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Forty-Eighth Sitting

Hey! Isn't it time for Jesus? That's what a billboard asked Me as I drove back yesterday to Ann Arbor, a day later than I had planned at that, as I found that it really didn't matter where I am -- I could write in an airport (wait... I did) -- plus, you know, my DOG was there.

Hmmm... Should I be writing about the present? Like how my determination to stop obsessing about Her has set me to the opposite extreme, wherein I'm focusing more on other projects and frankly can't even picture her all that clearly? I tell her this every day as I write her a lengthy letter. But well, at least I'm not miserable, and overcounterreactions do swing back to center once they have their say. Well, heck... I can at least talk about my DOG. `Cause, well, you can never have too many DOG stories in a philosophical essay. Here's the rub (eeew.)...

After experiencing all those wonderful Alaska DOGS, I began to have doubts about my own. Does Merc really care about me? Sure, She acts happy when I come home, but She does that for total strangers. Does Merc care if I live or die? Now most of the DOGS in Alaska didn't have to be kept on a leash; they didn't try to escape. They seemed more friendly, more affectionate, more fawning and worshipful. My DOG is an independent entity, and it requires a full-body harness and a short leash to fool oneself into thinking otherwise. Having kneeling subjects is good for One creating into the Void.

Duh. Obviously I'm back to religion, specifically back to Jung on religion. The point of the Jung at this point, for me and all those other bitter but intellectually-distanced-from-their-bitterness individuals, is to swing back the overcounterreaction which started `round the end of sitting thirty-one. My reason for bashing Him (as opposed to the rationalizations which I made up after the fact), which is largely the same as every disillusioned Christian's reason for bashing Him, is because He acts like such a jerk sometimes. Here He is (according to that world view) setting us all up with a strong sense of right and wrong, both inherently and through scriptures, with a sense that if we do right, we should be rewarded, and then He randomly takes the innocent and turns their lives to shit, whether through war, famine, poverty, flood, etc. But if the damaged then take the least bit of offense at their ill-treatment, hell time! What an ass! If it's Satan (His first-born son) who keeps sneaking around and planting the seeds of evil in man and nature, then why doesn't He just upbraid that guy instead of punishing His feeble little creations? Always and forever, then, we are told that His ways are good, yes, but too mysterious for us to comprehend, let alone judge. Either let me be a moralist, or don't... none of this selective ruler-above-His-law bullshit.

This is what Jung goes about in the selection I assigned (which I'm sure you've now read); his example is Job. If you don't know the story, I'll summarize: Satan makes a bet with God that His faithful servant mortal Israelite Job will certainly turn against Him the second anything bad happens to him. So God says "sure" and kills all of Job's crops, and animals, and family members, gives him various plagues, and turns his neighbors against him. Job doesn't curse God for this, but He does finally come before Him to ask for some actual justice, for an advocate within Him against Him. But no, He doesn't feel the least bit sorry, or even have the decency to explain Himself, but instead blames Job and rags on for seventy-one verses about how powerful He is, not that Job doubted this for a second. So Job realizes that He's just a jerk, or more precisely a DOG, and there'll be no justice today, so he gets all meek and apologetic... What else could he do? So Yahweh calms down. "The therapeutic value of unresisting acceptance has proved its value yet again." (p. 547) So God gives Job new crops and animals and kids and cures his plague, but still doesn't say He's sorry. What a jerk.

So the rest of the essay is more or less an attempt to give the rest of the story, to get one to understand that God, being the totality of incompatible opposites, that Creator in the Void, that guy who incessantly feels the need to split Himself into trinities and things, to "fail to consult His omnipotence" from time to time... well, He's got His problems too, and... well... after it all He's an okay deity, as impossible to judge, as fully wonderful if you look closely, and ultimately as tolerable as anyone else. Now, granted we're only dealing with symbols here, with the character of a particular mythology as described in its main text, but that's the only way we can get a grasp on "the real thing" anyway, so We'd better be okay with Our symbols and not think they're scum.

But enough of Him; I want you to come with Me, as I am much more entertaining at this point, yes? More entertaining than the dark little room He has given you, furnished by your gnawing insecurities and a general blahness (Well, maybe this is only true if you live in downtown Fairbanks, which come to think of it is a much better target for abuse than Vancouver, seeing as I have some actual knowledge of the former. "Cards." <<wince>> Now, where were We?

Ah, yes, We were contemplating Our love for each other, You and I. I hold Your picture here beside Me, and I am not alone. I regain My strength, My insight, My poise, and My sense of humor (I was going to say "a stiffo." You're so cute when you wince). No more will I villainize, criticize, encroach, manipulate, and steal. I will get beyond self-indulgence, being through You My own reader, and finish with grace and closure. You are with Me, We will know each other, and We shall be as One.

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© 1993 Mark A. Linsenmayer [ Contents ]