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costs and benefits of renouncing

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/magazine/a-brief-resurrection.html?smid=pl-share
after reading this article, i began to imagine the great difficulty priests and nuns must have. there’s been a lot of noise about priests lately and their  hidden desires for love and deviant behaviors. Johnson’s article made me see how difficult it must be for those who take vows to a church or religion or cult, who one day begin to think differently if they fall in love with a human being or differ from the tenets of that church, dogma or doctrine.

it must be difficult to reconcile the feelings towards an actual being which necessitates a two-way conversation and interaction when one has grown accustomed to a one way deal.  being betrothed to a god or godlike being is like having a kind of monologue. when one is betrothed to a mystical being, there’s no division and no worries. there’s only following, and not the kind of  following as in a blog where you are free to comment your thoughts. following here means agreeing with, but differing or adding to, too.  but with another ‘etre humain’ however, there’s  a dialogue, there’s spontaneity, flows, thoughts, ideas and give-and-take. is there a place in a doctrine or dogma for such newness or new things?

for those possessing new ideas and energies it can’t be easy to resolve if they’ve been trained to follow a linear doctrine etc. a follow-and-don’t-question habit is like that straight and narrow path. that straight and narrow sets up derailment in a world full of eye candies.

what does one do when plagued with thoughts different from what the church or religion  teaches you, like mary in this article?

when we live in a culture where therapy is the rage, where people see therapists to talk and get answers for years on end, because they’re unable to sift through their thoughts and problems, what do church folks do when faced with desires or differences? is the elder in their church etc to whom they must tell their woes suffice as therapist?  the same elder/s or priest/s etc who see only god as the answer to all? although some therapists are like priests and think linearly and treat everyone like a universal script, there are some who will enable you to get out of your pigeon-hole of problems.

the irony of the religious folks who err mostly sexually [according to the news] is that they are dealt with by earthly laws [of  the court] and not the high laws of the holy books. religious pedophiles who fulfill their carnal desires on young boys [or girls or women] hide from a god who’s omnipresent and omniscient and perform their acts in hiding behind closed doors, because their desires and acts aren’t compatible with god’s or the holy books and earthly laws especially!

but would these deviant doers of the religious institutions be different if there was flexibility? if there’s no creativity in the doctrines because scriptures are ranted off as a solution to every problem, what do these poor sinning humans do when faced with all the excitement, fury, creativity, desires that loving a human being entails and which are not in the holy books? desires for anything or anyone but god in such establishments as the one mary talks about in her article are not condoned. who writes the new answers in to the new questions in such cases?

i remember when i wanted to try out another outfit and wore the habits of christianity. a teenager with teenage desires, i desired to wear clothes as though i had 3 bodies, not one. i wanted to beautify my appearance, chat with boys, daydream of someone whom i fancied, but the church said ‘no’ to all! the pastor would assuage me with guilt trips as “that’s of the devil!” or “do not fall prey to his [the devil] wicked ways of temptation!” anything i desired, wanted or felt was ‘wrong’. nothing was normal. or of god, or natural. how could everything be wrong  when i was such a thinking person?  the doctrines offered no solution to my feelings and the many confusions inside. and like mary,  i took off those christian clothes, because they pricked my conscience and creativity. when johnson says she couldn’t bear being forbidden to think her own thoughts, i do understand, for i know that only conformity and obedience could grow in such places! mary had to let jesus go because she wanted to live with a flesh and blood human being.

perhaps the difference between those priests who commit deviant acts etc and mary and i who cannot NOT be allowed to think our own thoughts is that they squelch their desires, thoughts, needs etc while staying in the church etc, which become explosive and addictive into whatever behaviors they develop.

where should the thoughts of god reside when their minds are rampant with other desires or worldly desires or otherworldly desires? the philosopher krishnamurti said that love is there when the mind is silent and the heart is empty of the things of the mind. in churches etc, god must always be on your mind, and you must flee that midday demon! but if love for anything or anyone is to be felt doesn’t god have to leave the mind – at least long enough – or not be in conversation with us?

for those of us who aren’t buddhas, who cannot renounce wife, or child, careers, art [especially movies!] etc it is easy to be so paralyzed with doubt and confusion as to renounce it all!  divorces from god must necessarily occur because it’s god way or the highway !

if religion is the opium of the masses as karl marx suggests, that should imply that most people should heed the scriptures, but alas! life isn’t theory! life isnt’ as strictured as a text, and humans need creativity, and love is a drug that penetrates all the members of the body. it seems that it is impossible to think of love for god and love for a human simultaneously! love for a human is the ‘summum bonum’ of life gandhi once said, and even if it fails in the end, or ends in divorce, humans must love or experience love. if buddha was able to renounce love it was perhaps only after having had it or known it. but the priest or the nun who’s not allowed to have it cannot know what ‘it’ is and cannot know fully what they’re renouncing. how can they renounce something they never had? perhaps religious folks and doctrines need some newness to avoid divorces, deviance or oppressions.


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