Why are you alive?

27 11 2009

Ah… Equilibrium.  Awesome sci-fi movie.  Starring Batman.

The setting: It is the future.  War, murder and crime have been eliminated from society.  How?  By eliminating all emotion.  Twice a day, every man, woman and child in the world is required to inject themselves with a drug that will numb them, eliminating all emotion.  Bingo.  No more crime.

All art and music have also been purged from society, because these things elicit emotion.

But there is an underground resistance.  Those who are secretly refusing to take the drug, feeling in secret, and creating underground chambers filled with “contraband”: Paintings, photographs, radios, and books.

Without emotion, life would be much simpler, and certainly less dangerous.  But at what cost?

No, I don’t think that the purpose of life is to feel.  But I do think that without feelings, life would not be worth living.

How do you view your emotions?  Do you see them as a nuisance?  Something you’d rather not deal with?  Or are they sometimes a frightening monster, dwelling in the dark closets of your soul?

Consider: Your emotions are a treasure: a gift from God, and a reflection of his own character.  We feel because He feels!  He feels joy, sadness, anger, jealousy, and even (I think, in his own way) fear.

live_long_and_prosper

If Spock was real, I think he would be elected president. I also think it would be a bad idea.

And also consider: In our society, we spend countless hours being trained how to think rationally.  Because we are a society that values rationality and logic.  I think this is wonderful.  Rationality and truth: These are important and beautiful aspects of God’s creation.

But we spend comparatively little time being trained to deal with and appreciate our emotional selves – a part of ourselves that, I would argue, is as important as our rationality.  The consequence is that we tend to do a decent job of thinking cohesively in America, but we are plagued by disordered emotions.  We are, arguably, the most depressed and anxious society in the history of the world.  Our messed up emotions do indeed cause lots of problems in society, from war, crime and violence, to affairs, broken families and damaged relationships.

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Isn't this cheesy? But I like it.

I believe passionately that this shows us not that our emotions are bad, but that it is of grave importance that we learn how to value them more highly and deal with them appropriately.

In fact, I love emotions.  I love that God created our hearts to not just see and understand the world around us, but also to respond to it.  If I am paying attention, I see that for everything that I see around me, there is an internal response, a voice that says, “This is right!” or “This is wrong!”, or “How wonderful!”, or “How awful!”.  And even, “I want to celebrate!”, or “I want to share this with somebody!”

I so enjoy getting to the end of a day and knowing that I have been alive, that I have really let myself feel the full range of emotions of which my heart is capable.  When this happens, I feel closer to God, and as if I am being who he made me to be.

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