Are We Just Monkeys Performing Tricks?
When I think of this life, I’m baffled. I read of zillionaires who die suddenly at the age of 40- Wasn’t all their hard work engineered to provide them a wonderful & luxurious living in their old age?
I read of a beautiful rock star who gets beaten to a pulp. Then she goes back to the guy. Huh? How has she lost her sense of self-worth? Of truth? Of justice?
I hear of workers who slaved days, nights, and weekends for their bosses and their companies only to be let go, fired and discarded at the first change in economic winds. Meanwhile, all the managers get to keep their jobs…Who runs these companies? Where are the hearts in these bosses? Is it just about the money? ‘Business is business’ I hear many say. But should it be?
What is the point of life if it isn’t for something? It certainly isn’t worth much if it all starts and ends here. I remember an old sergeant in the army who would daily randomly and loudly proclaim as he was walking past ‘If you don’t stand for something, you’ll surely fall for nothing.‘ (I was never sure if he said it more for his own benefit or for the benefit of those of us nearby who were his supposed listeners)
Watching the ‘great’ ones of this world, actresses, writers, CEO’s, politicians, presidents, and geniuses, I am more and more unimpressed. Not because I don’t respect them and their office or role- I’m unimpressed because this life is so short, and fame lasts 15 minutes. Wealth is lost at death or earlier through theft, carelessness, the economy, or government’s excessive taxation of business or individuals.
I watch how ‘into’ this world many of ‘the great ones of this world’ are and wonder, “Don’t you know it will sometime end? Don’t you know you are only a morning’s mist? That you will someday be just a memory that will evaporate with the noonday sun? That someday all that will be left is a tombstone, where strangers walk by and wonder, ‘Who was this John Smith, or this Jane Doe?’’ If that doesn’t hit you, walk among the tombstones of forgotten cemeteries. Read the names. If it’s a really old cemetery, even the carved-in names will be fading from the elements. There among the tombstones, among the graves of past families, doctors, judges, farmers, wives, daughters and brothers, the eerie silence is a stark reminder that one day too, others will walk on our graves and not know who we were, nor even care.
I recall years ago seeing a video shown to families of victims of violence in hospitals, a video of a Surgeon who ‘died’ when he came home from a 2-week conference in Europe. He said he remembered entering through the front door, thinking it odd that all the lights were off. He could see the outline of his house-sitter sitting on the stairs with his head in his hands – He approached him and noticed that the guy was sweating profusely. He asked him if he was ok. His house-sitter stood up, pulled out a butcher knife and stabbed the doctor something like 17 times or so, plus or minus. (Later he would find out that his house-sitter had been very high on drugs.)
The surgeon remembered trying to fight him off and then sinking to the ground, and as he was falling he saw a white light behind the sitter. He had a great sense that this light was a powerful love, and forgetting his attacker, he went to it. He found himself in a place where there were clouds or mist around his feet and felt a great peace, a peace he hadn’t been able to feel for a long time. He noticed a group of people standing off to the side talking among themselves like old friends. One of them separated himself from the group and came over to him, and asked, “Do you want to stay, or do you want to go back?”
The Surgeon answered, “I want to stay.”
Then the other guy pointed up and the Doctor saw something like a screen where his whole life flashed before him; his birth, youth, schooling, marriage, work, and divorce.
Central to all these images his 3 year old son kept appearing. Because of the image of his son, the doctor said, “I want to go back.” He woke up in the hospital. The hospital staff told him he’d been in a coma for 2 weeks.
This is what he had this to say as he reflected on it. He didn’t know what the light was that he’d felt drawn into, but he felt it was a great Love. And he didn’t understand the meaning of it, but felt it was either something he was either supposed to ‘seek’ in his life, or something he was supposed to give. He felt he would spend the rest of his life trying to discover what it all meant.
I thought his experience especially relevant because the doctor, at the time, was an atheist.
To all the experts who dismiss out-of-body experiences, long tunnels, white lights etc, and say it is just a brain reaction to a stressful event, I say ‘thanks for putting your personal bias stamp on your statement- Thanks for not believing in what your small brain can’t understand. Thanks for trying to destroy the relevance and meaning that these stories could teach you. Thanks for trivializing those who were brave enough to share their personal and life-changing experiences. Oh, and thanks for making commanding statements that you will never be able to verify, on something you’ve never experienced.’
Surely there is enough evidence of there being ‘more’ out there than meets the eye. There are visionaries, profits, ghosts, bad spirits, good spirits, Angel experiences, Jesus of Nazareth and his followers who healed impossible illnesses. Then there are those modern day miracles that have no explanation except that someone, or many, prayed. What will it take to wake us up, to realize that this life is fleeting, a puff of smoke that dissipates in the air… That we have to discover a deeper meaning that isn’t always obvious. That if we focus only on this life, on ourselves, our ambitions, on the rewards that vanish with this life, that then we’ve become as pointless as monkeys performing tricks for a very brief reward.