- Who The Hell Is This Guy?
"I think people sleepwalk through their lives, and for me, I wanted to embrace everything. And that meant the agonizing pain and the transcendence, and you can't have one without the other." -Aisha Tyler
Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies,
I met Nana/Ronbo/Ronnie in Austin, Tejas in either late March or early April of 1985 (it's complicated). Suffice it to say, we later declared that April 7th was the day we'd celebrate for what turned out to be the next 21, almost 22 years.
She died on January 10th, 2006 in the Cleveland Clinic, primarily the result of the accumulated side effects of years and years of taking corticosteroids to keep her lung disease from killing her.
Accidentally being given penicillin (she was allergic) the previous Spring in one of our local hospitals here in Hootervile, Ohio didn't help.
Ironically, her lung problems were the result of being a preemie placed in a pure oxygen to help her breathe and develop her lungs. Medical science discovered the hard way that too much oxygen for preemies is as bad as not enough.
Think about it: She was accidentally rendered permanently ill by well-meaning docs. She was kept alive by a medicine, prescribed by well-meaning docs, that eventually helped to kill her. She was accidentally helped to find the exit by being given a medication, prescribed by a well-meaning doc and/or administered by a well-meaning nurse, that she was highly allergic to.
Having had to fight all her life just to keep her lungs pumping -- she was tired. When Dude the first was born she predicted that she would hang on for five more years, so that he'd remember her, and then she was outtahere. Dude 1 was five years and two months old when she left. She was cool like that.
[With all due respect, what's this got to do with you losing your religion? If I remember correctly you turned your back on Catholicism way back...]
Well, she was a drunk and had discovered the power of a higher power, and that was my first exposure to that particular concept.
She was sober when we met and surprisingly enough remained so. Had she been a practicing drunk when we met I wouldn't be writing this letter, at least not to yinz guys. I've no problem with people that occasionally get drunk; I've never cared much for full-time drunks, even when I was a full-time pothead.
I was a mildly self-righteous pothead, with rules; I've hinted at that in the past. As I mentioned, I'll be writing more about that in the future. Anyways... Very long and complicated story short, a fundamental tenet of Alcoholics Anonymous is that a given drunk (or any sort of addict for that matter) needs a higher power to find their way back to sanity.
A traditional version of God, a highly abstract and/or esoteric version, or something in between -- whatever works to serve as a conduit to what I call the transcendent.
All that said, the subject of this letter is not about beating alcoholism/addiction, it's about the importance of transcendence, for everyone (part one).
Your religion, their religion -- or the lack thereof -- is up to you/them. If organized religion doesn't work for you there are no shortage of other paths available, including atheism. I believe that everyone, even atheists, need a higher power to live life to the fullest. That's the subject of my next, and final, letter on this subject. What follows below needs to come first.
Personally, I believe that one or the other of two things is true. I'm going to die and that's that. Now I exist, now I don't. See ya. Take care. Or, I'm going to be reabsorbed back into what I call the Great Big Sticky Whatever the Fuck (GBSWF).
[Note: current column and meatspace policy dictates that I use the F-bomb sparingly so as to preserve its power. The way things are going at the moment, by the time you're grups this word will have long been rendered completely innocuous. Your loss.]
Very long story short I believe that, all that is, is, "God" manifesting itself. Think of it this way. If you're God, by definition infinite and unlimited it all ways, what's the one thing you would lack? Limitation. What else would there be to do but manifest yourself in every possible way and enjoy the show?
[Show! Tell me, did you enjoy having Cancer! What the hell are...]
Well, Dana, everyone enjoys a good tragedy as much as a good comedy. Perhaps the best show is one in which everyone has a part but forgets they're playing a part till they snap out of it, till they wake up, till the house lights come up and they are -- enlightened?
I've had a rather intense taste or two of this sort of thing, but it's never lasted long enough for me to feel certain of anything, not even long enough to write a self-help book. Or start a cult. Good money in cults. I've often wondered if I could start a lucrative, nice cult that didn't damage my followers in any way. A person's got to make a living.
For the record (I'll deny this if my cult ever gets off the ground) while I did create the term Great Big Sticky Whatever the F-word, the concepts are not mine. They've been around for millennia. I'd suggest checking out Daoism, Alan Watts (before he sank too far into hippyism), and Eckhart Tolle, but there are lots more. Oh, and beware of cults, most don't seem to be very nice. Poppa loves you.
To be continued... and ended, next week.
Have an OK day.
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©2018 Mark Mehlmauer