Being in Calgary is like entering into a parallel universe.   It is like stepping onto the invisible platform at 9 ¾ King’s Cross Station into a world that happily coexists with this one.  In this world, as my brother quips, “we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Perhaps it is this world that sparked my academic interest in religious studies, in the attempt to try and make sense of a world that intuitively feels right but epistemically seems like a dream.  In this world, certain basic truths hold:  there is no power nor might save that of the divine being; all one thinks of as “me” or “mine” is on temporary loan to us; when life evaporates, so does all that is falsely thought of as me or mine; life and intelligence are the greatest gifts there are; the divine puppeteer’s machinations cannot be known and must not be taken lightly, hence, joy in all states, as sung by Rumi.  The divine is rightly the Beloved, even though the Judge is not far away.  Gratitude in all things is properly the optimal human stance; trust is its close companion.  The landscape can change in an instant; rather than think we can control its ever-changing nature, we must wait breathlessly in anticipation to see what unfolds next.  Yes, there is purpose to all things, all events, and yes, there is human responsibility for constantly and consistently acting out of good faith and moral awareness.  In this world, one does one’s best, and lets it go.  Light as an angel, dancing on a soap bubble, one trusts the fleeting ground under one’s dancing feet will not give way.  The heaviness of living, doing, building, solving problems, relating to others, taking sustaining breaths, all one’s quotidian activities are real insofar as they are the workshop in which base metals are turned into gold, or awareness refined so as truly to be able to see, in a state of awakenedness.

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