Day by Day Daily Cartoon by Chris Muir

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Damaged Human Condition

All people have some form of damage or another. Generally speaking, of course, most kinds of damage are not fatal or life-threatening, and you might not even be aware of it, because this damage is not necessarily expressed in physical terms.

A sociopath, for example, has a damaged psyche precisely at the place where the conscience lives. The have little if any sense of empathy or sympathy, and they do not have an impulse governor which stops them from anti-social behaviour. A milder version of this might be what we call 'thick-skinned'. It's not that a sociopath is likely to become an unholy demonic terror, but that sociopaths are not restrained by their conscience. You can have a sociopath who's a principled man, for instance, and he masters his impulses intellectually, because he has made the conscious decision to comport himself with the laws of the land.

Autistic people on the other hand have damaged on underdeveloped socialising skills. While a sociopath does not see other human beings as people such as himself, but rather as puppets to be toyed with, an autistic person may very well know that here is another human being, but is utterly unable to interact with the other person. Mildly autistic behaviour can be manifested in people with Asperger's, and even milder versions of such behaviour can be noticed in nerds, geeks, otakus and the like.

And then, of course, you do have damage that manifests itself physically; cancer, genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis and haemophilia, congenital defects such as blindness or deafness (which can also be the result of accidents or just an accumulation of crap the world throws at us on a daily basis), and so forth.

An interesting form of damage is what we call psychosomatic diseases, which are essentially mental stresses manifesting themselves physically. Believe it or not, the fear of needles has its roots in the vasovagal reflex reaction, which is a real problem that causes plunging blood pressure and probable unconsciousness. The fear of certain words (yes, words, don't ask me why) can actually leave me trembling and too weak to move for minutes. Well, not so much the words themselves, I suppose, but what they represent. The term vasectomy, for some reason, is a sure-fire way to kill me.

Well, anyway, all of this has a point to it. We are living under a curse. And it's a powerful one. This curse has incredible far-reaching effects - and one of its effects is to render a large chunk of humanity completely insensate to it. The curse has deprived us of agelessness and immortality, dominion over the world and every living thing in it, lordship over Earth, and has introduced pain and suffering and grief in its place. It has sundered our access to the spiritual world and the supernatural realms from our space-time continuum, and has twisted all paths but one to lead to either nowhere - if you're lucky - or to darkness and doom and damnation. It poisons all our attempts to blot it out; food, drink, glitz and glamour, sex, drugs, music, literature, plays, TV, friendly companionship... it all sours after a while. It has permanently damaged and distorted the rightful relationships between man and woman; brother and brother; man and God. Worse; its effects cannot be escaped or nullified from within - it is a universal curse. This, above all else, is why everyone of us has one form of damage or another.

But there is a way to break the curse. There is a way to escape it. There is a way to regain all that we have lost by our ancestors' willful actions in wanting to go our own way. Jesus is that Way.

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