I have been profoundly moved by religion my entire life. I have always believed in the “Good” even though I may not always have done it.
Sitting in quiet meditation I hear the sound of plainsong whether or not it is there. I long for peace, for a better place and better times. A time and place where there is no want but only happiness. Where there is infinite wisdom and none suffer.
If that sounds like the heaven of the Christians or the Nirvana of the Buddhists, then that should not seem so surprising. In a hostile universe, how many of us over how many thousands of years must have yearned for such wonders, as war and plague raged around them. As they struggle to force food from the barren earth during the seven years of biblical famine.
And so we conjure gods to assuage our fears. To send us manna from heaven. To vanquish our foes and knock down the walls of Jericho.
To give us peace. To put our minds in a place of pure ecstasy where we feel nothing but joy and security, wrapped like a baby curled up in swaddling clothes. Or in the comfort of the womb.
And such states can sometimes be reached although they are difficult to maintain. How very often have I felt that sense of warm certainty, where my mind and body seem to have ascended to a better plane. Where I appear to have broken through to a deeper realm somewhere outside the physical universe in which I normally dwell.
That is what I have sought all my life. Ascension, transcendence. Sublimation – a transition from the physical ream to some place of safety and unimaginable beauty.
I am a seeker and yet I get so often distracted from my path. Only a couple of days ago I bemoaned the parlous state of our world and expressed a wish for post scarcity to cure all our ills. But I veered dangerously into the world of politics and dissension and that is something a seeker must avoid. No good is to be found there, no field of joy.
As my fried Keith has so often said, humanity is an irrelevance and will pass like so many grains of sand scattered in the wind. We will be unlamented, our passing unnoticed in this reality of infinite space and time and possibility.
But sentience, mind. There may true reality perhaps be found. Or so I hope. So, in my better moods, I believe.
Will I sound childish and absurd if I own up to watching Star Trek since childhood? Will I be laughed at when I express a profound joy I experienced when watching this latest generation of bold travelers on Netflix last night? Perhaps, but I care little.
Sugary as it may be, the series portrays the Good and that is how and where I want to live. A bunch of men and women roam the universe and put it right. Gods by another name, although less powerful by far than the Minds of Ian Bank’s Culture. Let alone his Elders – those who have sublimed to some non physical and better realm.
How did I feel when I wrote Post Scarcity? Sad, depressed, negative and hopeless. Is peace ever obtained by conventional means? Will I feel more peaceful or make the world a better place by campaigning with the Greens to save the whales? Or by joining Amnesty International to campaign for political prisoners?
I think not alas.
To engage in the bitter struggles of the human world serves little purpose.
Where on this mortal plane should a seeker position himself? Where in this veil of tears should he dwell?
Within, deep within. Even as I write those words I feel a warmth spreading through my veins. My kind of god – simply the sort of feeling you meet when you go inwards. When you dwell on what is good and refuse to engage with what is bad.