|March 24th, 2017
God, it’s time I got superficial I think.
More superficial? More superficial than all this self self-reflection? More superficial than
my token Christianity?
Yes, I think I need to double down. So far, blassphuming You have read all my earlier
entries (i.e blasphemously assuming), I have been crying about not getting preferential
treatment from You – You who sacrificed Your only son. I’ve been complaining about
why You would not indulge my “harmless” fantasies just because I asked Your permission
and dared not attempt them without Your blessing. But only now am I seeing the
discrepancy in my plea. I have been repeatedly coming to You for the premium product I
kept seeing on the devil’s channel: "YOU!".
Superficially, Your imagery, Your work and what You represent is "being sold" on there
and I believe it is, and the devil will most agree here, the singular product that “sells” no
matter what. Much in the same way car commercials sell the convenient absence of traffic
in their ads, the devil is in the business of selling redemption, benediction, salvation,
resurrection, love, legacy, impunity… not only in the presence of any & all sins ever
committed but precisely, and critically so, because of them - the active sacrifice of
morality for the chance to live without it. So You see, when You offer eternal Life, he’s
offering “freedom” from it (i.e. death but who reads the fine print?).
I mean no disrespect when I say 'You see'. I mean to incite my own revelation, my
lethargic understanding. About the absurdity of what I suspect is at play here.
You are Truth the copy of which the devil weaponizes.
You are Light the copy of which the devil ignites.
You are Love the copy of which the devil eroticizes.
Can this distinction be seen right away or at all? On the contrary, for all intents and
purposes, when the devil is "working", there's no difference where You disappear & he
begins. And I think that's the point. Dare I condemn myself even further by claiming that
had You not wished it otherwise, it would not have been so. The temptation SHOULD have
"Your" face on it, not the devil's in order for us to truly reflect & commit to who we are
instead of having to live by default (or our choice conveniently ready made). In the heat of
temptation therefore what really weakens us is not only our lack of conviction in what we
know deep down to be most true, but also the fact that we have to look at "Your" face to
make that decision.
Personally, until very recently - as recently as the end of this sentence - my achilles heel
had been the temptation itself. I did not mind the devil behind "Your" mask as long as the
mask was of "You". Reason not the need but if indeed needed I would say because there is
no other way for me to kiss "You".
The devil inflames. You, FIRE.
No doubt the biggest illusion as well is that You can be sold or that the way to heaven can
be bought. But no commercial entity in existence, prior or present, packages a product like
Your fallen angel. My goodness!! When one manages to escape by Your incalculable
mercy from the unrelenting grip of the devil’s presentational skills to & on & with our
basic instincts – the devil’s pitch as it were, from his unforgiving pedophilic play of our
primal childish fear against our best interests - the devil's fork-play before he really rears
us, then Your austere but not cold, hard but not difficult, challenging but not impossible
terrain of responsibility awaits us; our impoverished & interminably foolish but ultimately
If You allow me a delusional claim that I might be staring at that terrain right now then I
want out. Abdicate my responsibilities. I understand now why superficiality is all the rage
these days – none more so than the straight-faced stone-cold self-identification of being
real without the burden of actually having to be real. Because how then can I pretend to be
Christian without actually practicing it? I’m not saying I don’t want to be Christian. I just
need to re-articulate Christianity to mitigate reality in way that validates that I am a good
person. Otherwise, as things stand, the true definition of Christianity towers over my
dwarfish deeds like a monument of what is expected casting the most disapproving of
shades – a pillar of salt from having even dared to glimpse at the all consuming fire of my
How else can I justify not sacrificing my life for the benefit of others? For the alleviation of
human suffering, no matter how small a dent my belated contribution can make. How can
I justify these very words I am committing to the unforgetting gaping chasm of the
internet’s memory when I know somewhere someone is dying in oblivion? From thirst.
From hunger. From assault. From discrimination. From disease. From the deformity of
society. From systemic economic injustice. From the stains of history present that never
truly stopped metastasizing. Above all however, how is it possible that I can feign such
high ululated concern for the well-being of this world, superficially or not, and still not
sustain some measure of moral consciousness no matter how insignificant?
At the moment, I work in Customer Service. At the risk of sounding like I’ve forsaken my
artistic desires, I’ll admit, I love helping people, serving them, meeting their needs. Despite
the very possibility of Life authorizing quotes around my self-transformative words the
longer I work in it – “Playwright”, “Actor”, “Artist”, “Writer” (sarcasm & irony optional),
I do not reject it so far for it is a way, at least mine anyway, to earn my keep in this world,
to earn the luxury of my family’s presence in my life.
But lately I’ve been thinking that there’s no such thing as ‘Job’ in this world. What exists
instead is different hierarchies of shame and corresponding salaries to help us cope; the
higher the paycheck, the deeper the shame. Deep down, I feel like our singular self is
always keeping tab of how dark our collective self is getting. No matter where our station
in life, our socio-economic significance, against any & all notoriety of our psychopathic
character we secretly never stop taking account of how much we have indirectly
contributed to the suffering of others – cobalt, oil, meat, leather, ivory, diamonds…,
human trafficking. So, almost instinctively, our gut must immediately repurpose this shame
into whatever form necessary to “prolong” our life – emotionally or otherwise – so that we
don’t self-destruct like a Sarah Kane play. Ranging from having us retreat into religion or
some spiritual practice to denouncing the spirit completely to taking up a hobby to
employing sadomasochistic means all the way to actively inflicting harm on others, this
self-shame manifests in economic behavior which, on the outside, might look either
depraved or indulgent (rightfully so) but is actually, in the most technical of terms, an act
of survival – a coping mechanism from having to face the truth that no one truly cares
about anyone in this world, if not statistically then ethically.
So when I say I want to be more superficial - if at all possible - then I mean to say (I
suppose) I desire to be - if indeed conceivable - more shameful than I already am and more
loathsome than what my hourly pay can afford. Because maybe at least that way I can
totally forfeit the human race without having to forfeit, and perhaps specifically to profit
from, its privileges; privileges, none too small, indulged at the (out-of-sight out-of-mind)
misery of others.
In truth, of course, I only pine to this degree of profusely melodramatic dance of words to
actually forfeit from having to REPENT!! By "inflicting" myself to "more shame", by
villifying my ineptitude for Christianity, I get to look pious without fessing up to my sins.
You want me to repent, I see. (Can I get back to you on that?)
A few weeks back, you allowed me to visit a very dear relative of mine out of state. You
permitted me to sit by her hospital bed where she was recovering well from her surgery. I
held her hand and spoke with her and was relieved by her resilience. Her recovery revived
me. But in that moment while I caressed her hand I realized something. I was there to bear
You will take her, as You will all of us, in due time – hopefully me included, but I think
that’s all we are ever here for, isn’t it? To bear witness to the existence of our other selves
– related or not? To see ourselves in others as You see Yourself in us. Yes, there is
politics. Yes slavery exists. Yes power matters. Yes money rules everything. But in the
end, when we’re french-kissing on our death-bed with what we’re about to leave behind, I
think all that remains is for us to take the witness stand.
Did we see?
Did we do?
Did we act?
Did we love?
Did we... did I repent?