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“It is therefore certain and true that the first person who thought of defending Christianity in Christendom is de facto a Judas No. 2; he too betrays with a kiss, except his treason is that of stupidity. To defend something is to always discredit it.”–(K) Sickness Unto Death (pg 119)

One of the unfortunate consequences of brilliant minds is the desire to merge God with science, especially for reasons related to an idea which hopes to put forth or encourage some sort of developing school of thought or “movement” which wants to bring Christianity into the realm of rationale and reason. I remember reading an article about the controversy surrounding the inclusion of “intelligent design” into the curriculum of public schools. The article argued that the impassioned effort to justify “intelligent design” as a scientifically sound theory is not only bad science, but more importantly, bad theology. By fighting so hard to include an argument which is obviously compromised from the start by the ideological stench, it also has the effect of undermining the essential and more penetrating truth of God. While trying in vain to objectify the “creativity” of God’s design, reigning in the miraculous art which can serve as a unique catalyst to the individual search, and restricting the enigmatic necessity of spirituality to the parameters of what understand (through empirical study) as natural law, it simultaneously requires other pillars of the Christian faith to either be neglected or rationalized. I am using this example merely to flush out a point I am trying to make, one that recognizes, as I see it, the distraction of apologizing for, or defending the Christian faith. The desire to account for the story of Christ through faith as well as reason, the desire to reduce Christianity to something that should make sense on a level that can be applied to a group of people, a congregation, a population, seems to be a distraction and a needless pursuit. While the recreational pursuits of christian apologetics can provide mental stimulation and exercise, it should be pursued as a goal that appeals to only to the intellect, to fascination. What does it matter if God and Christ is seen as foolish in the eyes of the world? Would the sudden acceptance of this faith (more so than it has already been appropriated into the public conscious by way so thorough as to have the ability of making the devotion to christ into a practice so complacent) put at ease the doubt which is dominated by a well understood skepticism.

(I remember hearing stories about fanatics who proceed to destroy Led Zeppelin records in the name of God, and I would think to myself how silly it was. I would try to reconcile Christianity with a degree of reason which, as petty as it is in the face of what Christianity represents, allowed for the easing of my conscious when it concerned by own devotion. A “devotion” which allowed, even desired, for the world to exist under the same priority which God holds as well. It is the devil in Donald Miller. The more I try to understand the path which faith leads one to follow, the more I see the potential of a knowledge which supplants God with good intention, the marriage of God with a modern culture which is “wise” enough to imagine a place for God in the collective conscious. For me, I wish that the popularity of Christ would diminish entirely, I wish for Christ to become a fringed lunatic again.)

Yes, I do focus on the difficulty of faith, rather than the simple approach which sees one doing “the best they can.” My words should never be taken as projection, or as the ideas of someone blessed with personal certainty. Although, my words, indeed, my ideas, are a reaction to what I witness as an ease with which Christianity is presented, and do not for any moment truly believe that the “difficulties” that may be mentioned as part of the spiritual sell are meant to truly bring attention to what I can’t seem to ignore–the thorough displacement which one would experience when becoming aware of themselves in the face of God. Thomas Merton wrote that “our idea of God tell us more about ourselves than about Him,” so, I wonder what my idea of faith reveals about myself. Perhaps, at its worst, it reveals a fear of moving forward in favor of remaining in a place of constant struggle, so that I can find a perverted “comfort” in constant scrutiny. Or perhaps, at best, it reveals an honesty which doesn’t allow for posturing and requires a scrutiny which slows the process, which I can’t imagine I’ll ever acquire in peace unless I hear God’s voice clearly. If God whispers, then I can bet I will find more joy in dissecting such a blessing with pathetic analysis rather than following it. I have very little faith in the progress of something done with a lagging conscious and drunk devotion which reveals itself with a pain much worse than a headache the day after. If, when lying to myself, I also lie to God, then it intensifies the regret and sets one back many miles. I do not wish to make a fool God, and would be much more comfortable with making a fool of myself. I am guilty of all that I loathe, and will promise to always be aware of it.

“For it is written, I will destroy of the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” (indeed, for pagan and the believer)

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I want nothing to do with the manifestations of love which I often see.  I have not been able to relate to the circus, and all of those hoop jumpers and tight rope walkers under the tent, in their own world, unaware of the currents swirling about on the outside which at any moment can come crash their party. At that moment, when their heart is broken, that is when they become most pathetic. They behave like pendulums. When in love, that is all they care to know. They have no time for those who condemn romance, they have no time for those who find expression in loneliness, they have no time for those who tread  slowly and do all they can to resist the whimsical temptations to fall into love with any beautiful rose who decides to bloom before them (as if their season is the only one which caused the bloom, unwilling to recognize that it blooms for every season!). When they are in love, the prance about with silly smiles, boasting their infatuation as the real thing, daring all of us to let go of our reservations and leap into the arms of another and then we can also join them in their real life sonnets. Although, what happens when their love ends? Then, those same soaring birds come crashing down and wallow in their hurt, denouncing love and claiming to never fall in love again. They claim to be “independent!” and that from this point on, they will focus on their job, or their art, or God. YES! They fall BACK on God after their infatuation becomes boring and the excitement fades, and their bodies and humor become boring. They want nothing to do with love, they prefer to hear no mention of those who have found love, the wish to listen to sad songs and become empowered. They abandon their hearts and wish to think only with their minds, they abuse the idea love by becoming only interested in selfish self exploitation in the spirit of their new found “independence”, thinking that asserting themselves sexually equals freedom. Yes, it’s maddening.

“I do not get excited at the prospect of true love, I become overwhelmingly pensive. I realize that something such as love means to devote yourself to someone else, and in that act, become vulnerable to the point of appearing weak willed. How often have we heard our friends trying to “talk sense” into us, selling the idea of being better off without someone who takes advantage of us. The person in love is blind to abuse, because being in love isn’t based on a pre-requisite which demands respect. Being in love is an external expression, an emotion that flows outward with such ferocity that no human idea of equality and respect comes into his or her periphery. The outward flow does not depend on reciprocity, that is the torturous characteristic of love. How is one supposed to control their own love for someone else? If ones love passes away when the possibility of fulfillment is extinguished, it is certain that it was never love in the first place. ” (the hypothetical, the unreality, not of this world)

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“Blessed is the lover;  he hopes all things. Even at the last moment does he still hope for the possibility of the good for the most degenerate? This he has learned from the eternal; but only because he was a lover could he learn from the eternal;…”

“No, the true lover understands only one thing: to be fooled, to be deceived, to give everything away without the slightest return…”

“Love seeks not its own; for in love there is no mine and yours. But mine and yours are only relational qualifications of “one’s own”; consequently, if there is no “mine”, or “yours,” there is no one “one’s-own,” either; but if there is no “one’s own,” it is indeed impossible to seek “one’s-own.”

“What the world most highly and unanimously honors is cleverness or acting cleverly. But to act cleverly is precisely the most contemptuous of all. If a man is clever, in a certain sense he cannot help it; nor should he be ashamed of developing his cleverness–but should be all the more ashamed of acting cleverly.”

(kierkegaard)

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Some respect love so much as not even touch it, they can adore it from a distance. Some treat love as if it were a theme park, venturing into it with unbridled excitement with the understanding that they can leave the roller coaster at will. I prefer to take on the task with a sober approach, never mistaking anything for that which is the most difficult to sustain, love itself. Being that love is perfection, it is no wonder that we constantly fail, or try in vain to make it less than it is. With one’s beloved, (s)he exists with such a quiet and looming clarity. (S)he doesn’t prop up your ideas nor tear down your ambitions, (s)he doesn’t compete with you, but  constantly conquer you, and every time that happens, you rejoice.

“What delusion needs most always is what it thinks of least, since otherwise it would not be a delusion”

There is a comfort in music which exists in a way that is very subtle, it exists in a way that is frustratingly modest. I imagine that there are very few who can translate this sedate comfort in a way that rightfully illuminates the miracle. A penetrating sensational aesthetic so certain of itself that it allows its own virtue (facility) to be overlooked and falsely attributed to a myriad of bloated theories, tiresome science and tacky romance.  To claim divinity and spiritual conduits is lazy and unoriginal. Although, I shouldn’t be too critical. It is only natural to illustrate one mystery with the aid of another.  Since there really is no language elegant enough to rightfully represent the energy of music, it is only logical that we rely on the common understanding of the divine when trying to espouse the influence of music on our souls. Imagination and creativity is necessary in trying to relate ones adoration of music to others, myth is needed, because music can’t be defined in any way while staying within the confines of natural law and utilitarian vernacular. The greatest miracles are ones that appear so average as to be looked over completely. These large grandiose miracles are not of God, they are far too insecure. Divinity comes as slow and overwhelmingly as the seasons. Divinity comes unnoticed and is never forgotten, and so many times we wish we could do just that. The taste music leaves in our stomachs, whatever emotions are unpleasantly regurgitated, whatever past is unfairly revisited or joyfully recollected, there is always an undercurrent which carries us to a place where we need to be, even if just for a moment. Heartache is as comforting as joy, but one blanket is warmer than the other.