Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Sterling's Question

Sterling Hayden
I know nothing of this author other than what one might be able to glean from the quote below.  I share it with you because it speaks to several current issues both in the life of the individual as well as the greater community. I offer it to you in hopes of generating discussion about his claims..


To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... "cruising" it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.

"I've always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of "security." And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone.

What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.

The years thunder by, The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?


Craig V said...

I believe Sterling Hayden, a typical existentialist, lacked two things in his thinking, and quite possibly in his life - and I believe that is what lead to his "wandering" outlook - 1. He lacks the acknowledging of others. While his kids appeared to be important to him he lacked a sense of being or doing with and for others. His focus was on his accomplishments in a life of trying to define himself. Of course 2., there was a complete lack of putting God in the picture, let alone first. Hayden was a lost soul and a confused man - suffered from alcoholism, depression, financial ups and downs, blah blah - not a big surprise.

While others saw him as an interesting psychological picture, I saw him as a warning - to life with out God first.

Hayden was self centered and man-centered - I reject his premise therefore his questions. I find the thinking of Leo Gallagher much deeper and meaningful - and he makes you smile ;)

Jim said...

Sounds like you know much more about the man that I do. I think what resonated for me most in that quote was what a man really needs versus what we in Western society actually pursue. There is a huge gulf of disparity there and while its not a bad thing to own a home and two cars...we rarely admit that we can do fine with less. I will have to check out Leo Gallagher. Got any recommendations of where to start?

Craig V said...

Well bro, without God first and the inevitable peace of mind that comes with making it that far down the path - beyond just "the rebirth", people fall back to the taste of the worldly garbage and back to seeking something to replace the void - the wants of the flesh are never fulfilled. I can show you an Ex that exemplifies that ;)

I got no problem with having "stuff" - but they're just toys to pass the time until our Lord comes to pick us up. It's our acknowledgment and serving of others, as I said before, that define who we are - a giving to others (not just stuff either), that's a primary result of God first.

As a student of what I call "grounded psychology", Hayden's book is pretty much a forced reading - after a few chapters I began to skim and jumped around until I couldn't handle the freak show anymore. Where some saw him as a "lesson", as a oddity to be experienced. A "lesson" needs a discernible outcome and understanding to be of benefit - if not, it might as well be a troubled pop star or entertainer in Hollywood - wait, Hayden was! I don't see much benefit in listening to troubled Hollywood "make-believe" folks.

Leo 'Gallagher' = the Sledge-O-Matic guy, big couch, reverse thinking - ?



Jim said...

Ohhh!! That Gallagher! Sorry my friend. I am slow sometimes. I totally agree that any insight Hayden may have had was severely debilitated by his godless living and understanding. About all I can give him real credit for is making me think a bit about my REAL needs in light of these lean-looking times

Craig V said...

I trust God shall meet your needs brother - worry not, enjoy the family, life, giving and seek the lesson and/or the purpose of each day.