Friday, February 06, 2004

Here starts another weekend, replete with its own issues and troubles. I don't really look forward to them anymore, though I can't say that I look forward to being in school either. I've felt kind of dead inside lately, as if it didn't matter whether I'm here or there. There are only a few things that make me feel alive to the world, and I find those things in equal measure in either place.

I've been thinking lately about all my lies. The big ones that I convince myself of because I need to lie to live. Complete honesty seems like too much a burden for any individual to bear. And yet, it's our calling to experience Truth. Jesus said that the truth would set us free, and I can see that all my lies are bondage. They're chains which keep me attached to my own self-limitations.

I've really been asking myself lately just how much we can ask of individuals on earth. Human life is so fragile, and people get so knocked around by the circumstances of their life, that it seems like we just can't ask that much. But nevertheless, is it asked of us to sacrifice much. My temperament is such that I naturally have sympathy for the devil. I mean the metaphore literally. I remember writing poems in favor of Judas when I was a kid growing up. But it just may be that I need to toughen up my outlook.

The primary point of my theology is free will. I don't dispute that it's a problematic point, but I consider the alternative far more problematic. I am not a determinist just as I am not a Marxist, and its not only because I ideologically have decided on these things, but because the practice of living has led me against them. I know that choice exists because I choose. The variety of choices and paths that human beings can take are so vast that free agency is necessary to direct our actions. Environmental factors alone do not settle for me the question of human personhood.

Life is so complicated. And people are so complicated. I have this natural love for both that I can't explain. But sometimes I feel it just overflowing in me. One of the happiest moments of my life was being jammed in the Metro in Paris on Bastille Day, pressed tight against all of the people, feeling what it was to be human. I can't explain it, but all of those people were like beams of light, of warmth, that filled me with this inexplicable joy. It's a strange thing for someone who hates casual touching as much as I do to consider that one of the happiest moments of their life when more practically it ought to have been a terror; but, in a sense, it wasn't "me" experiencing it. We were experiencing; we, whose energy flowed together and apart, within and without; not so much we, but It was experiencing, and we were its parts. The It which is Other, but somehow, whose body we are. The words lose meaning when I try to write about them.

The every day habits of life are cumbersome to me. And every day interactions with people leave me drained. That's how I know that I'm not a mystic. I have a tendency toward mysticism, but my soul isn't ready to contain the mysteries of the universe when it hasn't yet learned to tolerate its neighbor. To really love them; to really love myself; to really love the Other. Only for a split second did I become aware of the other reality, and I will never be able to forget it. But in practical life, I find weaving that knowledge in almost impossible. We humans ate the apple and now we have only our logic to guide us through; I'm utterly choking on that damned apple.