Archive for the ‘Deeper Things’ Category


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.


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]


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? (more…)


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. (more…)


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… (more…)

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.


There are many ways I could structure this post. I could opt for an analytical approach, or a rant, or a commentary. Or I could just write. So I choose to write, about not only what weak leadership looks like, but also its impact on those who are submitted (“subjected” sounds better in this case) to it. In many ways I’ve witnessed some of this first-hand – dare I say in my own leadership ability – and it is shocking to see what it produces. I warn you, this post is dense. (more…)


Out here, surrounded by the sea of my own thoughts, I became!

Our need for approval and recognition as people is quite normal. We’re surrounded by humans most days of our lives, we have way more friends on Facebook than is logically necessary and we also have our own minds speaking in multiple directions. We are literally primed to desire relationship by the simple fact of our existence and to not have that flourishing looks like failure. (more…)


I sat in a room that sits in me,
Some call this room Reality.
It spun and twisted to bring me pictures
Of life beyond what my senses insisted
Revolving and dizzying my heart it rendered
Me helpless to decide on which path it ended.

I sat in a room that sits in me,
Some call this room Reality.
A dream turned live with the blink of an eye
Yet forgotten and replaced by a distracting high
With space to grow more than any place before
That I experienced in fullness for a few seconds, no more.

I sat in a room that sits in me,
I call this room Reality.
With journeys begun but never complete
It’s the story you start but never believe
Having you as the main character playing many roles
But you’re played by the roles without knowing your cause.

I sat in a room that sits in me,
I called this room Reality.
I opened its door, and unfortunately
Its label said Potentiality.

Love and Fantasy

Posted: March 24, 2012 in Deeper Things, Inspired!
Tags: , ,

Two words that seem to work well with each other don’t you think? Well at least according to a comment I heard this week that joined them both: “Love is a fantasy. The only real thing about it is the pain of when it’s over.”

First thing I thought was “poor guy”, because you really can’t say that unless you’re in some sort of emotional pain. However, it’s still an intriguing statement that was at least real to the person saying it, which made me ask: IS Love a Fantasy?

Indulge me for a little bit.

The word ‘love’ in and of itself carries so many different variations just in its definition. When a person says the word, its as unique to them in its meaning as their own DNA, because different people mean different things when they express the word. Every nuance of context changes its colour with infinite possibilities being presented. The one common thread you could derive is that ‘love’ points to a certain kind of care or preference of a person.

Try it for yourself. Ask 3 people this question: “When you say ‘I love you’ what does it mean to you?”
You’ll probably end up with something similar if you just ask it simply, but if you were to ask those people to elaborate, the differences start to become more clear.

Want to make this conundrum even worse? Fine. Think of what that means when 2 people declare ‘love’ to each other. What one SAYS, and what the other HEARS could be totally different. It could go like this between person A and person B:
A: “I purple you”
B: “Oh my gosh! I orange you too!”
A+B: “We’re in green with each other!”

See?! It can change from person to person. So when you throw in the Fantasy aspect, and you start to see an interesting phenomenon, because a Fantasy is a reality that only exists in one’s mind and isn’t experienced by anyone else, unless it’s shared through written/spoken medium (or some futuristic device that takes what one imagines and places it on a screen for all to see, and such a device could spread around the world so that people could pay to watch other people’s fantasies playing out on a large screen in rooms capable of allowing many to see it at the same time!!! Hmmm….).

So maybe, because this idea of ‘love’ is so unique to each person, and only truly understood by that person… It could therefore be that Love is in fact a Fantasy!

However if the two people understand it to be the same thing, does that make it a reality?

Nope! In that case, it’s a shared Fantasy, because beyond those two, nobody else gets it quite the same.

BUT WAIT! There’s hope for the hopeless romantic. All this talk is just talk. Fact is, Love has impacted this plane of existence for so long it really must be real. Think of all the poems, stories, histories, creations… Heck, even CHILDREN that have been born as a result of Love. Where would you fit all of that? I’m sure it could be real.

Think of all the people YOU Love. Is it possible that all that is just ‘in your head’? I doubt it.

There’s a certain ideology I’m after with this post. One that I’m sure you’ve heard, or at least have been impacted by. One that declares all truth is relative, all of society is just made up of beliefs and thoughts, and not concrete inescapable realities.

I could have easily left my arguement halfway, concluding that Love is indeed a Fantasy. It would’ve been a brilliant discovery for myself and may have even ‘explained’ some things for those reading. Unfortunately, that’s how easy it is for a worldview to be established these days. As simple as an incomplete idea.

The world is full of incomplete ideas jostling for the title of “Complete”, or more aptly “Ultimate”. Love, in its kaleidoscopic forms and features is so great, it just escapes us everytime we try to grasp it. It causes decisions to be made that shape futures into realities. Yes, it may share the qualities of a Fantasy, but it certainly can’t be JUST a Fantasy.

Love MUST be real

Either that or a very well-distributed Fantasy.

Over.