The Holy Spirit

I do remember the better times in life, before I had mental illness. But in actual fact, life is a continuum, but the emotions go up and down. Sometimes they are really up, but actually really downward emotions can kill you. They can drive you to attempting suicide, like I did in 2006, 2007, and 2017.

The cause of suicidal ideation is pride. We are saying to God ‘I’m fed up with not getting my way, so I’m going to murder this body you gave to me.’ It shows a lack of gratitude and humility, bearing patiently whatever God’s will is for us. Such are the times.

At the time I was suicidal, I would certainly of claimed the opposite, but indeed, it is a hatred and contempt for not only our lot in life, but of God Himself. The only way out of despair is humility, a patient endurance of the affliction, according to the Desert Fathers of the Orthodox Church.

It’s hotter in hell.

Scourged by the whip of God’s love

The Protestant and Catholic traditions have a long history of believing that hell is a material fire and is a state of separation from God. This is not what the Eastern Rite Orthodox Church believes.

Psalm 139:8: ‘Even if you make your bed in Sheol (hell), I (the Lord) am there.’ I could only come up with this verse to prove the reality that hell is not a place, but a condition of the soul.

To quote Archbishop Lazar Puhalo of the ROCOR (Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia), ‘God doesn’t send anybody to hell. God doesn’t punish us either in this world or the world to come. And as St Anthony the great says, “It would be great error to think that God could love people in hell any less than He loves people in heaven.” Because hell is your condition, it’s not a place. The malice we feel is the fire that burns. The malice within our own conscience.’

St Isaac the Syrian describes the state of the sinners in hell as a state in which they are ‘scourged by the whip of God’s love.’

I shall give you an example from my own life. Each time I attend the divine liturgy at my Greek Orthodox church, I feel as though I am in hell, I feel the fire that burns. I feel the malice and rancor of my tendency to judge others, even my fellow parishioners in the temple of the Lord.

I am not looking forward to my day of judgement, where I will have to face the Lord. The Lord will not accuse me of anything. My own conscience, the basic input-output system of our morality, will accuse me, where I will feel the ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’ (Luke 13:28).

One of the Saints, in his deep humility, said, ‘I will go to the place where the devil will be condemned.’ If I were to say that about myself, it would not be humility, it would be a fact.

Too much of me

When I emerged from the mental institute, my mom said I could only talk about 3 things: girls, japanese language, and religion. Even though I’ve significantly improved since then, the topics I can converse about have become much narrower. I can only talk about 1 topic: myself.

Well, I’m the most interesting man in the universe, so why wouldn’t I want to talk about myself? I talk to myself all the time and have the most interesting conversations, no; I have the BEST conversations. Why would I want to talk about anything else? Why would anyone else want to talk about anything apart from me?

Yeah, I think the next thing I want to do in my career is to become a mad scientist, who builds a factory that uses the earth to produce clones of me, so essentially a whole planetfull of ME; me, me, me, me, me. Great idea huh? Who needs anybody else on the planet?

Ok, so the topic I intended to write for this blog post is something else apart from me. So here goes…

BORING! NEVERMIND WHAT I WAS GONNA TALK ABOUT! ME TIME!

Yep. No need to talk about someone else. Or something else. Better start making that cloning factory. I need more of me.