Archives

A New Song

.

yellow poster

.

(The quote is a copy from somewhere. Thanks! I assembled the poster. Am I getting better at it, or what? 🙂 Thanks to the original photographer!)

(the intended script is still cooking in the dendrites; but the poster is yummy enough. peace!) ❤

You Will Always Be Loved

There are things that can never be fathomed; but ….

There is One who does this the best way possible. His love is unconditional.

If there’s someone in this world that you love like the freshness of mornings then let the person know of it, in your own way, in the way that God will show you from there, deep in you, where His river of life flows.

…also in memory of Mr. Robin Williams, one who has deeply moved me more so now in his passing away. May he find peace in God’s tender care at last.

Still, Like Deep Waters

Recently along my studies of honoring the parents I uncovered a Finnish paper that discusses falling in love among the elderly, a bracket the researcher sets as between 50 to 90 years old.

It was for me like taking a peek into a magical world, something I would not have known existed unless someone who has gone there told me of what it’s like. On the other hand I felt that such a world does perfectly make sense because the elderly, after all, are distinguished only from the rest of the population by the length of experience-years they have already logged in. I would even say that they, when all is said and done, are the ones who know better about most things, especially love, than the rest of us.love found me

That information led me to think of a friend who “fell in love” with a man many years older than her. The time has come to talk about it.

There is, however, a point of contention. By her life story I understood that “falling in love” for her was not a matter of fireworks and hoopla but a going down into the water table. It’s as if her psyche simultaneously absorbs the phenomenon through the pores of her subconscious and lets it dwell deep down among her base components, at the level where her foundational reservoir of soul-existence constantly shift shapes while remaining the same so as to keep her propped up, like the way her skeletal system does.

In that foundational reservoir is her love for God, for family, and her self. The many instances of infatuation in her life is not found in there. Then, again, she (let’s name her here as Firith) classifies her “infatuations”. So I would say that there’s one guy (that is, neither a boy nor a man, and let’s call him Pama) with whom she was infatuated but who became like a favorite cousin to her. Pama is someone whom Firith has a high respect for and she does not classify him now as among her “infatuations”. Infatuation, for Firith, is what she would feel for a face but with whom she doesn’t give a hoot of how they perceive her. She just, uh, finds them fascinating, and that’s where the buck stops. She won’t even care to come up to them to say hello, even for friendliness’ sake, of which Firith always takes with respect, too.

Firith and I have long ago agreed that “falling in love” is a very relative experience. Some speak of it, or even shrill, all the time. Others never speak of such a thing happening to them for their whole lives. Firith spoke only to me of her recent encounter of it and she will remain silent of it forever, so she said, and knowing her I think she could do it, too. However, she herself suggested that I talk about it some time here, as her way of celebrating it with the rest of creation (that’s my way of saying it, though 🙂 ) At least this is something our circle of friends agree on: that loving is life is free is living is freeing is celebrating.

fireworksWhile we were still kids I wouldn’t have known it of her but when we were about to leave college and go our separate ways, when we began to analyze our past in face of the apprehension for our future, Firith related (with great laughter and relief) how she would easily be infatuated with a boy starting when she was 5 years old. She recalled the names (dozens!) with whom she “fell in love at sight” and on average their names started with either J or D. Girls do tend to do this, finding patterns among whom they fall in love with and such, and though I found it a bit silly (really, what’s with J and D?) I now understand that these ruminations are part of a growing girl’s subconscious effort at trying to get to know her own self. And so J and D, and let’s leave it at that, for Firith, haha.

For Firith, however, falling in love does not make her “lose” her head. We’ve heard and read about these things, in novels and television drama series, and the recurring theme is that angst comes along in romantic situations. That is, falling in love almost always presents with it either problems or intrigues. In fairness, though, I can understand a bit how the menfolk in my family can simply exhale audibly and turn their backs on me for a hasty retreat when they see me absorbed in an emotional acting-session on screen. This may be one of the reasons why Firith didn’t elaborate on her many infatuations. She found them insubstantial topics for conversation, except for the few times when it could contribute to our lighter moods.

But one time I became fearful for Firith when I saw her almost losing it, and, unbelievably, to a youth many years her junior (let’s call him Tim). To others’ eyes they were either the very best of friends, or lovers. Firith still would not tell me much about it, for reasons I can only have an inkling on, but the way I know my friend she would never play at “love”. She’s like this: if boyfriends are for the purpose of marrying then why get one with whom one isn’t considering of marrying. Really, she’s as archaic as girls can get nowadays. However, since I haven’t heard of all stories of all girls in the world in the present context, then who knows, there could be lots and lots of girls like Firith out there, living against the mainstream tide that a girl MUST have a either a boyfriend or a husband.

If not for friends who think similar to Firith, and for the book Women Who Run With the Wolves by C. P. Estes, I, too, would have succumbed to this misguided collective conviction. I have nothing against having a mate but I do have something against senselessly hankering after about just any-one (eherm, but sometimes it has to be said like that…) !peace!

I asked Firith during one of the get-togethers that we would insert into our crazy schedules if the thing with Tim is now okay. She had to think for a while before responding, an indication that she was being cautious. We’ve been relating stuff to each other for ages but there are times when you have to let your friend, and even yourself, withhold some, and for legitimately trustworthy reasons but never out of mistrust. I could see then quite plainly that had there been a “man” in her life (aside from the “men” in her family — grandfather, father, brother, nephew) then it would have been Tim. I could see, too, that Firith wouldn’t allow him to be classified as that. She had refused Tim entry into her water table.

When Firith was finishing her grad degree she was already in a prolonged (though suppressed, and that’s how strong Firith is, really) quasi-depression. At that time Tim befriended her and it was as if for her a bud suddenly sprouted in the middle of winter. Though Firith had us around her she also kept within her self-imposed solitude. We never heard much about how it was with her and Tim. Both presented a normal-facade to us and there was no chance to look closer. Gak!! Did Firith fall in love with a winter bud of whom none of us her close buddies are privy to?

Thank goodness that episode of our lives are now over and we can now stop worrying about her heart, so to speak. At least I, for one, know about it and I can assure everyone that our dear girl is fine, heart and all, without getting into the details. There will be time for the telling of all that.

calm seaIt’s because, so she told me, of Keith. She didn’t “fall in love with him”, fireworks and hoopla and all. A long time ago Keith came up to her team and greeted them all, it being an inter-organizational meeting and representatives from all over have come to participate. Keith wouldn’t be someone familiar to us, to our worldview. He inhabits what we’d call a screen-world and a jargon-savvy universe. Belatedly we analyzed him as even an unusual six-footer, someone who does not belong to a single box, limited and categorized. That is, he has two feet firmly planted in three different contexts. Of course we have no way of knowing for sure, and you know how girls can talk together using multi-layered paradigms, haha! 😀 But Keith was, even in that first meeting, friendly to Firith without being needy, helpful without being pushy, generous with his knowledge without being showy. He came across to her as uncomplicated and sincere. However, she never sent him an email like she told him to, for reasons that are non-grave but are of a matter of consequence.

After many more months Keith came to another organizational meeting again. Things were like as before but this time Keith bemoaned why ever did she not write to him. Firith decided right there and then that Keith was a trusted friend. There were other girl-things (it will have to take an entire novel to tell, haha!) she told me about and I became convinced that Firith had kept her head all the while, in this thing with Keith. I mean, this is not a matter of heart-vs-head, but a matter of both working together, as they always ought to.

Surprisingly Firith is happier now. She’s related with Keith for only a few days (inclusive of the first and second meetings, that are far apart) and her understanding of love has already deepened. Much more than what we have read in respectable books and seen from respectable movies Firith has now, to my envy, the capability of loving without needing. Keith had to go away and they will never see each other again but for Firith what Keith gave her, like God’s eternity, is always an abiding present.

Firith’s story made me see that love can be something that is not held on to for fear of losing it. Love is, to say it simply, something that is never lost. When God hides His face from us, like the way it happened between Him and Job, God continues to love. What the Bible says of love banishing fear has become a reality to Firith and I think she’s even more surprised than I am of having seen it first-hand, considering the times she went through with Tim and her other so-called close friends.

Joo Jin-MoFirith had been praying for healing, I know of this, and now she’s proven to herself once again that God answers prayers, loves, supports, and takes care of His children.

I’ve wanted to fall in love, too (especially after reading about Joo Jin-Mo wishing to be infatuated, heheh) but reflecting now on Firith’s love story I therefore conclude that the best thing for me to be dreaming about nowadays is just to finish my school hoopla, and !ASAP 🙂

Hope you’ve been inspired by Firith’s story, too 🙂

Ciao for now!

girl-and-dove art edited from the original by albumsource.com. Thanks loads!

on Wolfhart Pannenberg, theology, and science. Part 1

Hello. Good morning. (An information on fractals is at the bottom of the description for Chaos Theory.) 

When my professor finishes marking my paper (A Recapitulation of Pannenberg’s “The Theology of Creation and the Natural Sciences” in: The Historicity of Nature, PA:Templeton, 2008, 25–39.) I will upload it here.

But first, as preliminaries, I want to share a few information that served as submitted-supplement to that paper and which I thought was necessary to have at least the minimum grip on in order to appreciate Pannenberg’s above-mentioned book-chapter.

That is, I did some readings on these in order to ready myself for the class report. Additionally, having a glimpse of the enormity of subject areas that Pannenberg has been trying to link [together] makes one appreciative of the breadth of Pannenberg’s outlook on the connectivity and source of everything: God. I wouldn’t have appreciated Pannenberg [that] much had I no inkling at all of concepts he had in his sights while doing his theological reflections in relation to the natural world.

I’m grateful to authors who make available on the web easily understood basic information on specialized areas of knowledge, like the ones here that I found, below.

——————————————

Here is the Supplements now [very sligthly edited]:

——————————————

SUPPLEMENT PAGE | PANNENBERG: The Theology of Creation and the Natural Sciences. [Oberseminar SS2014]

DEFINITIONS.
  ♦  natural science = any of the sciences (as physics, chemistry, or biology) that deal with matter, energy, and their interrelations and transformations or with objectively measurable phenomena (Merriam-Webster)
  ♦  quantum physics = the study or description of components and processes within the atom
  ♦  indeterminacy in quantum physics = Heisenberg’s term ‘inaccuracy relations’ (Ungenauigkeitsrelationen) or ‘indeterminacy relations’ (Unbestimmtheitsrelationen) was dealt with in his 1927 papers where he said of sub-atomic particles (paraphrased here ->) “You cannot know the position of a particle and how fast it’s moving with arbitrary precision at the same moment… The more accurately you know the position, more uncertain you are about the momentum and vice versa… So we have essentially given up on predicting the position of a particle accurately, because of the uncertainty principle. All we can do is predict the probabilities.” (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/basics-of-quantum-mechanics-for-dummies.html ; http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-uncertainty/) both accessed 20June2014
  ♦  chaos theory = the study of how even simple systems can display complex behaviour. These systems can seem straightforward — but are very sensitive to initial starting conditions and this can cause seemingly ‘random’ effects. (homeschooling-ideas.com)
  ♦  field = in physics, region throughout which a force may be exerted; examples are the gravitational, electric, and magnetic fields that surround, respectively, masses, electric charges, and magnets. Fields are used to describe all cases where two bodies separated in space exert a force on each other. Each type of force has its own appropriate field. (The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia)
♦  for descriptions on spacetime, etc, this webpage may be of help: http://www.ws5.com/spacetime/
_____________
What is Chaos Theory?                     http://fractalfoundation.org/resources/what-is-chaos-theory/ [accessed 20June2014]

Chaos is the science of surprises, of the nonlinear and the unpredictable. It teaches us to expect the unexpected. While most traditional science deals with supposedly predictable phenomena like gravity, electricity, or chemical reactions, Chaos Theory deals with nonlinear things that are effectively impossible to predict or control, like turbulence, weather, the stock market, our brain states, and so on. […] By understanding the complex, chaotic dynamics of the atmosphere, a balloon pilot can “steer” a balloon to a desired location. By understanding that our ecosystems, our social systems, and our economic systems are interconnected, we can hope to avoid actions which may end up being detrimental to our long-term well-being.

PRINCIPLES OF CHAOS:
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT: This effect grants the power to cause a hurricane in China to a butterfly flapping its wings in New Mexico. It may take a very long time, but the connection is real. If the butterfly had not flapped its wings at just the right point in space/time, the hurricane would not have happened. A more rigorous way to express this is that small changes in the initial conditions lead to drastic changes in the results.
UNPREDICTABILITY: Because we can never know all the initial conditions of a complex system in sufficient (i.e. perfect) detail, we cannot hope to predict the ultimate fate of a complex system. Even slight errors in measuring the state of a system will be amplified dramatically, rendering any prediction useless. Since it is impossible to measure the effects of all the butterflies (etc) in the World, accurate long-range weather prediction will always remain impossible.
ORDER / DISORDER: Chaos is not simply disorder. Chaos explores the transitions between order and disorder, which often occur in surprising ways.
MIXING: Turbulence ensures that two adjacent points in a complex system will eventually end up in very different positions after some time has elapsed. Examples: Two neighboring water molecules may end up in different parts of the ocean or even in different oceans. A group of helium balloons that launch together will eventually land in drastically different places. Mixing is thorough because turbulence occurs at all scales. It is also nonlinear: fluids cannot be unmixed.
FEEDBACK: Systems often become chaotic when there is feedback present. A good example is the behavior of the stock market. As the value of a stock rises or falls, people are inclined to buy or sell that stock. This in turn further affects the price of the stock, causing it to rise or fall chaotically.
FRACTALS: Fractals are infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales. They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop. Driven by recursion, fractals are images of dynamic systems – the pictures of Chaos. […] Fractal patterns are extremely familiar, since nature is full of fractals. For instance: trees, rivers, coastlines, mountains, clouds, seashells, hurricanes, etc.

——————————

That’s it. For a quick peek at fractals you may click on my Home tab, above, and the page opened will have a few illustrations of fractals beneath that themselves are links to explanatory pages on them.

Viel Spaß und alles Gute. Ciao.

on John Samuel Mbiti and religious plurality in Africa

Hello. Good morning.

My name is Mona Lisa P. Siacor and I wish to share with you my summaries of the following articles:

African theology revisited by John S. Pobee [pp. 135-143]

John Mbiti’s contribution to African theology by Kwame Bediako [pp. 367-388]

Both are found in: Religious Plurality in Africa: Essays in Honour of John S. Mbiti. Edited by Jacob K. Olupona and Sulayman S. Nyang. In: Religion and Society 32. Berlin. 1993.

I made the informal paper for an Oberseminar discussion in 2012 at the University of Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany.

At the end of the summaries is a note on the word ubuntu of the Bantu culture.

This summary-paper has been officially marked or graded by my professor. Please respect my ownership of it (thank you very much, and peace!). The care I put into the effort reflects my fascination of the collective cultures of the African continent. Had I more time I would have explored the topic further. (As of today, July 31, 2021, I have not edited it, like I’ve been planning to. But I like it as it is, too, and so did my professor.) 

Viel Spaß und alles Gute. Ciao.

A Summary of: African theology revisited by John S. Pobee


Prof. Pobee recalls that Prof. Harry Sawyerr and Mbiti were among the few in the late 1950’s who believed that theology in Africa was in a state of “northern captivity” and who worked to answer “the need to search for and develop African theology”. Although at the end of the 19th century the concept “gone Fantee” [meaning, an integration of African heritage and “authentic” Christianity (and not “European” or “Northern”) (page 136)] was already present, it was Mbiti’s work that has contributed much to the study and has provided references to scholars who followed along this line. This study is now seen as dealing with “the true nature of theology”, whereas earlier critics labeled such works as either “African nationalism donning theology and religion” or “the heathenisation of the African Church”. (137)

Pobee states theology as articulation, or naming, of “the hopes and fears of people in the light of God’s word and self-disclosure”. That naming is “about respecting, understanding the language, liturgy, structure, style, architecture, etc. of a distinctive community of discourse.”(135) Again, “It is human attempt to articulate that Word of God in coherent language.”(137) He draws affirmation from the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us of John 1:14. It is in this sense when he speaks that the “self-disclosure of God engages people as they are” – with the perception and expression of which being affected by the people’s context. Therefore, every theology is contextual.

Moreover, theology addresses three areas: the academia, the community of faith, and the world (138). While academia has generally dealt theology with logical propositions, this way, too, is contextual. Mbiti pointed out that an oral, non-written, non-propositional style is therefore just as valid. In communities where theology is within unwritten modes of expression, as in the case of Africa, the collection and analysis of these articulations should be a priority. To pay attention to this task is also to pay attention to the people who are producing them. Therefore, “people are subjects of the theological enterprise”; they “help set the agenda of theology”.(138) This statement can be clarified with what Pobee says in page 141, “…bring theology out of the classroom to the people, whose religion after all is subject of the study.” The factors or areas that help set the agenda for African theology are: culture, the context of pluralism, politics, poverty, worship, and biblical scholarship. —> To get the full document —>

 —> For the proper footnoting and the original document, download the PDF file HERE. Excuse my use of wiki and other non-formal sources as references (please change them if you can, when it’s time for you to make use of the information, and if it’s for a formal paper).

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ Blessings and joy to you ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

on MM Thomas, a book chapter’s recap

Hello. Good morning.

The attached pdf file in this post was a paper for an Oberseminar in SS2011. It has been officially graded by my professor. The source-document was a big chapter and I wrestled a sweeping 2-page recap from it. Experts on the subject will easily see the inadequacies. The final file has 4 pages because I had wanted to include a substantial introduction of the author, Madathilparampil Mammen Thomas (1916–1996).

At the end of the attached pdf file written is : “This article is sacadalang’s recapitulation (written on July 16, 2011) of the aforementioned book’s chapter and was uploaded on August 1, 2014 at: the author’s name, and her professor’s, who accepted the informal paper as excellent work. 🙂 Just please excuse any obvious error I did not spot! Thanks! Originally uploaded in this URL:  https://sacadalang.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/on-mm-thomas-a-book-chapters-recap/

[Good evening. I took the file down for editing. Peace. Hello again. I have returned it to its place! Welcome!

Please click HERE to download the PDF copy of the original document.

This is the same document that was used to be found in https://sacadalang.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/mm-thomas-a-chapter-recap.pdf BUT WHICH NOW ENCOUNTERS AN ERROR SEARCH RESULT—it’s gone after I took down the file, but no worries, it’s available again. Cheers!]

Just a quick description of the source-chapter, and is also an excerpt from the recap:

“Our chapter is a sort of a gathering-together of what the prominent Christians of renascent India said about (their) societal upheaval in the early decades of the 20th Century as representative voices of their country’s Christian population, while being fully conscious of their being “Hindu”.”

Update August 10, 2021. In the end, I was not able to edit it after all. I put here my summary, below, and the entire document can be downloaded via the link I gave you above. It consists of this summary plus substantial notes about MM Thomas, but, alas, it is already 10 years old! Still, it is good notes. Have a great day, Everyone!

Used for: Oberseminar 31758, SommerSemester 2011

Universität Regensburg (under Prof. Dr. Dr. Hans Schwarz)

Document Author: Mona Lisa P. Siacor.

“The Theology of National Renaissance” is the ninth chapter of M. M. Thomas’ book “The Acknowledged Christ of the Indian Renaissance” first published in London in 1969 by SCM, and which he dedicated to his wife who urged him to finish the book as she was dying of cancer.

The book is a survey of “how some of the foremost spiritual leaders of the Indian renaissance … sought to understand the meaning of Jesus Christ and Christianity for religion and society in renascent India” (Preface).  Eight of the book’s ten chapters each discuss (a) particular prominent person’s sweep of views, and not all of them were Christians.  Mahatma Gandhi, who considers Jesus as the “Supreme Satyagrahi”, is on the chapter before ours.

Our chapter is a sort of a gathering-together of what the prominent Christians of renascent India said about (their) societal upheaval in the early decades of the 20th Century as representative voices of their country’s Christian population, while being fully conscious of their being “Hindu”.

The religions of India (collectively called Hinduism), so their culture as well, is said to have dated back 6,000 years ago.  The British Empire colonized India in 1857 and she became independent in 1947.  This independence was achieved through resistances channeled primarily through the arts, academics, literature, music, and the people’s spirituality, the most popular of which was led by the Mahatma Gandhi.  The revival of many aspects of India’s culture as led by various leaders is the reaction against the domination of Western culture through the British.  This is the Indian Renaissance.

The book is a response to Panikkar’s “The Unknown Christ of Hinduism”, but “not of Traditional Hinduism but of Renascent Hinduism” (Preface).  It is the culture of India, in Hinduism, that the revival happened.  This revival is parallel to the nationalistic movement, which is a political movement.  The connection in these three threads is this:  the elite leaders of the nationalist movement were mostly Brahmins educated in Western schools, and many of them were either Christians or appreciative of the event of the British rule.

Against the oppression by the British were several degrees of reactions generated, from moderate to extreme.  The views embodied in most of the leaders discussed in our chapter can be said to be “moderate”.  They want India to remain as India but they also welcome the influence of the West.  “Extreme” would be by those who consider Britain to be “evil”, who see the moderates as “mendicants…too enamoured of things British to be healthy” (<http://www-personal.une.edu.au/~hbrasted/kipling/topic10.html>  accessed July 15, 2011).

The Hindu Renaissance had “three expressions”, the names of the movements and their tendencies to be:

(1.) Brahmo Samaj (c. 1820 by Rammohun Roy), “select from past texts, religion[’]s attributes that show Hinduism as monotheistic and socially reformist”;

(2.) Arya Samaj (c. 1870 by Dayananda Saraswati), “a movement of Cultural Offence…Resurrecting ‘Indian’ Pride in Hindu past…Select from Vedic texts to show that all worthwhile knowledge contained in them”;

(3.) Ramakrishna Movement (c. 1890 by Vivekananda), “West has nothing to teach India.  In fact India should teach West …Movement, in a sense, of cultural arrogance”

… “Conclusion: Hindu renaissance not overtly political, but runs parallel with nationalist movement and fertilises it in the process.” (<http://www-personal.une.edu.au/~hbrasted/kipling/topic10.html>  accessed July 15, 2011).

Our chapter is divided into 5 parts, the title of each summarizing a part of the national renaissance.  Part 1 says that although India’s Christian leaders can accept that it was God who has ordained that India be colonized by the British Empire, and through Christianity embedded in its system of education, for “India’s good” (p. 240; Preamble to the Constitution of the Servants of India Society founded by Gokhale, “…frankly accept the British connection, as ordained, in the inscrutable dispensation of Providence, for India’s good.”) there is the question of whether the providential British raj is in harmony with nationalism.  Most “missionaries” do not think so (p. 242).  Nevertheless Thomas summarizes the struggle to bridge this gap in page 244, “There are in India ‘certain valuations of things and events which are more approximate to the mind of Christ than what obtains in corresponding matters among nations who have borne the name of His religion’.  This makes the Christian nationalist ‘enthusiastic in his patriotism’.”  He seems to be saying that Hindu nationalism and Christianity may not be antagonistic whenever it is “the mind of Christ” that is considered, and not the “Westerness” of Christianity.

The 2nd part says that missionaries were not entirely correct when they thought that “educating” India, providing the Western system of education, would prepare her to receive the Gospel of Christ.  The quote that follows may summarize what the Indian Christian leaders thought instead of “Preaparatio Evangelica”:  “…the Christ in the Western culture awakening the Christ in the Indian culture and preparing India for the new life and the Gospel of Christ.” (page 251).  A nationalist Christian may therefore say that: “…Indian nationalism calls for a more correct thinking about the distinction and interrelation between Christ, Christianity and Christian civilization for the disentangling of the message from religion and culture to enable it to become indigenous to the religion and culture of India and speak to the universally human.” (page 252).

In Part 3 the issue of dealing with the caste system is discussed, commenting that there had been 3 ways of the Church’s having dealt with it: (1.) ignored it, as if it not an important issue and so not even discussing it (p.253);  (2.) absolutely wanting to be rid of it (p.254);  (3.) recognizing that it’s too strong to be dealt with head-on and so a compromise at first is best, leading to gradual change (p.254).  The call, though, is for a koinonia, “’a casteless brotherhood in Christ’” (p.261).

As to Christ’s relevance (Part 4), India has no problem accepting Christ as Incarnate God, as the center of (her) faith.  The tendency to this mentality is already present in Hinduism.  The relevance can be pointed out in the fact that in India it is only through religion that people can be directed toward a “great Indian nation” (p. 264);  “That living Person in the plenitude of His spiritual power embodies in Himself all the moral forces which go to create a vital and progressive organism – an organism which may find its goal in a united and independent Nation.” (p.265).

As to the “Structure of the Church for Service and Missions” (Part 5), “The Christian ideal will find acceptance just in proportion to its embodiment of all that truly belongs to the heart of India. … The Indian Church must find roots in the Indian national life, especially link itself with the new cultural renaissance taking place in India.” (p.280).

The spirituality of India does not condemn systems of faith different from (theirs).  This is a big part of the reason why it cannot agree with Western Christianity’s drive for “total conversion”.  This is why India is not averse to “assimilation” from other systems of faith.  To the Hindu way of thinking embracing Christ can be done without embracing Christianity, or the Christianity that is not theirs.  This is how Mahatma Gandhi and many more has done it.

——————————————————————————————————————-

Used for: Oberseminar 31758, SommerSemester 2011

Universität Regensburg (under Prof. Dr. Dr. Hans Schwarz)

Document Author: Mona Lisa P. Siacor.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Viel Spaß und alles Gute. Ciao.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Faith and Rubik’s cube

The Rubik’s cube is fascinating. It reminds me of what life is like. Rubik's cube 1 _green

Life is a series of acts in order to put things into order. Order order order. For me I see life, mine at least, as being put into order at some other parts while [I] am occupied with putting into order some other different part.

I have forgotten about this feature in my life until I recently spent time getting to know a 3 x 3 Rubik’s cube. To my delight I saw that when I try to get a side into a single color the other sides may form distinguishable patterns all by themselves.

Rubik's cube 2 _redThere are those who, like me, do not congregate towards the “very” end of the “orderly” spectrum. I may be called lazy by some, but I know I’m not lazy. It’s just that the way my clock runs isn’t the kind that will stand out in the corporate world. Instead, my clock runs in such a way that I take the time to appreciate patterns that aren’t interesting to others. No, I don’t have the aptitude for the mathematical way of describing patterns, so that’s not what I’m talking about, either. There’s just too much stuff needed to be able to math-talk that I run out of time for them. Nevertheless it would be wonderful if I, too, like the mathematicians am able to cook up a statement describing how the color patterns come up when this and that turning is done on a Rubik’s cube.

Rubik's cube 3 _nearlyThe way I, or you, put our lives into order may be objectionable to others. There are those who express disapproval at the way we do things. It could also be that we try to put our lives into order in such a way that we won’t be at the receiving end of a disapproval. Whichever way it is we do feel the tension between these two ways tugging at us. For me it is couched as “what should I do?”

We all have our own pattern-appreciation-languages ::: musical notes, weaving patterns,  words on a page, lines+shapes+lighting, or sound+movement+lighting, angles+weights, trajectory+speed, food tastes, taxonomy, almost-no-words-but-full-of-thoughts (e.g., the haiku) … et cetera

Rubik's cube 4 _nearlyThere are also those who, like me, aren’t experts at a particular pattern-language but all the same we are uplifted whenever we spot an evidence of one.

If you believe in God then this shouldn’t be a surprise for you. Thousands of years ago humans have already become aware that God causes patterns to form. He puts order out of chaos.

Rubuik's cube 5 _orange

At center stage, my Rubik’s cube on my table where my study things are pushed to the side for the moment.

I am typical of my folks. We get to laugh at almost anything, not the least at our own selves. It helps us cope. It helps us from going down that road which is lethal to those who have “nothing”. I needed to put that within quotes because, one, it is subjective, and two, “nothing” doesn’t seem to exist. That’s what I understood the last time I looked up science. But, I fervently request you, don’t discuss creatio ex nihilo with me yet because I haven’t read up much on that. If you want, in relation to it, you can look at discussions about an ancient Mesopotamian composition that starts with “When on high” … 😀 that’s all I can remember for now 😀

I don’t know which part of the world you live in, but just in case you are also like us who are nakakapit sa patalim (living on the edge of a knife) then let the lesson I discovered from the Rubik’s cube encourage you. Just keep on no matter how hard things are going because somehow there’s a pattern forming at the other side, waiting for its perfect time to come up in your life’s story.

Thank you, Mr. Garfitt.

Jesus came to banish fear.

jesus of wigan  Though I haven’t gone through the entire book yet, the few parts that I have read so far are making good sense to me. For one, I can see that it’s obviously made out of love, that it’s a true labor of love, and it deserves much respect and consideration. Thank you, Francis Garfitt, for writing this fascinating and refreshing book about a living man and a living story that was calcified within just a few pages two thousand years ago.

I have always gone by the thought that if truth is in God, that if ‘truth’ is an embodiment of God, then there’s no way of disproving Him nor that our insistence on “defending” Him will add to that truthfulness. In pursuing my personal studies on that distant world of two thousand years ago when Jesus of Nazareth shook his world, I would like to listen to this particular voice that projects Jesus’ story’s context through a personal conviction using the platform of the contemporary world. ‘Evangelism’, after all, is not limited to the mainstream’s definition of it, if the reader sees it as that. A storyteller is by all means entitled to any artful way of delivering an old story with full relevance. We, those of us who want to keep on telling a story that has been stamped ‘unchangeable’, may just have to take the courage to step out of the silenced crowd and speak in a way that will make the story enabling again even to those who have been rendered numb by the challenges of everyday survival — the way that Jesus of Nazareth did. That’s love.  Jesus of Wigan

What I especially find refreshing among the narratives is the inclusion of the scientific perspective in order to bring about a multi-perspective handling of whatever scene is featured. In this book science is integrated as a tool for looking at what is. The outcome resonates with the Hebrew worldview where things are dealt with integrally, like for example that a human being is not allocated into body-&-soul parts. So far I can see it doesn’t pretend to know everything yet it’s a humbling book. It will make one look at things differently, make one recall the time when one realized that things are not what they are as seen on the surface. It will encourage you to love. It will confirm your simplest reasons for wishing for happiness.

(Note: Today is May 19, 2016. This was written 2 years ago. I need to update it soon. I just got to find the time. Get the book if you can. Jesus of Wigan by Francis Garfitt. You will like it even if you’re not interested in the religious side of it. ❤

Update: May 20, 2016. I edited the original script and added a few words. Still, that is not the ‘update’ that I meant. It will then look like a review of the book.)

Thanks for dropping by. Have a great day, everyone! 🙂

🙂

  • 🙂 I have your book today, in paper. I don’t know when I can finish it considering that I’m not supposed to do anything else besides looking for certain things in books for a year at least, but actually I’m now on John’s first baptism. I’m liking John and I can easily connect him with that John in the desert, both with passions of that intensity. But how I wish I knew more of European economy/history so that I could get more laughs out of your quirky statements — I mean, I had my first big laugh at page (though unnumbered) 3 of Introduction and I anticipate that there are lots like it in this your thickish book. Though I think I just go open some more of your book for reasons other than greed for knowledge, otherwise things will just not get right with me. One has to be ready for the things that you say in here 🙂 . What made me confident enough to get a copy was that a few days ago I finally had a gut feeling of what evil is. The subject of evil isn’t an attractive material for me and so I haven’t read up on the academic discussions on it, nor am I interested in the macabre in popular media. But recently, in a flash, I realized that I understood that evil is the attempt to choke/snuff out/strangle life, to negate life. Something happened to me and I felt like I was going to be annihilated, something is trying to deny my essence, and if I let it be I would end up a living dead, a nothing — and so it dawned on me that this, then, is what evil is. I decided to find a way to stay alive despite the presence of this thing that would callously wipe me off from existence if I let it. So I thought that a retelling of Jesus’ story like the way you’re doing is worth looking into, with the horrors of modern metropolitan living, and they shouldn’t disturb me as much anymore due to my newly found knowledge (haha looks like this leads me further into my “knowledge-of-good-and-evil” musings…). I’m wary like this because I’m not familiar with big city living, and the little that I’ve experienced of it I didn’t really like… but I do like the way you explain the will to power … I agree with what you say in there … and I can’t help wanting to catch your words at each right-hand page because they look like they might fall off any time — this was the first big laugh, actually 🙂 THANK YOU for your great effort in this book. May many people come to read it.

     

  • Dear Sacadalang,

    thank you so much for the comment and for buying a copy of my book. I’m glad you are liking John. He is based on a guy that I met whilst doing some voluntary work. He was working as an ‘enlightened witness’ with other ex-prisoners and this idea of a ‘witness of the light’ kept bringing me back to him whenever I tried to visualise John the Baptist. I was genuinely humbled to meet him. I only met him once, but maybe that is how life is.

    I think that your gut feeling of what evil is, is important. George Macdonald wrote of the shadow inside us all in his book Phantastes, a fairy story for adults. In it he wrote that the affirmation of evil is the negation of all else. So take care of yourself, negation is anti-hope, the anti-social anti-value that builds on feelings of isolation, then anger, then destruction… either of self or others. In the same way that the key to madness is personal to each of us, so is the path to oneness. I love your blogs, their enthusiasm and infectious joy. I don’t know all the films and TV shows you mention, but what I enjoy is learning why you enjoy them. So keep it up, we are all part of the pattern.

    It took me 7 years to write the book, and I always felt that if it touched one person then that was worth it, that whatever I was doing meant something more than just another writer with another book. Sometimes I felt like giving it up as a bad job, and even now I’m not happy with it, I can see the flaws, particularly in grammar. So thank you once again for taking the time to read it.

    kind regards

    Fran

     

  • Dear Fran,
    thank you for replying, for the reply, for Phantastes, for John, and for the encouragement — yep, I have a good idea now about the self-destruction and the wanting-to-quit parts, thanks to my experiences — ach, the grammar, well, grammar does not rule so to say … all I know is that I’m reading a genuine specimen of contemporary British English and for me that’s good enough 🙂
    -wishing-you-a-nice-week-
    ang sacada lang

     

    ❤ ——————- ❤

    ( 4.0 out of 5 stars Philosophy with a difference 8 Aug 2013  /  By Viv M)
    I found this book shocking at times and unlike any other “religious” book I’ve ever read. It is an imaginative modern interpretation of the gospel story. I enjoyed the references to Wigan, and there is plenty of humour. It’s a retelling of history with complex twists.
    ❤ ——————- ❤
    4.0 out of 5 stars Are you on the path? 4 Aug 2013  /  By Mark S If you are trying to find a path to faith this book will help. The authors take on the New Testament and the disciples of Jesus provide some great reflective moments for the reader, which disciple are you? The author’s link to modern day diseases, such as the craving for power and certainty, provide an interesting view of the New Testament story and highlight how shallow our modern day lives have become. Our constant desire for instant gratification and oneupmanship are clearly exposed in this insightful work.

    A great read and it really challenged my thoughts. This book has really helped me to think more clearly about what Jesus was really trying to achieve. I don’t agree with all of the authors views but the thought provoking nature helped me to further understand the Bible itself. Well done a great first book.

     

 

a Mahatma Gandhi quote screenshot

… something worth considering, thinking about, and reflecting on …

❤ this is a slightly Paint-edited shot of my screen I took just now … I love the 4 funny guys on top 😀

I especially wanted to share the website shown, one that I visit often, http://www.worldprayers.org, and which has no WordPress share-button, and so I thought I’d just get a shot like this, to remember my 4 faithful companions by also ❤

😉 have a happy day everyone!