Ο The sweet adage “Make love, not war” has been dismissed as an impractical pipe dream, but it does beg the question: Would we rather be at each other’s throats, or at each other’s gonads? And as I look around at my fellow man I think the answer is obvious. War it is!
Ο It is often remarked by Culinary Anthropologists that some under-served populations do not have easy access to nutritious and affordable food. This condition is known as living in a food desert. For research-funding purposes however, this “condition” is sometimes rebranded as a “Food Desert Syndrome” – syndrome being a weighty term used by professors to in elevate “crappy grocery stores” to a social calamity so significant that they qualify for a National Science Foundation grant and can earn a 6-month sabbatical to study this self-created geography.
In a similar way, it is often remarked by Seminary Professors that some under-served populations do not have easy access to nutritious and affordable religion. This condition is known as living in a religious desert. Some forsaken populations experience both of these unfortunate conditions and this is known as MacDonald’s.
I grew up in a household that was generally hostile towards religion and as a result I lived in what might be called a religious desert. The most sacred tenet we practiced was bestowed upon us by that great philosopher Casey Kasem, who at the end of his “Top 40 List” reminded us in his unctuous announcer’s voice to: “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.” And this is good advice if you’re a self-satisfied existentialist riveted to all things worldly, but bad advice if you’re an aspiring spiritualist trying to make plans for the afterlife.
I roamed my religious desert, searching for enlightenment, but only finding sand kicked in my face – and by the very thing I was trying to worship. Clearly, not only were memos not received; they weren’t even sent. I guess it goes back to the brilliant remark Einstein offered when asked to comment about the relationship among certain herbs: “Thyme is relative. <pause> And fennel I can do without.”
Meanwhile I continued wandering my religious desert lonely as a cloud, wishing I’d had the foresight to pack toilet paper. And then one granular morning I found my oasis: Writing. And it was here I made my stand – a little writing stand where I dissected events of the day and ordered my world in simple bullet-pointed hieroglyphs understood by saints and sinners alike. Happy was I to live in a literary world of small pleasures. Of course sometimes I’d experience Writer’s Block and then it was like living in a literary desert. All right I’m sorry. But I nomad. I’ll desert the desert metaphor, but I don’t think I’m ever going to leave my oasis. My little literary stand under the shady palm fronds nestled in the welcoming mirage I’ve come to call home.
Ο Let us not forget that none of us gets out of here alive. Or stated just as bleakly, but without the double-negatives: Remember we all die eventually. And when we do, we cast aside that temporary vessel we’ve known all our lives as “us.” And then where are we? Precisely. And then where are we? I know this discussion hurts your head; just imagine how the one-way version is ricocheting in mine. It’s exhausting. Very exhausting, but in a too-much-good-sex way and not in a this-gym-class-sucks way. Well, enough about what goes on behind my closed eyelids. Let’s open up and greet the day. Nope. Bad idea. Better close them again.
Ο Finally some good news about death. For many souls the idea of dying is liberating instead of punitive. And, truth be told, almost all of those souls have already had the veil of duality lifted. In other words they’re dead already and are happily immersed in the affordably nutritious white light of God (no food desert there). Others, who do not fear the grim reaper, have had NDEs (Near Death Experiences) and look forward to death in the same way you feel relief after getting your tongue unstuck from a frozen pipe. The rest of us cringe at the thought of death or hedge our bets by donating to Doctors without Bladders or some other “Look at me God. I’m donating my own money to a do-good organization. Please God put this on the credit side of my ledger and remember me later.”
And this is why campaign finance reform is so crucial.
Ο Death is inevitable – like the words, “Don’t worry, I’ll pull out” being followed by the word “Sorry.” You know it’s coming, you just don’t want to admit it. However it’s the fear of death that sometimes prevent us from having what I call an NLE (Near Life Experience). Sometimes we cling to our known experience because we’re sufficiently afraid, or insufficiently adventurous, to discover what lies beyond our limited understanding of the universe. Meanwhile we look in the mirror convincing ourselves “not too bad for (insert age here).” We’re so full of sh*t. But as coping mechanisms go, avoidance ain’t a bad strategy.
Ο Whereas some people hope to live life like someone left the gate open. I’d like to live in a world where you didn’t need a safe word. A place where surgery is done online and all dentistry is drive-thru. A planet where ink cartridges don’t cost more that the printer and where you can rent a car without receiving enough legal documentation to line a gorilla cage.
Ο What’s to be done about those precious people who think they’re accessing special knowledge when they proclaim: Earth is a multi-phasic platform offering variegated terrestrial experiences for those unable to transcend the Manichaean illusion. It went public about 4 billion years ago and, due to it’s flawed business plan, has not been operating in the red ever since Adam ate that apple.
Poor babies. Consigned to a paper bag they cannot punch their way out of. Hey wait a minute. I’m talking about me.
Ο It’s too easy to dismiss religion. Thank God. And when I say religion, I’m referring to the organized, retail religions and not the inner spiritual journey we’re all on whether we subscribe to a religion or not.
I’m so relaxed right now.