Quarter of ten at night.
By now, church feels very far away from me, nor do I ever intend to go back. I feel pretty much like I used to when I was twenty years old, minus the alcohol I did daily. The booze only engulfed me when life got onerous and unrewarding; when my time was not my own and I couldn’t be its director. Feelings of guilt and shame contributed a great deal, although all I needed was to assert myself with the people who made life hell for me. And most of self assertion is the ability to say no when you mean no. Life runs away with you when you make inauthentic choices for the sake of being loved by others. It takes strength to let them down, but better than letting yourself down. Or does that sound rather Machiavellian?
Last night I read something interesting about the difference between Albert Camus and his French rivals including Sartre. He was a moralist and humanist above all, even though he was an atheist and said life is absurd and meaningless. He still believed in humanity. His lessons for us were often derived from the Bible, with the supernatural element taken out. He would not throw in with the existentialists because his humanity was ineradicable; because he wouldn’t be a Machiavellian. And these facts make me stop and think for a minute…
One thought on “Camus”
I can’t pretend to opine about existentialism, but I know a lot about organized religion (It’s a business) and alcoholism (It’s a chronic disease, not a moral failing, and it can be managed). Humans need community and a feeling of good fellowship. Perhaps you could get off the hamster wheel of leaving and returning to your church if you could find a group of intellectuals to join for discussions of the issues and literature that you present here? If you feel comfortable being in an enclosed space during the ongoing pandemic perhaps attending adult education classes at a college or university within commuting distance would fulfill the need. I would suggest AA meetings but I think that you might find them a crushing bore. (It might drive you to drink! ) You have gifts to offer and enrich others. Most lifetime friendships are formed at school. Just a thought. Forgive me for putting my nose in it.
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