Balance and Auto-eroticism

Surprising as it may seem, I am not the most physically graceful character in the world. I know, I know, I just shattered another one of your bizarre fantasies about me waltzing in the nude at your next birthday party.  I’m sorry.

Maybe it’s because I lack an abundance of physical balance that I so value balance in my spiritual life.  Maybe it’s because I used to operate almost exclusively in my head (as many males are prone to do) until I got into therapy (as many males still need to do) and learned that a person who doesn’t operate from a balanced perspective doesn’t lead a very balanced (i.e., healthy) life that I value balance so much in my spiritual life.  Whatever the case, I confess that I find most theologians and every single last philosopher to be a profoundly boring pain in my ass.  Why?  I never knew until last week.

I’ve been listening to a podcast entitled “Home Brewed Christianity” and it’s sister podcast “Home Brewed Christianity TNT.”  The TNT stands for “Theology Nerds Throwdown,” a fact that would have stopped me from ever down loading that podcast had I been aware of it in advance.  The hosts are a guy named Tripp Fuller and Chad Somebodyorother.  Sorry, Chad.  Maybe amp up the on air dynamism just a bit and I’ll remember your last name, but probably not.  Anyway, I was listening to these two very bright gentlemen who are graduate students at Claremont School of Theology, and while I find their personalities entertaining and some of their discussions informative, for the most part the honest to God truth is that I just can’t get excited about it.  The thing that has impressed me the most is their zeal to come up with an answer for everything, which requires a system that explains everything, and…I just couldn’t care less because, to me, it’s all just so much mental auto-eroticism.

For those who don’t know, that means masturbation.  Mental masturbation, so it’s a bit less messy that actual masturbation and you can engage in it in public without being arrested, but it’s ultimately far less satisfying than actual masturbation which, in and of itself isn’t all that great but it will do in a pinch.

Then I was reading a book by Hans Kung about Christianity in which he said that all three Abrahamic faiths believe that time moves in a linear fashion toward its eventual fulfillment in the end times in God. Now it’s time for another confession about myself.  I have a bullshit meter.  When I encounter a high degree of bullshit in a book it causes spasms in both my arms which cause the book to close, followed by spasms in both my legs which cause me to stand up and put it in the attic from where it won’t emerge for several years.  That’s right, Hans Kung is in my attic and can’t get out – kind of like Anne Frank, only Gentile.

The truth is my bullshit meter pegs every time i come across a statement that begins “To be a ________,” and ends with “you must _______.”  Such statements always leave me with two questions.  The first is, “Who died and left you in charge?”  The second is, “Says who?”  Maybe the whole issue is that I don’t have much use for gate keepers, because gate keepers seem to get little or no satisfaction about granting someone entrance to anything, while at the same time getting huge amounts of satisfaction denying people admission to everything.  Every gate-keeper thinks that they have it figured out because someone like Hans Kung, Tripp Fuller, or Chad Somebodyorother has come up with a list that explains everything and so provides criteria that someone must possess to gain admission to whatever it is the gate-keeper is busily guarding the door to.

Except it’s not that simple.

Have we not yet learned that life is not black and white?  Have we not learned that despite the fact that duality keeps things simple the unpleasant truth is that duality oversimplifies things so much that, as a system, it’s worth even less that mental auto-eroticism?  Have we not learned that no matter how much we try to put people, or their ideas, or anything else that is living into neat little boxes, categories, and containers the truth is that fit about as well as a five hundred fifty pound man into an economy airline seat?  There is always something oozing over the sides that dualism would have us just whack off <gasp!> in the interest of simplicity?

Balance, on the other hand, requires fluidity and the willingness to admit that we don’t have all the answers.  That may not be tidy, but it does have the advantage of being honest and honest has a lot going for it.  Among other things, honesty compels us to admit that our universe does contain things that we cannot presently explain and may never in fact be able to explain.  That means that part of living, really living, is proceeding without all the answers.  In fact, you could say that life is a continual process of uncovering answers and then subjecting them to ongoing revision!  You might say that life is a work in process, and therefore so is our understanding of life.  Once we close the door to the possibility of revision of our understanding, once we believe we can explain it all away, we have in fact withdrawn from life and checked ourselves out of the game, at which point all that is left is arguing about who did a better job of checking out of the game which sounds a lot to me like mental auto-eroticism.

Now try to tell me history is linear and not cyclical!

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