Life is a comedy!
the vast arena of this gorgeous planet it is usual for people to discuss
their religious views. There are, in this arena, Christians (obnoxious;
a personal view), Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists and Taoists, and minority
groups like Parsi and Zoroastrians; there are Yoruba, Pygmies, Hottentots,
Eskimos, Samoans and Hawaiians, Red Indians, South Americans and so
on; it is impossible to list all those systems attached to a myriad
of gods who indifferent to human problems populate the sky
above, even if Hubble did not detect, so far, any of them. As well,
there is nothing strange in an assemblage like this; it has been going
on for millenniums. There is nothing strange, likewise, concerning the
fact that each one of them is ready to cut the others’ throats in order
to have his point of view affirmed; this too has been going on and,
indeed, carried out, for millenniums. And not less so it is still happening
in this enlightened millennium!
All, if not most of them, however, are somewhat blameless for their lack of good-sense since they have been brainwashed, in a early and delicate age, from those who love them, into their traditional social system and religious belief and this invisible but manifest ‘protective shield’ is not easily discarded. They did not get their belief from a personal realization, a divine intercession, or an email from firstname.lastname@example.org and yet they belong to the planet’s blockheads; however, even without indoctrination, or brainwashing, the "God concept" tends to surface in the human mind and there it creates a powerful mental image which, the more we attach ourselves to it the more it conditions our minds; be it as it may, that is just a mental image which is brought about by ignorance of the unknown, the mysterious, and above all by the fear of death, the mysterious par excellence. As such, the God concept is a psychic pedestal easy to access; just say or chant a prayer rather than trying to get in touch with the unconscious and discover your real identity, something which may not be salutary if we are not prepared to that encounter. That is why a psychoanalyst invariably has a good many clients less than the local dioceses. Hence, it is much easier to mutter a prayer and then find yourself at peace with the world, your sins absolved and your problems helped by the invisible aid of the being up there in the sky. Of course, a good many problems are solved faster and assistance from above is more certain and swifter if we pay an indulgence to a bishop or, more reliable, to the cardinal of our county. Not that I am better than a single one of these blockheads; in many respects I am not a little more dunderheaded but I am gifted with the advantage of being an iconoclast who has detached himself, many decenniums ago, from the filth, nonsense and stupidity of the Catholic Church; and after a long and fruitful search I had to throw one and all the gods which I encountered in the recycle bin! The “God concept” expelled from my mind, I do no need to pray, to go to church, to kiss idols and to pay indulgences; that brought about a more lively and profitable life and an incommensurably great mental freedom. I struck that mental pedestal at its foundations and brought it down in pieces which sunk and vanished in the obscure depths of the psyche.
True, besides exterminating populations and feeding flames with human bodies which were at odds with their tales the clergy and their associates have done, and are still doing something good; I had first-hand experience of this insofar as it concerns the Catholic Nuns (who call themselves ‘Wives of Christ’) and their admirable, indefatigable and devoted assistance to sick and needy people in several rural zones of Eritrea while, on the other hand, the priests sweep sins away, proselytize and fill their bellies besides displaying their stupidity and asking to kiss that wooden cross, with the effigy of that being affixed thereon for over two thousand years, dangling from their waist. Their god out there in the sky remains deaf and careless while, all-powerful, he might turn them into good farmers or human beings profitable to society. That would be somewhat better than the ‘something good’ hinted at above which ought to be done to in order to gain converts lest being forced to distressingly till the land or in some other wise be profitably useful to humanity.
But this world is an immense and fantastic stage with many billion of actors, each performing his own comedy within that greater comedy which involves humanity as a whole; not a single one is exempt from this show but, indeed, only a few are aware that “life is a comedy” and that all of us, without exception, are marionettes even if ignorant of what (I cannot say ‘who’ and contradict myself) pulls the ropes. Still, a restricted group of these marionettes on that vast stage are genuinely happy and serene since, while still ignorant of the apparently insoluble mystery of what pulls the strings, they harmonized with their vibrations instead of resisting them; until the time when the curtain closes before their eyes and their life vanishes from sight so as sight vanishes from their life as dictated by fate.
But fate, the conductor of this great comedy, is it really inescapable? We cannot, luckily, (what could be more tedious than to spend eternity sitting by the right hand of a god up there in the sky in one of the plethora of available, albeit fanciful, paradises?) escape death but perhaps we do have some liberty within the grip of fate: the liberty, within a restricted freedom of choice, of doing away with ignorance and of getting a more appreciable position on the stage, a stance which cannot be obtained with riches and bribes but only with a dedicated research; partly acquiring it from what is offered on the stage but, more important, within ourselves, in that mysterious and abysmal well which is the human mind. And when the curtain will be pulled closed and the puppet will vanish, his show will not be forgotten, because life is not an experience of the puppet while the puppet is an experience of ‘Life’, the cosmic reality.
Having mentioned the ‘human mind’ something else must be said. It is true that I am an individual physical organism, or entity, but is this mind of mine – this human mind – something that belongs exclusively to me? If each of us had his own unique and as such exclusive mind, could we really understandably communicate and share with other members of the same species? My point of view is that there is a mind but it is not something exclusive of an organism but something from which the organism, in this case the human individual, can attain to and make use of within the possibilities offered both by his cerebral machinery, or brain, and his stance within the environment and that which he must confront within the same. And this mind is but a manifestation of that greater ‘Mind’ within universal ‘Life’ which is the unfathomable intelligence of the cosmos.
Is it worth the effort to ponder and meditate about this great comedy? Since time immemorial the Hindus call it “Brahma Lila”, i.e., the play of God, and this brought about one of the world’s greatest civilization and a deep philosophy of life; the realization that “life is a comedy” might be the greatest panacea for this planet’s disquieted populations. Would it not pay off when we discover that rather than killing our mother in law or displaying severed heads on the Internet or kissing idols our role on the stage, at least to a certain extent, can be modified? And act accordingly! We are proud of our great discoveries, of our advanced technology, of our medical capabilities, even of possessing thousands of hydrogen bombs but, at the core of it, we are still barbarians vaunting an advanced and enlightened civilization which is none but a figment of the mind; would you dare say that this is not true? We do have this awareness but lack the will to change our role and make the comedy more enjoyable. Why? Because, first and foremost, we are in the grip of traditional inheritance and questionable creeds; which are invariably inculcated to tender minds as soon as they move their first steps within their familiar environment. We do not need a universal religion (and still be God's slaves with the promised benefits or torments which that brings about both in this and in an illusory afterlife) but a better understanding and complying with the role of what, conceitedly and erroneously, we call the culmination of creation: the human being; that histrion who, wittingly or unwittingly is responsible of his own destiny and the collective evolution.
Envisioning a perfect society is chimerical and utopian; discounting the belief that we are robots, the only thing which could achieve an exclusive and remarkably bettered (forget the ‘perfect’!) society, the road to a better humanity lies open ahead. That we are refusing to enter it will bring about extinction and while hints that we are on the path of extinction are quite manifest we still stubbornly thread that benighted path in the merciless grip of power and religion. To detach ourselves from these clutches will require sacrifice and even suffering but the task is not impossible; it is not necessary to bring about a calamity by way of civil disobedience or revolt; it is, however, indispensable to detach ourselves from false idols and bigotry and, no less so, to find a way to slip off the clench of a political system which is steadily growing more tyrannical and burdensome. That a calamity is approaching is a widespread feeling and all of us are responsible for it, but it will never be a biblical Apocalypse; nor a ragnarok, the catastrophic end of the world expected by the ancient Germans; forget also a day of doom, with the black snow and red hail like that of the Persian Apocalypse, rained upon the planet as the vengeance of some merciful god up there in the sky.
Here I make a small digression concerning black snow and red hail. The prophet's vision of black snow and red hail might have been that of a cataclysmic geological upheaval; or a great cosmic event hitting the earth; or the nuclear winter following a global nuclear war or something else; as I see it, black snow and red hail may be symbols that, not to be frozen and scorched, I prefer to interpret as extreme ignorance and fiery turmoil; a strictly personal view which presently makes the prophecy acceptable! I like mythology and symbolism but do not give heed nor believe in prophecies while I think that, in this respect, a greater part of the human population are gullible to the extent that there have been many expected Doomsday, both in the past and recent times; and even persons doing away with themselves on the eve of one of these expected Doomsday, even on the eve of the last one, great Mayan doomsday of 2012! (But … by Jove! it is approaching, it was only a calendric mistake! As well the Kalki Avatar of Krishna, who is almost a one-to one correspondence of the Christ of the Adventist, might be just around the corner; not less so the Kali Yuga is reaching its consummation and afterwards, like in all great eschatological themes, a golden era will follow.).
it as it may, one thing is certain: the apocalyptic prophetical accounts
turn out as a great hook for the clergy to fish in this mass of gullible.
The apocalyptic legend appears in all mythological themes all over the
globe and intelligent human beings still are unintelligently oppressed
by these fables, enslaved by ingrained subconscious terrors and
superstitions brought about by false indoctrination and faulty education.
Notwithstanding, false indoctrination and faulty education are the main
obstacles to be removed from our blockhead-ness and gullibility; that
ought to be the first step otherwise nothing will achieve a set purpose,
i.e., a healthier and more consonant society within a more agreeable
we to spend our days muttering a particular mantra which should grant
us enlightenment and liberation, which would allow us to span
wider horizons from atop higher hills, enlightenment and liberation
are two additional mental idols usable for both exalted and malignant
purposes. Enlightenment and liberation, after all, besides
being illusory are, more often that not, an act of selfishness and not
less so can easily be a mental trap like the plethora of erratic concepts
which we deem meaningful in our life, which infest our minds. And, obviously,
selfishness turns out as the outstanding planetary malady to be cured
and eradicated. While there cannot be impartial equality in a greatly
complex system, it may still be harmonized and rendered acceptable.
But we do not want to do that, we still consciously keep the system
detrimentally working against us.
Not a few will resent being called or considered blockheads, but it comes from the dunderhead mentioned above and I apologize about it; it is not my course of conduct to be offensive. The good clergy will deeply regret those unhealthy contemporary restrictions concerning the use of smoking stakes and torture and let me have my way, let their god properly take care of this matter and open the gates of hell so that I might be plunged into it and be punished in that fanciful world of unbearable eternal torments. A good many spiritual leaders belonging to a myriad of sects and creeds will blame my stupidity just like I blame theirs, but that leaves me unaffected. A few might be aware or realize and accept the fact that life is a comedy and ponder and possibly ameliorate their show upon this immense stage.
Concerning the two images above: it is a single image; flip it upside down and you get the image of the one in the opposite side. It is a small section of a picture, greatly enlarged, of a section of a lava field in the Ertale volcano in the Ethiopian depression. The visual effect of the one on the right depicts a sort of monk or shaman, while for the one on the left a strange creature may be discerned with a man hanging from its cheeks. Lupus in fabula, they represent the main characters of this essay: the clergy and the gullible. The picture on the right at the bottom of the page, which incidentally I adopted as this site's logo, is the head of a fish which I have been unable to identify; it might be a stingray's skeleton.