Do not fear the dark night

Posted: October 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

I found this on a Mormon website. The awful photoshop work is what makes it awesome.

I once had a conversation with a very pretty, though slightly damaged, girl about my own philosophy of the search for truth. I can’t remember how it went but I do remember that this girl taught me something about love that I rejoiced in at the time but have now forgotten the details of. She was impressed by my philosophy and though I was only so glad to take her compliments at the time I wonder now if said philosophy is really all that wise.

It has two parts:

1. Doubt yourself more than you think you should; because you are always too sure.

2. Follow the truth wherever it leads no matter how painful or dangerous that journey seems.

That is the path I have followed for some time. I’m not sure where it developed but it has been my mode of operation for at least 5 years. It has not been fun. Purposely doubting your conclusions is not a natural state of mind. Though in practice it is not nearly so schizophrenic as it sounds. What it really means is that I never take my own conclusions too seriously. I’m willing to change my mind quickly when new evidence presents itself and I don’t invest my pride in my pet beliefs. It hurts a bit, but being able to stop on a dime and change course without flinching has the glad effect of stealing the taste of victory from an opponents mouth.

The second part is harder because it often requires going it alone. Most people don’t want to follow the argument. They do not welcome the pain of doubt that the search for truth requires. The journey may even be truly dangerous: If you’re worried about your eternal soul then you’re not likely to entertain what seem like “lies from the pit of hell” even for a moment. Though I have always thought that the truth, even from the mouth of the devil, is still the truth. The question is really, “do you believe you can spot the truth when you see it?” Honestly I may be a bit too sure of myself in this regard. I’d like to think I can spot the truth, but I know from past experience that’s not always true.

Here’s why I’m not afraid at the moment. I’ve been going through some dark periods lately with my faith (or lack thereof) but deep down I want there to be a God. I want things to be the way I always thought they were. My mind will not currently let these old beliefs rule, but I long for them still. They are a security blanket of sorts. The fact that I’m able to maintain this tug-of-war, to me, means that I’m still thinking straight. I’m not giving in to what I want and the fact that I still want it tells me I’m not taking this journey out of spite. This time spent in the wilderness is a common theme in my life. I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. You can call this silly if you like. But the strangeness of a young person going on these journeys into the darkness over and over again makes me wonder if it is a part of my ultimate purpose in this life.

Wise or not. I think it may be the only way I can live.

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