Friday, August 26, 2011

Angels and Demons but No Dan Brown Quotes

A brief update on the car-hunt: still hunting. My mechanics, Tony and Rick, are awesome and being incredibly patient while they inspect each stray that I bring in. The 2004 Elantra I was looking at broke my heart and the master cylinder in the clutch system. A post for another time is the rather risque master and slave terminology used in cars and computers. I had a lead on a '97 Prelude that is apparently back in the shop (but will be ready Monday ...) and now I'm looking at an '02 Protege that is a little frumpy but possibly well cared for.

When I haven't been stressing and suppressing my auto-worries by stuffing food down my throat, I've been trolling on Facebook. I find it extremely useful to mind-numbingly scroll down the news feed and take a minute to see what my "friends" are doing. Sometimes it's a little depressing (I read a similar article to this one in Cosmo first, embarrassingly). Sometimes it gives me a chance to catch up on the lives of people that I care about but don't quite find the time or a way to connect with in real life. And sometimes you find those little things like updates or quotes that annoy you until something bursts.

I feel guilty because recently I gave in to making a rude comment about one of those things. One of my guilty pleasures also feeds into a pet peeve - I love checking out the quotes that people record in their information, but I am incredibly snobbish about bad quotes. I'm sure you've seen the quote commanding you to "be the change you wish to see in the world," from Gandhi. At this point in time, I hate that quote on multiple levels, but mostly because everyone knows it. Why not put next to it "Do unto others ..." or any other form of the Golden Rule? But that isn't as cool as implying that maybe you're deep enough to have picked up "The Way to God," or Gandhi's Book of Prayers.

The quote that currently tops my list is by Marianne Williamson. It claims that thinking that we fear inadequacy is a misconception, while what we truly fear is our enormous strength. At first it seems to imply that if we recognize our potential consciously, we might feel the need to measure up, but then the quote jumps around and refutes itself. She says that we ask ourselves: "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" So the fear goes back to actually worrying that we're not as great as we seem.

Thinking that God is inside of all of us can be reassuring. However, believing that all of us ARE in fact God, is horrifying. The concept of God is a hope that there is something better than us, something perfect, all-powerful, and all-knowing (at least one concept of God, that is). To further cripple her own quote, Williamson goes on to say that by letting our light shine, we allow others to do the same. I am all for letting light shine, but sometimes bushels are useful for hiding. Think about it like this: the light on your cell phone screen looks awesome in the dark, but as soon as you take it outside, it is practically useless. Some lights are dimmer than others, and if you're brilliant and always shining, there is someone dimmer than you that is going to feel pretty awful standing nearby.

While I might fight tooth and claw against the idea of everyone being God, don't think that I'm inflexible. Why not meet me halfway? We are definitely not gods, but maybe we're angels and demons. And why not? Exorcisms were performed on people before mental disorders were understood. The ancients thought that demons could inhabit a person, which was may not have been right, but a finger pointing in the right direction. I've never seen a demon or an angel, except on another person's face.

It might seem like splitting hairs, saying we're angels instead of gods, but the difference is hubris. The difference of pride is the difference between being the Morning Star, and being Satan. In other words, the difference is at your core, whether you might tend towards fiending or friendliness.

I certainly have a little Tyrion in me,
- John

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