Thursday, April 14, 2005

Diametric Sides. Sanctimonious Laughter?

I see that through all my attempts at piety and self-restraint, my evil self still rears its ugly head. So since my words give me away -- not in necessarily what I say, but in how I say it -- let's get down and dirty.

The outside shell is obvious. Except for the days I get annoyed with wearing the white and black garb, I am dressed exactly as a frum (religious) person would dress. I have an untrimmed but neatly tucked 4" long black beard which is almost 18" in length when it is unrolled. I dress in black and white and keep everything neat and tidy. When I am outside, I wear a long, black coat. I have a deep, penetrating look in my eyes with mildly dark circles beneath them.

Personality. There is a lot of it. Much of me is genuinely giving and warm inside and outside, and people say they feel an aura of calm around me. The energy I radiate is good. But most of the time my mouth is closed and I am quiet. Why? I am anything but shy.

Mystery revealed, inside of me is a dark, cold, sinister, evil to the degree that my thoughts would shock people if I didn't know how to hold my tongue. My jokes are quick, they are sharp, and they are usually two or three logical steps ahead of what is going on. I am like a master chess player and a cobra wrapped into one skin where my thoughts snap with venom sliding down the sharp fangs. I joke around with people and tell the truth about how terrible my thoughts are and about how self-centered I am, yet people only think I am being modest about being a good person. If only people knew how much coldness and how much lack of compassion and empathy I am capable of, people would never talk to me again. While my mood is so often kept under strict control, there is always a taste of anger that I have that lies dormant waiting to flare at the slightest provocation when I am not paying attention. I'll explain this soon.

If I were asked to determine whether my proclivity is towards good or towards evil, while I may answer one or the other depending on my mood, the truth is that on any day, I would reach for the evil with just as much enthusiasm as I would reach for the good. I am as parve (neutral) as they get not because I am disinterested and not because I just don't care to distinguish between good or bad. Rather, I am parve because in my thoughts, I reach for both extremes of evil and good with such effort that my thoughts literally cancel each other out resulting in me not taking action on my thoughts. Luckily, through my inactions I am unable to sin. So I do see and embrace the dark side within me, however, my good side -- a strong believer in G-d that wants with all my heart to follow his laws and to be a good person -- acts as a circuit breaker whenever I entertain my dark thoughts. Somehow, my good thoughts win out over my bad thoughts. Sometimes for small things, my bad thoughts win out when I am not paying attention or they short-circuit my good intentions when I should be doing a commandment or a good deed. This is not to say I am a pious or a loathsome person; rather, I just have a good side that is slightly stronger than my bad side, and sometimes vice versa.

This doesn't mean that half the time I do bad deeds, and slightly more-than-half of the time I do good deeds. Rather, since my good side is 90% of the time in control of my speech and my actions, I will most of the time choose the right thing to do or the more pious act. Keep in mind that while I may grumble, I do believe that the good act is the right choice. Yet my bad side often rules my thoughts and if I am not paying attention or if I am experiencing a mood swing or if I am exhausted, the bad side may say hello from time to time. Certainly it shows up often in my blog because for the most part, you don't know who I am. I could be the Jew sitting right next to you, or the guy that passes you every day on the street and you would never know it was me. This anonymity gives me the special chance to release the bad thoughts to some extent and to let them run loose on the screen so that I can watch them and learn to conquer them by analyzing and by playing with them.

Yet by no means is there a contradiction between the warmth and goodness inside me and the coldness and evil that slithers through my veins, darkening my thoughts and blackening my sharp tongue. Somehow both of these extremes coexist inside me in a relatively balanced state. Maybe some of you wouldn't agree that they are balanced, and you are right. They are balanced to the extent that my bad thoughts are chained and are shackled down by my dose of morality and religion which help me create and nurture my good thoughts. I work daily to slice away at my bad thoughts with the intent of making them go away. As I have said before, on a scale of 1-10, the intensity of my evil thoughts and my good thoughts both hover around a 12-14 on that scale.

I am truly grateful that I found a metaphysical construct such as yiddishkeit (Judaism) that has replaced my prior moral construct that I built from my limited understanding of the world as a reaction to my past experiences. This might sound ghastly, but it is honest. I believe that the path to serving G-d is by doing what he tells us to do in his Torah (bible). I don't hold my religious views over anyone else -- in fact, I would pat myself on the shoulders because I have made many non-religious non-Jews quite religious within their own beliefs of how they see G-d. For me, as long as I don't promote idolatry, and as long as I lead others to do good from an honest and un-dogmatic ultra-logical way, then I have done my part. As for me, while I have two diametrically opposed personalities co-existing, my goal is to utterly destroy the bad aspects that think evil thoughts and that act selfishly, sinisterly, and egocentrically, and... what was that word?!? ...sanctimoniously.

AriK, thank you for your criticism of my inexcusable attack on my father. You are right, it was very cold. Keep in mind, I didn't become this way by sheer luck. A person's irrationality could be merely heightened rational feelings from past wrongs that have not yet been made right. You are right though, whether you said it or not -- all these negative feelings eat away at me like a piranha; except I am being bitten from the inside.

Tonight was an interesting night for introspection. Have a good night! 55.

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