what is god for you?
mig. in the video you were asked what god is for you. is there something you wish to add?
cn. i see our concept of god as derived from a need to invent causality. god is a role programmed within us. i think prayer, as a ritual, puts us in a place to muster strength that we don't usually know we can access from within. this is a positive power that comforts many; but i firmly see it as an inner resource, not an external force. i think that any moment that feels beyond what we can usually explain or account for; these are times we use god as a qualifier and pretext. "god" is who i become when what's at my immediate and obvious disposal will not suffice.
mig. is the word god controversial for you? if yes why?
cn. i would say it's not controversial to me, because i'm pretty comfortable with my views. growing up i was raised religiously but in my early teen years i fell out of that and quickly determined that i did not need the crutch of religion to feel complete or to provide guidance for me; though i can appreciate how it does that for other people. i think as a society it's certainly a controversial concept. in this country, it's interesting that "god", in relation to organised religion, remains a dominant concept; as opposed to many other developed areas in the world. because i'm at peace with my beliefs, it's not controversial in my own life.
mig. do you think of religion when you hear the word god? if yes, why?
cn. yes. i think the connotation is built in naturally and, again, though for me it's not really an issue, most people associate it with religion and therefore that helps it maintain its controversial status in this country.
mig. do you believe everything happens for a reason, or are we the reason why things happen?
cn. this is a relevant topic to me, because i used to believe in the neat idea of everything happening for a reason. i think that's the way many of us were brought up, to believe in the idea of fate and destiny and 'you can't control everything'. however i find it more empowering to believe that we are the primary cause of our own outcomes, whether it's a small occurrence, or a much bigger life shift. i believe every day we take measures that will determine our future. i think life is just a series of moments and you can only control one moment at a time, but each moment leads into a bigger one, like a modular system. but i do believe that we are mainly in control of where we go in life.
mig. define love. what does love mean for you?
cn. love for me is a feeling of being home, of connectivity and of losing yourself entirely in a feeling where you feel so complete that nothing else really matters. i believe in moments of love and in a lifelong feeling of love; i think it's a feeling of home.
mig. do you think love is something all life forms share?
cn. not really. this is a hard question to answer, because we don't know enough, but my opinion is that high order mammals experience versions of love and companionship. i don't think that creatures that are not self-aware can 'love', at least not in a relatable way to humans.
mig. what in your opinion can make a relationship last a whole lifetime?
cn. i think being with someone that can challenge you and makes you better and stronger, and someone who you can do that for in return, is the key element and agent in that kind of dynamic. it can lead to a long term lifetime relationship. anything you do in life should be constantly evolving, including your relationship.
mig. what have you learned about life so far?
cn. i think the most important thing that i have learned goes back to what i said before about the hardest road usually being the best one to take; that there are no shortcuts in life to get to the ultimate goals that you may have for yourself; that self-control can be really important, that certain self-imposed limits can make actually take your creative process to the next level, and generally make you a better, more effective human being. i've learned that too many choices are a safety net, against having to make a real decision and committing to it, but i've also learned to "let go" when it comes to the act of creation: to take plunges, forget perfection and embrace the unknown and its uncontrollables, to take it as it comes and not over think every detail. i watched one of my heroes, brian eno, give a lecture recently and he basically maps out life as a struggle between control and surrender; most of the things we love to do - sex, making art and music, and feeling any sort of spiritual euphoria - come from a place of surrender. it really hit me. it also relates to something his friend and collaborator robert fripp once said: "all you can really control is putting yourself in a position for "genius" to take place; making yourself available for those mysterious moments to happen." but priming yourself for innovation to strike is certainly desirable and within reach. i think every lesson that's really valuable takes a long time to learn and that we go through a lot of our life on autopilot; once you stop doing things by default - once you are fully aware - things can become really painful but really significant really fast; that's when you advance.
mig. how would you describe us/humanity today?
cn. i think humanity is at it's core good, but very conflicted, and that the age of hyper connectivity and a shift to a digital lifestyle has made us even more conflicted. i think that in the next 20 years we're going to see a lot of change in the way that we go about doing things on a day to day level. in terms of how we speak to people, how we meet people, how we fulfil our basic human drives; it's already changed drastically last 10 to 15 years. i think there's a sense of fear that's palpable throughout the entire planet, whether it's about war, economic distress, or utter alienation. i think one thing that we all have in common as a population is that, if we have access to it, we will go online and it seems that online these things are not really so much of an issue. i mean you don't see people on social media talking about true problems in the world. it does seem like it's a bit of a pacifier. i do worry that our reliance on technology has made us more pacified. however, i do believe it could become an agent for very positive change if we have the awareness to embrace it and utilise it as a weapon so to speak; a place to learn, grow and organise change. so i think humanity is at a huge transition state and i believe we'll find out how strong we really are and how resourceful we really are in the coming two decades. i worry about it a lot but i'm hopeful that there's enough leaders who can take us to a more enlightened place.
thank you coleen nika for your participation in the 'mig' project.
videography by mig. all rights reserved 2014.
photography by mig. all rights reserved 2014.
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