Monday, November 08, 2004

... and in the shadows

This follows up the entry above.

I've also been thinking about entries like this one by Alexey. I know the type of thing. I think one of the defining characteristics of my personality is that at a relatively early age I knew really black moods. It's not something I can say I've totally conquered. I've just learned to live with it, (hint: laugh, and the world laughs either with you or at you, and if you're laughing hard enough, you don't care which.) And I learned not to believe in the moods, which takes more work than it might sound like.

It's very hard to describe to someone who is blessed enough not to have experienced it. The closest I've heard is a quote from Nietsche: "The problem with looking into the void is that after a while, it looks back." (I apologize if that's not quite right. I heard it second-hand. I've never quite felt like I could handle Nietsche.)

And, interestingly enough, the same quote from Elder Porphyrios that gave me Hannah's conjoining thought provided some thoughts about the dark places. Here is the complete quote with the additional portions italicized:

Christ is our Friend, our Brother; He is whatever is beautiful and good. He is everything. In Christ there is no gloom, melancholy or introversion, whereas man suffers from various temptations and situations which make him suffer. Christ is joy, life, light, the true light, which makes man glad, makes him fly, makes him see all things, see all people, suffer for all people, and want all people to be with him, close to him.

This is the reason I would never make a good Baptist or evangelical. I need the Church to understand that I live my life both in light and shadow, and give me a context for understanding both.


Blogger Hannah said...

Amen. I know exactly what you are talking about. I get in such a dark place sometimes that I forget to look up and see the light because I am too busy looking down.

November 10, 2004 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Grace said...

That's surprising. I had you pegged as an Always-Happy person who wouldn't know what I was talking about. Well, I'm sorry to hear that you share my "affliction". In reading through Church Fathers, it seems like their word for it is faint-heartedness.

November 11, 2004 at 3:26 PM  
Blogger jean said...

I don't understand why experiencing both light and dark would prevent you from being an evangelical.

November 15, 2004 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger jean said...

Wait a minute. I get it. You mean orthodox as in Orthodox. Like Greek, like Eastern, right? OK.

November 15, 2004 at 3:54 PM  

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