A dialogue of conflict about a post on face book: The Cosmic Dancer, which had described wonderful possibilities in life.
JLE: But all of the opposite things are also happening. I can’t get my head around it.
EON: Goodies/baddies; upside/downside; joy/sorrow……..flips sides of the same coin. This is school, not heaven.
JLE: I don’t believe in Heaven or Hell. Stories for children.
JLE: I’m sorry, that came out wrong and was impolite. I just get a little bothered when people assume everyone is Christian. There are many types of spiritual beliefs, including the lack of. We all should support each other’s beliefs. Again, I apologize.
EON: No need to apologize to me. I should not have assumed a belief in heaven. Particularly since I support keeping public prayer out of public schools, etc. (No one can stop private prayer of any religious orientation.) I once rejected all my Christian upbringing and wouldn’t let my children go to church and be taught myths and fairy tales. And I still constantly struggle with the dichotomy of good and evil. With a four-generation history of much-loved gay/trans family members, I definitely have issues with fundamentalist Christianity. I see everything in terms of evolution/growth in understanding and the capacity for loving even those different from ourselves. But over my 84 years I have discerned (or possibly imposed) a pattern of joy/sorrow, etc. in life.
Paradoxically, I have come to appreciate the pattern of openness to the challenges to change his religion’s and culture’s fundamental attitudes and prejudices on the part of the Jesus of the New Testament. I really see him as a leap in evolution from survival of the fittest to ability to care about and sacrifice for the physically, intellectually, spiritually, and ethically imperfect/unfinished. (I include myself among those imperfect and unfinished.) Jesus is central to my spirituality.
But there are others in history who have made this leap also. To me, many of the tenets of Buddhism say the same thing Jesus did. In fact, the mystics of all the world religions say the same thing one way or another: “We are all one. Everything is one. Whatever we do to anyone or our planet or universes affects everything.”
I have no idea what happens after death, but I think there’s an individual essence/awareness (?) that survives. I have a few experiential reasons for believing this, but nothing like proof. Spirituality is different from religion. Without a personal spirituality, religion becomes either a religious country club or an assumed insurance policy.
I did recognize fairly early that it was hubris on my part to assume because I didn’t understand something, it couldn’t exist. There is more that humanity does not yet know or understand than it does understand, even now.
It was very kind of you to apologize to me, but unnecessary. I suspect we would have great intellectual fun speculating on all sorts of things and share angst over the ongoing horrors in human history. Sorry! I’m an extravert and a widow who quarantined for almost a year and a half. So, I tend to get carried away when given a chance to dialogue with someone interesting and sensitive to others.
JLE: Awe, that was beautiful. Thank you. I’ve felt like a jerk since I wrote that first comment. You seem like a very interesting and amazing individual!!! I love unexpected connections! I hope you’re having a lovely day.
EON: Thanks! Yes, I’ve had a wonderful visit with my family. I wish a lovely day and evening also for you.