I've been meaning to do this for quite some time. To write a quick treatise about it. And it's easy for life to get in the way. I could just as easily rant about my friend the Millford Man, or dedicate a segment of my life to the inanity of the fact that our latest homegrown terrorist, the Boston Bomber, was allowed to do what he did on tax-payer dollars – he too was a Welfare Monkey. I could write about how I fetishise violent imagery in my head – such as the one of me getting out of my truck and beating someone to death with my shoe to the tune of Hanzel und Gretyl's "Transplutonian Annihilation" for cutting me off at the traffick circle. But I won't.
Nope. The time doesn't call for that, all though my hatred for traffick circles is undying. I'm going to use my natural disposition, which is uncharacteristically good due to a combination of the warm weather and the memory of the excellent supper I had when I went to visit my parents some time ago after I took off my Camp Counsellor's hat for the evening. The semester is over. I inadvertently put my Irish Literature teacher in her place the other day – which felt almost perversely good. So good that I have no recourse to be jealous of those who have known conjugal bliss. So to ignore the topic at hand would be asinine and foolish – as it always is.
I'm going to write about one of the peculiar Christian Virtues instead. I'm going to rant about Hope. Yes. Hope. You might ask: why not start with Faith? That's the first one, isn't it? Or, isn't Charity (now typically rendered Love) the "greatest of these?" Yes and yes. But quite frankly, I think in today's climate, for the practising Christian – or anybody else with a modicum of dedication to what Social Conservatives call Natural LAW – need to focus on this one particular Virtue in that it is so easy to lose track of. Especially in the light of the existence of things like: world hunger, our political climate, traffick circles, plagues, sodomy, incest, the sniffles, the tyrannising of Liberalism, hate-crimes, widespread dissolution of knowledge, popular mythology taught as truth, and, perhaps worst of all: Oprah.
Even thinking about that that last one makes me lose a little bit of Hope. But enough about that. As it's wise with anything. Let's start from the beginning. What is Hope? Is it when you well-wish somebody? ach – don't worry! It'll all work out! Or, better still, oh, well, hope for the best??No. That's actually what I refer to as a load of crap. Lazy words by someone who lacks resolve, or at least the time to spare a real answer in light of what needs hoping for. Is it saying: "gee, I sure hope the Red Sox win the Superbowl, or whatever!" No. No, and hell-no. All that is nothing more than a colloquialism, as empty as asking a stranger "how are 'ya?" When both you and the stranger are under no pretence that you actually care, or that he is obligated to answer.
Good. We know what Hope is not. But negative liberties, and likewise negative understandings, are always easier to disseminate and define than are their more positive equivalents.
The Christian conception of hope, like the other two Theological Virtues, happens to be completely metaphysical. Think of Hope more as an attitude – think perseverance – than as a feeling, generally assumed to be fluffy. Allow me to play the iconoclast, if only for an evening. The Christian has little to do with fluffiness. Atheists like to accuse us of being "opiate addicted masses." We are not.
If the Christian is honest. It is difficult to be hopeful in these dark days. Yet he must be, for Hælend has said "fear not, for I have overcome the world." But what's good for the goose is not necessarily what the gander has to deal with. Hælend may have overcome the world, but we are still here, muckraking with all the other heathens in the filth that civilisation has become.
I digress. Here I shall try to keep on track, rather than swirling off into provocatively worded allegories which people may or may not follow.
Hope, like Faith and Love, is a choice. Hope is another word for Strength. When we think of strength, we have an understanding of the word which is akin in dynamic equivalence to the latinate word "endurance." Hope, in a sense, is building your convictions, knowing they are right. Does that equate to a chemical reaction which alters your brain to encompass higher happiness? No. That would be Rum.
In a sense, Hope is "der Wille zur Macht." It is an expression of brute force. A heroic effort. To Hope is to brave. To those of us with strongly held socio-religious convictions, it is easy to become discouraged. Yet, to do so is a direct violation of our sacred principles. Whether you are a Catholic Centrist, or some kind of Nationalist, a Presybyterian Republican, or a Communist (God help you) you have principles which need attending to.
Hope is the virtue which allows us to get up when the chips are down. Like a drunk who wakes up with a hangover and decides not to call out sick, so must we be like in our dogged pursuit of our goals.
We will be beaten down, as a Social Conservative and Right-Winger, as a Catholic and of all, as a man of principle, I can attest to this. People do not like to be shown up. And so principles and ethics are things which are strongly suppressed in modern, decaying, Western climates. In some places, this suppression is worse than in others.
Because Hope is a choice and not an emotion, it is inexhaustible. Truly it is. And you shall find that by marshalling Hope in its rawest form, as a choice with no pretentious illusions to gaudy, illustrious success (these things are vanity, examples all of spiritual masturbation) one finds far more easily cracks in the armour of whatever obstacle is ailing you. But one must remove their preconceptions. In the Christian life, preconceptions are the truest enemy we can have, for they presuppose a prophetic nature which God has most likely not given us.
And because Hope is a choice, and not an emotion, it is also amorphous. It does not depend on anything, but in a sense, everything can, and indeed does, depend on it. Hope is a marshalling of the spiritual resources that we have all been given to be utilised in dominating the spiritual trials and tribulations which have been put our way. Hope is realised not through excessive pontification, as the author has done in reaching these loftless conclusions, but through direct action and application.
Hope, like the other two Theological Virtues, is an absolutely simplicity, if you will, a subjective lens through which divinity is gazed but darkly. We connect through these virtues to God most efficiently.
In a mostly sobre discussion with my best friend we pondered the role of animals. She lamented the loss of her Dog, and recalled fondly how loyal a companion that this Dog did make. Animals make for such companions because, unlike Humans, they lack the capacity for false pretence. The Dog – simply is. The Dog is to the maximal level it can possibly be, a Dog. No one in the Heavenly Court shall ever bring before the LORD Dryhte a Dog which has failed to live up to his canine expectations. No Hen of mine can ever be judged an underachiever.
There is something to be said of the Animal nature. So it is with humans. Our first Father, whether you should call him Adam, Ask, or the Mesapotamian equivalent, was a perfect man before he tasted of the knowledge which God, or the gods, had expressly forbidden him. In a roundabout sense, knowledge may well have been forbidden, NOT because God and the gods were cruel, but because mankind is such a small animal that he cannot handle the depths to which his potential can probe.
Though while it is true that the Felix Culpa, Culpis Originalis, was wholly necessary from any theological framework in that it allows for the completion of man, man was not ready for the secret knowledge which was revealed through the Serpentine Offering. It is reasonable to assume that in God's time, this decision would have been completed, just as the Jewish Law was completed by the Christian Law.
At any rate. The point which I am trying to make is this. There are two components to man which provide him with character. More, really, but fundamentally speaking, there are two major components. There is the animal component and the spiritual component. Man deals with all bits of esoteric through the spirit, which is characterised by the intellectual enjoyment of higher pleasures. From the animal, comes emotions and base things, which are not evil, but wholly necessary. Emotions are pure simplicities, in and of themselves, but can easily be corrupted.
Hope is a synthetic actualisation of the animal and the spiritual. Syncope is required for Hope, for it must summon from the wells of both animal and human existence. If one has a purely animal hope, it is easily discouraged because it can never elevate beyond base things – in other words it will quickly degenerate into concupiscent impulses such as greed or lust, which are corruptions of the emotions listed in the former paragraph. If one has a purely spiritual hope, it can easily be co-opted by the Devil and turned into despair, for a spiritual hope which invests no admission to the physical equates to the biggest error of Gnosticism: negative humanism, a disposition that things of the flesh are irrefutably of the Devil.
This is why approaching Hope from the impulsive is best. It ought to be an extension of the spirit, an a motivator for the body. Like a phantom limb, described by Saint Paul as a celestial or spiritual body, which most recognise as the Ghost, that which animates us. It is this phantom limb, this Soul, our Ghost, which keeps us in connectivity with Dryhte-God, by the way.
In a sense, Hope is omnipresent, but can be defeated by negative spirituality, which is equally omnipresent. Looking the gift-horse in the mouth, excessive philosophising (calling the kettle black) is the quickest way to face Hope with Despair. That isn't to say we should be thoughtless monsters, but it is to say that we must live, as spiritual beings, in harmony by accepting the importance of the animal. Pure motivation comes from the animal, pure contemplation from the spiritual. We can understand the animal, but not until we utilise that particular method of living.
This is why Hope is the goal of achievement. In seeking to improve life, one does not endlessly think – thinking about it leads to compromise, compromise to failure. I did not lose 130lbs by sitting on my then flabby and now bony thumb and inviting gangrene while thinking about how awesome it would be to be thin. I lost weight by losing weight. Once the Will was marshalled, the rest fell into place. Simple. This was Hope. It was an act of stripping from myself false pretences of complexities.
The human will is a remarkably powerful tool which is equally inhibited by the human mind. In many metaphysical schools, mind and will are rightfully semi-separated because both are forms and functions. Hope is an extension of the Will. Both of which can be powerful testaments to God's grace when they are used in conjunction with His original design, which does NOT pit matter or spirit against each-other. I suppose now that's all I have to preach on the matter.
Gott mit uns,
Listening to: "The Secret of the Runes" - Therion
Watching: Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade
Playing: Pokemon: Gold
Eating: Cherry Flavoured Gelatin
Drinking: Calypso Rum