the dance of the ink riddled fingers

indoctrinated sharks

Posted in thought spills by enisea on 15/08/2011

Yesternoon, over blueberry pancakes and french toast (with added salmon and spinach), Charlie and I talked about religion Christianity.  And came the thought that perhaps I’d been so heavily indoctrinated to not be able to survive escape from this religion I immerse myself in.  I have questioned and seriously considered ‘giving up’ Christianity twice before (3-4 years ago), but the thoughts were crippling as I had nothing left and little reason for being – without God, purpose and some sort of calling that I’m convinced I’ve been trusted with.  For I’ve never known a “before”, where I may have consciously denied God, His existence and everything Jesus-esque.  Growing up in the church sort of does that to you – it gives you no choice in childhood but to know only one way of believing.  This is where everyone apart from Christian belief reels in disgust.  But is it so different from growing up with the belief that there is no God?  Either way, childhood required a set paradigm of the world to reason it was/should be, the way it was/is hoped.  Be it believing in one God, believing in many, believing in none or believing that God/gods really haven’t a governing effect on the reality in our lives ~ believing in the disconnect between ‘life’ and ‘spirituality’ or the interconnectedness.  As children, we didn’t exactly get the choice.  We were fed our inherited beliefs of whatever applied to our parents/guardians and only learnt otherwise when we were old enough to distinguish differences between ‘us’ and ‘them’ – which was a different age for all of us.  Then we became ‘mature’ (enough) to second-guess our inherited foundational understandings and do what we want with our own, whether that means ripping up that which we’ve always known, or quality assuring it and keeping it.

I must confess that the notion of having been indoctrinated from childhood sounds unnervingly evil.  But who are we fooling, bar orphans without  parents to teach them “a suggested better way” of living, we have all been ‘indoctrinated’ – does that depress you (yeah)?  So if not indoctrinated by ‘the immanence and transcendence of God’, then perhaps by ‘consumerism’; or for children in dusty poverty, their restless hope being that ‘financial security will be our salvation’, doctrines of ‘education being paramount’ or ‘nothing more utmost than family’, of ‘never trust anyone but yourself’, or ‘what matters most is that you had fun and enjoyed life’.

If I told you I believed “I am nothing without God”, would it make you sad or angry?  And if it does make you scoff and shake your head, who told you that you were worth anything… think about it, who, apart from L’Oréal advertisements told you it was “Because You’re Worth It”?  It’s a nice thought, and I think there is truth in the worth of humanity because it’s inbuilt into us to chase our worth, to desire worth, to be relieved/honoured in hearing we were worthy.  I’ve found my worth and identity in Christ.  You might find yours in your achievements, in your family, friends, or yourself – I also find much satisfaction and appreciation in the latter, but essentially the bulk of it is in God – or that’s what I hope it is.

Here’s a thought: D’s sister just got a baby shark.  Unusual, I know!  Apparently sharks grow proportionate to their living space (I just learned this today – I’ve yet to check it).  So, in the ocean, they probably grow to whichever maximum size; in an aquarium, they might be a little smaller; in a large tank, smaller still.  So, allow me to bombard you with questions – as at this stage, I have few answers and I don’t think answers will get the point across better than questions.  Is it right to take a baby shark and raise it in a tank in a household? (If no, why is it OK to have fish or dogs as pets?)  Who said the ocean was a better place to raise a shark?  Did you assume that because most sharks are found in the ocean that the ocean is the best possible habitat for sharks?  Are sharks better the bigger they are?  Would you feel sorry for a small shark, and why?  Does lifespan matter more than the variety of experiences in life?  What is safer for the shark and is that a priority?  What do you think the shark might enjoy more?  How would you know/measure the better life for a shark?  What if sharks liked fish food better than fish, would that make it any less a shark?  Would your expectations of a shark be changed or disappointed if it deterred from your expectations?  What is a ‘good’ shark and what is a ‘bad’ shark?  What is the purpose of a shark?

To my dearest philosophical friends (you are many), this one’s for you. xoxo.


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