- in the name of Allah -
It's been a few days since Ramadan began, but all I find is an ever-increasing discordance between myself and what role I am/choose to play in 'life'. The things that this deen has always called me to, a moral compass, temperance, patience, justice, wisdom, essentially all the ideals I hold dear, seem so at odds with what reality I find playing out before me, like a broken record that will not stop playing its tune.
For my own sake, the sake of my sanity, of holding things in perspective, I will delineate what I see as the roots of this misanthropy. We (humanity) had no choice in our creation, no choice in our existence, and no idea what road each of us follows. We are given a plethora of means to calm and subdue our fears and ignorance, platitudes labeled variously as 'faith' or 'hope' or 'science' or the like, sometimes even a medicinal approach is taken, all in an effort to blot out the dissonance between how we find reality as being and what we imagine it aught to be. Some of us will live as 'sinners' for all our lives, only to have a 'change of heart' or an 'epiphany' at our death bed, thus to be granted salvation. Lovely, such apparent mercy. Conversely, some of us will live our lives as 'saints', only to have our 'true colors' revealed upon time of our death, thus sealing fate of damnation. What a crazy trifle it can be, eh?
For most people (I presume most since I don't know of any who walk the path I do), this is not a big deal. There are infinite ways of disguising the malaise, which manifests either physical or spiritual, as most either seek conformity/order or hedonism/desire. What happens when one inherently seeks neither? I could answer this with, "me", but that doesn't help explain or describe this point of in-between I seem stuck in. I suppose being an observator doesn't help matters, taking consistently the approach that gives me the widest angle with least bias. It's like seeing the whole of humanity as stuck in a giant maze, lab animals who are to be occasionally poked and prodded and zapped, until we find the right door in the maze to proceed further until its end...an end I conceive like a huge morsel of cheese. Or like an ant on an ant farm, slowly making tunnels until we find our way to the surface, only then to realize the roof is still shut and that's just how big our universe is, because, well, that's just the way it is, being ants and all. We're given all the means to our salvation in one hand, and all the means to our destruction in the other. What results when you take those two together? I find only chaos, unpredictability, irrationality, ultimately nothing but ignorance.
A common refrain is that 'who are we to question our Creator', or 'what else can you do' (ie 'except run the wheel like a good little hamster'). I will never have enough knowledge or understanding, at least in this mortal life, to legitimately question my Creator, but that does not and cannot stop my soul from instinctively reacting like it's been placed in a very strong base, constantly looking for me to donate my electrons, only problem being that I'm not acidic enough and so there isn't much of myself, if anything, that I can give. Just as no one can question or cross-examine the pain a finger feels when stabbed with a needle, it is just an instinct the soul has, an implicit reaction to its environment, a reaction immune to moral dissection. As for the second refrain, I have no clue what can be done for it. Other than the occasional struggling to comprehend and angst arising from an inability to do so, there isn't much room for maneuvering.
Among the ones who would steer clearest of this rabbit hole, I expect some notion like 'think of science or only the tangibles'. What a call that is. I love science, it endlessly seeks more knowledge, to correct and refine itself until it can arrive at some irrefutable certainty for any given field or subject. One thing science can never do, however, is be used to prove a 'moral right' or give justification for anything other than naturally-observed phenomena. The very second science is used to cross that line, the worst kinds of terrifying human delusions become suddenly plausible (ie recall the pseudo-science used by Nazis in their propaganda war, so that they could rationalize their bigotry and xenophobic arrogance). So, politely to such sane suggestions, I would have to say no; 'science' cannot clarify this boiling cauldron.
All of this only brings me back to where I began, seeing no solutions, only questions, questions so colored with my experience of loss, that I sometimes see only clouds even on the clearest of days. Is there a way to manage this precipice, without forcing one's self to indulge of its coping mechanisms? Can a line be drawn even if the sand cannot be felt, or worse yet, gets blown away by the slightest of winds?