We had some decent snow last night and this morning (Sunday) it is just so pretty. We had all kinds of birds at the feeders, and just recently a big Cooper’s Hawk swooped down at them. They all scattered and haven’t come back yet. Your dad went into work on his day off to do snow removal for the various facilities. I am playing music for you as I write. It is a very peaceful winter morning.
I want to try and cover a very difficult subject as it is still ever-evolving for me. I have know people whose concept of good/bad, heaven/hell, the afterlife/reincarnation are all across the spectrum. For me, I consider myself spiritual, but not necessarily the most religious in terms of regular participation at a church. I personally define religion as something organized and defined by a certain cultural lens. I think spirituality is more of an essence, something that you experience at a soul/source energy level. As part of my cultural heritage I am Roman Catholic, as is your dad. We are going to raise you with that religion as well. It is a family tradition. Very early, you will be connected to a specific religion. We feel it is important for you to have a framework for understanding the world with a Catholic lens shared by your family. However, both your dad and I are well-read and studied in other types of religions because of our inquisitive traits and our shared respect for the natural world. Your dad has read up on Eastern Asian religions (Zen, Buddhism, Tao), Native American religions, and Myth and Cross-cultural perspectives. I actually consider myself a Buddhist-Catholic, which takes a little explaining. I have also read up on Judaism, Hinduism, Totemism, Shamanism, and Paganism as well. It has always been important to broaden my understanding so that I could consider myself well informed with the ability to truly reflect on my place in the cosmos. As I said, this is something that is ever-evolving and certainly the miracle of you and what your life will do to mine will certainly open up new levels of spirituality to me and your dad.
There are moments in your life where you can not deny that something much greater than dumb luck must be responsible for moments of such sheer, breath-taking beauty and overwhelming love. Your dad and I are very fascinated by science. I have read so many great books on quantum theory, particle physics, and origin theories of how the universe came to be. There is a lot of science that backs up how the big bang singularity was a perfect moment of “just right” circumstances to ripple out into what became our solar system and planet. One degree cooler or hotter and nothing would be as it is. Then there are all various forces in play that made Earth “just right” to support life. That combined with the shifts of tectonic plates, climate, and extinction events that lead us to a time period where humanity could thrive. Our existence is so fragile and so momentary when contrasted against the vast scope of time as we know it. So for life to flourish, in whatever simple or complex form it takes, it truly a miracle. It is is moments of quiet consideration such as this that I can feel so small and completely insignificant.
But that is the thing about spirituality for me. I see myself as a point of light or a ripple in this grand wavelength. The parts that were before me are part of me, just as I will be a part of the waves that come after me. It is all connected and all ever-present. I think of my soul as a certain tone or energy that is resonating as “me” right now. However, it is also this cumulative thing that has always been and will always be, that is experiencing this moment of a life as me. The Kabbalah teaches about how “we are one soul, one egotistical desire, that was created by God with one desire: the desire to enjoy. And we were shattered into thousands and millions of fragments called individual souls; and they are what develops during this whole process. We have to correct ourselves to become like the Creator and that means that we all need to unify together. All the souls have to come back into one soul together” (I borrowed heavily from a Kabbalah site there to word it better). I see this fractured God energy concept as the divine that is in all of us and in everything. This concept crosses over many religions. Buddhism and Christianity believe that the divine kingdom is within. So while I am in a culture that worships the individual and focuses on all that divides us, I am constantly searching for what unifies us and returns us to this great energy of joy, love, and goodness. That is my spiritual struggle: to counterbalance the negativity blindly supported and reinforced in my culture and through my ego in such a way as to seek the God essence. This is all not well-captured in my rough wording here on a Sunday morning. Some people are closer to the wisdom and all-loving energy on a spectrum where our awareness and mindfulness of moving toward God is always shifting. The saints, the martyrs, the various gurus and divine people who live and have lived may have been much more in tune and near achieving this goal of reuniting with God than others who have slid down the spectrum the other way. The thing is, if the divine has been shattered into so many individuals all struggling with the same battle, then it is only through the enlightenment all (over the grand scope of time) that there will be peace and joy. So when I consider the bad, I also appreciate the good. Your dad and I take stock of all that we are grateful for each and every day. It is our spiritual ritual and a good practice for marriage. Even with me doing so little as I rest, your dad will still find things that he is grateful to me for. This is the last thing that we do each night before going to sleep. It is like a prayer we share together, and it unifies us. I also pray the “Our Father” prayer while rubbing my hands over my belly where you are as I hope that my prayers for your life are felt.
Beyond words, I connect to my spirituality through other moments too. Sometimes there is powerful music, a beautiful scene painted by Mother Nature, or even just the right words whispered in my heart at just the right time that seem to come from a voice with a wisdom not my own. Whatever is the case, I do believe those instances to be a divine and inspirational energy to keep me on the course toward God. There are so many things in our individual lives that challenge this calm, centered, mindful, aware, and reflective state of grace. It is easy for my ego to want to blast out into my life as competitive, valued, strong, and productive. Sometimes that is great and we grow by such bold assertion. But everything is about balance, and that is something that may not always be learned and achieved in one lifetime. Do I believe in reincarnation? I think that there is the possibility that a soul may return in order to balance karmic debt, learn a necessary lesson, and/or guide others toward goodness. I don’t think we can recall a past life as Cleopatra per se, as the soul is not the ego. And, again, so much of what I try to understand is beyond words as it is just a feeling or notion. But, to the best of my understanding, there is a part of us that is timeless and incredibly wise and that is what I believe is my soul. And as I sit here typing you are kicking my bladder…so thank you for chiming in and letting me know you are there.
I have to admit that I think about your soul. It makes me wonder who you will become and where you will find your place in the world. The thing that is so amazing about your spirit is that it is your own and you get to take what you will from your life’s learnings and experiences to make it what you will, just as we all continue to do. There are things your dad and I can show you, but it will the quiet moments when you are alone with your heart that you can start to shape your own understanding of the cosmos. I remember being very little and having the concept of heaven explained to me. I thought it sounded pretty because I could see the pets that I once loved and all kinds of people would be there so you could hear stories upon stories that could entertain me for hundred of years…but what about forever? The concept of eternity frightened me and I wondered how that is even possible. I still don’t know, but I guess I think that a goal to move closer and closer to the wise, calm, God-state is something to take up much of that time, even maybe when time is no longer even a relevant principle. This long-winded reflection has now exceeded a place where I feel that I can not do anymore to explain it. I also believe that my head is hurting a little…maybe I just need more water.
On a side note, as I wrap this up it is now night. It has continued to snow what I call “snow globe snow” all day. It is this light, fluffy, slow falling snow. It has been so pretty to see. Grandpa E, Grandma G, and Aunt D came over to watch the Bears. We had lunch together. While we were all together the sickest of the two coyotes we gave medicine to returned to the yard. We call her Mangey Mommy. Your dad medicated another pork chop and put it out for her. We watched for her to come back to the yard. She popped through a few more times, but only just now, with the lights off and everything dark and quiet did she take the food. We watched to see if she ate it, but she took it to the back of the property so we couldn’t see. So, after waiting for her to trot off again, your dad took a flashlight and got all bundled up to follow her tracks and go see if the food was all gone. And, thankfully, it was. So now Mangey Mommy got her second dose of the needed medicine. This is all just so wonderful because she may be able to survive winter. See, a little miracle on the day that I wanted to talk about God.
Tomorrow is Monday and I need to start to get back into a routine where I can hopefully do some work. Today I have not felt good. I have had a bad headache, an upset tummy, and have felt a lot of pressure on my bladder – which I think is my baby bump growing. I even had a little stabs of side pain too. I know women have successfully been going through pregnancies for thousands of years, so I am not sure why this is just taking so much out of me. I would guess it is because I am 42. My old body is just not what it used to be. So I will head to bed and hope that I can sleep through the night and wake up feeling better. Thanks for following this very abstract rambling.