Friday, October 12, 2012

God is Spirit

I am a soul. I have this body. (Paraphrase - C.S.Lewis)
I am a spiritual being living in a material world.
The duality I experience is an illusion created by the mind. Physics teaches me that matter is slow energy. E=MC2 The laws of quantum physics don't just apply at the edges but are the essence of creation. Improbability and probability are central. My thoughts attract and create my experience. Others of like mind are involved in this my reality. The murderer and the murdered are part of a dance whereas elsewhere the lover and loved dance too. All is God and God is good. What seems now senseless and terrible is not as it seems because I "see but through a glass darkly". When I judge events of the world I am only having an opinion on what I am told and the selection of information as presented. What I can know is my own journey, my relationship with God, myself and others. From that experience I can have great empathy for the experience of others. In all the events of my life there were possibilities but where fate and free will applied much was fated. Ancients believed this was a product of reincarnation and projected this idea into the future as a way of modulating one's own behaviour. It is a fact that I was born with 10 fingers and 10 toes, my eye sight and hearing and physically fit to a loving family in middle class Canada. It would have been a different matter altogether if I was born without hands or feet in poverty and sickness left for adoption. I have no knowledge of why I was by most standards of this world 'gifted' to be born in Canada rather than Rwanda or Vietnam at the time of their wars.
I was introduced to God by my mother who encouraged my little flannel pyjama'd body to kneel beside my bed and pray. We prayed together like this and in church and Sunday School. I remember this as early as 5 years old but have little recollection of prayer before that though believe it was a part of the family heritage. I was raised Christian. Our church was Baptist.
There was a sacred magical sense in my childhood that lingers in my memory. As a child and later as a teen ager I was very aware of the presence of God. At many times in my life that sense of being in the midst of a loving higher power has been deeply real for me. I related to the Biblical reading of Adam in the Garden of Eden and God coming to walk with him. That sense of a guide and wiser spirit presence, a loving Father, has been with me often.
I have felt too that my prayers were answered. I have been so struck by the phenomena of synchronicity and coincidence and the miraculous that I have seen prayers 'manifest' reality. There has always seemed to me to be an association between my inner world and the outer world. I have studied psychiatry and know this is not the 'ideas of references' or the psychosis that some would insist all experience other than materialistic sex and aggression drives are. I have found Freud tedious as an aetheist. I much preferred the scientists like Einstein, Newton, Carl Jung and Milton Erickson whose faith in God and the ultimate holiness of creation was established. I thought Martin Buber a genius whereas Henry Mortgentaller was a sick and tragic man. I have considered much of my life in relationship to the spiritual and always found that I have worked better with the faith and knowledge of God and consideration of God and prayer than when I have struggled without. In my personal life I have most admired those men who have had a strong spiritual connection like early academic mentors, Dr. Carl Ridd and Dr. John White.
I have always struggled with the notion of sexuality and spirituality. I have seen that the majority of people have shared beliefs and like Dr. Owen Barfield felt this is the 'mainstream' of society's behaviour reflecting on perhaps the spiritual pathways one may follow. I've always enjoyed Dr. Scott Peck's ,"the road less travelled". And I tried to do the 'mainstream thing of heterosexual marriage and monogamy" but like 50% of the men of my generation we were faced with radical feminism and a 50% divorce rate. I have seen men I most admired, ministers, pure and sweet souls, from the finest homes with the best intentions and the greatest love devastated in the relationship wars of the 70's and 80's. I have called this 'social communism' and only now do I see women especially no longer angry and blaming and playing the 'gender card'. We are all in this together and I admire those who have successfully married, had children and raised them. I know that they have better skills and worked harder than I ever did and had greater compatibility. I married predominantly professional women who didn't have children and in retrospect didn't seem to want children and while sexy didn't seem that interested in sex compared to many other aspects of their lives. I believe that in relationship the 'blind man marries the deaf woman' so that we are with our complements and that my lack of children reflects either 'design' 'fate' or 'determinism' or an unconscious desire not to have children causes me to choose specifically women who didn't have children. I believe too that psychiatric truism "ask a woman why she hasn't had children and she will mostly likely tell you why she feels her mother didn't want children". Certainly the feminists, call them radical or whatever, of my era considered children least and saw careers, status and personal life fulfillments as most important. Children were a hindrance and a burden to these radical women who quite frankly appeared to imitate men. Today they strut about in business suits and have fancy cars, aetheism, materialism and flaunt young boys as their sex toys. I remember when they condemned the men who did this very same thing. They were vociferous in their criticism but then Freud did teach us that 'identification with the aggressor' was an immature defence and coping mechanism so we can all consider these 'shallow' 'hollow girls' as T.S. Elliott might call them as failures of humanity like their male brethren. That is, if we believe that 'altruism' and 'care for others' as opposed to 'narcissism" and strict care of one's self and pleasure is the goal of life. Happiness is many things. All over their are orgies and drugs and alcohol are part of the world of leaders of state male or female. Indeed the advance of women in society has brought them all the 'diseases' and 'stresses' that were once thought 'manly' so these 'radical feminist' executive women male like in their overall behaviour share the lack of 'fulfillment' and physical stress medical ills that had an earlier generation of men turning to spirituality as a means of making sense of existence. These women without children are now buying lulu lemon yoga pats and meditating on the meaning of existence. Oprah like Buffet and Gates and the truly great man, Carnegie, before them are devoting themselves to altruistic care of others with benefactorial community responsibility. The media tells us about the failures of the rich and famous men and women and takes greatest interest in the naked breasts of a princess or the naked buttocks of a prince insisting the masses want this and indeed ensuring the masses want this by giving the masses only cakes and ale, yet thankfully the internet gives all the diversity of information that allows some to look more than at the surface of things. Don't get me wrong I'm as voyeurstically attracted to the breasts of princesses and buttocks of princes but there is so much more that occurs each day, like the rescue of a child, or the education of a student, or the space walk that seem to be sidelined for the sake of the drunk and stoned who cannot appreciate more than the basest of experience.
In the midst of all of this I pray to God and ask God. A friend condemns homosexuality and I can't find it in me to do this. A friend condemns all relationship but monogamy and again I can't find it in me to do this. I'm a divorced bisexual man who through fault or choice have not succeeded in striving for the heterosexual monogamous family Rockwell Biblical prototype ideal where children are treated like little Gods and Goddesses, princes and princesses and the world as I know it is set out predominantly for everyone to be involved in just that task. Indeed, I taught thousands of children, delivered a hundred babies and saved thousands of children's live and paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes for children's services that have helped others and their children without direct benefit to me. I don't have children and when it came down to it the women I married told me they didn't want them either. Then one day I was old and frankly figure I was doing enough for others children that I was happy not to come home to my own. Today I'm happy with my dog.
My friends with children have been 'policed' by their children and the institutions that surround their children. I remember female doctor colleagues who were drunken pot heads socially cleaning up their acts overnight after becoming pregnant. I know literally dozens of close friends who were given the ultimatum to clean up their acts or they'd lose their children. I've watched doctors be hauled in before principles about their language. I've stopped going to homes of friends with children because they are indeed living in a Disneyland repeat of some childhood experience that they didn't seem to get enough of. I "did' childhood thank you. I'm happy to watch a movie where people actually 'fuck' and there's blood and guts and 'reality' rather than a 'white washed version' of events 'for the sake of the children'. I am like alot of old farts wanting to not have any children around me and am very fond of 'over 55' housing and activities. I miss the family communities of the country where children and old people and dogs and cats were all present at the weekly dances but I don't want anything to do with soccer moms and hockey dads' and that whole 'little miss sunshine' thing with parents using their children to live through. I have my own life and I'm not expecting my dog to be a basketball star because I wanted to be a basketball star as a kid and wasn't .
My friend who is pure and angelic and has deep long term meaningful relationship with men and for all I know may not have genitals or go to the washroom though there is one in her place, probably for guests, dresses always in white and simply never married though she is truly one of the sexisest creatures I've ever known, finds that she has no 'place' in the church today as I find the 'church' mainstream excludes me. I believe the medieval church loved both of us. We were the single aunts and uncles who were ever present in 'community' but today everyone expects her to marry and have children as they view me as an utter failure for divorce and lack of children. Yet both of us attend church and when people go on and on about their children we both begin to bore them in return with our talk of travel and adventures.
Some Jungian woman with children and a degree calls us both as having "Peter Pan" syndrome. Yet I didn't buy the contraceptives and I did my best to sew my seeds and the scientists said my seeds were adequate to the task. I don't resent not having children in this sense but I do blame the courts for their lack of fairness and justice in the gender wars of the 70's and 80's. It seemed obvious to me that the courts were in the industry of taxing marriages by charging and arm and a leg for divorce while not holding the institutions accountable for divorce in the way we hold a bar tender accountable for serving drinks to a drunk who goes out and crashes his car. Having devoted a quarter century to making a physical family without success I really think I should get my money back from the church and state that instead punished me financially for the experience while the women themselves punished me financially too. Yet I could not claim victimship because adult men and now adult women could not compete with radical feminist women who abused drugs and alcohol and didn't have children but became childlike when they were hurt and demanded to be treated by society as 'child like victims' playing the gender card. Bob Dylan said it well when he wrote she acts like a woman but "breaks just like a little girl". In contrast this war culture with the militaristic attitude to men alone said, "man up" to us boys when we cried.
I wouldn't recommend a man cry today. When I've cried it's shown my enemies my place of hurt so vulnerable I've been injured more there. Crying is a very private thing in this society. When my mother died and I was grieving terribly a female minister failed me utterly, a female assistant used the opportunity to steal from me and attack me and the state used the opportunity to savage me. Thankfully lawyers, both male and female, helped stave off the attacks that my grief occasioned. It's not wise to show weakness despite all the encouragement in the pop psychology flakey granola world. Women who have been hurt in my experience are at equal risk of further pain if they don't stand up.
That said there are places and people where we must be open. It might not be with lovers who later in courts will use the intimacy to make money. It may be with friends or counsellors or doctors or lawyers. There's a place where we need to be open and we join with others mostly through our shared vulnerability.
Jesus was a 'servant king'. He taught of a God that didn't only care for the mighty but was there for the least. He washed the feet of his disciples. We are spiritually loved not just for our successess but equally for our failures. God is with us as my friend Milton, now dead, said, "in the whorehouse and in the jail." Now if the 'whorehouse and jail' were happy fulfilling places then no doubt God would want us there to but as they aren't the best outlet for creative expression in living with greatest possibility for happiness and most likely greatest benefit versus risk, God probably doesn't want that for us, though I don't know that God would 'disapprove'.
There are 'spiritual laws' in a way like physical laws. There are 'easier' ways of living. Clearly everything has a bit of the stockmarket gamble to it. Our society is to a large extent a great Los Vegas with investment houses little better than casinos at times. A friends father said that his 'blue chip' investments paid little and all his conservative financial planning did little compared to his 'wild' decision to invest in a start up company called "IBM". There is no certainty in this life. I would have preferred to live the mainstream with family and children. I have already said I fully admire those who have taken that route and today I don't think I want 'police" children in my life and am a little concerned about a society that justifies all manner of censorship based on the 'children'. Personally I think the 'children' are being used in this case for 'ulterior motives'. Indeed we are often asked these days to go to war 'for the children' when once we went for 'the flag'. I'm more suspicious in my old age and having paid so many hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxes to help others raise their children and served children and families all my life in work I'm kind of looking forward to an adult world away from all that 'child police state' world though I'll forever miss the country community where children dads and grand parents all mixed at the dances. I loved growing up with my grandparents and uncles and aunts about but I don't have children and my life without children is very much not a part of the mainstream that dominates so much of society. I'm also single and divorced and the mainstream society serves mostly the intact families. Indeed when I first divorced, divorced men were excluded from partnerships and I was denied several positions of work because I was 'divorced'. "We don't hire divorced people" I was told by government and clinics. I was further told "My wife doesn't like me to associated with divorced men". "We only have married friends". I think that's good but I've lived that part of my life and today I'd rather be with other divorced and single people that are forming loving friendships than that group of people living in the mainstream. If I was a woman I would have had a child. I believe radical feminism was intrinsically 'anti-children" and indeed I was as much a part of the 'culture of narcissism' that describes well the social decadence of the 60's set now growing into senility. I'm the tail end of the 'baby boomers' and the ravages of drugs and boozer continue to take people I have known long before a life of less self indulgence might otherwise have taken them.
My father died at 94. I find myself reflecting on life again and wondering what is important to me now. Clearly spirituality is. I want to be 'ready' for death. I want to contemplate life and death and God. I want to live in love rather than fear. I want to continue to serve my fellow man and women and community. I want tyo participate fully in society but more so in those aspects that acknowledge the infinite and our relationship to a higher power. I'd like to get more 'right' with the world and God. I 'd like to lessen the 'pain' of existence before my aging puts me more in the 'pain' of existence just because of facts of life like gravity. People with children have their 'immortality' assured in someway in this earthplane but I'm not so focussed on this earthplane as I might well be if I had children. I don't know if that's true. I want to find a place where I am welcome as a single divorced old person who is spiritual and sexual and living as a spiritual being in a material world. I want to celebrate life more, sail, ride my sports car, field the wind in my hair, dance, hunt, fish, work, play and do all that but more with God in all aspects of my life and existence. I can't have the life my father had. Family dominated his world as did his wife of 60 years and he lived with other Christians mostly in a Canada where the majority of people he lived and worked among had been part of the fight against Nazism and Communism. He was as all Canadians were in those days communal libertarians of a sense but today the politics and cities are global and cultures are mixing faster than the legal systems and other institutions can adapt. It's a different sort of chaos I've inheritted and I must give order to this with the help of my faither and God and friends and community.
I never know if I should share these musings. Ramblings and journalling but I do. Messages in bottles from shipwrecked sailors on islands. Kindred souls have touched and communicated with me over the years. Other writers and authors and poets and songsters and scientists and police and judges and politicians and painters have all communicated in kind with me. It's what I like really. There are blogs of all manner of rantings and ravings and we know that people are thinking all manner of things and we can see that all around there is creation. Where there is creation there to the creator is.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Anne Lindsay said...

Hi Bill. This is a brilliant essay. Your thoughts resonate with me. As you know I do have kids. I was swept up in the 60's cultural imperative that a woman must marry and have children or be thought a failure. I came from an impoverished background, had no education or expectations of a career at that time, so there were few options for me. I know I was not cut out for motherhood. I did OK but I would have been better in another career. I am friends with both my kids and I am forming a close friendship with my eight years old granddaughter. That is how I see it. My kids and my grandchild are people that I have grown to understand and like. I hope I have gone beyond the biological imperative -- perpetuation of the species or competing to ensure that my genotype survives my death. We, you and I, are parents of all children everywhere. I live in a different country from my kids. I have my own life. I don't live through them and don't expect them to be responsible for me. I don't carry a photo album to whip out on plane trips and don't talk about my kids unless I am specifically asked. I know how boring accounts of children's accomplishments can be. It's a fine line between telling and bragging. Blessings as always. Anne

Florinda said...

I really enjoyed this post. I think it is lovely that you journal this way. Other people can learn and relate to your experiences. :)

Anonymous said...

you have great ideas, bill

and you tell your experiences in a persuasive manner

we are complicated people and I have found that no matter what...
a Belief in God, family, and friends, and work go along way to having a life worth living with no regrets

thank you bill for the read