Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Grace Over Karma - an interview with Bono

Hmm...i was suppose to be writing a post on the Valentine's Day Deftones experience. Unfortunately I didn't have the pictures I have taken at the concert with me as of yet. Had to borrow my friend, Sherly's camera cause I forgot to take mine despite making a mental note the night before, to bring it for the gig.
How old I have grown and my memory is faltering.
Well, but then Colin gave me an article to read which featured an interview with Bono, of U2 fame, and not Bono of Sonny and Cher.

It's a pretty interesting interview, where Bono explains his reliance on a beautiful thing which is God's grace. Something that we never deserved and will not be deserving despite our deeds, but yet was given to us.

Bono draws a distinction between the works of grace and the works of karma, even if it may be his opinion but yet, it is something that perhaps I could identify with.
Below are excerpts from the more poignant parts of the interview which caught my attention:-

Assayas: I think I am beginning to understand religion because I have started acting and thinking like a father. What do you make of that?

Bono: Yes, I think that's normal. It's a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma.

Assayas: I haven't heard you talk about that.

Bono: I really believe we've moved out of the realm of Karma into one of Grace.

Assayas: Well, that doesn't make it clearer for me.

Bono: You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics; in physical laws every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It's clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I'm absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that "as you reap, so you will sow" stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I've done a lot of stupid stuff.

Assayas: I'd be interested to hear that.

Bono: That's between me and God. But I'd be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I'd be in deep s---. It doesn't excuse my mistakes, but I'm holding out for Grace. I'm holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don't have to depend on my own religiosity.

Assayas: The Son of God who takes away the sins of the world. I wish I could believe in that.

Bono: But I love the idea of the Sacrificial Lamb. I love the idea that God says: Look, you cretins, there are certain results to the way we are, to selfishness, and there's a mortality as part of your very sinful nature, and, let's face it, you're not living a very good life, are you? There are consequences to actions. The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That's the point. It should keep us humbled . It's not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.

Assayas: That's a great idea, no denying it. Such great hope is wonderful, even though it's close to lunacy, in my view. Christ has his rank among the world's great thinkers. But Son of God, isn't that farfetched?

Bono: No, it's not farfetched to me. Look, the secular response to the Christ story always goes like this: he was a great prophet, obviously a very interesting guy, had a lot to say along the lines of other great prophets, be they Elijah, Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius. But actually Christ doesn't allow you that. He doesn't let you off that hook. Christ says: No. I'm not saying I'm a teacher, don't call me teacher. I'm not saying I'm a prophet. I'm saying: "I'm the Messiah." I'm saying: "I am God incarnate." And people say: No, no, please, just be a prophet. A prophet, we can take. You're a bit eccentric. We've had John the Baptist eating locusts and wild honey, we can handle that. But don't mention the "M" word! Because, you know, we're gonna have to crucify you. And he goes: No, no. I know you're expecting me to come back with an army, and set you free from these creeps, but actually I am the Messiah. At this point, everyone starts staring at their shoes, and says: Oh, my God, he's gonna keep saying this. So what you're left with is: either Christ was who He said He was the Messiah or a complete nutcase. I mean, we're talking nutcase on the level of Charles Manson. This man was like some of the people we've been talking about earlier. This man was strapping himself to a bomb, and had "King of the Jews" on his head, and, as they were putting him up on the Cross, was going: OK, martyrdom, here we go. Bring on the pain! I can take it. I'm not joking here. The idea that the entire course of civilization for over half of the globe could have its fate changed and turned upside-down by a nutcase, for me, that's farfetched

Well, of course to get a clearer picture of the interview, do go to the link and have a read. Whether you do agree with it or not, it's still something worth pondering. :)

And for all my misdeeds and shortcomings,I'm glad that Grace is given to me, cause i know i will never deserve it, despite trying to earn it the best I can.
I end this post with a song penned by John Newton, which I'm sure is familiar to all :-

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

T'was Grace that taught...
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares...
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me...
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be...
as long as life endures.

When we've been here ten thousand years...
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise...
then when we've first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

Now....if only U2 would come for a gig in Malaysia! Yeahhh!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

20 hours before..DEFTONES!

14 February 2011. Valentine's Day! Deftones, are finally in Malaysia, after more than a decade of making hard hitting heavy music! They have finally reached Malaysian shores! Never too late I say!
While lovers celebrate this day with romantic dinners and such, I will be with my mates, in the mosh pit of Deftones fans and some non-fans (though standing in the far end does make it more difficult to mosh).
No candlelight dinners, no chocolates. Just pure Adrenaline pumping through the veins! It won't be romantic at sir..but it will be GREAT!
I leave you here with one of the all time favourites,


Hey you, big star, tell me when it's over

Hey you, big mood, guide me to shelter
`Cause i'm through when the two hits the six and it's summer

Come (shove it) [x3]
Shove (shove it) [x3]
The sun (shove it) [x3]
Aside (shove it aside)

I think god is moving it's tongue
There's no crowd in the streets
And no sun in my own summer

The shade is a tool, a device, a savior
See, i try and look up to the sky
But my eyes burn

Come (shove it) [x3]
Shove (shove it) [x3]
The sun (shove it) [x3]
Aside (shove it aside)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

CNY- Over the years

Going back for CNY is always something I look forward to. Having to relax, chill and unwind in Ipoh and work is usually the furthest thing on my mind. With the exception of 2009 however, when driving back to KL for work on Chor 3 was nothing but depressing. Haha..i'm fortunate enough then that I got to spend almost 10 days in Ipoh without having to be bothered by work :)
Its the meals with families, and also friends which make the sleepy town of Ipoh bustling! Well, looking back over the years, me and my mates still continue the tradition of the gang gathering, be it lunch or dinner, rain or shine, good food or bad food, Menglembu East Ocean of Public Pusing. No matter, we were always organizing these lunches/dinners. Well at least that still remain in Ipoh do it :)
But the fact is, looking back at the old photo archives, we tend not to ignore the fact that so much has changed over the years, but yet, in some ways, nothing has changed.
Seems like a contradicting statement, oxymoronic even, but think about it, and you will know what I mean.
I remember how Thomas commented that I usually take photos of the group, and he was asking me to post them on Facebook. He stated that it was quite a good thing, archiving our CNY capers together. I thought it was a compliment. And I suppose, that I can do it, then why not? I mean, I'm not using any DSLR or high tech camera, but over the years, just the common Olympus digicam, which does not churn out the best results, but churns the results nevertheless.
And sometimes, taking these long walks down memory lane brings a smile to my face.
So, to the gatherings of the past and to more in the future:)

Here's a small photo archive of the gatherings over the years. Many things change...but some things don't :)

CNY 2004

CNY 2005

CNY 2006

CNY 2007

CNY 2008

CNY 2009

CNY 2010

CNY 2011 - new additions to the gatherings :)the pretty ladies

shikes...been wearing the same polo tee since last year...:)