There’s a criticism that non-religious people have about religious people. It’s that religious people turn to the same book and read passages over and over.
The faithful say, “At different times, the Biblical text means different things.”
That’s not to say, they think the Biblical message is changed. It means that at that point in their life’s trajectory, they have found a nuance in meaning that affects them differently. The same message they’ve read a 100 times suddenly gives them a new perspective.
I was trained in this mindset. My teachers at church and school taught us to read the bible and find these nuances. They showed us that something that affected us one way at 5, might inform us differently at 10. After all, five years had passed and we were five years smarter, wiser, different.
Lately I’ve wondered if that’s why I love video editing. I wonder if that’s why I love to watch the same movie over and over. If that’s why I can stare at the same photo for long periods of time.
I re-watched The Sting over the last two nights. Perhaps you’ve seen it. It’s a classic staring Robert Redford and Paul Newman about big cons and kickass wardrobes. The first time I saw it, I was 7 or 8. I loved the movie then. I thought I was in the know, and I started rubbing my finger past the side of my nose at complete strangers hoping that they knew that I knew we were secretly con artists working together.
Through the years, I’ve watched it several more times. And each time, I get something new out of the movie. Or I’m reminded of something that makes me happy or inspires me for the next time I take a photograph or photograph for motion.
After thinking about this a little more, I thought maybe it’s a human trait to watch and rewatch. Read and reread. Some people are more prone than others to do it.
Maybe it’s religion that understood this idea and used it to psychologically rope in its adherents.
For me, my analytical mind took over. I look for aspects of the things I watch and rewatch, read and reread that are excellent, inspirational, moral and immoral. If I read and reread the bible, I can’t help but furrow my brow by all the negative messages.
Yet, so many of the people I love can read the same book and see messages of nurture, of help, of encouragement and love.
That’s the rub. That’s where the challenge lies.
You can’t tell anyone that you hate something they love
Say you’re in public, and someone says, “OMG! I love the new Red Hot Chili Peppers song. It’s awesome! Have you heard it yet?”
And you think, “Yeah, I’ve heard it. It sucks. I can’t believe RHCP put out such a dismal failure of a song.”
When I’m in public, I’ve become the guy that doesn’t say, “Oh shit! I hate that song.”
Perhaps it’s passive aggressive, but I say, “You know, maybe I haven’t given that song a chance yet. I’ll listen to it again.”
Passions are contagious, and deflating those passions (at least in face-to-face, public style), I remain neutral. I do it with TV shows. Movies.
My blog is another thing. I can hide behind my monitor and say just about whatever I want. I realize that. I realize I do it.
I can use (you can use) all the best arguments, metaphors and pleading. But if someone has their mindset, their “heart set”, on loving or hating something that you don’t love or hate, changing their mind is more impossible than light escaping a black hole.
So with this post, I’m retiring from blogging. It’s over. There’s no use.
Changing minds is not why I blog. I blog to work through this bullshit. I blog for the attention. I blog for the ego. I blog for the shoop. Shoop des doop.