Monday, October 15, 2012
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Space, light, dark.
There is a slight irony in describing how a space is created; By cordoning of an area with walls, pillars and glass. There is certainly a sense of hubris when one talks about creating space, as if we can create something that already exists. We are fixated on carving out space for ourselves but often overlook the fact that there is the space we inhabit but there is also a space inherent; The space within all of us. Much vaster than the space without, the space within is the darkness of the body; limitless, dimensionless, objectless. The place of imagination and potential. All one needs to do is close your eyes and imagine. This is the space that needs to be explored, the space that will aid us in seeing beyond the next horizon.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Rooftops and hilltops
I have seen my fair share of rooftops from hilltops, be it a grassy knoll or a craggy desert hill. Traveling makes you realize that there is a common thread amongst humanity. That there are certain universals that we all share. For example, that we all desire roofs over our heads. And that to see a rooftop one needs to be above it, perhaps on a hill. I like to call these universals, truths. In this regard, philosophy is not very different from traveling, in the sense of what they both reveal. Philosophy shows in different modes and forms that the desire for truth is part of human nature itself. It reveals an innate property of human reason to ask why things are as they are, with the answers that emerge revealing how different human cultures can be and in fact are complementary.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
The straight and narrow can also be bumpy and slippery.
I have fond memories of sliding across this cobblestone road as we tried to make our way up to the winged lion guarding the city gates. It was late afternoon and the sun hit our eyes at a 45 degree angle, causing me to squint as I tried to keep my balance; laughing, sliding, chattering. The one thing I relish about growing old is that I now have more memories and consequently more to look back on. And as a result of this cumulative experience, many things seem to take on new meaning. Words that I read years ago now do not read the same, revealing formerly hidden messages, metamorphasizing into completely different creatures from the ones I had previously ensnared with my imagination; different yet equally beautiful. This somehow makes life feel just that much richer, this richness paid for with youth.
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
There but not quite.
Everyone says that the thirtieth is an important milestone because you are at a point where you know what you want in life and you've set yourself up to achieve these goals. I will admit that I do have some goals but I can nary say that I know what I want in life. I can however say with absolute certainty that at thirty, I now know what I do not what in life. And I think this is definitely something worth celebrating. Perhaps another reason for celebrating the thirtieth is that it marks the point in my life where I have spent just about more time as an adult than as a child. It is about at fourteen or fifteen that I started to realize the consequences of my actions and how I would have to live with the choices that I've made. Now that thirty has arrived in full force I am looking forward, very much so, to what this decade has to offer; until the next big zero. I think it will be interesting times and most definitely a life changing decade. Let's see where this journey takes me, already an adult but still lots of growing up to do.
Monday, September 10, 2012
An olive branch.
They are barrels. Perhaps not quite the kind used to store olive oil but they are filled with oil, a much cruder form. They are also filled with shrapnel, iron filings and TNT. Dropped from air planes flying overhead deep into the heart of the city. The consequences are, as you can imagine, devastating. Just yesterday, a similar barrel bomb as they are now called, was dropped on a kindergarten in Aleppo. The bomb destroyed the kindergarten and leveled a nearby residential block. There were casualties; A fact which has become the only certainty in the Syrian conflict. I can't help but feel a surge of sorrow for this place that I have visited. For I have breathed its air and ate its food. But then again so have millions of other foreigners. And maybe that will be my undoing, this sentimentality of mine. Maybe I should learn to be like the rest of the world, to forget and to focus on more pressing things in life, like getting ahead for starters. Perhaps.
Someone I was once close to, what do we call them? An ex? Ex friend, ex boss, ex lover, ex colleague? Once told me that my speech was peppered with "Perhaps-es". The Ex was and is probably right. I suppose I use the tentative too often because I find the affirmative and the reality of it all too difficult to bear; always hopeful of a better tomorrow. That and this sentimentality of mine will be my undoing. Perhaps.
Thursday, September 06, 2012
Fides et Ratio
I was recently reminded that faith and reason are two wings of a dove, rising to the contemplation of the truth. An important reminder in this day and age where so many things are sacrificed at the alter of modernity.
"A cursory glance at ancient history shows clearly how in different parts of the world, with their different cultures, there arise at the same time the fundamental questions which pervade human life: Who am I? Where have I come from and where am I going? Why is there evil? What is there after this life? These are the questions which we find in the sacred writings of Israel, as also in the Veda and the Avesta; we find them in writings of Confucius and Lao-Tze, and in the preaching of Tirthankara and Buddha; they appear in the poetry of Homer and in the tragedies of Euripides and Sophocles, as they do in the philosophical writings of Plato and Aristotle. They are questions which have their common source in the quest for meaning which has always compelled the human heart. In fact, the answer given to these questions decides the direction which people seek to give to their lives."
~ John Paul II
Sunday, September 02, 2012
Saturday, September 01, 2012
Sunday, August 26, 2012
un être sans raison reasoanble d'être
It has been close to a month since my last blog post. Well, 24 days to be precise. It is also the first time in the history of this blog that I've missed out a National Day post. Its not that I've stopped carrying about the country. In fact, I feel even more for her as my roots sink deeper into the terra firma. Its also not that I've stopped bothering with posting, even though I know my readership has dwindled. So how do I account for the 24 days of absence? A severe case of jet lag was probably a large contributing factor coupled with a pretty hectic workload; pretty standard fare in this modern working day of ours. Which makes me all the more irate when I think of this 24 days of absence, with much of the irritation directed at myself for not being able to keep everything in balance. And life is really all about maintaining a balance, somewhat akin to a juggling act. All it takes is for one ball to be out of alignment or perhaps propelled with too much force and the whole act falls apart. But like a juggling act or a juggler rather, especially one who is juggling for a living, the whole spiel is relatively easy to resume again. I need to constantly remind myself that these small little things count; like how taking stock of life is as important as living life itself. The reason for being is as important as being. I console myself with the notion that the 24 days of absence, which will be clearly marked on this blog, speaks for itself. And in a way I guess I have made an entry in my little journal of life, albeit an intangible one.