Become a Follower of the Big Dude!

Meet the divine Dude in this blog. This Dude has had and seen his share of sacred shit. He's not afraid of it or of its language. I can't relate to a god that's been crucified, but I can relate to one whom my government has imprisoned and humiliated. I can relate to one who's been raped by his own holy men. I can relate to one who grew up playing baseball or soccer and who dated the Prom Queen. I can relate to the god who knows the working of corporate conglomerates, pimps, and teen-age girls who are pregnant. I can relate to the god who loves alcoholics and drug addicts just a tad more than wall street hotshots. This Dude thinks all of us are mortal particles in an ocean of sacred shit. This Dude recycles.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mind Meets Mystery

The last few nights, the moon has been exceptionally bright in the northeast. It shines through my skylight and takes me by surprise. It gives me pause.

Those moments of pause are both breath-taking and terrifying. If we really stop and apprehend the universe, never mind God, we are reduced to amazement. Some mornings, I stay in bed and ponder sacred mysteries. Lately, probably because of the moon, I've been trying to imagine the galaxies and galaxies stretching out beyond the realm of science. I hit a wall. My mind balks in the face of infinity.

I wonder if the universe has an end, outer limits, or whether it goes on forever. I'm talking about the physical realm here, not the spiritual. Being human, I can't imagine things without beginnings or endings. Maybe this is why evolution has so much appeal in the mystery of creation. It gives a beginning and a fairly neat progression from that beginning up to the present. I can't help but think that this is the constructed knowledge of human reason.

In such reflection, I realize that the heart apprehends mystery. Reason MUST make meaning and find connections. These meanings and connections, therefore, are limited by the mind's ability to know them. When we hit a wall or slide into a black hole, we give up intellectual control and recognize reality directly unmediated by rational knowledge.

I don't know what this means. Meaning is irrelevant in the realm of mystery. The most I can say is that I'm aware that I don't know. I've cited Joe and the Volcano once before. When he stands at the edge of this fiery monster, Joe says, "99% of us are asleep; the others are amazed." And so it is for me as I watch the moon through the skylight. Roxie

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Some of the Glasses Are Full

Sometimes, the glass IS half-empty.

If we are relying on one glass to provide all the sustenance we need in life, it will not only be half-empty, it will be entirely empty. We will drain it of its nectar on a regular basis.

This lesson was brought home to me this week. On Thursday night, I encountered a particularly negative young woman who poured her critical observations over me and left me feeling hurt and angry. I went home and did a lot of self-talk. I reminded myself of the good things that others had said, I asked the Big Dude for help, I raged and wept.

Eventually, I was able to let it go. I recognized on some level that my self worth couldn't be defined by any one moment of criticism or any one moment of praise. What then?

The next morning, a young man that I hadn't had many personal interactions with told me that he would miss me and he loved me. I received a great gift of love from the young person, yes, but of wisdom from the Big Dude as well.

Think of the half-full/half-empty metaphor this way. We don't have just one glass. We have a table full of glasses. Some are empty, some full, some in the middle. When we are thirsty, we tend to reach for our special glass or mug. Sometimes it's empty. If we think of our many glasses, then there's always a full one within reach to comfort us.

Although, once in awhile, someone comes along and empties our special glass, the next moment a veritable stranger may lovingly hand us a totally new and full one to add to the table. Roxie

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Child Is Born

Having the "Big Dude" as CGOD (Chief God on Duty) bypasses the whole winter holiday confusion. Is it Christmas? Hannukah? Kwanza? You know what I mean. In my personal life, I celebrate Christmas because that's my family's tradition.

The "Big Dude's" winter holiday, though, is bigger than any one tradition. The winter holiday recognizes that at various places and various times, the relationship of the earth and the sun becomes shaky. Darkness settles back over much of the earth and we, humans, need massive doses of "light" to see us through.

Northern Europeans built giant bonfires. Early Americans went to great lengths to preserve the fire in the hearth. People lit hovels and drafty old palaces with candles and fireplaces. Other people warmed their tepees and huts with open flames, smoke escaping through a slit in the peaked roofs. Even in more temperate climates, winter brings change. Foliage changes color even if it doesn't drop off. Birds and animals change their patterns or migrate. The sun, if you're lucky enough to have it, slants in at a different angle and disappears sooner.

We can't deal with that very well. By December or January in the northern hemisphere especially, we are craving relief! Ancient people craved it and so do we. Ipods and Blackberries can't delete the primal fear of being alone in the dark.

So, we need a god in winter. We can be careless and let our spirituality slide in summer but, come winter, we need a god! Along comes the Winter Solstice, Christmas, Hannukah, and the rest. Not only do we get various iterations of God, we get to celebrate as well. The cultures of the world, over time, developed these celebrations to bring life back metaphorically, to bring us all together to feast and pray, and to light our lives with every variation of fire. We flock to our spiritual meccas in greater numbers during the winter holiday than at any other time of year. We know what we need and we seek it out. Like the wise men who came to see Jesus, we follow our star. We re-light the Menorrah of our spiritual life. We build the bonfire of our own solstice.

The CGOD or Big Dude gets to enjoy all the traditions. He isn't bound to any one culture's spiritual preferences. When it comes to sacred shit like winter darkness, he comes to all the parties!

While each of us needs to honor our own sacred traditions,it might not hurt to remember all the ways that our brothers and sisters around the world are celebrating the same things we celebrate: Family, new life, lighting the world. It's amazing to realize that we're one tiny speck in the parade of ancestors and cultures who are celebrating light in the season of darkness, birth in a time of death or stasis in the natural world.

I heart Christmas. I love the idea of a newborn baby, king, God. But, I also like the rhythm of nature that brings darkness back every year and then sends some kind of spiritual light to comfort and guide us. Such a good plan. Ingenious, really. You rock, Big Dude! Roxie