Changes

When we experience the phenomenon we call ‘change’, is it truly a moving from one reality to the next, or is it simply a continuum of the same reality? Do we really change, or do we simply unlock something that was always in us?

I’m a gamer, i.e. I play video games a lot. There is something in gaming called an “unlockable”. This is an item or option that you “unlock” by completing certain tasks. For example, if you finish a game in under 10 hours, it gives you infinite ammunition the next time you play it through. Or even more simple, you can get a colourful hat for your character’s wardrobe if you beat a certain monster. There’s a million ways to explain this, but basically you get something that was previously unavailable to you once specific conditions are met.

These special items are meant to change the experience of the game in a way that wasn’t an option before. And in some cases, they allow you to do things you couldn’t do before, like jump much further so that you can reach that ledge with a treasure chest you could always see but not reach before.

So, how does this apply to my question about ‘change’? The unlockables do change how the game works or how you experience it, but they were always there in the programming of the game. They aren’t completely new to the people who made the game, but they may be completely new to those who play the game. So did the game change? Or did you just discover something that was always there, and always a part of the game?

We age. We get older. That brings about changes in our bodies and minds. That’s something we can’t escape.

Think of this: at some point you were 70cm tall. Then at another point you were over 100cm tall (I’m trying to pick heights relevant to everyone). Your height changed. But wasn’t it always going to be that way based on your genetics? Is it truly an absolutely new you, or just the same you with a new experience that was already written into your genetic programming?

What about changes in the way we think? Once you were scared of the dark, then you weren’t (I hope that applies to most people reading this). Yes, there’s a change in the way you experience the dark now from how you did before, but was that a true change, or just flicking the switch (pun intended) between feelings you already possess but express at different times?

We could talk about unexpected events that force a change in us. Maybe you broke your leg after falling off a tree. That would be a legitimate change. Or would it?
Our bones have the capacity to mend themselves, and even become thicker and stronger after repeated trauma (as in the case of martial arts experts who can break bricks with their hands without harming themselves). This ability to heal, or strengthen can only be expressed in the event of some damage to the body. And yet, this ability was always there, ready to restore the body to what it should be.

On a purely subjective level, our experience would be enough to prove the reality of ‘change’. How we feel about something can change, and, therefore, we look at it differently to how we did before. We learn new things and gain new abilities through experience (“new abilities through experience”?? RPG anybody?). How we respond can change in a way that was different from before.

However, when we consider that all the feelings and thoughts can only happen within a predetermined spectrum of possible feelings and thought processes that is already written into us, can we still say that there is a legitimate ‘change’, when it is just a different part of the same spectrum?

This could probably be one of the more abstract posts I’ve written, but it’s simply a thought. I’m sure there’s many real changes that exist. Yet, it is compelling when you look at how many of these changes could be something that was already in our coding, as opposed to something that genuinely altered us.

When you think about it, it’s remarkable just how broad the spectrum of possibility is within us as human beings. We can go through traumas, and are able to survive. We can go from lows to highs in life. We can make new decisions about how we will treat certain people. All that, and still be the same person.

It’s an even more fascinating concept when you consider how many times we tell ourselves we can’t do something, but have the ability written in us somewhere. 

Over.

Traveller

Posted: June 30, 2014 in Poetic Paths
Tags: , , , ,

His wine is the distance between each place,

The miles and metres intoxicate.

As he draws closer to where he desires,

He drowns in heightened mind-state.

For time was no barrier as he made his way,

It pleased to see light fall and fade.

Under night, stars and moon, fear lit many fires,

When city lights couldn’t reach his place.

Specks dot the sky and even landscape,

In majestic view too grand to take.

The dark brings with it many liars,

But he need not worry in his silent state.

Destination is destiny each time he reaches

Out beyond static man’s releases.

In a new alley under new cardboard sheets,

Our traveller finds a foreign land to sleep.

The Traveller

The Traveller


I’ve just reblogged this post from my Picture The Maze site. Enjoy.

Image

Desafinado

When this picture was taken, I could see there was a sense of loneliness and misfortune about the scene. The fact that this little piece of nature found itself on man-made ground and not soil, brought up a few thoughts that warranted a blog post.

Firstly, it made me think of how we sometimes find ourselves in environments not meant for us. The branch is organic, standing on inorganic material. There’s no connection except that which proximity has allowed, and there’s (at least at first glance) no purpose that could ever justify this unlikely encounter. The branch will never become a part of the solid ground when it dies, and neither will the concrete ever supply the branch with nutrients to live and grow.

The branch here has found itself in a place that will never change after its gone; a place that will only allow temporary memories to last until they are literally swept away. It’s completely incompatible with its current environment in a way that’s irreconcilable.

This reality makes it a true standalone, able to operate outside of a network or system. The tragedy however, is that it can only be this way for so long, and then it dies. A branch can’t live disconnected from its natural source for long.

The second part, the misfortune, is that this little branch didn’t decide to fall here. Factors around it were at play in ways that were not predictable, and resulted in this situation. Wind, site of the tree, and even the human decision to build in that place, all played a part in making this happen. Nobody can say “why”, we just know ” that’s how it happened.

We find ourselves in these situations sometimes: being in a place that somehow, whether immediately or eventually, we know we don’t belong. It’s strange and new, but worst of all, at some point it seems futile. We can’t understand why we’re there…but we’re there.

Most times though, it starts off feeling like something’s happening, like there’s rhyme and reason. Then suddenly you look around you and realise you’re surrounded by concrete, and you’re a branch.

You make the best of it for a while. Maybe even a long while. That’s the part where you decide “while I’m here, I will at least make the most of it”. It’s how you discover your resilience, your inner strength, whether you have enough “fight” left in you to survive.

It won’t kill you per se, but a part of you will always stay on that concrete floor. Something will die. Hopefully it’s just the part of you that needed to change that dies. It could be painful and damaging or painful and building…but something will die on this concrete floor.

All nature dies eventually, but this branch will die alone.

But before it dies, it will Stand…

…alone.

[Camera: Fujifilm Finepix SL310
Edits: Increased vibrancy of the branch, leaving rest of photo unchanged]


idols

Last week, I had the opportunity to be a judge at the auditions of a university’s version of “Idols”. Now, if you don’t know what “Idols” is, then I invite you to please extract yourself from the shell you’re living in. Needless to say, it was a night full of cheers and screaming, singing and not-quite-singing, compliments and criticisms. Exactly as it is on television. Read the rest of this entry »


Image

Just a quick piece of advice: Ask Others About You!

In your quest to know who you are and what you’re about, introspection is usually given the most weight. Your ability to reflect and ponder on the life you’ve had, your experiences throughout the day, and your emotions, is crucial to gaining any kind of self-knowledge that is helpful to you.

Unfortunately, we all suffer from a crippling dose of self-bias, that automatically adds 10 points to anything you do, to make it seem better, or less worse than it actually is. Read the rest of this entry »


Recently, a few truths have hit me quite hard. A one of those truths is that there are a few things in life we cannot avoid. Try as you may, they will always happen to you, affect you, or even define you. One such inescapable (new favourite word) situation we will all face is CHANGE. Each of us ‘shifts’ in one way or another in every season of our lives. Whether the change is great or unnoticeable, it is going to happen. And there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

But I’m sure you’ve heard statements like “you haven’t changed at all”, or “I’m never gonna change”. Of course such idealistic and unfortunately simplistic noughts and observations really betray what is a fundamental part of any living entity. If you are alive, there’s no way you can’t change. You must change! Heck, if you thought you were undisciplined with your body when you were alive…just wait until you’re dead! Your body can’t wait to deteriorate and decompose. Now, if only we could do that with our weight huh? Read the rest of this entry »


I am a singer. I am a teacher. I am a pastor. I am a writer.

Funny how when you are asked “who are you?”, we tend to default to “what I do”, instead of “who I am”. This has plagued my thinking for all my short life of thirty years, and I’ve added and subtracted so many “I am’s” that you could easily accuse me of having split personalities…with split personalities. Read the rest of this entry »


Enter: New Year’s Resolutions!

This resolution was S.M.A.R.T.!

This resolution was S.M.A.R.T.!

Nothing fascinates me more around this time of year than to hear all the promises being made, and wondering which words were changed from the last time they were made a year ago. “I’m gonna work out” changed to “I’m really gonna work out”! The inclusion of the word “really” was the missing link the year before, and must be the reason it didn’t work out… Pun intended.

Let’s be honest. Your resolutions are probably not going to survive. Life happens. You won’t want to admit it now, but if I posted this in 6 months to check (maybe I’ll do something like that), you’d realise you’re not doing what you had set out to do, and even if things have changed, it wouldn’t be the way you planned.

I’m gonna give you a 3 REASONS WHY YOUR RESOLUTIONS WILL MOST LIKELY FAIL! Yes, I said FAIL! And I’m sure there are far more than just 3 reasons… Read the rest of this entry »

Missed…

Posted: November 6, 2012 in Deeper Things
Tags: , , , ,

But… It says “Pull”..! How the… Huh??

As the year starts to wind down, you begin to reflect on what has happened, what you wish had happened, and for some of us, how we respond to what has happened. It’s all very straightforward really, and is usually a precursor to the famed “New Year’s Resolutions” that we’re so addicted to.

This kind of reflection is important to your progress, as it may reveal things that you can learn from, or clearer ways of defining yourself going into the next stage of your life, whatever that stage may be (new year, new job, new year at the job…). The learning possibilities cannot be overstated. It’s a necessary exercise for the concerned and “living” human being.

One thing I stumbled across in this mental exercise of reviewing my life was this: I missed a lot of opportunities.

Now let me say that it’s impossible to know how good or bad a choice would’ve been, if you never made that choice…but you’ll always wonder. Won’t you?

Well, I know I did.

I realised that there were so many unopened doors in the hallways of my existence. Some had good reason to be closed. Some had warning signs “DO NOT OPEN!!!”. More were closed only because it wasn’t the right time to deal with them (but I still peek once in a while). I’ve even written about “Closed Doors” before!

Yet, with all this definition going on, there were some that were closed for really no reason except that I just didn’t open them. The time came when my journey led me past them, but I never ventured beyond acknowledging the existence of the door. The mere existence of an opportunity.

That’s what each door represents really. Opportunities. And many, if they’re left unopened, can never be opened later. Somehow the handles are broken off and the wood is sandpapered such that there’s no visible way to open them, or get any leverage to pry them open. They are no longer doors, but you know they once were.

We have so many reasons for letting things slip away, and these reasons become the justification for letting such moments pass without a real response from you. But I’m sure you’ll find so many situations where you simply didn’t do anything about it…or just didn’t do enough.

It could be an opportunity at work that you had to apply for, but somehow the submission date just came and went.
Or it might be a conversation you were meant to have with someone, but when the moment came, you just….didn’t.
What about the idea you wanted to write down. Remember?? Of course you don’t. You didn’t write it down.

It’s easy to want a certain kind of life, my question would be: are you making the decisions, and taking the opportunities that would most likely lead you to that life?

I could see how some of these doors might have changed my financial situations. My relational situations. My personal emotional situations. Basically, I might have been slightly or vastly different. I might not have changed at all. You’d probably see that too if you can remember what that door represented. And you’ll probably find many of them littered throughout your life.

And curiosity is unfortunately quite insatiable, so “what if” questions are always meant to be avoided as I’ve been told. But what if (!!!) you should ask? What if you need to look back and ask yourself why you missed an opportunity? What if you can learn more about yourself from understanding why you let some things pass you by than from what you pay attention to?

I wonder about that now, and it’s quite revealing. I’m also seeing that some doors, should they come again in another way later down the hallway of life, should NOT be missed ever again! Some opportunities must not be missed anymore, but if you’re not aware that you’re missing them, I guess this post is either a wake-up call or a waste of time.

If there’s one thing worse than a Nightmare remembered, it’s a Dream forgotten!

So, why not wonder (not for an overly extended time, enough just to get you thinking) what opportunities you’ve missed. Why did you miss them? Would you miss them again? Do you care? Are you an Alien?

Now let me say again, that it’s impossible to know how good or bad a choice would’ve been, if you never made that choice…

But you’ll always wonder: “What was really behind that door..?”

Won’t you…?

Door… No Handle.
Opportunity… Missed.

Over.

Re:VISION

Posted: September 25, 2012 in Inspired!
Tags: , , , , ,

As time passes in our lives we get to points of transition. Either something’s coming to an end, or something new is starting; maybe it could be a success or a failure; or it could just simply be a point at which a really serious decision needs to be made. Whatever that point looks like for you, it’s an important one because it plays a role in literally shaping your life or character, and its moments like these where sometimes we have to look back over where we’ve been and who we’ve become. Read the rest of this entry »