Friday, October 30, 2015

Five Laws of Information and Society

I am currently am working on a MSLIS degree from a large public university in the Midwest. One of my current courses in my first semester here is Libraries, Information, and Society.

In the past two weeks, I learned about Ranganathan's Five Laws of Library Science. On Sunday afternoon October 24, I got a moment of creativity and wrote my Five Laws for Information and Society.  Here are the revised five-sentence version, per the request of the professor I had shared with last Sunday.

Five Laws of Information in Society
Paul Wheelhouse

Abbreviated 5 Sentence draft, October 29, 2015

All people and every individual needs information for life, from information necessary for locating, obtaining, and using such things as food, clothing, housing, health/medical care, libraries, schools, laws, public safety and law enforcement, government agencies, public welfare, political representatives, banking, religious/spiritual houses, etc.

Every individual should have the freedom to access all the information the need for life in the form they want whether printed on paper or digital premised on the view that digital information does NOT have an intrinsically greater value over paper/printed information just because its digital.

All people have a right to basic and necessary information (non-proprietary) for life and no one should be denied access to it. 

There are several kinds of information that should be freely available to all citizens, rich, middle class, or poor, provided by government agencies, public libraries, and non-profit organizations, such as laws, tax forms and instructions, schools, family planning, health care, political representatives, etc. but there are some areas of information that citizens may expect information to Not be free, but a charge, such as higher education, professional growth, personal growth, and business training and development.

Google is not God, no matter how big their data centers become and no matter how amazing fast search results appear and its sheer quantity of results or any other “wizardry” it will be able to code.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Remember and Honor your Ancestors

"Remember and Honor your Ancestors. Its good for your soul even if they do not remember you."
Paul Wheelhouse, USA, October 9, 2015, first used in an email last week.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Calling

What is meant here by "the Calling" is the inner call many human beings in many cultures through the centuries had to dedicate their lives to God and follow a religious life. 

In Christianity throughout its roughly twenty centuries, it has had apostles, pastors, bishops, prophets, priests, monks, and nuns (dedicated laity), to highlight most of the manifested roles of the Calling.

In Judaism throughout it history going back as far as the Babylonian captivity, it has had its rabbis, teachers of the Law, scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees, priests, and prophets. 

In Islam throughout its about 1400 years thus far, has had its imams and mahjdis.  (Its caliphs, which means "deputy," had the dual political/civil duties and the religious leadership, but emphasis was on civil-political leadership).

Zoroastrianism had its priests and its dedicated laity.

Hinduism has had its priests, ascetics, and lay persons dedicated to the Calling, as has also Jainism, a shoot off Hinduism.  And likewise Buddhism, shooting out of Hinduism in Indian, has had its priests and dedicated lay persons.

Taoism (Daoism) has also had its priests and dedicated lay persons who felt and received the Calling.  And so also some students of Confucianism. 

And similarly, Shintoism has had its priests and dedicated lay persons who felt and sensed the Calling through its hundreds of years of history.

And in parts of the world where indigenous peoples lived, in Africa, Australia, Pacific Islands, and the Americas, there have always been certain people that felt the Calling, understood through their own culture, to dedicate their lives to God, spiritual things, and healing people, from medicine men and shamas, to priests, to prophets, and dedicated lay people.

Let us ask, is there anything in common among all these many people in the various religions and spiritual traditions?  I suggest that there are at least two things in common.  The more obvious one is that each one basically understood the "Calling" through their culture and their culture's religion/spiritual tradition, based on the knowledge, wisdom, worldview, etc. they were taught by their culture or religious group.  The content of what they were taught of course is different for each religion or tradition, but each religion or tradition passed on its beliefs, wisdom, and understanding.  While in perhaps a majority of the cases of those who have received the "Calling," which never a study could be done to document all the human beings throughout history who have experienced and lived the "Calling" of course, but I would surmise that for a majority of them, the Calling they received was assisted by mentors, tutors, teachers, or significant other religious or spiritual leaders, either directly, say one-on-one or teacher-students model, or indirectly.  But there are no doubt cases where a person received the Calling as if it came directly from God, without the assistance of other human beings, so claimed.  Two classic cases here are of course the apostle Paul of Christianity (New Testament) and Mohammed, the great  Prophet of Islam.  But whether there were other human mentors involved or not in a person receiving the Calling, I submit the SECOND thing all have in common, among all who have sincerely felt the Calling, excluding others such as charlatans or those ambitious for power seeking it through spiritual leadership offices, that they ALL felt and received an INNER Calling, within their own being, soul, and heart, all perhaps connected with the Divine.  (We will of course exclude any possible cases of demonically-induced Callings deluding the recipients.)

Let us take this a step or two further.  Truism 1:  All human beings on earth are of the same human nature (physiological, mental, and spiritual: soul/spirit).  Truism 2:  the one God who created all things in heaven and earth created all humans. Not all, but at least 3 billion people on earth today believe this.  By deductive reasoning, then, we conclude that all the people, even perhaps throughout time, who have felt the inner Calling, all have this in common, this inner sense, and perhaps this inner sense has been and still is today much the same sense or feeling.  But we don't really know how another person exactly "feels" it, and we can't interview all those in the past whose earthly pilgrimage is ended.  So, while they all may have understood the Calling through each their own cultural, religious, spiritual lens, the Calling itself perhaps is quite similar to all peoples who have felt it.

This sense of the Calling has come to people of every generation and culture, I submit.  Some of them dedicated their lives full-time and professionally for the Calling, and they may serve as priests, pastors, teachers, or other religious leaders.  There are those who have taken the path of ordination.  But there are many more who have taken the path of dedicated lay person.  Some have been in traditions where certain vows and even life-long commitments are expected, and other traditions, no life-long commitments are expected for lay members.  In other words, for the latter, you can quit anytime you want.  And they are many others, I suggest, who have felt the Calling either in their youth or adulthood but have lived or been living in the work world, making a living for their family faithfully too.  And there are legendary figures such as Merlin the wizard who may have also felt the Calling, if there was an historical person behind the legend, but due to a lust for power and prestige, turned to sorcery and magic.

I write this not as one who has simply studied the various faiths academically and have learned about the Calling from second-hand or third-hand sources.  I am one who too has received the Calling, and the days I received the Calling, over twenty years ago, still is very clear to me today.  It marked a very distinct turning point in my life and by God's grace, am still on the path of the Calling, although its seems I have had a detour or two along the way.  And I have reflected on the Calling over the years, and even wrote a journal entry over twenty years ago describing my experience.  I have not pulled out my old journal to re-read.  But one thought and conviction I clearly remember writing about then was this:  Its based on a passage the apostle Paul writes in one of his letters in the New Testament: "Let each man be persuaded in his own mind."  I applied this to the Calling over twenty years ago, beginning with this base of understanding or assumption that a true God is actually Calling a particular individual person to a dedicated life serving God, because God is God, no human being, nor any human institution or even government can nullify God's Calling to an individual.  I want to be careful here, knowing a possible dangerous misconstruction of this that any self-acclaimed religious nut can make some wild assertions. No.  God has given human reason to us all.  Actually, I recall from my journal entry that I only mentioned other human beings, not institutions.  In my life-context at that time, I was thinking about my parents in particular whether they would support me or not.  But I also had another experience with a new group of Christians the previous year or two who directly, personally, denied that I was a Christian and stated to my face that my infant baptism was invalid.  Well, I knew this was a cultish-type group that was disconnected from historic Christianity, perhaps in everyway.  But the conviction that developed in me through this experience was "how dare a supposed Christian brother or sister deny another Christian that they are a Christian, if they confess the Lord Jesus Christ?"

Let us apply this to the Calling, to the inner, you might say, existential Calling, a fancy way of saying, in a real, existing, living, feeling human being.  No other human being has the right to deny that Calling in the other.

But, for those who are Christian, of course, and who know the Word, this gets balanced with John's apostolic exhortation to "test the spirits," for not all "spirits are from God. 

So practically, if another person believes they have the Calling, encourage them, and guide them along if you are in the position to do so.  Observe them and their lifestyle.  If there are some corrections that you think need to be made, make them lovingly.

In conclusion, a couple of the purposes of this article is to get a better understanding of the Calling as it has been received in many human beings around the world in various cultures and religious traditions, and to appreciate the Calling.  Since my seminary years, when I write about the Calling, for example, when I use it in a sermon, I typically capitalize the C to distinguish it from other types of callings such as simply one person calling to get another person's attention or calling someone via a phone.  When we speak of the "Calling," we are speaking of the sense within the inner being of persons to a religious life, which for some is manifest in full-time service.  Perhaps this Calling, the inner sense itself is quite similar or essentially the same, but is understood based on their culture, religious upbringing, beliefs, worldview, and practices.  In short, the cultural filter may be distinctly different from the many other cultures, but the Calling itself quite similar, based on the assumption of the same God Calling?  What will have to be saved for another article is different Callings within the Calling.  Some may feel Called to be a prophet, others to be a priest, others to be an apostle or missionary.  But that is for another time.  I hope this has been helpful to you.

May you truly be blessed!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The R's of Religion

Dear Friends and Students of Religion,

I have written the following "R's of Religion.  It is interesting to discover just how conducive the English language is with this religious and theological richness.  Many of the terms, concepts, and their associated thought patterns are from the Bible or based on the Bible.  But many people of other faiths too may agree, and if asked, may even be willing to subscribe to these principles, in the spirit of spiritual goodness and nobility and moral goodness before all human beings.  But any are free to disagree with any of the points, of course, since these following statements are not my laws to mankind, but submitted for purposeful spiritual, religious, and moral reflection.

R – Rebellion           
                        We confess that we can have a rebellious spirit or attitude towards God and/or
                        earthly authorities, which arises from in our own corrupted nature, and we
                        need God’s help to turn our hearts and minds to Him and love God and other
                        human beings as we should be loved, and respect authority.

R – Remorse           
                        When we learn that we have done wrong, especially serious wrong including
                        The emotional, psychological, or physical injury of another person, we should
                        Feel bad, or remorse and sorry, and this helps to lead us to acknowledge our
                        wrong, apologize, offer recompense, or repent as appropriate.

R – Repent            
                       We repent of our sins and gross wrongs, which means to change our way
                        Completely, turning away from the wrong and turning to good.

R – Refrain           
                       We refrain our hands, feet, tongue, and mind from evil, violence, perversion,
                        Rape, molestation, robbery, murder, other crimes, sexual immorality,
                        Adultery, riotous living, and other gross wrongs.

R – Resist           
                        We resist evil, temptation, bad forces upon/in our lives and beings

R – Receive           
                        We receive all of God’s blessings, spiritual and material, and receive all His
                        Nurturing, love, encouragement, and instruction which molds our character
                        And lives into better human beings with spiritual wholeness, and we receive
                        His words for growth toward spiritual maturity for the journey that God has
                        Placed us on, with a destiny toward Him.

R – Reconcile           
                        God reconciles with humans knowing the help we need.  God has made a
                        Way to reconcile with all humanity, according to the Bible.  By God’s goodness,
                        We desire to be reconciled to God, recognizing our help and need for Him
                        And our inability to reach His standard.  Likewise, we strive to live reconciled
                        With other human beings who we may have wronged and to live a life of
                        Forgiveness and reconciliation.

R – Restore           
                        Seeking to reconcile with other human beings in this life also helps to bring
                        Repair and restoration to damaged relationships.  God is in the restoring-
                        Business, and His ultimate plan is to restore the whole earth, where all sin,
                        Corruption, wrong, will be wiped out, and the earth will be brought to a
                        Beautiful, pure, paradisiacal state.

R – Remember
                        We remember all the good things in our lives, all that God has done for us
                        And all the good things our parents, grandparents, and other people have
                        Done for us.

R - Reverence           
                        We revere the Divine because God is worthy of all reverence, worship,
Praise, thanks, and honor, and for all He has done for us.  May we also
Help to lead others to revere the Divine too.

R – Righteousness
                        May the righteousness of God be enlightened in our hearts, minds, and
                        Spirits, that we desire to live in it, and not shy away from it because of
                        Our corrupted nation, and long more and more to live in God’s eternal
                        Righteous kingdom.

The R’s of People Which Should Never be Associated with Religion

R – Retaliation
                        The feeling and thoughts of seeking retaliation for a wrong by another
                        Person or group of people is a rather natural feeling, arising from our
                        Base corrupted human nature.  Pure religious ideals, principles, and morals
                        Never lead a human to seek retaliation for wrongs.  Exceptions may be
                        Found in a few texts in a sacred book such as the Quran, but context is very
                        Important to understanding the meaning and rightly interpreting it.

R – Revenge           
                        Similar to retaliation, a human being, through the festering of bad feelings
                        Towards a human being or group of people from the perceived wrong, is
                        Also not to be associated with pure or true religion.  Revenge is also from
                        The base and corrupted nature within human beings, and reactionary,
                        Whereas pure religion preaches forgiveness and reconciliation.

R – Retribution
                        Retribution, as I’ll define here, is a judicial term that a judge will determine
                        That a sentenced, convicted person is to pay for their crime to the victim
                        Or victim’s family.  This kind of retribution in this temporal, civil realm should
                        Not be associated with pure religion.  There is the theology of divine
                        Retribution which speaks to the spiritual realm, in distinction to the human-
                        Temporal realm that these three R’s are addressing.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Introducing this Paul Wheelhouse Blog Site

Dear Friends and Readers, fellow brothers and sisters of our common humanity,

I started blogging in December 2008, late on the scene compared to seasoned bloggers then.  At that time, I was not yet really familar with and did not realize that my titles became a part of the URLs.  So the title of my first blog was long:

And in January 2009, not yet getting the "hang" of deciding what to name my blogsite, I "posted" three new articles, but their titles actually became different blog sites, as I realized.

And if that was not enough, also in January 2009, I created and posted some articles on another new blogsite I set up using Wordpress:

Then I followed up this one with in June 2009.  This site is dedicated to
emphasizing articles and reflections about the dignity of human beings globally, and making this world a better place with the emphasis on dignity and was a companion to my then website (which I pulled offline in the spring 2010 to simplify my life with one less website to manage.
I was searching for a name that would encapsulate most or all of my themes, serving as an umbrella.  This latter one emphasizes the dignity of human beings that I am writing about, but does not encapsulate all of which I am writing about faith, religion, and spirituality.  But it does serve its purpose, so I am keeping it.  The one above, "enlightenedworld3," was a potential keeper to emphasize my themes of faith, religion, and spirituality, but I know it sounds New Agee for my Christian friends.  The following I came up with will replace this former:

In June 2010, I set up which focuses on encouraging faith in human beings globally, in spirit of peace, respect, as a companion to the new website I will be developing a non-sectarian religious and spiritual global educational and teaching resource.

And planning my first Holy Land tour leading for 2011, I wanted to get a blogsite to post articles on the Holy Land including my itineraries.  So I set up

Now I have gotten really diverse bloggingly speaking, and so what do I do but to create one more blogsite?  Well, I had to take it when I realized it was still available.  I thought it was already taken.  But actually, this site will serve the following purpose:  I will allow myself to express myself more and write from the base of my opinion and views more opening.

In contrast, the and  are expressly universal in scope, non-sectarian, and apolitical.  I try to keep my opinions and personal perspectives out of those articles.  And the is of course for my prospective Holy Land tour participants and for anyone who is interested in reading the articles and itineraries.  So, these latter four are the four blogs I am settling on for my blogs of today and the near future.  Its still more blogs to keep up with than what most have, namely one.  I sometimes wish life was that simple for me!

I look forward to your reading them and your comments! 

Rev. Paul Wheelhouse, M.Div., B.A.