Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Belief systems

A belief system is an orbit of information, promise, and hope subscribed to by individuals and groups.  It offers its faithful the metaphorical equivalent of steak knives; failing that, it offers some form of salvation and/or real estate on the moral high ground.

In your life thus far, you have kicked the tires of several belief systems, from the broad and all-eembracing to the specific and arcane, more often leasing rather than making an outright purchase.  You are still on the fence about one or two, going through the motions with them more from muscle memory than full-on presence.  Other belief systems you once held in cheerful regard at one time, are now like invitations from high school chums who now, after all these years, want to friend you on Facebook touching but no longer compelling.  You do not, in this instance, like the verb made from the noun; you have no problems with making,maintaining, working at friendship, only to the concept as a verb, friending.  Yet other belief systems from your past float up to the surface of your consciousness like chunks of mystery meat in the stew at a cheap diner.

You are in favor of belief systems as a general purpose.  They seem to you to organize themselves and you in comfortable and comforting ways, a convenient pole star to lead you through the existential night.  You do not hold much belief in the ain soph, the abyss of endless light that is a part of the cultural tradition into which you were born and raised with some whimsicality, pursued on your own with even greater whim.  The ain soph is an abyss over which the faithful must cast their soulful being each day as a demonstration of their faith in the vast intricacies of our mutual belief system.  And yet.  It neither suits you to disparage it nor those whose faith allows them what you consider to be the illusion of their leap.  After all, the cultural tradition in which you were not raised (but which has abounded around you) has produced at least one memorable philosopher who openly speaks of a leap of faith. True,the context of the Kierkegaard leap of faith is different from the ain soph but who are you to gauge the intensity of risk for the sincere in either culture?

Who, indeed, are you?

At the least, you are your own belief system, barely articulated here, yet beginning to find yourself defined by daily degree in the totality of your blog notes, your most sententious writings and pronouncements, and your most scattered writings over the years as well as some of the more purposeful examinations you have set down.

The totality of your written (and spoken) words are the ghost of the elder Hamlet, stalking the battlements of the castle, seeking to induce you to the act of revenge,which in this case is to to search down and edit into some semblance of dignity the excesses and exaggerations you have rendered thus far.

1 comment:

Storm Dweller said...

The act of "friending" has very little to do with actual friendship. And as to belief systems, I only respect those that inspire the person who holds them to improve themselves and to then use those improvements to attempt to improve the lives of others. Without that sort of motivation to back a belief system, the system becomes self-serving and utterly worthless in my eyes.