This I Believe

I’ve already identified one problem with writing this journal: I want to write about all the things. Right now. All at once.

That probably wouldn’t be a good idea, even if it was humanly possible.

With the floodgates opened, though, and so much bottled up for so long, I guess that wanting to spill out everything isn’t unusual. It would kind of defeat the purpose of my doing the blog, though, not to mention probably be boring to anyone reading these entries.

But I’ve got plenty of practice in not spilling everything onto the page at one time: writing novels. My novels have ranged from 70,000 words to 170,000, but they’re still one page at a time, one chapter at a time, written in systematic chunks based on what the story needs and where it needs to go. There’s no reason I can’t do the same here; I just need to take a deep breath, slow down my 100 word per minute typing to a speed that’s a little more contemplative (to start with, anyway), and be systematic. I can always branch off or brainstorm later once the foundation is built.

Today the foundation is explaining what the spiritual and religious beliefs I mentioned in the inaugural post really are. And I’ll have to force myself to highlight even there, since they could spin off into so many explanations and other things, for all that.

To begin: I believe in reincarnation.

I do think that there is a purpose to being physically incarnated on Earth, and that the purpose all revolves around learning. Different lives offer up different aspects of what we need to – or want to – learn. Things that can’t be experienced in the spirit realm, such as multiple sorts of emotions or senses, or aren’t nearly as intense there, or would take vastly longer. I think we are meant to be where we are at any given time…or if we’re not where we’re supposed to be or with the people we’re supposed to be with (I mean that in all senses of the word, not just, say, who you’re married to), our instincts will be telling us that. Or warning us, as the case may be.

I think that life is purposeful, but I mean that in the sense of being a broad swath. For instance, that we are surrounded by the people who are around us because we have things to learn from them and things we can teach them, in general. It doesn’t mean that if that co-worker you hate throws a stapler at your head during a tense work meeting, that this particular action had a specific karmic reason. Well, it could, but not necessarily. It could just be a lesson in assertiveness for you – “Don’t do that again!”, say. It could have been a lesson in patience for your co-worker which, erm, didn’t take.

I do believe that accidents happen. There might not have been any karmic reason at all for that total stranger to rear-end your car when you were already having such a crappy day. But then this brings in the notion that everything has a potential lesson. Maybe that person’s day – or their life – has been even worse than yours. Maybe a kind forgiving word from you will be something they need to not yell at their children, or to realize things could be a lot worse.

Or again, there could be a karmic reason that you agreed to somewhere along the line – you and the total stranger might need to meet for some reason, whether it’s for just a moment or years to come.

The phrase many people use as a blanket term to cover this and other similar beliefs is “Schoolhouse Earth”. I think that’s as good and as accurate a description as any.

The danger in believing this, of course, like with any religious or spiritual belief, is falling into the trap of, “Am I doing it right? Am I doing it enough? Am I where I’m supposed to be?” That’s a trap I’ve fallen into many times; it’s part of the reason I started shoving my beliefs to one side, tamping them down, and trying to ignore them. Not listening to my instincts.

That’s the way of the Pharisees, the legalists, who want to obsess over every iota of the law. That way lies madness. The best solution I’ve found is just to maintain – borrowing a phrase that police, survivalists, and others call – “situational awareness”. In the metaphysical case it means being mindful,  aware of your surroundings, and your own state of being at that moment. How are you feeling where you are now? What are you thinking? This could be after being rear-ended, or simply while sitting at a computer typing a blog entry.

But purpose – or Purpose, if you want to capitalize it – is something I have obsessed over, and still do. Even more so now that I’m much older than when I started exploring spirituality in a serious way, and being much more aware of my own mortality. So what do my instincts tell me?

That part’s easy: I want to create, preserve, and pass along. To create things that are lasting, preserve what I consider to be good things so future generations can enjoy them, and then pass them along to people either now or in those future generations.

My creation, most often, is writing. Passing along dovetails with writing also, as well as my job as a librarian, purveyor of help and information. The preserving has taken a somewhat different turn. I have a large library not only for my own use, but thanks to premonitions I’ve had since I was a child of future disasters that might make things like books, information, and knowledge valuable and necessary. (If you know anything about people like Edgar Cayce, you’ll know that I grabbed books about Earth Changes and similar events and ran with them.) I have a large library far from any major population center specifically in the hope of preserving those books (and other media) in case they need to be preserved in the face of some great catastrophe.

I also believe, as my instincts vaguely keep telling me, that I’m not quite doing what I ought to be. Writing, yes, but not just novels; preserving books, yes, but not just as a home library. But I either can’t quite pinpoint what I’m missing, or if I have ideas, I have little to no idea of how to even begin implementing them. Or, as has become more frequent in recent years, my long-time depressive bouts have struck down my enthusiasm and energy, and drag me into feeling like whatever I do is pointless and won’t work anyway.

I also believe the depression comes in some part from the knowing somewhere that I’m not exactly doing what I should be, and I’m feeling frustrated and guilty over that. But that’s another post.

Most people I know, and the lion’s share in the rural area where I live, are Christian. I consider myself one too, to an extent – sometimes I even self-identify as Methodist. I don’t find much conflict in most of Christianity with what I believe except in the most literal translations of the Bible. Do I believe in Hell? Not a fire and brimstone kind, but as a separation from God and our spiritual selves, that’s a big yes. Do I believe in Judgement? I believe, as my friend Alexandra has talked about with me, and as many others have said, that this world is about neutral consequences: Things happen based on your thoughts and actions, not as sentient judgement, not as punishment or reward, but simply as a neutral reaction to what you’ve done.

Do I believe Christ was divine? I believe he was trying to tell us we all are – “These things I do you can do also, and greater things shall you do, because I go to the Father”. Because he showed us what was possible, and the way, truth, and life, the way that we should be living with our fellow human beings.

And having said all of this – I also am a fan of science. Particularly physics and astronomy if you want to get that specific, but any aspect of Creation fascinates me, and that curiosity I mentioned in my last entry drives me to learn as much about the world as I can. I don’t have a problem with believing in God and the physical world – God may be a scientist for all I know. I don’t see any conflict between the idea that we were created and that we evolved from primordial seeds.

There’s a lot more I could write about all of this, but I think this entry is running long enough already. Really, it boils down to One Big Thing. Whether you’re talking about yourself in body, yourself in spirit, other people, or the physical world surrounding us, all of these beliefs are centered and grounded in taking care. Take care of yourself. Take care of those around you. Take care of the world around  you. As best you can.

I feel like I fall short a lot. That’s normal, but I don’t know how far or how often I fall short, and feel like I should be doing more – if I can figure out what and how. But again – I can save that discussion for a later post.

One thing I am sure about, however, is that keeping this blog does feel like a step in the right direction of where I need to be.

 

 

 

 

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