Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fireflies and Suns

Something magical about fireflies on summer nights like these. Watching the flickering of evanescent lights from fireflies has been a wonderful experience for me, a bit spiritual and existential I suppose. Makes me think of how stars are not so different from the fireflies' ephemeral sparks of light.
To us, the Sun means everything for life. Yet from an observer with a relatively longer span of life (perhaps infinite and eternal) a few billion years of a star's lifetime is like a few seconds in time--mere flashes of light--like the sparks from fireflies.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Center of the Whorl

StormThere has always been something mysterious at the center of whorls such as storms, hurricanes, tornadoes and whirlpools. Even more mysterious is that spirals and swirls occur at multiple levels in our universe: Our very own Milky Way galaxy is a spiral whorl; and at the top of your head there is probably an epicenter where your hair pans out in spiral formation.
It is believed that at the center of the Milky Way there is a black hole. You'll be ripped to shreds on your way to the center. Yet, at the core there is probably complete peace and tranquility. I say this because I remember the movie "The Perfect Storm" whereupon the central eye of the storm briefly passed through the stranded fishermen. It was a moment of complete stillness, and the fishermen saw the sun shine through a clear blue sky as their boat momentarily lay within the storm's center.
I never knew that at the eye of a storm there is peace and tranquility until I watched that scene.
Yet as soon as the eye of the storm moved onwards, their boat was left behind to be engulfed by the trailing half of the storm. Chaos resumed with lashing winds and hundred-foot waves..killing all the fishermen.
If the pattern of the whorl is emergent at multiple levels in the universe then it must surely mean something at the level of human life. I can see several meanings from the whorl's archetype:
1) If you are experiencing a life of total ease, with no challenges, no goals, no action, and no struggle whatsoever for an extended time, then you are in big trouble. You are right smack at the center of a storm and it will break you to pieces when it passes you by. A life with no activity, and a life with nothing to keep you busy is a recipe for death.
2) Attack the problem right at the center. It's much effective to dive right in at the root of the problem rather going at the sides and dodging the storm.
3) The Spiral probably means that there's always a center on all things. Surely, your life must be revolving around someone or something (I hope not a 'black hole'). Thus, In life, finding out who, where or what the true center is, and then focusing upon it could probably give you the peace and tranquility that you you live and die.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Evidence of God's Existence is His Coolness

MysteryI thank Atheism because it stirs an honest doubt, without which, faith would be lame. For someone who struggles to know the truth, the tug-of-war between two camps can be sickening at times, yet it can also reveal wonderful insights.
A simple question from a fellow blogger asking for the evidence of the existence of God conjured up in me an idea which I have no name for. Here is my take on that issue:

The evidence for the existence of God is the mystery of His existence itself. It is the mystery of His existence that is an evidence in itself.

It might seem like a circular argument at first, but let me expound. Let's have a Gendanken experiment: Suppose that god revealed himself in a most personal way to each and every human being on earth, such that it is overwhelmingly "convincing" that it was god himself, saying "I AM GOD".
I cannot even imagine how god would do this to cater to each person's unique standard of "convince-ability".
Each person has a unique level of "proof threshold" that must be satisfied before belief can ensue. I doubt if God can accomplish this for each human being, not because of Him, but because the human mind is naturally skeptical, or that because of Free Will - people simply choose not to believe.
But that is not the point. My point is this: if God exposed Himself to me, bare and without any sense of mystery at all, I would start to think that he is lame, boring and uncool. In fact, I would question Him even more to the point of unbelief, and then start to ask who the heck created this weird Being who is exposing himself naked to me. I am sure that I will be thrown into an infinite regress by asking who created him because he is so lame.
I just realized that I do not want a God that has no sense of coolness. I do not want a God that has no sense of mystery.
Perhaps it is just me. Perhaps my own personal "reaction" to this hypothetical "revelation" of God's existence is just unique to me. Other people may rejoice when God reveals Himself to them ever so clearly. But not me. I would find it boring and lame if God did that to me.
Personally, I like a God that makes my hair stand on end at wonderful tidbits of wonder, such as when looking up in the night sky gazing at the stars. I like a God that gives me goosebumps when I realize that perhaps, in some way the Mandelbrot set points to Jesus.
And so, I think God is cool. On this particular issue of "evidence of His existence", I think God is handling it in a hip way, at least for me.
In my opinion, the evidence of God's existence is the coolness of how He decided to handle that issue itself. I do not know a "term" or name for this thought or argument. All I know is that personally I think Mystery is a cool thing.
I love the awe and wonder that this universe brings, and the experience of pausing and wondering "that perhaps God exists", after every new discovery. I love the pieces of clues that is revealed to me each new day. I also now enjoy the challenge of this thought - that maybe God is nothingness. Then onwards I go to seek the Truth.
Some people live their lives content at either of these two camps-- as a firm believer with an immovable faith, or as a staunch atheist with an unbeatable intellectual prowess.
Yet, I prefer myself to be at the gradient of both, in between these two opposing camps.

"I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it."
- Harry Emerson Fosdick

"I don't know where the sunbeams end and the starlight begins...its all a mystery."
- The Flaming Lips (The Fight Test)