On being saved and life thereafter

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“Search the word “retirement” on the internet and your screen is filled with images of silver-haired folk dancing in their kitchens, surfing, getting into ridiculous yoga postures and cuddling grandchildren.”  Why we lie about being retired, BBC news website

“Prof Amabile is talking to me on the sidelines of an event, hosted by the Nobel Foundation where Nobel laureates and other experts are discussing the future of ageing.  Edmund Phelps was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2006 and in his mid-80s he is not slowing down.  His few days in Madrid are spent giving university lectures, panel presentations and media interviews.  “Work is so fundamental to the good life,” he says.”

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What is “retirement”, Paul?

It’s when I don’t have to get up and go to work every day like I do now.  I  get paid a small sum by the government, and a bigger sum (if I have saved all my life) from my personal pension pot.

Why?

Because as an old person I deserve to sit down and not have to do all that anymore.

And what do you do instead?

I enjoy myself!

How?

By doing stuff I never could, by not doing stuff I always had to, by going places I never have, and doing things I never would, and …. I don’t know!

It scares the shit out of me really.

We won’t have enough money to be on a permanent holiday all over the world, we won’t have enough money for the lifestyle we have now, we won’t be able to have the life we have now – and I have no idea how we fill our days week after week and month after month without finding other “work” to fill to the day.

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Like being saved you mean?

Pardon … ?

Like when you went and got saved and became one of mine.  Lived your life for me instead of you.  Saw the light – literally and figuratively!  Left all that worldly stuff behind.  Found true happiness and fulfilment with me.  And then found yourself on a journey figuring out what all that really meant!

Found “community” only works when you have enough in common to bind.  Found that when beliefs are so radically different – but allegedly the same – community isn’t really community but a clubhouse with rules.  Full of religious “figureheads and other experts discussing the future” and past and present of the “getting saved” lifestyle.

Because the reality of getting saved doesn’t fit the marketing.

Wow!

Was being saved a good thing, Paul?

At the time – yes.  It connected me with something bigger.  It connected me with something eternal. It connected me with …

It” – you use the word “it”. Is that all this is?

Is that all I am – “it”?

At the time no – but since … yes.

Just like retirement isn’t an “it” right now, but will be after I have passed through that door as well.  Like you were – with hindsight.

You were a stereotype.  A taught deity.  Remote, all-powerful, all-seeing, all-this and all-that.  And you came with a LOT of small-print: must do this, must do that, mustn’t do this, mustn’t do that …

The reality wasn’t me fitting-in with you – it was me fitting-in with the clubhouse.  Fitting-in with all those pictures of “ridiculous yoga poses” – fitting-in with all the small print that isn’t about you but is all about us.

And now?

And now you are you and I am me – and I Am describes it all – and Love IS the greatest of all – and this is all so simple – if I allow. 

I am no different.  Just free to be me without all the self-imposed fitting-in-constraints of both culture AND religion.

And what of the future and getting to heaven?

What of it?

I have all I desire right now in this moment if I allow.  A phrase now as important to me as “Love is always the answer”. 

This moment is where I live – IS freedom and eternity and present all rolled into one.

And what about life after being saved?

No different than anything else.  Being saved becomes another it.

Because I am who I am every moment.

If I allow.

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