I don’t think there is any more strange and yet powerful assertion than: “God said”. In how many ways and on how many days of our history as Homo Sapiens has it made a difference in the world we have constructed?
Except for the lawyers who ask for signed transcripts and the priests who interpret God’s holy books, the assertion ends all enquiry and inquiry. And, as the greatest hubris of the priestly caste, results in all manner of chaos, cruelty, and idiocy. But its always good policy and very advantageous to have God on one’s side, but it’s troubling when he appears to be on the other as well… I wonder if we have anything to do with what God said?
As a boy I was immersed in a culture of stories and rituals about God and God’s only begotten Son: Jesus, the Christ — a Jew, and one whom I came to revere as a real Prophet. He didn’t foretell the future, he chastised the existing hierarchical structures of power, and summed up the Law and the Prophets in one commandment. The second commandment: ‘love one’s neighbor as one’s self’, naturally flows from the first, but Jesus wanted to be perfectly clear, since people reliably break or bend the terms/conditions in favor of their tribal alliances. So much for peace on earth when one asks: ‘But Lord, who is my neighbor’. Time for the sword of discrimination…
I heard so much about what God wanted, what he liked and disliked, and of course what he abhorred and would condemn without possibility of parole or redemption, even though he’d sacrificed his only son to redeem ALL of humanity, as long as one ‘believes with ones heart and confesses’. So much for the logic of theology.
Then, during the course of my adolescence Siddhartha appeared, along with Arjuna, who then became members of my holy trinity of hero’s exemplifying the hero’s journey. Jesus, Siddhartha, and Arjuna in order of discovery…
These were men of destiny marked with the call of personal sacrifice in service of history and humanity — a call to a higher purpose. They were not weak or fearful of violence. They were all exemplars of discipline, insight, service, experience, exploration, and duty… the recognition of ones responsibility as a man and a human being.
Today, it seems the old authentic age of steel and stone has fallen to the plastic and ‘spiritual’ platitudes of the ‘new age’. Yet now the transcendent age is upon us, even as it always has been, and will continue to be so… The age of information has arrived and that which is hidden will be revealed.
Everything in our past is included in these prevailing perspectives of childish, adolescent, and ‘mature’ religion — yet the esoteric and metaphorical nature of these stories is a rich mythology born to instruct us in the nature of the Tao and assist us in exploring the ten thousand things.
As for me, I see ‘God’ everywhere, and he constantly speaks to me in the tongues of men and of angels — those poor bastards on God’s AI team who can’t even help themselves. They just do what they do and suffer the consequences… just like the rest of us.
A sojourners thoughts on another Shabbat… which I celebrate with my wife, who is Jewish.
Be well friends!