Thursday, March 30, 2017

Communication, Values, and Identity in Christ

There is introduction. There is body. There is conclusion. They are all separate, and yet, they form a whole. They form a whole so well that you might overlook these chasms of identity. Even words are reducible to lonely letters; they mean nothing on their own, except in particular circumstances. What drives me to communicate? It must be something I'm craving ... some rich chocolate mousse and a glass of ginger ale. Unless one is ill-mannered, they will use a fork or spoon to eat their cake and a glass to drink their ginger ale from. Likewise, when I communicate, I'm not all about the communication itself. I have a tool at my disposal to ascertain that communication. I suppose it's all a little different than eating because communication involves the interpersonal. Emotions are very important here. What can I pry from the other when I am angry? When I am happy? When I am forlorn? There is manipulation in the communicative process, and not necessarily in the negative sense.

I think I just need to quit. "But your cake, monsieur! Your ginger -" No, no. No, thank you. Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless. A good taste never lasts forever, though you might wish otherwise. When I grant God the Father lordship over my senses, they have a standard by which they must adhere to if they are to be in proper order. And yet, it's ironic because I'm writing all this for sense-based reasons (or, non-reasons).

Maybe I don't need to quit - maybe somebody else does? Maybe a lot of people need to quit? But why I am concerning myself here with that? They don't see my cocoon, my pain, my worry. I guess sometimes I wish people wouldn't be so petty ... so aesthete-oriented ... so prone to deception ... so political.

But by my own standards I ought not be in the business of telling other people what they should do because that is political. I can either watch the vanity or turn my back on it. If I do the former I'll become vain with the crowd, and if I do the latter I'll become vain in myself. Humans are meant to be among others ... but to what point should this hold precedence over personal values? It can't be argued that one's personal values are actually just picked from the collective as if picking grapes from a vine because the collective is terribly ambivalent on the matter, quite unlike a vine which has facticity.

This is why finding identity in Christ is important - because there's an actual standard there. What does finding one's identity in Christ mean though? I like what Thomas Merton has to say about this: "Every one of us is shadowed by an illusory person: a false self. This is the man that I want myself to be but who cannot exist, because God does not know anything about him ... The secret of my identity is hidden in the love and mercy of God."

Nowadays, it seems that many hold this false assumption that being made in the image of God means that you, as you are, are made in the image of God. For some time, I have doubted this because a perfect God making something imperfect is incoherent. But as Merton points out, the amazing paradox is that who we are is not who we are! Perhaps so many 'contradictions' really turn out to be paradoxes if we search for long enough?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Aboat the Weather

It was cloudy this morning. There was some rain - possibly hail - in the afternoon that lasted for 30 minutes, give or take. I like everything about the song I'm listening to right now except the voices. Why did they add those in there? It would have been even better otherwise. I used to not like cloudy days but now I do. I used to not like the wind but now I see it differently. Cloudy days remind me of my apathy; not in the sense that it reminds me of what I don't want to be reminded of, but more so that the sky has empathy in relation to me. As for the wind, it's at least an archetype for the Spirit of God. And who knows, maybe God Himself is really found in the wind itself somehow? I need some mysticism in my life, at least, I try to make room for it. Lately I've been reading at least one poem/hymn a day from The Christian Book of Mystical Verse edited by A.W. Tozer and I've found it enjoyable. Sometimes I think of poetry as rather boring - even though I write poems - but it's nice to have some quick reads like that to end the day.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

New Blogger Themes?

So I just signed in to start writing a poem and apparently Blogger has NEW themes! The only reason I'm writing this is because this puts me in an uncomfortable situation, to say the least. I have changed the theme/design/template/whatever more times than I can count ... and I'm profoundly ashamed at my inconsistency ... but I have to at least have a look at those new themes. Ah, I like this old one I got going now though! WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING TO HAPPEN?!?!?!? HA HA HA HA HA HA ... UGGGGGH.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Psychedelics and Popular Philosophy

I was perusing this reddit thread today and was rather disappointed by the philosophers mentioned. The two names that caught my attention were Alan Watts and Friedrich Nietzsche. While I have not read any of Watts' work, and though I am sure he has some interesting ideas, the fact that his very name connotes some sort of post-hippie, stoner culture is enough to make me lose my appetite. Philosophy should be about coming to terms with reality, not distancing oneself from it. Then again, I could ask the question of whether or not psychedelic drugs are capable of bringing one closer to reality, but that is a topic I'd rather not get into at the moment. And some people blame religious people for trying to escape reality...

As for Nietzsche, the opaque prose of Beyond Good and Evil is just not worth anybody's time, even though there are some interesting insights buried deep down. Most people understand Nietzsche as being a morally degenerate man - which he was - and so, I'm surprised that anyone could recommend the work of such a scoundrel.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Unity

Your eyelids are fair, like skylight halos. A Gaussian image - falling faster - though distant from shambles. Broken photography writes letters to reality, the pages crowded with circles. I can't see a thing in anything because I see everything, and yet, it's all so empty. This unity of appetite and pangs.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Surety

The word 'sophistry' has a nice ring to it; so does 'tapestry.' Can I effectively use both of them in the same piece? Then again, why would I? "Well, here I am again, sitting on my puke green love seat" - if I keep writing the words out, I'd write the entire song out! I don't know how I ever get much of anything done when I always have music stuck in my head. Maybe that's why I'm not as productive as I'd like to be ... and yet, my love for music is what inspires me to get anything 'important' done. Just as Pavlov's dog fetched the food at the ring of the bell, I attend to my tasks at the sound of music, and sometimes, at the expectation of that sound.

Patterns are deceiving. I must be hardwired for something beyond repetition, and still, I can't seem to bring myself out of it.

I thought I had found God today. Now that I reflect on it though, it must have been Him who was there up until shortly after the realization had begun. For such a realization to begin means to freeze what is the object of my mind and I take it as an a priori truth that you can't freeze God like that. Upon being asked, or imagining being asked, how God is working in my life, my response is normally vacuous. It's as if there's some expectation, some answer, some awareness of the answer that I think ought to be there. In looking for all of God, I ended up not seeing some of God and finding contentment in that. Truth and morals nestle to start a fire in my bones, and for whatever reason, I was convinced that it is through these details that I become aware of God. None of this makes much sense in hindsight, and perhaps I am too tired to right write coherently, but I found something significant for a second.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Melancholia I

Another paper on mental illness is underway. Depression and/or anxiety are illnesses of particular interest to me, and I think this anthropology paper will be the sixth occasion I've written on the topic. So far I have explored: the sociological implications of pharmaceutical antidepressants and their use in the United States and Canada, Bell Canada's Let's Talk campaign, mental illness among the homeless in Canada and the United States, how herbal medications compare to pharmaceuticals, suicidal thoughts among Aboriginal peoples, and this time around, I think I'll be focusing on 'race-pattern' interpretations of depression as they occur in the United States, i.e. how some and perhaps even a majority of persons from a certain race interpret the issue.

I'm not exactly sure why I listed all that out. A bout of nostalgia if anything. At any rate, I'm planning to make a special title page for this essay because my title pages are usually plain and boring. Albrecht Dürer's Melancholia I has always been fascinating to me and that's the image I plan on using.