Friday, March 03, 2006

Ben's Empty Slot - Filled

Another busy studio day. Sitting here after midnight I am reminded that studio work is physical stuff indeed. Ouch. But it does soften the minds keening whine. Ahhhh. Ouch.
She is down, down, down. It's a small window, so get your kicks in while you can.

The discussion turned to religion, as studio discussions sometimes do. Yes, Ben, I am a dreamer. I hope eventually humanity will outgrow it.
Ben says religion is hardwired into humanity.
I say religion is not. The question is hardwired.

Ben wants to talk about the new pope. The prophesy that this one or the next, soon, pope and city, will be moonbound. Boom. Pow. Ben has a weakness for cheesy books.
I say whatever comedy he may have squeezed out of that one is long gone.

What about marriage? Is society moving toward a different sort of arrangement?
Where one (religion) goes, the other may follow.

Ben presses the heels of his hands into his eyes. I ask him what is the matter. He says his head hurts and he likes the pressure.
Really? I ask him and then, Does this help?
I touch a small box with holes from which bursts the It's a Small World melody in high, shrill electronic tones.
Ben says he's extremely proud of me. I recognized his moment of pain as a prime opportunity for a little karmic payback. The box is for a sculpture, no doubt. Not the red baby. Something else.

He winces while beaming, which is a facial expression I am incapable recreating, or even describing.
"Listen," he says a hand cupped to his ear, "You're even tormenting the neighborhood dogs."

Sure enough, a chorus of howling begins to overtake the notes.

We agree that we believe religion isn't hardwired. It's the question of purpose. What are we? Why are we here? It's the empty slot that must be filled. Religion can provide answers that don't require explanation.

So, right. We're hungry for the answers to the burning questions of our existence, but, as a whole, lazy enough to accept the first explanation offered.

This is depressing.

We turn our conversation to Ben's recent ingestive mishap. He thinks badly pickled cauliflower is the culprit. I say if he was eating pickled cauliflower he deserves what he got, which began with vomiting and ended with a rash on his face.
He should stay home from work when feeling so. I'm fairly certain he scared my gardener away. He sounded like a bear with his head in a bucket. Always lovely.
I suggested he might just this moment harbor the virulent strain that might ultimately wipe out humanity.

He says "Now that fulfills me."

I'm going to make myself a chocolate rat, and eat it. I am way too tired for typing.



Carl V. said...

Pickled cauliflower???? My stomach is quesy just thinking about it! Sounds like a low cost alternative to lethal weapons in Iraq!

Robert/ GuardianAlien said...

Pickled cauliflower is great! So is pickled brussel sprouts.

I got up an 4AM to let the dog out (she is old and goes when she wants) and I sat down to read this post while I waited on her. It sent me into a mental fugue that lasted until I had to get up for work. Thanks alot for the sleep deprivation Lisa :P

I should know better than to read comments about religion in the middle of the night.

Miss Bliss said...

"So, right. We're hungry for the answers to the burning questions of our existence, but, as a whole, lazy enough to accept the first explanation offered."

Except for the Artists among us. Seems to me that Art is simply another process by which we try to find those answers, try to explain our existence. Religion may work for some, even many, but Art hasn't been laying down on the job near as I can tell.

Daecabhir, Lord of the Leaping Shadows said...

I agree with the premise that we as human beings have this basic, visceral need for an explanation to the questions of purpose. While I cannot speak to the origins of many of the worlds religions, it does seem that at least a majority of the more "popular" organized religions have latched on to this need, and use it as a mechanism for control. I am not saying that there aren't priests, ministers, rabbis, immams (sp?) or other religious leaders who do believe to the very root of their beings, and act in good faith to do what is right without an agenda or pretense. But why is it that so many of these religious leaders live in near excessive opulence or luxury, while many of their followers live in poverty or subsistence levels? Why does this not seem to bother those religious leaders or their followers? I can guess at why it doesn't bother the religious leaders, but I can't really fathom what the deal is with the followers. Except for maybe: "baaaaaaaaaaa!"

I don't know if ravyn has mentioned to you (or perhaps I mentioned it in another comment... as I am typing, I am almost certain that I have) that I have recently gone back to a buddhist meditation center that I had started attending a few years ago. I too have felt that something is missing spiritually for me, and what I knew of buddhism resonated for me, because it focuses on each individual having the power to shape their world, not with hocus pocus or other mambo jambo, but with simply allowing yourself to be there in the current moment and "vulnerable" or open to what is happening right then and there. So I took an introductory Buddhism course, and was at first concerned by the apparent need for a teacher to guide you, as if this was another mechanism of control. But as I've read further, and asked questions, I find that this is not the case... the Buddha himself instructed his followers to not just accept his teachings because they came from him, but to put them into practice and decide for themselves if those teachings were true for them.

I'm still not certain if I will start down the buddhist path... although the teachingsthus far resonate for me, I am leif to commit myself without a little more time spent examining my own needs and motivations, and if the teachings truly do work for me. Even if I do not start down that path now, I do think that just the simple practice of meditation, and working on being more mindful and aware in every day dealings are worthwhile.

On a completely different note: Robert, I am sorry, there is no acceptable method of preparation for brussel sprouts that does not involve napalm or herbicide. I'd rather have a grass clippings salad than eat brussel sprouts... every few years I try a new dish involving brussel sprouts prepared by my cousin's wife, who is an excellent cook, and discover once again that there is nothing that can make them edible.