According to my religion-which is the universal doctrine of Christ or so they have convinced themselves- nobody really dies. Death is an illusion, our spirits are too precious to be wasted in oblivion. Our body will certainly croak but our essence or our soul, will live on. Depending on whether or not I was nice enough, the rest of my existence will either be spend in the fluffy comforts of heaven (Woohoo!) or the fiery shithole that is hell (ah man!). The latter, as all those unfortunate ones who have gotten to know me will suspect, is a very definite possibility. Even if I’m not on God’s shitlist, I’m sure more than enough people would like to see me burn- and you can bet your ass that if I meet those people in heaven, I’m going to spend a lot of my eternity bugging the shit out of them.
This all depends on me however. I’m the caretaker of my own soul. It depends on my will- even though according to my church, the universe revolves around His will, which can be confusing at times. It depends on my repentance. Every now and then I have to convince my misdeeds to a priest. Priests have this special connection with our holy father and he tells this priest what my penitence should be. If I follow up on my punishment, I’m absolved, I’m in the clear baby! And I have another chance to go to heaven again (Yay!)
The great thing about my church is that it’s okay to fuck up and now and then, because the doctrine says we are all naturally born fuck-ups due to Original sin. Our gene-pool has been permanently infected by the misdeeds of Adam and Eve. If they weren’t so naughty, our hearts would have been pure. What a bunch of assholes.
These are the options I have in the afterlife. Naturally there’s also the possibility that there’s nothing really out there and it turns out these myths I and my flock cling onto so dearly, are in fact, just a bunch of myths. There is no God nor Christ, no Heaven or Hell, no 72 virgins (granted this isn’t part of my religion but you’re also hoping for a bonus). There’s only life or death. But that’s something I don’t like to think about. That’s too depressing dude. I prefer to sleep if it means that my dreams are sweeter than life.
These two options, heaven or hell, granted by my church should settle all existential dread. Yet I feel that most, no matter how much someone believes this or any other religious liturgy, in the back of their minds wonder whether or not all of this is just a farce. Eventually you gotta stand still for a moment and wonder; ”hey am I fucking kidding myself here or what?” It’s the most valid question of all, the only problem is that there might no reasonable answer to this. You can always return to some pop-psychology logic and find solace with the fact that believing in silly bullshit makes you happy, but for man of us, this just isn’t enough.
I’m still just a snot-nosed punk, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my twenty-seven years of life is that everything ends. Talking with my priest, even he divulged that he didn’t receive as much spiritual fulfillment like he did when he first entered the priesthood. here’s this temporary state of being where we know what’s going on, or at least we think we do. Then it ends and we look back and realize we were kinda foolish back then. This is the way of human folly.
Sometimes I look back and wish I was as gullible as I was then. I put faith not just in holy spirits but in my gut. I believed in the things that felt right. I wasn’t enlightened because I felt enlightened would be gained through special experiences and thus I sought those experiences and some of them were so intense that I felt something so special, like I suddenly understood it all. But I didn’t, my endorphines were just goofing around in my head and it just felt really good. It took very long for me to realize this and I was punished dutifully by this. I started doing (or let’s just say ”using”) all sorts of stuff just to get to that state of mind where I knew who I was or what I was supposed to be doing. I’ve received Nirvana when I was high off my on psychedelic-mushrooms (some would call them magic but ”mind-fucking” is a more apt description) or when I was coked up on the dance-floor (boy was I smooth-talker then) or when I kissed a girl. Suddenly it all seems so clear and I had this smile on my face and I would look up at the heavens and say; “I get it now! I finally get it!’
But I didn’t. It didn’t take long for me to return to my miserable self. Eventually the ecstasy would wear off and the numbness would return. You yearn for that moment when you felt everything; when colors seemed so vibrant, when the music touched your soul, when the mess in your brain was in the grips of some beautiful logic. The universe seemed to have an insane logic, like you could communicate with it, and the universe told you; ”hey don’t worry there dude! None of this shit really matters and everything is going to be okay!”
The universe however, wasn’t talking to me. Neither was God because unlike me, he had much better things to do. It was just a nice thought precipitated by the chemicals in my brain which were encouraged by the chemical inhibitors I gulped down my throat. It’s the old sad tale of the hopeless dreamer reverting to drugs to keep on dreaming his hopeless dreams. Junkies start confusing their highs with something transcendent. The truly transcendent aren’t those moments of extreme bliss or artificial nirvana. Even when you are sharing your high with someone it’s not as special as you think it is. Those extreme highs are incredibly deceptive, you feel like you grasped forever but you don’t. It’s gonna slip away from you the moment you look the other way. Suddenly you are desperate for that moment again and you hold on to it together. And there’s nothing sadder than that; holding on to something that has been gone for a long time.
So what are moments of transcendence you ask to this wise man writing right now?
Well. It’s the simple moments in your complicated life, the pleasure you get from doing something you love. It’s connecting with someone sure. It’s sharing everything and not being rejected for who you are. It’s as simple as looking at that person and smiling at each other. It’s helping people- this is if you’re not a selfish prick. It’s enjoying the company of an non-human animal (they are usually less annoying). It’s a family dinner, it’s being surrounded by people you are proud to call family. But I’m getting a little mushy here. If Doug Stanhope- one of my favorite comedians- would read this he would puke over all over these words (and not just because he drank too much and his liver is begging him to stop). This is just my experience. I’ve realized I’m much happier living a quiet life or rather, I’ve realized that I’m not the party-hardy Rock and Roll Hunter S. Thompson character I dreamed I was. Instead, I want the same things most people want; to be with that one special person, to have this person’s kids, to play with my cuddly fat little dogs (maybe most will skip the latter).
Right now, I do believe I have found that special someone. In a month we will be together for two years. I know that I’ve said that we live in temporary states of mind, that everything will end one day, but I don’t believe this is always for the worst. Things won’t stay the same but when they change, you have to try and replace them with someone beautiful. The butterflies I have with my special someone for instance, are not as frequent as were. Instead, we have something much more powerful, a stronger bond that is much more special than our seemingly transcendent first kiss.
This is real love. Just like those simple moments with her, when I’m just lying with her on bed watching some mindless crap is much more transcendent than when I was pledging my love for a girl I barely knew. At the moment, being my intoxicated self, I thought I finally knew the score. To realize that you’ve been dreaming this whole time can be very painful. Dreamers like me are very good at sabotaging themselves and I’ve made my share of stupid mistakes. But I’ve come to a point, as I’m looking at my woman, that I wouldn’t change anything for the world. If I changed one thing I made jeopardize my journey that lead me to this woman. That can never happen.
In the past, being as intoxicated as I was, I thought I finally knew what happiness really was. I’m glad I’ve finally woken up.