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Friday, January 08, 2010
The Opinuary Column
Posted by mjs
The Opinion "It's not schizophrenic to have as the basic foundation of your belief system the idea that humans are somehow separate and distinct from the source of their being (call that source "god" or "the ineffable alpha and omega of existence" or "Olaf, the Lute Fisk Warbler" etc. ad tedium) has died. Additionally, the Opinion that nature is also separate from humans and their presumed creator has also died. An autopsy was performed on the late Opinions, and as a result of that autopsy it has been determined that the Opinions died from acute asphyxiation and an endlessly endured and utterly despairing loneliness. The Opinions were believed to be just shy of their 3,000th birthday.
Born in the dirt caves and Mahjong parlors of the Middle East, the Opinions scared the ever-loving shit out of many worshippers who were just trying to climb into bed at the end of each miserable day without being eaten by lions or poisoned by snakes or made to listen to presentations about time shares in Mesopotamia. Told that Temple Priests had perfected a way of groveling that would keep them from having their limbs gnawed off by Smoke Devils, the worshippers hastily accepted that they were not of "god" but were made by "god" and as long as they performed a number of rituals and adhered to a fairly lengthy list of rules, they might not have their eyeballs pecked out by buzzards. Not the best deal, but certainly not the worst, by any stretch. I'd like to see you do better. I really would.
The agreement did have a downside: the worshippers came to view the world as fallen, and organic systems found in Nature as trivial or irrelevant or base. The worshippers increasingly saw themselves as cut off from democratic participation in the ultimate mystery of being, and the floor of their being became a hard place to kneel on as they debased themselves in abject worthlessness, all before a theological dictator--that same hard floor which could have been a place to dance and joyfully experience the sheer wonder of the ever-manifesting universe! It was only through ingesting vast quantities of horse manure that the worshippers were able to accept their lot in life as sinful little scalawags, the children of a father who denied paternity but insisted on obedience. God was separate from creation, unassailable, usually ticked-off and more than a little accomplished at mass murder, so you had just better not go there, comprende?
In turn and through time, the collective unconscious attempted to balance the need for spiritual coherence with the conflicting meanings of a palimpsest belief system, ultimately causing the great schizophrenic split wherein one worships an invisible omnipotent step-father as the mother of all being. From this schism grew humans who could do the most awful things to each other, all in the name of their cut-off god--but don't be too hard on us poor fools. You'd be fucked up too, having to contort your brains to each and every nonsensical edict foisted on you by people pretending to know deep and timeless truths! Yep.
Sometime this coming Spring a service for the late Opinions will be held at the outskirts of belief, above a small plot of freshly tilled earth--earth you can feel--and seeds will be planted and water will be poured. The Sun will shine down, and with any luck vegetables will grow, and summer will follow, and autumn and winter too, progressing as they always have (cross your fingers). We are living in the Garden (yeah, we've fucked it up but it's still the Garden) and anyone who tells you that you are not in the Garden and are not of the Garden is profoundly, sadly mistaken. In lieu of asking for flowers the family of the late Opinion sits silently in a padded room, far from the madding crowd, puzzling out why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings. Tat tvam asi, boys and girls. Tat tvam asi.
The Opinuary Column appears most Fridays at Jesus' General.