Hey, been over three years since I last synced this blog with my blogspot one…
Also discontinued posting to that one, and in the forseeable future tumblr is my home
Hey, been over three years since I last synced this blog with my blogspot one…
Also discontinued posting to that one, and in the forseeable future tumblr is my home
My journey with/about God has been nothing short of turbulent, one in which religion lost to spirituality and as a consequence, i haven’t been to any church for years now, at least from the “I’m going to worship him from that place” perspective.
As a child i grew into/around a strong Catholic indoctrination. I knew there was one almighty, omnipresent, all-powerful God. But even as a small child when i went to church i looked around and wondered “why so serious?”. Church was always this solemn place where people went to meet God, and he was one helluvan ominous(threatening not evil) being! But it was for a moment because my brother and i usually got into a lot of mischief little ways into the service.
Still, was a diligent christian child; started catechism, even though it was conducted in Kikuyu, a language i hardly had spoken control of(still don’t up to now), but i could memorize the syllables and verses well enough to pass, and even aspired to be an altar boy. Had my first experience with cliques…the altar boys were a clique! You know…noses up in the stratosphere, thinking they’re the shit and nitpicking at your attempts to do something to make your mum proud… While I’m not one to hold a grudge, I make a point of never forgetting the face of anybody’s who’s ever discriminated against me for whatever reason.
I became an altar boy later when i was 10, for 3 mass services, before realizing servitude to the church is not one of my inherent virtues. Even told one of the other altar boys to go fuck themselves once when they ordered me to go and serve in church, coz I was needed at a certain Easter mass. OK, I never said “fuck”, seeing that it hadn’t yet made its way into my vocabulary, but i used an equally obscene and demeaning phrase. After that i got no more requests to serve the church. Ironically I was the one that made it to seminary, albeit a junior one.
Seminary was the next step in defining my relationship with God. I may have lied my way into it by faking religious fervor, but it still ended up helping me anyway. There was theology, i got to read the Quran, the Bible(more than 10 times), got exposed to Buddhism and many other religions.
I started questioning religion and the role of clerics in determining our destiny with God. I questioned God, why was he so manipulative and vengeful in the old testament; why was he still kinda manipulative in the new testament with Jesus… I mean if Jesus was God’s son, why would death scare him or even hurt him in the long run? His dad is God goddamnit! In fact, Jesus should have been looking forward to the release crucifixion and death would bring, to return to his true form! Nevertheless my faith increased, i believed we were all here for a reason and ignored the obvious bias that becomes apparent when you apply the logic that God makes everything happen for a reason…what about the children/people who suffer and are killed even before they even get a feel for the joys in life and living?
After seminary my faith was eroded steadily. With some things you never notice. Your faith gets steered in a particular direction and you never realize it till something significant happens…or a series of events. My episodes always erode my beliefs, whether religious, spiritual, secular or emotional(even now). I judge myself by how I recover from that. My spirituality was almost completely gone by the time i had my meltdown(triggered by other major factors other than religion). You can’t have God without being spiritual. Running to religion when you don’t have any spiritualism in you is like spitting on molten lava…pretty useless. Yeah, i was fucked.
I was hopeless and lost, and not willing to see a shrink because they’d have used my lack of spiritualism as a reason for my breakdown yet i knew it wasn’t. It was just a side of me I had ridden on luck, especially knowing that my mind was made for questioning and i wasn’t exercising that where my beliefs were concerned. I had to fix myself at least some way…the basics at least, financially, emotionally etc…the works. Emotionally was hard, went through a period i was apathetic to even the immediate family as i bonded with them from scratch. Ok, not scratch scratch, but you get the point. Financially, socially, and spiritually too. This entry is about the spiritual aspect.
I knew days of darkness, went full atheist, then tried at the whole worshiping mother nature angle, but as usual my mind was grasping at something at least halfway logical to believe in. And even when i denied the existence of God, there was still one thing whose existence i couldn’t deny…mine. “I think, therefore i am” ~ Rene Descartes.
You never realize the importance of such a statement till you’re faced with the question of your existence. So I dropped all the bullshit of looking for God in the church, and expecting clergy and religion to fully guide me. It has been an interesting journey so far.
I believe no religion is incorruptible and many people confuse that corruption with the image of God, not realizing religions were created by mankind as paths of enlightenment to understand God better and get close to Him. While the forebears may have had good intentions, their descendants not so much. They chose to litter the pathways with obstacles and occasionally set up shops to assist the weary travelers…at a cost of course! As the conniving religious people grew, they introduced the concept that it’s ok to be poor or give up your basic rights and some comfort for the sake of what they made you believe is waiting for you in heaven….nirvana. To be frank, what they’ve done is convince people that they convert material wealth into their heavenly equivalent, but no they didn’t stop there. They have convinced many people that it’s actually ok to suffer because it makes what is waiting for you in heaven even sweeter! That that’s why even Jesus suffered, to show you it’s ok to suffer and that God actually wants you to suffer! That is raw description of most religions, and poor people are willing to believe in them because they are looking for an explanation, or rather the silver lining for their suffering. The danger in all this is that there is still resentment towards the well to do, just that they’re rarely voiced…unless a revolution happens!
To understand God, you have to accept just one fact, that you can never understand God. The baseline should be: no understanding of God is absolute and every attempt should be taken as an individual’s effort to create a relationship with a being whose manifestation is neither obvious nor directly observable. It’s all purely faith! Questions like “if there is a God, why does he let some people suffer so much while some are always born to never know the feeling?” are the obvious firsts and you will have to ask yourself that at some point too.
I’ll tell my understanding of that.
It’s hard to tell the reason why things happen to some people and not to others, but when you look at it critically, it’s always as a result of other human actions…natural disaster are negligible when you put suffering as a result of people and suffering as a result of nature side by side and even then we’d most probably be referring to natural disasters as a result of climate change. So we’d be down to earthquakes and volcanic activity as the contenders for significant natural disasters that humans don’t have direct or indirect control over; and even in the case of some earthquakes, it is debatable.
I believe the Bible was written by people inspired by God, but they wrote it explaining and describing their “visions” and experiences based on how they could effectively tell it or express it. Nowadays we have audio/visual aids to express or even reproduce observation but even then we can never effectively project the original. That’s why it’s prudent never to take the bible literally, maybe their culture involved a lot of symbolism, and we also have to remember the bible has been translated several times. And context! The bible is a collection of books, some literature was deemed fit for a book of God while others were dropped, so even in terms of context I’m not convinced we have that part complete. Maybe some books were perceived as too extreme for that culture…we may never know. Every culture has that content that is censored because it may not comply with the current moral yardstick. While the scriptures are cryptic a lot of times, one message always comes through, not a message about morals or imposing your beliefs on others, but to look out for the well-being of your fellow human beings. Simple! That has been the universal truth, from the Bible, Kabbalah, Quran…etc… All(most of) the suffering we see, most of the time, is a direct result of intentional misinterpretation of the scriptures and making your doctrines prevail!
All we ever think of is ourselves and satisfying our selfish immediate needs. We have managed to convince each other that the resources are too few, and that their distribution can work only one way…the pyramid structure…small apex, large(big fucking!) base. That once the human beings at the top of the food-chain are satisfied then the access of the resource moves to the next level and so on. This would be ok had we been looking at sating the needs of the special/disabled first since they probably need special attention. But no, the apex represents the needs of the upper echelon, who in all essence aren’t even that special, just extremely lucky. And…and, combined they make less than 10% of the total population, and the needs being taken care of are of unnecessary extravagance!…and use up the same amount of resources as the rest of the populace!
I don’t like capitalism that much…sometimes i think if it was agreed we give up property rights until we came up with a more “fair” market/governance system, we could actually stem the way we’re misusing resources, then crying at how little they turned out to be. Then again, when i think of putting some things in the hands of people with so much vested interest and shameless lack of integrity i shudder at the thought of that unknown alternative. Plus that would be expecting some higher force to intervene and solve our problems…much the same way we expect God to do it for us, then curse and deny his existence when he doesn’t do as we bid. The solutions to our problems lie within each individual, getting rid of the selfishness and jealousy that convince us that we have to one-up everybody else to feel happy or content…and actually be of service to people other than ourselves.
Another question I’ve faced as a theist would be the relationship between Jesus, the holy spirit and God. Some people ask it with a smirk expecting you to falter. It is kind of annoying, when somebody, rather than ask you the question to trigger a healthy debate, asks expecting you to show a chink in your faith and then they’d feel better about themselves. What they gain, i don’t know.
Like i said before, no knowledge of God is absolute and my ideas of him are mine, maybe influenced in one way or another by others. When i think of God, i think of him as all knowing and omnipresent, but what about Jesus and the Holy spirit, what is their place with God? For me it all boils down to semantics. The Holy books were written long ago, describing the same thing thousands of years later we are expected to understand in the same light. The Bible, for example, has undergone numerous translations since then with each translator trying to stay as true to the words contained as possible while at the same time creating sensible literature that could be understood in the evolved culture. Let’s look at English as an example, the English spoken and written in the Victorian era greatly differs from what we use. While future generations will benefit from detailed audio/visual examples, ours doesn’t have that luxury, in usage of past material.
I have started to believe that, the concept of Jesus as the son of God developed because there was a need to illustrate the relationship in a way the people at that time could understand. Had it been a matriarchal society I’m pretty sure Jesus would have been a woman. Maybe it was God’s way of reaching out to the people, using the relationship between a man and his son to show how strong the bonds between him and Jesus were. By explicitly saying “I am Jesus and Jesus is me” the people would probably have responded with a “God sed wha…?” and the whole meaning of the sacrifice would have been lost to history.
And maybe the Holy spirit is the collective of what is good in us which is a part of God. It is God and it is us. We are individual and independent in awareness of self, yet the same before God. Maybe that is what he was trying to say when he said we are in his image and we dumbly assumed he was talking about our corporeal existence and lordship over the other animals.
My point is we try too much to make God into our image. We impose our idea of him on him, and what would make us happy into the image of what we’d expect heaven to be like, we think of classical music and running through fields with neither jutting rocks, thorns nor entangled grass to trip us. If i was to use the same beliefs i’d say that my idea of heaven is one endless never-fading orgasm! See, we think of heaven as we would perceive the most satisfying event/place/moment to us. We try to impose the same image on others who don’t believe the same as us because we want them to see as we see, but spirituality is something you go into without edging or nudging, and it’s something you should never force on somebody else, especially children! The only thing i pray is that even though i may not be able to visualize heaven for what it is, at least let me be with my loved ones, with all the good in them.
If i believe in a superior being above me, what is there to prevent there being another being above him, and a superior being to that…kind of like a reverse of the old saying “Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite ’em, And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum…”. Simple actually. It would imply that our understanding of God is so far off tangent that the argument is rendered moot…what sense would there be in debating an all knowing, omnipresent God if in fact he answers to one above him? Would have our references to a superior God be linked to the actual superior God or to the one the debate partner is inferring to? See, it goes in nonsensical circles.
So far I am happy my faith in God is holding up! Science doesn’t scare me, neither do i resist it, and more knowledge and belief in science(physics) doesn’t destabilize my beliefs, rather it brings me into awe at how yet complex the structures are that came together to bring me into my corporeal reality; and my ability to change the world around me by simply being.
What people don’t realize is how special they are, how they believe in God or whether they believe in God at all. As long you value other human life the same way you would your own you are on the right path. According to physics you are the not so random result of impossibilities, as is everyone around you. According to the scriptures you’re still special. Just choose what defines you wisely and don’t go shoving your beliefs on other people. Let them see you and if they find you worthy they will follow. You don’t have to change the whole world for it to be better, change your world. The world appreciates no matter how infinitesimally small the positive change.
So you see, even if i don’t make it to thirty, to me, i made the years up to the present count, so it would still be described as a life well lived, and i’d want it described that way! When you say somebody had potential, the whole potential aspect is a chance thing that unless achieved is just a hypothetical concept or at most a wish of what you’d have wanted to see somebody do. Life is not cast in stone, we all have choices we make and we are never particularly sure of the eventuality of our choices. So beating yourself over what was probably a wise, well calculated choice, from your perspective, when you made it, is just being silly. It’s doing what makes you happy that matters in the long run, as long as you’re not some kind of sadist. If you find happiness through making others happy, that counts big time! voluntary service to others/nature is satisfying and if heaven is real you will also have earned major points to get you there.
So the final answer is, yes, i’m scared of death, if it was because i killed myself mid a low or because i was unnecessarily reckless. And no, if it was something i had no chance of averting. But even then, up to the point it happened, i’d have achieved my full potential for that time. Though sadly then the only lives i’d have touched positively are the ones immediate to me not the whole of humanity in general.
All life is precious, whether fleeting or extremely extended. Look out for it.
“I promised you, dad, not to do the things you’ve done.I walk away from trouble when I can.Now please don’t think I’m weak, I didn’t turn the other cheek,And papa, I sure hope you understand:Sometimes you gotta fight when you’re a man”
As i look forward to 2013, i’ll try to change a few things. Will try to be a better person and i’ll do my best to prevent life from corrupting that which i struggle to keep clean. It’s the year my bi annual professional cycle comes around and i have to assess whether i’m happy with what i’ve gained in the last two years and decide if sticking to this career is good for me. Yes! i’ve been a programmer/developer for less than 2 years and i get to decide if i want to retain that title in 2013.
I also plan to going back to writing as a regular habit and need to put my emotions back into it. I have to admit i became too detached from writing in 2012 and never had the follow through needed to finish articles/entries i’d started. My draft section is enough reminder of that. That changes in 2013.
While i don’t want to revert personality-wise to what i was pre 09, it is important i return to the path my life had taken then/was taking, in that i need to be more assertive about what i want. Somehow i’d lost that.
My general plan for 2013 is simple, since we all know that saying about the best laid plans of men and mice, to stay true to myself and what i believe in. That has been my mantra for years now and it gives me anchoring through times of torment and mental terror when my mind becomes a hazardous environment. And to lose the flab, since it’s a remainder/after-effect of my dark days.
Happy 2013 people! Regular posts this year. Personal for this blog, and kinda techie ones for yulemsee.com
That’s why my breath is felt by the deaf and why my words are heard and confined to the ears of the blind. I, too, dream in color, and in rhyme, so I guess I’m one of a kind in a full house, cuz whenever I open my heart, my soul, or my mouth, a touch of God reigns out
Was going through the blog and noticed the posts are rare and far in between. I do a personal post about once every 3months but that doesn’t seem enough, the blog has not been getting the love and attention it deserves. Guess it’s because it’s hard to find the time, what with all the work.
Coding is a hard mistress to tame or please and she insists on getting all your attention, especially if she is the one that pays all your bills. But i love her all the same. She helps me escape and keep my sanity in the midst of the disaster that has become my personal life.
As I have mentioned in passing before, the thing about a blog like mine is finding a balance on how much of my personal life I should reveal. How much is too much? For example, many of my co-workers, some of whom are my friends, know about who owns this blog, so I may write something and the next day they may go ‘damn dude, we didn’t know you went through that’ or “dude, you sounded hurt”. So the loss in total anonymity adds more limits/restraints on the how much is too much to reveal issue. Personally I don’t really have qualms about revealing details of my life, but I have to respect the privacy of the people I write about whether we’re on good terms or bad, plus I hate discussing something I’ve written. The reason I wrote about it and not talk is because I don’t want to talk about it. Revealing names is a no-no, unless I’m talking about public figures, and I always make sure to avoid unnecessary extra information that doesn’t really lend weight to the topic at hand; social media etiquette so to speak.
To say the truth, writing and swimming are the only truly complete doors to my soul. There are things you will read on my blog that i would never reveal in person, no matter how emotional or drunk; I’m stunted like that when it comes to interpersonal relationships with other human beings. And I’ll hate you if you insist on trying to get it out of me! That is why given the choice, I would desperately cling to the veil of anonymity offered online. There is the option to write and not publish, therefore stay completely invisible, but then again, what is the use of writing if you can’t share it with the world? Through it we can strike a chord and see eye to eye better since I’m letting you more into my life through a couple minutes of reading, what would have taken us years through normal interaction. Maybe by chance I hit on a topic that applies to you so well, you realize you’re not completely alone in this cold unwelcoming world. That makes writing, and in extension blogging, worthwhile.
One of the more common setbacks I face would be finding a topic to write about. I write for pleasure, and for other reasons I’ve already presented. Unlike career bloggers, who earn from their writing, hence have to take advantage of search engine optimization, and jump on every topic currently trending to make hits, I write because above all I love it. I don’t have to meet a monthly/daily quota and really don’t give a shit about how my blog is indexed on google, or the number of ad impressions it makes (btw i think that part is broken, haven’t made a dime in ages). But I still have to make sure the grammar is proper, the typos stay to a minimum, except where i choose to use slang, curse only when necessary and try to keep the English as basic as possible. I’m beyond trying to impress anybody with vocabulary. I got a ton i could throw at readers but really it would just give the blog a pretentious feel to it.
So readers, i have let you a little bit more into the mind of the author, now you know why he writes.
Shallom my friends.