Dennis Lakusta and God
Dennis Lakusta and God can not exist at the same time and in the same space – one has to disappear in order for the other to exist. Why? The answer is simple – Dennis Lakusta is a concept, a complex collection of temporary labels and ideas slapped on a temporary body. God, on the other hand, is a permanent and limitless reality. Dennis Lakusta is confined to space, time and form whereas God is spaceless, timeless and formless. The popular religious concept that so-and-so will ‘sit’ on the right or left side of God is an indication of how difficult it is for some people to put the human body in its proper context, that being, a temporal vessel with a very brief shelf-life and a guaranteed expiry date. Many of these ideas about the human body were developed back in the dark ages and simply haven’t caught up to the current science – the science that understands that our bodies are born out of the earth, sustained by the earth and, after a brief tenure, are reclaimed by the earth. (The popular term is ‘ashes to ashes, dust to dust – if people truly understand that the human form, like all organic life forms, decomposes and is reconstituted into the earth elements, then how can that same human form be sitting or standing at some other place or time.)
I was browsing around a book store in Edmonton a few years ago and come across an interesting book entitled, ‘A Pictorial Essay of Heaven and Hell’ – a rather hefty collection of artist’s renderings depicting these two states of after-life dating all the way back to the Neolithic period. It was amazing to peruse through the hundreds of glossy images and realize just how much of a preoccupation mankind has had with trying to ‘figure it out’. Although the particulars and details differed from one image to the next, the main theme was consistent – heaven was a nice place to be and hell wasn’t. At the end of the book the author made a brief statement, about a half page in length, in which he found it most curious that throughout the entire history of art and across all cultural and religious boundaries, the human form was explicitly included in both states of the after-life and that the artists seemed unable to ‘let go of’ or transcend the human form in terms of mankind’s ultimate fate.
Getting back to the ‘sitting on this side or that side’ thing – God does not have a left side or a right side and for that matter there is nothing to ‘sit’ on. These concepts imply limited physical forms that we insinuate, from our finite little world and via our imagination, into the divine realm. (A popular religious concept holds that we are created in the image and likeness of God but, in actuality, it’s the other way around – we have created God in the image and likeness of ourselves and our ideas, complete with the judgments, fear-mongering and vindictiveness that are patently human). All we have to do is ‘think’ of Heaven or God and we immediately conjure up an imaginary setting in our minds which includes all the stuff we have ‘down here’ like chairs and white robes and beards and a bunch of people ‘standing’ around God. I’m sorry, but there is nobody standing around God!! It’s not like, God and a bunch of people – it’s just God. Let’s go with the popular term – ‘omnipresent’ – if God is omnipresent, which means that there is no place that He is not, then that doesn’t leave much wiggle room for Tom, Dick and Mary, or whoever else wants to be standing next to Him. In reality, there is only God, God is All and it is the ultimate challenge for a human being to transcend the finite human form, to humbly ‘disappear’ into that All, to surrender our limited, self-absorbed identities and our noisy little egos into the beauty and all-pervasiveness of that presence.
(Note: Pope John Paul ll ushered in the new Millennium by declaring that the Vatican no longer supported the ‘concept’ that hell was a place with eternal fire and damnation and lots of demons running around with pitchforks. The church’s new position, he claimed, is that hell is simply not being in heaven. That’s refreshing, but where the heck was he 55-60 years ago when I, as an innocent little child, was being terrorized almost daily by these idiotic ‘concepts’ of burning forever in the deepest pit of everlasting hell fire, complete with the guys (why was it always guys) with the horns and pointy tails. Did anyone ever stop to realize just how much damage that kind of crap can cause to a little kid’s psyche??? Now, the current Pope wants to change it back to the earlier ‘concept’ – come on fellas, make up your minds, which one is it?)