Saturday, February 23, 2008

Is it Real or am I Dreaming?

Lately at a forum that I post at, probably for reasons of nostalgia more than anything else, people were talking about God and not-God, God’s existence and God’s non-existence. I try to stay away from these conversations because nothing is ever gained by my participating in them.

I find it amusing whenever people parade their limited intellects in posturing declarations of what is and what is not in relation to the incomprehensible; the unknown. This is not to excuse my own efforts in that direction. I’m just as limited when it comes to painting the 360 degree canvas of ever changing circumstance and color, using what we all use within the limited bandwidth to describe that which is neither circumstance, color nor anything else that is manifest. How do you describe the blank screen on which existence takes place? This is what it emerges from and what it is absorbed back into. This blank screen, brimming with life force; quick and sudden to expression... retreating endlessly before the probe of science, the press of thought, the reach of emotion. It’s as shy as it is bold and you can’t define it because it is always more and always something else at the same time.

When I see people argue about the existence of God it becomes immediately apparent that they aren’t talking about God. They are talking about religion. Would any of us feel comfortable being described according to the clothes that we wear? Would you think that accurately summed you up? If someone were to say, “He’s that guy with the salt and pepper hair that always wears a blue suit. You know... that guy in accounting that’s always talking about sailing?” Would that be the measure of the man? That’s what happens when we describe the indescribable according to seeming appearance and the impressions of our childhood, our parents, our society and our pre-dispositions.

No sane person is going to believe that the pope, dressed as he is and behaving as he does, has the ear of God, nor that God has his ear. Common sense tells you that when an old man is dozing on the dais and drooling into his raiment that he’s not emblematic of cosmic consciousness. I’ve actually seen this by the way. Common sense tells you that religions which are filled with perversion and dreadful behavior are not expressions of what the words of the founders declared. Does anyone imagine that, if God does exist, he is as boring as the people who drone on and on about cant and dogma; their words falling upon your minds like cinderblocks hitting the ground?

Because there has been so much bloodshed and brutality, so many lies and venality, it’s a sure bet that either it has nothing to do with God or that God is actually like this.

I have a certain advantage in respect of the great question. I have conclusively proven certain things to myself and I can do it again and again at will, just about any time. I found a doorway in my mind, my heart and I can pass through it much of the time. It could be this is some personal fantasy. It could be delusional. It doesn’t matter. I’ve no inclination or need to prove it to anyone else. It is me only who must be convinced and I have achieved that. If my life then serves as some kind of evidence of something, so be it. That’s not a concern either.

I do not expect that I will ever comprehend the ineffable. It could hardly be that if I could. Neither I nor anyone else will ever define it. Whatever it is, it is. Can anyone say that the unknown does not exist? If the unknown does exist and I think we can all agree to that, we also must agree that we don’t know what the unknown contains because it is unknown.

Most people are not all that concerned about God’s existence one way or the other. Most people are concerned with putting food on their families (grin), living well, having sex, being important to someone, avoiding pain and scandal and fitting in... humanity, unlike God, is not difficult to figure out. Among the human foliage are concealed terrible vipers. About six percent of us are psychopaths and they account for most of the darkness in life. The rest is the product of collective ignorance and fear.

I am a student of the Hindu tradition. For me it is easy to understand existence because it is all reincarnation and karma. Karma creates veils called ‘samskaras’. In times of greater material darkness these samskaras can be very thick. Think of gossamer scarves with one placed over another until vision is impossible. Some few have few of these scarves and different degrees of light can pass through. Imagine the difficulty of describing something to a person who cannot see. Karma eventually resolves all of this. The education of pain burns away the veils. We don’t like pain and as a result we are usually dragged kicking and screaming toward understanding.

We can argue about God’s existence or non existence but all of us will admit to the existence of Love. We all know about cases where people have sacrificed their lives for love. We all know that wisdom and knowledge exist. We know that things happen which cannot be explained. We know that mercy and kindness exist. We know these virtues are real and we know that the darker perversions of these virtues also exist. Ergo...

For myself I wish to move in the direction of more love, more wisdom, more of the better qualities that can be acquired. I want to move away from the other things. Like any of you I will fail repeatedly in my efforts. Some of us are relentless and we will pick ourselves up ten thousand times and more and continue. We will not be denied. Something waits for those who persevere. Why else would we proceed?

When I look at the inspiration contained in the lives of great examples, when I see the power of true art and the elegant beauty of nature, I am moved. With all of the heinous outrages of the day there is so much that is remarkable in counterpoint. Let me go that way. Others can make their own decision. Everyone who survives to a greater age will find themselves sitting on some porch front of their minds wondering about what they have done and what the memory of their lives will tell them about themselves.

Since I have come face to face with a particular force many times I have no question about whether it exists or not. I am confident that reincarnation and karma will afford every single soul the same type of encounters tailored to their needs. It’s not important to argue about something when there is no possibility of agreement. Sooner or later, on up the road we will all meet up with each other again and everything will be different.

Rather than acting like clumsy skaters as just another version of the woman in the Robert Burns poem, sitting in the church with the louse crawling on her... pirouetting and falling on our asses... rather than winding up like Isadora Duncan, samskara scarf tangled in the wheel, it’s probably better to just skate for the enjoyment of it apart from the performance angle. Many a graceful turn has been seen and done. Far more have come up painfully short. It takes tremendous dedication to gain mastery of your art and it is unlikely you will do so when the focus is on the people watching you. You have to get lost in it as if you were all alone in the moment for the sake of the moment alone.

As far as I have been able to determine, we are God in the making. That sound, that ancient and enduring vibration is resonating in all of us. It is our reactions to it, our ability to be in concert with, or dissonant by choice, that indicates our understanding of the perfection we have yet to realize. Harmony is the key and balance is not a static thing. It’s always reaching for itself like the Two of Pentacles in the Rider Waite deck. The spirit of God sings through everyone but sometimes it carries a tune.

Visible sings: I Love You by Les Visible♫ I Love You ♫


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