Friday, February 25, 2011
Today was uber fun! I went to the gym with my two long-time bestfriends and we had so much fun! We went to hypermarket to buy stuff so we can cook sinigang na hipon which was really really good by the way.. We finished the whole thing :)) so yeah the workout didn't really take into effect today :) But i'll definitely make up for it :) I realized how I missed these people :) How we used to go to lunch together every single day in high school, how we go uber kilig when we see our crushed walking past, and the really embarrassing but memorable moments together when we were in just one place. College is just very different. I'm not saying its not great... It is but its just not as important as in high school. In college you get to meet with people who aren't that real to you, sometimes they just use you for their own selfish advantage, and some are only part-time friends. I did met great people in college... I'm just not certain if they are going to be there for good..I hope so. So tonight I will do homework... Cause I'm going for a 360 on my work ethic... haha. so yeah. :)
Friday, February 18, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Foundations really makes a person old. Although it does cover a woman's imperfections it will always have its side effects. So now I choose to use BB Cream since its lightweight and although it is sometimes more expensive the power, cream and liquid foundations, and it has a lighter coverage it is more beneficial to the skin and it makes the face look more natural even with make-up on :) No wonder Korean's have such awesome skin :"> The Americans go gaga over it and a lot of different brand names have already tried to formulate their own version of a BB cream cause they know its gonna be a big hit :"> I can't wait to go to Singapore on June because I'd definitely go on a shopping spree of make up :> and tons of BB cream as a lifetime supply :>
Monday, February 7, 2011
Activities such as retreats are not considered as a spiritual journey. It is a way to re-assess ourselves. To figure out what we really want in life, what we have done and what can we do to achieve our goals. I have experienced being in retreats because it was “mandatory” especially because catholic schools make it their mission to give the students an opportunity to “spiritually” reflect, ask for advices on their woes and so on. For the most part I have really enjoyed it and I thought it was really life changing. Of course, I could not escape the occasional thoughts about why I should do this, or why does catholic schools urges us to do this. I wondered if it had something to do with religion. Do I really need this or was I just required because I was brought up as a Catholic? Did the other kids in other religions get these retreats as often as I did, were they even allowed or was it simply against their principles? These were the seemingly simple things I want to know and I am very determined to find out.
Retreats have ways on how they can reach your inner thoughts and emotions. It can be in the form of indoor and outdoor activities such as singing, dancing, writing, acting and etc., that can be done individually or by group. It intends to hone the skills of the participants and to deepen their understanding on the simple things they do. They also try to do exercises that incorporate certain types of music to rekindle the feeling and details of an important event in someone’s life to make them rethink and get rid of all the negative energy that these experiences have caused them, in order to let go of anything that burdens them. Retreats can be associated with the phenomenological method of transcendental reduction, which deals with how we can become aware of our own consciousness, our perspective on things that is happening around us and how we can transform ourselves to better beings. For instance, during my retreat when I was in senior year in high school, we had this activity where in the facilitator acted like a helpless victim. Everyone was moved even though we weren’t in that “victim’s” position, which made me realize that I could sympathize with other peoples suffering even if I have never experienced the same thing. That if my shell of bravery and ignorance were removed, there would reveal this unexplored side of me that I may show mercy and compassion for others. These were the parts that I loved about retreats. It helped me discover the things that I never thought I had, my potentials and other people’s uniqueness. For the record, Retreats may appear spiritual and related to practices of Christianity but I do believe that it has nothing to do with religion. Anyone could go to this exhilarating practice. Everyone has the right to discover themselves and if they may have any negative feedback on themselves specifically those who are in deep depression, they may find themselves in a new and positive light. We can utilize the same methods in the comfort of their friends or even by themselves, and in their own homes.
Anton Lavey, the founder of the Church of Satan and the author of the Satanic Bible once said, “Positive thinking and action add up to results.” If we cooperate and put our best foot forward in finding our worth or purpose, we would eventually have a grasp of what we are trying to acquire. But in the event that we close all our doors and opportunities to grow and change, the results we have secretly been waiting for would be more intangible than ever before. We make our own decisions, no other person or entity can change the way that we see things, they may influence but never provoke you fully until you let them. So it is best to know your power as an individual with the free will to think and act as he/she desires. Remember that everyone is different. What may be important to you may not matter to the other, so no opinion is ever the same as another. This is the true essence of retreats. To see yourself as what you really are, and to envision yourself to the person you should be or can become.
My Past Futuristic Concerns
1. Get rid of all religion
2. Go sight-seeing around the world
3. Help out at least a million people
4. Write a book and get it published
5. Experience an authentic black mass
6. Go on an archaeological dig
7. Be a doctor
8. Finish a degree in law
9. Start a business
10. Have a lavish collection of antiques
11. Go cliff diving and other extreme sports
12. Figure out if there really is such thing as the end of the world
13. Live in Jupiter
This is the list of the things that I want to do before I die. My past futuristic concerns. Up to this day most of the things listed here are the things that I am still aiming for. These are things that I must accomplish before I go into nothingness. None of us are sure of where we are going after this life. If there is even a heaven or hell waiting for us. If there is reincarnation or whatever it is that people are assuming that they will experience after they leave this world we are living in. I want to live life to the fullest. Maybe that’s why I’m so inclined with Satanism because that’s exactly how I want to live my life: Without fear for other people or a higher entity, just pure belief on my capabilities and of others as well. I want to influence people, make a mark that would change lives forever. When I was a kid I already found religion as a bordering factor that separates people and cause them to turn against each other. I wanted pure peace and understanding so right then and there I wanted to get rid of it. I want to see the world. How it really is in every angle, how it evolves through time. I want to see historical places and feel a sense of belonging in a unfamiliar place. I want to help at least a million people. There are billions of us inhabiting this planet but only a few million people are willing to lend a hand. Only a few dreamers believe in a good kind of change, those who have unselfish desires. I know that no one can be completely selfless. Everyone has a certain kind of motivation on why they do these things. For me, I want to help people because making their lives better makes me feel good inside. It helps me sleep at night knowing that I not only influenced them to thrive for survival, I gave them a boost for them to get there. I want to write a book and get in published. I want people to see a different perspective in life. I want them to listen to what I have to say because I believe that I have an innate ability to bring out a unique thought out of almost everything. I want to experience an authentic black mass. I want to see how it differs to the traditional practices of the catholic church where I first belonged. When I was young I’ve dreamt of becoming an archaeologist. I was deeply fascinated with old things that contains a tantamount of historical value. I want to be a doctor, an entrepreneur and a lawyer. I believe that these are two very noble occupations and I could also uplift myself and my family if I ever become one of these. I want to have a collection of antiques so I could establish a museum that would represent the value of the past. I want to experience cliff diving and other extreme sports. Like Nietzche, I want to live life on the edge. I want to experience a different kind of rush. I want to do the things that people are afraid to do because they hold on too much on their lives that they rarely do anything to live it. I want to live in Jupiter. I want to see what it looks like and how it feels to live alone in an unfamiliar planet with 22 moons orbiting it. Lastly, I want to figure out if there really is such a thing as the end of the world. People make such a big deal out of it, there are a lot of historical accounts about their beliefs and preparations of the coming doomsday but it never came. I want to put an end to all the commotion. As you can see, my main concerns are about my own happiness and fulfillment. If I am happy to help others then that’s what I’m going to do. If I have to suffer first before I achieve these things then so be it. I know that at the end of the day, these goals would always be my motivation to live each day and do something good in my life.
Friedrich Nietzche and Martin Heidegger
These are two great existentialists. Their philosophy is somewhat similar to one another and can also be related to Max Stirner’s Philosophy of Egoism. Nietzche believed in the “will to power.” He claimed that “God is dead”. He turns away from the notions of a metaphysical concept and the spiritual dimension. All moral decisions should be based on the subjective will of the self. It must not be interfered by an outside factor. One must assert their power and superiority over life. He believed that the key to rise to power is to overcome all barriers and constraints. His definition of “GOOD” is everything that increases the feeling of power and “BAD” as everything that proceeds from weakness and cowardice. From there he derived the concept of the Ubermensch. This is a person who lives life on the edge and to the fullest. A person whose beliefs is stronger than anyone else. It is a person who thrive on challenges and exposes one’s self to novelties in life. Martin Heidegger on the other hand, talks about the Das man and the Dasein which translates into the inauthentic and authentic self. The Das man could be identified through self-realization through communion with other selves, and a feel of angst while the Dasein or the “being” talks about the projection towards the future.
I really want to live life on the edge but I guess it is very hard to just throw the security that we are all insured of now. It is hard to choose the life of not knowing what tomorrow will bring, with no direction and just think spontaneously and act according to spontaneous decisions. I want to experience everything while I can. As I have stated earlier, I have no idea of there really is an afterlife. On where would I be after I die. So better live it now or die with regrets. Let your own decisions prevail and not the things that are being dictated by society because you hold your own life, you are responsible for it. Only you know what is good for you and they can’t tell you otherwise. I actually think it would be hypocritical for them tell others what to do when the fact is that they can’t even provide happiness and stability to their own life. They are also being manipulated by other people whose life is no more special than they are. No one knows what is generally right for people because truth and happiness lies in one’s self. There are no such thing as objective values or truths. Everything is subjective whether we choose to believe it or not.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Almighty = Imaginary?
“God is thus a source of moral obligation- his commands create moral obligations.
God is the ultimately brute fact which explains everything else.
God is a necessary being, something which exists under its own steam, not dependent on anything else.”
Many people question the existence of God. There are two paths of inquiry about the existence of a God. One is theology which already has a foundation of the belief that this perfect entity does exists but still tries to find further truth about faith. It is questioning the claims of the people in an attempt to deepen and to find certainty in the believer’s understanding of God’s word. The other path is Philosophy. This path tries to seek the truth about the act of believing. It doesn’t focus on the things that this God has promised to his people, this path criticizes “the act of believing itself.” There are four major philosophical arguments to support or debunk the existence of God. There’s the Ontological argument, Moral argument, First cause argument, and the Argument of design. The believer claims that “God” offers us the gift of holiness and salvation. But before we indulge in all these arguments and speculations, it would be best to state our definition of God. Which is that God is a perfect entity who created the world, a puppet master who controls are lives which makes our life pre-destined, the punisher of all sinners, the creator of the 10 commandments and the bible itself etcetera. What is the primal source of all these notions? How can someone who is imperfect define such a perfect being? Where did he derive all these unbelievable qualities? Did he really create both the bible and the 10 commandments? If so, why are there speculations about the contradicting nature of the bible verses and the commandments? Why did it appear in the bible that God wasn’t as perfect, as just as he was supposed to be? Why did it appear that God is unmerciful by saying things that leads to the belief that if we do not follow him, we will be damned?
Philosophers like Descartes, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Wolf, Aquinas, Leibniz, Anselm and Kant tried to seek an answer for this age-old question. Conclusions like there should be an external creator, an over-all authority for morals, a creator with deep interest for humanity, a perfect entity and etcetera. These notions would imply that humans , regardless of their race share a common ground – that they need something to build their lives to. Like a foundation of some sort in which they can establish their beliefs.
In our present time, there are a lot of visible movements by Atheists, Christians, and Agnostics to show their firm beliefs on this matter. One of the strongest arguments I have heard in the existence of God is that if there really is a perfectly good being or entity that is so powerful, just and loving , then “why are there suffering? Why do good people die? Can God create a stone so heavy that he cannot lift it?” “If the human person could not reason to the truth of God’s existence, would faith be anything more than repeating what we’ve been told?” If yes, so it means that there is no omnipotent God and since this God lacks the qualities that defines him as perfect, could we still say that he is all powerful and perfect? And could we also derive that maybe, this God was all on our heads and that the idea of God was created by man kind?
“Theism claims that God is a personal being that has powers that are infinite. God is not limited by the laws of nature; he makes them and he can change or suspend them- if he chooses.” GOD IS OMNIPOTENT which means he can do anything, OMNISCIENT that he knows everything OMNIBENEVOLENT which implies that he is infinitely good and that he is PERFECTLY FREE he can make choices without an influence from an external or internal factor.
Atheism added a lot of controversial arguments regarding God’s existence. There are two kinds of arguments for Atheism. A priori argument which claims that there is some logical contradiction in the theistic conception of God and a posteriori arguments that claims that the world will not be like this if such a God existed therefore it would be impossible for such being to exist. They then introduced the infamous “Problem of Evil” it is a posteriori argument. It has been the longest and most controversial argument that captured the attention of Christians. This is the common question that if God was this extremely powerful entity, then why is there suffering? Some Christians would answer that suffering is a necessity or suffering is man’s choice or what other may call the free-will defense. Then Atheists would counter the argument that if it really was a necessity then why are there problems about unjustified evil? Yes, it would be complicated to determine an unjustified evil and a purposeful evil. In the end, we can not use the unjustified evil problem to prove that God does not exist.
Rene Descartes showed support to the claim that a God does exist. In his work, The Meditations in Philosophy, he introduced the Descartesian Method which aims to analyze all his beliefs. He tried to remove all his biased beliefs, criticize each one, and see what can he validate, put back in his mind and consider it certain and flawless. One of the key points in his analogy was the existence of God. He stated that we humans cannot come out of nothing. We are derived from a perfect entity. His words were “A perfect entity cannot come from something so imperfect”. He claimed that God was not just a product of the human mind and that it is possible that we cannot comprehend with the truth about the existence of this being simply because we are imperfect.
Aristotle, “puts the proofs of God into strictly scientific form , started out from the analysis of empirical reality and asked about the efficient and final cause: God as first unmoved mover and end, God as pure reality, unalloyed actuality; the thought of himself to all eternity and primal reason of order in the world.”
For Augustine, “only the existence of a supreme, eternal, immutable primal truth can explain the unchanging truths in the human mind; only a divine artist can explain the work of art that is the world, only God as supreme good can fulfill man’s insatiable desire for beatitude.”
According to Anselm’s Ontological argument, “If God is greater than you can imagine it to be, and for something to exist in reality means that it is greater than you just imagining it, then God must exist.”
The next is St. Thomas Aquinas a Roman Catholic Theologian who was said to be the ideal catholic because of his unwavering faith. He said that there were 2 ways to prove the existence of God which is using logic or faith. He then formulated the five reasons to believe that God exists. His first reason was related to Isaac Newton which says “An object that is not moving will not move until a net force acts on it.” This was called the first-mover argument. Next was the First cause argument which states that something that is created must come from something else since something cannot come out of nothing just like what Descartes have said. The third one was the argument of contingency that means that God is a necessity. God must simply exist or else nothing would exist. The fourth argument claims that to find out what is good or bad something better must exist. The last argument talks about the very nature of everything in the universe is to reach a certain goal which is God and that he is the mastermind behind all things. He was also in favor of the Via Negativa that aims to eliminate all of the things that do not apply. It defines God by eliminating everything that he is not. Like being visible or having attributes of a human being.
Emmanuel Kant had a different methodology. He no longer used a theoretical proof, but “postulates” the existence of God in practice: as the condition for the possibility of reconciling morality with man’s quest for happiness. He was the proponent of the Four classical proofs of God. It follows a certain system: The cosmological , the teleological, the ontological and the moral proof of God. This was almost the same as the 5 ways made by Aquinas but his ideas can be reduced.
“If religious belief in God the creator of the world is consistent with a rational, non-religious appreciation of the cosmos, the belief can be judged to be not exactly foolish, even if not thoroughly verified.”
From this statement, could we really say that God exist based solely on our faith? No. There must be at least a common ground between all the fields of specialization. All of them must someday speak in unison of their claim for a belief to stand strong. This basically why there are no answers that can be defines as “close-to-perfect” because someone always contradicts the other. There were always loopholes where people would still doubt the answers that were given by those people who studied the progress of this most celebrated belief.
Now that the arguments of both sides have been enumerated, we can see a pattern of beliefs. One belief is a descendant of another. Or one could create it’s own trend. It is really hard to choose what to believe in. I was born a Catholic and my family raised me to be a child that has an unwavering faith in the creator. My life before revolved around the taught that there is this unseen creator who sees everything I do, who makes the rules for people to follow, who punishes those who do not follow his way, who reacts in a mystical way like in a form of thunder or flood whenever his creations commit sins and etcetera. When I started studying Philosophy, almost all of my perspectives changed. I have learned to doubt my beliefs especially the existence of an Almighty Father. The question that always pop into my head whenever I think about it is that why would this so-called Father let innocent people die? Some might say that it is a form of punishment to his people for falling into temptation but why punish them at the expense of innocent people? I cannot really see the logic behind that answer. It seems immoral and it’s contradicting the laws that this being had supposedly given us. Does that depict a benevolent God? Is this a picture of what is good? If it is , then maybe euthanasia and abortion could also be considered good then? I actually think that euthanasia is more humane than God killing innocent people. At least mercy-killing is a form of ending suffering. It is the decision of the victim to be in that situation.
The question still remains. It may be impossible to prove God’s existence. The idea of God itself is already a mistery. Where we have derived this seemingly impossible being, thinking that we are fallible humans, too imperfect to think of such a perfect vision of a creator. We choose what to believe. No one has the right to make them for us. If there really is a higher power, then he/she would be the sole judge in the end. Only then will we know the answer and finally quench our insatiable thirst for the truth about the origin of everything.
Kung H. (ed.), Does God Exist?: An Answer for today.USA: Doubleday & Company Inc.
Tipler F. (1994), The Physics of Immortality.New York : Doubleday
Witham L. (2005), The Measure of God.New York : HarperCollins Publishers
Reilly F. (1984), God’s Questionnable Existence : Metro Manila : National Bookstore Inc.
Swinburne R. (1996), Is there a God?:
New American Bible
The God of Small Things Summary
The God of Small Things tells the story of one family in the town of Ayemenem in Kerala, India. Its epigraph is a quotation from contemporary writer John Berger: "Never again will a single story be told as though it's the only one." She uses this idea to establish her nonlinear, multi-perspective way of storytelling, which gives value to points of view as "Big" as a human being's and as "Small" as a cabbage-green butterfly's. In Roy's world, there is no definitive story, only many different stories that fuse to form a kaleidoscopic impression of events.
Next, we find the family traveling to Cochin to greet Sophie Mol and her mother, Margaret Kochamma, upon their arrival from England. On their way, they see their servant, Velutha, marching with a group of Communists. Back in the present, Rahel watches Estha undress in the moonlight, neither of them saying a word.The novel opens with Rahel's return to Ayemenem after hearing that her twin brother, Estha, has come home. We switch to the funeral of Sophie Mol, when the twins are seven years old. Rahel believes that Sophie is awake during her funeral and buried alive. The rest of the family refuses to acknowledge the twins and Ammu. On the train ride back to Ayemenem, Ammu cannot speak except to say "He's dead ... I've killed him." Rahel and Estha have not seen each other since Estha was sent away as a child to live with Babu in Assam. Both twins have traveled somewhat aimlessly until returning to their childhood home. Rahel looks out on the family's former factory, Paradise Pickles & Preserves, and contemplates how all the strangeness in her family resolves around the incident of Sophie Mol's death.
The narrative returns to Cochin, where the family goes to see The Sound of Music in the cinema. Inside the theater, Estha cannot stop singing, so he is sent out into the lobby, where the Orangedrink Lemondrink man molests him. After he becomes nauseated, the family leaves the movie early. Rahel senses that the Orangedrink Lemondrink man has wronged Estha and talks back to Ammu when she praises the man. Ammu tells her that she loves Rahel a little less, a statement that haunts Rahel for a long time.
Back in the present, Rahel runs into Comrade Pillai, and he shows her a photograph of the twins and Sophie, taken shortly before Sophie died. In a flashback to Sophie's arrival at the Cochin airport, Rahel cannot handle the nervousness surrounding her cousin's arrival, and she is scolded for hiding in the window curtain. Everyone tries to impress Sophie and Margaret Kochamma with new clothing, English sayings, and forced upbeat attitudes.
The narrative turns to Ammu's death at the age of thirty-one. After being banished from the Ayemenem House, she dies while out of town on a job interview. Estha watches her body being pushed into the cremation oven. No one writes to Estha to inform him of Ammu's death. Roy introduces the refrain, "Things can change in a day."
Back at Sophie Mol's welcome ceremony, a crowd gathers to sing and eat cake. Rahel retreats to play with Velutha. As Ammu watches her daughter and handyman together, she is attracted to Velutha for the first time.
Rahel joins Estha, who is alone in the pickle factory. They plan to visit the History House, where the Paravans live. They push an old, decrepit boat into the river and row to Velutha's side of the river. There, he promises to fix the boat for them. Velutha is trying to suppress his growing love for Ammu despite his constant association with her children. (Ammu dreams of a one-armed man making love to her.)
Back in the present, Rahel watches fondly as Estha bathes in the moonlight. The twins meet by coincidence at a temple, where they watch kathkali dancers act out a violent story of retribution all night.
We turn to the story of Chacko's and Magaret Kochamma's marriage. It began happily but soon crumbled because of a sense of disconnection. Margaret left Chacko for Joe, who later died in an accident. After that, she took Sophie to Ayemenem as a distraction; she can never forgive herself for leaving Sophie alone in Ayemenem the day she died.
We finally hear the story of Sophie Mol's death and the events surrounding it. Vellya Paapen comes to Mammachi's door and offers to kill Velutha with his bare hands for having an affair with Ammu. Baby Kochamma makes sure that Ammu is locked in her room and that the police think he raped Ammu. Mammachi summons Velutha to her house and fires him, banishing him from the property on pain of death. He goes to Comrade Pillai for help but to no avail. Roy begins to call Velutha "The God of Loss" and "The God of Small Things." The telling of Sophie's actual death is short. She joins the twins as they run away after Ammu insults them terribly. After their boat capsizes in the river, she drowns. The twins fall asleep on the veranda of the History House, unaware that Velutha is sleeping there. The next morning, the police come across the river to arrest Velutha. They beat him nearly to death and take the twins to the station with them. There, Baby Kochamma pressures Estha into saying Velutha is guilty of kidnapping him and Rahel. She tells him that doing so is the only way to save Ammu and avoid a life in jail. Estha complies, thus saving Baby Kochamma from being arrested for filing a false report about Velutha. After that, Baby Kochamma coerces Chacko into evicting Ammu from the house and forcing Estha to go live with Babu. As Estha leaves on the train, Rahel cries as though a part of her is being ripped out of her body.
Back in the present, Estha and Rahel finally share a fond moment in Ammu's former bedroom. They make love out of "hideous grief" for the deaths of Ammu, Velutha, and Sophie Mol.
The final chapter describes the first night of Ammu's and Velutha's affair. They are both drawn to the riverbank, where they meet and make love for the first time. After that, they continue to meet in secret and share their admiration of "Small Things" such as the creatures of the riverbank. Each night as they part, they say to one another: "Tomorrow? Tomorrow." On the last night they meet before Velutha's death, Ammu is compelled to turn back and repeat one more time: "Tomorrow."
As a book lover I was really expecting this to be an awesome book since its been recommended by a lot of people and the way they talk about it was the way a lot of people talk about harry potter or really really really good chicklits. This was a book that was forced on me by a class in my school... actually I did read this once before it was actually required, I got to the end of it but I understand nothing. My mind was totally blank and I was like "what?" I would've immediately reached out of the trash bin but I hesitated since it did cost me a few bucks. And now... as if fate wasn't cruel enough, my teacher made me re-read this and actually understand it. And answer questions like who is the good of small things and what are the small things... It's irritating. I mean you know, i get the tragedy and the good things that used to be but the supposedly "happy ending" was that they ended up in incest. I'm just not in favor with the idea and It really isn't that good... But that's just my personal opinion.