Schooled

First week of school. Learnt so many things. All the transferable analogies to God. And the occasional purely academic interesting stuff. Gonna just dump it all here. Cocktail of everything. It gets better. But in case it doesn’t, you have been warned.

That Chinese illustration lunchtime seminar

Value of Chinese Illustrations of animals in medical texts, specifically the bencao gangmu

Evaluating Chinese Illustrations in itself

  • The artistic style of the time was that of abstract art. Stylistically, abstract art more valued which may explain the less literal/detailed drawings
  • Illustrators were not the actual scientists/doctors studying the animals; they usually just copy from other traditional texts or draw from the text as a supplement
  • The text was not written to include illustrations; people considered the text comprehensive enough. The illustrations came later. Words were valued more than illustrations
  • The medium of drawing was used for other purposes eg. adverts, erotic text
  • Had the existing tradition of drawing mythical animals 
  • There were illustrations of animals in other medical texts that were more accurate

Disclaimer: Shorthand bullet points taken half asleep from some seminar by some chap whom I’ve forgotten the name. Don’t quote anything. I just think it’s interesting. A bit. 

Drawing

2 ways of seeing

Recognising

  • Logical (cannot recognise -> see nothing/change the way you see things -> incorrect seeing = incorrect drawing)
  • Memory
  • Objects
  • “Something”

Observing

  • Lines
  • Shapes
  • Colours
  • “Nothing”

Drawings tell you which way you are seeing from/ no good or bad drawing

I just think this is a really cool analogy to reading the Bible.

Most of the time, we read the Bible with preconceived notions, trying to fit God and the Bible into our sense of logic, morality and expectations of what we think God should be like. And when it doesn’t fit, when God offends our sensibilities and doesn’t meet our expectations, He suddenly becomes impossible to exist.

For example, “A good God can’t exist because a good God wouldn’t let bad things happen to good people.” That’s our logic talking. We do see things happening around us, but we tie it to our own ideas of what’s good and bad, and draw patterns for what we see in a fairly logical way.

But look closer. Observe. How is God working in and through these people in these circumstances? What are the blobs of colour that don’t seem to make up a picture you can recognise?

Learn to see to learn to draw

Learn to read the Bible to learn to reproduce it/live like Christ. Your life could be the only Bible someone reads.

Contemporary Literature

Just toying with things like subjective morality and no morality = no free will. Or vice versa. 

Multiple truths and narratives in a world turning to science to rationalise and deal with the uncertainty of everything.

Writing our own narratives.

But isn’t multiple narratives a way of rationalisation too?

What stops you from killing another human being?

The law? Jail? No, those are only consequences of murder. 

What stops you, as a human, from killing another human being?

You could, you know. I don’t reckon it’s hard nowadays. But what stops you?

Conscience maybe. Or religion (and here I baulked because behind “my religion tells me so” is a whole ‘nother school of theology about being created and who owns life and sin and all that shebang. feel slightly miffed to just shove it under ‘religion’. maybe other religions say different things. i’d like to know).

Prof hopes we like the texts. He believes in letting the texts speak for themselves instead of constantly referring to the context of history and author’s background. Context is fine and dandy, and truth be told, we can impress any lens and reading on any texts if we tried hard enough, but he wants us to let the texts breathe and I think, in a way, not come at it from “outside”.

Reference to the drawing lesson.

Bible is one dubious piece(s) of literature. Is it true/real in that did these things happen? What is it’s history? Is it authentic?

Maybe we’ll never know. But in going around all that context, how about letting the Bible actually breathe and explain itself? It would be a pity to never read it just because of never knowing/believing how it came about. In looking for some things in the context (which does have value in and of itself), you might be missing out on what the texts actually wants to say, which also has value in other areas.

Early American Literature

Just impressed that people used to have a map with Jerusalem in the centre of the world and the other countries around it because of the priority of God owning the world and people respecting that at some point in recent human history. 

And just watching revivals swell and fade in that time.


Ok, brain dumped.

This is fun but I don’t know if I’ll have time to do this again.

Also want to brain dump various cells/sermons/Bible studies but unghh will it happen I wonder

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so what did i miss

Hello.

Back from the dead.

But I didn’t want to say it so loud yet in case I jinxed things.

I don’t actually know how I got here.

I got tired of myself and falling into a sin I didn’t want to keep anymore. It still took me a while to kick it though, because I’d still turn to it just for hecks. So I had to be intentional about it. Just not. Going there.

I don’t know when the turn happened. All I knew was that I was ready to be rid of it and was getting serious about kicking it so I stopped feeling hypocritical when I prayed. Great start.

Also, a lot of things happening, moving in the Spirit. Things to do. That I realise I can’t be down and out now. There are just too many things to do.

God things, of course. And I need to be on the same page with God to be able to do them.

I’m feeling a holy burden. For exactly what, I can’t say yet. But it feels like it’s something to do with prayer. The thing with holy burdens is that you want to do so much at once and you want to do it now and also I’m scared of the possibly many obstacles and discouragements along the way. But it’s so heavy. I feel a fire starting somewhere.

Actually, I feel like there’s a fire started somewhere already in my community, in my country. Just needs to catch a blaze. Fan fan.

I prayed for my cousin today. And I’m really proud of that, not because of me but because I was working onboard with God. Like, I felt Him prompting me in my Spirit to do it. And it happened. And I didn’t chicken out. Praise the Lord~

Nothing extremely spectacular followed per se, as it always seems to in testimonies. It was more of a big deal for me and the act of praying for somebody, a testimony of God for His strength in allowing me to do that for someone I love, than anything else.

She was really touched and I just felt that something beautiful happened there and then. It was just a moment but I felt that God was there and He did do something, however small, revealing His heart and love for people. And I felt she was moved, not by my prayer (lel nervous so I missed out some points here and there) but that I was praying for her, the gesture of prayer itself.

Rediscovering the privilege of prayer. Feeling that we don’t do it as often as if should, to intercede for people, as we are called to do as a chosen people and priesthood. Sure, we do it in our prayer closets at home, and we should do that, but I think it’s time to take it to the marketplace. Take God to the marketplace. Don’t tell people what to believe, show them. Pray for them. It can’t hurt. That’s what Jesus was on about anyway, going to the cracks of society to meet their needs and show them His love for them. That’s what draws people to God – how His love meets them where they are.

Of course, it scares me, the marketplace. I don’t even dare to pray for my own family members like that, ripe harvest in my own backyard.

But I wasn’t scared today, like I usually am. I think because God was very clear in wanting me to do this thing and I wanted the same. And it happened. It’s quite cool. He helped me overcome myself, like not to think or worry so much, not being anxious about what my cousin might think, and to not care about anything being awkward (greatest arch nemesis ever). Really felt this supernatural peace, that this is right and good in God’s sight to do and it will be done and I’m just literally His hands and feet. I just hope I’ll be able to do the same with other things, obey His call in the marketplace. It’s usually a big (scary) deal for me, sharing God in the marketplace. I think it always is for a lot of people.

Busy week ahead. Teaching cell and doing worship on the same week wew. Literally cannot life until after church on Sunday akdsnakln.

Then again, this is the life. Better busy in God’s house than letting the devil do his work with idle hands.

And for my sin… it will be the proverbial thorn in my side which I shall contend with until I die I think. Retreated back under the carpet for now. Only hope its relapse won’t be that messy. Ungh it consumed me for three months. Have to make up for lost time now.