Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Life 101– The Ups and Downs of Daily Living

On Monday afternoon Ben and I played hooky and went cross-country skiing. It was a calm, warm, sunny day; I couldn’t resist the temptation. We had a great time on the mountain among the fragrant pine and fir trees. We came home tired and elated.

On Tuesday morning I had to go to the dentist for a root canal.

Now to those of you who have never had a root canal, I cannot really describe the ordeal without sounding like a whiner. To those who have had one, you know I couldn’t possibly say anything about the process that would make me sound like a whiner. In short, a root canal isn’t fun. So, my Monday afternoon and my Tuesday morning could not possibly have been more dramatically different.

Unless, of course, someone was actively trying to make life a living hell.

Life is never a series of sunny Monday afternoon ski days. There are, in every life,  Tuesday morning root canal days. It’s just a fact of our human condition. Whatever your spiritual/religious/philosophical beliefs are, life is not easy and was never promised to be so. Whatever happens at the end of this life, we all agree that where we end up on the other side has to do with how we live our lives here in this temporal world. Yet there are those among us that use our spiritual/religious/philosophical beliefs as a means to manipulate and control us, convincing those of us too naïve to understand their motives that what they say is doctrine. In other words they abuse our beliefs for their exclusive benefit.

And we let them.

We willingly become victims by listening to those who are bold enough to do nothing more than declare that we should use our beliefs to hate , or to belittle, berate, ostracize, punish or even kill other human beings because they believe something different. Does anyone out there actually believe that being cruel, abusive or murderous can actually get us to a better state in the next life?

That is, obviously, a ridiculous notion. But, also as obvious – but less well realized – there are those among us who don’t want us to rise up to a better state. And we have allowed those people to become very powerful. They teach us to cripple ourselves out of fear that what we deeply believe might not be right, that what we know innately might be wrong, that what our hearts feel might lead us down the wrong path.

So why is it that a sweet, simple,  naïve child knows more about how to live right than an educated adult? In reality they don’t know more, they just know what’s right. They haven’t been fooled by those who claim they live by universal spiritual/religious/philosophical regulations while they convince us that being cruel, abusive or murderous is the proper way to get to an advanced or enlightened state. They teach us that we’re higher than the other animals, but behave like the most violent of those other animals.

It has always been so in human history; we’ve followed this pattern for thousands of years and we’re still wallowing in the putrefied destruction of that pattern.

Isn’t it about time we stopped listening to self-acclaimed noblemen who live and direct us with only ignoble intentions and actions?

How many more generations will it take for a critical mass of us to figure that one out?

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