Vasilios Theodorakis – An Online Author is a digital repository of all my written work (in text and podcast formats)…

April 24, 2009

Site Update

Filed under: General — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 12:55 pm

This week’s post: Uniqueness is a short commentary based on a conversation I had with a friend about how angry I have become in loosing loved ones – never to see them again after they die.

At a head level I’ve always found that religion and theology are helpful in dealing with loss, but at an emotional level it makes no difference to the ongoing grief because I know that even if I do encounter them in an afterlife, they will not be the same being I knew on earth.

I also pointed out to my friend, that I often look for my lost friends in other humans / creatures only to discover and rediscover that nothing more than aspects and traits of my friends’ personas are ever present in others – one never, ever, sees the whole again.

Once dead, their uniqueness is always lost to the world, irrespective of what one might believe happens in an afterlife.

This week’s highlighted author is: Thomas Keneally

Cheers – Vasilios Theodorakis – April 2009

April 23, 2009


Filed under: Religion And Theology — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 11:00 am

Every life form is truly unique. It can never and will never be reproduced on earth. The combination of DNA, environmental experiences and individual responses to those experiences guarantees statistically, that that entity can never again occur in this space time continuum – this universe. The odds of it happening are virtually zero – this is a fact.

The only way to witness a life’s uniqueness again, especially after it dies, is to step outside of time, travel along the continuum, open a portal and witness it within its living context.

Additionally, when outside time, no life is the same as it was while alive within time. This is because the time variable and the time variable’s effect on the being has been removed. One will never again see the being that’s present before them after the moment has passed. Which makes it even more important that one appreciates each encounter and each engagement.

In a very real sense then, each time you see a being, it is the first and last time you will see them in the form that they’re in, for all life invariably changes as each moment passes.

It therefore follows, that every time you look out into the world, you are in fact seeing it for the very first time, even if you think that you’ve looked at that very same scene each and everyday of your life.

Savor the moment – as the ancient’s used to say. Savor your witnessing of a life, for you will never see it in quite the same way again. Both you and it will be different beings by the time you next meet.

The living are truly fortunate as trillions of unique moments are seen and experienced before each and everyone of us dies – no matter how short our lives. What an amazing thing it is then, to exist within time, even if it is filled with flaws, loss and sadness.

Dedication – For our little girl Molly…
Copyright © Vasilios Theodorakis 2009

April 17, 2009

Ritual, Spiritual, Gluttony or Growth.

Filed under: Religion And Theology — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 11:09 am

Today is the Orthodox Christian Good Friday. Traditionally, a day for the Apostolic faithful to reflect on life, death and everything in between. It always falls just after the Jewish Passover, in order to acknowledge and pay tribute to the Jewish Faith – Christ’s own religion, and to ensure consistency within the Orthodox Liturgical calendar.

Some of my earliest memories include attending Orthodox Christian services on this day. My maternal grandmother – Olga, would drag me around to all the liturgies during Holy Week, and though I understood nothing, she was determined to show me everything.

Since then, most of my adult life has been spent exploring and defending my Faith in spite of its adherents’ many short comings. My ability to “turn a blind eye” however is rapidly failing, not because anything has changed in my relation to the Faith, but because the abhorrent attitudes and behaviour of so many Orthodox Christians has become metaphysically dysfunctional – a lot of people below the age of 40, now follow the ritual without the spiritual. This approach has reached such epidemic proportions, that many are guilty of what the Protestants have always argued – i.e. that all we’re capable of is meaningless spectacle without any real relationship to God.

Those who know me, know I have always argued that our lack of reverence for God and worship is a direct outcome of the Faith being locked behind ethnic languages – especially in counties like Australia i.e. not being able to worship in the language in which one thinks can’t help but seed such a religious disaster. If the basis to the issue was that simple though, all one would have to do is change the language of the service and the problem would be corrected. Unfortunately, it’s becoming obvious that much more than language is to blame.

The problem also includes how “transplanted peasant culture and parishioner ignorance” has been fostered for generations, so much so, that many people born into Orthodoxy genuinely believe that as long as you go through the motions of the Faith, you are religious, (spiritually cleansed and ultimately saved). I’ve lost count of the number of people I know who are Atheists, but who show up every year at Pascha (Easter), hold the fast, attend services and even take communion though they don’t believe in Christ, let alone God. The religion is just a subset of their ancestral nationalisms and nothing has been done to educate and in turn discourage such an approach.

Which brings me to my main point – at a time when we should be reflecting on Christ’s suffering and sacrifice for humanity; at a time when we should be trying to emulate His infinite compassion for all creation; and at a time when we should be repenting from our dysfunctional and destructive natures – most of my brethren are obsessed with the deprivation of ritualistic fasting and unable to wait for their orgy of over indulgence come Sunday morning around 3:00 am. So much for faith helping with one’s personal evolution and the fast being a personal sacrifice we offer back to God!

The fact that Australia’s Orthodox will smash millions of battery hen eggs then toss those eggs into bins, seems to be a non-issue – it doesn’t matter that there’s an inconsistency between Christ’s message of compassion and how these animals suffer unspeakable miseries in order to produce a resource that just gets wasted. The fact that countless animals will be slaughtered for an overindulgence that is not necessary (especially when we have grains like amaranth, chia, quinoa which use far less of the planet’s resources) and that we openly ignore how much of the earth’s human population doesn’t have enough to eat on a daily basis – is conveniently forgotten as more meat is shovelled into already overfed mouths. The fact that Orthodox parishioners don’t even know what the term Theosis means, how it is a corner stone of their own religion and how their cultural based lifestyles are the antithesis of Christ’s message of openness, temperance, balance and an ongoing focus on God – doesn’t seem to matter – but then again why should it, when vast numbers of Australia’s Orthodox Christians don’t even believe in God let alone the Trinity or the theology of the Faith.

Maybe I’m just being picky here, but I still think that when we remove the spiritual basis of a religion, it just becomes superstition. Albeit a complex form of superstition, but a superstition none the less. I’m just glad my grandmother isn’t alive to see what the descendants of the post war migrants in Australia have done to her beloved Faith. Rather than it being a means to an end i.e. the ongoing struggle to emulate Christ, it has become a non-sustainable end in itself.

Cheers – Vasilios Theodorakis – April 2009

April 10, 2009

Site Update

Filed under: General — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 3:58 pm

The poem for this week is: Queensland Expo / Expo Queensland

This piece of verse belongs to the “Growing Up” anthology and was written in April 1988. It’s a minimalist piece that captured simple feelings I was experiencing when visiting Brisbane’s Expo 88.

The highlighted author for this week is another scientist – Steven Hawking , specifically his book “A Brief History Of Time“.

Cheers – Vasilios Theodorakis – April 2009

April 3, 2009

Site Update

Filed under: General — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 7:52 am

The poem for this week is: A Cup Of Tea Or A Beer?

This is another recent poem and falls into the ungrouped category. The piece is a tribute to Betty Cutlack, one of the few people in our neighbourhood that made us feel genuinely welcome when we bought our place. Betty’s passing deeply affected the feel of the street – it suddenly got a lot more impersonal – a sign of our non-communal times I suppose. Apparently, she lived in her house (which her husband built) for over 50 years. Her husband, who passed away back in 2004, also has a poem dedicated to him i.e. “A Neighbour Weeding

Unfortunately I have no highlighted author for this week.

Readers might have noticed however, that I’ve fixed up the navigation and layout of the blog’s side bar. With a bit of luck, I’m hoping to improve more of the structure of the site in the near future. I’ll keep you abreast of any such developments.

Cheers – Vasilios Theodorakis – April 2009

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