Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Friday, November 12, 2004

A Pill

I've had a thought in recent months that has resurfaced quite a few times but I haven't written about it yet. Let me see if I can express it this morning. It relates to a topic that has surfaced several times in Dacia's blog, sometimes by her and sometimes by replies others and I have made.
We seek in life a meaning for our lives. We don't seem to be able to find it, though. Even those who proactively seek it don't find anything they are willing or able to give to the rest of us. Some claim to find it, witness the rhetoric of evangelical Christians. Their claim is that the answer to our seeking lies in salvation. They say the reason we don't all understand is because we are unwilling to accept and submit to the truth. Yet when a person does accept and submit to evangelical Christianity, that person is hit on the head with the Bible, dragged in through the church's door, baptized, and persuaded to let the church tap into their paycheck for the 10% tithe. Since baptism doesn't merely represent a cleansing but rather the drowning death of our old self and the resurrection into Christian conformity, it isn't hard to understand why we might resist.
Most other religious solutions to the problem bear baggage at least as heavy as this, though. Imagine the changes you would be required to go through before you would be acceptable in Islam. Look at the pressure for conformity within the Catholic Church. And are there any significant effects on our lives or our understanding of the meaning of life if we do join a religion but hang onto our old self, our old beliefs and values? The baggage is unavoidable, yet is the promise of religion born out objectively in our lives? Does religion actually open up the treasures and secrets of life? Personally, I think not. I think that for the most part, religion is a social structure, not an enlightenment.
So the search for the meaning of life continues and the answers are not to be easily found.
I have a challenge for my readers.
Suppose that modern science through biological and chemical research discovered a chemical that unleashed our minds. We have all heard that we use only a small percentage of the mental capacity of our own minds. Suppose that tomorrow it was announced that a pill has now become available that would open our minds completely and reliably to an understanding of who we are and why we are here. For the sake of this argument, suspend your doubts about the possibility of this happening and just imagine this actually happened and that pill were offered to you. How would you react?
Suppose you had read reports or even met people who had taken this new pill and their testimony supported the claim, that this miracle pill had completely opened their eyes to the reality of human nature and the reality of all of nature. Suppose they told you that you can't even begin to imagine how much this little pill would expand your mind and change who you are. Suppose some of these people were even claiming that you would meet God if you took this pill and that your understanding of what is meant by "God" would finally become clear to you. And suppose above all, your taking of this pill were both safe and legal. Would you take that pill?
Now, suppose you chose to take this pill and everything you had heard about the experience turned out to be true. Suppose that for the very first time in your life, you knew the real meaning of life. Suppose you really did come to enlightenment, you reached the light within your own soul, you met your spirit. Suppose that in that light you finally understood the concept of God, of absolute truth and reality. But suppose that along with this enlightenment you also discovered the real you. Suppose you could remember and review your own life up to this point and see your own life history, your actions, your beliefs, your values, in light of what you were now able to understand. Suppose you could remember and understand all of the times you had hurt yourself and others. Suppose you could not avoid seeing your own self-centeredness. Suppose you could see the pain we all cause one another and know the real reasons why we cause others this pain. Suppose you could view your life from a perspective of the whole truth and you were no longer able to deceive yourself... no longer able...
Now suppose that the effects of this pill lasted for only a day. Suppose you slept as usual and when you awoke the next day, your life had returned to something close to normal. Suppose that your experience with enlightenment had been significant enough to make a lasting impression on you, but you were no longer enlightened. But suppose that you were now able to see that the promise of this new medicine was real and that the taking of this pill was safe. Would you take it again?


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