Informed Understanding

Informed_Understanding_intro_banner_small.pngThe information age dawned some thirty years ago with the prospect of the World Wide Web.  Prior to this, Newspaper Syndicates, Academic Institutions, and the Entertainment Industry have inundated the world with the comings-and-goings of facts, pop culture, and true-story occurrences.  While everything known of our existence and present society has been preserved in written form or oral tradition, not everything has been absorbed by everyone in society, and even if such were the case, isn’t always applied to our lives.  Knowledge is a precious thing, and should not be left to define the future of our economy, or new technological advancement.  What we know should elevate our actions, and define our culture with greater moral articulation.

Information

The composition of facts, experiences, and preferences; this is merely the surface-level shared communication society has utilized in order to better process a multiculturally complex world. Included is the concentrically-largest group of information of the three levels.  From Newspaper articles, academic journals, and the B.A. Thesis to the social media blogs, Sci-fi novels, and Youtube video tutorials – the sources of informing is exceedingly vast.  The validity of the wide span of sources is another matter entirely.  Our generation is now very accustomed to the Google search engine, Wikipedia source portal, and Facebook News feed. Even so, the intuitive nature of people inclines the pursuit of comical informing and insightful inspiration as much as intellectual consumption.  The grand privilege our generation presently enjoys is the extensively unrestrained access to it.

Knowledge

While the expression of knowledge, from formal to informal orientations, is certainly great, often it is accepted at the cost of qualitative consumption.  Newspapers are expected to deliver not only new cover page stories sandwiched into congested Sunday edition content, but daily editorial commentaries, sports updates, and opinion articles as well. Not often would, were a newspaper subscriber asked, give confirmation of reading the entirety of his subscribed content.  Often, information is rather seen as a convenience.  Knowledge, on the other hand, is consumed and considered, crewed and digested into practical operational awareness.  Following a college career, an IT student will attempt to apply for a career in the field he has been so well-informed of, and will utilize information encountered in a more practical way.  Information contemplated is another way of considering knowledge.  Universities anticipate graduated alumni to be able to refer back to informational textbooks and professor guidance, and employers expect on-the-job training to advise employees in the event of indecision.  Knowledge is stored in the mind, where as information may remain simply on the accessible sources.

Understanding

The combined collection of knowledge retained throughout the years of discovery and experience in our lives has led to the subconscious development of worldview, paradigm, and moral conscious.  Without mulled-over knowledge that has been allowed to be bounced off of through thousands over major and minor life situations, worldview development would not follow for substantial life conclusions, and nuanced individual perspectives. It is only through consumed information that has been allowed to ferment and augment our perspectives that character is allowed to develop.  Character then is perhaps the most complex higher-level cognition that may be proposed from a neurological standpoint. But character is best amidst the relaxed conversations, and level-headed interactions among people interrelationally.  It permits the visionary potential of entrepreneurs, small-business owners, novel writers, and film directions to catch the non-linear dynamic of life that generally permits much of the vitality and wonder in life. Understanding is the progressive development of knowledge over years of consideration and reflection.

As life progresses, individuals collect information, be it experiential social updates on friends/family, or empirical encounters in a zoological-tenured career. Since information is undeniably vast, every person alive presents, receives, and expresses information in a way that is unique to him or her. Not only is understanding the culmination of information in our culture, it also offers the greatest level of integrative and influential capacity.  Since information at this level is not new, but rather very familiar and stored somewhat actively in our minds, understanding is at the forefront of influence on higher-level decision-making.  While information may be at the greatest height it has ever been, it remains imperative that the qualitative intentionality of learning, and subsequent formation of worldview remain within our culture, and our race.  Without the development of strong moral character, and individually contemplated worldviews, our technology will begin to take over our way of life.

 

The Threshold of Truth

“Truth is the correct description of reality.”

Gordon Olson

Truth is the framework of laws in the universe.  It is absolute, and objective.  By it, all other things have their origin and meaning.  This is an informal blog to consider truth peripherally through philosophical, theological, scientific, and technological means.

Bearing Image

drawing_small.pngChristians recognize Jesus brought them into a place of redemption from a tragic human separation from God.  He has placed us into a new, clean slate before the Father.  This image is well-known and immediately recognized in our modern culture of both an external religion, and internally as the transforming life transition.

But there is another image that all bear (according to the Genesis narrative): The Creator’s Image.  Consider this for a moment.  The Creator draw from His deeply immense creative wealth in the fabrication of the human being.  He crafted not only our Immaculately complex bodies, but our intricate minds, and our extravagantly expressive souls.  We are appropriately defined as imagination bearers.  But whose imagination?  Imagination is a particularly difficult concept to clearly define and identify the boundaries of.  It reaches seemingly to an endless expanse.  It is from this place that I think colors and clarifies the most beautiful and rich moments in our lives.

From it discovery can occur and materialize physical objects and systems where none seemed to exist.  Imagination is able to pull from a limitless place something tangible and palpable. Imagination comes from a place of rest.  Continuing with the symbolic source narrative of the Genesis narrative – the seventh day represented a place of pause (of reflection, and blessing).  Imagination could need said to need some medium of transition: for the writer: free writing; for the entrepreneur: brain storming; and for the engineer: the blueprints.

Imagination need to be harnessed by some contextual structure for it to illicit value.  Ideas undisclosed are untransitioned potential intellectually palpable, but unrealized otherwise. Finding the right representative tangible symbols allow transition to occur (shapes, colors, viscosity, duration etc).  Furthermore, defined clarity communicates better concrete transitions.  The right vocabulary offers articulate edges, principle functionality, and time/space merging of metaphysical concept. The Creator forged the known universe by speaking it into existence. Structure had to be defined from raw imagined concept.

Defining the image of a god is like trying to calculate pi: it always extends further.  God is inexhaustibly deep,  But greater still is the mysterious relational interaction of the trinity. From this vantage point, communication had meaning.  Definition was received and corporately contemplated and crafted (Jn. 1:3).  But raw ideas are defined and materialized, but still not animated…  Just because pi is not fully defined or understood, does that mean we don’t endeavor to apprehend it?  No!  We have processed hundreds of digits, just have we approached miniscule temperature distended from absolute detail.

Is there New Testament parallels for this?  Recall the words of Paul where he instructs the early Christians to have a proper interpretation of tongues when in the presence of others (individual speaking need not be interpreted for lack of a receptive audience).  Spirituality remains obscure until it is manifested in a relatable, physically-tangible form.  This was embodied for the Israelites in the Old Testament by Ark of the Covenant representing the presence of God, and the tabernacle being the sacred space to specify that sacred and Holy atmosphere.  Or when the time was right, The incarnation of God in the person of Jesus.  Communication is most effective when it is specific and well-defined.

Marred Picture

The depiction of God in the Bible is one substantially illustrated by the redemptive resolution of God reaching back to the beginning of chapter 3 of Genesis.  It carries on in this flawed narrative of an alternate trajectory until the end of chapter 22 of Revalation.  But, in appeal to that old addage, it may in fact be best to “read it cover-to-cover”.  The plan of God is hidden under the heavy veil of a sin-influenced society; but the Bible preserves where it left off in the garden with a picture what is planned for us post-redemption.  When our sanctification is fully achieved, we can continue the conversation ‘in the cool of the day’.  

The Bible doesn’t leave the characters devoid of their personality though – especially not God Himself.  He is, if carefully observed seen and heard repeated with an outstretched hand and a longing heart for revival of a special communion.  Holiness, it would turn out, is much to the contrary of a lofty asthetic; rather, it is a precious and special celebration of close, intimate friends.  Those who share in a perfect, unjaded trust for one another.  The rich expression felt in such an atmosphere could only be imagined by us here now.  But tastes and glimpses are permitted.  They certainly don’t all occur in the church framework, for goodness sake.  What was once meant to reflect the closeness and warmth of loving affection turned into the picture of tradition, orthodoxy, and religious transaction.  The influence of sin is seen most ironically in that it has invaded the very atmosphere that washed it out.  
The aftermath of the fall in the garden wasn’t a ‘botched experiment’ or failed attempt however – not in God’s eyes.  He pursued the next best just as any passionate lover does in pursuit of their dissolutioned companion – He remained faithful.  He held up the household while the prodigal carried out his preoccupation with promiscuity.  The cause of redemption is beautiful indeed, but God has many faces – redemption is only the most powerful because it has been what was needed.  Imagine the expression He has when all is well?  Imagine the conversations, the laughter, the adventures.  The age of redemption is drawing to an end, don’t be bashful in ushering in the age of restoration…

The Story, The Sword

zach-teach-smallImagery brings vitality to concepts, perspective, and narrative.  It embodies the described reality presented in verbalized or written form.  Images bring words and ideas to life.  The age-old narrative of the Judeo-Christian Bible is one shared with not only the self-identified inspirational source, but the part-playing “extras”.  The two constitute a dichotomy of purpose for the book.  On the one hand, there is the Lord God, conceivably the premier and primary character present almost* through the entirety of the story.  On the other hand, there is the people, who carry out the localized roles within the individual stories.  There is, then, two conflicting perspectives clashing throughout the Bible’s pages.  From God’s perspective, the creation of mankind was an expression of deeply extravagant love and opportunity for it’s exponential expanse.  From the people’s perspective, the down-to-earth, finite confrontation with nature and sin-influenced circumstances brings out the cruel eschewing of the Creator’s intended reality.  The Bible turns out to describe a struggle, a conflict between good and evil – battles dealt with spears, slings, and swords.  The principles derived tend to resonate back to a peculiar attribute of God’s character – righteousness.  God’s character, In total, which ultimately culminates in love, often gets pigeon-holed into the authority and a victor mentality.  While this could be initially be approached as a blazing image of the lofty state of the Kingship of God; it none-the-less resonates from a warfare mentality.  The character of God expressed from God’s own voice often stands out when compared with the voice of the ‘extras’ of the grand story (whose only real character continuity is God Himself and the Israelite people group).  The struggle is often seen in the good and the evil, while paradoxically, this was never in the original plan and intent of God.  The Bible, understandably, becomes the story of humanity as much as it is the picture of God.

 

The story of human history, even the Christian religion, often strays far from that rich, and beautifully divine ideal.  The character of God that is expressed from His own voice in Scripture is one enraptured in an extended, open hand indicating not only grace, but a new life and adventure.  Conversely, Christian history has dark corners and sketchy decisions.  The Bible has immeasurably been used in the proliferation of the church’s scandals, both directly, and indirectly, as mostly iconically seen in the era of the Crusades.  While the church reflects God’s presence on earth, it can never and will never replace God’s moving Spirit in the lives of His children, and gentle influence in His overall creation.  The picture of the sword may indeed be the picture of the Bible, and even Christianity (first century Rome), but the picture and image of God should always rise above and beyond the marred image of war and conflict (however justified it may be in our sin-affected world).  It is our responsibility as His precious children to be vessels of hope, life, and prosperity.  The victor image tends to preserve the marred image of a church rather then the desperately pursuing, covenant-keeping Father God that continues to plunge Himself into our world and our lives.

 

*The book of Esther does not mention God

The inspirational Scripture references for this post is 2nd Cor. 3:6, and Matt. 26:52

Culture Code: Langauge

Culture_Code_LanguageCulture is a conglomeration of various factors and social frequencies that reflects a corporate community of individuals.  Language reflects something generally considered exclusive to the human race – having produced elaborate political and civil structures, and economic interactions.  Language has been called to basic fundamental unit of a culture.  From it, individual cultures’ characteristics can be ascertained – as can be seen with the Hieroglyphics extracted from the Rosetta stone.  Language represents more then just the literal words however – it also may contain contextual detail intended for the recipient.

An ancient Example

Take Koine Greek, for example.  While language obviously includes more then just the written form, the ancient Greeks exhibited then unprecedented detail to supplement their written knowledge with what has been identified as “parson code”.  This language is an exquisite example of culture on display in written form.  Without considering lingual phonology (we can’t hear the ancients actually talk today), we can articulate the grammar, morphology, and vocabulary they used.  While much can be said of the gender, case, and syntax; the vocabulary alone provided greater depth of meaning then in our modern era.  The Greeks had two common words for our one designation for “word”: “Logos” and “Rhema”.  Another would be “love”, of which at least four are commonly known.  Vocabulary carried often carried with it an emotional dimension not often found in our communication today.

Intelligences

It is often assumed that logical deductions, numerical analysis, and mental computation of information against mentally stored facts is the sole indicator of intelligence.  This is simply not true.  Harvard Gardner, in a 1991 paper, produced insight into seven different intelligences that people may possess.  These include: Visual-spatial, Bodily-kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Linguistic, and Logical-mathematical (nine are now known).  Being beings harnessing remarkably complex bodies, we have the capacity to develop a wondrous range of skills, abilities, and proficiencies.  Language is, in fact, one of the skills that may be developed, but people obviously may develop other areas.  The fact remains: language is the key to learning and developing.  Language permits sharing and expression.

The late Mayan culture made headlines years back for their calendar system, which was far different from our presently-used Gregorian calendar, following the Earth’s orbit of our sun.  The calendar made measurements of days, apparently accumulating to a climax, rather then allowing for future years not directly indicated in the system.

Religion and Mythology
One thing that has always fascinated me about cultures is the stories they tell.  They reach back to the dawn of civilization.  Not only are Deity pantheons worthy of noticing, but the preserved literature that surrounds them.  I remember first hearing of “The Epic of Gilgamesh” in a Western Civilization class, and being ripe with curiosity at the passion of cultures to preserve their legends and civil developments.  Obviously, The Judeo-Christian Bible (probably the most qualitative and quantitative, manuscript-wise) is another example, uniquely interesting, since the ancient language of Hebrew has been resurrected among Jews.  The stories preserved in these texts are the stories from the perspectives of people from within the culture.  Homer’s attempts and illustrating Greek history shrouded in more conspiracy and poetic art then anything else.  Yet even Homer brought a highlight of ancient Greek culture to later define the later cultures that absorbed it.  The Roman pantheon did little to change the Greek pantheon outside of the deities’ names.

Language has influential power.  It isn’t just written or spoken – it is a means of expression.  Body language is a surprising underecognised means of communication utilized in our present culture.  The technological advance of social media apps have produced a society that has the highest levels of government intently watching the digitalized quips and trivials feuds of coach potatoes.  It must also be acknowledged that historically, religion and mythology held a huge sway over the culture.  While technology may have quelled the abject fear of distant deities, technology has also begun to move towards taking the place of mythological and philosophical ideas.  Artificial Intelligence is an entity written in code.  In the end, language is a medium of communication and expression.  A data holder, not a soul bearer.

Logic of Professionalism

Logic of Professionalism_bannerThe habitual activities of a civilized society is perhaps characteristic of it’s longevity.  Individuals long-experienced in a given profession understand the need to preserve the formal nature of the job.  Garbage collection doesn’t have a very dynamic nature; rather, collection occurs at the same time every week, although minor fluctuations may occur due to traffic on public roadways.  Continue reading