Sunday, September 30, 2007


Do you believe in God? The First question and possibly the last. The source of debate and confusion.

But isn't the real question, does God believe in you? And replace the value-laden term with whatever you like - spirituality, meaning, etc. as I do not want to assume divine existence.

I ask it this way because if you feel that "something" believes in you, then the strong interpretation is that existence is imbued with a purpose, a meaning. That every action is not random or accidental but intentional.

I'd like to think I create my own meaning or purpose, that self-determination is the ultimate goal. We choose our own paths. Like entrepreneurs. Or Barack. Or Neo. Or perhaps it is a mixture of interaction with our environment by which reveals our destiny and potential paths.

But maybe sometimes we need something "more" to point us in the right direction. Perhaps these signs are not so much divine but parts of a grand puzzle by which we must collect and then see put together to understand the entire message. And perhaps this message is not a new one, but one stored in old scrolls, memorized as poems, and argued furiously today as it was centuries ago. Because the basic human need for answers remains unquenched.

I wonder, but not too long. Our lives are finite, that much is certain.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Weird dream

So I had a dream where I was trying to survive some trip with sentient robots (think Transformers) on another planet, but it became a sort of nightmare as we were attacked by another species of sentient robots. Yeah I know it's nuts, but it got me thinking - what defines something as alive? The difference between a rock and a rabbit. Between honeybees and cell phones. There is a delineation between the animated and non-animated.

The key definition is an independent will to survive. That's the only thing which defines a living organism. All life wants to continue. All life does not want to end.

But it makes you wonder about the grand Origin. Where did the first cells come from - recent experiments show how life can evolve almost exponentially in certain situations (e.g. complexity theory) but the start of that life is still undetermined. Some cite God or divinity, but I imagine the truth is a bit more complicated or even simpler than a one-all, be-all answer.

Though I haven't followed outerspace research, I wonder if one day we find organic residue or fossils on other planets. This would be important, not just as evidence of past life on other planets, but also as support for a hypothesis of mine - that perhaps Earth is a successful experiment of life, while the rest of the planets in our solar system are not. Which alternatively makes me wonder how life could begin and then evolve in completely different environments than our own.

Why is this important? Because even if our own existence seems to be a chance development, and that Earth is a beautiful accident, then the question of God or divinity is less relevant. We must see beyond the petty disputes and struggles we face, to defining our role as a species. Our passports too narrowly represent us - it is not so much to be human, but to be a citizen of the universe.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The sweet Because without the bitter, baby, the sweet ain't as sweet.

It's the sour and the sweet. And I know sour, which allows me to appreciate the sweet.

Deep philosophy by Cameron Crowe, that guy who made that movie about the high school kid who toured with that rock band.


The end of summer's warm stickiness replaced with cool breezes. Dead, crunchy autumn leaves. Less excitement as vacations are over and the next ones seem far off. The snot-filled legacy of viral diseases waiting to attack with the help of colder weather and weaker immune systems.

Getting older. Healing slower after a shin hit or ankle sprain in basketball. Unanticipated toe pain after an hour of running. Hamstring soreness after a few hours of biking. My body and mind do not appear to be in sync, though I wonder when my mind catches up.

Wondering. Wondering about God, or the lack thereof. Wondering about the Purpose and the Meaning. Wondering about the present and what it means to the future. Wondering if there's a story behind the chaos, the chaos of today and the chaos of everything, including you.

Faith, hope, and love. If you lose one, do the rest matter?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I've been seeing some movies with Brooklyn/Astoria backdrops, the kind where graffiti sits idly on walls and subway cars and the soundtrack is a siren or engine revving. And most of these movies are some sort of childhood story, recounting what it meant to grow up "urban," growing up faster than the rest of us who lived in rural towns or preplanned suburbs.

I've often wondered what it would be like to write a similar story, but placed in Irvine, my hometown. Irvine, one of the safest cities in America, where everything shuts down at 10 pm, even though the high school kids are studying till 1 am. But I imagine the stories of SAT classes, poster painting for clubs and student government, and hanging out at the UCI marketplace wouldn't exactly keep eyelids from slipping down their covers.

What a bubble. But I imagine in a few years there will be some crime wave or scandal, because Irvine's one of those cities where it'd be easy to hide something that big. It's always the cities with carefully manicured grass and unassuming residents - they get sleepy, like that fat, wrinkly dog which moves like a sloth. And BAM! Hell comes crashing through that association-approved roof and ruins those lawn figurines just purchased from Home Depot.

I suppose that's why it's easier to write or make movies about the City. At least there, the bad shit is always in front of you, like that damn graffiti or ever-present scent of fresh urine.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

All you need is

Love is both taught and learned. The way parents love is a derived form of the love their parents gave them, which in turn is a derived form of love from generations past.

And so love doesn’t die or end. It lingers like a sweet summer breeze from a bed of wilting flowers. Some live, others rot away, but the fragrance remains.

We’re mortal souls in borrowed bodies. What lies before birth or after death is irrelevant.

Because love, like music, will outlast us all.

I have no idea where this came from. I was writing one of my essays and it just wrote itself. It's really quite maudlin, but it's true, isn't it?