I've been absent. Not from my life, which has been full to bursting, but from my blog, and all of you. And I'm sorry. It isn't because I don't want to share all of the things that have been keeping me so busy, but because I've wanted to share it all too much and my mind runs on much faster than my fingers can type. Does that make sense? I've tried to sit down and type all of the things I have been thinking and feeling for a couple of weeks now, and haven't had the intestinal fortitude, or the typing skills, to do it.
But a friend sent me a funny this morning and I just had to share it. Many of you have seen this before, but as I hadn't, it may be new to some of you. And it embodies my thoughts about spirituality these days, more on that later, so here it is:
The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so
"profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, Of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well:
Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic(absorbs heat)?
Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some
One student, however, wrote the following:
First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.
As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than One of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, We can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.
Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added. This gives two possibilities:
1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.
2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the
temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.
So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my freshman year that, "It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you," and take into account the act that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not
accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct......leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."
THIS STUDENT RECEIVED THE ONLY "A"
There was an article in this month's issue of AARP magazine (yes friends, I am old enought to get AARP) that talked about the spiritual beliefs of the over 50 crowd. Apparently, more of them believe in an afterlife than had been noted in previous years. Some of them believe in Hell and Heaven. A few of them believe that there is nothing at all after death. Interesting that people's beliefs are changing over time. I can only attribute this shift to the introduction and subsequent adoption of Eastern religions, primarily Buddhism, in the US over the past three decades. Personally, I have never believed in Hell and Heaven as "places" and have always thought, even as a practicing Catholic, that we all got as many shots at it as we needed to reach higher states of consciousness. Re-incarnation in other words.
That said; last night, for myself, I crystallized the fact that we create out own Hells and Heavens right here on earth. This line of thought may seem trite and tired to you. "Duh - of course, so what?" You may be thinking. But it was made so sharp and clear to me after the day I had with my daughters, one of whom is fretting about her job and life and the other whom is fretting about her weight and whether we'll be safe in our new home and state (more on this later) and in particular, whether or not we'll have water in case of a drought. She worries, that one, about everything. Which is what leads me to the reason I am writing this particular post when I have so many other things to tell you about.
In the face of all the fretting, both on Holly's part and mine (and believe me, I fret enough for all of us about everything too), I became overwhelmed with worry. Will we have enough money, will we have enough work, will HMH do well enough, will I have friends, will we be okay in the new house, will we be okay in the "wilderness", will missing the girls be bearable or will I crumble, will I be able to create freeform there, will I be able to write there, will I be able to deal with the fact that we are no longer in the "civilized" Northeast, and will going to the post office everyday to pick up the mail because there's no mail delivery drive me crazy after about a week. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.
While we were standing outside at the car (and I was being eaten alive by mosquitoes) saying goodbye for the evening, I had to reassure her that we would be okay. That we would NOT run out of water in the desert, and that I would in fact make friends once again in the new place and that she would be able to come and see us whenever she wanted and that we would in fact come home on a regular basis; flying in the face of my own fears and pushing them out of the picture so I could comfort her. I realized that I had entirely to many fears and worries to actually spend any more time worrying about them - I had too much work to do. I had no time for the Hell on Earth of worry I had created - I needed a Heaven.
I wish I could tell you that right at that moment I let it all go and like a baptism in the river, let the light of freedom from fear wash over me. But that's not what happened. What did happen, was that I was able to acknowledge the fact that we might be making a mistake by moving across the country to a place we have no knowledge of other than what we saw on vacation and read in the Santa Fe New Mexican - but we wouldn't know that until we got there. And that was okay. I realized that life is full of mistakes and bad decisions and that I would probably make a hell of a lot more of them. And so what? I could either beat myself up about them, or move on and remedy them as best I could. I could fret in anticipation of the next mistake, or boldly step ahead into my future trusting that everything will work out - one way or another. In other words, I could create Hell or Heaven all by myself.
I sincerely hope. in the Buddhist scope of things, that next time around, I will have accumulated enough merit to have a "better" life. But honestly between you and me? I think this one hasn't been all that bad, and like Heaven, it's getting better all the time.
Next: Stay tuned for more about the move!