Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Symbolic Castration, Homosexuality and Depression

Do you ever feel like you can be honestly you in any situation?

There is the perceived 'you' that is the projection of who you are from other people. In other words, there is the 'you' who people think you are as opposed to who you know you really are.

Job interviews are a good example of this. We are trying to sell ourselves and project the very best (or what we think is the very best!) of ourselves so that we might get the job we want, and there is nothing wrong with this. If we were honestly and actually our full selves in a job interview it would most likely break all kinds of social etiquette! 

But there is a point that we all need to be a bit more honest about who we are rather than trying to live up to a certain expectation that we have placed upon ourselves or that others have put upon us.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Depression as a Sign of Faith?

My twin brother is now blogging over at Huffington Post. His first article called 'Let's Talk About Depression' does exactly what it describes. In it he says,

'Before I was diagnosed I remember feeling emotionally impotent in how to cope with whatever was going on in my head. I certainly felt powerless to talk with anyone about it. Surely all I needed to do was pull myself together, slap on a smile and get on with life? That misguided mantra crumbled when, one morning, I attempted to make a cup of tea. I walked into my kitchen and was suddenly rooted to the spot. All I wanted to do was walk over to the kettle and flick a switch; it seemed impossible though. I stood there, helpless and screamed. Depression has the ability to mentally and physically cripple you and I encountered the effects rather dramatically.'

It is good to hear voices speaking up over the pain and trauma of depression proving personal insight into something than can quite literally kill people.

Monday, 19 January 2015

To Follow

As I discussed in my previous post total 'freedom' to do whatever we want regardless of the consequences or harm committed to others is a total failure in every regard to what it means to be human. The reason why we are shocked and nauseated by the stories of abuse and violence committed by extremists is because these stories militate against our sense of basic common shared lives.

Freedom then is understood through a set of parameters, bounded by 'laws' or 'the common good'. So freedom is not to do whatever I want whenever I want, rather it is a desire to mutual self-giving love.

The difficulty we face however is that the vast majority of us do not like being told what to do. We like to believe we are masters of our own destiny,

Morpheus: Do you believe in fate, Neo?
Neo: No.
Morpheus: Why not?
Neo: Because I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my life.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

A False Freedom?

The massacre at the Charlie Hebdo offices have rightly produced outrage and condemnation across the world. Within the reflection upon this horrific act the right to freedom and freedom of speech has dominated many conversations. Added to this are discussions over the nature of Islam and how we speak and respond to the rise of radical Islam.

I think however we need to be more aware of what we mean when we talk about freedom and freedom of speech.

There is a dominant cultural narrative and ideology in the West that underpins our daily lives, one that determines what is acceptable in our speech and acts and one that is not. Whilst difficult to pinpoint it invariably reveals itself, especially at times such as this. 

Friday, 9 January 2015


'Everything happens for a reason.'

'That's karma.'

'God has a plan.'

Throughout the West there is a desire for us to give meaning to our lives and to interpret what happens in our lives according to some higher purpose.

The fatalistic assumptions we often bring to life events gives us a sense of order and meaning in the midst of sometimes heartbreaking, chaotic and seemingly meaningless suffering.

We are dominated by a sense of 'lack' as though something is missing in our lives. This is the narrative fed to us regularly which enables a capitalist economic ideology to function properly; "you need this in order to fill that which is missing in your life."

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Say Something (I'm Giving Up On You)

Say something, I'm giving up on you

How often have you prayed and felt as though your prayers were lost in a vacuum of insignificance?

The cries in the night swallowed by the deafening silence.

The pleas to God to speak, to act, to respond and yet still you lie there in the darkness that melts into the dark night of your soul.

I'll be the one, if you want me to
Anywhere, I would've followed you

Your life was changed, all that you were transformed in the pursuit of God, His Life, His Ways. You gave your life to follow and yet now you feel abandoned, alone, empty.

Say something, I'm giving up on you

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Year Without Meaning

Former Pastor Ryan Bell spent last year on a journey towards atheism.  His blog Year Without God documents his pushing of the limits of theism and viewing the landscape of atheism to see where it might all lead. Now the year has ended he is an atheist, although he is agnostic in the sense that he cannot know with absolute certainty that there is no God.

What encourages me about Ryan's story is how it highlight's those who are willing to push and challenge their belief system in search for deconstruction and reconstruction. It is not necessarily a search for truth per se (although it can often be), but to discover 'strange new worlds'.  The push of the boundary of our belief systems, the desire to hear unfamiliar voices and the existential struggle within are all a wonderful opportunity for discovery and liberation.