March 26, 2006

Religious Poison

Suffice to say, religious fundamentalism has become a mainstay of political and media discourse in the 21st century. It hasn't been a surprise then, this sudden surge in religious fervour. When faced with overwhelming unfamiliarity and displacement, Man tends to turn back to the basics in order to establish some form of stability. And in the rising tide of secularism and post-modernism, how could we not expect religion to have some say in the eventual outcome of these circumstances? Religious fundamentalism was always going to be a result of what's been happening and cautiousness should abound when attempting to approach or deal with it.

The September 11th attacks did little to help the cause of the religious right. What was proven in that event, however, was that when given reason and belief, a man will do anything to substantiate his faith. When told that 40 virgins and eternal paradise would be granted to him, Mohammed Atta undertook the most horrific act ever perpetrated on US soil. When suggested that white males were being short-changed by Catholics, Jews and gays, Timothy McVeigh set off a bomb in Oklahoma which killed hundreds. Faith and belief in the unseen are powerful tools, all too often manipulated by intelligent individuals who know the human psyche well.

And that is why I am cautious of the Charismatic movement sweeping across the globe today. In a few short years, acts like the Planetshakers and Hillsongs have seen their praise and worship songs touch millions of youth all over. You have pastors in the pulpits telling the youth to rise up and be counted, to spread the name of Jesus no matter what. And it's a worrying trend. Why? Because with fanaticism comes irrationality. And with irrationality comes irresponsibility. A mad man might go up to that pulpit and advocate the killing of millions and cleverly manipulate Scripture to substantiate his ideas. Then what?

It's already happening in the Islamic context, what's to stop it from spreading into Christianity? Deception is an art form, so cleverly woven into what's perceived as reality. And when faith comes into the picture, rational behaviour often takes a backseat. Religion should always be practiced with rationality and calm, but that is something charismatics don't agree with. And that, is the reason why we should fear this new upsurge in 'charisma'.

Traveller fell apart at 12:32 AM

March 19, 2006

Hope In Emptiness

Compared to Tristan and Isolde, I think Romeo and Juliet is nothing. The song from the theme would have taken my breath away just a couple of months ago. Now, it's just meaningless scribble and wailing flooding through the stereo of my radio. It does serve to remind me of the fact that love does exist. At least in the movies.

Gavin DeGraw - We Belong Together

We belong together
Like the open seas and shores.
Wedded by the planet force
We've all been spoken for.

The hammer may strike me dead on the ground.
A net to my hand, a cross on his crown.
We're done if, who we're undone.
Finished if who we are incomplete.
As one we are everything
We are everything we need.

We belong together
Like the open seas and shores.
Wedded by the planet force
We've all been spoken for.

What good is a life with no one to share
The light of the moon or the honour of a swear?
Will you try to live the way of which you speak?
Taste the milk of your Mother Earth's love?
Spread the word of consciousness you see?
We are everything we need.

We belong together like the open seas and shores.
Wedded by the planet force
We've all been spoken for.
All this indecision.
All this independent strain.
Still we've got our hearts on safe, we've got our hearts on safe.

Someday when you're lonely.
Sometime after all this bliss.
Somewhere lost in emptiness.
I hope you find this gift.

I've got my heart on 'safe'.

Traveller fell apart at 12:09 PM

March 17, 2006

All Too Human

The human spirit is essentially one which is uncontrollable, unpredictable even if you will. If persons could be controlled, essentially, none of the coups or rebellions which occurred throughout history could have been accomplished. It is a twisting nether of unfathomable decision-making, a dark mass of volatile reactions; these human emotions. These shocking aspects crop up in every aspect of life forseeable, be it work, studies, relationships or even friendships.

If, essentially as individuals, we are unable to control what the person next to us will do in the course of the next few minutes, then perhaps we are all just men in the same boat, swirling around in a sea of uncertainty that is life. And if we cannot be sure of the intentions and thoughts of others, how then do we trust? Some would reply love, love will be the answer to all. But is it, really? Even love falls prey to the volatility which I've mentioned above. Even kinship and affinity becomes secondary to the volatility of the human soul. So then, what is constant and real? Nothing, nothing then. We must learn to trust in what we know can never fail us, our own minds and hearts. Because these work in tandem to achieve the best possible route for us in life, unlike everyone else.

But even in these uncertain circumstances in which we live, we must somehow find satisfaction in living what becomes a shifting reality. And it is in this uncertainty we must find joy in. For it is the emotional unpredictability which makes us what we are: all too human.

"And in the darkness swirling, the figure moved not, but merged into one with the darkness."

Traveller fell apart at 12:02 AM

March 11, 2006

Life Goes On

It's been a week in which I've been looking for bearing, for purpose and direction in this life suddenly seeming so void. Lectures, tutorials, labs all whizzed past me in a flash; not that I didn't catch what the lecturer was saying. I did, and in fact, I've been doing my tutorials and lecture preparations steadfastly. SAM interview, OCF events, assignments, they're all part and parcel of life now. They're all I look forward to and have. And perhaps, in a way, it's a good thing.

Alot of things flash through my mind on the way to school every morning, and seemingly, they've become therapy walks; catharsis, if you will. The glaring morning sun however, gives way to darker thoughts within the recesses of mind. Can loneliness ever be overcome? We come into this world and leave it alone. Yes, relatives and loved ones keep vigil by bedside, hoping in some way to ease the burden of death. And yet, their presence only serves to exacerbate the pain, the loss that is felt by the dying person. In birth, parents hold their child up in glee and anticipation but fail to realise the painful existence they've brought it into. And when it's all said and done, everyone arrives and leaves as a single entity. Even salvation is decided on an individual basis. So what's there to say that loneliness isn't ultimately what everyone's born into?

But perhaps I'm the only person who's decided and 'enlightened' myself to this true nature of our existence. Or perhaps I'm the deluded one, living in a chain of self-mutilation. Whatever it is, this left sure feels right.

"Happiness and joy are but fleeting sensations of the heart. Yet, sadness and despair leave the deepest of scars."

Traveller fell apart at 12:15 AM

March 02, 2006

I Grieve

It was only awhile ago
It was all so different then
Nothing yet has really sunk in
Looks like it always did
This flesh and bone is just the way that we are tied in
Now, there's no-one home.

I grieve for you.
It's so hard to move on
Still loving what's gone.
They say life carries on
Carries on and on and on and on.

The news that truly shocks is the empty, empty page.
While the final rattle rocks its empty, empty cage.
And I can't handle this.

I grieve for you.
Let it out and move on, missing what's gone.
They say life carries on
They say life carries on and on and on.

Life carries on
In the people I meet
In everyone that's out on the street
In all the dogs and cats
In the flies and rats
In the rot and the rust
In the ashes and the dust
Life carries on and on and on and on.
Life carries on and on and on.

It's just the car that we ride in
The home we reside in
The face that we hide in
The way we are tied in.
Life carries on and on and on and on.
Life carries on and on and on.

Did I dream this belief?
Or did i believe this dream?
Now I can't find relief.
I grieve.

Traveller fell apart at 11:16 PM

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