Author’s note: This is flawed. I haven’t closed each thread, I don’t even know that I know how to yet. I know that this was something I’ve been writing for about two years now that exist in drafts in any number of OneNotes. Tonight was the night it needed to post.
I had an argument with my sister today, based entirely on me avoiding an uncomfortable situation and both of us subsequently digging deep on supporting our own point of view.
I needed a break, so I drove to Starbucks where I ran in to Mason who I’ve agreed to mentor. He, like others in their early 20s, are trying to make sense of so much all at once that it can seem like flailing. (Life still feels like flailing at 36, by the way.)
“Sometimes it’s just about putting a stake in the ground, defining where you are today, and building from that.” I told him.
I got home and realized I hadn’t given him the all of it. “Sometimes it’s also about lifting yourself up out of the situation and trying to see things in a new or different way.” I’ll write more about the hour I spent with him later, because it really touched me.
Underlying all of this is my most challenging video/graphic design/animation effort (rough cut of one scene of several at that link). Below is one frame from that animation. The header image at the top of this post is the exact same frame, with two numbers which define the “perspective” changed ever so slightly and in this case accidentally.
Exact same components, with two numbers slightly changed by accident. Oh what a different world they represent.
So as I sat down to write this unexpected blog post which is not on my editorial calendar, words my mother always told me came to mind…
“It’s okay to plan, just don’t plan the results.”
My first reaction as I thought of this “quote” was to yell for help – they defy murderously almost every blueprint for success my 15 years of professional life as well as my years training as a scientist.
I paused. “Look at it a different way…” I said. It gave me a headache to try to unbury myself from what I believed these words meant…like looking at one of those stereo-grams and trying to see the image within it…but I sorta got it…sorta.
Changing my perspective was hard.
“Don’t plan the results” isn’t intended to stop us from stating an intention, a desired end state, or an objective.
It doesn’t discourage us from defining how we’ll define success or how we might measure progress.
This quote says one thing: “You are not the master of the universe” with a subtle fuck-you undertone of “and you don’t even really grock what the universe is to begin with so puhleeeze…#byefelicia!”
It means that as shit goes down, we have to define again what we want next with the context of what we’ve learned and our refreshed sense of “empowerment” in check.
Less personally it may mean the sinister cheaters will rise to the top and the honest, altruistic moral compasses will fail and die young.
It’s like rain on your wedding day
It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid
It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take
Who would’ve thought, it figures
In the pinhole time frame we get to see during this lifetime, it may seem out of balance, unfair, or “vengeful” the the good die young and evil seems to live on. Bullshit. It is perfect balance.
The problem is our perspective and the time frame in which we view things…our lifetimes. We don’t have the point of view in mind of anyone other than ourselves when we say such things are “not right” or “unfair.” It’s based on an assumption of everything being made right on a timeline we understand, which for most, is their lifetime.
What a human flaw it is to be myopic…on every single scale.
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field that a man found and hid. In his excitement he went and sold everything he had and bought that field.”
–The Gospel according to Matthew, Chapter 13, Verse 44 (Canonical)
Why? Because the treasure never left and it wasn’t found and it was never lost. It was just there, where he already had found himself to be.
“I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.”
–The Gospel according to Thomas, 77 (Non-Canonical)
If we combine physics (e.g. law of conservation of energy) with the source of everything that god, God, the big bang (my words, the infinity) represent, the connection between the two is clearer.
Evil and good all originated from the same place…god. “Perfection” (especially as defined in the Bible) is less about being purely good and more about finding a balance and being okay with the result.
This makes things like the never-ending battle between heaven and hell more plausible – a war within ourselves to accept what we can’t change our past and must embrace an uncertain future…all while doing what we can to be be the in balance with ourselves and the world around us.
God isn’t pure love or pure good – he is everything all at once. The infinity is the balance.
“The best laid schemes of Mice and Men oft go awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain, for promised joy!”
-Robert Burns, To a Mouse (Poem, November, 1785)
But everything continues after us, and perhaps then balance becomes more visible. I don’t know yet.
“Split the wood” and you’ll find a knot — a mark of pressure exceeding capacity, held within that tree for its lifetime but after its life, mostly irrelevant and invisible.
Some use religion as the avenue to in its purest intent understand this balance. And religions’ flaws (not God, not infinity) prevent some from seeing that as an option towards trying to understand more about “what comes next.”
Some think that when this Earth of ours disintegrates in a million billion years that somehow the dust of who we are today just vanishes and didn’t become the compost for a an earth worm to snack on that today is just an atom floating around the sun somewhere. The physical principles and spiritual principles are so connected.
Regardless of which path is taken, it kindof doesn’t matter in my opinion…all does just inevitably lead us back to an equalization of everything. At least in the grander scheme.
Heaven is a movement constantly towards the infinity but not a resting place where we come in to contact fully with God and just sit. That’s so preposterous. Sorry for everyone reading this that believes otherwise.
And just think about it–for some to move faster one direction and things remain balanced, others must always move slower–and that wouldn’t be redemption in the eyes of the infinite.
“Redemption” cannot be true if eternal “damnation” is. Defining any of these states on our time frame is bordering on offending the 2nd commandment, for Christians out there. Think about it…heaven and hell as defined by the life and death of us, people…not based on the never-ending time frame of God? That’s creating a likeness of the kingdom of God.
Evil can be reformed, saints can fall from grace, and in each of our private moments daily we may be the darker evil parts of ourselves while in the light we are the best of what we can put forward.
We atone, we take accountability, we act honestly, and we move forward. But we don’t detach ourselves from whatever our wrongdoings were or try to hide them…we accept them lovingly and carry them forward as part of us…and share it as the story of a life.
What, in any moment and for however long, could feel like an “eternity” can also simply become a memory if you move forward from it. It then becomes a scar, and the shape it takes and the impact it has does have a lot to do with the choices we make as we begin to move forward again.
Hell is being stuck, maybe even enjoying being stuck in anguish.
Embrace it, love it, accept it, and learn from it. Those scars heal quickly and become the intuition that guides you.
Deny it, ignore it, or constantly aspire towards a perfection because you think that God is scarless when he in fact is the source of your scar…then you are doomed to repeat it, live in its misery, and that weight keeps you from moving farther faster.