Friday, December 15, 2017

2017 Review Part 1


Recognising that it may take me a few posts to accomplish this, I have begun to look back over the year 2017. A year of blog posts helps me to capture the things that have been on my mind throughout the year.

Life and death and what happens when this life is over are never far from the minds of most people. We may not think about it for long periods of time; and then a song or an incident may bring it to mind. “Where to Now St. Peter,” (http://hungerandthirst4.blogspot.ca/2017/01/where-to-now-st-peter.html) is one song that has this power and causes us to say, “Tell me which road I’m on.” This is certainly a theme that readers will find recurring in this particular year of blog posts.

Song-writers have a great deal of power over me. A well-crafted song triggers a visceral response and an assessment of the meaning and philosophy of the song. “Big Picture,” by the Eagles song-writers: Don Henley and Glenn Frey, has such an effect. Read about it here: http://hungerandthirst4.blogspot.ca/2017/01/big-picture.html

Blue Rodeo’s recent tour and Jim Cuddy in his sixties sparked another series of thoughts about life, aging musicians, and the life of a band. In a world of icons, stars, and role models, there are many who fail to inspire us as people. Jim Cuddy is a true Canadian treasure who has done better than most as he raised a family and toured the world. May we all grow gracefully old as Cuddy has done. http://hungerandthirst4.blogspot.ca/2017/01/blue-rodeo.html

On January 31, 2017, I found myself reflecting upon our perceptions of the world. Most of us would agree that we see and interpret the world imperfectly, and that it takes constant effort to understand the times in which we live. We tend to disagree on how we can see clearly and make plans for building a better world. My biases come through pretty clearly in the blog post from that day: http://hungerandthirst4.blogspot.ca/2017/01/seeing-imperfectly.html.


In the days to come, this blog will shed further light on 2017 and the thoughts of one man. I encourage all of us to think about the previous year and reflect on what we have learned and what is yet to be learned. May you be encouraged by this process.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Hazel Grey


“Hazel Grey” is a duo consisting of Pete and Josanna Justine. They have written more than 50 songs together and recorded five albums of songs. “Was There Music in the Air?” is from their 2010 album by the same name as the band, Hazel Grey. It captures the first moments of God’s creation before there were humans who could tell us what could be seen or heard.

Was There Music in the Air?
(Hazel Grey Music; Peter and Josanna Justine; CCLI)

The Spirit hovered over the waters.
The Spirit hovered over the waters.
Could they capture your reflection?
Stay calm within your presence, Lord
Was there music in the air?
Was there music in the air?

And were there colours in the heavens
That danced with their Creator
Was there music in the air?
Was there music in the air?
Was there music in the air?
Was there music in the air?

I am overcome, Oh Lord
By the splendor of a holy king.
And I am overwhelmed, Oh Lord
In the depth of your love for me
The depth of your love
Swallows the ocean’s majesty
The heavens above, echo the symphony of glory

The Spirit hovered over the waters.
The Spirit hovered over the waters.
Was the radiance of morning
Consumed within your glory, Lord?
Was there music in the air?
Was there music in the air?

And did you whisper to creation
Or did you shout in celebration
And did the mountains sound like thunder
When you formed them in your power, Lord
Was there music in the air?
Was there music in the air?
Was there music in the air?
Was there music in the air?

I am overcome, Oh Lord
By the splendor of a holy king.
And I am overwhelmed, Oh Lord
In the depth of your love for me
The depth of your love
Swallows the ocean’s majesty
The heavens above, echo the symphony of glory

The Spirit hovered over the waters.
The Spirit hovered over the waters.

Was there music in the air?
Was there music in the air?
Was there music in the air?
Was there music in the air?

The Spirit hovered over the waters


“Where were you when … the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4, 7).

“For the Lord your God is living among you.
    He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
    With his love, he will calm all your fears.
    He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” (Zephaniah 3:17).



Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Jim Carrey the Philosopher Part 2.


(Yesterday's post was part 1 of my attempt to make sense of what has been happening with Jim Carrey. Today I will conclude the story.)

Jim Carrey goes even further when he espouses the idea that others do not exist. "I don't believe that you exist," he told an E! News correspondent at New York Fashion Week. "There is no me. … There are clusters of tetrahedrons moving around together. … We don't matter."[1]

One might think that Carrey’s reference to tetrahedrons is a reference to Plato or Pythagoras, but if it is, it is likely an unconscious reference; and, even if it is a conscious harkening to philosophers of another era, Plato’s Theory of Everything has been found wanting by a great many better philosophical minds. Plato’s theory has little to offer our contemporary understanding of the universe. It is a bit like what Douglas Adams says in The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42.”

I would suggest that Jim Carrey has largely given in to the influences of other thoughts, other people, and perhaps even other spirits. Take, for example, a particular monologue from the documentary made about Carrey’s personal crisis. It is entitled, Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond. The documentary is a marvelous medium for Jim Carrey’s bizarre pseudo-philosophy. In the documentary, speaking of the movie, Man on the Moon, in which Carrey portrayed the performance artist and sometimes funny comic, Andy Kaufman, Carrey says, "Andy Kaufman showed up, tapped me on the shoulder and said, 'Sit down, I'll be doing my movie,' What happened afterwards was out of my control."[2]

Therein lies part of the problem. Many actors, when preparing for a new role, would take the lessons they learned in acting school and begin to craft the mannerisms, vocal inflections, and impulses of the person they will play. Carrey seems to have a different method: he becomes the person and allows the spirit of that person to take over his own personality such that a portion of Jim Carrey is lost with each role. On top of this, it seems there is no going back for Carrey. Forever after, a portion of Andy Kaufman’s or Truman’s or Ace Ventura’s persona is grafted into the Jim Carrey persona.

It has been reported that Carrey is preparing, or has prepared, for a role as a hermitting, organic drug experimenter named Terence McKenna. One wonders what this kind of role may do to Jim Carrey. Will this be the point of no return for the actor we have loved? Speaking of this role, he has reportedly said,

“The deeper you go into the psychedelic dimension the bigger it gets. I’ve seen things which no human being has ever seen before, and no other human being will ever see again. I retreated to nature and I took five grams of dried mushrooms in order to prepare for this role. The real message of psychedelics, I think, is to reclaim experience and to trust yourself. Your perceptions are primary.
Your feelings are correct. Everything must constellate out and make sense and parse with what you know. If you don’t start from that assumption then you are off center to begin with. And the psychedelics will dissolve the cultural programming that has potentially made you a mark and restore your authenticity.” [3]

Some of Jim Carrey’s journey is not unique to him, yet, it is worth noting a few pertinent details. Jim Carrey is not an educated man. He never took acting lessons and he began his career before he had an opportunity to complete high school. He has learned what he has learned through his experiences in life. He became desperate to survive, thrive, and succeed while he was still a teenager. He has had experiences that no one else has ever experienced and likely, no one else will. I do not say this to mock the man but rather to remind us all that he is not the sort of person we would typically turn to for philosophical advice. His journey has not been that of a guru or an academic. Thus, we heed his words at our own peril and trust his advice at our own risk.

I do hope and pray that Jim Carrey might find a supportive group of people who would direct him toward a more balanced and sustainable life. I pray that he might find joy in living his life for a cause greater than himself and that he might have true friends who show him the way.




[1] http://www.afr.com/lifestyle/jim-carreys-message-in-netflix-jim-and-andy-we-are-all-truman-now-20171129-gzvk4v#ixzz50Ck74QXx “Jim Carrey's message in Netflix 'Jim and Andy': we are all Truman now,” by Dan Zak, Financial Review, December 1, 2017.
[2] Ibid.
[3] I hesitate to legitimize the website upon which this quote is found but recognize that these may in fact be the words of Jim Carrey: http://livetheorganicdream.com/jim-carrey-preparing-psychedelic-role-staying-nature-taking-mushrooms/