During the early part of the nineteenth century coal miners in the UK managed to place fear in the imagination of middle class society. Having these lower ebbed people unifying their kind created an uncomfortable parody in and amongst the learned, and the fictional Dr Frankenstein’s monster was the end result. A bedraggled looking figure with extra physical strength but no soul. Like any culture outside the English upper classes, the working class uneducated were deemed as less worthy, and in some cases they were seen as pure evil. The studies and research that came from within our universities, our apparent betters, was wrapped up in showing how the physical differences of a worker and a middle classer, married up to their intellectuality. While the criminally insane, (who were fished out from the coal mines with a “you’ll do” synopsis, or they were walking home with a loaf of bread and the police officer didn’t believe that they had paid for it, and neither did the sergeant, the magistrate nor the jailer) had proceeding foreheads, short stubby fingers and limited word structure, therefore less valuable in the world that was being transcribed by an up and coming Karl Marx. Evil was kept at bay by fear and class structures that had a firm hold of the financial strings to build higher boundary walls and gravel packed gardens, or so they believed. While all this was going on there were many artists who screamed right up to the point of suicide that society was going in the wrong direction, that we are taking “diabolical liberties” with this splendid world of ours. (DH Lawrence
The comprehensive system was designed to be a far reaching and all-embracing method of teaching that focused attention away from the regular discipline supplied by Christian schooling, and toward a more understanding culture where children had a voice, and of course those of us who went to a comprehensive school used that shout to gain whatever we could. This was hardly guidance from our elders, but more an offering of friendly advice that amounted to secular choices rather than discipline and direction. Here we had, and still have, another area in society that has taken away any potential spiritual ingredient in hope to gain the same results by reinventing the humanist spiritual newness Christianity offered in the first place. Jesus alone made all things new, which could not be replicated by a comprehensive school system no matter how many so called humanist professionals were involved in its creation….
18-08-2014: I saw Terry today, he looked awful. He appeared to be wandering around inside the selfish maze of his own head. Rest assured, Terry’s head is not a good place to be. Passing him by in the busy Southend-On-Sea High Street I could see his eyes were glazed over with an angry, vacant inward stare. He never noticed me at all. Looking at him walk by it seemed all those thoughts that filled his head made his lips move slightly. Mumbling to himself, sorting out yesterdays ills.
The Storehouse building in Southend is an intriguing place, to me anyway. After spending part of my child hood climbing on its roof I got to know the building well. A few years later at the age of 15 I attended a so called youth centre that opened and closed within perhaps a few months. I remember the grand open evening with the delivery of a wobbly pool table under the gaze of flickering light bulbs that hung loosely by the door, and it wasn’t Christmas. It seemed that someone had made an effort to add light to the place, at last! In my late teens and early twenties I attended a wedding, two birthday parties and a Buff club celebration, and then it closed again. Throughout the years that building has opened and closed more times than I care to remember. The building, I guess, is about 50 years old and looks older. I on the other hand was born a few years earlier in 1960, just a few hundred yards away from this rather shabby old building.
Having been born in the area, I have over the years become familiar with most of the church halls, community projects and landmark buildings in the area. As a local urbanite I am interested in simple, and at times pointless buildings that appear to have limited purpose. Sad hobby maybe, but most would agree nevertheless that local buildings can hold sway if they are within reach of our own culture, and this Storehouse building is part of mine. Many other buildings in the area that were once gripped by my grubby finger prints have been demolished, like the old Greyhound Track and the sweet factory that were both a favourite haunt for any youthful sprout. The building which is now the Storehouse however, of course still stands. Hardly a land mark building, but to me it has a history having climbed over it, walked around it and through it a million times and over the years prior to my urbanite view point taking over I would have, like most people, hardly given the old place a second glance. Nevertheless, my interest has been reignited, particularly over the last few years. The lights have been switched on again and someone is definitely in. The place is busy, and to begin with I was sceptical, because it has never been busy before, not for long anyway. To be sure, all previous attempts to make the building a success have failed dismally. That building had never been a success in any way shape or form so why wouldn’t I think, “here we go again”. Ask the local council for evidence and you will be shown a list dating back decades of half-hearted attempts to add life to the old place. It has always been a white elephant, or mouse perhaps, in the local area. Okay, before starting this blog I found time out to research! “the storehouse”. About ten minutes to be precise. Continue reading
Having wholeheartedly believed that knowledge would alter my addictive nature and give me a nudge in a more positive direction only shows how wrong I could be. With a disease so life threatening it seemed logical to seek professional advise and avoid any notion that some kind of spirit could help. Now that the truth has been unlocked through scripture however, my previous psycho babbling pursuits have since been recognized as life threatening experiences. All that intellectual searching was set on nothing more than a pride and fearful foundation built by my own self-will, which was placed alongside professional people that had some good yet naïve humanitarian intentions. They meant well but could not deliver nor withdraw from me the truth. Unfortunately this attitude simply highlighted my then brash, shallow and soulless character. Forgiveness, Love, being sorrowful and the need for redemption, or a redeeming nature, were never looked at as potential healing methods. I often believed, or perhaps hoped, that the professional therapists seemed so close to restoring my sanity, just one more visit and I’ll be fine was the nearest I got to any recovery at all. Nearly recovered does not wash when up against addiction.
The atheist Godfather Richard Dawkins recently compared morality to the principles of Christianity. During this particular debate with the Christian Oxford Professor John Lennox, Mr Dawkins implied that morality is central to good behaviour, leaving no room for the Holy Spirit. If we are morally sound as Mr Dawkins suggested, we have no need to follow fabricated spiritual nonsense! Ludicrous, deluded, barbaric are just a few words used by Dawkins when concluding his onslaught.
Dawkins believes Christianity is a religion that enforces a specific morality that expects precise and virtuous behaviour from cornered believers who are governed by an omniscient yet invisible power. Dawkins supposes a Christian is one who lives by certain rules and regulations that have imposed upon him or her divine ‘thou shalts’ and ‘thou shalt nots,’ and that behavioral conformity to these moral codes of conduct are what the Christian strives to accomplish in order to please a so called God. Continue reading
A late response by The Rambling Bricklayer.
Do we really believe that condoms can prevent the spread of AIDS? Stephen Fry says yes? The Catholic Church on the other hand suggests that abstaining from sexual relations prevents the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, which could potentially eradicate AIDS. Stephen Fry furthers his point by actually blaming the Catholic Church due to their immovable and historical stance on how we should conduct our sex lives. The problem is not the church, they have had their view on sex long before HIV hit the headlines. The problem is in our intellectuals such as Fry and the late Christopher Hitchens beefing up how condoms are an answer when up against AIDS. The Bible asks where is the wise man of this age, and suggests human wisdom is a distant second to the omnipotent view of God. Please read my view point and leave a comment below. Continue reading
Alcoholics, God and psychotherapy focuses on the Rambling Bricklayer’s personal journey alongside details, histories, successes and failures of how addicts search for recovery.
I am sure the psychiatrist negated a nod when I walked into her office. Immediately she began a no nonsense key holding approach to unlocking the self styled padlocked barbed wire that was wrapping me up and cutting me to pieces. The self-willed barbs were sharp, intricate and painful to say the least. I sat down sheepishly, her eye brows dipped. Oh no, I’ve already done something wrong, I thought, painfully. She studied me for a moment, weighing me up while taking notes. Her pen took brood swoops across a page with confidence like a real professional. “Don’t worry” she said “the notes are for our file only”. I clearly wasn’t fit enough in the head to read what she had written, the words were for “their file only”.
This post attempts to detail how the nature of the 12 step programme is missed by many addicts who simply march on in their own self will disguised as some strange misunderstanding of God.
Only the other day I bumped into an old AA colleague from London who was sharing at a local Southend On Sea meeting nearby to where I live. I told him how relieved I was since my baptism 6 years ago and how Jesus has enforced changed in my life through scripture and mature Christians. While we were stood having coffee in a church hall just before the meeting started, he responded with;
“I’ve never set foot in a church in my life, no need to mate, I’ve got enough here in AA”.
“You’re in a church now” I replied and told him that we AA’s can harp on about higher powers without really knowing the force behind the twelve step fellowship. When AA members bang on about “the rooms” they mean church halls, but fail to recognize that fact. I told my friend further that I went to a meeting that was held at a Town Hall, and how security guards refused us entry and cancelled the meeting due to a bomb scare in another Town Hall 40 miles away. This had happened a few times. This particular meeting had cameras in the corner of the room and was watched over by an omnipotent order of the day called gum chewing security guards who had power over whether we could attend the meeting, or not. Without churches there would be no AA, because people and systems would control the order of the day, which cannot work. All church leaders and elders allow meetings to go ahead and hand out keys to all sorts of ex-drunks without hankering on about security, why? Because God’s house is always open, that’s why!
Counselor, Law or God looks at how counselling can affect an addict and keep them away from true freedom. Further to this there are provoking thoughts on eugenic theories that are based on human supremacy…
Counselor client relationships can only be hierarchical making it practically impossible for an addict to open up and search for the truth, which is the essence of an addicts wellness. Having a financial agreement immediately places those involved into an economical relationship where a person who feels low is purchasing wellness from a professional who knows best. How wonderful it would be to purchase from a doctor a large portion of wellness. We can be sure there are many selling such ideas. Buying our way out of mental darkness however is impossible. Buying our way into heavenly freedoms is also impossible. Saint Peter was clear when confronted by a man called Simon who offered money in return for the Holy Spirit.
When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! (Acts 8: 18-20).
As each therapy session began of course there were smiles and pleasant conversation, but due to the money exchange there can be little love in those situations where one is an all knowing professional psychiatrist and the other is mentally exhausted at best.