Sunday, June 28, 2009

There is No Death

Clean Energy
Originally uploaded by imagonovus

It's interesting what thoughts may come to you as a result of working at your local coffee shop. As I sat to work on my most recent book I overheard a man tell a group sitting with him that there was no such thing as death.

The more I thought about this, the more I realized that it is true.

Now before anyone starts to assume that I might be changing in my religious or spiritual beliefs, I must assure everyone that this view is truly in keeping in my Christian views. In fact, it is this same set of values that have led me to find this statement as true.

Most world religions hold that there is some form of life after death. All religions Abrahamic in origin believe in some sort of spiritual realm in which the soul resides upon death. Most eastern religions believe in the transference of the soul whether it be in re-incarnation or in the arrival of enlightenment. However, what does the phrase "life after death" truly mean?

Those who believe in this experience (for lack of a better word) believe that when the physical bodies ceases to function another element within us continues. Some refer to this element as a soul, spirit, or essence. The belief that this element cannot die but rather moves to another "level " is referred to as life after death. However, if this spirit cannot die then is not the phrase "life after death" in a way sort of oxymoronic?

The belief that there is a spiritual life that continues upon the passing of our physical body, would mean that life continues. In short, there is no death. defines death as "...the act of dying; the end of life; the total and permanent cessation of all the vital functions of an organism." If the soul continues then does that not mean life does not end? As such what exactly would death mean?

There are those who believe that when the body no longer functions life has ended. These same individuals do not necessarily believe in a soul. Without a belief in a spirit then one can only ascertain that death is the end. This is truly sad to me. To believe that "life" as we know it on this plane is all that there is can be nothing short of tragic. No higher power controlling keeping things in line. Some may say that it's very liberating. To know that your decisions are yours to make and that there is no one "watching over you in the skies." So your lot is cast? Everything happens with no rhyme or reason?

Again, to me this is truly sad.

One person described life as data on a computer. Once you're done with the computer you can still use that data on another computer. Another individual tried to correct him by pointing out that data is inserted on the computer. That no outside source created that data.

I think he was wrong.

In that scenario there is an outside source that created the data. Man. As such the individual proposing this metaphor could be correct to a certain extent.

Instead I would suggest that life is more like energy. The First Law of Thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. My understanding of this law is that energy continues to be. It is there but simply transfers from one form into another. When a car is moving and the driver slams their breaks the car stops. However, the car will jerk with the energy previously ex-pulsed by the car driving down the road. In turn the driver of the car will jerk forward and backward as the energy is transferred from the tires to the car to that individual.

So where does that energy go once the individual and the vehicle have come to a complete stop?

The unseen molecules are still in motion, still hovering around those bodies as potential energy. This is evident in the fact that once that driver moves and transfers energy from his foot to the gas pedal which in turn transfers energy to the engine which means the car is once again in movement. That energy had to be around in order for this chain of events to occur.

In this same manner I see life. Upon the passing of our bodies our life is transferred, from this realm into the next. Understanding that there is no death does not mean I do not grieve at the passing of one's physical body. I grieve because they are no longer here with us. Just as I was saddened to find that Michael Jackson would no longer be able to perform, that I will never live my dream of performing with him on a stage. I grieve when I realize that as much as I loved my uncle and how he would have gotten along wonderfully with my boyfriend, he would not be able to join us for a family dinner.

However, I must admit that there is some consolation in knowing that one day I will see him again. When my life is transferred from here to there.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Look Back at Night

While going through an old blog of mine I came across this entry. It was written right after I finished reading Elise Wiesel's Night. One of the comments I received was that "this rant was one of (my) best ever." If that's the case I figured it was worth reposting. Although, a few of my views have changed the overall feel of the entry is the same.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Current mood: thoughtful
It's 4:41am. I should be asleep having just got out of work at 1. But I finished a book I bought today and my head is dull of thoughts and my heart heavy, and I wanted to share all that is going through me.

The Book is entitled Night by Elie Wiesel.

I know I should explain who Elie Wiesel is but I can not at this moment. Because biographies are not what motivate me to write at his hour. Book reports are not pushing me to stay awake and think when I should be sleeping. So I want to apologize now, if this seems like a rant or makes little sense. Look up Mr. Wiesel and you'll understand.

How silly my worries seem. How trivial at this moment. Its not bills or the fear of failure that will haunt my dreams tonight. But the faces of those described who died on their way to crematoriums. Children being tossed in flames. Some might say: "Phoebe you should have warned us that this blog would be explicit." But why? Why should we cover our eyes and ears to the reality of suffering of the past? If an entire nation of people can be the victims of such carnage, is it really so hard to think that there are many suffering today?

This has been pulling at my heart for days. As I ask God why is it that the richest nation in the world should have homeless wandering the streets. Why are the elderly so soon forgotten after the years they spent building this nation, fighting in wars, and paying taxes? Don't their dreams matter anymore? When did this nation become like the young man in the book so starved that he beat his own father for a crust of bread? And the reality is that we are not starved! We are not in desperate conditions. We have simply made it not our problem.

It sickens me to think that we can look down at people who beg, to immediately associate the hungry with the drug addicts, and the con artists. Our cycnicism sickens. And my own....because I could easily say to everyone for my birthday donate to a shelter, lets do community work instead of going to Disneyland and yet even my own selfishness keeps me from this and I am ashamed.

Elie Wiesel survived Auschwitz and helped keep his father alive for as long as possible until his death. Mr. Wiesel's age: 16.

Since I first read Number The Stars in 5th Grade I have continued to study the Holocaust and the atrocities therein. From Schindler's List to Words To Outlive Us, I read and I cry and I want to close my eyes but I force myself to keep reading. I have even tried to put on events to remind people of this tragedy in history, but people want to just close these books. But NO!!!!! Because if we don't remember the faults of yesterday, we will not be able to forsee the signs of their reoccurence.

To my friends in the Muslim faith I have not forgotten you. I relate stongly to Judaism because it is the root of my Chrisitan faith, but I have not forgotten, how the peaceful words of the Qur'an have been torn and slandered and held as an excuse, a banner for violence. I feel your pain, for it was the butchered words of the Bible that was used as the reasoning for the extermination of so many lives.

There is no faith that teaches violence. The Torah, Qur'an, Bible all tell us to love our neighbors and take care of each other. So why is it that there is still hunger? Still Poverty? Still such disregard for human suffering? Its not just those in power. Politicians, and generals are not to blame. Its the everyday man and woman. Its the part of us that looks the other way when someone asks for change. The part of us that turns up our ipods to drown our their cries. We say our prayers for the sick,destitute, and weary but God has given us the means! We just have to be willing to find them. We just have to be willing to accept them. We just have to be willing.

I don't know what happens from here. I don't know where I will go from here. Some of you might have read all of this. Some of you might have seen the length and skipped it. I might not get a single comment. I don't care. There are those who post pictures of war torn countries on their site. Those who have links to websites. All I have is this. Maybe some will forget about this blog. Please don't. If anything take this with you from this long rant. We must not make ourselves immune to the plight of others, from children in far away thir world nations to our neighbor who cannot pay rent. Our ignorance does not eliminate the problem. Ponder that and hold it to your hearts, because you and I may be the means, God's answer to someone's prayers.

~Matthew 5:9~

"An Injustice Anywhere Is An Injustice Everywhere" - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Thanks Patti's Mom!!

I had the stranges craving for popcorn with parmsean cheese. This was probably due to boredom and the fact that I'm going through that wonderful time....

In any case I told my friend Patti and she said we should do it. We should go get some popcorn from the breakroom.

However, I did not have parmesan cheese.

Then Patti breaks out some packets of parmesan cheese.

So thanks to Patti's mom, who told Patti to bring these packets to work in case she needed them....

we are now enjoying popcorn with parmesan cheese.

Good stuff!!


Crazy Dodger Fans

These were some of the fans encountered during my 1st ever baseball game. Dodgers v. Angels. I have to admit the players in the drama in the stands was much more interesting than the players on the field.

~Posted From My BlackJack II

Another Day at the Grind

It's pretty weird.

Work has been pretty busy for several months. Time would melt into the days and before I knew it, we were already half way through 2009.

Now things have slowed down.... ALOT.

Due to the upcoming holiday work has been slow, as it always is this time of year. Now with the introuduction of our latest systems and the addition of 3 art coordinators, time is dragging.

We have found all sorts of ways to keep ourselves busy. Constantly checking for email that is not arriving and looking for new art requests that are not being entered. It was this time last year that I found myself updating my blog on a regular basis.

Expect more of the same...


Wait, So That Means (Blame it on the Bleach)

This is the conversation I had with my coworkers:

Me: So that's my new thing. The same way that Patti calls Megan a drunk, I will be saying that Patti is not a team player.

Patti: Hey!!


Patti: But wait. Megan's not really a drunk so that means...

{PAUSES and stares into }

Andrea: That means you ARE a team player.


What made this incident even funnier is that after some time Steve comes by to chat with us. Instead of arguing with him about O.J Simpson I suggest re-enact this scene.

Yes, Patti. Go ahead and blame it on the bleach.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

In Traffic

Left work early so that I can sit in parking lot traffic instead.

Then I saw this cool van.

~Posted From My Black Jack II

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tough Days

This has been a pretty rough day for me. One can always tell a tough day when an impending work day seems so much better by comparison. It was one of those days that I felt so alone, so angery. Yet, I was fighting to keep my emotions in check. To prevent myself from submersing myself in the grime of hatred and guilt.

This was no easy task.

I prayed and talked to a good friend who was kind enough to listen and remind me of myself. Through it all I survived.

Sometimes I just worry that I'm not strong enough. There are times when I think I can no longer endure these trials. Lots of prayer and Bible reading but I still can't shake these feelings of doubt.

So I am now lying in bed staring at the light and praying tomorrow will be a better day.

~Posted From My Black Jack II

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cancelled Plans

I was talking to my co-worker and she asked me about the name of these boats. She was planning something for the guy she's dating. That's when I had the great idea to do something similar for you. So I started doing some research looking up prices and times and wondering if I should do an add-on. The pictures on the websites were really beautiful and although the price was increasing I really didn't mind because you're worth it. I was so excited that I even texted you that I had a special outing planned.

Fast forward several hours later and we're talking and you tell me that you don't want to go anywhere. That I need to save money. This irritates me to no end. Here we go again. Another plan I made and its cancelled just like that. You have no idea as to what I was doing or how much it meant to me to be able to spend this day with you.

Whatever. I'm beyond irritated. I'm hurt and you don't seem to care. So never mind. I'll get over it just like I get over every other disappointment and I'll move on from here.

I don't want to do anything anymore.

~Posted From My Black Jack II

Monday, June 8, 2009

Angels & Demons on the Big Screen

Poster Angels & Demons
Originally uploaded by MyCine
When I read Dan Brown's Angels & Demons, I wrote a review on my See [Phoebe} Jane Read blog. However, this past weekend I did go and see the film. For all it's worth I think the book was so much better.

The book was so much better than the movie that when I was telling Ruben about the book he interupted me to say that the book was better.

This almost makes me want to read Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park. I never read the novel because I really loved the movie. So much so that I felt that once I read the book, I would no longer love the movie and decided I just would not read Mr. Crichton's novel. However, after seeing (once again) how much better a novel can be than a decent movie...I think I've had a change of heart.

Back to the film at hand.

Please do not mistake this for a serious movie review. I'll leave that to Megan. I'm not a film critic;n I only know what I like.
However, I think Mr. Ron Howard bit off a little more than he can chew with this one.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

At Work Today

evil Monkey
Originally uploaded by stephintoronto
I found this image and I could not believe it. My entire day encapsulated in one square.

Oh AE, how you pain me!


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Archie Gets Married!

Archie Gets Married!
Originally uploaded by Loller_Coaster
It just so happens that a few days ago, my friend Kat and I were talking about our favourite comics. Of course in both of our lists we had to add Archie.

Archie comics featured an array of characters as they lived their lives at Riverdale High. In between their wacky antics, one could also find tales of Josie and the Pussycats along with Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. Though the story lines varied, one re-occurring theme was the love triangle between Archie, Betty and Veronica.

Veronica, was the snobby, witchy (with another consonant in place of the w) rich popular girl. She always had the heart of Archie, often stringing him along through one scheme after another. However, she also constantly broke his heart, especially when she would go off with Reggie, the rich snobby popular dude.

Betty was the typical girl next door who was in love with Archie since they were kids. She would always be willing to "help" (see do) with homework, chores, and even fixing his car. Every time Veronica broke his heart, Betty was there to pick up the pieces. However, whenever Archie was all cheered up with a cookie baking project with Betty (or something to that effect) Veronica would come sashaying by and he was off once again.

With all this in mind, Archie Comics has announced that this decades long love triangle will finally be solved when Archie finally makes his choice. An article on MSNBC revealed that Archie finally drops to one knee and Veronica.

This infuriated not only me, but several other Archie fans. Why is it that after allow these years Archie chose the evil heart breaker or the devoted good-girl? My boyfriend and I had a long conversation over the attraction of a wild girl versus a good girl and my friend Kat tweeted that "the Bettys of the world rarely snag a guy"

A part of me feels saddened by the concept of the good girl always loses. Even the idea that once a guy is done with the bad girl he comes searching for the good girl is of little consolation. So us Bettys of the world must sit around and wait until the guy gets his head straight?

Love (in comics and in life) is so unfair.