“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”
C. Joy Bell
I really didn't envision things evolving the way they did; the blog loosing its focus, my retirement, my health issues, my mother in laws stroke and becoming full time care givers. It has all been a lot of change, learning and the wisdom that comes with age.
Anyone who has followed this blog, has seen the bias towards faith through the lens of Christianity. But, that changed, I exposed myself and threw myself into the open. Like an astronaut, floating in this vast murky ocean of mystery, my faith was nothing more than there is “something.”
A friend of my wife Colleen is going through a marriage break up, and other life issues is living in our suite downstairs. She noticed my library downstairs, filled with Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christian, New Age, Physics, Biochemistry and evolution. Her comment, “ What in the fuck are you, a prophet?” I laughed, but also thought my library would likely look very strange to the average person. I've never felt myself, an average person, more “ a stranger in a strange land.”
It's taken me most of my life to feel at home.
I just remember being a kid one summer long ago. Seeing the Milky Way, a wave of glittering surf, with infinite gems sparkling in this vast ocean of mystery. It was the moment of understanding, I was but a speck of dust on a grain of sand, spinning in a mysterious infinite ocean. I knew it would be a life long journey of trying to understand.
It seems the monotheistic religions have always been at odds with science. Each try to lay claim to the final frontier. In university when I was pursuing sciences, I could sense my faith understood through the lens of Christianity, loosing its power critique and keep up with reality.
Likely the most influential book in my journey was Brian McLaren’s A New Kind of Christian. It was such a radical detour in thinking theology. It was the big, “ can I still be a Christian, If?” You know the stuff many of us thought, but were afraid to ask.
It was literally those who are blind shall see, one by one the scales fell away until, I went to reach for something, and there was…Nothing. Really now I believe in none of the Christian statements of faith. But, yet I am deeply captivated by the imagination and power of the gospels.
I see all the stories a deep profound truth. Not literal truth, but truth like wisdom…that even through time it never looses its power, and relevance to change the landscape of reality. I don't believe Jesus fed the 5,000 by magical powers, waving his hands to the heavens. I believe in something much more human, and maybe something infinitely more powerful.
And if I've learned anything in the last 65 years, our gods are more projections of ourselves than the are reality. Through my reading of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, New Age, Buddhism and even science, i can find chaos and violence. But, if I choose to look through love…I will find it glaring right back at me.
So here I am with nothing to hand on to, yet, I have everything.
For the last few years I have been writing poetry and short prose under the pen name of “ The West Coast Sufi.” It just seems to fit where I was at, here on the west coast, and poetry just seemed to have the power and the imagination to say more with less. Kind of like Jesus and his parables. So that's where I'm at.
We have my 95 year old mother in law living with us now, after her stroke in January. We are her full time care givers. It's not how I envisioned my retirement unfolding, buts that's reality…like the best software program, there will always be a glitch. I am learning so much from this wise sage of life. If anything, she has shown me life is a sacred ritual that takes the strength and wisdom to live daily. I beat her up each morning to make sure the house is warm, and coffee is ready. At 7:30 ever morning, I here the stumbling around as she starts her day. Her greatest statement of faith, “ I go with the flow.”
I know her Christian faith means a lot to her, and we will endeavour to get her to the local Anglican Church she has 95 years invested in that journey. And really in the end, we all believe in something…even an atheist runs by some kind of operating system.
So here I am, three years later…not a Christian. But, I'm a believer in there's radical scandalous life stories where love always wins out in the end. That you can actually win a war by loving your enemies. That somehow if you keep forgiving, it's not self abuse, but you can change a persons heart. Go for a walk in the woods, and begin to see yourself as equals to the birds, the squirrels, rabbits, deer, insects, trees and plants. The only reason you see yourself as different, is you can think. And, because you can think, comes a huge responsibility.
I don't know how this blog will unfold, but it will be different than before…
Life, culture, technology, art, the environment…and us, trying to stay human.