Is there a God or gods? This is a very difficult question for some. People never seem to question something bigger than the self until, in many cases, it is too late to form a final belief – life providing unexpected intrusions, a quickly occurring finality, for example. I feel, as a sensitive being, however, it is impossible not to question the “why.” Why for everything – for the bugs, the bees, the butterflies, for me, for that matter – just why? There is no empirical (1) answer to this existential question.
Recently on my way to prayer, I was passed by two racing buses. “I didn’t quite catch that, what did you say?” Yes, it is true – two buses were “jockeying for position” down one of our city’s busy thoroughfares. It was a brilliant morning in the process of segueing into an even more beautiful day. The sun was out and, for November, the weather was temperate and comfortable. It was not the kind of morning that promoted frustration and anger. Walking and reflecting were being beckoned, not a call for misplaced justice and one-upmanship. What would produce such vexation, such hostility? The answer – the self — it is me that creates my perception of the world, not the other way round. I have come to observe, however, in my years on this earth that few people know this reality and even less believe it — why?
Why does it matter and why should I care? The quick and concise answer is, it doesn’t and you shouldn’t. We are, of course, referring to life itself – normally, my life. There is no intrinsic, God-given creed that obligates the individual to care, about anything for that matter. These are learned phenomena that come along with the realization, at some point, that we are free to do whatever we want to do in this existence. One of the great dilemmas we confront when we face this realization, rather sadly, is that we have already obligated ourselves to certain things — to a certain lifestyle. We have by this time placed the chains and shackles on ourselves. We have “a job,” we are in a serious relationship or we are married, we have created other life, we have children, etc. To view it from another perspective, these are the “givens,” (1) that make the fight for me, for my mission in life, worthwhile. I recently spoke with a very large group of young people. When I expressed the idea that each of us is free to discover or uncover that, potentially, raging fire that smolders inside each of us, I was met with the proverbial “stony silence.”
I awaken early to prepare for my departure. Nothing is ready! This should produce an angst-ridden panic. There is, however, little to assemble – the sojourn to the wedding being so short. My mind begins to wander. What does it take to find your chosen other? What is it — the incomprehensible cosmos, pure unbridled luck or the facility of the Internet? Wait, it is obviously the romantic in me! It should be real, and yet practical, love. Any, initially intense, relationship that endures must be based on this particular emotion. I am convinced that this is the truth. Now to be fair, there are many forms of marriage – some opportunistic, some arranged, some cerebral and, of course, some physical.
It is the day of the magnificent fete: we are ready! That grand thrust of humanity – the shoes to be polished, the black bowties retrieved, the pressed shirts presented, the elegant gowns displayed and the shawls admired (let us not forget the shawls) — is transmogrified from a stunning disorder into an alluring elegance. How does this occur? No one seems to know, but it just does – the miraculous comes to pass. Have you ever remarked on this? Few participants ever present themselves looking disheveled.