Careful who you serve

PHILOSOPHER Russell Hittinger remarking on the cult of the individual in the US said: “We now live in a nation populated by 260 million supreme beings.’’

Former Australian PM Gough Whitlam said: “The punters know that the horse named Morality rarely gets past the post, whereas the nag named Self-interest always runs a good race’’.

Friedrich Nietzsche said: “You have your way, I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way and the only way, it doesnt exist.’’

But Bob Dylan said although we were all created as individuals we “all gotta serve somebody’’. “It might be the devil, or it might be the Lord but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.’’

Dylan’s right because there is no neutral territory when it comes to acknowledging God. You either do or you don’t. And if you don’t, you’re serving someone else.

And here’s a good version of that song.


43 thoughts on “Careful who you serve

  1. Come on now! There’s ALWAYS a choice! Ain’t you the bloke that preaches passive resistance?? 😆
    I just refuse to bend the knee to anyone. Why would I, when the worst they can do is kill me (which is inevitable anyway ~ god’s seen to that!); but so far the only ones who’ve come close to managing that are the Salt-of-the-Earth (one of whom I’d gotten into endless trouble over in primary school because of defending him from bullying.)

    God’s a lemon-sucker I wouldn’t want to know; Nick, who’s more reliable and trustworthy, according to rumour, and certainly much more fun, doesn’t want to know ME!

    I’ve been trying to do one of his famous deals for years, but he’s never turned up at the meetings. I’m certainly not going to serve him!


    • Jesus said life was not about winning as a self-interested individual. Its not about you, he said. Love each other, just as I have loved you.

      It takes courage to acknowledge there’s something bigger than ourselves and then to seriously explore the option that God loves us.

      To the ancient Hebrews, who were not particularly good sailors, the place where we meet God is a sea of faith; sometimes a fearful place, but also a place of love.

      The prophet Isaiah said he heard God say, “When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you. for I am the Lord your God, who saves you’’.

      Thomas Aquinas wrote about waking up in this lifetime to the possibilities of faith and being interconnected..

      If you did that, he said, you did not have to worry about the next expression of your individual being. It would follow naturally.


      • yeahbut. Talk’s cheap. And I rather doubt that it’s all about winning and losing: that’s always a social construct, conditioned-in for purely political reasons.
        But the whole of the Jesus-persona/parables/admonitions/etc. appear to me to be directed at the individual and for the benefit of the individual.
        Render unto Caesar sort of things is a thread running through all that theology, isn’t it?
        We are judged one by one, and saved, if we’re to be saved, one by one too.

        (But awkward for the multiple-personality-elements school of thought below, though, I’d admit.:lol: )


      • Your comment Dabs, reminds me of this:

        John Milton: Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He’s a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does He do, I swear for His own amusement, his own private, cosmic gag reel, He sets the rules in opposition. It’s the goof of all time. Look but don’t touch. Touch, but don’t taste. Taste, don’t swallow. Ahaha. And while you’re jumpin’ from one foot to the next, what is he doing? He’s laughin’ His sick, fuckin’ ass off! He’s a tight-ass! He’s a SADIST! He’s an absentee landlord! Worship that? NEVER!

        John Milton: Free will. It’s like butterfly wings: once touched, they never get off the ground. No, I only set the stage. You pull your own strings.

        Kevin Lomax: What about love?

        John Milton: Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate.

        Kevin Lomax: “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven”, is that it?

        John Milton: Why not? I’m here on the ground with my nose in it since the whole thing began. I’ve nurtured every sensation man’s been inspired to have. I cared about what he wanted and I never judged him. Why? Because I never rejected him. In spite of all his imperfections, I’m a fan of man! I’m a humanist. Maybe the last humanist. Underestimated from day one. You’d never think I was a master of the universe, now would ya?


      • I’d have no argument with that Mon: “To thine own self be true,
        And it must follow, as the night the day,
        Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

        Neatly fits in withe the Jesus-message, doesn’t it?

        And if god’s responsible for ‘mine own Self’ (which of course I DO dispute),
        then that DOESN’T necessarily mean I’m obliged to “serve” him, does it?

        Most of the world’s problems and bastardries, big and small, are caused by this deliberate social conditioning that life (or anything else) MUST be an either-or proposition.
        It doesn’t.
        You’re free to: “Turn on Tune in Drop out.”
        (even our host used to know that! 🙂 )

        This bloke’s way out of my league. But…
        (parts 1 & 2)


      • Probably —-> “Your comment Dabs, reminds me of this:”
        because a few months ago I ….er ‘advocated’ on this very blog that ‘The Devils Advocate’ had something for everyone.
        You DID make a point of seeing it, didn’t you? Great acting and great fun!

        This was the bit just before the ‘god’s a perve’ speech:-

        ,,,,and for a most incredible seduction scene, better that Eve and the Serpent even: –
        I\”It’s fun to be right”!


    • This was reported just three days ago…

      Al Kasha, an Oscar winning songwriter and Messianic Jew was asked “Assist News’s Dan Wooding asked Kasha a few days ago whether he thinks Dylan is still a Christian.

      “Absolutely,” he said. “Anyone who can sit and write 34 songs about Jesus Christ believes in Jesus Christ.”


  2. Excerpt from: Two of Me by David Wilkerson

    I am a strange creature with two opposing minds in one body. Two distinct life forces in me keep trying to control my actions.

    There are things about myself that scare me. Things like a great inner need that can’t be explained. Like the constant need for love and fulfillment. Also, those subtle desires that surface on occasion, making me lust for experiences that are contrary to my better nature.

    I can’t explain why I am such a dual person when it comes to right and wrong. The evil that I hate is always present in me. The good and moral desires are there too, keeping my mind in constant turmoil. It is not an every day, all day long battle, but the evil, at times, tries to overpower me.

    Just when I think I’ve got my act together, things fall apart, and once again I am doing things I really don’t want to do.

    This war between good and evil is raging in all mankind. A minister, exposed for adultery, confessed: “My evil nature held a strange charm over me. It made me chase false dreams that I knew would fade away. It kept me chained to a lust that finally destroyed me. It forced me into compromises that weakened me. Its promises of true love ended up only as a mirage. And, even though I knew I would keep on getting hurt, I followed the dictates of my evil mind like an obedient slave.”

    A former Jesus person, who once played with a religious singing group, tried to explain why he is back with the crowd, doing drugs and booze.

    “All I know is, there was a terrifying struggle going on in my body for control. There was an evil presence always in my mind, trying to overthrow every good and decent thing I tried to do. This evil part of me kept dragging me down, making me do things I really didn’t want to do. It was such an overpowering presence, I obeyed its every command, and I ended up with feelings of guilt, loneliness, and emptiness.

    “Yet, when I escaped all the noises of the crowd and withdrew from my pleasures, a poor, lonely self deep within me cried out for satisfaction, like the pitiful call of a starving child. The voice cried out, ‘Please don’t leave me alone; feed me; help me; give me love.’

    “At times a part of me felt angry with God for not taking the sin out of my heart. I got tired of the battle in me. The enemy of my soul seemed so strong, and I felt so weak. The righteous nature in me wanted God to stomp out all the wickedness, pluck out my overpowering, sinful desires, and set me free from my sin.

    “I know there is a part of me that wants to obey God. It has nothing to do with churches or preachers or moralizing do-gooders. It is even more than just a desire for forgiveness. It is more than just getting my soul saved. It has nothing to do with the fear of Hell or damnation. It is even more than a need for peace and fulfillment. It is a need, in the very depth of my soul, to know God in a very personal way and to feel His love. Some day I hope to get back to God and be free.”


  3. This is the same line used for tens of thousands of years.
    Basically :- Are you with me or against me.
    Failing to grapple the underlying problems of brain development, brain disorders ,mental distress and disorders and mental illness.
    Then moving on to the persons environment.
    Yes that is getting a bit difficult .
    Better to go back to the old ways and say they are a agent for the devil .

    What you have failed dismally in understanding is that way has always failed
    No religion and there have been at least a thousand has ever fixed a mental illness or any other brain dis-function
    People who do terrible acts do so with conviction of being justified
    In their mind they believe they are correct .
    Be it a man bashing a girl ,king hit someone or a man killing another in a war .

    Every day more are born and they will also go throw the same crap ,
    Being told basically it is their fault if things go wrong in their head .
    Some even believe those people deserve torment ,punishment then hell forever.
    So much for empathy for others


    • Dabbles,
      Dice Man? Oh heck, you’ve tumbled to it. Yep I ……………… didnt write it. read it years back. didnt appeal to me at all


      • I thought it was great!…But perhaps I read more into it than there actually was.
        It was a better literary expression of my ideas/feelings than I could ever have put together.

        btw…where’ve you been hiding?


  4. Only TWO of him?? The man’s obviously a retard!
    Don’t believe anything he says! 😆

    Instead, Mon, read something truly deep and revealing.
    Have you got a copy of ‘The Dice Man’ ??
    (I suspect it’s a long-lost gospel!)
    (Can lend you a copy if you can’t get one locally….and Kathleen too, would probably benefit from it.)
    …and Rian?? Where’s Rian? (There’s reason to wonder whether he actually wrote it?! 🙂 )


    • BACK in the 1960s, Luke Rhinehart wrote The Diceman, a mildly successful book about a bored psychiatrist who hands his life over to dice.
      The psychiatrist thought of six options then rolled the dice and let chance destroy his usual way of doing things: “If it’s a two I’ll do the washing; if it’s a three I’ll go to Iceland and if it’s a four I’ll rape the woman in the downstairs flat.’’
      The fascinating aspect was that the psychiatrist felt he had discovered the secret of happiness by killing off his “self’’ or personality.
      The novel survived as an underground fad for years, but has experienced a rebirth in recent years.
      The Christian Science Monitor, writing about the Diceman book, said: “Inevitably chance becomes a god and dice a religion. (Dice living is) an unpleasant notion whose time has come.’’
      Leo Tolstoy urged the taking of risks and frequently invited his readers to make choices.
      “But make serious choices,’’ he said. “Be sure of what you are gambling with.’’
      Henry David Thoreau said an “unconscious despair’’ was always at the crux of what are called the games and amusements of mankind.
      Sigmund Freud said life was all about playing games, and Carl
      Jung argued that the most important human games were played in the subconscious.
      “There is no such thing as just a game,’’ he said.
      “The way we play always reveals much about the way we really are.’’


      • Fair comment:- ““The way we play always reveals much about the way we really are.’’
        But isn’t the fundamental message that ‘the way we really are’ can change from moment to moment ~ depending on whatever Chance event happens next?

        Roll ’em! 🙂


      • Dunno why people give Tolstoy credit for being more than a long-winded pleasant-story-teller? I never could see much of a philosophic in his yarns. eg:-
        If one were to ““Be sure of what you are gambling with.’’, then surely one wouldn’t be taking a gamble, would one? (.. or two..or several of us 😉 )

        Here’s a thought for a ‘successful’ life:- Have one of ‘We’ be a bookmaker and the rest of ‘We’ the punters.
        Not only would that be gambling for real, but, since we’re all one We, We also can’t lose.

        ….and it’s not even Sunday! 🙂


    • The ‘Two of Me’ written by the late Ps. David Wilkerson is a wonderful….and truthful insight into the nature of me (man), and I highly recommend Christians to read it.

      Saying “the devil made me do it” is a big cop out. We Christians know that the devil is real, and that he entices, but ultimately, the choice is always ours to do as we please; to give honor to God in all that we do and say, or to worship the creature. Many a time when I have fallen, God would remind me that His grace is sufficient; that I had no excuse to fall into sin, and He’s right. So who do we serve the most on a daily basis? You’re either for Him or against Him. That’s how God sees it.


      • “…….. and He’s right.”
        I’m sure god appreciates your confirmation of his correctness, Mon. 😆



    When I sat down one day to write an autobiography I soon realized that every time I used the word “I”, “I” was lying. We knew that we had no single self or “I”, neither now nor ever, and that pretending that we did meant we were missing the essence of what it means to be a human being. We knew that the boy of nine who came home one day to learn that his father had killed himself bore little resemblance to the young college teacher in his twenties, or that the selves of the old man now writing these autobiographies contains only a few leftovers of the selves of the man who lived and wrote THE DICE MAN forty years earlier. We thus concluded that if the word “I” was used we would bury the book in lies and illusions. It will undoubtedly have a lot of lies and illusions in it anyway, but fewer if we try to avoid the word “I.”


  6. ….and I just remembered I wanted to say back a bit, apropos the communing with dogs. It’s easy because (a) it IS the only place you find truly ‘unconditional love’ ~ y’don’t even have to ‘believe’ in him ~ and (b) in all of heaven and earth your dog is the only creature who thinks more highly of you than you do yourself.

    Now….. When you succumb to temptation, do let me know, okay? 😉


    • But why must they, upon greeting you, lick your face; lips, nose, ears and neck and this, more than likely, after they’ve just finished licking their bum?

      I was sitting on my son’s lounge the other day and his one year old Labrador suddenly jumped on my lap and decided my face needed a clean with her tongue. So I squeezed my eyes shut and tried not to think of where that tongue had been and suddenly there was another tongue stuck in my left ear. I got such a shock as I didn’t know what was going on. Turns out that their tiny one year old Pug jumped on the couch too and decided to get in on the action. It would have made a hilarious photo, especially the look of shock on my face.

      And my daughter’s Labrador insists on sleeping on me or next to me on the couch and licking my lips and nose. I promise that there are no food scraps left on my face. Maybe they like the taste of the face cream I use. 🙂


      • Unconditional love, Mon! They might recognise you as a closet dog-person!

        Actually, though the face-licking thing can be a nuisance (especially with very large dogs who sit on you to hold you still for tasting!) it’s the way dogs welcome those they recognise as belonging to their pack.

        In the wild the pups are left in a hide, with perhaps a couple of protectors, while the pack hunts (co-operatively by necessity) . After the kill (another important form of social bonding) each dog gorges to bursting-point.
        On arriving back at HQ there’s a great mutual-recognition ritual dating back probably since the beginning of dogdom and a major survival mechanism.

        But it’s more than just an ID thing; it’s been going on so long that evolution has arranged canine physiology so that face-licking. and particularly licking the inside of the mouth (sort of lick ‘french-kissing’ among humans….though I’m not sure christians do it ~ make of that what you will!) triggers a biochemical process that makes the returned hunter regurgitate what they’ve gorged, to feed the puppies, and everybody eats.
        Sort of like home-delivered takeaway. (much of which is also grown in ‘shi-ertiliser’

        So, when those canine members of your family do stuff like that it’s to regognise and welcome their Nanna and see what she’s brought them to eat.

        If you really want to stop them showing such excitement about your arrival go in with some ‘treats’ held out in front of you. (Microwaved beef liver works…er, a treat.) They’ll say ‘g’day’, and be pleased to take the tucker without feeling they MUST lick your face.

        Ps…..and keep in mind that a dog’s tongue has far fewer germs or foodscraps on it than your mouth does. If you’re going to worry about such things you’d do better to worry about what they might catch from you! :lol;


      • Sorry mate. That: (“Try not feeding them for a while and the love will disappear pretty fast.” isn’t accurate. There are countless documented and anecdotal cases of dogs starving to death at the side of those they ‘love’.
        There are even cases where dogs have ~ unmistakenly and deliberately ~ ‘laid down their lives for their fellow’, be that a human, another dog or some other species. Just recently a friend lost a maremma to a pack of feral dogs trying to get among a flock of young alpacas.

        (In fact, my mother was save from a snakbite years ago by a dingo pup we had, who knocked her aside with a flying tackle and took a hit which killed her. (Needless to say her name was ‘Lassie’ after that other well-documented example of love-overcomes-all doggy devotion.
        And of course Greyfriars Bobby ~one of my favourites because it also depicts humans with hearts; humans who expressed their effection solely because they recognised the love the terrier demonstrated.

        Naturally, as with humans, no two dogs are exactly the same nor behave or express themselves in the same way. But if I was hanging over slippery cliff on a rope I’d rather have a dog on the other end than a person.

        But that’s just me.
        Now…. I’ve got a remarkable (if ugly ~ as though appearances matter!) little Aussie Terrier who needs a home. Came from the most miserable background and has been regaining her doghood in leaps and bounds.
        Gotta go ~ court day, and I have to stick it up a few coppers.
        ….er,,,,sorry: Salts-of-the-Earth.


      • I saw the bronze statue of Greyfriars Bobby just recently in Edinburgh, Dabs.

        And I shed a tear when I read his plaque. His nose is polished; shiny from being touched by everyone over the years. But I do wonder how much of it is true.


      • Thanks, Strewth. Good question, too. ‘Luck’ like so much else is probably subjective…..Perhaps relating to recognition.
        Sort of like the time I hit my face with a runaway chainsaw. Bad luck?
        Maybe; but it glanced off my face and left a fair cut in my shoulder. I realized that hadn’t it hit my face first it could’ve taken my arm right off. (a common injury in bushmen before the invention of chainbrakes.)
        So ~ lucky?…..Take your pick.

        Yesterday, too. I went to court prepped to tear ’em apart (and I know whereof I speak.) They saw me coming and I’d hardly opened my mouth before they withdrew all the charges.
        Luck? Maybe; but I protested that I wanted the schamozzle to be carried through to a conclusion ~ for my own purposes ~ and, of course couldn’t.
        The magistrate sympathised (could see what was coming) but had no choice but to chuck it all out. Bad luck?

        ….But the fat lady has yet to sing! 😉


      • Always hard to tell how much of it is true, Mon; but I’m willing to accept it more or less at face value.
        For one thing it’s not like the dour Scots to offer accolades without merit.
        For another, my brother, who only gets sentimental about money, did some investigations when he was there ~ having the same doubts. He’s more or less convinced.
        And it rings true in my experience. Bobby was not the only dog to have done that; in fact, it’s quite common.
        But, more than that, long ago I discovered that the more ‘important’ a person is the more likely he is to demonstrate magnanimity of spirit.

        eg. Of course the kids thought the dog was great and wanted to help ~ that’s just kids. But the adults warmed to the dog in some sort of order of importance.
        Only the Lord Provost had no qualms about the dog’s value at any point, and acted on that forthwith.

        Only a sense of my observation of people generally, but I’m convinced.
        And apart from my natural affinity for dogs, the people involved/depicted were what impressed me so much.
        ‘twouldn’t happen in Oz, in my experience.

        Though sometimes I’m surprised; again just a couple of days ago.
        It feels good!

        You HAVE seen the movie, haven’t you? Should be easy to get at the library/video-rentals/whatever. Or I could send you a copy.


      • There is a story they tell of two dogs…
        Both at separate times walk into the same room.
        One comes out wagging his tail while the other comes out growling.
        A woman watching this goes into the room to see
        what could possibly make one dog so happy and the other so mad.
        To her surprise she finds a room filled with mirrors.
        The happy dog found a thousand happy dogs looking back at him
        while the angry dog found a thousand dogs growling back at him.
        What you see in the world around you is a reflection of who you are.


  7. Nice homily. Almost religious!

    But what you saw would actually depend on how rational and objective you are.
    For example How would the woman know “The happy dog found a thousand happy dogs looking back at him while the angry dog found a thousand dogs growling back at him.” ??

    Wouldn’t she just see a dippy old broad who can’t see her own reflection in a thousand mirrors, so makes it up as she goes along?

    As I say….almost religious 🙂

    ps…When do you want your dog delivered, dear?


      • As Mustapha Mond put it, Strewth:-
        “…. you’ve got to stick to one set of postulates. You can’t play Electro-magnetic Golf according to the rules of Centrifugal Bumble-puppy.”.

        Chapter 17 (summary) of Brave New World is one that’s always stuck in my mind ~ and addresses many of the issues raised on the blog.
        It even comments on one of Bryan’s favourite tub-thumperies —->

        The Savage interrupted him. “But isn’t it natural to feel there’s a God?”
        “You might as well ask if it’s natural to do up one’s trousers with zippers,” said the Controller sarcastically. 😆
        …But you should read the whole thing for the context. One of my favourites.
        Read it in tandem with ‘1984’ and you’ll be horrified at the accurate description of today’s world.


      • As I see it:- to support or push any issue ‘fundamentalism’ is the only legitimate way to go; change/reinterpret/etc. the fundamentals and you’re talking about a different issue. It’s why I think defining things is so important; Keeps everybody on the same page.
        It’s why I keep saying that there’s no reason to hold views on many things we insist on categorising/labelling. Once you do take a stand on something you must stick to the ‘postulates’, otherwise any discussion becomes pointless gibberish.

        Remember the Tower of Babel?


  8. anyway….a dog who comes across a thousand other dogs doesn’t growl. You can’t growl while you’re sniffing bums.

    Makes you wonder what made the happy dog happy though, doesn’t it ?? 😯


  9. I don’t know about serving some individual. I know many decide to serve the human race. I kno w many decide to serve the concept of compassion for all creatures. I know that Jesus is quoted not only as saying that all who were not for him were against him, but also those who were not against him were for him.


    • “…..but also those who were not against him were for him.” Dogs cats wombats and rhodies, amongst other atheists, Strewth. 😉


      • Not quite, Dabs. He was talking about those who weren’t part of his following, invoking his name in healing.


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