Thursday, January 23, 2014

Supreme Being As a Verb, Not a Noun

I finally understand my hesitancy to use the term "god," whether with a little "g" or a big "G." It is because of what the word has always meant, even before parts of the population of earth began insisting on only one manifestation (and name) for eternal being.

A god is, by virtue of being a god, scary and demanding of sacrifices, the bloodier the better, to soothe him. This god is a noun. At some point, "God" took on many qualities and manifestations attributed to the various gods of earlier human eras, when humans could only accept what had a commonly recognized physical "face." This seemingly led to an experience of "God" as a monarchical/militaristic presence. The Judaic YHWH was modeled on the breath of life, a word that evokes the verb of being alive. How did humans walk backwards in enlightenment?

The simple animal brain is programmed for fight or flight, so fear is an important component in animal leadership. What doesn't look familiar, most animals fear and flee from or fight. The Jews seemed to be attempting to find a third path for the animals that had progressed to be considered as human, that of understanding and coping. While I can't fault those who embraced knowing that we must change societal norms one baby step at a time, I do believe that it is time that we get over fear and/or shame being the main behavioral motivator(s) for humanity.

Early followers of the joyful Jewish Jesus were getting the hang of a new way to create and coordinate community. They were being taught that humans were to offer their best selves to each other and the earth as parts of the wholeness of eternal creative power of the universe. Then, the great mensch (in Yiddish, the pinnacle of being human) Jesus was martyred. Many of those who had openly followed and promoted the ways of this brave son of Israel went into hiding in order to practice their new ways of being and sharing the best of what humanity has to offer without persecution.

The Jews, after all, had believed that a messiah (christ) would come to reclaim and reign over their earthly land.  Some were gradually coming to an understanding that rules of worship of a great and jealous god were not the same as unity of humans in the universal redemption of The Sacred Spirit evidenced in all that we experience on earth. Their own scriptures said that, in truth, humanity was created as physical manifestations of good ("God?"). For a while, these brave people were patiently following the path that Jesus had set, hoping that this would eventually lead their people to earthly power. Jesus even promoted working toward "earth as it is in heaven." He simply didn't mean an earthly power in the way it had previously been practiced.

Neither average Jews nor Gentiles seemed to understand that the power of peace in "Israel" or anywhere on earth was within each human who chose to embrace peace on earth as primary purpose. many of the old law was not needed, but there were still "rules of the road" to get there. The rules had been condensed, but the condensation could only be understood by those who understood their roots. Paul promoted an easier path to "paradise." He declared that Jewish training was unimportant in obtaining inclusion in the new way exemplified by Jesus, completely ignoring that Jesus was a devout Jew. In this manner, Paul brought many Gentiles to the new table, perhaps to help the new movement gain political power. This shortcut still exacts a price.

Much martyrdom was attributed to the new political protests claiming Jewish Jesus as their "god." How many of them misunderstood that the power of Jesus was in his exemplary humble life, not in his sensational suffering and death? As with most human efforts to hurry the processes of nature, there have been many false positives fueled by bold events assuming importance over what leads up to them. Without connection to roots, all vines die.

Political power was actually what Jesus had come to overcome as a way to live lives of prosperity and peace for all the earth, but it was simply too radical for most to embrace. Poor Peter, never very brave, fell for Roman centurion trained Paul's promise of mass conversions if the apostles simply spread the message of an easy way to produce peace to the Gentiles. The stumbling, slow way of true conversion, from friend-to-friend and family-to-family, was overshadowed by a political platform called the "Christian" religion.

While Paul may have had an actual conversion, he spent his time writing and delivering stump speeches for the marketers of a mass conversion. These speeches took the place of personal testimonies, and perversions of the faith that traced its roots back to the beginning of human history became stronger that the example of Jesus and his Jewish ancestors. The "Christian" church has, ever since, followed Paul's lead in how to bring peace to the earth. The Roman Catholic Church followed Paul to promote a religion of creed over deed. The religions, instead of going back to the Sacred Spiritual root, branched off the vine of the "Christian" religion.

Jews had been using the Ten Commandments, for centuries, as shorthand rules to make peace with each other. Jesus, in his life's example, showed them how to make peace within themselves in order to make peace with each other; thereby, creating no need for struggling with a god.  Paul's way created a rift between those who had been following rules for human interaction and those who had no training in the rules of engagement with those who had produced the family of Jesus.

What is called "Christianity" still suffers from the political pressures of the past. Only those who actually understand that we feed bodies in order to feed the spirits of humanity will ever be all together in responsibly compassionate community. When we are willing to open up our spirits to blend with others, we will take on some of their pain and infuse some of our joy. It is still true that we must wait until we are strong in our own faith before attempting to absorb some of the spirit of another. Our unwillingness to embrace others is simply a mark of our own uncertainty.

The Holy (Great, Sacred) Spirit is the basis for all awe in all ages of humanity. We have continued to be dragged back to earlier eras of human understanding by those who use fear as an impetus to action. There are worse things in the universe than being sacrificed before birth; this includes being born as a pawn in the power games of those who wage war.

There is no need of 'gods' in our lives; there is only need for blending of spirits. War short-circuits all efforts to achieve peace, as it creates a new generation of revenge killing. This process spirituality kills many generations of all but animal instinct. Peace is like a dance; we give and take in unequal measure until perfect balance becomes the way of the world. The patience to wait while we dance takes an understanding that the universe lasts past any one lifetime. We each simply have to do one part to keep peace moving forward.

We are still treating too many humans as one would treat an earlier animal, before the brain was developed for complex thought. This may be appropriate for those who are incapable, by virtue of genetics or physical damage to the brain, but it is wrong to use religion as ways to limit intellectual ability. I now refuse to follow any who offers fear as justification for fighting or fleeing. I will simply persevere with passion and patience, hoping for eventual eternal peace. Only in this way will all in the universe eventually manifest the fullness of Supreme Being.