I’m just kind of thinking out loud as I type this. For those of you patient enough to read through the whole thing you win a prize!
This post has a threefold purpose:
1. Clarify for me some things as I see them on a page. (A “journal” type of post…thinking out loud.)
2. Help others think about where they are in their lives.
3. Invite others to share their viewpoints or ask questions.
This post does not have the following purposes:
1. Cause divisions among board members or start flame wars.
2. Get anyone to believe as I do. I’m not a bible-thumper.
3. To make anyone think I have all the answers. I don’t. Far from it.
So here goes…
What is reality?
According to Webster:
REALITY: (re al’i te) noun, pl.
1. the state of quality of being real
2. resemblance to what is real
3. a real thing or fact
4. real things, facts or events taken as a whole
What catches my eye is definition number 2. The word resemblance is pretty key in that definition.
What is resemblance?
Again, according to Webster:
RESEMBLANCE: (ri zem’blens) noun
1. the state or fact of resembling; similarity
2. a degree, kind, or point of likeness
3. a likeness, appearance, or semblance of something
So with those two definitions I can gather that the word “reality” is relative to the person’s life. What is reality to me is not necessarily reality to another. The typical example is one of an accident with two cars at an intersection. The two drivers have their own version of what happened. Two spectators have a different story of what they saw. Who is right? All four? None? A combination of the four? Who knows for sure unless there was a camera recording the Big Picture? Only that would provide the answers necessary to make a completely accurate judgment.
Why am I writing about this? Mostly because I’m inquisitive and am at a point in my life that I’m questioning my reality.
For an example: I am a Christian. What does that mean? Basically, to me it means I try to live my life by the two main principles that Christ set out for his followers. Those being: 1. Love God with your whole heart, soul, and mind. 2. Love your neighbor as yourself. I believe if you follow those two mandates, that you can overcome any personal difference regardless of background, religion, sex, age, or anything else for that matter.
Now…please forgive me for putting people on the spot, but I’m going after two of my favorite characters here.
COMF and Tina formerly of this board are not Christians. (I think they may lurk though, so I feel fairly comfortable mentioning them here.) COMF is agnostic and Tina is an atheist, both of which are about as opposite of my beliefs as you can get. But COMF, Tina, and I are very good friends. I’ve had the privilege of conversing with them via email outside of this board. About religion, philosophy and our personal Life details. How do we do it and not kill each other? Because we have the decency and maturity to appreciate our differences, not allow them to get in the way of a good friendship and enjoy each other’s company. I truly love and appreciate them both! They have good hearts and passions about them that are admirable and likable. So even though their “reality” of a spiritual life is totally different from mine, does that mean they’re wrong? Or does that mean I’m wrong? Who’s to say unless there is a way to look at the Big Picture? Unfortunately in this situation we don’t have a camera recording anything. We don’t have a Big Picture. In my mind, I answer that with “at least right now.” Perhaps in another person’s mind there will never be an answer. So in the meantime, who is right? Does it matter?
For some people an answer right now is necessary in order for them to live their lives. For others, waiting to hear an answer in the future, but continuing to live a rich life is sufficient. I’m probably more like the latter. My life now is a good life, one I enjoy, one that sometimes gives enjoyment to others, and one that I believe will have a happy ending in heaven. If I don’t get the Biblical promise of Heaven, then what have I lost? Nothing. I have lived a great life that I’ve learned a lot from and one that I’m proud of. If COMF and Tina die not believing in God or Heaven and they get there, what have they lost? Nothing. I picture it like this…
COMF and Tina coming through the Golden Gates of heaven together in awe and fascination.
COMF: Wow. Look at this – we’re in heaven! Look at all that crawfish and sushi. And I bet there are some hot chicks up here too. *Saunters off to the nearest buffet table, but on his way he spots a pretty leggy redhead.* Hey there cutie – I’m new. Care to give me an orientation?
Tina: *Peering into a side door and realizing it’s Heaven’s kitchen.* Look at all those pots and pans and brand new utensils! Spots some other new people and scurries over to them. They look like they don’t know anyone yet either. Come on huns. Ya look hungry! Lemme fix ya a bowl of my homemade tortellini. Puts her arms around them and guides them towards a warm and inviting kitchen.
So it seems to me that either way, all three of us win. If there truly is a heavenly hope then none of us lose either. If you don’t get there, you’re not disappointed because you’re dead. If you actually get there, you’re happily surprised. But throughout all three lives our “reality” is totally different. I don’t think that makes any of the three of us bad or stubborn or a**holes or any other derogatory word. I’m sure the three of us have those qualities at times in our lives, but we’re human – we’re bound to be those descriptors at one time or another. But it’s not because of our spiritual beliefs. Just along with them.
I’ve been called an idealist by many of you here and others in real life. Sometimes derogatorily and other times in a complimentary way. Either way, I always take it as a compliment. I think our board could use more idealists. I think Life could use more idealists.
Just writing my heart down and trying to figure it out in the process. Thanks for letting me get some stuff out. Anyone else care to share?