Archive for the 'Religion' Category

Fides et Ratio et Humilitas

In search of William and Anastasia,
I re-found Jesus.

The new tagline is thus “fides et ratio et humilitas”.

Faith, reason, and humility.

Not one over another, but three, equal, as one.

These, should be the foundations of things to come.

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I Read The News

I read the news yesterday oh boy
The mail’s readers are enraged for the slaughter of conscious animals
But as it happened far far away from me
I was rather amused that it is a non-issue here.

I read the news today oh boy
That the educated is holding a black mass
with non-consecrated hosts
And though it happened far far away from me
I’m rather sad that the fight has been going on
for hundreds, thousands of years

I read the news today oh boy
That a boy who came back from heaven
described one form of heaven that he saw
But I read somewhere else oh boy
Another boy who came back from heaven
described a different form of heaven that he saw
And though one of them is clearly a satire
(not so sure of the other),
I’m rather depressed seeing the extent of responses.

I read the news today oh boy
That someone who is running for presidency
is a minority ethnic, of minority religion, and is dead
and though the news is fake
I feel sad that this always happens before elections.

I read Facebook today oh boy
Online petitions are rampant for causes far far away from me
While I have my cynicism and skepticism,
I keep everything to myself,
as I hate to repeat myself.

I finished my meal and went out
through the door held open by a guy
who was apathetic to my gratitude.
It was raining outside
I looked around
Everybody was returning from lunch

lambrtz Phase II and God and Religion

“In reality there are as many religions as there are individuals.”

“After long study and experience, I have come to the conclusion that [1] all religions are true; [2] all religions have some error in them; [3] all religions are almost as dear to me as my own Hinduism, in as much as all human beings should be as dear to one as one’s own close relatives. My own veneration for other faiths is the same as that for my own faith; therefore no thought of conversion is possible.”

“Religions are different roads converging to the same point. What does it matter that we take different road, so long as we reach the same goal. Wherein is the cause for quarreling?”

All by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi…whom I found a few years ago has as many opponents as there are sympathisers.

To me, religion and God matter are already clear: whatever you do, you will never know about it, at least during your lifetime (and BTW that is why it is called faith, instead of knowledge). You can believe or disbelieve anything the way you want it to be, and actually nobody can falsify your belief/disbelief without being trapped in the circular argument. For me, there are two consequences of this. Firstly, I grow more and more uninterested to discussions, let alone debates, about religions, especially if they carry high #flamebait potential. Secondly, probably ironically, I seem to embrace Roman Catholicism deeper, albeit with some questions, doubts, and disagreements, both petty and fundamental.

So yeah, there you have it. Be a vegetarian, grow your beard, worship the sun, wait for the Second Coming, embrace any belief/disbelief you are most convenient with, and as long as you are not an effin’ troll or musketman, I will not raise arms as well. While I am the same time avoid joining flamewars. Not that they matter. You win, the world is still like that. You lose, the world is also like that. Unless you are the king of your tribe.

Update 18/06/2013:

A Coptic Hymn

As an Indonesian, I automatically perceive Arabic chants as Islamic. Well I don’t speak Arabic, so when I listened the above hymn it is very very hard for me to accept that it is a part of Christian tradition. I have to listen very carefully for any word I am familiar with; I think I heard some “Kyrie”s there. Also, I live with a Protestant family, and the neighbour next door is a Muslim family, so I am wondering if they think I am listening to an Islamic prayer, as IMO Orthodox Christianity, let alone the Coptic rite, is not widely known in this part of the world. But I have loved Arabic chants for a few years already, and somehow listening to this song makes me want to attend a Coptic service someday.

Update: I played the video again and realised that the video actually begins in English (…and forgive us our sins)! Gosh, it does take time!

Another update: not only does the video begin in English, but the first half of the video seems to be entirely in English! So I can confirm that my Indonesian ears are more sensitive to the Arabic tone than the actual prayer.

A Part

Last year I wrote [this]. This year I became a part of those who sing the song, and I joyfully sang along.

Interfaith Relationships and Interoperability: An On-Progress Concept

I don’t know why last night (i.e. several hours ago) I found my mind stumbling with the mystery of interfaith marriage, an issue very personal to me (but that’s another story™). A building block had been established as early as [the end of 2009], possibly even earlier. At that time, however, my view was rather based on emotional observation, immature idealism, and narrow view. Those who know me personally know what happened next, but that’s also another story™. Nevertheless, considering how ideas actually evolve and how a man develops, it was somehow normal. Now, I have learnt more, and what I want to write here is a development of the previous idea.

Now I truly understand that interfaith relationships are a VERY HARD concept (pardon me for the capitalisation). Even regular relationships are already hard, considering how two persons under the same umbrella can actually have totally different world views. Never mind extremely conservative ideologies, never mind the fundamentalists, never mind social taboos. In liberal societies, judgments might be far and between, and more religious clerics may be willing to give blessings in interfaith wedding ceremonies, but interfaith relationships are still VERY HARD (again, pardon me). I observe the following things.

  1. A religion in itself is a system with a clear(er) boundary. You either profess or you do not. Although different religions can share the same golden rule, in details, one religion’s view can contradict another’s. This is as opposed to ethnic and cultural backgrounds, which can be blurry, to the point that a friend of mine could say that he was 25% Malay, 25% Chinese, 25% Sundanese, and 25% Batak, although he identifies himself more as a Malay. This is also different from how religions can adopt elements of local culture, like me bearing the labels “Javanese” and “Catholic” at the same time. And even “Indonesian”, for that matter. I cannot see how one can hold more than two religions at the same time without creating a new world view. If you know, please enlighten me.
  2. I now see marriage not only happen between two persons; it also ties the knots between their two families. In this situation, complexity raises by numerous folds, as an additional one person to consider rises the problem’s dimension, eventually creating an [explosion]. While you might be able to make common grounds with your partner, it might not be the case with your in-laws. You may not communicate with them regularly, but even one rare fundamental disagreement with them can spread to you and your partner.
  3. Some problems might be due to lack of preparations by the couples themselves. Love blinds. Add immature decision making, couples might not talk intensively about their differences, and a time bomb is on the make. Even after considering a lot of things, lots and lots of them, eventually in your marriage, you might face a situation which you never thought of before.
  4. Interfaith couples are more likely to divorce [link].
  5. (I might add more later on)

Therefore interfaith relationships in their nature are VERY HARD. I have to be honest: the way I see it, interfaith couples are very likely to be depressing. They are risky and relatively unstable.

***

But there is actually a chance for interfaith relationships to work, right?

For some couples, they do work. I have aunts and uncles who have such marriages. So, is there a formulation to increase global happiness for interfaith couples? Ethnic differences in the past might be obstacles to marriages, but it seems to me they are less so nowadays.

I think I see something from my Computer Science background which can help. The keyword is [Interoperability], which is a study on how different systems can work together and maximise their (united) performance.

The thing is, I am not really familiar with Interoperability. I don’t know advanced concepts, and I am not aware of their current status. I can only say, based on my experience on doing research making use of different libraries, three things.

  1. There are a lot of conflicts. On one occasion, I gave up using one very famous library (let’s call it L1), free but closed source, because the provided libraries were not built with the same configuration as another library (let’s call it L2) which is more fundamental to my code. L1 was built with Multithreaded option (/MT), L2 was with Multithreaded DLL (/MD). L1 doesn’t support L2’s configuration, and vice versa. L1 and L2 broke up and eventually I found an alternative library (L3) which has the same purpose as L1 and can be integrated to the system. Now, what can make a happy ending possible for the relationship between L1 and L2? Either 1) L1’s developers publish L1’s source code so that I can use L2’s configuration when building L1, or 2) I join the company who makes L1.
  2. There are also a lot of gives-and-takes. By a lot, I mean a lot. While a library can provide a very fast implementation of an algorithm, it might lack performance for other algorithms, or they might not exist at all, the solution of which you have to implement yourself. Also, while I aim for as strict abstraction as possible, such that I only allow library-specific code in a wrapper class, it can simply be beyond reach at times. For example, the interfaces to save a data structure in different formats are very different, and I am not sure how I could have a unified access to both formats. Since it lies well down below in my priority list, currently I had library-specific codes inside the main project, with a hope that the future me can move it to the wrapper.
  3. Solving differences and dependencies can be very tough, especially if solutions are obscure, not readily available, or beyond your knowledge and reach when the situation arises. Be mentally prepared, and do give a lot of time for it. Are you willing to dedicate your entire life just for your interfaith marriage, with the possibility of giving up some other dreams of yours?

I do not currently have any idea whether there is a good or bad conclusion for this, or even if it is conclusive at all, but I hope someday I can continue to develop this framework.

Departures

Departures

Departures. Klik untuk masuk ke halaman Wikipedianya.

Tiga tahun lalu, Bang Ando menulis review film ini dengan membahas aspek budaya [di sini]. Postingan ini hanya memuat pendapat subjektif dan refleksi pribadi dari saya.

Saya kasih film ini skor 4.5/5. Menurut saya sih, film ini tipikal drama Jepang dengan tempo lambat dan setting yang alami nan aduhai. Cuman penggambaran emosi agak terlalu eksplisit di sini, misalnya bila dibandingkan sama [Tokyo Story] (apa bisa membandingkan dengan film jadul ya?) atau [After Life] (review [di sini]). Selain itu, endingnya terlalu indah, kurang cocok buat saya yang cenderung mengapresiasi film pahit atau pahit manis(tm). Tapi ya gimana lagi. Saya bias sama film Jepang. Makanya saya kasih 4.5/5.

Walaupun fokus film ini, baik dalam hasil akhir filmnya maupun kisah-kisah behind the scene-nya, adalah tentang filosofi kematian, saya malah lebih memerhatikan hal lain di film tersebut, mungkin karena hal itu lebih menjadi concern saya beberapa bulan—atau malah tahun—terakhir, yaitu karir, keluarga, dan pernikahan. Ini dimulai sejak Daigo, si tokoh utama, mengaku kepada istrinya, Mika, bahwa dia membeli cello super mahal, tapi tanpa berdiskusi dengan Mika terlebih dahulu, karena yakin bahwa Mika tidak akan setuju. Hal ini berulang berkali-kali, misalnya tentang pekerjaan baru Daigo sebagai perias jenazah, yang menjadi tulang punggung cerita ini. Memang pada tengah-tengah film dijelaskan bahwa ini sudah jadi sifat Daigo sejak kecil, tapi saya sejujurnya tidak suka dengan sifat macam ini. Pendapat saya, rahasia macam begini hanya akan membawa masalah esok harinya. Lebih baik ribut sekarang, mumpung belum terjadi/baru pada tahap awal, daripada ribut belakangan ketika sudah basah kuyup. Dan mengejutkan buat saya bahwa sifat ini tetap terbawa sampai ketika dia menikah.

Kenapa sih kok saya ribut sekali soal ini? Ya karena saya dulunya juga seperti itu, tentu saja. Jadinya ya banyak masalah yang datang kemudian, dan I’ve learnt my lesson itu Bahasa Indonesianya gimana ya. Ya pokoknya begitulah.

Persoalan lain adalah soal, seperti biasa, karir vs pernikahan/keluarga. Bang Ando sudah menjelaskan di blognya bahwa pekerjaan perias jenazah ini mendapat stigma negatif di Jepang, makanya Maki awalnya menentang keputusan Daigo untuk mengambil pekerjaan tersebut. Saya harus pake Bahasa Jawa untuk mengekspresikan perasaan saya dengan lebih akurat. Atiku mak-deg nonton adegan kuwi. Hati saya mak-deg menonton adegan itu. Bagaimana kalau itu terjadi pada kehidupan saya? Katakan saja saya sudah menikah ketika karir saya berantakan, lantas saya musti mengambil pekerjaan baru yang sebenarnya saya sukai, nikmati, dan pahami betul filosofinya, tapi ada penentangan dari istri saya. Kalau saya tetap teguh dengan pekerjaan itu, istri tidak suka dan pulang ke rumah orang tuanya. Yang macam begini ini menjadi kekhawatiran saya, karena sudah sejak beberapa tahun lalu saya memutuskan untuk menjalani pola hidup Katholik dengan lebih kuat kendati dengan pola pikir yang aneh-aneh, dan menurut pemahaman saya, kecuali pada beberapa kasus khusus, [perceraian adalah haram] buat agama yang saya anut. Kalau saya keluar dari pekerjaan, I’m not tough and I’m not a man (lagipula ini toh bukannya saya jadi (nuwun sewu) gigolo atau bagaimana). Kalau saya tetap pada pekerjaan ini, istri minta cerai, saya masuk neraka(tm). Entahlah. I need to sort these things out before entering this stage. Bahwa Maki kembali ke rumah Daigo setelah beberapa bulan pulang di orang tuanya, bersama dengan beberapa adegan lain, adalah elemen plot yang terlalu bagus buat saya, yang membuat saya tidak bisa memberi poin 0.5 tambahan dan menjadikan skor total 5/5.

Sekian dan terima kasih.


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You can write comments in any language that you want, but please bear in mind that I only understand 4 languages: English, Indonesian, Javanese and Malay.

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