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

August 31, 2010

Contact From The Future

Filed under: Religion And Theology,Science And Technology — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 4:21 pm

None of us will ever hear from the future unless, we hand down the ideas (through story) and the ability (through invention) to reach back in time and speak to ourselves.

Those of us who choose to do nothing will in turn, never change the course of history, let alone communicate with it. Alternatively, those of us who do something – no matter how small – will increase their legacy exponentially across time. One’s investment in action (or thought) deposits the principle (genetic or memetic) in creation’s temporal bank account. i.e. Once deposited (in time) an action or idea can never be withdrawn and therefore accumulates like compound interest for the rest of the universe’s life. This means growth is guaranteed and “the filling of the void” really can and will take care of itself – that is – as long as we try.

In the end though, only God can track the total effect of us twirling in a field singing his praises or the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in the sun – not even the grandest A.I. computer will ever track all the variables involved or their cascading consequences on existence. So, until we reach God’s status of Omniscience we should console ourselves with the fact that everything does count and that the only way to move forward with life is to live it in such a way that guarantees “there is a tomorrow” – not one that guarantees there is no tomorrow!

N.B. The concept of Memes is one of the few things the atheist Richard Dawkins has come up with that’s useful to everyone. Ironically most of his material is about his “belief” in science not its “facts”. This being the case, its strange how he’s unable to see that while he bags other religions, his own approach to knowledge has turned science into a religion as well! The fact that Theists like me use his memetics material on a daily basis must really rub him up the wrong way. ;)

Copyright © Vasilios Theodorakis 2010

August 27, 2010

Site Update 054

Filed under: General — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 7:34 pm

Having fallen behind in posting material to the blog, this week’s update includes a backlog of nine pieces which have now been uploaded.

Special thanks go out to my friends John M. and Sofronios E. who’ve repeatedly contacted me, checked I was OK and enquired as to when my next posting would go up – the prompting, my brothers, did get me moving again – thank you. :)

The site now has the following additions:
1 – Save The Planet – 7th May 2010
2 – A New PM – 25th June 2010
3 – Where We’re Up To – 2nd July 2010
4 – Xenophobes Aren’t Racist – 9th July 2010
5 – Window To The Visible World – 16th July 2010
6 – Window To The Invisible World – 23th July 2010
7 – Privilege Is The Western Lifestyle – 30th July 2010
8 – The Sacrament Of Story – 6th August 2010
9 – Helen’s Blog – 13th August 2010

My highlighted author for the week is – Sun Tzu, who wrote the “Art Of War”. Historically his writings are sometimes attributed to his descendant as well as himself – his descendent being Sun Bin. Irrespective of who really wrote the military treatise, its approach to strategy is not only useful for war but human social life as well.

Cheers – Vasilios Theodorakis – August 2010

August 22, 2010

Post Election Day – Or Is That Post Australia Day?

Filed under: Culture And Society — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 9:13 pm

The Australian author David Malouf once said that Australia’s national day only happens every 3 years, and that day is the day of our federal election. Why? Because it epitomises all that is good about Australia and being Australian. i.e. That people can show up in an orderly fashion at polling booths and peacefully re-elect or change the government that is controlling the nation. In this country no one is abused, wounded or murdered when they try to vote. No one is threatened and forced to vote in a particular way, and people feel it’s safe to talk about how they’re going to vote while lining up to collect their ballot paper. I’ve always found the day to have a festive feel about it – where else in the world does that happen? An excellent example of this occurred yesterday at my mother-in-law’s polling booth, where voting was accompanied by a sausage sizzle. :)

Like Mr Malouf, I believe this defines us. There are few countries in the world where elections occur in a stable and safe way. So few in fact, that we are almost unique – especially when you factor in that every adult is obligated to vote. Our compulsory voting system ensures the elected government is a genuine reflection of the view of the people. Not even the US or the UK can match how our parliament is a true refection of the wishes of “all” its citizens.

Yet in spite of this, we will always have the wingers and those who think that voting is an infringement on their “right to choose to vote” and an inconvenience on their time. If these wingers had to swap places with citizens in Rwanda, (where people risk having limbs hacked off while trying to vote) I’m sure they would quickly appreciate what we have here in Australia.

As for me – I look forward to revisiting the cardboard booths and voting in three years time again. It’s the one thing about our nation that continues to fill me with pride.

Copyright © Vasilios Theodorakis 2010

August 20, 2010

Beaten And Bloodied We Crawl Forward

Filed under: General — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 12:40 pm

Most people have annual days of reflection. Whether religious, cultural, sporting or personal these days allow individuals to take stock of their circumstances, reassure themselves that everything will be OK, take a deep breath and keep moving forward with life. People often come unstuck however, if they don’t stop to reflect at all or spend so much time reflecting they can’t get going again – getting stuck and not moving forward is something we’ll explore another day – i.e. the notion of depression.

For me, the important days of reflection can be quite disastrous, especially if I don’t plan and work towards them. My days of reflection are all anniversaries associated with PTSD events, occur throughout the year and are quite numerous. The 20th August is the biggest of these, as its the day I physically died in 1991.

2010 therefore marks 19 years since the medical profession, family and friends gave up on me walking out of one of Brisbane’s most decrepit hospitals – the old P.A. (pre-renovations). Needless to say, virtually all the people from that period of my life have now been excised. I’ve come to believe that people who give up on you, don’t deserve to be included in your life.

Due to a genetic condition, that was finally diagnosed in 2000, I’ve always been predisposed to excessive blood clotting. At that time, August 1991, I had developed so many clots in the left lung that the lung appeared as one giant clot on all the M.R.I.s and X-Rays. Though placed on IV anticoagulants, the expectation was that some of the clots would break away from the lung and travel to the heart or brain – at which point I would die.

Ironically, none of the clots ever did break away. Instead, my near death experience was brought on by the incompetence of a Queensland Health junior doctor. This gentleman caused a massive bleed in my throat, by shoving a tube down my oesophagus far too violently. The loss of blood caused my blood pressure to drop to nothing, my heart to stop and the resuscitation team to move into overdrive.

10 minutes after my body shut down, they succeeded in reviving me. The first thing I heard as I came to was an elderly and senior doctor reassuring me that I would be OK now (– I never did get to thank this man for saving my life). In addition to the resuscitation team, the main thing that drove me to stay alive was fear and anger. Fear and anger that if I died, the real reasons as to how I ended up alone and in hospital would never be told. If I died, family and friends – who had abandoned me – would conveniently make up stories that painted themselves in a good light while describing my misfortune as some random and freak event. The fact that their actions had directly left me homeless, forced me to live out of my car while suffering extreme Ulcerative Colitis and ignored my malnutrition brought on by internal haemorrhaging and a lack of food – well, none of that mattered, even though my living conditions were later identified as having greatly contributed to what brought on the clotting. In their hands, these facts would never have seen the light of day. Admittedly, I over did it when I was finally released from hospital – telling everyone and anyone who would listen, as to how the actions of certain people (whom I had trusted) had almost cost me my life.

Since the 20th August 1991, much of my existence has felt like a scene from the movie “Gandhi” i.e. I’ve run a passive resistance campaign against the advances of the Grim Reaper and any obstructions life could toss at me. Just like Gandhi’s documented process of burning racial passes in South Africa i.e. where participants were beaten by police but continued to crawl towards the fire and toss in their passes; I’ve continued to crawl forward, no matter how slow life became and no matter how many things obstructed life’s path. Beaten and bloodied – sometimes literally and sometimes metaphorically – movement forward was often so slow it was non-existent. If nothing else, the process did prove that standing one’s ground against both the visible and invisible forces of nature is possible.

My message then, on this anniversary of reflection – i.e. what I now call my life day – is this: We all have it within ourselves to keep going no matter how difficult the circumstances get. Stubbornness (and the will to live) appears to be our evolutionary advantage as a species and raises its glorious head on both a personal and communal level as long as we allow it. I should also add, occasionally asking God to intercede on our behalf doesn’t go astray either. ;)

Copyright © Vasilios Theodorakis 2010

August 13, 2010

Helen’s Blog

Filed under: General — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 9:20 am

I believe everyone has an interesting story to tell – even if some people’s stories are more interesting than others. ;) Though nominating my wife’s life and her stories night be viewed as somewhat biased, she does work with small children who often have provided her with amazing and humorous anecdotes.

As a gift, I’m therefore developing and designing a new blog for her, where she can share these and other thoughts. The blog will be located at and will be called Helen Verbakel – On Life, Love and Laughter. I’ll let readers know, once the site goes live.

Cheers – Vasilios Theodorakis – August 2010

August 6, 2010

The Sacrament Of Story

Filed under: Arts,Culture And Society — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 8:05 pm

The ability to story tell is fundamental to the human condition. In many ways it probably differentiated us from other hominids and allowed us to prevail in our ecological niche. This idea is hinted at in the human palaeontological record but there isn’t enough data to empirically prove it yet.

So with story, our sense of bonding was raised above and beyond that of preening, survival and reproduction. It allowed us to carry shared adventures and history across time and space. It firmly established the notion of culture around our early camp fires, and also let us know what others were thinking and feeling – i.e. it seeded empathy. Story did all this, in spite of the fact that our ancestors may have never met the people it described. It even allowed early humans to relate to people who had never existed. Of course, complex language was the precursor to story and without language (externalised thought), story would never have happened.

On a personal note, I find story and the places where story is told almost sacrosanct. For me, its forums are as hallowed as the life filled rainforest or the life giving liturgy. This perception has been with me for years and I often feel that something has been defiled, a sacred place desecrated, when developers shut down and demolish theatres and cinemas. This is something we are especially good at in the greater city of Brisbane – which now has no theatres left in the CBD!

In addition to this, as I’m descended from a long line of story tellers, I’ve been indoctrinated with its basic structure from a very young age. i.e. That story has to have a beginning, middle and end – otherwise what’s the point! Many supposed story tellers don’t understand these basics. i.e. in movies for example, some directors like to leave out crucial parts, like endings! What really upsets me about this approach is that my wife and I often hand over our hard earned cash to these film makers who don’t understand their own craft. Take “Inception” for instance which has the ultimate “artsy” non-ending! What sort of smart alec is this director Christopher Nolan who chose to finish the movie in this way? If we wanted to not have an ending to a story, we would tell each other such nonsensical tales for free! If someone pays you to tell a story, you have a moral obligation to do just that, otherwise give the patron back their money and stop masquerading as a modern day bard!

Despite the people who don’t understand the sanctity of story and story structure, there are many more story tellers who do. For those of us who cannot live without the telling of tales (each and every day of our lives), I am eternally grateful that the Christopher Nolans of the world are still the exception not the rule.

Copyright © Vasilios Theodorakis 2010

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