Over the past few days, I have been seriously considering removing all 815 posts on this site. Something has stopped me, and I still may, but I feel like most of them are simply pissing in the wind. Most of the posts on this site fit into three major categories: Personal reminisces which mean little to anyone, political posts which really serve no purpose other than to piss others off and to make me feel better, and theological posts which are basically pseudointellectual babble that is barely more productive than mental masturbation, and significantly less enjoyable.
Because none of them get to the root of it. They are all dancing around the basic problem, if not pretending it doesn’t exist, then willfully not facing up to the foundational issue that undergirds all of them. And, if this post goes as I think it will, every single post before now will be pretty much obsolete, because I intend on taking some significant amount of time to explore that foundation in excruciating detail.
I must. For I have nothing else.
I have, in the past, told the story about how my parents dragged me to Cedar Point, an “amusement park” in northern Ohio which I absolutely hated. I have also told the story of how I responded to that – with the deliberate intent to absolutely ruin the event for those who thought it would be fun for me. Perhaps their intentions were even good. It didn’t matter, and I succeeded.
I have not posted here, however, of a company event I attended a few months ago at Main Event here in Austin. They basically gave us an “all you can play” card and turned us loose on the place. My reaction was far more muted, and I can’t honestly say I had a bad time – and the gesture was appreciated – but the honest truth of the matter was that as I was wandering around the game room, I had a significant sense of “rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic”. Meaning that it was all mindless and useless entertainment, meant to distract us for a few hours from the fact that everything is going to hell. I’ve posted about this kind of thing before. It’s not a surprise to the one or two people who’ve read this blog more than once.
The other day I had a fairly traumatic event happen to me. No, don’t worry about me. I’m fine. To be quite frank, it would only have been traumatic to me. Most other people would barely have noticed or cared. But in the moments immediately after that event, I started following the whole chain backwards. The event happened. The people responsible for it would not even have recognized it for what it was. They were not aware of why it had such an outsized effect on me. But then I followed it backwards. If not them, who? How about the fact that I was made in such a way as to be affected by said event? How about the fact that others would cause said event to happen without a care? How about the fact that my childhood was such that I was raised in such a way as to be affected by said event when almost anyone else would not?
Who is responsible, indeed.
Here’s the utter truth of the matter: I did not choose to be born. I did not choose to be raised in the cult I was. I did not choose to be raised in the family I was. I did not choose to have any event happen to me that did in my formative years. By the time I was old enough to make my choices, that well had been well and truly poisoned. There was no choice in the matter, there was no conscious agency, there was no free will. None of the things that happened to me from the moment I was conceived were actually my choice.
So, then, whose choice was it?
One could say it was the fault of my parents, but then you follow that chain backwards, and they were just as well products of their parents, and had just as little choice. There were some right bastards in my ancestral roots. Probably far further than I’m aware. Do I blame them? No, not really. They did do things to me, but they had about as much choice in it as I did. To blame them and shirk all responsibility on my own would be hypocritical. So, no.
Follow the chain back, and you find that the choice was already made, the result already fore-ordained, everything already set in stone before the world began.
The blame rests squarely on God.
We Christians love to attribute all goodness to God, and put all responsibility for that which is not good on someone or something else. We are so desperate to do that, that we elevate Satan to a Godlike status – creating a hell that God cannot enter, even adding to the mythology the idea that we can sell our own souls – everything we can do to take the responsibility off of God and pretend that he did not create this festering hellhole we call reality. But we don’t have many options. He created it, or he did not. He is all powerful, or he is not. He is love, or he is not. Any one of these assertions smack right up against our experienced reality, and we spend a great deal of time and energy coming up with pretty theological explanations for why we are not seeing what we think we see and why we are not experiencing what we think we experience – and all we’re left with is a powerless, impotent God who can do very little to rescue us from the situation he put us in, in the first place.
I’ve said similar things before. That is not the foundation. Here is the foundation.
I hate this life.
In my view and in my experience, there is nothing redeeming about this life. There is no joy, pleasures are fleeting and replaced quickly with misery, there is nothing to experience that does not fade away as quickly as it comes. Except for decay. Decay is the one constant – beginning as soon as one is conceived and running down until after eighty years it’s all snuffed out – fleeting pleasures constantly overwritten by the stench of decay, over and over again.
I hate living this life, I hate everything about it, there is absolutely nothing redeeming about this life whatsoever. I cannot stand it. It is day after day of nothing but abject suffering, and to me, those who are joyful and cheerful, while I envy them, will simply end up blindsided as the decay that has been sneaking up on them will finally take its toll.
This is not some kind of “note”. I do not intend on doing anything about it. For one of the things that makes this life so torturous is the fact that God has instilled inside us a self-preservation instinct. Not only is this life a terrible festering pile of maggot infested crap, it is programmed deeply into me to extend it as long as possible. So I will continue to shower, continue to go to work, continue to feed the cat, continue to see the doctor – continue to do everything necessary to continue living another day – and yet absolutely abhorring the entire idea.
This is what God has given me. This is the existence that God has given me, and this is why I am completely, totally, and inexorably livid with him.
All of my other posts are just my trying to express this in ways that do not face this reality directly. Writhing around, trying my hardest to find rhyme or reason to this miserable existence, when the honest truth is that maybe there just isn’t any.
So do you remember the story about Cedar Point I referenced early? Here’s the honest truth – if there was a way that I could ruin God’s time with me by making life with me absolutely miserable, I would do it in a second. I would see him suffer. I would see him frustrated. I would see him tired. I would see him give up. I would see him driven to smitiness out of sheer frustration and desperation.
But I am not that lucky – because what worked on my parents will not work on him. And perhaps that’s the worst thing of all. He doesn’t even notice.
I don’t know how long I’m going to leave this post up. I don’t know how long I’m going to leave all of them up. But after 815 posts, you deserve the truth, and the truth you shall have.