Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Does G-d Exist?

Words are ships; painted cargo vessels for thoughts.  We get used to associating their color with their content.   Most of the time, they come in from sea without much investigation.  I can hear a word and put it quickly in its color-coded port.  Sometimes, if the light is just right, and air is clear, I am overcome with curiosity, and consider more deeply a word.  I realize they aren’t just cargo vessels full of etymological traits: histories, abuses, implications.  Rather, they are vast Universes.  Infinite.  The energy they contain exceeds me.  I tremble.  It seems hopeless.  A lifetime spent scratching away, exhuming their vast scope, I could never reach their ends.  Lemniscate -1 at best.  
Black Holes seem Spiritual.  We cannot comprehend them.  We cannot sustainably conceptualize them.  They might not exist.  We throw contradicting theories at them.  We popularize them.  Confine them to their cargo vessels, bumming rides on them with a sense of pride.  Our scientific acuity!  Black Holes.  Don’t mess with us now! Black Holes.  
Maybe that’s where G-d lives.  Or perhaps: sheol.  Standing on the gangway to a Black Hole, I am filled with the Familiar Loneliness.  The homesick desperation.  Is this Black Hole a shimmering fa├žade?  Does it exist?  Does He exist?  I think so.  I think so.  Shit.
Really, the “infinite” is just a fancy way of saying “huh”?  I tend to believe that, given enough “time”, we will understand a Black Hole (if it exists).  Given enough Time, we will understand G-d.  But we need to be a little more transient than we are typically comfortable with.  It’s a tenable solution to say “there is no way to know, unless we pass the event horizon, what might be on the other side.”  But at some point, that won’t be enough.  We will find ourselves slipping over that boundary, looking inside the windy cave.  Inside a black hole information is lost (unless Hawking’s weird hair idea is true) to us.  The grave is silent.  Our wineskins would burst should we try to contain it.  We will be undone if we look upon His face.  
I still throw myself against the bastions of the universe.  I am desperate to consume its meaning.  Though my eyes cannot see the essence of the universe when I stare up at space, I strain nonetheless. I weep.  And yet!  What a delight to have something so tangibly intangible as a Black Hole!   Our Father, in Heaven, hallowed is Your Name.  I can’t contain your Great and Terrible being.  You Are.  You saw that it was good, the works of your Hands.  You touch our hips and leave is limping, so that we don’t destroy ourselves against You.  You tell us not to worry.  And how could we?  To worry is to pretend we understand.  We do not understand.  Protect us as we reach for the infinite.  Protect us as we are pulled into the Black Hole.  On the hour you determined, show us your Glory.  Consume us, let our atoms be reborn in furnaces of your Violent Love.  Give us patience.  Help us to see what we are capable of seeing.  The vast smallness.  The stars.  The lilly.  The grain of sand by the sea.  All that we are, a smallness in your sea.  Vessels with cargo.  Painted ships.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Ground Control to...

Plans still in action.  I am going to try to devulge my experience as I go, for those interested, in a similar situation, or my kids later in life.  It will most likely be at a rate reflected in the lapse of time since my last post.

December of next year I will separate from Active duty after 8 years of service.  It has been a fantastic experience.  But I am quite ready for a little more "freedom" and all the headaches that comes with it.  Mostly, I will be growing a beard.

When I get out next December, we will be moving back to Dayton Ohio, where I will finish my degree at Wright-State University in Computer (or possibly Electrical) Engineering.  Formal engineering degrees are notoriously difficult.  The graduation rate for WSU Computer Engineering seems to be about 30%.  This is low, but overall graduation actually seem pretty low, assuming the traditional student enrolls and finishes within 4-6 years, they are around 60%.

To explain why I am doing this, at 30-some years old and with five kids, we need a little history.

I was homeschooled.  I don't regret it.  With one MAJOR exception.  Math.  I meandered through math, and spent more time creating complex cheating mechanisms than actually learning any math.  I hated math.  The closest I got to any kind of interest in math or science was watching Star Trek the Next Generation (strangely, one of the only shows I seemed to be allowed to watch.)

When I graduated High School, I had little interest in attending college.  I was afraid of it.  I was a bit of a pseudo punk (I had pink spiky hair!) and detested the thought that "You have to either get a college degree or join the military to have any kind of 'career'!"   So eight years of working in gas stations and factory assembly lines, and a year or so of community college more to put off the future than get anyway, I joined the Air Force.

To be...Continued.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

direction

The title of this post was going to be "New Direction".  I pondered this and reduced it to simply "direction".  Emily and I are forming direction, and it feels good.  I am going to unfurl this as time goes on.

Here is the point:

- I'm separating from the active duty military in 1.5 years.
- We are moving Northishly
- I am going back to school for an Engineering degree

That is the plan.  I've never seen mice layout a decent plan, and I still often feel like a boy, so we should be good.



Sunday, November 9, 2014

Thirty Days Without god.

Around seventy years after being defeated by Christ, the Devil struck back.  Glass had been around for some thirty-five hundred years prior, but not until around 100 C.E. did the devil realize the potential.  In Egypt the Serpent guided the lonely glass-maker’s mind towards forming the molten silicon dioxide into a barrier between the world outside and the home.  Other materials had been used before, but never one that offered such a high-fidelity to the world outside.  One could get a sense of the thing, without the trouble of being subject to it’s forces; nature was being corralled. It took another fifteen-hundred years for the damage to be total.  By the early 17th century, most European homes had glass windows.  

We can now mistake the view for the goodness.  We can look out at a fabricated beauty, free from heat, or cold.  Free from bugs, wind, and stench.  We can isolate ourselves and still pretend we exist.  

I don’t believe time exists, but I am quite fantastic at wasting it.  

And so.  Thirty days ago I deleted all the gods of time from my phone.  Facebook and games.  It only takes me, on average, fifty-three seconds to begin and finalize a bowel movement.  My phone has extended this otherwise brief and refreshing action into a decade of miserable minutes.  

It was a pathetic gesture.  The importance I gave the role that games on my phone had in my life was perhaps overblown.  But perhaps not.  I’m not against fun; against leisure.  But leisure and fun should serve a function.  Restoration, building relationships.  Sitting on the toilet infinitely upgrading some bullshit serves no goodness.  The Devil’s glass-gods were pretty secure in my hands.  

This plays into a much larger narrative in my life.  The question of purpose or destiny.  Sometimes my vanity torments my lack of global importance.  I love science, and the devil knows it.  I’m no Werner Heisenberg, and that pisses me off.  Maybe if I learn my multiplication tables, I could change the world?  So I replace the games on my phone with a few false starts in the Khan Academy early math program.  

The glass keeps me inside.  The phones keep our heads down, eyes averted.  Kids these days.  

With no games on my phone, I started reading a little more.  It’s more difficult than it used to be.  My brain has been subtly rewired.  More difficult to focus.  I started praying a little more, but that’s harder too.  I don’t trust my prayers in the synagogues and street corners.  So I cling to established liturgy.  It at least serves as a scaffold to hang my thoughts on.  

To be honest I didn’t make the full thirty days.  At day twenty-something I download Star Wars tower defence.  

I wonder if I should cut off my phone that makes me stumble; drop it “accidentally” into the toilet and then order the new iphone.  I promise to at least open the glass window while I waste my time here.  Because time doesn’t exist.  

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Truth.

Philosophical Skepticism teaches us that we can be sure of nothing.  Not even that.  But my human experience has led me to rest on one surety; Truth.  Behind everything there seems to be a root Truth.  Everything depends on it.  Take any thought experiment, or experiment experiment back far enough and we shall find Truth.  But perhaps it's more like infinity; we can never reach it, but we can get closer.  

The error that so many ex-Christians make, so many militant atheists, is that because it "seems" wrong, or because they don't "like" it, or because "that G-d is an asshole", they simply write it off.  But they forget about Truth.  Regardless of our thoughts on the matter, "the Truth is out there."  We are foolish who do the calculations, and proclaim the sum to be “unreasonable, and therefore false.”  Truth is belligerent.  It does not rely on our belief.  It Is (I Am).  Even if our understanding of it evolves, and will never hit it exactly center, shouldn't we endeavour to run towards it?  To wrestle with it?  To shake our fists at it?

Often times the compulsion for me probably comes from sheer stubbornness.  I am given little proof, or rather, I am aware of little proof, to persist in my belief.  

On my morning walk I was moving through this.  It occurred to me that the desire to doubt fully, to question to a conclusion, seemed to come from "somewhere".  And for this morning, that was the voice of G-d.  Even taunting me "Seek and ye shall find."  I don't depend so much on the promises of finding something anymore.  I breathe only for the seeking.

There is a Truth, and how ever terrifying It may be, I choose to run towards It.  

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Trend and Turmoil.

{BEWARE the VAGARY}

We vexed ourselves.   Correction:  I vex myself.  Or, I am suffering from the condition of being vexable.  I think you know what I am talking about, really.

Driving home from a family camping trip, I saw another one of the bastards.  Pants low, scowl on his face.  I smiled at him like a good neighbor through the protection of my windshield and was met with suspicion.  Rightly so.  My heart was dark with judgment.  All the furry of a life of timid weakness rushed into my mind as I lost several minutes of drive time to imaginations of pulling my family-filled minivan over and raining my fists of thunder into his face. Of course for the purpose of teaching him that he should be full of love and forgiveness, not suspicion and revenge.

Mankind vexes me.  I vex me.  Lost in the sea of my mind, I oscillate from external hatred to inward hatred.  I am the wicked.  It's like I hate them in advance for what I am about to feel towards myself.  Does that make any sense?  No.  Try again.  I swiftly drift from a trained cannon of judgment to on the world, to myself.  I should not grow so angry at people, as loathsome as we are.

I like tall ships.  Beards.  Butchers.  Bow Ties.  Seriously, that was accidental.  But 'O How Trendy it is!  And I hate them all who made it so, I guess I wanted to keep it small and private.  Then I hate myself for caring.  I should love beauty for beauty.  The clothed lilies don't mind if the popularity of good font-type is increasing.  Or decreasing.  How then am I so infinitely concerned for the momentary dumbness of we-all?

Christ is my Salvation.  The peace in wild that I love, the glory of a well kept beard, the incessant smiles of my children, the trees of the field...all Beauty from Him.

Now the pizza man is here and I have to go tip his ass off because sometimes this is a shitty world and I'm too timid to go punch the bad-guys in the dumb faces.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Better...Stronger...Slower

Recently, I made an investment in some wood-working tools.  They are made by Lie-Nielsen Toolworks in Maine, USA.  Their tools are beautiful and made to last (lifetime warranty.)  I purchased them in downtown Charleston last month when Lie-Nielsen came to town and had a tool show.  I talked to one of the demonstrators and asked advice on what I should start with.  I said something like this:

"I'm new to woodworking, I've made a few projects, nothing fancy, just used dimensional lumber from Lowes.  I want to progress in wood working and I'm looking to use only hand tools.  I'm on a pretty limited budget but I want to start with high quality tools.  What kind of plane would you recommend "

They talked to me for a little while and ended showing me their No. 62 Low Angel Jack plane.  The advantage with this plane is that by changing the blades you can accomplish different grades of work from roughing to finishing.  This saves money up front by eliminating the need for multiple planes (that will come later!)

I appreciate well made things.  I appreciate things that are crafted, not vomited.  There is something important about taking a little more time.  I love taking more time, making things harder.  I think we live in a strange time.  With so many cheap things available at anytime of day or night, we accumulate a vast amount of stuff.  Stuff that should take longer to afford.  And so we loose any concept of value.  We live in houses filled with things we can hardly keep up with.  It would have been easier if I were actually extremely wealthy, and had a staff to maintain and clean all my crap...but it's just me (and my wife, mostly my wife) and we cannot possibly keep up with it all without becoming slaves to it.  So I endeavour to make things more difficult, not more convenient   This gives me time to consider the real "value" of whatever it is I'm doing.  I use a hand cranked coffee grinder.  I use a me-powered push mower.  I'm learning to use hand tools instead of power tools.

I admit that it is difficult for me to passionate about a certain way of doing things, and not to be judgmental about other ways.  I am not interested in being an apostle   I don't mind if you prefer a laser-sighted, neon-plasticed, dilithium-crystalled power saw.

"Wisley and slow.  They stumble that run fast."  - W. Shakespeare