636. Who Indeed

In my experience there is a huge sense of ‘this cannot be different’ among people when they once in a while are stopped and forced to think about the world. All the crime, poverty, violence and war out there (and sometimes close by).

That sense of powerlessness is paralyzing and usually leads to people, well, thinking about something else rather quickly. That is my experience anyway and I do understand it.

When I was younger and a student (of course!) I loved to discuss more social justice and how to bring it about.

Now I am older, with more obligations and probably also more disillusioned, although I definitely believe in a better society still. But I do tend to not allow myself many moments wondering about it. 

There is another task for me to be sure. If I – idealistic as I consider myself – have also become prone to ‘not thinking too much about a better world’ … then what hope is there? How can I ask people are busier than I am and even less idealistic … to think more about what we could do to change the world?

I don’t have an answer. It is something about striving to be a better example, perhaps. And starting small.

Perhaps it is easier to show other people that you are into organic foods and let that be an example. It is certainly easier than discussing world food policy.

Who can do something about that?

Yes, who indeed?

629. Deeper

Whether or not the universe is essentially “loving” as it is called here is one of the Big Questions of spirituality, religion and philosophy since the dawn of humankind. Anyone who asserts that this is so should IMO be able to answer why and how this is so, when the world we live in is obviously not so.

And a lot of people assert it, especially if they sell books or courses about how you can change your thoughts and beliefs about the universe and then goodness, especially money, will start flowing to you.

But … in case you forgot: Try Google News for awhile and see how many articles it finds about children being killed for the most insane reasons (some weeks ago I read one about a mother throwing her daughter off a bridge). I can only assume that the Google algorithm delivers news that most people click on. And it has always been so that bad news have a magnetic attraction … but I digress: the bad news is there. The question is how to interpret it.

How the hell (yes, hell) do we square that kind of experience of … well, evil … with a “loving” universe?

Well, we can try. We should try. Otherwise … what else is there to do but sink into frightened escapism or superior atheistic cynicism or argument-proof and ultimately irrational religiosity? 

I have personally gotten a lot from constructing a worldview based on near-death experience reports, reincarnation research and a few select modern mystics, such as my fellow Dane, Martinus Thomsen (1890-1981), who did an impressive book series about why the world is as it is and why that is ‘good’ anyway.

But as with the smaller things in life, that general experience that the world is actually ‘good deep down’ does not become real until you, well, experience it. Often in very concrete ways. And it can be set back, for example if you have trauma as some here have mentioned.

But for myself I am mostly reminded that I believe the universe is … somehow better than I feared … in times of trial. Like when I was hospitalized with a serious illness 13 years ago, or when our first child was born and it was a very difficult birth. Not immediately, obviously, but after a period of trial when I have tried to reconnect with the universe, so to speak. I usually use prayer to connect with that Greater Something Or Other which some call “God”; but also affirmations, and I have a feeling that both work and move me, either to better situations or give me the strength to endure.

I can’t accept that the universe is “loving” through superficial proof alone, though, like having 200 synchronicities happen each year when I ask for something or other. And I have had my share of synchronicities that seemed Very Hard to explain away as coincidence, and I feel I have been helped by Something Greater as explained before – in times of need.

However, for me personally I need a cosmology – and a rational one at that – to allow myself to interpret these events positively. And to accept that some children get thrown off bridges, but that there may be more than just that horrible outcome. If the universe is “deeply loving” then there is more. As well as some kind of meaning behind what happened there, even if you might have to delve deep into concepts of karma and past lives to produce an explanation that helps. And even if that explanation helps you, it might not help the grieving family.

I recommend reading books like Conversations with God to get a very good supplement to and foundation for the view that the universe, at its core level is “deeply loving”. I also recommend, as mentioned, reading about near-death experiences – e.g. on iands.org. But it is my strong experience that each person needs a slightly different shared insight, such as another version of these sources – and then a slightly different personal experience – to accept that positive world view.

And even then … acceptance of a positive world view (with this particular spiritual flavor) is often something that flows and ebbs. For pretty much all human beings. It does so for me all the time, when I see bad news or experience it myself and then I have to remind myself of my particular ‘faith’ and seek out reinforcement for it – somehow.

288. Seeing Behind The Void

Maybe I should just accept that – for whatever reason – the negative self-critic is still part of me. The part that says I have not achieved enough earning money or being famous. And then leave it at that and make my best efforts to move on and realize some of the purpose, like The Blog, or that charity project. Purpose that I know to be real and good for me, no discussion.

Once that realization is bigger and fills out much of the current vacuum then the voice should have less power.

So perhaps the voice addresses a true need after all. For I feel I am not doing enough to promote The Blog (as mentioned earlier) and I feel that is a problem.

I also miss doing something real for charity again, and preferably with Char. Or at least have some definite goal or vision for that part of our lives, instead of just focusing – as is difficult not to – on the daily problems and challenges, esp. with an infant son and irregular income.

So perhaps the voice is calling my attention to a true need, but it does so in the wrong way. It fills the actual vacuum of my life right now with calls to do something that is superficial.

247. The Beauty of Seeking

There is an urge in us to search for the ‘real’, the single Cause, the Explanation.

But is it a ‘bad’ urge? To seek the ‘real’? The ‘true’? Etc. … even though the real world so often turns out to be marvelously more complex?

I think it can be in so many situations – just open the news.

But … there is also something beautiful in wanting to seek the real, the truth about a story or an event.

Perhaps that urge is not mine alone. To seek the ‘true’, the ‘real’, the ‘first cause’.

It definitely is not.

And yes, it can be perverted and warped, esp. among closed-minded fanatics of all sorts, with or without gods.

But in this case … it feels right.

Even if the truth turns out to be that the book of Robinson Crusoe shaped the story of Alex Selkirk and not the other way around.

159. Reaching the Goal, Starting the Journey

We have to change the story about the brutal birth of Jay, because we need stories to be beautiful and about more than what came out of it – Jay. We need them for our sake to be more than just the goal. We need them to be about the entire journey, too. But the journey is disjointed. Perfect sailing, then storm and drowning and then reaching the island after all does not match.

Something needs to tie it together, in a new way. Something …

But it takes time to find that something. As it should.

Fortunately, we can count on the best help to find a new story about the brutal journey to becoming parents.

And as we get to know Jay well, it will all become clearer.

63. A Different Story

What you could do when feeling overwhelmed is to re-tell this personal story as if it was … a journey-story. It begins not with a first step, though – but with a map. Our hero(es) are set out to go – like the Fellowship of the Ring – into the big confusing world. They need a map and they need to take time to make that map. So do you. But they (you) also know that once they have a map – even if it’s just a simple one – the journey has already become a bit easier.