Heaven on Earth


Mollycoddling Franco the Fiat just past sunrise on my quintweekly grind towards the monthly cashout, my pre-caffeinated gaze found purchase upon the most startlingly ridiculous question to consider so early — “If you die tonight? HEAVEN or HELL?

First of all, why tonight?  Why not if I die right now?  Because right now is the point.  But more on that in a moment.

First, well, damn.  What kind of perverted  mind conceives of such a billboard?  And right on my morning commute. Granted, most mornings I have made the far wiser decision to pedal my bicycle to my daily labors rather than use Franco…so, this particular billboard does not invade my usual daily existence.  Still, startled I truly was.

I mean, first of all, how the hell am I supposed to know the answer to this ultimately ridiculous question?  And who is the corrupted soul that believes he or she has the answer to this question — a question that completely misses the entire point of existence?  Also, how much money did they waste in making this inane billboard?

I am a Christian — a Catholic Christian to be exact (of course, many Protestant types out there would argue to their death that I am not even a “Christian.”  So much for their souls).  I am a Christian who does not prop myself up by this fantastical notion of “an afterlife.”  The concept of something coming after this incredible life — where every moment is literally a miracle — is so radically insulting to this moment that God gives us that I have never been able to understand why so many theologies rest themselves ultimately on this concept of “an ultimate reward.”

People.  The Ultimate Reward is right here.  Right now.  From the Christian theology, Jesus Christ even said it himself — Heaven is on Earth.  When he spoke about the “coming of the Kingdom of God” he meant it as it sounds — that the Kingdom of God is here on Earth when we as puny humans deign to actually act in the way of God…that is, to love each other IN THE MOMENT.  He was not pointing to some celestial reward, some pie in the sky nirvana, some cloudy angelic resting place among the cherubs, some lullaby land of virgins.  Some place we go to after we die.  No. We don’t.

If a person is going to “go to hell” rather than heaven “when they die” it is because they are already dead — at least symbolically they are dead.  They are already in Hell. Though they may breathe, their heart beat, according to the theology of my understanding of God through Jesus, they are dead to the reality of God here among us.  They refuse to live precisely because they focus on what may or may not come after.  How ridiculous and sad to have missed the grace filled gift of life right here.

It then, therefore, is a choice made by a person in the moment here on Earth; a choice to ruthlessly fixate on a reward that, by its nature, reveals the destructive selfishness of that person’s soul — a soul so wrapped up in protecting itself after the body dies that it fails entirely to heed the doxology of all religions — love one another. NOW.

There is nothing after this life here on Earth.  This impressive expansive gift that we have in our hands right now is the reward.  If anything happens after we are gone from this Earthly plane, it will not be anything that relates to what we call human consciousness.  Billboards like the one that startled me this morning are mere, but profound, distractions placed by depraved souls attempting to keep us hurtling on the highway to hell — the highway we ride when we fail to realize that the kingdom of god is here and now and that every moment is a miracle.

 

 

Defriending my Father


Dad and Me

You may think I got in a fight with my Dad, by that title.  Maybe you think I’m immature or thin-skinned  or just ridiculous for even considering “defriending” my Dad on the Facebook.  What kind of petty son does something like that?

But, you see, it’s none of the above.  I’ve actually never gotten into a fight with my Dad (and I never ever will.  Ever).  I don’t think he’s ever even hurt my feelings (and I can guarantee you that he never, ever ever will).  And the stupid Facebook came into existence so far into both our lives that even the idea of interacting on the Facebook is silly, besides.  And no, even if one of us did get mad, or hurt the feelings of the other, we’d never stoop so low (nor waste our time) “defriending” on the FB.

No, the reason I’m considering defriending is because my Dad is dead.  While today mark’s his birthday — which the Facebook so painfully reminded me of — he died on February 14th, 2014.   I have thought sometimes about why he even still has a presence on social media, especially on the FB.  I have tried hard to just be open minded about it — it’s a way of remembering him; it’s a good way to go back and see pictures and stuff; it’s a way for others to keep him in mind.  But I never went back to his FB page.  Except for today.

I think the reality actually is that we are so afraid of death and “disappearing” that we can’t bring ourselves to make a choice, of our own volition, to acknowledge that — though every moment is a miracle — nothing lasts forever and when we blink out, that is it.  Defriending is a vote in favor of this reprehensible plan that has us all living, struggling to be “happy”, making friends, becoming devoted — only to see it all torn away at various random painful moments and then asked to carry on until we, ourselves, are just torn away form this Earthly plane.

I think, though, that the best way of managing this charade is to do two things — first, let’s all just agree that everymomentisamiracle; and, second, take action which acknowledges that it all goes away — all.  You.  Me.  Sun.  Earth.  In other words, defriend the dead if the account cannot be deactivated — but by all means deactivate the account upon the person’s passing — or if absolutely necessary leave it up for one year at most during a classical grieving period.  But wear black that whole year, too, then.

Take care to remember those who have gone on.  But don’t linger in fear and inaction during this short time while the Earth still holds you in it’s capricious beautiful grasp.  Be not afraid of that nightfall that will consume each one of us.  For everymomentisamiracle, but only if your moments are not consumed by fear and delusion.