Misery in society, and Christian Hope

Rublev Trinity: Angels at MamreI popped in to say being gay is cool on an Orthodox blog, and was treated to two long and considered comments from the host, AR. Her comments cover nearly four pages of A4. So what is it you get, for being Christian?  Heaven, obviously, which is Wonderful. You have to die first, but you could take the Heaven and the dying as figurative, too.

You get discipline. Deferring gratification has been worthwhile since farming started, and that takes discipline. Avoiding instant gratification is a good way of practising, though the temptation is to enjoy it: you get a rosy glow when you do your ascetic thing, and that rosy glow gives, well, instant gratification.

You get The Unity of the Faith. Through Obedience to a standard outside myself, I find myself in a community which agrees with me, in which Jesus Christ is the lover of my soul and in which God has set the parameters of that community. The obedience continues in an unbroken line from Christ and the Apostles, and before that through the faithful Hebrew community, so we are still the One body that wrote the Scriptures.

Because we are one with them, agreeing with them, we have the assurance of being Right: they, and we, agree, and how can two billion Christians be wrong?

Against this, there is the abnormal life people lead today, detached from the experience of nature, and assailed by sexualised images of both sexes, The "iconic" "Hello Boys" imageand surrounded by stories- all those television dramas- which invite us to submerge in the subjective feelings of an individual.

So. Through obedience and discipline I would join a Community bathed in the love of God, bringing joy on Earth and hereafter, and escape from illusory joys and hellish jabberings.

What do I have instead?

The search for a truth which I cannot know. We know in part, and we prophesy in part. The faith that I, like all God made, am “very good”. The search for an individual relationship with God. You know that every single hair on my head is numbered, God knit me together- me personally- in my mother’s womb: why would my individual hairs have value, but not my individual thoughts?

I have a post-modern Christianity of feelings rather than doctrines, but it uses my full rational mind as well. In the Bible I see a growth of understanding of God, from the God that demands Abraham’s first born son to the God that gives God’s own. We have not fully entered the spirit of that new paradigm.

AR knows her Church is right because of all those who have submitted to it, and I know that all those who disagree with me are as right as I am. That frees me to connect with the wisdom of all of humanity, writhing in its birth pains, in a state of becoming, growing towards wisdom. I have my faith, and always the possibility is that I am wrong, and the horror of that possible wrongness grows.

I have faith enough.

Support

File:Albert-von-Keller-La-Descente-aux-Enfers-1912.jpgI have a hot bra.
-The padding is too warm for anything but winter hiking!

Actually, it is unusual. I thought my padded bras would get waterlogged in washing, and go out of shape, but they usually dry quickly, keep their shape, and are comfortable, not too warm, to wear. They even manage to look almost pretty. And, I have a lace underwired creation which manages to pull me forward, display me to my best advantage, and is (apart from the well-concealed wire) pretty gossamer. I was abashed, wearing it: it is hard to accept that my breasts might look attractive.

Kaspar Juul, spin-doctor to the Statsminister in the Danish political drama Borgen, lies about his father. He pretends that he is the son of a wealthy industrialist. He ran away after his father sexually abused him, and told him not to tell his mother as she will not understand, and will be angry with him (Kaspar). His on-off girlfriend finds out about his father’s funeral, and goes. Only the two of them are there. She reaches for his hand, and holds it.

She points out http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/44/August_Macke_Drei_Akte.jpgthat is not the funeral of a wealthy industrialist, and he snaps that he has fantasised a wealthy father. He has seen a psychiatrist about it. She says she could love him if he told her the truth, and he cannot tell her that he was abused, cannot give the reason for his hatred, rejection and lies. Watching, I think that she would understand if he did; and he is ashamed of having been abused, ashamed of being angry, of being unable to deal with it. He so needs his pretence of not caring.

I lied again last night. I found something embarrassing, so I pretended it was other than it was- and held to my lie, though I was still embarrassed, and embarrassed more at my lie. And the lie cuts me off from sympathy, because I fear mockery. And yet I imagine I could not tell the alternative therapist’s lie, “I am fixing X by a little pressure and a little pulling” which if placebo has any meaning becomes true in the telling of it, and is a valuable part of that placebo. Part of the performance.

I imagine my lie last night was transparent, as my embarrassment would show. I do not want your sympathy, because it obliges me to you- yet I delight in giving sympathy. Two things so close, a society of equals all standing up for themselves and a society of equals, all supporting each other, and the fantasy of the first stops the second from coming to be.

And my breasts can look good, with the right support, in the right light, to the right eye.

Lace

I have not been meditating. Maybe you know how it is. I should be kneeling in my ritual space; and instead I watch TV until I think, no, I have got to go to bed now. Or, I lie in bed, perhaps playing on WordPress, until I only have time to shower and dress and have breakfast before the bus comes.

Well, actually, this morning I had five minutes before the bus was due. I might as well kneel for five minutes as not. So I knelt, and burst into tears.

File:Purple Rose6.jpg

Coffee with Quakers. Sue asked how my work search was going. No, I am sorting my spiritual and emotional being, I am not looking for work. Maybe later. I want to do energy healing, and I think it is mere placebo, with a bit of cold reading. K says she does not think “mere” is appropriate, placebo is powerful. And- I suppose cold reading is valuable, it will be reassuring for a person if I respond to her as she really is, now. “Cold reading” is a dismissive term. Perhaps- “clearly seeing” a person. I want to practise Seeing. 

Then onto the usual conversation, this time Ann on how dreadful the World is, environmental degradation, chronic dishonesty in business, growing inequality, against me on how it is improving, the new Transition Towns movement, equal marriage campaigns. I love these people.

Out into the sunshine. That busker has a lovely tone on the higher registers of his tenor sax, warm, sweet and smooth.

I have always slung breast forms round my front. I wore big heavy bras for big heavy breast forms, because I felt that I wanted to appear as if I had breasts. Then in March I fell and bruised my ribs, and the bra was uncomfortable, and I have gone braless since. In the sauna at camp we complimented each others’ breasts: I have felt mine were tiny- almost flat- and misshapen, too far round the side of the body, pointing outwards. But now, I begin to feel a little uncomfortable hurrying, I want some support.

To “Lace” in the high street. I had thought it a normal lingerie shop, but inside I see what they sell is play-wear, basques and fishnet bodystockings, etc. They sell it by dress size. I can try it on if I want. Sorry, that is really not what I was looking for. So, to Natasha’s.

The bra I had felt too big in the cup, and also too tight in the back, so I wondered if she stocked a 40AA. However, I come out with a 36B, a light lacy half-cup. Don’t wear it too low, or it will give no support, she tells me.

I feel transformed. Under my loose sweater I have a shape I find beautiful, so much lovelier than I had thought possible. This is an experience most women have aged about 13, one I did not think I could have.

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I get the bus home. Oh, I do not want to feel this strongly! I want my feelings to be held down, strapped up, not bothering me! At war with the World at least I know where I am- but- to feel this Vulnerable-

I overhear someone on his mobile. “Is he with you now? Is he kicking off?… Are you driving?…
Just pull over and get him to get out…
No, just put the phone down and concentrate on driving. I’ll see you in a minute, yeah…” He explains to his friend that Lorna gave Laurie a lift, and because she could not go as far as he wanted he is kicking off, and she is crying while driving. I’ll kill him, the little shit.

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The song the busker was playing runs in my mind.

I can see clearly now, the rain has gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright, bright sun-shining day
It’s gonna be a bright, bright sun-shining day