Monday, September 22, 2008

I don't see the world in black and white. I'm not talking race, I'm talking the bipolar view of the world where there is one right and one wrong answer to every question. For example, I have long held the belief about homosexuality that some people truly are born gay. They emerge from the womb beings who will be attracted only to their same sex. But the number that are thus intrinsically gay is a serious subset of all those who calim that they are homosexual. There are many whose upbringing or experience has led them to love for their own sex but who, given a different upbringing or not having had some forming event, would be heterosexual. Then there are those who are bisexual, preferring homosexuality, those who are bisexual and just don't care about the sex of whoever is providing their pleasure and then some bisexuals who prefer the opposite sex but will engage with their genitalian compatriots. Beyond that are the exclusively heterosexual and I won't even bother to go into all the variations there.
My point is not the sex, it is that human beings range from those who only want sex with those whose genitals match theirs, and those who only want sex with those whose genitals don't. There is a continuum of desire that defines human sexuality (even a continuum from those who want no sex to those who would spend all their waking hours engaged in it) just as there is a continuum in all that makes us up. I want to talk of one of my continua.

Not too long ago I posted about my problems of the last few months. I continue to push myself along but having posted about troubles, I wanted to go into a bit of exploration of the continuum that bears down on me.
My very good friend the Enigmatic Misanthrope called me, and properly so, a "moody bastard" as far back as high school. Mood, then will serve to define a continuum.
At the low end is despair. Also called hopelessness. Despair is the state wherein nothing can be done. There is no action that can conceivably be taken that will make the situation any better. Despair is where suicides happen. Despair, for the one who believes in God, is the state wherein God is denied. Mark 3:22-30 and Matthew 12:22-32 talk of the "unpardonable sin / unforgivable sin" of "blasphemy of the Holy Spirit." While this is often characterized as "defiant irreverence," the examples of man cursing God really don't, in my non-theological mind, don't rise to this. A man can curse God in the full expectancy that he will be damned for his curses. That man still believes. But in despair, the acting on despair, a man who believes shows that he no longer believes in the power of God to change his life. In this, the denial, the murder of self, the former believer denies his belief in such a way that mercy can not be allowed. All of which I mean to define one end of the continuum.
The other end is, and this may sound trivial, enthusiasm. The root of the word is
entheos: "from God." The one who is filled with enthusiasm sees all things as possible. Problems in life may not get better but the very real possibility is most decidedly there. A man who is enthusiastic is productive, happy, eager for each next day to seize the possibilities that day brings. He brims full of God and good. Of course one can be enthused about certain things (PRS guitars, well-prepared foods) without being more generally enthusiastic and it's that general feeling to which I refer here.
So, those are the twin lodestones between which I move. I've never had a lower swing toward despair that I recall. And I keep pushing myself toward enthusiasm though it's a bloody hard slog. I can't promise anything but I retain my belief which makes taking some (I quote myself) "irrevocable action" unlikely. I'll see if I can't make it impossible. But unlikely is a good step.

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