The Dude Abides

I’ve recently been thinking about gender issues (probably more than I need to). Per esempio: what does it mean to be a man? where do I draw the line on voicing my opinion in gender issues vs. keeping my mouth shut in order to preserve group harmony? how the frack am I supposed to navigate this tumultuous ocean of gender issues that are no longer black/white, man/woman, yin/yang, etc etc etc. The world would be much simpler for me if it were still the 50’s and I had only one path to manhood. Anyway, I could come up with gender questions ad nauseum.

But…after much contemplation I’ve decided that such questions are stupid. Why bother. It is what it is. I won’t pursue any further answers. Perhaps this isn’t the best path, but I’m going to follow it anyway because I’m past the point of concern.

I’ve recently been thinking about self issues (probably more than I need to). Actually these have been in my head for about the past 4.5 years, but that’s probably just normal for people my age. For example: where do I draw the line on changing who I am (i.e., parts of my personality that may or may not be intrinsic to my self) vs. realizing that my personality is what it is, and that not everyone is the same. Not everyone was created/developed into a relational, extroverted, profound, intimate person. Should I try and be someone who I’m not? Who said that that person is the ‘right’ one anyway? I am an extremely passive person; I do not pursue anyone, anything, or any idea too much. If something happens, then it happens. Should I not be so passive? I get the sense that my passivity, this trait that I have, this characteristic, as it were, is wrong. WRONG. Why do I feel that way? I’m too passive to do anything about it, so…I guess no change for now.

But…after much contemplation I’ve decided that such questions are stupid. Why bother. It is what it is. I won’t pursue any further answers. Perhaps this isn’t the best path, but I’m going to follow it anyway because I’m past the point of concern.

I’ve recently been thinking about philosophical issues (probably more than I need do). Am I wrong in thinking that people are afraid of the truth? Am I mistaken in thinking that too many people too often package things in nice euphemisms? Or was Baudrillard right when he said what we perceive is nothing more than a symbol (although I’m most likely misunderstanding him), thus making the truth impossible to find anyway? I can’t help but get the impression that we’re all missing the point of life; we’re all chasing stupid ideas that really just do nothing.

But…after much contemplation I’ve decided that such questions are stupid. Why bother. It is what it is. I won’t pursue any further answers. Perhaps this isn’t the best path, but I’m going to follow it anyway because I’m past the point of concern.

Sorry for any incoherencies, I whipped this up on a whim after…oh, about 2 weeks of studying.


One thought on “The Dude Abides

  1. What am I doing responding to a post written two months ago when I’m in Taiwan? God knows. Anyway, this post really made me cry (especially your struggle with passivity) because I can really see and feel your struggle in finding the truth. Well, even if you don’t think so, I can see that you are on the right track. Most importantly you are asking questions which you will probably never get a straight answer for. (I like to think the process & journey of these questions are more important than the answers).

    Anyway, I hope you don’t feel like I am trying to lecture you, but here are my opinions and you can take it or leave it.

    “Not everyone was created to be a relational, extraverted, profound, intimate person”. I agree with most of your statement. American society highly favors extravertedness and it can be difficult being an intravert as I myself am one. However, I am learning to embrace my intravertedness, in fact I love being an introvert! Heck yeah God created introverts to invent solutions to problems that extraverts create (im half kidding), but yeah I’m pretty sure extravertedness is not a virtue, so I myself don’t find the need to pursue it. As for being relational, I think we all have a two-dimensional and thus distorted view of how people should be relational (cuz we think of the extraverted bubbly person as the only way of being relational). If you want my opinion, I think you’ve been doing a good job of being pretty relational to me at least because you ask good thoughtful questions that are not always the superficial crap of “so how was your day?”. Anyway, I think being relational is something good to pursue if you want to learn to love God and your neighbor, but again I strongly believe there is no one way to being relational. As for being an intimate person. I think it goes back to the little extraverted/introverted warfare thats been going on in society. I learn that I don’t have to be intimate to everybody in order to be a witness to God’s kingdom. I am an introvert, which means I like a small group of people (usually 1-3 ppl for me) to be intimate with. And as for being a profound person, that is a constant struggle for me. I feel like American society is very individualistic and I feel the need to make myself unique and profound, but I am still learning and struggling with the idea that God uses EVERYONE- even janitors to be a part of God’s kingdom. Anyway, I hope my perspective has given you a little insight.
    Btw, do you know how I sometimes envy your Myers Brigg -Thinking type? Seriously, I get emotionally attached and I can passionately love and passionately hate and that often ends up being an emotional wreck! But I’m still learning to embrace my emotions and my personality- whether they are good or bad.

    As for you being “extremely passive”, I feel like being “passive” about some issues is not necessarily bad in itself, but I think the danger comes in when we become apathetic about our relationship with God and life issues such as social injustice. I feel like apathy is a real killer to the faith. (I’ve been there before). Anyway, the upside to your passivity is that you are not an emotional wreck like me, so yeah feel better:P But yeah, I would look into the issue of whether you are dealing with passivity or apathy (honestly i’m not sure the difference between the two). But yeah, this really tore me up when I learned that you are struggling with this. Also, apathy is an emotional struggle. I’m still learning not to rely totally on my feelings in my relationship with God. I remember when I felt apathetic about Christ, I stopped going to church because I thought my feelings indicate that ” my heart doesn’t desire Christ” therefore I should not obligate myself to Him. However I am learning that that is incorrect. My “heart” does not only consist of my feelings or lackof, but it also includes my conscience and my will to Christ. Also, I believe I am not obligating myself to Christ if I consciously am trying discipline myself to Him. For example, I don’t feel like doing prayer and quiet time. However, if I rely on my feelings all the time, then I’m never going to do quiet time (well there’s goes my relationship with God out the window ;). Therefore, sometimes I have to discount my feelings and discipline myself to choose what is best even though painful that may feel, I know my reasons and motives are good and for God. In summary, I truly believe that we need to rely on discipline if apathy ever gets in the way of our relationship with God or even important life issues- but again I would pray for my motives and the difference between obligation and discipline to Christ.

    One last thing.

    All these issues, whether they are gender issues, identity issues, whatever, they all matter to God. Because God cares about gender inequality and norms that produce this inequality and God cares about your identity struggle and you finding your identity in Him. Therefore, whatever God cares, ideally we should care. Emphasis on “ideally”. So yes, keep pursuing these issues and I will be praying for both of us since I still struggle with these issues.

    Dang, after reading the whole thing I sound like I’m lecturing you..damn it and sorry if i am:\ Anyway, email me when you get this post because I’d really would love to hear your opinions and talk more about these issues. I think it is important that we build each other up, that is each of our unique identities to that of Christ. Anyway, keep on keeping on and I have faith in you and in God.

    Love you.

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