Friday, November 18, 2011

The Penalty Of Living Too Close To The Flesh

The title is a play off of Archbishop Fulton Sheen's Life of Christ, where he stated, “The penalty of those who live too close to the flesh is to never understand the spiritual.”  I had recently in my more 'real life' journal, put up an article on the matter of such words with regards to pornography.  You can read this article here, if you like.  Though it's certainly not required reading or anything.

I thought about this concept, about there being a penalty upon persons 'living too close to the flesh.' Ioh, as a hybrid, his character was produced naturally by birth of other natural hybrid felines called Feles.  Under his core background, he sees his particular world as natural, his flesh and bones as natural.  He comes from a feline society that has culture, religion, and tradition.  Sexual intercourse is managed in much the same manner of tribal societal design.  That is, among the leaders, the chiefs and elders, sex was managed through matrimony and intended as a matter of continuing the lineage of the leadership.  Thus there was an importance imposed upon the children of leadership, to which arranged marriage would be the common tradition.

However, in the most recent diaspora caused by human poaching that amounted to genocide of the Feles found in Africa, what remains of the tribes is unknown.  In these uncertainties, purity of breeding is lost to the expediency of having some sort of lineage to pass on.  That meant the loss of any taboos associated to tribal societal differences and, later, what extended to the modern feline hybrids, and ever further 'degradation' with regards to interbreeding with humans.  However, it is reasoned among Feles that this is the only way to maintain their lineage in the world, even though it is at the cost of no longer the existence of a pure Feles race.

Understand, none of this is intended to support any notion of interbreeding between humans and animals.  It is also not meant to be an argument in favor of racism, or any sort of racial or species supremacy.  However, it does denote various lines of such undercurrents that can be found in a staunch or extreme zeal if culture, religious and social principles, and other things of humanity go unchecked.  Discernment of the principalities that guide or rule us is always important.  For if we do not safeguard ourselves from an overzealous nature that would dictate our possible extermination, and that of life around us, then what we have instead of the intended desire for life is that of a hardened practice of a cold, mechanical culture of death.

But even in the speaking of a 'culture of death', I do not mean to demonize death.  There is a place and time for it in the nature and order of things.  For if indeed our soul is eternal, then passing on from this life, we therefore transition into a 'new' or different phase of life.  And maybe while we are in this physical body, there are the warring factions of the principalities going on that both promote and demote human life.  We both present a case for and against the human race, offering ourselves up to their judgment, or ordering our lives to certain principalities as if to follow their precepts will somehow bring us to greater fulfillment in the life hereafter.  And maybe that is so.

And maybe what precepts we carry into this life beyond the physical are the strongholds that may either expand or limit our experience in that dimension.  It's almost as if our life on earth is but a testing ground, and maybe indeed little more than a vacuum test tube inside a bubble for a long term experiment that's lasted some thousands, or maybe millions, possibly billions of years, depending on what time frame you wish to consider.  Regardless, whatever this experiment is, it's creation goes into that timeless dimension that we have often imagined, but always come away from with more questions than answers.

I suppose I've gotten astray from Ioh a bit.  But inevitably, even this tangent finds its way into the core of Ioh.  For I cannot deny that he is me.  He is an avatar, and one extension of me within a virtual world, or metaverse.  And that grid is much akin to a microcosm of the macrocosm of the world we reside in within real life, which is still in turn but a microcosm of reality within the fullness of the universe itself.  When we move about in Second Life, we find ourselves in a simulated metaphysical universe, which could be cause enough for why to coin a virtual world as part of a metaverse.  It also may be a kind of reflection of the universe itself, if indeed it is a bubble to which the earth is like a test tube in a vacuum within. Thus, Second Life, and all the other virtual worlds created, or yet to be created and populated with virtual avatars, they are all part of our created vacuum of a test tube  that we experiment within for our own purposes.

Of course, the question always remains of, why?  And the answers are just as vast and riddled as the nature of 'why?' with regards to the universe as a whole.  And I'm not about to try to answer and explain them here.  I doubt I adequately could.  But I do think that our participation within a virtual world has the potential to help us tap into the mysteries of the universe, in as much as as we see the reflection of it within our created metaverse.  But even there, and like St. Paul is believed to have written that, "We see now through a glass in a dark manner" (I Cor. 13: 12a).

Living too close to the flesh becomes a concept for Luke in the current RP he is in due to the particular nature of were self. Were creatures in the Cove are not allowed magic by way of their 'disease' of lycanthropy. In some ways, this reflects on the 'penalty'. Because the 'disease' affects were creatures in a certain fashion, they are more attuned to animal instincts, and thus the 'flesh' is more imposed on them. Does that completely deny them any spiritual aspect? Of course not. But it does play on that concept that magic is denied them by way of some punishment.  Were creatures still can attain certain other supernatural aspects and awareness. And from that, they can develop a mysticism and a rationale among them that would rather deny their particular species as diseased or cursed, and possibly among themselves consider themselves blessed or better enhanced. A certain pride may come from this. They may even see themselves as leaders and people that, with power and might, are intended to rule.

Luke, however, sees his world through mystery, though mysticism. He prefers to hide his abilities as much as he can. He masks his were creature portion of himself in as much as he can manage it. The nature of being a were creature does not always help him abide in that secrecy, but he still works hard to maintain it. His world is prioritized between his business of Cairo's Cardamom Coffee as the front, or what he wishes to extend as the image of who he is to the RP world of Cranberry Cove. He speaks of his 'family', which is important, both in regards to maintaining the business front, as well as of private importance as those he as Aleph, or the Alpha of the Pard is in charge of to protect. And under that layer of family, within the Pard Lair resides the core, or heart of Luke, the Pard, and Cairo's. The 'inner sanctum' holds the mystery of all that comprises Luke and the Pard, to which Cairo's maintains through what business the coffee shop does within the Cove.

In some ways, Luke reflects a particular way in which I feel about religion in my first, or real life. While I do have a religion, which is Catholic Christian at it's core, it is not something I purposely nor actively display to the world. It is not that I deny any commission to go out and spread the faith to the ends of the earth. I do my part through my own testimony, and I do have my failings in my own fractured nature as a human. But I just don't run all over town and shout to the ends of the earth how I am a Christian and Catholic in faith. My best testimony is not going to be in what I say, but what I do. It's also an imperfect testimony, because I can be a hypocrite, and I can be all the things that are not so great about being a human. But maybe, in as much as I seek out for something greater than myself, I testify to what is better than me, to the One who is the far better being than I am. But I am still in the process of becoming. I am still waiting and anticipating the day that I am face to face with my Creator, the One who has ultimate authorship over my life. And so, even as St. Paul had written, so do I reflect on how "I know in part, but then, I shall know even as I am known" (I Cor. 13: 12c).

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