Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Surrealism

"So strong is the belief in life, in what is most fragile in life – real life, I mean – that in the end this belief is lost."
- Andre Breton, Manifesto of Surrealism

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I believed there is a reality beyond physics. I don't know why? All this while, it has been a somewhat gut feeling or instinct. Perhaps, due to my existing consciousness that keep prompting me to not give in to the idea that there is no reality beyond. Even there are naturalists (those who believed everything can be explain through natural process) proposing their ideas to suffocate metaphysics, but still the stubborness of my consciousness insist on its own origin. I really do not know why. It is so surreal. I felt it.

Though Sigmund Freud said that it is some Oedipus-made-up instinct from our unconscious mind, but i don't agree with him.
If that is so, why should i have this instinctive feeling in the first place, or how did the first person came to experience Oedipus even when there wasn't any reference for him to recognise which inclination should be encourage and which should not. Does instinct by itself able to teach us the "ought" and "ought not"?

What are feelings? Effects resulted from hormones and impulses in my vein (body)? Perhaps, some of them are, but what about the feeling of liking or even loving? My consciousness keeps being bombarded by feelings. All i know about feelings is that they are effects which serve as an end, which meant to be feel them as a result. Feelings, in their abstract nature, can't neither be good nor bad. We do say,"I feel bad..", but that 'bad' is just the feelings that we dislike, just as when we say,"i feel great!", there is nothing great about that feeling anymore than there is anything great with our favourite musics, except that it is sweet to our ears.

Further, why are we conscious of feelings and why can't we be unconscious of them?
Feelings like love and hatred are more than effects from our hormone maneuver. It should be more than that, it has to be! I am being unnaturalistic. I just cannot allow the reality of naturalism to be swallow in. It could be the stubborn reaction from my consciousness again; as stubborn as a physicist that rejects metaphysics.

Is an existentialist who romanticise feelings romantic? I dont know but i guess, setting up feelings as pillars in life would be devastating. Feelings are the main motivation for suicides, from my observation.

What do you guys and girls think? What do you think, Joyce? Is life a result of natural process or there is some unexplanable origin that we can hardly discover?

And what about our destiny? Is there anything at all after death? (Sigmund Freud said,"NO"; C.S Lewis said,"YES"). If there is, where are we in that realm? If there is an ultimate realm that provoke my curiousity and keep my consciousness unrest, then this reality must surpasses realism; it is Surreal.

Though i am defining surrealism differently from Andre Breton, but there is one significant similiarity that is in the nature of both of our understandings. Both of us believed in a foundational awareness within human fathomable reality. And this foundational awareness is an effect of our mind.

From here, Breton pursuded his idea of surrealim being a "Pure psychic automatism, by which one proposes to express, either verbally, or in writing, or by any other manner, the real functioning of thought. Dictation of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason, outside of all aesthetic and moral preoccupation."

As for me, i head towards a rather different philosophical nature of surrealism; "the belief in the superior reality of certain forms. It tends to ruin once and for all all other psychic mechanisms and to substitute itself for them in solving all the principal problems of life."

And my question is: How do i ask this question?

Rene Descartes gave a fairly good suggestion: I think, therefore I am.

It seems like there isn't any explanation for the existence of my own consciousness. Perhaps, the closest that i could gather from nature is that my consciousness is sustained by another consciousness which is prior to mine. If my temporal consciousness is sustained by another consciousness, then that other consciousness have to be beyond temporal. This transcendental consciousness is Surreal.

"He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."
Paul of Tarsus, Letter to the Colossians

Monday, July 18, 2005

Life Just Can't Be Any Better

=)

Attended the 3-days Project Timothy conference on "God's Sovereignty, Our Assurance" in the weekend. Long hours of lectures, long travelling each day, lots of coffee been consumed, bad sleep, and extremely tired but at the end of it, i felt heaven.

Life just can't be any better!
For once, after a long while, life is so satisfying. There is meaning in life after all. hahahaha...

The love of the Trinity is too overwhelming. Life is full. Though feel a lil dizzy and heaty right now.

2 speakers:
Peter O' Brien- Senior Research Fellow, Moore Theological College
Ray Galea- Rector of St. Alban's Church and MTS Trainer, Australia

The former is a foremost scholar in New Testament (whose guidance meant alot to me), while the latter is a excellent counsellor.

There were loads of questions being asked by participants, all of them are indeed sensitive, utmost important, and desperate questions concerning Christian faith. Well, i, too, took part in the questioning but the answers that i have got dont really seems like answers. Their are more like a reminder or something like an "awakening" suggestion for me to reaccess my approach to theology and philosophy.

Both my questions were handled by Peter O'Brien.

Q1: What is your comment on the new perspective on Paul that adhered by N.T Wright, E.P Sanders, and James Dunn in regards to Justification, Righteousness, and the issue of Faith v.s Works?

Q2: William Lane Craig of Biola University wrote in his article titled "Lest Anyone Should Fall: A Middle Knowledge Approach on Perseverance and Apostolic Warnings", that says "to maintain the warnings of Scripture are the means by which guarantees the perseverance of the elect is in fact to adopt a Molinist perspective. But Molinism does not imply the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. What is your comment on this?

Peter's answers (these answers are those that he gave me when i approached him after the conference, not the one he said on the stage):

A1: There is a book on this by Prentiss Waters G, "Justification & the New Perspectives on Paul". (Basically he doesnt really agree with this new perspective but he acknowledge the contribution of recent findings of the 2nd temple judaism).


A2: I don't know much about Molinism; I am not a philosopher, i am just a Bible believing Christian.

The first answer simply guided me to seek for the thorough answer while the second answer humbled me to rethink and introspect on my methodology in my studies.
A prominent scholar said,"I am just a Bible believing Christian", compared to him, i am Bible illiterate!

When he was leaving to catch his flight to KL, i approached him to thanked him for his insight. He encouraged me to continue to study into that knowledge(philosophy). At that moment, i was into hero-worship.

It was a wonderful experience attending that meeting. BEsides getting new insights, i was convicted over and over again of my own ignorance and sinfulness. Without Christ, who am i? Without Christ, where am i?

Sola Christus.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Boh Liao Updates

SOme updates

Work: Rearrange the store room.

Young Adult Fellowship: Discussed on John 2; Jesus's miracle of turning water into wine, but ended up discussing traditions between the Roman Catholic and the Protestants.

Latest books:
1) Ben Witherington, Jesus Quest.
2) Michael Wilkins & J.P Moreland, Jesus Under Fire.
3) Steven Cowan & Stanley Gundry, 5 Views on Apologetics.

Reading:
Michael Wilkins & J.P Moreland, Jesus Under Fire.

Not really reading:
1) William Lane Craig & J.P Moreland, Philosophical Foundation of Christian Worldview
2) Norman Geisler, Systematic Theology vol. 1
3) John Piper, Desiring God
4) Betrand Russell, Why i am not a Christian

Planning to buy:
1) John Frame, Apologetics for the glory of God (not really keen)
2) Alvin Plantinga, Warranted Christian Belief (very keen)
3) Alvin Plantinga, The Ontological Argument, from St. Anselm to Contemporary Philosophers (very keen)
4) D.A Carson, Gospel according to John
5) Norman Geisler, I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist (keen)
6) G.E Moore, Principia Ethica (keen)

Not planning to read:
1) Benedict Spinoza, Ethics
2) Karl Marx, Communist Manifesto
3) Gregory Boyd, Letters from a Skeptics
4) Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Life 2 (if there is any)
5) John Piper other books
6) Charles Finney's books
7) A.W Tozer's books
8) Norman Geisler, Introduction to Philosophy
9) Norman Geisler, Christian Apologetics
10) Ravi Zacharias, The Problem of Evil (too deep, can't understand at all!)
11) Cornelius VanTil's books
*** subject to changes.




Resolution:
...get a life...

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