Of Flashbacks and Desires
Published Wednesday November 8th, 2006

I want to write an entry but I don’t know where to start, or what to start with. I want to write an entry because it’ll give me something to do and it’ll preoccupy me while I wait for an acceptable and workable bedtime. But what, what, what should I ramble about today? Things to write are so hard to come by once my fingers make contact with my keyboards keys. While I took a shower this afternoon, thoughts and ideas rushed to the forefront of my consciousness as I idly stood there, lukewarm water pouring over me. Lukewarm water because it’s been so hot here lately. I hear it got close to 40 degrees Celsius in Moorpark and Thousand Oaks today. Nevertheless, thoughts and ideas bounced into my consciousness even while I drove home from class today, even while in class. Though now, here I am, prepared to write but with nothing to write. All the thoughts and ideas I did have now seem pointless and stupid.

Perhaps equally as pointless is a linear timeline retelling of recently past events. However, even on this front I have not much to say. I saw the movie Borat on Friday with my friend Rachel and a friend of hers Ashley. I liked the movie quite a bit. But my joy was drowned by a rather monotonous weekend during which I not once left my house. I used to spend so much time on my computer, by myself, hours on end, for days and days. Those days have long gone. My antisocial days seem to have left me, instead replaced by a need to socialise and be with and or around people. Though I still value a good chunk of alone time.

For just about a week now I’ve had this incessant cough, which has slowly eroded away my capacity to accurately use my voice. In fact, at certain times today during school I could only whisper in order to communicate. The way I would instead communicate easily was to nod and shake my head. Surprisingly, many questions can be answered this way outside the scope of yes and no queries. The whole experience brought about a flashback into my childhood: Up until the 4th grade I was so incredibly shy that I would absolutely not speak to anyone outside of my family and a select few friends. Shyness so extreme I somehow managed to not physically be able to form sentences when in the presence of someone outside of those people I spoke to.

I recalled a moment in my past when I was in 1st grade in Lausanne, Switzerland. We had done a hand writing assignment before recess and I had managed to get the ink cartridge in my fountain pen to explode all over my hand. The teacher, who was still rather young with fair skin and dark hair, came to me as my classmates began to leave the classroom for their break. The school year was soon over, and my family was to leave Switzerland. She spoke to me in Swiss French about how things will be different in the States and that I should expect to need to learn a new language. She explained to me that it would be tough being surrounded by people who did not speak my language, but that given enough time everything would fall into place and I would begin to understand what they were saying. As she finished speaking to me in her soft and gentle voice, she finished cleaning up the water-based ink on my hands. She looked at me with longing eyes as she often did, hoping that perhaps I might finally speak to her, that I might finally envelop her into the batch of peoples with whom I spoke.

We left for California, and I not once spoke a single word to my Kindergarten and 1st grade teacher. I started attending second grade where the spoken language was English here in California during which I do not have a single memory of not being able to communicate with people, of not being able to understand those speaking to me because of some language barrier, but plenty of memories of people frustrated with me because I would never speak to them. Because I never spoke, I never realised that I could not communicate.

So, there I was in my World History class today entertaining myself with a flashback into my past instead of participating in a group activity in which I was having difficulty participating anyway because no one could hear my whispering or understand my failing voice. The group was having a discussion on Afghanistan and now inherently terrorists. They queried each other why terrorists would participate in and give up their lives for jihad. Some concluded that because they believe in their interpretation of what they’ve read or are told about teachings from their holy book; that they do not agree with the Western worlds culture and ideals and are willing to fight for the dominance of their own beliefs and ideals; because their God is the almighty God, because their holy book is correct above all else.

The correctness of various peoples holy books cause laws to be imposed on persons wherever there is a religious dominance. Today the state of Virginia voted on a constitutional amendment that would define marriage between a man and a woman and effectively ban gay marriage. What is it with people and their tendencies to impose their way to live life onto others? The Bible says that a marriage is between a man and a woman. Muslims don’t care about the Bible, they’ve got the Qur’an. Every religion proposes that their holy book is the correct holy book, and that their God is the real, true God and this is why I am effectively an Atheist. Is it so hard to believe that terrorist do what they do because it’s in their beliefs when we have people in our own culture who try to outlaw marriage between two same-sex partners simply because their holy book says it’s wrong, when we have people who try to impose their virtues onto others? I don’t think it is.

I think we could all afford to be a bit more libertarian. Lets stop making our decisions for ourselves apply to others. You live your life according to how you feel is right, and I’ll do the same with my life as long as I don’t cause you harm, and you don’t cause me harm. I guess that’s where it gets tricky. The harm.

I think I can relate to terrorists and why it is that they martyr themselves. I think I can relate to those who wish to impose their holy book onto others, to instil what they believe in others. As Raymond points out, we all share a, “desideratum to not only create…but also to leave behind some sort of legacy.” We desire for all our very different beliefs to be believed by the future, but we need to realise that there isn’t room for everyone to share their beliefs because my beliefs share the future with your beliefs.

From my previous entry it seems that many of us share a desire to leave behind something when we die. A desire to figure out a way to bring about a change, however minor, in the world. To create something which might make even the slightest impact on history. Whatever that change is, whatever that something might be, I don’t think we should let ourselves be dictated by holy books which have been written by fellow humans who each have sought themselves a way to change the world and impact history. Yes, that’s right. The Bible, the Qur’an, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Talmud were all written by fellow man, each with his own desires. Not by their Gods. So when you have blind faith in your holy books teachings, it’s kind of like having blind faith in your government.

I suppose the irony of this entry is that I'm telling people how to live their lives.
Posted by Chris @ 11:28, November 08, 2006
:) Rad entry, this was a good read.

Posted by Erock @ 14:03, November 20, 2006
It's not blind faith. I believe its called hope. And people believe it because they never sat down to write their own damn religion. As for leaving behind history? What does that mean? I spit on george washington. I'd wipe my butt with a picture of ghandi. And do I care? Heaven or Hell NO. Why? because I don't give a who as to who these people were. The only people who did anything gave progression for the species both physically and spiritually. I need no legacy, although I do wish I could better the spirituality and moral dignity of humanity in my lifetime.