Religion as Existence, Being and Emptiness…

IMG_0599” The born metaphysician is a person…astonished at the fact that there is anything at all.”

Those of you who’ve never asked the Big Questions of life are really missing something, I think, because the best part about the big Q’s are the Big A’s, of course, and the fact that, despite all odds, we in fact are here, on a thinly congealed surface suspended between hot glowing molten rock and cold black outer space, the Goldilocks species on the Goldilocks planet, of all-too-unlikely biological life, the Middle Path ‘sweet-spot’ people…

‚Ķforaging for fruits and flowers in forests and fields, eating not just desserts, in so-called deserts, still not deserted after all these years, but intent on finding the beauty in nature, even when the obvious signs are forbidding, though if you poke around the edges and look between the cracks, then you just might find something there to sustain organic life through thick and thin, sickness and health, for better or worse, till death do us part…

Because, really, shouldn’t life be a constant shared and sustained almost-psychedelic experience of eyes meeting, smiles erupting, noggins nodding in mutual agreement in unspoken simultaneous befuddlement of: ‘look at us… can you believe it?… I wonder what it means… we’re here… we’re all together in this crazy silly game called life… biology… chemistry… physics… history… art… literature… philosophy… our lives in mutual inter-dependence from mutually shared origins in search of mutually shareable benefits…

Instead of the all-too-common contrarian experience of: ‘Who are you? Do I know you? Were you invited? Who let you in?’ and then follows the routine best described by Jared Diamond of ‘Guns, Germs and Steel’ fame recounting his experience in Papua Nugini where the two native strangers start counting back in time to see if they have a common ancestor just in case one may not have to kill the other after all, if indeed they do…

But now they have Christianity, more and more, for better or worse, so an alternative to violence, and bloodlines spilled. So regardless of what you think about religion, I do believe that that is the original primal experience that it is designed to remind us of, more than anything else: our common origins and our common bonds, and the possibilities of something better if we only trust and love and forego our worst instincts for surviving in favor of our best instincts of thriving, highest common denominators instead of lowest…

…since we are all family, originally, of common descent from the same group of wild-ass wanna-be-bonobos who just don’t fit in, just like several other similar groups of misfit slightly balding albinos, so we’re moving up the river to where the jungle meets the plains, coming down from the trees, just to see what we can, maybe even walk upright, and go a little bit farther, since there are now no trees to climb any more anyway, but plenty of predators to escape from, most of which are dumber than us but faster…

But the problem is that most of these religions are mutually exclusive, so what works inside the group will not always work across state lines, though all of them are made for just that purpose, and all quite successful at incorporating diverse groups into the fold, though obviously best in contiguous swaths of territory both geographical and psychological, Islam stretching from Tangier to Timor through the planet’s solar regions along the body’s solar plexus, controlling the lower chakras of will and brute force…

…while Christianity chills and thrills in the temperate heartlands and very vocal chords, fourth and fifth chakras, while standing on soap-boxes, and sleeping with the enemy, with heartfelt freedom and passion, louder whether or not leader, Buddhism doing best in the far upper reaches of logic and proportion, third eye and crown chakras, intuition and deduction, calm and collected, and just short of science, for lack of tools and the necessity to get all messity…

So the goal now is to reconcile these with each other and the vast secular skeptical seed-stock of science and modernism, in some sort of non-obtrusive tetralectic in which the winner takes nothing and the also-rans take all. Because that really is the goal here at this point, at this juncture, at this crucial stage in the game, to somehow make concessions and allowances so that all can survive and contribute to the common goal of species advancement, because this is indeed our great cosmic experiment…

…we the featherless bipeds of recent extraction, a few million years, give or take, mostly take, and now the Anthropocene explosion, of houses, cars, buildings and gadgets, the doo-dadic era of human invention, play-doh and etch-a-sketch and erector sets and pokemon, chees-whiz and raccoon caps and janitor-in-a-drum and sponge-bob squarepants, new improved toilet paper and unbreakable whirly-gigs, ketchup and weather vanes and cyclone fences and squeezable mayo but non-squeezable Charmin…

…to go along with our mass sub-conscious and our mass psychoses and our will to power and our love of flowers and our need for affection and our permanent erections and our chemical dependencies and our suicidal tendencies and our narcissistic complexes and our edifice complexes, Oedipus Rex and Tyrannosarus Rex, our will to live and our need to give, so many excuses for failure, so why bother with success?

This is our civilization, this is our species, this is our world, and this is our planet. The Anthopocene Era is upon us, with the ending yet to be written. Will there be a happy ending or will it be tragic? Is there a level of consciousness beyond self-consciousness, something like global consciousness or even cosmic consciousness? That’s what it will take. Cross your fingers and cast your vote accordingly. Good luck out there…