When you think about it, just the mere fact that we are alive is amazing. This language I am writing, the way our planet continues to spin in the “goldilocks zone,” born of gas and dust, temperature just right, an abundance of carbon-based food, breathable air, our natural predators isolated or subdued; in effect, we are kings and queens of existence.
Then again, there is God. But we haven’t heard or seen anything from Him/Her in a while. Some even have gone so far as to postulate His/Her semblances in different religious cultures.
It’s nothing but blind assumptions—that the original accounts of divine existence were merely mankind’s initial attempts at writing fiction.
One darker rung later, and God is blamed as a manipulative fabrication, conjured by would-be minions to control society and maintain order, keeping droogs like me in line.
Wouldn’t you assume the adage “Do what you are told or spend the rest of eternity in Hell!” had to come before “Do what you are told and your reward will be in Heaven?” A sort of heavenly safety switch? Or was it all some celestial good-cop/bad-cop routine?
If the Earth truly were a paradise, then the promise of a place at the right hand of the Father at a castle in the clouds would be a far less-effective means of keeping the lower classes from rioting against the rich than the threat of eternal damnation with a pitchfork up your ass and hobgoblins feeding on your entrails.
So, who, then, put us here and why? What’s the point? What do they want from us? Or, are we abandoned—like POWs from some cosmic battles who’d been tossed in a volcano eons ago, as the Scientologists claim? Or maybe we are a slave race of the Anunnaki (the Nefilim/giants in the Bible) left here to mine gold for their spaceships for their return every 3,600 years? The theories go on and on.
But you better believe. Do and be saved. Don’t and… I don’t buy it. As soon as you raise the fear card, you lose me.
I’m not satanic, nihilistic, or even agnostic—I don’t think. A spiritual skeptic? Maybe—but one also not willingly discount any possibilities. Over the years, I learned to take life as it comes and try to amplify the kindness in others. To me, good is G od. To heal others, you must first heal yourself.
Let us thank the sunlight for our food.
To find God, the Christian mystics known as the Gnostics claim one must begin their search within themselves. Love and forgive everyone unconditionally, starting by loving and forgiving yourself (not your ego), if you are daring enough to try. The ego has played its role in keeping us safe for so long, but, now, I’m afraid. It’s time to put this small part of who we are to bed.
Good night, ego, you’ve earned your rest. Time to find out if we are brave enough to lose.
These were the sort of thoughts I was having last week, staring off into a bonfire and smoking, when a stranger approached.
“Hello,” I said, waving my hand.
He nodded. “You know why we shake hands?” He slowly lifted his own.
His unusual response snapped me out of my reverie. “No,” I said, surprised I had never thought about that before. “Why do dogs sniff each other’s bum?”
“We wave and shake hands,” he said, “to show we’re not holding guns.”
Maybe, if something like that can be forgotten, we could be on the right track after all.
Joel Finsel is the author of “Cocktails and Conversations from the Astral Plane,” and writes creative short stories, essays and musings every other week in encore throughout 2014.