The sweet and sour, swirling, aching, acidic chest bleed we call grief, or suffering, or loss; this tremendous reminder of life; what does it all mean? Within existence, there is a still point like an eye in a storm.
How do I know this is a kind Universe? How do I know?
The dogmatically scientific will say it’s all cold and meaningless. The dogmatically religious will say we’re all evil sinners from conception, and that God is angry and jealous of little girls loving their teddy bears more than He.
How do I know this is a compassionate Cosmos?
Holocausts, genocides, rapes, molestation, murder, torture, terrorism, war, capitalistic exploitation of our human family members: one can almost hear Julie Andrews’ shadow side gleefully singing: “These are a few of my favorite things.” How can there be intrinsic goodness, truth, or beauty in a world where the hearts of men and woman are advertised as predominantly evil, greedy, and downright sadistic on every news channel, in every country, in every culture, in every tribe, throughout history, from the very beginnings to this very moment?
Can we blame anyone for deciding upon suicide?
I do have proof for you that this is a kind, compassionate, intrinsically pure and gloriously loving Universe. And the proof I point to is you. I know you. I know you because I know myself.
In dramatic writing we put the character through a whole mess of conflict and obstacles, all in order to reveal who the character truly is. It is fascinating that our dramatic writing follows the same exact patterns of generating a story as all human lives. What is suffering but that which reveals who we are? We are all the hero of our own epic journey. We are told of our epic race as sperm careening toward that precious egg. We are told of our first moments of life in the womb, in the world, in the arms of our parents. And eventually we begin to remember things, as our identities begin to formulate with the reflective support of our interactions with our families and our society.
They tell us there is a “me” and this “me” has a name; your name. And this name becomes associated with various likes and dislikes. Some will respond tragically to the loss of a lipstick or a wallet. Others will experience such things as no big deal. We all have our particulars. And the sheer relativity of it all screams in our faces that we are in no way dealing with the Absolute, which is what we’re all really after, isn’t it? Aren’t we all questing after, reaching for, yearning for, aching for, thirsting for, suffering for that something we KNOW must exist, that one thing that is guaranteed, that is stable, that is permanent in a Universe of nothing but impermanence?
When we are told that this one solid and guaranteed thing we’ve always wanted is death, we deny it or laugh at this truth wholeheartedly.
What remains? What remains after we’ve let go of every single thing there is, including our minds and bodies? Well, first off, who is asking?
In my experience, it seems as though all of the harm that a human being causes another human being is traceable to an illusory and relative idea of a self as an acting and experiencing agent separate from all of the Universe. Conversely, all of the good and purity, all of the love and compassion, the sacrifice and hope, the appreciation of beauty and the connection with truth, all of it can be traced to the absence of this illusory identification. And since this is so, we can see clearly that the heart of the cosmos is compassion and goodness, for all of human evil is really just ignorance, as we’ve ignored our simple being in favor of the identification with temporal and relativistic ideas of selves based on cultures quite new in existence and in the grand scheme of things, and surely destined to disappear from the Cosmos without leaving a single, solitary trace.
I know this is a kind Universe. Many see it as a scary place. But this is a cosmos that will never let you skip a grade. We will come across the same obstacles as any story’s hero, again and again and again, until we finally learn whatever lesson can be learned from such confrontation, and we then move on to the next chapter. Why ever would this be so? The only answer I can think of is, because it is fun.
Everywhere I go I see evidence for all things being both good and bad, both negative and positive, both beneficial and detrimental. But when my mind is not thinking or craving or wanting, everything just simply is, and, as Shakespeare wisely put it, “Nothing is either bad nor good, but thinking makes it so.” What did Carl Jung mean when he said, “I’d rather be whole than good,” if he wasn’t referring to getting beyond this idealistic good and evil, where the worth and deservingness of one’s own existence is compared and contrasted in a game of compensation for a perpetual lack of self-esteem?
Not only do we all crave unconditional love and complete acceptance for who we are, but we all deserve it too. No matter who you are, even a murderer, we ALL deserve to be loved. We have seen what traumas are created in the absence of love as children grow into bullies and serial killers. John Wayne Gayce’s father used to get drunk and call his son a queer and beat the living shit out of him on a daily basis? Is it really that surprising that John Wayne Gayce grew-up and would dress up as a clown, his biggest fear as a child, and seek out men who looked gay, and kidnap, torcher, and kill them? Why do we think that a racist father will create children who are racist as well? Can we not see that because we all yearn so longingly for our parents’ love that we MUST hate and work to destroy what our parents hate, all in an unconscious attempt to gain from our parents the love we’ve longed for all our lives? Isn’t it obvious? Haven’t we an obligation for thanking serial killers for teaching us as living examples that it is imperative that we all love each other?
I ache and cry for this world. I’m not alone. And because we who care exist, because of this very fact alone, we can know beyond doubt that this Universe is a compassionate and loving Universe. Gravity is as love, an all accepting, indiscriminate, unifying force. You can take Hitler and any Jewish person and stick them out into outer space and they will still float together in gravitational attraction despite what their minds think of each other. This is an obvious example that points to the illusory nature of our thoughts, judgments, and evaluations.
Ah but a moment. A moment is all we get. Thank God for this. There is no chance for any pain to last, for we are all destined to pass. That’s compassion. Eternity’s enormity is the spotlight alighting and revealing the preciousness of each moment.
Out of 12 billion years of an unfolding Cosmos, we get maybe 10 to 80 years or so to blossom and wilt, to create and destroy, to make love and war, to lose ourselves and find ourselves. So precious. And it is obvious that those who would support killings abroad, of peoples we know nothing of, have little connection with this ultimate Universal truth of our inherent preciousness.
May we all shine as an example, and may our works teach in the myriad ways, this preciousness. May we compassionately and creatively help remove the blindfolds from the world’s eyes without ever being accused of leading the witness. Let every witness be shown how to lead itself. Awareness is aware of itself.
I am the mother and the father. I am the lover. I am the best friend. I am an Earthling. I am life. I am you. It turns out that The Beatles weren’t kidding after all.
Beautiful post William.
Essentially, there is no “wrong” or “right”. There is no “good” nor “bad”. There is only reality. Reality is the background energy which makes everything the way it is..the billions of atoms which compose us..the billions of blood cells which forge these bodies and keep us alive..the countless species, elements, vegetation and air particles which allow us to live, eat and breath..the countless drops of water which cover the earth..the billions of stars and galaxies which gaze upon the blue planet; a spec of dust in a limitless space, etc etc. And how all of this intimately interwoven is so awe inspiring- even the most heartless of men will feel a sense of belonging and love if they truly contemplate. We are all gifts of the same value- and “I” feel truly blessed to be “here.”