Charlie's Blog: The Ocean


The Ocean

Singing to an ocean, I can hear the ocean's roar
Play for free, I play for me and play a whole lot more, more!
Singing about the good things and the sun that lights the day
I used to sing on the mountains, has the ocean lost its way.

Led Zeppelin's "ocean" was the sea of fans that came to see them play each night. It's nice that they would dedicate a song to them. For Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, he hated the fans and even spit on them. This bastardification would turn into the epic album The Wall.  It's easy to hate people but it is hard to understand hating people who love you. At least the Zep guys didn't hate their fans.

Misanthropy is one of my lifelong struggles. In my twenties, I was a devout Calvinist, and Calvinism breeds in you a deep loathing for yourself and for others. God became utterly remote to me, and it doesn't take much to see why I found relief in atheism. I still debate if being a Calvinist is worse than being an atheist. At least the atheist can delude himself into thinking that life might be worth living.

I find myself going back there again. I don't hate people since hate is against everything Jesus taught. Calvinism actually teaches that God hates people. Calvinists will deny this until later on they drop the bomb on you that God hates the unelect. Naturally, this isn't a great selling point, and true Calvinists don't really care. They'd rather win an argument than win a soul. But it is a great selling point if you want to hate people, too.

I'm not about to return to hating people, but I would be naive to overlook the fact that people are sinners. I have to return to my job tomorrow and the realization that I had before I left that the people I work with aren't so great. Looking back over my working life, I must admit that the people I have worked with were not my friends. Granted, I have made friends with co-workers, but most of my co-workers have not been my friends. The truth is that most of them aren't even good people.

Back on my old job at Hell Inc., I would help out my fellow coordinators by sending them guys from my area to fill the holes in their areas. This was a daily thing as most workers are unreliable. That is one of those facts that fed my dim view of humanity. The other fact is that when I was in similar need those people I helped never helped me. Add on the misery inflicted from management, and I just accepted the fact that a job is where you endure pain and misery for me. The pain and misery doesn't come from the work itself but from the people. From above, below, and beside me, every person on that job simply hated me for no good reason and were too selfish and evil to ever be more than a misery to endure. The worst of it all was to be calumniated by someone I helped many times.

I have a dim view of humanity. Nothing in my faith or my experience serves to change that viewpoint but reinforces it. As an atheist and a libertarian, I took a brighter view of humanity mostly by diminishing my expectations of people. Even by those lowered expectations, I had to admit that human beings were disgusting, vile, nasty, and evil. I made up the difference by being disgusting, vile, nasty, and evil myself.

Being Catholic has brought me back from the abyss of my own sins. But it has made me sensitive to the evil of the world. As a Calvinist, I would find comfort that the evil people in the world were probably predestined to Hell. As an atheist/libertarian, I simply became a mean person and would find comfort in the fact that I could unleash on people with the knowledge that they deserved it. Now, as a Catholic, I find no comfort because I can't be evil to these people, and I do not desire that anyone go to Hell.

I am going through a time of interior suffering. People enamored of pyschology would call it depression, but it is not the same as depression. Depression is anger without enthusiasm. It is when you are mad about things, but you feel powerless to change them. Interior suffering is when you see and experience a sadness over the evil in the world and in yourself.

I am saddened at the passing of Mother Angelica. Her influence on my life has been immense. My personal belief is that the woman was a saint. Watching her on EWTN gives me an idea of what a saint is like. She was holy but also human and humorous. I've seen her happy, joyful, sad, and angry. She was frail and fearless. She was a saint to me but also heroic. I will miss her, but she will live on in my memory courtesy of the many hours of television she made. May she rest in God's peace forever.