The Cancer Within
(This post has some medical lingo in it but I hope you will read it and find the metaphor useful.)
The Cancer Within:
Carcinogens are toxic chemicals or stimuli from our environment that can induce the mutation of certain genes in our bodies. Those mutations can remove biochemical “goalie’s” that would have prevented unwanted transcription pathways from being initiated (turning parts of your genetic code into actual proteins that become part of your body). There are myriads of ways carcinogenic mutations destroy the bodies ability to regulate its normal biochemical pathways. The result: Cancer.
Cancer is a horrible, merciless disease. It quietly grows, malfunctioning just beneath the surface of our recognition until often it is too late. It penetrates our bodily tissues and organs. It metastasizes through our blood and lymphatic systems spreading to other areas of our body disrupting the delicate homeostatic balance that makes life possible.
Some people are born with a genetic predisposition to cancer. They possess the genetic code that could kill them, but before that cancerous gene can be expressed, they must first acquire a separate mutation from their environment that triggers the transcription of the cancerous gene. That means that if they don’t come in contact with the carcinogens that would induce the secondary mutation (that wasn’t initially inherited), they can proceed through life cancer free, even though they were genetically predisposed.
Another route to cancer is that we are bombarded constantly with carcinogens that can similarly induce mutation often in tandem with chronic inflammation. These carcinogens can induce cancer causing mutations without the need of a genetic predisposition. These carcinogens are in our food, they are in the plastics we use, the air we breathe, and so on and so on. They are environmental cancer causing external stimuli and they are everywhere. Regulatory agencies require that companies, responsible for carcinogenic (cancer causing) toxins, keep them “within acceptable limits”. The idea being that if the body is exposed to low doses of carcinogens, the natural healing mechanisms built into the body will be able to handle, or heal from, the exposure without incident. But each person’s biological makeup & DNA is unique, which means that one person’s level of tolerance could be over the threshold when compared to someone else.
This also means that many of the cancers people face are largely untraceable or at least the direct cause remains difficult to discern. But they are formed, in large part, by a steady dose of a variety of carcinogens until finally, the bodies ability to safeguard the cellular processes are compromised and cancer forms.
The body is an amazing living thing, made up of specialized organs, each with it’s own function. Many of these functions are so wildly different from another organ and yet they are so intricately connected. Once one organ goes down, or once a cancer is introduced and then spreads, it is often only a matter of time before the person dies.
Cancer is an impressive entity. Some of these mutations remove “inhibitors” that were stopping certain proteins from being made, while others bind “promoters” that tell a certain building process, that was formerly regulated, to start making as much as possible, as fast as possible and the cancer grows. The cells often differentiate enough to look very similar to what the body’s cells are supposed to look like. They can stealthily avoid detection this way and then induce changes in their neighboring cells and recruit what used to be healthy cells in the war against itself. Cancer gives rise to cells that are invasive, have no respect for boundaries, proliferate like wild-fire, removes inhibitors that could have stopped it, bind promoters that help it grow faster and induce changes in healthy cells that ultimately ends in slow self-destructive cellular suicide. Cancer cells even possess the “key to immortality” or at least the anti-aging ability that prevents their telomeres from being shortened, a natural phenomenon in most cells that allows for the living object to age and eventually die. Interestingly, even with the supposed ability to “live forever” cancers and the living beings that are affected by it, die sooner than they otherwise would have without the cancer being present.
I believe that society in general works and acts much like a living entity.
I need to take a tangent for a moment, to build the next pillar of my post today.
Fetishes and fantasy. Pornography. Bisexuality, Homosexuality, Bestiality, Pedophilia and all the rest of the thousands of deviations and strange roads that one can find themselves wandering around in do not just spontaneously happen, as James Allen puts it, “A man does not come to the almshouse or the jail by the tyranny of fate or circumstance, but by the pathway of groveling thoughts and base desires. Nor does a pure-minded man fall suddenly into crime by stress of any mere external force; the criminal thought had long been secretly fostered in the heart, and the hour of opportunity revealed its gathered power.” Most of us arrive in our destitute circumstances because our thoughts have been pathologically high-jacked and that begets our out-of-control circumstances. It is my belief, that the vast, vast majority, of those struggling with homosexual tendencies and other sexual deviancies, are not “born” that way, just as most people not born with cancer. Even if they have a genetic predisposition to the tendency, the “mutation” would have to be induced by an external stimulus, which sadly is usually abuse, pornography exposure, experimentation and years of shame-based behavioral addiction. (I would love to see a legitimate research study performed where some of the things are honestly sought out and recorded without the data being skewed to favor the current culture of celebrating depravity.)
I am reminded of a study I read for an assignment in an undergraduate biology class, where a certain snake habitat was being threatened because a neighboring factory was releasing chemicals into the environment that induced a change in the pheromone release of females or the males ability to sense the attractant and what followed was male snakes attempting to mate with male snakes. Environmental, external stimulus that induced homosexual behavior and threatened this entire habitat of snakes. This, by the way, could also be replicated, induced and reversed in a lab.
I have posted before talking about thoughts, choices and agency.
In my experience with my own addiction, the fantasies, the tendencies, the ways of acting out etc, many of them were heavily influenced by some of the first sexual experiences/experiments that I had. They were also tethered to the shame associated with my particular ways of acting out.
To be frank and to illicit a strong comparison, when I was a small child I remember being very curious and pretty care-free. I wasn’t mischievous toward causing anyone harm and wasn’t perniciously sexual. I was curious and held a certain disregard for the rules, at least when no one was around. My parents were very closed about sexual education in our family, as are many others in conservative Christian homes. I remember getting in trouble at a very early age for showing my penis to another kid I was playing with. Innocent curiosity was now tied to shame.
I remember getting naked in my room and then hiding under my bed when my mom came looking for me. I remember playing with my brother and some neighborhood kids in our backyard by a big pine tree, where we dared each other to take our clothes off and walk out from behind the tree and see how close you could get to the house before chickening out or getting caught. No one got caught. I was probably 7 years old. Around the age of 9, my first pornography exposure was outside, behind my house there was a field, by the field were some industrial buildings and there were some Playboy clippings from a magazine some neighborhood kids had found and they showed them to me there. Not long after that, I discovered masturbation. But I lived in a modest home with 7 other siblings. I couldn’t masturbate as freely in my room or in the bathroom without risking getting caught, so what did I do? I went out to the field behind my house, or the wooded area not far from our home. In the woods I could masturbate or even take off my clothes and masturbate without anyone seeing me and yet there was a rush or high associated with being out in the “open” and the added risk of possibly being seen or caught. This became a fairly regular occurrence for me. And I never got caught. As a result of these initial experiences, my exhibitionist tendencies were ingrained in me from the start of my sexual consciousness. I believe that is exactly how most sexual “deviations”, “fetishes” or sexual “tendencies” begin. The environmental conditions were ideal to induce a behavioral mutation in me.
Through the years and as my addiction escalated, exhibitionism was just part of it. We moved to a country home in Idaho where there was even more space and hills and mountains for miles. If I looked at porn, I often didn’t just masturbate and call it a day, I would go on a jog up into the hills, strip down and then masturbate. The boldness of my acting out grew worse as the years went on and I won’t go into all the detail, but suffice it to say that the tendency to act out publicly is a powerful urge that I fight off on a regular basis. For a time it was unmanageable. I didn’t have the tools, or the training, or the understanding of what was actually going on in my brain and why my behavior was so out of control. But after going through the Lifestar program and a few years of intensive counseling I have gotten to a point where it is manageable. It is a dangerous tendency to have and one that isn’t quite so socially smiled upon as the LGBTQ tendency that is currently being celebrated. But in principle and in origin they are no different. In fact, falling to exhibitionist tendencies could destroy my livelihood, my career, my social infrastructure faster than LGBTQ tendencies would. LGBTQ people have less social ramifications in today’s society but the diseases and even decreased life expectancy is a very real struggle they will face if they indulge in their tendency.
With a history such as mine, one could even argue that I was born that way and that societies norms and the social prudes that exist in it are just too uptight, clinging to an outdated system of rules, and that people should be more tolerant, more accepting and more understanding of my physiological wiring or at least my particular way of expressing myself. Who are they to judge me? After all, I am just a person who has had exhibitionist tendencies for nearly as long as I can remember. Even in our morally debased sex-infused culture, if someone is caught acting out publicly they are arrested and labeled a sex offender, sent to jail or counseling and exiled from the community. Is that not the same punishment that was inflicted on the LGBTQ communities not more than a decade or 2 ago in many states? (Side note, such punishments, though well intended, are not effective and some suggestions for proper treatment are encouraging like this Ted talk)
Yes, one could argue that I was just born with it. If the same logic as the LGBTQ movement was used and if it were argued loud enough and long enough it could even make my plight, my “thorn in my side”, “socially acceptable”. Maybe one day it will even be legally mandated that all members of society will have to tolerate me, and others who struggle with the same condition, as we roam the land buck naked masturbating wherever and in front of whoever we see fit. But I will not be the one arguing for that and though that would make my condition, or at least a “slip”, easier to cope with, that type of behavior normalized in society couldn’t possibly be a good thing!
I believe that my condition and that of homosexuality and the many, many sexual deviations that exist, are more similar than different. They often begin in early childhood, usually assisted with pornography and/or abuse or even curious experimentation but then after marinating in SHAME these stimuli and experiences are tethered to our emotional and spiritual makeup, our brains are literally pathologically affected and our bodies biochemical processes and makeup are altered.
These individuals (including myself) are like the individual cells in the body that have been subjected to a carcinogenic mutation. There has always been an undercurrent of unhealthiness in societies since the world began. But that has always been the vast minority and for the most part, society as a whole, has been fairly healthy. Just like the body that is constantly repairing itself and dealing with damaged cells, or fixing DNA that was transcribed incorrectly, or building new vessels to bypass a collapsed capillary, society has also attempted to control, remove, correct or repair unhealthy practices or damage done by unhealthy people and people that have, for whatever reason, hurt other members of society. For the most part, society has done well and keeping those types of carcinogenic mutations at bay that would completely destroy it if left unchecked. But no more.
Our society has cancer. Stage 4 metastatic cancer of an aggressive nature.
For years our society has been plagued with small “chronic doses of carcinogenic toxins”. Many of the carcinogens, like the “sex, drugs, rock and roll” of the 60’s destroyed many “individual cells” and caused some important mutations that have never been corrected. Through the liberalization of sex, drugs, music and all of it’s appendages, the doses of toxins that society was exposed to went up exponentially, well beyond “reasonable limits”. Now hard-core, high-definition pornography streams onto nearly every handheld device in the land and the number of mutations that have taken place have overrun societies immune system and biochemical repair mechanisms and society has lost the ability to regulate the processes that would keep itself safe and healthy. And just like cancer, the individuals affected proliferate. They sometimes mass together and then turn around and start spreading the mutated belief or practice, pushing it on the neighboring cells that are still healthy, forcing the otherwise healthy cell to accept the cancerous cells presence as normal. Other cancerous mutations like child abuse, rape, incest, voyeurism, exhibitionism, human trafficking (to name a few) victimize the innocent and force their unwanted presence into the lives of “cells” that were healthy before being victimized, who then often become abusers and ones that proliferate the practice or cancer further or at very least it destroys the victimized “cells'” ability to function normally.
I do not believe that one that finds themselves possessed of such a mutation should celebrate or throw a parade. Even if God were removed from the equation and we looked solely at Darwinian nature, if you are a homosexual, (or have any of the other aforementioned self-limiting psychosocial maladies), you have literally been selected against, is that something to celebrate? According to Darwinism, billions of years of evolution culminated in the homo-sapien and dictated that male and female reproduction was the means to continue the most intelligent and most dominant species this world has ever known. And nature, in all of her Darwinian glory, for whatever reason, has found your genetic make-up wanting and has removed you from the future of the human races’ gene pool. (Yes I am aware of some of the advances in medicine that make that make gene perpetuation technically possible, but that is a technicality, I am taking about nature). The same is true of incest or bestiality or even a pornography addict that is unable to commit to a child bearing, child rearing relationship. Not to mention the natural selection that takes place simply by the diseases that are being rampantly spread and that would be even more devastating if modern vaccines and antibiotics didn’t quell the would be pandemic.
There is still much science to be explored and legitimate experiments to conduct to determine if these “mutations” that I have discussed are “congenitally inherited” or “environmentally acquired”. The politically correct dogma circulated trumpets conclusively that it is the former, but what if the truth ends up being the latter? For that reason, I do not believe that one that finds themselves possessed of such a mutation (or sexual deviation) possesses the right to act out and force their deviation on others. That is morally wrong. Again, if morals and God are left out if it, it should at least be openly considered”against nature” or in other words, what years of evolution has dictated, and if that is the case, the heterosexual heirs to that evolutionary lottery should be aloud to and even have the duty to fight for their survival. Shouldn’t that line of reasoning be more obvious to the Darwinian progressives? Yet they and the power of the politically correct propaganda arm have enveloped most of society in such a thick fog, it has become more difficult to see their own hypocrisy and simple logic is becoming less and less obvious to the average citizen.
The cancer is spreading and the healthy cells and unhealthy cells are becoming more and more intermingled and well-differentiated. It is now common place to have homosexuality and myriads of other sexual perversions taught in public schools as part of the education program that has deliberately superseded parental responsibility and rights.
If society isn’t properly diagnosed with cancer soon, it will not be able to undergo treatment and it, the entire “organism”, will die and it will take the unhealthy and healthy “cells” down with it. If it could be properly diagnosed, society could begin the arduous even painful process of removing the institutions and programs that proliferate unhealthy practices and beliefs. Society could begin to properly correct, coach, counsel and WITHOUT SHAME, reprogram behaviors, beliefs and brains of the individuals afflicted with these pathological forms of thinking. It could begin to help ease the secret shame, guilt, regret that so many of us harbor inside. Our society would do well to refrain from judging those “cells” that have been affected and who honestly seek to heal and change (which is an area that our society and our church culture could greatly improve at). Finally, society could return to the true source of health and happiness, yes even Jesus, the cliche and uncool, oft forsaken, yet still correct answer to it all. He can heal the cancer within.