Conversation With Jacob

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Conversation With Jacob

Jacob is my imaginary friend but he is real to me because he is my resource for living. Today we are sitting on the long deck of my log home, watching the squirrels scurry through the trees, up and down, and all around. An occasional bird drops by as if to say hello and/or to warn the squirrels of some danger nearby… This is the beginning point of my conversation with Jabob.

 

“Jacob, why is it that I’m rather fascinated by the activities of squirrels and birds?”

“You give me too much power of comprehension, BR. That’s okay because I know why you give me that power. You want so much to figure things out for yourself, to allow for a natural flow of understanding to come through your own mind…”

“Okay, Jacob, you’ve reminded me of that time and again…just answer my question.”

“Well, of course, I remind you time and again and that is because you seem to be in some haste to find answers which should be obvious to you, yet you seek confirmation from me, your alter ego and closest ally.”

“There you go again. Please, just answer the question.”

“You are looking at the squirrels and the birds to find meaning for your own life. You know that it is September and the squirrels are busy gathering their provisions for the winter. The birds stop by to neighborly check on their progress and to determine when it might be best for them to venture south… Now, ask your bigger question.”

“Okay, Jacob, how am I connected to all of this? (And, stop being flippant with me.”)

“Being flippant was not my intent, BR, but you must admit it’s a bit ‘squirrely’ when one has conversations with himself… Your connection to all of this? (Ah, a squirrel just skittered down a tree – see it, BR?)”

“Of course, I see it… You could not see it if I did not see it!”

“Very good, BR! I’m truly attached to you.”

“Cute! You were saying about my connection to all of this?”

“Your connection to the squirrels and birds and all living things with which you come into contact is that ‘Cogito, Ergo Sum’ thing. You think, therefore you are. You stand and walk where you walk and perceive, react, and assimilate information. The squirrels do so as fiercely as you do. They do what they do to exist – a rather simple truth, don’t you agree? The bears, bees, butterflies, cats, cows, dogs, eels (shall I run the alphabet of living things?), they all do what it is their species do and have done ad infinitum. You are the so-called ‘higher order’ so you make the world more complicated because of that ‘Cogito, ergo sum’ thing. You think things to a point of obsessive behavior…”

“Well, sure, we think. We also get to the moon. We get to Facebook and Twitter, to super sonic jets, to big cities with all the playthings we want. Our knowledge is doubling so quickly that we’re defining and re-defining ourselves at warp speed. Are you telling me we are moving too fast, not fast enough, or, we should not be creating all the digital wonders?”

“No and I’m reasonably sure you already know that. You did forget to mention that we create ways to destroy ourselves, the nuclear big blast thing. (Remember Charlton Heston at the end of one of those ‘Planet of the Apes’ movies where ‘Lady Liberty’s’ head and torso were half-buried in the beach sand?) All I’m saying is we are doing some things that just naturally come with all our smarts and ingenuity, and that’s good. What bothers me (ergo, you) is that we might very well be forgetting our hearts and souls. In this mad dash for making our lives so much digital and decidedly easier, are we just becoming cold and detached to matters of the heart and soul? And/or, is that the way this existential thing works? Is that really what these squirrels and birds are making you think about?”

“You know me so well, Jacob. Yes, I suppose that’s it. We think. We love. We procreate. We work. We fight in stupid wars. We pay taxes. We die. Is that dying part marking the final exit point of our existence? Do our souls transcend the darkness of dying and really go toward the bright light of eternity and God? Do we reincarnate and get another chance? Is there a God? Is all we see, feel, hear, sense, just a one time thing?”

“Ah, the most deliriously captivating metaphysical enigma of every age! Do you believe the squirrels and the birds concern themselves with these questions? No, I’m sure that you don’t. They appear to be simply instinctive robotic like creatures that cyclically repeat their actions from one generational pool to another. Do they think of mortality matters, afterlife, and reincarnation? As humans, I don’t suspect that we think they do. Do the mad dictators or corrupted leaders of the world who lead us into wars think of mortality matters? Do people of runaway ambition, avarice, greed, hatred, have pious thoughts? At age twenty-five, did you perhaps think you would live forever, that life stretched out before you like a road paved in gold? Ah, the age-old conundrum, which came first, ‘the chicken or the egg’! Infinity is a thought that mortals cannot wrap their minds around.

“Your questions have answers, depending upon the humility of your soul, BR. Do you look at the stars, the planets, the moon, the sun, orderly galaxies and imagine that they achieved that order by a ‘big bang’? Do you watch a sunrise and sunset, the rain, the snow, the falling leaves, and imagine that there is simply a natural order to such things? When you hold the one you love and experience the supremacy of all ecstasy and joy, do you wish you could stop your world and live forever in that moment? Do you ever think about the magical nine-month period of human birth, of the intricate and delicate patterns that must be formed for human life to begin? Do you simply believe that there is but the purpose to live and to die, that during the living, the world is a stage to perform your acts?”

“Okay, okay, I’m getting a migraine! William Wordsworth was right, ‘The World Is Too Much With Us.’ I want to believe, I will believe, that a supreme being made this spinning orb and that I have a chance to leave something of worth behind when I leave it. For ‘it is dark to die and I fear that I still wish to be’. A good friend wrote that line as he and a war buddy lay in a fox hole during one of the wars. With all my doubts, insecurities, my loves and dreams, I must believe, have faith that Ecclesiastes 3.1 has meaning for us all, ‘For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven…’ I believe, too, that others have faith and some do not. It is my way to respect the views of others while it is not always possible to do so.”

 “So the squirrels and the birds brought all of this about?”

“Well, yeah, pretty much, I guess. The tea was good, right, Jacob?”

“Now you know I don’t drink tea… I only listen to you and repeat everything you think… By the way, why is it you’re calling me Jacob?

See Billy Ray’s books at:  http://www.goo.gl.fuxUA

See short bio of Billy Ray at:  http://www.about.me/brchitwood

Visit Billy Ray’s website at:  http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com

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