This religion thingy. Wow! It still has me baffled. But not really, as the bafflement is only my ego flirting with the awe of standing naked before the Ultimate. I’ve always wanted to “figger this thing out” and now I’ve resigned to my ignorance which I think is what Jesus, and other spiritual teachers were trying to teach us. The need to “figger this thing out” is what happened when we opted to take a bite out of that apple, an action which was necessary if this human experience was to unfold. Our heart pines for the unconscious “memory” of Eden, which Shakespeare captured when he had Macbeth say, “My dull brain is racked by things forgotten.”
The “figgering it out” has brought us all of the luxury of modernity. It has brought us to the verge of solving so many of the world’s ills except for the most pernicious one, the darkness of our collective heart. Having imbibed of the “knowledge of good and evil,” that is distinction drawing or bifurcating reality, we have been able to carve up this beautiful world to accomplish great ends but we are then left with a heart which is determined to continue carving up our world into categories of “us” and “them.” It is that obsession which threatens to be our destruction, a “self” destruction. Yes, “We have met the enemy and he is us” as Pogo told us in a cartoon strip.
“Figgering it out” is good. But it is even better when we realize that this impulse, though having a certain nobility, can become toxic when we can’t give it a rest and realize that life is a profound and beautiful mystery which ultimately we cannot “figger” out.
Poet e e cummings summed it up when he wrote:
when god decided to invent
everything he took one
breath bigger than a circustent
and everything began
when man determined to destroy
himself he picked the was
of shall and finding only why
smashed it into because