I’ve wondered once and again why I have such a little level of motivation in my life, when comparing to others. It seems that I’m slowly getting to recognize the causes now. As, one cause seems to be: I did not allow me to be passionate about anything.

Why that? As a rational thinker, my worldview is very analytical and decompositional (it comes through e.g. in my post “Logicians also should accept themselves”). That is, the right way to live seems to me to do in every single moment what is “adequate”, where I mean with adequate: being the fitting answer or activity when taking into account the whole context. And the whole context includes: the world, a fallen one; God, a graceful one; ones own abilities; ones social contacts, … .

Now, this way of thinking is successful as far as this: it answers what is the best thing to do currently. For example, the whole Second Acts project thing developed that way … it deems me to be the most pressing question to answer. But: this mode of finding decisions does not necessarily lead me to do things that I’m passionate about. While I find the Second Acts project to be deeply necessary, I’m not passionate about it. I would not do it for its own sake if there would be no necessity to do anything at all.

Even more strange, my attempt to do what is “adequate” made me even unlearn what is “being passionate about something”. I’m not passionate about computers. While I can program and could be good at it, it’s only a tool for me to do something else. I’m not passionate about money. It means nothing to me, and therefore I’m also unwilling to do a job that does not fit me. I’m not passionate about community. I once was (see my posts on Xpedition Community). But due to non-collaborative people and not finding any fellow members here in Germany, this passion “sleeps” now. I’m not passionate about women. (Well, ok, I readily admit there are exceptions 😉 ) But generally … how could it be adequate in a dying world to have a partnership as ones life content? And I’m not really passionate about God. That’s sad, yes. I mean, God is very important to me and I’d really really like to get closer to God and get to know him better. But I don’t have the passion to deal with spiritual things for their own sake all day long, like praying, talking with people about God etc.. Simply, it currently does not seem to me to be “paying off”, i.e. to be rewarding or of any effect that would indeed make me know God better. It can even leads to more frustration … like seeing and experiencing the non-ideal, all-too-human state of the church first-hand.

Now, how comes that I’m talking about passion when I say here that I dunno what being passionate is all about? Because, I made an interesting experience in, say, the last two weeks: at times, when building my expedition vehicle, there was a strange feeling inside me. Yesterday, I realized it is passion … to build an expedition vehicle and live in it life-long. This passion keeps me going to build this thing, providing all the patience and force to do it! It even kept me up until 4:30am this morning, reading in internet forums about 4×4 trucks. I’m stunned …

Umh … and now? Until now, I did not allow me to be passionat about material / non-spiritual things, as I would not think it to be adequate to work so intensively for stuff that will pass away along with this world. But, seeing that being unpassionate leads to a lack of motivation, and, that way, to not working at all, I’m not sure about this whole thing now … . Also, I don’t know anymore what God would recommend … . So, comments welcome, as every time.

So, sigh. It seems that I’ve that hard tried to override my human behavior with logic behavior that I lost passion on the way, and motivation with it, for anything whatsoever. I seem to be in an impasse: I neglected that humans need motivation to do anything, and that real motivation comes from passion only, not logic.

By the way, what exactly is being passionate? People say, you can only be really good in the things you’re passionate about. Basically, being passionate is having a hobby: you care for something that is not yourself, and feel well if it is well. So, caring for something else “falls back” on you and helps in your emotional well-being. Part of this effect, of course, comes from the fact that the things you care for can indeed help you do better in the physical world (in my case: an expedition vehicle provides accomodation, transportation and shelter).

To conclude, something for you to chew on. Let’s take the above definition of being passionate and transfer it to the pair relationship topic. You can only be good in a pair relationship, only have a good pair relationship, if you care for your partner for her / his own sake, that is, because you’re passionate about her / his well-being. If your partner is well off, you feel well; not only, but also because your partner then has the strength to do you well. This might be what they call love.

I dunno who they are, I don’t even like their music or the YouTube live videos of this song. I jus’ found these catchy lyrics by them on a blog that I read. They seem to really understand about geekyness! Which is something very rare, and a geek’s solace. Here they go:

Wir sind Helden – The Geek

Bist du zu schlau
Um nicht unangenehm aufzufallen?
Und nicht schön genug
Um damit durchzukommen?

Weißt du genau
Wie es ist, immer rauszufallen?
Nur nicht weit genug
Um woanders anzukommen?

Es tut weh, so zu sein, wie du solltest
Es tut weh, zu sein, wie du bist
Aber wenn der Quarterback kommt
Um dir die Brille abzunehmen
Sag ihm: „Danke, die bleibt, wo sie ist!“

Ich weiß doch:
Die Verletzten sollen die Ärzte sein
Die Letzten sollen die Ersten sein
Sieh es ein: the meek shall inherit the earth
Die Verletzten sollen die Ärzte sein
Die Letzten sollen die Ersten sein
Die Ersten sehen als Letzte ein:
The geek shall inherit the earth

Nicht deine Zeit, nicht deine Füße
Nicht dein Beat, nicht deine Leute
Deine Welt nicht und nicht mal dein Schmerz

Du musst hier nicht dazugehören
Aber such dir, was zu dir gehört
Du musst nicht tanzen
Aber beweg dein Herz

Es tut weh, so zu sein, wie du denkst, dass du solltest
Es tut weh, so zu sein, wie du denkst, dass du bist
Aber wenn die Homecoming Queen kommt
Um dich wach zu küssen
Sag ihr: „Danke, ich hab nichts vermisst!“

Ich weiß doch:
Die Verletzten sollen die Ärzte sein
Die Letzten sollen die Ersten sein
Sieh es ein: the meek shall inherit the earth
Die Verletzten sollen die Ärzte sein
Die Letzten sollen die Ersten sein
Die Ersten sehen als Letzte ein:
The geek shall inherit the earth

I leave out the rest as I really have no idea what they mean there …

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.

Searching for my last blog post by Google made me find highly entertaining stuff. The fact that I find it entertaining probably makes me a libertarian. What is it?

First, the Seasteading Project. They’re going to populate the ocean in international waters, i.e. founding new states as laboratories for new kinds of societies. It’s not just utopia … they’re building it!

Second, the Free State Project. It’s the call for 20,000 libertarian people to register for moving to New Hampshire (U.S. east coast state), in order to sort of “democratically revolutionize” that state. Today, they have 8973 people who committed to move over to NH within five years of reaching the 20,000th registration.

Libertarians criticize the current political systems, including democracies. I found this ingenious quote on the Seasteading website:

Specifically, it [pointing out utopias] will not make a system act differently than its nature and the incentives it provides to the people who participate in it. And just as this dictates that centrally managed economies will be slow and lack innovation, it dictates that modern democracies will have highly parasitic governments, because we are too rich for it to be worth fighting and too tied to our homes to run away.

Being honest to myself, my expedition vehicle project is just that: running away from here. I love liberty, and think that I’m gonna find more of that if I’m not tied closely to any state, society or economy like I’m now tied to. Instead of seasteading, isle-planting or a free state project, I’m simply gonna move between states to where the most liberty is (or the most pressing task, that depends).

Happy to have found out one more reason for my strange thinkstyle / lifestyle! Hey, I understand myself somewhat better! Think it’s worth going to bed now …

Yesterday, some friends and me discussed a strange story from the Gospels. We had some ideas, but could not really determine what is the correct interpretation. So, some more thoughts here. The story was that where Jesus cursed the fig tree, in Mk 11:12-14, 19-24:

12 On the next day, when they had left Bethany, He became hungry.
13 Seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.
14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening. […]
19 When evening came, they would go out of the city.
20 As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up.
21 Being reminded, Peter *said to Him, “Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.”
22 And Jesus *answered saying to them, “Have faith in God.
23 “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.
24 “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.

Now there happen to be many explanations for this story. Most of them make a story where the fig tree figuratively represents the fate of Israel. However, the problem with this is that it might as well be an “generated explanation”, just to have one. Because it’s not justified by the teaching that Jesus himself connects with the event (“Have faith in God”, Mk 11:22-24).

So I’m gonna try another interpretation. According to the story, Jesus was hungry. He saw a “fig tree in leaf”, and though he knew it was not the season for figs he thought, if any tree here has fruit at all, than this leafy one over there. Because, the figs develop 2-3 months after the leafs, so from a tree with fully developed leafs there might be some figs expected.

However, the tree had no figs. What made Jesus angry about this was probably that it was such a “hypocritical” tree: promising fruit even before season by its look, but having none. And because he was angry, he made the tree whither. Now, of course, Jesus knew that a tree cannot be “hypocritical”, and that there was no possibility to be angry about any “moral failure” of a tree. As there was no moral failure, there was no reason for moral punishment. There’s not even the possibility of moral punishment: a tree has no qualia experiences, so is not able to suffer, so is not able to suffer punishment.

Therefore, the whole event is no real anger and real punishment, but something that is just anger and punishment from the perspective of the sentinent being (Jesus). Seen that way, the behavior is allowable: Jesus did just what was admissible to man, as the master of plants and trees.

Regarding the use of supernatural power: it’s just that the divinity of Jesus glimpses through at this event. That’s what his disciples marvel at later. The event itself was “unnecessary” and has no meaning in itself, it was just “allowable” (and note that it’s the only event of this sort that we read from Jesus). But as the event shows divine power, it’s also a situation to teach about this. And that’s what Jesus did then. Which implies, yes, there might be situations in our lives as well where we might use divine power though its not “necessary” and even “without meaning” (like throwing a mountain into the sea). God grants this sort of stuff just because we prayed for it.

Start date: 2009-01-21
Post date: 2009-01-21
Version date: 2009-01-22 (for last meaningful change)

The Gospel is such a good thing that one wonders why it’s not self-marketing like the best industrial products do.

If it would be natural for all the converts to tell all their friends and neighbours about the Gospel, it could be called self-marketing. The story of he Samaritan woman in John 4 is one where the Gospel had self-marketing effects.

Revival times seem to be those where the Gospel is self-marketing. It is to be determined what conditions must be in place for such a revival to start. Esp. in our society. Perhaps it’s necessary to be able to talk about God and being taken seriously in the average case. If yes, what would be necessary for that? Second Acts or one of its results, like a movie?

Start date: 2009-01-16
Post date: 2009-01-16
Version date: 2009-01-16 (for last meaningful change)

There’s a guy, sitting in front of a Catholic church, selling candles.
Do you think God would do this?

There’s a guy, sitting tight before the idiot box and consuming all the cheap flicks.
Do you think God could be found doing so?

There’s a guy who preferred his pride to his girlfriend, and now he created a sad mess out of his life.
Do you think that’s what God would maneuver himself into?

There, a buch of greedy gamblers, kicking the world into its next economic crisis.
Do you think that’s what represents God’s character?

There, a small church that died from quarelling.
Do you think this modeled God?

There. This Filipina who got donated the money for a heart operation of a relative, but preferred to buy a TV, which killed the sick one within 3 weeks.
Do you think this is what God’s grace and mercy is modeled after?

And there. These people think it’s adequate to “revenge” themselves by firing missiles.
Do you think God fires missiles?

If no, GO AND MODEL GOD!! All of you, whereever you are.
How else do you think this world is ever going to become a nicer place?
Remember that your life’s time is everything you have down here.
And see that nothing’s more precious than modeling God in the time that’s given you.

So now, if you want to live in a lovely place, start to love.