Tuesday, April 17, 2007

be here now

You see a lot of the word "believe" in our culture.
The verb is put out there, and if you do not obey the command you are a terrible person. There is a feeling that to Believe is a good thing to do, that you "have to believe in something".
The dominant religion in our culture is Jesus worship, aka christianity. JW is based on beliefs, rather than practices. This contrasts with other forms of spirtual discipline, in which the practices are the core of the experiences.
I have come to wonder whether "believe" is an appropriate path to approach the knowledge of g-d. After all, if something exists because you believe in it, could that mean it does not exist for a non believer?After all, no one doubts the existence of the four elements...earth, air, fire, and water. Shouldn't g-d be as obvious as the four elements, and as pervasive on this planet?
But this is not a discussion about the nature or existence of g-d. ( to say that g-d is dead presupposes that she was at some time alive).
There is a bit of grafitti that is relevant. G-d is dead...Nietzsche Nietzsche is dead....G-d.

Back to believe, and my opinions. If you are not interested, just look at the pictures, or go download pornography.
Believe is a verb, and the act of believing involves belief. If you break down the word, it becomes be-lie-ve. To be, another verb meaning to exist. No hamlet jokes , please. The next three letters are lie, or something which is not true...the opposite of believe. The third part is ve, which may mean something in some language or abbreviation, but doesn't do much to help in this case.
Of course, if you go to the noun form...belief... you get be-lie-f. Exist, fib, and fornicate. Sounds like a weekend plan for many of us.
Still, this doesn't inspire me very much...a word with lie in the middle. A word that means truth, with a lie in the middle.

A good comparison is provided by Baba Ram Dass. Richard Allpert was once the sidekick of Timothy Leary, until he got tired of chemical consciousness and went to India. There he met some people who showed him a different way to do things. He returned to America and wrote "Be Here Now". BeHereNow is a mantra of sorts. When he met his mentor, he wanted to tell "war stories", discuss texts, and talk talk talk. His mentor said, just be here now. Be Here Now.
Now, BEHERENOW is a good contrast to BELIEF. Exist where you are, when you are, compared to exist, tell falsehoods, and screw.
Be Here Now is a remarkable text. A central theme is the dangers of desire and attachment. Now, I am saturated with Americas "believe and consume" culture. Nevermind the tenth commandment:thou shalt not covet. While I recognize many of the shortcomings, I am also comforted by the material abundance. Be Here Now teaches that there is another way, which is good to know. I pulled my copy off the shelf when I was starting to write this, and may have to take another shot at reading it. Still, just to think Be Here Now has always made me feel better. This is a pleasant contrast to the way thinking about jesus makes me feel sad.
Be Here Now should not be confused with the sign above the urinal, Pee Here Now.

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