I like to think I'm on some sort of an edge now. I can't sleep, and I should blame nicotine and caffeine and whatever. I'm here taking a break from making notes because it seems to be endless.

I actually would like to sleep. I know it's early but I need to get my body clock back in order. I know I won't feel tired until 5. I should use the time to do work, and then do useless things to get myself to sleep.

I'll sound like I contradict myself, but I think a person's at his most creative when 1. he's bloody bright awake 2. when he hasn't had sleep in a long time and knows he's tired, but is unable to because of some exigency of service.

So I dropped my stuff and walked around because I had these things to do, but I didn't know how to do them in the time I would have until I eventually feel sleepy. So I took a walk. Ostensibly it had a functional purpose, which was to put money into my bank account so I would see the number grow slightly bigger, to charm myself into thinking I can survive the next few months comfortably by myself.

I walked around and I saw a drunk worker next to NTUC. I wanted to talk about him but I decided 'What is it to be modern?' 'To be modern is to have seen everything'. I've seen countless homeless guys in movies, or described in books, or whatever. There is so much knowledge floating in the world.

I also went to City Harvest on Saturday at the invitation of my friend, who's a good Christian and wanted to show me what his church was all about. I decided to go since I hadn't seen him in some time and after all, it's Easter season, what's Easter season without going to many churches.

I talked with him a bit on some specific bits of morality which I didn't agree with him on (no surprise who had the more liberal standard). I was also with another 'backslider' who was also very nice and all about visiting the church.

To be honest, I felt alienated at the gathering. To the point of hating it. Mais ce n'est pas son faute, parce que l'etranger, c'est moi, et l'etranger, je sera. I just had that feeling... because although they claimed to be welcoming and all, I was never at the same level of engagement and enthusiasm as they would be and I could never feel what they feel.

I wanted to be some chameleon to change into whatever skin people would want but I realised what I like through what i dislike. So here are some 'bad vibes' I felt. But they're strictly personal, and for me to think through what I like vs. dislike.

1. Christianity is not a pulpit for you to speak from.

Maybe this reflects my prejudice. Religion, more than anything else in the world, ought to be egalitarian. There is no 'more faith', 'less faith', 'more sin', 'less sin'. I know that there is, but everything should be measured up against perfection, and everyone falls short of perfection. And I don't like the way sometimes the church likes to rub off 'stains' like homosexuality et al. The problem is with the lifestyle, not the inclination.

2. I don't really like loud music

Well, quite untrue. Loud music belongs to cool lyrics, like sex, drugs, rebellion, rock & roll. When it comes to God, I like my peace. I know, I know, this is starting to sound like what I like. Perhaps God likes loud music when everyone's praising him. I like my hymns. And maybe hymns are popular music during their time? No they weren't, popular music during that time was crude songs composed by gypsies. Handel was never pop, never will be.

3. Christianity does not make you rich

You should not preach that 85% of the world's 40 richest nations are rich because they're Christian. Nor should you lead people to think that God will lead you to prosperity. Because if He wants to, He can break you down. And he said something about it being harder for a rich man to enter heaven than a camel to pass through an eye of a needle. Besides, I guess some of the poorer nations were screwed over by Christian ones.

4. You should be allowed to find your own way to God.

The problem is that reason often leads to some answer incompatible with God. Still, why should we deny people that avenue of understanding Him? Because "his wisdom is better than ours?" So we ought to "just believe". What is wrong with philosophizing? I know, it produces answers which we can somehow 'twist' God's teachings to justify what we do. Oh shit, I'm heading down a dead end.
But look at C.S. Lewis, St Augustine, Thomas Aquinas... etc. Perhaps some of them came from rational backgrounds (I'm more thinking St. Augustine). But if that is their way that is their way. "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe." Although Doubting Thomas had to see the wounds to believe, isn't the key that he believed.... but I believe this is the wrong example because reason requires a leap of faith too.

5. You should not have to see to believe.

Please don't show me people who can suddenly walk or people who have lost their hearing and can hear again. I would be happy enough to see my relative heal and get well. I don't want to show it to the whole world. Maybe it gives hope.

6. Maxims are dangerous

Ask Charles Foster Kane. Watched Citizen Kane?

7. No criticism is right.

I realise that I have all these dissatisfactions because I disagree with you on method. Perhaps method is everything. I know you have your reasons. So do I. But there you have it. That we have differences in opinion, even instinct. Your theory of 'sameness' and 'catholicism' is destroyed. But I like the Catholic Church, not some new 'modern church' that you have. Maybe not so much today, but I like the fact you can step into any church anywhere in the world, it could be in any language (well I guess they don't have latin mass in many places any more), all it takes is a familiar tune, and you even know the whole order of mass. Predictable and reassuring. Not the most inspiring. But religion is a solace. It reminds you of where home is. It's just my values. And yes, I know I don't like emotional/spiritual sharing and I never will. And I am open to new experiences. Maybe in 20 years I will tear this to shreds. All the best, though we probably won't cross paths often. And criticism doesn't matter because in the end, people make their own choices based on their own tendencies. Some personalities fit your style, some fit ours. It's a pity it's so hard to build a truly inclusive anything, but I guess it's no shame at all.

As a sidenote. I wrote something to my Dad... but it's funny... because it was a bit emotional... and I realize that our relationship is a stoic one. It's rather masculine, and today we generally classify gender based on intimacy and tendency to emotion. You know, the whole Mars/Venus thing.

I also now feel that I am waving slightly from side to side. I've screwed with myself enough.

1 comment:

lip said...

Handel was popular music, at least in in his time anyway.