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Monday, July 10, 2006

If I Were...

Amaris asked: “…have you given any recent thought to your eternal future?”

Frankly, I had not. I’m more concerned about my Mother’s eternal future, given that her doctors estimate that she will likely expire within the next 48 hours…(or one week, at the latest). She will, most likely, confront her eternal future sooner than I shall confront mine. I am spending as much time as possible with her, for she is terrified (although she is so drugged on morphine right now, that I doubt she can feel much of anything). She no longer reacts to vocal stimulation. She is well beyond my reach. My Mother is a devout Catholic and has always feared God’s ultimate evaluation of her life and soul. I’d say she has nothing to worry about. She certainly lived by all the rules…

As for my eternal future? Well, here’s what I think:

If I were a Catholic or a Jew, I would most certainly be damned to Hell…there would be no if’s or but’s about that. I must plead nolo contendere on Judgment Day. I have violated so many Church prohibitions (and a Commandment or two) that probation or parole are out of the question. I find it strange to think that I’d be suffering along with the likes of an Adolph Hilter, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot or Karl Rove for all of eternity. If I were a Catholic, I would surely be doomed. I'll confess it's a terrifying prospect.

If I were a Hindu, I’d be assured of another crack at life. I doubt I would be allowed to return as a human being (although it gags me to think that humans are somehow considered to be “higher-order beings”). If I had any say in the matter, I would ask to return as a dog. I need to learn how to love again, to be completely and utterly devoted to a human being - to love unconditionally, to give myself up without reservation to another. I wouldn’t mind that at all. I’d enjoy that. In fact, I truly need that.

If I were a Muslim, there most certainly would not be 72 virgins waiting for me, eager to indulge me in misogynist fantasies. I’m not one to battle infidels, to be a martyr for any religion. I’m more of a “stick-a-flower-in-the-gun-barrel” type.

If I were a Christian Fundamentalist, there would be no Rapture for me. I would be left behind to face the Apocalypse. I can accept that. I’ve been living in Hell for more than a year now. What’s a few more years of that? I can deal with it. In the end, I’d burn in eternal Hell-fire…along with practically all of my fellow human beings. After all, the Fundamentalists believe that they, and only they, will be allowed to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. That, alone, makes Heaven seem like a lousy neighborhood. I’d rather not live anywhere near the likes of such sanctimonious hypocrites as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Benny Hinn, Fred Phelps, Jimmy Swaggart, Oral Roberts…(my, my, my...the list is long).

If I were a Wiccan, Baha’i, Sikh, Konko-Kyo, Shinto or Sufi...well...I have NO idea what my eternal future may be. I simply don’t know enough about their beliefs to understand what may or may not befall me. I hope they’re not predicting something awful for me.

If I were a Buddhist, I’d probably be a saner, calmer, more enlightened type. Alas, I’m far from being an enlightened soul…therefore, my future shall remain a mystery.

If I were an Atheist I would simply disappear.

But, you see, I’m none of these…

* * *

(to be continued)


Blogger olive said...

If you were Wiccan, you'd just end up back on Earth in another lifetime, drawn to the lives of people you loved or hurt. So no, nothing more terrible than anything you've done to yourself already. Cheers!!

Tue Jul 11, 02:10:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Thank you, Olive.

Tue Jul 11, 06:29:00 AM  
Blogger Amaris said...

If you were to forego labels, and if you wanted peace, Jesus could give it to you. Not by Christian Fundamentalists, not by any rule you did or didn't do, not by the slurred reputation of a church that was once holy, not by anything you can do alone.

Tue Jul 11, 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

I'm not one to challenge anyone's spirituality (only their acts), and Jesus was, by far, my greatest spiritual teacher. But there have been others. My eyes and ears, my heart and very soul have been tuned and tweaked, wakened and transformed by many others.

I've tried to describe my personal theology in previous entries. I call it the Awe, the Song...although it truly defies all labels. It is not simply a human thing, it's not bound by human thought or human comprehension. The Song is everywhere, in every living thing, in every breath of wind, in every stone and every drop of water. It is there in stardust and every beam of light.

Jesus taught me how to live, and he sings more beautifully than most, but the Song is everywhere if we but care to listen.

Tue Jul 11, 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

I offer this poem as a postscript of sorts. It is one of my favorite poems. It was the poem I read to my family at the first Thanksgiving dinner I prepared for them. I read it often - many times each year. It grows within me, and it grows ever more beautiful.

Believers of any stripe may find their feelings contained with it.

A Physics

When you get down to it, earth
has our own great ranges
of feeling -- Rocky, Smoky,
Blue -- and a heart
that can melt stones.

Miles above, the still pools
fill with sky, as if aloof.
And we have eyes,
for all of this – the earth
and its reminding moon. We too

are ruled by such attractions –
spun and swaddled, rocked
and lent a light. We run
our trains on time, our clocks
on wheels. And all the while

we want to love each other
endlessly. Not only for
a hundred years, not only six feet
up and down. We want the suns and moons
of silver in ourselves, not only

counted coins in a cup. The whole idea
of love was not to fall. And neither was
the whole idea of God. We put him well
above ourselves because we meant,
in time, to measure up.

Heather McHugh

Tue Jul 11, 10:45:00 PM  

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