Monday, March 17, 2008

let it go

This was a response to my last post...

"Why don't you let all this junk go, Zach? It doesn't have to be this way. Jesus is the only source of life, and you can come against that with all kinds of intellect, cynicism and unbelief, but at the end of the day it's still the truth."

The full response is still there if you want to read it in full. The response kind of agitated me for a couple reasons. First of all, what does it mean to "let it go"? Believing in God does not take the place of awareness and sensitivity, nor do I think it should. Jesus being the source of life does not have anything to do with the very hopeless aspects of society, nor does it have anything to do with abuse of God. Why is my cynicism something to be rid of? The holes in the way I live, the we live, is something I can't ignore just because I've found some solace in a belief that I hold to be true, and its truth is something that breaks the confines of mainstream Christianity. My belief is something that makes me more aware, and more sensitive to it. The discrepancy between what the human spirit desires and what the process of living requires and takes away is enough to eradicate a directionless floating euphoria, no matter what the source. Quoting a bible verse does nothing more than make it harder to swallow. You've quoted certain bible verses that simplify "love" to a very singular degree, which is important to remember...but my opinion on the truth of living is not persuaded by a couple verses in the bible. I could just as easily read Matthew 10:34 or the verses in the book of Romans that talks about obedience to authority...those are verses I don't understand, and on first read, I can't agree with. A belief in Jesus Christ is not something that puts me on an imaginary level of disassociation and freedom, it brings be down into the gears of human function, war, prejudice, hypocricy and judgement. Don't tell me to "let it go" my can anyone not be defined by sadness, by awareness of hurt. Love and happiness is a romantic notion because it is the exception to the rule, and it is only identifiable because the alternative is it's opposite. Peace of mind is an elating feeling, a feeling that "cant last forever", a rare idealistic idea. I believe that delusion is necessary for survival, an ignorance to the obvious truth of a reality that is not one which you can just dismiss. I believe that if one were not in some form of denial, their heart would surely stop from the intrinsic hurt and empathy of an existence that is riddled with pain from the curse of indifference, that on some level is required to survive. it's a truth that was approached in a humorous way by Joseph Heller, and in a very real way by Albert Camus. i have never denied the possibility of true happiness, but I think that comes from peace of mind, which I think is possible even if you are a cynic. Cynicism is simply awareness, and the refusal to deny that everything is "beautiful", or that everything ultimately works out for the best. I don't think that everything will be ok..Jesus doesn't promise separation from pain. Belief in Jesus is something that opens your eyes to a new reality that allows wisdom through humility and a peaceful, tolerant, compassionate approach to living. Belief in Jesus opens your eyes, it doesn't make you naive, it allows truth to enter into your spirit, and truth is not always something that is easy to understand, or even support. Truth can go against what you feel is correct, or it can be very uplifting.
This is the way I see the world, and I believe it is the only way one should see it. Everything is NOT OK, and I am merely a lazy critique of a world which I will never understand, and I fear if I ever do, suicide would be something that makes too much sense. I try my best to reduce my existence to a practice of smiling, forgiving, and identifying with those whom normally I would not understand. There is very little truth that applies to every person in a similar context. And the truth which you so easily proclaim, means very different things to very different people. For Kierkegaard, belief in God was something to suffer, and for Rob Bell it is something to apply in a very (some would say) deceptively easy manner. So who is correct? Although, that is besides the point. I do not wake up with frowns and go to bed in tears, I do not avoid laughter and I believe in true love, but realizing true love means that you must also realize the existence of heart-breaking human folly, and the strange juxtaposition of indifference and concern, love directed by lust and hate inspired by misunderstanding, fear fueled by media and politics, vanity and wealth canonized by the snakes of dirty media. God is crying just like a sad mother of a son who has made every wrong decision, placed value in the wrong stock, and just like a mother, God has taken (surprisingly enough to me, in a true display agape love) a parental pride in the rare displays of good will and sound humility. The reason He has reason to smile comes from infants and the elderly, those who are naive and those are have seen the big picture.
Is the abundance of injustice an excuse to dismiss it? We can excuse so many things, but nothing really goes away, no problems are solved, they are just evaded, they are dealt with. We are all on some kind of drug, wouldn't we have to be? Regardless of belief in Christ. True happiness comes from love, and true love is so heart breaking. That's the value and beauty of it, the test of endurance. I do believe things are getting worse, but there is much to be said about the human spirit and our resilience, the capacity we have for denial. (so much so that we can make it "truth". )

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. "-Kierkegaard

"The unhappy mouse has already succeeded in piling up--in the form of questions and doubts--a large number of dirty tricks in addition to its original dirty trick; it has accumulated such a large number of insoluble questions round every one question that it is drowned in a sort of deadly brew, a stinking puddle made up of its doubts, its flurries of emotion, and lastly, the contempt with which the plain men of action cover it from head to foot while they stand solemnly round as judges and dictators and split their sides with laughter at it"--Dostoevsky

"I'm even inclined to believe that the best definition of man is--a creature who walks on two legs and is ungrateful"--Dostoevksy


Blogger erin. said...

woot woot!

9:55 PM

Blogger Melanie said...

"Truth can go against what you feel is correct, or it can be very uplifting."

The funny thing is that the truth usually cuts it both ways. It doesn't change. The truth is and always will be the truth. We always seem to see it as through a glass darkly. Personally, I'd probably just be puffed up if I thought I had a corner on it all. It certainly goes against what I feel is correct enough times. There is nothing wrong with a healthy dose of cynicism. I can relate to it more than you know. It's also easily misunderstood.

I still think what she said makes some sense, but perhaps is misapplied?

It would be interesting to all sit down and dialogue, not on a board where there is not quite so easy to see things completely. We only see your more cynical side here a lot of the time. I have also seen that you appreciate beauty where it is found. Yes, there are hopeless aspects to life. I'm feeling them pretty much big time myself right now. I feel incompetent, like I'm letting everyone, including God, down but I'd hate to give up on hope altogether. As I see it without some hope that God is there all of the trials of this life seem a little more meaningless. I think it is a truly unique perspective that one can experience joy and despair at the same time.

I'm tired, a tad depressed, and rambling. If anything makes sense, go for it. If it doesn't, my apologies.

This made a ton of sense:
"God is crying just like a sad mother of a son who has made every wrong decision, placed value in the wrong stock, and just like a mother, God has taken (surprisingly enough to me, in a true display agape love) a parental pride in the rare displays of good will and sound humility. The only reason he/she has to smile comes from infants and the elderly, those who are inexperienced and those are have seen the big picture."

Sometimes your posts make me cry. They almost always make me think.

I hope you end up enjoying the tour, even if it isn't always where you feel like going at the time.


2:44 AM

Anonymous Hannah said...

I agree. Being a Christian places a responsibility on those who choose are to see the wrong in the world, not to ignore it and be blissful. It is a joy and a burden to be a Christian because the of the lack of love in the world, if that makes sense.

3:10 PM

Anonymous Jenn said...

"I would believe only in a God that knows how to dance."-Friedrich Nietzsche.

Nietzsche, just crazy enough to make sense.

8:19 PM

Blogger Jecca said...

Zach, first let me apologize for offending you. That was never my intent. I have a great deal of respect for you and am typically challenged by the thoughts you share with us. When I commented on the last post, I was coming from a very general perspective in the sense that I’ve observed that most of your posts have a thread of pessimism running through them…a depression of sorts, which I see as something very different than being burdened by a clear understanding of the world’s condition. While I realize this blog is not all you are as a person, it is all I (and most others) see of who you really are and I am/was just generally concerned about you as one person to another and decided to finally say something after weeks of feeling this. [Granted, I’m sure I could have said it in a better way]. So I was moreso commenting on that underlying side of things (how I was perceiving them/you) than I was on what you actually posted when I mentioned letting things go. I see nothing wrong with general cynicism…you are absolutely correct in being upset with the way things are in the world and certainly human motives and the human heart can never really be trusted. When I said to ‘let it go,’ I wasn’t implying at all that you shouldn’t be sensitive to the injustices of the world or shouldn’t feel the burden of sorrow in the face of it. And I definitely wasn’t saying belief in Jesus makes everything rosy and beautiful and easy or that He can be summed up in a couple of verses. True dedication to Christ is challenging and stretching and doesn’t look much like the Christianity we see around us. It’s rarely pretty or comfortable, but it always brings joy and peace and life to our spirits. Something very negative and damaging happens to the human spirit when there is no joy...when sorrow is all we see and we let the depravity of that take too much control of us and that was my only concern regarding you. But now you’ve addressed the issue of your “happiness” as well, so clearly I was mistaken in supposing that you lack joy and I’m sorry for that…There are few things I wouldn’t do for you, Dave, or Jacob because of your influence in my life in every way and how that has changed who I am over the last 5 years, so please understand my comment was meant in the most loving way possible and came only from genuine concern. Is there anything else that needs clarification or anything else I can do to make this right? Do you forgive me?

6:06 AM

Blogger David said...

i realize that my post may have come off a bit aggressive, and it wasn't directed towards you specifically, more so to the whole mentality that you implied in your post. so i don't feel the need to forgive you, simply because i dont feel you've wronged me in anyway. i guess the post you made just set a range thoughts into motion in my head. and just like you said that your post was more general, so was mine in the sense that it was directed at you specifically.

6:49 AM

Blogger Jecca said...

Thank you. What you've written in this post is one of the clearest expressions of truth I've read in a long time and I'm glad you shared with so much transparency and passion. I appreciate you.

8:08 AM

Blogger Melanie said...

O.K. I took Jecca's post exactly how she clarified it. And I like you both, so I was feeling kinda badly about things, so I'm glad it's kinda worked it's way out. :) Communication is a good thing, and I think you are both probably better at it than I am. LOL

Hope things are going well. :)


1:32 AM

Blogger Kate said...

...There we all go again, confusing the realization of desires with happiness, and freedom with possibility. Tolstoy said something like that, or I did. Anyway, it was awesome talking with you tonight. Not often I get to rock out at a show like that and then discuss the Russians. So here's my email: Get in touch and I'll show you all the ways I've ripped you guys off. You rock, thanks. -Katie (STL/BC/Go Flutie)

12:24 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

See here or here

2:24 AM


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