The mythologist Joseph Campbell’s view of God is hard/
transcendent/anonymous – a God untouched by pain
and life is a horrendous Divine Comedy
in which “all things take place by strife” (Heraclitus).
Paul Tillich’s approach to God is theological/psychological
and Raimundo Panikkar’s is interreligious/philosophical –
Panikkar believed in ‘cosmotheandrism’ –
the nondual inter-being of created and divine realities –
both approaches lend themselves to soft compassion.
Muslims believe all truth – including Jewish
and Christian truth – was simultaneously present
in Mohammed’s enraptured soul –
critics bewildered by the randomness of the Quranic Suras
try to grasp the Ocean of Prophecy
with the Thimble of Rationality.
All of us have five processes simultaneously happening:
cognition (awareness of what is)/
morals (awareness of what should be)/
the full range of emotions/interpersonal relations/
and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs –
plus, according to psychologists
we all think 60,000 thoughts a day –
no wonder we are so complicated/conflicted/full of strife!
We work on ourselves in order to help others
and we help others in order to work on ourselves –
to accept the parts of ourselves – our homeless shadows
and inner prostitutes – we have rejected
and this inner work is hard.
Among lovers, true love is to shut down your options/
tie the knot/give your all to one person
in a world of infinite choice/infinite insatiability
where everything has its price –
this too is hard
and requires help from God
who is Infinitely Soft
Infinite Softness/Infinite Tenderness/
Infinite Mercy/Infinite Motherhood.