Yellow Brick Road

A Journal by Don Gerz

"Musings on Organized Religion" by Don Gerz
For the most part, the organized religion I've been a part of has helped least I think so!!!  In truth, I've done more harm to myself all by myself than organized religion has done to me.  Besides, it's not organized religion that's at fault when things tank: It's the people in organized included...especially me!

Well, I'll probably unintentionally offend some externally religious souls with this post. Thank God this is a free country, at least in theory!

Just so you know, though, these musings come from me as a baptized and confirmed Christian, a former altar boy, a lay reader during services, an A-student of religious schools from grades 1 through 12, a former high school teacher of religion, theology, English, philosophy, and psychology at prominent religious high schools, a college philosophy and theology major, and the author of a small work on spirituality.

In other words, I have some experience with both the positive and sometimes negative aspects of organized religion.

Well, here goes.

Organized religion is a good idea.  I just wish we would think more about it before we do it.

Organized religion has become too organized in some respects and not enough in others.

Religion is good, but some of its practitioners sure give it a bad name.

Many lose their religion to find it.

Some think their religion is more religious than others.

I don't know why God got into religion in the first place.  He was doing just fine until it came along.

It's amazing how religious people know exactly what God means.

Most of the things in the Bible never happened, but all are true if you look at them in good light.

Those that are first will be last, and those that are last will be first.  I'm always late.

There's nothing in organized religion that is specifically against free love.  It's the sex thing that has a lot of restrictions.

One of the reasons I'm usually in conflict with organized religion is that my religious bearings are usually in conflict with the way most religions are organized.

The problem with morality, as filtered through organized religion, is that a member of organized religion doesn't have to be right in order to choose or act.  Neither does a person outside of organized religion.

Between those inside organized religion and those outside it, it's a wonder we all haven't killed ourselves yet...but we sure keep working on it, don't we?

Holly Springs Club Pool - Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Swimming/Biking/Gym Exercise Results as of March 1, 2015

SWIM to Mar. 1, 2015

BIKE & GYM to Mar. 1, 2015

Mom and Cities Ancient and Modern

When Socrates went to the Agora to philosophize, I wonder if he thought about the infrastructure that contextualized his body as the words left his mouth?


And when Jesus drove those ancient capitalists from a temple that had been constructed by labor a wise man conjured, did redemption first take shape within the walls of what would become a place to lament our failures?


Today, my mother would have been 97.  Her name was Grace.

When she was alive, I couldn't find her mind, but I could always hear her sing.  She had a beautiful voice.  I don't think she gave much thought to the infrastructure that gave her body a solid footing while she searched for songs to sing. All I know is she sang beautiful songs.

What more is there to know?


The Happiest Guy in the World

I know this gentleman at the aquatic center where I swim who walks with a slight limp because of a stroke.  He faithfully attends water aerobics classes 3-times a week and also works out at his gym on the other four days of the week.

He's the happiest guy I've ever met.  I asked him how he had become so happy.  He told me that, as a boy, he had an experience of some sort that left him with the distinct feeling that the whole world belonged to him.

I asked him if it was all right if I lived in his world.  He said, "Sure, anybody who wants to can live in it.  After all, I'm not the only one who owns this world!  We all do!"

He's quite a guy, this guy...the happiest guy in the world.


Swimming/Cycling/Gym Exercise Numbers (July 2010-to-February 2014)
Lap Swimming

26 miles in 2010 (Started very slowly in early July 2010.)
197 miles in 2011
201 miles in 2012
165 miles in 2013 (Cut down on swimming due to lifeguarding for 7 months.)
67 miles in 2014 (Restricted from swimming for 6 months because of medical issues.)
8 miles so far in 2015 (January 31)
664 miles since July 2010
935 workouts since July 2010

Don with Bike August 2014

602 miles in 2014
68 miles so far in 2015

670 miles since March 2014
143 workouts since March 2014

Gym (Newly Recorded Activity)

1,300 Abdominal REPS in January 2015
1,300 Upper Body REPS in January 2015
13 Workouts in January 2015

Weight on July 1, 2010 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 205 lbs
Weight on Feb. 1, 2014 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 169 lbs.
Weight Loss since July 1, 2010 >>>>>>>>>>>>>> 36 lbs.
Blood Pressure & Resting Heart Rate
Jan. 27, 2014) >>> 126/71 - 61
Age >>>>>>>>>>>> 68


Year in Review: 2014

Taking into account that doctors prohibited me from swimming for 5 months this year (February through June), I'm happy with the numbers below.  - Don

Lap Swimming
66 Miles / 93 Workouts


655 Miles during the Last 4.5 Years
923 Workouts during the Last 4.5 Years

Typical Swimming Workout:


602 Miles / 130 Workouts

"Formal Learning and Human Experience" by Don Gerz

Every well-written book adds to human experience, and every experience adds to old books and new ones waiting to be written and read. Without experience, there are no books.


And without books, whether old, new, or in between, old experiences have to be relived and rewritten so that new ones can be lived to enrich all life then, now, and tomorrow.

Read yesterday, create now, realize the future.


November 2014 Exercise Numbers

November 2014 was the most balanced month for different forms of consistant exercise I've accomplished during the last 4.5 years.

Some numbers for this month:

13 swimming workouts (9.23 miles total)

15 biking workouts (75 miles total)

12 gym workouts (2,200 reps total)

27 days of exercise (out of 30 = 90%)




Nov. "14

"Love Is More Than a Feeling"


It is a deep connection between two beings, a bond that helps each feel accepted and deeply valued, not only by each other, but by all existence and by all that produces existence and all there is, was, and will be.

Yes, love is a mysterious, living experience that produces good feelings, but it is not a feeling itself.  It engenders feelings.  It engenders things not yet conceived.  Love engenders all.

There is nothing without love; and without love, nothing has true being.

The more we lose ourselves into all that is, the more love we experience. The more we find ourselves within all being, the more we lose ourselves into all that is.

Love is everywhere...even down dead-ends, even within despair, even beyond faith and hope.  In fact, love is beyond even itself.  It has no end.

--- Don Gerz, November 17, 2014


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