My hubby and I found this restaurant near our place and it serves really nice yong tau fu, stewed pork and yam, and fried tau fu.
The problem of consciousness is so difficult that no one has any idea of how to begin to tackle it, scientifically. What is that problem? It is basically the problem of how conscious states – thoughts, feelings, sensations and perceptions – can arise from complex physical brain-states. Even if we are sure that they do arise from brains, we do not know the sorts of connections that conscious states (such as ‘seeing a train’) have with brain-states (such as ‘there is electrical activity at point A in the brain’). We do not know if conscious states can have a causal effect on brain-states, or if they are somehow reducible to brain-states in some way we cannot yet explain.
The question of God is not a purely intellectual puzzle. It is bound up with the basic ways in which we see our lives, the cultural histories and traditions from which we spring and against which we often react, and the most fundamental values, feelings and commitments we have. It is not just a question of evidence, in the sense of clear public data that put matters beyond any reasonable doubt. It is a question of basic forms of perspective and action.
As a believer in God, I strongly feel that in such questions it is not a matter of all the good and wise people thinking there is a God, and all the bad and silly people thinking there is not (or vice versa). All of us have partial perspectives, and we need to engage with others to see what the limits and advantages of those perspectives are.
C. S. Lewis wrote a series of children’s stories in which the Christ figure is a lion. In one scene a girl named Jill bursts into an opening in a forest. She’s thirsty. She spies a stream not far away, but she doesn’t rush forward to throw her face into its refreshing current. Instead she freezes in fear because a lion is resting in the sun right beside the stream.
“Are you not thirsty?” said the Lion.
“I’m dying of thirst,” said Jill.
“Then drink,” said the Lion.
“May I — could I — would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill.
The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience. The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.
“Will you promise not to — do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill.
“I make no promise,” said the Lion.
Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer. “Do you eat girls?” she said.
“I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.
“I daren’t come and drink,” said Jill.
“Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion.
“Oh, dear!” said Jill, coming another step nearer. “I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.”
“There is no other stream,” said the Lion.
Even though there is a consistency of vocabulary across the centuries used to discuss friendship in antiquity, there is no consistency of emphasis or definition...Each ancient writer, including the New Testament writers, developed the friendship traditions in different ways depending on his or her own community setting. (And what more in comparison to its usage in our time now?)So you see, our modern understanding of friendship may not do justice to the friendship that Jesus was referring to.
The Gospel of John is a pivotal text for the discussion of friendship in the New Testament. The vocabulary of friendship, especially the noun philos and the related verb phileöy is found at key moments in the narrative.
The word "friend" in John carried many associations for John's first readers. Modern readers cannot completely recapture those associations, but they can at least recognize that John did not create the theme of friendship out of whole cloth. Awareness of cultural embeddedness helps modern readers see that friendship is not a universal term for all times and cultures. Most contemporary friendship greeting cards, for example, adorned with roses, kittens, and butterflies, do not exhort the card's recipient to "lay down one's life for a friend." Jesus' words in John 15:13 seem unprecedented for a modern friend.
Two friendship motifs from the Greco-Roman world provide a promising framework for regarding Jesus as friend in John: Jesus' love for others that is embodied in his death and Jesus' boldness in speech and action...frank speech was encouraged as a mark of honest instruction, dialogue, and training...not engaging in flattery to further their own ends.
Jesus' friendship is the model of friendship for the disciples, and it makes any sub-sequent acts of friendship by them possible because the disciples themselves are already the recipients of Jesus' acts of friendship.
(Comments in parentheses mine.)