I can’t remember exactly when, but a few months ago Good Friday came up and the tradition is that people give up something they like for a day. Sorta like the urban version of fasting in more hardcore religions. You’re supposed to sacrifice things, give yourself some time to think about what life would be like if it weren’t so easy. Christians don’t have the monopoly on this– there are plenty of other religions out there where people do these sortsa things.
There’s this saying of course, kill the head and the body will follow– in the same vein, why not defeat the purpose itself if we want to devoid the practice of meaning?
What I’m getting at is that you’ve got all these religious things coming up all the time. And I hear about people who are binge eating or binge drinking because after midnight or sundown or whatever, all of a sudden, it wouldn’t be lawful to eat.
That’s traditionally been my problem with laws– laws don’t really have much to do with justice, they’re a system to approximate conditions that most of us would appreciate as not bad for us. They take the thinking out of things so that we can have something to fall back on that isn’t obviously against our best interests. I would say there are two reasons why I follow rules– mostly, because I don’t want to get in trouble, and secondly, because I don’t want to have to think.
Back to sacrifice.
I was just thinking, yknow. If you really, really wanted to show devotion through some sorta rituals of sacrifice, you know what I’d say is a more surfire, uncheatable way of doing so? I mean, people have been fasting for a gajillion years. They’ve mastered the art of how to cut corners, from stocking up in the days before the fast begins, to ways to deal with a lowered metabolism, to whatever– some people even stock up on a few boxed sets of 24 so that they can keep their mind off of the suffering. Is that really sacrifice? Really?
Well, my suggestion is that if you want to cut yourself down to size, go find the nearest random sick person and just inhale their fumes for a solid ten minutes. Just suck that stuff in. Infect yourself. Fasting will probably be automatic but if you find yourself a real winner, you’ll have symptoms that in theory would really make you appreciate your normal life.
I hate being sick. I really do. I can deal very well with people around me being sick or dying I think, but I’m a real poor sport when it comes to me being sick or injured. I just can’t stand being in that sorta state– I’m impatient for results. To me, getting sick isn’t just a physical condition, it is a state of mind and spirit. Whenever I recover from something, I feel like a varying degree of me has been reborn.
You can do the self mutiliation stuff, for sure– but some people just start to like that, we know.
I’m just saying, if you walked into a random hospital and went out of your way to catch something, it’s one of those sacrifices that clearly turns out to be a very bad idea quickly. The best part is that you can’t really stop it, it’s not in your power (assuming you initiated it properly). Nothing makes a sacrifice painful like the fear and inconvenience of the unknown.