Tag Archives: Predestination

How to find a good title for everything that amounts to a “life’s work”?

I think I’ve finally figured out a good way to describe what exactly it is that I’m looking for out of life. It comes down to one word: “profundity”. I want to be moved. I want nature and life to make me cry. I want to be able to cry in front of someone while looking at something beautiful, and be able to say to them “That’s beautiful.”

I’ve always had this sense, for many years, that something was missing in my life. I couldn’t figure out what it was. I think part of the problem is being surrounded by the perspective of the “average” person: dull, and dumb. Not much to look forward to but the next race or ball game (I’m not talking about family, but just being around people in public, overhearing conversations constantly, coworkers, etc.). That’s not what life is about to me. I think that’s why I’ve been going on these solo drives lately. One, just for new environments. But, arguably even more so, because of self-reflection.

I feel like I’ve been beaten down over the years with constant derision of being an “overthinker“. No one could possibly understand the enjoyment that I get from contemplation. I haven’t known how to speak out against it. Now that I’m older, with more responsibility and freedom, I find myself asking: What do I want my perspective to be? What do I want to think about? Where do I want my mind to be? That’s a very deep question. Going through the motions gets you through the day. But is that all my life is? “Getting through the day”? What’s the point in that? You’re telling me that God created our entire universe, the Earth, and US, for Christ’s sake, just for us to “get through the day”? What kind of ultimate purpose is THAT? A fucking pathetic one.

No, there’s something missing in my life, for sure. So much talk revolves around bills and jobs. Not only politically, but just “small talk”. To be fair, I guess when it occupies as much time and energy as it does, that is inevitable. But am I to take certain inevitabilities as the purpose of my life? If I were to get cancer tomorrow, would I treat that cancer as the purpose of my life? Would I talk about it constantly, and think of nothing else but it? Or would I look for profundity in other things? I think the answer is the latter.

I’m tired of listening to well-meaninged people warning about a “life wasted”. I want to be able to say why I disagree with them. In order to do that, I need to use words. I need to “overthink” about words. I’m tired of playing dumb just to keep some sense of “social peace”. Your inferiority complex shouldn’t be my problem. There’s too much profundity to be concerned with some jackass that feels insecure because your vocabulary is deeper than his.

And that should go for myself as well. I shouldn’t dismiss someone just because they speak better than me. Just learn how to speak better, you fucking retard. Learn new words. Become a better listener. It’s not one of the Ten Commandments: just an improvable life skill.

The ultimate problem is that I’m not allowing myself to get lost in my own head enough. I listen to others a lot so that I can learn things for myself. But speaking up for myself is difficult many times. I don’t really allow myself, often enough, to reflect, and contemplate. This makes those times when I do feel like doing those things all the more special. There’s other factors mentally blocking me from fully dedicating myself to creating things. I’ll have to continue to write about those later, even though I’m sure I’ve already touched on them somewhere.

My head is too full of the words of others instead of what feels like my own independent thoughts. Social anxiety is one reason why I can’t tune others out. The other is that responsibility scares me. The unknown future is scary for all of us often. So we focus on our immediate day, where more things are under our control. But I’ve encountered so many people that say “Where in the hell did my life go?” that it scares me, so I try to think more about the future. And I believe that my future would be better if I allowed myself to get more lost inside of my own head, instead of replaying the words of others in my head constantly and doubting my every desire and decision. That ain’t working anymore. I can’t write like that. Writing requires independent thoughts. I love writing. I need independent thoughts. I need MY words. I don’t want my words to just be “Here’s what someone else told me one time.” What’s MY analysis?

But it’s hard to allow myself to get lost in my head. As I’ve said, it’s just scary to be alone inside of your own head. All of your mistakes come at once. All of your uncertainties. Your worst fears. They come storming at you. It’s easier to close the door of your independent mind and let someone else distract you from yourself. Perhaps some music would help?

Going out on a limb like this, of course, poses its own problems. What if I’m wrong? That’s humiliating. Will I just be able to say “I messed up?” Once again, I think that’s, mainly, just a skill that needs to be learned. It’s one thing to realize the power of humility when you feel like you aren’t making a mistake. It’s another when you realize you have.

Another problem is experience. EVERYTHING is “experience”. But the question should be: what kind of experience? I need more experience with linguisticators. I want to figure out why they burn me out so much. I understand that reading, and listening to good speakers, would help me with my own desire to communicate. But I’m always hesitant to do so. Why? Well, for one, language is separate from the subject. I like focusing on a couple of subjects at a time. But then, I get burned out. So in order to keep reading, and not feeling burnt out on the subject, I’d have to read about another subject. But which one? That’s the problem. Reading something and realizing that I don’t enjoy it. Or just getting tired of it, like eating the same food everyday, except with a book. I need to approach reading differently. Instead of focusing on the subject, I need to focus on the language used. That’s not going to be easy. I’m still going to read subjects that I enjoy, of course. But I also need to be able to analyze the use of language separately from the content of the work. Ok, this work is boring me. But is it written well? If so, why? And then, try to learn how to use language better for myself. Once again, this is just a skill that needs to be learned.

Ultimately, the solution will probably come down to reading writers better than I (shouldn’t be too hard to find). I need to have a certain mindset to be open enough to understand what it is exactly that makes their writing better than mine, and how to use that for myself. I guess the question becomes: how much do I want to do that, exactly? I don’t know how much of it will satisfy me yet. I don’t even know how to approach it, really. I anticipate that if I took the advice of someone else that I’d burn out quickly and then get tired of learning how to get better altogether. I think this is a slow, natural, lifetime process that I can’t fully explain yet. It could be the case that I’m lying to myself, and all of this is for naught. But I think it is the only thing that satisfies my heart, and that matters to me (of course). The challenge is being able to explain WHY I believe that it matters.

Another reason that I find language so difficult is that I’ve always associated good speakers with charlatans. It’s easy to tell if an idiot is “good” or “evil“. It’s much harder when someone speaks well. I was so afraid of being evil (thanks, free will baptism) that I just avoided language like the plague. I realize now how stupid that was. But now begins the task of fixing it. And that’s going to be hard, considering how far behind I am because of my old way of thinking. You may say “You write well now,” but you have no idea how good it can become. I do.

For better or worse, ethics consume most of my thoughts. I think this is an evident combination of genes and environment. Certainly, my religious upbringing and journey has a lot to do with why thoughts of ethics almost consume me. But I know there’s definitely a major genetic component as well. Hypocrisy, especially if I do something “evil”, scares me. I just don’t want to do it. I, like everyone else, am torn between doing good and evil. I have, and will, do both throughout my life. And that bothers the fuck out of me. I guess one might say “The fact that it bothers you proves that you’re a good person.” But I will take no solace in that. The thought of being a hypocrite bothers me. Especially the thought of being a hypocrite on a very famous scale (and I desire “fame” only as a measure of success that I wish to have, so that I don’t get stuck in a life that I resent everyday. Maybe one day I’ll just be “content” like everyone else, but I have goals, and I want them. And that’s all I care about. I know that it takes that type of attitude to succeed, so now, all I need is that success, so that I can hand you the check and say “I told you so.” And if it doesn’t work, who cares? I’ll join you at the factory line and you can tell me about all of the time I’ve wasted, whereas I can say “At least I tried” and make fun of you for NOT trying). I find enjoyment in being critical, and that obviously puts a lot of pressure on me. “Just stop being so critical,” you might say. Criticism, especially humorous criticism, is too much fucking fun. I think it’s worth the anxiety of making a mistake. And, once again, I think that’s another reason why humility is a skill that I desperately need to develop.

And that never-ending war of trying to figure out how to “handle” other people. In a way where the advice of others doesn’t deafen my own independent thoughts. Trying to figure out truth is a lifelong battle: as is dealing with the evil of others. It will continue on forever, as you continue to get older, and, eventually, die. We do good, we do evil, then we think about and talk about the evil of others. Then, we listen to others talk about the evil of still yet others. I’m so fucking exhausted with it all. I want to take part in it, but I’m also fucking sick of it. “Hypocrisy”, I guess you’d say. And here comes the advice. And here’s where Cody has to say “Ignore it, because you want to.” And here’s where Cody hears others complaining that he said he’s going to ignore them. And here’s where Cody needs to tell himself “Just continue ignoring them.” And here’s where Cody hears them saying that “Yes, you need to ignore them.” And here’s where Cody realizes they are “them” so he shouldn’t listen to them. And on, and on, and fucking on. “Just stop”- I can’t- “You think too much”-no I don’t shut up haven’t you read fucking anything I’ve written up to this point? Maybe you realize the problem now.

I can’t wait to just become an old grouch. That’s what my heart ultimately longs for. It flies in the face of all “advice” you’ll hear. But who gives a shit. I’m a grumpy old grouch at heart, goddammit, and that’s what I want to be. So it’s going to fucking stay that way. Get out.

You can’t appreciate profundity when a bunch of stupid blabbermouths don’t see it and won’t shut the fuck up about what they do see.

…Stuff like this makes me wish that either I was older or that I end up dying younger. I can’t take 80 years of thinking like this, and I refuse to think like everyone else. I’m hopeful that this will change as time goes by. But, of course, I want it NOW. I already feel about 90. If I ever do make it to 90, I can’t imagine how I’d feel. That’s scary. Maybe I don’t want to make it to 90. But things do change…

Communication, like everything else, is hard. Regardless of what “natural” abilities you may have, everything gets hard at some point. There’s a reason why talented, say, basketball players practice. Michael Jordan has always been, and will always be, a better basketball player than me. And most. So why did he practice? Well……….what ELSE was he going to do? THAT was a question that he had to ask himself. And he ANSWERED it himself. That’s what I need to do. It doesn’t matter that I’ll (probably) never become the “Michael Jordan” of writing. That is so far removed from the point that that thought shouldn’t have even entered your head. The point is what do I want my writing and thoughts to be, and what do I want to do with them?

And that produces a fine line. Writing involves organization, knowing when to lengthen a piece, and knowing when to cut one off. My default position has just been to cut everything off short (because it’s easier). But something has been missing. I knew this day would come eventually, so I have never stressed about today not being around yesterday. But the day has come where I’m no longer satisfied with cutting things off prematurely. I’ve said stuff like this a million times, but it continues to be true. The process of writing is constant. I’ll probably say, throughout my entire life, that “I need to learn how to edit.” It doesn’t matter how much better I get from one year to the next, I anticipate that I’ll still say “I need to learn how to edit.” Why? Well, this is where the “Michael Jordan” analogy comes into play. What in the fuck ELSE am I going to do with my writing? If I don’t do that, but I want to write, the writing is just going to be “WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD”. What’s the point in reading that? There IS none. Michael Jordan won a championship and an MVP one year. Why did he play the next year? It’s all about an attitude, and what one wants to do. I don’t care if I never win a writing MVP, or whatever. I don’t care if I’m not ranked among the 100,000 best writers ever. The point is that I want to write, and what attitude am I going to have while I do so? I pity those that don’t understand what I’m talking about. They’re kind of idiots.

I hope I don’t burn out too quickly. This has been a lifetime coming, but, ultimately, I think everything is. Everything has been leading up to everything. That’s unavoidable. But being able to explain that in certain ways is a skill that I wish to develop. One of the skills that I wish to develop.

I also need to work on the fact that even if someone’s advice doesn’t help me, at least they want to. I can ignore it, but at least I can say “Well, they’re trying to help, even if they aren’t.” At least give them that credit. And then, get back to my alone time as quickly as possible. I’m sure they’ll understand. At least, if I’ve explained myself well enough, they will. I think my main frustration with advice is that I haven’t been able to effectively speak for myself. That’s a pattern that I continue to notice. I’ve never been happy with my ability to speak for myself, and it’s something I’ve worked on for many, many years. And I have a long fucking way to go. It’s all a complicated weave that I have in my head that I want to be able to elaborate. And it’s exasperating. And it just keeps building more and more and more. It’s hard to handle, but this is the best time in my life to handle it financially. I can’t afford to waste this opportunity. I want all of my ideas to come fast, and just get them all done as rapidly as possible. But they need to mature to maintain a quality that I’m happy with. It’s not about writing a bestseller, it’s just about writing good stuff, goddammit. My heart has always hurt when inspiration has hit me and I couldn’t write because I was at work, or had to go to school the next day. Staying up for hours later than I should just because “It hit me.” Feeling frustrated because I had other responsibilities that kept me from writing. So much of that has changed. This is the time that I’ve been desperate for my whole life. SO WHY IN THE FUCK WOULD I EVER STRUGGLE TO WRITE?????????? Write NOW, dammit!!! In truth, there’s still stuff to figure out, as there always has been. But this is, more than likely, the best time I will EVER HAVE to create. EVER. I’ll have more free time now than I’ve ever had. That pressure is terrifying. But if I get in too much of a hurry, the work sucks. And I need to absorb more before I can regurgitate more. I haven’t been happy with much of my writing for a long time now, and it’s mainly because I just didn’t have enough within me to get it done the way I wanted to get done. There’s too much for me to elaborate on here, but I want to do it eventually. All of my work is a tangled weave of my life. It all connects, in the grand scheme of things. I’m a “mad scientist”. It’s a delicate balance. I guess I’ll just have to hope that I don’t see it all as a mistake down the road, and figure out exactly what I’m going to do today, and how.

Technical ability to improve quality (of things like video) is a skill I need to learn without burning myself out trying to do so. Software, camera work, lighting. No, I don’t need to go to school for it. I’ll experiment with it myself eventually. But I need a better outlook of completing good work. A – you guessed it – philosophical approach to quality and effort. I know that probably sounds weird to you. But I want to be able to explain what I mean eventually. I want to be able to explain everything. How I write, etc.

I need to hurry up and get better so I can churn out more stuff, and keep improving it. The gaps in time between my writings are far too fucking long for my taste. But I can’t just type “BLAH BLAH BLAH” and say I’ve written something. It just takes a lot of time. Everything does. And then, I’ll get old and say “Holy fuck. Where did the time go?”

I still have a lot of things that I want to say about the past. About writing. I want to be able to explain what is going on inside of my head. If that doesn’t interest you, that’s fine. If it enrages you, I find that humorous. If it inspires you, that’s terrifying. But the ultimate point is that I want to be lost inside of my own head to find some peace in this world. That’s mainly what I care about at the moment. That, and just learning how to do everything better, such as my attitude and “dealing with” other people. And editing, and organizing, etc.

So that’s what I’m working on, I guess. Lmfao (When to work? When to break? When to write? When to listen to music? Who to listen to? Who to ignore? WHEN WHEN WHEN? It never ends).

The hardest part about all of this is having known, for a long time, that all of this was going to happen (or at least significant parts of it), but having it not happen. Realizing “Yep, this is definitely a waiting game.” As my favorite childhood musician once said, “The waiting is the hardest part.”

Bulleted lists of what I like about writing and what I hate about writing.

Why Express?

Highly Sensitive Mind.

My poetry.

Why Am I Not A Murderer?

I realize this is a very odd question for me to ask (most of them are), but it’s nonetheless a question that I feel like asking at the moment.

Actually, it’s a question that I have asked myself ever since I was a child.

I was raised a Free Will Baptist. I know that many people who share that religious experience had more negative experiences than mine, but many of mine were detrimental to my health nonetheless. But, despite that religious upbringing, I was still a naturally compassionate person. I didn’t need religion to tell me to be compassionate. Which is what confused me when I was first introduced to the concept.

You see, like I said, I was naturally a compassionate person when I was a child. I really cared about others. I especially cared for those that I felt were “disadvantaged” compared to me. And this is still painfully true today (I’m just more outspoken than I used to be). But when I became introduced to religion, I began to ask myself “Why am I not a murderer? Why am I not a thief?”

This is important because like I said, I was compassionate. I didn’t have a desire to murder or steal. But yet, I began to worry over them. Isn’t it odd to worry about doing what you don’t do and don’t want to do? Well, ladies and gentlemen, that is religion.

I became consumed with evil. It occupied my mind. I thought, day and night, about “horrible” people. The miscreants of society. The unforgivable. My compassionate nature kicked in, and I asked myself “Why am I not as bad as them?”

Religion introduced me to the horrors of the world (that and news). They showed me how bad man can be (and religion told me that was the one who was bad). They gave me an image of the world that the world was a dark, unforgiving place, where monsters ruled, and the only salvation was asking Jesus into your heart.

A little later on, some other circumstances solidified my negative outlook on life. And the only thing that restored my sanity was comedy. My negative outlook and sense of humor are still who I am today, and I don’t think that will ever change (for better or for worse). But I developed a deep sympathy for those who were lost: those who murdered. My heart went out to them deeply. I couldn’t understand it. I didn’t want to hate them, because everyone was hating them. I wanted to understand, and I just couldn’t. So I just felt sad. I just felt helpless. I couldn’t help anyone. I wanted to help the murderer, but everyone else wanted justice. I can’t say that they are wrong. But I’ve often felt in a minority about this subject.

To this day, I still wonder about blessings and curses; peaceful people and violent people; healthy people and unhealthy people. The inequality is really hard to bear. Sure, people make choices. But why do some choose violence? It’s the question that will bug us all for all eternity, no doubt.

But, why am not violent? Why don’t desire to kill? I think this question comes from a “Christ-like” attitude: taking on the sins of others upon myself. Making myself relate to someone who is in desperate need of help. Trying to empathize with the lost, and sympathize with them because that’s what I want to do. I want to love, and help. But sometimes, you lose. You have to cut your losses. And that fact slapped me across the face harder than a domestic abuser.

So around this time, as I said, my natural empathy mixed with shitty religion for a terrible concoction. Fear was introduced in my life, and so was depression (but depression was caused by other factors as well). The religion took over my empathy, and left me with fear. Just the constant fear that at any moment, I would be cast into Hell. God damn that fear… I can probably say that’s the one thing that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I may say “I hope you get cancer”, or “burn in Hell”, but I don’t think I could ever spitefully say “I hope you fear going to Hell”…(I shudder at those that feel like they are saying that “compassionately”…)

Religion fucked up my life. And I’m still fixing it. I still struggle with accepting sexual feelings, and just having a good life-perspective in general. So much of religion is about hating people (at least the way received the message): hate the sinner, hate the sin, condemn, condemn condemn. And you don’t learn a goddamn thing when you do it. I’m so fucking ignorant because of that attitude, and I am depressed because of it. I am not as smart as I could’ve been, and I can only lament. My sexual pleasure was reduced because of religion. A large percentage of my childhood was spent in fear because of religion. My perspectives regarding women, and relationships, and romance…all fucked up because of religion. And my heart can only lament…

I am confident that this will continue to change, however. It’s just a matter of having it unravel one little step at a time, which I’m eternally grateful for.

I can only hope that God will continue to grace me with positive feelings, and help me experience this life the way He originally intended. I hope to separate my mind away from the old religion, and experience sexual feelings, romance, and a world perspective, that was originally intended.

I still will have many hurdles along the way, many of which I can’t even think of at the moment, but I’m confident that God will continue to send me along this good path.

Now if only He can send me a good woman, some good pussy, and the desire to keep her along for the ride with me, I think I’ll be set…

Insightful.

Emotions.

Horror Character.

A short, smart statement about the conflicting nature of religious conservatism.

A religious conservative, by virtue of not being calm, can do little effectively, for his mind is always torn between his actions and his anxieties…

And, anyway, he often finds little time to do anything other than deceiving others that he is pleased with his current state of contentment

Free Will Contradictions.

Christianity.

Offend the Fuck Out of People.

A Philosopher’s Mind.

Highly Sensitive Mind.

“Religious”.

THANKFULLY, I haven’t thought about the Bible lately. But here’s just some random thoughts for the day…

There can be nothing quite as torturous as reading the Bible

Reading through Scripture, and trying to interpret it, and trying to find out where you fit when it comes to Heaven and Hell, fearing eternal damnation, weighing your every choice, your every thought, so that a giant weight is pressed upon your soul…

All of these things are just horrible feelings to bear…

Thank God for all of those times when humans can enjoy their lives, enjoy their social interactions, enjoy their alone times, their hobbies, their families, their loved ones, and so on.

That is where God reveals His loving glory…

Free Will Contradictions.

The Great Evil…

Instilling religious fear into another human being is the greatest injustice that one can do to another…

Conserv.

Christianity.

Free Will Contradictions.

“The Right Thing”.

Moral.

Slayer.

Religious poem.

Justice.

Condemning Talent

Sadly, us humans do not live in a perfect world. We live in a world in which we cannot completely eliminate pain, suffering, and every negativity that you could think of. However, just because this is the case does not mean that all hope is lost, and it does not mean that nothing good happens. It rather is a sad existence in which sometimes, bad things do happen, and they always will happen, but yet there are moments of good that are the exact polar opposite of that bad, so it’s sadly a combination of both instead of being all good. Because of this, negative things happen and then we try to do things to fix them. Of course, we can never completely eliminate them, but rather our existence is a conflicted combination of both afflicting negative things upon others while also trying to eliminate negative things for ourselves and others, and thus, we are doomed to this pendulum existence. The good things do make it worthwhile, however, while sometimes, the bad drives people to commit suicide. There simply is no resting point as these two circumstances constantly wish-wash each other throughout our daily lives.

So, at least for this piece, I am going to try to do something “good”, accepting that at some point in my life, I am going to do something “bad”, and thus am doomed to continue this imperfect cycle while hoping that good things will happen to me throughout this life. I believe that most people have this same attitude.

That being said, I want to look at something specifically that I think is negative, and I want to explain all of the ins and outs of this particular phenomenon, as I am one to do.

This particular piece is an extremely deep piece that I personally have dealt with, as have many others whom have both been a victim of this as well as a perpetrator of this. And thus we have the wishy-washy conflict, leading to imperfection, that can only let us hope to do things and take actions that we think will get us there, which is the point of this piece.

The title of this piece is called “Condemning Talent”. Talent is defined as being objectively more effective at achieving ends than a significant number of other people. In other words, talent is being able to achieve what humans want to achieve more so than other humans. Humans have to have the ability to distinguish variances between things, such as length (when measuring to build a house), or weight, or other things. We also have desires to reach ends: for instance, wanting to reach the fruit from a tree. In our existence, there are some people that can accomplish things in different ways than other people, and there are some people that can’t accomplish some things that some people can, sometimes because of actions creating historical circumstances that are impossible to completely repeat and sometimes because of whatever it is that gives people talent and whatever it is that doesn’t give other people that same talent, at least in that same capacity (the same could be said for any advantageous and disadvantageous circumstance, honestly, such as being born able to see or being born blind. But we’ll focus more on “talent” as it is more widely recognized for the sake of this piece, but the logic applies to all of the other examples that I stated).

Talent is typically recognized by other people as an achievement that is reached in more effective ways than is done by other people. Talent also has a subjective component to it as well, I suppose, as value judgments quickly come into play when it comes to talent. An individual may be a “talented” piano player, but if I don’t enjoy his music, I am not going to consider him “talented”, and therefore any “talented” moniker that he receives is useless to me. However, at playing the piano, if he is more effective at obtaining desired ends than other people, he is “talented.”

Talent” exists on a spectrum, much like fame. Definitionally, fame is simply being known, and typically it means being known by a large number of people, although the number is inexact. We generally have an idea of the number of people that it takes to be called “famous”, but fame is simply being recognized, and thus “fame” is a hard term to define. How many people does it take to become “famous”? A high school quarterback who wins a championship for a town that enjoys watching football is “famous” in his town, but he is not famous globally, and thus is generally not defined as being “famous.” Likewise, someone that is known by an undefined number of people in the majority of countries around the world is typically defined as “famous” while there are still yet many people that have never heard of the name of said person, nor have never been aware of their existence whatsoever. So fame is a hard term to exactly define, although it is generally known what is meant by “fame.” So “talent” is being able to effectively achieve ends, and it inherently implies differences among people in being able to all achieve the ends that they are attempting to achieve. There is also something called “luck”, in which it is believed that the effort of the individual did not have anything to do with the ends received except by circumstances outside of his control, and the relationship between human effort (and thus “achievement”) and luck is a very interesting one that I will have to discuss at some point.

So now that we’ve discussed definitionally what talent is, let’s discuss some of the other realities about “talent.”

Individual nature, especially when applied to all of humanity, is not something that is easily described. Typically, any example given can almost always prove an exemption, especially as medicine advances and we become more aware of unusual conditions that we didn’t think were possible with our generalizations of mankind. Individual nature is no different. We can say that all human beings alive live, but then we must describe what it means to “live.” Typically, this means that your heart is beating and you are breathing, and it is a characteristic that all living human beings must have a beating heart and must breathe, although maybe someday, I’ll be proven wrong about that.

It is also true that all humans have desires. Desires are intrinsic, and their existence is related to human existence as well, meaning ultimately, I believe, that if you want to understand why we have desires, you must understand why we exist in the first place. We simply do not exist without desires, and they are so intimiately related that I do not believe that we would exist without them, because we could not be human. Desires are another thing, besides breathing and a beating heart, that make us all human. It is simply human nature (meaning an immutable reality of our existence) that we experience desires.

Talent is when someone achieves something more effectively than enough other people that we consider them different from the others in their ability to perform said action. Desires are interesting, because to measure their variety is almost impossible. Some talented people are not getting their desires met, while some of the biggest idiots in the world are completely content. It’s fascinating how this occurs, and this does not mean that we ignore the existence of talent. But rather that we understand that talent only has importance to us as it relates to our desires, because all of our actions (including thinking (see “The Apparent Disconnect Between Thinking and Acting”)) are driven by our desires. Our desires control us in every way, shape or form, and there is no way to escape this. This is a part of human nature. One might try to raise an objection, such as “Cody, I want to have sex with a lot of girls, but I don’t do it.” Then either your desire to not talk to these girls specifically trumps your desire to have sex with them, or there is a conflict between your desires and her desires that you have not reconciled which allows you to have sex with her. None of this changes the fact that all of our actions are driven by our desires, and what controls our desires is a very interesting thing.

I do not think that we have complete control over what we want to desire or not. I think there is another force (I would have to believe that it is God) that controls what it is that we desire, and controls what pleasure we receive from specific things, as well as even the discomfort that we feel at still yet other things. For instance, one does not get to choose what one’s favorite food is. One typically likes some foods instead of others, and thus one will eat the foods that he likes (or eats the foods that give him benefits that he desires) and avoid those that he doesn’t like. If you wanted to eat enough of a food so that it became your favorite instead of something else, I suppose that you could, but this would not change the fact that it was your desires which led you to perform that specific action. I do not believe that we have complete control over our desires, but rather that our desires have complete control over us. I am saddened by the fact that this statement has been used by the religious and murderers or rapists to justify their evils, but that is not what I mean by this statement. I think that God controls our desires, and then we perform actions that coincide with those desires because it is our nature, our existence, that warrants this. I do not think that we can do anything that does not coincide with our desires because that is how we are made. That doesn’t mean that we don’t do things that we don’t like, like working, but there has to be something that we desire more so than avoiding what we don’t want in order for us to perform an action that we do not want to perform. In other words, we still always do what we desire, even when we are doing something that we don’t desire.

Don’t pervert my words here: that does not mean that when we don’t like doing something that we still want to do it. But rather, we want something from doing the specific action, even though we don’t want to perform that specific action. For example, I don’t know of anyone that wants to work. Very few people go to work because they enjoy the act of working. However, they want to get paid so that they can buy things, and thus they work. There is no way to avoid attempting to satisfy your desires. This is how we are by whatever makes us (and I think that is God).

Desires branch off in many different directions, but one impossible-to-avoid distinction between desires are those that violate natural rights and those that do not. There is no better way, I believe, to categorize what I am talking about besides the terms that I used. Because inevitably, someone’s desires (and thus their actions) are going to hurt the feelings of someone else, but hurting someone’s feelings is different than stealing their car or raping them or killing them. Either way, it is a negative experience for the affected party, but this negativity exists on a spectrum, much like fame and talent do.

But sadly, there is a dark, dark side to humanity in that emotion known as envy.

I feel qualified to talk about this disaster because I myself suffered from it for many years. It initially began as envy of the rich, which was insatiable and ultimately led me to think that the entire world was build upon ripping people off, and that was my breaking point. But thankfully, immediately after my breaking point, I became a Christian and then, also thankfully, I began to ask questions about what economics actually was (a question that, sadly, most are never going to answer) and I’ve been happy ever since, studying and learning about economics. But before this time, envy was pretty much a constant in my life. “Rich people don’t deserve their money”, “They should be taxed more”, “They create poverty”, and all of these things I believed. I believed them through all of my life until I had my breaking point, and the only thing that I can say that changed my mind was a divine miracle, and I’m incredibly thankful that it did, because it made me understand how the world actually worked, and it’s incredibly interesting.

Of course, there’s always the side of me that realizes some people will be blessed and others damned in everyday life, but ultimately, this is out of my control and I can only enjoy what God has given me and do nothing else.

Another form of envy that I suffered from was attractiveness envy. I was as envious as anyone could ever be. I wanted to be the hottest man alive, but I didn’t want to work out or eat healthy, so I just stayed stuck in between these two, and I honestly didn’t think I would ever get out. It was literally Hell on Earth. It was nearly crippling in many contexts, but slowly and surely, it is going away, although I’m sure it still exists within me.

But there’s a real fundamental point to make here, and it is not a pill that is easily swallowed. The ultimate point here is that of talent. Not only of talent as far as skills go, but simply advantages in general. There is simply no equality among human beings as far as advantages go. There is simply no way to make everyone the most attractive person in the world, and there are people that wouldn’t find that person attractive anyway. Not everyone can be the fastest, and not everyone wants to be the fastest. For those that do want to be and are stuck, they either have to try until they get there or accept that they aren’t, and that is no easy thing to do. It’s really not, and I say this from the bottom of my heart, because I know this. The real sad part though is that I was trapped, as are many of these people that are experiencing the same envy that I have faced. It’s the worst possible thing to happen to me which on one hand, I guess I’m fortunate for but on the other hand, it still was not a very pleasant time in my life. It’s literally the fight you cannot win.

So the point is that individuals are always better at their peers at specific advantageous things. Human nature is this way, and I don’t think there is any way to prevent it. The only way, I suppose, would be to take genes that are “adventageous” and only allow those people to breed while killing everyone else off, but I hardly think that killing people and not allowing people to do what they want to do is the solution to create more talented people in the world. I suppose that the only thing we can do is accept it when people are better at us at things while trying to improve upon those things which we wish to improve upon, and there is nothing else we can do about it. It’s not an easy thing to accept, and I know this from the most personal of levels. But I have (at least most of the time) been one that desires truths, and I am thankful for this. Sometimes, I feel like one of the rare few that does. I have certainly noticed many intellectual differences between myself and others, and I often felt bad for other people because I wanted everyone to be as smart as I was. Of course, not everyone cared, but nonetheless I still had this feeling. It was a feeling deeply related to religion, which I have written about before, but the basic idea was that humanity and God were separate somehow in that things that were “worldly” were not “Godly”, and to me that included things that humans enjoyed and that they related to. For instance, I enjoyed being smart and related to it, but because I heard a lot about how I should avoid the “world” for “Heaven”, I condemned my own intelligence. And, incredibly sadly, this sentiment was echoed by many a moralist throughout my day who felt compelled that the point of life was to repeat phrases that sounded good that would somehow earn you the favor of God. This killed my self-esteem and sense of identity, and it left me miserable. Purposely trying to make myself unintelligent simply made me miserable, and thankfully, it never worked, although my mind has remained in a funk for a long time. I stopped thinking about things as deeply as I could, and instead just “flash” brained things, but I was absolutely miserable. And although I still wonder why some people are stupid and others are smart, and I wish that everyone was smart, I have to accept the fact that I am smarter than some people and do whatever makes me happy, because I can’t just shove a book into the brain of someone like is the case in the opening scene of “Rocko’s Modern Life”, and I suppose that I could make myself stupider, but I don’t want to, and I don’t think that it is a good “moral” argument that I should make myself dumber so that other people don’t feel so bad about themselves. First of all, not everyone cares, but even if they do, I just simply don’t want to do it and I don’t think anyone can argue to me why I should. The ultimate result, as is always the case, is that I will become miserable and not be intelligent and the fool will feel better about themselves, but they won’t be foolish. That isn’t a good enough solution to me, and it isn’t good enough for anyone that has been blessed with something advantageous, nor should it be.

The ultimate point here, besides that of rights, is understanding the reality of humanity, and part of that is understanding diversity and inequality among human beings. There simply is no complete equality among human beings. Any intelligent person understands this as you can rattle off case after case after case where this is not the case, so I won’t go through all of the possibilities here, although I’m sad that people still aren’t going to understand it, but that’s also part of what I’m discussing so I have to decide what to do with that information that some people are just never going to understand it.

Aside from the guilt that I have always felt throughout my life about this, I honestly think that there is nothing that I can do. I can do what I’m doing now, write and think, and they can decide to read what I write and maybe it influences them positively and they understand what I’m saying without any misrepresentations, but I can’t force any such thing to happen, so if it doesn’t happen, I’ll just have to accept it, even though it pains me.

There is simply no benefit to being a slave to someone else just because they feel inferior to you, and if the point of Christianity is happiness, as I believe is the case, there is no room for self-condemnation for any reason, particularly when it involves talent and inequality. There is simply no justification for feeling guilty for human nature, and there is no justification for feeling guilty for something which has no solution but to destroy one and do nothing for the other. That is not the solution to envy, nor what to do with talent and God’s gifts.

There is simply another solution that involves individualism and rights, but this does not include destroying those that you feel inferior to. This can not be the solution, and in fact, it isn’t.

I hope and pray that we can realize this and just stop it, but I know the pains all too well, so I empathize with these envious individuals while hoping that they go through a similar process as I did to at least quell the envy a little bit.

Equality.

Inequality.

Diversity.

Liberalism.

Envy.

Talent.

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The Apparent Conflict Between God’s Sovereignty and Human Action

I’m having a bit of an existential crisis about human action, here.

If I accept that human action does not get us closer to God, but rather that God is in control of our faith, etc., then is there any difference between the human action that we take on a political level, or others? In other words, if it is impossible for me to choose God with my free will, then how are politics any different? Or, are politics like Christianity in that when God says a good tree bears good fruit, He means that just like He is the Author and Finisher of our faith, He is also in control of our political ideals as well? Which would mean that if we are a fallen man religiously, we could also be fallen politically and economically as well? So perhaps we have no free will when it comes to politics, either. So perhaps everything is fate and predestined, and without a loving, benevolent and forgiving God, I suppose that that would be an unbearably dreadful thought to me.

But then the question arises of what do our human actions mean within the context of God’s sovereignty.

I certainly don’t feel like God is forcing me to eat when I’m hungry. I don’t feel Him lifting my hand up to my face, even though one might argue that because I am hungry, God causes that and He also created me in such a way that if I do not eat, I would die and He also created me of such a nature that I do not want to die. But it doesn’t feel like a man grabbing my hand and shoving a fork into my face.

But I suppose that that is somewhat of the gentle nature of God, such as the breeze. I suppose that if we are commanded to love God (which means that we can be punished for our sins because His wrath is the nature of Hell, His wrath is the opposite of His love, and our sins make Him angry), and Christ was God in the flesh who died for our sins to set us free (the belief of the Christian faith, and which would argue means that He freed us from the commandments to love Him, and freedom from the commandments means freedom from the punishment of not obeying them), then our freedom to love God also comes from God just as Christ did because, as I said earlier, if Christ died for our sins to free us from the punishment of not living by the commandments, then that means we are free from sin, and if it is a sin to not love God and abide by His commandments, then that means that we are free from abiding by His commandments but we are also free from the punishment from not loving Him (which is also one of His commandments). However, here is the irony. If we are free from God’s wrath, the only conclusion could be that we are actually within God’s love, because the opposite of God’s wrath, the punishment of sin that we are free from because of Christ, is God’s love, which ironically means that the commandment has been fulfilled because of Christ because one of God’s commandments was to love Him. This would mean that He truly is sovereign over everything, and the peace that does exist within the world must mean that God is the author of that peace as well. Let me elaborate on this a little bit, because it is confusing even for me. If I accept that Christ died for my sins, that means that He died so that I would not face punishment for my sins. If He died so that I would not face punishment for my sins, then that means He has freed me from His laws that state I should die for my sinful ways.

I don’t see any other conclusion besides the goodness of God. An inescapable goodness, both in forgiveness and in justice.

However, justice is a difficult topic because no one wants punishment for their wrongdoing. Children don’t want it, adults don’t want it: no one wants it.

But if someone were to try to kill me, I would feel justified in killing them first.

That would mean that they died, but I would feel justified.

Justice is a tricky thing that would be unnecessary if there was no evil in the world, but I don’t think anyone can sanely make that claim. Therefore, justice is necessary.

However, I can’t help but hope and wish that God forgives everyone of their sins, even if I don’t think that will happen.

And that brings into question one of my own personal doctrines of why go after something that is impossible.

But I think there is a difference between certain types of human actions.

I do not think that going to church for the sake of gaining God’s favor is a very helpful action to take if God decides when and if He is going to save someone (He’s already decided, but at any particular moment in time He can make someone aware of it).

However, I do think that a helpful action to take would be to at least hope that people get into Heaven, even if it is impossible for everyone to go there.

So the question becomes: what are the differences between the two actions? I think part of the answer is that one has to deal with stress (I have to go to church or else I’m going to Hell) while the other eliminates it (Christ has forgiven me of my sins, and therefore, saved me from Hell). But I’m not 100% certain about that.

November 19, 2013.

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