Monday, November 24, 2008

i don't think i'm ever gonna figure it out

My opinion on humanity is open to a myriad of influence, I think I'm still pretty impressionable, even at 27. I thought that these might be my "obstinate" years, but that is not happening. the complex engine of my existence is paradoxical because even though my limbs and brain, eyes and heart, liver and spirit are functioning in a grotesque union, trying my best to follow that vague and illusive will. I still feel that there is unity in the compartments of my body. At any given moment my heart may be working over time, all the while my brain is dormant, and my eyes are not penetrating. I want to give myself more credit than Descartes may offer. I don't think I can reduce myself to just one body and one soul, there has to be more involved, because my conflicts and contradictions would indicate a complexity. The confusions and misleadings are too multi-dimensional and over lapping to come from merely two bullying sources. I can offer the metaphor of that lone sailor, isolated on his boat at the mercy of ocean currents. Frames of reference are only illusions. I never know where I am. I was reading over all of these blogs I've posted in the last two years and I feel as though I've grown less interesting, and there are many reasons I could give for me feeling this way. Obsessions and the revelation that the older I grow, the less I know. The more books I read, the further I travel away, not only from the truth I was desiring, but further from any truth at all. The Post Modern Truth. Everyone has their family, everyone has their friends, their colleagues, their congregation, and all of these can provide some degree of insulation, but when one goes to bed at night, that insulation is lifted. There is a constant isolation..I hesitate to call it loneliness. One can be surrounded by loved ones and friends, yet, in a way, one is in constant spiritual isolation. It's silly to confess to a priest, as if only through a verbal confession to a "divine medium" does one become aware of those events in which one transgressed the law of God or even common courtesy. I'm made dizzy by the swirling distractions which are the result of the external world as much as they a result of internal meandering and travel. Kierkegaard talks about the value and necessity of "remaining at faith" and not going beyond faith. Going beyond faith refers to the leap (which I think is unavoidable) that takes into a deeper search for reason, justification, justice, logical approaches, the scientific, a universal ethic. It focuses on the irony in which that search for a rational truth leads you further from any truth at all. I think that can be a valuable idea, at least something I can keep in mind. Cutting yourself off at the knees to keep a naive but honest joy in your heart. It's a hard thing for me to understand, but I think there is some value in that idea. I continue to be surprised and provoked, challenged. I am constantly pushed to re-evaluate myself in relation to how I view the tragedy and enigmatic current of love in my surrounding world. How can one ignore so much as to not be burdened by the question? I am not interested in books which claim to know how to find comfort in God, because awareness of God is a complete shift and things break down before they build up, and I can't see things any other way right now. To be honest with yourself in relation to God is never something I could imagine bringing comfort to a restless mind, and an experienced heart.

"I am quite sure that the difficulty does not lie in the fact that men are not in earnest. This is simply not the fact. All around us Christians are wearing themselves out in trying to be better. The amount of spiritual longing in the world--in the hearts of unnumbered thousands of men and women in whom we should never suspect it; among the wise and thoughtful; among the young and gay, who seldom assuage and never betray their thirst--this is one of the most wonderful and touching facts of life. It is not more heart that is needed, but more light; not more force, but a wiser direction to be given to very real energies already there."--Henry Drummond


Blogger Melanie said...

Of all the adjectives I can think of to describe you, "uninteresting" is not one of them.

I think you have an amazing way with words. I have and have had some of those feelings, especially the feeling of spiritual isolation. The only thing that assuages them in earnest is when I feel particularly close to God (which doesn't happen to be lately.) Perhaps, that is the reason, so that we would want to be in that place? I don't know.

The quote by Drummond is perfect.

BTW, it's not that you know less the older you get, it's more that you realize you what it was you didn't know to start with and you can't pretend to know it all anymore. ;)

Personally, I just get tired. I'm sure I'm guilty on this charge:
"All around us Christians are wearing themselves out in trying to be better." I'm supposed to rest in Christ. I don't think I've quite figured out how yet. But I'm muddling along.

12:56 AM

Blogger Jecca said...

i really like the spirit of this post. you sound calm...maybe you don't feel calm, but your tone is incredibly welcoming.

i think we make the "Christian" life too hard. God doesn't move away from us. We're the ones who move away from Him. We're promised that if we search for Him with all our hearts, we'll find Him. It's not in the striving to be better, or the attendance of more church services or even involving ourselves in acts of service for thing He's shown me in the last year is that if we really want more of Him in our lives, it costs everything we have. Being close to Christ requires --demands-- that we have no regard for our own lives, but are fully set on doing whatever He says to do and going wherever He says to go. We are required to cut away our romance with the world. My biggest struggle has been eliminating the things that most Christians would accept as okay like television shows and movies...I'm not saying everything is evil, but there are many forms of entertainment that condone behavior that clearly goes against what God has stated is pure and right. And I sit there willingly and bring those mindsets and behaviors into my life...Not only that, but what am I really going to the movies or tv shows for? Relaxation? Happiness? Distraction? God is all we need. ALL. Psalm 16:11 says "in his presence is fullness of joy." So those things become our idols...our counterfeit, our substitute for the real thing. Instead of looking to the world's ways of finding rest, we must spend that time in prayer, in reading the Word, in worship if we really want to find rest. We have this false belief that spiritual disciplines are boring. But I've found that the more time I put into sitting at Jesus' feet and the more time I spend searching out His heart, the more I am refreshed, re-energized and at peace. Compassion, joy and love flow through me and I'm filled with thoughts of how I can bless the people around me and lead them to the Truth.

Everything is spiritual in this world. There is nothing we come in contact with that won't either hinder or help our walk with Christ. Ultimately, we are only as close as we really want to be.

thanks for letting me share.

7:21 PM

Blogger David said...

i love it when people share :-)

11:09 AM

Blogger Jacob said...

That was a fantastic read. I too love it when people share their perspectives and their honest view. There is power in that. Thank you.

12:11 PM

Blogger Brittany K said...

I'd argue that you aren't less interesting. In fact, you're one of the most interesting people I've ever kinda met but not really talked to. =) I'm using a four month old blog post not as a distraction from homework, but as a way to enjoy the rest of my free Sunday night. I just hate that I have to sit behind this computer to do it. But thanks.

I think a lot of life comes down to the more you know, the more you realize you don't know. One of my philosophy teachers illustrated it with a dot and a circle drawn around it. The dot is you. The space between the dot and circle is how much you know. The line of the circle itself is how much you realize you don't know. Naturally, as you learn, the circle grows, and proportionately, your knowledge becomes less.

You've been writing blogs about life and spirituality and ethics and all kinds of hoopla for forever now, and thinking about it even longer I'm sure. Do you even know what your questions are anymore? Searching for the answer to one leads to another. A lot of times I forget my question while I'm contemplating the answer, but to even form words into an inquiry about such powerful stuff seems to degrade it in some way. I feel like discussions are awesome but should be taken with a grain of salt. Even if you find a new perspective, you won't find an answer. Maybe Kierkegaard realizes there are no certainties to be found by "taking that leap", so there's no reason for a person to allow himself to question faith based on unfounded information that would have otherwise been null. The fun for me is in the wonderment. I hope I never put real effort into figuring all this stuff out. Effort is only worth it if there's a payoff in the end. With these questions, there's no payoff. I'm just proud to know you can delve into something for so long without getting too far. That's a genuine interest.

"We are required to cut away our romance with the world." I love that, Jecca. I'm not there yet, but I've realized for some time that it needs to happen in my life. We all have our own ways of becoming closer with God, of feeling like our time spent was worthwhile. Just commenting on blogs and allowing myself to truly think is a nice change from watching TV to numb myself from a hectic day. I'm not sure it brings me closer to God, but it definitely does my soul more good.

6:51 PM


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