Sunday, January 29, 2012

What is God?

     I think I see God differently than most people. I'm not sure he is an actual one being, if that makes any sense. We tend to think of him like a human because the Bible says God created us in his image. I don't think we can read that litteraly. Not sure how to read it but I just can't see God being like one thing. I tend to think of God as more of a science that we are constantly learning more about as technology and research improves.
     I've said before that I believe in evolution. Obviously that means there weren't necessarily an Adam and Eve. I see the story of creation as more of a creative way of describing evolution. Remember the serpent said that if you eat from the tree then you will become like God? Maybe when they "ate the fruit" (whatever that means) that's what started the first stage of evolution. Apes slowly started getting smarter and less hairy. We truly ARE become like God in the sense we are learning things about the world that maybe God is only supposed to know.
     So that's sort of what I mean when I say God is a science. I believe that all miracles Jesus and God performed can be explained scientifically. We just can't explain all of them right now with the technology we have. We CAN however explain things like a flood that covered a big portion of the world, a storm calming down, catching lots of fish by switching which side you throw the net on, catching a fish with a coin in its mouth, and there are many ways to explain people's illnesses getting better. It's just that God chooses when these "miracles" happen. That's what makes his power unique.
     Last thing that doesn't really have to do with what I have been talking about above: we say Jesus died for our sins but that doesn't make much sense to me. Why would he have to die? Why not skip the pain for himself and just say "All of your sins are forgiven." And why do we still say you need to repent from your sins in order to be saved if he died for our sins? My roommate, ben adam apparently has an explanation that Jesus didn't in fact die for our sins. (He's a Bible scholar).
     I don't think he died just to forgive our sins but I do believe our sins our forgiven. One of the last things Jesus says before he dies is "Forgive them father, for they know not what they do." He just throws that out there and we don't seem to think much about it. What if he was talking about for all of humanity then and in the future to come? People read those lines just thinking that he's talking about the Roman soldiers killing him, but if he can say that to them, why not to all? That can be taken to prove we all don't know what we're doing. Maybe him saying that just takes away everything we read in the Bible. Makes it obsolete. Jesus just then decided that we are a hopeless species. Most of us incapable of peace and forgiveness and true love. We are unable to get along and make decisions that we can all agree on. We really don't know what we are doing! And so God understands and just lets us all enter the gates of Heaven when we die.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Living in Community


     I first applied to DOOR very late into the game. Thus, I don't think I had as much time as some of the others who applied earlier to really understand all of the details this year would be including. The main reason I applied was to learn more about homelessness and work in it. I honestly didn't really think about the whole living in community part.

     It's not that I didn't think I would have to deal with it at all. I knew there were going to be some challenges. I just didn't know the scale of how large these challenges would be. There's our meetings that can last hours because we have people that love to talk in our group, we have people that are very opinionated and that I don't necessarily agree with all the time, and that can lead to disagreements that can take hours to solve.
     A lot of people seem to think that living in community is the purpose of life. That was why we were created. I don't necessarily completely disagree with that. In the movie "Into the Wild," based on a true story, a young man, Christopher McCandless, abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness on his own. In the end we learn that he realizes that happiness is only real when it is shared (for that is the last thing he writes right before he dies from food poisoning).
     However, this scenario of being a vagabond, living on my own in the wilderness, is one that I have considered in the past and it still seems appealing even now after I've seen the movie. I love being out in nature and I struggle interacting with people. Almost seems perfect for me. Though, I still would love to find a spouse someday and have a family of my own. If anybody ever comes across a job where it involves hiking in a place as beautiful as Glacier National Park and not interacting with people, let me know. That's probably my only alternative career option after acting/directing.
     I just don't think living in community is for everyone. I like to compare humans to the animal kingdom sometimes. I believe in evolution and don't think it's too farfetched to compare us to our wild brothers and sisters. There are just some things in our nature that we can't really help. Anyway back to the point. In documentaries of any kind of species that live in groups, there's always that one animal that is off on it's own, either because it's not accepted in the group or it just likes to be alone (or both). I see myself as that animal. Maybe I'm just best off on my own, or with one other person (aka a best friend or girlfriend). I always do better in one on one situations.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Helplessness

     One thing that saddens me but also really grosses me out is how low some humans will stoop to while homeless. As a lot may know, I'm incredibly germophobic. I will not drink out of the same cup that someone else drank out of, nor will I eat from something they ate. As soon as I shake hands with someone I feel the need to wash my hands as soon as possible, or at least before I eat using them. And mind you, this is with anybody. Obviously not just homeless people.
     So when I see someone covered in who knows what (probably dirt and poo), digging through trash on the sidewalk, drinking from any cup with the slightest drops of liquid, it saddens me. How can a human being stoop to such low levels? First of all, I have learned that in Hollywood there is no reason for a person to not get food and drink for free if they need it. Many places like my work for instance can help people from going hungry and thirsty.
     Over the years I have learned that I am one of the only guys who actually washes their hands after going to the bathroom (Washing them with soap that is. After all, just using water is pointless if you think about it). And I have learned to accept that. I haven't died yet, even though I still find it gross. It's a lot harder though to feel comfortable around people that smell like piss and are covered in dirt. When I'm around it, it just depresses me. If a person is that uncaring about their self appearance, are they ever going to make the effort to get better when I try to help them?
     Another thing that makes me sad are people with mental and drug problems. How are THEY ever going to get off the streets and get a job and shelter? Sometimes I just get so overwhelmed and just want to give up trying to help them. But I know I shouldn't. I just  need to keep trying and never give up on them.

Friday, January 6, 2012

My Hollywood Hobby: Walking

     My year as a Dweller is officially a third of the way done, as I have been here for four months now. I am enjoying my time here in Hollywood, for the most part. I do a lot of walking... A lot. I definitely think my patience and my ability to enjoy things at a slower pace is growing. Plus there are a lot interesting things to see in LA. It's always fun to walk down Hollywood Blvd. and see all the interesting people, some even dressed up as your favorite movie characters. Occasionally you'll brush shoulders with an actor. These are all things people come here on vacation to see and I get to see them everyday.
     There are downfalls to doing a lot of walking here though. I see my homeless clients all the time! I feel bad for saying this but I don't like to see them outside of work. Just need to get away from them sometimes. But I just can't avoid it. Okay, so there are a few that are nice to see outside of work, but most, no.
     One experience I recall happening was when I was walking to my favorite coffee shop (the one I 'm in now, actually). As I was walking I see one of my clients walking ahead of me going in the same direction, just much slower. I felt unnatural walking at his slow pace so I knew eventually I was going to catch up to him anyway. I really did not want to talk to him so I turned up another street to take an alternate route to my destination. As it turned out, I had just put myself into a situation that was ten times worse. I look up ahead and see about ten clients all gathered on the sidewalk. They had already seen me coming so I couldn't just turn back. Those kind of situations just make me laugh. I totally deserved it!