Blog Upgrade!

As a means of better conveying my creativity, I have endeavored to merge my visual art and my literary art into one contiguous portal – as such, the source site has taken on a new name, although the written blog has retained the identity of “Pursuing Truth”.  Bear with me as I continue navigate the site hosting tools and best deliver solid and compelling content.

Informed Understanding

Informed_Understanding_intro_banner_small.pngThe information age dawned some thirty years ago with the prospect of the World Wide Web.  Prior to this, Newspaper Syndicates, Academic Institutions, and the Entertainment Industry have inundated the world with the comings-and-goings of facts, pop culture, and true-story occurrences.  Continue reading

The Threshold of Truth

“Truth is the correct description of reality.”

Gordon Olson

Truth is the framework of laws in the universe.  It is absolute, and objective.  By it, all other things have their origin and meaning.  This is an informal blog to consider truth peripherally through philosophical, theological, scientific, and technological means.

Darkness for the Night

Darkness for the night_banner.jpgIn a generation where society is attracted climatic episodes, glimmering effects, and relatable characters, darkness appears to rise as an evermore appropriate theme. The vigilante of Gotham of an older generation now has a motion picture of his dark hours of adolescence. The undead now claim an entire film genre category, and the wars fought by realtime rendered remotely controlled characters are no longer simply against evil, they are deceased by it. It isn’t difficult to see the rise of the trend. Light shows up better amidst darkness. Explosions break up the monotony of night. Screams of rage, and cries of ghastly apparitions are more conducive for the Call to arms. Proper screenplays and narratives are permitted greater budget and significance when the audience is ensured for them. Furthermore, classical literature is littered with the stuff of our modern theatrical realizations. The stories of half-men, half-god creatures, picturesque Norse gods, and men endowed with superhuman strength tends to fuel the informal conversations during the work week.

The night has become the new blank slate in a tech-savvy age of theater. Now, we don masks of full virtual immersion, our imaginative interpretations of what has happened, what could have happened, or what may yet happen, embody a level of definition never before available. New characters, landscapes, and dimensions are coined from the peripheral capacity the new cinema tech has opened up. The interactive variable pushes the story off out of the director’s hands and into the audience’. Score-based systems are developed to keep the tension elevated, and the senses peaked, and procedural infinity awaits the more inquisitive. Where is the tunnels end? Is there even light existing outside of it?

The many of the brave souls motivated (or forced) to embark on the darkest war of the last century survived long enough to see the darkest of the dark in that tunnel (or valley, if you will). Some survived only to perish there, other evaded physical death, but endured the slower, more subtly paralyzing realities of war. Yet the light at the end of the tunnel they finally found. I would imagine it was warmly welcomed, at that.

This perception of life suggests to me the abandonment of faith. Faith in our own society, faith in our history, and even our faith in the imaginations of generations before us. The message of faith is one of hope the endures amidst the fiercest gales. Our determination is not merely unbroken, it is reinforced by the same spirit held by those near us in struggle. Faith is a fading remnant of our society, often synonymous with the religious icons of long-held historical traditions who, at times, have failed to present satisfying havens. But it is also faith that presses the more enigmatic among us to envision things supposedly impossible, or attempt to achieve goals deemed unachievable, or define things considered undefinable. Faith unveils the spaces previously considered nonexistent. One of the irrevocable elements of faith’s effectiveness though is action. Where would we be without Alexander the Great conquering the known world of his day, Luther challenging the hallmarks of the Catholic church, or Tesla blazing the trail for Alternating Current? Moments of wonder may have their dark moments, but what allowed them to be considered wonderful and worthy of cherishing in the end was their illumination of at least part of the path leading up to those goals and breakthroughs, not the depths of darkness of the journey.

The old cliché “War is hell” was a popular slogan of the last century, and rightly said. But our theatrically-sought demons have made war all-but-common. Sounds of the siege are now often heard in the background, even as the sounds of sarcasm, ridicule, and disillusionment roll on in the foreground. It is as the light of day is no longer attractive, and innovation has become the only synthetic light of dawn we now year for.

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Embracing Origins

Empracing Origins_banner

What, if anything, was left unfinished in the past? Are there chapters left without closure? Every person is a walking story, a perspective of how life is interpreted. Yet time continues despite unconcluded seasons. The waters are often uncharted, and the undercurrents, though more subtle, are even more concerning than the winds and waves on the surface.

My own experience leads to consider past moments, episodes and seasons. While certainly some were not so good, others really genuinely wonderful. In either case, they must find their conclusions, their chapter closings, and narrative shifts. If they do not, our lives begin orienting towards guarded positions for the possible potentials of a some point returning to that place and finalizing that chapter. But our life events never remain in isolation as they may in our minds. Events and chapters that are felt to be unconcluded have nevertheless experienced the same shifting effects of time as the people involved in them have. Some events remain unresolved only in our hearts and minds, and others are left deep in the recesses of a distanced relationship. The usual response is the fill the void with new experiences, new friends, new work in a new chapter spliced into one’s life story. But sometimes the story requires a chapter a finish before the new chapter can begin.

I recently discovered “Lion” on Netflix. Categorized in the drama section, I figured it would have a more nostalgic feel to it. Some touching story of life developments in association with the world around the character. While the beginning was a little slow, I was progressively captivated into a very warm familiarity from my own life. But this story was as much sad as it was happy. The main character “Saroo” was separated from his brother at a train station when he got on a train to stay warm waiting for his brother. The next series of events were enough to conceivably pull a mother’s heart from her chest. The boy searched and ran; lost, confused, and desperate, as any child would.

It is a story as old as time. A child, belonging to a loving family, is by way of logistical complications, separated from the group. The vast distanced made possible by modern transportation innovations created a chasm in one of society’s deepest relational bedrocks. Short-term and long-term aspirations, memories, and even relationships can be confused or even forgotten. It has been said we are a habitual species. I take that to mean people are resistant to change. Usually, this is a negative thing, and is often the halt in technological, and social progress. But in this case, relational restoration was not easy to let go of, even though many children (and their distraught parents) experience. In an attempt to continue on in the aftermath, cultivating the world’s advice to “move on”, a person is expected to simply expected to forget. “That old life is gone”, some might say, “but you have a whole new life ahead of you”. This is becoming, if not a physical reality in our increasingly more complicated lives, at least a psychological one.

In the film, Saroo is shuffled through a couple different places, before he finally ends up being adopted into a whole different world by people who (as would be expressed later through tears) had a vision for adopting a foreign child. At this point, the story takes that ever-so-common shift in time to reveal the fully-grown adult version of Saroo. He is confident, intelligent, and fully accustomed to his new ethnic culture. But one thing still nags at him, and even pulls him into a crisis of identity. He quits his job, leaves his amazing wife, and moves out of the house in order to address the tormenting questions of his past. “What if they are still looking for me” Saroo asks in response to his wife’s confused probing. This is the crisis element of the narrative, and is often the place where no solid, or satisfying answers can be given.

Individuals may not always have family members looking for them years later half a world away; but they may have relationships that left them with scars that healed wrong. The only way for corrective psychological surgery in such cases to take place is to reenter the situation as it was last left. Rarely, if ever though, is the situation found undisturbed. These kinds of brief glimpses of closure are often worse than sustained neglect, because it defers hope further. The conclusion than, is different for every person in every chapter or episode left unfinished. Our subconscious reaction to chapters of the past left unfinished can lead to symptoms in the present. Sometimes individuals take up habits to help them cope with these neglected, or even forgotten pieces of their lives. Sometimes the situation isn’t even directly resolvable – but an attempt to try can always be made. Much resolution can come from merely discovering that nothing more can be done.

At the end the film, Saroo was able to locate his home village, and travel and visit his birth mother. It was a glorious moment of reconciliation. It ultimately didn’t change his life – and his mother recognized that, but it gave peace of mind not only to Saroo’s mother, but to Saroo himself. In many way’s, the film appears to have presented the negative side of lost chapters lost in our lives. I would propose that beneficial chapters are also waiting to be finished. Sometimes a book can be sent and accepted by a publisher with a chapter cut short, just as people can get by without concluding a season. But if a season can offer enrichment beyond where we are at right now, I would suggest it is worth pushing for.

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Education Into Oblivion

Education is an overemphasized, and largely misunderstood phenomenon in our world today, as I see it. It is the goal of parents to bring their children to the socially-prescribed standard of the society around them. If the money is there, then a special, more privileged option presents itself in the form of boarding school. This is the luxurious alternative for the presumed “more gifted” of young pupils. And among private schools, there are the prestigious elite, top schools the offer the best primary education money can buy. Hold on, since when does money “buy” learning? Money can buy books, a teacher’s wages, facility usage, curriculum development, extra-curricular activities, but not learning. Learning is a voluntary action made by the individual. The educational process has become a business, with those who have become superconductors of more academic knowledge then they need, to promote theory, and much of which is not proven, and even incorrect history.

Primary Education

Primary education is about developing the character of the child. Logistical knowledge should more or less be determined by the status of the society, though it is certainly not essential for a full life in the literal sense of the word. Yet the norm of a young person’s life from ages 4 till 18 is spend with about 6 hours sanctioned out of his day for “school”. What happened to the parents “raising up the child in the way he should go?” It is ironic that not to long ago, these Biblical principles were understood as the correct format. So the child experiences the formulaic subjects of schooling, and asks that iconic question, “Why am I learning this stuff?” I wonder just how often the answer is a revolution back into the past, “It will help you later in life…” It is the ethical answer that the child has no trouble understanding at his age. But how much is the character of that person being developed by Mathematics, by Geography, and English Grammar? Where is the homeroom that teaches the moral framework that the human functions by?

Youth Experiences

The Child undoubtedly makes the best of this “prescribed” location of his day by befriending others who he shares a common bond with. They sit together in the lunch room, they exchange comical gestures during class, and share in the events that their friends are involved in. These young individuals are learning what life on in society is, but more then that, they are learning what life is in general. And they are not imbeciles. They often understand when something does not line up. How much of their life is prohibited because they know that “the rules” are to stay in the boundaries? To stay on this side of the fence at recess. To choose the books that everyone else is reading. To use kind words that wont offend, and that they have to share… They are being confused by these parameters. Forcing one to share is not really sharing, being told which book to choose is not choosing, and suggesting the wise choice of staying inside the fence at recess (implying a great consequence if it is not adhered to) is not freedom. Don’t get me wrong, there must be boundaries given to children, as they do not yet understand where the bounders are yet, and logical consequences need to be cemented in their heads. But is too much emphasis being placed on the subject of “Political Correctness”?

Secondary Education

These kid’s make it all the way through Public school and come out of it mostly unscathed and are still enthusiastic enough to move out into a college setting. Often times, the work of applying for an advanced institutions acceptance is not an easy one, and needs to be done on or before the season of High school graduation prep chaos. A lot of times, the child has done well academically, but has done even better athletically, and colleges offer scholarships for action that is not very scholarly at all. Though a wholistic education should include more then simply textbook and lab work, much could be said about the generous encouragement that counselors, parents, school staff, friends and family give to the individual who is about to engage in what is officially understood to be academic more then athletic. As the young adult enters his parent-free life for the first time, he encounters a whole new way of life. And the dormitory is not the healthy experience we would consider on anyone for scholastic endeavors. Additionally, the tuition is generally a technicality for the brand-new freshmen who has or hasn’t received a grant. He can rely on either his parents or relatives money to take care of the cost, or loans, which are essentially forgotten until a year after graduation, when they begin to really take affect accumulating interest. Let’s not forget deadlines.

Over-exposure

The young adult has located his classes, purchased his books, moved into his room, and now class introductions have ended, and assignments begin to drop on the students itinerary. This young adult may or may not take a liking to the intellectual depth of the course material, but finds that his grades are in fact crucial. So he secures (as was the case in elementary school) friends with benefits. Still not having really experienced the hardships of life yet, he attends the meeting Fraternity or Sorority club (if she is a girl). The experience proves to be a satisfying transition from the politically-correct Windsor-clad professors that model what appears to be the career-driven world for which they will one day face. As finals approach, stress accumulates, and anxiety reaches nearly a shattering point. The Java store then fills up with procrastinating students who have their textbooks ready to put all night into cramming the necessary material into their heads for the big exam. They manage to get a couple hours of sleep before they have to arrive at their early morning lecture for the exam. Their mind is swirling, but somehow managing to recall the answers from within their well-traffic’d neural pathways from the caffeine flurry of the night before.

Graduate Studies

The smaller crowd of Bachelor-degree badged individuals, having enjoyed the endorphin rush of their intellectual senses being slammed with degree-requiring information, now advance onto the next stage. They enter into internships in their field of choice (or degree). Though some actually maintained a passion for the degree they chose, others have found that they know have information to equip them for a field they really could care less about. For these individuals, the continued schooling proves to pave a way to a lavish, salary paying career option that more then takes care of the bills. But the internships for which they have entered do not pay the individual what he expects, or maybe not at all! In all likelihood, the employer in the field actually expects to train the new prospective employee’s. What was learned must be unlearned. The classes that felt pointless ironically did little more then develop the character of the individual. The exposure of life up to this point for the individual could be said to be isolated. It is a bit secluded from a lesser-educated quadrant of society’s “socially-developed class system”. These individuals are encumbered with a perspective that is largely foreign to one who chose to move right into the workplace after high school.

Post-Graduate

The inundation of lectures has become commonplace to the point where the students have the ability to teach from the knowledge base. They are the product of over a half-decade of institutionalized “career indoctrination” exposure. They now receive the heaviest burden in their academic life – the Dissertation assignment. The stress starts small as the time left before the deadline reaches far into the next quarter of the academic year. The now proficiently-initiated individual knows what is expected of him by the institution, and has not only the knowledge irreverently lodged in his brain, but also his textbooks, and the institutions name to log onto scholarly databases for more of his caffeine-driven ‘ubber-long’ research sessions which are no doubt laden with music and interspersed with breaks in-between for maintaining sanity. Having finally arrived at that water-mark day of his Doctorate-receiving ceremony, what can he expect but to spend much of his future utilizing the extensive research he has done in a non-active fashion?

Reality of Society

The education system of our day is marginally pigeon-holed in my view. Although it does offer the individual a perspective of life they would not otherwise have had, that can be said of any other direction they could have taken, and likely not much to to their detraction of excellence. It is the philosophy that education makes the person enigmatic, that it leads to the real potential of jobs that are worth having. Institutional Education could more simply stated, be the service rendered for the money to paid into it. It’s no different they going and buying a new car. The results linger, but what about the negative effects that inevitably go along with living with other “wet-behind-the-ears” young adults who are trying to figure out what they want to do in life, and encounter cataclysmic circumstances in their college life that leads them to take drastic turns indirectly due to the formal atmosphere that does it’s best to maintain a politically-correct image, while trying to help the real people it is in existence for.

Conclusion

The concept of informational education remains as it always has been, an option to the individual. While society cannot afford to let individuals go without acquiring the deep and internal moral characteristics that were present in the hearts of those that founded the nation of the United States of America, knowledge is learned in a variety of different ways, and can and should be let up to the self-governing individual to determine if he needs it. Logical moral and physical consequences will reveal the gravity of their actions. Education is simply the information the individual chooses to take in and belief as true. By this definition, education can be categorized into two categories: Experiential, and academic. Society is made up of soul-bearing human beings. As such, Morality should extend beyond the logistical and empirical mechanics.

Bearing Image

drawing_small.pngChristians recognize Jesus brought them into a place of redemption from a tragic human separation from God.  He has placed us into a new, clean slate before the Father.  This image is well-known and immediately recognized in our modern culture of both an external religion, and internally as the transforming life transition. Continue reading

The Story, The Sword

zach-teach-smallImagery brings vitality to concepts, perspective, and narrative.  It embodies the described reality presented in verbalized or written form.  Images bring words and ideas to life.  The age-old narrative of the Judeo-Christian Bible is one shared with not only the self-identified inspirational source, but the part-playing “extras”.  The two constitute a dichotomy of purpose for the book.  On the one hand, there is the Lord God, Continue reading