Wednesday, August 22, 2007

gone native part 2: welcome shadow

this is part 2; part 1 is here.
it turned out that i could ignore even the most irritatingly persistent jiminy cricket for as long as i wanted to - maybe indefinitely.
that didn't mean i didn't hear and feel my conscience, my heart and soul, my truest self, my imago dei, speaking to me, nudging me, whispering through my body.
but my shadow and my intellect made more noise.
as i've written about before, i had YMD, Young Man Disease. from which i continue to recover ... and the way to recover from it is just growing up. but i live in a culture that promotes not growing up. and i know, our culture is full of many, many wonderful things. americans are generous, courageous, hopeful; americans rally together; americans have a lot of pride and belief; americans have built/popularized some of the coolest inventions and innovations; americans love the new.
but i also live in a culture that encourages us all to be happy, to find the answers, to refuse to accept the inevitability of death and pain; to see life as something to be won and defeated rather than to be embraced and experienced. this culture deifies youth and beauty.
this focus on defeating and mastering life by being successful, can make people sick in many, many ways. it contributed to my sickness. it didn't make me sick, but it didn't help either.
i was afraid, insecure, worried, angry.
i was also golden. beautiful. fine. but i didn't see that part as clearly.
the shadow said, Oh, i don't believe in jack shit anymore. i don't believe in anything. but i did. i believed in god - i just didn't call god that. i fell in love with ideas. poetry. a beautiful short story. a powerfully and carefully written philosophical statement. history. art. the workings of the soul.
i'm lucky. many men and women, on their way away from what religion or culture told them god is, fall in love with drugs or violence or alcohol or self-destruction. i fell in love with ideas and beauty.
god is in everything, so god can be found anywhere. but i'm glad, looking back, that that's what my soul picked.
my shadow side, my fear, added cynicism to the mix.


nonprofitprophet said...

John "Cougar" Meloncamp lyric "growing up leads to growing old which leads to dying, and dying too me don't sound all that much fun". Jesus says it is easier for a little one to enter the Kingdom. I think clinging to our idealism, our youthful vision for our world, our zest for life, keeps us going. To succumb to the adult world, for me, smells of surrender, of conformity, of whoring out. There is a delicate balance between maturity and childhood that should be maintained in order too survive, as you recall adulthood simply sucks the life out of you. Adulthood is like the Borg from StarTrek: Resistance if Futile. I say fight it with everything you have. ~npp
beautiful writing by the way.

Rick Diamond said...

I AM WITCHOO DAWG! i agree, it's not about getting old. for me right now it's about staying connected to what's real - and being all caught up in my own ego as a young man was keeping me from it. Nietzsche said, "To become mature is to recover that sense of seriousness which one had as a child at play." that's the good kind. that's what it means to be a child in god's kingdom. get serious about what gives you joy.