Saturday, January 20, 2007

Nuff of All That

I'm tired of old Saddam just hanging around here. What's that boy in the White House been up to since then? I think I might just die of boredom before he kills us all. But it wouldn't make me happier if we hung him too, and the gang he rode in with. Better I should go to the zoo and watch monkeys.

Blessed are the fools, for we grow hardened to embarrassment and feel free to blather out truth.

In the Main Ring of this circus, we have the monkey show. Some people look on uncomprehendingly as the monkeys cleverly pick pockets and rip out throats; others wonder if they should be worried; are these critters going to get loose and do us harm out here in the audience? It's all just fuss.

Yes, the Wrath is loosed on our world; the fact that we can take this show seriously is just more evidence of our condition. "Pay no attention to Caesar; Caesar doesn't have the faintest notion what's really going on" says Bokonon, Kurt Vonnegut's holy false prophet in the jungle. Who calls himself a liar, but got that one right.

We are organs of God's pleasure, folks. (Quakers might rather think of ourselves as God's work-callused hands, but trying too hard just makes us twitch. And some people consider themselves born to lie about and be caressed, but that's not the sort of organs we are...) Martin Buber quotes the Hassidim about a man who keeps all the commandments, but has no yearning... He is admitted to Paradise, but doesn't care much for that, either. After awhile he says something like "Paradise, so what?" and they kick him out. I say that's not a punishment, but a mercy. Now he can yearn for Paradise.

Each of us is God telling himself a story. Let's make that a story about waking up and looking truth in the face. (If you think you can't face it, you're just scaring yourself with somebody's false notions.) The real truth is God. It's bewildering; it can be overwhelming (if you like) but there's more of this truth in a quiet voice than in a nuclear bomb. We've had enough horror flicks on this planet.

We don't have to be a hero; we don't have to save the planet; we just have to look truth in the face. It'll tell us what comes next...

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