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

February 22, 2010


Filed under: General — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 10:20 am

If I had had the ability to offer an honest prediction about my future when I was younger, I would have admitted that I didn’t know what life would be like 20 years down the track. Why? Because no one had taught me that you needed an income; no one explained that you needed somewhere to live and no one conveyed the need for family, friends, and maybe a partner in order to survive in society.

Instead, I was brought up to believe that the only important thing in life was getting a degree – everything else would take care of itself. Ironically, the parent who forced this philosophy on me ended up being so threatened that I might become “a better person” than them, that they sabotaged my ability to complete that degree. In the end, not only did I not have the basic skills and resources for living, the one thing that I had been told was the panacea for all life’s needs never came to pass – i.e. I never did get that degree (at least not in the field that I loved – science).

As I had no guidance in what was important in life, I experienced real difficulties in making decisions that helped those things happen. Anything that I did manage to get in place was nothing short of miraculous. Combine this foundation-less start with some serious medical conditions and I entered a state of limbo from age 18 to 33. Its only been through the help of strangers (not family) that I’ve been able to put in place, during the last ten years, what most people (in Western counties) have in place by the time they’re 25.

So today, as I turn 43 and the important things in life are finally part of my day to day experience, I find that I have a vision of a future and enough ability and resources to hopefully make things happen. I also have the love and support of good people and hopefully the ability to still have a family.

Time as always is the great leveler, and I have no idea if I’ll be delegated enough of it to turn thoughts into realities before I suffer a systemic shutdown of my body. I live in hope however, that the metronome forgets about me just long enough, that I might carry out some fancy footwork and leave behind completed legacies not partialities.

More than most however, I know that time doesn’t choose favourites and I don’t expect it to do me any favours. In the end it boils down to just one thing – continuing to express oneself in the world for as long as one can. Everything else is just human philosophy and rhetoric – nothing more.

Copyright © Vasilios Theodorakis 2010

February 20, 2010

Unsavoury Thoughts

Filed under: General — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 5:30 am

As an Orthodox Christian I’m directed to “focus on God, move towards God, and be like God” in everything that I do. As a human being however, I continue to fail miserably as an Orthodox Christian.

Blessed with the genetics of Cretan pirates and dollops of PTSD drawn from far too many near death experiences, I find my attempts to reach for sainthood hobbled by thoughts of pummeling the evil I encounter in humanity. Sure, one might argue, doing away with evil can’t be such a bad thing, but these thoughts often involve the “ripping apart” limb by limb of individuals who carry out these evil acts. Somehow I don’t think this approach follows the ways of a loving God – at least not the examples that Christ left us.

As I struggle with these things on a daily basis, finding some days worse than others, the passions created by both my genetics and my experiences taunt me to hit out at those without a conscience (even though I have never physically hit anyone in my life). Fortunately, these thoughts are countered by one’s training in the Faith which teaches us to turn the other cheek (in a literal sense), and that it is God’s domain to address the wrongs that others have done unto us. Religious morality is also supported psychologically by social inhibitions that hold unsavoury thoughts in check as well as one’s possession of an ethical “free will” that continues in its determination to do no harm to others. As always it’s about one’s checks and balances – things that have allowed us to develop into functional societies, at least up until now.

The only comfort I draw from this personal struggle is that humanity as a whole suffers from this dichotomy of thought and inner conflict as well. The best example of this is how most civilised society’s espouse peace yet almost always maintain well armed defence forces.

I suppose it is part of our religious/spiritual nature to try and follow in the footsteps of our peacemakers – hoping that our enemies will leave us alone. As a biological species however, we continue to reserve the right to use big sticks to hit the bad guys over the head, especially when we fear losing ground to them while adhering to a philosophical pacifist approach.

Unfortunately, there’s an ongoing ethical dilemma to this situation and that is, if we choose to pick up the retribution stick we in turn become the bad guys. So much for sainthood – I therefore continue to be the unworthy and pitifully hopeless servant of God, even as I turn 43!

Copyright © Vasilios Theodorakis 2010

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