Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

The Big Joke

Originally posted on May 28, 2014

I heard this intriguing prayer: “Lord, if you can forgive the many little jokes I’ve played on you, I’ll try to forgive the one gigantic joke you’re playing on me!” I vaguely recognized that God’s big joke is that we die.

I pondered this: How is it a joke? Well, our life story at this level of reality is over. Poof. Perhaps the joke is that we awaken to a realization that this life story was only a part of the story, a minuscule part, indeed. We are so taken by the vast sweep of the greater story that we are inclined to forget the details of the limited story of one lifetime. It’s almost funny, the ha-ha awareness that “Silly me! I thought “I” was “it” mixed with, “Boy, that sure fooled me.” It’s not a mean joke, really, just a kind of awakening where you realize that what you thought was so was only a dream. Or that the peek-a-boo game you played when you were one year old: Bet you can’t see me behind my hands (where I can’t see you)—flips and then, surprise! Here I am! Giggle-laugh!

The Vast Sweep of the Greater Story

It’s even better than God creating the universe, if you can imagine this! God delegates! Truly, God is not “in control,” nor does God even desire full control. It wouldn’t have the aesthetic pleasures of adventure and discovery if it were all fully intended, would it? So everything is empowered at its own level of creativity to co-create! God explains: First, I can’t do it all, because “doing” is a peculiarly human construct, a residue of the illusion of intentional or caused action, an illusion of—what—two year olds? We think we do things.

Of course, we do! But not as much as we think we do. Some. But there’s the illusion of “I” who does things, personal intentionality, will: It’s partly true, but the other part that isn’t so true tends to be obscured. That many acts and their source and power or skill arise beyond our will is obscure to us. We think we did it all, when in fact we were the trigger, releaser, and to a variable degree, guide.

What gets obscured are elements of innate talent—which is the degree of permeability we are to higher intelligence—; habit—the degree we’ve done it before, an unconscious part of our nervous system for which we take credit; and other variables. The point is that self-as-vanity takes credit for the whole action. Oh, don’t forget luck.

All this is woven into a worldview that believes that we deserve what we’ve done, achieved; although we don’t deserve whatever degrees of being ignored or condemned for what we haven’t done or done less than excellently. After all, we couldn’t help it. It wasn’t our fault. But it was very much to our credit that we succeeded. We believe we need credit, praise, and rewards. (What if this belief is to a varying degree not so?)

Indeed, what if a goodly part of the human condition is a many-thousand-year story of humanity awakening, and we’re only partly through that story? What if much of what we consider mental illness, spiritual blindness, lower consciousness, folly, and changing world-views are all involved in this awakening? (Such is the contemplation for today.)

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