Monday, August 22, 2011

Fungushenge, Charlie Sheen, and God

A juxtaposition of digressions

(NOTE): I wrote this over the weekend and then had second thoughts about posting it.  I'm not sure I understand why, but for some reason, talking about God is a good way to alienate people.  But - what the heck.  Since I missed doing something for the Poetry Jam, I might as well hit the send button and hope I don't offend anyone.  

Hmmm...and on the other hand, why am I worried about offending anyone?  Am I that compulsive about being liked?   Anyhow - here is the blog:

So I've been walking the dogs past these mushrooms in my neighbor's yard and realizing I know nothing about fungi.  Like I know they are not plants that grow roots and stems and stuff from seeds that carry whatever DNA messages they need.  And I think (need to Google this) that the mushroom stalk just serves as a way of getting the rest of the fungus off the ground so it can drop spores.  So how do these spores create shapes? 

Maybe it is not that weird.  How do bees create hexagonal honeycombs?  How do humans leave artifacts like Stonehenge or fly to the moon in order to leave a flag there? 

I get into slippery territory here because the word that comes to my mind during thought excursions like this is "God."  

Because, despite years of trying, I have failed to disbelieve in God and, in fact, have come to have a deep belief in God.  But when I say "deep," I mean at a level below linguistics.  The more faith I develop in a God of the Universe -- a God of fungi as much as man -- the less patience I have with preachers who try and define Him/Her/It.  

God is on our side?  Does God really take sides.  Does God really prefer the Dallas Cowboys over the Washington Redskins, Christians over Muslims, Straight people over gays?   Does God prefer yamakas over bhurkas or dark suits over pushup bras?  Is God bothered more by stoning adulterers or Charlie Sheen?   Whenever we speak for God we limit God (I want to use a pronoun here but Him/Her/It has more letters than the word God itself). 

I also have trouble assigning a pronoun to God because it seems to me that God is more of a verb than a noun anyhow.  And somewhere around here, the word "love" slips into my mind.  "Love each other as I have loved you."   Love - now there's another really slippery word. 

I kind of like the Alcoholics Anonymous approach in the 11th step: "Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him."  I know.  Bill Wilson didn't have a problem with assigning the pronoun.  I'm just glad the 11th step didn't say: "Sought through a copious study of religion to improve our ability to use God to rationalize ourselves."  

My grandfather used to tell me that there was one God but that different people had different words to describe him.   I know - my grandfather also didn't have a problem assigning the pronoun.  Him.  Her.  Does God really prefer cigars to high heels? 

I look at the mushrooms, I look at the stars, and try not to think in words and sometimes I sense a kind of swelling within me.  I could say that I'm practicing practicing running, or loving.  Why can't I use it as a verb?   I got up today and godded for awhile.   I don't know.  Sounds kind of weird, even to me.

And frankly, I enjoy watching the philandering Charlie Sheen on Two and Half Men even though my wife thinks he's sexist.  Ah, sex -- another slippery word.  And is it really more sexist than stoning an adulterous woman?

I'll bet the mushrooms in my neighbor's yard never lose sleep over any of these questions. 


  1. I love this post dude. I don't think God minds much about any of the aforementioned items either.......whether it be The Redskins, The Cowboys, Muslin, Christian, whatever or whomever their personal choices are. As you know, I hold a very soft and sacred place in my hert for the "Serenity Prayer"..
    You hit the nail on the head....again, and I so enjoyed reading this post.

    Well.....I told you to call me dude...Then I told you to e-mail me dude....I guess you just don't love me anymore Bagman, Butler or whichever one I'm talking to. I'm

    E-mail me dude...seriously!!

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

  2. Great post. I have similar thoughts sometimes. I heard the other day that in Arabic the word 'Allah' isn't used with the sort of possessive terms that Westerners tend to use to refer to God: "our Father" "our God" and so on. Reflecting on it, it does seem rather presumptive to 'claim' even a facet of God as one's own...

  3. I love your God thoughts. I myself keep trying to quit church but somehow always end up right back in the thick of things. Sometimes I think that it's because I have an ill-developed spirituality gene so I have to go to church to get it activated periodically.

  4. No alienating people is when I write about having psychic abilities and other random thoughts :)

    Great post B&B...but it reminds me of a comedian on the Pauly Shore show I just saw recently :) 'shrooms in the grass'...oh I'm bad...

  5. If I had a belief in a deity then I would think that your post was superb. I would like to think that, when I did have faith, I could have written something as enlightened. As it is I can admire it. Unfortunately I can no longer accept it.

  6. You are SUCH an amazing writer, wonderer, creative soul. The God of fungi--made me laugh out loud--so did the image of God with a cigar and without the cigar in heels (then MY mind made him wear heels AND smoke a cigar). I love whatever you write.

  7. I'll start with the most important point - Karen is right, philandering men are sexist - Their belief that they are superior is what gives them permission to act without conscense.
    I like your grandfather's belief - God is a word that is used to put the concept into a layman's level of understanding. Do you watch CNN, the connect the stories segment..... that red line that connects all things happening could be a pronoun called energy. good thought provoking post.

  8. I like your "failed to disbelieve". And yes, definitions always tend to become too narrow. At the same time I think it's in our nature as humans to try to define things. (Fungi may not bother about it.) It just usually takes us a while to realize that it's hard to get our definitions perfect. That goes for science and religion both.