I am on the verge of immersing myself again into a full class load with extra time spent studying and working part time. There is so much wrong unfolding in this country right now, that it seems almost impossible to do anything especially effective about any of it. I had my moments where I prayed to God to remove Trump from the Presidency–I didn’t care how, just as long as someone less evil replaced him. I am unsure of what God is thinking right now. I realize that there are so many artful ways of talking about the Lord permitting awful things to unfold so that we can live in a realm of truly free will, but most days I don’t think this is enough. I don’t find it very valuable to conceive of a savior who is waiting on us to completely save or destroy ourselves before appearing.
My Christian faith of especially the past seven years has really taken a beating. Between learning how bad some of the heroes of the Bible really were and how much of it is probably myth, and seeing the majority of Christians in the U.S. get behind Donald Trump, I have started to spend more time reading Buddhist and Jewish mystical texts, like I did when I was in college. I think that I still love the pure Jesus, and the pure ideal of being a forgiving, loving peacemaker on this earth, but the hateful, selfish Christian found throughout our society today is not a new kind of Christian. We can likely pin the death of the Christian purist on the time of Constantine–when the Roman persecutions were lifted and Christians could practice their faith openly in the most powerful republic on earth and its leader took up Christianity as his religion. That was when it became more precious to be a wealthy man entering through some very wide and broad gates to worship Christ, than it was to be a poor wretch of a martyr being persecuted for your faith.
I have started envisioning many alternate scenarios for the future. I am at times willing to put just about anything on the table as a possibility and leave it there. In some of my imagined scenarios, there are an infinite number of alternate worlds just like this one, and each person lives out the life of some random historical individual–you might be born in a slum in India one life and British royalty in the next. This is kind of like the concept expressed in the movie The Dark City. Or, if you want to, you could continually come back as the same person you were before and live an alternate version of your life all over again–like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, but for an entire lifetime.
There are, of course, certain sticking points that would prevent me from wanting to live out such scenarios, and others that make me very badly want to live them out all the time. For example, my son–I would be heartbroken if the cosmic powers that be took him away from me and I never got to see him again. But likewise, I would be just as utterly devastated if I never got to see my mom and brother again, or see my wife again if some alternate world caused me to end up having a completely different life, and trying to find these beloved souls again was a bazillion times worse than looking for a needle in a haystack.