Monday, May 19, 2008

SoulPerSuit Colossians Study

SoulPerSuit is presently hosting a group going through the book of Colossians.
Sandi shared this great clip with me last week and I think it's a great piece to share with the entire group. And the world, at large.
Be amazed by it. Be blessed by it.

Louie Giglio- Laminin (approx. 9 mins.)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Last year I discovered Dante's genius for the first time. So today, I give you some of my favorites:

Foolish is he who hopes our intellect can reach the end of that unending road only one Sustance in three Persons follows.
Purgatorio iii 34-36

He who best discerns the worth of time is most distressed whenever time is lost.
Purgatorio iii 777-78

His choice phrases:

celestial justice
sturdy intellects
filthy effigy of fraud
colored with shame

His gift for humor:

"Perhaps you did not think I was a logician."

And finally, his words that give us new insight into old stories:

"Haste denies all acts their dignity."

In these six words I see a prodigal father running to spend his dignity to buy his child a few more seconds in his arms.

Monday, May 12, 2008

TEDTalks: Jill Bolte Taylor

"We are energy beings connected to one another through the consciousness of our right hemisphere as one human family." - Jill Bolte Taylor summarizing how the right hemisphere of the brain interprets reality.

I'm just beginning to explore the TED Talks. I ran across them on a rabbit chase one day through the bloggy woods. TED, Technology, Entertainment and Design, has been around since 1984 but their videos have only been online since 2007. Their idea is to bring great thinkers and speakers in these three fields together to share what they are passionate about. The TED tag line is "Ideas Worth Spreading". I was thrilled today to start sorting through their Entertainment and Design themes and watched a juggler exploring rhythm and motion in what he calls "visual music in space".

"And as soon as my left hemisphere says to me "I am," I become separate. I become a single solid individual, separate from the energy flow around me and separate from you." - Taylor summarizing how the left hemisphere interprets our reality.

The first TEDTalk I linked to was Jill Bolte Taylor: "My stroke of insight" (link to video is below). Taylor is a neuroanatomist - she studies the brain and how it works. In all the years that she'd studied and researched, never did she learn as much as the day she experienced the shutdown of her left-brain from a stroke.

"Whoa! I'm a weird looking thing. It was if my consciousness had shifted away from my normal perception of reality where I'm the person on the [cardio] machine having the experience to some esoteric space where I'm witnessing myself having this experience." - Taylor's first observations when a blood vessel exploded in the left hemisphere of her brain.

Her talk is just under 19 minutes, a characteristic of TED talks, and it is absolutely fascinating to hear this scientist describe the physical, emotional, and spiritual experience of having a stroke. And you know there's nothing more thrilling to me than hearing these worlds described as interconnected. Believe me, it's well worth your time.

MyGeek and I were in complete disagreement after watching the video. He believes it was rehashed eastern mysticism, mumbo-jumbo (he can correct me here if I'm misrepresenting him.) I was absolutely fascinated to hear this intellectual describe in human and scientific terms what her perceptions of our reality and existence are through the most complex organ we posses and understand so little about.

"Who are we? We are the life-force power of the universe with manual dexterity and two cognitive minds and we have the power to choose moment by moment who and how we want to be in the world." - Jill Bolte Taylor, "My Stroke of Insight"

You can't tell whether Taylor believes in the existence of a higher power or not but do you think that's what she's describing? Would you describe Yahweh as the "life-force of the universe"? Are we created in the image of Yahweh? And in our arrogance of intellect or of being "grown-ups", we must remember we are mere children in the eyes Yahweh. Isn't Taylor using the best of man-made terminology to describe what might possibly be the spiritual realm? What do you make of her use of the term "energy"?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

This Page Is Intentionally Left Blank

From the world's most renown unreliable source, Wikipedia:

An intentionally blank page is a page that is devoid of content, and may be unexpected. Such pages may serve purposes ranging from place-holding to space-filling and content separation. Sometimes, these pages carry a notice such as, "This page is intentionally left blank." Such notices typically appear in printed works, such as legal documents, manuals and exam papers, in which the reader might otherwise suspect that the blank pages are due to a printing error and where missing pages might have serious consequences. The phrase is a self-refuting meta-reference, in that it falsifies itself by its very existence on the page in question.

Intentionally blank pages at the end of a book.

An intentionally blank page is a brilliant metaphor.
What do you think of when you see them at the end of a book?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

What is Sin to a Postmodern?

Here are my thoughts after reading Scot McKnight's post, "Emerging Atonement: What is Sin?"

Postmoderns reject Christian terminology as being judgmental, hypocritical, and exclusionary. "Sin" is on of the Christian terms they reject. If a discussion with a postmodern is to eventually lead to a discussion of atonement, then we need to consider what means "sin" to a postmodern and use those words. Let's explore the postmodern culture USA very briefly.

Self Aggrandizing
Raising one's street cred is not just about materialism (the latest technology for your hip and designer clothes) but it's also about how charitable you are or how green you are or how involved in other cultures you are. And this is all done on a large scale, globally, if possible. Send money to Phuket, bid at a charity auction, or volunteer at the humane society one day a week, then talk it up at the local coffee house that uses only organic materials and recycles.

Self Promotion
Do you have pictures on Flickr? Have you made videos for YouTube? How many friends do you have on FaceBook? Do you have a blog? Only one? The numbers of ways for social networking on-line are endless. YouTube videos alone have made several average, everyday people famous and/or rich. What could be better than having your video downloaded and viewed a million times? Getting paid for it, maybe.

Reality TV seems to be on it's way out, but the networks will repackage the idea because our desire to be affirmed in public is insatiable. We are the personalities now. Have you noticed how much more energetic and personable game show contestants are? And their whole family is on the show with them. The possibilities are endless for makeovers, surviving, getting a husband, getting a wife, becoming more sociably acceptable, losing weight, or proving you're top in your field. Who would have ever thought you'd see game show winners walking the red carpet?

Self Realization
You need to know who you are and what you want. And if you don't, at least you're doing a lot to get there. You're reading The Secret, you're doing yoga, or you're Feng Shui-ing your living room. If one thing doesn't work, you simply pursue another. There's always something new and better and they'll tell you about it on Oprah or Dr. Phil. You're getting closer all the time, you can just feel it! Closer to figuring out who you are and what you're doing here.

So, to a postmodern, these things are the actualization of a complete life. So why these things? Why pursue these particular things? What drives this culture to Self Aggrandizing, Self Promotion, and Self Realization?

Don't misunderstand me. These things are not wrong. Recycling, taking yoga, and giving to charity are all good things (I do these things), but for the postmodern they are a replacement for the real deal.

So what terminology or what imagery do you use in the postmodern culture for "sin"?