A Thinking Man

What Men May Want to Know


Is it all Horse Compost?

By Don Wright

Contemplating a title for this article got me to thinking about a departed friend, Roger Mussells. He and his wife, Martha, owned a patch of land in the marshes outside of St. Augustine. His complex of little buildings was what architecture would look like if Robinson Crusoe had met Rube Goldberg. There was an elevator, dumb-waiter, catwalks, cabana bar and mini swimming pool, all built by Roger. But as interesting as all of that was, nothing compared to being around Roger.

An educated guy that had spent most of his life as a construction superintendent. By the time I met him he’d retired and was busy with endless projects. On weekend visits he’d tell jokes and hold court on countless subjects and stories. He’d always have a mixed drink nearby and insisted we join him in a, “strotient,” as he called them. He enjoyed playing with words. If we said shit, for example, he’d say, “Don’t say shit, say compost, dear boy.” He’d gesture with his drink, pinky extended, as if he had complete command of the English language. I miss him.

So, instead of the title of this article being, “Is it all horse shit,” I’ll honor the dear boy with compost. He’d be pleased.

But what has the possibility of being all compost? Simply put, anything outside of what we know as true. Anything that we don’t have empirical evidence of. That will include what we think we know about what is on the “other side” of being here on this world. Key words here are; think, belief, faith, etc. Truth is, we don’t know anything.

However, that has never stopped us from thinking we know something. Throughout history there’s been no end of people, religions, faiths and prophets that claim special knowledge of what’s on the other side. Moreover, not only what’s on the other side, but how we should conduct our business while on this side to maximize our experience on the other side. Emphasis on the business.

One doesn’t have to be much of a thinking man to understand the need for looking outward for answers. This can be a compost filled world at times. What we do to each other and what the world does to us can have even the most intelligent among us looking for solace.

But the truth is, and one we don’t want to admit to anyone; is we really don’t know. When we see mayhem we’ll comfort each other with, “the Lord works in mysterious ways.” When we have good fortune, we’ll say we’ve been blessed. But there is no defining action between being blessed or being screwed. If there were we’d have figured it out long ago and life for all would be one big hoe-down.

Case in point. There are and has been countless people who claim special audiences with spirits from beyond. I’ve recently read where there’s an admonition that we should even be discerning when contacted by spirits since not all have information that’s valuable. Crap, that means that not only are there people here that are repositories of useless information, but in the afterworld we’ll have to listen to even more compost.

So included in all of this information are explanations for what has been, expectations of what is to come and directions of how to best experience the now. But I have a thinking man question; why do we still have games of chance on this planet? Any spirit worth their weight in ethers should foresee what next Friday’s lotto numbers are – just six or seven numbers – a simple thing. We’re not talking about something that is going to happen decades from now, just hours. What about who’s going to win the super bowl, the Kentucky Derby, Indianapolis?

The fact that games of chance continue to make the bookies money is a testament to the fact that there’s a basic misunderstanding on our part, or all spirits heretofore full of compost. Which is it?

I can’t imagine all spirits have gotten together and formed a conspiracy. Is it possible there’s some afterworld “omerta,” a code of silence, that keeps them from being truly helpful? “Move away from that beach, a tsunami is coming – Buy the Volvo, you’re going to need that extra airbag – The housing bubble is going to burst on this date – If you stick that in there you’ll wish you hadn’t.”

Okay, the last one we know already.

Atheists are completely comfortable. The rest of us are running around like chickens while bits of the sky crash down around us. We seek peace here for a while, that doesn’t work and we turn somewhere else – it can all be very tiring. It seems so much easier to tell someone else what they should do than to actually have to worry about yourself. And that’s the rub.

What if we all knew and then could quietly go about our life? Wouldn’t that be great? What’s wrong with that? There’s the argument of free will. What? The free will to rape, pillage and murder? Do we need that? The free will to be and do good, we need free will for that?

I think there’s a basic misunderstanding here. I’ve written elsewhere on these pages that we simply don’t know, and what’s more – we don’t know what we don’t know. And it may well be that we’re simply not evolved and able to understand yet. I’m okay with that. Just a general look around tells me that in many ways we’re not too far from scratching stick-men on the walls of caves.

So what are we to do? A legitimate question – who has the legitimacy to answer that single question? I think the answer is simple – no one from here does. If they were born on this planet and are eventually able to speak, use discernment, chances are they’re another repository of useless information. This author included – especially this author.

But that really isn’t sufficient is it? Inside we know something. We feel that ghost in the machine and want so desperately to believe in something. We want to know the truth.

I’ve found an answer that I’m somewhat comfortable with and it’s being comfortable with not knowing, but knowing there’s something at the same time. But also being humble enough to know that there’s little difference in what I believe versus what anyone else on the planet believes.

I feel we’re all going in the same direction – we just find ourselves on different points on the path of an untold number of paths. And other point, your belief, or not, has no bearing on the real truth or truths. If it’s all compost, then when we leave this place we won’t know any difference – but if there’s anything at all, well that, my friends, will be yet another adventure.

So, the take-away is this. Whatever you believe is the truth for you. As long as we protect innocence and ignorance one may follow his own path – alone or in the company of others. But it’s about you, not anyone else. Telling someone how to live their life is best accomplished by the quiet enjoyment of your example. If they find themselves drawn to you and ask, then share.

It’s about what rings true for you, and only you. Working on yourself and achieving a contented, comfortable place is a life well-lived in my opinion.

I don’t think it’s all compost . . . but a lot of it does smell.





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