Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Disclaimers & Definitions

As I mentioned the other day, I had an epiphany a couple of weeks ago. I want to talk about that in the hopes of clarifying it for myself and possibly helping others who are struggling with addictions that seem to be unbeatable.

But first, I must do some disclaimers and definitions.

I use the term "he" in its universal sense. I hate seeing things like "he/she/it/they/those/we/you" when I am trying to read. I believe "he" has fewer sexual connotations, and is less gender specific, so that’s what I use.

I believe in God. We have a very personal relationship. Deal with it or not, as you see fit. You won’t change my mind and I won’t attempt to change yours. I am multi-denominational and non-denominational. I don’t think any one religion has a monopoly on God. I don’t think any one religion is right, and all others are wrong. It is my personal belief that God doesn’t feel that way either. I will refer to God without apology whenever I want.

I was raised a Catholic by a mother who thought she was excommunicated for marrying my non-Catholic father by a Justice of the Peace in a town hall. My father is some sort of Protestant, whose religious schooling consisted of tent revivals because they were fun. I have gone to many different churches, read many different ideas, checked out lots of options. No one view has satisfied me, so I pick and choose, based on my current needs. I will discuss my views with anyone who can keep their emotions under control. Since those people are rare, I don’t discuss my views on God a lot.

I am not a Politically Correct person. I believe if you speak, you should speak honestly as you see things. You shouldn’t cover up what you think or feel. But that doesn’t mean I believe in intentionally hurting someone. If I think by speaking freely it promotes understanding and a search for truth, I speak freely; otherwise I keep my mouth shut. Human beings classify everything. It’s how we learn; it’s how we make sense of our world. The fact that people are prejudiced (defined as a person classifying strangers in ways that make sense to that person) should not surprise anyone. I challenge anyone to find a truly non-prejudiced person. I say it can’t be done. I think we should allow open dialog so we can challenge people’s views of the world. It’s likely I will say something to upset someone. So, sorry in advance, it’s not intentional, but that brings me to my next statement.

I think people are their actions; people are defined by what they do. "The road to hell is paved with good intentions," said Samuel Johnson. I believe this. That is not to say intention is not important because it is. You should do things with intention. What I mean is, if you do something (let’s say you hit your child out of frustration) you are that action. You have hit your child. You may not have wanted to, you didn’t mean to, it wasn’t your intention, but you did it. And your child feels it. You did it, it happened. You can’t say, "I don’t beat my child because I didn’t mean for it to happen." Bullshit. You should feel guilty. If it wasn’t your intention to do it, you should find a way to fix it. If you intended to do it, well, then, it’s 100% on you. Intentional or not, accept the consequences of your own actions. All of this is to say, I believe in personal responsibility, even when it comes to the harm we do ourselves, and maybe even more so.

Two definitions from www.dictionary.com

e·piph·a·ny ()(-pf-n)noun
1. A sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something.
2. A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization: "I experienced an epiphany, a spiritual flash that would change the way I viewed myself" (Frank Maier).

hy·per·vig·i·lance (-'vij-&-l&n(t)s)nounThe condition of maintaining an abnormal awareness of environmental stimuli

All of this is relevant to my epiphany, really.

6 comments:

  1. I hug my prejudices close to me. They're comforting. They help me classify and make sense of the world. Once in a while, I toss them out the window and label the person in front of me "you lil ole exception you!".

    You're right about that. And now, I can't wait to see what the epiphany is.

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  2. You get better and better and better when it comes to writing and especially blogging. Keep it up.

    I have moments of epiphany. One night, I dreamed I had the answer to the question posed by the Universe, but by morning, I forgot what it was. I wish I'd written it down. It was rather profound and made sense of Everything. (I'm not being facetious.)

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  3. Jenn - I have many such notions and adjust as time goes by. Does that mean I'm growing up? Yuck.

    Andy - Thanks. I don't doubt you for a minute. It's a flash of such pure understanding, everything makes perfect sense, and then it slips through your fingers. But at least you had the joy of knowing you knew.

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  4. Nessa: Growing up? What does that mean? Honestly? (I don't think it means becoming old and staid and boring, btw.) You're too interesting to grow up.

    Andy: 42???????

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  5. Jenn - Did you see The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe movie? I forgot I wanted to see that, even thought the reviews were not good. DVD run.

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  6. You are so right about not being 'politically correct'. I hate
    to sugarcoat my words more than I hate miffing people by not doing so!

    Awrightie!! Now I am on the edge of the seat after the trailer.
    Please go on!

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