Gloria’s Contract

Throughout the semester we have been asked to keep track of the Faustus bargains that was made throughout our time in Europe. We have analyzed Faustus in various contents and storylines that include both Marlowe’s and Goethe’s versions. The concept remains the same, Faustus signs an agreement with the devil in exchange to satisfy his desires. This story is very much relatable to everyday life. Whether it is an exchange for knowledge, wealth, love, or even lust, we humans make this decision every day both consciously and unconsciously. Some may have better control, while others give in.

Although I did not have a devil appear out of nowhere nor did I sign my name in blood (sarcasm), I have made bargains such as these:

1560631_1156112411074317_5027279375128607985_n1. Materialistic  Gains – while Faustus made a pact for power, I did for materialistic gains. My love for fashion and beauty has made me spend more money than I should. There were times when I sacrificed food because I would rather buy myself a pair of shoes or a new shirt. Even though I felt guilty, I ignored it. I bought a pair of sneakers in London, and it still wasn’t enough. I went ahead and bought two dresses, yet it still wasn’t enough. When I reached to the other countries, I kept buying more and more clothes. Europe is the fashion capital, and knowing that has drawn me in deeper. It was very much like when the devil kept luring in Faustus.

At first, I didn’t understand why it was so important to me. Perhaps it is my way of protecting my inner self. All of my life I was judged or abandoned by others, which has made me rely on material things. It makes me feel good and powerful. This analogy makes me understand that perhaps there was something in Faustus that was incomplete. Maybe he was lonely just like me.

12924399_1170961052922786_8374688853951437659_n2. Leisure Activities – Growing up, I was taught that drinking and going out were bad things. Both of my parents are conservative and do not condemn behaviors such as drinking or partying. In a way I can understand, because alcohol really is nothing but poison that you put in your body. If people don’t drink responsibly, they can be in serious danger. Like how Mephisto tempted Faust, the feeling of wanting what you can’t have can make a person want it more. On this trip, I have broken my promise to remain sober. This was a deep wager I made more than once. Even though I knew it wasn’t good for me, I still did it. Each time, the results were the same. I would wake up the next morning with a raging headache and still feel empty. I realized perhaps I did this because I was trying to make friends and get out of my shell.

This makes me think of the scene in the 1926 film we watched of Faustus when he wanted Gretchen. It seems like in the beginning he only had lust for her, but he grew genuine love for her as the movie went on. Perhaps, lust was only a facade to what he was really yearning for; companionship. As for me, maybe it wasn’t the drinking or going out that I particularly cared about but it was the feeling of being surrounded by others.

Now that we are at the end of the trip, I realized that no amount of material goods or power can make anyone happy. Instead, it is the memories you make and the experience you have that makes everything worthwhile. It is then that you will be able to feel wholeness.

On this trip I discovered that love doesn’t have to be with a person, but it can be with places and with yourself.

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I also discovered that if you lower down your walls, you’ll be able to build connections with anyone even if they are different. This allows you to be open minded and to understand that not everyone has bad intentions. It is then that you will be able to experience lightness.

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Last but not least, I also realized how extremely important it is to have balance. One must find joy in the simple things and be able to appreciate what they have, as well as having the heart to forgive or ask for forgiveness. Everyone has a Faust in them, but remember that you have a choice. It is never too late to start over, for there are no limitations to goodness.

Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.

-Buddha

 

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Germany

Today’s visit to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp was heart breaking, gut-wrenching, but it had to be done… it is reality and speaks volumes about life and death. Many people take their lives for granted and think that they will live forever. They don’t realize that there will be a day that we will eventually have to leave this world. Death is the unknown and it is frightening. We don’t know what will happen once we turn over to the other side, and that is why we must live every day like it’s our last. Historical events like The Holocaust is a reminder that we will never know what tomorrow will bring. Death makes us treasure the present, and without it life would be dull.