I know if I question a pastor about sin, like “What if a person tries to do good and doesn’t try to sin?”…I know they would say that you have original sin. Which translates to: You have sin because you were born.
And it’s not really an answer. Plus the logical response to believing you are born with sin, is to sin more, not less. If you think you’re already a sinner, then in for a penny in for a pound…. right? I just never understood how that worked.
I was late to the parade. I was secular first, went to public school and Sunday school was where you did crafts. Then boom, in a private school where they’re telling me I’m a sinner, and I wasn’t one before that.
Always thought I just missed part of the instruction, like missing the first part of science class. Started school in third grade, so I assumed the important stuff that explains how the religion is supposed to work, was covered in grades 1 and 2.
Therefore, I separated my intellectual life from my spiritual life. I can believe IN God and the church and pretty much any flavor of the day. But I can also look at those beliefs objectively and accept them according to faith instead of any professed wisdom of my own.
Saying you are always a sinner by existing but that you should try not to sin, seemed backwards to me. Then there is the confusing idea the Mormons have, trying to solve this same question. They believe your baptism cleanses away all sin, so before your baptism you sin as much as you want, but it’s after your baptism you need to straighten up and fly right, and try to never sin again. They basically have no such thing as confession or absolution, you are just given a mandate to be good and if you break it they excommunicate you from the church and send you to hell. At least that kind of makes sense, it’s twisted and controlling…. but makes sense. You’ve never seen a messed up individual like those you meet who were excommunicated from the LDS church, though. Like they were handed a broken toy for a gift.
To be clear, I don’t understand that level of fear. The same fear pouring from the eyes of the fellow explaining how to make money with real estate balloons….. scared to death of something, but I can’t imagine what that is.
Sure, I get the fear over finding a job and keeping it, the desperation that has you wondering what life will be a year from now….a month from now. But why is there such an odd attachment to living and life when we all know it passes?
That’s the odd thing that my hybrid of a spiritual life gave to me, I suppose … all that focusing on going to heaven when you died carried with it one thing: you’re gonna die some day. It’s not like you can begin any rebuttal with, “No I won’t!” That’s a bigger sin than anything, btw… those Jesus complexes. Can’t have that.
So the premise that you WILL die is attached pretty firmly to all those teachings. Knowing that at some fundamental level, but not just knowing, being reminded over and over and over … takes those fears of death and puts them in the same category as the boogie man. Of course, there’s always torture.
My experience is that I really had no fear of torture until I got old and experienced extended periods of pain. Such as from my back, and how a lower level of constant pain can drag you into a different place, mindwise. Until then, pain was the broken wrist and you wake up in a cast. Pain was pulling a bandaid off. Pain wasn’t this thing that felt like you were pinned to a dissection board … a live frog having its guts ripped out. This kind of pain ATTACHES to you.
It nails you to your cross, so to speak. So I can understand those at my age, finding fear due to physical pain. But when young? I’m not sure. It’s possible that my nerve malfunctions took AWAY a special ability for detachment. Because sometimes that all returns, on very rare occasions I am not just completely painless… I am free. Free from that dissection board again.
And so, if my “pinned” feeling is how others feel all the time? With every little thing wrong registering on their consciousness? I can see that leading into a “deer in headlights” syndrome … sort of. But it still pretty much makes no sense.
Even if you’re with the mob, for instance, and they are going to cut off all your fingers tomorrow before feeding you to the fishes … why would you be standing around terrified, instead of fleeing for your life? Why wouldn’t you be ON your way disappearing, instead of doing a congame on youtube for balloon real estate?
So I think up all kinds of explanations. Like maybe they ARE captured already, and being let out to film before going back to a cell. I wonder about the different comedy shows on all the networks, how they have troops …. are they all organized into underground cities? I wonder because they never film outdoors, or almost never. Part of me KNOWS they are actors that work in a studio, and the studios have lots and stages, and the rest of the time the actors try to live normal lives alongside everybody else. But part of me also wonders if there are hidden underground cities because that’s what it SEEMS it has to be.
I wonder if the old man, who calls himself the waterman from florida on twitter, and films himself raging about politics with the SAME sad room in the background….I wonder if that’s one of our sailors that never came back from Vietnam. I do. I studied his rhetoric, noted the changes according to political flow…. but what is odd is the room. Nobody interrupts, no pet. No fan blows the curtains. Ever. Nothing is ever in a different place. Same institutional walls, bed, and everything that would indicate this is not a solitary living space…yet nothing ever popping in. So I think about torture and how that is probably one of ours who’s not even home. I had to quit following the account, it was too difficult to think about that. And if it was enemy manipulation, they appeared to have no extra information to glean and justify continued monitoring of his posts.
It doesn’t matter that I can tell myself that he’s probably just an old cranky man in Florida, who somehow figured out how to turn on a webcam by himself. (in my experience none of them can!) But ok, even if … I can’t get rid of that image that he’s not free.
Because I don’t get to SEE him free. I don’t see him going anywhere else, in sunlight to see the sky. That’s the same thing that gives me thoughts about the comedy troops and what’s up with that…. because Sunshine doesn’t exist in sitcoms. Are they free? Because for half the lines they’re made to deliver, I know THAT I’D be running for the hills….
Why are they forced to remain? What gives with it all…. is it just that people do anything for money? If that’s the truth, why aren’t they doing snuff films to make the big bucks? But ARE the shoot em up films real snuff films? So I start thinking about how many of the actors that I’ve seen die in a movie, have I seen later on, alive? Well that’s kind of hard to say, because they are never the star actor, are they? And knots berry farm sure went to a lot of trouble to show you how fake gunshots are made to look real in their shoot-out show. But none of the shootings on camera look like that, now. So I wonder if people are really getting killed and executed while making those tv shows and movies… ONLY BECAUSE IT’S A POSSIBILITY.
Not because I actually believe that! But that is a possibility I have to acknowledge until some day they have the cast bow at the end of movies, WITH their wounds and make up, to show they are still alive and kicking. Other than that, I’m just ASSUMING they are still alive, based on the goodness of mankind.
Well guess how my thoughts about the goodness of mankind goes, when I myself am being tortured in medical wards, forced shots, tied down, etc etc…. for the record, I have consistently been shown the ROTTENEST of mankind for the majority of my life. I’m not kidding or exaggerating on that.
So the pendulum is really on the side that these are real snuff films and passing them off as acting. Half the time it’s the only explanation I have, for the contentment shown with the poor offerings…. no wit, lots of killing, and it goes to the top of the charts. What am I supposed to think?
oh well….I could go on. But these are the separations I make, between reality, belief, and faith. reality is I don’t know, belief is they could be real snuff films, faith is that they are NOT. And reality again, is that IF it were all that evil, then somebody somewhere would mention it? On the other hand, no one else with at least some kind of speculation on that….none at all, not a glimmer …is more in keeping with the possibility of a large secret than a large innocence.
So I think about all of this. And I’m perfectly aware of my levels of paranoia at all times. I manage it, by having FAITH.
Here’s the thing…..
with faith, it doesn’t matter if the reality is that human beings are being executed on every tv show that blows up heads or guns down running children…. my faith that human beings cannot possibly be that horrible, holds me up and doesn’t let the possibilities drive me out of my mind.
Trust me, I see those who are homeless, in the street who are not that lucky. All of these homeless have one thing in common… no faith.
With faith, it doesn’t matter which of the possibilities that I keep is true.
In the same way, with faith, it doesn’t matter which reality I keep as a religious possibility, is true. I have faith, that somehow, somewhere… at the end of my journey…God will welcome me into his arms. Even if this all is a lark, and there are plans to burn me at the stake in the middle of the burningman statue for 2030 … my faith in God remains. Because it’s not dependent on either possibility.
Life is the process of not knowing. And I will be the first to say, that not knowing gets exhausting. But the minute I solidify my understanding, faith disappears like smoke in the wind…. and faith is the one thing that takes you through not-knowing without a scratch.
So my disbelief and doubts exist, TO keep my faith…. not despite it. I couldn’t have my faith, without my doubts. And I pray constantly, inwardly, that mankind finds better ways forward … ways that don’t cripple people in fear and loss.
But that is why I am still Christian, and nobody can tell me that I am not just because I look at the options with all belief systems, and consider the viability of their strictures. This is how I HAVE faith, rather than just professing the faith of others.
My faith is in a place of special reality, I guess you could say. I can alter my mind to make any belief true. So this, I hold in reserve. I close my eyes every night to go to sleep, and visit God. Why should death be any different? Maybe it is….maybe it is. Maybe if they drag me out to the desert, tie me to the side of a giant steel monolith, and do everything to hear me scream….maybe I won’t find God. Maybe not…but maybe I will. Maybe even then, in the worst possible death I could imagine, I will find the same Lord who greets me every night when I go to sleep….My faith doesn’t make that true. But my faith makes whatever the endpoint on that, what the reality becomes…bearable now. I can go to God when I need to. God will only take me, once. That’s my faith.
I suppose that sounds corny. Faith always does, when you try to voice it. I don’t “believe” Jesus died for my sins, I “believe” it is a possibility. Something that seems more and more improbable the more and more you learn and grow older, can still be categorized as possible. I certainly know that I don’t know it all. And I have faith that I’m not meant to.
and btw, don’t come at me with the logic, that nobody can keep a large secret so therefore no large secret could be happening…. that is false, people keep large secrets all the time. You aren’t aware of the large secret if you’re not among the ones keeping it. And shutting up others seems to be a national pastime … some days….
I can tell you this: when the people at st marks thought i was a homeless person from california….. because of the plates on my car and i wouldn’t tell them anything….they did some horrible things to me. So you are NEVER going to have me solidify a belief that deep down all people are good. they are not. that much is proven. finè. I KNOW human beings are capable of horrific acts. I din’t just go to a museum, and cry for others, I experienced horror myself …I know what the touch of evil is like. I know what humans are, here in Utah, evil. At least three… are lost to humanity forever. Is it evil that the mormon religion produced? that’s one possibility. Cloisters are known historically to have issues.
Experience is where my knowledge comes from. The rest is belief, and faith. And a little bit of courage, to find my way and not give up. Sometimes it takes courage TO give up, there’s that, too.
When I’m feeling weak, all the bad possibilities crowd close. And when I feel strong, all the good possibilities are my wings. That’s life…. that’s my life. If that’s not Christian enough or adherent enough to whatever dogmatic principal, then nuts to ya. You want me to deny reality? I can’t do that it was stapled to me while tied down in the mental wards YOU condone in YOUR cities where YOU invented ways of completely crippling human souls. UNDER YOUR RELIGIOUS WATCH.
what i am is a product. most days i feel lucky that god is still there for me. most days i know I’m lucky to still have a mind.
peace and blessings….and I hope everyone has a good week. I’m going to die and fall under a rock for a bit. lol. when i resurface, maybe I’ll bake a cake. toodles.