Sunday, December 7, 2008

Stat Attack: The illusion of looking good

The invitation to home teach usually triggers a biochemical reaction that results in feelings of anxiety and accelerated onset of spiritual disquiet. Is this response justified or is it symptomatic of deficient spiritual moorings, a various minded vessel lost at sea, drifting gently toward hell? I usually visit half of my assigned families every other month. Statistically speaking that wouldn't even make for a semi-decent bating average in baseball, as home teaching goes it's woeful. To do worse then this would be to do nothing at all, but the oneupmanship doesn't end there, I could always fudge the results in my favour. It surprises me when the latter option is exercised. I've never indulged in this ignoble form of embellishment myself, I've got other pet foibles that keep me busy. The base assumptions in the phrase "in my favour" as it relates to "fudge the results" are cringe worthy if you adopt the position that performing yoga with the truth to preserve or enhance your reputation amongst your fellows is an inappropriate behaviour. Shakespeare said of reputation a long time ago, (through the character Cassio speaking to Iago): "Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial. My reputation, Iago, my reputation!" On a spectrum of importance where does (the appearance of) good standing in society fall? I feel a long series of posts coming on...


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad this is still up and running!! I thought with the advent of nanowrimo thou had forsaken this particular forum and abandoned the observations I've come to love like long lost friends at reunion. Needless to say, it greatly warms my heart you're still writing... keep it up!!

Anonymous said...

Well Mr Hopkins, in my current state of rejoicing at the continuation of this blog and the end of quite possibly the interwebs most futile protest never recorded, and an aside from yesterdays post, here's a most excellent quote I've been meaning to discuss with you for a while now... let me know your thoughts =)

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations -- these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit -- immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.”

- C S Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Loren said...

Hey it's good to have you back on board. As for the quote, well it makes feel a wee bit guilty. I vacillate randomly between a superiority and inferiority complex when dealing with other people, but we're all equals, all gods in the making. That's an interesting view coming from a non-mormon though. I've got to read some of his work, because we quote him all the time. It'd be good to get a handle on his world view.

Anonymous said...

It's good to be back =)

That's exactly what I thought... I've been meaning to read his work for a while but that old devil called procrastination keepsa gettin in my way there

Yeah, I can understand the inferiority/superiority complex thing definitely - You actually brought up a fantastic point with regards to looking good in your last post as I've been pondering on the nature of pride and conceit vs genuine godly confidence (which as immortals/potential gods and sons and daughters of Heavenly parents we SHOULD by divine nature possess) and the idea of and appearance of humility vs the reality. I think ever since that FHE a couple of weeks back the topics have been on my mind and how so very often they can be misconstrued and misinterpreted - confidence isn't necessarily pride while self deprecation doesn't necessarily equal humility either. I guess the idea of wanting to look worse/less than what you know yourself to be could also fit into some of your points.

If anything, I'd consider false modesty in itself as an act of pride especially if through an assumed veneer of submissiveness, one secretly thinks (or KNOWS) they're better. I also think it rather ungrateful not to own up to ones talents, God given as they are - even if the responsibility lies with us to develop them here on this earthly realm

Your supposed superiority/inferiority complex could definitely be discussed in these contexts though to be perfectly honest, I find absolutely nothing inferior about you... quite the opposite in fact

As for myself, I'm still trying to assume the mantle of zenlike wholeness and well being with what can only be described with mixed results

Maybe we should start a philosophical book/movie club - at the very least, maybe I should start my own blog instead of hijacking yours hahaha

Loren said...

true, it seems that you have much to say grasshopper. If you were to gift the world a blog of your own, I certainly would give it a read.

Pride, humility, real and imagined confidence, valid points all. Can I let you in on a little secret? My talent is that I don't know when to pick my spots when it comes to candid and forthright honesty. Prime example... When I say that I feel superior to certain individuals, that statement is intended to be universal in its ramifications (i.e. I'm more brilliant than them in every way, and I say this like I'm somehow responsible for my own so called brilliance). Where as when I feel inferior to others, it is always on a basis of particularity (i.e. that person is faster than me, therefore they can beat me in a race). This line of reasoning is inconsistent, but since I come off favorably more often than not, in my own mind, I let it slide. Does that make me a bad person? No, I'm far too amazing to fall under that label :). It's a good thing I have this blog otherwise I may have gone on oblivious to the adjustments required for me to take hold of the true awesomeness and let go of being a dick forever.

In short, you're quite right false humility is just as bad as pride. Owning up to our talents is fine, I think, as long as we acknowledge where they come from.

Anonymous said...

Well Captain Amazing, award yourself 10 gentleman points because aside from the thank you handshakes after my rambling, tangent taking BOM lessons, that's the single best compliment I've had all year... whether that's because you're an exceptional gentleman or I've been hanging out with entirely the wrong crowd remains to be seen but for the purposes of this entry (and because it's already a well established fact) I'm quite happy to deem you exceptional

Hahaha and thank you for sharing with me... I find your ability to be honest and forthright refreshing - which is probably why I spend so much time replying in this forum. While we're sharing, I'm prone to megalomania if it makes you feel any better. I have on occasion (okay, all the time) what I deem to be the most brilliant ideas imaginable and if everyone would just capture my shared vision, the world (or my interpretation of the world thereof) would be a much better place for it. Paragon of humility and virtue, can't you tell :)

Does it necessarily mean I'm as effective or as productive as I, in that grandiosely hopeful heart of mine, could be? Sadly, nay... or at least I don't often feel so. I still feel like I have an interminably long way to go to being all I can be - which is in effect, a God. I guess it's this particular desire to do better and be better that keeps me relatively human/divine.

Ironically, for a self proclaimed megalomaniac, I feel relatively (read: infinitely) more confident in myself in human temporal terms (eg as a living, breathing, thinking woman) than I do as an immortal, divine being and potential co-creator (heaven help whomever I'm inflicted upon in the eternities)

In any event, I for one am incredibly grateful for this blog - and not just for it's preventative dick measures =)

Just quietly, your writing provides what I've come to think of as not only a huge service and blessing but an answer to several prayers. In my quest for knowledge, enlightenment and redemption, it's been brilliant to stumble across your work so do keep it up my friend, and I shall continue to read =)

Anonymous said...

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“Only one who is truly at home not only with the Hebrew but with the ancient manner of biblical thought could have produced such an insightful and ground-breaking book”—Professor S. Douglas Waterhouse, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan.

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