A machine ate my credit card + a good conversation + what is hell?

by | Jan 17, 2024 | Latest Post | 0 comments

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Edible credit card

After three or four years delay I finally decided to join Francoise at a session of yoga at a school. On the way I had to go to a cash machine to collect some money to pay for this. My transaction was approved but alas the card was only partially spat out of the machine giving a tantalizing glimpse of itself without my being able to actually pull it out. It made two further half-hearted attempts and then withdrew it into the machine where upon I heard a crunching sound. This is the only time it has ever happened to me. There is an 0800 help number on a small sticker but all it tells you to do is to go to your card provider and stop the card.

Not much help to me.

The result was that I had to skip the session and go home and report the card as lost or stolen. I have recently installed my Santandar app and on inquiry I found that the app was quite capable of stopping the card and ordering a new one. It was very simple to do, and in a few clicks my card had been stopped and a new one ordered with a promised delivery 3 to 5 working days. Technology is developing so fast these days I cannot keep track of it. Everything seems to be transferred to apps and to mobile phones with PC’s as an optional extra.

The only nuisance thing is I have to change all my arrangements where my main credit card was used for payment for example Amazon but there we go.


Before I carry on, I enclose an excellent article about EV’s. I know I mentioned this recently but this is a pretty thorough demolition job and I reckon the key point is that as batteries cannot be repaired they must be replaced and I would therefore expect insurance policies to rise astronomically. I heard a quote for £9,000 recently. This is only the latest in a series of ridiculous decisions made by the government to subsidize something that will ultimately be a dead duck. So, governments, PLEASE check everything with independent scientists – if there are any left.
Stop forcing these deadly dangerous EV’s on us!

Listening and communicating chapter 2

Following on from yesterday when I talked about listening:

What is the basis for meaningful dialogue? If you are making bread, you need flour and water but also a substance called yeast. What is yeast? It is an egg shaped single cell fungus that is only visible with a microscope. It takes 20 billion, that’s 20,000,000,000 yeast cells to weigh one gram. To grow, cells digest food and this allows them to obtain energy. When baking yeast-leavened bread, the yeast ferments the sugars in the flour and releases carbon dioxide.

Because the dough is elastic and stretchable, the carbon dioxide cannot escape. The expanding gas causes the dough to inflate or rise. Active dry yeast is dormant until proofed, which occurs when it is dissolved in a small amount of lukewarm water.

So here is the thought, we are natural beings and we are designed to work according to the laws of nature. If we think we know better than nature, we are going to come off a poor second. Two or more people meet. We have a God given ability to think, to create. A person who makes a statement can be seen as yeast. Yeast on its own is impotent and has no function. It requires a trigger.

This takes the form of another person who wishes to grow and make themselves open to an idea. If two people open themselves to each other then the equivalent of leavening the bread will happen. This will not be noticed but if you listen carefully to what you are saying you will notice that ideas are growing. This is what I said yesterday about the bright environment. It needs to be free of distraction.

Pursuing the analogy, yeast cannot try to be yeast, it is it’s nature. That is what it does. The brain cannot try to be the brain because thinking is what it does. If the intent (it’s that word again) is to learn, then learning will happen. We make a difference to other people because we are living human beings with priorities and with intents.

It is no wonder that the powers that be aim to suppress – in most cases successfully – the power we have to think and change. Just to remind you that the novel by George Orwell 1984 was not an instruction manual but a warning. It does look as if the warning is not being heeded. We are moving towards world domination , domination of thoughts, actions, feelings, behavior – you name it.

What is hell?

If we start getting spiritual for a moment we could say that the place we call heaven is a place where there are no restrictions, no limits on time and space, that we are everywhere all at once and there are no limitations. The opposite of this is what we call hell. Someone has equated it to putting fences up around your house; anything outside is the enemy. Then you have hatred, jealousy, fear and insecurity by the spadeful.

When we tell someone to ‘go to hell’, what does it really mean? This will be today’s thought,  one I have not explored before. What is the etymology of this word? It’s from the old English hel, helle which is described as neither a world of the living or of the dead, infernal regions, torment for the wicked after death. The Old English ‘hel’ belongs to a family of Germanic words meaning to ‘cover’ or to ‘conceal’

It seems to be a place from which you cannot escape. In many religious traditions the abode is usually beneath the earth, a world apart, a distant land of shadows where the dead are gathered. From this underworld come dreams, demons and in its most terrible precincts sinners pay – some say eternally- the penalty for their crimes. The underworld is often imagined as a place of a punishment rather than merely of darkness and decomposition because of the widespread belief that a moral universe requires judgment and retribution. In other words crime must not pay.

It may be that we have over demonized the thought of Hell. For example the Zoroastrian hell is presided over by Yima, the first victim of death, and is home to all that is evil, dark, corrupt, cold, and hostile to life. The demons who dwell there take delight in torturing sinners. Is this anthropomorphism?

I suspect the imagery could be somewhat dramatized in most cases. The point is we go on being ‘us’ after we cast aside our body. So if our spirit is used to thinking, we will continue to think. If it is used to serving, we will continue to serve. Nothing can ‘stop’. This is about the nature of the universe seen and unseen and it does not relate to any particular religion.

Is Hell a place? Are we going to go anywhere? Is it a one-way ticket or are we able to be redeemed?

If we believe that we are incarnated in order to work out karma, in other words to repair our debt to other people, then being in a restricted place would be a handicap because in death we have to live with what we created in life; hell is not a place where we have the power to change. The problem is that we will be surrounded by kindred spirits which means that any willpower we might have had will be mitigated by the presence of others on our wavelength.

I suspect the nature of life after death in hell is to see what we have done and its consequences and not being able to do anything about it. For Christians, can the grace of God reach into hell? Theoretically I suppose yes but if a person during their life has demonstrated a consistent wish to go against unity and harmony, then with God’s respect of free will what is there for him to do? On balance I think our wisest plan is to find something we really believe in and follow it.

We do not know when the Grim Reaper is coming but we need to be prepared.

C S Lewis said in his book “The Great Divorce” there are only two kinds of people in the end: Those who say to God” by will be done” and those two whom God says, in the end,” thy will be done”. All that are in hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it (never enter it – Ed.) Those who seek find. For those who knock it will be opened

I like what Oscar Wilde said ” we are each our own devil, and make this world our hell.

Aldus Huxley thinks that ” maybe this world is another planet’s hell”

John Paul Satre is quite blunt and says “hell is- other people”

T S Elliot said ” said what is hell?. Hell is oneself. Hell is being alone, the figures in it merely projections. There is nothing to escape from and nothing to escape to. One is always alone.

Contrast this with being alone and the phrase ‘at one’, plus the word atonement. Similar words? Ed.

Of course, could always do with some witticisms. PETA used enough says ” I imagine hell like this: Italian punctuality, German humour and English wine”. Yes Peter we get the point even if it is a bit dated.

Someone perceptively says ” I think hell is something you carry around with you, not somewhere you go” That was Richelle Mead, from his book The ‘Indigo Spell’

And Thomas Hobbes ominously says ” hell is truth seen too late”

Looking at and digesting the above, it does seem that we are the authors of our own future and it would make good sense (I was going to say common sense,  but that quality is not very common)  to imagine yourself in a place of unity and harmony and act or ‘be the part’ on a daily basis, so what ever happens to your soul when you go – and we will not know for certain about anything – then at least we can enjoy the journey.

We may even go as far as the ‘peace of God which passes all understanding’ but maybe that is a bit much for most people.

Is peace boring? Some would say so,  but that is for another day.

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