Computer frustrations: I cannot seem to move past the "error message" when I edited my profile here. Help! was no help at all. Oh well, maybe my daughter can help me later. The blogger software seems to want a photo but offers no simple way to enter one from my documents page....
So I shall probably lose my wonderful, warm, witty and enlightening entries on my profile page! Alas, I shall have to do it all over again! I am accepting this fact of life a heckuva lot better than I ever used to.
The incident has temporarily destroyed my peace, however. My beautiful peace from which I had every good intention of typewriting out long, long streams of ultimate wisdom, interwoven with engaging, witty, heartwarming little tales from my bounteous past. Forget about the past! Be in the NOW! Move on! Yeah, but....
Reminds me of a kid back in the sixth grade, whom Mr. Cadwallader nicknamed the "yeah-but." Rhymes with rabbit. Every time teacher would answer a question from him, he would start another question with "yeah, but...." Maybe everyone has a "yeah-but" phase of their life, where they hear a truth, and they have to go "yeah-but." There seem to be some who do this their whole lives. Good listeners will grow quiet and try to stay quiet for a while, or later, try to get back to that place of hearing that truth. For truth is a food, it is manna from Heaven. Some truth may come your way, from that "still small voice," if you can hear it -- right in the midst of a fierce emotional debate. In fact, the emotions seem to be necessary to enliven the ears, especially the inner ear.
"Well, my truth, Mr. Simcrack, or whatever your name is -- my truth is my back is killing me, and I have to go to work anyway today. Have you got anything for that?"
I can appreciate that, I fought back pain for twenty years, and it still can bother me at times. I hate taking pain relievers like ibuprofen, although they will work if you don't take them every day.
This is a hard lesson, maybe one of life's hardest. Maybe, just maybe, your guardian angel, or some force that you do not yet recognize in life, for good or ill -- and however you care to define it for yourself -- is trying to show you a larger picture. Physical pain is a MEANS to an end, not an end in itself. Physical pain LIMITS what we can do with our body.
I always found it helpful to think of the four bodies: physical, emotional, mental or intellectual, and, finally, the spiritual. "First the natural, then the spiritual," Dan Wright always preached. So, if the physical body is limited, a purpose of that (for nothing happens without a purpose, whether we like or accept that or not), then that might be happening so the emotional body has a better chance to discover itself, or the mental body, and then, finally, the spiritual body.
The final limitation on the physical is old age. We can fight it off, we can forestall it-- Jack LaLane is a recent prime example of one who finally had to succumb, in his nineties, after several decades of physical fitness regimes and great positive thinking. When you die, will you have some sort of a spiritual body prepared for yourself? The religions say that this work is done for you. For instance, Christianity says Jesus "saves" you. I don't know. I was "saved" for a couple of weeks when I was about 13 years old, so maybe I am saved this way.
Maybe you can find salvation in good works. I remember a story of Richard Nixon crying out in anguish to his Secretary of State: would he be remembered for his good works, after he died? Since his presidency was ending in a state of disgrace, at least in man's eyes. I cannot apologize for Mr. Nixon, but surely God's eyes encompass a heckuva greater scope than man's. Many a greater man than Nixon came to the end of his life in a state of despair, and one in particular in the 20th Century, one whom many including myself have regarded as a great teacher of mankind -- the writer D.H. Lawrence. Not only did he seem to die in despair, but he lived much of life in financial hardship and the physical limitations and suffering of tuberculosis.
Well, I get tired of all this talk about suffering and meaning. I'm going outside in a while and do some carpentry. What a country, what times! Here there is a nuclear plant with ongoing explosions in Japan, and a flooding reactor in Nebraska that has been damaged by a fire. Someone said, what a change in the media. At the time of Three Mile Island in 1979, if I have that date right, there were minute by minute updates in the news. Today there is little but denial concerning any major story.
"So, what the "f" are you gonna do about it, Silax Gimcrack?"
I'm going to continue to stay near to the current of anger and rebellion that has always been alive in the body of this American experiment. I find it by living in a real community that was started by a living, modern day prophet, even if he is now departed. I find it by living with people I love, even if most of them are not very sophisticated politically (they say the same about me, that I'm just a misguided liberal). But we keep talking about it. No one is going to change, but we can talk. And others can be enlivened by that process. It is not some dull, dried up intellectual debate, but a living part of our life together. We can talk because there is an underlying respect and love that has been tested by years of work and community life together.
Just as with physical pain limiting the physical body, so the more difficult and painful emotions of fear, anger, grief, desire for vengeance, etc., limit and temper the emotional body. No one wants to see a political leader cry, but, as a dear friend told me the other day, his favorite three words in the New Testament are "...and Jesus wept." Sometimes it seems to me that's all a person could do in the face of these calamities of today. Collectively we are doing it to ourselves. We are bringing these natural disasters of Mother Nature on ourselves in order to experience the painful emotions that will eventually, God willing, give rise to a great new intellectual body of thought, and a collective spiritual body, a common Soul of Humanity.