I just started a new novel by Stephen King called Revival. Now, I don't read as much fiction as I used to and I'm more into non fiction and enjoy period true crime stories. Not the gory slash and bash kind. More of the Hollywood or 1930's mob kind. Throw in some classic rock biographies and that's pretty much my reading list these days with a little ufo/alien abduction stuff for fun. But, I do read my favorite author when he puts out a new one. Often, people look for guru's or try to find some "one size fits all wisdom" in the things they enjoy. I'm to old for guru's and to experienced in life to think "one size fits all" be it religion, politics or how to win a million dollars through positive thinking. :-) Still, a new book by "Uncle Stevie" gets me thinking of my life and where I've been. Kind of like a certain song or a certain memory of being baptized when I was young. Well, there ya have it. I told you I was thinking of Jesus, Stephen King and Don Henley. But, I get ahead of myself.
I am a Christian by the family and culture that I was born into. I often say that my "Christianity" is like my southerness. I could hardly be anything else. I was taught to say Roll Tide and my prayers at about the same age. OK, prayer came first but not much more intensely. :-) I am not much of a right wing evangelical type these days. My dogma was ran over some years ago. But, I have the t-shirt and still love the folks who disagree with my political and spiritual "evolution." I tried to fit in most of my life and only in my late forties and into my fifties did I develop enough personal honesty to state even to myself what I really think and believe about life. I'm still careful because as a wise woman once told me "Steve, there are some things you don't tell anybody but God." Works for me. ;-)
Anyway, I have looked forward and been a little anxious about the new Stephen King novel. I knew from the title and the blurbs that it touches on religion and I am always conflicted about that. It's kind of a thing these days for people who are mad at religion to create and destroy straw men. I have seen the abuses of religion and the terror of telling children they are going to hell if they don't believe right.
However, I have also watched young mothers find strength to deal with the loss of a child or an adult deal with loss of a parent or loved one by holding on and looking forward to their faith. I know it's easy to say "where was god when something bad happens." But, on the flip side saying "we are all just brain farts and your loved one was nothing but a chemical reaction that is now extinct" just doesn't work well for me as a trade off.
So far (I've only completed a few chapters)the book hasn't slipped into a faith bashing frenzy and you also need to distinguish between a work of fiction and entertainment and getting uptight about world views. But, I have been thinking a lot lately about my world view. I no longer see "God" as an old man in the sky waiting to get me for my many transgressions. I tend to think that once you accept a view that we are more than the sum of our parts but that shit still happens. Well, you have to come to some kind of personal understanding of what reality is. I have a real problem with thinking that an eternal soul just pops into being by the seed and the egg. On the other hand I have a real problem believing that everything that I am simply pops into being by a chemical reaction inside an organ in my head. ;-) Both, seem a little off to me.
I tend to think that maybe, just maybe matter springs from consciousness and not the other way around. The eternal observer of which I'm part of makes sense to me. I don't always know how to fit my faith and my actions into the correct box. The one thing that I do believe in is treating everyone the way you would like to be treated. Stop thinking that life is your own personal movie and that other people are just bit players.
You know how in the movies a whole town or region is destroyed by the monster,bad guys, bombs or other mayhem. The posse is shot to hell but in the final scene the only thing that really matters? It's the hero kissing his true love and both riding off or driving off or flying off into the sunset. The fact that the sidekick or the other good guys were just gunned down and the heroic couple stepped over them on the way out of the last scene seems like a good payoff to us movie goers. That's fine for hollywood and I love to see Clint Eastwood gunning down the bad guys.
But, as you go into a week of family, work, friends and foes try to remember. Everybody counts and everybody has their own part in their own movie and walking over them as if they aren't important should not be an option.