Code Ode 11: Identity

Read this:

They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshipped the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise. Amen! Romans 1 v 25.

Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Matthew 6 v 21.

 

Recite this out loud:
This question runs so deep that we,
Can look at it as a cliché,
Scared by its implications, keep
The issue under wraps, at bay.
It’s ‘Who am I, what makes me, me?’
What is the self inside myself?
Beneath all masks, all cons and self delusion,
What’s my root and my foundation?
What am I seeking which, to look at me,
Lets me accept the man I see?
Cutting out the airs and graces,
Putting it out ‘in yer face’, it’s
Asking myself , man to man,
What thing, for me, must be in place
To say I and my life are, more than
A waste of space?

There may be different things from time to time
In rotation, taking turns to define you.
Or several at once, like vultures gathering
To tear a piece so each, can dine on you.
You may not think you think about them much.
Or, though they drive, inspire, or entwine you,
You may not recognize these things as such.
Until they disappear and leave you asking,
‘What’s now left for me?’ Or, ‘is there a me
That’s left, enough to make it worth the asking?’
You think these things are just commitments?
Or just interests, mere pleasures
Which you pluck, selectively
At will from the air?
Then, in digging deep to find these things, beware.
You’ll find you’ve struck, effectively
Upon your gods.
For these things, these means to an end,
To free you, to live for, and console you,
In the end, they will be those that tend
To be the ones that paradoxically control you.

Suppose you run, intensively
Or, perhaps bike-ride.
Well ask from who, perhaps or what
You’re trying to hide.
Or is it what, perhaps or who
You’re trying to ride or run, to.
‘The journey’s more important
Than the destination.’
Rubbish! That’s a con, that’s a fake
Idea—always fleeing,
Not completing the escape.
Never reaching journey’s end,
A total break.
Until you can no longer run nor ride,
The destination?– Lost, nowhere to hide.

And are you a Man with a penis
In the control of his mind?
Or are you more of a Penis,
Dragging the corpse of a man, behind?
What’ll be left of you or it
If, after the years you’ve tried
And tried and tried and tried and tried,
To find that never again will you
(Even with Viagra), ever be satisfied.

You live, say, for your children’s happiness
And their best interest is at your heart.
At heart, you are a Dad, with gifts to share.
And then they leave you and lose interest
And say their happiness is their affair.
Or turn out cheats and liars
And spend their time destroying peoples’ lives
And you stand by them in denial
Making every compromise.

Work, sex, money, looks and fitness,
Even family and friends;
Such outward things can just be means
To reach our deeper, underlying ends;
Ends—ingredients in a unique mix,
Making up, for each of us, the cocktail
Of our personal, essential fix.
Four compass points to point to all that’s me.
Four props to shore up my identity.
First there’s power with influence, success.
Then pleasure, whether comfort shunning
Or excitement, using stress.
Third there’s popularity, approval.
Fourth, perfection with control and mess removal.

So—money’s not just dollars, pounds whatever.
Without even needing spending
Or your grip on it needing to sever,
It gives power and a sense
Of comfort, safety, strong, unbending.
Money spent can buy you pleasure.
Spend on others, generously
And you’ll be popular and called a treasure.

Of all these things, perhaps the trickiest
Is a sense of moral decency—
Serious and not just ‘pickiness’.
Standards we believe in, even secretly,
May just be means to self-control
And, when we keep them, crown our self-esteem
While quietly looking down on all
The shameless airheads in their pleasure seeking dream.
But when we fail to reach these moral goals,
How do we forgive ourselves
Without compromise and then live with ourselves?

Our problem surely is ourselves.
We seek meaning only from this World,
Identity kept safe within ourselves.
Our gods are built on us or on this World
But like all idols they have feet of clay.
They’re crushed beneath the weight of our demand
For meaning; they can’t cope in any way.
Some things gain the upper hand,
Become addictions and destroy us.
Would-be good things, once they are our gods
Turn sour, sour us or soured by us,
Fail or feed our pride or just annoy us.
So money cannot satisfy us;
Money, though, become our god, will buy us.
In all this we may harm others,
Even those who love us.
Or our bright gleam
Of selfless, brave humanity
Gets smothered in a sweet daydream
Of comfort-loving apathy.
And death will have the final say.
The Master Joker has the final laugh
On us, on our final day.