Sunday, October 10, 2010
The God You
- J. Campbell
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It pains me to say this, but the life you are living is exactly the life you deserve. Just as we get the government we deserve through our sloth, stupidity and cupidity, so, too, our lives, our gods, our souls.
Does this mean the rich are better than dumb fucks like me - possibly, but not because they are rich. Is money Life? No, for fuck's sake, no. It may be a god you worship, and so it will be the god you deserve.
For the fucked (and I count myself among that number) what we want is to live unfucked, free of doubt and trouble, free of fear and poor judgment. What we get is altogether different because we mistakenly assume that an unfucked life has no trouble, has no fear, no doubt and is as wise an owl. And so we are able to earn our fuckedness because our stepping off place points down the wrong road and all we do is circle back over the same old ground, carving a nice deep rut to wallow in.
The god you worship is the god you deserve and is the god you get.
Campbell also says this: "You become mature when you become the authority for your own life."
When we cede authority over our lives to a god, to someone else, to some fear or pursuit, we are lost. For the the very thing we need to find our way is that which we have let go of. We claim we are not worthy; we claim we have no right; we claim others know better and on and on - anything but to take the damn thing into our hands and say, "This is mine and I am the only one who can live this life."
It is easier to nurse our pride with excuses and complaints against circumstance than to own every last bit of our lives. The god you worship is the god you deserve. If you are not mature enough to claim authority over your life - your thoughts, dreams, actions - then you are, by definition, worshiping an immature god and your results can only be adolescent.
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I read Campbell not because I agree with all he says, though all he says makes me think. No, I read him because of how he lived, the example he left for authoring his own life. In that regard he was fearless, meaning he accepted the fear of being outside the current of common society and lived as he saw fit - not based on tenure, or profits or reputation and in return he received all those things and more. He is a proof of Frankl's statement that happiness and success ensue precisely because one has forgotten them and devoted one's life to a cause greater than oneself.
I have been a fool lately. The totality of circumstance swamped the totality of my devotion and I am lucky that I have not had to face a more stringent master than the effluent of divorce. The god you worship is the god you deserve and I worshiped my losses and in return became lost. It is a bad way and I do not recommend it.
You must find it in you to be glad of the life you have and no other. I can do nothing about the actions of others. I cannot dim the tide of chaos that swirls through my days. I can, however, choose to act in accordance with what I know to be true - despite all outward appearances. It is this capacity to remain grounded in your Self, your Soul, your Life that delivers to you the life and god you deserve.
I have learned this lesson a thousand times. When I live in it I am surrounded by gifts of unimagined beauty, solace and love. When I despair of it those gifts becomes as alewives washed up on a dirty shore.
I am free to choose. So are you.
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