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  • Writer's picturePhilip Drucker

Communique 11-19-2020 "Ceci N'est Une Peeg"

By Philip Drucker

Do you want to feel better about yourself? Then try this. Next time you question your ability to make the best choices for yourself, start by qualifying your inquiry with “Given the set of circumstances I found myself in at the time” then, “and given the amount of knowledge available to me at the time” ask yourself, not did you make the “right” decision, but “did I make the best decision I could?”

While always keeping in mind that we are by the nature of our earthly condition not capable of understanding but a fraction of God’s wisdom and that he loves us for what we are. Flawed to be sure but capable of growing, learning and expanding our understanding of nature by way of trial and error resulting in a greater knowledge of one’s true inner self.

In other words, to know oneself is to know God. To understand how we interact with nature is to know God. The bridge we use to cross the unknowable when making decisions for ourselves is the gift of faith. Faith meaning even if we fail, God will be there to help us so we can try again. Or, if we so desire, quit, Or, if we royally screw up, die. But then isn’t in so many ways death merely an option available to us? Given certain circumstances and without the benefit of full knowledge?

I know you won’t put a fork in that power socket again, particularly if you electrocute yourself. Sounds kind of gruesome, but is it? I believe that what scares us most about death is the erroneous perception of finality coupled with the ever present and very human fear of the unknown. Is that not so? If you can accept that you are perfect in your imperfection, it is who you are and who you need to be, you might allow yourself to take a breather, pull a Fleetwood Mac as in “Don’t look back” and “Yesterday’s gone” and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow if need be. Just not today. OK?

For if you do, it might also stop you from handing over your next paycheck to that fraudulent jack-ass of a televangelist, because let me tell you brother, he or she don’t know nothing about the celestial either. If the choices you made resulted in spending your life either deluding yourself and/or others, or usually both that you are somehow “special” “well endowed” or my favorite “talk to God” when you aren’t and you don’t well, is this a life well lived in service of anyone or anything other than your selfish self?

Or, is it a life wasted in pursuit of an illusion while you drag down as many innocent suckers that quite frankly, need to make better decisions? Like putting your hard-earned cash into a savings account so your children can go to college, educate themselves the best they can and avoid the same fate that you did?

For what it is worth, I’m telling you I have stared down into the abyss twice now, fairly convinced I was going to die. I can’t exactly explain to you what I felt or what I saw, but I’m telling you, there is nobody here who can tell you how to get there. Call it what you will, heaven, hell, everything, nothing, purgatory, Carl’s Jr. on a Sunday afternoon (if that’s your idea of how you want to spend eternity), doesn’t matter. You know why? Nobody has a map. You know how I know that? If they did, they wouldn’t be here. They would be there. Like the guy on the Men’s Warehouse commercials, I guarantee it.

Once you realize there is another side, why fear it? We all know we are going to die, we just don’t know when. I don’t know about you, but my God is kind and merciful. Whether he is here with us here all the time, that I believe is still an open question for debate, I mean, as a species, we really aren’t all that exciting, are we? I’m betting there is something better on TV other than a reality TV show of mostly bloopers, right? I wonder how many channels they have in heaven, don’t you? Probably doesn’t matter. As we say, an infinite number of channels to choose from and nothing good is on.

The Dalai Lama once said his religion was easy to define. It was the practice of kindness. If I asked you to describe your religion, path, way, stairway to heaven, highway to hell, in one word what would it be? Now before you answer, consider it is highly likely your definition would change over time. Also, not everyone here is here for the same reasons. You have to admit, it is highly unlikely we are all here for exactly the same experience and reasons. We share much, but not everything.

And, did you already forget? There are no “right” answers, only evaluations of, given the set of circumstances (fate?), and my inherent lack of full knowledge (free will?), and perhaps a little application of faith (belief), sometimes even against all rational belief (it happens) did I at that time, the time to decide, make the best decision available?

Followed by an evaluation of the trial and error paradigm we live in. In other words, did I live to try again? If not, press one for you’re dead (so don’t worry). For all other options, press two. If all lines are busy, leave a message and someone will get back to you. Dig?

Oh, and for me, my religion in one word? Acceptance. Acceptance, without illusion, supposition, judgment, correction, rejection, or redirection. Acknowledging, respecting and celebrating everyone and everything for what they are and not for what I think they should be.

In this day and age of alternate facts, it is easy to think about reality as a multiple- choice question, but in reality, it is not. There is only what is, and what we misperceive the 10,000 things to be when in fact, they are not. That, is on us. How do I know this? How do we learn not to touch a hot oven? We touch it. Don’t lie, you know you did no matter what anyone told you to the contrary. I’m talking in the allegorical sense here.

But that is not really the important question. The real question is, did you accept the inescapable conclusion that it is what it is? Or did you, like a stubborn child touch it again expecting a different outcome? Your mistakes are your best friends, but only if you learn from them.

And so, this holiday season, can we all agree to be good to ourselves? Give yourself a break? Maybe a pat on the back? Take some time out to play with the toys we already have and not worry about buying the next version of the latest thingamabob in an effort to convince ourselves that as long as we in America can still buy stuff everything is going to be OK.

The lesson for today (and every day hereafter) is be good to yourself, every now and then give yourself a break, and then be aware and compassionate enough to pass the experience on to those who may be at a different stage of their journey or perhaps on a completely different path altogether.

If you can do that, you might find that throughout your life you have been making more rational and reasonable choices for yourself than you may have previously given yourself credit for. I can accept that. You?

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