Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Thursday, June 16, 2005
  Hiding in the Dark...

"All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone."~Blaise Pascal
Pascal's quote has always haunted me. It lives in the dark recesses of my soul, like the dull ache of a tooth when I drink something cold, or a back-ache that flares up when I least expect it. Even though I value it, I still find myself running from solitude, running from true self-knowledge.
"We are only falsehood, duplicity, contradiction; we both conceal and disguise ourselves from ourselves."~Pascal
You would think an anonymous blogger would be able to let the truth fly like an archer empties a quiver of arrows. But its not like that. Even here I've developed an image I want to protect. I didn't set out to do that, it just sort of happened. I keep asking myself, "is it even possible to truly open yourself up like a body on a surgeons table to other people, yourself, or even God?"

Back to Pascal, I've read his book "Pensees" and he talks about the fact that people seem to have this fear of truly being alone with their feelings and their thoughts. That they invent all kinds of ways to fill their time so they won't have to deal with the real problems vexing their souls. It's that way for me, I spend so much time blogging, or sleeping, or reading books, or playing video games, or playing cards with my friends. Sometime I realize I am afraid to be alone with myself. I am afraid to be in a quiet place with nothing to take up my time. I am literally afraid of "nothing". Once I embrace this "nothing" and open myself to hear from God and to let him show me how to change, or just allow myself to be in his presence, then the fear leaves. But until I take the plunge, it's easier for me to run from him than to live in his presence.

Even though I believe with all my heart I am justified before God by my faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, I still find myself running from God and from myself. I wish I understood the reasons for my continued struggle to conceal the value of my actions and my true character from God and myself. It's really a very stupid concept, trying to hide who you are from the one who created you. Here's a passage of the bible that speaks to this problem.
"This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives."~I John 1:5-10(NIV)
Even now I have problems wrapping my intellect around the concepts in this text. In order to have a relationship with God, we have to essentially walk naked before him, all of the scars and warts, all of the sagging and waggly bits hanging out under the million candlepower brightness of his eyes. Only then, can we have a relationship with him. If we claim we have no sin, it's like we are putting on baggy clothes and hiding in the dark, saying "Of course I look great naked, you should see my abs!"

A relationship like this is so incredibly bizarre and against regular human logic and social norms, like nothing else in the universe. The only thing I can figure out is that there remains a built in inclination, probably imprinted on all humanity from the Garden of Eden to cover up all that is evil, ugly and selfish that remains inside the human animal.

The good thing is this, when we can work up the testicular fortitude to throw ourselves into his spotlight of truth, we can finally celebrate our weakness. We can celebrate the fact that we are weak and sinful, mean and spiteful. In short, we can acknowledge how much we need his grace and his love in this messed up existence we have created down here.

Thanks for reading,

i'm an only child, maybe that's why i'm used to being alone i guess. but sometimes too much time alone makes a brain think funny thoughts...perhaps that's an effect of being tied to a cubicle for over 3 years too though...regardless, sometimes it's good to be alone and think, i think. _^^_
The natural man is an enemy of God. We need to overcome our natural urges to come closer to God.

One of our natural urges is to stay busy, to stay on the move.

Only when we take the time to meditate, to pray, to reflect on ourselves and actively seek out God's councel can he enter our heart.

Prayer is not so much about changing God's will, but finding out what blessings he is already willing to give to us. We just need to figure out where to find them.
Complete truth is something that no person can say they do. Everyone from a murderer to a priest has secrets they don't want people to know about.

Darkness is ever present in all souls. The trick I have found is to pass through that darkness and let life take over.

The only person you need to be true to is yourself, everyone else you owe nothing to.
Great comments everybody.
Strangely, I remember being so young and thinking such thoughts. Later, you realise that God sees you naked whether you want it or not. At that point, it ceases to matter. He loves you and has granted you His perfect forgiveness. You have nothing to be afraid of, least of all yourself.
Great Post...

Thank you for reminding me..
WOW AC! You are one of the most insightful people I've ever 'met'.
I wish I could have you and Mrs AC over for dinner. Great thought train.
Ah c'mon Marsha. You'll make me blush...
Self-introspection doesn't come "naturally" to most people. We want to hide from our own ugliness, sin and faults. Think of Adam and Eve in the garden. They became aware of their nakedness and needed to hide it.

It's human nature to find ways to distract ourselves and fill up our time. Especially when there's something we REALLY dont want to examin, it's a coping mechanism to a degree.

You keep talking on your blog like because you're christian, somehow that that will embuse you with magical powers of discernment and self-knowledge :) I think it's a damaging type of perception that keeps getting pushed... that faith in God is some sort of destination, some place you arrive at, where you're completely level with Him, and the interior life is peachy-keen forever more. It's a journey. Honesty with ourselves is part of the process of learning humility which should, ultimately, bring us closer to Him and knowing Him. We can't will ourselves to know God better, all we can do is moving towards that.
TLG, that was an awesome comment. I'll have to think about it some more, because there's a lot there.

When I was younger, I did think that being a Christian was almost like magic, and that if I prayed and read the bible a lot things would get better. I also felt like I was better than other people-which is total B.S. .

I don't think its magic now, but I feel like it helps make sense of things, and the most important thing is that I finally have stopped trying to make myself good enough, I just accept his goodness for my filth.

Still going to think about that some more...

Someone finally recognises my genious ;)

Seriously... I'm on the saaaame journey. I thought ok, I believe the "right things," I should be "better than this." All I hve to do is "try harder," bla bla bla... I'm also a recovering judgmental jerk, so I'm working on that too :)
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Exploring the mind numbing insanity and childish corporate culture of an unknown call center employee.

Purgatory: A place of suffering and torment with an unknown duration. In Roman Catholic Theology-the place where the dead are purified from their sins.

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"One must know oneself, if this does not serve to discover truth, it at least serves as a rule of life, and there is nothing better." -Blaise Pascal

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