Saturday, March 11, 2006

I meant what I said and I said what I meant

Jola writes,

But do you really believe what you wrote, and what the horoscope said? For example, I think that life here on earth is to be taken very seriously (whether there's nothingness or a form of heaven afterwards or not). Unfortunately, it all too often it doesn't "come right in the end." (I just realized that there's an offcolor interpretation to the latter phrase - and that indeed does happen, figuratively speaking.) I don't view life as a country dance. Collaborative teamwork can be like that, yes, but not my life. I don't experience my own life as a passing through before I become disconnected atoms and "swirling spirit." (Sorry, I don't even buy the swirling spirit part!) I'm sure I'm taking your post too literally, but it started me thinking about what I DO believe.

Karen - you're kidding about Bush, right? You must be aware that he's led the nation on a "glorious adventure" in Iraq and despite a lot of evidence to the contrary, and many slipping into thoughts of doom and gloom, he continues to insist it will all come right in the end...

I do believe what I wrote, although I take no responsibility for the horoscope. I do view life as a contra dance. I do believe this life on earth is only one stage in a much broader existence. While this may be the only part of existence of which I (this particular configuration of atoms) am conscious, it is not all there is.

I agree it does not all come right in the end, that there is pain, heartache and darkness in the world. From a theological point of view, I even believe that darkness is necessary if we are to see the light. That does not mean that I think any individual evil (death, illness, injury, mold and mildew) is sent from God. When evil intrudes into our lives, I believe we should take time to grieve, but that the end of grief is acceptance and return to the dance—which can take a very, very long time.

As you may have figured out by now, I am a card-carrying Christian. I believe that God wants us happy, and I believe that in the end (whereever you measure the end) it often comes out beautiful. I believe that heartache can bring lessons to a listening heart. This is, however, a matter of faith, which is a gift from God, not something that the most talented preacher can convey.

Is life serious? In the sense that we owe ourselves and others respect, yes. In the sense that we have any control over the ultimate outcome—death—no. We might as well dance.

Re Bush, I am not particularly a fan of trashing either political party. It is all our representatives in Washington working together who made the choices that led to the Iraq war, and it is all of us who put them there. I am a registered voter, but with no party affiliation, because I don’t see much to choose from—no leadership on right or left. In fact, I am not—in general—a fan of the “ain’t it awful?” school of conversation. It bores me. I would rather dance.

Yes, I am serious. This is what I believe. Opinions will vary, and many, many people disagree with me. Next!

1 comment:

Jola said...

This post makes more sense to me. Actually, I hadn’t guessed that you were a card-carrying Christian. But now I understand better where you’re coming from (I really didn’t with the last post), and I respect your views. I’m not a card-carrying Christian or other religion, but I do struggle with existential and spiritual questions. I found a lot to relate to in what you wrote in this post. I even agree with quite a lot of it, which is beside the point, because it’s about what you believe.

I didn’t mean to offend *you* with my comments. That said, I knew very well that to disagree or express disbelief might be viewed as lobbing a small nuke. Which I didn’t want to do. And yet these blogs are public, and the comments are open. Are they open simply to garner validation and agreement? Or to invite discussion and sometimes even debate? I know that bloggers have different motivations, but I would like to think that authentic, dissenting responses are okay, as long as they’re not hurtful. For me, the blogosphere is a place where one can try to keep things real, explore ideas, try to get at the heart of things, maybe.

Anyway, time for me to lighten up and get out in the sunshine...