Thursday, December 10, 2009
I guess I still find time to play around now and then, but it's always only with pressure in the back of my mind that I will have to stop soon and get back to work. I still remember when I would just play violin for 5 hours straight without any pressure to stop other than maybe needing to eat. I could lose myself within the rhythms and melodies. Or what about the time to be able to compose. What happened to that sort of time? That kind of thought and creativity is not something that can just be rapidly forced out on some sort of time constraint.
Perhaps I'd say the same about my studio design work. Five days before the final review, my project was turned on its head and I started over. I mean, really started over on this project that should have taken a month to prepare. So maybe I was able to finish the work (with plenty of pain and less sleep than I've ever experienced before), and maybe I had a good review, but is this really the way design is supposed to happen? Architecture culture seems to say so, but at least to me, there's really something to be wanted. When I look at society today, rushing around, always feeling busy, always tired; sometimes I wonder what we've done to ourselves. Somehow I don't think this is what being human was meant to be like.
I look at my professors, pulling all-nighters right along with the students, coming into school drained, frantic, stressed, still around studio at 3 am. In Inge's words "At least we're never bored." It's true. After living this sort of life for a while it seems preposterous for anyone to say that they're bored. How is it possible for one to not have anything to do? But what a painful way to avoid boredom.
I've watched as two of my friends have officially entered into the music world, record labels and all. They record, they sing, they play, they perform, they enjoy every moment of it and it is their life. Somedays I really wish that was me. I guarantee you I wouldn't be bored.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
5 days left and no project yet. What happens if what i'm trying to do is actually impossible?
Monday, October 19, 2009
Q: In the book of Luke, Chapter 4, Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit in the desert where the devil tempted him. Doesn't it seem wrong for the Holy Spirit (and therefore God) to lead Christ into temptation? Isn't that like being complicit with the temptation?
A: The answer to this question lies in looking at the assumptions in the question itself. The question assumes that it is bad to be tempted. This is not necessarily true. It is not a sin to be tempted (we all are at some point or another); it is only a sin to fall into temptation by actually giving in to what the temptation is asking from us. In 1 Corinthian 10:13 it says that God is faithful and doesn't let his people be tempted beyond what they can bear. It does not say that God does not allow his people to be tempted. In the case where God leads Jesus (or Job, for that matter) into temptation, He must know that they will be able to bear the temptation and that in the end, it will be for His glory and their strengthening.
A question in response could be, “If a person allowed an enemy to carry out a plan that he knew could and would be foiled in the end, would he be complicit with the enemy by allowing the plan to unfold?” Thinking further... “What if the carrying out of the plan in combination with the foiling of it would actually allow the people on the “good” side a greater victory in the end?”
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Also, am I actually learning or am I just being brainwashed towards the incredibly strong biases of the instructors here?
Friday, August 21, 2009
I love that idea of discovery. Maybe that's why I like changes of scenery and readily embrace change. The best discoveries to me, however, are always when something is discovered about things which are already familiar. I guess that says something for education and gaining new perspectives on things. You know, that moment in science class where the middle schooler learns about the chemical reactions in wool that make it "itch" and goes home and is all "holy crap! wool socks!" Maybe that's just me...
Last night I started going through my box of old letters, cards, notes, and invitations. So much of it was things I don't remember ever receiving. It wasn't just those pieces of paper I forgot; there were names, so many names of people that I, at some point, seem to have had as friends. I can barely picture their faces now. Some of them I don't have any recollection of at all.
Some people say that memories are kind; they block out bad happenings and allow us to forget, left with only good impressions of sometimes uncomfortable moments. I only wish my memory worked that way. I forget so many of the good things in my life and can't get rid of the bad. Maybe that's why I keep that boxfull of friendship around. I need those kinds of reminders.
Handwritten letters are somehow magical. First, they act as a break in the flow of bills and ads and impersonal junk coming through the mailbox. Then there's the simple touch of a human hand that allows me to instantly recognize the familiar scrawl of a friend after just reading the word "Sophia" or sometimes "Vanya" scribbled on the outside of the folded note. But then there's also the fun of being able to doodle all over the rest of the page with little inside jokes and humorous drawings. The rules of computer formatting are lost and text can effortlessly be any shape or run in any direction the writer chooses.
I only remember writing a few letters, but going through that box reminds me that there were people that I wrote back and forth to twice or more a month... I sure did have a lot of long-distance friendships: Montana, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland... I was always better at writing than speaking out loud.
I guess that all stopped when I no longer had someone providing me an endless supply of stamps. I left home.
And now, here I sit,
Sunday, August 9, 2009
It seems everywhere one goes, one picks up new identities. I was never so aware of my Asian American identity before arriving at Michigan and architecture wasn't even part of my life back then... kinda incredible to think about, actually. Imagine a me without architecture...
I also picked up another title that I now identify with. Skeptic. I know I grew up questioning everything around me: my parents, my faith, the church, my friends. When I got to college, I started to question myself. One of my worst fears in the past was to be following any sort of belief or living any sort of life blindly. I guess I can say that I am successfully living a life which has been thoroughly questioned, but I also cannot be happy with the mindset I've developed about things. It's become hard to trust, hard to make decisions and way too easy for me to be cynical about everything.
A couple days ago, in the car, my dad was on one of his rants about life and... motivation and... grades and... medical school and... what a good student he was and.... ...then on to how as a non-Christian in med school God was leading him towards Himself and Christianity.
I, ever the devil's advocate, started to pose questions. It seemed like from what he was saying, there wasn't really enough reason for him to have made the leap from med school to faith in Christ. I wanted to know if I was missing something. We began to talk about the human body, creation and the reality of a creator not only in Christianity but in many religions. Eventually our discussion turned to the topic of logic and reason.
"Logic is such an interesting thing. We use it to understand and prove everything else, but there's nothing we can use to prove the dependability of logic itself. If there isn't anything outside of this physical world and our human existence and human logic, then we have no reason to trust our own logic and there's no reason for us to be having this discussion at all. For this world to make sense, logic must originate before human thought in a supernatural realm."
I was familiar with the sort of argument he was posing. I'd used it before, in relation to morality and talking about how morality might prove the existence of a supernatural god. There are two responses I have always received and so I posed the same objections. First, couldn't logic be relative? I mean, what's logical in one situation and culture is not always considered logical somewhere else. Could logic be determined by society? Second, why couldn't logic have evolved as a means for survival? Logic as a way of creating order and discussion as a way of sharing and obtaining ideas in order to better one's own logic and way of living. Does logic necessarily have to come from the supernatural?
My dad was quick to refute the first response by dismantling my question. In his argument, if logic is relative then there's no reason to be using it to try to understand anything and there was no point in us continuing our discussion or our search for a right answer. A right answer could not exist. People always argue relativity but by the act of arguing for relativity, they see it 'as truth': relativity is right, absolute truth is illogical. If there is 'a truth', then not everything is relative. It's the flaw in Nietzschian thought. If logic does not exist, then how could you write a book about it's non-existance by using logical arguments?
For the second argument, he had nothing to say. By then we had reached home. he dropped me off and left to go help a friend move out of her house. He told me to find an answer for my own question.
This is the response I came up with:
What makes survival the appropriate (logical) direction to go? Is life then better than death? Is there something good about living and bad about dying? If logic is relative then neither survival or death would be the more logical direction to go, and evolution would not strive towards survival.
(My assumption is that logic must be relative in a world without the supernatural because there is no absolute truth to define what is correct or incorrect logic... )
Of course our discussion had ended by then and so that's my final thought. Does the idea of evolution make sense under its own parameters? (Of course the skeptical part of me is asking 'Am I missing anything? Am I making any other assumptions? Is my question fair?')
What do you think?
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
A lot of people have issues with Christianity because it sounds ridiculous to them and doesn't make logical sense. As someone who has grown up in the church, questioned my faith, rejected it for a while before coming back, and then believed again based on logical answers to my questions... I have the opposite problem with Christianity. A lot of times I feel like it makes too much sense and has too many easy answers to tough questions that work... (you know, like how anything that doesn't make sense in the natural realm can be explained by... well, it's God, he can do anything). Personally, I find that to be an easy out answer. Any other religion could claim the same logic with their deities.
I just finished reading the book of Revelations. Definitely a book which raises a lot of questions about justice, sovereignty, and God. Here are some of my thoughts and many many questions:
-It was interesting to rethink Revelations as a "testimony of Jesus Christ" as mentioned in verse 2. Usually the book of Revelations is only thought about as a prediction of the future and not a place where one can really learn about Christ.
-I really liked the lampstand analogy with the lampstands representing the churches. It worked in terms of seeing God walking among the lampstands, but also how lampstands do not shine on their own but require oil. Churches often grow to see themselves as self-sufficient and forget to turn outside of themselves to God to get the oil they need to shine.
-Also liked the stars in the hand of God picture. Remembering that even when everything seems to be failing, the church is in God's hands and he knows what he's doing.
-Letters to the churches were mostly praise mixed with rebuke. It was a good reminder that God can see the little things that often we don't get credit for and wants to reward his people for those little successes. But looking at the faults written out about the churches it was surprising how many of the 'criticisims' were things that Christians are criticized for by those outside of the faith today. Being hypocrites, having a megachurch complex where the church is thriving but things could be going terribly wrong beneath the facade, all program and no content, and Christians not being any different than others (aka. what's the point). I think some of Christianity's critics would be pretty surprised to find that kind of rebuke right in the bible and straight from God. It also seems like maybe God is trying to use people criticizing the church to communicate his own displeasure with some of the things going on in churches today.
-Do we still keep and use our talents/skills in heaven or do we really just bow in worship and sing all day? For God to create such a diverse and gifted set of people it would seem really odd to me for heaven to be such a one action place, but it seems like that's the common conception... The idea that God's awesomeness will be so amazing that we wont want to do anything but praise Him in song and verbal proclamation all day...
-The points where God gives authority to Satan really baffle me. I guess it works as a test to see which people are truly faithful to God and not just accepting Him because it's easy and profitable for them... The commentary was all joyous about God being in control and being the one who gives authority and can take it away. It was also rejoicing over the fact that God in control can use evil like Satan to accomplish His will. That seemed kinda wrong to me. Almost like an ends justify the means logic.
-I always hear Christians talk about how they are glad they wont have to cry when they reach heaven because their family is Christian, but if one can reach heaven without anyone worth crying for, sometimes I wonder how much one has been caring about others and trying to reach out to them. And in general, I think that comment is really unsympathetic to other Christians who are still in the midst of trying to reach out to their families. Sometimes I wonder about the no more tears in heaven thing though. It seems like such an important part of being human and I can't imagine a place full of humans without it.
-So what keeps people from sinning in heaven once its all said and done. I mean, we still have free will right? And 1/3 of the angels rebelled against God even while they were in heaven and immersed in God's presence?
-Revelations was a reminder to me that supernatural and miracles can come from both God and satan and care should be taken not to just go after every miracle as evidence of God's supernatural existence.
-God sends plagues and disasters as a warning for people to turn and repent. At first read that's really reminiscent of torture. Causing pain to make someone go your way. For a world that doesn't believe in a supernatural God, how does that work anyways? Does the fact that God has delayed his wrath and judgment for thousands of years already to give humans a chance to repent and find Him really account for such seemingly harsh treatment? Sometimes I have to really remind myself of God's loving but just nature. People always question why God allows wrongdoing to thrive on earth, pain, etc... but if God really let his justice rule on earth nobody would measure up and everyone would deserve God's wrath by his perfect standards. The fact that Revelations is not the reality today is all grace, and the scary stuff in Revelations is what happens when people really get what they ask for. God stepping in to deal with the evil in the world.
-Also kinda comforting to remember that Satan was an angel and is really not God's direct opposition but is under God's authority. In Revelations, satan is often paired with the archangel Michael.
-It's interesting how false religion is pointed out as the big problem of religion in the end times. In the times where Revelations was written that would've been a pretty new concept. Their biggest problems were with idol worship and turning completely to other gods.
-Last comment is something I'd thought about before reading Revelations. I have mixed feelings about the idea of receiving in heaven based on what we do on earth. While I guess I do believe in being rewarded, I don't think that should ever be the motive for doing good, and so it seems strange to have the fact that there will be a reward spelled out in the bible. Why say there's a reward, why not just reward those who did so in the end? I guess it helps to display God's desire to give and also his attention to the good things we do.
I would provide a conclusion to tie it all together, but this post is long enough as it is. Whew.