Friday, January 27, 2012

The nightmares have returned.

For a time, I had slipped back into my nights of nothingness; my nights haunted by the emotional emptiness of temporary oblivion.

And I was perfectly okay with that.

It was empty, but at least it did me no harm.

These new nightmares are stronger than ever.

They are less violent; less visually disturbing than usual, and yet somehow...more unsettling.

Each dark universe is incredibly unique.

Wrong somehow in a way that is simply beyond adequate description.

Impossible phenomena occur all around me, with no reason or explanation ever offered, as though the laws of the physical world as we know them had simply never existed.

Much to my frustration, I do not remember these worlds.

At least, not entirely.

Any details that do remain in my active memory are but meaningless fragments of an infinitely more puzzling whole.

Strange, levitating forms of a light-like substance, shifting with no warning or regularity between chaotic liquid states and solid, crystalline structures.

A half of a room, filled only with halves of objects.

A table that stands on two legs, but has the stability of four.

A man who can turn himself inside out through his mouth and back again who is met not with the anticipated screams of terror, but with fascinated applause from onlookers.

Individuals whose faces change so gradually over the course of a conversation that if you had not been paying attention, you would not have realized that by the time that they walked away, they were completely different people.

Objects that, when thrown, hang in the air just slightly longer than expected.

A subtle sense of a perpetual and unknown danger, even in the comfort of the mundane.

There are so many pieces remaining.

So many nagging, lingering pieces that stay behind to mock my inability to retain the context of these deeply uncomfortable reveries.

Every morning, I awake with a start, often speaking or coughing and with my muscles held so tense that even the slightest sudden movement causes my entire system to ache.

How long do I lay there awake before my consciousness snaps into awareness, suddenly warning me not to move until I have let go of that night's imagined reality and allowed my body to relax?

Each dream is gone within seconds, before I am allowed an opportunity to copy it into some permanent medium.

Even my voice is of no use, as the thoughts entering my microphone are incoherent at best as I watch each universe rend itself apart in my mind's eye.

I lay in silence, grasping for something to say as large sections of each dream fall away in every direction, until each once horrifying construct is nothing more than a few singular ideas left abandoned in a non-geometrical, infinite white void.

These surreal worlds vanish so quickly; so purposefully and efficiently, almost as though my unconscious knows that they would drive my conscious mind insane.

It would be an untruth to say that a part of me is not fascinated by these worlds.

A part of me knows that the discomfort is worth the experience.

A part of me can tolerate the fear.

Part of me is fascinated.

But the rest of me has barely slept in weeks.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"The Bible is a blueprint of in-group morality, complete with instructions for genocide, enslavement of out-groups, and world domination. But the Bible is not evil by virtue of its objectives or even its glorification of murder, cruelty, and rape. Many ancient works do that - The Iliad, the Icelandic Sagas, the tales of the ancient Syrians and the inscriptions of the ancient Mayans, for example. But no one is selling the Iliad as a foundation for morality. Therein lies the problem."

- John Hartung

Friday, January 20, 2012

"My life experience tells me that when you don't find blacks in the sciences, when you don't find women in the sciences, I know that these forces are real, and I had to survive them in order to get where I am today. So before we start talkin' about genetic differences, you gotta come up with a system where there's equal opportunity. Then we can have that conversation."

- Neil DeGrasse Tyson

You can find the full context of the quote through the following link:

The entire discussion is very interesting. If you are interested at all in modern science education, then I definitely recommend that you give this one the time and watch it through from the beginning. Each speaker has a slightly different perspective, and the conversation is quite stimulating.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Silent Majority

A friend of mine sent me this image last night. You'll have to pull up the full size image to read it, obviously. If for some reason that doesn't work, you can find the original here. If you can read it through to the end, I commend you. I only got about 2/3 of the way through before I became so dizzy that I had to stop. Please do follow the link out before reading any further.

I want to just go ahead and address this argument now:

"Now Hayden, you can't judge religion as a whole based on the behavior of a few extremists. There will always be extremists and vocal minorities that give religion a bad name, but most of us are fine with a 'live and let live' philosophy. Religious people are just as upset by these sorts of things as non-believers."

If that is the case, then why does it seem that the only people willing to put this stuff out there are the atheists, non-believers, and apostates? And why are they just dismissed as angry or misguided when they do? How much of this stuff would (and does) just get swept under the rug out of the fear of giving religion a bad name if the non-religious did not bring it up? If everybody is equally upset by this, then why do the religious usually choose just not to talk about it?

The behavior of the religiously moderate masses is irrelevant when the "vocal minorities" speak through murder and harmful influence on public policy, particularly when the behavior of the masses tends toward inaction. The fact that religious extremists who are willing to harm others in the name of their faith are in a minority does not make the fact that their religion gives them permission to kill any less pertinent.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal rather than religion-specific requires that their proposals be subject to argument and amendable reason. Now, I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, to take one example, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God's will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principal that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all."

- Barack Obama

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The day that you can fully accept that you have no control over the actions of others is the day that you will be freed from your anger.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The memorial service has been set for this Saturday.

Until then, I must spend my energy writing a eulogy.

I will be back with new posts next week.

In the meantime, please do take it easy.

Monday, January 9, 2012

I have been trying to write more lately.

But I can't stay focused.

Nothing seems important enough to talk about right now.

I am so uncomfortable.

Friday, January 6, 2012

I think that she might want to look into getting a reduction...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Manifesto, Revisited

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
     - Edmund Burke

This is why I often find myself in the dreaded role of the "young contrarian."

This is why I sometimes see fit to risk friendships by asking people the uncomfortable questions in the hope of addressing cognitive dissonance.

This is why I publicly discuss my opinions, knowing that my honesty will be likely to sometimes have negative consequences in my personal and professional life.

This is why I intentionally seek out ways to challenge my own intellect; to force myself to grow and evolve each and every day so that I will not stagnate in the comfort of my own perception.

This is why I refuse to agree to disagree.

Because there is an answer to every problem.

And yes, I will be the first to admit that sometimes that answer is still beyond our grasp.

Sometimes that answer is "we don't know."

And that is so profoundly wonderful.

There is nothing more pure and honest and inspiring than the admission of ignorance.

But if that is to be an answer, it is an answer that we must find together.

We can not avoid conflict and still expect to motivate progress.

We can not turn a blind eye to our differences and expect to "just get along."

We can not waste time preoccupying ourselves with the fear of offending some obsolete tradition or ancient doctrine.

Because there are answers out there.

Answers that we may never find.

But we must at least try.

We must not grow complacent.

We must call into question that which we are commanded to believe.

That which we are told is "just the way of things."

I am not satisfied to sit by in public conformity, privately commiserating with only the like-minded as the generations of the past tell me who I am and how I am expected to succeed.

We are not simply the products of the things that they give us.

We are so much more than that.

The answers that our generation will find and pass on excite me to no end.

We are a generation accustomed to rapid, perpetual change.

And like all of the innovators and scientists and artists who have come before us and risked their own happiness to change the world, we will do incredible things.

But I must first ask you this question:

Are you satisfied?

Monday, January 2, 2012

One of my greatest regrets of my college career so far is that I largely stopped reading books.

I just didn't have time.

And when I did have time, I usually didn't have the energy required to attempt to maintain my attention on the page.

But I am hoping that all of that is about to change, thanks to this fancy new device of mine:

I am hoping that the Kindle is going to make reading more convenient and accessible, given my constantly busy schedule and my worthless powers of concentration. At the very least, it will make my reading material easier to bring with me, and therefore easier to actually do in the breaks between more pressing events. 

Anyway, I have some posts coming up soon. I have been writing, but I've been having a hard time keeping up with these updates recently.

The past several months have been very...trying.

I understand that I have no need to do so, but I apologize for my intermittency as of late, and I thank you all for your patience as I figure out how to best adapt to some of the challenges that are currently being introduced into my life.

Now, I am sure that some would say that buying an infinite book is not going to help me write more often.

And I...would have to concede they are probably not incorrect.

But expect to see a lot more of me over the next few weeks.

I want to get serious about this again.

So, until next time.

Much love, my friends.

Sunday, January 1, 2012