Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Bright Temptation

I’ve been wrestling with a bout of temptation recently—a need to take a walk on the wild side. The object of my desire is generic but most definitely taboo and could, no, make that would, be terribly bad for me. Unfortunately, this object is not alone in its lure; there are many others as well. So, in light of the fact I cannot possess them, I’ve taken to playing in my head. I suppose you could say I fantasize

I too often live within my head. For within my mind I can be whatever, whoever, do whatever, whenever, wherever and however I want. No desire, no thought I have is too outrageous, astonishing, outlandish, strange, kinky, perverse or unusual. I am free, wholly, to let my alter ego run rampant. Nor in my head does temptation come with a caveat. In fact, it usually comes with no strings attached, no consequences whatsoever.

Since dealing with this particular temptation I have spent a lot of time pondering its meaning and essence. has this to say about it:
n. 1: The act of tempting, or enticing to evil; seduction. 2: The state of being tempted, or enticed to evil. 3: That which tempts; an inducement; an allurement, especially to something evil.

Webster's Revised Unabridged says:
n 1: something tempting or enticing [syn: enticement] 2: the desire to have or do something that you know you should avoid; 3: the act of influencing by exciting hope or desire

Enticing. I like that word. I suppose the whole premise of temptation is coveting something you know you should not or cannot have. But, damn if it doesn’t feel good to toy with it, play with it, think about it until it drives you crazy with anticipation. Do I give in or not? I see the proverbial line in the sand but how close can I get to it without actually going over it. And knowing I would never give in, does entertaining the thought of it make me a masochist?

I must also confess, euphoric fantasy is always accompanied by great guilt. You see, I have a rather deeply rooted moral compass and I suppose 95 percent of the time I thank fortune for it. It has kept me out of a lot of trouble I would have otherwise gotten into. The other 5 percent I wish I could just say screw it and dive head first into wanton abandonment. Ply me with enough liquid courage and I just might.

It seems as if my mind is always at war with itself. I remember being asked if I though I was a moral person and seriously wondering if that person meant in actions or in thoughts. Can the true nature of anyone be determined by simply looking at a life from the outside? Can ones true character be ascertained only by what he or she does behind closed doors? Or are we a product of both?

What am I if I am often thinking about just how close I can get to that line without actually crossing it but never actually doing it. Furthermore, why do I always want to? Why can’t I be content with what I have?

So, what do you think? How is ones nature determined?

Sigh. I’m tired now. I’ve had a lot to ponder. I’ll leave you with...

Dare to be great, without a guilty crown; View it, and lay the bright temptation down—Dryden


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