The day I learned that I was a spiritual being trying to have a human experience, and not a human being trying to have a spiritual experience, I felt completely liberated, and free to mess up, probably for the first time since I’d shit my diapers. Before I became aware that I was fully entitled to my human experience, I’d always thought my job was to be good so I could earn heaven. Never did it occur to me that heaven was someplace I’d already been, and to which I’d return, inevitably. I think the world has those kinds of people. The ones who think heaven is in doubt. The ones who believe they just gotta be perfect or neither God nor anyone else will love them. The ones looking at everyone else’s mistakes and thinking: Oh man, they’re in deep shit now. People like that – and I was one of them – have a hard time getting out of the starting gate. We don’t like to get muddy or have bad breath. We count our deficiencies like some people count cars on a freight train.
People like that need to take some risks, live a little, and think and worry a little less. We need to eat that piece of chocolate cake, dive into that crazy relationship, get in over our heads with that irresponsible dream.
And the world has the other kind of people, too. There are those who’ve taken their job as having a human experience too real seriously. Some of them seem to have taken on their human roles so well that they’ve forgotten they’re spirits. They love to sin and throw mud. They have a real good time usually, in the first 30 years or so. Then their bodies or their bank accounts or their nine lives tend to give out. They either tend to have their spiritual experiences after the party’s over, or sometimes not at all. Maybe they’ll die of fat or cirrhosis and then the spiritual types tsk tsk them in their own minds when they read the obit. They’re the other part of the equation, the other part of humanity.
Which side is right or which side ‘wins’ in the end – the white sheep or the black sheep – isn’t really important. Nobody wins. Nobody’s right. It’s not that kind of game. But it sure makes relationships interesting. I think the idea is for each side to cross over to the other team, at least for a while. I mean, it wouldn’t be very interesting if we were all the same. The world would either be a church choir picnic or a Mardi Gras video. It’s so much more fun when the church choir has to the hold their annual luncheon at Hooters, or when the stoned sailors looking for the whorehouse walk into an AA meeting by mistake. Life’s such a juxtaposition that way. It’s never giving you what you want. It’s throwing the unexpected at you instead. You pray for a monastery, and you end up in an orgy. Go figure.
© 2023 by Michael C. Just
Mike’s novel, The Dirt: The Journey of a Mystic Cowboy, is available in softcover or eBook formats through Amazon.
You can purchase the book through this website. Or go straight to amazon at https://www.amazon.com/s?k=the+dirt+journey+of+a+mystic+cowboy&crid=1S40Q4BXSUWJ6&sprefix=the+dirt%3A+journey+of+a+m%2Caps%2C180&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_23
Mike’s other titles, including The Crippy, The Mind Altar, and Canyon Calls, are available through this website or through Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002
Four of his short stories have recently been published online:
Lies, Ltd. has been published by The Mystery Tribune @ Lies, Ltd.: Literary Short Fiction by Michael C. Just (mysterytribune.com)
The Obligate Carnivore has been published by the Scarlet Leaf Review @ Category: MICHAEL JUST – SCARLET LEAF REVIEW
I See You, Too has been published by the 96th of October @ I See You, Too – 96th of October
Offload, a short story about a man who can heal any disease, is now live and can be read at The Worlds Within at Offload – The Worlds Within