Faith appears in the moment we make the cognitive decision to believe that a universal truth supersedes our personal reality.
Thinking about the differences between the words truth and reality…how by their dictionary definitions they mean practically the same thing, and are thus used interchangeably. And yet when we go into a court room, each person’s reality is a variant on the truth. Is there a word for “the true truth”?
Isn’t it confusing that we need a word that means the absolute truth?
And that we allow something that isn’t the absolute truth to be called a truth at all?
That we punish children for not telling the truth, and reward companies for telling us a lie?
Saint Jude’s command: Be merciful to those who doubt. I think he understood that it’s easy for us to believe in our perception of reality. That it’s easy for us to believe lies that agree with our present circumstances. That choosing to believe in a universal truth over a present reality doesn’t usually result in a measurable improvement in our life.
None of the seven waterfalls were flowing, even though it poured all day a few days ago. The desert ground loves the rain!
Lately, I’ve been preoccupied with finding petroglyphs. They are all around, once you start searching for them. The sites I’ve gone to are surrounded by metro Tucson, and yet most people don’t even know they’re there. I wouldn’t have known it either, had not I started searching in multiple libraries, through guidebooks and maps, on the internet.
They’re interesting to me, a secret language or code that no one today understands. A piece of ancient history in my own backyard, not far away like Europe or Egypt.
They’re also comforting. What I struggle with on a daily basis is nothing that the Hohokam didn’t struggle with–eating, working, the heat, relationships–but it’s comforting to know that my personal struggles won’t live past my existence. My stress-causers are insignificant in the scope of time. They’re insignificant in the scope of a year, and non-existent in the scope of 100 years. I don’t feel the burden of the Hohokam’s struggles, or even my grandparent’s struggles, but I do feel the burden of my share of the universal human condition.
Thinking about relative significance, how is it that we don’t remember the name of a single person in this civilization that spanned a millennium? Why is it that we try so hard to make our names known and great throughout the earth? We spend so much energy and time building up the greatness of us–keeping up appearances, saving face, preening our reputation, pleasing people–to what end?
Humans enjoy building up and celebrating greatness. It’s why we create all forms of art, why we classify people according to accomplishments or looks, why we play games and enter contests, why we strive for success. I’m not saying that I’m above or beyond that, or even that I want to be above that. I’m saying that ultimately, it’s our posture towards the greatness that we celebrate that defines our life and what we as individuals and a civilization are remembered for. The greatness that we celebrate and that which we worship are one and the same.
I’ve been researching places to see petroglyphs in the Tucson area, and decided that I could go exploring today. Signal Hill in Saguaro National Park West is one of the most accessible and publicized petroglyph sites. These particular petroglyphs were made by the Hohokum people who lived in the area beginning in AD 200.
I almost stepped on a Rosy Boa when I was there–a much nicer surprise than a javelina or a rattlesnake!
People are strange: they are constantly angered by trivial things, but on a major matter like wasting their lives, they hardly seem to notice.
– Charles Bukowski
Everyone’s front yards are going crazy with these! If I ever own a house in Tucson, I’ll seed my yard to do it too. It’s like after 9/11 when everyone hung flags in front of their houses and all the streets had elements that tied them together.
Count up all the people you know or know of who have found the love of their lives, or will very soon realize they have. Do not feel happy that all this love exists in the world.
Eat processed foods. Eat these foods mindlessly and quickly.
Do not talk to anyone you know. It’s better to keep these thoughts inside, away from powers of reason.
Watch reality t.v. Do not, under any circumstance, read a book.
Make a list of all your imperfections and unattractive character traits. Pick your nose and pop a zit for extra validity.
Be as sedentary as possible.
Try to fit into a mold. If you’re not sure which mold to try first, may I suggest looking around on Cosmopolitan.com?
Don’t empathize with or even learn about the conditions of other people.
Think of all the awesome parties that are happening right now that you weren’t even invited to. There’s at least 100 that you know of, I’m sure.
Feel guilty about resting.
Create a story about your future, and include at least ten cats.
Imagine how great your night would be if you had any other life than the one you’ve been given.