The Five Second Rule


This is my John 3:16 riff. No, it’s not blasphemy, just read it, you’ll see. The only begotten Son is you…it’s me…so why do we fear the world that loves us so gently?

Maybe we’re supposed to get a little dirty sometimes. Living clean is a relative phenomenon. Is there such a thing as absolute clean? Interestingly, the cleaner we live the more temptations seem to come our way. It seems like there is a force that is always trying to pollute us, but this perception may be based upon the simple idea that when we try to live clean we become more aware of those things that can potentially pollute our relative cleanliness. This hyper awareness can lead to paranoia. But what if getting a little dirty is an evolutionary necessity? Just think about it, in order to survive we literally have to eat dirt.

But too much dirt can be harmful to our health. Too much alcohol damages the liver. Too much cholesterol blocks arteries. Excesses prevent us from healthily moving forward as a species. No matter the vice, it is the relative rarity of the experience that enhances its enjoyability. Solely pursuing our individual desires to a point where they cease to be relative rarities and more of a relative normality may be detrimental to our overall evolutionary fitness. This selfish pursuit prevents us from comparing notes (sharing experiences, DNA). Of course we need some time to do us, but when we share what we learn privately publicly we grow as a society. But what happens when our private pursuits cause us to fall?

I’M SO ASHAMED! WHAT AM I GONNA DO!?

Some of us, when we crash to the bottom, rise back up to the surface after the pain of the fall subsides. Some call this being Born Again. Some even undergo a ritual and join an institution. Others call this process a “trial by fire” and learn a lesson. Others just get back in the car and put the pedal to the metal.

For those wishing to repent of their sins something must be done to make up for the profound selfishness that inspired the rebirth. In this fresh, new state (Born Again remember) we become afraid of the things we once deeply desired. Afraid that if we find ourselves in an environment where they are present we will “fall” again and how many chances does a person get at being reborn? Not a hypothesis most of us are willing to test.

So we’re living this “brand new” life that feels kind of odd and around every corner, tempting us, are the old vices that once provided comfort. But these comforts are no longer shrouded in the innocent curiosity that once made them so enticing. We now know where these vices lead. If we make the mistake of falling again and we’re lucky we may end up right back at the brand new bit. If we’re not so lucky…well, we don’t really know. It could be better than the initial fall or worse, but definitely not better than being wet behind the ears again. But how do you learn to enjoy the new life? It feels so damn odd. You feel safe, just not so righteous like you’re supposed to feel. Now here’s where taking a bite of that apple was necessary…


How on earth can we extrapolate certainty from allegories that force us to interpret them in a myriad of different ways? Why do we think we must?

OKAY, I REPENTED, BUT I CAN’T TAKE THIS TENSION! IT FEELS LIKE I’M GONNA EXPLODE! YOU CALL THIS RIGHTEOUSNESS!?

As we recover we start to fear our past lives. Some of us choose to run away from them and this can be successful if we get a comfortable distance away. But what if the dirt we used to play in wasn’t ALL that bad? Maybe it’s abuse that we need to watch out for. Drink too much and you’re not going have a good night and the following morning may feel even worse. Knock back a couple and you feel a little relaxed: “Wow. Great night. I was able to relieve some tension. Got to hang out with some friends. Laughed a lot, danced a little. Just a great night and it feels good to be back home safe.”

If we indulge too much the effect becomes less potent and we no longer derive enjoyment from our indulgence. We go from enjoying the relative rarity to needing it just to exist. In essence the the vice that once relieved us makes us sick or…diseased. Yes, this is a very delicate game and it’s easier to play if you have already found what you are looking for or else you may believe the vice is what you were looking for.

NO! NO! I refuse this! You are justifying sin by sugarcoating it as an evolutionary necessity. No way! We must fight against all sins! No drugs! No alcohol! We must live clean lives! Godly lives! How dare you mask this devilish spiel with such a laissez-faire attitude! How dare you!? How Dare You!? HOW DARE YOU!? People who sin are going to hell! It is written! Why else do you think I’m shouting! I don’t wanna listen to my inner demons! The demons that want me to sin! I rebuke those demons! You are trying to lead people down a path of self-destruction. I reject this, I am headed to another place!

Chill friend. Chill. Let’s hit the town. I’ll treat you to a cup of green tea. We can talk. Seems like you got some stuff to get off your chest. It’s all good. I’ll listen and I won’t judge you. Seems like some of that stuff your repressing is troubling you. For starters, how about we do away with the demon talk.

What!? They are demons! They are bad. They are evil. Watch this video…

That’s scary stuff. I’m tired of these thoughts entering my mind! I must fight these demons and avoid those who celebrate them! Those damn perverts! Those sickos! Those weirdos! How dare you insinuate that these thoughts aren’t evil!? That’s Satanic! Are you a devil worshiper?

No, I don’t worship anything. I just truly believe in the power of love and I want to help you buddy. You’re judging yourself. It’s kind of like you’re masturbating your spirit. Becoming hyper aware of yourself. That’s kind of Satanic when you think about it. Those things you call demons aren’t exclusive to you. Many other people suffer the same anxiety. Heck, I might even share some of your concerns. But if we view these recurring thoughts and drives as inherently evil we may trick ourselves into thinking that we are inherently evil and start to believe our own hype. How about we, just for a moment, stop casting stones at ourselves and come together to build a better understanding. Yeah, I know you are part of a different club than I, but so what, the angst, the uncertainty, the confusion, that’s universal. Let’s just put aside our circumstantial differences for a second and come together on this.

But I’m afraid. These thoughts betray the person I want to be.

Who do you want to be?

I want to be like the pastor at my church.

The pastor at your church isn’t perfect. You don’t know what he struggles with. Besides, perfection is an illusion. Nothing is perfect. Nothing is absolute…but at the same time everything is perfect and everything is absolute.

What? That doesn’t make any sense.

That’s what they all say and it’s because they’re not clicking the hyperlinks. Gotta click those hyperlinks. The article is just the surface.

But I’m afraid of what lies below the surface. That’s why I wear this t-shirt so that everybody knows I don’t deal with demons. But the truth is I struggle. I struggle everyday.

Well, maybe you should get you one of those shirts with the text reversed so when you look in the mirror the person who needs to see it sees it and as for those people you meet on the street—well, I’m sure the backwards text will pique their curiosity. They may even ask you some questions.

But I just want to be virtuous. I don’t want to admit that I’m struggling.

Well, perhaps the ability to admit that you are not perfect is a virtue.

So you’re saying the struggle is a virtue?

Why not? You might be able to help some folks with their struggles. Remove that scary stigma. Cast out those “demons.”

I just want to be free.

We all do, and it starts with reclaiming your soul. Right now fear has a death-grip on it. I understand, I struggle too. It’s kind of like playing tug-of-war and although I may never win I’m just happy that I get to play.

THAT DIRTY CURIOSITY

Little tots treat the universe like a veritable buffet. Taste is an incredibly delicate sense and it is no wonder we’re always shoving things in our mouths. The tongue can quickly determine the texture, taste and edibility of matter. Each time we taste the universe we are asking a simple question: “What is this?” We are born with this innate curiosity. This dirty “sinful” curiosity. But it is necessary. For how else to you build an immune system? An immune system that is still learning and will continue to learn! We don’t know what absolute good is because it doesn’t exist! If we did we wouldn’t evolve and as a result we wouldn’t be aware of our lives which are nothing but a collection of diverse experiences governed by a ratio of fear to love. If we were capable of absolute good we would only be aware of the fact that we are dying. This may explain the emphasis on death in many religions…

Okay, I gotta do good. I don’t wanna end up burning for an eternity. Is there anything that can save me from this seemingly inevitable fate? I mean, I was born into sin. Unless I am saved I will surely be damned. Please….please….someone or something save me! Please save me! I’m terrified! I can’t take this! And what’s up with them!? Don’t they know that they are doomed? Why are they wasting time with all that yammering? We need to join one institution and follow one set of principles so that we can live forever! Why don’t they get this!? I don’t want to do anything drastic, but they are forcing my hand? Looks like I’m gonna have to do something!!! Do you hear me!!!??? I said I’m gonna have to DO SOMETHING!!!

This cycle repeats itself over and over again. This is what chasing the impossible absolute point gets you. Ironically, we do not seem to understand that the fatal angst that results from this chase is tantamount to touching a hot surface, being burned and continuing to touch the hot surface. It’s masochism! Something is trying to tell us that this absolute point does not exist. But why are we so damn hard-headed? Why do we keep insisnting it’s there? Look at how splintered our religious institutions are and look at how many different religions we have? Does this not tell us something!? Evolution is shouting in our faces when we shout in each others faces!

It’s All BS Anyway…Well, Not ALL Of It

Life is a beautiful illusion. As soon as we are formed we begin to die, but at what point were we formed? When the egg cell was fertilized or before? Were we formed the moment our parents chose to conceive us or before that? Perhaps when their parents chose to conceive them. Okay, now I know you know where I’m going here. It’s that infinitely regressive bit again. In essence we are rushing to death but wait…how is that possible when we have never lived? I know I’m repeating myself by reposting this video…but nobody reads these articles anyway so here it is…

We are mere ghosts in fleshy shells. Our surface is the result of an infinite evolution…its blueprint written in our DNA. Everything that we are from our outward appearance to our personality traits possess no roots. Evolution is infinitely regressive and progressive at the same time. It’s that ratio again. This bit we call existence is the : in-between. But since there is no true center in infinity our existence represents but a mere point in space and thus our existence is nothing but an illusion.

The beauty of this cosmic game is that it feels so real, so gentle even though it requires incessant movement to sustain it. So in a sense the sensibility under all of the infinitely diverse dressing is not an asshole to say the least so why are we…I’m sorry, so why am I?

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1 Response to “The Five Second Rule”


  1. 1 irisoniris September 27, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    you and I, we have to TALK. i wrote an almost identical discourse about this when i was 17 (i think) and i had a really terrible argument with my boyfriend at the time because he thought i was being sacrilegious. go figure.


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