Despite my rather new understanding that life must be lived in each present moment and not remain mired in the past or float around in the future, I still find myself falling into acquisitional moods. There’s not a lot I collect: I’m not into salt-and-pepper shakers, fine art (well, I might be if I had the money), antique roadsters, jeweled hat pins, glass doorknobs, cat figurines, or shoes, but I do love thrift-shop book-hunting, and adding titles to my library account and Netflix queues. Many times when I’m in the middle of reading something really interesting I’ll suddenly want to jump up and go shopping for something else to read that’s really interesting. How sad is that? I have a fixation with More and find it difficult to settle into whatever I already have. I guess I’m still trying to fill up that Big Empty Hole. Does everybody have one of those? I think so. I believe the first time I read about it – I think the author called it a “God-shaped hole” – was in The Cross and the Switchblade, a book that impressed my ten-year-old mind with its gritty exegesis of gangster life (laughable now in these days of Tarantino and Scorcese, but at ten I was still kissing my David Cassidy poster goodnight — yeah, like I knew from reality?).
So I’ve been trying to rein myself in whenever I feel the hunter/gatherer urge hit and just enjoy the bountiful harvest of stuff I’ve already provided for myself. Even though I keep only the books I really want nowadays, I still haven’t read well over half of the ones currently on my shelves; instead of reading those, I keep chasing after new books I hear about and find in the library catalog. And rather than wait for a reasonable time to order them, like when I’m almost out of reading material, I let them stack up at home on the back of the couch, where they’re no earthly good to anybody. Lust is lust is lust is lust, and it’s been labeled a vice because it’s generally self-serving and thoughtless of others. My lust for hoarding library books keeps them from other people who would enjoy them, and I feel bad about that. In fact, I’m going to finish up this batch and hold off on the holds list for awhile. I’ll try to hold out a couple days, anyway. Hold on, I have another thought.
I remember a friend of mine telling me once, “I see you absolutely tearing up the stairs to get to God,” and I think that this is also part of my voracious hunger for More… I want to become as conscious in this life as I can, in preparation for the next; I want to understand how I fit into God with my entire being because …well… what else is there? Bear with me for a moment:
Anything else is just an escape, putting off the inevitable fact that we’ll all become privy to the bare-bones truth someday. Before that happens, it’s easy to get stuck in external forms, in other manifestations of God, instead of seeing them as pointers to God. I love the Buddhist saying, “Don’t mistake the finger for the moon,” because so often, we do: we’re like my cat, who when I point to something he might want to eat, stares at my finger and not the food. We each get lost in our own particular belief system instead of finding ourselves in the One in whom each system believes. There are as many beliefs about God as there are people, even within the same collectives. It’s incredible to me that there are still so many who refuse to validate another’s point of view if it doesn’t coincide with their own, that there are still so many who believe that they, and only they, have the Truth on their side. Little has been as divisive as this attitude, yet, remarkably, it still persists. Unless we can accept that humanity’s overall understanding of the Source of life is like a many-faceted diamond – all of one piece but with many aspects – we’re going to be toast. We’ve been systematically destroying each other since our history began, and at the rate we’re destroying the earth – another manifestation of God – our history will quickly be brought to an end. It’s way past time to wake up. We need to find the golden thread that traverses and unites each belief system and grip it for dear life, holding loosely everything else in the name of love. It’s time for people to stop wagging their fingers at each other and instead help each other reach the moon. Doesn’t that seem obvious? I mean, really? Come on! We can do it! Let’s do it! It’s exciting!
All right, time for tea and a book and bed. Love you guys!