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Parmenion

There is no God?

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There is no God?

By Martin Fitzsimons

27 July 2007 21.00

 

There is no God I say to one and all!

No guiding hand to save you when you fall,

Man worships or destroys that which he fears,

The farce of heaven lessens loved ones' tears.

In the pulpits pastors preach and tell,

Not to listen means you'll go to hell.

 

If you don't believe, and live life good,

You've no more soul than a stump of wood,

To live your life being good is not enough,

You must believe the priest's and all their stuff.

 

 

Man created Gods from his own minds,

He changed to many forms for many kinds,

As we sought to sanction why we're here,

That elusive answer faded into fear.

What if we're just a process of this earth?

Just one more species dying and giving birth,

Some seem to think that we're the chosen few,

"We're enlightened - not the animals" they'll spew.

 

There is no grand design for humankind,

Other than what we make with our own mind,

Let’s take this education from the top,

And to this Godly nonsense put a stop!

 

 

It began with Genesis oh so long ago,

That Adam and that Eve as we all know,

But are you taught from whence this story came?

Grab some popcorn, read on and I'll explain...

 

Ten thousand years ago we learned to farm,

We stored the food and side-stepped nature's harm,

Starvation could not keep our numbers low,

Adam represents all man before this grow.

 

The farmers were the man we know as Cain,

Who onto Abel caused much hurt and pain.

Abel were the nomads of that time,

Who lived with nature and understood Cain's crime.

 

Who wrote this story? Where from did it come?

This answer is only known by some.

It was Semite propaganda not writ down,

Later stolen by some Hebrew clown.

 

Abel was the Semites and their kin,

But what about the apple being a sin?

As Cain expanded and his numbers grew,

The nomadic hunting grounds became more few.

Cain went against the natural order's laws,

So the Semites told their children that this cause

Was as a result of Cain anger-ing the gods,

The apple story the reason for these odds.

 

 

At the time this spoken story came to be,

There was no one god nor one god's decree,

It would be two thousand years after this tale,

Before the Hebrews found one god to hail.

 

The twist - this story subsisted in such times,

Where many gods existed in many climes,

So why then do religions still persist,

To deny that multi-gods perhaps exist?

They borrow stories from a "heathen" time,

And pass them off as theirs which ain't a crime?

But yet they fool the masses and purport,

Its a crime to kill, to steal or to extort.

 

But if thy brother, thy daughter or thy son,

Shall worship other gods such as the sun,

Thou shall surely smite him with thy sword,

Lest he blaspheme another single word! (Deuteronomy 13:6-15)

 

The ruling factions in this modern age,

Do not attempt to teach you but to cage

How you think from when you are a child,

To enslave you to obedience and being mild.

I urge you all to think outside the box,

This is just a key to force the locks

On the prisons they have built around your mind,

To keep you in the dark, to keep you blind.

 

:wolf:

Edited by Parmenion

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well written on first read. I'd like to reserve until I've time to read it aloud - it 'felt' like there were a few rough spots in meter that perhaps punctuation would cure? That could've been me in my haste.

 

*hugs*

 

Good to see you writing again!

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These are big subjects you have tackled here – a personal faith struggle, faith vs. ‘science’, freedom of thought – and they are, for the most part, well voiced. There are, however, two major issues as I see them: 1) the restrictive form (rhyming couplets) and 2) the jarring last stanza (#13).

 

1) The form: rhyming couplets are *very* restrictive unless one’s vocabulary is positively Shakespearian. I think the piece would benefit from some extensive tinkering in the form of a complete re-write in free-form. Many times the rhyme dictates a line end, a particular vocabulary, or a meter that jars with the reader. For example, stanza 11:

 

The twist - this story subsisted in such times,

Where many gods existed in many climes,

So why then do religions still persist,

To deny that multi-gods perhaps exist?

They borrow stories from a "heathen" time,

And pass them off as theirs which ain't a crime?

But yet they fool the masses and purport,

Its a crime to kill, to steal or to extort.

 

There are words such as “subsisted” and fairly precise (almost archaic?) grammar such as “So why then do religions still persist, / To deny that multi-gods perhaps exist?” and “yet they fool the masses and purport, / Its a crime to kill, to steal or to extort” (you don’t need the “But” in front of the “yet” on that penultimate line, btw) with a clanger contraction like “which ain't a crime?” (emphasis added) in the midst of it all. The rhyme, perhaps mostly due to the preceding contraction, seems forced – out of place. It breaks the spell for the reader. There are many such examples, particularly of ‘forced’ rhyme, throughout the poem.

 

Stanza 1, in free form, might look something like:

 

There is no God – no guiding hand to save you!

Man worships or destroys that which he fears,

while the farce of heaven only serves

to lessen loved ones' tears.

In the pulpits pastors preach;

Can you not feel the brimstone’s heat?

 

- ok, that didn’t quite end up completely 'free' but is less restricted (IMHO) than rhyming couplets, but I think it serves to illustrate my point :D

 

2) Stanza 13: The (unlucky?) closing stanza:

 

The ruling factions in this modern age,

Do not attempt to teach you but to cage

How you think from when you are a child,

To enslave you to obedience and being mild.

I urge you all to think outside the box,

This is just a key to force the locks

On the prisons they have built around your mind,

To keep you in the dark, to keep you blind.

 

The education theme runs throughout the piece, well woven into the fabric, but here the threads seem to have come loose. There is a conclusion (of sorts) for the narrator, but for the reader the piece jumps from Deuteronomy 13:6-15 and an ongoing struggle with religious authority and its apparent demands, to a sudden tirade against secular authorities, “The ruling factions in this modern age” (the Church, of whatever flavour, does not ‘rule’ – certainly not in Western culture). Perhaps there is an element of the narrators struggle against *all* authority, secular or religious?

I'd suggest bringing the faith issue to the fore here at the end, to show that this is still at the centre of the narrator's struggle (if it is). Perhaps a generic "They" can be used in place of "ruling factions":

 

They don't teach, but cage you -

Tell you what to think, not how,

till you are nothing but a slave.

Think!

Break down your prison walls.

 

 

As I have said above, these are major subjects you’ve tackled here – issues that are very much at the front of many questions (and news items) today. You’ve taken a big bite of a big pie by trying to bring it down to a personal level and have got some great ideas down. Well done.

 

Standard Disclaimer: The views expressed above are entirely my own opinion and may be used or discarded as the reader sees fit. I hope it's helpful in some way. :D

Edited by Psimon

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Not too shabby. A little preachy in places. Stanza 8-11 seem a little over-reach. Only other comment was something someone told me a few years ago. "We all want to write the big idea, but if you focus in and develop the little things, they'll [the big ideas] will come through."

 

 

rev...

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Wyvern bounces up and raises a claw.

 

I moved the thread, unaware that Martin Fitzsimons was your real name and under the impression that you were sharing someone else's work (in which case the poem would belong in the Library). Once I found out that it was your real name, I moved it back to the Banquet Hall. You still get a free reference link in the Library leading to this thread, though - consider it an additional incentive to read the poem. :-)

 

Wyvern glances over Parmenion's work and nods while hissing a quiet prayer to the Great God and Pharoahe Nanotoknonnen under his breath. The overgrown lizard pulls out an ancient box of Nanotoknonnen-Os and sprinkles their mummyrific remains over the Banquet Room carpet, only to frown at the lack of rubber scarub within. He then turns to exit the chamber, muttering something positive about the huge goldmine that religion has offered clever schemers such as himself...

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Ah.... you got to love a free society. Parmenion your writing is as always top drawer but it surprises me that without exception no one has expressed a problem with the contents itself. Of the ninety plus people that have viewed this only five have comments and even though it is controversial not a single person said hey I disagree.

 

Perspective is what is expressed in this work. The title itself "There is no God?" is a question. I doubt anyone could answer that with certainty until after they die but there are those of us that do believe there is a God even if we don't understand the full nature of that concept.

 

Mankind is the most arrogant species on earth, I can't argue with that because it is true. Not only are we self aware, we are also largely self absorbed. We disagree with specific details of organized religion but when we look at the complex world and universe around us we wonder how we came to be.

 

If the subject matter serves to challenge someones belief structure so be it for I have been a believer, a non believer, an agnostic and then a believer again. It is a journey we all travel during the course of our lives.

 

There in the first stanza is a line "No guiding hand to save you when you fall." I laughed as I read it for in my life I have fallen from heights that have killed others and I survived. Not once nor twice but on four separate occasions (from heights of over 16 feet or more) Yes I had sustained injuries but I lived! Guardian Angels or dumb luck it is still perspective.

 

"On the prisons they have built around your mind,

To keep you in the dark, to keep you blind."

 

The prisons we build and they had nothing to do with it.

Peace.

Edited by Regel

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Ok I don't agree with your beliefs but lets agree to disagree on that. I really liked the way your philosophy was limited by the rhyming couplets. I have written my poems like this before and I find that although it takes a lot of time and sometimes a dictionary, it avoids over emotive stanzas and keeps the writing to the point. You, like me seem to have a little problem with the rythm sometimes but I really enjoyed your perspective.

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Nods to Regel

 

Anyone who knows me as long and as well as Parmenion knows I'm a hard-cored Christian, so I decided to focus my feedback on the work itself, as a vehicle of expression. One thing I've always loved about Parmenion is that he has a knack of unflinching honesty about expressing his beliefs, without attacking others. I see that again here. He states repeatedly his experiences, his conclusions, his views, but doesn't push them as the only conclusions or views. I love that when it is done well. :)

I was hoping I'd have the energy to let this piece lead me into a poetic response, which is one of the best ways to deal with disagreement in a site like this - respond to a work with a work - but my energy remains in at low tide. :(

 

Thank you to all who've replied, taking up my slack! :D

 

Peredhil hugs them one and all

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Hmm. Gonna play a little with your first stanza. Hope you don't mind.

 

 

There is no God, I say to all! (? in title vs. !)

No guiding hand to save your fall.

A man will worship in spite of fears,

The farce of heaven or loved ones' tears. (Yeah, I know it doesn't make as much sense, but I'm fiddling.)

In pulpits pastors preach and wail:

Listen not and go to hell.

Edited by reverie

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Yup I noticed just how restrictive writing couplets are when trying to keep this poem on track which led its forced nature in several areas. I am currently working on revamping it in either a different scheme or in a smoother free verse manner and taking on board the points with regard to keeping it directed at the specific struggle rather than the last stanza which is more a general frustration with society rather than religions.

 

To Regel:

 

The subject matter itself is borne from a struggle. The struggle being that which we are taught to believe versus the human craving for knowledge and true explanation. While to content of the poem comes across in a lecturing manner in some parts that reflects the nature of the author (moi) but you can equally see the frustration with regard to why some of these questions go unanswered. In such lines as:

 

So why then do religions still persist,

To deny that multi-gods perhaps exist?

 

This particular couplet also antagonises the opening line which states in contrast with the title that God does not exist. The narrator leaves room in several places throughout the poem like this reflecting the uncertainty of what on the surface appears to be staunch convictions. While the opinions and perspectives come across quite strong, I hope that enough chinks were left in the armour to show that the narrator is researching a matter so thoroughly that the question that must be asked is: Why? Why is he researching it so thoroughly? What is it he is really searching for?

 

In contrast with your actual physical falls I have had a dozen or more moments in my life where for some reason things have just gone my way. The metaphoric falls have always been broken by something. But what is that something? Is it some omniscient spirit? A trick of fate? The power of internal will and thought impressing itself to shape matter and circumstance in the locality from idea or desire in a Plato-like philosophy? The struggle to understand the nature of the cause that brings about the beneficial effect.

 

Lastly, I would have to take a different stance regarding who builds the prisons. Humans are self-aware but the more I experience from them the more I feel humans are a product not only of genes but the environment within which they have been raised. An environment can be one which encourages self-awareness and the ability to question but at the same time be placing shackles upon how far that mind can question. In many religions across the world, to question the origins or in fact the right of divinity of a god is to blaspheme and is a sin. This also extends to the Social Contracts that exist between the individuals and the state. If I disagree with my governments decisions I can be considered to be unpatriotic. If I speak out against those decisions in some governments I can be jailed or worse. Modern brain washing techniques and propaganda can and do cage the minds of some of the most intellectual of people by isolating them in their free time to stop them congregating and raising important questions or thoughts of revolution to change. Because they believe they are free, they forget that freedom to think was not a thing that was fought for and won 200 or 100 or even 50 years ago. It is an eternal struggle to ensure that the governing body and the governed are always subject equally to the same restrictions and limitations on their behaviour within the framework of a society. This ties in quite heavily with religions even today. Some leaders of state actively promote their religion as part of their reign in government. I would be of the idea that religion and state should be seperate identities. State is a social matter. Religion a private one. Thus that couplet regarding shackles.

 

Environment (how a child is raised into an adult) I feel has a very important role to play in how far that individual will allow itself to question the world around them in which they live and the teachings of their elders.

 

To Peredhil:

 

I would love that we could trade philosophies with poetry! I know of course your religious background and it has always been a pleasure and an enlightening experience trading thoughts with you. If time permits you even a short poetic response I would be honoured.

 

Appreciate ya playing Rev and taking it on board for the redraft.

 

Be well all :)

Edited by Parmenion

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