Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Stuck on Saturday.

I got a lot of laughs out of the latest podcast over at stupid church people, but the podcast also provided a catalyst to distill some questions that have been floating around my mind lately.

Namely, what if we're wrong? What if I'm all wrong?

I don't think I care, much, and there's nothing for it anyhow, if there's no certainty. If we do the Punnet square it's better to believe in a vengeful God; right or wrong the odds are stacked in our favor; if we believe in a loving God there's only half a chance. But I'm pretty sure that God doesn't exist.

Let me clarify. God does not exist how I thought.

How God does exist, I don't know anymore. Can't know, if the Heisenberg uncertainty principle is still in effect. Prayer as I've known it seems like a worthless exercise; yet, if we seem to connect with something, then what is real?

I spent an hour in my hammock last night, with many minutes spent in adoration of the tree. Its gnarled bark, fresh leaves arranged to drink in the sun, dead branches, is the tree dying? Does it know? Will my love, tender caress, close embrace, let it live? Or let it die?

And nondual reality. Yes, I suspect that's how things are, but my senses generally tell me otherwise. Yet the lazy flap of nylon, cool heavy smell of lake, call from a different world, beckon me to remember.

What use is anything if it can't be seen, felt, touched?

There's only one kind of living that I know - dancing lightly, holding loosely, drinking deeply, loving extravagantly. It's intensely present, grounded in reality (of the absolute sort) but experienced through the senses. Anything else is empty, hollow by comparison.

And what if we not only create our perceived reality but actual reality? Another question for quantum physics, but no less pertinent in real life. Quantum physics deals not with what is, but with what we experience, what we can observe.

If that's all we can really get at, if the rest is just a cloud of unknowing and probabilities, then why bother? All we can understand is the middle scale; it degrades into randomness at one end and chaos at the other. How is it tied together? Where is God in all this?

"Up there, somewhere, shouting down at us that he loves us, wondering if we hear him."

What is God, in all this? At the subatomic level it's altogether possible that nothing exists until we try to observe it, and that the very act of observation brings it into existence.

silence

take, take 'til there's nothing, nothing to turn to, nothing when you get through.
won't you break, scatter pieces of all I've been, bowing to all i've been running to
i, i've got a question, i've got a question - where are you?
did you leave me unbreakable? did you leave me frozen?
i've never felt so cold.
i thought you were silent, i thought you left me for the wreckage and the waste on an empty beach of faith.
was it true?
i, i've got a question, i've got a question - where are you?
scream, deeper i wanna scream, i want you to hear me, i want you to find me.
i want to believe, but all i pray is wrong, and all i claim is gone
i, i've got a question - where are you?
-jars of clay

I'm stuck on Saturday. Christ is dead and the Resurrection is yet to come. Torn between the nightmare and the thing that seems to be reality. Alternating views, alternating visions. Wanting the truth, but just as badly wanting a sense of security, knowing that I already have both. Longing to know that I'm not alone, and knowing that I never was. And still yearning for the God that I can see and touch... even while that God reaches out and loves me through the arms of others and loves through my hands to others. God out there, and in here. Everywhere, nowhere. Lost, and found. Hidden and sheltered, but out in the open, if anybody looks. Blindingly lonely, but deeply not-alone. An abiding sense of peace, a frightening sense of uncontrol.

How can we hide in God when the world's not right and He's nowhere to be found? And yet Christ lives in us and shines through us. This is the Resurrection, friend, you and I, God made present, God that we can see and touch.

But I'm not seeing it.

How can I write something that is fair to the reality that I think I know and the one that I am seeing and feeling? This is so difficult. And so easy. I am the knower, and the observer.

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
-O'Shaughnessy

And yet, some days it seems like we are all writing the symphony together.

17 comments:

jim said...

Risks, Jesus points the way to God, Jesus had the Mind of God, Jesus could see and touch that Mind, God, and that is where you have to go. But most don't go, they stay on this material side you speak of, the plentiful of sensation, or, some go to the middle, and sit quietly inbetween, hopeing to be found or find.

Like a fractal, patterns at one level, are matched by the same patterns in a finer substance, at another level of Mind, and up, and up, until, Union, in full Integrity of Being, all the way thru.

What you want and long for is not easy, most give up, it is odd tho, for one as young as you may be, to even be thinking of this. Why?

jbmoore said...

Julie,

It is okay to doubt and to have doubts. At some level you know the truth, but you've been taught all your life that God and reality are other than the truth your spirit or soul knows.
There is reality. Then there is our perception of reality. Then there is our interpretation of those perceptions. Reread Tolle, because he makes the same point that you do that we are creating our own reality every minute. God is like reality. There is God, then there is our perception of God, and then our interpretation of that perception. And truthfully, it doesn't matter what you "think" about God. Experiencing God is all that matters. Whether the experience is truthful is what matters - does it feel right? I personally believe that God is too big for the human mind to grasp, but that doesn't mean that "God" can't be fully experienced. "Can God be this small?" is a good question to ask yourself and others, to keep yourself grounded. It takes more to love than to be angry or vengeful. Is God so small or petty to be so vindictive on such tiny creatures as humans when God made a whole Universe? As far as your curiosity and desire to know God, perhaps that is a sign that you are to awaken in this lifetime. At some level, you miss Heaven and being in touch with the Sacredness called God. You feel incomplete and possibly like a misfit in this world. You see how things could be so much better and yet, there is so much suffering and misery and it doesn't have to be this way! You seek completeness and wholeness and an end to doubt and despair and separateness. You are not alone. There are others like you. And God loves you and is always with you. Can you feel the Sacredness, the Love?

Andrew said...

The first part of your post, and the question, "What if we're wrong?", makes me think of Puddleglum's speech from the Chronicles of Narnia:

"Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things.... Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play-world."

Granted, on one level, I suppose it could kind of be taken as a fundamentalist manifesto ("I'm going to believe what I want, SO THERE!") but taken on a more idealistic level it sends shivers down my spine: I'm doing this drinking deeply, holding lightly thing not because I know exactly what it's all about, but because on some primal level, it rings more true than anything else I've found.

And in the end, of course, "nonduality" and "uncertainty" and even "Christ" and "prayer" and all the rest are just terms, useful as far as they go, but we can't hold on to them any more tightly than anything else. I can't, anyway.

Zach Young said...

I know what you mean. To some extent, I've been going through a lot of the same questions recently myself. You, however, are capable of making your thoughts into a beautiful song, whereas, I just bang a cymbal for a while :). Thanks!

isaiah said...

I'm not gonna tell you that "none of this stuff really matters", because it does to you...it does matter and you want some answers (hey, we all want answers- get in line :)

Are you OK with the feelings you are having...can they exist and you go on? See yourself "stuck on Saturday" and then ask yourself "is it OK for me to feel this?"

Of course it is- and now you are removed from the problem of being "stuck on Saturday" and can see your "Saturday" from another angle.

Who is this seeing the other angle?

If you tell me who this seeing the other angle is- you're wrong...because that is just a thought.

This is who you really are (call it God, call it whatever you want- because this too is only a thought...and you are not your thoughts.)

You are the beautiful, perfect 24 year old idealist that you are hiding from your original face who only wants you to come out and play.

I could be wrong about all this.

Peishan said...

interesting new blog post. well written, but beyond that, you know that as an athiest, i believe that one shld simply make the most of out life. live. one does not live life sitting around pondering the great philosophical questions that are hard to find answers to. if god does exist, isn't he omnipotent and does not need to conform to any mould you've put him in? rather like in dogma, he is she, black, anything you want him to be.

anonymous julie said...

Jim; are there really two sides? Only my body is young; I've been longing for more for years.

John; I still need to get through Tolle. I feel... lots of things; are they real? Does it matter? What is God? If I could feel it, then maybe I wouldn't be lonely, or maybe I'd still be incomplete.

Andrew; I remember that passage, it hit me hard. Yes, it rings true. I wonder if there is an absolute Truth that rings true to everybody? No, I can't hold to terms either. I often think that a constant would give me some security, but there is none...

Zach; banging would feel so much more productive! Rawr! But you've been writing lately, I see, and writing well, at that... I feel remiss for not checking in more often.

Isaiah; thank you, so much. Am I okay? Can I go on? Do I have a choice in the matter? If I observe what is observing (rather than what is observed) then I am rather taking my eye off the ball, no? You could be wrong, but if it gives me comfort to believe you, is that okay? I don't know, but will accept it anyway; I choose to keep living.

Peishan; I can get mired in these things, it's true; it takes a breath of life to remind me that life is what's important. Hence the hammocking. Yet these questions are real to me, too; perhaps they are flailing for nothing. I hope the end of them is a deeper living.

Peishan said...

julie: i happen to think that hammocking is living life, and it's living life to the fullest! FUN STUFF. I was just expressing concern in case you were still feeling down from last week. not good to be down too long. :D

Rob said...

Of course our mind deals in dualities (God exists or does not exist).
However perhaps God is beyond all dualities and so neither exists nor does not exist.
Only our hearts (which unlike the mind deals in singularity) can know God: our minds, by contrast, will be forever locked in doubt.

jim said...

Are there really 2 sides?, you are a very witness, there are 2 sides of you. What are they for you (and everyone)? They are the inside and the outside.

Then there are degrees of THAT experience, each degree is above (really further outside or inside, depending on which way you go from where ever you start, and different people are born starting from different places, hence the mixture of so-called 'truths', this is also the source of kinship of voices, 'my sheep will hear my voice and know me' ie). each degree is somewhat (mentally, emotionally)removed from the last, and from the next which will be to come, each is like a grade in school, if your soul is 18 yrs old, you should not be hanging in the 5th grade. That is a picure of the inside and outside reality of soul to soul, community collective existence which we can't not inhabit.

Now staying in only one degree, there is an inside and outside there. the inside is the thread of integrity that can run and does run thru the whole. the outside is the things, events, other voiced people, who are anti-that integrity, this does not mean they are 'bad'. If you chose to hang in that outside, then you will be removed from your own integrity. Thus you will do things, say things, think things, that are also antimatter to that inner integrity that you are ( and cannot stop being). (That inner integrity is your soul, and you in particular JA must be an old soul, and being an old soul means that you are looking for the 'voices' that will be congruent and right for yourself, in this particular moment of this lifetime, and the average that you find do not fit, the problem there is that when you find that, or some of that, you will feast, you will grow, and you will then look for leading to the next 'degree', and not all who are feasting with you at that degree, will go on to the next at the same time as you.

Now that kinda thing, goes on and on thru degrees of soul growth, which is soul searching, which is an attempt by the soul to reach fulfillment in Union with G-d. When you think you are there, you will have to graduate and take the next degree, seek your class. So further and further you go, and the travel is such that what you call 'physical nature' will change 'material value', ie, becomes less and less a 'temptation' to separate from yourself, your soul, your integrity, because you have come to be so allied with that soul of yourself, that you will not notice the power (you will take your power away from the outside, keeping it for your soul) as being outside of yourself.

Now anyone born can do this all in one place, never change degrees, live 'in place', you are feeling the urge to NOT do that. Some grow old having never left there degree of birth age. They are the ones about whom it is said, that they will suffer reincarnation for the need they did not fill (it will not be for the bad that they did).

The Soul that you are, KNOWS and urges you, your emotions and their mind, and you physical and its mind, the Soul Mind urges those two of you, to come on, and get it going on. You feel it. I sense it in your writing and your related thoughts. Usually tho, that Soul Mind is 'drowned out' by the emotion/mind and physical/mind of the person, and 'delayed' until much later in physical life age. That you are not 'drowning' the Soul Mind in yourself, either the Soul Mind is so old that s/he has a very loud and insistent voice with you, or your emotion/mind and physical/mind are not putting up much of a fight. Ask yourself which it is?

My apologies for the length, G-d does know I don't want your space. But I do have this sense about you that I cannot explain, that may mean nothing, and be totally unimportant in every way.

There are sides and they are you. But you is not a one dimensional being, you are complex, and you cannot escape that fact even sitting and trying to forget via meditation. The only solution is to go with the Soul that you are and learn and know that you will have a better and easier experience in life thereby.

And the Soul does not collect members who are not 'right' for it. That activity is a 'stall' and a 'waste', but is practised by individuals and groups thru very subtle means. We persons, all fall victim to these servants of confusions and fantasies of truth. We have to rescue ourselves and be sensitive to avoiding that.

I kept this awhile to debate saying it all, I think this is all I can say. LOL. Sorry, maybe in it there is something for you, don't fear, I will not do it again. Thanks.

Imemine said...

I thought you were saying that you didn't believe that Jesus is God anymore. You just don't believe in God anymore. Whew!
I think belief is not relevant. Whether you believe or not, you could still be enlightened. You could still be at peace, free, liberated, and happy. How? By not escaping from reality. Not escaping from the boredom, pain, and suffering. This is enlightenment. Often it is the the escaping itself that strengthens and prolongs the pain and the suffering. For example, if you drink deeply, you will become addicted to drinking. Etc. Etc. This will increase your need for relief from suffering, caused by drinking and its consequences.
Belief has no value if one does not live according to ones beliefs. This is hypocrisy.
Anyway, to become truly enlightened one must make a radical break with the past:
beliefs, traditions, rituals, habits, fears, expectations, addictions, dependence, resentments, etc. You must be born again, not in the Christian sense, but in the sense of becoming innocent, and being open to a new self, and a new life. You don't need anybody to tell you this, no teacher or savior. You can forgive yourself without having to ask God or Jesus. You can forget everything, the past. And live happily ever after alone, just watching people come and go. Just think about it.

jim said...

this 'past' that IMEMINE speaks of dumping, that is the cirucumstances et al, in the present (yes the present is mostly the past), that you have to forsake, the outside, that the inner Soul Mind that you really are, has to leave behind as it moves into the future NOW. The Soul tries to get the other minds of you to give it up, and come on into the future associations and eat the food of the future.

Don Iannone said...

Namaste.

jbmoore said...

Julie,

There's a freedom in Saturdays. Saturday is generally a day when you can do as you please. You are free. I didn't get the nuance at first, but I do now. So, be free to be whatever and whoever you truly are. Be free to enjoy who and what comes your way without fear or judgement or preconceptions. This is what Enlightenment is - to be totally free.

John

bradford said...

. . writing the uni-verse? Praise is the essense of prayer, as soon as you ask The Creator for something you are complaining (implying to know better). .

Rob said...

bradford
"as soon as you ask The Creator for something you are complaining (implying to know better)."

An excellent point!

jim said...

rob and bradford, yes that is right, some Christians call it 'being specific' so that God will know what you need and go get it for you. But the object is to find out what the Creator is doing and what He wants, even in your own life (and that is within your reach) and get with Him and help Him help you. That is what the Creator wants a person to do, not the opposite, opposite leads to error and trouble, both of which then serve to clue you in to getting back on the right track.