The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

two sides rhymes with suicide

June9

Readers of this Blog appear to track, enjoy, and possibly value, my transparency. So, it’s no surprise, here, that my earthly father surrendered his soul to God back in 1986, on the eve of my birthday.

I’ve chosen some words carefully in that preamble because I’m evaluating the difference in terms of how we define suicide.

Background Perspective: I have a client that I’ve coached for years that happens to be a fairly well known Congressman and has always feared the path of “political suicide” often realized by all too many of his fellows.

Although I have to good-naturedly roll my eyes with that, it recently raised some thoughts in my head around how we spin things to make them work within the complicated confines of our society – to include faith and community.

Here we go…

Shortly after my Dad’s body was discovered (today that still feels strange to both write and read), slumped over a Zane Grey (apropos, says I) novel in his garage, his secretary tearfully advised me that he was bound for hell. I was a younger man in both body and mind, at the time, and this decree almost floored me. Dad was a genuine hero. And, he was… Well, my Dad. And, he loved my Mom. Together, they set the bar and standard for me in terms of how to be a parent to my own Daughters, and love people in your life. He was a pillar of strength (even when he had his fourth martini after a grueling Day maintaing peace as a Military Officer during a relentless Cold War era), always there for my younger brother and me. He was some times an enigma, mind you. But always smart, witty and resolute. Read my post: do not miss your Chance to blow it for perspective. Dot It! How could such a man face the abyss?

My first thought when told Dad was going to hell was that he had carefully considered his options and rolled the dice hoping to get back to Mom quicker. Selfishly, maybe, I often have this picture in my head of Mom and Dad in their early 40’s – sun-tanned, holding hands and smiling. This is also a reminder that Mom had died the year before (here is some additional background), and Dad was simply never the same after that. So… You can; and, I think you should, read my prior Blog post that explores some of that here: My Dad: Story 22 – Married for Life.

So… With all that said, what is the difference in someone taking their own life, or giving their life back to God? There is a paradox at work, here, because a potential juxtaposition includes (or, is) considerations around soldiers taking life (possibly in the name of God), and giving (as in dedicating) your life to God. My Dad was a soldier that absolutely did take lives under a national flag that was founded with God in mind (just ask Thomas Jefferson who is likely spinning in his grave enough these days to send the planet off it’s axis). He was a model citizen by any definition. And, in the his final hour I feel he gave his life back to God, and Mom was his reward for a life well-lived.

NOTE: I’m choosing to take the Bible out of the evaluative formula and going with discernment – perhaps the greatest tool God has issued to us to help me work through this process. The Bible, I feel, in this case, and of course many others, stymies broad thinking and open-mindedness (have you ever tried to debate a Christian and seen them not get heated, and more often than not, nasty?). Once you make not referencing the Bible part of the process, creative thinking that draws upon all of mankind’s marvelous experience and theory can now come into play for informed decision-making.

I’m tempted to drop a poll into this Blog post to capture your collective opinion. However, I’m only marginally interested in that. So, I’ll invite you to comment. I can’t promise to approve it. But, I might. And, I will respond in one form or another, to be certain.

So, engage me. Help me. Walk with me. Help me realize the Authentic Life.

If suicide is a path to another place that just might be a reward, as opposed to a punishment, why wouldn’t you take it? Is this an example of Kobayashi Maru?

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

there might be demons and there are ALWAYS questions

January10

By the time your finished with this post, you’ll have realized it’s less a book review, and more a reminder that I often feel lonely in a crowd of my Christian brothers.

Demons was written by Fyodor Dostoevsky. As an aside, he is much better known, in North America, anyway, for his frustrating and authentic The Brothers Karamazov, and the much lesser known The Idiot.

And, surely, you must read them all! And, on your Amazon Kindle, no less.

In any event, Demons is, essentially, and this is my interpretation, about how liberalism leads to socialism, then leads to nihilism, and how life, according to Dostoevsky, boils down to a choice between Christianity – and… suicide.

Well… Mister, that’s a barn-burning, possibly teeth-gnashingly dogmatic, position (if this makes you think in some terms of anything related to doggy-style, it might be appropriate, and you might have the emotional maturity of a twelve year old [like me, some times], but not in the immediate context).

Demons is a very engaging novel. And, more suspenseful than the others, as relayed above, of Dostoevsky – both because it’s more violent (being about socialist nihilist anarchists and all), and because it takes a long time to get a sense for what motivates the main character, Nikolai Stavrogin (and, that’s where I might draw a comparison to myself and my titanic and transparent struggles with Christianity as it related to the Jesus Christ element).

However, Dostoevsky clarifies his thinking, interestingly, through his mouthpiece Tikhon, in that absolute doubt immediately proceeds absolute faith; thus Stavrogin, as the quintessential doubter, is also the closest among the main cast of characters to true Christianity.

To wit…

This idea, that a person must not give in to his ideas; must strain against them to be a person, is a fascinating one…

But, see… There’s no word for it, this, effort. And, that my be the core of my own struggle. I can’t put my finger on what’s missing. Or, maybe why it’s missing.

Unfortunately, there’s probably a really good word for it.

It eludes me.

Not much does. And, this is a big one.

However, I think caring is important; as is the search for that word – possibly it’s meaning, all the more.

Stick with me. And, feel free to come and get me.

Along the way, I’ll likely read everything, and talk to everyone, I can to find that word. And, the light and truth I learn gives me scienter, and the necessity of my own requirement to be naught less than a beacon, for all. My Kobayashi Maru, perhaps not?

Listening to: Heartbreak Warfare and Free Fallin’ (the Live version) by the much too underestimated, John Mayer.

By the way… Look at the “possibly related posts” (below, minds you) automatically generated by the WordPress gods (demons?). What a hoot! Is irony afoot?

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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