Thursday, January 26, 2012

Charles Shaughnessy blogs "Thank you Kansas City!"

"It's Good to be Home"

No matter how enjoyable an "out-of-town" gig might be, it is ALWAYS good to get home. That said, my experience in "Game Show" at The New Theatre Restaurant could not have been better. I want to thank all the wonderful people at NTR led by their extraordinary Executive Producer / Founders, Dennis Hennessy and Richard Carrothers. From the heads of Dept. through the stage managers and stage crew to the attentive and enthusiastic wait-staff, the whole enterprise hummed with the energetic efficiency of a well-oiled machine. It is no surprise to me that it represents one of the most consistently popular and financially successful theatres in the country. I also revelled in a talented and welcoming cast that made my time, onstage and off, fun and exciting. To all of you who came to see me in the show, "thank you" and I hope it was as good for you as it was for me! I am home now and happy to be back in the bosom of my family, but  I will always have very fond memories of Kansas City: the Barbecue, the Chiefs, the Mighty Mo, the Christmas lights on the Plaza, the mid-west hospitality and the good folks at The New Theatre Restaurant.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Charles Shaughnessy Blog "Life, Art and the Cosmos!"

A lot of you have wondered about my religious beliefs. As we are starting a new year, I thought I would post my first blog of 2012 to address this...a bit. To start with, I should tell you that I adhere to none of the established or more common "religions." I put that word in quotes because I do agree that we are all searching for a way to "tie back" to a state of universal consciousness that many might call GOD. It's the idea that God can be anthropomorphized that causes me trouble. The notion that what is indeed "Everything/Nothing," the Alpha and the Omega, can take sides, get angry, be nice, talk through a bush or a snake, interact with us, as if it were anything separate from us, seems to me to be a bit absurd. I respect the right of anyone to follow whatever belief they choose, to help them feel re-connected to that state of pre-lapsarian innocence that we all crave as human long as they don't insist that their particular belief system is either the only one or the best one! That's why Newt's attempt to foist "Freedom of Religion" legislation on us is such an abomination: it basically states that freedom of religion is long as it's Christian! There are only two ways that I see religion as important in my life: one, to guide me as to my conduct on this earth; two, to give me a sense of order and comfort when faced with the unknowable and unfathomable concepts of infinity, life, death and the meaning of existence. The first is easy. I believe in Ethics and it's vital role in the progress of society and human behavior. Morality is what has led us astray, as it is always going to be relative. One man's freedom fighter, martyr or saint is another man's terrorist, criminal and murderer. Christ, along with all the great teachers in history, taught ethics: how to behave toward each other so that our human condition be less intolerable. Love, charity, compassion, generosity of spirit and body, diligence, responsibility, courage..but above all...Love.
As for the second... here's how I would best describe it.

If “GOD” is a manageable way of describing the infinite properties of “everythingness,” then there can be nothing that is not GOD. Further, there is nothing that is not something i.e. GOD. Therefore there is no “nothing” to juxtapose with “everything.” That is why we have discovered that the vast “emptiness” of space is not made up of “nothing”, but rather -”Dark Matter.” This describes the invisible matter that is juxtaposed to what we can identify as matter. In other words there is no “outside of the box.”
To wrap one’s head around this concept, one has to resort to metaphor or imagery, utilizing concepts and references that make sense to our limited brains. I like to see this “everything” as an infinite wad of chewing gum. There is no beginning or end to it either in time or space. To become part of “existence”, a small piece of this gum is pulled from the whole and stretched into our dimension. We live our lifespan, absorbing experience in this realm, but always attached by a thin thread to the whole wad. Thus, while living a solitary life in this dimension, we are at all time connected to everyone and everything else that has and ever will exist in the “whole wad.” This is our connection to GOD. This is why we occasionally experience sudden insights, premonitions, unrelated memories etc. We are literally “all one.” The latin word “religo - religere” from which our word “religion” comes, means “to tie back.” Through religion we, these lonely pieces of gum, are attempting to find a re-connection to that “ whole wad” of gum, to our innate sense of the infinite and our longing to belong to the whole of existence.

So this may indeed signify my crack at understanding the "What" of it all, but it does little to address the "Why?" For that I turn to an episode of the creaky old TV sci-fi series: Babylon5. ( to be continued...)

additional reply comment from Charles Shaughnessy to Miss JoAnn on 14 January, 2012 11:27 

additional reply comment from Charles Shaughnessy to Heather on 14 January, 2012 11:32 

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