Some citizens have noted that my BLOG entries have been rather bitter and pessimistic of late. It was even suggested that, among other things, I should "lighten up," "get a life," or "shut the fuck up." Interesting notions all, and I shall carefully consider each and every one of them during an unrushed period of introspection and a well-honed dismissal of prayer. I think it's wise, as part of one's personal evolution, to consider any and all suggestions that may come your way. Even if your life is quite happy and your days generally consist of following your heart.
Yesterday, as I was selling comical stickers (which were disrespectful to Republicans) in Times Square, a nice man demanded that I "accept Jesus Christ" as my personal savior. I suppose he could tell by my distaste of certain politicians that I needed Jesus to make me complete. Perhaps I had something to gain by listening. I asked him to give me any proof whatsoever that Jesus Christ (not WMD's) existed and he smiled warmly at me, as though I were a retarded child playing with colorful yarn. He responded, "The Bible is the word of God and proof that Jesus existed" and seemed to consider patting me on the head. I queried, "But where's the proof, any proof, that the Bible is the word of God?" Moving on, the fellow crisply suggested that I "get right with the Lord or burn in Hell." Well that sounds unpleasant so I shall indeed look into this "Jesus tale" and see if this bearded fellow can make me happier. If only I could convince myself that he actually existed (like unicorns and angels). Sadly, I did not get a chance to ask the pedestrian how Jesus could possibly become my personal savior when he already seems to be the savior of millions of Christians worldwide. But I cannot discount the possibility that Jesus will eventually become my non-personal savior and indeed make me happier. After all, happiness is the key, not bitterness.
Another helpful gentleman in Times Square roared, "Go back to the Soviet Union, you communist!" Since I had never traveled to this land to begin with, I found the suggestion confusing. Also baffling was the man's implication that I was capable of traveling back in time fifteen years in order to visit this (now-democratic) land which now goes by another name(s). He also clamored "support the troops, asshole!" patiently teaching me that if one's nation is at war it is our patriotic duty to support said war regardless of reasons for engagement or likelihood of success. If I fully grasp this lesson, will I be a less bitter, more optimistic chap? If I simply accept, at all times, what our elected politicians suggest, will it bring me inner calm? By cracky, now that's worth exploring. More introspection without prayer lies ahead.
But some of my encounters have not been of a conflicted nature. A woman I met (I'll call her "Abbe") was, among others, supportive of my thoughts and I, in turn, enjoyed her wise views very much. Drawn to this free-thinking, dynamic, liberal woman, I was fortunate enough to speak with her again and again over a period of several weeks (with a remarkable "cordless phone"). It was quietly confirmed that our opinions, even the aggressive ones, are perfectly acceptable and "letting them out" can be a rich, rewarding experience. Indeed, such views can even serve to draw people closer and closer together! Yes, here's yet another potential path to happiness I would be wise to continue exploring while carefully avoiding prayer.
So there's plenty to think about. A spiritual retreat is surely in order this month. But where to go? Hmmmm. Seattle, I've heard, is a great place to visit in order to explore personal growth and happiness without prayer. Yes, I shall go to Seattle.
In conclusion, I was again recently reminded that embracing anger actually keeps one from becoming bitter. It has been written that rage and depression are nothing more than "anger turned inward." So true. In fact, if you just speak your mind, wonderful people like "Abbe" (real name "Abbe") may just take an interest in you. And that, that my friends, can make you happy. Even more so than pie. And without prayer.
I feel good,