It used to flabbergast me, in spiritual adventure, that others would not be interested in getting to the bottom of things -- to quit flapping their theological gums and find-the-fuck-out. Since I imagined myself to have crossed that line, it was unthinkable that others might not want to do the same. Talk about hubris!
And today, reading a news story about a Roman Catholic bishop, I could feel the old flabbergastery raising its head, lazy as a cat curled up by a warm fire. On and on and on and on ... all that parsing and dissecting and theologizing and improving and dissenting and consenting and worshiping and disdaining and ....
Well hell, I did it too -- read books and collected arguments, ingested wise observations and countered them with other wise observations ... on and on and on and on.
And I wonder today what bit of good (of perhaps insane) fortune eventually suggested to me that talking the talk just couldn't hack it, that walking the walk (whatever the hell that meant) was the only real option, assuming I took what I claimed to take seriously seriously.
Really -- look at the people who go to their graves have used vast and grave amounts of time devoted to believing in stuff they never really checked out. How did I get so lucky or go so insane?
I honestly don't know. I'm not especially proud of it. I just know there was some imperative that grew up inside and said, "put up or shut up: Either find out if it's true or stop flapping your gums. Either way, cut the crap."
Hell ... "the final frontier."
These days, I am mildly conflicted. On the one hand, jumping off a cliff simply can't be helped. The cards are dealt and you play the hand. On the other hand, my flabbergastery still wonders incredulously, "But don't you want to know!?" "Don't you want to know in a way that does not rely on the wisdom of others?!" "Don't you want to know in a way that dispenses with theology and spiritual formats?!" "Seriously, don't you want to know?" Wouldn't a Christian want to get "God" straight? Wouldn't a Buddhist want to be clear and rest easy about "enlightenment?" Isn't there a time to put up or shut up?
These days, the cat by the warm fire puts his head back down after surveying the scene. He may wonder a bit about the comings and goings in his neighborhood, but the fire is warm and sleep seems to be on the agenda.
Find-the-fuck-out about what?
A warm fire doesn't come along every day of the week.
And a good snooze is hard to beat.