Oy! My Karma Backed over My Dogma…

Redefining ones-self always consumes a lot of energy. Have you ever tried to turn over a new leaf? If so, you may understand a bit of what it takes to give yourself a makeover or even a complete overhaul. In honor of the New Year, I made a resolution to myself: “I am going to seek inner awareness and peace.” As lame as that sounds, it is funny that for the last 4 years or so I have been seeking just that, a complete makeover and what I believed to be inner awareness and peace. I learned almost constantly, I prayed as hard as I could, as often as I permitted myself, and I tapped the known knowledge bases that the available universe had to offer; but, I still found myself hovering just to one side of the center of free will. No matter what I tried, using only rational thought as my modus operandi, I could not break with the ever-constant relationship between stumbling doubt and immanent awareness…. No matter what I tried, I had to introduce belief, which just so happens is a cardinal no-no in the philosophical tradition that I have been building the ‘Tower of Me’ with…

I haven’t written in a while for a reason, which wasn’t that there wasn’t anything to write about — there has been plenty — I told myself that I just needed to wait to see where it all would lead, but I think I was really only stalling. Today, one of the first of the 10 Days of Awe, I find myself here, teetering on the edge of free will, wondering in which ways opportunity and tragedy will pull or push me, but without balancing the self-inflicted dumb-bell of blind-belief onto one side of my high-wire unicycle or the other. Ever since my mom died — no, even further back: ever since her illness manifested itself outwardly — I have been questioning my faith in Humanity. When my father died, leaving a mad woman unchained to captain the ghost ship that I had always called home, I questioned my faith in God, but this, I think, is different. My Karma, it seems, has backed over my Dogma as the magic school bus that I thought I was driving rolled back down the driveway of my own private history in the making. I heard only a tiny whimper, as the crushing force of the gutting of my ego’s pride rattled down the hill. Afterwards, looking forward and peering through the windshield that my Karma opened my awareness to, I could see my Dogma just lying there, twitching, like it was only another chapter in the story of me, naturally splattered and gross... My Karma was, it seems, just too powerful and too unwieldy to try and control.

Even though my Dogma now ‘resembles’ fresh road kill, it isn’t quite dead yet; it may never truly be. I wish for this to be so, that it could live and provide a safe haven to keep my Karma at bay. My Dogma was, at times, my best friend. It was the only one to stand by me when I sunk deep into loneliness. It was the only one to cheer me on, as I blotted out select questions with my faithless vision. My Dogma always greeted me with a wagging tail, but now it is crushed, quiescently strewn across the pavement. I know that if it could speak to me, it would be asking if I still care; it must be asking if I will ever come back. I still have an overwhelming urge to exit my Karma, to run away from it and to extend my wanting arms out to my Dogma and cradle it in a teary embrace, but I know it may very well bite me, like my father was bitten by his loving Dogma. I was there when he carried it through the kitchen door, blood still wet from his own wounds and from its wounds as well. His Dogma’s back was broken when ‘his’ Karma rolled over it and with the gentle lifting required to verify the extent of the damage, his Dogma struck out in pain, anguish, and fear.

Humanity is supposed to be half of the partnership, half of the equation that equals success, love, and completion in the world. When I was angry with God, after the death of my father, I know that was when my Dogma took shape and rose from my despair to protect me from the tank-treads under the gauntlet of my Karma’s mellifluence. That was when my Dogma was young and virile, able to dodge and to bounce freely about, filled with seed to spread into the cracks between the freshly laid stones of the Tower of Me. The Tower of Me grew, then, and became everything that I consider my own private history now. Tongue-in-cheek, I look back on my Dogma’s growth into me-hood and see how it washed my brain clean of fear, but at the same time it sterilized my perception of our collective history. Now, sadly, I am closer to the truth — that Humanity is to blame for the state of chaos in the Universe — ‘we’ are to blame for it all, not God, not the Creator. My dear Dogma was only trying to protect me from my Karma and as I stare through bleary eyes out at the crushed carcass that was once my beloved Dogma, I realize that my best friend, my Dogma and me, knew all along that its days were numbered…

Gamar Chatima Tova and Shabbat Shalom!

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