rebecca ward, electrical tape
It has been an odd day. It started at doctor's office being told that the Sunday afternoon incident was not a heart attack. It was something that happens in my heart regularly; it's just that this time it hit a glitch or something. I didn't quite get it. But I got it enough to not be alarmed. Not alarmed, but need to pay closer attention. Maybe. I don't know what pay closer attention means. If it means obsessing or becoming a hypochondriac about it, I'd prefer to go on. I'm not going to worry about dying. Like the day a character I know, in response to "How you doin?" had to answer with all the profundity he could put into it, "I'm dying." He was so profound about it I bit my lip not to say, "Oh no. That's never happened before to anybody. And it's happening to you? Wow! How special you are!" That was my inner bitch. I try to keep her under control. I don't want to get profound about it. I want to look at it in practical terms. The unknown makes it kind of spooky, but there's not really any unknown about it. We have scriptures from all over the world through all time that describe the same about afterlife. I don't pay attention to the Christian fantasies about Hell and Heaven that were compiled over the centuries from art and fiction. Like the Rapture is a 19th century invention. It is not scripture.
If it's said we have heaven on earth when we don't have any worries, desires or guilts clouding our consciousness, then it's within reach in this lifetime. It appears that consciousness itself might be that place we call heaven, or Home. In this time of my life, which in the traditional Hindu way is the time for a man to leave his family and devote the rest of his life to the Way, to the Pilgrim Way, with a guru or however one might do it. I understand why this time of the life is taken for a time of contemplation, understanding, moving inward. I feel in myself a need for quiet, for stillness, for acting on what I have learned from reading, seeing how scriptural guidelines are practical and have nothing to do with sacrifice. I've come to see scripture as explanations of the invisible world of spirit that is the world we live in. The scriptures give us the principles of the spirit world, possibly the ways of heaven in this world. I'm thinking that when I'm in the present moment, that's where the "kingdom of heaven" is. Jesus said it's in the heart. To be in the present moment is to have undistracted consciousness, consciousness so clear of concerns that one finds Home in the present moment. I don't even think about polishing the mirror so smoothly as to have no dust motes of concern on Home Sweet Home the soul. The point of clearing the mind of desires and fears is to come into the present moment of inner clarity. I'm not close enough to that to even think about it.
On the other side, I've an idea whatever dimension or "world" it might be has the same principles as scripture teaches is makes for a good life. Take it all the way, it can take you to enlightenment, ultimately. I imagine "dying" a kind of enlightenment. We've heard so many accounts of people who look up and see light and angels, their faces light up and their eyes close. I don't anticipate anything like that for self. I just imagine what happened Sunday, light-headedness, collapse to the floor, then overwhelmed by light like an abduction from above, following the ray of light upward. The other day I saw something about UFO aliens that we're looking for them in the macro. The suggestion is we'd have better luck looking in the micro. That opened up a new drawer. I've been seeing the same way of looking at the "spirit world" whatever that is. Maybe we can't find it because we're looking macro. Perhaps micro is a better direction to look. What's to say the proportion of our world is the same proportion of all other worlds. Once that opens up, it's a whole new way of seeing that is so expansive it's kind of intimidating. Back to Johannes Kepler. An interesting site: http://kepler.nasa.gov The search for habitable planets.
If the kingdom of heaven is in the heart, that indicates micro to me. It also indicates consciousness. Consciousness is nothing at the same time it is everything. If there is anything that cannot be grasped in this world, it is consciousness. I mean grasped by hand or by mind. Can't be done. Consciousness can only be experienced. It's with us all the time, but we're too distracted to have a look. It's like we're in an international girlie bar with flashing lights and techno that keep us dancing and looking. I think I'm closer to my own consciousness than ever in this lifetime, and see I am still quite a ways from it. Fortunately, Las Vegas is not between me and my consciousness. Thomas Merton and I agree that Las Vegas is the last place on earth I'd want to go to. Out here in the world, the madness for money is so crazy-making I stay out of it. There, the focus is money to the point of what I can't help but see is madness. I've had two chances to go to casinos, one in Atlantic City, one in Germany, and I could not walk in the door. It seemed to me a zone where money is the Only. It's that way enough out here in the world. It's suffocating enough out here. I don't want to go to the center of the universe of the god Mammon. Mammon is the god the world worships, which is why I focus my attention in the world not of the world. Las Vegas is the dancers around the fire before statues of their god Mammon. Spiritually, I see Las Vegas something on the order of the final scenes in Apocalypse Now of the people around Marlon Brando, General Kurtz.
I don't mean to preach, but that old testament god Mammon is the god America worships. They just call him Jesus and it works really well. Send us your checks and dollars, send us your credit card numbers, Jesus loves you, he wants your money for his ministry, hoodwinking more people for more money. Gold bathtub fixtures, gold-plated toilets, jewelry that would put an ox on its knees. Because God wants them to have it. God wants them to be prosperous. God wants them to drive a new cadillac every year. Positive thinking. Believe it so: it is so. Whatever. I'd not like to be the mortician assigned to fix up Tammy Faye Bakker for the casket with her makeup and getting the jewelry in place so it all shows. No false eyelashes in heaven, no crocodile tears. In heaven, gold is pavement, asphalt. St Peter might say, Why are you bringing asphalt? What god do you suppose hears the prayers of evangelists with gold toilets? Some of the prayers I've heard on television no god heard.
I'll go with God as consciousness, that nothing that is everything. Consciousness, the present moment, Home, answers the kingdom of heaven is within. It's in the heart (consciousness). The scriptures are about realizing consciousness, not about building churches, ruling people with guilt and asking for money in the name of God. Consciousness has nothing to do with gold, nor does it have anything to do with pavement. The animals are in the present. The birds, all of what we call nature is in the present. The difference between their consciousness in present is that it's unconscious. We are wanting to evolve spiritually to being consciously aware of consciousness. This is what is meant when it is said we are unconscious. Our consciousness is clouded over by mind, by ego, by desires, by what used to be called the 7 deadly sins, distractions. For me, the spiritual path has been a matter of transcending distractions. I still have plenty, but a dumptruck load less than before. As one who identifies with the spirit before the body, I would have a very different view of dying than someone who identifies with the material world. When I look at myself as the soul, I see I am immortal. I look at self as the body and I am quite mortal. Looking at self as soul, there is no dying, only changing bodies, like changing clothes.