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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Being Kind To Those Who Are Different

       Being a multi-racial person, I know what it's like to have an incredibly difficult struggle with personal identity. It begins the moment that you start to recognize your face in the mirror and recognise the faces of other people around you. You start seeing your face in the mirror and you wonder why your mom's face looks different and your dad's face looks different; and not just different because they are different people, but rather, remarkably different because you don't look like you even belong to them! You go out with your mom to the park and people don't think she's your mom; you go out with your dad to the mall and people don't think he's your dad! From the very first, founding moments that you begin to realise you are a person and during those times that you are first developing a sense of belonging— you immediately don't belong! So you have to fucking deal with that, suck it up, and put up with all your cousins treating you like an outsider. And it's not like anyone wants to treat you like an outsider, but it's just that they are just as taken aback as you are! They don't want to share the same last name as you and they resent the fact that you get to look different while they all look more or less the same!
       I spent most of the years in my life thus far, trying to win the right to be "family" to the people that I was born related to. Until the day that I said, "fuck it" and then I became somebody, for myself, for my future, and for my child and all of the children that I will one day have (if/when I ever have any more children).
      The struggle with racial identity is the process of breaking out of a variety of social norms, expectations, cultural boundaries, cultural expectations, and even geographical boundaries. It is growing up, quite literally, a paradigm changer. A person like me is born with the burden of having to break conventionalism, from the primary years of life! We know what that means! Because we have lived it! All of you people who are just white, or just Asian, or just this and just that— you think you know things; but you only know these things in theory; you don't know these things in practice, in sweat, and literally in blood! But I do.
       Judge Leon M. Bazile, a judge in the USA, once said, "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix." Now, if Judge Bazile were to have his way today, then I would be, in his own words, "a felony", "for as long as I live".
       All throughout history, we can witness how, just because people were born a certain way, they were denied certain rights afforded to those unlike them. And each time, God and the Bible were called into the matter. The only thing that changes throughout time, is people's interpretations of the Bible, because people will always try to use the Bible to explain why they hold opinions and why they later change their opinions. If someone murders their own child, that person will use the Biblical story of Abraham and Isaac as an example for why they did it. Really, in every situation, a Bible-believing person will come up with one way or another to rationalise why they believe or don't believe in something. Why they approve or why they disapprove of something.
       I understand the plight of gay marriage, and the joy that came along with its triumph in the United States court; because I understand history, life, and struggle. Not unlike myself, gay individuals grew up as little children, wondering why they are different. They're different within themselves and they're different from what is expected of them to be like. And to make matters worse, they are seen as sinners on the way to hell, as well as people who should be denied the rights granted to others unlike themselves. Every interracial person, regardless of religion and background, should be able to understand this plight, because it is not far from our own. We have been lucky enough to have been born in an era when interracial marriage has been mostly acceptable— at least in terms of laws of the land— people's opinions and judgemental glances is a whole different story and in that area, society still has a long way to go. But people with the struggle with their sexual orientation in regards to society, are still living within that backward era, right now! If anyone should understand their plight and sympathise with their cause— that should be us, as multiracial individuals.
       As a collective society in general and as a whole, we should all be able to act with kindness towards those who are different than ourselves. Many say that if others have the right to be different; then that means they have equal right to be different in the act of being against those who are different! This is of course, a lack of simple common sense. You can be different, so long as your difference does not infringe upon the rights of any other human being. You can be different so long as your difference is not an inconsideration of the state of others. No religion or belief system can be higher than human kindness and human empathy. If any religion or system of belief hails itself as higher than kindness towards another human being— this religion and this system is in fact false and should not be followed. And this applies to all beliefs, everywhere. The only one true belief, is the belief of consideration and kindness. We consider the plight of another as our own. We are kind to those even who are unlike ourselves or not standing in the same positions as ourselves. This is true religion and if there is any way to get to Heaven, if there is a Heaven, this is the only way.
       It is okay for anyone to believe as they like, so long as their beliefs do not infringe upon the rights and the consideration for, another human being's plight and circumstance. And that is all I want to share with all of you, today, thank you for reading and may you have a wonderful day ahead.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Missing Puzzle Piece

The following is an excerpt from a manuscript of mine that has not yet been published. When I do publish it, it will serve as a sequel to The Conversation of Merachefet. Anyway, I wanted to share this with all of you now. Do enjoy the read.

      
       There is a downfall that happens when the focus of anything becomes self-centred. Look at the modern-day organisations of this world, even the ones that hail from the archaic schools of Divinity and Theosophy; they have become communities that are looking out for their own interests, looking out for how they are perceived. The downfall begins when the attitude turns from, “I am in this world and I am meant to do something in it, I am meant to traverse it, I am meant to discover it and discover things and living beings in it and I am meant to do good and to have good, and I am meant to know what this is and what this means and who they are and what their meaning is” into one of, “This world and all of the living beings in it must see me as this and must see me like this because this is how I should be seen as, because I am here for a reason and everyone needs to know that, everyone needs to discover me.” To the naked eye, it is almost the same thing, it is a subtle shift. But to the one who Sees— this is a profound shift that makes the difference between Heaven and Earth!
       I am here for a purpose and I appreciate this world and this Earth; therefore I must discover it, because as I discover it and as I discover you in it— my own story will reveal itself to me. That is the mindset that is going to prevent a collapse into oneself. And when I say “collapse into one’s self” I do not mean like a collapsing star; but I mean a disintegration. Greatness ends where self-centeredness begins.
       I guess you can call it a paradox— the fact that the ultimate journey is the journey to know oneself, to take the inward path into oneself, and yet self-centredness is the defeat of that very same inward journey! But there is a piece that people are missing and I want to show you that piece to this puzzle. You see, there are three parts of the Self. There is your outer shell, which is of course your body; there is your ego self; which is the one that will have you falling into self-centredness if you are not aware; then there is your True Self that is everlasting, the one we call “Soul”. There can be no self-centredness on the journey within Soul, because within Soul, no selfishness exists. You journey through the country that thrives within your inner lands and there is nothing selfish or moronic about journeying through, and discovering, a country! It is a country unseen, I already explained that earlier. This is the neverending journey of Soul, of You; this is not ego, this has nothing to do with the preoccupation of how you are perceived or how you present yourself to anyone or to the whole world!
       Soul must honour Flesh and Flesh must honour soul. So, it is your outermost and your innermost faculties that must come together, love one another, and work with one another. This is the true Love of Self. This is the true act of falling in love with oneself.
       Narcissism is not love of the self; narcissism is the preoccupation with the ego— with the part of the self that is in between the innermost and the outermost part of you. And it is not a love. No one should use the word “love” to term something which does not produce anything beautiful. The narcissist is preoccupied with the presentation of the faculty that is easily reactive, easily provoked, self-absorbed and insatiably self-gratifying. But this has nothing to do with love, not at all. The narcissist does not love himself; the narcissist does not know himself.
       We are born into this world and the first things that we learn are our reflections in the mirrors— a physical form of self-awareness. We learn that our hands are there, existing at the ends of our arms; we learn that our feet are down there, existing at the ends of our legs; we gain an awareness of ourselves in relation to the space around us. This is all physical and this is okay. But it is the connection between this outermost faculty and our innermost faculty that is the key to Enlightenment and Awareness, that is the key to Freedom and Truth.
       The problem that arises with many people, happens when they become stuck upon the middle faculty— the ego— they fail to discover the inner faculty and their sense of awareness becomes a loop, a cycle, of outer and middle stimulation; of physical and egotistical stimuli. The funny thing is that ego will always try to be equated to Soul, it will say, “I am in the spirit, I am in this sort of kindness, I am in this sort of awareness, I am in this sort of awakening, I am enlightened and unburdened and I follow the Dalai Lama and I am all about energies and spiritual roots and all that jazz. I’m on top in this way, my spirit is in tip top shape, I don’t understand why other people can’t be like this, why can’t other people get over their darkness like I have? They must be weak or they must be dumb.” This is the dialogue of ego, the one who wants to relate itself to Soul.
       As a matter of fact, ego is not Soul and Soul will overcome ego. Or, it should overcome ego. It is not within Soul where the wild beasts are found; but it is within ego. Soul must conquer and victor over these beasts in the dark chambers of ego, thus bridging the gap between Flesh and the ultimate Inner Self.



Thursday, July 16, 2015

Spark Lights In The Skies!

       Today I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be and to grow up as a girl, into a woman. For some reason that I don't understand, it seems to be that girls constantly look for another girl figure to look up to. I'm really not sure if it's so much the same with boys; I haven't really noticed it that much with boys; but with girls I am sure that we grew up searching for a woman figure to look up to, and even as grown women, we search for "icons" to "emulate". Why is it that we never really feel secure about ourselves until we can compare ourselves and live up to an "icon"?
       For many of us, it was our mother; for others our big sister/s, and so on and so forth. And sometimes our grandmothers or our cousins. We always search to look up to another, so we can be sure that we're going in the right direction. Eventually, we discover magazines and fashion shows and we end up wanting to be just like that Victoria's Secret Fashion Model; even though we have no idea who they are as people, what their thoughts are, what their dreams are and what kind of dreams they have when they go to sleep at night... we don't know anything about them aside from the fact that they are sexy and have lots of amazing material things all around them (including men left and right). And sometimes, they're beautiful, too! But the bottom line is that millions of girls and women are trying to emulate other women just because of the photos that they see of them in magazines and on Instagram! Not because of their thoughts or their dreams or anything substantial like that! That's not to say that beauty and fitness and material things are totally insubstantial; but that' just to say that we are not looking for enough in our role models, in our icons. And I believe that we need to look for more. It's totally amazing to admire and to be inspired by other women; but then I think that there should be more.
       Better yet, why don't we become the things that we want to find in the world? Personally, I really didn't have a role model growing up. And that is not to allude to any ideas that the women around me were not up to par— because I'm sure that they were— but I took no role models, because I could not find the same dreams that I had, in any other! I could not find the same thoughts or the same things that I wanted to do! And so eventually I decided to be the person that I wanted to find in the world. And really, it is a very difficult thing to do. I, too, just like everyone else— I want to find a role model! I want to have someone to emulate, so it can make me feel more secure about myself! I am not a very secure person, because I don't have that fallback to whom I can rely on and say, "Hey, I'm pretty great because I'm just like so and so and she's great because the world thinks she's great, therefore I am great, too!" I don't have that, so I do think that I often feel less secure than the next girl who identifies herself with so and so movie star or supermodel. But then, on second thought, does that really mean that I am less secure, or does that actually mean that I am more secure? After all, my security lies in myself; instead of in another woman in a magazine whom I don't even know... so maybe I'm actually the one who's more secure?
       I think that millions of young girls these days are really striving to find that one true role model, and it doesn't occur to them that they are capable of becoming what they are looking for, in another. It doesn't occur to them that they can be brave enough to become. Of course, I really don't think there's anything wrong with finding and emulating a role model, and hey, I still might find my own role model out there somewhere! But what I'm saying is that it's better for girls to know that they may become what they look for, in the world. They may become, they may become, they may become. And not just through influence, not just through emulation. But they may become themselves, who they are on the inside. And I think that physical things can be added to that foundation that's already been set in the mind, so that the physical things may be used as a form of unique self expression, one that is not entirely built around becoming like an ideal that is outside of oneself. So, what I'm saying is, that deep down inside of you— you girl and you woman— you are who you want to become! You really are! It's time to start looking inside of yourself to find the person that you want to emulate and the person that you want to be! And I promise you, that on your journey of becoming, there will be so many wings and petals flying off of you, that it will be enough to spark beautiful lights in the skies!
     
     

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Some Unprecedented Advice!

       Today, I received a very interesting question! It was about fashion/style! Some wonderful woman asked me what's the best fashion/style advice I can give. So anyway, I thought I'd share my answer with everyone! :) The best fashion advice I can give, is to remember to make the clothing that you wear into an extension of yourself; rather than just something that you put on. We are always growing and changing, our clothing is like a second skin that always needs to grow, change and evolve. And by that, I don't mean go out and buy every fashion trend! But by that, I just mean always see your wardrobe as an evolving part of your life; meaning, something that you wear for a day out about town today, could be something you can turn into a pajama set in a few years. You can demote your outfits as you grow into a more evolved person, so that you are always growing and expressing that growth through the clothing that you choose to wear, meanwhile, you get to "recycle" your wardrobe by using things of yesterday, in different ways today.
       I was also asked about my own personal style, so that's something I'd like to talk about a little bit, too. I like to have "uniforms" when it comes to the different purposes of my clothing. So for example, I need to have a certain style for running errands and a certain style for just lounging at home. Those two can sometimes interchange; but can never be interchanged with something I would wear for a day out at the mall or with friends. I like to really have that distinction regarding functions. I need to know how my clothes are going to work for me. Furthermore, I like to own pieces of clothing that are more reliable and trustworthy than just trendy and attractive. Of course, I won't buy something that's not attractive; but then, I will really hold myself back from buying something just because it's cute, if I know that I'll end up wearing it once because I'll get sick of it. I really get sick of "loudness" easily; so if it's something that calls a lot of attention thanks to a loud colour or a busy print— that's something I'm going to get sick of easily. And I know this about myself, so I really have to hold back on buying that bright coral t-shirt even if right in the moment I really feel like I like the colour coral! Because in a week, I'm not going to like it anymore.
       So, what's important to me is reliability and trustworthiness in a piece of clothing, plus the cut that has been used to put it together. I'm a big "cut nut", which is a term I like to use to describe how much I look into the cut and stitching of any item of clothing, to see how it will fall around my body. I think the cut of an item is the most important thing! If it falls beautifully around my arms, around my neck, around my waist and etc., then that's a clothing I know that I should buy. Even if it's just the way that the sleeves are rolled up— that can really influence the way you look and how you feel in it!
       I have a lot of blacks, navy blues, whites and pinks! To me, pink is like beige— pink is a neutral colour. So in other words, I have a lot of neutral colours. Navy blue is something I also consider to be neutral. I don't have a single item that's yellow or orange. I have two red shirts, and that's it. I like to look for lilac and purple in clothing; but the problem is, they only usually come out in really trendy looks and not in staple looks that you can actually wear; so though I would like to wear more lilac and more purple, it's just not so available in classic, essential pieces. At least, not as available as I would like it to be. At the end of the day, I don't like to look into my closet and see a cluttered mess of trendy prints and trendy colours; I like to open my closet and see peace of mind! That's not to say I don't like colour and print! That's just to say that I'm going to be very careful when choosing colourful and printed things— they shouldn't be trendy— they should be something that I can still wear a long time down the road, without getting sick of. The worst feeling is looking into your closet and realising that you picked out something that's such a mess you never want to see it again! And that's what I try to avoid.
       The last bit of advice I can give, in order to wrap this up, is to say that one should always feel free to throw away what's old already. I see people who hoard old clothes and the result is terrible. I'm a very sentimental person; but I do know when something should be given away or thrown away. I do give all of my old clothes away as donations to flood and typhoon victims, so on and so forth. But the bottom line is, to give away or to throw away, what is really old and not usable. I mean, turning an old shirt into a rag for the table is too much, in my opinion. Too much recycling. I know people who do that, just because they think that throwing clothes away is a sin; but I think that's turned into a form of bondage and I wouldn't do that, myself. I'm not saying it's wrong to be that way; but I'm saying that if you're going to be bound by your old clothes because you think it's a sin to throw them away, then you have my sympathies. You can always donate them to rescue and relief efforts, if that's something you care about. There's always a catastrophe somewhere, and there are always organisations eager to accept donations going to that.
       And this is the fashion/style advice that I can give, to all the wonderfuls out there! Have fun with it!

Monday, June 29, 2015

How To Understand Rocks And People

       I was talking to a relative lately, who told me, "I don't understand you, because I..." and that right there, is the reason why people in this world can't understand other people. It's the "because I" part that causes the "I don't understand you" part. If you are going to approach other people from the perspective of yourself, then you are never going to understand them, and that is an inability that is on you, it's not a disability on the part of the other person. The other person isn't disabled because you can't understand him/her. You are the one who is less capable. I told her, "I can understand a rock, a tree, and another person." So what's the difference between a person like me, who can understand the uniqueness of a rock, and most other people out there? I don't approach other people, or the world, from the perspective of "I", from the perspective of, myself. I approach another person through the perspective of that person. To understand, to truly understand, is to see through the eyes of the other person and to stand inside of their own skin. You can understand them, without losing an understanding for yourself. You can stand in another's skin, truly understanding them, while also still being able to say to them, "This is me, too. I understand you fully, but this is me, so don't make me feel like there's something wrong with me, because you can't understand me from your own perspective of yourself."
       I will never tell another person, "I don't understand you..." and why? Because if I say that, it means that I am disabled in a way. The inability to connect to another's perspective is, I believe, a disability. You see, it's about empathy. It's not about you. It's about empathy. It's not even about caring or being kind. It's about empathy. Do you think that all people who can empathize with other people (and rocks and trees), are desirous of being kind, at all times? Of course not! Empathy often hurts, and is often difficult. But we experience this difficulty, because we are human beings, because human beings are designed to connect with other living and non-living things! Or you know what... I don't know... maybe there is such a thing as a mutant, and maybe the levels of empathy that can morph itself into other things, is a super mutation! Do you think so? Because maybe you can be a mutant, too! Maybe you can be more than mundane, too!
       Not everything is about you. Period. It's not about your perspective; it's about this is your perspective and that is the other person's perspective and if you both share your perspectives with one another, then you can understand each other without losing respect for one another. What do you base your respect for another person on, anyway? Upon whether or not their ways of doing things is like yours? If it's the same as your way of doing things, then you have a huge respect for the other person? In that case, that doesn't even mean you respect that other person! That just means you respect yourself, your own way of doing things, and you like to hang out with people who are just like you! Because that's just easy to do!
       Now, at this point in my writing of this piece, I'm reminded of the recent legalisation of same-sex marriage in all States across the U.S.A. Of course, there is complaining everywhere. And of course I am seeing it a lot, because most of the people I know are conservatives. But why is their complaint irrelevant? Their complaint is irrelevant, because it comes only from the perspective of how they feel, how they think, they cannot accept an act that is contradictory to what they believe, even if it has nothing to do with them. Of course, these people will say, "If you have the right to say what you believe in, then I have the right to say what I believe in" but that is not applicable to this situation, because, it's not about believing in something or not believing in something; it is in fact about a person being a certain way, and wanting to have an equal right in the eyes of the law, even if they are that way! It's about gay kids not feeling like they need to kill themselves anymore! Who cares about how you feel about seeing two guys kissing each other! How you feel is really important? Not really. What's important is that another human being, other human beings, will be given equal opportunity to live and to thrive! Human beings receiving equal opportunity to live and to thrive, is a lot more important than how you feel about it! So the Bible says that homosexuals should burn in hell? What does the Bible say about your tattoo? Or about your fornication? Or about your ear piercing? Or about you eating crabs and shrimps? Do you like to eat shrimp? Yes? Then you're good as gay in the eyes of God, anyway, so shut up and sit down! Yes, I know the Bible! Probably more than you do!
       Now, to wrap this up, I don't want to leave anyone thinking that I actually believe that God sees people in bad ways because they eat shrimp or are gay. But that's certainly what's in the Bible. So why don't I believe that's what God feels? Well aside from the fact that the Bible was canonised by a bunch of Popes and Bishops who, wanting to gain ultimate power at the time, could have put whatever they wanted into it, I also believe that things written in the Bible were structured in such a way, in order to lead a person to see the erroneous nature of his ways. You can't be gay and you can't eat shrimp and you can't fornicate— that means you need to go and be Amish! But then Jesus came along and said, "let he who has no sin cast the first stone."
       Empathy isn't about you, understanding another person isn't about you, feeling how another person feels isn't about you... step outside of your own skin for a change. Respect another person because they are who they are; not because the other person is just like you. Your inability to understand, your inability to empathize, is not a fault on the part of the other person. It is in fact your own disability that you are choosing to live with.
     

Sunday, June 28, 2015

It Is So Ordered

     


        Today, I read this official statement, and I would like to say, that for the longest time, I have not been a big admirer of the institution of marriage, however, upon reading this, I feel a fire sparked within me. Something ignited from the flames of inspiration. My faith in the institution of marriage has been restored (or maybe actually really created), and that's thanks to this statement, which would not be possible if not for gay people. And so I would like to thank gay people, everywhere, for being responsible for restoring my faith in the institution of marriage.
        There is this particular group of people in the world, who respect the ability to commit, so much, that they have fought so hard to be able to do it! There is this group of people in the world, who desire the ability to be bound by love even beyond death, so much, that they would fight with all the blood and sweat in their bodies, to be able to have just that! They're not jaded by all the straight people "commitment phobia"; they're not jaded by all the lackluster— and even hateful and violent— examples of relationships and marriages out there! They're not swayed by the fear of infidelity, the fear of not being good enough, they're just not swayed! They're brave people! People desirous of loyalty and fidelity! They want to be able to give themselves to another, to be able to love even beyond death! They believe it, they believe in loyalty, even when it's not granted them, even when they're told they're not allowed to be loyal to each other! Their faith in marriage as a bond granting their love to last beyond death, is so strong, that they would dedicate their whole lives to be able to have it! Check out this story of the first couple to wed under this ruling; they've been together for over half a century, and what's the one thing they've been waiting to do? That's right! They've been waiting to pledge their official devotion to one another! So it's thanks to this group of people, that I am now able to see marriage in such a way as they do! Is this what marriage means, the way that they see it? Because if this is what marriage means, then that means it's something that I really want to believe in, too! Because if they can do it, then why can't the rest of everybody else do it?
       Gay people getting married is not a threat to the institution of marriage. You know what's a threat to the institution of marriage? Infidelity is! Hate is! Unforgiveness is! Apathy is! Coldheartedness is! Fear is! And you know what's a threat to the kids? It's not having gay parents! Most gay kids have straight parents! And plenty of gay parents raise respectable, straight kids! The threat to children isn't their parents being gay; the threat to children is their parents not loving one another! Not caring for one another! Not being crazy about each other! Domestic violence is a threat to children. Stupidity is a threat to children. A swimming pool in the backyard with no supervision is a threat to children! Kids need to see that their parent figures are capable of commitment, perseverance, loyalty, affection, understanding! And if a gay couple can exemplify that for a child, then that's better than the next straight couple who can't. The threat to children is going to school and being bullied when they are gay! Some children kill themselves, take their own lives, because they are bullied so hard for being gay! THAT is the sin! THAT is the travesty! THAT is the threat! No child should take their own life, ever. Now, if the legalising of gay marriage is able to save even a single life of a child, somewhere in this world, because that child is able to say, "hey, I'm not going to kill myself just because I'm gay, because I have equal rights in the eyes of the law, therefore, I think I just may have equal rights to be alive", then that's called saving a life, period. There is no religion higher than love, there is no religion higher than the value of the life of a single child, there is no religion higher than gentleness, and there is no religion higher than the commitment between two people, to love one another. 


It is so ordered.