Saturday, February 09, 2008

Ecce Homo


In honor of love month I'll be posting stuff as I count down to the 14th. It's hokey, it's corny, but you can look at it this way: it's better than nothing when you're somewhat creatively constipated. And if in case you are the mushy type, then maybe this might be what you need.

If you're going to copy and paste this at least please tell people I wrote it.

Ecce Homo

If you proceed from a position of faith, then "knowing your own worth" is a good enough basis of a healthy self esteem. The problem arises when you attempt to be totally objective about what you are worth. You must proceed from a position of distrust. You cannot trust your own assessment of worth until--

a) there is a standard to measure it against; and
b) you meet, or better yet, surpass those standards.

Sometimes I don't know what's worse.

The first makes you delusional; complacent, if serene, until you meet someone or something better, faster, stronger than you. Especially something that threatens to make you obsolete.

The second will never let you sleep.You are constantly and ruthlessly examining yourself for flaws and consistently finding them. There must be no question about your place in the Universe, your utility to your society and fellow man. Else, why do you even exist?

Quo Vadis, Veritas?

In a world where everyone can theoretically do what you do, think what you think, earn what you earn or more-- in a world where you are, in short, replaceable as employee, father, husband, lover, son-- in a world like that you have no real place.

God himself does not provide comfort within his abstract love of humanity, at least initially-- if he loves everyone equally then there is absolutely no difference between you and the depraved rapist who should be given the chair. You can't even trust the healing afforded by an abiding faith in the Christ-- how can you really truly tell if it's not another delusion? Another lie, another social palliative applied like band-aid to distract you from attempting to truly answer the questions of "What is my worth? Why am I here?"

The relentless search for the truth of your worth demands that you do not accept palliatives.

Those who take this second path path will most likely come to the same initial conclusions I have. That there is no meaning; that you exist to die; that your worth is a transient thing, dependent solely on chance and whether or not you picked the right skills and credentials and connections and bible study groups in your formative years.

Ecce Eros, Veritas; Ecce Homo

Absurdly enough, it's simple, naked love that answers the ontological and teleological questions of worth and meaning, by rendering those questions meaningless. Not the abstract love of a distant Watchmaker who "loves everyone equally." It's the love a Creator expresses personally through human agents-- friends, parents, someone you can share a well-lit bench with. Ridiculous as it sounds, the human psyche is apparently built that way.

I've thus come to accept that some palliatives are necessary if you still want to be a part of the human race. Acting out of faith is after all better, less stressful, than acting out of doubt.

I know what I'm worth. But I'll sleep better if key people can bring themselves to remember it.

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