name of this website, Pharos, follows from that of the
lighthouse built on the island of Pharos, near Alexandria, Egypt, during
the third century B.C.
As a writer, a teacher, and a philosopher, I seek guidance for myself
and for others. Light is often figuratively associated with proper
attitude and behavior, as for example in the concept of enlightenment.
One particular truth is this: a light produces both illumination
and shadows. It might illuminate the truth and at the same time provide
shadows that can hide lies. I see hope, however, in the possibility
that many people can be keepers of the light. There aren't any shadows
when light comes equally from all directions. It is therefore important
to remember that nobody owns the light.
My view of organized religion is that it doesn't have much to do with
a belief in God. Organized religion seems to be mostly about
obeying the clergy, with God as the clergy's badge of office and "big stick".
The consequences of disobedience appear to be, variously, secular criminal
prosecution and punishment, defamation and slander, shunning, excommunication,
exile, torture, death, or whatever other punishments the particular clergy
have the power to impose. As an alternative, I suggest that God intends
for us to think for ourselves. It's the clergy, not God, who try
to coerce us into darkness, to deprive us of the light.
May God grant us the will to seek the light, the skill to find
it, the courage to choose it, and the wisdom to make it endure.
I am Sam Aurelius Milam III
Keeper of the Light at Pharos