My assertion that objective reality does not exist does not in any way indicate that I do not believe in God or divine revelation. However, it is vital that we recognize and accept that our understanding of what is real and our evaluation of that reality, by logic or by sensual experience, will always be subjective. Some contend that an objective reality does exist outside of our perception of it and that is not what I contest here. I don’t pretend that the neighborhood I live in no longer exists when I am not there to perceive it. But I cannot either suggest that my perception of my neighborhood will be the same as the perception my own neighbor may have of it, filtered through our very subjective and individual lenses. I don’t deny the reality, but I do deny that knowledge of it could ever in any way be objective.
Beings Limited by Space and Time
We are beings limited by space and time and perception. Recognizing those limits and that they restrict all of us in one way or another, should allow us to open our minds to each other. We all move through life as journeymen, born and raised in varied circumstance. To be here, we experienced birth and to leave here we will experience death. But that’s where the commonality of our journey ends. Regardless, the struggle should draw us closer. This blog is part of my journey and an attempt to share aspects of my experience with the nebulae, the multitudes formed of cloud dust seeking to understand purpose and living simply and humbly in the meanwhile.
How do we measure value? I don’t mean value in the sense of cost, the cost of bread or ear buds. I mean personal value, self-value. What do you deserve? Can we even quantify personal value? Or, let’s get gender specific. Can we quantify a woman’s value? What about a mother’s value? Theoretically, it’s simple. Everyone will agree that mothers rule! But do we demonstrate in action to our mothers how much they truly mean to us? This question occurs to me as I watch my mother.
Today has been hard. I want to explain why I choose to label today as hard, but it is far more complicated than that. It isn’t hard for me, so much. But it is hard for her. Some days are actually quite good and she wakes with some semblance of energy and moves about tending to her small chores. She feeds her dog and puts birdseed on the porch for the pigeons and sparrows. She checks her own sugar and writes the number on a calendar on the wall in the bathroom.
I have left chores for her, so she can feel her value. Although, I don’t measure her by what she does, she does measure herself that way. She often frets that she is not helping me. Not putting the laundry in the machine or washing the dishes. Such ordinary chores. What she does do for me she cannot even see. And I couldn’t explain it to her without drowning in guilt and shame.
I tell her, “You are my mom. I love you. You may not remember all that you have done for me, but I do.” I can never repay what she has done for me. Yet, when I think of my own children I feel like they don’t owe me anything. Isn’t that odd? That I, too, don’t feel like I deserve for my children to put their lives on pause for me, to escort me out of this reality. So, I suppose that is why she feels like she should be doing something for me.
Money has become a god in this materialistic world. People bow to money. They curve their personalities to earn it and compromise their values to accrue it. They equate money with peace and satisfaction. If this were so, then how does one explain the dissatisfaction of the wealthy? Those who crave it, bow to those who have it, blinded by their struggle. And those who have it don’t understand what’s missing.
Possessions have prominence – ever notice the cycle? When you ‘need’ something, you struggle for it. You shop for the best deal, you set aside, save up, strive to earn to buy it. You know that when you buy it, you will be complete. You will feel satisfied. After all…this was all you ever wanted to have. Throughout the entire process, acquiring it monopolized your every moment and took a lead role in each conversation with friends or loved ones. Your happiness hinged upon its possession. Then, finally, the day arrives. You have enough. You get it. You use it. You enjoy it. You spread the word. But it doesn’t fill the hollow. That wasn’t it. Another object entices you, initiating a fresh cycle. Each time, unexpectedly the hollow grows. Nothing seems to fill it. Why?
Are we an empty society? But it seems so full…Expected accomplishments drive our lives: high school diploma, college education, job, marriage, family, then retirement. En route defines success. So busy-busy fulfilling material expectations, we rarely pause to consider anything beyond the material. Our each success unexpectedly feeds the hollow, its appetite voracious, burping a nagging sense of emptiness.
Can we feel complete satisfaction from material gains? That which we cannot measure by dollar signs or scales, those things we cannot capture in a photo or video, the essence has the most value – not measured or seen, but felt and experienced by heart. True personal gratification comes when we intimately and spiritually grasp the essence. Recognize the inter-connected-ness of spirit and body. The spirit has needs too. It demands elevation, not rungs on the ladder of success, but the exercise of intellect. When your struggle to ‘have’ correlates to your spiritual growth, only then can you gain success.