Monday, February 27, 2012

"...As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning."

There is a greater Christian faith than one which settles for the temporal happiness, and that is the augmentation of faith. The more faithful you become, the harder the obstacles get; but the harder the obstacles get, the tougher your spine grows; and the tougher your spine grows, the less dependent you are on man's approval. I came to know this about Christianity when valuing faith before comfort. 

Ever since I was dismissed from college in 2010, life has been a roller coaster. Actually, a roller coaster is an understatement; it has been like surfing through Lorentzian wormholes in outer-space. I feel as though my entire future, as I had once understood, took a whole new direction: ranging from not receiving a degree after 5 years to experiencing the loss of a long-term love interest to spending nights sleeping in my car. Surely enough, prior to these incidents, I had prayed that God do whatever it takes to turn me into the man that he wants me to be. Ultimately this is how, in reflecting, I am certain that everything that happened played a part in my recent successes, and I would be a fool to regret any of it. I have changed tremendously in a single year, probably more in one year than I had in all the 23 years of my life. However, like any change, it has its good points as well as bad points. 

Even though I always had a huge heart for every individual I would come into contact with, I have been, what I like to call, a "lone ranger" nearly my entire life. My natural tendencies thrive in solitude, hence it is normally not in my system to feel lonely. Solitude is often what I choose, therefore I have no one but myself to blame for my poor social skills. When I previously wrote "bad points", I meant that it is no mystery that my drive is now out of spite, out of indignation rather than out of a more humble motivation. There have been cases in which I unintentionally hurt others in my spoken or written discourses - my tone and my context is at times off key. Like many individuals who have felt continuously beaten down with only a few who genuinely cared, my heart has indeed grown colder, I have become cocky, and I have a lower level of tolerance. As a man who, for the most part, hopes to think and act in the ways that God wants me to think and act, I often reflect on the things that I say or write; I then dissect them in correspondence with my motives: "What was my initial intent in this? What am I trying to convey? How might others perceive this?" My main conclusion rests in the irony of my own philosophy.

My first book Salomé (2011) was partially inspired by a passage from The Four Loves (1960) by C.S. Lewis. It puts into perspective the vulnerability of love and how one should love despite all its potential afflictions, "Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. ... It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation."

After the release of
Salomé, I started becoming the very person the book was intended to help due to conflicts in my personal life, and the entire time, I was aware of it. In hours of affliction, a man tends to harden his heart and lose all feeling as a means to cope; therefore I am still recovering from a deep anger at the hands I was dealt, or, when letting my anger speak, lack thereof. For awhile I even neglected my first love, singing.

However the good part of the change has been my stretch in mental capacity and all-new dimensions of creativity. I without a doubt know my purpose on this earth and I am not hesitant when putting my gift to use. Not only has my heart become impenetrable, but on the positive end my confidence has also become impenetrable. I am aware that this can at times be a hindrance in distinguishing the difference between a malicious attack and one's intent for constructive criticism - which is a form of discernment that I need to sharpen - but above all, I am most definitely, rapidly becoming the man that God intended me to be.

Great philosophers become immortal - they make undeniable impacts on culture. Thankfully, at the age of 24 I have accomplished my goal of becoming a globally respected philosopher; although not to its greatest possible degree, but as long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning. Not to mention, merely becoming a respected philosopher was and still is only a part of my true ambition.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Venus in Arms

I recently published my second poetry/philosophy book, Venus in Arms. I personally feel that it contains some of my best works to date as well as my more profound philosophical insights. It is much shorter than the previous one, Salomé: In Every Inch In Every Mile (2011), but my perception has matured in several ways.

Venus in Arms was written under times of pressure in my personal life, which I believe influences impenetrable wit and challenging philosophies. At times the book reflects my existentialist views, and it paints a range of psychological emotions warring with the influences of the outside world. We often have things that we feel we must do in order to advance, in order to develop, however peer pressure and social norms push us otherwise. The paradox is the war itself - God uses the battle as a part of our ultimate amelioration. After reading it, I thought about the barriers a man often puts up which prevents his own development. The barrier during self-improvement is not so much that we hate learning, rather we hate being taught. To learn entails that the knowledge was achieved on one's own accord - it feels great - but to be taught often leaves a feeling of inferiority. Thus it takes a bit of determination and a lot of humility in order for one to fully develop. I feel that Venus in Arms is, in a sense, a manifestation of such times in my life.