Tag Archives: God

Death By A Thousand Eternities

“Without the threat of death there’s no reason to live at all.” –Brian Warner

We are told to exercise, to improve the quality of our lives, to above all be happy. We buy a Fitbit. It counts our steps, checks our vitals, monitors our sleep cycles. Measuring, labeling, categorizing—our Fitbit is as a body sensor and a mind censor. A census-taker of souls.

Let’s stop kidding ourselves: the final goal of science and technology is to exterminate death. It may take forever, but future generations of scientists will risk their lives to get dying under control.

Are we not heading towards a man-made eternity without God? Are we not destined to create a permanent Heaven on Earth that would put to rest all hope of an afterlife?

Thanks to technology we’ve forgotten how to die.

We must resist the consumerist imperative to buy ourselves more time at all costs. Embrace death. Let it come for us, naturally or accidentally, as a devastating act of mercy. A blessing in demise.

To kill death with technological precision—to be forced to live with ourselves forever—this is Hell Unending. Death by a thousand eternities.

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LOL

Laugh Out Loud

1

digitized and downsized
we are the binary selves
some switches on
some switches off

we’re smart shoppers
cyber bullies
all God’s children
of divorce

the cement truck
of concrete reality
Amazon primed
to bury us in debt

2

“depressive syndrome characterized by
pervasive loss of interest
in almost all activities
or appetite disturbance with change in weight
or decreased energy
or feelings of guilt or worthlessness”

today’s prophet is a madman
howling against our plight
from the depths of the spirit asylum

the overactive mind
the sprawling mind
that yearns for solutions

teeming with thoughts
infected with intellect
deprives the body of feeling

3

now I lay me down to sleep
God is great
pledge allegiance to the flag
God is good

4

lingering between two worlds
neither here nor there
some switches on
some switches off

we twitter while driving
under the influence of text

5

“manic syndrome characterized by
hyperactivity or pressure of speech
or flight of ideas or inflated self-esteem
or decreased need for sleep
or easy distractibility or delusions
or paranoid thinking”

I tell myself
not to panic
in front of
the children

6

the lord is my shepherd
beautiful for spacious skies

the lord is my shepherd
the bombs bursting in air

if I die before I wake
post a notice
on my blog
in your own words

7

trolls are laughing
laugh out loud

the sky is crawling
on the ground

laugh out loud
laugh out loud

drones falling
in a forest
make no sound

laugh out loud
laugh out loud

dance like nobody’s
watching
in the clouds

laugh out
loud laugh
out loud

c b snoad
draft 10-13-09
edit 1-27-17

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The Thirst For Life Itself

Not long ago I was asked in therapy to consider my purpose. I thought for a moment, careful to select my words.

My purpose, simply put, is threefold:

  • To love and be loved
  • To be present for others
  • To accept help

I realize after years in therapy that I can’t discuss my recovery without touching on spiritual matters. Even without uttering “God” or “faith,” I’m restless for meaning in a mechanically operated, perpetually instant world.

Perhaps I’m a secret believer. A reformed cynic. Maybe identifying as agnostic spoke to my struggle with indecision and self-ambivalence. Maybe this mask no longer fits.

Has my writing taken a religious turn? Is my soul a desert wanderer? Or a longing to be nourished, the thirst for life itself?

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The Spirit Of Melancholy

I took away three main ideas from Alina N. Feld’s brilliant analysis of depression in Melancholy and the Otherness of God.

First, philosophers from Ancient Greece to modern times have seen the Melancholic as a visionary soul vital to humanity’s recognition of its own simultaneous vulnerability and power. The Melancholic thinks and feels at a higher frequency than “normal” people. This leads to greater distress and untold suffering for the afflicted, but this pain is survivable. Those who attend to the vibrations of what today we call depression become wiser human beings.

Second, living with depression requires courage. The Depressed must feel the fear and proceed anyway. At the heart of Being lies the specter of Nothingness; the Depressed encounters Nothingness but doesn’t back away from it. There is value in appreciating the vertigo of contemplation before the abyss.

Third, in order to reach heaven one must go through hell. Depression feels like hell on earth, but its torment is far from eternal. The life of the Depressed is a spiritual journey, a path to freedom in the face of terror. There is no Resurrection without Crucifixion.

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Great Scott

Last week I played Scrabble with my mom. We each picked a letter to determine who’d start the board. She got an “A.” I picked an “O,” which meant she’d go first.

“Hey, that’s like A.O. Scott, the film critic,” I said. A strange association, considering I hadn’t thought much about Scott since At the Movies went off the air five or six years ago.

An hour later we were watching a show about the ‘80s. Images from The Breakfast Club appeared. And who was in studio to discuss the iconic 80s film? None other than A.O. Scott.

Coincidence? Fate? The cosmos, in full Zen mode, winking a blind eye?

Nobody knows.

The mind imposes order on a chaotic world. Thinking about Scott didn’t cause me to turn on the TV and see him, I know. But, like most humans, I associate random thoughts, objects and events with other random thoughts, objects and events. I “see” cause-effect relationships where none exist. Outside human consciousness, does an effect recognize its cause? Does a cause anticipate its effect?

What does the world think of itself when nobody’s around?

None of this had any bearing on our Scrabble game. Sometimes I think too hard. Perhaps that’s why I can’t remember who won.

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The Trouble With Being Born

From Richard Howard’s 1976 translation of E.M. Cioran’s The Trouble with Being Born:

Tsimtsum. This silly-sounding word designates a major concept of the Cabbala. For the world to exist, God, who was everything and everywhere, consented to shrink, to leave a vacant space not inhabited by Himself: it is in this “hole” that the world occurred.

Thus we occupy the wasteland He conceded to us out of pity or whim. For us to exist, He contracted, He limited His sovereignty. We are the product of His voluntary reduction, of His effacement, of His partial absence. In His madness He has actually amputated Himself for us. If only He had had the good sense and the good taste to remain whole! (119)

My life is the embodiment of man’s estrangement from God. Sin is not merely an act, but a state of being in the world. My worldly possession—the world as my possessor—creates a spiritual wound. My being-in-the-world longs to reunite with God in the neither-here-nor-there, but as long as I am, I will never reach Him. This doesn’t preclude me from trying, hence my obsession with madness.

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Dream Within A Dream

A sudden thought: what if throughout my adult life I continue to repeat childhood traumas? Is every day, every relationship, an unconscious re-creation of events over which I had little control? Maybe I’m fixated on variations of the same thought—the One Big Idea—that of recovering a self I barely knew?

The universe has its own issues. Space is occupied with making the best of a bad situation. Time finds it tough moving forward with respect to what’s passed.

Where am I going with this?

Sleep is hard to come by when you’re always dreaming. The stars and I—we’re the same, really. We shine brightest when nobody’s looking.

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