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.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Toast and Jam or Why Is the World So Fucked Up:

It's so hard to believe in the Big Dude or the Good God or even a Spirit of the Universe when it seems like they're such fuck-ups!  Child molestation alone can put me off such beliefs forever.  If you or I ran the universe, would we allow this?  And then there's rape and murder, wife beating, drugs, terrorism, and all the rest.  Finally, there's just your average lonely life, the "quiet desperation" that Thoreau speaks of.  A nun I used to know once said, "It's not the big things; it's the terrible dailiness of every day."  It's all those things that put me off God now and then.

And then, my great-nephew races to meet me in the mall and jumps into my arms.  Ahhhh.  Maybe there is a God.  Or, I'm driving through the Berkshires on the Mass Pike and my heart stops at the beauty.  Or a leaf is floating late from a tree, carried hither and yon on invisible currents of air.  And there's always the night sky when you're desperate.  One look at a clear sky opens those chakras right up. 

Which brings me to a spiritual dilemma:  Does God live in the whim of the moment?  Or, is the Great Spirit truly beyond time and comprehension?  If God lives in the moment, then I control him or her by my state of mind.  Check that one off.  That can't be true.  So, that leaves (a) no God or (b) the timeless, incomprehensible one.  I guess I like the latter option.

That means I do (alas) need to work at spiritual development.  The great traditions seem to agree that it's about loving yourself and your neighbor, doing good works, and being present.  The rest is some kind of grace or gift over which we have no control.  I've been sloughing off on my spiritual practice again.  Why is it so HARD to make myself do this?  Why don't I joyfully sit in meditation every day for as long as possible?  How can I NOT want as much contact as possible with the Great Spirit?  I think I do want that.

The problem is I'm a lazy-ass human.  I'd rather God came to me in a more whimsical way.  I'd rather he fixed world hunger and child abuse directly.  I don't want to have to do the hard work of opening to God and THEN do the hard work of making life a better place.  No wonder the world is so fucked up.  It's on us.  It's only as good as we collectively make it.  We're TOAST!  Well, and jam, maybe.  Roxie

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gratitude: A Derivative of Grace

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the US.  I love this holiday.  It's so American.  It brings us together.  You don't have to think about being politically correct in your expressions; you can say "Happy Thanksgiving" to everyone you meet.  Granted, there may be Native Americans who don't relate to this day, but if that's true, they graciously go their own way without making anyone feel guilty about it.  Maybe we can all relate to gratitude.

Gratitude should be a derivative of grace if it isn't already.  When I am in a moment of grace, I don't have to think about what I'm grateful for; it pours through me and out of me.  It transforms everything.

Well, that makes me think.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all were simultaneously in a state of grace?  Surely that is the alpha and omega of the spiritual life.  The Buddhists would say:  No one is fully enlightened until everyone is enlightened.  I love that.  It makes me feel connected to all the rest of you and it makes my sacred journey a shared one.

How little we know when we're in our rational minds!  How easy it is when we are in grace.  May Thanksgiving Day be a day of grace.  Gratitude will be at the table.  Roxie

Monday, November 12, 2012

Isn't It Pretty to Think So?

What if there really is a God?  I know. I know.  I have created this character called the Big Dude and another one called the Good God (aka GG) and, more recently, have been caught up in the idea of a Higher Power.  But, what if there really is a God, God.  Beyond my mind.  Directly infused into my spirit.

Today I was meditating as usual, my mind flinging itself back and forth between the class I have to teach shortly, the squabbling of the birds at the bird feeder outside the window, and the various dramas that have been going on in and around me.  All of a sudden, my third eye was filled with a clear white space.  The words, "Be still and know that I am God" filled me. 

I don't know if that was really a communication from the One or a figment of my imagination, but it raised a question:  What if there really is a God?  Just the question overwhelmed me.  I was filled with what I can only call humility and reduced to a lump of clay just by the question.  It's as if the question immediately presupposed the answer.  The question called forth the God. 

So, does faith itself call forth the God?  Is that it?  Is faith a kind of communion of my admittedly pitiful outreach and the God's powerful response?  I wrote once that to access the internet, you had to turn it on at your own control panel.  Maybe that's how it is with God.  He/She/It is always hovering, present in everything but each of us has to turn the switch to receive the waves or rays or grace of it.

I don't "know" the answer in my rational self.  I sometimes experience strange goings-on that seem too individualized to be coincidental.  Over and over again, people in recovery have affirmed: If you tune into a higher power, even someone else's higher power if you can't find your own, thngs start to align and fall in place.

Why am I so afraid to believe?  I'm afraid.  Afraid it's a trick.  Afraid, as with love, that I'll give my faith only to have it rejected.  Afraid in the moment of death, I'll hear "a fly buzz" and know with Emily Dickinson that it was all for naught. 

I guess, faith is a "so what!"  in the face of the rational mind's doubts.  So what if the old fly buzzes.  So what if it's all for naught.  So what. So what.  Isn't it the HUMAN condition to reach for the stars, to forge on in the midst of great desperation.  What fuels that human optimism, resilience?  Maybe it's a kind of faith that says I CHOOSE to believe otherwise.  Saying with Hemingway, "Isn't it pretty to think so."  Yes, it is.  Roxie