Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What I think God wants me to know

This is an exchange with my beloved cousin, Fr. Nick Nichols, Catholic parish priest in Albuquerque, in response to a message from him about God's will:

From: Pepinsky, Harold E.
Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 2:11 PM
To: Fr. Nichols
Cc: Jill Bystydzienski;;
Subject: RE: Apologies: here IS Ted van Fossen's vision
and now you see why every time Jill gets the message below.  I no longer have to reassure her of my love in any other way.  Given the timing that our wedding process came into view unbidden, now that I see in every cosmology to the most advanced discoveries and theories from astrophysics to microbiology to ecology to geology to oceanography to creation myths including Genesis, implies that God's reality consists of parallel universes from sperm and eggs to the evolution of religious-based warfare and gender relations on an earth and under an air our lives depend, all this is God's will as it has unfolded to me, where scientists now tell us that every particular in our bodies was in the stuff that blew out of the big bang, and that as black holes do in microcosm, then blow out dust that includes masses large enough to begin to heat up as they expand into suns, as in its lifetime our own universe will someday cool and contract into another black hole.  In sum, my life and all that experience God has offered me to learn from, God hopes and helps if I'm willing, to lose all doubt that my life never began and never end.  It further via Einstein's hypothesis of parallel universes in past, present, and future, that if I truly pay attention to what God is trying so hard, through a series of life-course-changing moments, to know that my mother has not died, and is more alive in me at the moment of her "death," among all those of us who loved and admired her, to appreciate what a precious gift God gave me as a birthright with the world of understanding of success and failure my mother gave in every egg she spawned, and my dad's in the first sperm that happened to have the key that fit the lock on my mother's eggs, at the moment that Japanese air/naval supreme commander Isoroku Yawamoto (google him) was assassinated on orders from FDR--born to a pacifist mother who chose to marry a guy too nearsighted and short ever to fight her with anything at words, at which she was better than he, who in turn was a musically-raised superbly trained, iconoclastic psychoanalyst who became my mother's disciplinarian for me.  Iconoclastically, testing the bullshit they had faith enough to test in me, my parents both assumed that if they used words I understood and defined those I didn't, I could even full my mother's faith that if properly supplied with awareness of social graces and science like our math grandfather, when I'd be home in the mid-sixties and she'd get up from lying awake about the Vietnam war, I was raised by my dad to consider it my filial duty to make my mother happy...and I tried so hard to tell her how I would bring peace to the world, to show her that I understood what she wanted most by sending me to Sunday school, to find a way to show the world that what God knows is that there's no such dying.  That's just the cultural myth that makes us figure we have to make war on criminals and drugs.  God has shown me what a silly, self-destructive personal addiction that is to those all around us still trying to figure out what life there is after death, when it's so in our face that there is no death.  Lo, the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and Jesus's resurrection, oft repeated to me by feeling, hearing and seeing the returned presences of loved ones reflected what "science" tells me, that he. like my mom, has ascended, gone to dust, a soul that somewhere, no doubt, has found the key to unlock a union its own, as Yawamoto's soul came upon the combined wisdom of my parents.
   May sound weird to anyone else, but it's become, in a highly privileged 69 years, to believe I finally have indeed beheld and understand God's plan, where as my mother told me when I asked her what she believed about the things they were saying at the Methodist church two blocks away, "God is love."  She (for God is relational, man and woman together, not individual, as the word "she" connotes in our mythologies) is right here in frame of the present that freezes in my consciousness in the movie of God's love and information that flows through me, counterposed by the weight of the reality of the past that determines what to do next in my future to connect or separate further from anyone, and my choices when and where, ultimately, to take the time to take in what someone wants me to hear in full, or focus my present attention on responding to something else in that movie.

Strange, I know.  I can still get scared.  I still want to connect in life rather than, for instance, to blow myself away from my wife and child by drinking.  I never fully understand the true and real choices between responding to what anyone does next by antagonizing and defending myself on one hand, or demonstrating that they have made their point while I was listening before I go on to make a point of my own.  As referee in victim-offender mediation, for instance, this is the process I try to turn confrontation into.  My ability to put what I can now in words depends on my readiness to recognize the favor anyone does by showing me my mistakes, the only way consciously not to repeat them.  The Enlightenment tells us to worship "rationality."  In itself, conscious rationality is nothing greater than a rationale, a justification, an excuse, a denial, whatever perjorative terms we use.  To me in the care of my parents from birth, rationality rather than "aggression begets aggression" is the only thing that works, and as far as anything I can do about my lifetime, that's God's true rationality, just waiting for any human being to note it and stop worrying about death, from which all lesser anxieties, neuroses and tragedies flow.

But my built-in urge not to let go of the body I inhabit, my urge to be truly of value as a precious, loved, trusted, economically and socially secure human being, predominates.  It is the yang in all of us.  What I described in the last paragraph is our yin, archetypically for us, our female side.  Our struggle as men in particular is to break the bonds of performing "like men."  I understand the struggle of women to break the bond of performing like caring, always-there, never complaining, always providing what's at home.  In real life where none of ever quite fits any label, but if we don't perform like good men, we fall into the sissy genre, and we let people run over us; and if women don't perform like good, strong, nurturing, caring, decent women, I don't have to fill in the gap.  It is God's will that stable friendships and family are those in which as moments in which we feel like we're worth less than nothing, we all find those with whom we can share tears with on one hand and complain freely to on the other, openly, honestly, unconditionally, if for no other reason than to have someone to cry with, no matter our gender identity, just to respect that the love of God and the reality that any of God's evolving mass forms germinates, and at its more environmentally fed best, reaches maturity as it converts the force of God's love into a plan we know as homeostasis to keep molding our molecular form to a harmonious form that passes the force along unemcumbered by fear and trepidation.  Over time, in the balance of yin and yang that is every creature as we know it reaches a point where the balance of physical entropy overcomes the gravity of holding our bodies together around our souls, and in our case, eventually the heart stops and we can't detect any brainwaves and we more or less ritually dispose of each other's bodies.  The moral I draw:  I can get mad, I can always not get anything I really really want in the moment, but nobody can take my eternal life and its progeny away from me.  As "rationality" is to European Enlightenment, so enlightenment is to Buddha.

Now that I've said it all in one breath, at least what I understand about myself and my place in my body during my lifetime, I'll copy it to family and paste it into a document, probably headed "my belief in God."  Meanwhile, I'm not looking for debate, but from you dear cousin especially, one theologian to another, how does my understanding compare with yours?  l&p

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."  Corinthians, chapter 13, verse 4, the verse Jill selected for our wedding vows.

Hal Pepinsky,, skype name halpep,
"Peacemaking" at
 519 Evergreen Circle, Worthington, OH 43085-3667, 1-614-885-6341

Please note:  My mind isn't big enough to handle social networking.  I do not respond to requests to befriend on Facebook or to become Linked In.  That leaves me free to take time to respond to email on this one account, and to answer home phone calls, which I very much enjoy receiving.  Thanks for your understanding.  love and peace--hal

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