Friday, December 17, 2010
I received an email recently from a facebook friend who I've not met in person. Here's an excerpt from that email:
It seems like your thought process is similar to mine. However, I have gone a different route than you have, in that I have concluded that the Bible is true. As a result of that I end up with different conclusions. For example, I am not focused so much on this life. I do view this life as important and endeavor to make it count so that when it ends I will not feel like it is unfinished, however, I am not so concerned as you are in living MY life. I am content even if I do not fulfill my self and my plans in this life, as long as I fulfill the plan God has for me. I think I am more tolerant of being personally stifled, which is good becasue I have been stifled, not to say that I like being stifled. Basically, all this is to say that I find your thinking stimulating and an echo of much of my own, but we will collide on some things.
Here is my reply:
You and I might not be quite as different as you may think. While I don't believe that the Bible is true and consider myself a "Free-style Taoist", I think I live similarly to the way you do. I do want to live my life as opposed to yours or someone else's life, but not my life as opposed to the one that feels most deeply right, or what I think you would call "God's plan".
As I often put it, I don't want to write my part in this play we find ourselves in, I want to find my part, the one that feels most deeply right. I leave it to God or the Universe to do the writing. I just want to find the life that doesn't feel forced and willed into being. I want to surrender into the life that feels natural and right. I do this by constantly listening and following the right feeling in my body/heart/mind/spirit.
I am pretty sure that my plans will remain unfulfilled, that I will miss the mark most of the time, and that before too long the stuff of what I call "me" will merge back into the one-ness and re-emerge in some other form. If I worship anything, it's not the sacred "me", it's the whole of Nature, this marvelous balancing act from which I believe I came, and to which I believe I go, if I ever in fact, leave it at all.
So, sure, we are different. But I think the overall attitude of surrender to a larger life movement is similar, even if it takes different forms.
Another difference between us might be that I don't feel compelled to produce songs which together make up a coherent and consistent world view. I used to, but not any more. I think I've switched internally from a kind of benign dictator form of government to a more parliamentary system. I have many "ministers" inside myself and I give any of them that wants to sing their song or two. So I have songs from many different and sometimes contradictory points of view.
(Here are videos of two such contradictory songs:
The release of charge that I get from writing songs is more important to me than having a consistent message. I feel that what I call my "self" is so vast, so mysterious, so intertwined with everything else, that purifying that self, or hammering it into some consistent form is futile, limiting and forever incomplete.
I think of myself as I think of life, or anything else really, as a great, invisible unknowable mystery. Each song, thought, or insight is like firing a tiny paintball at this vast invisible thing, making a small part of it more visible and touchable. I don't have enough paintballs, and never will, to completely reveal who I am, or what anything is in any complete way. But I do enjoy firing them and seeing what I can see and touch.