!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

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