'…BEYOND…'

My Journal

A View of Japan

Check out my new blog!

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After recently moving from Britain to Japan, ive started up a blog which will document visually through photography my travels and experiences in this fascinating culture.

Check it out by clicking on the following link:

A view of Japan

The new blog will not replace this one and i will begin posting again soon.

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Nothing …

Being rational

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I’m growing tired of the god debate.

Why, you ask?

Well, ill answer that with a question.

But, before i get to that question, let me say this.

For their to be a true debate, for their to be a true truth, this truth being the desired outcome of such a debate … somebody has to be right. If nobody is right, then the debate is surely rendered pointless.

Now, for my question.

Tell me, all you academic atheists out there, what makes you think your argument against god, is any better than religions one for god?

Seems easy to answer doesn’t it. I can think of a million (ok, not a million) ways that an intelligent atheist would answer such a question. I don’t think anybody could answer this question in a way that surprises me. I’ve heard most if not all the arguments, relevant ones that is.

So, ok, i get it. Theories suggest that something can come from nothing, god wasn’t needed to create the universe, god wasn’t needed to make man. Everything works under natural laws, laws which day by day we are gradually getting closer to understanding. But lets actually think about this for a second. Lets strip back all that fancy scientific theory and philosophy. If we keep stripping it back and back till there is nothing left to say, nothing is what you come to. We cannot comprehend nothing, whats more, we are in no position (we may perhaps never be in such a position) to know what lies amongst all that nothing, or behind it for that matter.

Mysticism on the other hand is the stuff of fairy tales, it is the product of our imagination. There is no Santa Claus, there is no Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy, and as much as i don’t want to point such a thing out, the literal Adam and Eve probably belong in that category as well. Yet, contrary to this, our imagination is a valued source of knowledge, it is amazing how often the very act of thinking something turns into something actually being.

To my knowledge, nothing ive read or heard about from others that are more knowledgeable on the bible gives a justified ‘yea, this is where we come from’ story. I don’t consider the opening chapter of Genesis to be such a story. And frankly, i find it hard to understand how anybody does look to it as such a story. But im not going to judge that. I cant judge that.

So if there was no Adam and Eve, where does that leave us? Ok, well obviously we arrive at the theory of evolution. Ah yes, evolution kills god … doesn’t it? Well, no, not really. You could argue it kills a certain kind of god, a god along the lines of the mysticism of Santa Claus maybe.  As ive mentioned in previous posts, evolution is still very much a theory, we don’t know 100% how things play out. But that’s not important right now, what is important is the idea of evolution killing god. So, god didn’t create the world in 7 days. Man is the product of a long line of subtle mutations going back generation after generation. What, that’s not impressive enough? Something that continues to amaze me is how little emphasis people place on how mind-blowing the story of evolution is. How mind-blowing the story of our universe is, to our current knowledge.

Ok, so for those needing something substantial to bite their teeth into, our history according to biblical references isn’t really going to do is it. Its a bit like trying to take a bite out of water, maybe that’s enough for some but for those with a big apatite you can be sure they will be looking elsewhere.

This takes us to another question.

Why is it that human beings need to believe in something?

We need to believe in something to such an extent that the very notion of not knowing anything makes us run a mile, sometimes an imaginary mile.

In a discussion between science, religion and faith, I was asked by a christian a question that i think was asked with the intent of wrong footing me. I admitted that i do not place trust in science as many do for the single reason that truth is all relative, its all about perspective, history has shown vividly how quickly that perspective changes, and how truth changes with it.

He asked ‘So, if you don’t believe in this (Christianity), where does that leave you?’

Where does that leave me? Well, it kind of leaves me nowhere. One could say that i am lost, for i do not know where i am, or where i come from so to speak.

Mentally i have no choice but to support and hold up science as my truth, it is all we have to go on. But, emotionally i am rather religious and ritualistic. Being an emotionally religious person, ironically, has already proven to be my most valuable asset. I act on faith, faith in what, i do not know. Faith in religion? No, just faith.

This is a strange contradiction. I am in conflict within myself, i believe in something yet relentlessly question ‘can there be anything?’.

As the title of this post says, nothing is all i know.

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When the end is near …

Taking that step of faith

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“I believe that one of life’s greatest risks is never daring to risk.” Oprah Winfrey

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There comes a time in our lives where we have a decision to make, that decision has the power to make or break you.

That decision will usually consist of two paths, two paths that go in opposite directions. The first option is the safe path, the second requires you to take a step of faith, it asks you to take one of the greatest risks you may ever take. The decision you make may set the narrative for the rest of your life.

The safe path is the logical option, you will have a better understanding of what that path involves, where it will take you. You have an idea of where that path will meet its end, you know what happens next and as such, you will in all likeliness live a more secure life. To the contrary, taking that step of faith runs the risk of taking you nowhere. But, as with all great risks, it gives you a chance to fulfill yourself in a way in which you could not without taking the risk in the first place. As far as we know, we only get one shot at life, so it is important to understand that what decision you make will ultimately define who you are.

Think of it as being on a game show. The host gives you the option to walk away now with £10,000 … but, you have a second option. You can take that risk and come away with a lot more, but, you may also come away with nothing. That is the risk you take.

One such choice is on my horizon as of this moment. It draws ever closer. But, i already know my choice, i always have. It is one of my greatest contradictions that i am willing to constantly make that risk, take that step of faith. Yet when it comes to religion and god i am unwilling to make such a step due to the lack of evidence and reason, the lack of logic. It is strange that logic be such an important element for me in the god equation. Yet that very same logic has no bearing on my decision to take that step of faith in life, to take risk.  Though, I guess i could attribute this reasoning to my why i am taking on such a project as i am, searching for god.

Someone told me not all that long ago, that in reality when i make a decision that seems illogical to others, it is not in actuality, illogical. I choose the illogical because it is in essence it is logical to me. It is logical to me because it feels right, it is logical because i choose the path of fulfillment and there is no fulfillment without risk. In my heart i realize that i would rather lead a life where i have made that leap of faith in pursuit of fulfillment, than taking the safe route and leading a steady, predictable life.

At 9am,  new years day 2005, the greatest influence in my life, an immortal in my eyes, suddenly became very mortal.

But, i was wrong. He is indeed immortal. His last words, his shadowing influence, his presence and the standards  that he set are ever present. When death called, he had no regrets. When the inevitability of death calls upon me, i too wish to have no regrets.

I would rather risk and fall than wonder at at deaths door, what if …

What is your choice?

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Creating the Universe: Test 1

The process of creating the Universe

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I haven’t been updating my blog with artistic experiments as much as i should, mainly focusing on the thoughts that drive the expression of the experimentation. I plan to change that from this day forward.

As of this moment, i am working with ideas that will, once completed, form a sequence. A theoretical sequence that is not meant to represent reality, rather i aim make one think. For now, i am making experiments, ‘draft’ imagery if you like. Once specific images have been chosen at the ‘conclusion’ of this side of the project i will rework them to a higher quality and finish. The work will then be exhibited under specific conditions.

The sequence will play out as a story, the story of existence. A purely theoretical sequence that focuses on the emotional side to the exploration of science and faith. The story will express the foundations which birthed, stabilized and which eventually, inevitably will bring an end to our existence.

An example of one of my tests is below, the theme of this specific image is the ‘catalyst’ that birthed the universe. The mysterious light in the image represents an unknown, it represents ‘something’. You could say that ‘something’ is ‘god’.

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Birth

Birth

(please be aware that for space and copyright reasons, the work is sampled at low quality on my blog)

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Seeing really isn’t believing …

Why science will surpass religion

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From such a title one would presume that now i will begin an atheistic chant against the evil that is religion, much as one Richard Dawkins might do. But my statement is not born out of atheism, i appose the atheist with the greatest of respect.

Many believe in science as the word of truth, they do so without taking into consideration that in reality science is theory. Science is constantly evolving and rethinking, firing out theories which become truth to many, that is till that truth is proven wrong by another truth. The point being there is no real truthtruth is only truth until it is proven wrong.

We as a race are quick to jump at conclusions, after all it is human nature to judge one way or another. We are unsatisfied with not knowing the answers, not having a preference or standing. As a result both science and religion fall prey to this human quality, both domains are flooded in narrative which serves the purpose of defining our existence.

Darwin’s origin of species is a prime example of such a narrative. I find it important to note that i believe in evolution, my point here is that i recognize what a  neat and ordered story we have fabricated the theory into. We act as if we have the entire fossil and DNA record of life on earth, at every stage of existence and then lay it out in a pretty sequence with nice illustrations. Evolution is not a complete and 100% accurate theory, as many think. But for the sake of needing that definition of our existence in scientific terms it is widely accepted as fact, rather than an overwhelmingly plausible theory. One of the major holes in the theory is our lack of understanding of DNA, how metaphorically speaking, a phone turns into a fax machine (as opposed to a phone turning into another phone, think the breeding of pedigree animals such as cats).

Religion has its very own narrative. Ill use my major religious influence being Christianity as an example. Take what we know as fact from the core of Christianity’s beliefs. That being that Jesus did exist, that he was a real historical figure. I think we can take on board that he was a great man, a good man, obviously a very charismatic and influential one.  He also must have performed explainable acts. I use the word  unexplainable loosely. We have only to see works of illusionist Derren Brown to realize that seeing really isn’t believing. Once you start to break down the Bible, if you think rationally all that you are left with is a moral code. Whatever truth there may have been embedded in the text about god is now clouded by the fog of speculation, interpretation and time. Maybe some can see through it, but thus far i have not been able to. The Bible has fallen prey to the error of translation and interpretation, there are different interpretations merely in English text for all to see, never mind its roots in Hebrew. My point is this, Christianity has weaved together speculation and interpretation and filled in the missing gaps. But it certainly isn’t alone in doing so, as i have stated science is a victim of this also.

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Why science will surpass religion.

Science is in itself heading towards religion. Not in a way that aligns itself with religions of the world as such, rather science may become a unification of present science and the truth in religion. Of course, it would no longer be science as such so maybe what i should say is that science is showing signs that one day it might birth a new religion. With numerous theories desperately trying to understand reality. Speculation on possible parallel universes, multiverses, simulation theory to a 5th dimension, it is not hard to see how one could start to form narratives that exist within such developments. After all, god is very much a possibility in such existences. Narratives such as these could coincide with science.

It is the way things work, evolution is formed on the back of unification, theories die and merge together into a new hybrid offering a more complete view. It is possible that this is the fate of religion and science. Who knows, only time will tell.

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The intimacy between god and man …?

Hmm

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A majority of Christians i meet have one thing in common, no its not that they are nice people or that they live by the moral code of the bible. What they have in common is this, to term it as they do a relationship with god. What is this, this relationship they talk about? I welcome insight from anyone who claims to have such a thing.

To have a relationship with god it would have to be an emotional being. Now, there is no room for such a being within our existence, at least not to our knowledge. The only way god can be this emotional being is for god to exist outside of our rules, outside of our existence. For god to exist in our domain i cant break it down to any other possibility than god=mathematics. If god is mathematics, then it cant be an emotional being but an endless sequence of rules. So, with what we know and what we can project with our current scientific knowledge today, for god to be this spiritual being it must live outside of our reality no? Such a projection opens god up to an infinite number of possibilities, what it can be, how it exists and so on.

I find it difficult to believe in miracles that many Christians lay claim to witnessing. Just today i was speaking to a lady of faith, she went on to tell me about this baffling story involving god speaking to her and healing her distorted leg many years ago. I wont get into details but i have no explanation for how exactly her leg could have healed by itself when she was briefed by doctors that she would be disabled for life. This happened just over a couple of days from how she described it. She went from being a cripple to dancing about in joy.

Ok, something is missing here.

These kinds of miracles dont exist to our knowledge, or do they? Im willing to bet shes missing key points out in her story, she believes god healed her no doubt but it cant have played out how she claimed. If god is capable of bending the rules with which the universe is based on, being mathematics,  surely we would have witnessed such a thing no? Why is it that the only people who witness these kinds of things are either on drugs, woken up late at night, are suffering from cold temperatures or more to the point, believe in god. I want to witness one of these miracles myself, i want to witness water turning into gold. I want to see it with my eyes, i want to make my own conclusions. I want to rationalize it myself.

This relationship between man and god is supposed to be an emotional one. The holy spirit im told is the key to this relationship. What is the holy spirit? Nicky Gumbel puts it something like this, be filled with the holy spirit and be filled with gods love, like a sponge being drenched in water. Something is really off here. The point im supposedly missing is that god loves me. If i can understand that then everything else will come into place, thats what im told. This just feels ……. i dont even know. What i do know is that something feels very very off. Almost like preying on our need to be loved, which we all suffer from whether we admit it or not. Theres nothing bad about these people, in fact, if youve read my earlier posts they are overwhelmingly good people. I guess, maybe because they feel they have been fulfilled they have a sense of being complete. Hence why they give of a very positive energy? I do not know.  But it would explain this supernatural atmosphere and kindness they give off to others.

As a thinker, i cannot take things at face value. Christianity demands that i do it to understand them, to understand faith and to understand god. They ask i jump of a cliff with a leap of faith, blind faith. I want to understand the Christian mind, i want to see what these people are seeing, i want to experience this relationship with god that they claim to have so i can judge for myself whether they are living in a delusion. It seems i am destined on my current path to go round and round in circles  Something needs to change if i am ever to truly understand the Christian from their perspective, rather than just mine and that of science. I understand the scientist, i understand the general motivations of people in everyday life, but what i do not understand is faith.

Maybe i seek too much in my pursuit of answers. But, i ask for answers to my questions regardless.

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Proving god doesn’t exist …?

Why is it …

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Why is that some people seem to prefer the idea of there being no such thing as god?

Some people are willing to go to great lengths to prove in their minds, as well as prove to others that god does not exist. Fact is, nobody can answer the question does god exist. Yet, this does not stop people from all walks of life and of all levels of intelligence claiming that god is impossible. That god is for the delusional.

Why?

Really, why? I do not get it. Well, in part i do as i covered in my previous post. But still, god represents some form of purpose no? Without there being a god, without even the possibility what is our purpose? If everything is indeed an act of chance, if everything is just a series of accidents how does that make life feel better to you?

Why, seriously now why do some people so badly want to prove that god does not exist? How does that make you more comfortable with your existence? Or maybe these people are not happy on some level with their existence and want to bring that upon others? It will depend on the individual, their reasons for such an attitude.

Its a curious thought though at least for me, that some people so badly want god to be real that i think they are capable of forcing themselves to believe, others so badly want to prove that god does not exist that they delude themselves with logic and science. They hide their emotional response to god behind physics saying god is impossible, when in fact physics does not state that god is impossible.

It really all comes down to how you interpret god in my opinion. If you see god as a white man with a white beard in the clouds then yea, physics has ruined your belief, sorry. But if you interpret god as incomprehensible, as a creator perhaps in another dimension to our existence that  has determined the laws of physics with which rule over us, well, our current knowledge of the universe isn’t really getting in the way as of yet is it? But then its the as of yet bit which many atheists will use as further evidence, saying those of faith prey and hide in the ever decreasing gaps in our knowledge. But its not like that, its not hiding, not for everyone at least. Its more of an acknowledgment that we are small, that we are not god, we are not all knowing.

Claiming to be is ignorance.

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Is god impossible …?

Hmm?

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Talking with a Physics student, his views on god.

God is impossible

Why do people believe in god then?

Upbringing

A sense of community

Blind faith, wanting to believe in something

Then, i asked him what if there is a god.

If there is a god, i don’t want anything to do with him

Isn’t that last bit rather interesting?

When i asked for him to expand on this comment, he said:

It would take away the purpose of life

Now, things are really getting interesting!

Why is it, that god would take away the purpose of life? Well, from talking with him and knowing him for around a year i could guess what the reason was. If there is a god, at least in the translation of those of faith, being a personal being, then it would take away the ‘achievement’ of man somewhat wouldn’t it? I mean, how can we ever match god? We create an iphone, god creates the universe…… hmm.  I can understand that, its partly why i cannot understand worship. Even if you believe in god, why do you have to kneel and pray, worship? Why? Personally it makes me feel like a beggar, if i was to kneel before god, it would make me feel inferior, under powered, like i am raising the white flag. My physics friend i believe thinks somewhat on the same lines.

Now, i asked him later on if this was the reason maybe why he was so against the idea of god, so heavily atheist that he is arrogant enough to lay claim that god is impossible. He looked to the side, thinking ….. he then said, maybe. But to back himself up he went on to say that god isnt needed to create the universe. He doesn’t not believe in the theories of reality, believing that it is bad science. So what he is left with is what we are, as we know it. And within these rules, god isnt necessarily needed no, i agree. Physics is needed though. Hence his conclusion that:

God could be the laws of physics

Its only really when you consider the possibility that there could be more to life, the universe, existence, more to reality that we realize the idea of a god more along the lines of faith. Within the models we have today in science, in an attempt to understand the universe and our existence in it, a personal god doesn’t exist. At least, there is nothing really to go on within our knowledge. Although we must remember that they are just that, models, and models dont always match reality hence why theories constantly develop as more and more information is included in the model. That said, there really isnt much to go on, well, there’s nothing to go on. Thats not to say that god is impossible within our universe as we see it, but, improbable shall we say.

Now, add more into the mix. If we say take on the idea that we really dont know what reality actually is, say for example, as ive mentioned in earlier posts, we are a reflection of something else, a simulation maybe, in only one dimension of many and so on and many scientists today are wrestling with. Say reality is not the reality we think it is, then, the idea of a personal god becomes very possible. Just, it could change the form in which that personal god exists. Take for instance the simulation theory, god would be the creator of our simulation, but whats the stop the creator being in a simulation itself?

This is an interesting point, the physics student said to me:

‘If god is real, if god is our creator, then i ask, what created god?’

Could things really get more interesting?

This brought on the thought of space and time. He states that time doesn’t exist as its just a vacuum to describe a sequence of events. We are bound by time, and therefore cant understand existence outside of it. We cant understand infinite.

Is space infinite?

If it is not, what is at the end of it?

How is it possible for space, if it is infinite, to be infinite?

If you could travel at infinite speed, you will never reach the limit of the universe, because the only thing you would achieve is to expand it

I quote this from a forum a while back, it stuck. (don’t ask me what forum, i cant remember). This quote describes this thought perfectly, it paints a rather puzzling picture no?

What is in dark space? Nothing?

Makes me remember that film called ‘The Thirteen Floor’ . The idea of each world being a simulation and  as such it had an end, where a man would find the ‘end of the world’.

Basically, to sum up, i do not believe god is impossible. I do however believe in physics, i believe in mathematics. A god that defies these rules that the universe seems to work on seems improbable. It seems improbable because we have witnessed no such miracle where the laws of mathematics have been bent without explanation other than that of a designer putting his hand in. I think, if there is such a thing as god, then it exists outside of time and therefore i do not believe that it acts in the moment so it would not need to bend the rules with which it has put down. For those rules are put into place with a specific outcome in mind. Those rules would allow god to be timeless. Reason being is because one could then see into the future if everything was following such a plan. A god that changes to our actions within our time limits therefore seems rather improbable, it seems too ‘messy’ for a designer that could put the universe into motion.

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Test 4 …

Dark Moon

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If there is a god, let him show himself in all his glory.

If there is a god, let him come to me, let him answer my questions.

If there is a god, explain to me, what are you?

Where are you?

Tell me, why am i here …

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Test 4

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Below is the latest visualization of the ideas i am expressing on this blog.

God=Light.

More than man, the mortal who thinks hes god=Shadow Figure.

Dark Moon=The embodiment of Darkness.

Dreamscape=Where all things big and small meet.

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Those who seek shall find.

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I stand still …?

?

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How much control do you feel with your life, really?

I ask because, i feel very little with mine. So far, my life has consisted of rather illogical actions based of thoughts and feelings that felt right or logical to me. I made these decisions, i thought about it, i reacted, i acted upon these thoughts and here i am, still doing it. If i made these decisions, if i truly had control of them then why do i feel like im stationary, only my environment ever changing?

You ever had one of those nightmares where you are running away from something, you try to run, you are running as hard as you can, but you aren’t moving? I can relate how i feel to that. I’ve had plenty of decisions to make throughout my life so far that have had  life changing consequences. I have never taken such decisions lightly. But, when i analyse it i find myself feeling that the decisions i have made, if given them again with the same experiences and circumstances at that specific stage in my life, i would have made the same decisions time and time again. I have regrets yes, if i had my time over again with my knowledge now things would have been different. But the fact is, we can only react and act according to who we are in that moment. Therefore, my reflection on success and failure over the course of my life only serves to affect the decisions that come to pass in my future, not my past.

My life has consisted of something i can only refer to as platforms, i am stationary on one platform until something happens, be it an event or a change in circumstances, i then change to another platform or rather the platform at my feet changes. Ill use the analogy of being at a train station, sure, you could go to Glasgow if you wish, but if your reason to be at the station is to go to Manchester  you aren’t going to just get on the train to Glasgow are you? You have the choice to do that, but you wont.

It makes me wonder, just how much control i really have over my life, whether i really have any control at all.

Fate, i wonder if there is such a thing? By fate, i do not mean that we are destined each and every one of us for greatness and power etc etc. What i mean is this, is it possible that everything can be calculated? That our free will, our freedom of choice may actually be a delusion? We are within ourselves, prisoners to ourselves. We make decisions  for better or worse based on everything we know, everything we are and what our circumstances are at that specific time.

Its a curious thought, one that resonates with me deeply. My life has been a strange link of chains made by coincidences, a man of faith would say its god’s way of speaking to you.

I say at this moment, that they are thought provoking coincidences.

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