Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Appreciate a Past & the Future

Check out all the retail shops in the city, the newspaper/magazine stands at 7-11 and supermarkets.

Do you find that almost everywhere you go and whatever you see is telling you that you are a walkway?

A walkway! Not the models on the walkway but a walkway that grounds the different designs of latest trends which are outdated by next week or so when publishers replace the a-week-old magazines on those shelves with new ones hot out from the press.

And it doesn't confined only to clothing. It ranges from architectures to military strategies to science & technology to management skills to economic analysis to pregnancy care to copulation positions.

And strangely I find this same trend in libraries with their periodicals, quarterly journals, peer-reviews, etc. With such on-going process, the line between production and consumption is blurred. The 'latest' exists because of consumption, or consumption exists hence also the 'latest'? And this process cannot stop simply because that marks 'status quo', a word that connotes impoverishment or worse.

Hence walking life is like walking on the walkway whether we like it or not. This makes life seemed contingent and hence hopeless and future-less. But this condition is not as dim as the process wants us to believe. Contingency exists only if there is no future. Yet unless the future is in the present, it remains unforeseeable, ineffective, and ultimately irrelevant.

Any tangible and real hope necessarily requires the in-breaking of the future into the present. And thank God we had precisely that: the Resurrection.

And hence the process is now under the judgment on the basis of and by this calamitous in-breaking. The economical dynamics within the process with all the enterprises under its way is not called into any other critique but this judgment.

However, given that this in-breaking is established by the future and not grounded in the present, the judgment is not one that annihilates but one that transforms and activates. Transforming and activating in the manner not dissimilar with the tangibility, effectiveness, and, ultimately, relevance of the Resurrection itself.

Appreciate Easter.


Steven Sim said...

I have been thinking about karmic laws and buddhism against ur thoughts.

Contrary to your thoughts on Resurrection, karmic laws seemed invest the future with the present/past. It does feel like bogging/burdening the future with the past. Of course we can also see it the other way round but I believe it is more apt to see it this way.

If a disconnected future is meaningless, then buddhism which does not believe in the permanence of the self cannot have a future, since there is no continuity, not even to say relevance.

And the odd thing is, if there's no continuity, due to annatta, then karmic laws seemed to be rather unfair because the future x will be suffering because of present y. And x!=y.

Wut's ur thought? Maybe I got it wrong?

Steven Sim

davinci said...

the karmic law, and anatta, present and future, actually are in contradiction. however, they are taught to warn the grassroot buddhist to do good.. and since they are grassroot, they do not bother about such contradiction..hehe..

but for the elites, all these are just illusory...just for convenient talks...


Sze Zeng said...


Your comment is intriguing. I haven't thought of that.

And I just read from a website on Annatta (http://www.buddhanet.net/nutshell09.htm). It seems that though there is no continuity of the soul, Buddhism, as described on the website, claims that the existent of a being is the result of karmic effects generating "psycho-physical phenomenon".

That means, if i'm not wrong, to Buddhist, there is no soul or real person. What we are are just karmic phenomena. The past and the future are phenomena without personhood.

In contrast, thinking that the Resurrection as the in-breaking from the future, that assumes a past and a future with a personhood. And that particular personhood is not a product of karmic forces but a psycho-physical persona with its own history and future.

Thus, the Resurrection judges over this Buddhism's notion simply for breaking the karmic phenomena.

Does this make sense?

It's been a long time we didn't talk at this level already :)