Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Please Like my impeccable grammar

I decided to go through the posts in this blog in chronological order just to review my frame of mind at the time I wrote each post and the first thing to hit me was, damn I've come from far! Had many nostalgic moments and missed the days when vowels were not part of the words in my vocabulary.
"Holy horseshit, Ben! They should give you an award or something for showing some sort of evolution"
I know, right? I should put some sort of Donate to my Paypal thingy here as you guys fund-raise for the proper gift. Sporadic writers need coffee too you know, for those late nights spent napping as they imagine what they'd do if they had control over all the worlds resources. I'd live in the sea, like ocean-girl...probably adopt a dolphin, and after sorting out the communication differences, find a way of determining who is the most intelligent mammal. I'd call him Flipper, or Master.
Legend states that it's a good thing to sprinkle random somewhat relevant images in the post to make it more attractive to readers. Look at what I found in stockphotos. Yum 

My grammar was ok but my spelling sucked. It's because those early posts were initially Facebook notes. Those were the good times, people commented, said nice things like "wow, you're such a good writer, Ben, you should totally write a book", while some of the girls were like "oh golly, Ben, imagine if we had babies, they'd be so poetic and deep."
To which I'd say, "Thanks, I appreciate. Wanna go out a date date..."
To which they'd say, "Oh, Ben, that sounds nice , especially because I've dated assholes and I'm always updating my status asking where all the good men are. But I like you as a friend and I know you will make some girl really happy some day because, personally, despite me always saying how reliable you are and how good you are to me and how much I say love you, and that I know you've never cheated on anyone and can't even imagine it, I still think of you as a tool: my emotional dumpster. We still good, right?"
Me, "Yeah, we're good", followed later by a bout of crying, masturbation, and asking God why he made me different... It wasn't pretty AT ALL!

Guess it came(ha!) to a point when I realized I should standardize my writing in case I needed a writing gig and the prospective client/employer needed a sample of something I'd written. I was nasty and really vindictive sometimes, those times because negative energy fuelled me, but all those posts are gone now...gone to the great recycle bin in the sky. Funny thing, my grammar was probably better in  my primary school and high school days. Campus was just one blur of partying and I never spoke English even once unless I was presenting something.

But even if it came to the point where I present my blog to be judged by a prospective client/employer, how would I explain the cursing? Well, even gentlemen have breaking points when they take off one glove and bitchslap a fucker. Cursing is the writer's glove, besides sticks and stones may break my bones temporarily, but words will haunt me forever and affect all my future relationships...

While my grammar has come of age, my creativity, on the other hand, has gone to the dogs! Can't write even a measly fiction story! Depression seems to have claimed that before it got slew. I wish I could write creatively again. If anything that is the one thing I miss the most and pretty much want back. Is there a pill you can take that will give you back everything you lost those last 4 years? Wait, I said no more pills for me...except Oleanz once every few months.

So I started this thing where rather than type my thoughts into the laptop, I actually have a notebook where I write on. It's really working out well for me especially my handwriting which had suffered over the years when I just typed.

Just like the pleasure I get from loud music, I can't describe the feeling I get when holding that pen and just seeing the story roll out, all my fears, joys and frustrations in a tangible form. That paper has a lot of my life energy in it in a way no word document could ever's kinda humbling especially because I know that unlike my drafts which are password protected, if I died today, all my emotions will be exposed the moment someone takes it and reads through it...

The raw nature of it feels really different, especially at that point when you cancel out a thought already written, if you wrote over it the updated text wouldn't be that legible, so you cross out the text then continue on unused space. Even crossed out thoughts still exist and lend their voice to the story, so a not-so-casual observer can follow your thought process to the extent that even text you were trying to delete would make sense. Everything in that notebook is a story...the A4 Chronicles!

The downside is I have to manually type in a post if I want to put it up on this blog...

So, do you like my grammar? I know it's not perfect but at least I try to make it easier to understand my thoughts...

Keep well

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Online Grind

I love the social media, I  embraced it with all my heart and I'm very active in almost all the mainstream networks. Through them I find avenues of expression that would otherwise be impossible or seem too abrasive if expressed in real life.

Before i go into it too deeply I have to qualify what I'm about to say by stating that I have made a lot of friends online...a considerable number of my close friends... Though after we meet, our interaction via whatever network we met off of reduces considerably. Also, some parts will seem misogynistic, but my friends can swear on their lives that I love and respect women. This post is kinda a follow-up to The year that was: twitter. When I speak of 'anonymity' I don't exactly mean a faceless entity...

I remember when I published this entry How To be a Kenyan onTwitter my timeline was a chilled out place with a lot of jest and friendliness. Malice was a foreign concept. Nowadays my timeline is filled with malice, and people who have this misplaced sense of entitlement by virtue of the number of followers they have. So statements like "...talking about me yet they have 100 followers only" are common. Yeah you are allowed to say what's on your mind but it seems I missed a memo about the number of followers being a source of wealth or authority. Marketers don't pay that much or constantly for tweets...

What I find most curious is we're creating a sub-generation of demigods whose only achievement is online presence. I get it, you have a lot of followers, go you! But what I don't like or understand is the whole celebrity angle. Most celebrities get on twitter after they're famous, or become famous after an exceptional talent they have is discovered via any of the networks. Still with me? So I don't understand how some people walk around with this smug attitude simply because they're "big" on twitter yet can't hold up a normal conversation in front of people or actually show why they are famous. Your only contribution to humanity is in a hard disk somewhere...un-quantifiable... Anyone with time in their hands can pull it off easily. If I follow you and you died, and I didn't know you, and got told you died, I would go to your profile to check the last tweet you made and based on it judge if you're currently playing a harp or screaming for water; then I'd unfollow since I don't expect any further activity from that least not in this realm.

I know twitter is a place where you escape the real world, to hide in and say anything or everything you can't actually say in real life; but I find it sad when the twitter world is your everything and gets to define you. You are seated with your 'friends' but you barely notice they're there because you're in your own world, online, maintaining your virtual reputation. There is something sad and pathetic about people whose social skills are so regressed they don't know how to interact with others in a normal atmosphere in person, unless everybody else is drunk...

[WAIT WAIT WAIT! Before you go on i have something to ask - Ed]  Ok. Shoot.

[If they annoy you so much, Ben, why don't you unfollow them?] Good question, Ed. I do unfollow people who annoy me but they have this even more annoying habit of making their way back into my timeline through RTs and mentions. It's as if their sole purpose in life is to annoy me!

[You also used to be an asshole sometime back...Pot!] Yes, I was an ass and I embrace the fact that I hurt a lot of people both intentionally and unintentionally, but I also took the steps and either apologized to anyone i offended, or told them to go fuck themselves because they deserved it in the first place. But I don't meet (new) people and expect them to revel in my awesomeness merely by the number of followers I have. I have to earn respect in person by assuming/acting like none of the social networks exist.

[What's your view about socialites?]  Suum cuique

[Bigwigs then?] Meh. Define the term...

gerund or present participle: overcompensating

take excessive measures in attempting to correct or make amends for an error, weakness, or problem.

The definition above isn't a blanket generalization. Applies to many people though.

Anyway, somebody once told me there are stages you have to go through as a man. There is that point your mom stopped being the center of your universe, when you learned to suck up the pain if you scraped your knee or worse. There's the athletic stage when you pick up a sport like football and learn team-play. The awkward teen encounters as you learn to associate with women and accept you'll never understand them. There's the stage you associate sports and/or intelligence with women choosing to sleep with you and not just friend you...further enforcing the fact you'll never understand them.

Anyway in Why Men Cheat, so long ago, I mentioned that by the mid-20's most men have identified their ideal woman. What I never mentioned is that men also need to fuck around to realize that most pussy is the same, pardon my french. So that to such men when faced with the choice between a really attractive woman and a less attractive one, more often than not they go for the less attractive one.  The Why is a topic for another time. Vanity is an ugly shade to beauty though.

My point is that after being with several women the objectifying angle disappears, and the number of women you've slept with ceases to be a topic of pride when you're with your male friends. The methodology in picking who you date becomes subject to the same factors you use to pick your friends... Befriending then dating becomes commonplace. Comparisons regarding women are drawn in discussion, yes, but attractiveness is secondary, still key, but secondary.

When social media came of age, adults who were previously awkward and forgotten kids found themselves in the limelight. You know those kids that got left out when you were picking teams for football; the ones who got to cheer from the sidelines with the girls. In the anonymity of the internet they rediscovered themselves. They realized they could project what they always wanted to be, and that is to be noticed and hopefully celebrated. Even the age range of the girls they target is telling of the compensation happening...naive, impressionable and fresh out of high school. Pretty sure they'd go younger if the law on statutory rape wasn't there.  I'm not saying that is a bad thing(sleeping with young women, NOT sleeping underage girls), not at all, what's annoying is the whole sense of entitlement angle that always crops up.

If you're catching up, go fuck around, do your thing, just tone down the smug especially considering: 1.) you're doing something people younger than you[i.e your competition] do without the assistance of social media, because...--lean closer-- they aren't late bloomers like you. 2.) You're doing something people your age did and got over, again, because they aren't late bloomers.  Being a late bloomer isn't something to be proud of. And especially don't expect a reward or believe you deserve recognition.

In a way, social media did to dating and sex what money did to human evolution. The fallen fruits, for the first time, got the chance to be eaten first, leave alone getting eaten at all.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Holy horseshit, batman, I'm lost

Yeah, Ben jinxed himself... Should have shut my mouth and continued to ride the wave of ecstasy that had become my "new" life.

Yeah, life sucks sometimes, large donkey balls. Sometimes I look at old people and wonder, is this what you went through? Over and over in never ending cycles, the ups and downs. How do they mange that? I'm not even 30 and I'm getting pretty tired of it. And no, it's not the depression talking.

Throughout the years I was suffering from clinical depression something kept me going, hope. I had the hope that one day my thoughts would stop being a source of endless torture and pain, for me and the people I love it affected. I had the hopes that I would regain a connection with reality and my memories would stop feeling like they were the experiences of somebody else. I wanted to stop going through the motions and live again like I used to. And finally i got what I least most of it..

I'm happy, and not a day goes by that I'm not thankful that I'm able to associate with my memories again, that I can look at my family and not feel like they're strangers to me who know and love the person whose body I was thrust into. I'm happy I no longer look at my body as a husk that links me with life. I'm glad that when I say "I love you" I mean it and it doesn't come from the world in which I mused or imagined what feelings are like. From the cogito ergo sum perspective, I am complete again. The moods I can handle better this time around...I hope. The friends I'd left those many years ago are still there, still my friends, just waiting for me to reach out.

That said, reality on everything else is somewhat different and my outlook is kinda jaded. Career. Am I happy with my job? Off the cuff, yes! I do love code and the endless possibilities it provides! But I am restless, very restless. The end, intended, which was healing mentally, was achieved and a little voice is urging me to move on. I never thought being appreciated when it comes to work mattered to me. For a long time I didn't care, but now I do. To add to that, I miss the feeling of the sun on my skin...and water over my skin...swimming. I also feel like I'm doing the earth an injustice by involving myself in a job where I don't influence any life but my own. Bear with me as I explain.

Growing up, I always wanted to make an impact on people's lives. I wanted to be the Mahatma Gandhi of my generation(minus the paedophilia skeletons). As a child the idea was achievable by being a doctor or a surgeon, but as I grew I realized the sight of blood makes me sick...and seeing human suffering at such a close angle would in fact make me zone out of my feelings which would beat the purpose of impacting people's lives positively since all I would be doing would be going through the motions. Negativity burns brighter for me than the positive...i.e it takes longer to fix myself than to make myself. Presently I feel like I'm not helping anybody with my work, true that beautiful websites are a work of art and the look of delight on my clients when I hand over a site does give me a push to continue developing, but nowadays it doesn't feel like it's enough...for me i.e. Is that what I wanna do for the rest of my life?

I'll go back to something I mentioned earlier, observing people at different stages of life. Why is everybody lost? I'm lost because I feel poor financially, but I don't understand why people who've achieved success(financially) are also lost... I really don't get it because my idea of not being lost is achieving financial security. Are we as human beings eternally locked in this cycle where our only goal in life is to get married and have money, then when you achieve it you still feel lost...

Business taught me, you can never have enough money, religious studies taught me money is bad...rather the greed for it is bad, society taught me money is everything, the media taught society that fame and money is everything, and environmentalism told me there are more than enough resources on earth for everybody if only human beings embraced their individuality and realized we don't need the same things...and stop wasting and destroying our home. I lean towards the latter most because that is the logic that makes most sense to me. Look at it this way, most of the time many people work to give their offspring a better life, the whole leaving a legacy thing I was talking about in this article. But what are we really leaving for our children if our idea of success and giving them a carefree life destroys their ability to enjoy it in the long run? A polluted inhospitable environment is not exactly what I envision for my kids. (I feel like this area I've moved into should be a separate article more focused on that topic... It will be)

I feel lost because I'm trying to embrace what society has conditioned into me. I'm not a rebel, I don't want to cause a revolution and change society's views, I just want to achieve inner peace and explore being me and being with those I love. I already accepted my mortality a long time ago; whether I die tomorrow or 100 years from now it's ok with me. If God is waiting for me on the other side, I'm cool with that... If it all ends when I die and nothing after that, it would be such a waste of all the experiences I've accumulated in the 'few' years I lived, but still ok with me. It feels like a waste because I want to remember and be with the people I love forever...

I love my job... I think I love my job. Maybe that should have been the title of this post...or maybe "I think I love life but I'm lost". Money is necessary for survival in our current society, and I wouldn't mind the chance of having lots of it, but I think I'd use it differently, not gorging myself. I'd travel, enjoy cultures that haven't been stained by our materialism and hope I don't leave my "stank" on them. That said, obviously my idea of life isn't discarding everything society has taught me, this same society gave me family, love and health, and my loyalty lies most to ensuring we continue to survive as human beings indefinitely. But I can't change the world without changing myself. To change myself I have to sate my conscience and remove this sensation of being lost. And since I know i can't change my world I'll try to get those immediately around me to see the world as I see is our only connection with our universe.

 I don't hate my job, I love what I do, really, but... I need to feel the sun on my skin more frequently, I want to escape to the untouched environment more times. I need to feel like I'm living and doing something for the world and myself...I need that warm fuzzy feeling inside because without it I'll always feel lost and if I get lost for too long I'm afraid the fire inside me will die again...this time maybe permanently....

Monday, July 8, 2013

Journey through the artistic mind, not autistic

A long time ago I gave up trying to understand my mind. I just appreciate that it's mine again. I stopped being completely detached and always looking at my life from a third person perspective(which fyi, is HELL!!). I still believe in God and each day I thank him for it because it is my only asset. That's why my greatest fear is losing it. Anyway, strangers, I decided to take you on a tour through the areas of it I understand, the rest you can deduce by going through past and future posts.

The basic wiring
Original Location

My mind was built in binary, not binary in the computing sense of the word i.e. zeroes and ones, no, binary in the astronomical sense...think binary stars or even better, the yin and yang. It functions better in the extremes, but then again so does everybody, right? So when it comes to emotions, I'll tend to either be extremely emotional, or very cold and the middle area between those is rarely seen. Even my arrangement of things in the house seems very cluttered, with nothing where it should be(but very clean), but on the other side my codes are really organized to the point of obsession; even a brace that is indented wrong in a file with hundreds of lines of other well organized code will drive me crazy and I'll notice immediately. So you get the gist of that bit. So when i was diagnosed with bipolar it made a lot of sense in explaining my moods.

I've always been a child of the wild, then again I'm also a willing prisoner in the concrete jungle. The city thrills me; all the noise, the infinite variety of people and personalities, the organized chaos. The whole artificial nature of everything in a city is intriguing. And the strange mix of bad intentions and virtuous traits. On the other side I love the countryside! The more isolated, wild and hostile the better. I love nature even with all it's hostility and secretly wish someday we'd go back to that.

Thought Process

Since I was old enough to have a functioning hippocampus my thoughts were visual and all the subtitles in English. Those are the two ways I can best express myself because of the infinite availability of English words and pictures. Oddly enough for communication among loved ones and friends it's always constrained to swahili, but in a formal environment or when i really need to lie my way out of something, I regain access to the english  - verbalizer bridge, then again, who am i to question the wiring if i can't change it? Same thing applies to the images in my head! They are usually very vivid, colour and all but when I pick up a pencil to transfer it to paper the motions of the hand refuse. But when doing it from observation the result is a very accurate depiction of whatever I'm looking at.
Drawn from observation...I think. Can't remember, drew it in 2004
The same doesn't apply for writing! Writing is the only time I have my mind in its entirety! There are no language limitations, I can switch between English, Swahili, Kikuyu, French, Spanish easily, no holds barred, depending on the vocabulary available, which is the whole dictionary for the first one!  Writing really is my first love! [holy horseshit, Batman! A whole paragraph with exclamation marks for punctuation! Bravo! Now you've got me doing it too! - Editor]
My hand, definitely from observation, the outline i.e The blood is just this mind's idea of Photoshop
There you have it! A brief description/explanation of how my mind works. Word of advice, use your Stephen Hawking inner voice to read this again. It's kinda funny, unless you're laughing at his disability, then it stops being funny.
There you have it. Into my mind, with Ben


Friday, July 5, 2013

Careful Ben, don't jinx yourself

For the longest time this blog was me musing about what I thought/imagined of love, friendships, death God, depression, and the bipolar. A few months ago the depression just vanished. Not a recession like previous times, or an ominous dark cloud always hanging over my psyche waiting to pounce when I least expect it, nah, it's gone.

With it went the neurotic nature, and my memories and personality got a reboot and reverted to the pre-depressive state. "Good news everyone!" Right? A big hell yes and a small no....
The yes is for so many things, full control over my mind, I'm happy again, the love for life is back and all inhibitions are gone! And that is all that matters! The appreciation for life!

The downside is for some reason I'm always too busy to do what I love a lot of the time. To gain control back over my mind I had to cut down impulsiveness and keep my mind really busy away from emotions and other distractions. I stopped writing, no poetry for almost two(?) years, no creative writing. Still haven't recovered the flare for those yet. I have months cut out to recondition my body and discipline it again, reflexes that need to be conditioned back or overridden.

Analogy time; in the temple that is my body, mind and soul, I spent over 2 years trashing everything I'd collected over the years and misplacing them, and introducing junk I don't really need. Now that I got the control room cleaned up nicely with a few knobs to be polished and a few bits of furniture to replace, I have to throw out most things I collected in those two years as i restore the rest to their respective places. Simple reason being, they were collected by a different person that is now dead. Somebody i no longer acknowledge.

Anyway, I plan to publish all posts in the drafts that I removed from the web because of the content, like The Razor. Wrote this one sometime in 2010, not sure the month but I was in a really really dark place at the time, the worst depth of depression where a semblance of control could only be achieved by transferring my thoughts to words. There are about 50 posts in my draft that need to be vetted before publishing. Some I'm not sure will ever be finished but I'll publish nevertheless.

The contents in future posts will continue to be my thoughts in my "new" life and maybe I'll try my hand at poetry and creative writing again, but the personal details will be a bit more obscure as the web has become more hostile over the past two years with anonymous blogs purely intended at malice coming up. Guess if I can spare a few fucks about such bloggers I'll pen a few words describing the bitter taste they leave in my mouth.

So, that's pretty much it! Needed to break the silence after months of not writing anything here. The writing flow is among the things I'm working on recovering, don't fret. Keep it here on my yen where i try to keep it real, even when I'm dreaming [you sound like a broken TV station - Editor].

The razor

In my place i have this razor. I've had it for months. Its dark in colour and amazingly sharp.
I once nicked myself with it and due to the sharpness i never felt a thing, just blood and a thin sliver of separated skin. I know i should get rid of it, not because there is any risk of tetanus or hiv, but because of the shadow.

I really don't have any creative name for my bipolar and depression. It is just a cold shadow that engulfs my soul whenever it feels like it. Makes me hate myself and my life. Most of the time i don't even know when it comes in, i just find myself over a flyover over a road willing myself not to jump a few milliseconds ahead of an oncoming vehicle.

Death is a close friend, keeping tabs on when i'll do it. Always hovering and waiting. He must have gotten excited that day i nicked myself in the dance of death. A game of chess with my life. I came to with the razor having broken skin, albeit slightly. This close and they'd both have their way.
Sometime i think death doesn't want me to go to heaven. He won't take me the way he does others, an accident, a sickness or even murder. He knows i know the exact spot on my wrist, where there is the ever so slight pulsating of the life flowing beneath.

But he knows i love life and i love; the only barrier between us. He's had a taste of my blood and together they convince me to take the easy road.

As i walk the road of life, i hear their voices sung to the tune of the razor.

Monday, March 18, 2013


I rarely re-post other people's work but this one is worth a read.

The premise is two non-biological aliens discussing contact with human beings.

A dialogue by Terry Bisson 
From "Alien/Nation".

"They're made out of meat."
"Meat. They're made out of meat."
"There's no doubt about it. We picked several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."
"That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars."
"They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."
"So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."
"They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."
"That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."
"I'm not asking you, I 'm telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in the sector and they're made out of meat."
"Maybe they're like the Orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage."
"Nope. They're born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn't take too long. Do you have any idea the life span of meat?"
"Spare me. Okay, maybe they're only part meat. You know, like the Weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside."
"Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads like the Weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They're meat all the way through."
"No brain?"
"Oh, there is a brain all right. It's just that the brain is made out of meat!"
"So... what does the thinking?"
"You're not understanding, are you? The brain does the thinking. The meat."
"Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!"
"Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you getting the picture?"
"Omigod. You're serious then. They're made out of meat."
"Finally, Yes. They are indeed made out meat. And they've been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years."
"So what does the meat have in mind."
"First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the universe, contact other sentients, swap ideas and information. The usual."
"We're supposed to talk to meat?"
"That's the idea. That's the message they're sending out by radio. 'Hello. Anyone out there? Anyone home?' That sort of thing."
"They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?"
"Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat."
"I thought you just told me they used radio."
"They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."
"Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?"
"Officially or unofficially?"
"Officially, we are required to contact, welcome, and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in the quadrant, without prejudice, fear, or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing."
"I was hoping you would say that."
"It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?"
"I agree one hundred percent. What's there to say?" `Hello, meat. How's it going?' But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?"
"Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can't live on them. And being meat, they only travel through C space. Which limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in fact."
"So we just pretend there's no one home in the universe."
"That's it."
"Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you have probed? You're sure they won't remember?"
"They'll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we're just a dream to them."
"A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat's dream."
"And we can marked this sector unoccupied."
"Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone interesting on that side of the galaxy?"
"Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotation ago, wants to be friendly again."
"They always come around."
"And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the universe would be if one were all alone."

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Finding God

My journey with/about God has been nothing short of turbulent, one in which religion lost to spirituality and as a consequence, i haven't been to any church for years now, at least from the "I'm going to worship him from that place" perspective.

As a child i grew into/around a strong Catholic indoctrination. I knew there was one almighty, omnipresent, all-powerful God. But even as a small child when i went to church i looked around and wondered "why so serious?". Church was always this solemn place where people went to meet God, and he was one helluvan ominous(threatening not evil) being! But it was for a moment because my brother and i usually got into a lot of mischief little ways into the service.

Still, was a diligent christian child; started catechism, even though it was conducted in Kikuyu, a language i hardly had spoken control of(still don't up to now), but i could memorize the syllables and verses well enough to pass, and even aspired to be an altar boy. Had my first experience with cliques...the altar boys were a clique! You know...noses up in the stratosphere, thinking they're the shit and nitpicking at your attempts to do something to make your mum proud... While I'm not one to hold a grudge, I make a point of never forgetting the face of anybody's who's ever discriminated against me for whatever reason.

I became an altar boy later when i was 10, for 3 mass services, before realizing servitude to the church is not one of my inherent virtues. Even told one of the other altar boys to go fuck themselves once when they ordered me to go and serve in church, coz I was needed at a certain Easter mass. OK, I never said "fuck", seeing that it hadn't yet made its way into my vocabulary, but i used an equally obscene and demeaning phrase. After that i got no more requests to serve the church. Ironically I was the one that made it to seminary, albeit a junior one.
Seminary was the next step in defining my relationship with God. I may have lied my way into it by faking religious fervor, but it still ended up helping me anyway. There was theology, i got to read the Quran, the Bible(more than 10 times), got exposed to Buddhism and many other religions.

I started questioning religion and the role of clerics in determining our destiny with God. I questioned God, why was he so manipulative and vengeful in the old testament; why was he still kinda manipulative in the new testament with Jesus... I mean if Jesus was God's son, why would death scare him or even hurt him in the long run?  His dad is God goddamnit! In fact, Jesus should have been looking forward to the release crucifixion and death would bring, to return to his true form! Nevertheless my faith increased, i believed we were all here for a reason and ignored the obvious bias that becomes apparent when you apply the logic that God makes everything happen for a reason...what about the children/people who suffer and are killed even before they even get a feel for the joys in life and living?

After seminary my faith was eroded steadily. With some things you never notice. Your faith gets steered in a particular direction and you never realize it till something significant happens...or a series of events. My episodes always erode my beliefs, whether religious, spiritual, secular or emotional(even now). I judge myself by how I recover from that. My spirituality was almost completely gone by the time i had my meltdown(triggered by other major factors other than religion). You can't have God without being spiritual. Running to religion when you don't have any spiritualism in you is like spitting on molten lava...pretty useless. Yeah, i was fucked.

I was hopeless and lost, and not willing to see a shrink because they'd have used my lack of spiritualism as a reason for my breakdown yet i knew it wasn't. It was just a side of me I had ridden on luck, especially knowing that my mind was made for questioning and i wasn't exercising that where my beliefs were concerned. I had to fix myself at least some way...the basics at least, financially, emotionally etc...the works. Emotionally was hard, went through a period i was apathetic to even the immediate family as i bonded with them from scratch. Ok, not scratch scratch, but you get the point. Financially, socially, and spiritually too. This entry is about the spiritual aspect.
I knew days of darkness, went full atheist, then tried at the whole worshiping mother nature angle, but as usual my mind was grasping at something at least halfway logical to believe in. And even when i denied the existence of God, there was still one thing whose existence i couldn't deny...mine. "I think, therefore i am" ~ Rene Descartes.

You never realize the importance of such a statement till you're faced with the question of your existence. So I dropped all the bullshit of looking for God in the church, and expecting clergy and religion to fully guide me. It has been an interesting journey so far.

I believe in God, I believe all the scriptures speak of the same deity regardless of the religion, and ideally, all the teachings are supposed to lead to one eventuality, a closeness to God and a full productive life with everyone around you. {You know the way in a coding language like java or javascript where you have an array or object and when you pass it into a function, the variable the array is assigned to within the function is just but a reference to the original array... I think that's how religions (should) work} Religions all refer to the same being.

I believe no religion is incorruptible and many people confuse that corruption with the image of God, not realizing religions were created by mankind as paths of enlightenment to understand God better and get close to Him. While the forebears may have had good intentions, their descendants not so much. They chose to litter the pathways with obstacles and occasionally set up shops to assist the weary a cost of course! As the conniving religious people grew, they introduced the concept that it's ok to be poor or give up your basic rights and some comfort for the sake of what they made you believe is waiting for you in heaven....nirvana. To be frank, what they've done is convince people that they convert material wealth into their heavenly equivalent, but no they didn't stop there. They have convinced many people that it's actually ok to suffer because it makes what is waiting for you in heaven even sweeter! That that's why even Jesus suffered, to show you it's ok to suffer and that God actually wants you to suffer! That is raw description of most religions, and poor people are willing to believe in them because they are looking for an explanation, or rather the silver lining for their suffering. The danger in all this is that there is still resentment towards the well to do, just that they're rarely voiced...unless a revolution happens!

To understand God, you have to accept just one fact, that you can never understand God. The baseline should be: no understanding of God is absolute and every attempt should be taken as an individual's effort to create a relationship with a being whose manifestation is neither obvious nor directly observable. It's all purely faith! Questions like "if there is a God, why does he let some people suffer so much while some are always born to never know the feeling?" are the obvious firsts and you will have to ask yourself that at some point too.
I'll tell my understanding of that.
It's hard to tell the reason why things happen to some people and not to others, but when you look at it critically, it's always as a result of other human actions...natural disaster are negligible when you put suffering as a result of people and suffering as a result of nature side by side and even then we'd most probably be referring to natural disasters as a result of climate change. So we'd be down to earthquakes and volcanic activity as the contenders for significant natural disasters that humans don't have direct or indirect control over; and even in the case of some earthquakes, it is debatable.

I believe the Bible was written by people inspired by God, but they wrote it explaining and describing their "visions" and experiences based on how they could effectively tell it or express it. Nowadays we have audio/visual aids to express or even reproduce observation but even then we can never effectively project the original. That's why it's prudent never to take the bible literally, maybe their culture involved a lot of symbolism, and we also have to remember the bible has been translated several times. And context! The bible is a collection of books, some literature was deemed fit for a book of God while others were dropped, so even in terms of context I'm not convinced we have that part complete. Maybe some books were perceived as too extreme for that culture...we may never know. Every culture has that content that is censored because it may not comply with the current moral yardstick. While the scriptures are cryptic a lot of times, one message always comes through, not a message about morals or imposing your beliefs on others, but to look out for the well-being of your fellow human beings. Simple! That has been the universal truth, from the Bible, Kabbalah, Quran...etc... All(most of) the suffering we see, most of the time, is a direct result of intentional misinterpretation of the scriptures and making your doctrines prevail!

All we ever think of is ourselves and satisfying our selfish immediate needs. We have managed to convince each other that the resources are too few, and that their distribution can work only one way...the pyramid structure...small apex, large(big fucking!) base. That once the human beings at the top of the food-chain are satisfied then the access of the resource moves to the next level and so on. This would be ok had we been looking at sating the needs of the special/disabled first since they probably need special attention. But no, the apex represents the needs of the upper echelon, who in all essence aren't even that special, just extremely lucky. And...and, combined they make less than 10% of the total population, and the needs being taken care of are of unnecessary extravagance!...and use up the same amount of resources as the rest of the populace!

 I don't like capitalism that much...sometimes i think if it was agreed we give up property rights until we came up with a more "fair" market/governance system, we could actually stem the way we're misusing resources, then crying at how little they turned out to be. Then again, when i think of putting some things in the hands of people with so much vested interest and shameless lack of integrity i shudder at the thought of that unknown alternative. Plus that would be expecting some higher force to intervene and solve our problems...much the same way we expect God to do it for us, then curse and deny his existence when he doesn't do as we bid. The solutions to our problems lie within each individual, getting rid of the selfishness and jealousy that convince us that we have to one-up everybody else to feel happy or content...and actually be of service to people other than ourselves.

Another question I've faced as a theist would be the relationship between Jesus, the holy spirit and God. Some people ask it with a smirk expecting you to falter. It is kind of annoying, when somebody, rather than ask you the question to trigger a healthy debate, asks expecting you to show a chink in your faith and then they'd feel better about themselves. What they gain, i don't know.

Like i said before, no knowledge of God is absolute and my ideas of him are mine, maybe influenced in one way or another by others. When i think of God, i think of him as all knowing and omnipresent, but what about Jesus and the Holy spirit, what is their place with God? For me it all boils down to semantics. The Holy books were written long ago, describing the same thing thousands of years later we are expected to understand in the same light. The Bible, for example, has undergone numerous translations since then with each translator trying to stay as true to the words contained as possible while at the same time creating sensible literature that could be understood in the evolved culture. Let's look at English as an example, the English spoken and written in the Victorian era greatly differs from what we use. While future generations will benefit from detailed audio/visual examples, ours doesn't have that luxury, in usage of past material.
I have started to believe that, the concept of Jesus as the son of God developed because there was a need to  illustrate the relationship in a way the people at that time could understand. Had it been a matriarchal society I'm pretty sure Jesus would have been a woman. Maybe it was God's way of reaching out to the people, using the relationship between a man and his son to show how strong the bonds between him and Jesus were. By explicitly saying "I am Jesus and Jesus is me" the people would probably have responded with a "God sed wha...?" and the whole meaning of the sacrifice would have been lost to history.
And maybe the Holy spirit is the collective of what is good in us which is a part of God. It is God and it is us. We are individual and independent in awareness of self, yet the same before God. Maybe that is what he was trying to say when he said we are in his image and we dumbly assumed he was talking about our corporeal existence and lordship over the other animals.

My point is we try too much to make God into our image. We impose our idea of him on him, and what would make us happy into the image of what we'd expect heaven to be like, we think of classical music and running through fields with neither jutting rocks, thorns nor entangled grass to trip us.  If i was to use the same beliefs i'd say that my idea of heaven is one endless never-fading orgasm! See, we think of heaven as we would perceive the most satisfying event/place/moment to us. We try to impose the same image on others who don't believe the same as us because we want them to see as we see, but spirituality is something you go into without edging or nudging, and it's something you should never force on somebody else, especially children! The only thing i pray is that even though i may not be able to visualize heaven for what it is, at least let me be with my loved ones, with all the good in them.

If i believe in a superior being above me, what is there to prevent there being another being above him, and a superior being to that...kind of like a reverse of the old saying "Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em, And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum...". Simple actually. It would imply that our understanding of God is so far off tangent that the argument is rendered moot...what sense would there be in debating an all knowing, omnipresent God if in fact he answers to one above him? Would have our references to a superior God be linked to the actual superior God or to the one the debate partner is inferring to? See, it goes in nonsensical circles.

So far I am happy my faith in God is holding up! Science doesn't scare me, neither do i resist it, and more knowledge and belief in science(physics) doesn't destabilize my beliefs, rather it brings me into awe at how yet complex the structures are that came together to bring me into my corporeal reality; and my ability to change the world around me by simply being.

What people don't realize is how special they are, how they believe in God or whether they believe in God at all. As long you value other human life the same way you would your own you are on the right path. According to physics you are the not so random result of impossibilities, as is everyone around you. According to the scriptures you're still special. Just choose what defines you wisely and don't go shoving your beliefs on other people. Let them see you and if they find you worthy they will follow. You don't have to change the whole world for it to be better, change your world. The world appreciates no matter how infinitesimally small the positive change.

Keep well


Friday, January 4, 2013

30 and counting

This will be one entry filled with my raw thoughts. i.e. little has been edited out.
 If I could count the number of times I've had that feeling that I won’t live to see 30, I guess I’d wish I’d saved a penny for each instance.[ I’ll have to qualify that statement by stating, no, I’m not having a cycle as I type, to the best of my knowledge]. When I say that, I’m not saying it as a premonition, just a feeling; ill placed, I always pray to God.

Whenever I’m asked about long term life plans like getting married or having kids I usually say, “I’ll do that when I’m 35, let me enjoy my youth and set up my life”. Saying that comes naturally to me nowadays and it’s only recently that I realized I have never pictured myself getting old. I joke about achieving immortality a lot but not once have I considered myself getting old.

So, am I scared of dying? The answer to that is a bit more complicated than simple or definitive yes or no. I have morbid thoughts sometimes, a lot during my lows. The shrink had been worried because when I went to see him the first time in 2011(after a referral from another shrink who didn't think he could handle my case) I had covered a lot of ground concerning morbidity and mortality, for the wrong reasons. While I know I can lie and twist facts as far as a psychologist is concerned, for once in my life I chose to open up fully to somebody and just see if they could help me. He was able to help to an extent. See it works this way, the more his methods helped me heal, the more I became immune to the methods he used; either his methods were becoming predictable or my mind was learning and filling in the gaps as it healed. But that isn't the topic at hand.

Am I scared of dying? My spirituality and beliefs tell me I will still exist even if it’s outside my body. I find that comforting, that I’d be able to see my loved ones even if I died or see them again. But I wouldn't want to die because I wouldn't be able to interact with them, at least directly. And how would I feel seeing them come to terms with my death and move on, remember me less and eventually replace me with other things, people and activities, and only remember on the anniversary of the burial.

This is where kids come in. Many people have them and say that’s how you leave a legacy and conquer death. That’s how lazy (poor?) people leave a legacy. By reproducing like rabbits in the name of leaving their genetic material all over, yet genetically we aren't ever that much different, unless you have a mutation. But here I’m thinking x-men type mutations. If you left those types of kids then we’d remember you. If your brat can shoot laser beams then I’d remember you, and probably hate you.

While children are the future they can’t be your legacy. Can you be your parent’s legacy or just offspring? Personally, I believe kids conceived even after their parents used contraception, properly, are the special ones because they managed to cross some sort of Darwinian barrier (no, smarty pants, that’s not a brand of diaphragm or condom ), more than kids that are planned and/or fertility drugs taken to enhance it. Adopt a kid, damnit! If you want a child so badly you will love an adopted one just as much! This thing where we segregate ourselves using blood ties is part of the reason there is so much war and suffering. We have dwindling natural resources and too many people wanting to leave “a legacy”. History remembers you for your kids right? That's why Einstein's father comes to mind immediately when you think about the theory of relativity.

I don’t hate children per se, I prefer them when they are other people’s responsibility to raise and toilet train. I'm not saying that if I have a direct biological offspring I wouldn't love it or do things like raise it and prepare it to survive in the world by itself! I would, with every fibre of my being. That kid will probably perfect interstellar travel, and generate and stabilize wormholes, basically have the potential to do something amazing, extremely useful and memorable, judging from the odds she’ll have overcome just to get to the point that she was conceived. Unless it was the smallest sperm with the least amount of useful genetic material that was able to slip past the barrier. If I adopt I wouldn't love the child any less.

Told ,you. the answer isn't definitive. Yeah, i would love to leave a legacy, i would love if the whole world gained from something i'd invented and everybody would remember me for generations to come. But when you look at it critically, many of the most famous and memorable inventors(legacy leavers) never set out to leave a legacy as their agenda. They stumbled on it. So, my life can do without the stress and pressure of consciously wanting to leave a legacy to continue after me when I'm gone. I'll live with the same intensity I'd have if i knew i had, say, only 3 more weeks to live. That way if i die anytime between now and a few weeks from now, death would have stolen just a few weeks at most, of a life not lived, from me.

While i have to meet my body's biological needs, when i satisfy them is where the similarity to animals ends. That is just something i absolutely have to do and without that part i can't do other things. That's the obvious bit. When it comes to other aspects like how i do it, the only criteria i have to satisfy is i have to like the "how". So if it's making money to pay for the food and house, i have to love the job. If i get bored, i have to move on as soon as possible even if it means starting a new career from scratch. Maybe that explains why sometimes money doesn't mean that much to me and i'm sometimes frivolous with it. I can't afford to make my life to be about it. It's just a means to one end and people sometimes try to use it to control you. If you don't give money that power over you, other people can't use it to get power over you, at least through direct manipulation.
Yeah, i know my life isn't about me, it's about other people as well, human beings being social beings and all; it's also a big reason why i lived to write this, but that is a story for another entry. I try to treat my family(immediate) with a lot of affection, not disgusting pda and all that, God no, but emotional all the same, and while I can't always tell them i love them to their faces, i show it through my actions. If i have nothing and if my philosophy fails me, in whichever way, i'll end up in their hands whether dead or alive.

I handle relationships much the same way, minus the last part. That's why i'm very careful who i get involved with. Sifting the wheat from the chaff has made me a few more but insignificant enemies, but it had to be done. In friendships i try to leave out cynicism. Life is too precious to waste fixing something that broke because you took it for granted. While i have a limited capacity for that i can count them all on one hand. Strong emotions are destabilizing for my mind, so i keep love relationships very few and rare in-between. Having residual feelings left for somebody does not necessarily mean love. They're just normal almost filial feelings. If i fall in love, I love like it's the first and only time I've ever loved, and don't let past memories taint it. A fuck-what-the-world-thinks mentality. The setback is being left vulnerable and exposed to the person they're directed to. All i ever hope is they don't try take advantage of that. Am i scared of that? Nope, it's a risk worth taking; people have this habit of giving you pleasant surprises if you give them a chance, which was the point from the onset of the relationship, right? Plus i'm not rich so what would there be to take advantage of?
And again, not being stupid nor particularly capable of falling for just any lady i encounter, I can't waste my time being scared of feelings i can barely control, chances are extremely high my instincts were right!
I have touched lightly on friends, and before i move on i have to state that anyone i date has to be my friend first. The relationship is a perk given to just one of them, i guess. I value my friends, because i have so few of them, and that i can rely on. Couldn't imagine where i'd be without them. The policy is simple, take advantage or screw me over, or show unmistakable signs of it and we become acquaintances or nothingness again, but this time permanently.
I don't really care about people who would brand me as their enemy because I don't have enemies(haters?); with friends and living to attend to, who has the time to keep track of them?

So you see, even if i don't make it to thirty, to me, i made the years up to the present count, so it would still be described as a life well lived, and i'd want it described that way! When you say somebody had potential, the whole potential aspect is a chance thing that unless achieved is just a hypothetical concept or at most a wish of what you'd have wanted to see somebody do. Life is not cast in stone, we all have choices we make and we are never particularly sure of the eventuality of our choices. So beating yourself over what was probably a wise, well calculated choice, from your perspective, when you made it, is just being silly. It's doing what makes you happy that matters in the long run, as long as you're not some kind of sadist. If you find happiness through making others happy, that counts big time! voluntary service to others/nature is satisfying and if heaven is real you will also have earned major points to get you there.
So the final answer is, yes, i'm scared of death, if it was because i killed myself mid a low or because i was unnecessarily reckless. And no, if it was something i had no chance of averting. But even then, up to the point it happened, i'd have achieved my full potential for that time. Though sadly then the only lives i'd have touched positively are the ones immediate to me not the whole of humanity in general. That still counts as change.
All life is precious, whether fleeting or extremely extended. Look out for it.
Keep well