07
Dec
09

Tired of Depression


No melodrama.  I mean it.  I’m bored.  So bored that it’s time to swing the other way and pray to ring the bell this time.

I’m founding a religion right this fucking second and it’s not a joke:  Me.

Sounds… ethnocentric, nihilistic, egomaniacal, self-centered, jaded, othering, ladi blah-di dah.  -Check.  But let’s not pretend that self interest is the enemy here.  That is lazy.  The enemy is ‘extreme.’  Extreme, however, in the progressively linear sense.  That is, we must progress towards the nearest extreme, but the furthest extreme is disruptive.

To further illustrate my point I will make an analogy.

Two monks in a Chinese Buddhist monastery were charged with ringing a bell so that the other monks would know it was time for morning meditation.  They approached the bell tentatively with the mallet they were given.  Standing in front of the bell they argued briefly over who should strike it.

“I shall strike it softly, in caution of being too loud.”  Said Ancestor Ch’i.

“I shall strike with force, in caution they will not hear!”  Said Young Yen.

Ancestor Ch’i struck first.  Two monks heard, but the others were too far from the soft strike to wake from it.  Then Young Yen took a shot which rang out so fiercely that even a few villagers nearby woke from it, and they came to the monastery to inquire.  The villagers came to love monastic life and proved loyal members of the school, each contributing by his own gift.  Young Yen met Ancestor Ch’i in the garden one afternoon and gloated, “You see old man?  Harder strike brings more to the stream.”  And he left Ancestor Ch’i among the garden plants and fish to ponder his way.

After some time, Young Yen’s bell ringing wasn’t bringing more people, and they desperately needed help with work to sustain their growing school.  Ancestor Ch’i thought about Young Yen’s desire to strike harder and went to speak with him.

“Young Yen, your way has brought fortune to us, but it is time to stop ringing the bell so loud.  We must only ring to wake those who are here for now.”

“We need more to help work, I will strike harder.”  Young Yen replied.  Ancestor Ch’i was very displeased and made him a solemn promise: “Young Yen, you think more is good without looking at the merits of growth or the consequences of the next extreme.  You will break the bell one day and be unable to ring it at all, and without it, you will die.”

Millennea later, individualism set in, coupled with political idealism, and there are good or bad ways to argue your side of any given argument.  So here’s the thing: you are the only source of control over your actions.  This is your one inalienable human right, period.  No government protects it, and none could attack it.  The closest this right comes to have ever being violated is murder, or ending another person’s right to choose.  Killing them, not killing them.

If this is the one universally recognized right of man (and I am even speaking of those incarcerated for violating social standards, for they, being locked up, are robbed only of the variable choices they would have ‘outside’), then the next rational step would be to treat the nature of the following choice.  That is, one could say, “Now that I have recognized the power of my very first freedom, I must also learn to recognize the limits of it, for power can grow beyond the realm of sight and hurt innocent people down the line.”

So I suppose this “religion” is really just a formal naming of what secular humanists tend to as a foundation.  I’m always really excited about what I’m thinking until I’ve written it out and see how obvious it all was in the first place.

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