December 12th

These blog posts are thinning out to say the least, partly because I'm busy, and partly because I've already said a lot of things I wanted to. Which is better, repeating yourself endlessly, or staying silent once you've said your piece?

Quote of the Week

  • "This house has been far out at sea all night, |The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills, |Winds stampeding the fields under the window |Floundering black astride and blinding wet |Till day rose; then under an orange sky |The hills had new places, and wind wielded |Blade-light, luminous black and emerald, |Flexing like the lens of a mad eye." - Ted Hughes, Wind

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Just another random schpiel.

Having had a spectacular fallout with God in March (seven months and this blasphemer is still breathing, how could it be?!) detailed in my post here , I've not noticed much difference, except for two quite linked things (or one thing that has led to another thing). First of all, I've again lost the naieve idealism that I used to have and was able to hold on to quite well. Yes, I always was a bitter, sarcastic nut who would sulk in the corners of parties but now I'm even more of one, and most people who know me realise that I vent my pessimism via sarcasm. But then again if you guys are still reading my blog, I'd guess you're the friends who've managed to put up with most of the shit I've thrown at you, and therefore enjoy me pouring buckets of slimy sarcastic comments onto you. Or not, but who cares? Like I actually need somebody to read this crap.

Going back to the main point, the second thing I've noticed is that I've lost a big source of hope that I used to be able to tap into. Having "God" or at least an idea of him (her?) around to comfort me was always a reassuring feeling that I could fall back on if I had a really bad day and simply didn't understand what was going on. Hoping that there was a cosmic wheel of justice and kindness works wonders for the soul, but then when the wheel keeps breaking down over and over again one begins to question whether it even existed in the first place.

I feel a lot more alone out there, and lonely. I've always loved being alone, but then being lonely isn't quite the same. I remember Grandpa telling me that you can be alone without being lonely, and now I know what he means. Being alone means that nobody else is around (which you may actually enjoy), but being lonely means that you want someone around, and very frequently someone specific, someone whom you can relate to and converse with and talk about random ideas that come to you late at night after that extra cup of tea that you shouldn't have taken. And obviously nobody would be around you all the time unless you were joined at the hip, and I'm far from finding anyone who remotely approaches that.

But yes, I am alone, alone and exposed. And lonely, especially after I stopped believing the voice in my head was God and started thinking that it was actually just me talking to myself. And then I stopped talking to myself because it felt slightly schizophrenic, and ever since then being alone has never really been the same. And I'm annoyed for it, hence the frantic typing that I'm doing today.

I'm beginning to wonder how atheists cope with all that pressure in their minds, with no fictional person to vent to. Should I go join an angry venting club where I can call anyone at anytime and just talk? That's silly. No, I'd rather go talk to the other consciousness in my head, even if it does seem weird that I'm talking to myself. But wasn't that what I was doing all along? Me writing all this crap here may never reach an audience, but now that I've committed it to html I somehow feel that my abstract idea has become solid and real. Some would call this prayer, but since when could people not just think to themselves quietly? That at least, nobody has a monopoly on.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Self-Preservation, a Misnomer

Apologies for abandoning the blog for so long, there've been many things going on in the past 3 weeks and I feel like I've aged a year (in the bad way). Lets see, where should we start?

I'm a third year student now. Wow. And it feels like yesterday when I got here for the first time. Among the four of us in my immediate social group, I feel like I've changed the least even though people tell me I am very different from the way I used to be.

But yes, out of the four of us, I am the only one who made it through all the exams (so far), and that is scary. One of us failed first year (for a very good reason) and had to end up doing a gap year before coming back into first year now when I'm a third year. She's been busy working as a healthcare assistant for the past six months, and boy has that toughened her up. She among all of us was moved furthest away from her comfort zone and had to find ways to deal with it, or curl up and die. She chose the former and by my estimate is doing remarkably well.

The second of us failed second year, and has to repeat the year. All this happened while he was in a long-term relationship, and he seems to be coping well also. Next to me, he's probably changed the least, although his self-confidence has probably been severely dented.

Third among us is a friend who failed second year, but was not allowed back into the course and is now going to study physics. Besides having been severely shaken up, he has also got a long-term relationship to juggle with, although the latter seems to have matured him very much compared to before he got into it. I think he will be happier doing physics, but then again the spectre of "not being good enough for medicine" is something that I don't want to have hovering over me.

And then there's me. Yes, the usual suspect, who after all said and done, and despite all the rather traumatic events occuring around me, has been for the most part spared. Of course I have changed: I have an English accent, I'm exposed to so much more of the world, I know how to cook and I'm less judgemental than I used to be. But that's on the outside. Internally, in the core, I remain very much the same - slow to trust, very defensive of my friends, slightly perfectionist and not a little bit anal. But why? Why after all this have I effectively remained the person that I am now?

Firstly, I've never really been taken out of my comfort zone. Moving from a Malaysian school to an international one was more of a culture shock to me than going to England, and for that I am quite grateful. On the other hand, since coming here I've never been defeated and had to pick myself up again, and that troubles me because one day I know I will be knocked down, and I know I'll have to get back up, and I may not have help around. And knowing that I've had almost no experience of this is frightening, like waiting for some impending doom that you know you will eventually have to face, but yet cannot prepare yourself for.

Secondly, I have an extremely strong sense of self-preservation. Or more accurately, identity-preservation. The former implies physical survival, but the latter is what I'm dealing with here - keeping my identity, what is fundamentally me, the same has always been important to me. I'm flexible to a degree, and I will change my opinion when shown that my facts are wrong, but ultimately I reject the things that don't mesh with my understanding of right and wrong. The fact that people are being paid to make youtube videos of absolute rubbish really annoys me and will continue to annoy me, and if that changed, then I would no longer be me anymore. It feels good knowing that I've made a stand for something and against something else, but then obviously standing against something means that you will clash with it, and conflict can obviously damage you.

But the alternative to making a stand is so much worse. How could anyone be content to drift with the current, choosing to accept things because everyone else accepts them as well? Is there no morality to these people? No matter how many shades of gray there are where things are unclear, there will always be black and white examples of pure evil and true goodness, and to deny that is to say that you have no identity at all. How could anyone live like that? Are there people who live like that?

Although I suppose there are some people who can always run away from their misdeeds, there are yet more examples of people who run but fail. War veterans will spend their entire lives plagued by the things they have seen, people commit suicide years after having done terrible things to their fellow man. There is something in the human condition that tells us what is acceptable and what is not, and seems to be common to almost all of us.

The few who don't have this are poor souls indeed. These are the ones with a sense of self-preservation, a sense to stay alive no matter what the cost is to others around them. They will backstab their best friends if it helps them climb a ladder they want, or simply abandon them if they become inconvenient. They would commit genocide if it boosted their position. These people will never understand the meaning of true friendship, for self-interest is the only thing that motivates them. And these are the people whom I am truly disgusted by.

Bit of a pity these are the people who are deemed "successful" by our media then, isn't it?