The quote comes from Linus Van Pelt, of course, of Charles Schulz's "Peanuts." For the three people on earth who don't know, Linus spends every Halloween waiting, in an ecstasy of mingled religious hope and despair, in the "most sincere" pumpkin patch he can find: praying that the Great Pumpkin will choose that patch above all others, and rise from it to reward him.
It has never happened. In fact, it will never happen, and everyone knows it. That's why the gag works. Charles Schulz was serious, though not dogmatic, about his (Christian) religion...which makes it sort of curious, and not a little touching, that he provided the world one of its most archetypal examples of disappointed belief. I raised my voice unto you, O Lord (says Linus, in effect), and you were nowhere to be found. And yet I maintain my faith.
We find it touching, I think -- I did, anyway -- because it is so true to life, so human.
Brief serious moment of my own: I think that's how the majority of people, including untold numbers of very religious people, see religion itself. Indeed, I am quite convinced that's how a large percentage of (the tiny number of) "real magicians" actually view Magick.
No believer in Magick at the time, I certainly felt that way at the end of winter 1977 EV...when I decided, with no rancor and little disappointment, that unless The Universe could point out a Way to me, with absolute clarity and all deliberate speed, I was ready to stop living.
Funny thing: by then, aged 22, your formerly (if eclectically -- e.g., I relied a lot on the I Ching) religious AJ was a scientific atheist, a mechanist materialist of the most relentless stripe...and yet, had seen repeated proof that something existed beyond the usual material assumptions. I wanted to understand (I told a friend) what that thing was that told you exactly what to study, right before the exam. Intuition, whatever it was. There had, I thought, to be a rational explanation.
Long story short, the usual tunnel vision of human disappointments (in particular involving a relationship, and make a note to yourself right now: NO relationship is EVER worth killing yourself over) coalesced with the more general philosophical disappointment of deciding that all was brute matter, rolling on unattended to its inevitable doom...and cast my eyes longingly toward oblivion, as the preferred outcome: I decided, quite dispassionately (and perhaps hoping only to get a sort of perverse revenge by imposing my own timetable?), that I would literally rather die than be trapped within the pointless grind of material limitations.
Boy, did I have a surprise coming.
So I sat there in that pumpkin patch: dutifully waiting for the Great Pumpkin, expecting nothing. And damned if the Great Pumpkin didn't rise to answer me, after all.
Our wrap-up post will be along a little later. Bet you're almost as relieved as I am. :D
93 93/93 -- AJ