SHARP EDGES OF DIFERENCES by Slavomir Almajan

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This blue! It is so glassy, so unforgiving. It almost seems that all this heat and brightness are up to something, like desperately catching up with things previously under-performed. Really, it seems lately that some of these things never happened before, it never seemed like today that you badly want all this to go or to end. Too many fires to enjoy the summer, too many storms to enjoy the winter, too much noise to enjoy the day, too much insecurity to enjoy the night, too much of everything to enjoy anything. And, yes, this glassy and unforgiving blue of the sky, that was supposed to mean clearness, is just cruelly reminding me that perhaps somewhere, under it, a blaze is taking away somebody’s dreams and peace.

“-Hi, buddy, you look like you lost something big time. What’s up?”

It’s Dave. He catches you whenever you want to be really alone. It’s seems that I’ve known him for ages even though he’s been my friend for just over one year. We just happened to discover that both of us share similar needs. We just want to be known not only by name but for who we really are.

“-Oh, Dave! Would you, please, tell me what’s that blue of the sky saying to you?”

I knew as I spoke that I just opened a flow of new reasons for “concern” regarding my unorthodox way of looking at life. “You take it as it is!” he likes to say whenever I share some of my new “revelations”.

“-I am afraid, fella, that you exposed that upper end of yours to too much heat. This blue just doesn’t whisper to me. As a matter of fact there is no known history of skies speaking to anybody. Not that you’re hearing things or something, but I guess there’s a whole lot of solid reality that I can spend my time on…”

There is something in that “solid reality”, according to Dave, that clashes with my “unorthodox way of thinking”.  In fact there are dozens of orthodox-thinking Daves around me but this particular one is about the only one who bothers sharing his thoughts with me and is patient enough to listen to mine. As I said, my heated mind is quite openly in conflict with the “given reality” that surrounds us.

“- Your idealism”, he would say, “does not feed anyone; not even yourself. As a matter of fact, you can carry your glassy blue picture of the sky within yourself but try not to stain anyone’s soft skies, for your peace’s sake…”

Dave and I spent hours of talk around issues of nobody’s interest. His brisk intellectual processing of reality and my hair-splitting way of interaction with the same reality would be a perfect ground for misfits that would make two people to avoid each other’s presence. Yet it is totally the other way around with the two of us.  Most of the times we succeed in avoiding the “touchy subjects” in our conversations even though both of us were burning with desire to bring the other one in our own interest sphere. The greatest difference between Dave and I is that for me it is rather duty than desire.  Dave needs to get over his stubbornness and accept his need of salvation. This being said, I don’t mean that he is one of those wicked, untamed, burly individuals… Not at all! Dave is rather a clean cut person, polite and shy, despite his appearance as an outspoken and ruthless humorous guy… His “shock-and-awe” style of jumping in others’ conversation and my “turn-the-table” reaction to that was the starting point of our friendship. This Dave of mine, whether real or fictional, is still a friend I am looking for. As for the rough edges of our differences I am not sure… The above is a scenario of a possibility that I will be open to. “Shock and awe” and “turn the table” attitudes in less hypothetical conversations will probably be a great hinder in that desired by me, meeting of minds… But, as I said sometimes ago, if we were able to come to think together then a friendly handshake will be as normal as… What’s normal anyways?

SLAVOMIR ALMAJAN

AND THE OCEAN ALWAYS IN OUR EARS… by Delia Almajan

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Michal and I recently returned from a trip on Vancouver Island, specifically the rainforest of Pacific Rim National Park.  For three days, we walked the verdant trails colored in a thousand shades of green, breathing in the pulse of the forest.  We unplugged ourselves from the attachment of all things electronic and we planted our souls and our feet on the hallowed ground of the centuries-old sanctuary of giant evergreens, their branches embracing the sky.  Silvery cedars, weathered and stressed by time and rain, stretched their twisted trunks on our paths across several feet. Old Man’s beard lynches, appropriately named due to their hairy, silvery appearance, hung like tinsel from branches of fir and hemlock, their delicate strands supplying the machinery for photosynthesis.  Sometimes the canopy of branches was so thick and the foliage so dense that sunlight was off limits on these trails.  Above us, branches covered in moss and fungus contorted their silhouettes in intricate, asymmetrical shapes.  Below us, banana slugs unveiled their black-speckled contours as rain was falling gently on the ground.   And the ocean always in our ears…  We walked excitedly allured by the restless buffeting of the waves calling us to praise the One whose voice is like the sound of many waters.  Sometimes we would hear its billows from far away, unleashing their grand fury against the sentinel of rocks.  Ah, if we could hear the secrets of the great waters within the anger of their poundings!  If the ears of our hearts could decipher the agony of the billows…

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Walking beneath the cupola of the luscious forest, the ocean beating against a nearby shore, our hearts were melting in thanksgiving to the One who created such grandeur for our delight.  The heavens declare the glory of God -and how vividly we saw His creative majesty in this unparalleled panorama of surreal beauty.  He reveals Himself in the firmament above, in the luxuriant shades of green around us, in the force of the ocean reverberating within us.  How awesome God must be to have authored such splendor!  How extravagant in beauty my God must be to have birthed such grandeur… how pregnant with creative energy is His word to have spoken such a world into existence!  Oh, that the whole world may praise Him for His wonderful works!

I can still smell the colors of the forest as it came alive under a gentle mist that afternoon of August.  I close my eyes and I see the ocean crashing with unstoppable might against the gentle sands of the shore.  I hear the seagulls in their dance across the waters, their delicate song a fit complement to the roar of the waves.  I see God’s heart pulsating with beauty and love in this extraordinary unfolding of color and sound.  Verily it is well with my soul…
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“For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God”  (Romans 1:20)

“Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalm 107:15)

DELIA ALMAJAN

WHEN SLEEP ELUDES YOU (2) by Slavomir Almajan

Yes, We Are!

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It is somehow excusable, I think, that someone should be driven to sleeplessness by his own mind… Forgive me, please, for making it sound like an excuse, but there is nothing more I want to do in the deep night, nothing but get rid of my previous day’s tensions, snore by snore, until that giddy sparrow wishes me good morning.  But yes (!), I do make excuses for my sleeplessness and for that tyrannical mind of mine!  How else would I justify the alleged possession of some thoughts if no one else loses a grain of sleep trying to unravel the (also alleged) debt of them? Hmm…  Did I say “debt”?  Here I am again hair-splitting my own hair splits. Let’s try it this way:  I imagine the work of an expressed thought as a hard sphere ricocheting from mind to mind, taking some unexpected routes and reaching some surprising destinations.  Hard spheres, right? Yes, but I also believe that the fluidity of thinking brings a flow. For a flow you need a unifying factor, right?  Something resembling a specific landscape of circumstances that will allow some banks and some velocity between the banks… You got it!  It is reasonable to conclude, I think, or even to postulate that one thought, despite the multitude of ricochets from mind to mind, can’t substantiate a flow.   “Dwell with yourself, and you will know how short your household stuff is.” (Persius, Satirae iv. 52). Okay, but I invite you to agree that “nonexistent” instead of “short” has better application to the idea of one thought, only one, set lose in a mindless tour to nevermore. Not even a genius’ thought can do better, I mean better than nothing, generously assuming that even the idea of a genius can exist in such isolation.

Since we already know from my previous posting that “I reason therefore I am” (Descartes – Part IV of Discourse on the Method) doesn’t make too much sense, we can instead, with a sound mind and sincere heart, shout: YES, WE ARE!  So much for philosophy!  Now let’s take a safer road, a road where we don’t risk stepping on someone else’s toes, a road of meditation that is. It means that via the avenue of this article I have absolute freedom to be different since I chose not to follow a preset system but rather daring to think for myself, as Voltaire would put it.  And yes, it is a dare quite close to folly to think for your own self and record it for others to read and perfectly fit in the flow I mentioned above.

“If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking.”
― Benjamin Franklin

But here we are again wondering where in the world that unifying factor is? How come we see this unique, peculiar thought of an individual fitting in a flow that we humans are often so proud about?  Then something just hit me and my overheated mind got a hold of something…  Yes, this is it!  What I am seeing is not a flow of thoughts but a flow of thinking.  That’s how I came to terms with the fact that uniqueness without context is a contradiction in terms…  Yes, our thoughts can be absolutely unique, praise God for that, but the process of thinking happens in a totally non-discriminatory context.  This should automatically give as a set of definitions that we can use to even perceive the uniqueness of the unique.

We are equipped by our Creator with similar qualities yet we are so different.  Same bricks, different buildings, you see…  We fit differently in similar circumstances, react differently to similar events.  We are meant for greatness just because we are unique, but without the privilege of being complete in ourselves.  Seeking for completeness implies seeking for harmony, and that also means acknowledging your need for all the rest of us to really be yourself.  Here, we potentially run in to one of the most common and most painful crisis a human being can face:  identity crisis.  Here, I feel free to postulate something:  the more you try to be unique, to be unlike others, the more you lose your uniqueness and the more you suffer the consequences of being measured not by who you are, but by how others perceive you.  What a pitiful place to be!  You are unique by birth according to God’s divine purpose.  Don’t you ever forget that!  Make the best of who you are not of what others want you to be.  I believe there is a perfect place for you and for me.  We either fill it by being who we are or that place will stay forever empty.  Yes, as individuals, each one of us is the centre of the universe as each one of us is meant to be the face of God’s unlimited wisdom.  You and I are not merely entities in a crowd but rather tunes in a divine harmony.

There is no doubt that we grow, that we are influenced by each other, socially shaped by each other – yet never to become copies of one another.  We become, just because of that, uniquely written in bold letters.  And so are mine and your thoughts – unique, meant to fit perfectly in a context.  Sometimes they give birth to an idea, and then they grow into a doctrine or degenerate into a dogma.  They are alive.

Our thoughts are originated and ended in a perception process.  They are sure witnesses to the fact that, just as we are unique, so is our perception of reality.  For  harmony rather than chaos, we need a set of absolutes, which is given for our own benefit by the principle clearly stated by God:

 “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord”… (Isaiah 1:18)

SLAVOMIR ALMAJAN

WE DON’T NEED TO HIDE by Slavomir Almajan

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As we open ourselves, that means being vulnerable in love, we are stepping beyond our own boundaries in both, love and power. Our  maturity, as humans, stays not in how much we know but in knowing that we need one another. It expands not only  our area of knowledge but also the contact area with the unknown.

Therefore, let’s talk…  I open a communication avenue through this little blog. I find pleasure in not being perfect and that I depend on the Grace of God for every piece of wisdom that I can speak or write down and I hope you do also…

We are facing, every day, situations that rarely work for our comfort but, as reasoning beings, we are created to rule over them through the power of choice, therefore of free will. To every “visible” reality there are layers of realities created by our perceptions. And that’s were communication through fellowship comes extremely handy.  By each of our humble “what if?” we are one step closer not necessarily to the hard essence of existence but rather to the heart of our fellow and consequently to the heart of God.

Who is really shaping our lives and who we really are?  The fluid standards of this world are are grossly overreaching by trampling on the most delicate areas of our beings.  They want to blind us to ourselves. They want to be my and your eyes…

That being said, let us talk! By simply posting a comment on somebody else’s ideas or writing your own, you become one of my dearest friends…

Yours,

Slavomir Almajan

WHEN SLEEP ELUDES YOU (1) by Slavomir Almajan

When Sleep Alludes You (1)

By  Slavomir Almajan

It was 2:00 am when I woke up for a very short but relieving trip to the bathroom. The banality of it was quickly shattered by a thought, then by another one, then by a flow… It is not a very good idea to entertain a thought and even less so a thought originating from a profound question in the middle of the night… Well, since there is a good outcome from any circumstance, if you believe the Word, then my sleeplessness could be some kind of a universe-shaking adventure… Am I right? I tried, honestly, to brush off the flow but something more and more overwhelming kept me from finding that deep sleep again. Wow, Slavomir, I thought, you should be either a theoretical physicist or a worshiper of The Almighty.  Hmm… What a peculiar pair of alternatives!

Out of the blue, I remembered that thought-provoking quote: “I reason therefore I am!” Obviously it is referring to self consciousness of some kind, to being aware of self.

If I can use a more orthodox Illustration, I can say that I was sucked in the eye of a storm, then hopelessly driven to an unfathomable depth… I feel that sometimes, as you’re caught in the storm of some wild ideas, you take a risk of collapsing under your own weight if you can’t find a balance in something or someone beyond yourself. What should you do as a good hairsplitter who loses sleep at 2:00 am? Yes, that’s right, nothing but hair splitting! So, here I am…

Being aware of yourself is a position that excels through the multitude of possibilities that define it, thereby implicitly creating a multitude of possibilities for you to be anywhere from absurd to totally wrong if you don’t insert the right terms in the equation. Trust me, I don’t adhere to any philosophical current from out there, I just try to re-invent the wheel for a totally different environment of thoughts and acts which, quite often, exceeds human understanding.  However, as it is written:   “What no eye has seen,    what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—  the things God has prepared for those who love him—  these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.”(NIV 1 Cor 2: 9,10).

Talking about quantum realities, Nick Norbert said that “physicists are losing their grip” when it comes to knowing and understanding of the world. For example, Quantum Reality #5 brings up an intriguing logic. In summary it states that “the world obeys a non-human kind of reasoning” (!!!) then Quantum Reality # 7 states that “consciousness’ creates reality”. I did not intend to talk about quantum physics but rather to point out humanity’s limitations when it comes to knowing the reality that surrounds oneself apart from the acceptance of God’s sovereignty…

Oh, what am I talking about? Yes… Got it! I woke up and then I couldn’t go back to sleep as I thought about what being aware of one’s self really means. Then I mumbled something about the right terms in the equation that will solve the mystery of someone being aware, being conscious of himself… Then this: “I reason therefore I am”… Probably the best way to go from here onward is to analyze the premises of that statement then the validity of its conclusion. What makes the premise wrong and what’s the premise of this statement anyway? I assume it was wrong because something deep within me didn’t feel right about that and even more so when I thought about the conclusion of that statement. Let’s see…

As a premise I assume that the intention of the author is to define his existence or maybe his right to exist. So, you see that almighty “I” right at the beginning, don’t you? Ok… Since the statement doesn’t talk or makes any mention about any interactions with the outside, I can translate the premise of the statement in only two words: self sufficiency. There is no feeling involved here, no constructive intention and no illumination since all of the above imply someone else in relation to “I”. It comes in conflict with both explanations of the beginning of time and universe: creationism and evolution. This statement stands beyond understanding the humanity of the human and assumes a deity of self. I dare to say that this statement defines rather emptiness than existence… N. David Mermin summarizes Neill Bohr’s writings in regards to quantum physics as follows: “We know that the moon is demonstrably not there when nobody looks.” (Mermin’s Demonstration in chapter 13)

Well, mister “I”, you may reason in your own “I” universe but, since no one sees you or hears you, excuse me, you don’t exist!

The premise could be easily seen as eliminating God from the equation of existence and replacing Him with “I” which translates to “self”.  Here we have the first wrong term in the equation and, by accepting it, we are heading to nonsense, to put it gently. We are made to exist and function in a context of a societal establishment based on human interactions, horizontally, and acknowledging God, upwardly. We are created for harmony based on absolute values and not on some foggy, relative concepts… Stephen Covey stated in his “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” that maturity consists not in independence but in interdependence. Even reasoning cannot exist in itself as it always relates to an established way of thinking and more often than not we can’t escape the paradigms. You see, premises like this one make us small and pitiful. They mean death to love, to kindness and charity, to man being human, to society, to harmony… The premise, as I see it, is also godless.

Then, between the premise and conclusion there is that self-infatuated “therefore” which leaves no room for a second opinion, which postulates as absolute a mere human opinion. A human absolute? Are you kidding me? This “therefore” doesn’t allow a “plus” or “minus” sign in the equation but simply “equal”, which makes the equation un-doubtfully anti-God. “The conclusion, as I see it, directly usurps God from the throne of the universe which is in direct violation of who He is.Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.[c] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” *(Exodus 3:13,14 – NIV)

“I reason therefore I am” is worshiping the creature rather than the Creator.  For your reference please read:  since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.”

So now that we got the falsity of man-worshiping statements out of our way, we can go on, maybe in another sleepless night, and talk about what healthy self awareness means to me…