Open Letter to All of Creation

April 3, 2007 at 9:06 pm (injustice, proclamations)

Dear Universe.

Dear planet and every plant and person on it, dear stars, dear void between stars, dear God (no dash tonight), dear heaven.

Dear blossoms, dear monsters, dear ghosts.

Dear Universe.

I don’t get it.

Here I am. A little bit sad and a little less drunk, on my kitchen floor after a seder. I’m sitting here stealing my neighbors’ broadbrand.

I am here.

I don’t get it.

I don’t understand why I exist, why anything exists. I don’t understand why there is everything instead of nothing.

I don’t understand why bad things happen.

God is a wall. A big brick wall against which I bang my skull.

Every day I yell at my family, at my friends, at children at school.

Why! Why, why, WHY. Why does suffering exist? Why tragedy? Why atrocities? Why did you make this? How could you allow this to happen? How dare you?

They blink at me.

I’m sorry. I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to God. I’m talking to myself.

I DON’T GET IT.

I had an insight once. Helpful, yes, and lovely, almost, but no solution:

In the Godstate there is nothing but light and unity and infinite bliss. In order to have a separate creation, a lower world, we must exist outside of the Godstate, as something wholly removed. Wholly other. If suffering is distance from God, then suffering is what we are.

Which makes the Buddhists right. Dukkha and all of that.

And yet.

And yet, and yet.

I don’t get it.

Someone once said to me, incredulous, “But don’t you want to be happy?”

Happy?

What?

Happy! What is this, this “happy”? This absolutely stupid and self-centered concept, this feeding of the ego.

Happy. In a world with war and plague and hunger, a world with torture, a world with injustice on an unimaginable scale. A world with violence, and torment, and the rape of whole cultures, and the rape of individuals, and the brutal murder of innumerable numbers of good and innocent people.

Happy! In an absolutely broken machine of evil, petroleum-based, greed-fueled destruction. Happy, when I can’t buy a goddamn cup of coffee without contributing to the utter and unending devastation of the planet and everything on it.

Happy. How dare you ask.

So I’m supposed to go ahead and live my stupid modern American life with my laptop and my latte and my lexapro, just as happy as any factory-farmed clam, forgetting forever that just one step away in time I am dying is Auschwitz, and my friends and lovers are being massacred at Wounded Knee, or incinerated in Hiroshima, or worked to death, whether in Mitzrayim or Mississippi. Enduring far too many atrocities to name or even learn, or even remember.

I don’t get it.

Explain it to me.

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10 Comments

  1. Emily said,

    I say “yes, we should all be happy…but we shouldn’t HAVE to be happy IN SPITE of things so horrible.”

  2. Daisy said,

    That’s not bad.

    I say, “If you CAN be happy in spite of things so horrible, isn’t something wrong with you?”

    And I’d like to say, “All of this and what you’re worried about is your good feeling?”

    But I’d rather not hear the answer.

  3. Emily said,

    There’s also lots of denial floating around…I mean, Americans are notoriously apathetic about world issues, but also the “least happy” in terms of depression and self-medication, right?

  4. Daisy said,

    I’ve certainly read that.

    Also people keep telling me that no one, or next to no one, drinks the way nearly all American kids do. I don’t know if that’s true, but if it is, there’s more evidence.

    It’s such a mess. Right now I wish I believed in a messiah so I could pray for her arrival.

  5. frecklescassie said,

    I am happy when I help other people or when I stand up for the most important things.

  6. fitnessfortheoccasion said,

    We are so much more than suffering, and happiness in spite of suffering is a beautiful thing. That doesn’t mean one shouldn’t reach for the kind of happiness frecklescassie describes, but that your happiness is not purely a function of ego. Can’t shared happiness be an escape from ego?

    When I think on the suffering in the world, how I respond to that suffering is a natural thought. However when doing so I return to a thought I had when I first thought about the concept of a “messiah”: We are all the messiah, in every person, in every moment. We just have to act as such.

    Exploring your feelings of conflict over the suffering of others is one way to start.
    It invites others to do the same.

    Thank you for this post.

  7. Daisy said,

    Hey Cassandra, I tried to join that thing you invited me to, but it didn’t work (I filled out the form and clicked “sing up,” a blank document with a weird name downloaded onto my computer, and then nothing happened). I think I’ll try again from a different computer (my only thought was that it’s not friendly to Mac users?).

  8. Daisy said,

    Thank you for your thoughts, fitnessfortheoccasion. You make some lovely points.

    I do think shared happiness can be an escape from the ego. It’s a worthy goal. It’s one that’s achieved by focusing on and dealing with largescale problems, not by ignoring them for the sake of one’s psyche. And it admits that there is something deeply wrong about focuing on the minutia of one’s personal life in the face of, you know, AIDS and global warming.

    That each individual is the messiah is a very nice thought, and I almost know what you mean, except… I can’t save the world. If you can, please do.

  9. frecklescassie said,

    Daisy, we are now at http://youthinkleft.com/. Hit the contact button and give us your email add please.

    Cassie

  10. Daisy said,

    Sweet, thank you.

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