Losing My Religion
One is to enter the world with a bang. Out of the womb and into the heat of the world. A creation coming into existence from a mass of cells is a bang indeed; even greater the fact we have consciousness. You, my friend, are a rarity in a world composed of rarities. The Human, The Being. We are the pinnacle of all Being according to God. Our most gracious creator and savior. A skeptic will be quick to point out how wrong this view is. A skeptic will be quick to point out the oppressive Christian view statements made above represent. A believer will point out how this special condition we find ourselves in cannot be possible without the divine providence of some higher power. Whether the individual believes in Christianity, or a religion that does not have its roots in the Judaeo-Christian tradition, they still have a faith in the divine. All believers have faith. All believers want to be unique. If a human is to accept that we are not alone, then we must accept that the higher power does not favor us. This conclusion cannot be accepted based on the simple fact that we can find no evidence to disprove it. The counter factual situation is then presented in full force. The either/or of Kierkegaard is imposed upon us without any choice. The human condition is naturally a false binary we can find no escape from no matter how many matters-of-fact, or syllogisms, or mathematical proofs, or fallible scientific hypothesis can be presented. From the abstract we center on the individual. It is often the case that we, my brother and sister, but do I mean that? With the increased awareness of the other, which should be the human, you, my fellow human, find ourselves dealing with these abstractions on a practical level that can never fully represent the bloviation of an Aristotle or a second-rate philosopher. You-my human-drink, smoke, fuck, pray, lust, leer, judge-you human. Is there any other way to exist? We return then to the unique condition we find ourselves in. We find ourselves in a collective loss and in an individual struggle to find out own meaning to relate to other meanings; we gain validation. To this end let me take you on a personal ride to reach a greater truth my human. Let us explore the deep reaches of the need to together individually. Let us explore our need for the ultimate validation of the universal acknowledgment of a god that only offers us two choices because we demand it.
As a youth, I was exposed to the Catholic faith and the Catholic God. I am a Latino. I am a male. The days spent sitting in a church pew, or ins a Sunday school class, taught me one thing: comply. My God is a loving God for those that are unfamiliar. He, and I do mean HE, is only loving if you follow his rules. This was in the 90’s. The tradition of Catholicism dates back generations in my family. My grandparents fled a country that was plunging into civil war. They fled a county that assassinate d a Catholic priest. It is not important who killed Oscar Romero. An individual tragedy only further cements faith. What does this talk have to do with religion you ask my friend? Well, let me tell you again: it is the individual that enforces the deep need for the abstract of the universe.
My grandparents moved to the great principality on Washington DC and then to the great state of Maryland. It is such a convenience that they moved to the only Catholic colony of the first thirteen. They told me this was the land of Mary. As a note, the Virgin Mary is especially sacred to Latino society as they support a patriarchal system that promotes the subservience of women. It is important to keep the producers docile. Behind the guile of chivalry, we march on through my, our, history. We work hard to establish our small society, our family.
Father Bryant delivers his magnanimous sermons on Sunday. He is such a kind soul that the seduction of God is irresistible. Mass starts with a soft voice. A child sits in the pew awaiting the stimulation of play to learn, the indoctrinated adults await the affirmation of who they are. I sit impatiently-getting an especially hard pinch from my grandmother-and receive. A ritual is then inculcated, repeated, and imitated then occurs. We hear our hopeful message of sin and forgiveness, the bells ring, the communion starts, the confession initiates, the reverence is paid, the praise is given, a relief is granted, and sin continues. Rinse and repeat. A young cube, a mammal, learns from observing their caregiver. Younglings await the day to release their sinful acts and receive the clean slate to continue sinning. As a good Catholic I went through all the hoops and hurdle to be granted the freedom to sin. My belief burned with such a passion that my questions about the existence of God only became more intense. Do other Beings get granted the same privilege that we are granted? What if someone confesses on their death bed? What if the only difference is that they call their God by a different name? To leave on a question is unsatisfying. It only creates a tension in the self; waiting for an inevitable release. Your release will not come for this Human condition my friend. Only a build-up will occur and eventual let down for another build-up.
A good doubter of any such indoctrination will not allow the false binary to be imposed on their Being. I would sit in the kitchen with my grandmother at an early age and ask whether a person that followed all the ten commandments, yet did not know they followed them, would go to heaven. The kicker was always accepting Jesus Christ as the one true savior and also God. On a fateful day, a conversation occurred with my older brother. He was a senior in high school and I was freshman in high school. He read The Stranger and Grendel. My brother has always protected me from danger. I was a bean stalk growing up and he was a barrel. As a gentle youth growing up in a rough area I was an easy target. One of my favorite stories was when I was called a freak by a local bully called Mark. I ran home crying. My brother ran down Mark on his bike and beat the living shit out of him. After that day, I promised to be tough. I got in fights and lost. My brother was always there to pick up my pieces. He was my God at the time. Then this conversation happened. My God doubted me. We talked about whether my reality was real or whether everything was made up in my head. We talked about how such evil can exist in the world and God allow it. If evil exist and God created everything, God must have then created evil. My feeble mind could not hear such blasphemy. I vehemently rejected such questioning of our God my friend. Our savior was under attack, as much as I doubted, this could not stand.
My friend how can I reconcile such a cleave in opinions? The matter is especially more difficult when it involves humans so intrinsically tied together that they would give each other’s life for the other to survive. Let me make the suggestion, my friend, that the only solution is one of reversal. The doubter becomes the believer and the believer becomes the doubter. I went to colleges. A young man from a poor religious family met his colonizer and was so blindsided the only solution was to seek comfort in a synthetic God. A drug provides a skeptic an escape from serious skepticism. My synthetic faiths gave me a boldness never before present within my own Being. A four-year saga of addiction changed my mind and exposed me to real sin. My doubt about human depravity was tested and the social pressure to be a non-believer proved greater than a need for self-definition. Granted, a paralytic mind cannot think clearly. My friend, I cannot express to you more emphatically, the delusions that this Being within the false binary can produce such ailments. In actuality, a paralytic is not paralyzed. It is only misunderstood by those that accept the false binary. My heathy mind was able to accept a third, fourth, and fifth option to our natural reality. These epiphanies were dashed by constant drug induced sanity and compliance.
According to the Greeks a climax can only be led by a catharsis. One must accept their faults, create a sympathy between us, and lead to growth. We do not need growth my friend, what we need is more depravity and more sin to ensure the dissolution of the communion cycle and soul-crack be ended. But I woke up this morning to a new Kendrick album. What has been rejected this whole time is the primacy of our senses. The church, God, refuses to accept our senses. The sensuality of life itself is the original sin. Our rejection of sin, of sense, is only the affirm our senses. The natural goal, a word that derive its meaning from a literal holding cell, is to remove the human from the equation. We must remove our original sin of loving, smoking, fucking, drink, and most importantly of all, thinking, from all self-definitions We must then return to the personal to reveal the most abstract. Any art intentionally obscures sin and sense to allow self-discovery within our natural state and a release from the self-imposed false binary. Our own willingness to accept such poetic flares of emotions and our own acceptance to admit the breaking of rules as a liberation from the shackles of our own narcissistic God as a virtue to be admired in the pursuit of the un obtainable goal of being understood in a meaningful way through a language only understood by a fraction of a continua sinning group of irreverent sycophants willing to incorporate a virtue of disgrace to be loved by a grouped of obscure hermits that only read a specific group of texts that only reaffirm the need for an outside acknowledgment of a futile attempt to be meaningful in a life that will be unknown and unnecessary to any real human that can possibly think.
My friend, that brings us to this morning. After a nice cup a coffee I set to get things done. A new Kendrick Lamar album was released. I am ready to listen to a heathen music. My bike needed a good cleaning. Put the album on and started cleaning. The first listen is always interesting. The hype gets your adrenaline going and you forget to pay attention. The melody hits you first. I get into a groove and then the lyrics set in. As I listen and clean the concepts develop. My mind wanders from thought to thought and I notice a sample. Slowly the sample is revealed in my mind and the reward of self-gratification fills my body. I snap back to the album. There is an overt religious struggle present. Between Kendrick and the listener, a dialogue is created. What are the sins we commit? Personal sins, societal sins, and most importantly: how do we incorporate all these struggles into a coherent view of the self? Who are you without the materialism and facade of external influences. We act out our parts, but once we ate left to our own reflection, who are we and can we actually face it? Ultimately, the answer is God it seems. Or maybe not. The first listen is always the hardest. A listener imposes their own views as well. These religious aspects probably reflect the current views I have on religion. After years of indifference I am finally confronting whether I believe in a higher power or not. Then, the gears dry. My cleaning is over and so is the album.
Our spiritual cinders are left in the aftermath of an art that forces us to accept the sin inherent in a society that values monetary gain. Long syntactical thoughts express the best of our sinful nature. As with any expressions of sin we must acknowledge our own fluttering Being and how it all incorporates I to the faith of being. I am dragging you into this battle my friend. Once the sensual aspects of sin absolvements are left behind with my bike I am left with myself and with the pressing question of whether I believe or not. My Being inherently does not allow me to exit this false binary of sensual acceptance and universal morality. Your Being cannot allow another Being to exert primacy over your own. Our own sinful ends only result in a division. Sinners must unite in a rebellion to this monopoly over existence to allow another form of sinful repression to take control and exert its power in shaping a distorted reality one must believe in to reach some salvation in an unforgiving universe. You, my human, are cursed to wander the earth unhurt and unquestioned by those filled with doubt speaking to you in a language to vulgar to acknowledge and refusing to accept out union in sin against a God that want us to only comply to death. What we end on is the observation of a paralytic mind on the universal aspects of sin that require a personal start and engulf all of humanity.