Sunday, November 19, 2006

laden with the pollen of living

Friday night, at the white bar (actually named Moloko Plus, but with no sign out front do indicate it), before anyone else showed up, Fat Tony and I had a heated conversation about the reality of existence. Or scientific explanations about existence. Or the reality of scientists. Either way, it stayed pretty scientific and we went back and forth on the ways different scientific models work or don't work under different circumstances and which model might be necessary to understand something like the meta-brain theory that came up in the first conversation.

At some point, there was no way to keep the conversation purely scientific. Fat Tony kept veering in the direction of metaphysics, but then over-correcting, and veering back towards science, as though taking the leap into the metaphysical would suddenly tank the conversation. That would be similar to what I heard on the radio show yesterday. One of the scientists was explaining the deep and unexplainable interconnectedness he had witnessed when studying these leaderless systems, and eventually he said, "these patterns are so intricate and so incredible, I can't help but look at them and see a creator."

There was dead silence. Then the interviewer (who wasn't behaving like your typical interviewer, he was doing more of an Ira Glass/subjective/conversational style interview) said, "Wow. You said that, and you just let the air out of it for me. That takes away all the magic." To bring up something metaphysical, like a creator, was to kill the conversation which had, until then, rested in the otherwise objectively observable world of science. Bummer.

So, after several near-misses with metaphysics by Fat Tony, I could tell we needed to go in that direction, so I carefully brought it up myself. I laid a nice, safe foundation and then, with much hesitation, Fat Tony started to explain his own very interesting and very sweet theory of the point of life. Normally, I wouldn't feel comfortable recounting somebody else's personally arrived at theory about anything, but this was really sweet, and in my opinion, pretty unique. I'd never heard it put quite this way. So I want to be able so share it.

First we agreed on something of the "raise the sparks" idea -- if not the full mythology around it, at least the part about everything being made of the same divine stuff. Then Fat Tony explained that he's always believed, though he's never really known why, that we have a mysterious purpose on earth that we may never actually figure out. But our job here is to go through life having lots and lots of experiences. As we go, our experiences will collect on us, more and more, until we are totally caked in it, like pollen. Then, when we die, we will carry all that life-pollen back to something, somewhere that waits for it. We are, essentially, like big, fat bumblebees, bumbling through life, collecting life-pollen for whatever comes next.

It's the absolute opposite of karma. Karma asks us to become clean and free of all our past actions so that our unenecumbered souls can ascend when our bodies die. That's all fine and good, but Fat Tony's pollen theory has captured my imagination. I am a big fat bumblebee, collecting the pollen of life. I don't have to worry about the pollen I collect, or judge it, or figure it out, I just have to fly it back to where it belongs when the time comes. Sounds kind of nice.

The pollen theory dovetails nicely with the theory that god (as the indivisible, all-there-is) created other stuff besides god (like universes and people) so that god could have an experience that was outside itself. So, even though god is literally all there is, god can split parts of itself off to make other stuff and let those parts interact with each other in a way that god can't as the indivisible, all-there-is. Our existence as pollen gathering bumblebees, bringing our experiences back to god makes sense if god is out there waiting to know itself. This is just one more way we are like the mirror.


Blogger stumptown dreamer said...

that is so excellent, thanks for sharing someone elses ideas, but so elegantly and sweetly written...

the bumble bee thing does not have to be polar to the ideas of karma at all - a karmaless life is not a life unlived, i think, it is a life lived with awareness and some degree of response-ability in there

as they open the archives at Bad Arolsen today, i am reminded of the ancestors, the dead, the pollen coated spirits ...

thanks for sharing

9:44 AM  
Blogger reasonably prudent poet said...

i agree that it doesn't have to be polar to karma, but to include karma is to take the understanding of pollen gathering to a different level. it is to remove the thing that doesn't judge or worry about the pollen, and switch that to saying something more like: there are good pollens and bad pollens. try and collect good pollens, try and avoid bad pollens. right now, i like more the idea of just collecting pollen indifferently without judgment. for me, right now, in the way i'm understanding this, the purpose of personal responsibility for "bad" actions (which is implicated by the idea of karma) fits better in a different compartment. and you know me, i'm a compartmentalizer. i love you stumpy. when are you coming home?

9:55 AM  

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