In Golem, the goddess Zenica turns to her protégé Beilda and asks,
Does a man have free will if he cannot count his options?
I am coming up on a year of consistent activity at Word Press, and see that I have published 200,000 words here this year, on topics ranging over human nature, religion, politics, physics and programming. Reflecting on that experience, what comes to mind is the assessment of a friend who went spelunking in my mind one night,
There’s no bottom to you.
The problem, of course, is that there’s also no place to stand. No one will ever come to EverDeepening and think “I see where Brian’s coming from.”
And while that means that I probably don’t have much appeal, that’s all very well, because it’s for the counting of options by others that I write.
I alluded a few days back to the tyranny of convention that I have struggled against. It has a valid basis, which is observed in the psychological maturation of children. They go through phases of trust and distrust with the world, driven largely by their experience of significant trauma. Convention is a strategy that we use to protect ourselves from traumatic experiences.
Unfortunately, the sense of some anthropologists (see my summary of Jared Diamond’s perspective) is that the conventions of modern cultures foment mistrust. My own observation is that there are few adults that sustain a perspective of trust. But as a Christian, I am committed to the arrival of an era in which all of our relationships are anchored in trust.
That may appear paradoxical, in that much of my writing is to decry the untrustworthiness of those that sustain the conventions of mistrust. So what’s that all about? Am I not just adding my voice to the echo chamber?
First, I hope that it is clear that I don’t just deconstruct the logic of mistrust. I do try to describe the alternative as I experience. Yes, the world is in pain, and many of my posts are great cries from the heart, but what I find is that in expressing that pain, a lightening occurs. That lightening has two parts: the suffering spirits are relieved of their fear of being forgotten and so lost; and then God enters into the darkness through me, remaining even after I turn my attention elsewhere.
When I revealed my burdens to Diane Hamilton at a Buddhist Geeks conference, her first reaction was to declare “No one person can carry that burden.” A day later, she testified that the “Cosmic Mind” enters to assist us when we open our hearts to problems that are beyond our strength. Her reflection was in response to my testimony that its essential nature was to be “infinitely enamored of the potentiality of living things.”
So that’s one half of the coin, and I hope that I have presented that choice to my readers. I may sound crazy at times, but this is really the way that I experience life, and my experience does contain great and inexplicable gifts of beauty.
But there is a flip side to the Cosmic Mind: “inexorably destructive of selfish personalities.” That seems contradictory: if the Cosmic Mind is committed to the creation of living things (“selves”), why is it set against them? The reason is that selfishness impedes the elaboration of the potential of life. The predator would consume all its prey, and so must die if any life at all is to survive.
So for those of you that still read this, I must beg your pardon. Much of what I write here is a form of exorcism – it is a violent characterization and excommunication of ideas that contradict the formation of trust.
I had great hopes, in beginning this project last year, that it would stimulate reading of the parables that express my dreams for humanity, and so to inspire others with hope. I realize now that is unlikely. But I do feel that I have come to a much brighter place through this work. There are far fewer dark corners in my mind.