While editing these entries I realized that in the few years since writing them, this “create-your-own-reality” approach to life has been spreading further into pop-culture. One example would be the movie “Be Kind Re-wind” (which I highly recommend, by the way). What I cannot endorse, however, is the “Hollywood Moral” of the movie ( I love it when Hollywood moralizes) which states: “Just re-define your past to create a present to your liking” . Literally imagine a NEW history that supports your current menu of desires and that will result in love, peace and companionship. Just choose a truth that works for you.
It has often been said that history is written by the winners (a statement I find ridiculous in that only those who have access to histories written by losers could come up with such a simplistic and inaccurate axiom) but a new axiom seems to be coming into vogue: “History is written by those who are dis-satisfied with the present.”
As I walked along returning from my workout, I felt the familiar compulsion to reach out and touch the boughs of the trees and shrubs that overhung my way.
I just need to feel their texture beneath my fingers.
In that moment I sensed my obedience to a voice.
In a flash, there was the familiar presence of the Creator as felt through His creation – ubiquitous, but not harsh or over-bearing. I began to cry as I considered how infrequently I listen, and therefore by direct extension, OBEY His voice.
I realize that there is a fear in me that finds it’s nourishment in what I can only term “religion”. To admit hearing a voice which should be obeyed within the impulse to touch a tree smacks of neo-paganism, new-age self-delusion, self-aggrandizement and intellectual inconsistency. And so “religion” and “rationality” (fraternal twin brother-bullies) rise-up in protest – strong protest. Even now, the desire to have the Creator fully contained within one doctrine, within one totality that fits in MY mind and that I can fully manage, is very strong.
The fear rooted in religion and rationality is this: Obeying a voice that can only be heard in the quiet, un-checked moments that are free of (though INFORMED BY) doctrine opens me to lies.
I become a dupe.
I’ve substituted my own impulses for the impulses of the Holy Spirit or supplanted simple common sense with some imagined supernaturalism.
I’ve become one of those deluded spiritual Dr. Frankensteins who’ve stitched together a grotesque version of reality based on their desire to create reality themselves. A few bits Eastern philosophy, with some scraps of “science” grafted on to a trunk of intuition and some left-over Deism. I’m afraid that one day this “thing” will rise off the table, discolored, horribly disproportional and lop-sided, leering back at me through borrowed lips, stretch out it’s gray hands and croak, “Daddy”.
Yet…all judgment is self-judgment. My fear of being Dr. Frankenstein is rooted in my judgment in all the mad scientists I see around me every day. Or is it the other way around? Maybe I need to look at myself a little more realistically, and my judgment of others will lessen.
The truth is that I do not even grasp the edges of the knowledge of God. More than 50% of what I “know” is based on the experience and teaching of others. I resonate with it, surely. But it is a sympathetic resonance based on the action of something OUTSIDE me.
So, back to the topic at hand – I am reluctant to obey what I’m afraid might be my instincts, or the Devil even, because I want to be motivated by the truth, and nothing else. This is for sure: I miss opportunities because of it.
Even as I write all this, even while I’ve contemplated it, there has been the quiet, inescapable voice beneath it all saying, “I’m big enough. I can see you through this. Everything comes in its own time – including your knowing. I would not allow you to obey that which could be mistaken for another, until you possess the ability to choose between them. I won’t allow you to be BULLIED into lies.”
I can bring my doctrine, my grid of reality to the moments when I hear/feel the “voice”, and they serve as a filter. It’s like playing an instrument: freedom comes through discipline. I’ve disciplined my mind and my body to a certain level of obedience, and that is resulting in a certain amount of freedom to “improvise”.