The Meaning for an Individual Life - Revisited

on 23 August 2009

UPDATE: 8-23-9
The following is a post I wrote back in November while trying to figure everything out and re-reading some old books of mine. After spending 10 months figuring things out I have revisited it. Here is the original followed by my update.

In Shadow Puppets by Orson Scott Card, there is an interesting dialogue on the meaning of life and here is the condensed text version of that dialog for all to see. I think that this is so true, that it is a gem of truth in this sea of uncertainty that we call life.

"Here is the meaning of life: for a man to find a woman, for a woman to find a man,the creature most unlike you, and then to make babies with her, with him, or to find them some other way, but then to raise them up, and watch them do the same thing, generation after generation, so that when you die you know you are permanently a part of the great web of life. That you are not a loose thread, snipped off. Even men who do not desire women, even women who do not desire men, this does not exempt them from the deepest desire of all, the desire to be inextricable part of the human race. It’s hardwired into all of us. Not just sexual desire – that can be twisted any which way, and it often is. And not just a desire to have children, because many people never get that, and yet they can still be woven into the fabric. No, it’s a deep hunger to find a person from that strange, terrifying other sex and make a life together. Even old people beyond mating, even people who know they can’t have children, ther’s still a hunger for this. For actual marriage, two unlike creatures becoming, as best they can, one."
"I’m talking about a trait that the human race absolutely needed to succeed. The thing that makes us neither herd animals nor solitaries, but something between. The thing that makes us civilized or at least civilizable. And those who are cut off from it by their own desires, by those twists and bends that turn them in another way – like you, Bean, so determined are you that no more children will be born with your defect, and that there will be no children orphaned by your death – those who are cut off, they are still hungry for it, hungrier than ever, especially if they deny it. It makes them angry, bitter, sad, and they don’t know, they can’t bear to face the knowledge."
'This life wish had to be present in all living things for any species to continue as they all desperately struggled to do. It isn’t a will to survive – that is selfish, and such selfishness would be meaningless, would lead to nothing. It is a will for the species to survive with the self inside it, part of it, tied to it, forever one of the strands in the web'
"I kept my sanity by fencing myself about with lies, and believing them. But you know the truth. If you leave this world without your children in it, without having made that bond with such an alien creature as a woman, then your life will have meant nothing to you, and you’ll die in bitterness and alone."

UPDATE: 8-23-9
I think that this line "those who are cut off, they are still hungry for it, hungrier than ever, especially if they deny it. It makes them angry, bitter, sad, and they don’t know, they can’t bear to face the knowledge." can apply just as much to the desires of homosexuality as it does to the desires of raising a family. Those who cut themselves off from, at the least acknowledging their same-gender attraction, are angry, bitter, and sad, they can't bear to face the knowledge, the truth, and so, like so many of us do, they suffer in the closet, keeping their sanity by fencing themselves about with lies and then believing them. Regardless of what path you may choose, for I believe that each one is a personal decision that is unique to each and everyone of us, recognize that your same-gender attraction is a part of who you are. It adds greatly to your character and its attributes strengthen you and are an aid to others. Even if you believe that the attraction itself is evil, look at how recognizing it has made you more compassionate, more faithful, more understanding of others. Regardless of your choice and path, know that by recognizing yourself you have grown and been edified for it.

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1 comments:

james said...

David,
I see so much of me in you. I hope you have not suffered as much as I have in my experience being gay and lds. I suffered so much in college from such low self esteem, and a lack of focus due to an unresolve around being gay and wanting to serve a mission. I declined when I had to meet with someone in salt lake before serving, we are talking a one on one meeting with one of the quorum of the 12 or the 70s. Boy was I not excited to meet under that circumstance.

I still suffer from that lack of focus, at that point in my life I never saw anything past serving a mission, and I can say that I didn't know what I wanted out of life. So, I didn't consistently do well academically. I know that I could have, because sometimes I did do well.

I have moved on philosophically, and my outlook and self-esteem has so much more improved. This most notably improved with special chants and meditations on the chakras. Your a very handsome young man, and I am sure I will be looking at your webpage frequently. I can see that your sincere, but your writing has alot of conflicts and its somewhat concerning that you express feeling down or depressed at certain things. I hope that you resolve them in a positive way.

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