10 January 2009

spoiling the illusion

(Cross-posted to LiveJournal)

I've more than once contemplated rejoining a religious group, if only for the social outlet.

It is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day...

Even now, there's an odd look one receives ... I get it at work sometimes, not from everyone, but from a handful of people. Disbelief? Concern? I'm not sure how to describe it properly. It's the look I get when I decline an invitation to a church gathering, and then let them know why I declined when they ask.

Ambivalence ... nonchalance?

It does seem to be a reaction divided by race. None of my Asian colleagues think it strange (or if they do, they have the good taste not to react); most of my Caucasian colleagues are equally disinterested; it's primarily my Black colleagues that are most visibly taken aback.

So I wonder, as I read the common zealot rant on a message board, as I cross paths with colleagues and the occasional LDS pavement-pounder, Would I be more socially acceptable if I were part of a religious group?

But then I reconsider, knowing exactly how much I'd hate myself--how much I would come to loath the pretense, how much I would resent the people around me (whether they actually believed or were just similarly pretending for the sake of human company). Could I pretend? Oh, I'm certain I could--and quite convincingly, at that. Things move me for many reasons.

The right (or wrong) combination of musical chords can send a shiver down my spine, fictions make me cry or shudder every other day. To achieve the same reaction in any so-called holy place to so-called holy music or so-called holy words would hardly be proof of anything.

Reactions to stimuli.

[Sanity], [sanity], all is [sanity].

It's not to say that I don't think I can believe in things; but many things that were once categorised as beliefs have been moved to fantasy and fiction and intellectual interest. Fairly weighed, nothing "supernatural" makes any more sense than anything else. I guess that's where my mind stops.

It's not to say that I don't think others should believe in things. More [of something--though I'm not sure what, but "power" seems incorrect--] to them, if they can.

But I resent them and I pity them, and I can't make myself feel guilty about those feelings, because I'm almost certain that they feel the same way about me.

Back to the question: Could I fake it? Yes, for a while, but I'd probably self-destruct eventually; and, as is my habit, I'd most likely take a few people with me. People who, in their turn, would resent me for spoiling their illusion.

A more wicked side of me thinks, It could make life interesting for a little while ... Allow the most outlandish thing possible to recruit oneself (something like Opus Dei or equally miserable). Bewilder both friends and family for a good six months. Convince the believers of conversion. And then--leave, to the confusion and disappointment of all.

It's more for self-indulgent fantasy than reality, isn't it?

I'm lonely and bored of being lonely, but I'm also proud--too proud to whore myself to something I don't believe, too proud to keep my opinions to myself.

Maybe tomorrow I'll write out a few of my thoughts on the dichotomy of good and evil in Western literature.

Maybe I'll go see The Unborn instead.

Who knows?

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