Higher Power

I’m reading Yuval Hurarari’s book Homo Deus, the sequel to his book Sapiens. He’s a historian from Israel who writes brilliantly about humanity in clear, lucid manner. He’s very thought provoking, and he has the premise that there is no god, that science and technology is supplying humanity with the tools it needs to become “a-mortal” eliminating war, famine and pestilence, the typical scourges that bring about death and destruction. He’s quite positive about these matters although he has a caveat that our failure to act on the dangers of global warming and the ecological destruction we are doing to our planet may sabotage our efforts at achieving “a-mortality” — at least for those of us who aren’t wealthy enough to avoid the apocalypse.

His dismissal of the notion of god leaves me hanging. So, what do I pray to in the morning? What am I clinging to when I say, “God, grant me the serenity…” Joseph Campbell in this morning’s Lavender Light points out that everyone’s experience of god is personal and unique. No one set of dogmas or doctrines can dictate what a personal experience of god can be. I immediately flashed on the idea of Higher Power. The Spark of Life, that begins each new life, animal, vegetable, mineral, somehow is engendered by a jolt, a spark, a push from somewhere that gets blood flowing and breathing started. Sure, sperm fertilizes egg, but something kicks in to activate life. We don’t casually call it a miracle for nothing.

So, when I pray in the morning, I address the Higher Power in Life as you. I realize it is outside of me, and I am seeking the path of Higher Power to inform and guide my daily life. I seek to lift my life from the mundane and selfish plane of my personal solitude to that of life in the community. Here in the house, my hermit’s cave if you will, I brood and nap and I’m in no danger of interacting with others and making life richer for myself or others. It is when I leave the confines of the house, and go a meeting or store, or where ever, there I am in an arena where I can carry out the work of a Higher Power. Just yesterday, as I was pulling out of the Chevron, a pedestrian was coming down the sidewalk. She wore a blue blouse and pants, carried a beverage cup, and appeared to be a bit overweight. I instantly had a judgement about her. In doing so, I realized that I instantly criticize any obese or overweight people I see. Why is that? I think of them lazy, with poor self control, they probably have lousy personalities (I think of overweight people I’ve known in the past who were unwelcome personalities) and I immediately rank them as losers and misfits. I marvel that they can be so casual in public; I am even more aghast that many overweight people go shirtless or wear shorts. How can they be so brazen? I see overweight couples (often tattooed) together and they act as though there were nothing untoward about their appearance. So, this is one element of humanity that I’m up against. This is one bit of life that I have to find Higher Power to help me overcome my prejudice. I’m sure there are more.

Last night’s dream, on a different topic, was a recurrent theme. I was saying Mass but I couldn’t find my place in the sacramentary. The Eucharistic prayers were not to be found. The opening prayer seemed to be direct and to the point for the circumstances of the mass, but I couldn’t get around to saying the prayer. Then, I was at the entrance of a trailer park. All the windows of the trailers were shuttered as though closed up for the winter. I wondered if I could live there, but then feared what would happen if an earthquake struck. I was then in Jerusalem. I was still trying to convince people that I could act as a priest. I had a conversation with a guide (?) who told me about the Dormition abbey. I told him I knew where it was and started to go there. I was then told about a same sex couple that was getting married there. They had a priest and I met with one of them and introduced myself as a priest and offered my services if needed. Then, out of a side entrance, there came several bishops. One of them I knew from college. Pat something. I tried to stop and talk to him. He was evasive as usual (he wore a Benedictine habit which was not usual). Could I, should I seek to be reinstated as a priest with the diocese? Do I risk getting rejected again from the church? Who would vouch for me? Why?

Another morning passes without a trip to the gym. I should take a shower, shave and take care of business. Reservations aren’t going to make themselves. I need to spend money which, at this point, I am loath to do. I can’t seem to have a middle ground on this: either I spend like there’s no tomorrow, or I count pennys like a miser.


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