Theory of Everything (part 3)

(part 1) (part 2)

Albert Einstein said what he wanted to know, what he wanted to see was the mind of God. He tried for the last years of his life trying to find the theory of everything. But maybe you can’t make a theory of everything. That there will always be unknowns (and unknown unknowns?), and perhaps there might even be unknowables. God knows. Yes. The myth of the Jews, that their God is omniscient, knowing even the future, knowing every subtlety of the human soul… Indeed, we know a prophet is true is if he opens up that vista to the rest of us, at least a peek of that inexhaustible light.

I dream of a Heaven where Joan of Arc sings the blues. I’d be on keyboards, though I don’t know keyboards; maybe I should learn them before I die. Together, we would lead all the mortals entering Heaven in a one time rendition of the song “love, baby”, which we will make up on the spot. And the angels would be flying around making it happen. Orchestration, musical instruments, sound effects, to merge and split the rhythm, billions and then handfuls of threads of song happening in parallel, for one time to thank our Lord respectably. As our Lord for once just kicks back and lets us give back, proper.

How else shall I thank my Lord, do you think? I have been carried off by the strong winds of the weird, then dropped from the whirlwind scarce knowing how to live again. This time… this time I will not go back. When the fugue takes over, I am not the same person. What I have of value are not of the ordinary day; what is gold, compared to honor? And then I am left back onto the normal shores, to assimilate again into what was, before: “Sunrise, sunset. Sunrise, sunset.” [this from Fiddler on the roof really speaks to me] Unless… am I given now to bring that world, this outside comprehension into the humdrum, to find the saint’s path even in the hustle and bustle? to give myself completely to the faith I have been told about by the larger voices? To love, no matter what. To love beyond my means…

Now that everyone is a Jew [see parts previous], what does it mean that Joshua of Nazareth is the Messiah (same word as Christ, remember)? I’ve read some Jewish (traditional Judaism) reasoning about why they don’t believe that Josh is, or was, that messiah they’d all been waiting for. Even back then it had been a long wait for one. The biggest one seems to be that they expect a man, just a man, not some demigod, that would show up given certain conditions in the world. And next would be that he would lead that world from the vantage point of Israel (which then now be the tippy top of all the nations). And to this I might remark, yes, because God always does exactly what we expect Him to do, all the time, right? Yes, sarcasm. But there is one thing about the Jews: this world is not fundamentally based on a Christian paradigm of how things are: it is indeed in its marrow a specifically Jewish one. As in, the tradition that has been carried lo these centuries by those who identified themselves as “the Chosen”. Jesus is a Jew. That’s one reason he prefers “Josh Messiah” over “Jesus Christ”.

Why is it Josh which is the Messiah? Because it turns out that running the entire world (not to mention the totality of the universe, seen and unseen)—it takes a little more from that leader than someone who is just a man, if a very capable man. And the name might be a dead giveaway: not Josh, but Immanuel, meaning, “God with us”. At least, if the Christians are right about that interpretation of the book of Isaiah. You do not get what this means: put upon His shoulder the weight of the world, and He offers up His other shoulder. He’s not human. At the lowest point in His life, just as He were to die, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”—that’s scripture He’s quoting, Psalm 22:1. Even then. Not to mention that He asked the Father to forgive the people who were killing Him, for they knew not what they did. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” [John 1:5 NRSV]

I was awakened one morning with a vision. The night before had been rather epic, angels fighting angels and such juicy bits, but what came upon me that morning… it was like a movie, playing just for me, my mind’s eye and imagination and hallucination and God-given scenery of the weirdest degree, and it was verily a singular vision. There was a voiceover that told me that what I was seeing was about to happen on the earth: a city will come out from the ground where the centers of the old city (New York) had been occupying. And the voice told me it would become clear, these visions I was hopping from, one place to another, who is on who’s side, and the people—it was so strange. It was like everyone were dressed in the full body armor from the video game Halo, but some also dressed in a suit to top that off. I imagined that that was how normal person would look to me when I could “see” more accurately, a gift that was going to be given me. To see who was a good guy vs. a bad guy. And the voice describing what I was seeing, scenes from an unknown city, watching all those people in the Halo armor. And I was told what it meant for me in the real world: I was going to have to run from New York to Pittsburgh, while naked, and no one was supposed to see me along the way.

The reasons were complicated, why. I had gone to Carnegie Mellon, and I lived in New York. But something about finding something where I had last lived in Pittsburgh and related the thing I had with Joan of Arc (madly in love with), this was fate coming in upon me. So I take off my clothes, right? Yeah. I live underground, split level apartment, so I climb the spiral stair to the 1st floor. My roommate appears to be sleeping. I open the apartment door out and it is morning outside, I look to my right. Hm. I can’t be seen. Then a rustle from my left: neighbor making awake noises. There is a guide with me, above me in my mind, she tells me to go back down, so I do. So far so good.

OK, so I can try again, up the spiral stair, roommate still seems asleep. Out the apartment door, look left and no stirring anymore. But when I look right, it’s day, people moving about, some with purpose. My guide says if it looks like people will see you, make another attempt when it is night. So I go downstairs, and then this weird setup in my mind’s eye becomes more like normal (which is not like what you in general would think is normal). I am told that the immediate consequence of my performance is that we got an extra day before this apocalypse would come. My guide is a she, that’s all I know, and apparently she made one, slight, forgivable misstep. Really, minor. But compared to perfect it just glares, unfortunately. That was what they said about what I’d just done. Perfect.

Turns out there was a reason everybody looked the way they did. Josh once told me that we’d have 30-50 thousand years from now to the Apocalypse, proper. Those armored beings were now what the human populace looked like, 40,000 years in the future. Fascinating. I have quite the shakiest of grasps upon that situation. But if my perception is true, then the stream is from A.D. 40,000, and men still wear suits! I did too see it. I’ve seen stuff that would turn you white. And they say that God talked to Moses like talking to a confidant, while other prophets He gave note in the form of riddles. Suffice it to say, He talks to me in riddles. [emoticon here] So in other words, I have some idea of some things which may or may not flow into and out of meaning. And a few things I know that are surer than time passing.

But what is meant to be? Not in first, the normal way (how significant something is), but what every fool knows: the feeling of how you thought it worked this way and it didn’t, and why don’t things work the way I want them to when I need them too? Not meant to be, no? In this world, this footstool of a realm (YHVH has said it is), it is ours to toil over. In our years, what we have made: we have made machines to effect brute transfers in the realm of the solidities. Even the will of our Adonai (LORD) is not done on earth, else why would we pray “on earth as it is in heaven” in the Our Father?

You might imagine Heaven to be a realm full of transcendent images, sounds sweeter than any note ever took on earth. Indeed, as Bob Marley said, “Most people think, / Great God will come from the skies, / Take away everything / And make everybody feel high. / But if you know what life is worth, / You will look for yours on earth / And now you see the light, / You stand up for your rights. Jah!” Instead of a fluffy, ethereal place, instead I beheld a Heaven that was the height of practicality. Imagine Central Park where everything goes right. Like no one ever misthrew a frisbee. It’s that things there are like the things here, but everything turns out good up there. Thanks to the actions of Josh on earth, when He was here, now it all does turn out good, for all of us, anywhere—at the end. There is a Judgement. It is a good thing.

(last part)

Theory of Everything (fin)

(part 1) (part 2) (part 3)

Love costs. Like dreams cost. Real dreams—not these which do not immediately degenerate into hard work, these which do not hold a promise of a better day—not idle wondering, but those dreams that make men brave. (And which vindicate the woman.) I imagine a ledger where all experience is chronicled in its most basic form, where strange coinage is put as the line items to the great sum of how all this matters. What love is such that one does not sacrifice something? Like an easy honor, that which is untested, the tensile strength of which is no more than a wink.

After my little performance in following directions from the vision—about the naked run to Pittsburgh—apparently then the rules changed. I still have trouble in believing it, how just that 5 minutes could change everything. No running from NYC to Pittsburgh, not in the birthday suit; instead I booked train tickets there for around when the elements of that vision were to show up and change everything. But it was no longer the Apocalypse. We still maybe expected something, still, to show up. I called it the Weirdness [that was to come]. I got locked away by then. I never got to go to Pittsburgh.

The day forecast in the vision came and went, then the next day (this had been the initial updated date, right after my 5 minutes). Before they said that everything changed. No weirdness. I should maybe have still kept looking. The Olympics came and went, while I was in the employ of the Cause. This year was especially strange, if for nothing else than a lot of famous people died in it. A clue? And then the Cubs go to win it all—not weird? And come election day… and what in the actual fuck? President Trump? And then I understood.

Donald Trump becoming President of the United States: here was the weirdness. Looking back, I can’t imagine how anyone else could have won. He is the avatar of what the US has now become; America is now a caricature of itself: this was when ordinary villainy turned into cartoonish super-villainy—that concept taken from the Simpsons, when Mr. Burns unveiled his plan for blocking out the sun. And Trump? What’s that humongous wall he wants to build? True, the nihilist in me secretly wonders how this will all go down, but the rest of me dreads of evil things.

Verily, what is meant to be? Generally understood to mean something that happens which is meaningful. Not all things that happen are meant to be—at least, not to us. Certain thresholds will hold. But looking at “meant to be” might mean to you, I recall one co-worker of mine complaining that computers never did what you wanted them to do (as opposed to what you tell them to do). He had a certain intent which did not translate into the specific instructions that made sense of it to the machine. It did not do what he meant for it to do. One wonders what it would be like, for everything to happen like we meant? Like there would be no more need for apologies? That’s Heaven, that’s New Jerusalem. It’s never that bad things are impossible, physically impossible—something will distract the one who wanted a catastrophe, something will be remembered, something will be calculated—it doesn’t come up, all the actual pieces needed to wreak vengeance just never come together. Serendipity and all his brothers seem to run the scene.

high in the frost where giants dwell, the sky was lost in snow
the rainbow bridge crossed the silver divide, sprinkled upon with stars
the shade of silence through midnight, far above the dream of the machines

do androids dream of electric sheep?

Things seem to be falling apart, at times—at least, to some of us. But ask someone who has eaten many years about the state of the world, and they will tell you that everything has always been falling apart. Even the most apocalyptic wild man will admit that the world has a tendency not to end. Where there is light, there is hope. And sometimes in the darkness, too. Like waking up God knows where, but her suffering has somehow evaporated, saying an aside to a friend who had been accompanying her (at least, in the previous world). Awakening in New Jerusalem from the midst of the Holocaust. Catching a glimpse, maybe? of the lay of the land—and Herr Hitler is here? This must be good. Everything, I think, is mixed into that equation. It is a sign.

Ask and it shall be given you, seek and you shall find. Do you have ears, but do not hear? Shall we pray twice and if God does not answer us the second time, we give up? Have you asked, and it was not given? Did you seek, and it was found to be nowhere? Understood, we understand how that can happen (and you can be sure Josh knows, too), but if you did not ask, will it be given you? If you did not seek, how would it be found? Get with the program. If you feel courageous, try it from the other point of view: when you are asked for something, give it; and then, find yourself what someone else is seeking. Do it like Josh, do it like justice: not to go by the letter of a request, always to understand the spirit in which it is asked. Be a part of what is meant to be.

To the Christians reading this, let me insert this quote:

The most critical issue facing Christians is not abortion, pornography, the disintegration of the family, moral absolutes, MTV, drugs, racism, sexuality, or school prayer. The critical issue today is dullness. We have lost our astonishment. The Good News is no longer good news, it is okay news. Christianity is no longer life changing, it is life enhancing. Jesus doesn’t change people into wild-eyed radicals anymore. He changes them into “nice people”.
          –Mike Yaconelli

Remember? John the Baptist said to the people, do you think because you are sons of Abraham that you will be spared? God can from these rocks raise sons of Abraham. Yes, looking around to the number of Christians in the world, apparently God did just that. What shall we say now? We have become sodomites: “This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.” [Ezekiel 16:49 NRSV] “But Lord, when did we see you hungry, and did not feed you? When were you naked, and we did not clothe you?” “Even as you have done it to the least of these, you have done it unto me.” If you have it in your head that being a Christian gives you an excuse to do stupid or evil things, you have it in reverse. To be able to look down at people, to exclude them from the finer things: you have it backward, friend. That’s what the losers do.

There was a light, but it faded. It was not faith.

There were visions, but they twisted. They were not faith.

There was a feeling, but it was illusory. It was not faith.

Faith was to hold on, when all those things went wrong.

Because I saw that light, had those visions, felt what I felt.

The narrow way is a journey, and rest may only be momentary.

It is a life that leads to life.

I know something about love… God is love. (You don’t even need to believe in God to believe that God is love.) This is that transcendent love that is more than what is merely categorized as affection. So here is what it is, really, the actual Theory of Everything: love, try, learn. In everything any of us experience—there is love for every bit of it. Not a sparrow fall is missed, after all. I understand that that kind of answer was not what Al Einstein was looking for when he was looking for the Theory of Everything. Let there be a lesson in that. As E. E. Cummings put it, “thou answerest them only with spring”.

We have always already won, Philip K. tells us. This is what happens when you’re on the side of the Beginning and the End. Remember: light is not a dream, darkness does not exist, and the game of life can be won when we decide never to be defeated. All that we know about this world are imperfect ill-fitting sections, but that does not mean they are useless by being flawed.

Look: we had God with us, and we threw Him away, denied Him with prejudice. Phil said that God was to be found in the trash layer of the world (“God in the gutter” someone put it)—blessed be the Janitor of God. And I know something about love: there is a why that escapes your most subtle grasp: love costs. Try anyway. Learn what love is. Try to have something to lose, learn what makes something real. For this is the Accounting of reality, seen and unseen; and all the prophets; and all the law: love always returns. And wherever you go, beware the love that comes out of nowhere—because it is everywhere.

If you’re Jewish, Josh told me He looked around, and said the Jews have done a fine job being the Chosen People. Heh. Did you almost forget? I’m crazy. I have eaten the body and drunk of the blood of our Savior.

Joshua the Messiah.

Get used to it.