The Past Revisited

So while cleaning out my computer yet again I found my English final, a self observation. The first one I wrote was apparently not true enough and so I wrote this one some of it exaggerated, some of it true. The first one I wrote was actually copied from online because I was afraid to write about myself for what it would reveal. HA I should have just done the assignment in the first place because it was this assignment that got the administration to remove me from school the last week before graduation. I find it fitting that I saw this tonight, just less than 36 hours away from my undergraduate graduation. So without further ado, the observation that just about got me expelled from High School.

FACADE

High School is filled with fake people. People wearing masks, trying to “fit in,” to be someone they are not. I am no exception to this, however my mask is one of many facades that I wear to hide and conceal my past life from others and me. I have dodged the rules and cut corners in order to escape the primeval life I live. Each day goes by, and I have to live with all my past mistakes, and the domino effect it has had on my family. Because of me my parents got divorced, because of me my mom, my step dad and I were not able to attend my sisters wedding, because of me my mother and my sister are no longer speaking to each other. Through conscious or sub conscious activity, I have ruined my family, and in order not to break from the pressure, I build up walls and put on a happy face for the world to see so that I can survive knowing all the suffering in my family was caused by me. I know and realize that everyone has their own problems or difficulties in life that they deal with, but when people start backstabbing and hurting others it just adds to the emotional baggage that someone is carrying. I am sick and tired of this crappy experience and am ready to explode from all of the CRAP that has been thrown at me this year. And normally when I explode, heads roll. When I have exploded in the past, I have kicked my principal in places where the sun doesn’t shine. I have thrown a chair at my band teacher, I have sent a kid to the hospital with a broken nose and the need for 7 stitches, I have nearly run over my step dad with a Ford Expedition, I have beaten a kid with a two inch thick walking staff across the chest, back, shins, and neck, I have escaped from the grips of an Army Lt. Colonel and because of that had I sprinted over three miles of mountainous forest and swam over three quarters of a mile across a lake. I fear that I will never be able to escape these atrocities, but just because they happened, doesn’t mean that they have to continue. Although at the rate that kids keep giving me crap at school I fear it might happen soon. My life has been full of Crap that I have dealt with, and the extra garbage that is shoved on me daily at school by hypocritical egotistical morons is bound to set me into a frenzy. Each day I try to flick away the daily grime and accept it as a fact of life. That is why I hide behind a facade.

The Allegory of the Acorn

I am done with finals and am cleaning up my computer files and came across this so I figured I would post it here. So here it is, the Allegory of the Acorn.

Allegory of the Acorn
Sunday, August 05, 2007

There is a motivational poster that states, “Inside one Acorn lies the entire tree.” I believe that this is truer on a spiritual level than we even realize. In side us, a single acorn, lies the potential to become a magnificent person, or tree. However, I also believe that each tree produces more and more acorns to eventually create a magnificent forest. We, as humans, have the potential for limitless growth. But let us look at the creation of the tree. How was it made. Some believe that random cell divisions eventually created the magnificence that is a tree. However, I believe that there was some intelligence involved in the design. Trees were created by a higher power. We were created by a higher power.

I don’t think that very many people who believe in a higher power have asked the following question. Where did God, the creator of our world, come from?

Was he just a coincidental division of cells, or was he too created by someone else?

This is a difficult question because if you believe in God, then you might just have faith that he was created by a random cell division. Or you might come to the same logical conclusion that he was created by, to Him, a higher power. So, following this train of logic, if God was created by someone and He is a God, then we, as God’s creations have within us the potential to become Gods and create others. All things in life follow a cycle, does it not make sense that things after this life will also follow in a continuing cycle. That as we are, God once was and as God is, so too might we become. We are his creations, his acorns. We have the potential to create ourselves as trees, and others to build our forests. Would it not make sense that eventually we will get to a point that we, who were created by some higher power, could become as he is, just as an acorn can become a mighty Oak like its creator. In the logical progression of things, this makes extreme sense to me.

However, for all of the acorns that a single tree produces, how many ever become full fledged trees that have the ability to create acorns like unto the original tree. Many acorns are cast in rocky soil, others are cast by the wayside, while others are placed in a rich soil that allows them to grow to there full potential. I believe that our lifestyle is represented by the many locations that the seed fall in the scriptures. Those of us whose are cast in rocky soil are caught up in our own vanity. We are too shallow to allow the fullness of a tree to grow. Those who are cast by the wayside are too caught up in the ways of the world. They are willing to follow anyone who passes by them and therefore are not rooted enough to grow fully. But those few who are not shallow and who are rooted in a firm place are those who have been planted in rich soil that can support a full tree.

As a boy longs to become a man and a girl longs to be a woman, so to do acorns long to become great Oaks. We all have something that we wish to become because that is the natural order of things. We need to strive to become a fully fledged tree that we might follow in the steps of our creator, even God himself.

Satyagraha

I have rediscovered a beloved word recently and I figured I would share it with you and the meaning that it has in my life. This word is Satyagraha. I originally discovered it in Orson Scott Card’s book Shadow of the Hegemon, a great read by the way, but it was originally coined by Ghandi.
He took two Sanskrit words the word for truth and firmness and coined the term Satyagraha. The definition that was given by Ghandi then for Satyagraha was the firmness of truth, but I enjoy the poetry of Card much better when he stated that Satygraha is “the willingness to endure great personal suffering in order to do what is right.”
Sometimes what is right isn’t friendly, it isn’t peaceful, it isn’t fulfilling, it isn’t gratifying. What matters is that you do not hide from the consequences. You bear what must be borne. It might be like courage, the courage to do what is right even when you can’t win. If you know that the price of doing right is a terrible loss or suffering or even death, satyagraha, means that you are all the more determined to do right, for fear that fear might make you unrighteous.
While in and of itself, Satyagraha is very difficult to achieve when you know what is right, it is infinitely harder when you are unclear about what is right. As you have seen, I am still trying to figure out what is right, but I hope to, once knowing, be able to achieve satyagraha and follow that truth firmly, no matter the greatness of my personal suffering.
As this concept is ingrained in my mind, I am always looking for new words or methods to describe it, do any jump into your mind?

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Quote of the Year

As President J. Reuben Clark, Jr. once said:

“If we have truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not truth, it ought to be harmed…a [truth seeker] must get at facts, he must consider motives—he must tear off the mask and lay bare the countenance, however hideous. The frightful skeleton of truth must always be exposed…[he] must make every conclusion pass the fiery ordeal of pitiless reason. If their conclusions cannot stand this test, they are false.”

Wisdom of the Crowds

“Why are Zagat restaurant guides so popular? Partly it is because they are a convenient guide to all the restaurants in town. But their real power derives from the fact that the reviews are the reports of volunteers – of diners who want to share their opinions with others. Somehow that represents a more compelling recommendation than the opinion of an expert whose job it is to rate restaurants.” – Tipping Point Malcolm Gladwell

What happens when we compare this principle to massive amounts of reviewers rather than just a handful? We start to gather the wisdom of the crowds. If we can get several “Mavens” to contribute their knowledge, as well as the long tail of other collaborators, then we can, through the law of large numbers, end up with a better sense of Wisdom rather than a sense of intelligence offered by the opinion of one person. If you can harness this power you can create far more than any one person alone could. Think about this, We all know that “Two heads are better than one,” but yet we are reluctant to continue this principle into any realm of politics, or any other situations either. We are content having one leader make the decisions when collectively we are smarter than he, I wish others would see that we can and should start colaborating more on every project.

The Founding Fathers Were Incomplete

Our government can not just be a mass of people “digging” up and down like the Romans gave thumbs up and down at the Colosseum, but it must be a forum for discussion and debate. Democracy is much more than just the power of the vote, as citizens, it is our right to engage in a political debate, and that we must.
The founding fathers saw the American people, very similar to that of the Roman populous. The technology was very similar, the religion was a little bit different, and we had a little bit better technology and learning, but not all that much. Therefore, they relied on the Roman system to provide the backbone of our government. Now however, we have grown exponentially smarter and far larger than the Founding Fathers ever imagined us to and yet we still have virtually the same document guiding our lives. We have clarified a few things, and changed some clerical issues, but largely our government has remained unchanged from the original model.
We can download more information in one day than Jefferson had available in his lifetime, and yet we are still relying on the wisdom of our ancestors who have no clue what we are dealing with, and had no way to predict it. We need a change in the current system of governance, but rather than scrap the old and start from scratch, I suggest that we shift our reliance away from the wisdom of the Fathers, and onto the wisdom of the crowds. The wisdom that has brought us Wikipedia. In 1776, everyone was a “Troll,” Those with experience were the outlier, but now, only 2-3% of the Internet make up consists of “trolls” (Eric Schmidt – CEO of Google, New America Foundation)
The Founding fathers pooled their knowledge together in order to form a more perfect union, and they succeeded, but it is time to increase that perfection and get out of this quagmire of bureaucracy and red tape in order to have a Government that is Of, By, and For the people.
Obama’s Change.gov has started to do that by providing all their material with a Creative Commons Copyright, Promting open discussions through a great system that can track your participation and thus promote those who participate more, by providing a response to these comments in video format, and though there are some things lacking from a perfect system, It is leaps and bounds above any other .gov website, I believe it is a step in the right direction.

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