After a long hiatus, I’m cranking-up this blog once again, inspired by several “hits” by an old blogging friend and inspiration, “Nickle-boy Graphics.” I’m still perplexed by why I’m “wasting” my time with this blog but realize that otherwise I’d be “wasting” it in some other fashion; for, to the ego’s mind it is always a “waste” in some fashion as we do not “know” what we are doing and why we are doing it. Oh, we think we do and contrive fancy explanations of why it is so important, but, if we pause for a moment and look into our hearts find that ultimately it is a mystery. And this “Mystery” has driven me the whole of my life and I’m increasingly comfortable in applying the term “God” to it and just to proceed with an exploration of what this “experience” has been and is in my life. The quotation marks are necessary…here at least…as words are always ephemeral and do not mean what they initially bring to mind. Their value, their “meaning” lies beneath the surface and is resurrected only by exploration into the depths of the heart, into that “foul rag-and-bone shot of the heart,” where most of us never venture. This verbal superficiality is necessary in a lot of life, most of which is merely “performance art,” but when it comes to spirituality living only on the surface of words and ritual will leave us ensconced in the “letter-of-the-law” and often quite comfortable in dwelling there.
There is a sense in which life is a roll of the dice, a crap shoot, or as T.S. Eliot put it, an offering, “of our deeds to oblivion.” We never know with complete assurance what we are doing and the quest for “certainty,” always carries the poison that can lead to the spiritual vulgarity of Isis. It brings to my mind the moderation of uncertainty illustrated by the plea of one believer in Jesus in the Gospel of Mark, “Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief.”
So, “What’s it all about?” as the famous Dionne Warwick song asked to, “Alfie?” We’re here. What we do, how we use our time matters. The significance of our deeds is beyond the grasp of our conscious mind and most of us can rest assured that at best we will end up only as the “significant soil” that Eliot spoke of in one of his poems, that “soil” which contributed to the well-being of someone who did become “significant.” Even if we don’t become significant, we can rest assured that we will have significance nevertheless as we can live our life with purpose, with respect to mother earth, family and friends, with the utmost conviction that there is “method” to what often looks like “madness” in our life and in the whole of life. Yes, Shakespeare described life as, “A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing” but the body of his work suggests that he was not as cynical as that suggests. Yes, the ugliness, the “idiocy” is abysmal at times, but in those moments we have to humble ourselves and hope and pray that yes, “There is a Divinity that doeth shape our ends, rough hew them how we may.” We never know what value our “insignificant” little gestures might have in the life of other people and in the human endeavor. You think the inventor of the zipper or of the bread-tie knew the importance of what they had done?
I am speaking of faith here, but not a simple ideological faith which is antithetical to a heart-level faith which can help bring meaning into our world. Simple, mindless regurgitation of dogma, regardless of how noble it may be, is only a defense mechanism and a way of avoiding the truth that lies beneath the surface of the “letter-of-the-law.”