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-------------------- No one knows the worth of innocence till he knows it is gone forever, and that money can't buy it back. Not the saint, but the sinner that repenteth, is he to whom the full length and breadth, and height and depth, of life's meaning is revealed. Good and evil loose all objective meaning and are seen as equally necessary and contrasting elements in the masterpiece that is the universe.
Alright, prior to this event I was having a crisis of meaning in life. 'Nothing matters in the end', 'all things are impermanent', blah, blah...you know how it goes. But it was really getting me down and I had a long talk with my wife about it. At the same time my dog Ginger was sick and getting sicker by the day.
Now, by all accounts Ginger had given the rest of my family a real hard time - barking and running off - and my wife really wanted to get rid of her. I explained to her that if we took Ginger to the pound she would be killed and that what she really needed was training and patience. Also, the idea that we should just rid ourselves of whatever lifeform displeases us is just dark. But it remained a constant personal battle of mine to keep Ginger from certain death for the sake of convenience.
Despite her misbehavior, Ginger really was a very loving and inteligent dog. She had a tangible spark of life/light/consciousness that I was really able to connect with and she really loved me.
So, as I said, Ginger got sick. Really sick. The vet found some sort of mass by her heart which was obstructing her breathing. The medication didn't help and within a week she became much worse. I decided it was time to relieve her of her suffering so we took her in to be put to sleep.
I'm no stranger to death, but death isn't something you readily get used to either. As she was on the table and they began the procedure I kept looking into her eyes, talking to her and petting her. The instant she died, I understood the difference between what is alive and what is not. First there is fur, alive and vibrant with energy, and in an instant it is a pelt, dull.
I subscribe to a cheesy daily e-mail letter of 'inspirational' quotations and stuff. Usually quotes from Einstein, Rumi, Ghandi, Lincoln, that sort of thing. But the day after Ginger went to sleep when I got into my office the inspirational quote was titled 'A prayer from a Dog to it's Master'.
It was written from a dog's point of view toward it's master and the final paragraph went like this:
..."And, beloved master, should the Great Master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest... and I will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands."
I printed it out and brought it home for my wife to read. She said it was a lesson from the universe - that what I do really does matter, that the universe (or Ginger) was saying 'thanks for caring'.
Now I know the argument Swami and others are making and to an extent I agree. Ultimately it is up to US to decide whether something is 'just' a coincedence or a true cosmic synchronicity with a message. To me it was a cosmic synchronicity because that whole event tied so many things in my life together with such beauty that it felt bigger than me. I just can't do it justice trying to explain it.
That the sun rises at the same spot on the horizon during the summer solstice every year can be reduced to just a physical fact. Nonetheless, many, many cultures have decided to imbue that fact with meaning by buiding monuments and celebrating it. Making it meaningful binds people to an unseen source of order and intelligence and helps them to identify with it.
The universe gives us facts and events but it is us who give it meaning.
-------------------- What you're searching for is what's searching.
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