Through all my education I’ve thought that people with good technical and intellectual abilities are in an enviable situation when it comes to utilizing the world and influencing it.

That’s one of the reasons why I invested here. The result: a guy with a relatively broad range of education in computer hardware, software, programming, Internet technology, technical communication in German and English, publication technology (incl. photography, typography etc.), some mechanical engineering, some vehicle technology, craftsmanship in metal and plastics. Yea, and some other stuff.

Now, during the last two years, I learned, and during the last few days I recognized, that the whole idea of mastering the world through technology is crap. Why? As a technician, you think thus: the world is a technical system, quite complex, but if you look deeply into it it will be manageable. Because technology is basically logical. Now, the error is here: the world is basically not a technical but a social system. Bummer.

And social systems are not logical. So that the highly qualified technician with all his logic simply has not the tools to successfully interact with the social system. He’s left in a dark corner with all his technology, tampering around with that and having some fun, but without money and with just a few friends. I mean, real friends, not those with just technical needs or technical abilities. Because, both money and community are acquired through social means, not technical.

I’m now gonna detail out the profile of some of the “real masters of the world”. Which does not mean that I would want to acquire all of these abilities. It’s basically a sad thing that the world is not logical, as this means basically that you’ve gotta be an actor of one or another kind, to be successful. (As for me: yes, I’m gonna learn some social stuff to live out better community, but I don’t care for monetary success. My technical answer to the latter has been in the making for a decade now, which is about self-sufficient technology. Zero need. Full stop.)

But, regarding the socially successful qualifications that I wanted to detail out:

  • The charismatic person. A person who triggers to be trusted and followed. As it has nothing to do with logic, charisma can be used for any purpose whatsoever, not just for the correct purposes. Hitler was a charismatic person who used his charisma for the wrong ends. Barack Obama is a charismatic person who’ll use his charisma for the right ends, I hope.
  • The beautiful person. How different would the world look today if Cleopatras nose had been one or two centimeters longer (said C.S. Lewis).
  • The affable person. Here, I don’t mean being nice, patient and friendly towards people. This is no social ability that would grant any success in this world. The affable person is one who can contact foreigners without any problems, and quickly makes new friends among them. And as most business between companies is arranged on the basis of personal connections (German Kontakte / Kontax, Chinese quanxi), having many friends in the business world normally means to have many customers. You don’t even need to be high-qualified in your profession to have monetary success … .

Here are some funny images that I captured around 2008-05-01 with my small (and bad) mobile phone camera, from a disaster that took place in an abandoned basement toilet of my church at that time. After the waste water conduit had got stuck and people in the first floor, unaware of it, kept shitting.

I’m right now in the “lucky” situation of getting paid by a customer, for some programming I did for them in the last months and weeks. The invoice is slightly overdue, but at least the money is coming (it’s needed over here …). In my experience as a year-long self-employed, it’s not clear if and when customers will be able to pay the invoices you write. The bigger the invoice, the more insecure … .

And every time when I’m waiting for some bigger invoice to be paid, I’m thinking about what it means that God will “supply” for us. First, he promised to supply for the basic needs of those who “care foremost for His kingdom and His righteousness” (Mt 5:33 I think). I’m stumbling already here: I’m not sure if I fulfill the prerequisites. Do I care for God’s kingdom? Foremost?

Second thing is, God and us spoilt Westerners seem to have different definitions of what are the basic needs that are mentioned in Mt 5:33. Jesus mentions food, drinking and clothing there. Which means, we are in God’s supply if we need to live from Hartz IV. Sounds strange? This just happened to somebody from my Jesus Freaks homegroup, who, after his studies of theology, lived for some time on Hartz IV (before getting a job via a temporary employment agency, and making progress there).

Now, I find this option problematic. Because, no, I don’t want to live from Harty IV. It’s not because I’d be poor then … I did live and can live on even much less (330 EUR a month pure net income) without feeling bad. It’s because I’m too proud not to earn my own money, and, even more important, because I want to retain my freedom. I simply don’t want officials or a “chef” to tell me what meaningless job to do for them, where to be when etc..

The result: Because of our different definitions of “basic needs”, it can happen that I feel uncared for while being fully supplies by God with the things I need. That’s indeed a problem. And I think not just mine, but ours.

Here’s a line of thought that caught me and accompanied me through the last days.

I always wondered what it practically means that “God sanctifies his people”. I did not experience to be subject to any curriculum that would exhibit itself in the situations that occur in my life (even worse, I was successful in avoiding the situations where I could learn something …). Also, I did not get teachers assigned (those in your congregation don’t get assigned to you, it’s more like an optional course in university, and so is the outcome). One could argue that it actually is the task of brothers and sisters in faith to educate each other (Mt 28:20 ?), but while this is not the case we need to get another solution … .

The effect was this: I just saw these fine behavior standards in the Bible, and was unaware that I lacked the proper education to live these out. And because I was unaware, I thought I’m undisciplined not to live out what’s written. But when I tried to be disciplined, it did not work. And I was unaware that I just tried to do stuff wherein I was never educated, and thus failed … .

But, it’s now coming to me how sanctification can work: educate yourself. If the teachers are too few or too busy to really get you successfully through the education process, you need to do it yourself. And, you got the manual (called “Bible”).

The difference between self-education and self-discipline is, you start with the small steps. You recognize that “discipline” is not a decision, an effort or good performance on the human side, but a custom. And you acquire a custom of behavior by education … .

Currently, I’m thinking to use this autodidactic sanctification (of course, always in conversation with God …) as my non-religious flavor of Bible time.

My first experiments with this education thing are also in place. I realized that this kinda education is a moment-by-moment challenge for adequate personal behavior. For “adult” behavior, esp. in the spiritual sense. For holiness, resembling God more. And really, moment-by-moment: in every moment, there is at least one adequate thing to do, according to the Manual, but it’s not always comfortable.

The adequate thing to do no (or better, half an hour ago …) is to go to bed. It’s already 1:10am, and going to bed that early is a first step to go towards learning discipline … . 😉

There’s currently a very funny thing happening in my favourite 4×4 truck forum. A young woman wants to buy herself a Magirus Mercur 4×4 truck, to live in it. She asked the forum for tips how to check the vehicle and how to drive home, and got a deluge of tips, hints, help, private phone numbers, addresses, help offers, everything, really.

Now the long thread got really funny when she said, she got no co-driver as her boy-friend had to take care of her dog. One guy in the forum then teased “If there are some ‘disappointed hearts’ now?”. And another one: “Yea, jus’ wanted to say, this is probably the longest and most diplomatic getting-a-truck thread that has been in this forum ever. Before the concerned person even started to drive … . To other people this forum had surely answered in the sense of: If you’re driving willingly without tools, engine oil and stuff, a sleeping bag etc., you don’t need to call us up if things are gonna be a cock-up.”

Which proves, probably, that women can have a pretty easy life if they learned how to ask for help. If they’re really good, everybody will have fun helping and nobody will get disappointed. I know that kinda relationship myself, with respect to a young women, now also a friend and a long-term neighbor. We have this hey-it’s-fun-to-help-ya style of relationship for six years now. No flirtation implied. It’s just nice to see her doing fine.

Regarding my job, I’ve a strong feeling that prohibits me from doing work that deems senseless to me. (It’s not that I don’t need to do such things just for the money, but it’s a torture.)

The problem is, now, that mine and the market’s opinions what is meaningful to do deviate widely. It’s easy to recognize what the market thinks is meaningful: everything the market will pay for. This includes, among other stuff, ugly sunglasses for 560 USD. And the foil coating of police bus windows, while in other countries they have no working police at all.

In my opinion, the market is constantly in error. If it would be up to me to decide what’s meaningful, I would include:

  • basic stuff, of course: nutrition, health care, accomodation etc.
  • Many more UNU (United Nations University) research projects.
  • Heavy reasearch for an AIDS treatment.
  • Heavy research for a malaria treatment.
  • research on what is the true theology

Then, it would also be easy for me to find a meaningful job. But now …

P.S.: I should add my definition of “meaningful”: meaningful is what makes the world a better place to live. (And, adding from a Christian perspectiv: “Where world includes this and the next world.”)