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NY studies have kept me too busy to post anything, so here is a little of my work, for interest sake.

Animation of my MATLAB simulation of a robot walker mechanism (the Klann mechanism):

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Combatting Existentialism

Victor Frankl talks about this in his groundbreaking work he developed in part during his time in the Nazi death camps. Logotherapy. I quote:

“In the Nazi concentration camps, one could have witnessed that those who knew that there was a task waiting for them to fulfill were most apt to survive … Thus it can be seen that mental health is based on a certain degree of tension, the tension between what one has already achieved and what one still ought to accomplish, or the gap between what one is and what one should become. Such a tension is inherent in the human being and therefore is indispensable to mental well-being. We should not, then, be hesitant about challenging man with a potential meaning for him to fulfill.”

I’d need to quote more to get the whole picture across, but basically, his realization was that we need some sort of dream or future to strive toward or hope for otherwise we lapse into what he calls the ‘existential vacuum’ from which depression follows. He emphasises that one must certainly not find a place of ‘equilibrium’ or ‘homeostasis’ but bigger and greater desires, contrary to a lot of popular psychology.

Muse

I have always been enchanted by the idea of a muse. Someone that inspires genius and provokes beauty. Muse – the band almost lives up to this, their music is amazing. Absolutely amazing.

It’s like experiencing a Classical piano concerto, symphany, rock band, jazz exhibition all at the same time, with the top quality voice to take it up to the next level.

Truly genius, and beautiful, this… is music.

Phi 3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Phi 3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

I remember when I was a passionate christian. It feels like so long ago. I came into university with a fresh start and a new chance at life. I could leave behind all of my baggage from highschool and be who I wanted to be. I went on a christian camp for first years and God showed me some of His awesomeness. I was changed and decided that the new me would be a christian.

It was a long road from there and I remember giving a great man of God who lead me in bible study a lot of grief because I was so full of pride and immaturity.

Nevertheless, within a few years I was in a pretty good place as a christian, I was reading my bible as if I was scared that I’d run out of time, I was leading bible-studies, I was telling random people about God on the streets, I was praying like a monk and I loved God so dearly and with so much passion that this God idea was almost all that existed in my world.

Then tragedy struck. Numerous tragedies actually. And I spent the next 2 years fighting the battle of my life against depression. I fought off and in depression for 2 years! That sort of struggle is bound to change someone. Anyways, I came out of it. The miracle that that is can only be understated. But my faith suffered for it.

I am stronger and more mature in many areas of my faith because of those days, but in other areas I am weak and impassioned. I used to think about the verse at the top of this post a lot. I read it for the first time in years now though, and was struck by it’s passion.

I want to believe and live like that again I think, but with the matured perspectives I have gained since the depression.

What’s going on?!

I feel a little as if I am losing it at the moment, loosing what? My mind maybe? Or perspective? The perspective that holds my world together… I live a very internal life you see, a life where most of what happens of significance is inside my head. Most other people’s most significant happenings and experiences are physical and external:

Me: “What happened to you this week?”

Random citizen: “I saw *blah blah* today! and then on Tuesday I had this amazing pizza and I passed a test on Friday! What about you?”

Me: “Err, well, I had this idea about perspectives being the foundation of our psyches which was quite exciting, and then on Friday I felt a little down and existential so I wrote a little to my imaginary readers on my blog.”

Random citizen: “Ok cool, but I mean, like, where were you?”

Me: “Oh right, I was probably in my room all week.”

*awkward silence*

Anyways, back to me losing it: I broke up with my first proper girlfriend since high-school a couple of weeks ago, but this was all good, because we both saw that we weren’t right for each other and all that. She loves sport and stuff and doesn’t know what Linux is, and I have a R5000 Android phone, play starcraft2, listen to orchestras and aspire to do a PhD in Robotics. I also love some sport (cricket, mma, kickboxing (it’s what I do), Ultimate) but it’s only a very small part of my life. We just don’t occupy the same world. So it was for the best and the hurt involved for either of us was minimal.

I feel a little empty at the moment I guess, I don’t really want another girlfriend right now, but at the same time long for that perfect indie-christian-barefoot-artsy-intelligent-science-music-poetry-writing-girl-person to show up in my life. So maybe I’m just not interested in anything less than my ideals. Either way, I feel a little out of my mind at the moment.

Convoluted Absurds

I see in pictures described by words
Real ideas immersed in convoluted absurds,
Beauty entangles what I hope to see –
A starry sky, or sunlight through a tree,

But on darker days only darkness reflects,
No colour in my retina and a fear of “what’s next?”,
The sky seems darker, though summer’s in season,
My hours spent thinking, introspecting, searching for reason,

My writing becomes longer, less bright, more sad
But I’m convinced, even in the dark, that this state’s not all bad.
I work through problems, no pain – no gain
The result of this pain is my world less insane.

As problems converge into less subjective systems
My mind gets to work and my weakness lessens.
Emotions and feelings become only a means to a cause
And I can further my understanding and move on to greater wars,

So though I await, days of colour and light
When alone in the darkness, I’m enthralled and kept alive by the fight.
Heroic self-preservation may seem selfish to most
But were this not my endeavour, in me God would have no ability to boast
Because God does this in me, sanctification the goal, His Glory the prize
For as He fixes me daily, His promise and my atonement He satisfies.

October 2009

So this will be my personal, random, unplanned and spontaneous blog. I will post some of my more personal writings here. A part of me screams out: “Don’t do it!” because I am quite a solo character and like to keep my thoughts to myself where they are accepted and understood, but it seems all the cool kids are doing it these days, so I’ll betray those warnings and post away.