Friday, May 20, 2011

Stones that roll

To me, original sin doesn’t make sense. Neither does the notion of a vengeful and jealous god.  But it does make sense that everything could be predestined. Those atoms that they told us about at school ought to keep a-rolling in whichever direction they are pushed.

And yet, how was it that I was able to do as I pleased? Though their direction was determined, I seemed to be able to boss my own atoms around. I could only conclude that this was due to some sort of paradox. It probably had to do with ‘levels’. Free will probably existed on one level and not on another—something like that. Whatever, I was happy to bide my time until I could see more of the total picture, so I went away to work on my X-ray vision.

Would you believe that I once called myself a Selective-apathy-active-fatalist-ego-theist? The atoms rolling slash being rolled represented the ‘active-fatalist’ component, which I’ve already outlined.

The ‘selective-apathy part comes from my conviction that you can’t do or be everything. That’s important to who I am and how I live. If you want to do something really well and devote yourself to it, then you won’t have time for much else. Therefore, if you want to make the best use of your life, then it behooves you to choose wisely. You are going to have to practice discrimination—or apathy—so as not to become embroiled in unnecessary and diversionary activity.

You see, the more options you have, the more difficult life is. It is actually easy to live as a fanatic and be devoted to one goal. Contrast that to juggling a balance of interests, activities and pursuits. Perhaps I appear indecisive, but that’s so that I can keep my options open. I drop one thing for another only when the time is ripe.

As for the ‘ego-theist’ component, the idea of being one’s own god was an act-as-if decision. All that I could be sure of was that I existed; I wasn’t sure about anyone else, and as for God . . . well, He certainly hadn’t fronted up when challenged. And when that occurred (or didn’t) then I thought I might as well act as if I was in charge. I’d do the honors and play emcee. If and when a higher power came along, I’d gladly yield my superior the floor. Can’t say fairer than that.

When I close my eyes, I can get into a state that I’m all that there is (I’d been initiated into Transcendental Meditation as a teenager). Everything 'outside' is then a figment of my imagination. Oh sure, I knew full well that at the same time that I was also hopelessly limited as an individual being—the second of that trio of childhood thought experiments. But the bottom line is that I’ve never felt the need to install any god figure at the head of a personal ideology. 

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