Blog 1408 – 07.28.2019
Does A Loving Universe Allow Do-Overs? (Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This)
Like many of you I grew up being taught and believing, “Just One Life, it will soon be passed, and only what’s done for Christ will last.” No matter how hard and fervently we believe something that still does not necessarily make it so. Beliefs by nature are unprovable. If a belief were provable it would be an indisputable fact, believe it or not. Many seem sort of proud of their faith. That is odd to me now on several levels, that one would be “proud” of faith. Isn’t pride a sin, one of the seven big ones actually? And to be proud of one’s ability to believe the unbelievable or hard to believe sound a great deal like bragging about one’s incredible gullibility.
I believe as the song “I’m Yours” says, and so well, that we only have two real choices in this life: “To win some, or learn some.” The rest as the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes says is more than likely just, “Vanity and vexation of spirit.”
I have previously mentioned and more than once that one of my favorite movie lines comes from the Dustin Hoffman movie called “Hero.” Dustin plays a con-man divorced father who loves his young son and knows he is about to go to prison for a long time and wants to spend some quality time with his son, hopefully imparting a few of his hard learned life lessons to his boy. In a short talk about religion I think he really nails the issue. He says to his son that, to him, religion is like all these layers of “bullshit” and you just pick the layer you want to believe.
We have been taught to walk on egg shells around the subjects of sex, politics, and religion because people have such strong opinions/beliefs on these subjects. It is for that very reason that an education, a broad education, seems such a dangerous and fearful threat to many. Jesus. Is often quoted as saying, “But you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” Believe whatever you will, you have a Constitutional right to do that in this country, so pick your layer of BS and follow it so long as you do not kill anyone, sexually abuse minors or unconsenting adults, or talk too openly or loudly about overthrowing the government, and remember to pay your taxes. If you do you will find that you have a remarkable latitude to practice any religion you like in this country. Still most everyone, even quite religious people believe anything that others believe that is different from their own beliefs is BS, in the same way, many believe that everyone else’s Congressman and or Senator is a crook and should be thrown out after one term if not before, just not theirs. A phenomenon I refer to as, “Do not confuse me with the facts for I have my mind made up.” Call it faith, call it a gut feeling, some just call it ignorance. To ignore the proven facts is, and I am trying to be kind here, at least a stiff-necked and uneducated approach to life.
We may have different beliefs and opinions but to pretend we have different “facts” is to misuse the word entirely. We may indeed often have different opinions, beliefs, theories (unproven premises perhaps) but not different facts. Trying to twist the facts to support something we believe is not only dishonest but rather foolish really making it harder for us to win or to learn. One philosopher postulated that “There are no absolutes.” Would not even that statement disprove itself. Grant you, new information might call into question things that were perhaps once thought to be inconvertible facts, i.e. that the world was flat, that one color of people were superior to another, that men were stronger, smarter, better than women, that only one religion was the true one and all others false, and other such things that many of us have come to now know are untrue.
“You only get one go round”, “This life is all there is”, “ But one chance to get it right.” When I think of a loving parent, a kind and caring Universe, I find it easier and easier to think/believe that we might be allowed a do-over, maybe even as many as we like. Perhaps even this is not our first attempt, our first go round. I cannot prove it, at least not yet, so it is still in the realm of BS, seeming more so to some than others. But can we just agree that some BS has a somewhat lesser smell than other BS. No? Then perhaps I’ll get back to you several more “do-overs” down the road. If it turns out that I got this one thing right maybe we can find more common ground in the future. Till then I am going to continue living the dream. Sweet dreams to you.
Your friend and fellow traveler,