Wednesday, October 21, 2015

a person without faith

A person without faith is nothing.  As in no thing.  What is meaning without a belief that meaning exists.  What is reality without a subject to percieve it?  And without faith that one's consciousness is legitimately more than the fated interactions of strings or atoms or energy or whatever theory comes up next, then it is nothing.  Even those theories have no meaning, they are models of a reality brought to us at a distance through perceptive systems constructed in that reality.  How does one observe when they are what is being observed.  There is no difference between the object of observation and the subject that is doing the observing.


One's feeling of importance, of specialness, is self-inflicted.  It is a matter of perspective.  From one's own eyes they are the largest thing that exists, and all things perceivable flow towards them.  But what is a human to a galaxy a billion light years away.  Our planet is a blip in time, our species is far less.  A fluke, we are statistically insignificant to all the universe except ourselves.


I detest materialism, but there is no evidence scientifically that anything exists beyond physical energy and its condensed forms as matter.  As such we are nothing more than the physical interactions of atoms and fields, energy and matter.  Nothing more.  Being alive is nothing more than the coordinated interactions of matter in various physical states.  As much as a galaxy or a solar system is born or dies, so do we.  It is painful to see myself as nothing more.  To see my consciousness and will as nothing but evolutionary advantage.  And what of happiness, or anger, or sadness.  Why do they exist?  Or love...
Sometimes passion dies.  Sometimes God dies.  When one's soul begins to fade, why not hasten it?  Why hang on?  If one can easily be replaced, if all their responsibilities can be fulfilled by others, if they are invisible, are they needed?  Is there a reason to stick around?  Why not fade into the background?  The background of time, of memory.

Monday, November 22, 2010

navigating the holidays(holy days?)

Thanksgiving(marginally a holy day, but certainly a holiday) is upon us, then Chanukah is right after, then Christmas.

My son is Jewish, or rather, my wife asserts his Jewishness. I am nominally Christian, though I haven't been to church or made any outward signs of my faith in a while. The holidays are always difficult for a variety of reasons. In some ways Christmas means a lot more to me than it does to others in my family, though my sister may say that is untrue. My faith is tied up in feelings about my Dad, in what I think it means to be a good person, my thoughts about God, and about the whole story that we call Christianity. I feel very sentimental about Judaism, but I am not Jewish, and it is hard for me to assent to calling my son Jewish, at least exclusively.

I had a talk with him the other night when he was asking who was Jewish in our family. He would ask "Is Uncle G. Jewish" and I would say yes, then "Is Nana Jewish", and I would say "No, she is Jewish". We got through all the relatives that he has met in person and I think he got the idea that my side of the family is Christian and mommy's side is Jewish. He then asked if Bashful Lamb was Jewish or Christian, so I asked if he was from Mommy's side or Daddy's side. We decided that Bashful was Jewish and Hans Bear was Christian.

I don't want him to choose sides, but I want him to appreciate what each religion and each heritage has to give.

I know this post isn't really a revelation or an answer to any question, but I felt like letting it out.

Happy Holidays, or Holy Days if you prefer.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A warm day

I was inside most of the day, but when I had a chance to go out I recalled many of the beautiful moments I have experienced on campus. I remembered girls I had had crushes on, and some I had the fortune of dating and fun times with friends. It was a perfect day for nostalgia.

The sun was warm and you could feel the golden hue it cast on every face, every leaf, every smile, every step. When I was young we had HBO and I remember an intro where a camera descended into a model town. Every individual thing was in its place, the colors were surreal and carefully planned. On a day like today when the breeze and the colors seem so perfect I am reminded of that model town perfectly arranged, cars moving exactly on cue, a single bicycle riding down a suburban street, and every shadow cast at the same angle. That nostalgic feeling of comfort mixed with the disconcerting calm of an overly planned existence both pleased and panicked me as I walked through a perfect fall day.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

when I leave this place

When I go, waste no time in putting me in the ground, don't put any chemicals in me, but leave me for the earth. Plant a tree on my grave, something I would remember from my youth, maybe a pecan tree. If someone needs a marker to remember where I lay, then wait until the tree is grown and mark the tree.