“…Joash replied to the hostile crowd around him, “Are you going to plead Baal’s cause? Are you trying to save him? Whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning! If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar.””
I think I read this text for the first time when I was 10 years old. Not every kid goes around reading the Book of Judges when they’re that young but, in the world I grew up in, it made sense. I had already read the coolest book in the bible, Revelation, several times, and Paul is quite boring until you’re old enough to get it, so the Old Testament was the place to go until I was about 13. Short stories, soap-opera family drama, cool battles, angels destroying armies overnight, tales of glory, and clear life advice like don’t kill people unless God tells you to, or, manage well your budget, don’t be lazy, listen to your parents. I highly recommend the OT for 10 year olds. Anyhow, there was I, reading the story of Gideon. Gideon destroyed a statue of Baal, a rival god, and when Baal’s followers came to kill him, Joash, Gideon’s father, defended him with that clear checkmate: If Baal is god, you don’t have to protect him, he’ll protect himself. Continue reading Weak Gods, Fragile Truths, and the Unknown
I have not written anything for a good while, perhaps a month? To me this blog is largely a tool of digestion, but in the past while I seem to have digested quite a number of thoughts without needing to write. A lot of it happened unexpectedly, by surprise. Some of it happened in class, some dancing (I am not even kidding), and some of it in deep meditation, breathing.
Most of my past struggle has been in regards to how should I relate to God. Who is he/she/it, what, why. How? Most of the answer was around the way I should look at sacred writings. Continue reading How I Read The Bible and Other Things
My Experience with Homelessness
In last year’s census of the homeless, volunteers counted 3016 homeless people in Montreal. In all of Canada, it’s estimated that there are more than 235,000 homeless.
This is a problem. Continue reading How Should We Respond to Homelessness?
God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few – Ecclesiastes 5:2
These days I have been doing theology terribly wrong, and I feel that my Christianity has turned upside-down, like a certain apostle’s cross.
The study of a thing is supposed to lead you to understand that thing. Theos-logia, the study of God, was supposed to make me understand God, right? I look at many pastors, preachers and writers, the heralds of “sound theology”, and they seem like they got it. You ask them a question about who is God, who is man, what is our purpose, why is there evil, does God really exist, can I trust the bible, and several other questions, and they have the answers. They can even tell you how the world came to being, and how it is going to end. It’s amazing. Looking at myself I wonder if I’m doing it wrong, I mean, compared to them I really am not getting it at all. Continue reading And so we sat in silence
New Years is coming soon, and it is kind of fascinating. We invented a celebration based on how many rounds around the sun we made; in our minds, a new year brings along new hopes: Hope that the next turn around the sun will carry less mistakes, less hurts, less disappointments. That we will find our calling, our ideal career, our soulmate, or the perfect movie story that will entertain us forever until the next one comes out. We make promises and resolutions, we look back at what we accomplished, and we tell ourselves next year will be better. It is quite silly, but it is fun, and it keeps us going.
For many this is a season of decisions, of delineating goals and how to work on them. For most of these people, it also stops there, and life will go on as normal next year… which is ok, at least we can be consoled by thinking that if we wanted to, things would be different. Continue reading Resolution of Love
One of the most important concepts of the religion of ancient Israel, and in today’s Jewish Kabbalah, is the concept of the Shekhinah (שְׁכִינָה), the Presence of God. After God gave the Torah to Moses and Israel made a covenant with God, God’s Shekhinah, his presence-glory, started to inhabit the Ark of the Covenant in the tabernacle. The Ark would come with Israel to battle, it would be the center of all worship festivals and rituals (the biggest community events), and it was the most sacred, cherished and protected thing in all of Israel. When enemies stole it, it was like complete darkness and defeat covered the land, a sense of abandonment by God, whose Presence has departed.
The Presence of God was what assured Israel of their importance, identity, and strength… Its departures and returns from the land marked the light and dark points in their history. What was the main reason why the Presence departed from Israel? The people becoming proud, ignoring the poor and the widow, and ignoring the afflicted. It was apathy, and greed for power and riches. In simple words, when love was absent, Love departed. Continue reading On Loneliness and Incarnation
Yes, it’s true. Christmas has pagan origins. But it’s not the only common thing in our modern, western culture with pagan origins. In fact, vitamins and medicine are deeply rooted in paganism. Actually, dare I say, if it wasn’t for the pagans, our progress in modern medicine would not be where it is today. But does that make medicine bad, or (to up it a notch) evil? Is it bad to have pagan origins or even pagan connections? Continue reading Christmas is Pagan!
I have a really bad relationship with time, it is always ominously behind me. Ahead of me too.
I have the tendency of getting bored of whatever I am going through really fast, making me a rather transient person. I need to keep moving forward and on and on. The next season, the next chapter. However, I, almost contradictingly, find myself constantly believing that I have also arrived: I am here, where I was supposed to be. A sense of destiny, or providence, or what-have-you, makes the past easy to deal with, while constantly pushing me forward. But, if I’ve arrived, is this all there was? There has to be more. I am as much moved by discontentment as by curiosity, but chasing wind is extremely tiring. Continue reading Of Rivers and Stardust
In many languages there’s two different concepts that, in English, we give the words love and like. To like something is to enjoy it, take pleasure from it, and feel affection towards it. Love is a stronger affection that is usually (if not always) tied to strong bonds, e.g. family, or to sexual desire.
In French those two concepts are conflated in the verb aimer. J’aime means both I love and I like, and some people hate that conflation, while others really aiment it. Continue reading Crise Amoureuse
“We must not see any person as an abstraction. Instead, we must see in every person a universe with its own secrets, with its own treasures, with its own sources of anguish, and with some measure of triumph.” – Elie Wiesel
I had no idea who Elie Wiesel was until I googled “every person is an universe”, and found this quite good quote. I recommend looking him up. For some reason, I already knew this concept of being an universe as I had heard it in different ways many times before. To me it was just a thing hippie new age people thought, and maybe I’m becoming a hippie new age person, because I think I got it. What got me thinking about this is that I’ve recently finished reading the Tibetan Book of the Dead, which I mentioned in a previous post. I don’t want to get stuck defining buddhas with their consorts, gods, asuras, hungry ghosts, and Samsara, but I want to share how I interpreted many of these symbols. Also, I’ve been meeting and interacting with a lot of people lately (working at a call center, and intentionally expanding my circle of friends), and I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to spend time with someone. Continue reading Cosmic Music In Your Mind Over A Coffee Or Drink