I have voluntarily eschewed the one glamorous thing I have done since leaving the convent: perform as Thurifer for The Triduum, the great three day liturgical event of Easter as celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church. The ritual and specialness of the Catholic Church has been lost to me. As I read in Magnificat this morning, what the priest’s pray for at today’s Chrism Mass, I wanted to barf. How could any of the Church’s teachings on the priesthood and Eucharist be true; and a man turn around and molest a child, or give up celibacy in any way.
The relevance of Jesus, as seen by Christians, and discussions of his divinity, seem to have lost any interest. The story of God being crucified seems insane. So, I am left with silence, running and Salman Rushdie. I am a worldly failure; but a victor at poverty of spirit. In my solitude, I continue to gaze at the inner light; seeing and hearing and thinking nothing, I return to Mr. Rushdie. I have a cup of green tea and several sticks of sugar free gum. In a little bit, I will lift weights and jog on the tread mill.
I won at poverty of spirit because I have nothing. It is not going to be possible for me to ever regain the semblance of self which disappeared when I left college, got a job, got an apartment and noticed the black hole where my self should have been. I tried drinking it away, but drink became hateful. I tried to career it away, but business doesn’t mean anything to me. I tried to sober-fellowship it away, but the people of the fellowship gradually became shallow and uninteresting. I tried to ride it away and screw it away in a flurry of motorcycles and old men; but there was no love there and anyway I discovered silence after man number three. The silence led to religion and I once again had hopes of filling the hole. Yet monastic life turned into a co-dependent nightmare as I tried to please 58 obsequious and rigidly self possessed nuns. They kicked me out. I was most possessed in my next role as a cashier. I eschewed that for a divinely given rebirth of my engineering career and the attached salary. Next, living in a small town, I tried to meditate and fast the black hole into enlightenment. Nothing happened.
So, I silently continued to run; and run a good deal more. Perhaps the black hole could disappear in an unreasonably large plethora of miles. I ran the miles but the black hole continued to exist. In another divinely transmitted transition of life, I returned to the city and took up engineering for my pre-monastic employer. Currently, some of my happiest moments are when my mind is sucked into process hazard analysis. And there continues to be the endless miles of running. I ran 80 miles in 20 hours; without a clue as to how I could do such a thing. Shining and glowing and enabling daily life is A Course in Miracles; to which I continue to attribute the possibility of life without suicide.
And now, Easter weekend 2010, unchurched and disillusioned, I accept the black hole as my truth. A cup of coffee, a few core exercises, a brief flirtation with Mr. Rushdie, a large quantity of laps around the park; and Monday will return. The black hole will still be there. I’ll not be able to mask it. The black hole is my truth. The black hole is my poverty of spirit. The black nothingness is who and what I really am; nothing more…
AND nothing less. Inside the black hole, the truth of my being, I am the infinity of everything.