I would venture to say that the most devoted Christian is one that would not abandon faith in God even if God himself told him he was a hoax. A faith that is dominated and dependent upon the parameters of Scripture could be seen as “limited”. Faith requires only faith itself, God could come and go. The existence of God matters nothing to the believer so blinded by the focus and drive of true faith. Yes, the matters of an external justification of God’s divinity or existence is not a concern at all. What matters is the internal. Faith alone makes God relevant in one’s soul. Without faith, Christianity would no longer be relevant. God would die immediately if he was exposed as an objective reality by men, and he can survive forever if the fantasy of God is protected by one’s own heart and hope. God as a reality would surely die, while a God who is merely a fantasy will indeed remain. No matter how much injustice is committed in the name of God, no matter how much scientific evidence is presented that proves to deny the existence of God and the divinity of Jesus, none of these things will evict God from our social conscious. God is as alive more in objective denial and would perish in objective affirmation. God as a quixotic idea is much more effective and life changing than God as a real being, proven to be who he said he was. God needs faith to survive. God requires uncertainty. As long as He is an unproven mystery, he will remain an inspiring force. Christian apologetics are as fruitless as Sam Harris. Christ isn’t to be put on display. The moment He shows himself, the public will tear Him to pieces in their desperation to prove their own ideas as truth divinely inspired– they already have been able to do so with just the idea of God! It is the genius of God to require faith, perhaps, as cowardly as it may be. Although, I would call it confidence before I called it cowardice. If one’s faith is destroyed by something as inconsequential (eternally speaking) as unquestionable evidence, it would be as if one had no faith at all. What kind of faith can be taken away? The same thing that, in many circumstances, only serves to illustrate the absurd obstinate behavior of believers, is the one thing that protects (in an internal sense) the believer from the abrasions of arrogance and ego of others which will surely appear victorious in the world such as that in which we live. The value of God can only be judged internally and subjectively, and I feel that any attempt to translate that into some spiritual sell is deceptive, even if done in good intention.
Mount Dora isn’t as bad as it seems. It isn’t deserving of the easy fun and mockery which is had at its expense by bored teenagers. Although, there is nothing particularly exciting about the city either. Most of the population is made of easy going and entitled senior citizens, school teachers and young restless youth. It is just north of Orlando, and for years it enjoyed a relatively isolated existence, lying just beyond the urban sprawl of Disney and its tyrannical yet life breathing grasps. Lately my father has been griping because the small community is being sucked into the “greater Orlando” web of that which gives radical and impassioned youth their fuel for the “anti globalization” fits. Targets, Chili’s, Best Buy, blah blah– it’s always just a matter of time really right? Is it completely uninspired for me to wonder why so much effort is put into a fight which, to my knowledge, is waged year after year only to see more and more Targets and Best Buys? I know that a statement like that reveals the narrow line of thinking which has plagued me my whole life, although, I am undeniably made up of something. I’m made up of a history, of an existence which saw itself unfold in the small town of Mount Dora. It was a nurturing growth, balanced by a healthy suburban existence and the exciting and fringed flirtations which harbors healthy and monitored exposure to a new world which existed for me to discover on my own terms, rather than that world rushing into my bed room and infecting my thinking with romance and not reality. I could skate, play punk rock, go to the library and then come home to my parents, who have always been my proof of perfection. My parents, they somehow found that perfect balance of parenting. Providing guidance and allowing for independence, both in thought and action. I would venture to guess that parenting is the single most difficult and anxiety ridden responsibility that one can enter into, so the grace that my parents displayed is awe inspiring. They were the only church going democrats I knew. I’m trying my best to retain the sober and practical political mentality they instilled in me, although I am fighting the screams of my youthful naivete which lead me in so many silly directions. What proclamations can a white 28 year old suburbanite make concerning the socio-political agenda while having a existence that goes no deeper than a bath tub in terms of the historical architecture of our society and world. My mom would always say, “you can’t legislate morality” and my dad would just scoff at the news, with the wars and the taxes and the scandals. A few months ago I had a conversation with my dad, it wasn’t exactly a jubilant one, rather, it was just a sad and sympathetic airing of grievances that ended with him saying to me, “son, it doesn’t get any easier”. Thinking back, it is hard for me trace the point at which an indifference started to creep into my periphery, calming any rough seas my adolescence may have tossed around. Perhaps I’m confusing things, I think the shrugging of my shoulders didn’t plague me till later, at the same time which those collegiate enthusiasts were doing their best to pump me full of their propaganda of progress and growth. “It’s time to find out what you want and go for it!”…so I did. I quit school. I joined a band and started reading Noam Chomsky books, Thoreau, Rand, Lewis, Russell, etc. I know now that reading such a wide array of ideas while witnessing the world around me did nothing to instill an inspiration which would lead me to an imperialistic ambition, rather, it made the world much to large, and emphasized my roll as one which had to conquer the personal architecture before changing the world of individuals which were probably just as messed up as me. Yeah, I said “messed up”, obviously there are degrees of being “messed up”, from just being dramatic, to it being a clinical issue. Who am I to take the lead? Who am I to take the lead? My hometown was lukewarm. It instilled no passion, no anger, no love, it instilled nothing but a tranquility which I’m sure I’ll never find again, if not for location, then because of age. Leaving wasn’t hard, nor was I foolishly eager. I just left, I left my home, I left my town, I left. What happens to a child upon becoming an adult? I would say that one merely becomes exhausted. It’s as though one starts up a shallow hill in youth, only to break through that first ring of clouds and see that it continues to rise, for miles and miles. Perhaps one adjusts, gets another fit of fire, and rejoins the climb, loses many friends along the way, watching them give up and find comfortable places to exist, giving up the endless climb to breathe a little and do their best to enjoy the confusion and crisis, to love the best way they know how. The hill never ends, it gets steeper, it becomes like some sort of Escher like landscape. So, at this moment in my life, I do not resent or look down upon those who resign, it’s a way of relaxing your insides and being happy with what your eyes can see, rather than with what your mind can’t comprehend. There are those who enjoy the mystery, and there are those who are defeated by it. Then there are those who ignore it to the best of their ability, but that nagging curiosity of our spirit continually sucks us into a blackness that is spotted and illuminated by a maze of lights which lead us off in any direction. A sinister aurora borealis, or those deep creatures whose bio luminescence led you into some blinding vague end. All we can do is take solace in children, their bliss is envied, and even more puzzling because we knew that we once had it, and we can’t even recall that age. All we have are pictures and vague recollections polluted by time. How expansive can a canyon be? The grand canyon which forms between youth and adulthood. A division of ones existence. Are the old wise? or merely complacent and exhaustingly resigned? Why is it that the best pleasures that come from such miniscule moments, such small and seemingly inconsequential passing events? How unfair! Are we to have this perspective in the years in which we need this perspective the most? The appreciation of slowness and small pleasures. How unfortunate that is not a tendency of youth to slow down.
In light of the recent allegations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, I am led to believe that a belief in any deity at all should provide no discernment of personal character. If I am told that someone is a “good Christian”, I, from now on, will do my best to evict that statement from my memory. Spiritual identity does nothing but provide an abstract base from which ones morality is presumed to be based on. Being that a spiritual identity represents nothing more than a belief in an abstract being which, in some cases, can not be presented cohesively, and furthermore, can not be proven, additionally, as a result of it being abstract, is made vulnerable to circumstance; and being that the morality put forth by such abstract ideal is only enforced by the individual with the aid of subjective influence and a conformed herd of cattle, it becomes a quixotic idea that one can be depended on as a sound moral person based merely on a claim of religiosity and spiritual affiliation. I am of the opinion that Christianity is an inward process, which undermines any formation of hierarchy based on piety and authority. Here we have a timeless institution which we are to believe is built upon and around the love of Christ, yet has been one of the worst institutions when viewed at through a lens of even the most basic worldly morality, let alone an institution which boasts divine influence. It just adds to my conviction of late, which finds that spiritual conviction is better if focused inward, and compromised if displayed externally. I think that inwardness can provide a comfortable arena in which one can struggle, a humble place which is protected from the vultures of opportunity that poke around the sensitive souls that gather in the spirit of vulnerability. It trains one in honesty. For if one reduces the number of participants involved in the process of reflection, which is most benefited from inward contemplation, then one has no one to lie to but oneself.
I was accused of being bitter today. I won’t assume that the person was too serious. Considering, what I am sure was the motivation for making the observation, it would be very strange if it was meant to be taken to heart. Either way, I have indeed been categorized as “bitter” before, although I’ve never made it a goal to express that sentiment with any kind of intention. I have never wanted to be identified as bitter, similarly, I have never wanted to be considered caucasian, but I am. I am caucasian, and I can do nothing about that. I wonder if I am bitter, and is there anything I can do about that? It is impossible to make objective judgements about ones own character, just as it is impossible for anyone else to make generalizations about someone else’s character without intimate knowledge. There is something that is so temporary and fleeting about an experience with someone else. Consistency can create theories, but even those hypothesized ideas can be passionately refuted by brazen and disrespectful displays of self assertiveness. Those rebirths can be as glorious as they can be hideous, revealing and damaging. The reigning in of one’s reputation, the stealing back of control over the self, recapturing an idea of the self that has been trampled by cheap and opportunistic claims of greedy spectators. It’s a rebellion of the utmost reverence. Rebellion for the cause of one’s self, not out of a desire for betterment, but out of a desire to take back claim on the essence which has been stolen from you, is always more justified than a rebellion for any other cause.
Although, one has to be careful. Fighting for a pure self should not be confused with fighting for a better version of the self based on one’s own understanding. The struggle for a true spirit translates to a struggle for the divine, a struggle to align oneself in a way that leaves one eviscerated of experience, doused in alcohol to purify the canvas that is the soul. The affirmation of self is the denial of conscious will. If the moment we are born is the moment we begin dying, it can also be taken to meant that experience takes us further, not closer, from the purest version of ourself. How unfair it is to think that at the moment of our purest most lucid clarity, we are completely unaware of ourselves, yet it is very telling! Adam ate the apple, just as we desired exposure to life. It is a sin that we can’t avoid, and I do not blame Adam for succumbing to the natural desire to become aware of himself, to become conscious of existence. I thank Adam, for the original sin has made art possible. God, through his divine hand, has led Adam to the commit the most beautiful, the most consequential sin. Through the original sin we are given everything which makes life beautiful. God chose to let experience be revealed to Adam, God endowed Adam with sense perception, which reveals the art of creation to us all. Affirmation of self led to ego, it led to ambition. It led to the desire to expose, control, harness, express, and exploit the human experience. It led to the most beautiful ideas. God gave us experience, and it is our duty to give our experience back to him. It is our duty to do our best to display the shape shifting forms of divinity for everyone to see. We should mystify the divine, and shroud it with subjective slants, because in that way, it mirrors the enigmatic and discomforting nature of God himself.
From this point on, I think that I should no longer be a pusher of deception. I will no longer be a part of the movement which is deceiving others into thinking God to be reasonable. I will no longer spend my time, creating theories, bringing into account the arguments of metaphor and history, I will no longer concern myself with the task of explaining the moral abjection of God’s decrees. I will cease representing Christ at all. Somehow it has developed into a very offensive practice. In my mind, it can be compared to marking the majestic sistine chapel with red pen, pointing out the beauty of it with bright lights, describing the colors with laser pointers, all for the sake of doing my best to reveal the genius of that work to on lookers, as if they need any filter at all in order to recognize the miracle. I see no benefit of making ones faith into an external affair, one to be mocked, or worst yet, supported, by on lookers. I’ve heard it said that the repression of emotions will cause those thoughts to fester, to mutate and grow grotesque, and over come your mind and soul. Well, if that is true, then I do indeed wish to keep my faith internal. It is necessary. I will resign my faith to the dark shameful confines of my own insides, for nothing could even come close to curing my insides more so than Divinity himself!
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