Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Life Well Lived

Much of religion is something I wouldn't want. Hayy Ibn Yaqzan lived in a cave contemplating God. He hardly ever ate. He bordered on being a vegetable.

The entire point of a monk's existence was to hang around doing nothing more than contemplating God. Just look at Saint Benedict! He may not have actually become some cave-dwelling hermit, but that doesn't matter. He's portrayed as doing that and having been all the more pious for it. Again, the ideal is the same.

I wouldn't want that. No one would want that! I would rather be cursed to a life without a connection to God and actually get stuff done. I want to build things, write stories, and paint pictures. I would rather live a life of pain and achievement than ecstasy and inactivity.

In the same way, the prospect of falling from Grace rankles me. Who wouldn't WANT to be out of the garden of Eden. I want to grow my food. I want to shepherd my animals. Who is God to say we cannot have knowledge. Our greatest asset is our mind. No knowledge is bad. If I live in damnation, so be it. I'll be happy for the rest of time knowing that it is not God, but I who defined my life in whatever meager way I'm capable of doing.

What a ridiculous God when all of the interesting people are damned. And that's a fact. Janis Joplin? Damned. Oscar Wilde? Damned. Most of our Presidents are likely damned. The entire team behind the Manhattan project? Oh boy are they fucked. How is God the highest form of anything.

Goodness, wisdom, power. God is the purest Good. Living like some weird ghoul in a cave seems absolutely antithetical to that God. Goodness comes from action, not some blissful vegetative state. Wisdom comes in life, not in a cave. And power comes from understanding, and that must necessarily include God's creation as well as God's nature.

Any parent doesn't want their child to be reverent and obedient. While that classical idea of children seen and unheard remains, that's an exaggeration. No good parent would ever want that. Good parents want their children to leave, to grow, and to succeed on their own. A child returning to the nest is a failure, not a goal. And any good parent wants their child to exceed them. They want to child to be faster, stronger, smarter, and achieve more. They want the absolute best for them. God must want that. He wants us to to exceed Him. If God is infinite, so shall we be.

I would rather, and I'm being serious, face an eternity of damnation for even a short period of true freedom on Earth. And if that means turning my back on God, so be it. I'm happier for it. Any God that requires my reverence, my supplication, and my obedience is a tiny God indeed.

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