I Remember God
Before presenting the following poems I felt it necessary to elaborate on the type of thought endemic in the work itself so that faulty interpretation might be avoided. Why write, at length, a book that will in one hundred years will either be described in a paragraph or forgotten entirely? There’s nothing else to do. Plus, I need something to light the heater. In this work I’ve introduced, in brief, some of the concepts that pertain to the latter poems: The Tree of Transmigration and My Conversation with Destiny. People often as me what my beliefs actually are, and since it’s usually divided and subdivided into particular areas on particular subjects (as in my essays On The Physiology of Memory, A Treatise on the Understanding Human Perception, and an essay On The Placement of Man) I figured I should come wholly out on what it is I actually believe. Since, of course, in trying to discern which sort of theology or dogma, be it philosophical or theological, that I follow or live by. This is not necessarily the best place to explain what it actually is – but rather give a brief account of what it is that I want to convey in my works. These thoughts of mine might not be of any specific interest to anyone, and certainly will not stop the earth from turning, but they are mine and I’m trying to express whatever it is that I was endowed with. I don’t profess, or claim, to be a genius or a brilliant mind. I claim only that I attempt to use every ability I have, be it small or grand, to give something to the world if only letters on a page in which I might live on long after these frail bones are deep up underground and my physical presence long since wiped from the chalkboard of the is; taking me then into the was – which is the constant force of degradation which acts upon that which is. That which is – is turned into that which was. And this force acts on everything and is the ultimate destiny of the universe. Everything, once it is, is countered by the effect of was wearing against it. Degrading it: turning it all into rust. Coal can make a diamond under pressure; or can simply turn to dust.
I do not profess great genius or great understanding because I consider myself, along with other human beings, much in the same sense I consider other animals. Such as deer, cattle, even fish. I believe the only thing that separates us from them, though certainly it makes us no nobler in life or death than they, is our consciousness and creativity. Human expression, thought, and the complexity of words and music are essential to our core being. It is the exploration and curiosity that drives us to perfection; though to perfection we are steadily being taken into the was as now begins to slip into the was like everything else. We’ll get back to the was / now comparison in a bit; I digress.
I believe in a path, or way – such as Prince Siddhartha spoke of in the Dhammapada.) I believe in the four noble truths of which he spoke being a necessity when it comes to trying to transcend our baser nature. There is a baser man. The baser man is the animal inside that forces us to survive at all cost, reproduce, etc. The higher man is the man of civility, culture, learning, whatever it might be. But the civil, or social construct man, appeases the baser man as each venture is irrevocably designed to appease our basic instinct of survival and reproduction. I don’t believe in a universal morality or a universal good or evil. As I said in Amongst Men: First there is an act, a benevolent expression of innate ideas endowed at birth and shaped by environment. First there is action as expression of innate ideas and if morally, to the person committing the act, justifiable as right and good then to that person his action is right and it is good. Morally justified by his inherent will and person. Though to his opposition, who also has his own acts morally justified and validated by his will, the man on the other side presumably good is evil because the moral codes are different. To one good the other evil. This is not universal evil: this is relative. The actions of men reflect the endowed thoughts of men and nothing more. The action on behalf of the pious reflects nothing more than the actions on behalf of the heretics. These terms are man-made and man-made concepts. Good is in intent of a man perceiving himself righteous due to his own validation of his own ideas and he thinks them good. The man who thinks himself good opposes men he morally believes to be evil. But there is another side. On the other side, the man thought evil by the other man, thinks himself to be good as it is morally justified by his own actions. He believes the man on the other side is bad or evil. One action: two interpretations. Neither are universal and therefore moot. The only real evil in anything is in what people commonly misconceive as evil when its nothing more than an idea with ill-intent. But to which authority might we appeal on the universal validity regarding the perception of evil.
What is evil? Murder? Holy men have long been murdering. Heretics have long been murdering. Cats murder rats, dogs murder cats, and humans murder everything. Is evil cutting someone up into little pieces and showing it to their family members? Vulgar, yes; but evil? Not evil. Other people simply cannot identify with the morality inside the person committing the acts. For surely someone must regard their own actions as being morally just – and if they were not they wouldn’t be able to commit them. A man killing for fun – evil? Nope. A man murdering for fun is a man simply expressing the product of his inherent endowment and without the ability within him, be it malevolent or good natured, he would not be able to act in such a way. A pie cannot become a cake. Certain people can do certain things others can’t. Is this present at birth or is it awakened by certain subconscious triggers within the environment which shapes man? But all this toil, these tears and all this blood, reaches no further than the expression of mankind. Heaven plays no favorites; and if heaven exists, notice I say if – for if it cannot be verified as universal truth then it is relative truth. If it can be contested, contradicted, or isn’t concrete and can’t be proven – then forget it. In the words of Carl Sagan, “I don’t want to believe. I want to know.”
Heaven is beyond the mind of man. Would a benevolent man look to ants in a farm to carry out his own will? No. Neither would he, it, she, whatever, up above concern himself with our comings and goings. Does this benevolent man care of their behavior? Of course not. So, I look at the relationship of a monotheistic god, which wasn’t always the standard, to be the same sort of relationship as man has with flowers. The seeds are planted and we watch them grow and die. But we don’t oppose our will on them because our will doesn’t need to be carried out by other creatures when we’re fully capable of it ourselves. Surely the gods, or a single god, if omnipresent and omnipotent, would see man as smaller than we see ants. We look at them with interest like a flower in the garden, but our morality cannot transcend heaven or earth because we are endemically limited in stature. So these creatures are born to perform certain acts without thought. We have similar functions. Though dreadfully depressing, we are aware that we are but slaves. To time, more importantly. To watch a clock is to watch the is being destroyed by the was. Traveling into the future is easy: just sit there.