Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Suffering and Happiness

I've been thinking a lot on the Catholic perspectives on happiness and suffering lately but I am not completely certain they align with the dogma. Take this post with a grain of salt, as the Catholic faith in general expects us to be more than human, and indeed their utopia is not possible on this earth, at least until the second coming when most of us are done away with. I have compiled this thought process from all I have taken in through growing up in a strict Catholic environment.

It starts with this basic thought, one that most non-sadistic people in the world have had, that "everyone would be happy and not suffering." Sounds great right? Wow, I have compassion and feelings, I don't want others to be in pain! Whoopdidoo. Its a great feeling and belief, and I hope everyone has it, but there is another ingredient that is often forgotten or unknown, and without acknowledging it, one may actually be missing an important facet of understanding existence itself according to Christianity.

Basically, God wants us to be in Heaven.... yet, we must suffer to get there! Why?.. because otherwise we wouldn't have achieved anything or have anything to appreciate. If bliss was all we knew, it would not be bliss... it would be normal. If we began as gods, we would not be gods. You may be confused. I agree, this is not an easy matter to understand.

Since humans must suffer to reach Heaven, then should we desire them to suffer? No... but we should acknowledge it is an essential step in one's spiritual journey and pray for them. Through only suffering can one become greater than before. There are many lessons to be learned through suffering, and very few through happiness.

To desire happiness is a basic human instinct. To escape suffering is also a basic human instinct. Yet, humans are animals. God wants us to be more than animals. We must deny our instincts, we must take the path of greatest resistance, we must defy nature itself. This lesson applies to many sins, and a great example would be controlling the natural sexual urge. We must be more than bonobos, as fun as being a bonobo sounds. Get it?

I feel like this is pretty spot on teaching of the Catholic faith. But I fail as a human according to these standards. Even though I understand the aforementioned teachings, as well as the laws of morality, I cannot get myself to practice them to the extent necessary to achieve eternal life according to the Christian standard. I am just a human, an animal, nothing more, and perhaps I may never be.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Somersworth had its annual Pumpkin festival today so Christine and I went for a while and took a ride with the horses and watched people smash pumpkins with a giant catapult. Pretty fun and different! The temperature is perfect today and tomorrow we plan to go hiking in the White Mountains to make sunday not feel like a sunday. Here are some pictures of the scenery.

Notice anything on Christine? The last three are of the cemetery in our yard. There's some abandoned building with a creepy Mary altar outside it. I love how the trees have grown into some of the graves.
Christine and I are hard at work preparing to record the full-length Bone Fragments cd in early November. We are extremely excited about it and the current atmosphere is a good match for the music. Today may be good lyric writing day...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

My favorite 10 Black Sabbath Songs

The band that opened the gateway for me. Their debut was the first metal album I ever acquired, and naturally it was on cassette. I think my picks are a tad untraditional, but Sabbath is one of those great bands where you must delve past the greatest hits and best known to find the gems.

10. Behind the Wall of Sleep

9. Killing Yourself to Live

8. Hand of Doom

7. Cornucopia

6. After Forever

5. The Wizard

4. Megalomania

3. Thrill of it All

2. Black Sabbath

1. The Writ