Monday, 21 April 2014

The Red Paint Faction

Reaching is meaningless without grasping. That is, reaching is meaningless without grasping if the end justifies the means. Reaching is a means to an end - the purpose of reaching is to grasp. Reaching is meaningless without grasping if you believe that the end justifies the means. Does belief justify the end or the means? It doesn't matter what we believe - no, you're mistaken! Why does it matter what we believe? Without belief there would be no action. It's not even that you have to believe that your actions have positive or negative consequences, or that your actions are positive or negative in and of themselves, or that your actions even exist. You simply have to believe that you exist. Existence precedes essence? I'm sure that these ideas draw outside the lines of existentialism though. There's action in every moment but we never even see it! Why surrender so soon? I'm staying as far away as I can from that white flag, thank you very much. Maybe I'll even use the colors that I drew outside the existential lines with and drench the flag in paint? How does red paint sound? Red is furious, red is glamorous, red is profound, red is enduring, red is real. There's my commercial, I can see it in the cinemas! "You're not doing anything. They're not doing anything. I'm not doing anything." Now what's that supposed to mean? Why are we giving up so quickly? Can't you see the hourglass? Can't you see my beautiful red flag? I doused it in paint, all for you! There's still time - well, only God knows. If anyone is not doing anything, it's either the unconscious or the dead. And I'm not even convinced that the unconscious or the dead are inactive; I think quite the opposite in actuality. I mean, I'm talking about them right now, so both have some form of essence. That must indicate that they're doing something? They're existing in my consciousness, they're existing in my world. Their essence is among my perception. It doesn't even matter if they're unaware of their existence or lack of existence, they still exist to somebody. That being said, my mentioning of the unconscious and the dead is very abstract since I am writing in very general terms. When I mention the unconscious and the dead I am not mentioning anyone specific. I guess after all is said and done, you don't even need to believe that you exist, you just need to exist. But why does the importance of actions rely on something as boring as existence? Every person who has ever lived exists! It baffles me how any of us can be genuine, if that truly is within our reach to begin with. I wonder, did God create everybody in the beginning? Maybe every person who has yet to live is already living - already living within the imagination of God. Maybe God has a storage room full of souls? Perhaps every soul that has yet to exist is already existing, though not existing in this world at the present moment. We're all just scattered among the earth. And I guess we don't truly know the place in which we came from?

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Entry #176

"We are 'taken out of ourselves' by the loved one while she is here. Then comes the tragic figure of the dance in which we must learn to be still taken out of ourselves though the bodily presence is withdrawn, to love the very Her, and not fall back to loving our past, or our memory, or our sorrow, or our relief from sorrow, or our own love." 
- C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

"The belief that rational and quantifiable disciplines such as science can be used to perfect human society is no less absurd than a belief in magic, angels, and divine intervention."
- Chris Hedges, I Don't Believe in Atheists

"A God who let us prove his existence would be an idol."
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

‎"If there is no God, then man and the universe are doomed. Like prisoners condemned to death, we await our unavoidable execution. There is no God, and there is no immortality. And what is the consequence of this? It means that life itself is absurd. It means that the life we have is without ultimate significance, value, or purpose."
- William Lane Craig

"All the idols made by man, however terrifying they may be, are in point of fact subordinate to him, and that is why he will always have it in his power to destroy them."
- Simone de Beauvoir

"I am no longer sure of anything. If I satiate my desires, I sin but I deliver myself from them; if I refuse to satisfy them, they infect the whole soul."
- Jean-Paul Sartre, The Devil and the Good Lord

"As I walk past a smile I cast, fervor in my stead. But my bones like plastic, do buckle backward now. I lay in this field by Judas and anticipate the plow. I cannot be forgiven, my wages will be paid. For those more lovely and admirable is least among the saved."
- Josh Dies of Showbread, Matthias Replaces Judas

"I'm fighting the war rather than war itself. I'm caught in the midst of no redemption. I'm fighting the war rather than war itself. Some say there's hope in this, there is love. Show me her eyes, I'll feel her hair.
I'll be back to déjà vu. Over and over. The same dream. The same question. Will I ever forgive myself?"
- Mike Hranica of The Devil Wears Prada, War

"Having a tree growing up out of me / Is often a worrisome thing. / I'm twisty and thorny and branchy and bare / But wait till you see me in Spring."
- Shel Silverstein, Headache

"Bring your secrets to me. Just give me your hands and I'll let you feel the wounds they put in me. If you believe in me how can I be dissolving? If you'd believe me, I'd tell you everything."
- Davey Havok of AFI, 37mm

What is True Faith: An Opinion Piece

A few weeks ago I came across a quote that has resonated with me longer than expected. In fact, upon reading the quote I did not expect that it would resonate with me at all. I am a human being and simple distractions captivate me, so I sometimes read quotes. Following my reading of the quote, I have asked questions in regard to what is being communicated. I am in no way saying that the quote made me ask questions, but I think that God did. God must have noticed that I read the quote and decided to ask me questions based on the information that I perceived. The quote reads as follows: "True faith produces a life full of actions, not a head full of facts." As soon as I had finished reading this I was simply repulsed. But why? My reasons and objections shall be written out below.

The quote encourages Christ followers to not use their minds. You may think that I am jumping to conclusions here, but bear with me. Well okay, I am reading between the lines. However, I feel very confident in thinking and stating that this quote pushes the agenda that "good Christians are mentally lazy." Why does the author assume that faith and thinking are so distant from one another? Why does true faith cease to produce a head full of facts? I would have felt more comfortable if the quote had said "True faith produces both a life full of actions and a head full of facts." But it does not say that, it says "...not a head full of facts." I think that the mind is an important part of the human spirit, but this quote is all action and no theory, and that does not sit well with me. I like theory - perhaps I like theory too much? I know that God wants more action from me, but I do not think that theory is necessarily vain.

The emphasis that this quote solely puts on action makes me rather skeptical. Make no mistake, I think that true faith and actions are connected to each other. James 2:14-17 says "What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself."

Taking that into consideration, I have never seen anything in scripture which indicates that a head full of facts is not a consequence of true faith. And I am back to the unanswerable question, the question that I did not expect to pose: what is true faith? Hold on, that question is basically right in the title. Oh my, the forgetfulness. Four hours of sleep is simply not adequate before writing an exam and having two job interviews. Okay, getting back on topic. Faith and actions are separate from one another, but somehow true faith relies on actions? But do the actions rely on true faith? Can the true faith be described apart from the actions attached to the faith? What is true faith in and of itself?

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

For Better or For Worse

Comparisons are just futile, are they not? You constantly witness people shifting their negative perceptions by comparing their bad situations to those who "have it worse" so that they can feel more positive and happy; sometimes you even witness people shifting their positive perceptions by comparing their good situations to those who have it "better off than they do" just so they can feel glum. Those who do the former are known as the "positive thinkers" and those who do the latter are known as "the complainers." The positive thinkers receive accolades for their bright attitudes, while the complainers are looked upon with disdain. But why should that be so? They are opposite extremes - both dangerous, I think. Both seem to lose and fall victim to tragedy. It is merely a lose-lose situation! You are either obtaining happiness because of somebody else's existing woe and misfortune or you are becoming sad because you cannot see that goodness exists in your own life. I like complaining and it turns out that I am losing?

Thursday, 10 April 2014

To Live is Christ

I can only die because I live. I could only live because I did not live. I could only exist because of reasons that were outside of my own existence. In a sense, my individual life is susceptible to that which is not intrinsic to my individuality. Why does a person live when they are obligated to die? Death becomes the most apparent to me when I am tired. Jean-Paul Sartre said "Life has no meaning the moment you lose the illusion of being eternal." Personally, I forget that I am going to die often times, and I think that others hold fast to that same forgetfulness. But that is such an irrefutable and alien action, is it not? I am getting closer and closer to dying, yet so often I pretend that dying is merely a bad dream, or rather, that my vision of dying is simply an image of an unrealistic bad dream. Truth be told, it just makes me cringe writing about this topic. I could never accurately write about something that is completely out of my own existence and experience. But that is what death essentially is: being tossed out of my own existence and experience, at least, what I have perceived to be my own existence and experience. How many times have I aimlessly written about personal fascinations? Yes, it is that second word: many. I would hate to lose the experience of getting all tangled up in these thoughts. Some might say that such an experience is destructive, but I am basking in enjoyment. Make no mistake though, this does not always happen when I write. Do you see the ending? Do you see the death of my writing? It ends with Christ. I did not consciously intend to get to that point, but my river of ideas seemed to flow to the correct dam. Philippians 1:21 says "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." This is one of the most profound sentences that I have read, yet I do not know what it means. At least, I cannot conjure up an explanation for that sentence. However, something very personal tells me that it is truthful. May Christ be my conclusion.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

A Prayer in the Dark

These everyday walls become like everyday sins. Always there, and never in sight. There's nowhere I want to go, except for where I've been. We're never quite free and we're never quite chastened. These words are not adequate. So I'll say a prayer in the dark.

Friday, 28 March 2014

The Fiend, Cacophony

Why assume that cacophony must exist in a single moment? Why assume that it is unfettered? Perhaps cacophony truly is unable to be transmitted through numerous moments? But no, I will refute such an assumption (albeit without proper evidence). It may seem dull and it may be long lasting, but it is still cacophony. It just does not want you to know how destructive, evil, and detrimental it is.

Have you ever been fearful about making it to Heaven? Last night, I was considering the possibility of acting on my lying and inauthentic nature for the duration of my human existence, and only becoming truthful and authentic once the afterlife takes place. It is terrifying for me to realize that I could only be morally virtuous once I reach Heaven. Beyond the celestial gates, I still imagine guilt being present, the guilt which reflects all of my transgressions.

Guilt is such a perceptible aspect of human consciousness, so how could I imagine anything different? Perhaps it is vain to hold expectations in regard to Heaven? Not only am I afraid of lying, but my soul is in the lions den. What I mean to say is, I am scared of all the evil I have harbored. My heart is held in Hell's Harbor. Each type of evil is a lion, and my heart is the lamb. I may never fight off all the lions. God may never fight off all the lions for me, either.

To conclude, I am not fearful about making it to Heaven. I am afraid of human existence and I infuse my fears toward human existence into my ideas about Heaven, thus making me mistake Heaven as a fear. Heaven is not a fear, yet I tend to believe that my fear will meet me there in its entirety.