There are only three more Hershey's Nuggets in the canister on my mother's kitchen counter which was full a few days ago. Yesterday, when it turned out that he would be coming to New York in three weeks instead of three months - and that his dad was taking care of the air fare instead of me - I was so excited that I felt like dancing a jig.
The trouble is that once I said he was a hard-nosed skeptic on the blog and proceeded to deliver a rebuttal to any argument I could imagine him making, I felt isolated and alienated from him. In real life, he was at the movies with his dad and brother, then he was asleep.
It's a safe bet that he and I are going to go around and around about this spirituality vs science thing - especially since I've had an idea percolating in my head about how his political beliefs depend as much on intuition and deduction as my own airy fairy way of looking at the world. The idea is still percolating, but it occurs to me that since any example of a functioning communist society, or socialist economy, has been so rapidly undermined by neighboring capitalist countries who made deals behind closed doors with revolutionary leaders (if I've got the stories right) that there's no empirical evidence or data that proves Socialism and/or Communism is best for humans. There is a basic premise, and then there's Marx, of course, but really, the whole idea only works if you're the kind of person who believes that a functioning, sustainable community depends on people caring about and taking care of each other and the planet. Using the format of a Logic proof, wanting to put human needs over individual greed would be the Given. Given: Human needs are more important to a sustainable community than accumulating individual wealth. It's unlikely that Dick Cheney would sign off on that Given anymore than the French Aristocrats or the Romanoffs would have accepted that premise without a sharp blade on their necks.
Let me say here that I've never read Das Kapital, and I'm not going to. I haven't read the Bible yet, and I'm not going to read that either. I'm going to read something by Tom Robbins, most likely - or maybe the book by Barbara Kinsolver that my sister got me for Christmas. I am willing to accept, however, that Marx was right because both Woody and ABear say so and I respect their opinions and because I've discovered that all the educational theorists who have influenced my practice were Marxists. Ergo: I'm like a Marxist once removed. Even still, I'm not reading the book even though I do enjoy this little video Pinko showed me:
One day, I might settle on a name for that man. Sometimes he's ABear and sometimes he's Pinko. It just depends on the context. Sometimes he's Brad, but that's about as often as I'm Patricia. Mostly I'm Tricia or PENolan, depending on the context. But whether we're talking about Tricia and ABear, or Pinko and PENolan - either way, we're talking about two opinionated, mouthy individuals who will tenaciously argue a point they consider fundamental. I'm not so sure about Brad and Patricia. Apparently, they're well behaved which could explain why we both only use those names on official documents like drivers licenses.
While we've been with our respective families of origin, we have naturally ran into each other on Facebook since that's where we met to begin with and we've both been hanging out in the suburbs without much to do. That's where I noticed that he'd challenged and pooh-poohed an article a friend posted in a way that I considered insulting not only to the friend who posted it but also to another friend who has cooked a delicious dinner for him with her very own hands and served him copious amounts of red wine. From the way that thread went, as well as from a comment the friend who cooks made in a different one - it looks to me like the witches are fixing to gang up on Pinko. Here's a link to the article: Scientists finally show thoughts can cause specific molecular changes (TunedBody)
Whatever with genetics, thoughts, scientists and empirical data. I don't care about any of that shit. I care about Pinko.
When we are so attached to our ideas that it seems like those ideas are our essential identity, that's Ego in operation, working very hard to keep us isolated from each other so we don't experience love through a human connection. I am not my ideas or my problems or even a body, for that matter. I am Spirit. Call it energy or any other vocabulary word that feels comfortable - the point is that each of us is consciousness, and we connect to each other via that consciousness. Hippy Dippy Airy Fairy New Agers like me believe in Unity Consciousness which means that we are all part of one universal consciousness.
Since there's no way any living human can say for sure what happens when we die, all anyone can really do is listen to various stories and decide which one is his/her favorite. Personally, I like the idea that our energy is released from our bodies and is absorbed back into the universe - we go back to The Force from which we came just like Obi-Wan Kinobe.
It's just as likely, however, that when you're dead you're dead. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The point is that we all make choices about what we like to believe - some people are simply more aware of making a choice, that's all.
So I choose to be Airy Fairy and Pinko chooses to be a skeptic who requires empirical data. He really does think I'd be better off as a skeptic too, in exactly the same way he believes I'll be better off once I get to the doctor to get checked for Sleep Apnea. If my disruptive snoring and the accompanying gurgles are causing my high blood pressure, and there's a remedy - of course I'll be better off by going to the doctor about it. I'm not so sure Pinko would be better off as an Airy Fairy, though. He's pretty comfortable like he is. In a way, he kind of reminds me of Woody and A Hippie's Despair.
A Hippy's Despair is a condition in which someone who was passionately idealistic back in the 60's - like Woody Konopak, for example, who came back from Vietnam and joined the peace movement, tossing tear gas grenades back at the cops during demonstrations, etc - looks around at the world today and knows in his/her bones that almost every single one of their accomplishments have been buried under the pile of shit trickling down on everyone since Ronald Reagan took office. Worse, s/he will be dead long before there's an improvement in the world - unless some dramatic crisis leads to an immediate, global shift in policies and procedures. As Woody often says, "Ain't going to happen." So that once idealistic, passionate activist for peace, social and economic justice and sustainability sits on a threadbare armchair, not doing much of anything besides bitching to high heaven, and maybe drinking, going through the motions of daily life until s/he can finally die.
Hippy's Despair is bleak, and a lot of people suffer from it. Bouts of it are particularly prevalent after elections when every channel on the TV is filled with pundits spewing shit, Left, Right and Center - and all of that shit is propaganda.
I suspect that Pinko's skepticism is similar in that he used to be all into an organization called Avatar, and before that he was involved in something that was kind of like EST redux. He says he got a lot of benefit from them both until the hard sell started and the whole Avatar thing became a pyramid scheme much like Spiritual Amway. So the individuals who were leading him down a satisfying spiritual path turned into money grubbing charlatans before his very eyes. You can see how he'd become a skeptic. And when you factor in the bible thumpers from his high school in Dallas who came to the hospital after he'd had a major, ICU kind of accident to rope him into their club - it's easy to see how he'd be demanding substantiated proof for all kinds of fantastic claims.
Oh well. What's done is done, and really, no matter how Pinko got to be the thinker he is today, when I look at him, all I see is the spirit inside the man. He's got a great big, sensitive, loyal, gentle spirit - bigger than any I've ever let come this close. I'll be glad when we're in the same bed again, not talking about anything.