Whatever is True

True repentance does not seek a lighter sentence, it seeks forgiveness.
It does not kneel before the judge but before the offended.
It does not look for self-benefit but for the healing of others.

True forgiveness is not to harbor vengeance but to bear pain upon oneself.
It is to allow the suffering to be laid upon one’s shoulders.
The pain and suffering cannot simply disappear or vanish.
So forgiveness is to deal mercy rather than justice,
It is not expected but is immensely noble.

True justice is not a vendetta borne of emotion.
It is an inescapable reality that is necessarily absolute.
It is not won by sides nor indifferent,
It scrutinises the world as it is,
And delivers the righteous gavel, each to his own.

True mercy is not to elevate one’s sense of self-righteousness,
Nor is it to forget the pain.
It is to pardon where there should not be pardon,
To hold back the sentence, but it must find an alternative.
Justice cannot be impeded indefinitely.

True love is to give up everything,
Expecting nothing,
Even for someone who is not a friend,
Nor a stranger, but an enemy,
To love and forgive is to be a substitute for death,
So justice can fulfill its wrath.

True grace is not one act, as with courtesy.
It is Justice whose punishment meted
Descends from the high seat to the offender,
Now clean, now free,
Momentarily removing the wig and robe,
To embrace, and offer everything He has
To this one. Riches, inheritance, and
A way to start afresh, to stay away
From prison.

True beauty is eternal, not temporal,
It is when one realises
Justice is the very same Love who died,
Mercy and Forgiveness is also Grace,
That the pardoned, forgiven, and loved one
Will cry tears of joy.

 

From Dusk to Dawn

I – Dusk

The evening swells up
With the smell of closing flowers
The slowly fading footsteps
Street lamps dim somewhat.

The last light escapes your breath.
You were all smiles, but as we turn
To leave, I sense your gloom,
At having to leave the sunset
For a safer walk home. So we go,
My hand through yours, the
Cobblestone and sidewalk leaves,
Distant sun streaming from behind,
Casting odd, blurry shadows ahead.

The sun captured all our memories, I guess.
Nothing we had under it was not fun,
You and I laughed a ton,
The picnic food, the people-watching,
Talking about very pointless things.

That was our frozen shot
Of bright and happy,
Of light-heartedness,
and of viva.

II – Darkness

The night rises high
With the view of a waning moon
The other wandering people
We stroll by the dark of air.

You dig deeper into my hand,
Something like satisfaction,
At us being us tonight,
That my breath can still hear yours
At this queer, watching hour.
Something like fear,
Perhaps your childhood phobias
Grow onto me, I try to pluck them from you
To no avail.
You found safety and comfort in me before
But maybe it is harder and harder,
As the towering night casts a gloomier shadow,
Our shadows completely blotted out.

The moon gazes at our antics,
Our uneasy gait, the united attempt
To find solace in ‘us’
And remembers, stores it in the
Crevices of countless nights

This is our waking moment
Of dark and anxious
Of consolation
of decay.

III – Decay

The dark encroaches
The view of a starless sky
The last sight of moon
Consumed by grey clouds.

Your fingers tremor in my palm,
But still firm, unwilling to go
Alone into the unknown,
Even as it gnaws at our feet,
Stings our eyes, chills our skin.

It cannot happen, even if it will
But it is already happening
Eventually I will lose your grip
The timid sound of your controlled
Breaths, warm strokes of your life fire

The night is too black,
To make out your face
The shadows I cannot see;
They are all around us

The hollow shrieks at the love binding us
That used to be a pillar
Now eroding to the acids
Of decomposing humus
Of shells of former life.
Here, there is no memory
of what used to be.

This our plunge into
A sleepless nightmare
That slipped in
And rides the road relentlessly

IV – Dust/Dawn

The torture of night
Left us
With the dawning of day
Yet you did not ever perch atop
The same peak of light.
Your radiance which I thought
Incorruptible
Was beaten down, struck,
Over and over and over again
By snares we could not see
All around, a spiteful lashing
Harsh whippings
You cannot cry anymore.

The tears have run dry
You almost could not walk on
Sitting on the pavement
Where the gradient from night to day rests
Nearly giving up your fight
Our fight.

It was almost impossible to stand by your side
The stinging flashbacks that brought me to my knees
The times you laid against me, sitting on my lap
Your laugh

Mauled corrupted
Corroded undone
Defeated conquered
Gone

Our memories
I would also wish them gone
Since what is left of you
Can hardly stand on two feet
Refuses my hand
Anyway I am sure I cannot support
Both you and I.

We would have to start afresh
Or we would both fall to the ground.

—-

 

 

 

 

 

 

Random: Afterthoughts on ‘The Language of God’ by Francis Collins

I realised that I have not been coming to WordPress regularly to post for quite a while. Perhaps it is due to my lack of people to follow. Low inspiration. It is also a very foreign place to me, without anyone I actually know.

Apart from that, my thoughts today were to give some of my opinions on a book I have finished, The Language of God by Francis Collins, the director of the Human Genome Project about a decade ago. It is his appeal to scientific and religious peoples, or simply anyone interested in the science vs religion debates that actually does still ring true today. Many objections he lays down in the conflict (which he tries to resolve later on) still hold in all the modern arguments that are refuted and counter-refuted and defended and attacked and whatnot.

For a general layout of the book, it starts of with Francis Collins explaining how he converted from atheism to Christianity. He also outlines the ‘War of the Worldviews’, ie science and religion. His ‘Part Two’ consists of four chapters devoted to explaining evidence (at that time) for and against belief in a supreme deity. They include cosmological and evolutionary arguments, after which he shares his experience in the project to unravel the entire ‘instruction book’ coding for humans.

His Part Three gives the reader four options one can respond with, including introducing what he names as ‘BioLogos’, option 4 (also known more widely as theistic evolution). It is more of a way to approach questions science cannot answer, Collins explains, and that sets it apart from the other options (namely Atheism/Agnosticism, Creationism and Intelligent Design). The last chapter is a conclusion and summary of his arguments presented in the whole book.

I guess it would do well to say I am not intent on an objective book review. Objectivity is hard even for people seeking it intentionally anyway. Rather I do wish to say that this book has made me question by own beliefs. I was initially more or less a ‘believer’ in ID (intelligent design) based on the many Youtube videos I have been watching. Yet one thing I believe can shake anyone is the question: Did we evolve from lower life forms?

I have firm ideas about what I believe about how a Biblical account of the creation of the universe (and life) and modern ideas of evolution tie in. God set forth into motion the Big Bang, and everything followed. About how the first life entered I am not sure exactly. But simple life did, and evolved into complexity through millions of years. One thing I held firmly onto was that humans were a special breed that God raised from the dust.

This book insists otherwise. But perhaps I have gone beyond asking the real truth (for we may never reach an obviously irrefutable conclusion), and started wondering, how do we view the idea of a human? For those who have read the Chrysalids, it is one of the many books asking us to think of the implications of a mutated human species. More fingers or toes. Telepathic abilities. Does that make us something else than human?

The Language of God maintains that God decided at one point to breathe His image – not a physical but a spiritual kind – into a species according to His plans. This is a profound idea – that we have a soul, a concept of “I” and “we”, unselfish love, awareness of past, present and future (and reflecting on this), and perhaps most importantly Moral Law – something that can often go against survival instincts or the concepts of evolution. Perhaps this is what makes us human, this is what the book says, and I do agree.

For those examining the possibility this book puts forth, there is also one question: at what point can we no longer attribute God with the observations we make in our daily lives? Francis Collins believes that ‘BioLogos’ can allow science to continue discovering more of our natural world, yet cannot answer all questions. So how is it possible to conclusively show there are those questions which are undeniably existing on a different plane (from that of the natural world)? Could there be a day when we will discover that the universe started itself, rather than God setting it forth into motion? While Francis Collins does not cover this possibility extensively, today it is also a fierce area of debate. Two very different responses ought to point us towards two very different courses of actions: first, “We will eventually understand with science” and second, “We cannot ever understand with science”. It is easy to deliberately or accidentally confuse the two. Yet majority of debates exist exactly because the opposite sides are trying to push the topics into the field governed by the question that they support.

A simple example is attempting to explain the Moral Law using natural selection. One thing for sure is that debate will not simply cease, because both sides will relentlessly fight.

Random Aside: On the function of anonymity

As always, random occurrences spark my interest in relevant topics. This time the topic I became interested in after some online exchanges was anonymity.

You see, certain websites allow you to retain anonymity while snooping around. Most social networking sites don’t. They require an account. Of course the account can be fake but that is different from being anonymous. At least if you have a fake account I can use some degree of sniffing around to tear down your facade. Not so for the mask of anonymity. It is looking for who-knows-who in a massive masquerading crowd. You don’t even know who you are looking for, so to speak.

Assuming you want to find the anonymous person, of course. But can we find a possible need for things to remain status quo? For the mask to stay there, and that things are better this way whether we like it or not? Does our preference even matter? I will discuss anonymity mostly in the virtual/online realm even though quite a few stuff can be applied to Guy Fawkes’es running around bombing Big Bens (yes, with underground trains if you get where I’m coming from.)

  1. Anonymity is a catalyst for social exploration and change in attitude towards relationships. Whether or not this is positive remains to be seen in most cases. However, there are undoubtedly the good sides that exist. Already, the virtual world is capable of removing or altering many social impediments such as introversion (when seen in a certain light), stage fright, fear of rejection/being different and many more. Some can be seen as negative, though.
  2. Anonymity empowers people to support causes. Of course, perhaps this point should be considered redundant since there are two sides of the coin to examine. But good things come out of an uprising (as it is in Vendetta). Or of DDoSing Big Evil Corporations via MegaUpload (ref: We are Anonymous). This part of anonymity is deeply examined, by psychologists and sociologists and who knows how many other -ists. It is important, definitely. Perhaps another possible application of anonymity to goodwill is anonymous donation – most charity organisations nowadays are open to such acts by the public; surely there have to be good reasons why people opt for anonymity!
  3. Anonymity gives the courage to ordinary people that transform them to superheroes. Yes, it is similar to point 2, though it’s mostly a matter of the sheer difference in degree. ‘Courage’ to a small extent is something like a simple choice people make, and with many people deciding to make the better choice, most people end up doing so anonymously. Yet in some rare situations, anonymity is crucial to very difficult dilemmas. This ends up with most superheroes saying yes, but with the mask of anonymity. It is in fact majority of supervillains, on the contrary, who would rather their identity be known.

Superman (aka Clark Kent) seems to be a good example from what I gather from one of the movies (I think it is Superman Returns but I can’t be sure because I am not a good fan). He combines two of the above uses for anonymity, when he both performs his ‘usual’ superhero duty and takes advances towards the girl of his dreams, Lois Lane. I watched the scene multiple time: her smoking on the rooftop, then he appears. Shortly after which he brings her on a one-of-a-kind flying trip around the city. He could not do that using Clark, undoubtedly. So in a sense he covered points 1 and 3.

The movie V for Vendetta could very well have depicted all three uses of anonymity as mentioned above. The main protagonist, V, goes on a violent revenge journey to those who tortured him and appears on nationwide TV to spread his agenda (point 3), while also managing to win over the female lead Evey (point 1) – his mask hides more than his (possibly repelling) physical deformities, for the only identity he gives himself is that of the idea of revolution. This, of course, later results in the uprising against the totalitarian party Norsefire, as all citizens don the Guy Fawkes mask and march to Parliament (point 2).

The last thing one ought to think is that anonymity applies only in movies. Most things never apply ‘only in movies’ – we can relate to them because they apply to us, whether literally or ideologically or otherwise. The only thing is that they might differ in application from individuals to individuals.

I’ve been using (or rather, coming back to) ask.fm lately, and it indeed occurred to me the significance of anonymity in making this platform unique in its own rights. Perhaps I will discuss more of my thoughts on this specific instance (since I am rather familiar with it compared with other anonymous-based social platforms) at a later time.