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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Contradictions

My Parents’ 60th Anniversary

I am back in Moab after a couple weeks, off & on, in Colorado. First, I went to visit my parents in Fruita, Colorado for their 60th anniversary. They’re both 81 years old. Yeah, the 2 people who gave birth to this body I ride around in have been happily together for 60 years. I feel utter gratitude I grew up in a loving family. I never dealt with bickering parents, or with the pain of parent divorce, like most folks I know. Everybody who meets my parents loves them. I am fortunate.

But I sometimes fall into arguments with my dad about – what else – religion & politics. My parents are Republican & swallow much of the religious right stuff. Lots of American homes are like this: strong family values on the one hand, but astonishing lack of concern for social injustice on the other. Nice on the individual level but poison on the mass level.



I've said that I wouldn't be honest if I weren't an atheist sometimes. I often can't help but be atheist after listening to the Evangelical diatribe. It takes a while to regain faith after being around the usual Evangelical spirit. If I were the devil and wanted to turn more people away from Jesus ever, I would create the institution that calls itself “Christianity.” It's a pretty ingenious set-up.
But, as I say, it's the love that seeps through, that keeps me from throwing it all out.

Camping in Colorado

I came back to Moab from Colorado only to be whisked away to Colorado again by my friends Pete & William. We went to a “Feral Futures” gathering near Durango. It was a small Earth First type gathering at some hot springs, with Rainbow people invited, too. It was one of those rare events linking Earth-Firsters with Rainbowers. There’s sometimes tension between the 2 – Earth Firsters feeling like Rainbowers are too airy fairy & Rainbowers feeling like Earth-Firsters are too militant. I see both in myself.

Somebody, ironically, brought a "Star Wars" Monopoly game to that gathering. Yes, I played this game of capitalism with them. We all started stealing from each other, jokingly. I was losing royally, & did my share of stealing. It was grand fun. My friend William says he doesn't trust me now. "You're supposed to be anti-capitalist," he said. Here's the question: is a game just a game or a reflection of real life? It helped me to see I have the capitalist pig inside me, too. I'm certain that as long as we see everything and everybody, including demons, in ourselves, & admit them, our little demons never get a hold of us, and we remain in balance.

William & I hitched back to Moab from there. My friend Val, by strange “coincidence”, happened to be driving by us then & gave us a lift. Val is the prime scout for the Rainbow gathering & just then happened to be returning to Moab from a month of scouting in New Mexico.

Contradictory Musings in Moab

Back at the camp by the Colorado River, my “kiva” has had 6 inches of water in it from the rising water table. So I’ve had to camp above ground. I’m working up motivation to clean up that camp & stay just at the canyon cave.

Meanwhile, last night, I stayed at a house-sit with my friend Phil. We watched the movie, “Gardens of the Night”, about children abducted & abused. It was heart-breaking. Yesterday I was an atheist, and the movie reinforced it. The natural question came into my mind: how can an omnipotent God, if he/she is just, even begin to allow the incessant abuse against children that’s happening every day, right now, all over the world, ruining lives for generations?

The atheists I know are atheists because they have a sense of justice. Yet people are quick to call them evil, while most self-proclaimed God-believers bury their heads in the sand & deny most all forms of truth. It’s like Jesus’ parable of the two sons. One says he will do what his father says, and then does not. The other says he won’t do what his father says, and yet changes his mind and does.

The prophets recorded in the Bible were all in conflict with their own religion, because they all talked about social injustice. They decided to stick with their own oppressive religions & work with them. And they were all persecuted or killed for it. Did it do any good? These are the contradictions I’ve been grappling with.

All I know is that the most astonishingly profound things came out of the prophets, yet growing side-by-side with more hypocritical religion. But I see what I see – a divine beauty at the core that can’t be denied. The good plants & the bad plants grow together. It’s either that or no plants at all.

I have a friend who just made the comment that you never hear of atheists perpetrating violence like religious people often do. I started agreeing with him, but then remembered the USSR & the Republic of China. The USSR, declaring its state philosophy as atheism, massacred more people than even Nazi Germany. Today, the Republic of China, in the name of atheism, is even now destroying Tibetan culture & religion. It ironically calls Tibetan culture – probably the most peaceful, non-imperialistic civilization on earth – religious imperialism.

When we make anything a dogma, whether religious or a-religious, it becomes poison.

Again, I keep hearing about cultures in Scandinavian Europe becoming more & more atheistic, and more just & civil, with less poverty, than most other cultures. I'd like to hear first-hand information from Scandinavian citizens & from people who have visited them.

Bowing, Resigning in Silence

It’s all hard, for everybody. No human mind can grasp the contradictions of this world. This is when I have to clear my mind & meditate. In perfect silence is perfect Truth. Thoughts & words can never grasp truth. They can only drive you mad. But I find perfect clarity in stillness. This stillness, annihilation of ego (crucifixion of the delusion of self), is the fundamental of all religion, yet disregarded by religious institutions. Is this burying my head in the sand? On the contrary, I find it is lifting my head & seeing Everything As It Is, without letting the disease infect me. So the world is going to Hell. Why should I go with it? What good is that, for anybody, anywhere?

Then, lift your head again, and see the overwhelming beauty in this world, and hear the Glorious Music lifted high, high, high above the hideous noise. Somehow, it all works out beautifully in the end.

It's comforting that the galaxies take millions of years to make a single revolution. And in a million years we will all be gone and the universe still rolls on. We're a passing dust particle that really doesn't matter. My and your self-importance is a joke.