THE GREAT LOVER
The Great Lover calls all of us
into the Ocean of Mercy called God:
“I did not come to make the virtuous
feel good about themselves,
I came for those who need healing.”
Once in the Ocean you can dive to the depths:
“There are two healing demands
if you take up the contemplative life:
forsaking the world’s evil
and purifying your conscience of all sin
through the sacrament of reconciliation.”
– The Cloud of Unknowing
Both Christianity and Buddhism encourage people
to reject all earthly aspirations.
Instead, people rejected religion
which works well for them
until there is serious suffering.
People losing their religion
may be entering a spiritual wasteland
or travelling into a mythic desert
where they can start a new spiritual search
for the God old, ossified institutions have lost.
Perhaps religion is all made up anyway –
our minds cannot grasp infinity
so we invoke concepts like beginning and end
Alpha and Omega, Incarnation and Resurrection
as dominant myths to help us cope
with our Infinite God and infinite universe
even though God is fully present everywhere
including in your own heart and soul.
Though God is in, over, through, and as us
“We do not see things as they are,
we see them as we are. We hear religious texts
according to our own level of consciousness
which is always developing.” – Richard Rohr
The first worldwide developmental Axial Age
was 500 BCE to 100 CE –
the rise of the great religions, east and west.
The second Axial Age began in 1600 CE
with the labor pains of science –
a massive revolt against Aristotle
and his deductive method of arguing from effect to cause.
Science was inductive/experimental/observational/pragmatic
thus, studying people’s approach to God (religious studies)
began to displace the science of God (theology) –
God became an object of academic study
instead of the Author of Living Faith.
Reason has overcome myth
and been a handmaid of Spirit
in achieving real freedom
rather than mythic freedom.
A person might worship an Egyptian god
but must overlook the great pyramids
were built by slaves.
Like the United States, Egypt was
“The land of the free
and the home of the slave.”
The mythic God – the angry old Sky-Man
brought hierarchical oppression to slaves and Catholics
but the Spirit brings democracy and real liberation.
With real liberation has come
bodily and sexual liberation –
It is not right for a human to act like an angel
denying all desires and pleasures.
God has designed us so that
certain desires and pleasures are natural for us –
to be human is more godly than to be angelic.
The lingam, the giant stone phallus in Hindu temples
represents the mythic god Shiva
and is an all-encompassing symbol
representing a multitude of ideas and emotions
which have little to do with penises and sex.
Other religious symbols like the Cross
represent many ideas and emotions other than
human cruelty and suffering.
The courage to suffer is an affirmation of one’s essential nature
but courage may require the Cross in your own life –
sacrificing other essentials such as pleasure or happiness
or even your life.
When you accept that ‘everything belongs’
you can accept suffering and death –
only the ego fears suffering and death –
whereas your true life, your soul
is hidden with Christ in God
and All things, even death, work for the good
for those who love the Great Lover.