I ask myself: what is the point of writing these essays? I am, after all, nothing but an ordinary person in the broad scheme of things. What’s the point of sharing my thoughts when even the messages of Gandhi, Mandela, MLK, Mother Theresa, the Buddha haven’t influenced enough people to change the way we act in our world? It’s a mess, let’s face it.
Oh yeah, we revere them, laud and quote them, make movies and write books about them. A few things may have “shifted” a bit because of their profound courage and insights. But fundamentally we’re still a bunch of unruly, selfish, narrow-minded, tunnel-visioned and aggressive fools.
So what on earth could I say/share to make any difference at all? To be honest I began to give up that hope a long time ago, despite several full-hearted attempts to create things inspiring. But a niggling flicker of desire to do so remained lurking in my brain, waiting for certain triggers to fire it up again. It was really very annoying and I’d have been undoubtedly be a lot happier and more peaceful if it had just died out already. My recurring “loss of meaning crisis” would have finally ended and I could have just lived my life like anyone luckily not plagued by such silly and grandiose ideas.
As anyone who knows me can attest, I’m not religious. When I think about the person named Jesus and all the things done in his name, or in the name of any other similar figure from a different realm, all I see is a colossal waste of time and humanity. Even these “all-powerful” guiding figures haven’t made much of a difference when it comes right down to it. And when they have, many times it’s not been for the good. That’s staggering.
So it’s beyond ironic that one of my mind’s hope triggers should come in the form of a movie about religious symbolism: “The daVinci Code”. I’ve seen it several times, and always found it captivating – obviously not because of its religious theme, but the complex symbolism that propels it. Now that’s a realm I’m more familiar with and (somewhat) more comfortable in. It’s actually the domain that seeded my best efforts to arouse awareness in others, inspire us all to be more fully awake, and to see the world more clearly and openly.
Personally I’ve yet to fully master a gorgeously simple and transformative approach to life, and that’s possibly the reason I’ve had such difficulty trying to explain or describe it to others. But even the masters of it – the Buddhists, often go into deep and elaborate descriptions of their philosophy. And quite unfortunately in 2,000 + years of existence it has morphed into what it was never meant to be: a religion! In the process it has accrued a lot of irrelevant rubbish, making it much too challenging to most people’s focus and patience – not to speak of all the wildly mystical fabrications that have arisen around it.
Ah, I see here a potential pitfall: there’s an inherent incompatibility between the world of “symbolic significance” and the world-view of simplicity and clarity. Yet, for me it’s the former that led me to discover the latter. Obviously there’s something about the human mind that’s attracted to conundrums! (It’s here that I suddenly feel I’ve just dived into a deep pool from which there’s little hope of escaping. No doubt this is where the assistance of an all-powerful divinity comes in handy. Alas, I have no such intercessor to call upon – I’m strictly on my own. But you know what? That’s okay.)