Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Christmas just isn't that much fun for me. First of all, as is evidenced by my last post, I'm not too into following Christian, or other mythological holy days (for all that I am interested in mythologies in general) so I don't see much point in it. Also, since it was around this time of year that a girl I was really really interested in turned me down pretty hard I usually associate this time of year with that feeling of rejection. Just makes me want to have this time of year come around...
In other news I'm reading up a storm while I can over the Christmas break (I guess it is good for something), so far I've read Powersat by Ben Bova, We Few by David Weber and John Ringo, I'm halfway through "The Merlin Trilogy" by Mary Stewart (The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, & The Last Enchantment), I've also started Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche. The edition I purchased (Don't have it with me so I don't remember which edition it was) had a forward by his sister (a Nazi sympathizer who according to some sources selectively edited some of his early editions (after his death) to be more sympathetic towards the Nazi party line) and I was amazed at some of the similarities in thought between Nietzsche and myself. Not that I am a deep philosopher or anything like that. But that his thoughts came to him in flashes that he then spent months afterwards thinking through and working out all the fine points of the 'revelation'. I have experienced the same thing many a time as a sudden though will come to me as if a door in my mind had opened and a new vista of understanding had opened up unto me. No, I'm not trying to make myself sound as if I was some brilliant thinker or gifted in some way, rather just happy to see that someone else had experienced the same flashes of inspiration that I have.
That said, I've spent about two hours so far reading the book, and I've covered about 5 or 10 pages. Each page and each line is full of thought and things to think over.
That'll be it for right now, we are leaving in the morning to drive up to CT, to visit some more relatives, and drive back the same day because I leave in the morning from here to fly back home.
In regards to the flight here and back, the Atlanta airport is one of the best airports I've ever gone through. The layout and tram system was excellent.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
If it's not already appearent from some of my latest postings of attempts at prose there was a point where I was very depressed. Probably have been for the past at least 4-6 years. However, that's changed a lot.
In April or May (can't remember which now) I was sitting in a service my church was having for college age young adults and the guy who was talking said something that caught my attention. He said, "If it seems like you haven't heard from God for a while go back to the last time you know you heard from Him and see where you went off track". It sounded good so I started thinking... And I realized that I'd never 'heard' from God. No matter how many times I prostrated myself asking to hear the slightest bit from Him, the heavens were silent. So then I started thinking; the two main belief systems in the Christian church are Free-Will or Predestination. If Free-Will was right and I was coming to God as openly and honestly as I could then why didn't He respond as the scriptures said He would? (See verses on drawing near to God, or calling on the name of the Lord to be saved.) If the thought that Predestination was right then no matter what I did, if I wasn't 'predestined' to be saved then no matter how much I wanted to know God, I would never be given the opportunity to and it certainly seemed that I wasn't being given the opportunity.
So there I was, sitting in a service and realizing that either I wasn't going to be saved no matter how much I wanted to, or God didn't really pay attention to the universe after all (because the Bible certain wasn't right in that all my praying to God certainly hadn't brought Him near). I had no doubts that there "WAS" a God (a being beyond comprehension responsible for the formation of the universe) but I realized that nothing I'd seen in the world (except for its existance) needed supernatural explanations. Everything was the cause of some event, sometimes events that were beyong the limited scope of what we could see (a little chaos theory here, a sort of 'butterfly effect', the causes were certain natural, we just couldn't necessarily observe them).
Once I realized in that moment (this train of thought took under 3 minutes) that I didn't believe in a God who interveined in the world on a daily level, it was like a light went on.
Imagine for me if you will... You are in a dark place, you cannot see beyond arm length and every step that you've taken has been directed by fear of some unseen hand who is supposed to have everything planned out exactly, and no matter what you want to do things will happen as directed by this hand. Then imagine if you will... A string of brilliant lights come on and you can actually see where you are. Instead of some cold, damp, dreary place like you'd thought from what you could hear around you... You are in a cavern, vast, and glittering.... Glittering with heaps of treasures and wonders beyond belief. Each one a possibility. Imagine a mammoth dragon's horde of treasure from the Germanic legends of yore, or maybe the smaller treasure horde of Smaug the dragon from Tolkien's "The Hobbit". Mounds of gems, jewels, gold, and other treasures, more then you can possibly comprehend. Each one a possibility open and awaiting the grasping.
Or if the fantasy images I just described don't appeal to you check out this link or this or maybe this or finally this (warning large pictures best viewed at 1600X1200 or higher). These increadable vistas are of stars, each one with possibilities. Worlds, planets, potential, possiblities. Endless, unknown, and just over the hill might lie endless wonder and delight.
This was how my world, and view of the world opened up. Suddenly anything was possible, all I had to do was to want to grab it. Hope filled me life a roaring river. As I walked outside that night and felt the rain on my face, the lightning flashing overhead, I no longer felt fear. Instead my dread of what some being might choose for me to do was replaced with the endless hope of possibilities. I began to realize that to question everything about the universe wasn't a sign of disrespect to the Creator, that indeed to question if there was one and how the Universe showed the aspects of It was the highest form of worship. No lofty, holier-than-thou attitudes. No abasing oneself before some deity that is beyond comprehension and capable and willing to strike one down for the slightest hint of questioning.
The months following this have been hard at times. My family thinks I've totally strayed from the 'path of righteousness'; and that someday I'll return 'to the fold'. But I know better. After having seen the sunrise of possibilites from the mountain top of hope why would I choose to go back to the dark dank caves of organized religion in which all members are required to live without light, without hope, and at the whims of those who claim that they can see the way to the next cave? Why would I choose to live with the mountains pushing down all around me, when instead I can stand atop the mountains and let them hold me up among the clouds unvailing wonders with every passing day?
I am still nothing more than human; I still have wants, hurts, fears, hopes, dreams.... But all of these things just make up the journey that is life.
"All of my songs can only be composed of the greatest of pains
Every single verse can only be born of the greatest of wishes
I wish I had one more night to live" -- Nightwish.
The jounery is made all the more wonderous by the pains, and sucesses we achieve along the way. There is pain but we can see that which causes it. Each scrape shows how we learned to go from crawling under the mountains, to walking aright amoungst the mountains, to sailing among
Cheers. Maybe I'll post more later.. School's been crazy maybe I'll talk some more about it in a future post.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
I finished my junior year of my biochemistry degree without too much hassel. For my English 2 Technical Writing course I wrote a paper on "Embryonic Stem Cell Research and Ethics." My English instructor gave me a 95% and said that it was "well organized and easy to follow". Blew my parent's minds. Mom keeps remembering when she had a hard time getting me to write one sentence let alone an eight page paper that she didn't have to correct.
Like my little side-bar says, I've been accepted into the accelerated master's program at Missouri State University. I'm working this summer on a research assistantship. The professor who's my research advisor for this is the same one who sponsored me for admission into the master's program. The work I'm doing this summer will end up contributing to my thesis. Which currently looks like it will be over detection methods for detecting chemical warfare agent simulants (since the real stuff is too dangerous to have in the lab). Probably using GM/MS (gas chromatography/mass spectrometry) methods, though we'll probably do some SEM (scanning electron microscope) to round out our work. As/if anything gets published I'll post the article title, and journal of publication so that I can crow about it.
This fall I'll be taking 3 classes, Physical Chemistry I, Biochemistry I, and Intro to Genetics. I'll also be teaching, probably General Chemistry Lab, or something like that. The really nifty thing is that I'll be getting paid, and fee wavers for some of my classes so that I'll be making more in single semester than I did the entire year last year. And I'll be making that every semester it looks like at least till the end of the 2007-2008 school year. I'll have to figure out how to pay for my last semester of school (for my masters) but other then that its going good.
Oh yeah... I'll get to use red ink to grade papers with.... BWAHAHAHAHA!!!! ::coughs:: okay.. I'm better now.
I'll try to keep more up to date with this if I can.
So, to all my friends out there. Sorry in advance, and I hope y'all stay safe the rest of the week.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Behind marble walls I sit
Cold stone beneith me
Mirroring my heart
Running down stone
Heart or marble
I cannot tell
Piercing the sun
My heart feels
I am pierced through
I built walls
The walls built themselves
von Newman's Children
The Halls Keep
Crystal Marble Walls
Others in castles
I See Again
Like a Rune-Carved Knife
And I Remember
Why I Started
Will the Norns
One to Come
And Melt the Walls
And Free Me
From the Frozen
Walls of Stone
** As an aside Jon von Newman is or was considered the father of the concept of self-replicating machines, aka von Newman's Children. He was also involved with the origins of modern computing, game theory and other seemingly diverse concepts.
** For who, or what the Norns are see the definitions in my previous post. Though this was written before that one I just found it again and decided to post it.
** As for what a Runic Blade, or a Rune-Carved Knife are. It's a sort of bone tossed to modern fantasy, and some much older trains of thought. In modern fantasy a weapon (bladed or otherwise) can sometimes be carved with runes to give it mystical power. Sometimes, it is the ability to cut through armor like a hot knife through warm butter, other times it can, like the Nuzgul blades in The Lord of the Rings, attempt to poison the victim and potentially change who or what they are. The concept of runes is more of a Norse based idea then from other classical myths. Their very written language was 'runes' and these could be cast to attempt to devine the future from the Norns. At some point these came to be used for talismans for protection for the wearer. Eventually, I think under modern fantasy influance especially Tolkien, these runic carvings for protection changed from being a piece of wearable jewelry to part of an offensive weapon.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
In my own
That precious thing
The liver of
From my soul
Daily I attempt
To scale Bifrost
I long to meet
From the wrath
Of the Furies
Soft and Warm
As if from
The Fields of Elysian
To go from
Hel's dreary realm
The Rainbow Bridge.
I haven't finished this, but it's all that I feel like working on right now. For some definitions see the following.
The Rainbow Bridge -- Aka Bifrost, depending upon the sourse, either a rainbow colored bridge, or a bridge in the three primary colors. Also depending upon the source, will either shatter at the end of time, or when a mortal tries to step foot on it. (in the sources saying it will shatter at the end of time, it is too steep for a mortal to traverse).
Moirae -- Aka The Fates, or the Furies.. Three crones in Greek mythology who determined the fates, and/or deaths of both mortals and gods
Prometheus/Prometheus' Liver -- For deciving the Greek gods Prometheus was chained to a mountain/rock and an eagle/vulture came every day and plucked out his liver to eat, and each day his liver regrew.
Urd/Skuld -- Two of the three Norns in Nordic mythology. Seem to be counterparts of the Fates/Furies.. Urd was sometimes known as "Fate" and Skuld was sometimes known as "being."
Gehenna -- "Place of Torment" in the Judeo-Christian religions it is sometimes used to refer to Hell.
Hel -- Nordic goddess of the dead. She rules those who don't die in battle. Her realms are usually considered to be gray, and cold. She herself is black on one side of her body, and white on the other. Her hair is also 1/2black, 1/2 white however, it is usually depicted as being opposite the sides that the colors are on her body.
Elysian Fields -- In Greek Mythology lands to the north of peace and eternal summer. Those chosen by the gods are sent here to live in peace.. The winds here are soft and warm.