Sunday, July 22, 2007

On Cleanliness

I've noticed that whenever I clean my bathroom, my dear grandmother cannot help but comment as she passes by, "It smells so clean in there!" I find this statement curious. She is not so much smelling the clean as much as she is smelling the cleaners. Without that smell, there is no way for one to know whether a surface is actually clean. It may be in fact clean, but the smell of cleaning chemicals is a sure sign that someone washed the thing.
Come to think of it, cleanliness and dirtiness are very strange things. Dirtiness is natural: let things sit for a while and they will become dirty without trying. Cleanliness, however, is supernatural in a way: it is an affect implemented on a natural state by an outside force. Dirtiness is arational: it simple is; no mind creates it (though a mind can make something more dirty). Cleanliness is rational: it takes a mind to create it.
Upon further pondering of this Cleanliness/Dirtiness Juxtaposition (as I have henceforth dubbed it), I cannot help but catch theological implications. Sin is man's natural state; it is an inner disposition. It is not sins that damns us, but Sin, i.e., the inner disposition of sin. Even if we lived in a world where we could not commit sins, the inward presence of Sin would rot man inside out, i.e., let things sit for a while and they will become dirty without trying. The cleansing of the blood is indeed supernatural: it is an affect implemented on our natural state by an outside force. Furthermore, Sin is arational: it simple is, although we can damn ourselves further by sinning. Salvation is rational: a Mind created it, and a mind must accept it.
Within the matrix of the "Cleanliness/Dirtiness Juxtaposition," we come to an astounding conclusion: perhaps there is true theological depth in that rather enigmatic saying that "cleanliness is next to godliness."