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July 29, 2004

Well, it took me almost seven months, but tonight I finally finished the Old Testament. I read it from beginning to end, from Genesis to Malachi, from page 1 to page 951, from "In the beginning" to "'with a curse.'"

I found the first two-thirds of the book to be generally more interesting and less confusing than the last third -- all those prophets at the end really start to get repetitive and bewildering to read. At times -- especially towards the end -- I found myself reading in a glazed-over way, but I still feel like I got the gist of the story even when I wasn't reading entirely attentively.

This website was helpful, too: Biblenotes

The New Testament is next... page 955, Matthew, "A record of..."

July 14, 2004

I'm struggling with this incessant negativity lately. I've struggled with negativity my whole life, actually, but it'd disappeared to a large extent until the last month or two. Much of the vanishing seemed to correspond to my enlightenment (of sorts) earlier this year (which I documented in here), but now I feel like I'm falling back into my old ways again. This, despite my sincere attempts at connection with the divine and the remarkable nature of my present life.

When I see someone on the street wearing a strange outfit or acting strangely, my mind immediately judges them. . . I'm remarkably short-tempered and impatient with things that normally wouldn't deserve a second thought. . . I'm far too quick to dismiss other people as ignorant. . . etc. These are things I really don't want to be anymore -- I'm tired of being this way -- yet lately I find myself doing and thinking these things more and more.

In looking for God I'm looking for a way out of this negativity, a light in the midst of all these dark thoughts. I realize that spirituality isn't going to cure me of negativity, but I also know that a part of me felt significantly lighter earlier this year.

July 06, 2004

I've been struggling with my life again lately, so I started praying again because... well, why not? While the act of prayer does bring me some immediate comfort, and my life has become more tolerable since I've started praying again, it's still... I can't help but think that my life would have become better with or without the prayer. Perhaps I need some sort of tangible problem in my life to direct my prayers towards (not really).

I'm up to Isaiah in the Bible, and my confusion and difficulty with it has lead to boredom. I understand that this is all a vision of Isaiah, but could he perhaps abridge and clarify this vision somewhat? It's books like these that make church boring.

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