News and Tribune


November 4, 2013

CUMMINS — Do we really know what reality is?

— We hear so much about reality, but few people understand what it actually is. Most of us live in reality during brief moments that are in the present, but the present quickly changes to the future. For instance, you understand the reality of not having a job, but when you get one, it changes everything. You understand the reality of not having a spouse, but when you get one, you live in the reality that your spouse lives, which you may find to be surreal. Surreal is like living in the Land of Oz, or in Dante’s “Paradise Lost.”

I write articles about reality trying to point out how the world actually works. If you’ve ever read one, you could say that my articles are absurd. You’re right, because the world and the human condition are absurd. One recent article asked the question, can dogs be considered people? Yes, they can because dog lovers feed, clothe, hug and kiss their dog. They don’t text them, but how do we know that dogs can’t read? Texting is absurd, as is tweets, blogs and this article for all I know. What do you know that is real, and not absurd? Love is, you say: it makes the world go around, but greed and hate does, too. When considering the epitome of absurdity, look at politicians.  

Families are absurd. If and when I gather my family around me, it’s like three rings under a tent, and then a storm blows the tent away, scattering my loved ones literally to all corners of the earth. As a committed great-grandfather, I try maintaining family unity and solidarity, but it’s like cutting the deficit or bringing peace to Iraq.

What is more absurd than the minds and hearts of human beings? You can have a big heart and a little mind, or a brilliant mind and a hard heart. My mind has hardened as my heart has weakened. The reality is that I’m approaching what’s known as to dust returneth.

Do we become has-beens, or do we live in two realities, one the physical and the other spiritual, which is attached to your soul? If you are convinced you have a soul, define it in 25 words, or less. You can’t see it, but might feel it. I think the feelings we have are real. Our physical reality cannot provide enduring good feelings, because the body ages. And do we ever have enough money that, supposedly, buys good feelings and thus happiness? How many mansions are enough? Stuff material things into your property and psyche, and you’ll suffer trying to hold on to it all. To have spiritual feelings doesn’t cost one cent. The goal should be to have as many good feelings as we can, which helps to reduce the bad ones.

Love should always give off a good feeling. It does and it doesn’t. When I was young and the love bug bit me, I kind of went off into Neverland. It was very difficult to coordinate my mind and heart. The mind said, “Do this,” and my heart said, “I’m more important than your mind.” My heart won out, and now I possess a weird family, caught up in the real world, spinning out of control. Thank God for gravity, the one absolute that keeps us attached to something. If gravity keeps us on earth physically, what attaches our soul, if you’ve noticed yours, to that beyond the polluted atmosphere? There’s not much substance remaining except faith and love, the two main components of the spiritual dimension.

In the final analysis, what is the meaning of life? If it has no meaning, why are we here? This stuff is too deep for me, but it raises an important question, what should I do? They say that Facebook will spread me around. I’m spread too thin now. In fact, my body is getting thinner as I try getting a handle on my soul. It may be too late to nourish my body, but I want to keep my spirit young. So what should I do? Maybe work on the two components of the spiritual dimension—faith and love. But if Facebook can speed up the process, then I’ll pay a grandchild to lead me.

What worries me is government tapping into my inner self, listening to my multi-cyber-spherical voices. Do you think U.S. security is also listening to my prayers, my last one asking God to protect me from them?

— Contact Terry Cummins at


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