The great prophets were described as madmen.
Abstinence can be freeing in a way. It leads to greater indulgence, and allows for informed choice. Abstinence lets you really feel and understand your own being, and how you are letting it reflect in the world anyway, but it needn’t be compulsory. Rather than “never do this” and “always do that”, maybe it can be “right now, I won’t do that” and “right now, I really want to do this for that person.”
If we do what we want to do for others, what resentment can ever build? If our actions for others are a self indulgence, then how can any ego ever arise from it? If I am warm and friendly to you because I want to be, where is the moral weight “a.k.a blackmail material” for me to make myself look better in your eyes or the eyes of others? If I tell a joke because I thought it was funny and you laugh too, where is there room for my ego? It was just something funny shared, and laughter shared is much better.
I fully believe in indulging the ego. Be hugely egotistical. I like what that teaches. Inevitably you will just feel silly, or empty. I prefer feeling silly, but then you’ll let it go. The only reason people persist in egotism is because it’s “moral”. “Look, I’m a good person. I’m responsible. Respect me.” Who’s respect do you need more than your own? And what is more respectful of self than indulging your own natural desires? I would venture if you practice that indulgence, you will have very little if any time for any compulsions. People have their compulsions, their crusades and dogmas, because they have too much frustrated energy on their hands. What crusade is anything other than hateful? What dogma actually imparts wisdom by virtue of its being rigid?
So myself, I represent myself as a “demon” in Second Life though people find it uncomfortable, but I don’t do it for any compulsive reason. It’s an indulgence, and awareness of my own temperament and nature, and an enthusiastic embrace of what I have never been able to avoid being anyway.
People find my kind childish too. Ah, fairy. Whimsy is its own wisdom, and in fact a full embrace of the light and whimsical can give a very clear view of what is actually serious, perhaps the clearest. My favourite news programs are The Colbert Report and The Daily Show. I see them as containing the most truth.
In indulgence you learn a profound lesson about choice. In all these things you either indulge yourself in, or abstain from because you have judged them, you aren’t actually making a choice about these things. You are making a choice about who you are, and are lessened by any self rejecting choice.
Good choice makes one feel good. Sounds simple. It is simple. Maybe it’s too simple. People always overlook that, too busy being complicated and afraid, because the complicated has holes. Running from the truth that it was only ever complicated in their minds, and the same way they became restricted is the only path to freedom.
There is one statement that I agree with fully. The path is straight and narrow, but not for the reason they teach. We are what we are. We are what we were first, and in the end after all our fighting, we still do that. We still are that.
You reject parts of yourself if you abstain from impulse? You reject part of yourself if you reject what impulse shows you. It’s not about being ruled by your impulses. It’s about being aware and accepting of self, and realize the actual truth. It is a choice. If your impulse is one you know gets in the way of your happiness, or can, then hesitancy isn’t abstinence. It’s indulging in the “second opinion.” I would offer that most of your destructive impulses aren’t indulgences anyway, but rather well rehearsed compulsions.
I find sometimes my impulses get me into trouble. Why, if they are natural? Hmm, well you live in a world where those who don’t indulge oppose those who do. So it is maybe prudent to take baby steps. Any little thing that you do will affect those near you, if subconsciously, and everything you permit yourself is a gift you give to others as well. But to refer to the other, desires are natural, impulses can be learned. Are your impulses always something you desire?
Then my husband shouldn’t have gotten angry when I spent 300 dollars on a pair of boots? By buying the expensive boots did you harm yourself or him? Desires have a natural priority. If you compulsively ignore that, it’s because there is something else seriously wrong in your life that boots can’t fix.
I still pay bills and buy groceries, and it felt good to be a little impulsive. So yes, I need not judge your husband. We all have things we struggle with, but I would say he is responsible for how he treated you when he became upset.
I think I see the difference between indulgence and compulsion. Compulsion you do because you feel like you have to or need to, and indulgence you want for the experience that it simply is. Exactly. Perfect. It is simply embracing life, and I will wrap up with this. The path of indulgence doesn’t lead to selfishness. In fact, if you live an “indulgent” life, you will not only see your own pleasure clearly, but those things that others take pleasure in as well. You will find that it becomes not only easy to grant them the indulgences they seek, but to also partake. You get curious about their pleasures, and this brings people closer. It doesn’t make them envious of each other. There is no hate in this.
I guess that also comes with accepting a gift with grace too and accepting the giver? It does indeed. Much wisdom in this.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.