So I don't really know if this is "ha ha" funny or "oh hey what a surprise" funny or "I think I'll go be a super villain now" funny. But in whatever sense, it's funny. To me anyway. So to recap, I'm in my third semester at seminary, the goal of which is to move into the counseling field. I chose the seminary for several really good reasons:
- I fully believe that the spiritual side of the self is of great importance to many people's mental health and well-being, and so I wanted to be able to at least talk about it when and if it ever comes up. Not that everyone in the world is Christian, but rather that Christianity is one vehicle, a language, a symbology, through which to try and make sense of the divine. And it's a vehicle whose language I am somewhat familiar with. So it's a place to start.
- The decision to move into this field had a lot to do with something of a spiritual renewal of my own, though it was one that was fraught with questions. Thus, I wanted to put myself in an environment where I could grapple with these questions. I wasn't looking to be spoonfed easy answers - I just wanted a place where I could struggle with the questions, hopefully with other strugglers.
- It's cheaper than UT or St. Ed's.
So that was sort of unexpected.
I have made one decision though: I'm not going to run from this.
And with that, I stopped writing and the post sat idle. What follows picks up where it left off.
The questions are big, and not easily answered, perhaps not even answerable at all. Which then begs the question, do they even matter? Which, of course, is just yet another goddamn question. But I don't feel as if just walking off in disgust is quite the way for me to go. It's not as if the questions will just go away. I don't think humans are wired that way. And to stick with the metaphor, I have to wonder if much of the discomfort and unease that I feel is a result of the process of tearing out some of my old faulty wiring and looking for new ways to hook things up, a process that's been going on for a number of years now, and will probably continue for years to come, perhaps even until the day I die. Maybe that's life. Maybe that's the journey. Maybe it never makes sense, and we simply make peace with the fact that we just don't know, and that any one of us is just as likely to be as full of shit as the next person. To me, this inspires a sense of humility. Why doesn't it do that for everybody? Argh, more questions!
Maybe my problem is my perspective. I see a question, I feel the need to find its answer. If the answer is not forthcoming, then harumph and argh and well fuckall, etc. Sometimes, that is. Other times, I'm perfectly laid back enough to accept whatever. It could be, however, that the shift I'm making is larger and in a different direction than I expected. I definitely didn't plan to somehow become "more Christian." In a lot of ways, I haven't really felt Christian for quite a while, and that's only become more solidified over the past few months. But I've never before seriously considered that maybe, just maybe, This Is All There Is. But now I am. I'm not making that as a declaration. In fact, I'm running pretty short on anything much that I can declare. Instead, it's a new question, another one to toss in the old thought grinder for some mulling over for the next few...however long. Just another thing I just don't know.
In talking to a friend of mine about all this, she suggested an exercise to try to get at the heart of it, and it goes something like this: Ignoring external influences as much as possible, including other people's opinions, political leanings, religious background, etc, write down the things that you truly, deep down in your core, believe to be true. It'll probably only be a few things. Maybe even just one. You don't have to prove it, just state it. So here's mine, in no particular order:
- Everyone who has ever lived and ever will live is capable of great good, unthinkable evil, and everything in between.
- We are not the sole architects of our lives. We are born into situations with people and certain inheritances, and given certain advantages and disadvantages. Still, we encounter choices that are ours and ours alone to make.
- Our lives and our decisions affect other people. Ignoring this fact causes harm.
- The human race has discovered so much in its time, yet there is still so much we do not know and cannot presently explain. This fact should humble us each enough to treat others with respect.
And with that, I'm off to live life some more.