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It's Good to be Human

By Carl S ~

One day I was walking through a barn under construction with 2 or 3 other men. All of a sudden, I woke up in the arms of a man who was carrying me. At this point, we were 80 or more feet out of the building. He told me, “It's a good thing you were out in the open when that falling scaffold hit you; if there was a beam behind your head, you'd be dead now.” Considering the fact I was in the presence of men who had dedicated their lives to, “Having a close relationship with God,” it strikes me as odd nobody said then, or in the following days, that God saved my life, it was the will of God I live, or other pious platitudes. Their reactions were secular, not religious. Would you say honest?

Remembering this experience leads me to ask, “Isn't every automatic reaction to tragedy or impending tragedy, a non-religious one? Aren't the first words out of somebody's mouth when tragedy happens, accidents cause loss of limb, mind, life, usually “Oh shit!' Or, “goddamit?” Or “What the fuck is this?” No normal person says, “Oh dear Lord.” Okay, those first words are vulgar, but doesn't the word vulgar” mean “common”, as in the common man? And your first responses afterward are not to praise a god for saving your ass, but relief from having survived. Ceremonial praising of a god by survivors and consoling survivors by telling them the victims are in a better place or in heaven with Jesus – all that comes much later. Don't you think that the first response to impending danger or loss of lives and property just happens to be the totally honest one? Sure it is, despite centuries of propaganda trying to convince everyone there's a god involved when, really, shit happens. Even when you hear, “Thank God,” it's spontaneous secular relief!

Okay, back to the barn. So there I was, settled safely outside, but in a community without a doctor, unwilling to send me to a hospital to see if I might have a concussion. They put me to bed rest for a few days, then it was back to work. What if I was killed? Guess what, I never would have woken up; I'd be “ceased.” No future with wife and kids, no sex and raising hell. I couldn't miss what would never happen to me. Wonder how those God's people would react to my making those points. Aren't they “vulgar” interpretations of what really would have happened? Don't they know some of their priests and monk predecessors in Medieval times joined with the common folks and were vulgar, mocking the Christian faith, praising pagan gods, and most of all, praising reality in the vulgar and carnal, using the very same terms? There's truth in the initial reactions.

We are vulgar by nature. This isn't nice, romantic, or pleasant; it's reality. And accepting this will keep us human. And human, despite what every friggin' religion tries to suppress and control, is good. Life means experiencing and it also means experimenting. We are pawns to our experiences even when we create them. When we think we have control, things can still go awry, despite the fact life is usually gambling when the odds of coming out ahead are pretty well established. Only the biting-off-more-than-you-can-chew experiments tend to fail. (As in the movie plot of: “Odds Against Tomorrow.”) We can't help but tempt fate, for better or worse. And unless you're indoctrinated in a religion, your primary instinct can smell its bullshit a mile away. That's the vulgar way to say it, and what a relief from belief!

Life is good when we experiment with it. This goes beyond mere temptation. As children, we experiment to see how far we can push a parent before we get a reaction. You may steal a candy bar from the store or eat a forbidden fruit to see if it makes you wiser. Experimenting urges us to use any way possible to find solutions, for example, for diseases every wise mind tells us can't be eradicated. Haven't you noticed: the killjoy clergy who condemn scientists are getting the best science has to offer- rejecting prayer healing for medical care, driving cars, flying in private jets?

Experimenting will get you into bed with the right or wrong person, while you're ignoring the danger warnings of your religion, which has been your “whole life.” We were never cut out for a protected Eden existence; we'd be bored to death. You rebel, declare your independence. You “take no one’s word for it.” Then you find sex feels right, is really good: essential for your emotional health. Virginity's crap.

Not experimenting on your own terms can get you mixed up in the wrong crowd, but on your terms, may cause you to reject them and head for the healthy lifestyle. Experimenting with blasphemy and pornography, like experimenting with new musical forms and writing styles, seems inevitable after they succeed. We tempt life, we mold and manipulate it, like every other animal, and in ways no other animal can. I survived. Life is good. The Earth and Space are our playgrounds. Let's go experimenting.