My weekend was basically consumed by removing -bleep- from my system, and this morning no one could say I was “full of it.” I had an colonoscopy done, and the initial news is good. The polyps are of the “low suspicion” sort, and unless the doctor is surprised by the biopsy results I won’t have to go through this experience again for five years.
Despite the fact I am working hard on becoming a cantankerous anachronism, I don’t want to be one of those old fossils who belabors listeners with details of their bodily decay. Aging may be a fairly interesting phenomenon to witness if it is happening to you, but it bores the daylights out of younger folk, who want to cruise about in their physical bodies without dwelling on the fact that even the finest car eventually needs to be traded in, and even a Lamborghini will someday be a rust bucket in a junk yard. Life is for living, and if you dwell too much on death you are in a sense dwelling on the physical.
One of the Christian saints wrote with a skull on his desk, to remind himself that physical things don’t last and spirit matters, but that is quite different from being morbid. People full of spirit are more alive, and have a real zest for life, and even when losing hair and teeth find things to talk about besides losing hair and teeth. (What animates saints most is the topic of “life eternal”.)
In any case, I found it a real drag to have my entire weekend dragged down to the level of poop. I really do not find my anus all that interesting, but they make you drink an entire gallon of stuff that flushes out your digestive tract, and in the process I had to contemplate my anus much more than I am used to. Being a poet, and prone to making a poem out of everything, I wrote a sonnet about my anus. Would you like to hear it?
I didn’t think so. Most of us don’t want to think about crud, which is why doctors get paid so much to deal with it for us. My Dad was a surgeon who used to say surgery was little more than plumbing, with some sewing thrown in, and he didn’t see why people didn’t save money and take out their own appendixes. He said men should be ashamed for being gutless, even to a degree where they would let their beloved sweetheart die, if there was no surgeon around to do the cesarean.
The fact of the matter is that guts are gross, and we are gutless because we want to be something other than gross. Sewers attract few of us, which may be why plumbers make as much as surgeons these days (once you subtract the huge malpractice insurance doctors pay). We, who want to fly up in the clouds where the birdies tweet, wind up paying a high price for our avoidance.
Therefore I figure I should be congratulated for not avoiding my colonoscopy. I could have easily put it off for yet another year, but the experiences of a friend convinced me not to, and I lowered myself to sewer stuff.
That actually is a spiritual thing to do. Not that I did it for spiritual reasons. I did it to avoid colon cancer, and to pamper my totally selfish lust for living. However I accidentally did a spiritual thing, which is to stop preferring the worldly high to the worldly low. I went to a low state, and by sheer coincidence was like Mother Teresa going to the slums of Calcutta, or like Jesus washing the reeking feet of a stinking leper.
You can blame the drugs they gave me if you want, but I honestly felt a lot better afterwards. You can say it was only because in all probability I wont have to do it again for five years, and I was merely heaving a big sigh of relief, but I honestly feel something else was involved. It was like I’d accidentally walked into a spiritual sunbeam.
We are all yearning for a truly spring-like sunbeam here in New Hampshire, as the weather continues to behave like it is March though the sun is as high as it is in August. Rather than lows moving away from Labrador to afflict England, England gets lovely sunshine as the Labrador lows back up to Nova Scotia.
The above maps show that the true spring has been pushed all the way south to the cold front in Florida, and the only way we can get any semblance of spring is when cold north winds from the four-feet-deep snow-pack over Quebec is replaced by slightly less cold air from the cold Atlantic around Nova Scotia.
Not that spring can be denied. It is happening, in a painfully slow manner. We will have to mow our lawns soon, as damnable grass grows even when buds wont burst. And I did see a single, lonely forsythia flower was open today, and the wake-robin are pushing up through the leaves in the woods.
But it is far from what we want. We want blue birds and blue skies and bluebells, not the blues. We want skip about tittering like elves, and not to face days like Mother Theresa facing Calcutta.
I’ve been thinking hard about what it is that old, wrinkled. prune-faced saint-lady could see that I can’t see. Mother Theresa was so full of life she could turn a slum into a church, while I’m having a hard time turning my church into a church. Where Mother Theresa saw Oneness, I have an amazing ability to create schisms.
I have trouble seeing Oneness, as the world is constantly confronting me with opposites. Some situations strike me as blue sky, and some situations strike me as pure poop. I am forever comparing. Communists vs Capitalists. Old vs Young. Rich vs Poor. Educated vs Uneducated. Men vs Woman. Spiritual vs Nonspiritual. Global Warming Alarmists vs Global Warming Skeptics. And on and on and on it goes. I am tired of it all. Where is the peace of oneness, when you always have to take a side?
I once might have renounced this world and retreated to the Himalayas and become a Buddhist, but even the peaceful Buddhists get no peace these days. The world gives them no rest. In Afghanistan the Islamic militants blow up their huge, beautiful, ancient statues of Buddha, (which is a bit like someone blowing up our Statue of Liberty). When they fled to the high plateau of Tibet, the communists came marching in from China. And when they now flee from Tibet to Nepal, a force 7.9 earthquake flattens their villages. We live in an age when you cannot escape the world. It is after you, and somehow you need to fight back.
As soon as you fight, you are taking sides. It is the end of the peace of Oneness, and makes you hurt in your gut. It is like siding with your mother against your father, or siding with your father against your mother, in a divorce. No matter where you stand, you are failing to honor your parents, and something deep down inside knows what you do is wrong.
It is now nearly 50 years since the answer appeared from, all bizarre things, pop radio: All you need is Love.
However, after nearly 50 years of failure, watching efforts to improve society only plant and breed further and worse schisms, I’m resorting to the second best thing after Love, which is humor.
It does no good to tell others to love if you can’t do it yourself. It does no good to demand others practice Oneness if you yourself are divisive. It is better to be honest, and confess your complete and utter failure. Rather than the blue sky, you are filth. However this is a real drag, unless you reduce pretentiousness to absurdity, and knock St. Paul off his high horse with humor.
Because it was my turn to give a message at my dying church, I figured the best way to point out how absurd Christians are, when they make a schism, where Jesus required Oneness, was to point at myself, and make a joke of myself. However humor is a dangerous thing, and people sometimes don’t laugh. Even though the congregation is tiny, I was sweating a few bullets as I spoke something like this:
“When I think about it, it seems people more often use commandments to resist progress, than they use commandments to push themselves outside of their “comfort zones”. This has led me into an interesting series of sidetracks, as I prepared this message. I began to look around at various objects in my house, and to wonder when they were invented, and to wonder if the inventor got in trouble, and was scolded by people who resist progress.
One of the first things I looked at was soap, which led to some absurd thinking. This happened because, when I came trudging up the front steps after a hard day’s work, all I wanted was to sit down at my computer and zone out, but my wife did not thank me for my hard work and welcome me home. Instead she told me not to track manure all over her clean floors. That didn’t seem very welcoming to me
My wife then not only asked me to take my shoes off on the porch, but also asked me take my jacket off, because it was covered in soot and engine oil. Then I looked down at the knees of my jeans. I saw they were caked with about a quarter inch of dirt from the garden. It seemed I might even be asked to take my pants off, before entering the front door of my own house. This soured my mood, and I became petulant and muttered, “Whoever it was that invented clean floors should be tarred and feathered.”
Then, after a long, hot, and soapy shower, I sat down at my computer and researched the subject of soap. I discovered something very interesting: The ancient Israelites didn’t use soap. Soap… Is…Not…Biblical!
It seems the Israelite’s way of washing was to rinse themselves with water, anoint themselves with oil, and then use a sort of spatula thingy to scrape the oil off their skin. This was also done in ancient Greece and Rome, and the Romans looked down their noses at the barbarians to the north, who used soap. But who invented soap?
It turned out soap was actually a Babylonian invention. Even the saying, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”, is not from the Bible, and actually is a Babylonian proverb. This gave me some good ammunition to use against my wife. The next time she asked me to wipe my feet, I could growl, “Oh don’t be such a Babylonian.” Yup, I could do that….if I dared.
I confess this absurdity to you to demonstrate how ridiculous I can be; when it comes to saying I am Biblical and other people are not. However I’m not the only one who behaves this way.”
I think that says a lot, concerning who is filthy. And to my great delight, my humor didn’t get me tarred and feathered. Everyone laughed at all the right places.
In some ways I wish I could have died right then and there. For one thing, it would have avoided the next step of preparing for my colonoscopy, which involved spending four hours on a toilet, contemplating my anus. For another thing, it would have avoided having to have the pleasant drugs wear off after the procedure, and face a world that seems determined to have us all live life at its worst, rather than life at its best.
Is there a single type of government that is based on Oneness? Even democracy, which is best and has God in its guts, has a majority ruling over a minority, which is a schism and creates problems.
Our situation is hopeless. What we need is Oneness Himself to come riding a white horse down like a thunderbolt from the blue sky, to show us how what is blatantly obvious is politically feasible.
People have been waiting and waiting, a long, long time. How long have Jews awaited their Messiah? How long have Christians awaited their Savior? How long has Islam awaited the Rasool? How long have Hindus and Buddhists awaited the Avatar?
It is not enough to just sit like a bump on a log waiting. If schism, divorce, apartheid and alienation are so obviously negative, and so obviously a sewer of filth, it seems blatantly obvious that love and humor are better. I don’t care if they are not what bankers approve of. They are worth a try.