Self-discovery

I am looking into the “philosophy” of Buddhism. It seems pretty much what I’m looking for, but I’m not so sure yet, so I’m still doing more reading up on it. About Catholicism I’m still pretty much with it, but I’m thinking about moving away from it and going into some other form of Christianity; of course, there are family (who brought me for batism) pressures, but all in all they are pretty open about this, more or less (especially if I keep it a secret).

Buddhism teaches the flow of life. The very essence of it is the truth, or reality. Not reality of truth in the “you have to see it to believe it” or “the truth is what you believe” or “what you believe to be true, is true”, but more of there is only one reality, one that can be truly called reality, the rest are all only perceptions, and thus not very real.

It is this reality that I am looking for. I go from one place to another, from one school (academic insitution as well as school of thought), wondering where it is all going to lead to. Eventually we find it all leads to death, to the end of life.

But was there ever a beginning in the first place? When did it start anyway? When God created the world? when there was the Big Bang and the Universe was formed? Does it matter even if we knew the answers? Is it of consequence?

I would like to refer anyone who bothers, to read The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Sometimes we live our lives asking questions, and bothering about, matters of non-consequence.

When the very things of consequence that really is not difficult to reach/obtain, once you identify it (which is in essence the hard part), we ignore and instead go for the very things that are meant to bring us closer to the matter of consequence itself.

Take for example you are on a running track in a Stadium, at the start point; you want to get to the 300 metre mark, which is 100 metres behind you, as quickly as possible, but instead of turning around to run there, you make one round along the track, 300 metres long, to get there.

You think that since everyone else is running in this direction, you have to run in that direction too. You ignore the fact that turning around would be faster, assuming though, that you do really want to get there as quickly as possible.

Don’t go one round. Stop and look, and think, and know. The path can be a direct one if you would just take it.

Pointing at the Moon

Life can point the way for you, but it cannot show you what it needs you to see. A man pointing at the moon is not the same as the moon itself.

In Christianity, the Holy Bible is not the truth itself. It is the word of God, the message from God. People praise the Bible, say “oh what wonderful truths it holds”; they go to Church where there are statues of Jesus and the Saints (Catholicism), and pray to these statues. If a man points at the statue of Jesus and makes fun of it, many people in the Church get all upset. But what for? It is just a statue.

What something represents, is not the thing/person it is representing. The Bible represents the way, it is the finger pointing to the moon. It is not the moon itself. Just like all the Sutras written by Buddhas or anyone for that matter, they are not the way, they point the way, that’s all.

Historical truth of the Bible? Probably not to be taken literally. It doesn’t have to be true, it is merely the way to get there. If you’d watched the Matrix, the Oracle said that Neo wasn’t the one. The Oracle also said that only either Neo or Morpheus would survive, both did. She points the way, she doesn’t state the truth, not always.

Do not take representations too seriously, they are merely there to point the way.

Everything’s Fated

We are all destined; everything we say or do can be derived from “constants”, things that never change.

However, it is possible to change our destiny. As there are constants in this Universe, there are also variants, things that change according to how we decide to live our lives.

Take for example, if a man was destined to be nothing more than an ordinary man, doing an ordinary job, then that is what he will be so long as the variants are not there or are too small to notice.

When he or she does things to the extremes (good or bad), then destiny changes. Depending on the nature of the variant, good kharma or bad kharma will sway the person’s destiny to another side.

We should avoid bad kharma at all costs, and approach good kharma with open arms. Kharma being just the life in the deeds we do, the amount, the measurement. Let’s all be good and transcend our destiny.

Prick Us and We Shall Bleed

This is quoted from Merchant of Venice, by Shakespeare.

“He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what’s his reason?

I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is?

If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge.

If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villany you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.”

To be prejudiced, it makes the world mad. Remember we all feel hurt, we all feel pain, even if you do not think so.

Life on Earth: Futile

Didn’t sleep well last night; had insomnia. Been thinking about things…thinking about people.

“All life on Earth is futile”. To what extent is that statement true? There was a popular song by Linkin Park, called In the End. Here is an exerpt of the lyrics:

and in the end,
I tried so hard, and got so far,
but in the end it doesn’t even matter.

I don’t like the band (too mainstream), but those lyrics were good. It struck a chord in me, and I believe it has to many who have listened to it. For what do we live for, when in the end we shall perish? The meaning of life is something philosophers have attempted to decipher for eons…life puzzles even the greatest of minds.

I was thinking about the business empire I was going to build up, and then I thought about death. I was thinking about the family I was going to have, and then I thought about death. I was thinking about the new stereo I was going to get, and then I thought about death. I was thinking…

When everything boils down to one certain death, it is not easy to remain in focus of our goals. I guess this would be what self-help gurus call a fear of death, or perhaps more accurately, the fear of living; for how can a person hope to live a full life when constantly thinking about the futility of his life?

On the internet, there are millions of people who write their thoughts on some subject, be it on a blog, a review site, or just about anything. Some people feel strongly about their thoughts, and can get worked up when people disagree with them.

But why? What is the use of getting worked up at the thought of disagreement? What is the use of being afraid that you’re wrong? What is the consequence of being rejected by someone? In the end, nothing matters, right?

I took organisational behaviour in my previous semester in school; Maslov’s theory of motivation is a theory upon which hundreds of other motivational theories have been based upon. It goes something like this:

We all have 5 basic needs, hierarchically ranked, that of – Psysiological needs, safety needs, social needs, self-esteem and self-realization.

If we apply that to the motivation of living, we come to a dead end. A full-stop. I’m pretty sure that there are some philosophers who have been thinking about this quite a bit, about the reason for living, and I’m sure they have given mature answers etc., but what does it mean to me?

To find out the basis of why we are motivated to live, would that make living any better?

If one day it is found we are all living because fish swim, would we carry on our existence? To find that there is nothing in life, except that fish swim, that’s why we’re alive. “Fish give off a certain scent in the air when they swim, that scent ignites this living passion in humans (chemical reaction), preventing us from feeling that living is futile, and ending it in suicide.”

Oh my, what then? Would it be worth living our lives? If you have ever thought about this, and found that life really is futile, and you have really no hope left, you might want to try religion.

Religion is not a scam — surely it couldn’t be, as it has been around for thousands of years — but then again, religion seems to “modernise” itself, like the human mind. It’s almost as if religion was somehow connected to the human mind — if it was, would religion be as absolute as most of us think it is?

I am not the authority to turn to considering what a big thing religion is, or can be, but here are some of my thoughts about religion that I have either read, or have thought about.

Religion has been much maligned. Ever scince the Ape Theory came about (theory of evolution), many have turned away from religion. They tend to believe science more than they do the “heresay of religious clerics.” Evolution is the way it happened, Big Bang can’t be wrong, Adam and Eve is rubbish, there is a beginning and there will be an end, there is no such thing as God.

Science is very much descriptive (descriptions of experiments, descriptions of what happens what you do this or that, etc.), and should not be used as a tool to philosophise. Have you ever wondered about how the world started? Do you believe that in the Big Bang, somehow our atoms just managed to form life? The differnce between an inaminate (not alive) object and an animal or human, or even a plant?

What is this thing called life? and why do we have it, and not other things? How is life given? Well, according to evolution, it was luck. All a lucky throw of the dice that we are alive. Life is a gamble literally.

If that is how life is according to science — which, remember, is not a philosophical tool, but more of a descriptive one — then how are we to get the will to live? Life is so trivial as a throw of a dice, and nothing more. You are a jackpot, but that’s about it.

This is where religion comes in. It doesn’t matter if it is Hindu, Christianity or Taoism or even “it’s not a religion” Buddhism, they all give some kind of aid to life. They help piece together some things that cannot be pieced together by normal means.

They give hope. They give some answers, provide lots of questions. It is the questions that matter how you live in life, not the answers provided for you. If you don’t belive in anything other than science, may I suggest you explore the possiblities of religion; and if you don’t belive in your present religion, may I suggest you take a look at some of the others.

They are different vehicles to get to the same place; or if not to the same place, they place us on the same journey. The journey to self-discovery, and saintly-discovery; it’ll take you to a whole different plane for you to observe life from.

Explaining and questioning the world through data science