Thoughts on Prayers and Stars that burn a billion miles away...
A respected FB friend commented about prayer - how centuries of prayers have not rid us of cancer for example - and, how prayer is perhaps best utilized as an inner conductive of courage and strength rather than unanswered hopes. It has me musing about such things.
Spiritual cause and effect. Hmmm. The small role we play in the grand scheme within the vast billions of Universes. Woah, very intimidating. The ultimate understanding of God, Great Spirit or Force that oversees the ALL that is. Whether a Supreme Being is a being at all? Perhaps it is really an energy or "The Force," that binds and differentiates all that is together - and, that at least Yoda understands.
Perhaps our need to conceive of God as in any way human-esque with regard to God's perception - for we assume she "sees," "listens," "responds" and governs. Could this human to conceive of the divine as similar to ourselves be our need? Some religions do say God renders us in "his" or her own image. Could these personifications of Divine energy, creativity or presence be based on evolutionary human naivete? or a chosen, limited ability to think more broadly perhaps, or imaginatively? And, do we think of God as 'kinda' human because we really just need her to be like us for that is what's most comforting? And, if so, do we therefore have more faith in a prayer being cause and effect, asked by way of a humble human impulse - and that some force similar to us - like a big superior human, listens and responds to our hopes because of our belief, faith, and because we simply asked? To believe this...is it faith, foolishness or, perhaps, simply a humanly wishful and, as of now (for me), an incomplete and inconsistently proven process.
I respect my friend's self-analysis and understand that her description of inner-directed prayer works for her, and for that I am glad - for her internal strength and courage, and the link she feels by how she prays and gathers strength. This could be an answer of how a supreme source can emanate from and be represented in reality: by an internal perceived sensibility, and therefore, of perhaps equal use and comfort.
I too accept that all my requests to the eternal wisdom of the Great Spirit might not be directly "granted" in miracles, (though there have been some amazing moments of synchronicity, unexplained, but for some cosmic, divine mystery, have occurred in my life experience.) But I have developed real faith over the years, in the powers of the universe, the examples of energy I have seen, experienced and yet do not and may never fully understand - powers that have to do with the unexpected, unexplained, the occasionally experienced and the wished for.
Yet, I have also come to humbly believe we humans are still very primal in our ability to fully grasp the vast interconnection of all existence. And, that to assume we have developed the actual capacity to really know much of anything, at this point is, perhaps, premature at best. (I hope Trump is reading this.) Furthermore, our perceptions and our limitations, both psychic and physical, are real. For example, our languages, as beautiful, poetic, complex and miraculous, still cannot really adequately define the complexity and power of all consuming love. But words can, effectively, emotionally and beautifully remind us by helping us recall or partially describe what love feels feels like. But, for me, all poems and words are somehow definitively incomplete when it comes to what I have felt and believe is the energy that potentially connects everything that exists. When a poet has been inspired and places her symbols artfully, in a new and compelling order, we recognize love, but what we recognize is so much more powerful and nuanced, so complex that it still cannot move from the experience of emotion into a few words that can completely capture it. The same goes, I think, for God, Spirit, Eternity, Faith. We know it when we experience it, but these internal experiences can never be sold at Wallmart - even Macy's or even delivered by Santa.
As vulnerable humans we are limited by our ability to explain all things, to imagine all things, to accept all things and to completely understand the vastness of the ALL that exists. If we think we can, are we are being naive and foolish? Well, yes, but as curious and wonderful smart beings we must try, and die trying, because that is how we learn and hope and continue on.
Humans learn new reasons and causes through observation, musing, ruminating, talking, study and science slowly, painfully - and the mere size of the universe and the countless universes beyond, and their undeniable, unknown effect on each other, reminds me how little we, I, anyone, really knows. Recall our ability to see a star's light - years after that light was fired by an explosion of gasses and initially sent into the distance, millions of years away and before. This is still an amazing accomplishment and mystery - proof of an energy sent over an almost unimaginable, inconceivable distance and time.
As well, the growing scientific evidence of past lives - for example, souls in two-year old children who can speak fluent foreign languages they have never heard and who have memories of events on other continents from hundreds of years ago, which have been documented and which they accurately remember - in detail - this evidence (studied at several prominent universities) of reincarnation is remarkable, perplexing and paradigm altering.
Add to that evidence of paranormal activity that can be more and more measured as observable energy both electrically and photographically - and therefore scientifically studied - these are not easy to simply discount.
To realize then, that how we pray does not always "work", as a cause and effect phenomenon, simply suggests that perhaps our system or process is somehow, more human and simple than divine. Yet, some people pray with remarkable results - and some can heal with their hands. I'm not talking of religious charlatans but real healers - again, certain independent people with no intent to become famous or worshiped, posses what appears to be a real and unearthly gift.
All of this immeasurable and in human terms unexplained experience tells me: that we are fledgling beings and perhaps - some day - we will be so much more connected to pure spirit and divine energy - that a thought and a request might indeed receive an immediate divine response. A direct conversation with the Divine.
Nature as a spiritual foundation and force which is made a faith priority and basis of belief by much of Native America, seems often (deceptively) simpler and more (pardon the pun) natural, recognizable, impacting, sensible and respectful. Nature is by design mysterious and magical and right here in front of us. Nature is obviously larger than the lives we design for ourselves; lives that physically pollute, destroy and challenge Natures powers (seemingly uncontested by Nature) and we often destroy natural resources in the process of making our life's "claim" when alive. The last frame of Planet of the Apes comes to mind with a sinking Statue of Liberty in the ocean and an underwater New York. Or, the seemingly eternal combat I wage seasonally with grass popping up through through sidewalk cracks on my home property. Nature is slow and persistent and fights back on it's own terms. Climate change moves slowly and therefore can be easily denied by Capitalists and nay-Sayers but will ultimately hold the human world responsible.
Natures power and it's logic are often unpredictable, larger than us and often, ironically, the stimulus of our greatest ideas and invention. We envy what happens without our influence in the world - and we exert our desire for power through admiration and imitation and a prideful wish to be the creator when really our inventions are based, albeit creatively on what has nature has born before us. Windmills, thatched roofs and submarines come to mind - Igloos and our buildings that wish they were as efficient and inexpensive as beehives or ant colonies. All great art, elicits our amazement, but so does a spider's web in the moist morning dew and sparkling in the sunlight. Five AM birdsong can be every bit as engaging as a soft jazz improvisation between woodwinds and brass. Painting, dancing and martial arts - are all influenced by the possibilities of color, movement and intention born in nature. For no one can deny the brilliant, spontaneous beauty of the world's flowers, birds, butterflies. Conversely, the without-warning eruption of a volcano or a hurricane; the dangers and disturbing systems of natural selection; poisonous snakes, scorpions, viruses and human resistance; and then the resulting medicines gathered in the rain forests through the experience and wisdom of some select primitive cultures.
Continuously I am humbled by what I do not know - and that as a human animal - even with some smarts and education, I understand and accept my soul and intellectual journey is and will remain, so small in comparison with what is really represented by such a wide reaching ALL. The complexity of this ALL, I imagine, would require the entire untapped capacity of the human brain to even house the concepts, knowledge and understanding as vast as the real activities and reach of the Great Spirit - (the forces of nature, life, energy, time, existence and the contents of all the universes which exist). And, I am humbled and awed by the fact that these concepts of the Divine possibility are really, still, ironically, a human construct - that all religion is filtered and communicated through human language, and our humble capacity to understand, even when inspired by Divine Intervention. No one can dispute that the the ALL could be comprehended, and we continue to broaden our experience and understanding through time. But because we are psychological beings we understand The Great Spirit through a filter of humanness and I humbly suggest that the ALL might be much more than we fully (at this time) are capable of imagining.
Dreams and the unconscious seem the closest link we posses and the vast untapped potential of creativity fills us whith hope and vision and a knowing that there is more and we discover more on a daily basis in small and fascinating discovery.
The natural wonder of all we can experience can and must be valued by care, protection and respect - and must be continually investigated and newly understood - must be cherished, governed, worshiped wisely, and loved - but also respected as humanly incomplete, for we are, as of yet, not even close to being fully evolved or schooled in the hidden knowledge and wonders of the world we live upon and all the worlds yet to be discovered.
I have come to understand, and to believe, that we speak (in a way, pray) to the Great Spirit perhaps, through every moment we exist. And we grow and become better at it the longer we are alive - by everything we do, think, dream, wish for, try, succeed and fail at. To call attention, through a prayer, to a single need or a want or a wish or a hope, and send it to the divine forces beyond ourselves simply adds a tiny whisper of specificity to the vast and uncharted potential of all the powers of the universe(s). The power of the action, is in the humanity of the wish, in it's innocence and belief that it communicates somewhere, anywhere - not in the result.
To think no one or no entity, force, or divine being can hear or respond (I think) is just another unknown that we face and question on our long, long, and unfolding journey. But our expectation of a "result" might not be the point. It might just be in the doing - in knowing the simplicity of our process sent to an unknown divine ALL that someday we may more completely understand, is a good thing. So, I do not despair, for we are a such a small wondrous piece of this ALL.
It does register and profoundly humbles me as I muse, how powerful, say, a germ for the common cold is. We have and will feel it's power, perhaps sometime soon. Since a person is bigger than a cold germ, then, it is reasonable to know we have great power too. Just think of War, Art, Books, Science, Cultures, Birth, Good, Evil, Kindness, Will Power and Indifference...
The more I know the more I know I don't know. And I also know (now at my age) that I know more than I know I know, or ever knew I knew.
Finally, perhaps, I believe now, and with all my heart: that how we touch the world in every moment is our ultimate prayer. For if a child born in Nebraska can speak fluent Russian at 1 1/2 years old, when no one in her family has ever even heard of or tasted borscht, perhaps our understanding will evolve, and is destined to grow in ways we have no idea will even occur.