Monday, May 17, 2010
Existing, disappointments and beauty
Much to my friends' relief, I finally got a new phone. Ok... Its not an iPhone, neither is it any kind of touch, but its definitely better than the half dead sets I've been using for the past 2 years! Its the red Nokia E63. Though there are many benefits of this set, the best thing about this phone is its convenient system of typing up a to-do list. It helps me to do one of the things my family things I am an expert at - elaborate planning. Its reminding me now that I have '5 to-do notes not done', which is definitely beneficial, because I usually don't look at my lists after a day or two. So, I tend to forget what I have not done, and fall back into procrastination. This system is subconsciously making me feel guilty --> forcing me to get rid of this guilt to prevent falling into a depressive cycle --> forcing me to get things done. By the way, 2 days ago, the reminder said '9 to-do notes not done'. That's 2 things done per day. Good start!
The downside of getting a new phone is getting my new number across to all friends. So, if you are a friend, check your email inbox, or facebook inbox, or phone messages. I also spent a tedious few days transferring all of my contacts to my new set. It would have been much easier to do if all the contacts I had in that set solely belonged to me, but my tattered set had been a hand-me-down from a very busy woman (whom I love of course, so I'm not complaining!)
I also started to read 'Einstein Girl'. Its just a random book I picked up at the library, but it turned out to be quite bleak but interesting. I haven't read it for a while because it started to affect every aspect of my life - just like any other addiction! Speaking of addictions, Tales of Mere Existence by Levni Yilmaz took over my life for the past 2 hours. Yilmaz is a talented, pessimistic, and probably bored out of his mind, guy who makes short films by drawing comics with a voice-over. I found him while searching for a cure for procrastination on YouTube (an example of irony, children). I can relate to a lot of his videos in one way or another and couldn't stop myself from laughing so much that it gave me a stomach ache. Then I came across this video:
I was surprised to see that none of the things he said bothered me much. I guess its because I have answers to every reason why he finds the concept of God ridiculous. 'The concept of God is something where you aren't allowed to ask questions or give opinions'- I think I used to feel this way. I think a lot of people feels this way. But the reason that they do, is because they don't know much about God and the people they ask those questions to do not know much either. Its quite ironical because you can't believe in something you do not know enough about. And you can't love or fear or respect a being whom you do not believe in. I cannot speak for any other religions except what I know of, so I'll speak only about Islam. The arabic language (the language in which the Qur'an was revealed in) is so vast that a lot of words have very comprehensive meanings in English. (For example, one of God's 'names', is Al-Afu, which is translated into English as merely 'The Forgiver'. A scholar who is knowledgeable in the language explained that the effect of the word is like if you put a mark on sand with your finger and the waves come and wash it away. It is as if the sin has never existed. Another of such names is 'Al-Ghafur', which is also often translated as 'The Forgiver'. But the linguist explained, that this word is referring to someone who 'covers' up, but does not wipe away. Obviously, the different names apply to sins and repentance at different degree, thus, they are not contradictory.) The Qur'an is probably the best place to search for answers about God since it is the direct words of Him. One third of the whole Quran is dedicated to the concept of God. It informs us that God is infinite, and has infinite number of qualities, but, for the benefit of humans, only 99 of them are revealed. I went to a course by AlKauthar called To Whom Belongs the Most Beautiful Names, which expanded my horizon exponentially (which is also where I learnt the difference between Al-Afu' and Al-Ghafur
'A good moral person will go to hell if he happens to be an atheist' - In Islam, as humans, we cannot definitely say that a person will go to hell or will go to heaven. It is up to God to decide, because, yes, you are right Lev, He is actually Just! But if you do not believe in God, chances are, you do not believe in heaven or hell in the first place. Why would you care?
'Religion also keeps people from communicating well because if a deeply religious person meets a not religious person the religious person will think - Oh, this guy is a heretic, I must show him the way. And the not religious person will think - This guy is a Jesus freak, I have to get out of here!' - lol. You're actually quite right about this! I think its because, people who believe in God, actually believe in the fact that He is true and that there is a consequence for every action of every single person, which can be either a positive or a negative consequence. So, religious people try to let others know about what they know, which of course, often doesn't translate very well. Happens. Every one's different, so everyone will have a slightly different perspective on every situation.
'I wish I could remember who said that its not OK to ask God for a bicycle, it seems to be OK to steal a bicycle and ask God to forgive you' - Did you know, that in Islam, it is recommended to ask God about anything and everything you want, worldly or out of the world? The last messenger of God, Muhammad, upon whom the Qur'an was revealed, said: "Ask Allah for everything, even if it is only a shoe-lace, because if Allah does not make it easy, then it will not be possible." Difference no.758423 between any other religion and Islam. And if you know that stealing is bad, its not OK to steal a bike and then ask God to forgive you, unless you actually feel repentant.
'I've always thought it was interesting that Churches usually have incredibly high ceilings because when you think about it, they are specifically designed to make an individual feel small, humble and as insignificant as possible.' - Possibly because God is actually much more grand than you are and it only makes sense that you loose your cockiness when you stand before Him. Mosques technically do not necessarily have to be high-ceilinged (though a lot of famous mosques are known for their architecture and grand designs). The way we show reverence to God is by our actions, by bowing to God in prayer. Which I personally feel is a beautiful gesture. You are bowing to your Creator, Sustainer and the being Who is above and beyond all imagination of our limited minds.
And I thought your theory about 'how people came up with the concept of God' is hilarious. There is just way too many evidences against Islam to originate from a human mind. There is no contradiction between the Quran and established science and of course no contradictions exist in the actual message either. I know Lev was just trying to make it look more ridiculous than it already is, just to make sure the viewer knows that it actually should not be taken seriously. But I'm just putting it out there, just in case some extremely slow person did take it seriously!
There were a few other things that I wanted to write about, but I really cannot be bothered watching that again right now and making points. I started writing this blog yesterday, when I actually started and finished watching every single Tales of Mere Existence available on YouTube. Now I am passing on the source of amusement to available friends.
Another thing I discovered on YouTube while procrastinating is Cody Simpson. Last week, Smru enlightened me about Justine Beiber. These kids seem innocent enough at first glance, their stories are not very shocking either. But what is disappointing me, is the sort of lyrics they are writing. At 13, Cody is writing about his 'perfect' girl and Justine, at 16, is writing about his 'baby' who needs to 'fix him'. I mean, how can you be broken enough for a girl to be in need of fixing at the age of 16? His first love was at 13, as he explains in the song. Seriously? I thought it was called a 'crush' until you very seriously feel strong positive emotions towards that person. Is it possible to romantically love a person of the opposite sex at 13? Simultaneously, we are seeing girls being sexualised, at an increasing rate, from a younger and younger age. I tried to figure out what the problem with that is and why it doesn't seem 'right'. I mean, everyone has the right to be anything they want, any time they want.. etc etc, right? And kids have always tried to imitate adults. I remember when I used to pretend to have long hair by wrapping clothes around my head and then walk around with mum's shoes. I remember pretending to be pregnant with a cushion under my clothes. I remember cooking with dirt and stones. And talking in 'bhabi' language. 'Bhabi kemon achen? Amader bashay ashenna keno? Ektu kheye jan!' (Excuse the language switching, non-bengali readers!) Then I figured, that the difference between then and now is that all I did was 'pretend' to do things that adults do. But these kids are actually experiencing them! Not within the confines of their own room, but in front of the whole world. This is why they are not 'cute' any more. Cute is something that seems out of place yet brings no harm. They aren't cute. I guess the reason behind this is the normalisation of sexiness and sensualness in the media. This generation is growing up playing video games and watching TV shows that scream out the S's. So, they obviously start to look up to it, and eventually, start to experience it.
I wish kids would stay kids. At least for a while! Once a boundary is crossed, its impossible to uncross it. I think the power of discovering something new is a great power, and they are losing it with themselves. There's only so many things you can do to feel sensual. Once it runs out, it runs out. There are so many other beautiful things in the world. If everything is taken in slowly, the beauty would never cease to amaze a person.
Talking about beauty and kids, one kid that is still a kid (obviously, she's only nearly 2) is A. I fell in love with A and her innocent, cute self. She's learning to talk now, and copies anything and everything. I taught her how to say Apu but God knows how long she'll remember it. She was taking bangles out of the rack and trying to put them on me. Then she started knocking the mirror and saying 'knock, knock, knock'. She also gets very happy seeing her own photo, giggles and says 'baby!'. And M, the week old baby, brought tears to my eyes. She's so tiny! And when she cries, its so scary because she stops looking like a human. But her wrinkly skin, sleepy smiles, light grip... everything... is so beautiful!
This post is way too long to be read.
Posted by L at 5/17/2010 10:49:00 PM