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atoms, summer weeds, and thoughts

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thoughts launched into cyberspace are like atoms in Brownian motion…

atoms in the biosphere, in the atmosphere, in geological layers, in outer space,

atoms from the stars, going to the stars, suspended in the near vacuum of interstellar quasi-gas,

atoms inside my body, flushed out of my body, going to the ocean, to the ground, to the fishes, to the plants,

atoms I breathe in from somebody, I breathe out to somebody, suspended for a time, received at one time,

atoms that may touch just one atom at a time, but who knows which atom, but who knows what impact,

but who knows to what direction next, to which act affects, to which thought launched anew …

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…thoughts, like the flowering summer weeds, random,

razed,  Image

springing up again,

random, appearing,

everywhere and nowhere,

alive, amazing, just there…

The One You Feed

“A fight is going on inside me,” said an old man to his son. “It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other wolf is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you.”

The son thought about it for a minute and then asked, “Which wolf will win?”

The old man replied simply, “The one you feed.”

— by Wendy Mass, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life

————————————————————————————–pack, winter

I came across a book which made me appreciate wolves. It’s “Women Who Run with the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. It’s easily among the best books I have and will ever come across. It’s about making choices, looking beyond the box, being appreciative of who and where you are, genuinely loving oneself so as to genuinely love another.Women Who Run With the Wolves cover

I came across an interview with Sting. I like it that he likes Mahatma Gandhi. I like it that he puts his optimism into his songs. He just used different words but I see that he’s actually putting across what the excerpt above says.

I came across a theologian who said that the beauty of the Bible lies in the fact that there is a God who one day will redeem humanity [has redeemed humanity]—that this is the fate of humanity—, and not in the fact that the end is punishment/destruction and death, despite the mess we find ourselves in right now.

Another book that’s among the top of my list is “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl. It’s a short read and it has the feel of a documentary-for-life. It’s about survival in the midst of the most dire straits. It speaks for humanity.

I like it that both books that I mentioned were written by psychiatrists who are not just “clinical” but are real flesh-and-blood humans with beating hearts. I like both Sting and the Mahatma, very much. I like the message of hope that I choose to listen to from the Bible, and that’s why I like the Bible, too.

“reality” is always in relative motion

an excerpt:

“One of the major issues, if not indeed the key area of biblical theology today, as was true of the Biblical Theology Movement’s earlier experience, is the attempt to understand the Bible from the perspective of a unifying principle, regardless of how it is defined. Biblical theology as practiced in the 1990s remains concerned with the issue of a center, a unifying principle, an overarching category. This issue will be part of the discussion of major models and proposals for biblical theology to be presented […]” — by Gerhard F. Hasel / “The Nature of Biblical Theology: Recent Trends and Issues”. Andrews University Studies, Autumn 1994, Vol. 32, No. 3, 203-215.

————- sacadalang’s take as of 24Feb2012 on the above article: —————-

Science is a primitive (i.e., simplistic) in the sense that it quantifies.

          A phenomenon quantified with finality has in itself no room for “movement.” It becomes a fixed reference, and so a quasi-absolute.

However, only “God” is “absolute” (though not in the sense that He has no “movement”).

“Reality” is always in relative motion, including the perception of “God”. A “unified” concept of anything touching on the human, as the image of God, is an illusion. As long as man exists in his/her state now no such “unification” is seen to be possible. (pending the reading of the 2nd & 3rd sections of this article)

We’re supposed to live with dirt

A classmate once told me that had germs been visible to the naked eye none in our face-area would be visible at all. It’d be so covered with bacteria there’ll be no part of our faces left to be seen.  I remember how we laughed over the ghastly picture it presented to our imagination, but at the same time sobered by its truth.

I once again put off the the urge to transform my room into a spick-and-span condition. I’d just have to  continue hoping that no one come to visit me for now — my room’s state of disarray is embarrassing. (In case an unexpected visitor does drop by my saving grace is that my room doesn’t smell. Aside from maintaining ventilation I’ve followed some people’s tip to leave coffee grounds in open containers at a corner of the room. Also whenever I remember to do so, which isn’t too often, I wipe portions of the walls near the stove with vinegar-and-water solution. I don’t use air fresheners.)

Gye Baek ep11 (1) Gye Baek ep11 (2)Gye Baek ep11 (3)Gye Baek ep11 (4)Gye Baek ep11 (5)Gye Baek ep11 (6)Gye Baek ep11 (7)Gye Baek ep11 (8)Gye Baek ep11 (9)I have too much clutter. The books are all over, piled or stacked, on shelves and on the floor. Binders and folders line up on the shelf and on the floor. Boxes are under the table and stacked over the door. Condiments and pots and pans are beneath the teevee table. Of my 2 tables, only one-third of one has a cleared space, the other has one-fourth only. The window sill has an array of plants on big yogurt canisters. I don’t conceal the trash containers (1 for general trash, 1 for plastics, 1 for metals, 1 for paper). Since I have to be non-dependent  I decided it best to save little things that might be useful for “emergency” situations, like strings and bottles and card-boards and canisters. (However, I recently decided to discard some and resolved to not add into the collection anymore.)

I feel I ought to get more organized but the truth is that for me it’s less stressful to let things be than to go against the law of entropy. I just haven’t thought much about it but I may be “lazy” by nature — because the decades of academic discipline (waking up at 5 or 5:30 AM on school days since 8 years old) have not really “disciplined” me. I procrastinate. I focus according to interest and mood. I must have an inner motivation otherwise I yawn every minute. My brain now refuses to take in lists of vocabulary because I don’t have to take quizzes anymore. I can sit up for 8 hours straight on an interesting topic I’m surfing about but I have to get up from my seat, out of impatience, after every page of reading from a book that I “must” look into in preparation for a class.

I remember the saying “cleanliness is next to godliness”, the one drummed into us by our elementary school teachers. I guess for us then the bottom line of that was self-discipline. Whoa. I haven’t thought of that one for a long time now. So, what of it now, have I gone far from being “godly”? Hahahaha.

I learned from a Bavarian senior that even until today the Hausfrau (housewife) isn’t as looked-up to as the Karrierefrau (career woman). For many the housewife is someone “lazy”. I’m inclined to think that this absurd belief stems from the industrialization era, when concepts of just-in-time and bundy-clock precision had to be catered to in the name of “development” and, of course, profit. Hence, money. Hence, prestige. How can the housewife be associated with laziness? That’s absurd. By common sense argument her job (or the househusband’s) is the most crucial in any society.

What I am sure, though, that for now I find myself agreeing with Brian A. Haggerty’s “…there remains the fundamental question of why efficiency should occupy such a place of importance in society.”* He’s discussing a bit on how we are obsessed with, among other things, efficiency — so much so that we discard those that we find “inefficient”, like those who are of no use anymore in the industrial arena, specifically the aged.

I am inefficient in organizing my room so that it stays visitor-presentable all the time but then I think of my intestines that need bacteria in order to function. To what extent do I “clean up”? I think of the decomposers of the rotting things in the soil, and in my large intestines. I think of the ever-present germs in my oral cavity. I think of faces I’d meet on the streets (and mine in the mirror) had bacteria been non-invisible. Dirt is part of life.

In my part of the world body “odor” is suppressed. We’re efficient in it so much so that a breaking of this norm, to a certain generally accepted intensity, is considered an act of misconduct and is reprehensible. The morning full-bath is an understood must, and if possible one can’t be found to not have taken a bath before going out of the house for the day’s business. One isn’t free to smell bad. Everyone seems to disapprove of it.

I didn’t disapprove at all at Cho-young sniffing after Gye Baek (episode 11). Humans do smell. — Why shouldn’t Gye Baek smell? Why am I not free to be smelly? When and how and where did it ever start that the scent of a human is associated with negativity? How has it happened that something as natural and as “common sense” as the smell of a living human body be an avenue for discrimination? — It makes little sense to me. Each one has a particular smell and it is a mark of individuality, of particularity, of personhood — why should it be suppressed? Why are we so obsessed with the efficiency to not-smell/smell-“good”?

Which reminds me of my none-too-white teeth. Hahahaha. The craze to make the teeth white is frightening. I put turmeric in my food. I drink coffee and tea. I’m afraid I’d be punishing my enamel if I brush too hard and too frequently. I’d rather have “colored” teeth than stop using turmeric. Then there’s the matter of shampooing the hair everyday. Crazy. Even the prestigious maiko (geisha-in-training) washes her hair once a week.

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*”Out of the House of Slavery: On the Meaning of the Ten Commandments” (1978) p.81.

Note: Thanks a million to the site where I got my snapshots from.

efficiency, too, is a god

 

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That man is a success
who has lived well, laughed often and loved much;
who has gained the respect of intelligent men
and the love of children;
who has filled his niche
and accomplished his task;
who leaves the world better than he found it
whether by a perfect poem
or a rescued soul;
who never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty
or failed to express it;
who looked for the best in others
and gave the best he had.
Robert Louis Stevenson

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Success has become a god that rules over many aspects of our lives — education, business, politics, sports, to name some. If we devote ourselves to success in one of its many concrete forms, if we pursue achievement with great zeal, we are convinced we can fulfill our life’s purposes. We do not care much that our success often depends on another’s failure. We do not see that the crucial factor is the honest effort we make rather than the result we achieve. Success is a contemporary god. It demands, and often receives, the exclusive service the Mosaic covenant reserves to God alone.” — (The Idolatry of Success) “Out of the House of Slavery: On the Meaning of the Ten Commandments” by Brian A. Haggerty (1978) p.29-30.

to dig is to see the surface

dogwood cutI wanted to get back to my roots because I thought that’s the only way to paint the correct picture. There’s so much to learn. It’s overwhelming. There are so many perspectives. There are so many desires and hopes and dreams. So many wishes. And plans. In the past. In the now. To do something. To prevent something. To participate. Be a branch. A hand. A leaf, even.

I have already started to dig. What I have dug. At each stage. I was struck by the passion, the convictions, the visions, the integrity of purpose I uncovered, between the lines.

Many sincere souls have already come and gone, and yet, the forces that they opposed still proliferate. Greed. Callousness. Hedonism. Pride and Self-righteousness. Exclusivism. Views that polarize. Mahatma Gandhi — we need what you had. We need the brilliance of your honesty. To self. To people. To life. You were like that Jesus who lived in Nazareth, the one who spoke what was needed to be spoken. The one who wanted people to listen to him, on what should be. But, Mahatma, Jesus, great souls, people still would choose to be deaf even when truth is already crying out loud.

I have already started to dig. But, my God, there is too much already buried underneath. How do I sift through all the rubble that are getting in the way? How do I piece together all the pictures, from below, from here, from beyond, from the not yet?

Pictures keep shifting, like shadows, like water, like light between trees’ leaves. The perspectives are kaleidoscopic. To mortals who aim for the absolute, it is hopeless.

I remembered the Garden of Eden, when God warned against eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Violators will die — be expelled — be separated from where the Tree of Life is. I tried to get hold of this part of the kaleidoscope for me. And I understood. My God, I understood.

daisyIt is this. That. Man is crazy to want to really get hold of THE KNOWLEDGE. OF. GOOD. and evil. This can’t be done. This is what we want, but this can’t be done. This will kill us. It will overwhelm our systems. It will crash the system.

If THIS absolute gets into our hands, it will OSSIFY the system. What will happen to the electrons? How will they spin? What will happen to the fractals? Can you imagine a world without fractals?

Clouds will not condense. We will have no rain. Water will not rise up to the tips of the leaves. What will the butterflies eat? There will be no more wind to shift.

I have started to dig. The base is deep and broad. As I dug, so I saw more — and this is the irony — that I had to uncover before I was able to start to see what already was waiting to be seen.

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greed is in everyone

and who can say that a one-to-one effect is less evil than a many-to-many?

——————————————————————– an excerpt:

Although the five Indian nations had made earlier attempts at resistance, many of their strategies were non-violent. One method was to adopt Anglo-American practices such as large-scale farming, Western education, and slave-holding. This earned the nations the designation of the “Five Civilized Tribes.” They adopted this policy of assimilation in an attempt to coexist with settlers and ward off hostility. But it only made whites jealous and resentful.

from-  http://www.pbs.org   -and search for “Indian removal 1814 – 1858

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Greed has always been everywhere, any time.

Even before grammar existed to speak of it. Man has always been man.

He is a system of shifting cerebral circuits.

He is prone to so many possibilities.

He could not always control his thoughts and will and desire and action.

He would always be prone to think that he is in the right side of the fence,

painted the correct color, behaving admirably.

When the time comes when skin colors do not matter anymore,

I hope that the heat of the sun will not be too tough on those who are proud that they have less pigments, or have a different sort of “pigment” …

… LOVE, who said that (they) do not know what (they) are doing, will save the day.

remember Einstein

we need to understand that reality is perceived from perspectives;

one people’s reality is different from, obviously, another’s;

and so obviously no one perspective can work for all, in order to describe reality;

like, as above, the word reality has itself been used in different ways;

and even the use of ways is not enough to convey what is wholly meant;

the word sense could have been used; and quotation marks, or italization, would have helped;

yet remember Einstein, and remember Heisenberg;

and look up that article that says that humans do not think in a logical manner, actually,

but intuitively.  S/He processes her thoughts intuitively.  The synapses process thoughts intuitively.  The circuits accommodate intuitive traffic.  The brain was primarily structured for intuition.

Logic is not all.  Reason is not all.  Problem-solving-approach is not all.  Result-oriented is not all.

We are, after all, humans, and not computers.

we had no time to catch our breath

What are you proud of, kabayan?  Why do you say, “Be proud etc.”?  Is being able to speak in English something to be proud of?  Is being trendy? fashionable? artful? musically competent? able to dance? winning international beauty pageants? international sports? international whatever? something to be proud of?  In what way? In the sense that these achievements define you? us? Sacadas? In what do these achievements connect to being who we are? That we can compete with other nations? That we are acceptable in America? in Europe? are we? acceptable? and if so, what significance does it make?

So what if Rizal has a statue in Wilhelmsfeld?  What does it mean to us?  Why should we be proud of ourselves at all?  Do we really know what Nationalism is all about?  Do we really understand what it implies?  Why do we say, “Be nationalistic”? –WE DO NOT EVEN KNOW YET WHO WE ARE.  Did Rizal die for nothing? did Bonifacio? Mabini? and the millions of unknowns who did not even know how to speak Spanish? or English?

Wake up, Sacada.  Before the Spanish came, that’s what we were.  We are.  When the Spaniards came we became an unwilling host to her.  The Spanish went away, then the Americans came, then we had no time to look for our selves.  We had no chance to breathe.  We had no chance to catch our breath.  We had no chance to clean our house, and a new visitor came, and the visitor is now rearranging our house for us.  We eat her food.  We watch her shows.  We laugh at her jokes.  We copy her curses.  We speak her tongue.  We write in her grammar.  We argue and take down notes in her language.  We are so hospitable that we have been giving out our own selves.  Diin na dira ang kita?  Nasaan na diyan ang tayo?  Asa na diha ang ato?  Nawala na ba ang atin? ang tayo?  Have we lost our selves?  Who are we, really, kabayan?

Our psyche is confused, Sacada.  Our worldview is Asian, Australo-polynesian maybe, if we look at the roots of the many words in our many dialects — but we have made a Germanic language an official language.  How do we harmonize these two differing ways of thinking?  Are we really able to express what is inside of us? from our inner thoughts? from our livers? kidneys? bituka? atay? ang halin sa sulok-sulok? sa kaibuturan?

Wake up, Sacada, and heal your self.

Let Live

“Live, and let live.”
The turf isn’t boundless yet the possibilities haven’t yet been fully explored;
and there are possibilities that do turn up fresh from time to time,
it is senseless to yearn beyond the bounds
—  that’s already edging towards greed;
it’s absurd to be wanting to be beyond one’s reach  –let that be–
because, here, sometimes, at your feet, looking up at you,
is something amazing and worth your time.
Sometimes we need to stop looking at the strain-to-reach-sites
because, down here, in front of our face, next to our breath,
something needs our sight. We need to look at it.
Leave out some things. Let your self live.