Life Stories

Friends and I were sitting around the other day chatting over afternoon tea. Sister Chloe got into talking about the providential nature of her life: How God had seen fit to bless her with strong, supportive parents who had taught her right from wrong, follow the Golden Rule, do no harm and help others when possible and to follow the path that God had laid out for her.  She acknowledged God’s ways were sometimes mysterious and were not always easy to understand, like when her brother was left on the driveway behind the family car and subsequently ended up looking like Flat Stanley.  She questioned how God could let that happen but said she believes he must have had his reasons as he does for everything.

Well, Lala then proceeded to offer that she saw her life in quite different terms.  Fortune, she said, had been kind to her.  Following a particularly potent incantation her father had won the favors of a Toys-R-Us manager and ended up being featured in a toy exhibit which enabled him to secure a fine home for the family.  Even though the family had had their share of bad occurrences, mother having been purchased by a quite rowdy child and very likely ended up moldering in a damp basement her stuffing infested with centipedes and spiders,  cosmic justice had, for the most part, shined upon her and she hoped the stars would continue to do so.  She showed us an amulet she was wearing that came from her ancient ancestors.  She felt sure this would continue to protect her through the travails of life.

Then it was my turn.  I told them that my father was fond of telling us when difficulties arose that there was no reason to fear unpleasantness or worry about things because what would be would be and we had the freedom to make choices in our lives that would lead us, in all probability, provided they were wise choices, to a content and happy life.  I told them this advice had worked out pretty well, that I’ve always done well in school, able to overlook the prejudices of my human classmates and even the potentially devastating event of my aunt being lost in a family move (I think the dog carried her off and buried her somewhere) was met by us all with stoic acceptance.  I said that I was content in my ability to choose and felt comfortable letting each day unfold as it will.

Sister Chloe asked me how I can go about without faith in the existence of a benevolent overseer.  Lala asked Chloe how she could possibly believe her ‘Superman in the sky’ could care about the events in her life.  I asked how either of them could attribute future occurrences to the Supernatural.

As I poured our second cup of tea we all agreed it was time to change the subject.  We decided to talk about the weather.

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Meaning of Life

Sometimes I wonder about the meaning of life; is there purpose in my existence.  Buddha says life is suffering; relinquish your desires to find the way to enlightenment.  The Dao says be frugal in thought and action and you will come early to the way which will allow you to immerse yourself in the flow and stay centered.

Maybe purpose has nothing to do with it.  Maybe I just need to live my life moment by moment, in the flow, on the path to enlightenment.  You know, wake up, smell the coffee.

I think there may be some self-discipline involved here.

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