Thursday, December 14, 2006


I once had a dream in which I went around preaching to whomever about vulnerability. This was several years ago, but the dream is still vivid with me.

What's important about the dream is that I wasn't talking to people about heaven or salvation. I was taking about life WITHOUT "answers" or "solutions". And in the dream, this seemed to be what people wanted to hear MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE IN THEIR LIFE.

Strange dream. It still whispers to me, hinting that perhaps "I" am the Emperor with no Clothes. Reminding me that there is, after all, very little in the scheme of things which I confidently "one up".

Take this writing itself. Every word, every comma, has to fight it's way through a blizzard of second thoughts. Who the hell wants to read about my dreams, says some machine thing of contempt. Piss off with your dreams, it says, with your "personalness". The world will wipe it's ass with them.

Perhaps, but I don't care anymore. There's too much sorrow in my life to cut corners with truth telling ALL the time. I admit it, I come and go, I "play the game", I wish I had more money, it'd be nice to be younger, and on and on and on.

Hell, I'm human. There I've said it! I'm a human, finite, mortal, confused something or other. AND SO IS EVERYONE ELSE. Yes, but what does it mean to be a human, finite, mortal, confused something or other?

For openers, it means you don't have any eternal, final answers about bloody anything! This is the insanity (exact word) of most of what passes for religion. People keep acting like they know the bottom line of things. But why does the bottom line of religious fanatics always turn out to be hating and murdering other people "in the name of God"?

Talk about slips twixt the cup and the lip! People like Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, etc., were apparently walking miracles of humanity, but when the wackos start institutionalizing, civilization always runs for cover.

But this is really a kind of side point. The real point is that religioso types are simply unwilling to deal with vulnerability and admit that they don't know zip about the nature of things. They pretend vulnerability is something they've put behind them. And this isn't restricted to people jumping up and down salivating in tents, it also includes candelabra abracadabra’s, foreheads on the floor, and Gregorian chant.

Look, this isn't complicated. Everyone is ultimately alone with the beating of their heart. So what about God and all that business? Who knows? I don't. And I don't think you do either. But I DO know that any would be religion which passes itself off as having a hotline to ultimate realness is selling snake oil. Surely this is self evident.

And you know what? I think everyone else, in their heart of hearts, knows that too. Otherwise, why would religioso's be so psychotically defensive when you question their absolutes? "Protests too much", don't you think? Hell, why can't we just talk about this? We're all Earthlings, don't we all get a vote? Not if you're talking to someone who's been in-doctrine-ated.

The thing is, this isn't restricted to religion. Far from it! See what happens if you're a tad too disrespectful in the (woo! woo!) land of science. Same thing. More religioso's, it's just that they're "scientific" religioso's -- certainty machines in white cassocks (lab coats).

A certainty machine is someone who thinks they've transcended vulnerability and who thinks they've got truth by the balls. The Greeks knew all about this and called it hubris. La plus ca change, la plus ca la meme chose.

What's missing in all of this? What's missing is truth -- the truth of vulnerability. The truth that nobody has an "answer" to death and that our live are so drenched in sorrow it's amazing the stars don't blink out with sympathy. The truth that you don't get to think about what you think about before you think about it and the truth that one lost, terrified dog turned to jelly in an intersection trivializes the pulpit ravings of a million fundamentalists.

The truth that we're such frail creatures, with our dreams and our hearts and brains, and that we really don't know what the hell is going on here, pontificating string physicists notwithstanding. The truth that no "holy book" means shit when you're physically nauseated and that "artificial intelligence" is just that.

And most recently the truth that science is just a very old wine in a new bottle. There's no laboratory on this planet that's not populated with frustrated life forms eating their sexual hearts out.

So let's factor sexual frustration, death, pitiful animals, road rage, pinhead politicians, cancer, etc., etc., back into the equation of life. Beauty, love, and creativity certainly won't go away (that's our birthright), and think how wonderful it will be to get all these scientific/religious/whatever certainty machines out of our face.

And you know what? I'm still confused.