Tuesday, January 31, 2006

How am i not myself


"I heart huckabees", the movie

If you have not watched this film, I suggested that you do! I haven't been this impressed by a movie in a long while.

My post-movie thoughts: I feel absurd about my life but at the same time more resolved to continue in just the same way, but, fuck it, more of that same way.

How much of my own being do I throttle in an attempt to be appreciated?
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I've been mixing my paints with way too much water.
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God - we're absurd. I've never been more proud of us. I hope we become more of what we already are.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Example

We are not alone.
We feel alone.
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"I'm alone but I'm not lonely"
"I'm not lonely, although I happen to be alone"
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We experience the feeling of being alone, and the emotion of being lonely.

Friday, January 27, 2006

A Future Religion

Gene expression is affected by the environment. Define a gene’s environment as everything affecting the organism: habitat, habits, profession, and society. Children, the infirm or the incarcerated are left with a minimum of habit and social control. Adults will be found in a variety of social roles each of which diminish control over some of these environmental factors. Twins may be born with identical genes, but the phenotypic expression can result in wildly different individuals. Our environment is ultimately differentiating.

A person’s actions are not only controlled by his will at the time of decision. Control will also be found in the environment, especially in the order and arrangement of the individual’s thoughts and how he\she has practiced processing information: habit.

Religion answers the fundamental question, “How should I live my life? What is good to do?” How should I act? How should I react? Answering these questions leads us into a qualitative categorization of actions. Religions have learned over time, that to be effective, they must do more than forbid certain actions. They must affect the habits of the individuals, their environment, and especially what and how they think. This has a single purpose; to effect how we live.

The Christian religion has the primary goal of converting people into the image of Jesus, so that they will act and react in the way they currently understand him to have done. Jesus is the example used for the active approximation that is the heart of Christian religion.

Christianity has not grown past Jesus. He hoped it would.

Revelations Intrinsic To Response

When you understand someone you have fewer occasions for emotional response.

When your response to another person's action is emotional, you can be certain that you do not truly understand that person. If you understood them your action would not have been conceptually based, but would have been based on understanding. Conversely, if another person’s reaction to you is emotional you can be certain that they do not truly understand you. Put another way, your action was in contrast with their understanding of you, so their reaction to you necessarily had to derive from the emotional level, exposing the limits or flaws in their understanding.

Do not confuse emotional response with warmth and understanding with coldness. Coldness is a powerful type of emotional response. The greatest warmth and empathy do not infuse emotional actions but those coming from true understanding.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Five Degree Misdirection

There are certain understandings that slip away and then ease back to me. I keep realizing them, over and over, like I'm rotating around the sun. I wonder if I'm turned five degrees in the wrong way, and that's what accounts for slight slippage in illumination.
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One of these occasional misdirections that I experience involves the creative color of my life. At times I will pay attention to my level of creativity and nurse it daily. This is a productive and enjoyable life style. Responsibilities are met, and creatively at that. Then a shadow falls and my responsibilities choke out the energy I used to maintain the creative environment and activities, and at first I'm more productive, but soon this dwindles and without creative imagination making life fun it just becomes a painful chore. Suffering begins. Then the light comes on, and I remember, once again, that I must maintain certain aspects of my life for it to be worth living. Productivity makes many things, but a good life is not one of them.
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I must be useful to myself before I can be useful to my friends.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Born to Suffer

Some men were born to suffer. Rich, poor, healthy, infirm; regardless of situation you will find them suffering. They don't want to, they just find it easier.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Admit It, You Understand

I feel militant this morning. I have a negative energy that I feel absolutely positive about. I want to participate in a well planned killing, command an attack on a respected foe, bleed from a dozen minor wounds, and dig my hands into someone's chest. I want control over more of my life.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Pain and Suffering

Pain and trouble are unavoidable aspects of human life. They are to be avoided but only to a certain point. Remove them from a child’s life and you will have a weak useless thing that the pack will leave behind. Remove them from your own life and you will eventually forget who you really are. You can not avoid all attachment (sorry Buddhists) and God will not answer all of your prayers (sorry Christians). Try as you might, you will suffer.

You will continue to suffer until you die. This is simple fact; it is not a problem to be fixed. Suffering is intrinsic to humanity; it forms us in ways that complement pleasure. You are half a man without both of these. Avoid suffering and you weaken. Avoid pleasure and you languish. Avoid them both and you become dead to life, waiting for your time to end.

All men suffer, and they naturally seek solace, comfort; ways to cope. Life brings pleasure and pain without regard to our health or capacities. It is up to the man who understands to balance his environment by administering pleasure and pain as he requires them.

The healthy man is strong and vital. He enjoys the pleasures of life, and grows strong from its pains. He is the master of himself when he can moderate his pleasure and his pain letting neither dominate, but keeping each energizing the other.

Self Aware?

You are only aware of your limitations when you reach them.
Your limitations are only increased when you stretch them.

There is a point when you will thin.
There is a point when you will fray.
There is a point when you will snap.

Most people are unaware of their limitations and apply significant effort to avoid the pain of discovery. Change is work, and some change is painfully unpleasant work. Some change can not be reversed.

Dependability

Men are as dependable as their reason to be.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Things I can't change

“Realistic expectations make life more attractive”
“A balanced position makes living more comfortable”
Life mumbles these lessons to its distracted student

He’s still standing on one foot
Reaching for the root of things, famished
Stretching for futures not promised

Just a little further out and he’ll touch it
He feels damn good about this one
(And probably the next one too)

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Across the edge of this moment, lies the future
Unmapped, waiting, open for interpretation
Into this unknown territory we make projections;
Constructing our expectations.

We are all personal prophets ,
Predicting our futures,
protecting our ways.

Hope is no lure, it is an instinct
A mental mechanism, that must be aimed.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Commentary on a Doctrine

“Sin is that which separates us from God”

Literally, I see no way to be separated from an omnipresent being. Either God is not omnipresent or I can not be separated from him.

Figuratively, I don’t believe Jesus would abandon me when I need him most. Human parents continue to love and care for their children even when they make mistakes. I expect no less of my God.


-- Further Commentary and Thoughts --

I was trained to repeat this phrase as a child at church camp. I have not been able to find a direct reference for this in the bible; it may be there and I just haven’t dug it up yet. I currently believe this to be a direct quote from Christian doctrine, not the bible. I’m sure it could be supported by Christian scripture, but what can be supported by Christian scripture is vast, ranging from the sublime to the grotesque.

I fully acknowledge that this doctrine can be explained in a variety of fashions. The predominate approach, is to explain that sin itself, its very nature, separates us from God since he is perfect. Of course this explanation can not apply to Christians. Their sin no longer separates them from God, Jesus has covered that debt. For those covered by Christ, our sins do not separate us from God in this life or the next – they are forgiven.

This leaves the question: What is the nature of sin in the Christian life? It does not separate us from our God. It does not condemn us to eternal punishment. Sin is left with its inherent negative effect upon our lives. It is the damage of sin in this life that we are left to deal with.

This appears to leave the doctrinal phrase applicable to non-believers only. You may be tempted to hang onto this doctrine in this way, but please notice, the example of Jesus spending time with sinners. He did not separate himself from them. Their sin did not drive him away. He was able to be himself and still be in the presence of those who sin. In fact he talked with, ate with, and loved those with sin. He clearly did not flee from their presence. With Christ as an example, I see no reason to believe that the sins of a non-believer would exclude them from the presence of God, at least where this life is concerned.

This leaves us with a possible common denominator for sin; its real measurable affect upon our lives. This is pragmatic scoping. Both believers and non-believers can communicate about sin at this level. This is not how Paul talked about sin. This is how Jesus talked about sin.

I fail to see how sin can separate people from god when Jesus came explicitly, "not for the righteous but for the sinner." You can't seperate yourself from me, and then come over for a visit.