Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Pornography: Effects and Treatment

To the Addicted, Curious, and Propagators,
    I've mentioned it before that anything that hinders you from being able to love is an evil. I have held off writing about this topic for a long time, but there are few things that hinder the ability to love more than pornography. Therefore, it needs to be talked about. Effects and how to treat them.

    Now it's not often I watch a TED talk as they can be nonsensical, but this one was actually meaningful and easy to follow. Pornography is an interesting problem in that it is everywhere in society despite being frowned upon. So is the "social stigma" non-existent? Is it only in the workplace where it has any effect because of how bad it impacts the company (via viruses and low productivity)? I liked this video because it talked about the effects psychologically and socially. While I disagree with the "free sex" advocacy at the end as it undermines his arguments against porn, he's got good points the rest of the talk.
    Psychologically, I must agree. I hold that children can know what true love is far better than adults. When I was 10 or 12, I came up with the idea that I truly loved a girl if I was willing to let her date someone I thought was better for her. I thought that dating should not be exclusive because if I wasn't right for her, I didn't want to waste her time in finding the right guy. After I became an adult, I found it difficult to follow through on that idea for two reasons: I was worried that she would have sex with someone else, and I would be a bit jealous. Luckily for me, she only wanted to be with me so I didn't have to deal with that.
    He talks about how boys dream about how to love a girl before porn. After porn, the desire shifts to simply releasing. In addition, porn makes sexually stimulating things that are definitely not acts of love. Beating a woman is not love. Watching a woman make out is not love. A more true act of love would be feeling sorry for the women involved.

    Socially, I must agree again. Why must a teenage girl try to be sexy? In fact, I recall reading an article a long time ago that little girls wanted to be "hot" more than they wanted to be princesses. These are little girls that are getting these messages. My wife told me that in her schools, sex while an adolescent was bragged about by guys. One time, I went to a hospital and saw a man reading a porn magazine in the lobby. I was more shocked when I saw the magazine belonged to the hospital!
    When I visited Japan, I saw the situation is really bad as porn magazines are right next to children's comics. It's like that in convenience stores, book stores, even advertised in the trains! What's the result? How about like that one kid from England who raped his little sister? That TED video made a good analogy about the music show and it's impact on him and how porn would do the same. So if the kid is watching violent sex stuff, he'll think it, eventually talk about it, and then do it.
    Another thing the video talks about is the impact it has on the women involved. Not only are more trapped, enlisted, or kidnapped to fulfill the demands, they are likely to die at an early age. The one thing I was surprised he didn't mention is that once they lose their beauty, they have nothing else. I'm surprise when they last more than 10 years. Even if they maintain their attractiveness, they will not be able to find another job. There are stories about ex-pornstars working at a school when a kid found out and harassed her to do it for him. Since these videos are online and freely available to watch, there is no way they can be forgotten. They are stuck being sex-slaves because that's exactly what they are. The only way they can be freed is when someone like Jesus comes along and gives them a chance. By watching porn, we contribute to the demand, which means more people will suffer this fate. Porn doesn't help society, it hinders it greatly and should be illegal. Otherwise you give people like Donald Trump enough money to be able to run for President and actually get far.
    But what about the women who do it willingly? In that case, surely porn isn't entertainment at their expense. Actually, it still is. It is entertainment for you at the expense of their human dignity. From my previous paragraph, you might have noticed that these women are no longer considered human. Instead they are sexual objects solely to please you. Once they stop pleasing you, they get tossed out. In addition, it impacts how you see other girls as well. This is how sexual objectification grows in today's world.

    Now perhaps you have wanted to quit but are struggling due to its nature as an addiction. It's unfortunately common that little kids are exposed to this stuff not by choice. Some curious kid may find a magazine in the trash. Some may find it by searching for images of their favorites characters on Google. Some are exposed in order to be sexually abused. Something I find common is that they don't like it the first time, but they are trapped.
   The Art of Manliness has an article about dealing with that with lots of tactics and advice. The trust method is certainly a good one and you may notice that porn tries to destroy that. I had a friend come to me and ask me to help him. I would occasionally check up on him and ask his status, encourage him, make sure his bedroom door was open if he was on the PC, and also held a password to his parental controls. That last one is important as it allows him to access stuff when he needs it, but first needs to convince me that he wouldn't use it to look at porn.

    One note I want to make is that porn has a trick up its sleeve. It tries to convince you that you'll never be free from it and so you must watch more of it. However, if it had such a strong hold on your mind, you shouldn't need to watch more. You may feel like you need to watch something new, but you don't. It's the addiction that needs the "food" in order to grow. Therefore, abstaining from watching porn is a very important step in overcoming it. You also need to avoid anything that's sketchy in pop culture (like a lot of music videos as the TED talk mentions and TV shows) as they are sexually charged and may entice you to relapse. That's difficult, I know. This is also why you need to find good friends who will want to support you. But that's a benefit actually. You find good friends and you only need 1 or 2 to be happy with your life.
    Of course, it isn't enough to simply not look at porn. Among the articles I've read on Art of Manliness, the advice of doing something beneficial when the desire is aroused is great. If you are dating someone, writing a love letter can not only help you focus on love rather than lust, your beloved will love you more after receiving it. Note that you probably won't be able to draw as your imagination will be dominated by pornographic images. You need to do something abstract or physically demanding. Eating chocolate (dark chocolate is best) might help quell the passion for a while too. That's what I do when I want to make love with my wife but she's not around. However, if you need a lot of chocolate, then you should find something else. Trying to replace one addiction with another is not a good idea as you end up with 2 addictions.

    Speaking about having sex, taking a cue from the guy's argument in that TED talk, do the opposite of what porn videos do. Make romantic gestures like caressing, hugging, and kissing. In fact, do them after sex as well. A sign that you are in love and not simply lusting is that you are willing to hug and kiss after sex. I found that after sex is when my brain becomes most rational, but it's also the time that I'm probably the most in love with my wife. We can talk about many things, her smile becomes brighter and more beautiful, and I feel joy as well.
    I have to also advocate saving sex for when and with whom you are actually married. This is important for a few reasons. First, I believe dating is when you are supposed to learn how to say "I Love You" without sex. This is important because you do need to know that you are loved even when you cannot have sex. Second, when sex is part of the equation, you can lose track of other things that are important to you and not discuss them. Third, one of the core purposes of marriage is that you cannot back out of it. If you do not hold that third point, then your marriage will always fail, unless one of you dies before it can. Was it difficult to abstain for me? Yes, it was, but my wife and I did it over the long course of courtship despite both of us being very physically attracted. Our primary love language is physical touch and that makes it very difficult to avoid sex, but we succeeded. As a result, my wife said she knew I truly loved her and she was happy that we worked so hard. I love seeing her smile.

    There's something else you need to know. You will never be cured of pornography. Like alcoholism, you will always be "recovering" and have a scar. It's partially why it's so important to never open that Pandora's Box. It can takes years before you can hold off the habit for just 1 month because of the willpower required. The longer you are in its snare, the harder it becomes to be free. However, the result is worth it. When you realize how bad you are addicted, it's depressing and immobilizing. But when you are able to overcome it for a few months, then you feel joy. Your self-esteem rises and you are happier overall.

Do your best,
N. D. Moharo

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Beyond Being a Hero

Dearly Beloved,
               I once wrote to you that the meaning of the phrase “be a man” means to be a hero. However, this by itself is not the perfection of man. A hero is simply a role model who acts because it is right. But a hero who also acts with love is called a saint. I can be a hero, but if I don’t have love, I won’t be perfect. In fact, my example would be less effective. For example, when I was in High School, I went through all four years working hard to not break any rules. I did this because I wanted to prove it could be done, but I didn’t have love. While I got better the last few months of my career, I was depressed and filled with contempt for some people around me. At this point, I knew that I needed to become a hero, but I did not yet realize love is what makes it perfect and joyful.
               Do you need to perform great deeds to be considered a saint? Not at all. In fact, some of the greatest saints are those who do many little things with love. I don’t need to die to show my love for my wife. I can simply wash the dishes and do the laundry; two things I hate to do. But I found that when I do them because I love my wife, I’m at peace doing them. When she says thank you, I’m even more filled with joy.
               When you do things because they are good and because you love others, you are one of the best role models in the world. So I pray that you not only become a hero, but that you become a saint.

With Love,
N. D. Moharo

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Rationality of a God becoming a Man

To the Truth-seekers,
    A valid concern many religions have about Christianity is the concept of "God becoming Man." How can a being, who is perfect, become man, who is imperfect? This would mean that God changed which is contrary to the nature of being perfect. When you are perfect, you cannot change. Therefore, God cannot become man, because that would mean he was imperfect to begin with.
    It's an interesting paradox, but the answer makes sense when you hear the explanation, "God did not change." To properly understand this, we need to switch perspectives. To us, it appears that God changed, but not from the perspective of God. Let me bring you back to the analogy of a virtual world where you are a god.
    In this analogy, you have complete control of the virtual world. You are its god. You decide to become one of your characters. Are you still the god of that world? Yes. Do you lose any of your "Divinity"? No. Do you still have perfect control and know everything? Yes. If you maintain your Divine Knowledge and stay perfectly virtuous, nothing changed. That is how it looks from God's perspective. And if God is perfect, even as a character in his creation, he would be perfect. There is no change. In fact, it is perfectly God's nature to have become man, because God is Perfect Love.
    If God is Perfect Love, he would perform acts of love. A great act of love therefore is to become man, dwell among us, teach us how to love, and give us the perfect example of love. Why? Because that is what is best for us. By us having a perfect model and teaching, we are able to love more and become perfect. Also, by God becoming man, you have the most definitive authority for establishing a religion. No other man can establish a religion better than a man who is God, especially when the religion is about True Love.

With Love,
N. D. Moharo

P.S. The prompt for this topic was how last time I suggested that the mentally handicap from birth are angels incarnate. I don't know if this is true or not, but I wanted to address the argument that "Angels becoming man would lower their nature." It wouldn't because they would not lose any of their angelic nature. Instead, it'd be a perfect showing of their angelic nature as the purpose of their life on earth would be to bring people closer to God. They are God's servants and therefore would gladly accept this task. Of course, since I am not an expert, I can be completely wrong.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

How Hell is the Result of Love

To the Truth-seekers,
    Hell is an interesting topic. It is a valid question people have when asking about a God who is supposedly Perfect Love. "How can an all-loving God condemn someone to eternal punishment?"
    It's fairly easy to explain hell as an act of justice, especially poetic justice. Do evil and you will eventually be punished either in this life or the next. Also, if you sin against someone who is infinitely good, the just punishment would be eternal. But hell is actually the result of love.
    It sounds paradoxical, but hell is an act of love for the sinner. When someone goes to hell, it is because they chose not to love. Since love must be an act of the will, and God respects our free will, God would not force us to love him. Since God is Pure Love, and the sinner chose to reject love, being with God would be worse than hell.
    Hell is "Where God is not." It means there is no other love in that place beyond its existence. This also means if someone wants to hate God for eternity, they can do it. Now one may argue that it would be better for God to wipe out the sinner's existence. However, that would violate two things. First is that God sees everyone's existence as good, just like those against the death penalty see that all life is good. Second is that annihilating the sinner would counter hell being an act of love for the rest of us.
    Jesus gave us an analogy. We are salt whose purpose is flavor. But if we lose our flavor, then we will be thrown out to be trampled under foot by men. This shows two things. First is that God will still use you even if you fail your purpose of love. Second, though I don't know if they did this in Israel, is to keep the rest of us from falling down. The purpose of salt on the ground is to prevent men from slipping on the ground. Salt is what you throw on ice so that men can walk. God sends people to hell so that we might not.
    God wants what's best for us, and that is for us to be willingly united with him. The first step is instilling the fear of punishment. We have a free will, but we don't initially start life by loving God. When we are children, we initially only fear punishment. We don't really care for our parents. But as we grow older, what started as fear of punishment can grow into fear of offending our parents. The punishment is a seed that grows into an act of love. When we reach this stage, it means we have a true love for God. Of course, if you chose otherwise, then you will receive the punishment promised. Being removed from existence would not encourage you to chose love, but the fear of punishment might.
    Another argument is that "Good parents rehabilitate their children, not condemn them eternally." This is true, and that is exactly what life is. Our life is our rehabilitation. We are here so that we may become better people by choosing to love. We receive many opportunities to grow in love for God and our neighbor. It is then our choice whether we want to stay in prison or get out for good behavior. Hell is merely the life sentence that we may choose.
    Now this revelation might have brought up some concerns, especially due to our fear of wrongful imprisonment. "What about the mentally disabled from birth?" Since they cannot freely choose to love or not, technically the scale of justice is balanced. However, since God is Perfect Love and wants what is best, they will be united with him. Then why should they live on earth at all if they will go to heaven anyway? It's so that we may grow in love by caring for them. They teach us how to better love each other. They live in order that we may live with God forever. I actually wonder if they are God's angels incarnated, because they have already chose God.
    So what about those who never learned about God or learned wrong about him? Actually, they can still go to heaven, though they probably would not reach the pure perfection. If they were truly ignorant through no fault of their own, and they tried their best to live with virtue, they simply unknowingly chose God, because he is the source of love and virtue. However, it is far easier for them to live in virtue and chose God if they are taught correctly. That is why I write to you about the message of True Love. It could be said that God did inspire the other cultures' great teachers in order to prepare them to receive the gospel of the Religion of True Love.
    So is hell fair? Yes, in terms of Justice. No, in that sinners possibly deserved worse. It is also not fair because God gives us so much to avoid it. Since God is Infinite Love, and forgiveness is an act of love, all we need to do is repent when we are wrong. When our repentance is because of our love for god, it is a perfect act of love in itself. When it's not perfect because it's based off fear of punishment instead, God will still forgive, but we need to do whatever he commands for restitution, which is always another act of love so that we may grow in love.
    Hell is the result of Love, because by its existence, we are encouraged to love. If there was no punishment, not only would that violate justice, but also allow us to not care to love. That would not only be bad for society, but also for ourselves. The existence of hell is True Love trying to call you to itself.

With Love,
N. D. Moharo

P. S. Since Hell falls in the realm of Theology, I can be wrong. This is merely an explanation on how it would make sense, especially given the purpose of man being to love.