Tuesday, March 19, 2013

doubt

My older brother responded to my facebook-link of my last post with a comment about how he was waiting for me to turn my scribbling fingers toward God's Justice, and stuff.

I think it's because he believes I'm a cotton-candy-brained liberal nutjob.

That's okay. He loves me anyway, and we haven't had a real fistfight in, oh, years. Also, he lives on the other side of the country. So if he wanted to punch me out, he'd have to fly all the way over here, and I'd probably have some solid advance warning.

I do think there's a bit of a misunderstanding here, though.

I think the impression that he and some of you might have gotten is that I've got this big ol' watermelon brain full of thought-seeds that I'm scattering to the internet-wind in hopes that my hydro-cephalic way of thinking is contagious.

Inasmuch as I am a self-centered donkey-dimple, that may be true (if ineffectual).

But I think what's even more true is that I just scribble this stuff down to clear a little room in what is actually an empty head full of quick-breeding Mexican Jumping Beans. It's noisy in there, and the only way I've figured out to calm things down is to write it out.

I don't take it very seriously, though. While I honestly believe everything I write in the moment that I write it, I don't get the impression that what I say I believe is actually all that important. What matters to me is how well I love the real, living, breathing humans I interact with. What matters is whether I'm being honest about myself and taking advantage of the gift of life to make things.  That is the best indicator of what I really believe, and it's something that you'll all have to weigh out when composing your (lengthy) eulogies for my funeral.

Here's my dirty little secret: 

As much as I go on and on about how "God is Love," it's not even the sort of thing I'd ever actually argue in one-on-one conversation, because when I look at the world around me, I see a lot of evidence that God isn't. Things are just too sucky, cruel and wrong a lot of the time; and some days it gets really, really hard to hold on to what is essentially a faith position for me: that God is Love, Jesus is the expression of God's Love to the world, and I can be a reflection of that Love to others.

The ONLY divine attribute I will argue LOUDLY about with you is God's creativity, because if you're someone who's willing to join me in accepting the existence of God, then that one seems to me to be pretty much inarguable. And why would we argue about anything unless it's something I'm so right about that you'd be stupid to disagree with me?

A lot of the time, though, there is Doubt.

Doubt, doubt, doubt.

Doubt, and fear.

I don't think there's an honest person out there who doesn't experience these two bugaboos, and I don't think there's an honest person who won't admit that he/she has done some pretty rotten things to avoid facing them.

Me, too.

I vomited those last two "Psychopathic God" posts out because of a beautiful little post Rachel Held Evans wrote a couple months ago entitled "The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind," which sat in my brain making brain-babies with my own thoughts on the topic until I felt the need to write a couple posts of my own.

They're more my way of excising the jumping beans and shoving a spear through the heart of doubt than they are an attempt to explain the ways of God to man. I'm no theological Don Quixote. I'm just a guy who's never read Don Quixote and yet will still sometimes reference the story in an attempt to sound smart.

So you'll like me.

So you'll read my posts.

So you'll like my posts on the facebooks.

So you'll share the posts you like on the facebooks, and send them to your friends.

So eventually millions will read my posts and listen to my thoughts and look to ME for Answers, and I'll have tamed the dragon and wrested an illusion of control from the mind-boggling infinity of my ignorance. So I can hold back, a little longer, the creeping sense of my own mortality.

So that you will love me.

That's all bollycoddles. Horse-hoof-polish. Mouse-farting in a windstorm.

It's also the truth.

Which is to say:

JUSTICE intrigues me. I think about it a lot, and I was going to take a stab at writing about it, today. I may still take a stab at writing about it, tomorrow. But first, I wanted to echo my Bibliological forebear and say, "Vanity, vanity, vanity... all is vanity... a chasing after the wind."

(He said, on some pathetic level hoping & believing that this public braying of "I'M HUMBLE" would endear you to him, even more.)

Forgive me, oh internets, for I know not what I do.

5 comments:

  1. Awwww. I like you too, Mr. New Testament. Newton Thornbopple? Ninja Twinkletoes?

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  2. When people are doubting, they imagine that they are actually doubting something, doubting some concrete, or rather objective, such and such. But they are not. Doubt is an ACT of the physical HEAD - just that. Doubt is not an act of the mind - it is a physical act of the physical head, a contraction of the head, and therefore of the subtle organs deep within the head.
    Fundamentally, doubt itself never has any content or object. It is simply an act or unconscious pattern for which you must be responsible.
    Doubt is not something that equips you to find things out better. Free enquiry is the way to find things out.
    Doubt is a trouble, a false doctrine, a self-imposed obstacle, an illusory demon, an emotional apparition, a foggy limit on anything and everything you examine.
    Just looking at something as it is, and creatively imaginately considering it is one thing. But doubt is an armoring, a form of suffering, a limitation in the head - and, therefore, a limitation on ones capacity to think clearly also.
    Furthermore, doubt is the fundamental disposition of mind that characterizes humankind in this dark epoch. It is a universal dramatization, in the form of a physical and, altogether, psycho-physical act - and humankind is performing that act chronically, with the head, and with the subtle organs associated with the head.
    This indulgence in doubt destroys the basis for heart-and-body sanity, because doubt cuts the head off from What Is Above and Beyond - and That "What" is the vast Everything that is Beyond the gross dimension of existence.

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  3. Doubt is also closely related to sorrow.
    If you truly observe the event of sorrow, you will notice that its origin is associated with the head too, and not with either the heart or the abdominal region. You can feel sorrow arising as a contraction in the depth of the head. It sends out signals that register elsewhere, in the heart, and in the abdominal region , physically, emotionally and so on. But it is fundamentally or originally a contraction of the head - contracting from what is otherwise a radiant, expansive, sensuous, opening-into-the-Light disposition of the head, and into a knotted, contracted, thinking, doubting, puzzling, searching, threatened, nothing-you-can-do-about-it, helpless head-sensation, with all kinds of thoughts racing around in it, negating life - unable to feel, to accept love, and so forth, because of the fear of potential loss, and all kinds of complicated thinking and emoting.
    All of this originates in the head.

    The essential key to true human responsibility is in,or requires, the transcending of doubt and sorrow, and all egoically reactive emotion. That does not mean that you on thinking (or doing "theology") about doubting, sorrow, anger, and un-love - because the thinking is the same thing as the doubting, and the sorrowing etc. Thinking is also a contraction of the physical head.

    All of the above could be a description of what Paul told us when he said that the dead letter of thinking, always kills the living spirit.

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  4. Thanks for your thoughts, Anonymous. You're breaking the rules though, you know - you're not allowed to conflate western and eastern modes of thought :)

    ReplyDelete

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