The Blimey Cow Community created a photo-a-day challenge for July, one of the days was “Want”. I ended up posting a picture of a pear, but, it got me thinking:
What is that I want, what do I want? I fear my deepest desires could be harmful if not handled with great care. What I want is for understanding and to be understood. I want a friend, a friend who who I can be transparent with, but there will always be secrets. I have a dark nature, surely, how could I ever be completely transparent? I’m not Alice.
I suppose in a sense, I want moral ambiguity, to be accountable and answerable to no one. However, this would only separate me further from all whom I love. I would become inhuman if I had this wish.
I suppose what I want is is innocence? Can such a thing even exist?
What is it that my heart desires above all? Peace? The ability to be in a peaceful mind, always? Truly, I am weary of a constantly troubled mind. How can I be at peace? I am not ignorant enough to remain peaceful. Knowledge is troubling.
In an odd way the sum of all my desires, I suppose, is found in death, the dance of Death always reigns as the deepest desire of my heart. I could be said that I have no greater desire than the desire of death. What I mean by that, is that in an odd way, life is good, but it is also quite wearying. This world is a beautiful place, true, but it is also a place of suffering and pain, and while we sometimes know the greater joy for having gone through the suffering, there still is a desire for something more, something deeper. We desire an end, as well as a beginning. There is in us a desire to escape from endlessness. Life is very circular, it is comprised of seasons, and returns unto itself often, we desire for the endlessness of that to come to a closure. It’s true. Death can be a comfort thus, by bringing about a closure to a life. It is not the desire to die, that is different, than the desire of death. The desire of death is one that accepts our fate, as mortals that are immortal. In short, it’s not the desire for death, or even the desire of death, but the desire of eternity. It is then that shall I know all that my heart longs for, save one: Romance. There is no marriage in Heaven, we part at death.
The sacrifice of this one desire, a lesser desire I suppose, compared to the desire for eternity; is it a price I am willing to pay?
Yet, consider the possibility of a world without those of whom this world is not worthy of. Those shining stars, and precious jewels. Those whom all the greatness and beauty and majesty of the Universe itself cannot compare. Imagine a world apart from these sons, these daughters of Heaven. What if they had never been? Is it really a lesser desire?
Is it really a sacrifice worth making? Is it a sacrifice or is it selfishness? So, what is it that I want? What do I want? I want to love, I want to be loved. I want openness, I want the ability to be transparent. I want perfection.
They say things about being heavenly minded, and I understand what they mean, both those who say that you can be so heavenly minded you are of no earthly good, this is a valid criticism, but I’ll get to that later, and those who say you can only be of earthly good if you are heavenly minded. This is correct as well.
All of which again brings death as my heart’s deepest desire. Though, to be honest, if there was someone who loved me, then perhaps that would be sufficient reason for me to desire life. But I know of no such love. Perhaps, my only true love is Death himself. Maybe it is a good thing to desire a human soul, maybe even it is a good thing to love even as I wish to be loved. I may never be loved, but that doesn’t mean I cannot love others.
Still, I suppose I do want to be loved. Or perhaps I desire acceptance. Unconditional acceptance. What do I want, and what could I answer? I want neither fame nor fortune, comfort, food, rest or the other things. What do I want? Now, I did say that neither fame nor fortune moves me, but there is one that does: Power. Authority, that does tempt me. But do I want it?
I can’t bear the thought of holding power or authority over the sacred ones. And all the power in the world can’t alter that. Why is that? What is it about these that is able to thwart even my darkest desire? It’s like I’d have all the world bowing before me, but couldn’t bear for these to do so. So, what do I want? That is a very good question, and somewhat haunting. The fact that I have no desire to lord over others, though the desire to rule runs hot within my blood, demonstrates that what I truly desire is to love and be loved, and it overcomes the darker desire to rule, the desire is still there, but love transcends it.
I suppose most of my musings over the past decade or so have been an attempt to answer the simple question, what do I want? Want, in and of itself is not an evil, and it is only within certain religious belief systems that all desire is thought to be an evil. I suggest the fact that we have desires, and yes, want things, is in fact a very sacred part of who we are as human beings. I think even God himself has wants, for example, he wants for all men to know him. Want, desire, in and of itself is not an evil.
I wish to speak of the notion that one can be too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good, and I think it basically comes down to suggesting that our desires should not be in this world, but while this sounds like a wonderful thing, I have to ask, is it?
Yes, I can understand the appeal of wishing to be rid of desire, to transcend all physical and emotional desires for the greater spiritual good. A concept that is much the same in both many of the teachings American Christianity of the West that I’ve heard and also the philosophies of the East. Even this past week at a conference for church leaders, I heard this downplaying of the physical in favor of the spiritual, which sounds good, but is it? We are physical beings in a physical world, and surely the body and the flesh are not the same thing. How can they be? I question these, in part because of the amount of times I see people trying desperately to suppress the very things that make them most human, things like emotions, that is, and also holding their own bodies as a thing contemptible to them. It’s a common notion in religion, but I confess, I am a little concerned about its presence in American Christianity.
I think that the idea of shunning the physical, the material, and such, doesn’t make us more holy. What it does, however, is make us calloused to the sufferings and the hurts around us. I see this in those who are into prophecies and such, and when I was, I saw it in myself. Way too often suffering is ignored if an event has something to do with prophecy. Now there are exceptions, I’m sure, but for the most part, it seems that its easy to ignore the terror and the horrors of war, if it was a prophecy or interpreted to be such. I think that sometimes when we choose to ignore the present place where we are dwelling it doesn’t make us more compassionate, but cruel. This is what it means to be too heavenly minded that one is of no earthy good. I’ve seen it. I see it all the time. Some little thing is used as justification to treat another human being abusively. Yes, there may be things in the scriptures that say that some practices are wrong. I understand that: That doesn’t give you a right to abuse your fellow human beings about it in the name of righteousness. This is nothing new, and it is the sad story of most religion in general, the oppression of human beings in the pursuit of righteousness. It’s an ancient oppression, and it continues even to this day, and probably will continue into the future. It is in pursuit of righteousness, more often than not, but the pursuit and the actual fulfillment of righteousness is not the same thing. The righteous heart doesn’t oppress, doesn’t lord it over others, and doesn’t abuse.
For myself I desire courage, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, those things against which there is not law. In other words my desire is to be consumed by the Consuming Fire. To walk according to the Spirit. I will admit, there is in me a resistance to anything that feels remotely like an experience based faith, or even knowledge. It’s not that I deny or don’t believe the leading of the Holy Spirit, it’s more that I dare not follow what I feel to be when doing so is to war against myself and my own better judgement time after time again. In many ways there is an enmity, or at least a decided difference in nature, between my mind and my heart. My mind is like Elinor Dashwood’s, by my heart is like that of Marieanne. My mind says to remain calm, live in peace. My heart says there is nothing more noble than to die for love, to live openly, and passionately, and to die accordingly, in the heart it is better than to live like my mind says, in the heart, that is a wasted life. To my mind, my heart is reckless in its abandonment. it is true, to follow my mind is to strictly rely on things that are seen, that which is rational, reasonable, etc.
Once again, I come to the conclusion that I am better off to follow my heart. My heart is righteous and it is from my heart, and not my mind, which is apathetic, form whence I feel empathy, love, and compassion towards my fellow human beings. When my heart is followed it is my second nature to love and care for, to cherish, and to feel empathy towards others, feeling both their joys and sorrows. My mind, however, is apathetic and cold, a survivor, its nature is to hurt and value objects over people. My heart is the best of me, I should want very much to follow my heart.
However, I know there are those who say: ‘The heart is desperately wicked, who can know it?’ A philosophy built around an ill-applied verse. Nevertheless, to confess: “To follow my heart” as what it is that I want, is to be openly rebellious against the religious establishment in my own country, and I do not desire rebellion, but redemption, reconciliation, and reunion. I suppose what I do want is to be an artist: The heart of the artist, simple enough, is the one who adores tradition, while rebelling against the establishment.
I suppose I question why I am one who cares at all, why don’t I just retreat so far into myself that I can no longer hold the capability to care for anyone outside of myself. In many ways, I believe that it is beneficial to be outside of oneself, to give yourself to those around you, but one question always haunts me , what if what is better is to refrain? Refrain from what? The most radical thing in the human experience: Love.
What if we could consider those whom we’ve disagreed with, or even hated in the past and then consider that she is completely vindicated. That he is to be seen as innocent, and without fault?
Nevertheless, I find it difficult to overcome the notion that my presence is not a curse to those around me. I suppose it is a notion that is even stronger in regard to others, precisely because of the fact that I do not know them well, but I find them to be very dear to me, regardless of that. It is difficult to ask myself any question, and to consider all possible intentions. I admit, some considerations are excruciatingly painful to consider, because they are so very dark, the idea of such darkness dwelling in me, is both terrifying and painful. I respect the sacred enough that I’m willing to face the pain of such a deep and personal introspective interrogation with myself. It is out of respect for them, if there is an inner monster within me, however, I should face it whilst we are yet afar off, so that I may turn aside, if need be, if the monster cannot be defeated, so that they would not be hurt. After all, my ‘goal’ if you wish to call it that, is to do whatever it is that is of benefit to them. I desire to give, and receive nothing in return. I admire, sure, and respect, true, the sacred, and so I should. There are many who are worth knowing, but that doesn’t mean we cannot admire one person at the expense of the many, as temporal creatures we do have certain confinements and limitations placed upon us by our existence in time.
However, we can only love the whole of humanity, by loving humanity one person at a time. If we claim to love all of humanity without investing ourselves in people individually, we love superficially. In order for our love to be genuine and true, we must love those around us, one by one. No, we don’t bear the whole of humanity maliciously, but genuine love requires personal investment. If we love, we take the time to know personally those whom we love. At the very least, we love them on a very personal level. It’s easy to make blanket statements about loving everyone, but the practice of it is where we are tested. Love that is tested on the personal level and shines forth as true is a true love indeed. Love that fails the test of individuality, is not love, but is the claims of one who knows not love, or loves only superficially, either out of malice or of error. Malice is what occurs when one claims to love, but in truth, is seeking the gain of the self, which may take the form of keeping up appearances, regardless, it is still malicious in its pretending to be something that it is not.
Therefore, I would not be overly concerned about your regard for the sacred, in this matter, I think it is best to follow your heart, to love, and not feel apathetic or cold towards them. If you see them as being someone who is very precious, of course they are going to be very precious to you. In many ways that is the nature of love, to behold someone and know them not for what they are, but what you see. To see, not what is seen, but what is known. To feel in your heart what it is that they truly are, regardless of external circumstances, or appearances. You love, some might call it, unconditionally, and it is difficult to say whether it is something I have chosen to do, or the natural outpouring of love that isn’t restrained. My thought is that it is something I have chosen, but again, I want to draw attention to the idea that a love that is not individual, is not love. Now, given this, I must conclude that in the matter of the sacred ones, I have chosen to love, but when did I make that choice? It must have been upon making the acquaintance, and did so with joy. But, it is but a dream. They are and are not. I do not know how to make sense of all this, and perhaps I’m not meant to.
Meant to? Is there such a thing? Is anything meant to happen? I have to ask, whether things happen because they are supposed to, or because of cause and effect. If the later, then it is perfectly explainable, yet so dreadfully natural, almost to the point of tragedy, as to why I would care for the sacred. Or are there such things as destiny, predestination, fate? Is it a decision that occurred in my own heart, or has this been a story, of which held its foundations before the foundations of the Earth itself? Why? I suppose I embrace the notion of fate, or predestination, of things happening for some greater reason, because it seems a little more justifiable to do things that are outside of the societal norms. Truth is, I grasp at it because there is always the desire to ‘have God on my side’. But, do not all religions believe something to this effect? A fundamental conviction of having the gods or God, or the higher powers that be, on one’s particular side. I ask why the sacred ones, because deep down I do want it to be more than just the story of one human liking another human. Deep down I want it to be epic, to be something legendary, a story that began before I did, as opposed to simply being the story of now. It’s not enough to simply be, in my mind I want it to be the hand of fate, and so when I say that things are perfectly natural and explicable, it is indeed, in my own mind, a tragedy. To have the hope of the heavens, but the crushing truth being that it is all in ones own head, there is no hand of the heavens involved. On the other hand, perhaps there is a greater purpose, perhaps our lives are the telling of a story, as an author, it is not necessarily cruel of me to keep my characters in situations where it truly seems as though there is no way out.
Would I know anything about pain, or hurt, or what it’s like to feel rejection if I hadn’t ever felt those things. How shallow would my heart and soul be if I had not known what it is to be tried by fire, and rise from the ashes a new man. Pain is a great teacher, I don’t care what I’ve heard some say, pain is a tool of a good teacher, a means of instructing. I must indeed take the view that we enter into the fire, are tried by the fire, and rise from the ashes a new person. I must take the more transformation centered view of my faith, rather than the psychologically comfortable view of what good parenting, be it human or divine, should look like. If by the breaking down, the purification, and the remaking of us, heart, body, and soul, into a new creature, and to be in a cycle as such until we shine with a holy and sacred brilliance, yes.
Pain is a necessity, in this world, it is not something to say that God is evil, or does not care, it hardly constitutes as abuse. The distinction must be made, however, between the purification process of a poet, and the punishment for error. We are the poem, and the purification process is taking something pretty and making it gorgeous beyond our knowledge of the concept of beauty.
In the end, we are creatures designed to love, to be loved, and it is all that we are, loved creatures, and we have one mission. To love.
I’ve been chipping away at this post for the last two months, and I still feel it’s rather disjointed, but I am sharing it in spite of that. In part, because I just keep adding to and editing it, but not posting anything in the mean time. Sometimes, you just need to stop chipping away at a work and share it. :-) I may come back and edit it further, but for now, I’m just going to stop pouring over it, and move on to regular posting and such.