Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A rant about God

Billiam the Conqueror wrote about why he believes in God last Friday. So, I was inspired to write the foregoing spiel about why we should develop a relationship with our Creator. Enjoy!

There are certain universal questions that we ask ourselves as human beings…Is there a God? Why are we here? The answer to these is as fleeting as a falling star and as difficult to grasp as eating Jell-o with chop sticks.

Here’s my take on the whole God & Creation thing…

The one mutuality we all share is the desire to know that our presence on this Earth has somehow effected and impacted those around us. But how do we measure the impact of our own existence? Simple, we don’t. The power is not ours and it will never be. We are no more capable of measuring the force of our life than the fish is capable of measuring how much water it displaces as it swims through the ocean. How do we measure the impact our lives have had on the human condition? We don’t, that power belongs only to our creator, to God.

Alfred Lord Tennyson once wrote, “I am a part of all that I have met.” We are all part of a collective and to assume otherwise is foolish. God put us on this Earth as a collective. Our mere presence in the world affects the rest of the world. This is the whole “a butterfly beats its wings in Africa and creates the hurricane that hits North America” philosophy.

To deny our role as curators of God’s museum, this very planet is to court disaster. We as a people need to honor God, we do this through faith. The concept of faith, in my opinion, has been perverted by years of religious angst. Faith is faith, not religion. Too many religious sects treat a relationship with God as an albatross around the neck, be they Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Daoism, etc. Faith is something to be celebrated, not denigrated. It doesn’t matter what faith you are, just that have faith.

Why do I bring up faith? Simple, we as human beings are made of three primary elements; mind, body, soul. And as such we were created by God, full of limitless potential. To truly honor God’s work we need to strengthen our being. We need to treat our bodies well by eating healthy and exercising. We need to tend to our brain pans by seeking out knowledge, educate ourselves, quit being stupid or wallowing in ignorance. And finally, we need to cultivate the soul.

Improving our bodies and minds is easy. But how do we develop our soul? The answer is not easy but I’ll do my amateurish best…

First off, we should do our best to introduce humility in our lives. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is one of the most influential men in the world but to hear him speak before 15,000 as he did this past Sunday here in Denver, you would swear you’re just chilling with someone’s grandpa. That’s humility.

Next, we must start treating members of our collective with understanding and grace. Too often we form a knee jerk reaction to that which annoys us. Don’t. Also, take it upon yourself to make someone smile.

Last, and most importantly, develop a relationship with God. The denomination or orthodoxy you choose is not important, a heart-felt union with God is vital. This is how we exercise our soul.

If we do not seek a relationship with God, be that deity Christ, Buddha, Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah, Elohim, Jah, or whatever, we defile what He has created, we neglect our soul, and retard our spiritual development. Have no doubt, spirituality is part of the soul and a fantastically powerful tool.

Another facet of our soul is creativity. The singular pursuit of being human should be that of creation and imagination. To build cathedrals among the stars, to fly on the wings of passion and imagination, to dream what was once thought impossible; to feel, if but for one fleeting moment, that we have been touched by the finger of our Creator. This is how we honor God. Trace ribbons in the sky with your mind and your ass will follow.

Someone much wiser than I once wrote, “No journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within.” (Lillian Smith) Maybe we should look inward in our search for God. Maybe, just maybe, the answer lies in our collective unconscious.

This introspective search is why I dissed my beloved Denver Broncos and made the pilgrimage to the Pepsi Center where His Holiness the Dalai Lama was speaking on Sunday. The experience was powerful. There sat one of the greatest leaders in the world, a man wanted by the Chinese government, being a wiseass and self-deprecating goofball. His humility shown through as completely genuine and his presence was both inspiring and calming. He didn’t elevate himself or his faith over anyone else’s. Hundreds of millions follow his teachings, including my dear friend Duditz, yet he wasn’t filled with piety or contradiction. He was just humble and down to Earth. He was at peace with himself and with God. We should all be so lucky.

Now before any of you smart asses start calling me Gimp Monk let me assuage your derision. I’m not a Buddhist; I’m just searching for answers, and ironically, creating more questions. Such is the nature of spirituality & faith. The journey is inward. Louise Bogan said, “The initial mystery that attends each journey is: how did the traveler reach his starting point in the first place?”

As I wind up this meandering tryst let me ask you to do something, for me and most of all for yourselves; keep the words of the Dalai Lama in mind, “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” So, tomorrow, as you stroll through your daily lives take it upon yourself to make at least one person smile. Whether it’s with a joke, a joyous “Hello”, picking up someone’s shit that they drop, or via a compliment, take it upon yourself to illicit a smile from someone you’ve never met. You’ll be shocked at how much better you feel and how much closer to God you become.