Science and Mystery

There have been breathtaking advances in science and engineering in the past century, as we continue to be dazzled by the next new thing in electronics, that seem to be perpetually making our lives easier and more fun. With all this progress, it may seem to many that the engineers and doctors have everything under their control, and have it all figured out. The big bang and Darwin’s theory of natural selection are thought to explain creation, with the universe and human beings being the machine like, or computer like, deterministic products of random forces.

Unfortunately, the past century has also been a time of wide spread existentialism, with its atheism, despair and to many a bleak view of modernity and humanity. For all its technological wizardry, modern life seems to lack something fundamental, a sense of meaning and a connection to something greater than ourselves. It seems to me that although it is advanced in its understanding of the material world, science has not solved the fundamental mysteries that have engaged humanity since its beginnings, and we need to look elsewhere to have an understanding of the spiritual questions that are still with us, regardless of our technologically advanced lives.

Some of the mysteries that have not been solved by science to me include:

1) How the world was created. Darwin’s theories being just one way to explain what was driving the evolutionary process, as the intricate balance and beauty of nature seems to me more likely to be the product of a designing consciousness, rather than random, purely materialistic forces.

2) Is there a higher power? Regardless of how they’ve tried, the existence of a hidden, guiding higher power has not been proven impossible by science.

3) Is there an afterlife? This whole damn journey seems absurd if it all ends up as dust in the desert.

4) How and when a person will die. For all modern medicne’s advice on the healthy lifestyle, it is always a mystery until it happens how we will eventually perish, and the only certainty is that we all will one day.

It seems to me that it is time to acknowledge what we have figured out with our science, and to also admit its limitations, so we can turn to other sources, such as religion, philosophy and the arts, to meet our famished needs for meaning, purpose and courage in the face of mortality.

If you liked these thoughts, may I suggest you check out my other newsletters at http://www.kloschinskyblog.com.

You can also check out my work in poetry, songwriting and photography at http://www.kloschinsky.com.

In song and in spirit,

Paul Kloschinsky

Morality and Masochism

Before the fall Adam and Eve where quite content in the Garden of Eden. Innocently enjoying the garden and each other, they lived in natural contentment. Then they ate the apple. The knowledge of good and evil. And they suddenly became ashamed of their bodies and desires and were cast out of paradise. It seems to me that the apple can repesent only one thing – the birth of morality.

It was then that people were masochistically turned against themselves and their desires, creating a labyrinth of our minds, hiding the beast of repressed cravings, and making human nature something sinful. It seems to me that this harsh light of moral purity casts the deepest, darkest shadow, creating the most contrast between the good and not so good parts of a person’s character. Indeed, the soft light of tolerance for normal, natural  human desires and behaviour casts the weakest shadow, thereby avoiding the intensity and barbarism of the return of repressed needs.

For me, the guides of our behavior, like the containing banks on the river of our will, is love, tolerance and compassion. Treating people not as objects to be moved around as you wish, but rather as subjects, with feelings, desires and dreams, that should be acknowledged and nutured, to allow a person to grow as they are naturally inclined. I call this ethics, or how you treat people, in contrast to morality, a set of standards that deny human nature and our authentic needs.

If you like these thoughts and would like to read more, please check out my previous newsletters at my blog – http://www.kloschinskyblog.com.

I also want to invite you to check out my work in poetry, photography and songwriting at http://www.kloschinsky.com. I recently released a new single. “Better Late Than Never” , which is available on iTunes.

In song and in spirit,

Paul Kloschinsky

Civilization and Faith

As I enter the second half of my life and have lost some of the people that cared about me when I was young, I find it necessary for my well being that I believe in something more than juat the material world of the senses. A faith that I will see my deceased loved ones again, that there is a higher power and things will make sense in the end, that good actions are rewarded ultimately, and that we all have an immortal soul. Faced with the brevity of life on this planet, I need to believe that all the work I have put in to love, learn, and grow can be taken with me when my time here is over, and it will not ultimatly just be dust in the desert.

 

It is just this faith that I never get from the conventional media, and when I do watch the TV, I am bombarded by the existential logical positivism that is the official philosophical stance of our culture. It seems to me that we live in a technologically advanced but spiritually impoverished civilization, and anyone with a spiritual orientation is portrayed as a nut. Indeed, my faith and well being is constantly challenged by this society, and my response is to touch something greater than myself in the mysteries of nature, and the great art of past epochs. Like remembering a tranquil summer meadow in the midst of a fierce winter’s ice storm, it can be difficult though.

 

I  would like to invite you to check out my work in song, poetry and photography at http://www.kloschinsky.com.

 

In song and in spirit,

 

Paul Kloschinsky

The Modern Mythology

Myths are as old as humanity, and traditionally taught ethical values and provided context for the different situations life can present one with. They also explained how we got here and the origins of natural phenomena like the seasons. Ancient myths were complex and challenging, like life itself.

It seems to me that mythology is still alive and strong in our modern society. Science has provided us with our current creation myth, the purely materialistic, unproven theory that natural selection drove the evolutionary process, without a Divine hand, as proposed by Darwin. A theory responsible for the atrocities of the 20th century, which were commited by the so called “fittest”, who thought they could get away with murder and genocide.

The stories people are told about life and it’s values are certainly on the TV and in the movies from Hollywood. Most spend every evening watching the sitcoms and dramas, and many weekends at the cinemas. I find these heros and villians too easy to classify, the answers and values put forth too simplistic, and the ridicule directed towards anyone lying outside a narrow notion of normality arrogant and destructive. Life is a lot more complex and challenging than these stories portray, and as the traditional myths of the past show us, the answers are more sophisticated, difficult and subtle.

Finally, I think the modern deity is now presented as the celebrities. Those extremely beautiful, smart and talented people that are so far above us normal mortals. Indeed, many people actively follow their trials and tribulations, larger than life lifestyles, and look to them as having special powers. I suspect that in truth they are just as flawed and human as the rest of us, and perhaps we should reserve such special status for the truly divine.

I would like to invite you to check out my work in photography, poetry and song at http://www.kloschinsky.com. I try to make my work as spiritual and authentic as possible, and hope you might find there something you can relate to.

In Song and in Spirit,

Paul Kloschinsky

The Heart and the Holidays

Every December, as the days are at their shortest, and all is so dark and cold here in Canada, we are reminded again of the strength of the human heart, as we celebrate the holidays. For a brief period every year we put aside our selfish concerns and are touched by the spirit of generosity and kindness. In addition to buying gifts for our loved ones, some people also donate to help those less fortunate, demonstrating an awareness, at least once a year, of the shared humanity we all bear as a collective responsibility.  Indeed, a snow dusted evergreen evokes the spirit of the season, and may represent the perennial power of the human heart, as do the colors and songs.

 

I would like to thank you for supporting my music and wish you a happy holidays full of warmth and joy.

 

If you have a moment, you can check out my work ay http://www.kloschinsky.com.

 

In song and in spirit,

 

Paul Kloschinsky

 

Article about Paul Kloschinsky in The Delta Optimist

Here’s an article about Paul in the July 24, 2010 Delta Optimist.

How I Wrote “Wearin’ Blue”

I thought I’d share the influences that came together one day in September, 1990 when I wrote “Wearin’ Blue”, my most successful song. First off, it was the first day of autumn and there was a tree in the courtyard of the townhouse I was living in in Toronto, and the wind was gently blowing the leaves around in the air and on the ground. That gave me the idea that somethings pass like autumn leaves, and some things remain constant, like the tree trunk and branches. I had just seen a video of Dylan’s “Tangled Up in Blue”, and as I wanted the song to express melancholy and sadness, I tried to come up with a title using the word “Blue”. Musically, I started in A Minor and built up a chord pattern with a strong dominant 7 (E dom7) and a repeated minor to relative major change. The lyrics for the first verse were inspired by some stale relationships I had experienced and seen in other people.  “The wind blows the wasted words that were thrown, Down to the lovers who lie on their own, Wearin’ Blue” was inspired by the wind rustling the autumn leaves in the courtyard.

Then I thought I’d zoom back and express some aspects of society that make people sad, and wrote the lyrics for the second verse. “The wind blows the wasted words that were tried, Down to the poets who fought as they died, Wearin’ Blue” was based on the work of some of my favourite poets, including Walt Whitman and Goethe, and how so many people make the same mistakes they always do, in spite of the words of the great poets.

I then decided that with all the sadness I’d like to express some simple hope, and went from A minor to the relative major C major and tried to write a simple melody that expressed hope. That became the bridge.

Finally, for the third verse, I decided to reread some favourite passages from Goethe’s autobiography “Poetry and Truth”, which was rich in evocative autumn imagery. After reading this, I came up with my own autumn imagery, where I tried to express the melancholy and sadness a lot of people feel in the fall. The end of the third verse,” Autumn of sorrow, you stole my tommorrow, and left me to sweep up the ruins” was inspired by my knowledge of Seasonal Affective Disorder as a physician, where people suffer major depressive episodes in the dark, cold autumn and winter months.

This song won the 2007 MusicAid Award for Best Canadian Songwriter. I have a music video for it and some other songs, and if you have a moment, I would appreciate you checking them out on YouTube and leaving your comments. The link is www.youtube.com/kloschin1.