Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Thought on Perceived Reality

Bishop George Berkeley's famous phrase, "to be is to be perceived" suggests that the things that exist in the world is merely perceptions of reality. Things exist because they have been perceived by someone. By thinking or having an idea, we have immediately perceive it.

James Boswell disagreed with his famous sentence, "I refute it thus!", and a phrase from an unknown source cited, "If a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?" This was an attempt to show that things can exist independently from the perceiver.

My thought, as a response to that sentence, is that, well, how do we know that there is a sound when a tree falls in the forest? Because we, or someone out there, have perceived it so, through past experiences, or connecting the dots of cause and effect. Thus, for us to even ask the question, the reality has been perceived. I have not read anything that Berkeley wrote, but I believe that Berkeley's idea on this matter is much broader than that single example.

I am not a follower of Berkeley's, I merely had a thought while reading these people's stories.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Cinderella

Sometimes I wonder. When the clock strikes 12 and Cinderella left the party, how did she feel? Did she wish that she had never gone to the party, or she felt blessed to have gotten a glimpse of the other side of the world that she never belonged?

Sometimes I wonder. When Cinderella got home, not knowing that the Prince was looking for her, and she was doing her daily chores at home, what was she feeling? Was she reliving her glamorous night in her mind? Did she become greedy and want more of that experience? Or was she able to live the way she did before she went to the party?

Sometimes I wonder.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Deserving

My devotional today was about us deserving God's love because we are His children. Like parents who love their child, the child does not need to do anything to earn that love. The child deserves the love because of the identity of being the child of the parents. This, to me, is a real eye-opener. So often times when we pray, we say things like, "Thank you Lord for giving us these blessings, we don't deserve your kindness and love", etc.

I am used to living a Christian life that is undeserving of God's love, for example, doing so many things as a Christian. Slowly, I'm forgetting that I'm Karlin, who is God's daughter, before I became a Christian. I don't have to do anything to receive His blessing, love, kindness, etc. I don't even have to try to be His daughter, because I am. I must not forget this Karlin just because I am a Christian.

Why this concept of deserving is difficult to accept, I'm not sure. While I always live with the undeserving aspect of Christian life, I don't even remember when was the last time my church teach us that we deserve these things. We deserve this just because. Just because God is gracious, just because God is the loving Father, and just because God is just being God.

We deserve God's love because we are His children and have been created to be beautiful and lovable in His eyes. Knowing His humble character, I believe that it is His pride and honor to have us join in His banquet, and to bless us in all the ways that He wants to. That is how great our God is: showering His blessings upon us just because.

Ironically, while writing this, I am battling whether or not to describe how we are truly undeserving because God doesn't have to do all He did for us. This tells me how much the doctrine of undeserving has permeated into each cell of my brain.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Envy/Jealousy

I'm not going to make a point about how the two terms are different - Melanie Klein already did that in a very specific manner. What I will reflect is the way to deal with it.

Lately I've been envying a lot, because I realized that many people around me seem to have everything together; they are on a path of certainty and security, or they seem settled with life, and they seem to have it all going, etc. There are just people in your life that you see and you wonder how blessed, fortunate, or lucky they are, and of course in your own definition of what these mean.

I think acknowledging this envy is important. This is what Klein said. To be aware of your envy may help prevent you from destroying relationships with those whom you love. But there is another thought.

Example. If I were to envy someone because of the expensive watch that he wears, my envy will not be satisfied by purchasing the same watch. My envy will go away after I make a purchase that is better than what he has. After that purchase, I can no longer go downward, I will continue envying someone with an even more expensive watch and make comparisons until I own the best and only watch for me. Then, I will start envying another man's pair of shoes. The cycle continues.

I thought, what if, after acknowledging my envy, I learn to be satisfied and content with what I have? Won't that solve the problem? Because now I know that feeding my envy will not save me from it, but instead will continue to fire my endless desire.

But learning to satisfied or to be content is not the easiest thing to do in the world. Everyday, especially lately, I have to ask God to remind me about His goodness and all the good things He has provided and blessed me with. As I look towards what others have and fantasize about living their lives, I forget that there are other people who are looking towards me and fantasize about living my life, because I live a blessed life as well.

So rather than being caught up in a cycle that I wasn't meant to be in, I might as well focus on myself and remember all the goodness that God has poured in my life, and believe His promise when He said that He has everything figured out for me.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Samson and Delilah

Listening to Regina Spektor's song made me wonder, what was the relationship between Samson and Delilah? Had it been one-sided all along? Was Samson really the sole victim in the Bible story that we read?

This made me realize that whenever I heard this, I would start blaming: blaming Samson for his weak-heartedness and blindness towards beauty, and blaming Delilah for being unfaithful and manipulative towards Samson.

But now I wonder if Delilah ever loved Samson, if she once and again tried taking his power away for a reason. I wonder if she was threatened, or was afraid, and was unable to tell Samson what went through her mind. I wonder if every night when she asked Samson the question about his power, she wished that he would once again lie to her, and would be relieved every morning when she found out that he had lied. And I wonder if she was heart-broken when Samson finally gave her the true answer behind his power. I wonder how the conversation between them went? I wonder what happened to her when Samson died?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Everything Is Illuminated

Different thoughts surged after I read this book. There were so many sentences that I had to re-read, or times that I had to put the book down to digest what I just read.

Sure, there are many profanities in the book, but beyond that, there are so many truths. I didn't quite get the details of the story, like who is Jonathan's grandmother, if his grandfather died with his wife and child, etc., or maybe I got the facts mixed up. But regardless, there are so many things that made you think: about God, life, injustice, traditions, fear...

One of the thoughts I was left with is: everything is the way it is because everything was the way it was. I don't think it means that nothing's changed, or it would have been "everything is the way it is because everything is the way it was". Rather, it's about how the past lingers in the present, and the present is the way it is because of what happened in the past.

The other thought: if God exists, He must be sad, but if He doesn't exist, then He must be sad too. I have never thought of the latter, because I've been convinced that He exists as long as I can remember. Perhaps it might be interesting to re-see the world in a way that God doesn't exist. I believe it will give me a very bleak view of the future, the way it was before I met Him. It has been such a long time ago that I lived without knowing God, that I forgot what an amazing grace it is to be living and believing in God.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Short Prayer

I am at a point where I'm scared that God will say, "This is not for you, let it go", because this is something that I want badly. I haven't wanted something this badly for quite some time now.

This makes me wonder, where did all my faith go? Why do I place more importance in this desire, rather than God's promises? O God, give me faith in Your words, that Your master plan in my life is much more beautiful than my perfect plan.

Help me so I can rise above this insecurity.