Me: I think I'll clear the air a bit. I'm agnostic.
H: Straddling the fence eh?
Me: Yeah, well, I think it's wise.
H: I think it's wimpy.
Me: Hey, you're not supposed to judge!
H: Yeah, well...so how come you're talking to me then?
Me: I think this is a conversation I'm having with myself.
H: Aah, one of those. Go ahead then.
Me: I'm sorry to be the one to break this to you, but I think you're becoming more of a prude with every passing day.
H: Really? How do you reckon?
Me: They've banned women from wearing leggings and jeans to temples.
H: Ouch... really?
H: They do know I created y'all naked, right?
Me: I think that's a suppressed memory. Also, I'm wondering if you're to blame a bit.
H: How's that now?
Me: Well, all the visions of you throughout history, in your many forms or one true form or whatever, depending on the religion- you're over-dressed in all of them. I'm talking layers and layers. It's like you're running a weaving unit up there.
H: Hmm... I didn't realize...
Me: And what's with all the representatives anyway?
H: Hey! That wasn't my idea!
H: No way. Why would I put some of you above others or set some of you apart? It's like that joke where the white guy tells the Chinese guy "I can't tell you guys apart!" You're all the same to me!
Me: Um, that joke is really racist.
H: Oh...ok. But you know what I mean!
Me: So why not just smite the guys who step up and give themselves names?
H: I don't smite!
Me: You sure?
Me: What do you do then?
H: Well,...you must have heard of creation?
Me: No offence, but that was like billions of years ago, and I heard it didn't take too long. Are you still on vacation or something?
H: I'm not!
Me: Just lazy then?
H: Oy! Listen. Those guys making rules about clothes and stuff- that's nothing compared to the crazy rules from your past. You ever heard about Lupercalia?
Me: No, but now I finally have a word to rhyme with Malaria and complete my poem.
H: What horror of a poem contains the word ‘Malaria’?
Me: Big talk from the guy who allowed mosquitoes to evolve. What’s Lupercalia anyway?
H: Ancient Roman festival. Picture this- Roman dudes running through the streets naked, with whips. Women thronging the streets, waiting to be whipped!
Me: So all this doesn't bother you then?
H: Why would it bother me? I can wear jeans whenever I want.
Me: That's so unfair.
H: Well, what can you do...
Me: What can I do? Seriously?! What can YOU do, is what I want to know.
H: That's not how it works. I don't interfere.
Me: Convenient. Which multiverse are you vacationing in now?
H: I'm not...alright. See, you guys all chose this. To be on this planet, in your shoes,
experiencing what you're going through now.
Me: And why did we choose this exactly?
H: To put it simply- to become one with me.
Me: I see. I decline.
H: You what?
Me: I don't want to become one with you.
H: Yes, you do!
Me: No, I don't!
H: Yes, you....I'm not doing this.
Me: That's what I'm saying.
H: But you chose to.
Me: So how do I un-choose it?
H: You can't!
Me: Again, convenient.
H: You're very combative, you know.
Me: There you go judging me again.
H: What's wrong?
Me:...It's been a tough stretch. Sometimes, I want to give up.
H: You can't do that either. It isn't possible...because you cannot give up on something that
is true and eternal.
Me: Are you talking about yourself?
H: I'm talking about you.
Me: Oh...I don't feel true and eternal. I feel like crap.
H: Crap is true.
Me: Is that a joke?
H: Um, yes.
Me: Please don't ever do stand-up.
H: Moving on, I mean that you feel the way you are because you're struggling against the pain, fighting it.
Me: So what, embrace it?
H: Even pain has its purpose.
Me: Easy to say for someone who is omnipotent.
H: You're right.
Me: I am?
H: Yes. You heard of Teddy Roosevelt?
Me: That U.S. President?...What is it with the U.S.A?! Everything happens there! Even aliens supposedly pick a spot to crash-land there every few years. And now you!
Me: Yes. Wanted to get that off my chest. I suspect they won't give me a visa.
H: Ok, so there was a time when Roosevelt gave a speech known as 'The Man in the Arena.' And he said this...“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”
H: That's they key.
Me: To be in the arena? `
H: Yes. To be in the arena, to be who you are or want to be, unashamed, defenseless. And also, If I could tweak the end a bit, I'd clarify that you cannot fail.
H: No. You are not on a quest.
Me: That's actually a bit of a relief. I've always felt this great need to be 'better'.
H: And what will being better do for you?
Me: Well, it'll make me feel better.
H: Better or more special?
Me: Better...and special.
H: And that's where all the conflict comes in. You ever heard of Moji?
Me: The guru? Yeah.
H: He said something wise that I think you'll like.
Me: You know, for an all-knowing being, you sure do quote other people a lot.
H: You can't blame me for that. I get misquoted so grossly, and so often, I've come to prefer pilfering.
Me: That's a bit sad.
H: I know. So Mooji. He said, "Leave everything aside for a moment, this self-obsession with being someone special. Leave aside all these shallow concerns, projections, expectations that keep your mind floating like a bubble on the surface of the ocean of being.
Just try to be this formless presence in which this entire play is watched. Be neutral. Empty. Try to observe that which observes. Keep quiet. Your mind seems so afraid of this meeting which is with your true Beloved!Now is as good a time as any. Once your heart accepts this invitation the whole universe is with you."
Me: Wow. This stuff always sounds wow.
Me: But it’s for when I’m sitting on a beach with the wind in my hair. The everyday grind. It gets to me.
Me: Like when someone I love dies. Like when someone I want to love leaves. Like when it seems I am not enough.
H: Isn’t it at these times when you are hurting, when the pain intrudes, that you must step away and observe?
Me: I can. I do it. I know when someone is emotionally distancing themselves. I know there are underlying fears that cause them to do so. I get it, I sympathize.
H: But this awareness, this knowledge does not help?
H: Then you must observe- what are you doing with the knowledge?
Me: What am I.... what do you mean?
H: When there is knowledge and there is also pain, then there must be a bridge between the two? What are you doing when you walk that bridge?
Me: I... protest. I know the whys, but... I do not accept. I-
Me: I judge.
H: Have you ever known an instance when judgement does not bring pain?
Me: No, I guess not... Never.
H: When you judge, you put yourself in the equation. It becomes about you, and you take it personally, it reflects on you, it hurts. When you remove yourself from the equation, when you observe, it is completely about the other person. It allows you to understand their basic emotions without commenting upon their right to exist. Now apply this to some situation in your life that you have a problem with.
H: Does it still hurt?
Me: It wasn’t easy to remove myself from the situation. The part of me that wants to jump in and justify my hurt kept coming up. But yes, when I put myself aside, I feel nothing.
Me: But does that mean I stay and let myself get hurt? Just because I understand?
H: No, it doesn’t. It means you are able to step away in peace rather than step away in pain. When you truly get that it is not about you, then you don’t have to participate, either actively or passively.
Me: You know. I didn't expect to, but I feel better. Thank you.
H: Anytime...so you still don't think I should do stand up?
H: That Chinese joke is quite good. I created all the races, you know.
Me: It's still racist.
H: What about that nun one that you read online yesterday?
Me: I think that if you repeated it, it might cause mass conversions to atheism overnight.
Me: Stick to your strength, big guy.
H: Voluminous clothing?
Me: Yeah. We'll tough it out, do what we can, find our way.
H: I like the sound of that.
Me: One more thing. If you see my father, tell him...
H: He knows.
Me: Right. Off you go then.
H: You're dismissing ME?!
Me: Yup. Straddling that fence whilst talking to you goes against the laws of... um, the Heisenberg Principle.
H: No, it doesn't! The principle merely states that-
Me: B'bye, big guy.
H: See you...child.