Today is one of several days that both sides of my spiritual life have in common and maybe the only day where we really meet in the middle. For my Pagan friends, it’s Samhain, the time of year when the veil is thinnest. For my Christian, especially, Catholic friends, it is All Saints, the time when the veil (of death) is thinnest and we pray for the souls of the best of us.
It’s a not-secret secret that 90% of my spiritual life is kind of like this: let’s say the world were to come to an actual end today. How would that work exactly?
What would the new heaven and new earth look like if we were all suddenly there?
I know to most (sane) people, this is one of those questions where people shrug and go God will sort it all out in the end. Whatever it is, it will be good.
To me, that’s an intellectual copout. I’d say it doesn’t matter what we think, but it does. What we think about other people, the extent to which we care about them – as people – impacts how we live today. That’s the whole point. If God didn’t want us to know we are going to live forever, She could have left that part out of the narrative.
Jesus died. He left behind a really good example. Too bad he died so young. THE END.
To be honest, I think a lot of Christians basically read it that way. It’s a much simpler story to live by. And, whatever.
To me, it says more or less everything that even those who do believe tend to hyper-simplify the narrative. 1) If we do good things, we go to the good place. 2) If we care about other people, those good things include wanting other people to go there too.
My inner spiritual life asks “silly” questions like – will there be Shakespeare in heaven? Definitely, the Bard Himself, sure. I mean he wasn’t perfect, but he probably gets in. Some of the plays he wrote are pretty violent though.
Hm…. Does violent death make sense in a world without – actual violent death? What does drama look like in a world without death, for that matter?
My answer is simple and it has not not wavered – nor do I think it is ever likely to do so.
In my ideal future, there’s no more death, no more involuntary separation between loved ones. There’s still plenty of stories. There’s still the kind of drama you get when separation is voluntary and temporary. Because, that is real drama. Physical death is the cheap thrill. I like popcorn fiction and jump scares too. But, eternal life is so much scarier than that.
I could be wrong about all this. But, I don’t think so.
Thinking back on the previous year, what did we do? What could we do differently? What kind of world do we want to live in?
This year, I note gross inequality and injustice and a world where the inmates seem to be running the asylum.
Human race, oh beloved human race. What is Goddess going to do with you? How long She has longed to fold you under her wings, like a hen shelters Her chicks.
If only today could be the day, if only this could be year. Now that would really be something to celebrate.
Either way, blessed Samhain and happy new spiritual year to all.