Vacations From Oneself

One could say that time is relative, life is in one’s mind and we are what we think we are. Our beliefs, faith, uncertainness, and assuredness  of a lost battle against death, makes me rethink, daily, what really makes one happy, fulfilled, and conversely inclined to still keep trying.

 

Conversely inclined to still keep trying as it is indeed a lost battle. It is just a matter of time. As faster one runs, closer one gets to death. Nevertheless, we are here: writing, reading, thinking, and living.

 

Sometimes, all we need is “nothing”. Yes. Nothing. According to psychology, overthinking makes one depressed and depression itself can lead to sickness, low quality life, and eventually even death.

 

I am taking a vacation from myself. It does not mean that I am annihilating what I am or what I think: I just do not have to prove anything for a week, not even to myself.

 

Being able to see the sunshine and sunset for a whole week; being together with beloved ones, and feeling free to write, study, or just do nothing, is freedom from religion, belief, faith, but not from love, AKA God.

The cruel goodness of a religious reality

It is true that religion has broth both, peace and darkness, hope and war, faith and doubt, goodness and cruelty. One could have used this introduction for any other human manifestation such as politics; however, religion plays the ultimate role as it is in the human spirit. It involves not only thoughts, but faith; not only strength but the believe that someone greater is on their side.

If goodness and cruelty can be found is every group in the world, from the groups so called civilized or not, in every single culture there is the notion of what is good and what is not, so why does religion still pays for what humans do? Because it touches the heart. What makes us live is what kills us.

Therefore, one must give a thought on the possibility that it is not religion that brings harm to the humans, but humans themselves. There are good and bad people in every culture, religion, or philosophy. In different levels, in different perceptions, but after all we are all people: Broken people that need a reason to be. I call that reason “Spirit” and its goal “God”. I call the goodness of a man, “holiness” – be separated from others, and the “cruelty” of a man, “madness” – that separate others.

Please, choose to be separated

In the Land of the Blind, the One-eyed Man is King

The year was 1530. The catholic priest called Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus said these so true words about being surrounded by less intellectual people makes one smarter than one really is. What makes man-kind one-eyed? It goes beyond physical disability, but mental, spiritual, and most harmful, moral.

Roterodamus believed that every man had the freewill. [Nothing was predestinated to happen. No fate, no destiny.] Even at the period of the protestant reform, he stands to the believe that every person makes what one believes is true, even if this believe is not founded in the pure meaning of the object of being accept as true. Does it make one right? Does it make one wrong? It depends on the point of view.

Being in the middle sometimes is not that bad. One could say that not having an opinion about everything is a sign of weakness. However, once the human being puts its faith on something he/she believes is true, it gets very hard to change one’s mind. Therefore, the person becomes one-eyed as can only see one side of the reality.

A common example of partiality here in Brazil is the soccer game. As in 2012, two teams were struggling to be the number one in a state championship. At a critical time in the game, a player makes a penalty against the team that was losing. Nevertheless, the team that was losing was giving the right to make a directed kick and bingo! Now, the so called loser was now the winner. Needless to say, the loser team said the referee was totally wrong, where the winning team said the referee was totally right. Who is right?

Not only in the soccer or any other games that one can see examples like the one above. Even more examples can come from religious belief. Muslims believe they’ve got the message from Allah right from their prophet Muhammad (19.6%, according to David B. Barrett, from the Oxford University Press). Christians on the other hand, believe that there is only one God, and its prophet (also God), Jesus (33% according to the David B. Barrett). Notices that at some places, religious believes are the cause of uncountable deaths – and this is for the cause of “god”. Imagine if it was for the cause of “evil”. In time: atheism is not to be in the middle of the battle. It takes more faith to believe that pure chaos created us than a creator.

The need to believe in something is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand one gets the satisfaction of being in a comfort zone and on the other hand one “loses an eye” and sometimes get enemies as well. Forgive me for being repetitious, but the only solution to this “one-eyed” problem is still the golden rule. Other than that, one should at least expose ideas only when asked for and always in the best manner possible. At the end, we are ALL one-eyed people, and whoever does not agree with me just proves my point.

The Prejudice is in the Eye of the Beholder

I’ve heard this slogan today from a coworker when he was talking about a recent event where a famous soccer player did a video where he was wearing a monkey costume. Although one must agree that prejudice is in the eye of the beholder, at some extend it must be at minimum contradictory as there is indeed evil in this world. How to determine what is really evil or just the result of our own view of the facts which suffers interference from our life experiences? Being educated, thinking about the consequences of an act, and treating others as one would like to be treated are the keys for having a good and happy life without or at least with minimum prejudice.

Educated people tend to be less prejudiced [they tend, meaning not everyone]. When one is aware of the consequence that bad choice can cause, one inclines not to do so, just as a good chess player would do/think: “If I play this move, what could happen in the next 2 or 3 (or even more) moves ahead.” The idea of measuring the consequences is a way to suppress any prejudicial thought.

The writer Ben Goldacre wrote on an article at the English newspaper The Guardian: “Prejudice, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.” He goes a step further and adds beauty to the equation. History tells us that the concept of beauty depends on geographic place, but mainly on time in history. However, the prejudice about what one is thinking is wrong, should not depend on experiences, but solo on the golden rule: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.

Our view of the world and people surrounding us comes from our level of understanding (also called education), life experiences, and total prejudice in its deep meaning. The more educated, responsible, and aware of the golden rule we are, the more we tend to accept others as they are, even when they do not share the same ideas. As I like to say: The light (knowledge) changes our point of view (what we believe is true/good/acceptable/wrong).

The Toughness of an Easy Life

Life is not easy and sometimes not fair. That we all know for fact. Why does it have to be this way? What it if one could get everything one wants? Would life be better or worse, easier or tougher? One can perceive several examples of how being in a position of power brought people to death or defeat, even if at the beginning it appeared to be the perfect and intangible state of art a life could get. If one could do everything one wants, life would be terrible not only for the person itself, but everyone else as well.

According to the genesis as described on the Christian bible, the man and woman had the power over all living things on earth. They could do everything that was good. However, they decided to do what was wrong according to God. When Adam was put out of the Eden garden, God said to him: “through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life”. Other cultures also demonstrate the desire of the man to be godlike. Such civilizations like the Greeks actually had their own views of the gods being real entities that could interact, even in a sexual way, with humans. As one can see from the Greek mythology, even the gods had problems doing everything they wanted. Death and disgrace seems to be surrounded by when one simply tries to be the master of life doing whatever is in the mind. In these two examples, both brought disgrace to others, not only for the one that actually did the bad act.

Humans are always looking for something else. If one has a motorcycle, desires to get a car. After getting a car, comes the house, the pool, the “toys”, and so on. It is never enough. In certain extend, capitalism increases this feeling of emptiness.

This post does not bring an answer, but more questions. How would it be if life were too easy? No challenges or goals to accomplish? No dreams to become true? In some way, one could assume that it would be just too tough to live. One thing I know: no matter what one thinks, we still have to go after our dreams and recognize that we all have limits and, finally, will get old and die.

The Fate of Fate is Defeat Itself

Recently, a local TV station showed what could be called murder in the highest sense. The supposed killer started gun shooting the victim several times, including the head as a mean to certify the victim would die. Needless to say, the victim is dead indeed, one could say. No! He not only survived but also was already walking a few days later as if nothing had happened. Is there fate? I surely believe and affirm there is not. Although I do believe that there is a God, things in the universe happen as the result of the billions of variables that make us unique and leads to every single event in earth, from the smallest to the highest level.

When I started this blog, I agreed to myself not to be religious tendentious and I will try to continue like so, but sometimes one has to make use of faith to explain the things we cannot explain. How could this man survive so many gun shots, including in the head, and still survive? Needless to mention other examples we see once in a while. The answer is fairly simple: 7 billion people. If one takes a sample of 7 billion, there will be, statistically speaking, several cases like this one. One has to agree that the math can’t be wrong. Was he lucky? Sure he was, but that is it: just a matter of causality.

The same thing we see in daily life has happened in our own world several million years ago. For instance, let’s take the dinosaurs. The poor lizard like cute big animals were not lucky at all as they lived in a time were, one in trillion of asteroids, got to be in the right path, time, and space of earth. Again, infinite number of asteroids and celestial bodies would definitely give the chance to it to happen. As scientists say: you just let time goes, and it will happen again.

One must have much more faith to believe that causality made us, than believe that there is a superior been (and I named Him God) has done it. I do recognize that even God took the time, 14 billion years to be more precise, to make things happen. By the way, if you do believe in God, keep in mind that time does not make any difference for Him, and before time He was.

Is there a fate to every living thing in the universe? I don’t believe so. If one does not take the action to go after whatever he/she wants, or be lucky enough to get it already done, fate won’t do any good. Of course, everyone has the right to comment (like I wrote a few days back), but the cause effect paradox will surround us forever, until for the ones that believe in God discover it in its plenitude, or just to have a sad existence  end in for those who believe that this life ends when one dies. Either way, don’t except too much on fate. Make it happen.

Is life worth it living it?

Aristotle said once: “We are what we repeatedly do. Therefore, excellence is not an act, but a habit.” I tend to agree with him, and in fact, I’ve used his citation as my email footer signature for a good amount of time. However, is life what we do to it? Are we in control of the events that build up our own existence under the sun? This humble article will establish that even though we might see life as a burden, it might be our responsibility, or at least part of it, to make it happen the way we desire.

This Aristotle citation, along with my religious believes, helped me to pass thru a very difficult period in my life, and also gave me the strength to believe that I was the one to go after my dreams and make it happen. In 2002, I went to the USA to find out how life could be outside of my hometown world. After a year, I came back. However, something inside of me was moving on to do more. In 2005, I went back (also in 2003 for a church conference, but just for 2 months) to the USA, now to go to College. What College? How come? No money, not enough English, could not have my wife and kid with me, and the list keeps adding up. Maybe most of the people in the world would give up even before trying. My life in college, and how I was able to graduate with high honors after 3 years is subject to another post, but I just wanted to make a point: If you dream it, you can do it.

When I say “At least most of it”, I mean it.  What if an individual has a mental or psychological problem? For instance, that person with unbalanced levels of serotonin, will tend to be depressed, and therefore won’t be able to do the things he or she would like to. Even worse, this person would not be able to know what to think as depression takes the life of a been. Help should come somehow from a family member, the person itself, religious believes, you name it. What should not be acceptable is to live as if life were just a weight to carry on.

So, is life worth it living it? I definitely say: Yes! One must go after the dreams and make whatever it takes, (in time: under the law =) ), to get it done. Build up a life worth living is the magic that surrounds this little time in space that is needed to a person to discover the next greatest idea, or conceive a wonderful melody, or just be able to wake up every day and look at the blue sky and be thankful of just being Alive.