Some say it is all an illusion. That we are just acting our part in a huge melodrama and if we had the gumption to try to fix ourselves or the world around us, well, that would be a futile act. Just an actor using the world as a stage is what we are to some. Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose and there is nothing that we can do to change that because our role is to ride the tide to wherever it may lead. We need not worry or be anxious because whatever is going to happen is just going to happen. Knowing what, when and who throws the rock into our pond of tranquility causing those oscillating waves is not our concern either. No, we should completely accept that; what is, is what it is.
Others say that this is it. We are nothing more than organic material that has been successfully assembled waiting to be successfully disassembled and our own reasoning is all that there can be. A varied lot these are, some wanting to give back to earth so we don’t ruin it and others “hunting and gathering” for every resource they can get because this is their final opportunity. Some give and take, some take and take and take, and some give and give. Extremely diverse they are.
The majority believe in a little of both. We were created, we are here to live our lives in a meaningful and purposeful way, and those guidelines were established long ago which are contained in all the various religious texts. They believe that their actions good or bad will render them to eternal bliss or infinite blaze. No matter what they do, the fruits of their actions will not be savored until after death.
Then there are the minority fragments such as the Urantia who believe in multiple universes, grand universes, and that the religious text was delivered by celestial beings (aliens). Rosicrucians believe in numerous ethereal worlds and at death our soul is to be detached from our body via a silver chord. Then there are the Scientology group who audit spiritual progress with a electropsychometer (E-meter). By no means take offense; I am not attempting to debunk or damage any belief system that affords individuals positive spiritual progress. I am merely pointing out the rich, vibrant, and dynamic spiritual diversity that enriches our planet, which would deal a tragic wound to humanity in its absence.
Once again this is not about division but unity. Somehow we, that diverse group, have to come together to discover harmony without deluge to any belief system while not creating a new one at the same time. So lets begin that we were all created. If you do not believe that we were created equally that is okay for now. We can all agree that everyone has emotions and unique personalities, correct? We can all agree that no two individuals were raised identically, with the possible exception of twins but remember they also have unique personalities. We can all agree that we have hormones, yes? Even if you disagree with this, that is alright because you cannot deny hormone replacement therapy which comes in oral, intravenous, intramuscular injections, and suppository forms. So let's take a leap and agree that no one knows it all. Once again with the exception of those who are solidified in personal opinion, personal viewpoint, judgment, and concrete personal beliefs and that is okay also because they are not here but are always welcomed.
Some many years ago, 2001 to be exact, I had the privilege of vacationing in Oahu, Hawaii escaping the continental northeastern winter. The warm sunny weather was a spectacular relief from the monotonous days of sunrises that could not penetrate the gloom of grey winter skies. The atmospheric conditions were stunning and the environment was no less vibrant. The spectacle of brightly colored tropical fish undulating with the current in crystal clear water brought me to a mesmerizing place where time did not exist. The green color of palms and frond were enhanced by the bright red color of soil bringing immeasurable contrast to the lifeless gray of deciduous trees and sky back home. It was peaceful, serene, and astonishing.
One day of adventure landed me at the Dole pineapple plantation with hundreds of other tourists wearing the cliche tropical print shirts and khaki shorts. While being terrestrial, by color we resembled those tropical fish on the reef. Our gathering into separate groups for different tours furthered the image of the reef. We looked liked a regimented platoon of slackers who could not march let alone walk in rhythm. We were all enjoying our own individuality while being harmonized by our threads and herded by tour guides. What a wonderful day to just enjoy without thought and the burden of multiple layers of clothing covered by a winter coat.
I broke rank from the guided tour to enter the gift shop to enjoy a king’s banquet on pineapple delicacies; fresh pineapple, pineapple candy, and the infamous fresh pineapple shake. With my second shake in hand I ventured to the veranda to indulge in this moment of decadent simplicity, a clear beautiful sky, warm gentle breeze, and congealed pineapple delight. It was from that vantage point that I noticed a long line of fellow comrades waiting to purchase tickets for some unknown attraction. After a few sips of that shake my curiosity led me to see what that attraction could be. Dole was touting that they possessed the world’s largest maze and those who paid the price would receive admission and a topographical map to guide them through. These were not adrenaline junkies by any means with the exception of this one old man with a leg brace and walker. I felt no need to meander through the thicket adding duplicity to the simplicity that I was enjoying. I returned to my seat on the veranda.
A few more sips while watching these enigmatic voyagers unfold their maps and disappear into the void of this game started my thoughtless mind pondering. A few more sips and a slurp then it came to me that this was not the world’s largest maze by any measure. Each individual is currently participating in the largest maze they will ever go through, it is called Life. Had that man with the leg brace and walker been on this island before? Perhaps on December 7, 1941 serving on one of the doomed ships memorialized and resting at the bottom of Pearl Harbor? Had he traversed his maze of life to return to a place that he previously visited 60 years earlier? Where does he live? How many states has he traveled since then? Did he travel the same path to work everyday? Did he have alternate routes to journey through the maze to work? Did he work? Could he have worked? I do not know.
Each one of us has our own maze to venture; properly recognizing street signs, traffic rules, directional symbols, correct side of the road to drive on, etc. This is the easy part. If it's objective we really don’t have to place much effort or thought into it, we know what to do when we enter an intersection: yield, stop or go. Even given the worst case scenario of being lost we can always rely on our automobile or phone navigation system to deliver us from chaotic despair. It is the subjective maze that is daunting because it has no hedges, guideposts, signs and signals, and does not come with a map. Think about this: a maze that we are supposed to guide ourselves through armed with sensationalism, emotionalism, hormonalism, gut reactions, animal instinct and our map is formed by personal opinions, viewpoint, judgments, and beliefs. We could possibly enjoy this if the maze would remain static and never encountered a debilitating fog. Unfortunately, the game of life does not comply so neatly.
As soon as you have it figured out, an inevitable collision with reality occurs, sometimes minor and sometimes catastrophic, resulting in a new maze delivered upon you. You think you are on solid ground and once again a new puzzle. You feel good about everything and a new conundrum falls your way. You believe that absolutely nothing can take your security away while walking your path and it does. You think, feel, and believe that nothing can remove you from your rock of stability but it will. This dynamic and progressive reality is not reality at all, it is perception. Perception is based on the belief that all knowledge obtained through our senses is true. Everything that comes across our senses is knowledge but how true is it?
The thing that we need to define is the word “real” because without it reality would not exist. Webster’s dictionary defines “real” as actually existing, not fictitious or imaginary, genuine, true; fixed and immovable and “reality” is that which has actual existence; fact; truth; an actual person or thing. The key words that we need to understand are “fixed” and “immovable”. Perception, subjective reality has no substance and therefore by definition cannot be reality. It is illusion! Reality, objective reality is fact based, genuine fixed and immovable and is resistant to the terms of thinking, feeling, and believing. Objective reality is concerned with knowing!
Submitting to the tenets of objective reality allows you to follow only one maze of life, yours; principle and virtue become the tent pegs to secure that one maze in place, fixed and immovable. These eye opening principles will allow you to function and exist with order and ease creating a win-win situation for yourself and those around you. Your days of chaos and confusion will be over.
When objective reality is experienced the greatest present amongst all men will be bestowed upon your heart and mind, the topographical map called Wisdom. Wisdom will guide you through the maze of Life. When this happens the days of existing and functioning will be over, you will know how to Live. You will know Life. The perception of sight will change from 20/20 to infinity/0, you will hear not only in your ear but from the source of the sound also. You will feel in a way that you have never known and these are but a few of the treasures you will gain from the experience. The contrast from what you have known to what you will know is more vibrant, vivid, and unimaginable than the contrast of a northern winter to tropical paradise.
How you play the game is entirely up to you. You have paid the price of admission and are being handed the tent pegs to secure reality. It is with the greatest of hope that you will experience this game creating a win-win for you and I.