Monday, September 15, 2008

Having The Rug Pulled Out From Under You............

.............What might it feel like to have the theological rug pulled out from under you?

A lot like the present moment, as it turns out.


I like to watch Wayne Dyer move across the stage as well as anyone. I love that feeling that clangs inside me when I hear his lips parse through words of truth and moment. I like it as much as the next person. It’s almost addictive. And that’s why I can’t listen anymore.

I love to watch Marianne Williamson and listen to her voice as she drops into those trances where people become either terrified and have to run away, or believe they’re listening to the Oracle at Delphi and sit there, breathless. It’s almost addictive. And that’s why I can’t listen anymore.

And I *really* like watching Marianne Williamson move, too. Damn.

Several times throughout the last century and a half, incidents have taken place that went beyond the pale, incidents that literally took our breath away. And for many of us these incidents, as sublimely joyous or sublimely terrifying as those moments could be, enabled us to make our choice as to where our final decision would one day come to rest.

Once our decision is made -- if it is a true decision -- what follows afterward is beyond our ability to control. Our souls have called up to the highest heaven and shouted, “Uncle!” It does not matter what we caught our conscious mind doing or not doing in these moments of decision, the fact is something deep inside of us shifted, something deeper than mere conscious thought. We had had enough of our way of seeing things delivered to our eyes – the messages had been intended for an audience too large for our comprehension to accommodate. What we saw transpire before our presence went beyond simple human understanding. We had been traumatized by the overwhelming nature of the moment, or we had been so blown away by its beauty that there was no way we could ever live our lives the same way after this instant of attention. The moment itself was, “monumental,” a peak experience, an instant of purest bliss or something so dark it sucked the light right out of our eyes.

I enjoy bliss entirely too much for my “turning points” to be highlighted in the brightest of lights. I believe I am entitled to more than my fair share of bliss and, once I am engaged, will stop at nothing to get more and more of it. I could listen to Marianne or Wayne or Deepak or Pema or Eckhart or Father Keating blather on and on. I would never notice that the point was not that bliss was present or even possible; the point was, and always is, that there are moments in our lives when we are consciously unable to neurologically process the information presented to our senses in all of its dimensions and in all of its implications.

And I want more and more of it. Hit me, babe. Tie me up, tie me down. Give me so much sweet, sweet pain that I am staring right over the edge of an abyss from which I will not be able to withdraw and, what’s more, I won’t care. The lights from a thousand Christmases all shiny bright inside my head – and I let go. This is heaven and surely everyone must be in pursuit of just this moment.

But such joy won’t get my attention long enough to pry the remote out of my hand. There are other people around me who are expecting something from me, something more than I am willing or able to offer them because my mind is serving my master in just the way I want in the moment. And so the bills don’t get paid when they are due, reciprocal pleasantries are not exchanged and, as is the case for me in this moment, my homework reading is not getting accomplished. In other words, the “administrivia” that makes mundane life on the planet possible seems, well, trivial when compared to what has captured my imagination and will not let it go.

For some of us, listening to Joel Osteen, Sarah Palin, John McCain, Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell or our local spiritual advisor provides this sort of release and sweet entrapment. What matters is not the choice of our poison, what matters is that we think our poison was meant for everyone to consume simply because it does not kill us upon our immediate ingestion of it. What matters is that our sweetest honey and the stuff of which we can never imagine growing tired could easily kill someone else whose thoughts and values are not constituted as finely as our’s.

The problem is not that our thoughts and values are constituted in a better manner than anyone else’s, what matters is that we acknowledge and accept that not everyone’s path has been intended to follow or lead us to where it inexorably leads, or we must inevitably trudge. This apparent difference between and among our fellow travelers need not be the cause of fear or dread, but it seems that this is precisely the case. We all drink from the same poisoned tree of human life and know that at some point this means that we will have to wave, “bah-bye,” to everything we thought we had valued so highly and treasured so deeply. Poof. Awash in utter meaninglessness our lifeless shells are consigned to a universe hungry for atoms, molecules and the time it takes to transition from one form to another. All for naught, we think. All for naught so many of us believe. All for naught so many of us deny we believe.

Save those of us who hang suspended over the abyss in depressive indecision, we recommend the experience of human life and treasure it to an almost obsessive degree. It is so sweet to really see a sunset, so sublime to share a moment with a loved one, so beautiful to observe someone stepping outside of the doomed trajectory of their personality -- headed straight for its target and the certain annihilation of both – long enough to change course and become a soaring eagle of uncompromised vision and wisdom. The blood of Eden continues to coarse through our veins even in those moments when the shadows are so black they rip the light from our eyes even before we know that The Light must always and forever be where we cannot imagine it to be.

All of this to suggest that the “End of Times” is really the end of time – the inevitable coming of that one moment of Great Awakening when each of us comes to realize that we don’t require time to come and go any longer. Time may continue to appear to our eyes for the benefit of our ability to communicate with others in simple terms, but we no longer demand that this be so. Cause and effect blend together into an eternal Now where the frightened silliness of religion and its economics mercifully fall from our eyes to reveal the bejeweled newness of our brother’s and sister’s eyes. We hear the message now and come to hear the echo of what was actually said before in this present moment – the end of time has already come and gone and did so from the first moment the water of the universe broke open and gave birth to a place that is and is not. A place where the impossible has been made true enough and where mercy makes it possible to hold the loving gaze of God staring back at us in our craziest and most insane moments of fear and terror – through the eyes of a child, a lover or a friend. Or all of the above. Whatever it takes to let us know that our nightmares are only as real as we need them to be to drive the same awesome point home over and over again.

Be still and know. I am a merciful God and thou art with me always for we are whole and One.

Award winning poet, writer and refugee from the educational testing industry. Richard agitates, supports and motivates activists of all kinds, the most well-known being Cindy Sheehan. Web developer and designer by day, writer by night, Richard has the disposition of an observer and essayist. Richard has fallen in love, one day at a time, with the writing of Raymond Carver, while sparring, verbally, with the flying monkey right since 1998. Richard built his first computer from scratch in 1977 and had his heart broken for the first time in 1980. It has been stomped on and dragged behind a Chevrolet for many miles since that time. Thanks in no small part to Republican partisan politics and internecine policies.

Contact Author
Contact Editor
View Other Articles by Author

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

No comments: