Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Big Bang

I find that the internet brings out the less sensible people far more frequently than it does sensible people. My case and point here is basically any article on science that is posted on any website. As soon as it is posted, droves of fundies of various belief systems come out and say ridiculous, polemical things that usually are not well thought out.

This article in particular has inspired this posting. I was sneakily roaming facebook and came across one of my less intelligent friend's page and she had posted this and wrote "Take that, Creationist," next to it. Interestingly enough she has the most confused religious views I have seen posted on facebook, but that is besides the point. To keep it short, she adheres to gnosticism, while claiming to also be Catholic and a general Christian.

The most interesting part of this is that the article says nothing of Creationist or their opponents. It's a short article musing about how we cannot use this material to make warped drives or bombs. The real meat of the article is just the fact that we have been able to make anti-Atoms from anti-Matter (makes logical sense that anti-matter would have anti-Atoms, though I could be wrong) stick around long than .00001 milliseconds. We were able to look at it and perhaps one day we will figure out why we cannot see it and why it "disappeared." I put that in quotes because if we can gain access to it, it's obviously not disappeared.

Anyway, as soon as you scroll down the comments you see the uninformed fundie Christians battling the uninformed fundie Atheists and neither gaining ground because both are likely stupid. Fundie, if you haven't figured it out yet, is a slang term for fundamentalist. Yay, (plug). In any case, some particular gems of argument are:

-I have never seen atheism, dumb and bandwagon used together before....because it is erroneous. You should check out Dawkins religious belief scale. I can pretty much guarantee you intelligence increases towards the atheist end of the scale.
(note: I'm assuming he's talking about Richard Dawkins, a notorious polemic and ridiculous person. How this person would not assume that Dawkins belief scale in regards to intelligence is skewed. I've known many brilliant, brilliant theists (and still do) and they were in droves at Baylor including my professors, of course. However, some supposedly unrelated study, does say that those who choose atheism are quite intelligent, and far moreso than theists. More on that later.)
-You believe in:

* A Jewish Zombie who was his own father that can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master so that he can remove an evil force in your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

*You think hes real just because he cant be disproved

*The 2000 year old fairy tale book

-... This in no way whatsoever proves "God" exists. If anything, it shows more and more that the idea of God is false. HUMAN scientists created this, it wasn't some invisible being performing a magic trick to hint at it's fake existence.

Go back to reading your Bible and playing with crayons.

-Man, this is fascinating..
...its funny how religious people say that their god or gods exist,
yet most religious ppl are ignorant and never read a science book to expand their minds and get different views on life.
That there's more to life and thats it's beautiful and rather they choose to believe that a "god" magically created everything and himself and that if u do good u go to heaven, or u do bad u go to hell..
if ppl were smart enough to think about it, they'll figure out that religion is the most stupid thing in this planet, it's one of the things that seperate us as humans!

-Man I wish all religious people would walk to their nearest cliff and take a leap of faith. If you are able to cross to the other side then you would have proven Newton's second law wrong and I will be the first to bow to your god. However, since you are not going to do this because gravity will take care of you, then please free up some room by crawling back under your rock and letting real knowledge develop.

-I am an ignorant god fearing simpleton, my beliefs are based on a book that was written by ignorant primitives many hundreds of years ago. I have been brainwashed since birth to reject any other belief or to open my mind to scientific discoveries and to aggressively defend my beliefs. I will also try my best to make you believe. I dont care that science is based on facts such as fossils etc. The devil planted fossils and bones of early hominoids to trick us non believers. My savior was a murderous criminal nailed to a cross for his crimes but I will make him my martyr and kill other religeous fanatics and non believers who dont share my beliefs. I will spend an eternity on a cloud playing a harp with all my relatives while the non believers burn. I can do all kinds of crimes and sins and be pardoned on Sunday. None of my prayers have ever been answered but that dont deter my closed minded belief system. My preacher is sodomizing children and lives in a big house but thats just gods way. I feel sorry for all you non believers.

-I have been having trouble finding the "Christian" counter part but, I think the reaction against it was so large (1300plus comment) I cannot find them, but here is a synopsis of what they might say:

THE BIBLE SAYS....insert pretty much anything here
etc. etc.

Yes, I chose the ones I found most ridiculous. The point is mainly that these crazies exist. I will say that this particular forum was interesting because I saw smatterings of sensibility. I was pleased. Good job, people! *five*

Anyway, I haven't looked at this for...a couple days, so I think I lost my original point. But, I'm sure it was that none of these are even decent arguments for or against God and that it is really pointless to make every scientific discovery a huge issue. St. Augustine (my patron) had a theory of evolution ages ago. Most of the big scientific discoveries were made by religious men or monks (see: Newton, Copernicus, Galileo (he was religious, he just was kind of a dick) etc). This science versus religion dichotomy is ridiculous. Science cannot disprove the existence of God; it can, however, show us plenty of reasons to think there is at least some sort of creator deity. For me, the issue is not the existence of the Creator, but rather what sort of being the Creator is and what we are to it/he/she/it. There are simple facts that point to a Creator:
- The fact that we can make sense out of anything in this universe points to a mind being behind it. The universe would far more likely be nonsense if there wasn't a mind that created it and set rules in place.
-Because the universe would be nonsense, we would not be able to make sense of it and science, as it is, would not exist. There would be nothing to figure out; meaning that, even if we did search for underlying laws etc., we would find none.
-There is a starting point to the universe. At one point, there was nothing, and then there was something. Adding on into the equation does not mean things weren't created, rather it more likely means that the created universe had to be created specifically and very delicately.
-After the bang, the slightest change to the initial environment would have resulted in nothing. One way, it would have retracted on itself. While another way, it would have expanded and stars never would have been formed. We should all know by now that we quite literally come from the stars. None of the heavier elements that went into making planets and us would have existed without them.
- Even if string theorists are right, and they likely aren't, multiple big bangs and "branes" would not eliminate the need for a creator. Why should "branes" be the only eternal thing? It still does not prove that the universe wasn't created, it just adds a more experimental feel to it.

There's more, but I'm le tired.

Peace EASY,


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Change of Pace

So, as I've said, I'm Catholic. I do not know if I have said this, but I'm actually a convert. I officially became a Catholic Christian this past Easter when I was welcomed into the Church (my childhood baptism into the Baptist Church was valid btw). Anyway, this decision was not something I fell into. It happened over many years, and it was in 2009 after many discussion and research when I gave in and had to admit that Catholicism is far more sensible and the original form of the Church.
While my parents did not take any time to inoculate me against the Church, they expressed displeasure with my research into their ideas (particularly my father). Also, though they did not personally try to "protect" me from the Church, there are often anti-Catholic messages in Protestant Churches (particularly those of the Baptist persuasion). Actually, I noticed that a lot of Protestant preaching consists in citing how wrong other things are, instead of what is right with their religion and why it is. I think a lot of the clergy is taught to be mistrusting of the Church and, thus, so are their followers.
Anyway, this is the first of a series of post in which I would like to trace my own religious history, mostly because I find it interesting and partly because I hate the misunderstandings that I run into when I express my faith. Please keep in mind, that I do not believe I, personally, am always right. Nor will I always behave as I should. However, I believe in forgiveness and the grace to change and strive as best I can at any given moment to be better and let the medicine take its course.
So, now I would like to talk about my religious childhood. Though I would like to first point out that, while in general I do not, I sometimes harbor ill feelings for this aspect of my upbringing. This is for various reasons which I hope to express properly, but I do need that note to be taken, as it is ultimately a distaste and sense of having the full Truth held from me that pushed me in the direction I went.
I became a baptized Christian when I was 7. This was after probably months of questions and deliberations that I posed mainly to my mother (because my minister father was strangely against my desire for conversion) until I was satisfied with the belief system. I had, of course, attended church with my family my whole life until that time, but it wasn't until I was 7 years of age that it begin to settle with me. I started feeling as though what I was being taught was true, and had to find out more specifically what I would be assenting to.
That being said, I was obviously a strange kid. Most kids that age, Catholic and Protestant alike, feel more pressured to come into the Church (however good for them it is) and do not have their beliefs as formed as mine were by the time of my conversion. It's a social thing for a lot of kids, and many take the vows without realizing what they are getting into. Granted, I could not fully understand what I was getting into (i.e. the striving, the difficulties, the pain); but, I had figured out some things: I trusted God, believed Jesus was who he said he was, and trusted what was then the Church for me to lead me in the right way.
Unlike most children, even though I had trouble staying awake sometimes, I was always very serious about faith and matters pertaining to it. I was the kid who actively wanted to read the Bible and enjoyed going to church (I just didn't always have the energy I desired). I remember my attempt to read the whole (Protestant) Bible and how Leviticus crushed me. It was a lot to remember, and I love to read.
What all this signifies is a couple of things: 1. I'm quite serious about religious matters. 2. I am a nerd about religious matters and want complete understanding. 3. I approach religious matters with a serious amount of thought and need things to make sense. 4. I'm a little weird. The latter note was not necessary (i.e. number 4), but it's late and I do not care.
Anyway, I remained devout throughout my childhold, but ran into trouble with a tendency towards sensuality when puberty struck (cause it feels like you just got struck doesn't it? Everything suddenly gets really weird). I fell prey to the early life of the internet (i.e. AOL chatrooms.) I gained fake internet girlfriends, internet screw buddies (which was done pretty much only by text and imagination...that's admittedly up my alley. I love imagination), and got into porn. I have serious doubts I would have run into porn until I was 16 or 17 if it had not been for the internet, though I may be mistaken because I did discover at one point that my father hypocritically had the same problem I was having. Anyway, a creepy man-person in a pre-teen chatroom asked if I wanted to see Britney Spears naked (this was when "Baby, One More Time" came out) and, of course, I was like yes. Honestly, I wanted to see a number of pretty girls naked. Puberty, people! That started it, and I got caught a month or two into it and it got me in major trouble; but, here is the interesting thing, I got caught in deception and because of general foolishness. What I mean is that I instinctively felt that porn was not a good thing and that it was some how shameful. Keep in mind that I actually received no proper sex talk, and did not know porn existed until my introduction to it by Mr. Creeper. I probably couldn't even have told you what to call the pictures I was viewing. They were just naked ladies and it was awesome. I felt it was dangerous and not good, but I was willing to take the risk at the time.
So, I did get caught a couple of times, but it had already grown into an addiction (especially once I discovered a particularly graphic action that often coincides with anyone's usage of porn. You know the one I'm talking about. I just did not feel comfortable shouting it out.). Also, I never felt good after I recovered from the "high" aspect of porn. I always felt kind of dirty, though that did not last that long because I was a pre-teen who was not as introspective at this point.
Anyway, I bring up porn because it began to surface in my relationship with God and my religion. Repenting became harder (as it will do when you grow more sophisticated as a person) and suddenly I felt distance from God. I had, even throughout the crappier parts of my childhood, a closeness with God. Needless to say, this was horrifying to me, and was horrifying enough for me to be afraid of losing my salvation. This was a novel idea, because a lot of Protestants believed in "once saved always saved." (note: Repentance also likely became hard because I already have trouble recognizing every thought and feeling I have because most of the intense feelings are very deep under the surface) I actually think that "once saved always saved" made me feel as though i did not get "saved" when I was 7, otherwise I felt that I would not be stuck with this addiction that made me feel distant from God. In retrospect, I was not in need of conversion because I truly believed what I had assented to, I just had not realized how intricate it can get (particularly for introspective persons like myself).
In any case, I kept coming back to God. I realized some things about that fact much later, but it was a difficult time for me when I was in binge periods particularly. These are porn binge periods, by the way. I was never much of an everyday porner (ha, porner) and instead periodically had random weeks where I could not get enough of the stuff. I could go months without watching anything. I think this is why it took so long for it to screw with my attractions. I think I would have been more affected had I not stepped up my usage. Had I been able to quit and stick to that or continued 6 month periods between real binges (about 6 months, it varied of course) I would likely not be in my current predicament. I think this mainly because the stepped up usage inevitably lead to changes in what I desired in porn, but more on that later.
Once in high school, my family started church-hopping and trying to find a home-church. This was done because my father left his post as a youth pastor at this Baptist church (he left ministry at this time). We headed into the realm of non-denominationalism, a realm I have come to see as fairly wishy-washy. I realize that they are trying to unify the Church, but I have come to see that unification of the Church is going to require people to come back to Catholicism.
Anyway, in non-denominationalism land I rediscovered my faith in science (for a while, I had decided that if given a choice between the two I was just go with God, because it was an obvious truth to me that we were created. It seemed like people were just trying to destablize things). I began to see that there are many logical reasons for their findings and that they do explain our physical universe very well. So, I started to really question the ridiculousness I was hearing about evolution and other scientific issues (moreso in undergrad). These questions did not solidify until I was well into college and studying the Scriptures and the like, so it seems like this is a good place to stop. In regards to high school, my beliefs were relatively static and I did not have a lot of epiphanies. The biggest thing that happened was that a friend of mine died in a car accident and I discovered how closed off with people I was with anything meaningful. I'm sure that came into play later. Anyway, good night.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Something I Do Know

Hello again. I've decided that I do know a thing or two at least, and decided to post it.
My current psychological state is abnormal for me and probably exists due to a number of factors. Most being my fault, because I chose to react certain ways and do certain things. What I am struggling with now, is mainly mea culpa (my fault). So, there's that.
Additionally, I know that it is completely ridiculous to assume that if you do not find love with a certain sex, that the other gender is for you. There are always many reasons why something does not work, and it is rarely is it because this person has a penis or this person does not. What you really love or care about is a person. Their gender, while a part of them, is not the biggest part of them. It is not their entire essence. Human essence is much more complex than that and thus, it is foolish to condense it to their sexual being.
That being said, I'm not really referring to people who find they are not sexually attracted to someone anymore and decide maybe it's because that person is a male or female. Well, not exactly anyway. I think that, when in order, the sexual attraction has a great deal to do with what kind of person your chosen lover is. What attracts you most, if truly in love, is who that person is. The danger here is to go the step many people take and say that this means gender does not matter. But, that goes to far. It skips the fact that men and women do need each other. There is a reason that there are two sexes. There is a reason why, in general, members of each sex exhibit certain traits that the other does not. Sure, there is some overlap, but it remains that sex is a procreative process and is not specifically for our pleasure. After all, there are certain animals for whom sex is a burden (I think cats or something have this crazy penis that rips the female when exiting. HORRIFYING! Also, dolphins are rapists. Yes, I said it.). The fact that we can garner pleasure from it does not erase the fact that, if we couldn't get any pleasure from it, we would still be required to mate and bring forth offspring if we are to survive.
The pleasurable side of sex, in my mind, is a bonus and a gift from the Creator. It is pleasurable because it is good to be fruitful, good to multiply, and good for the two to become one. This was something we were supposed to realize.The fact of the child or of children shows that two have become one. Think about any baby that you have known, say a younger sibling, and how everyone spends time marveling at how they have their father's eyes or mother's lips. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually the child is a representation of the oneness of the parents. Which is one reason why divorce and abusive relationships are all the more tragic. They tear up the child as well as the parents. (I'd like to note that this does not mean the child is a carbon copy of its parents, because they still have their own free will. However, even in having free will they resemble their parents, whatever their choices. You're not your parents, yet you are. But, I digress.)
Anyway, what I'm saying here is that just because you have had issues with boys in the past, if you're a lady, or girls, if you're a man, does not mean that you are gay or a lesbian. It probably just means that you're choosing wrong and/or you need to change yourself and what you are doing. I find it silly that some girls will decide that they are lesbians after a bad stint with men and vice versa. The persons maleness or femaleness will tend not to be the problem. It is usually the person's person, feel me?
Of course, this does not negate the fact that some boys like boys and vice versa. But, I also think that we should not be surprised to see that our broken sexualities manifest themselves differently in some people. The point of sex is still procreation and of two becoming one with its embodiment in a child, but our world and we are fallen. That is why it is not strange that some gay couples want a child. It's part of being human to want that. However, there is an order that has been set up that we should stick to. There was a reason it was set that way. There are many situations where a child is jointly raised by two women or two men, but the guardians are not lovers themselves. The family unit is supposed to be husband, wife, and children. The fact that fallen people have not done well with their own families does not mean that we need to just change the dynamic. The mixed families we have now, even when done well are not what can be called good. They just are. Home is supposed to be eternal. Love is supposed to be forever. Broken families are really just making due. But, now I'm tired. I think I've stopped making sense. I want to end by saying that, one again, this is not written with hatred, but instead with love. I desire that we all get right, and my disagreeing with something is not hatred. The world is tainted, I'm tainted and thus should accept the taint on others. Now, I am babbling, later.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I fail at short with it.
Anyway, I finally came to grips with something about myself. A lot of my failed relationships failed (on my part) from a combination of rabid romanticism, lack of self-esteem, and just liking feeling like I'm all "in love."
I call the romanticism rabid because it has gotten kind of ridiculous (as if the movement was not already a bit ridiculous, but more on that later) how much everyone lifts up Eros, or romantic love. I think it plays into the personality of this sort of love. Eros is the most boastful of all the loves. It is the weakest and most fleeting as well. The oaths one makes while being "in love" can be the most easy to break once the feeling subsides. The fact is, the feeling that inspires you to profess a never-ending love will not last. Sometimes, you will feel very out of love and even entertain those feelings for another person (this is sometimes how cheating happens, though I'd say lust is to blame more than love in most cases or at least the confusion of between the two). Fact.
Now, I've known this for a while, but still have not fully grasped the fact that for any long-term relationship or marriage to work Charity must take its place. This isn't Charity in the sense of someone giving to a less fortunate person, but rather something else entirely. Something, admittedly, I do not fully understand. I do know that Charity is what forces Eros to keep its promises.

I was gonna really write about this...but got distracted and lost my way. I'll try again later hahah.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Some Thoughts

This should be a short post, but in my researching of some gospel musicians who "struggle" or just accept themselves (and do not think about the very real fact of sin being sin) I came across this website called theologynow. It is apparently an anti-theist/Christian site? I'm still not sure, it seems unclear at times.
In any case, they brought up a recent documentary called "Cause The Bible Tells Me So" and asked the question: Can love between two people ever be an abomination? The answer to that is obviously yes, if you understand that there are inordinate loves or improper expressions of love. You shouldn't love your car more than a person, and you shouldn't love children with romantic interest. These are pretty much agreed upon, and this was once the situation for homosexual relationships beyond pure friendship for much of the existence of mankind. While some cultures have been rather tolerant, no one has really accepted it. People believed in a natural law, and it seemed obvious to them that man and woman needed each other and that that was the only way that life continues to come into the world. Life is good, and a relationship that cannot reproduce is not a good one. It is against life. Before the inevitable objections come up, let me say that a barren woman can still, by some miracle have a child. A homosexual union can never do this naturally.
Now, it is true that science can now produce babies out of nothing, surrogacy, or donated sperm. However, I feel rather dubious about these methods because I have trouble seeing where love comes into the picture of making the child. The ideal is for a man and a woman to become one in love and for that love to produce children to be brought up in love and reproduce for themselves later. It has always been that way for every culture. It's nice that the barren woman can get her own child, but that also makes people with the ability to give an orphaned child a great home less inclined to do so, because there is something about a child being your own flesh and blood. That simply cannot be denied. In the case of homosexual unions, it gives them a chance to have something they cannot have naturally. For the world to continue to have humans requires child bearing and the simple fact is, you need sperm and an egg. It's great that these options are available, but they lack warmth.
This warmth and love that would be absent in a laboratory or doctor's office where the setting will always be less than intimate. I think this matters, while a lot of people will not. However, it seems like common sense to realize that the circumstances behind a birth will affect a child. I have a friend who was the product of a husband raping his wife. Unfortunately for her, after her birth she was often mistreated by her mother because she reminded her, most likely, of that horrific thing her husband did. One could argue that a laboratory or doctor's office are more innocuous, but think about the fact that people are selling their fertility. They are selling themselves, prostituting a gift that was given them. No one asks for fertility in the sense that no one asks to be alive. Sure, it's your body and you can do what you will, but selling one's self (of which the ability to reproduce is always a large part) seems wrong, doesn't it? It's prostitution. The selling of something essential to your humanness for gain. It's safer sure, like making porn, but still prostitution. Just because it's safer does not make it right. The same moral issues arise.
Hmm, this was supposed to be short, but I'm apparently feeling quite prolific. ONWARD, I SAY! Anyway, that applies to the majority of the cases I can think of (because the purchase of the other half of the equation is always necessary). One of the couple can provide one aspect (one woman in a lesbian couple her womb, and one man in a gay couple his sperm) but it, obviously, cannot do it all. They can even take turns, which in itself is kind of weird. Think about it? I mean, woman have joked about it, but think about switch who carries the baby from time to time and how complicated that would have to be (particularly for heteros). That is a funny thought. Anyway, the point is that someone must be bought and I've already given some thoughts on that.
The fact is, men and women still need each other, and that has always been part of the basis for the idea that heterosexuality is good while homosexuality either less preferable or not good. Because we are able to do things more synthetically we think that we have erased that difficult, when we really just created an industry for people to sell themselves. Dubious.
Finally, I'd like to say that this does not come from an realm of hatred. If this writing is stumbled upon, please know that my belief that homosexuality is a sin because it is a disruption of nature does not mean I hate them or want to kill them. I always approach every person with love because we're all sick, to be honest. That is one of the biggest Catholic truths. Christ is the cure for sick souls. Why else compare him to our physician? There are a wealth of metaphors about God and his relationship with us because there are a wealth of ways that he relates to us. The difference between a homosexual and a heterosexual sinner is this: one's sickness is expressed differently than the other. Make no mistake, it is the same illness; but, just as it is exhibited in our daily lives, everyone is different and will be affected different. There are different cancers, you know. The truest Christian argument against homosexuality is one that keeps in mind that we are all ill, all need Christ, and all will have to give up many a thing to be cured. The diabetic gives up sugary food, the heterosexual becomes chaste, and the homosexual becomes chaste. All are called to chastity, some will just not have the eventual outlet that marriage will provide. For any professing Christians who come across this, keep in mind that you're sick too and you would not be in the Church unless you too needed a cure. Be blessed, everyone.

Ye Ol' Switcheroo

I know I stated in the previous, rather slushy drunken post that I would return to those topics in this post. However, I feel differently this morning and will not. I'll probably return to every subject repeatedly anyway, so it does not matter. Deal with it.
Anyway, I was just looking through my old xanga. It's a blog thingy like this but was highly popular with my age bracket about 4 years ago. Friends and I have periodically tried to revive it's role in our lives to no avail. In any case, it is always fun to look back. However, my eyes have changed. What I mean here is that I see stuff a bit differently, this comes inevitably with age and changes in circumstances. I've decided that, like all teenagers, I was hella whiny. I feel like most people feel like that when they look back on old journals. I will also say that I cared way less about grammar in my blogposts then. The result is rather frightening. However, the posts are quite revealing and a great snapshot into my mind then.
I notice several truths emerging as I continue to go through these ridiculous posts. First, I have a great sense of humor. Most who know me now would say this persisted and I would be inclined to agree with them. This humor of mine is sometimes irreverant, often quirky, and still somehow universal enough to make others laugh. Second, I notice that I was not the most overtly masculine fellow in the world, and that I sensed this and owned it. Though I spent much of college getting to know myself better, I did have an understanding of self that likely surpassed most kids my age. In fact, in my year book I had a few comments that told me to keep it real like I always did. Third, you'll notice I was girl-crazy as hell. Almost ever other post, this might be a slight exaggeration, was about some girl I was wanting to date or liked etc. This is partly due to the fact that I am very indecisive and tend to use it as a defense against rejection by not making decisions at all. There were likely a lot of missed opportunities during this period in my life and I'm aware of quite a few of them even now. Lastly, you'll notice that, as I've said, boys were not on the radar in any aspect. I wasn't confused about who I wanted sexually nor for eternal love with a family. I knew what I wanted and sought it rather fanatically because I felt rather unworthy of every woman ever.
While this isn't solving anything, it is a great starting point for the answers I am seeking at this point in my life. That kid is still in me, though I have changed in some ways. I'm still that kid at my inner most core. I'm trying to find him again, and see how he is to live in the world he currently finds himself in.
So, what does he do with these new, rather pressing attractions that he is dealing with? They weren't there before, so now he has to actively deal with what they mean. The question is: do these have any bearing on his religious core? I believe that, though the inclination for--in my case--bisexuality is not wrong in itself, my active participation in the homosexual side is. I have one Christian friend at Baylor who struggles with it too. He has struggled with it for longer and, like myself, has chosen faith over participation in all his hearts desires. The truth in Christianity is whatever we give up shall be made over and given back to us, perfected. That lust that nips at my heels constantly will become a stallion that has been broken and bends to my will instead of its own (to paraphrase a beautiful metaphor from C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce). That is what I desire more than fulfilling whatever sinful desires I may have in the here and now. I may not always have the will to do what I want, but that is my heart. It is my core. I want to be considered a good and faithful servant, who struggled and persevered through grace. I want to be like my patron saint, St. Augustine and finally put to rest all that has plagued me...even in this life.
I have no answers just yet, but this is a good start.

Reflections on Recent Conversations

I'm going to say it now: I AM DRUNK. This is not very monk-like, I know. Well, unless I'm St. Francis...he was kind of a drunk. Anyway, I have decided that I have wonderful friends particularly one I will call T and another I will call N. I find them both to be amazing women. I'll tell you why: it's because they live unapologetically, but with respect. They know and respect my beliefs, and in many senses share them. We seem to agree on a lot of things, and yet not much at all. We're very different people, but seem to possess some core similarities. Anyway, I love them and thank them for talking with me in this most confusing aspect of my life.
Somewhere in my last post, I am sure that I mentioned a level of pressure I have felt with my new circle of friend-people. It seems that my mannerisms and personality quirks point towards something I have never been or considered myself to be. But, finally, these things that people expect have become actual issues. I would attribute this to a grinding and deep loneliness that I have felt off and on most of my life, but felt most frequently in the last couple of years. This loneliness, in my mind, has lead to my feelings on the sexual plane to change, though not enough to actually want to go home and have sex with a male (for the most part, because I've had my doubts). Here's the plain truth of it, when I see myself in the future with my future family, I see: a wife (a woman because, in my mind, a male cannot be a wife.) and children. I also see music, but that's not the point of this post. That means I cannot see myself in a relationship with a man and do not see that. My sexual feelings are confused at the moment, but my plans and feelings about that are pretty solid.
Anyway, I have felt a severe amount of pressure to be a certain way--something that changes with the group I hang out with. This current pressure has been to be a man who likes men. People seem to assume I am that way (though this isn't necessarily within my close friend group, despite the fact that when I have brought it up there have been occasions where this is the case.). This is incredibly strange to me, because it was never really an issue before. I didn't have any real thoughts on the matter until college when it suddenly seemed like guys were periodically attractive. This has increased in the past few months, due to various stressors like my previous relationship. I'm frustrated to say the least, and it's spilling over into whom I want to sex (or at least receive sexual attention from, as it stops at that. I like being flattered. I don't really like being such an attention whore, but I am.). I do not feel comfortable nor myself when this occurs. I feel off balance. I am a Libra, and need balance (it's weird how true that is for me). I am sick of all these parentheses, I got to stop using them.
Okay, I'm too drunk to finish this, so here is a rundown:
-I still do not feel myself, and want.
-I am trying to figure out what these new feelings mean for me.
-I am trying to reconcile what is expected of me to who I truly am.
-I am, at my core, a religious person and that will always trump any feelings I have. I will always feel guilty when I fail to live up to the standard I subscribe to.
-Porn makes me feel off balance.
-I am sad the 49ers are not playing well.

That's all.

Ugh...too drunk. finishing tomorrow sober.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Before Re-Entering Monk Mode

I realize that I have written posts before about writing in this blog more...and failed. I always would forget or just get too busy. I don't really care what my excuses are, but now I find myself doing the same thing with a sense of urgency. I have to start writing again because I have lost myself. That's right, I have lost myself. This is something considering the ample time that I have spent in introspection and seeking myself.
However, since my departure from Baylor University (Sic 'Em Bears) I have lost my sense of self, regained it, and lost it again. The initial loss was due to a crisis in faith, finding myself outside of what I had found to be true unable to fully participate, and dealing with feelings from past relationships and the mistakes I made therein. I had to fully push from my mind my first love--those of you who know me well should know who she is--and get over the fact that I was not completely stable upon entering the relationship that had ended just after the end of school. I made mistakes, and did not take the greatest care. Though, honestly, she was just as much to blame because she had no sense of self. I thought I had found who she was; but, like always, I found I was mistaken. I have noticed a tendency, perhaps out of loneliness, to give woman I have interest in or have interest in me, what I call, the "benefit of being awesome." I fall into "love," more accurately "like," quickly and tend to rush the relationship. I push for intimacy that it takes years to build. An intimacy, I might add, that I seem to have found with an old friend who is--by a cruel twist of fate or what have you--unavailable due to circumstances beyond both of our control (she's not taken and I'm not taken, but the geography is daunting and she still has to finish undergrad). Such is life. In any case, I rush things and chase girls away. I know it's partly due to my severe abandonment issues. I am afraid or assume that whomever I am with is going to leave me for their own dubious reasons and try to get as close as possible before the inevitable happens (the aforementioned awesome person is an exception of course).
Also, though it happened a few times in undergrad, the questioning of my sexual orientation has come up far more frequently. This is really funny, in a non "ha-ha" way, because I know--for a fact--that in my younger years I always liked girls. I wanted to find ways to hang around them etc. I do not believe it was necessarily sexual at the time, though of course it developed into that later with puberty. In any case, I've always considered my self heterosexual and behaved as such. Anyone who knew me in undergrad and high school well would attest to this. I have always been odd, for various reasons, but I never attributed this to sexuality and those who really know me haven't either. I know this fact: I want a wife and children. I do not wish to date or "marry" a man. Whatever the case, the point here is that--actually--other people's opinions of me are something I take very seriously. I am also not always able to reconcile what they think of me and what I have known of myself for ages. I probably know too much of myself and often think I have become, in many ways, rather akin to Dostoevsky's Underground Man. I enjoy my illnesses in some perverse fashion and find it hard to take action. In actuality, part of this is simply I have a temperament that naturally tends towards the easy route. This does not mean I do not have a strong will, it just means my will often pushes towards that which is most diplomatic, easier, or leads to less conflict. Growing up, this meant (and still means) clamming up when aggressively asked questions or unnecessarily and excessively punished by my father. I am the kind that takes injustice and does not complain except internally or in written form that my "oppressors" may or may not ever see. I'm silent. This extends to the deepest parts of myself and feelings as well. In a romantic relationship, this tends to turn into over sharing due to aforementioned reasons. I bring up whatever strong feelings I have way to early, and push too hard. Anyway. My natural tendencies have combined to make it difficult for me to make explicit stands. I tend to take people at face value and be to trusting with certain things. I trust their perceptions and doubt my own. I doubt my own, even though I have taken time to know myself. I doubt my own because I do not believe in myself. Why? I'm not sure, but I know that growing up I took a lot of hits to my self-esteem and faith in myself. This is in regards to normal life stuff though; as far as school was concerned I lost motivation and felt unchallenged. Eventually my grades fell. I'm trying to get that part of myself back too.
So, people's opinions of me were of too much importance (I believe it is healthy to care what people think because I believe in morals and an order. It is far more unhealthy to not care at all. It leads to smelling bad and various social ills. After all, someone thinking you smell can inspire you to shower.) and people's opinions were really starting to bug me. I had not found a way to reconcile or trust in myself in regards to myself. It seems like everyone was expecting me to come out of the closet. A closet, I felt I was never in being hetero and all. It is an exaggeration to say this, but there have been a few episodes that have come about mostly due to my foolishness and some of the people I have surrounded myself with. I won't name names, but there were many instances where I really began to question myself. Here are two examples: Some of my first parties in Denton consisted in a friend of mine trying to get me drunk enough to let this boy do things with me. This is a boy who I think is a cool guy--weird, but cool. I've also never been attracted to him sexually. He's hit on me off and on, in jest and not in jest. His girlfriend has too...anyway. Anyway, it bothered me that I was the person that supposedly would do such things and the person to pick out to get drunk for such things. It was not the boy's was my new friend's fault. It was also a dick move. Instance two, I was accosted by a drunk as lesbian chick who tried to convince me to come out for 15 minutes. She told me my friends would be okay with it (which I already knew) and then tried to convince me to make out with her to prove my heterosexuality. Even considering I initially wanted to make out with her prior to the discovery of her preference and this conversation (I was hella drunk), this was the dumbest proposition I had ever heard. What good is making out with a lesbian? Oh, and once this friend of mine I attempted to seduce in one of my darkest times told me I kissed like a woman. A DEFINITE FIRST, and also something that made me raise my eyebrows at her with skepticism. After all, how did she know?
Anyway, this pressure was building. People were expecting something from me that I had never felt was a part of me. I'm weird and probably have some girlish mannerisms at times, but I'm still a heterosexual man. I just happened to respect and wish to emulate my mother more than my father because he and I steadily became estranged over the years. I can only speculate that I came to associate his more manly qualities with bad things, and thus settled on my mother. I doubt there was a thought that was exactly like this, but I did come to think for a while that I was a bad boy and that my dad liked girls better and wished I was a girl. I like to dress well, and I am finally able to after years of that not being so, and learned how to dress from my dad. It was before we became really estranged when I was taught these things, so they stuck better. In any case, I like to look fly. I also spent time for many years coming up with a style of my own. This apparently is gay. I had no clue. I was who I was and I am who I am currently. However, sometimes when people keep saying the same thing you can begin to believe it. There was another factor though.
PORN. That's right, I said it. PORN. I was introduced to it when I was about 12 and just really starting puberty. It was also a time of great turmoil, like it is for lots of kids. However, my turmoil was different and I will not go into now. I will say that there were spiritual, emotional, familial, and racial issues and pressures that were hitting me at this time. This is the time when I was forced to move to Texas and there were just way more problems that I handled internally and not always well. Anyway, people think porn is harmless but it is not as innocuous as we want to think. It is, in fact, addictive and very difficult to actually quit. Also, it's content is, obviously, sexual in nature and has to have some bearing on your sexuality. Initially, I just liked lesbian porn with occasional girl-on-girl strap on work. I wanted to be the only dick around (whether or not they theoretically wanted me there). However, it would not stop here. We have to recognize that the porn one starts on rarely stays the porn that continues to get one off. Your porn choices tend to change over time as what once gave you a thrill gives you less of one. I am a prime instance of this. I now look at porn I initially thought incredibly gross. I look at things I never thought I would. This holds true for plenty of people though, of course, not everyone. This attests to porn's addictive nature and that combined with the chemicals in the brain that occur during orgasm make it a formidable appointment.
The truth is, I feel that porn has made women not the only viable options with me. It's pushed my actual sexual being into an attraction to men. It is not the sole reason, but it certainly does not help. I've noticed a tendency to think differently if I've been binging on porn. That combined with not enough Church makes me lose myself. I become someone I've never been, and I do not like it.
Recently, I got out of a three month long relationship with a person I have since decided may be crazy. The relationship completely drained me and lead to a deep depression where I did not attend to my spiritual and emotional needs very well. I ended up sleeping with two women (at different times), the first women I had been with since my first love. I doubled my sexual output after 3 years of being mostly celibate (there was dry humping sometimes). I have never been that free with my body (minus a short stint in high school when I was being more crazy and trying to pretend I was fearless. Ask North Theatre kids about strip poker). And it baffled me and made me wonder how I could have fallen as I have.
Anyway, the point here is that I have lost myself and need to regain that sense of self that so many have complimented me on for much of my life. To do this, I'm going into monk mode. I wrote a note in facebook about this (monk mode), so I will just say that I will be deactivating my facebook, periodically blocking, spending a lot of time in prayer, and occasionally going out to see people. it must be occasionally because I know that I need a lot of alone time with my temperament anyway. So...this is the start. Pray with me.