I’m fifty-five years old. The majority of my life has already gone, and that leaves me with a bit of sadness. I would like to have done more, been more, than I was. But it is the way of this world not to reach our potentials, many times even when we think we have.
As I write this, war plagues the world. War is not a sign of power but of human failure, i.e., our inability to solve things through reason and of our unwillingness to let go of delusions of self-righteousness. Righteousness does not truly exist. Nobility does, but I don’t see much of it being practiced anywhere today.
One day, during one of my hikes out in the desert southwest, I came to feel what a paradise our world is and what it could be. Today, I still can know the truth of that, though I often feel I am the only one who can. Our world is the way it is because we have made it so, all of us together. It is all of us together, too, that will save it or destroy it. No one person or one nation can mold it to their image, no matter how much they try.
I listen to many self-proclaimed prophets and mouthpieces for God. Yet, none of them seem to know the same God I do. I’m not a religious man. Indeed, I see little good in most of the world’s religions. I have no place in my heart or soul for any religion or philosophy that claims it is the Ultimate Truth, and those that do don’t show themselves to be. My experience of God or whatever you want to call Him or Her is an ever-changing one. For that I must be free to feel, think, and experience. The God I know is one of Unconditional Love and One who is very much Alive, not constrained to iron words from any one document or philosophy. I submit that those who insist otherwise have cut themselves off and do so out of their own agendas. No matter how Divinely Inspired, every written and spoken word comes from a flawed, frail, immortal human being. If I bury this writing for a thousand years and it is discovered by descendents who have no memory of me, does that make it holy? Who knows what holy truly is? It all depends upon whom you ask. For me, Earth and the Life that inhabits it is what are holy, as is Love. Do we really need more than that?
Many religions seem to believe that Paradise is Immortal and Perfect. I believe that Paradise is here. So is Hell. The need for Paradise to be Perfect only exists in those still struggling with their need to control. The need for Paradise to be someplace Immortal exists only for those who cannot accept their own mortality. I do believe there is Life after this, but I don’t believe it is a static place that fits human fantasies. That is the Afterlife of the Religious Addict. I won’t pretend to tell you what the afterlife is like, for I don’t remember it.
Many of us fill our time here by trying to be God instead of learning to find and follow Him. I have never seen a true follower who did not know and find Inner Peace and had no need to force that onto anyone else, even if they could. A person who achieves this Ready-Made-Gift is content to let God move the Universe as He sees fit. It is when we insist on being God that war, discrimination, and inequality take center stage. From what I am seeing around me, the world is full of that.
It also doesn’t have to be.
The answer doesn’t lie in One World Government, One World Religion, or even One World Philosophy. The answer lies Within Each One of us. God and Love are Only to Be Found There. We’ll never come to know what the World Could Be until we first learn to grow our Own.