Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Seeking The Spirit

The issue that I see with defining Divine energy as male, is that we accept as sacred scripture the old gods of war and blood lust, re-framed in a  "new" religious way, as a pattern for "loving" fatherly behavior. We are taught that the Almighty "loving" Father created hordes of people who would never amount to anything and that "He" went so far as to create a child simply to torture him and put him to death as an example to any who are tempted to step out of line.
This branding of god creates religions that are really nothing more than Stockholm Syndrome. (Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them.WikipediaWe are led to believe that personal power is a punishable offense, and that punishments for all mistakes will be visited on us and our future generations unless we admit that we are powerless.
We are told that this "loving" father is a jealous patriarch, who will not rest until "He" extracts the essence of life from all who err.Is it any wonder that we continue to war with one another and so many live in daily, all-consuming terror? Death seems a safer place to many than continued fear. As long as we attribute angry outbursts, directed at individuals who displease the "Master" to Divine energy, there will be no peace in religious people.
Even the essence of Christianity, "Love "God" with your whole heart and soul and your neighbor as you love yourself", has been perverted by those who seek to control others through fear. The core question is, "How do you define "God?" It is important that we find a common language for the source of all life and the transformation of death. Perhaps the closest we get to a neutral definition is the Yin-Yang concept in Daoist metaphysics.
During the sixties, in the United States, there was a strong move toward a spiritual movement based on personal experience of The Holy Spirit. This spirit is generally accepted as neither male nor female, although the patriarchal religions continue to attempt to codify this experience and define The Holy Spirit as a person of the triune male god.
It seems that all religions since the advent of the frontal lobe in humans accept that humans have a special "spark" that other creatures don't have. I like to think of this spark as The Spirit of Wholeness (Holy Spirit) that makes humans capable of acting on individual conscience, even at their own expense.
I believe that most religions have something similar to the concept of the Holy Spirit imbuing all humans. Perhaps the answer is to rescue the definition of The Holy Spirit from the patriarchal powers, and redefine it for ourselves as we see this spirit in action in our fellow humans. I am hoping the listening campaign leading up to the Parliament of World Religions will help define a common vision of The Spirit in action.