I appreciate your request, but I'm sorry to say that in looking at Mr. X—'s writing, I don't think his ideas or philosophy would be appropriate for my blog. In fact, it worries me that you seem to think so and I can only hope that you did not read my own work very carefully. I am committed to religious tolerance and cultural liberalism, to supporting individual rights and ecumenical dialogue among diverse religions and cultures, and also to an optimism that holds that people are not only capable of finding happiness for themselves but of living in meaningful, peaceful community with one another. A philosophy of "feel good inside no matter what happens outside" simply does not line up with my own philosophy of active, creative engagement with the world, nor with any kind of commitment to social justice, as far as I can tell. I was also disturbed by Mr. X—'s gross mischaracterization of Islam in his most recent blog post, as well as his treat of fellow human beings as "sheeple" to be derided or dismissed. Claiming to have received such notions from a spirit guide cannot excuse their basic indecency.
Granted, I have only scanned through Mr. X—'s blog and I may have misunderstood the real intentions of his writing. If this is so, then I apologize and wish him the best of luck. But I am not interested in featuring Mr. X—'s work in any way whatsoever on my own blog. Thank you.
The world is a difficult place to live in. And sometimes, yes, I feel frustrated, depressed and helpless. Just today at lunch, I spent time in conversation with friends about fears of unending war and the slow, painful collapse of this broken system of corporate greed and political war-mongering (a collapse, I feel, we're already beginning to witness). But I strive to stay grounded, and to remind myself always of my very basic faith in people as good and kind and capable of great courage and beauty and love. I can never turn to or condone a self-focused philosophy of seeking inner happiness while the world around me burns. If the world around me is going to burn, then I guess I'll be burning, too, with grief but also with stubborn, stupid hope.
I realize that my posts of late have tended towards the morbid and the frustrated, the worried and the cynical. But I do not want to turn away from these feelings, either by denying their reality or trying to escape them through disconnection and fantasy. Trusting in the harmony of the Song of the World does not negate or banish the pain of our struggles to sing the songs of our own souls. My language is flowery and inadequate, but it's what I have.
Jeff tells me that Haiti's cellphone system is coming back online, and txt messages and voicemails sent during the earthquake two weeks ago are finally getting through. And while there will be those cries for help reaching out too late from the lips of those now dead, there will also be messages of love and last chances to say goodbye.
We are not alone. We have each other.
Amusing Update (31 January 2010):
I must have gotten on some list somewhere. Just received yet another email asking me if I would like to host another guest blogger/interview subject, some guy (who used to feel lost just like me, apparently) who is now a multi-millionaire and has made it his mission to travel the world teaching people to love life by doing crazy-expensive things like paying to be a crewman on the space shuttle. My response:
Thank you, but no. Apparently you missed my several posts on "voluntary poverty" and commitment to social justice rather than self-involved thrill-seeking. No hard feelings, though. I wish Q—, and yourself, the best of luck with your own philosophies, but I'm happy to keep my blog devoted to the small simplicity of the earth in springtime and the inspiration of thunderstorms and fields of heather blooming.