Finding myself bored yesterday, I fired up Netflix and tried to find something to watch. I decided I was in the mood for standup comedy and gave a Doug Stanhope special a try. I wasn't at all sure about this decision, though. I've begun to find comedians to be very angry, vitriolic people and Stanhope is one of the leaders of the pack. On the other hand, this is one of the few places to find someone being real about this sham society we live in, so I gave it a try.
Stanhope had a mixture of good points and bad. I thoroughly agreed with his assessment of people drugging themselves with stimulants, anti-depressants, and boner pills to force themselves through terribly boring lives. However, I soon disagreed when he began talking about the necessity of drug abuse and depraved behavior to add character to life. He scorns the idea, for instance, that a promiscuous girl would take a look at herself and realize that she is promiscuous because of her inner insecurity. He would rather just have her admit that she has an exceptional hunger for dick.
Anyway, I thought a lot about all of these things and found that I could see through whatever needed to be seen through (god help people who believe this stuff), except for one thing. Stanhope had a little segment about how it makes no sense that Jesus would die for our sins, and I couldn't figure out whether I thought he was right or wrong. He compared it to getting kicked in the nuts for someone's mortgage, I think - totally unconnected things.
Now it hits me, and it is fairly simple, but it seems like we never get a straight answer from the church or society. Jesus dying for our sins was symbolic of god's unconditional love for humanity - he loves us so much that he would send himself down to Earth and let us judge him and punish him without protest. He has given us the ultimate freedom - the freedom to hate and desecrate him and his creations. Despite this he still loves us and forgives us always. That he died for our sins means he has proven once and for all that he even loves us at our absolute worst.
I still wonder a lot of things, there's a lot I don't know. What does this mean in the larger context? In the old testament, god called himself jealous and was known to smite the shit out of some people. Was the sacrifice of Jesus indeed symbolic that he was allowing humanity to evolve to a higher level of freedom and godliness? Has he really avoided interference with the world since then? I don't know much of the new testament after the gospels. Neither do I know the intentions of god or if he even has any, but I can clearly see the symbolic truth that is present here. I see god as existence itself--bare, empty existence. I think there are certain absolutes that go along with such a reality, including the potentials for self awareness, infinite manifestations, and within that, the freedom even to wish for existence not to exist. ALL possibilities exist or at least have the ability to be manifested. ALL of them, even the bad ones.
Deep thoughts. REALLLLLY deep thoughts.