Adventures in Enlightenment: Lent
Let's try a little deprivation this month. Is it ever a bad time of year for lent? From a website on lent:
Q: Why is giving up something for Lent such a salutary custom?
A: By denying ourselves something we enjoy, we discipline our wills so that we are not slaves to our pleasures. Just as indulging the pleasure of eating leads to physical flabbiness and, if this is great enough, an inability to perform in physically demanding situations, indulging in pleasure in general leads to spiritual flabbiness and, if this is great enough, an inability to perform in spiritual demanding situations, we when the demands of morality require us to sacrifice something pleasurable (such as sex before marriage or not within the confines of marriage) or endure hardship (such as being scorned or persecuted for the faith). By disciplining the will to refuse pleasures when they are not sinful, a habit is developed which allows the will to refuse pleasures when they are sinful. There are few better ways to keep one's priorities straight than by periodically denying ourselves things of lesser priority to show us that they are not necessary and focus our attention on what is necessary.
So let's give up some things that are enjoyable, but to be practical let's also throw in some things that I probably should be doing less of anyways (e.g. for health reasons). Here is my list of things to give up for the month:
- no cokes (or any other soft drinks)
- no chocolate (I eat an insane amount of this actually)
- no religion/atheism blogging or checking my blog stats or checking religion/atheism blogs
As usual I suspect that if this enlightenment exercise has any value it will be in the practice of discipline. Discipline is the key to everything. (And I don't even believe in free will, a paradox!). Giving up the food components will be a little challenging but I think the hardest part will be giving up the reading of religion/atheism blogs. I've just hidden all the relevant feeds from my self. *sigh*.
So in keeping with my promise you won't hear from me this month (except for this entry). See you on the other side of August. With any luck I'll be a little thinner and a little more enlightened....