If I could get rid of it, would I? If I could mute the constant questioning, deny the constant search for meaning, end the constant ebb and flow of persuasive and dangerous emotions…would I? I think it would feel like denying part of me. Denying really the only part of me that feels genuine, authentic, true. But then again, I even question that. Maybe this part of me comes from growing up in the Catholic church in age of skepticism surrounded by a world devoted to the question-driven field of science. Maybe it comes from knowing death too early in my psychological development. Or maybe there is actually no “me” at the center of my being. No core. So what? That’s one of the questions that attaches itself to the end of every stream of questions… if I determine that Christianity is objectively true (if objective truth exists), so what? What will that mean for the way I live my life and how I interact with the world around me? Or what if I determine that the world around me is really just a scene in the mind of God and at the end of the thought we are all forgotten? So what? Does that impact how I live? What job I will look for? How I will raise future children? The decision to have future children?
Knowing everything that comes along with it, would I want others to think the way I think and to see the world the way I see the world? Would I subject them to this torture for the sake of having a conversation? For the sake of escaping this perpetual isolation? this gut-wrenching loneliness?
At my deepest level, I honestly think that I have just been wired to seek truth and to ask questions. And I don’t know that I would get rid of that desire if I had the option. Because the alternative appears to me to be a mindless robot, going through life without really having any meaning or purpose. Acting on half-convictions and partial truths. Potentially programmed to look happy, maybe even to be happy. On one hand, childlike faith sounds so appealing, so peaceful, so content. But on the other hand, it sounds like my living hell.
i forgot about my escape. my hideaway. my heaven.
someone or something at some point surreptitiously convinced me that i needed to be reading exclusively non-fiction. because those are the books that adults read. those are the books you read if you are going to learn about theology or architecture or psychology. books that have an index and footnotes and references are more intellectual.
well, to that i say: bullshit.
graphic novels. short stories. young adult literature. poetry. children’s book. fiction. adventure. mystery.
man, i forgot how much i absolutely LOVE reading. well…that’s a lie. from an intellectual-knowing (saber, for those of you with a basic understanding of spanish) standpoint, i didn’t forget. but from and experience-knowing (conocer) standpoint, i most definitely forgot.
other people get lost in the internet or gaming or virtual realities, laughing at gifs and memes and viral videos, creating profiles, posting status updates, scrolling through blogs, meeting objectives, searching for treasure, fighting dragons and terrorists, checking fantasy football stats… and for the first time i think i finally understand in a way that i never really have before. the computer is their book. browsing is their reading. i spend hours sitting on the couch totally and completely absorbed in a book, enthralled by a plot line and character development and new vocabulary, hoping nobody will interrupt me. in my mind i often put my hobbies above the hobbies of others because i think ‘those are a waste of time; what are you gaining from that?’ or ‘they just want to be entertained without having to do any work.’ and who knows, maybe those things are partly true. but let’s be honest, at some level we are searching for the same thing. we are looking for adventure, entertainment, fulfillment, accomplishment, and even relationship. we are living vicariously because we don’t really know what it means to live any other way.
attached to my ear is a fog machine, routinely
clouds are pumped into my head. I dread
for they take. fake. mistake. break. ache.
why can’t i awake?
am i asleep? weep. keep trying. crying.
am i dying? why-ing? no answers come.
glum. eyes perceive, grieve. no reprieve.
retrieve memories. i can’t. rant. panting
from trying too hard.
all night, all day, they say.
g r a y . . .
freedom of thought. possibilities. exploration. conversation. empathy. people. patience. time.
who is to say that this story isn’t the reality? i have had thoughts similar to what is expressed in this story prior to reading it. i have imagined that everyone else is actually me at a different stage of life, or a different gender, or with a different upbringing. why would this be? because i am so incredibly self-centered? because it helps to increase empathy? because i actually wrote the egg story in another life? because i heard about the story before and then forgot about it, but the ideas lingered in my subconscious?
this view of the world is not necessarily what i believe to be true, but then again, what is it that i believe? do i believe anything? should i believe anything? what does it mean to have faith in someone/something? versus trusting them? versus believing in them? what is knowing? can you know something but not believe it? can you believe something and not know it? i think i can believe in something but not have faith in it… are these hierarchical? are they shades of the same color?
less the meaning i am gleaning
worthless things. brings
no. you don’t. you can’t. you won’t.
not your fault, dear light and salt.
you try to understand
in which i live. give
once or twice. nice. but ice
-y is my head, my heart.
can you restart
are lost without a guide.
but not for fun.
for fear. oh, dear. tears.
they flow again.
h u s h
no time is mine.
put on the mask. next task. next task.
FAST! again! again! do more!
not enough. be tough.
time to compare. stare
at my flaws. claws
tear me apart.
this world is cruel. rules:
tools for fools
what do they matter?
climb the ladder.
up there! up there!
they point at wealth, success, at fame. my name
in lights. might…
my wrists? twist
to think things are fine?
and meaningful? lull
me to sleep. keep
the peace. pieces
of me. bur
I have something inherent to my nature that causes me to search for inconsistencies. It may be my personality type, the education system, the cynicism and doubt of our culture…but whatever the cause, it makes paradoxes and faith extremely difficult for me. Hence, the following:
Why is it that being born a human, a descendant of Adam, automatically implies guilt for everyone other than Christ?
If the response is, “Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit (hence the importance of the virgin birth) and therefore free from original sin,” then I must argue that this is another way* in which Jesus/God cannot empathize with myself or man as a whole. He would not be able to fully understand what it is like to be born into sin. While he was condemned and crucified for sins that were not his, He knew on the deepest level that he was not guilty, he did not deserve death, and that God the father did not view him as sinful. We, on the other hand, are told that on the deepest level we are guilty, we do deserve death, and we are by nature objects of wrath.
What is it like, Jesus, to have to constantly rely on the sacrifice of another for your salvation? What is it like to be imperfect? What is it like to be sinful? Not tempted, but sinful. What is it like to actually be guilty? To be told that you are deserving of death because of the fruit choices of a man and a woman long before your time? How can you know?
*The first way that I think Jesus/God cannot empathize with us being that God is infinite and therefore he does not, and by nature cannot, know what it means to be finite or the struggles that accompany that. Jesus may have understood the need to eat and the frailty of life as a created being, but not the constraints on understanding and knowledge. If he did, he couldn’t have been both God and man. To take this a step further, if Jesus knew for certain the plan of his death and his ultimate resurrection and eternal life could he have truly experienced the fear, doubt, and unknowing that we experience being finite?