A Letter to a Friend

June 20, 2008
By Lauren Bloom, Irvine, CA

Dear Leslie,

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

Between you and me, Leslie, I think I know exactly who or what God is. He/She/It is whoever you want him/her/it to be. And this God rest right here (taps mind) or if you want to be more symbolic (taps heart.) God is your conscience. God is your guilt. God is your intuition. So if I ruled the world, I'd say "Get rid of your hate and religious differences. Keep it to yourself and just smell the air you breathe. You're alive, aren't you? Why isn't that ever enough?" But that’s as likely to happen as world peace.

Really the only ultimate ruler in this world is yourself. The world you rule - your mind. Hell, this could all be my imagination and humanity is nothing. Or maybe this isn't about me, or you, or anyone I know personally. Hell, the world could be running for some hero in NY and we're all just subjects of "his" story and life. And there doesn't need to be any reason why we're here. We just are.

To be. That’s my most favorite verb. Isn't our existence enough of a reason? To be. To explore, create, experiment, etc. We may know the universe, but for now it's like a picture. Well, what's behind it? Honestly, I can't answer that right now. I don't want to answer that. I think that information would be too much. Our minds have not created a world that big. Just how the War in the Middle East means nothing to a five year old, what lies beyond the universe may be out of our imagination. (BTW, I'm having a rare seizure of theoretical ideas, so bear with me as I file through them.)

Then there's that other adjective we just can't bear to handle. "Alone." It's also another reason why people will believe in a religion. We know better, right Les? It's not too bad some days. Other days, well, you know it better than I do. 

You know what makes me feel most alone?

To know that you may never see exactly the same thing I see.

Let's say you and I were looking at a sunset. First off, you're seeing at a slightly different angle than I am (since we can't both be in the same spot at the same time). Next, you're seeing it with eyes that have a different strength than mine. Lastly, you're seeing it with a different experience. What may be making me feel really good might not just be the sunset but also a song in the back of my head that fits with it. You've seen more sunsets than I. This one we're seeing might not be as good as others were. So we can never feel the exact same emotion when interacting with another object, and I think nothing out there makes me feel more alone than that thought itself. Our minds are forever alone. 
Yet we're all in this void together. And when I lie down at night, I like to dream of this special person who will one day appear in my life and hold me as I fall asleep at night and make this solitude bearable. But as comforting as that thought is, there's also that chance it will never happen. 
So I say, 
let go of the possessions (you are not your clothes, your car, or your books)
let go of the obsessions (you are not living a dream)
let go of the cravings (Satisfaction only leads to more cravings)
let go of the past (time forever moves forward. The past is history, the future a mystery)
and let go of your expectations (no one lives up to them anyways)

in the end there is you. (206 bones, 100 trillion cells, 8 ft of DNA)
By God,
Isn't that (enough) beautiful?

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