Friday, October 26, 2012

The Strength of Greatness, Vis-à-vis Love

How small is a person, and how vast is the truth of our existence, not to mention all of reality itself? We live on a planet that has been around for 4.54 billion years in a universe that is 13.75 (or so) billion years old, with an observable size of approximately 46 billion light years, and it is expanding, possibly into infinity or other universes. We have only begun to comprehend our own reality, our own universe, and it is now theorized that our universe is only one part of reality. We live only a fraction of that time, and even our planet is a tiny, tiny fraction of the totality of our universe, let alone existence.

On this planet, we kill each other over petty things. We speak of men that lived hundreds or thousands of years ago, become angry at others for not aligning with their teachings, and kill each other. We don't get the smallest bit of our small planet when or how we want it, so we kill the people there and take it. We disagree about things like love, a connection with another person that is both inexplicable and beautiful, and kill or do violence to others because of that. We don't like how other people conduct themselves or we quarrel over how to divide the resources of our speck of cosmic dust, so we kill each other, do violence to each other, and make other peoples' lives miserable. The worst part is that we developed this way.

Tribal division is ancient and has its' roots in our subconscious. We want to own things, control things and have power, even if in the vastness of the universe the power and control and wealth we do gain are less than meaningless. We create subgroups and fragment ourselves, compete and kill and alienate ourselves from others, but compared to the vastness of the universe, we are all right next to each other. We are all we have, and we are on the verge of annihilating ourselves from the universe instead of discovering new ways to extend our race's life and influence and meaning.

We have evolved beyond this. It is unstable and unnecessary to get into petty squabbles over stupid things like other peoples' choices (so long as they don't harm others) when we could be encouraging people to find meaning and love and to do great things. We raise our children to hate and be divisive and viciously competitive when we could be  encouraging curiosity, discovery, companionship, and respect. We get angry over mythological theory, territorial conflict, ideological problems, and matters of pride, yet we cannot take the time to understand another person's perspective or to appreciate how diverse and fascinating reality is.

Feelings are a window into who a person is, and every person is their own universe. Every person has a world that can be observed, all flowing from that spark of energy that makes them unique. Whether it is a product of instinct and sentient thought and emergent consciousness or whether it's some higher spiritual form of reality that people exist on as well as what we can easily see, every person is a unique exploration of humanity. All are fragments of light, and the more we learn the more we illuminate the fullness of the experience that is humanity.

People should be loved, because love creates a greater meaning out of the lesser meanings that are individuals. It is a step toward greatness, and it is why that connection between two people that truly love each other is so beautiful. They become greater than the sum of their parts. It is also why that connection can become terrifying or damaging. People can be run over and hurt and damaged very easily when they love, and they must eventually rise back out of the ashes of their pain, which is a very difficult thing to do. So difficult, in fact, that some people remain in the ashes, constantly grieving and living in the past instead of building on it, reaching for the heights of who they are as a person, and regaining the ability to take the risk that is loving.

Humanity is small indeed, but each of us are deeper than an ocean, even if we don't realize it. I choose to be an explorer, and to allow myself to love and be loved, allow for the possibility of pain, and allow for the possibility of greatness, with those individuals I meet who are like me. Anyone can choose this, but they must recognize the necessity of connection and respect being balanced. They must recognize that people are who they are, and they must lose their intentions that take away from that greatness. Power-hunger, pettiness, jealousy, the perceived need to control others, selfishness, lust and greed will only destroy those that go after those things. Live a great life, move beyond yourself.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bleary and Half-finished, an Intermission and a Beginning

It is not what you do, but who you are that is important, because one's actions flow out of one's heart, out of who one is.

You can only lie to yourself for so long. Eventually, the truth catches up to you, mirrored in the eyes of those you affect, those you love. Even if you think you are the only victim of what you do, others are inevitably affected. There is no action that is meaningless, and there is no real connection with others that is casual, no matter what the pretense may be. There is always something happening, always a meaning.

Humans spend a lot of time looking for connection with others. It is perhaps the one thing beyond our existence that we all have in common. For some, the question is why? Why look for connection when it causes so much pain, so much dissonance and there is just so much risk? Is it better not to trust, not to risk, not to even try connecting?

For some, the question is why not? Why not risk when there is so much to gain? Why not risk, if the reward is that connection one has been looking for? Why hold back, and why stop living?

Sometimes, people need space. And sometimes, when all we want to do is to connect, we have to learn to give that space, to respect others, and to allow them to be without interfering. Respect and trust create a balance, and that balance is unique to each person.

When one lies to themselves, they inevitably lie to others. One cannot speak the truth when their heart is full of lies. One need not complicate matters to understand them for what they are, one need only stare the truth in the face, regardless of the cost.

And yet, when it's all deconstructed, when it all falls down and when we seem to have nothing left, on that ground we can build meaning. We build with our choices, create by deciding, construct by living.

Thought is very powerful. It has an energy that we cannot yet explain. From our sentience comes our wisdom, our consciousness, and even that is far beyond what we understand. How much greater then, is the mystery of why things sometimes happen in ways that make no sense? How much more is there to discover when simple thought can transform any situation, regardless of whether action is taken on it? When thought itself is an action, we must then acknowledge that everything counts, everything has meaning, everything matters. There is so much yet to discover.

More relevant than any other time, even an end has a start. Let us move beyond anger and the pain in the world of one man, and begin again. There is so much more.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Schrodinger's Soul

Sometimes things happen, and we lack the ability to figure out what they actually are until later. Circumstances come about, things change, and we later call it the beginning of something we couldn't know existed until we look at it in retrospect.

A relationship between two people falls apart, but you don't really know until that one deciding moment that ends it. Yet, in retrospect, it was all over weeks or months prior, you simply did not have the data to know that it was. Or, to be more specific, their intention was not actualized into any sort of reality because of their indecision or their inability to say what is really happening. Or perhaps, your decision was not actualized, and you simply don't know where you are, sometimes frustrating that other person to no end.

A person loses their ability to affiliate themselves with organizations of a faith, but they hold onto that faith for a long time, until all context is lost, all of the fundamental tenants are broken down by evidence to the contrary, and they end up looking back on their loss of affiliation with the faith as the beginning of the end for it.

That in between place, that state where we are neither one thing or another, neither loved nor rejected, neither faithful or wayward, neither positive or negative. We just are in between, in stasis, and probably confused about something.

It is such a natural place for humanity. We do not know everything there is to know about reality, but we are also not completely and willfully ignorant of it. Supernatural events occur, but some say they are inexplicable, and some say that we simply haven't found the real mechanisms behind those supernatural events. Some even attribute them to anything but faith, even if they have to make an educated guess about a person's psychology or their circumstances or science to do so, because they're realists. Some hold faith in the inexplicable supernatural events long after they are explained, because their faith is that important to them.

We are an in between race, in our adolescence, still learning and trying to stand on our own and figuring out reality. When we discover something, in our lives or about reality itself, we look back and say "oh! that explained so much!" and many who feel that they already have it all figured out can accuse us of inconsistency or confusion, when we are more in

Friday, October 5, 2012

Furious Grief

I once read a book called the Ragamuffin Gospel, by Brennan Manning. He spoke of God's "Furious Love," describing it as a torrential and unstoppable force that one cannot resist, except to choose not to feel it at all.

Sometimes, we have to hurt, we have to let ourselves feel the wounds of the past and we have to allow people to affect us to even term what we're doing living. Yes, we may lose for a while. No, it will not feel good, and it will not be like the movies or shows or books you grew up being inspired by. But it's the only way to move forward.

When you're affected by something serious, it's tempting to close up, to stop engaging those around you and stop dealing with how you feel. It's less dramatic to allow your heart to turn to ice and just have fun, in an apathetic manner. I've tried it, and it was enjoyable. And then life caught up with me, and I found that my heart had silently drifted into the blackness of death, simply because I had stopped living.

I'll not reiterate the notions of my religious crisis here. If you want to know about it, read the post "Faithless." What's important is that I have lost what felt like an old friend in God. I still pray every once in a while that, if he is there, he will show me. Surely, if I have been designed to think and look at evidence and reason and feel and understand, the God that designed me could show up in a real manner? Why does faith have to be a prerequisite to this? I've had faith for years, and I've been nothing but damaged, nothing but hurt, nothing but taken advantage of and nothing but mislead. "Sin" is no excuse for the fact that I can count on one hand the trustworthy people I have met that still associate themselves with the faith of my past. So if I can't trust people, where is God? Is he so powerless that he can only reveal himself in circumstances that could be attributed to dozens of other things? Does he care more about testing my faith than about me? Or is he, as I'm suspecting, not there at all? The more I figure out about what we have discovered as a race, the less likely it seems that there is a god, especially not one like the Christian God. This is cause for grief, for I've spent 20 years trying to understand something that is apparently nonexistent. It hurts, and it's lonely.

I don't understand "Furious Love" beyond conceptually, but I do understand the pain this period of my life has left me with. I understand the grieving furious anger of having to look at years and years of faith and religious fervor that have affected friendships, romantic relationships, education, family, life choices, intellectual integrity, philosophy, sociology, psychology, emotional makeup, mental capacity, and my very being, and having to reframe all of it, reprocess all of it, and try to figure out what to do next. The only comfort I have is knowing that I am extraordinary for enduring so much dissonance and remaining sane.

I want to just say that Christians have hurt me, and that's because people will hurt me. I want to say that I know God and have a personal relationship with him, and I want to have the faith I used to have. I want it to remain in my heart. However, I want to know the truth more. I want to know what reality is, even if it's the blackest and most meaningless explanation ever, or even, shockingly, if it turns out God is actually there and I've just been angry and hurt. I don't care which one. Some may call me optimistic or even idealistic, but I think there's more to reality than merely what we can measure. Supernatural events happen every day, and the more we learn, the more of them we understand. Spirituality is connection, and there is, without a doubt, more to reality than we can sense with our limited perception of matter and energy. Even the emergent property of consciousness currently eludes us, and that's one of the simplest things about us as sentient beings. There is more.

I've been abused by women that did not even know that they were abusing me. They would take advantage of my kindness, allow me to help them and give nothing in return, and use their knowledge of who I am like a knife, stabbing and twisting. Manipulation is commonplace among those I've trusted, and I trust easily because I want someone that has the quality my close friends have--that honorable quality of love, of looking out for me and taking care of me as I do for them, of family. I have trusted too easily, and I have been broken for doing it. It is so entirely frustrating to know you want to find someone that can love you, and only find people that don't understand what that even means. When I confront them with what they did to me, some have cast the blame right back at me, because I volunteered to help them, I choose to try to fix them, because that's what I love doing. I love listening, I love helping people find serenity, I love bringing peace and healing to others. And now, I am choosing to bring it to myself. I can no longer allow people in that will not take care of me, regardless of what they may need or want. I am too hurt, I have been too damaged, and I have been used up. I am tired of it. I am done with it. It cannot stand, and I will not do it anymore. I grieve for this part of my past, the part that's allowed too much, that's assumed too much and tried to fix people instead of letting them be who they are, and has been left behind, discarded after those I've pursued no longer needed or wanted me, or worse, needed me for entirely too much, without the ability to even stand with me as an equal. It hurts, and I will not do it anymore. Some have apologized, and for that I am grateful.

Don't take it personally. These things happen, and I've learned to stand instead of lean on another. You should too.

I have friends that feel betrayed by my recent decisions. They don't understand, they think I'm making a stupid decision, and they worry for my soul. It is their decision what they wish to do, but I'd hate for any friendships to be lost just because I've moved to another stage of life. It hurts to lose people, especially without explanation, but sometimes these things happen. For this, I grieve as well.

I am not bitching and moaning about my life. This grief is beautiful, and it is my burning anger for now. If there's one thing I've learned to use, it is that rage that drives me to change, drives me to be better and to look the past square in the face, call it what it is, allow myself to process and feel what it is, and move on to be a better person.

Do not be afraid to grieve. Do not be afraid to be angry. Do not be afraid to live.