conversations with my (massage) therapist, or how to have hope in a hopeless world: approach #2

i’m a talker. when i go for massage or physio or whatever, i’m a little chatterbox, yammering away at whatever unfortunate soul is obligated to endure my company for 30 minutes or even (gasp) a full hour.

“oh god in heaven, please make him shut up or die right now.”

speaking of which, i had a convo with my massage therapist a while ago where we talked about the meaning of life, why we’re here. we both felt that our time on earth is just a small part of who we really are, that this is only one step of many on our spirit’s path to…well, something. who knows. and we both felt that even the most horrible things probably happen for a reason. like if i were to finish this stupid post, head outside, get stung by a bee on my lip, and die of anaphylaxis, that would mean i had simply done what i was put here to do and it was time to move on. show’s over!

then i said to my tired, annoyed massage therapist that i hadn’t reconciled this ‘everything happens for a reason’ theory with tragedies, like murders, for example. i wondered if stuff like that was messing with the order of the universe. i said that while i feel the victim probably must have finished their work here, it didn’t feel right that the murderer simply played the role of facilitator, someone who ushers the other person on to the next world, and then just rots in jail for 15 years. what about the murderer, i wondered aloud.

at this, my vexed, exasperated massage therapist suggested that maybe there is a perfect balance to everyone’s needs, both murderers AND victims. she put forth the proposition that perhaps the victim needs to die (maybe they even need to die in that particular violent way, as part of their journey), while the murderer needs to kill in order to learn whatever it is they need to learn — remorse, regret, whatever. maybe the big, spiritual needs of both people are met with the single seemingly senseless act.

well, that was a crazy revelation i didn’t expect to encounter at massage. i don’t consider myself buddhist or any other religion but i do believe in something much larger than us. i think a lot about perfect chaos and perfect harmony, and i often wonder if they are not the same thing. and this idea that balance and harmony are present even in apparent chaos, even in the most fucked up situations…i don’t know that i necessarily buy it, but i like it a lot. it’s #2 on my list of ‘how to have hope in a hopeless world,’ behind my other approach that i wrote about a while back. i guess this one is a spiritual approach while the other is a practical one. both have their places, depending on how desperately alone you’re feeling, i think.


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