every religion and every point of view is correct. reality is a matter of personal beliefs, formed by upbringing and all events perceived.
religion is personal, even when imposed by higher authority (not god). one is not better than the other, and within one relgion, one sect or version is not better. i’ve struggled over this break in the past b/c i don’t care much one way or the other about religion. whatever you worship is fine, and i don’t have much personal preference. but when push comes to shove, i get almost scentimental for orthodox jewish services b/c its what i grew up w/. i say that other versions of judaism are fine w/ me, but i prefer to worhsip in orthodox services – even though i am not observant. i now don’t think its necessarily b/c its what i grew up w/, though that obviously hugely influenced me, but moreso b/c i feel that there is a communal spirit of agreement at work. everyone in that service has a relatively similar view on religion, is schooled extensively in it, and feels strongly about it, and this is apparent in their worship.
maybe my predilection towards orthodox judaism is strong b/c i haven’t seen another version of judaism pray w/ as much fervor, dedication, or education as does orthodox judaism. i can relate moreso to a devout catholic service than i can to a reform service – not b/c reform is a stripped down version of religion (b/c, again, it’s all personal) but b/c the service seems to lack warmth, spirit, and conviction. i personally like to feel the gutteral reverberations of a group of men singing from their depths – women singing don’t affect me the same way. perhaps this is CEREBRAL.
this connects to another feeling of higher power and connection – it doesn’t come in the precision tuning of single focus, but in the imperfect singularities that form a greater whole. a group of men singing the same song and tune, but at their own relative paces and tonal abilities forms an extremely strong web of song thats impenetrable. it’s like a mob, a rabble – nothing can get through it, and you can feel it well up to a high degree of power. a choir may be something to marvel at – it’s something that you can listen to and admire, but an orthodox service is something that swallows you and makes you a part of it. single computer = choir. network of computers = orthodox. and if it lacks conviction, it doesn’t produce the same effect, and full circle i don’t respect it enough to worship there (again, even though i don’t worship to a god or through prayer, if a do take part in a service, i want to be among people who are strong in their belief and their religion – my personal connection to something greater, if i even feel that i have one, is entirely undefined and not practiced through reading words from a book).
so on my way back from my run-in w/ the oafish football players, i biked through a public ‘discussion’ on the steps of the Main Bldg at the edge of the West Mall. not a discussion in reality, but i don’t really know what to call it. maybe proselytizing?
it wasn’t one of the regular preachers that come screaming for everyone to convert or burn in hell. it was a more refined, developed method. this guy, who apparently comes to campus every year, arranged his pulpit/discussion at the edge of a set of stairs, so that people could sit and listen while he talked. this gave it a more relaxed, comfortable appearance – you know, to let the passersby know that this is some good honest discussion, where anyone can feel comfortable about voicing their opinions. it was somewhat inviting.
and there was no yelling – you can’t have a comfortable atmosphere if billy preacher is yelling at you that you’re going to burn in a lake of fire. no, if you speak to the audience in a calm, confident, forceful manner (one that comes from the inherent knowledge in the utter truth of one’s views), then they will accept that they are going to burn in a lake of fire as a matter of fact, not a matter of faith insinuated by angry, fear inducing men.
it works – kind of. b/c he wasn’t just bible thumping, and speaking in a scholarly, logical fashion, he caught my attention. just what is this crowd listening to? he has tv cameras trained on him (i forgot to mention that – cameras also lend a huge amount of credibility to whatever you have to say), he’s calm, and he appears to be laying out an argument. let me stop and listen for a moment!
“and so, if you say that you don’t believe in jesus, and that jesus died on the cross for your sins, then what you’re saying is that your view, your atheist primordial goop view, is superior.”
i wish i had been the student who’s question elicited that response. b/c i would have replied, “no, i don’t believe in primordial goop. i actually believe that humanity was placed on this earth by a race of super-intelligent insects, and that our purpose here is to protect a sacred crystal that binds all the matter in the universe in one coherent fabric. that crystal is named Mchdfolesdfk, and it smells like candy. whoop whoop!”
a gem of joy that surfaced from studio today, though, was my discovery of a new term – urban coral. i’m very proud that i created this term. it has so many branches available for exploration. who knows what urban coral is? it will describe so many things! coral lives in a state of delicate equilibrium; it is varied and beautiful; it is always unique; it should not be disturbed, but if it is, a new coral will evolve amidst the debris of the old; it may not be taken away from its home – if it does, it may either die or be irrevocably altered, and the same goes for the reef from which it was taken. the beauty of coral should be captured in your mind, and taken with you from place to place. it is a jewel to be marveled and interacted with, but not destroyed.
and so i’ve bought my first cool URL, http://www.urbancoral.com, which at some date unbeknownst to me will become the hub of all my online activies. my 2 journals (this one, and my other one on architectural musings), as well as my portfolio will be located there. i will also explore just what it is that urban coral means.