Smoke & Mirrors
Isn't it all just smoke & mirrors? Isn't that how reality really works? That's why paradox is the order of the day. That's why nothing makes sense. It takes smoke & mirrors. It takes maya/illusion for us to manifest and live our lives in innocence/ignorance.
I think the concept of reincarnation (at least, the typical concept of it) cheapens life. I think that the briefness of the time we have we in our one lifetime is what can make life fascinating and meaningful and precious.
Now, if taken too seriously, either way is depressing. Reincarnation or not, god or not, all of it.
This one short life. Like an adventure, an experiment, to see what can be created/experienced with so little to work with.
Yes, life can be joyous and wonderful. But, it's also horrifying and cruel, gray and meaningless, lonely and heart-breaking. I will never understand why. Sometimes it seems to have meaning. Sometimes it seems to be going somewhere. But, overall, the ugliness seems to outweigh the beauty.
Yes, it can be good. But, it's not necessarily good. I was taught to feel guilty if my life wasn't good. I was taught to blame people for their own misfortune. I was taught to look for blame and unworthiness.
As if the most unacceptable, inconceivable possibility was to blame god or to see that their was no all-good, loving god behind it all - as if THAT was the one thing, the one thought to be avoided at all costs.
That's why *normal* religion/spirituality (with all of it's 'shoulds' and blame) doesn't work well for me. Facing reality as it truly is works better for me.
I've seen so much arguing over whether or not this is true. I guess it depends on what you see as the purpose of religion. Those that argue against this are those that think religion has to do with heaven and hell or with how we behave or such. Those that believe that all paths have equal value are those that believe that the purpose of religion is inner peace/to be happy or the search for Truth.
Some religions say that the purpose is in the afterlife. I think that's fine for them. If that's what they need to believe in order to find inner peace. They may see life itself as misery. It may not sound like they have much inner peace. But, maybe the belief in an afterlife and reward for all their suffering in life is the only inner peace they can find.
Life IS hell. Life IS death.
Death is life. And the only heaven we can find in life is to die to it.
I'll never understand how some people can be so pollyana-ish about how wonderful life is. Not that life holds NO pleasure or NO beauty. But, overall, life is not pleasurable or beautiful.
That's one way I see Jesus as an interesting phenomenon. He seems to point to a choice of focus. To choose one aspect of god (a very pantheistic, both good and evil god) that will lead to inner peace/heaven on earth.
Like Buddha, to find the beauty within the ugliness/to see beyond the illusion.
It's real, but it's not. We are physical, but we're not. There are angels and demons, but there aren't. There are gods, but there aren't. There is God, but not. There is the Tao, but not.
And, in the end, beyond it all, beyond all the levels of truth and illusion, we can never know what really is.
It's so strange.
How can I be so atheistic considering all the spiritual experiences I've had in my life? I do believe in what I've experienced. I do believe. But, it's not that simple.
It's like we need to learn to use the Smoke & Mirrors to create our own reality, our own belief system, our own way of working with reality to find our own inner peace.
An odd thought: I think maybe the Qabala might be appropriate here. Strangely, it keeps popping up in my life. I don't even know all that much about it. Well, more than a lot of people, but not very much. Yet, at the strangest times, I'll realize that what I'm saying/realizing matches what the Qabala teaches.
It's like I'm slowly creating my own belief system that HAPPENS to match the Qabala! Interesting.
The female side of the tree tends to be more negative and the male side more positive. It makes a kind of twisted sense in that the male side is about living more on the surface, with more faith and less introspection. It's the restful part between periods of inner work and facing demons and such. The female side is about facing reality.
I've heard it said that dabbling in the occult is dangerous. Maybe it is to some people. But, my life IS an occult life. I've had no choice. Whether because I'm just overly sensitive or because of a traumatic childhood, who knows? But, my life is lived from an occult point of view. It's my perspective. To turn away from it is the danger TO ME.
I have no choice but to find my peace by facing and seeing things through the darker, more hidden view. All sweetness and light OR a moralistic view, neither works for me. They're both death to me.
The surest way for me to screw up in life is to try overly hard to be good and do good. Absolutely not! I succeed only when I take things more *lightly*. Not sweetness and light. Rather more playfully, less seriously. Selfishly, not in a mean-spirited selfishness, but in a playful, childlike, trusting selfishness.
Knowing that I'm working without a net seems to give me more of a net. Interesting.
An atheistic overall context. But, not total atheism. Kind of like that quote from the Tao Te Ching. Something about the gods being WITHIN the Tao, created by the Tao. And something about anything beyond the Tao being unknowable.
My *gods* are within the Tao. They lie within the pantheistic All. They are not the source. The source is unknowable. Any overall purpose or meaning of existence is unknowable.
All these religions and prophets can only point the way to what works. They cannot say what the final abstract truth is. It can't be done.
It's actually a rather polytheistic POV. From asking questions of the Recons about what they believe about source, I've realized that they don't even really consider source. They have differing views, but overall see the source as unknowable and/or irrelevant.
So, when it's all said and done, what is my perspecive, what is my context? I guess it's a pretty shamanistic POV. The reality behind the obvious reality, within. However, since I'm not a healer and since I'm more about what works and what's real, I guess it's a more witchy POV.