I’ve always been a floater. I tend to substitute clubs and project groups for circles of friends. The closest friends that I’ve kept, have been people that I connect with regardless of social circle. Amy, Tristan… have stayed the longest. There are newer friends who are staying, as well. But none have been in the same school or at least the same immediate daily circle, apart from preschool with Triss.

I guess my friends are much more of an “individualized” or “custom” match than the product of my social circles. I like people who can think about things like religion and morals and ethics. I was talking with Jordan (another 02-03 Ambassador) tonight about these things. I find it difficult to remain friends with people who don’t actively question their beliefs and lives and ideas.

I often wonder about Christianity and Islam and how the faithful masses would see the world if there were not that external influence of religion and society. Would their ethics and morals be as undefined yet innate as mine? I can look at an act and say that it is or is not acceptable by my standards, but I can’t define my standards piece by piece. An adherent (insert religion here) can usually point to an ethical/moral standard set by that faith/religion/cult/etc and use it to guide his or her judgments and actions. While I have been raised and educated with the influence of Catholic traditions (observe the high school I attended … ), I think that they have only served as a stimulus for me to examine and shape my own philosophy. I think if I had been raised from birth with an unquestioning faith, I would find sustenance in a church and a religion. I look at the Christians around campus, and part of me envies them while part is turned off by them. I guess it’s the commercialization of faith, the evangelism, the trendiness of having a faith (“what church do you belong to? oh, I’m a Baptist/Zen Buddhist/Follower of I Misty Murky {that one’s for you, Russ} is so much like “what brand of makeup do you use? Oh, I’m a Clinique/Lancome/Cover Girl”). I guess I’m so much of a non-conformist in a conforming-just-enough-to-survive way, that the sheer idea of belonging to a large group of like-minded people scares me.

One of the scariest things to me is losing my ability to think and argue and listen to other points of view, considering and weighing them and incorporating them into my perspective. I don’t think I would ever be content in an organized religion, I’m too turned off by thinking the same as everyone else. I like exploration, be it of philosophy or space or art… they all end up being a similar expansion of boundaries in the end.
One of the books that I’ve really enjoyed recently, both surface and intellectually and philosophically, is Kiln People by David Brin. Apart from the blurb you may (if interested enough) read on the website, it does in fact explore “themes of identity, purpose, and existence” in such a way that it is not preachy, it simply explores. The more I think and live after reading it, the more it awakens new thoughts. Without giving away the plot and major ideas (after all, this isn’t a spoiler entry!), one concept that called to me was this: As Science advances more and more into the realm of life and beginnings and the psyche and mind, Religion backs away from its initial boundaries of jurisdiction and sets new ones.
Galileo explored the solar system, and Religion left its terra-centric stance to declare that the realm of faith, life, and souls were not to be touched. We explored genetics and biology and determined that flies did not spring from mortified flesh except as a convenient location for egg laying. Religion then said that the realm of birth and conception was sacrosanct. Given this boundary, Science of course proceeds to develop artificial conceptions (AI, In Vitro, etc.) and Dolly the Sheep.

Regardless of the rightness or wrongness of those actions, science still pushes the boundaries. And I don’t think that seeking knowledge is wrong. I couldn’t fit into a world view that refuses to question things like that. I couldn’t blindly accept what is told to me. My desire to explore is too insatiable for that. I guess I’m only human. And wow, this blogging thing is addictive! More exploration … only of internal workings and not the outside world. Amazing, how much I’ve grown into this habit of thinking with my keyboard. Reports on college making you think… at least for me they are true. I don’t think I questioned myself this much last year. It’s rather enjoyable.

Insatiable urge to question and wonder… even whether I should go to sleep or not, since in eight hours or so I will have to wake up and start the process over again… I think I will. Go to sleep that is.

The psyche is a fascinatin’ thing.

~ by jackelopette on March 3, 2003.

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