“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” -Inigo Montoya
Cycle 67: When we left earth, we could bring some personal things with us. Not a lot, but some things that would remind us of home. I did not have a lot that I wanted to bring. One thing I did bring was my music library. It was an easy thing to grab. It isn’t that big, and it has the whole known music library. I have more music than I can listen to in a lifetime. I know who Elvis was. I was trying to be funny. Elvis was one of my wife’s favorite singers. She would listen to him all the time. He was never my favorite. But I listen to his music quite a bit now.
Cycle 68: I’m still not sure if I am really talking to god or if I am going insane. Being alone for this long and the stress involved might have taken me over the brink. I wasn’t in the best state of mind before the trip. They all knew it but decided to trust me anyway. What if this is all a delusion? What if I am really just hunkered down in the corner of my room wasting away? I don’t think that’s the scenario here, but what if?
Cycle 70: Haven’t written about the day to day stuff in a while. Communication, propulsion, and navigation systems still offline. I have tinkered a bit with them. There has been no sign of any of them coming back on-line. Life support and food systems still functioning normally. I am still exercising daily. I must look good when those alien lights come back. Maybe this time they will stop by for a chat.
Cycle 72: I have been thinking a lot about all these conversations I have been having with this god. It seems to me that this divine being’s whole system centers on love. What about justice? What about karma? It all seems a little weak in my opinion. It seems like a faith that will end up getting you pushed around and taken advantage of. Where is accountability?
-G- So, you think a faith based in love is weak?
-RJ- Well if I am being totally honest, yes. It seems like a scenario to just get yourself pushed around a lot. Don’t you think that it might get people taking advantage of one another? It all seems, I don’t know, too easy.
-G- Easy? On the contrary, it is one of the hardest things you can do. Loving someone even when you think they do not deserve it. That is not easy.
-RJ- But if we love everyone, aren’t we just allowing then to be the jerks that they are? Aren’t we saying…It’s fine, be an asshole, I’ll love you anyway?
-G- Once again, RJ, you have over simplified it. But to answer your question, yes. Look at a parent child relationship. Kids mess up all the time. They treat their parents bad quite a lot. It is part of the growing up process. Do the parents stop loving their kids because of this? Do the parents not have conversations with their kids about the way they have misbehaved? Yes, on both accounts. You can love someone and not be ok with the way they are acting.
-RJ- So you are saying love the sinner, hate the sin?
-G- Not really. That is a construct that humans have come up with. We have never worked that way. You see, we are not in the business of judging people for their perceived mistakes. We have a great ability to forget. Humans see forgetfulness as a failure, we see it as a triumph.
-RJ- I don’t understand. Are you saying that you don’t remember things? How do you know who we are then? How do you remember my name?
-G- I am not talking about day to day stuff. I am talking about the things that you do that you perceive as sin. We do not have the capacity to remember those. Holding those transgressions against you flies in the face of how we love. Love is the core of our being. We do not know any other way to commune with you. Our love holds us to a higher connection. Our love demands us to be forgiveness. You see us as forgiving your sins as they happen. Either because you asked us to or because that is our nature. What I am telling you is much deeper. We are forgiveness. There is no need for asking. There is no need for begging. There is no need for the right prayer at the right time. Our love is complete. Your forgiveness was given before the foundations of the earth. We do not know any other way. Humans have created these doctrines, these religions that set up rules as to how this all works. You do not have to look far to see that we did not want it that way. Look into what you call the bible. There are multiple places where your ancestors understood this idea. They saw that we did not require your groveling to decide to forgive you. I will say it one more time, we do not work that way.
-RJ- But we work that way. We work from the notion that, you get what you deserve. We work from an idea that we are required to ask for forgiveness when we wrong someone. That is the core of who we are. Are you saying that we are flawed in this? Are you saying that we should just forgive someone that wrongs us? Where is the accountability? What is to stop people from taking advantage of other people? We live in a system that seems to expect karma. We live in a system that seems to need the comfort of knowing that if someone wrongs us, they will get theirs in the end. If we allow others to walk all over us don’t we get what we deserve?
-G- And what is it exactly that you think you deserve?
-G- The problem is that you take your idea of justice and you put it onto us. You think that we operate the same way you do. That just is not the case. Your justice is punitive, ours is restorative. You think eye for an eye was our idea. Sorry, that was all you. When someone wrongs you, you expect them to pay. In fact, you gain some pleasure when it happens. Your system of justice does not allow for any growth. It does not allow for grace. It does not allow any love. Our justice is about restoration. It is about bringing back together what was previously broken. Our type of justice can be seen through you all the time. When Martin Luther King Jr. marched for equality, that was our justice. When Nelson Mandela called for the end of apartheid, that was our justice. It does not have to be that grand though. When a son goes and has a cup of coffee with his estranged father for the first time in 20 years, that is also our justice. When you talk to that child who just stole from you. When you ask him his story. When you deeply care to know why he needed to steal. When you forgive him instead of calling the authorities. That also is our justice. When you offer a homeless women money for food and expect nothing in return, that is our justice. Now here is the important part RJ. This is the part I really need you to understand. None of this is weakness. None of this is you getting pushed around. None of this is about accountability. None of this is about karma. Everything you see in this is for restoration. It is for community. It is for love. If you think this makes you weak. I would suggest you have not really tried it. It is at the same time the hardest and most rewarding thing you will ever do. This is how you restore. This is how you do justice. I know I am starting to sound like a broken loop recording, but love is the core of all of this. Love is the linchpin that holds it all together. You pull that pin and it all collapses.
-RJ- What about people that murder? Do we give them a pass too? Where is the love in killing someone?
-G- I think you just said the flaw in your argument. We can talk about that next time if you would like. Good conversation RJ. I love all your questions. Most of all remember that I love you.
Cycle 72 (cont.): More music in my head now…all you need is love. All you need is love. All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.