Less than zero

So, what exactly is it that people are doing with their lives? That is the question that carried me through the next few years following the big dream. Feeling that some semblance of sanity had returned it seemed that life was waiting for me to finally cut a path through the heart of my existence.

On fire, I could hardly contain myself with so much energy and emotional freedom. For the first time in my life I had a sense of being “one of” rather than a feeling of waiting to be born. But alas, I was to find out again and again that there are aspects of yourself, inner drives, modes of perceiving that still bind you. For me it is the drive toward knowing and understanding the meaning and purpose of existence that sustain me and are as necessary to my being as are food and water.

It would be the highest form of self betrayal were I to ignore, deny or in any way seek to be rid of this instinct for meaning.


But before I was to settle down with a fuller acceptance of what sort of life I wanted to live there were a few more wayward flings left to experience. Although I am not often given to regret my actions, I did discover during this time that there are consequences for choices made and that nothing satisfies like love, and by love I mean the conscious willing kind, whether in family, friendship, or some creative endeavor, love is the greatest work and brings the highest rewards.

None of the modern indulgences of sex, eating, drinking or the selections from the menu of alternative lifestyles were very satisfying for me once the high that comes from being secretly outrageous, right-under-the-nose of, all your “normal” friends and family wears off.

After a few years of sampling some of what the modern world has to offer, all I really wanted was to find someone to make a home and be with who is willing to travel together the long road of life, through all the day to day beauty, wonders, sorrows and losses that come our way.

I wanted to know that love really matters and makes a difference in people’s lives and that transformative experiences can happen to anyone.

I wanted to stop hurting people and not to be hurt by them. The further I go in my closest relationships the more I see that love is a choice you make moment to moment. The best we can do is to know that we are continually making choices with every breath and step we take and to try to be there when you show up.

It could be that life’s long song finally catches your ear, maybe at different times for each of us. Maybe some people do manage to avoid ever worrying about whether there is an over-arching meaning to their life, maybe some people are naturally inclined to accept and live an unreflected life as it happens, but as I have aged I have found it very disturbing to think that we humans and the little marbled ball we call Earth are IT.

Can we really claim the title of the most conscious being in the universe? Can intelligence come from non-intelligence or lesser intelligence? Is there nothing besides human consciousness that knows, in the sense that we know, that we’re alive? I find that so incredibly hard to believe. How can life come from nothing? What is the drive, the spark that brings the world into being? I am no scientist, but I have never heard a satisfactory explanation for how it is that I am here, and know I am here.

Just as disturbing, is the human awareness and experience of good and evil. Not so much the natural cycle of life and death, that life feeds on itself (disturbing as that is), but more specifically the distinctly human kind of evil that we all seem to play our part in. Try as we may, it’s as if the good is never sustainable. Everything means less than zero

This sort of thinking would lead me back to the religious question of, is there a Creator? I had become comfortable with the notion that nature is an impersonal force in which evolutionary processes compel life forms forward and if there were anymore to it, we don’t have enough information to come to any conclusions about it.

Perhaps because I had experienced a deeper and clearer sense of myself as a person, the idea of an impersonal force of nature no longer satisfied.

And so began a renewed search and reconsideration of the claims of Christianity, starting with C.S. Lewis and of course the Bible.

“I gaze into the doorway
Of temptation’s angry flame
And every time I pass that way
I always hear my name
Then onward in my journey
I come to understand
That every hair is numbered
Like every grain of sand.” Bob Dylan


2 thoughts on “Less than zero

  1. Nice Costello reference. Just yesterday, my two sons, daughter, and I were driving home from a family outing and “What’s so funny…” came on the radio.

    Well, I belted out the lyrics with passion and joy and soon had my kids joining in the refrain.

    I ask Myself, “Is all hope lost?”
    I answer Myself, “No.”

    All I need to do is convince Myself that I = the Creator; I = All in All. And, in knowing this Truth, I empower Myself with the most profound fearlessness in being able to create a New World.

    Peace,

    Ik

    Like

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