I had, if not the strangest, then the oddest dream last night...
I was in a big hall with a of people in it and somebody (or was it me?) said out loud, "You don't have to believe [anything]"
Then, somebody else repeated it (or was it me?), saying it out loud -- it was then that things got interesting!
Some people over at the other side of the floor got angry. One of them raised his right arm with extended hand and palm downward and shouted that he believed. He stood, and with arm still extended, pointed to the fellow next to him, implying that also he believed. Soon, there were many on their feet with right arms in that old salute, shouting belief.
I got up from my seat and went to middle of the hall and got down on my knees:
You don't need to belief anything in order to pray!That's what I was trying to say. But there was so much tumult, I don't know if I got much beyond the first line. I was certainly going to say a lot more!
You don't need to pray "to" anyone, person or thing.
Instead of wondering if your prayers will be answered, you must learn listen to what you are saying.
If you are praying that I go to hell because I deny what you believe, what you are saying is that I am not a human being -- and, implicitly, deny your own humanity!
If your prayers allow, require even, these burning villages, the pillage, the bombs, the rapine and machines of death and destruction -- you besmirch and make ugly the names of your prophet, your savior and your lawgiver.
But because of the tumult, as often happens when one gets excited in a dream -- I woke up.
And that is the moral of this little story -- it is time that we got excited and spoke out about against the dark and ugly unfolding in the name of what is sacred and holy to our common humanity.
Perhaps, we might get lucky and wake up!
On Monday, I handed in my Resignation to the Human Race.
On Tuesday, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. shuffled off his mortal coil. If nothing else, read his "Blues for America"!
Remembering him had perhas something to do with my dream and made me realize that I had to withdraw my resignation:
Apparently our options are rather few
and everyone must meet our common fate.
I've decided to do what a man has got to do,
I've decided to rejoin the human race.