My Views on Palin

are pretty much exactly the same as Matt Damon's.

The Loss of Ego, E-Mail Think Tank series

Me: I have been listening to the Ascent of Humanity stuff and I was wondering what your thoughts were about the afterlife. He says that people with near-death experiences realize that we are not our ego and that there
is something else. I kind of feel that our atoms will go somewhere but I was wondering what exactly you thought. I feel like personally, our ego goes away...our way of knowing ourselves goes away and if that's gone, we're basically gone, right? Your thoughts?


Hmmm, the afterlife, eh? That's a big subject. Well, from the material
perspective, our atoms basically get recycled into the world. There's
nothing new there, of course: a being's atoms are continually being
cycled throughout its life. As for the non-material component,
assuming such exists, well now....

A lot of it comes down to how you define yourself. Obviously, if you
identify with body and ego, then death is a pretty final sort of
thing. The relevent thought experiment here is to ask how much of
'you' you can lose and still be 'you'. We can pretty safely say the
body doesn't count: if you were just a head on life support, you'd
still feel like you. Ditto senses: take away sight, hearing, touch,
taste, and smell, and you're still basically you. I'd argue the same
for memories, after all, the older you will be losing them, and the
younger you didn't have them, but you were still you.

So no body, no senses, no memories ... what's left? Just a little
spark of awareness, deep inside, essentially the same between any two
beings. This isn't Descartes' cogito ergo sum, exactly, because I'm
not talking about thought, here (individual thoughts being transient,
you can't identify the self with them.) In this sense if in no other,
every being can be said to be immortal, as that little window of
awareness exists in every entity, unchanged. So far as I can tell,
this is Eisenstein's view on the matter.

My own thoughts on the subject are a little more speculative. I'd say
that upon death, the soul retires to a contemplative zone, wherein it
reviews the life it just led, incorporates the lessons of that life
into what it has already learned from its many previous lives, and
then decides where and when to incarnate next based on what lessons it
feels are most appropriate, given what it now knows. The soul, of
course, doesn't identify with your ego, any more than you identify
with any one of your cells, and for essentially similar reasons: the
soul is a composite of a vast number of separate egos from all its
different lives, no one of which is any more important than the
others. The goal towards which every soul moves is to become one with
the One, a state which from it's perspective exists eternally (the
absolute being timeless), and from ours is probably located somewhere
around the end of the universe, when the entire physical universe has
come to life (thus allowing the entire past back to the Big Bang to be
by means of observing it into being.)

Hmm. I may have strayed a bit from the topic at hand there.

Anyhow, that's more or less how I see it. Thoughts?

by my friend, Matt


I Love Tina Fey

This is the real one.

And these are the SNL skits.



Who can know the mind of God?

Why does God do the things He does?

Because it is good to be king.

The meaning of God and life is lost in semantics. A meme that maybe has no meaning in and of itself but the effect of that meme on humans is quite strong and that's what is important.

Real or not, Jesus will "live" longer than me. In the human consciousness.

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?"

When I heard this for the first time when I was a kid, I thought it was a stupid question because it was being presented as this deep philosophical question and I thought the answer was easy. I thought, "Of course it would make a sound! If you put a tape recorder there in the forest and no human was around to hear it, when you came back for the recorder after the tree fell, you would hear the tree falling on the tape." That was my immediate response. 

Do things need an observer in order to exist? 

When you die, you are not observing anything but the universe goes on. Earth will still be there. The Earth may have died TO that person but not to anyone else. If all humans died, I feel like the Earth would still move on...humanless. 

What is this whole big deal about observation?

Yes, you could say that the universe dies with you when you die because you won't experience it anymore. It sorts of hits on the idea of everything is just in your head. You only know anything at all through your own experience. 

Can you make a difference between the world in your head and the natural world?

Does that difference exist?

Is the "natural world" only something that exists in the human mind? 

What is it about human observation that makes it so special. The fact that we are sentient? Other animals are sentient:dolphins, chimpanzees, etc. I guess that their kind of sentience is probably different from human sentience but my questions still feel unanswered.

The ideas in my head feel separated from the natural world because I don't feel like they affect anything but me. I guess after they affect me I might affect the world. 

I would really like people's thoughts on observation and existence. Thanks!

Abomination (Latin abominatus, past participle of abominari, "to deprecate as an ill omen") English term used to translate the Biblical term תֹּועֵבָהʻēā or to'ba (noun) or ta'ab (verb).

The term in English signifies that which is exceptionally loathsome, hateful, wicked, or vile. In Biblical terms to'ba does not carry the same sense of exceptionalism as the English term. It simply signifies that which is forbidden or unclean according to the religion.

Linguistically it is therefore close in meaning to the Polynesian term taboo or tapu, signifying that which is forbidden, should be left alone and not touched, or (for some items) brings death by the act of touching.

This article examines the term as it is used in English translations of the Bible, and also the actual senses of the words which are being translated into this term in English.


"When we say that he, Jesus Christ, our teacher, was produced without sexual union, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding the sons (the god) Jupiter."

- Saint Justin Martyr, 100-165 AD


I am having an exchange of ideas via e-mail with a friend. This is an answer to one of my questions.

"Hey Andrew,

That's a hard question to answer. A lot of it comes down to gut instinct: I just can't believe that the universe, and everything in it, is ultimately purposeless and futile, which is what a matter-primary world implies, at least to me. A universe in which there is a sort of centreless, conscious field permeating the cosmos is much more intuitive to me.

One thought experiment that helped me accept the idea (and this is just me) is, what would happen if an intelligent species successfully colonized the universe? Not just a few stars or a galactic empire or something, but the entire universe? The universe might be mostly dumb matter now, but give it a few hundred billion years and it might fill up. Whatever happened to the universe after that, would be whatever the conscious entities occupying it directed to happen. The cosmologist Frank Herbert, a grand old man of science, developed a theory in which those far-future colonists (really highly advanced robots and computers) would manage the collapse of the universe in order to extract energy (and thus stay alive) right up to the Big Crunch, and then tunnel through and manage the Big Bang, managing the past as well as the universe's future. He was laughed out to the fringes for his Omega Point theory, but it's a difficult one to refute, in truth.

There's also the simulation paradox. Posit a far-future civilization with the computational resources to run massively parallel historical simulations, accurate down to the level of individual sims being

conscious entities every bit as real as a 'real' person. Either civilizations always self-destruct before they attain the technological prowess to run such simulations, or the odds are huge that the reality we know is just a computer simulation ... a neat little logical puzzle that, for me, is resolved - or at least mooted - if you just start from the assumption that consciousness is the precursor to existence. Saying we're all a simulation, after all, is just a modern way of saying we're just God's dream. Or, to put it more accurately, we're God dreaming itself.

Anyhow, that's more or less where I'm coming from on a theoretical level."

"Here's my reply:

Hey, it's the author of the piece above.

I'd say the 'god-field' is more like the ether, something that's just sort of there, supporting reality. Calling it conscious probably isn't accurate, actually, not unless you stretch the definition of

consciousness beyond the point of meaninglessness. You could call it superconscious or metaconscious, but really there aren't any elegant words in English for the concept (except for God, which I don't like to use because it runs the risk of anthropomorphizing.) The Indians -

who have put thousands of years of contemplation into the question of how to understand the god-field - call it Brahman, the source of creation and the goal of spiritual evolution, which is as good a word as any.

The question of who, exactly, has control is a difficult one, especially if you look at it from the point of view of 'God vs mortals'. Of course, if instead you posit that everything in the universe is part of God, then the problem disappears. Control is shared by everything, and held by nothing.

(As usual with this sort of topic, it's virtually impossible to discuss without tripping over paradoxes....)



I signed on to livejournal as dinopteryx just so I could post ... then found out I had to be listed as your friend...."

I feel like I've been asked my entire life, "Do you always need a reason? Can't you just go with the flow?" This post is less about me attacking that statement and more about trying to think about it deeper. Here are some things that I think about when the above question is asked to me. It has been asked to me many times throughout my life but I never felt like I could answer it well...or never had the time enough to think about my answers to it. At least not as much as I wanted to have.

1. How does asking the question "why?" go against the flow?

2. Why is this even an issue at all? Can't I ask why and it not be a problem?

3. Why do you think that asking why goes against the flow?

4. Why do you not look for reasons in your own life?

5. Isn't "why?" the most important question of them all anyway?

6. If it is not reasons that you are living by, then what?

7. Why is it such a big deal...or why do you think it's such hard work to search for reasons?

Now to go into this even further, I don't think I need reasons for EVERYTHING but I do feel that most "why?" questions are answered in one or two sentences. Maybe it's because I feel this way that I often ask why.

Also, I do (as you probably can already tell) ask why for the big questions...questions concerning religion, the human condition, etc. I understand that those need a lot of work but I feel that I often get asked "Can't you just go with the flow?" when I ask "why" for the little things. I suppose people get angry or frustrated when asked "why?" concerning little things but then I get back to my old self when that happens and ask (usually to myself), "Why do you get frustrated when I ask that?"

All that is good and wonderful in the world can be seen and heard at ted.com...or so I thought. There's one more lecture that wasn't at TED that's really awesome. Randy Pausch gives this speech just before he died of pancreatic cancer. He was a pioneer of virtual reality. Maybe you saw the Randy Pausch link on google. The speech is really inspiring and makes you want to live your dreams.


I feel like people use their "faith" in order to skirt around actual scientific and historical evidence. It's a way of jumping to where they want to be and, I feel, the jump is so premature. A lot of people make the jump without thinking the jump through....but then again "it's faith you don't have think! That's the beauty of it! Faith is easy on my brain!"

If you want to know more about my views, or where I get a lot of my views lately, please watch these videos. 

This is Sam Harris. 


Also, here's one on stem cell research that really helped me to form my opinion on the issue.


And this is Richard Dawkins and Christian theologian debating. 


"Next to a battle lost, the greatest misery is a battle gained." 

Duke of Wellington

"A couple in love doesn't look at each other, they look in the same direction." - I saw this quote on my friend's profile a long time ago and I still really believe in it today.

"Being a fool for a woman such as yourself is always the right thing to do." - Esteban Vihaio, Kill Bill

"A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds." - Francis Bacon

"You deserve the teacher that you find." - Bud Malmstrom 

"The man who asks how will always have a job, but will always work for the man who asks why." - a high school teacher I had

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

"The vast universe, beautiful in its coldly impersonal totality, contains all that we call good or bad, all the answers for all the paradoxes we see around us. " - Masaaki Hatsumi

"Despite their extremely disproportionate numbers, Greek morale was high. Herodotus writes that when Dienekes, a Spartan soldier, was informed that Persian arrows would be so numerous as "to blot out the sun", he responded with a characteristically laconic remark, "So much the better, we shall fight in the shade."[31]" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Thermopylae

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. " - Albert Einstein 

"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." - Albert Einstein

"We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh." 

- Friedrich Nietzsche 

“Art is lies that tell the truth.” - Picasso

"If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was

standing on the shoulder of giants." - Isaac Newton

"Be calm, and share the bananas." - Koko the Gorilla (in sign language)

"I am still learning." - Michelangelo (Age 83)

"If you have a faith, it is statistically overwhelmingly likely that it is the same faith as your parents and grandparents had. No doubt soaring cathedrals, stirring music, moving stories and parables, help a bit. But by far the most important variable determining your religion is the accident of birth. The convictions that you so passionately believe would have been a completely different, and largely contradictory, set of convictions, if only you had happened to be born in a different place. Epidemiology, not evidence." - Richard Dawkins

Here are some things to consider about Christianity.

1. The first murder...I forget who it was but the guy that did it was cast out of Eden and into the Land of Nod. If you read this, it shows that the Land of Nod had people in it. What does this mean? It means that there were other people other than Adam and Eve and that whole crew at that time. Some people take this interpretation as Adam and Eve being the beginning of the Jewish people only and the people of Nod were goyem. 

2. There is no Hell in the Old Testament. Some people think Jesus made it up. This is why Jews don't believe in Hell because they focus only on the Old Testament.

3. This one is a fucking doozy. People are always praying to God for fucking help. I have known people to turn to Jesus after horrible accidents and whatnot. WHO THE FUCK LET YOU HAVE THAT ACCIDENT, YOU FUCK? If you believe he's in control of everything and omnipresent...where the fuck was he then? Is this wheelchair for the rest of your life some kind of fucking trial God has set before you? I'm not saying don't believe in this god because of it...I'm saying if you believe that he's in control...if your idea of God is a God that is omnipresent and ever-loving...where was he during that fateful night? Why aren't you angry at your new trial and tribulation that God has set before you...for the rest of your fucking life. Instead of getting angry, people turn to God during these times of hardship. Why...because when people feel out of control of their life or basically get the shit scared out of them, they turn to this universal...old dude in the sky. Why the fuck didn't you turn to him before? If you believe in the shit so much where were you before, asshole? Don't say a goddamn thing to me. God is there when good things happen but not there when bad things happen...what the fuck is that? 

You turn to the guy that caused the accident in the first place. Maybe he didn't cause it but he sure as hell let it happen. You don't notice that he's the one who let it happen in the first place? 

4. Number three reminds me of the Book of Job. This is about Job being played like fucking dice between Satan and God. This is all well and good if you take it for face value and say that it's not a true story but I come from the snake-handling, let's kill us some niggers South and people believe that shit is truer than global warming. Why the fuck do you want to believe in some shit where God is playing with you like a doll with the devil? 

Research your own religion. Don't believe in some shit that you barely known anything about. Research other religions as well. Perspective is one of the most important things. I find that most Japanese people don't even know where to begin with the Christian idea of God. They think that God is something inside you only...and not this ...I don't even know...old dude in the sky? What exactly do Christians believe? Is God a force? A metaphysical consciousness that somehow keeps the universe together? I kind of like the last one the most but I'm not entirely convinced of that one either.

That's another thing, I was always confused at people that totally believed they were gods and in control of their own destiny. I think that's fine. Taking control of your own life is a damn good thing but saying you're a god is a little much. I suppose the key points (back to astronomy and shit) to God for me were always...how did we get here? Who created the universe? Was it created? How was it created? Of course I thought about my future as well....but when talking about God...I was always interested more in the Universe...not my future as much...which I suppose is a bit weird. Maybe both are control issues though.

If you say that you are a god, if you say that you believe that you are your own god...then what about creation? Creation of the universe. I am referring to any kind of creation....the universe creating itself or God doing it. 

Also, perhaps referring back to entropy....I think the more we progress as a world civilization ...the closer we are to all dying. Perhaps our progress as a world society is a step to doom for mankind. I don't know.

Is there a theory that dinosaurs shit themselves to death? Seriously, bovine gases (cow farts) are a recorded and proven reason for part of the global warming problem. Dinosaurs were huge animals and they were all over the Earth...probably more than there are cows today...did they just fart themselves into extinction? 

Are we humans just shitting ourselves to extinction? Factories usually are pretty damn smelly if you ask me. 

"God exists, if only in the form of a meme with high survival value, or infective power, in the environment provided by human culture." 

"A universe with a God would look quite different from a universe without one. A physics, a biology where there is a God is bound to look different. So the most basic claims of religion are scientific. Religion is a scientific theory." 

- Richard Dawkins

Classical Education

The Trivium

Logic is concerned with the thing as-it-is-known,
Grammar is concerned with the thing-as-it-is-symbolized, and
Rhetoric is concerned with the thing-as-it-is-communicated.

The Quadrivium

Arithmetic is the Discrete At Rest 
Astronomy is the Discrete In Motion 
Geometry is the Continuous At Rest 
Music is the Continuous In Motion


Lost souls

Cultures, and people, change in time. Maybe some things are taken after in core, or center, over generations, but surface or peripheral parts look changed and often are different in fact. 

Religions could be powerful agencies to pass a certain set of cultural or social lessons to the following generations. So could be political parties, maybe. Even in a place where those kinds of cultural or social agencies seem to have clear frames and bodies to unite people under their own values and ideas, still people never stay at the same spot. They flow, thus forming new cultures (in the same current). 

In this country, religions don't have a strong influence in formal fashion anymore. I wouldn't say they're gone, but it is true that a lot of people are not religious. Nor do they have clear political views either. Compared to other countries, people are way less interested in politics in this country. They do know what media say, but they don't talk about it among themselves.

The tricky part is, that even after losing the shape of religions and stuff, modern cultures or people's mind are not built on nothing. Morality and values are taught to young generations in messages at school, family, and society itself, while interacting with older people. And the problems is that those lessons don't make sense, lacking the basis, and we don't know where they came from. We just do it because it "feels" right and we are taught to do so. 

Not making sense is not just the problem foreigners find when coming to Japan. It's also a bothering aspect of Japanese "culture" for people in this country. We don't know what Yamato-damashii(大和魂)exactly means, we don't know why we have such a strong seniority system all over the society... well, we know that it was originally adopted from Confucianism, but that's not an explanation "why" we have it now.

I don't like blaming people for not being open to other cultures or being proud of their nationality or whatever. I just believe we should start questioning about and talking about our own "cultures". Where did it come from, and where is it going? There are so many things in this society, things that don't make sense.








Do you like apples?

Do you like cabbage?

Do you like lettuce?

Why are the leafy ones singular? You can say "I like tomatoes" but you have to use the singular for "I like eggplant."

In other European languages they use "the" a lot more. If we were speaking French we would say something like "I'll go to the bed now" whereas in English we'd just say "I'll go to bed." This makes it obvious that there's no real rule sometimes for a, an, and the ...a lot of it is just what is common. How is it commonly said...not what rule do I use. How is it thought of in that language. It's really quite arbitrary, I suppose.

Japanese is a highly regular language. Hell there's only two irregular verbs and the rest is pretty easy. This is what makes Japanese different, not difficult. The grammar is really difficult at first but after you get used to that different system...that system is extremely regular...not with all of English's grammatical madness.

[Jul. 5th, 2008|08:29 pm]
I found out about a great site.


Discussion ABOUT language, no matter how detailed, erudite or numerical, is not, cannot and will never be language itself.

The typical student of Latin today probably knows more about Latin than most Roman citizens ever did; I can just see Roman kids all: “hey, Quintus, what’s the ablative singular on that, bro?”

B-star came to Japan aged 27, 7 years ago. Not a word of Japanese. He’s now completely fluent. We talked to each other in Japanese, he told me:“When I first came to Japan, I went to a Japanese school and looked at the books, but it just kind of sucked, you know? So I was like…this isn’t going to work; I’m not going to learn this way; I just have to go out there and figure it out. Pretty soon I was speaking, and people asked me ‘how did you learn?’, I said: ‘I don’t know! Not even I know!’”.

"had been"

"will have had"

Japanese is an aspect language. English is a tense and aspect language. From what I can tell, this means that there are certain grammatical constructions that involve referencing to time in strange ways. Whenever you say "had been" like "He had been playing the guitar for twelve years." This means there are two points of time in question. The first is a starting point in the past...when he started playing guitar...and an ending point...(this is still kind of questionable but just for example sake) ...when he stopped playing guitar. I think most languages are like Japanese where there is just aspect...but languages like English and Russian are tense and aspect. When you talk about the past tense in Japanese, there is usually only one point in time in question. 

If you look at "will have had"...man...what a doozy. That's definitely something that's really Englishy. You're referencing the future like it's the past. You're combining the future and the past with a hypothetical experience. When you think about these grammatical concepts and how complicated they really are...it's easy to see how it might not carry into other languages, especially those with completely separate evolutions.

"I will have had three ice creams by then."

"I translate the ideas, their forms, or as one might say, their shapes; however, I translate them into a language that is in tune with our conventions of usage (verbis ad nostram consuetudinem aptis). Therefore, I did not have to make a word-for-word translation but rather a translation that reflects the general stylistic features (genus) and the meaning (vis) of the foreign words." (De optimo genere oratorum) - Cicero, talking about his translation of Demosthenes

It is said that if you are artistic, homosexual, or left-handed you can learn languages easily. Also, women are usually naturally better than men. "Feeling a language" is better than "thinking a language." Women are usually more right-brain oriented and if you haven't noticed, homosexuality, being artistic or just irrational, and left-handed are all signs of being right-brain oriented. 

"People good at learning languages usually have "a high coincidence of left-handedness, homosexuality, auto-immune disorders, learning disorders and talents in art, mathematics and, possibly, languages." -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperpolyglot#Learning_language

Is there a direct connection between the right side of the brain and language acquisition? For "feeling the language" ...the most important part of language learning...the right-brain might be the key for a more complete if not full acquisition of language. 

As I continue to learn Japanese, it has become apparent to me that "fluent" is a very broad term. People that don't study other languages do not know about this but it's really true. You don't just find the cut-off point some day and you're "fluent." 

"There is no clear definition of what it means to "speak a language." A tourist who can handle a simple conversation with a waiter may be completely lost when it comes to discussing current affairs or even using multiple tenses. A diplomat or businessman who can handle complicated negotiations in a foreign language may not be able to write a simple letter correctly. A four-year-old French child usually must be said to "speak French fluently", but it is possible that he cannot handle the grammar as well as even some mediocre foreign students of the language do and will surely have a very limited vocabulary despite having perfect pronunciation." -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperpolyglot#Learning_language

You know, there are apparently different classifications for bilinguals as well. 

"a)      Coordinate Bilingualism: In this type, the person learns the languages in separate environments, and words of the two languages are kept separate with each word having its own specific meaning. An instance of this is seen in a Cameroonian child learning English at school. This may also be referred to as subtractive bilingualism.
b)      Compound Bilingualism: Here, the person learns the two languages in the same context where they are used concurrently, so that there is a fused representation of the languages in the brain. This is the case when a child is brought up by bilingual parents, or those from two different linguistic backgrounds. This is additive in nature.
It is worthy of note that the above classification has given rise to several models of bilingual education programmes. Larsen and Long (1994) distinguish two main types:
i. The model devised to help students continue to grow in their first language while acquiring a second language, and
ii. The immersion programme permitting native speakers to receive all of their initial education in a second language. After early grades, more and more content courses are taught in the target language." - http://www.translationdirectory.com/article419.htm

" ▪ For compound bilinguals, words and phrases in different languages are the same concepts. That means, a 'chien' and a 'dog' are two words for the same concept for a French-English speaker of this type. These speakers are usually fluent in both languages.

▪ For coordinate bilinguals, words and phrases in the speaker's mind are all related to their own unique concepts. That means, a bilingual speaker of this type has different associations for chien and for 'dog'. In these individuals, one language, usually the first language, is more dominant than the other, and the first language may be used to think through the second language. These speakers are known to use very different intonation and pronunciation features, and sometimes assert the feeling of having different personalities attached to each of their languages."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multilingualism#Learning_language

“Traduttore traditore” (The translator is a traitor). Italian epigram


"She was talking about talking about how she doesn't eat animals and she kept arguing about how she thought animals had souls. I said I don't think I have a soul. Her talking about animals having personalities equals them having souls is such bullshit."

I agree. Having emotion, sympathy, and personality does not mean you have a soul.

Science is a perspective.

I feel like you can look at like that but that brain that you have that believes in that is governed by science. Natural laws. Yes, I do believe that science is a perspective out of a multitude but at the same time I can't help but believe that because of its fundamental nature...the fact that it can describe everything on a very basic level makes it almost like the underlying perspective to all other perspectives. You can pick the other perspectives but they'll always be influenced directly or indirectly by science. As soon as you choose another perspective, the other one(s) float out of existence. Observation is key, I suppose. 

Mathematicians would argue that math is the ultimate underlying perspective. Perhaps that is true.

For me, it's hard to see science as just a perspective you CAN choose from. I feel a lot of the time that it's the only one. If you don't see it that way, I feel like you're uneducated or you just don't know much about science. 


Evolutionary SCIENCE can explain why we have the morals we do. MORALS, VIRTUE, etc...all of these realms that were previously thought to be scientifically unexplainable.


There's a lot of scientific study on love. Just because it can be explained scientifically does not make it any worse or better. Some people act like science tries to water down love. I have problems with that. 
Christians are the general public in America.

They say that anyone who is not a Christian is unhappy or a bad person or is really in need of something because of something missing or wrong in their souls.

If the general public is saying this, then people living in those areas that are not Christians might really be unhappy or incontent. It might seem like something is wrong with their souls.

What happens after that is that people caught in the middle of worldviews hears what the Christians have to say and then look at all of the non-Christians and see that they're always pissed or incontent because the Christians won't get off their backs so some people decide "Well the Christians must be right because look at all of these bad, incontent, frustrated people. There must be something wrong with their souls." If so, some might turn to Christianity because of that.

Part of my culture shock was seeing happy people in Japan that were not Christian. Fucking normal people with no Christian baggage. As a kid in America, you see that Christians have a lot of the same baggage (without really identifying that it is, indeed, baggage) and you start to make assumptions about THE HUMAN SOUL IN GENERAL. Even non-Christians have Christian baggage in America because of the huge influence of the religion overall. When I came to Japan and started to talk to people about this kind of stuff, it became very apparent that this kind of thing is not a "God-sized hole in your heart" as Christians like to say it is nor is it some general problem with people's souls. It is something that is very much dependent on culture and religion. 

Christians believe that there is one God so there is one set of rules. Because of these spiritual and/or cosmic rules, everyone's "soul problems" are the same. 

After coming to Japan, I had to rethink that entirely. It's a very tightly woven but vicious spiritual circle in America. It can change your perceptions.

Sometimes, I still wonder what people think in Japan about spirituality. I think it's very much a role here but in what capacity? If you read this blog, you know my views on Christianity by now but I feel like at least Christianity had an answer...even if it was a wrong one. It had a very specific answer to spiritual things. Japanese people don't even seem to care to search for anything too specific when it comes to stuff like that. A lot of the people I've met are basically agnostic. They feel like they can't understand such things so they don't even try. It's not even a fight to be specific at that point, it feels like giving up before even getting to the basics. 

It might just FEEL agnostic to me because how can one get close to Christianity as far as being specific without becoming dogmatic or ridiculous? Or just supposing too much? Maybe I'm just used to people having something to bring to the table...even though I usually disagree with whatever that is.

Impossible English


This is something that some students say sometimes. This is the thing that probably bugs me the most. It means, "BECAUSE I'm Japanese, English is impossible." That's a super-literal translation but I feel that's the best way to express it here. It's really annoying for some reason. That weakness. Maybe they just really don't care and maybe that's fine but it's hard for me to hear it. Also, you have to think about the other students that ARE actually learning English. They're Japanese too but are somehow magically learning English.

I suppose middle school children say things that don't make sense sometimes. 



This will be the blog for Tomo, Mike, and me. We will try to blog in both Japanese and English.