The Pornographic Parasite
There is a fungus called Cordyceps that is quite peculiar and incredibly devastating, especially when it’s spores adhere to and invade an ant. When the fungus somehow perceives that it has invaded a viable host, it releases chemical signals that effectively hijack the brain circuits of the ant. The ant begins to exhibit erratic behavior. When the ant colony witnesses and recognizes this behavior, they quickly take the ant and, like a leper of old, discard the infected ant away from their colony leaving it to die. The abandoned, isolated ant, now a slave to the invader, is chemically controlled and with little time left to live, is induced to climb to a higher branch or leaf, where the ant dies. Why did the ant climb to a higher branch or leaf? Because, it is there, that the fungus blooms from the ants brain, producing spores that can be more effectively dispersed by the wind. It is remarkable, a parasite, that invades, controls and leads the host in paths that will not help the host, but help the proliferation and spread of the possessive, destructive parasite!
Let’s consider another example. Many are very familiar with the Central and Peripheral nervous system, even the Somatic and Autonomic. But have you heard much about the Enteric Nervous System? I hadn’t. Turns out the Enteric nervous system, or nervous system in your gut, is incredibly intricate and possesses more neural connections than anywhere else in the body, save the brain. When we eat unhealthy foods, namely pornographic foods, loaded with chemicals, fats, sugars and the like, we as a people start to accumulate insulin-resistant belly fat. These fat stores do more than hide your once chiseled six-pack or discourage you from taking off your shirt at the beach. These stores of belly fat act as an endocrine gland. (An endocrine gland is a gland that releases chemical hormones that affect another location in that gland or elsewhere in the body, examples include the pituitary, thyroid and adrenal glands.) The fat, hanging on your gut, can secrete hormones into the body that induce cravings! Incredible!! It is not an organ, not one you were born with anyway, and yet, there it sits literally dumping chemical signals into your blood to trigger it’s needs, not yours!! Do you need more Oreos or ice-cream? No, it is inducing behavior through chemical release that will ensure its’ survival, not yours! The very things that you are stuffing in your face to feed it are killing you! It is a parasite! A parasite that is literally inducing behavior!
Is this any different than pornography? Pornography often invades through seemingly harmless channels. I have heard of children’s first introductions being something as harmless as searching for material for their 2nd grade book report. Perhaps it is through music that is littered with pornographic lyrics or popular books or other media. Maybe it is out of curiosity or even abuse from an older relative or association. No matter the cause, it is a fleeting spore floating down that can latch on to the most unsuspecting victim and when it takes hold, it invades your mind. It takes control of your thoughts. It induces behavior that you would have never participated in otherwise! Are these acquired behaviors healthy? Are they useful? No! They are out-of-control guilt-ridden escapades that destroy self-confidence, spiritual happiness and the ability to effectively carry on a meaningful “normal” relationship with a member of the opposite sex. It isolates you from anyone or anything that could help you and it sets you up to be but a tool, a means by which the spores of immorality can be spread further throughout society, thus ensuring the parasites progeny while leaving the host emotionally, physically and spiritually dead.
At times porn seems like a treat, an escape, a fantasy land that has no limits, unlike the mundane “confines of an archaic society” that would try to deny us the pleasure of self-gratification. But just like the unbridled intake of Oreo’s, cookies, cakes, and fantasy food that is fabricated and chemically developed to taste “better” than real food, it is falsehood, that will only leave you feeling sick, tired, guilty, spiritually, physically and mentally lethargic. And just like excessive sweets, Porn will cause countless systemic conditions and rottenness that can take years to present and even longer to recover from, some may never see their health again. These conditions wreak havoc in the lives of loved ones who watch the life of their husband, wife, brother, sister, father or mother and their own life that they had built around the affected host, be violently torn down and reduced to a smoldering rubble.
There is hope yet, even while living in Babylon. It is not an easy task. After all, porn is everywhere. Aside from keeping God close, the most important thing you can do is get a support group, a team of people that will help you as you try to overcome your current state. I tried for years to do it on my own. And after each meager or monumental attempt, I would always find myself lying there on a leaf somewhere with spores of regret budding out of my head. Or parked in at a drive-thru somewhere stuffing myself with proverbial fried chicken and milkshakes, feeling shame and guilt from my apparent lack of self-control. That is not the case today. I still struggle with temptations and I have not been slip free, a fact that I am not ashamed to admit. I track my time in recovery not from when my last slip was (which would be my “sobriety”) but by when was the last time I kept any acting out a secret from my team. I have been in recovery for over 4 years. When I fall I am honest with myself, my spouse and my team (which consists of my wife, some trusted family members, fellow addicts from my counseling group and my Bishop) and it is empowering to be truthful. Honesty is one of the strongest anecdotes to the parasite that is attempting to induce behavior by way of its’ powerful chemical cocktail. A strong dose of humility and honesty can immediately inoculate you from what could have been an epic disaster. From one addict in recovery to another addict that may or may not yet be, I suggest using it.