Throughout my life, for as long as I can remember, I have lived with a constant ringing in my ears. There has never been a moment without it.
Nobody knows of a common mechanism causing tinnitus, at least not for the high pitched noise that is my constant companion. I have seen speculation about Brownian motion, missing hairs in the inner ear, hyper sensitivity, and on and on. In recent years it has become steadily louder.
Because I have had it so long, I tend to tune it out. I am usually unconscious of it unless it calls to me by a sudden increase in volume. Others are not so lucky. William Shatner has been a victim since a loud explosion on a movie set. The torture caused him to seriously contemplate suicide.
In rare cases, tinnitus becomes "objective" in the sense of being detectable by outside instruments. Sometimes it can even be heard by others. But subjective tinnitus is the medical rule.
A friend, one I admire, once challenged me to produce evidence of God. She has known me for years, and I was flattered at her confidence that I would not be offended or wounded at her derision. In fact, I come from a background of skepticism. I am often more at ease with such antagonists than with the more shrill of those with whom I join in Christian fellowship. I regarded her for a moment or two before answering.
I don't know that my spiritual journey has made me a better person than I was. I do know that it has added a new dimension to my experience. One night in late 1974 I awoke to an intense joy. It is quite possible some strange food ingredient reacted to my chemistry as an hallucinogen. I take it to have been a spiritual experience. But, for the most part, I have looked to my own consciousness as evidence of something more.
I have looked to science, Eastern philosophy, and other strains of Christianity as possibilities. They were intellectually enlightening. But I had to regard them as I do the more certain technical knowledge that atoms in my keyboard are composed of energy and space. Informative, but not at all relevant to my daily experience.
I looked to my friend and told her the truth as it is given to me. I cannot give you the proof you need, I said. My evidence is internal. I can only witness to it. It is quite reasonable for you to dismiss my experience. It would not be reasonable for me to dismiss it.
Like the ringing in my ears, I cannot prove spirituality to someone else. I know it is there because I live with it. Unlike that ringing, I regret those all too frequent times I have tuned it out.
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In the end it comes down to Faith and Conviction.
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