As in the Beginning

As in the Beginning, a poem about the author’s fathers losing his hand in an accident. The author laments over their father’s accident, longing for his hands “as in the beginning”.  Despite losing a part of our body, it doesn’t make us un-whole (well, at least not literally). Being whole doesn’t necessarily mean whether you have all your appendages. Being whole would be about your mind and your soul.

In this poem, the speaker describes his dad in an objective way, referring to him based on fact more than emotion. I think that the author only discussed the topic objectively in the first paragraph, and I think he only did this to describe the situation that their father’s in. You can tell this because later in the poem the author talks from an emotional standpoint. Which is a complete shift in tone from the first paragraph.

As the author grows to a more emotional writing style, he almost pleads to have their father’s hands back. The author even states “give my father’s hands as they were in the beginning.” Your hands are so important, yet we have become so accustomed to having them that we wouldn’t even know what to do if we lost them. This poem really shows the sadness of losing what we have that most animals don’t. Are hands are so coordinated and allow us to do so many things, without them, life’s a lot harder, even for loved ones.

Easter in Greece

As we know, Easter is a big, and I mean big, part of the Catholic liturgical calendar.  The choir practices for weeks, father’s rushing around to put everything together, and the altar servers (I can say from experience) practice to prevent a horrible mistake on the lords day of resurrection. It’s a very important time of the year, it’s also important in Greece as well!

Greece, unlike Canada, has an official state religion, meaning churches are government buildings. The official religion of Greece is the Greece Orthodox Church. This church is mostly like a Catholic Church, sharing a lot of similarities, with only some differences. In the church, there are no pews, you don’t sit. Also, another difference would be a greater informality in the mass. By this, I mean that the people aren’t standing in lines, like the way we have our congregation organized, instead they’re kind of standing all over the place, doing their own things, which is quite the difference. They also celebrate the Easter mass a bit differently as well. People on Holy Thursday would bring flowers to decorate the crucifix’s (bed?). They also have a massive celebration at the end of Easter Vigil Mass. Fireworks booming in the sky, and kids throwing firecrackers around, it’s truly a way to end lent with a bang (pun intended).

Easter is a big part of the Catholic church, and for Greece too. When we have a little furnace to light our church, the Greek people have a military helicopter get a lit candle from Jerusalem! Starting to wish we had some government funding.

The New House

In the poem The New House, it claims that when a person stays at a place, they leave behind a sort of soul-like presence in the place. The poem even describes the words spoken in there, have had their meanings left behind and drained into the floor as if the words spoken have remained in the home even after the people left.

This sort of theme almost indicates that a part of the person’s soul and personality was left behind in their homes. This indicates that people exist beyond their physical presence, which is true. However, I don’t really agree with the fact that a part of them is left behind in the home. It’s not like if I step into McDonald’s, a part of me is in that building.

I believe the name of the poem (The New House) is referencing the fact that the character will be moving to a new home, the new house. If was just talking about any new house, The poem would just be called A New House, not The New House.

Gaining Yardage

Gaining yardage, a poem that tells a story about two people who enjoy their time together, but however are not even aware of their friendship. Friendship sometimes is elusive, we sometimes hold a friendship with someone yet don’t even know it. That’s the problem the speakers facing in the story. He feels that he may have a friendship with his neighbour Arlo, but since the word “friendship” never came up, he’s never had any confirmation of it. Strange isn’t it?

The speaker and Arlo, as it seems, are fairly good friends. They seem to enjoy each others company, they help each other out, and they work together well. Although their friendship is strong, it’s funny how they don’t even fully understand whether they’re friends or not. This shows in the inexpressibly of friendship. To be honest, I don’t really think this is true. I can tell if I have a friendship with someone or not.

This poem uses some literary techniques, this would include Jargon. Jargon is a vocabulary used by a specific group or profession. A good example from the poem could be “walking the beans” or “second-string quarterback”.  Jargon would normally only be understood by those in the specific group, explaining why I have no idea what walking the beans means (like are you walking it like a dog or something? What a pet!)  The poem also seems to end it off with a rather odd line. “I suppose we are friends and will be
unless my old man or his decides to move to another part of the country.” If they were friends, this friendship would maintain, even if he moved away (well, if they had phones in the poem.)

The Multiverse and Heaven

The final paper Steven Hawkins has done was about the “Multiverse”. In a nutshell, the multiverse would contain many parallel universes which are somewhat like ours, but just a bit different. Maybe even in one of these universes I left a typo in this esssay. But now with the concern of multiple universes, it brings along an argument over whether we have multiple heavens. Could there be an infinite amount of heavens, for the infinite amount of universes?

The Catholic faith is Monotheistic, meaning we believe in one, and only one God. So it seems kind of ludicrous that God would separate his people into different heavens. Even worse would be the fact that Jesus would have to die for each individual universe. You might point out that in Paul 2 Corinthians, it speaks of a “third heaven”, but it just refers to the physical heaven, the sky. After all, the first and second “heavens” are just the sky and space. Only the “third heaven” is actually the heaven God dwells in.

When the topic of the “multiverse” blends with Christianity, it gets messy. It brings the argument of whether there are multiple heavens or not. In all honesty, I think that the thought of multiple heavens is ludicrous. For all of the years, I’ve gone to church, there has never ever been the talk of “multiple heavens”.  However the existence of multiple universes has yet to be proven, so at the moment, the ideas multiple heavens is false.

Uncertain?

When it comes to faith, there are people who believe strongly, and there are people who have doubt. I’m not trying to incriminate anyone that doubt’s, it’s in our human nature to doubt, but scientifically there are things in the world that we just can’t prove. We also can’t measure God, it’s like trying to measure how loud something is with a thermometer. We can hardly even describe God. Truly, the existence of God is hard to prove, right?

A prime argument would be that”If you can’t prove scientifically that God exists, then the existence of God is uncertain.” This is a valid argument, but even science has some uncertainty as well. A prime example would be the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. This principle states that the more accurately you measure a particle’s waveform, the more uncertainty you have of its location, and vice-versa. So if you’re a man of science, then you should be familiar with uncertainty.

What makes this uncertainty worse, is that god’s immeasurable. We don’t have a device that can measure holy spirits per centimeter. God is beyond particles and wavelength (even Heisenberg can’t help us). This only leads to a growth in uncertainty of his existence. The only way we can ever become less uncertain of God is to study the world he created, and try to grow an understanding of the world God created.

When it comes to faith, many people have a hard time to grasp it. The Catholic Faith seems to me this convoluted mumbo-jumbo of stories, but it does hold merit. We don’t need to find proof of God’s existence, we’re living in it! The world around us was so carefully constructed, every animal, plant, and particle has its place in this massive creation. Everything was fine tuned so perfectly to support such an array of life. The very angle of the Earth is at a perfect 23.5°, just enough to keep the Earth from having extreme weather. The Earth is also in the perfect spot in the solar system to support life. If that’s not perfect enough, then this will. The only reason that multicellular life was to ever exist, was because of a one in a million chance that a mitochondrion and a cell decided to work together. And you atheists think that was by chance.

Cave Man Principle

There’s a difference between watching a movie on your phone and going to a theatre. There’s just something about going out to watch a movie in person that trumps watching it at home. Despite the overpriced foods, watching a movie in person just feels, right. Physicist, Michio Kaku, described this sort of behavior as the Cave Man Principle. In summary, The Cave Man principle says that there is little to no difference in our wants, personalities, goals, and overall physical appearance from that of a cave man. The only difference would be our environment. We still both want to pursue knowledge, reproduce, eat, and we both want physical proof of something. 

In the eyes of a caveman, he lives to survive to have offspring. In our society, that aspect of survival is still in our heads, but however not as prevalent due to our safer environment. The of our brain responsible for these survival instincts would be the amygdala. Have you ever jumped in a horror movie when the monster jumped out, that’s all thanks to the amygdala’s fight or flight response. The job of this part of the brain is to keep us alive. It floods our bodies with adrenaline, which kinds of turns us into superhumans. Of course, it was created with the survivalist lifestyle of a caveman in mind, however, its still up and active in our brains today.

There aren’t just physical similarities, there are mental ones too. Cavemen are extremely social, in fact, they can exchange complex communication. We still hold that trait, in fact, I’m communicating with you right now. We and cavemen also share the yearning for knowledge, reproduction, and happiness.

The Cave Man Principle describes the likeness of us and our cave man counterparts. Although there may be a large gap of time, our bodies haven’t really changed, same with our motives. So the next time you think a caveman, remember that you have more n common with him than you think.

My Father is a Simple Man

Can life really be compared to an orange?

An orange is like us, we have an outside, and a soul, a seed. And like the seed, it is perpetual, everlasting. And after the orange is gone, the seed still lives to grow an orange tree. I think it could also represent life in another light. An Orange, like life, is sweet but also has unedible seeds scattered within. However after we eat it, we don’t remember the seeds, we remember the sweetness of the orange. In life, we look back at our memories with a rose-tinted filter. Those terrifying times are now just a joke. Just as Mark Twain once said, “Humor is tragedy plus time.”

Does education make someone a “scholar”?

A scholar, as stated in the glossary, is a student. I think that the father is not a student, but would be the teacher. The father is the teacher, teaching his son about the world around him. The says that the father is the scholar, but I think otherwise.

What is greatness?

Greatness is when you achieve something that no one else can. It’s when you “climb the mountain” to the top. In the eyes of the son, the father is great. The boy looks up to the father as a role model, the father knows the bitter hard reality and is able to deal with it. I would say that that is pretty great. A lot of people once they see the hardships, they cower in fear, but to be able to withstand it, that’s great.

How old do you think the speaker is? Justify your response with reference to details in the poem.

I think that the speaker must be an older person, about 40-50. He seems to be trying to give a message to the youth, a message about appreciating your father. This is apparent in ” I can always remember that there was a man who was a worker and provider, who learned the simple facts in life and lived by them, who held no pretense.” It shows the son is proud of his dad, despite the fact that he’s not educated.

For what audience do you think the poem is intended?

I think that this poem (like I said earlier) is intended for the youth. This poem really shares a message about appreciating your father for what he has done for you. It shows the kid and the father together, talking about the world. The kid in the poem seems to appreciate the talk with his father, much like how kids should appreciate their own fathers.

Do you think the poet ever expressed these thoughts and feelings to his father? Explain.

Yes, throughout the poem it describes the interactions through the eyes of the child. I believe that the fact he is writing in the perspective of the son would show that he’s writing from experience.  I think that it would be really hard to write about a good father if you had a bad father. It just wouldn’t make sense.

What does it mean to be human

In our universe, there’s the living and the nonliving. It’s what draws the line between a rock and a rabbit. Although a rock is built from the same bits and pieces, one is living, breathing, it can feel, whereas a rock is… a rock. But for us as humans, we are more than just bunnies. We have a consciousness. We have opinions about the world, we have personality. When we see the world, it’s not just a bunch of trees and rocks, we see an opportunity, an opportunity to build our future. Furthermore, we have an immortal soul. We have a nonphysical counterpart which sets us apart from an animal.

You can hold have critical thought. When you look around, you can think and understand why the world does what it does. As humans we have the power of critical thought, we can question the world around us. Without this great gift, we couldn’t have made the wheel, a house, or the most important thing in the world, the internet. This is a big factor that separates us from animals, however, there’s something greater that separates us from them.

When God created us, he granted us another gift, immortal souls. With the soul, comes with consciousness and eternal life. The soul is what gives you the ability to experience the world around you the way you do.  Rather than having a programmed reaction to the world, you can control the way in which you react to your surroundings. You can fight, flight, scream, or even spontaneously give them a hug, it’s your choice.

And with choice, we have the ability to deny our human nature.  By this I mean we have the choice to deny our humanity. I’m not talking about acting like animals (*cough* furries), I’m talking about the acting, like animals. By this, I mean throwing away your humanity and doing horrible activities that only animals would do. Our humanity is unique and important, to throw it away and degrade yourself out of lack of impulse control, is jarring.

In our universe, there’s the living and the nonliving. It’s what draws the line between a rock and a rabbit. However, there is a great difference between us and the other living creatures. We can have the critical thought about our surroundings, we have immortal souls that allows us to have self-awareness, and we can deny our human nature. This is what it means to be human, what separates us from other living things, and even more so from a rock.

Postulates of Faith

In class, we discuss four postulates of faith. Can something come from nothing, Does God Exist, Do humans have an immortal soul and do humans have free will. These are four statements that help to prove the existence of God, questions where the answer is God.

The first postulate of faith presented to us was “Can something come from nothing.” The thought of something coming from nothing is mind-boggling to us, we just can’t comprehend it. If it was made, it’s made of something, right? The universe is spreading. Galaxies are spreading from each other grow more and more distant as time goes one. Right now, as your sitting, the Milky Way is traveling over 1.3 million miles per hour. What does this all mean? This means the galaxies are moving away from something. Data shows that everything is moving further and further away. A well-accepted theory is the Big Bang. In the Big Bang, the universe starts out as this tiny, tiny little point called the Prime-evil atom. This atom then blows up to release all its components which eventually form together to from our universe. This atom was so small, that it was basically nothing. And nothing can’t cause itself to become something. Something had to start it up, a cause, for the effect.

The next question was “Does God exist.” This is a fairly simple question. The universe is so finely constructed, with so many minute details that allow for such complex life. Human moral systems that without a God would be impossible to exist. It’s impossible for the universe to persist without a god, let alone starting without one. The Big Bang needed something (or someone) to spark it, you can’t light a candle with nothing. So does God exist? Yes!

Do humans have an immortal soul? Souls, as we should know, are a metaphysical part of us, some would refer to it as the self. The soul is the embodiment of our consciousness. It’s what allows us to have opinions about the world around us. Without a soul, we can’t explain where self-awareness comes from. We just can’t find a physical cause for self-awareness.

The last question we were asked, “do humans have free will”. We as humans have choices, we can choose to hurt someone or not, we have morals and make choices with those morals. If we have morality then an objective moral lawgiver must exist. These postulates show that absence of a soul or a god is just not feasible. So the next time you get into a theological debate, remember these postulates, you might put a new Catholic in the world.