God

GodNow here in the Christmas Season let us contemplate for a moment God.

First let us separate God from Religious Tradition (RT).  RT concerns organized, institutionalized, named institutions, ceremonies, and beliefs.  God, on the other hand, is a sense.

I heard an argument on talk radio this season about a woman teacher who worked in a Christian based school who herself was Christian and went to school one day in a birkah (funny I didn’t know how to spell birkah – or, rather, my spell check was not sure, so I went for the squiggly red options and one option was bikini).  In her birkah, she taught that all RTs worship the same God.  She was expelled and argument exploded.  I was shocked.  I have always thought that all religions implicitly worship the same God.  Apparently not!  Or, rather, apparently we must get very granular about what we mean if we dare to say this.

To me, God is a sense.  Or, rather, the order of the universe provides something that we can sense.  For many, it then becomes immediately entangled with religious interpretations which is what cause conflict either with blood or with just (unjust, really) vituperative clashes of the tongue.  It is essential for a free being, I think, to allow one’s sense of sensing free reign.  To sense order – God – from within and to shed as much as possible of the trappings of organized religion (and not to worry; they will come back if you want to preserve traditions).

The Rolling Stones wrote and sang, “We All Need Someone We Can Lean On.”  Likewise, all alive people need something to believe in.  Indeed, that is why we have God.  God provides that.  God is that.  For any given person or group in RT, God gets clothing.  He’s a he or she’s a she or he’s the creator of the universe or he’s a prophet or she’s a witch or maybe you’re George Lucas and God’s The Force.  That RT might make you go to church or temple or mosque or eat this and avoid that.  If you are a secularist or an atheist, there are other things your God makes you do:  your God (your belief) makes you have certain political beliefs, encourages you to disparage or evolve or twist or laugh at traditions, and to focus on other “goods” such as community or global warming or eating kale.  We all need something to believe in.  Do we need our God at every moment?  Well, yes, it could be argued, we do, but we often forget our God.  But in moments of … of something … of remembrance, of up-giving, of loneliness, of fear, of thankfulness, of awe — then we remember.  And we galvanize, like many many particles of iron to a magnet, to God.  It is like a vacuuming up of awareness to a center, to a vortex, to a North Star.

It is in this vacuum that we might find our “calling” or purpose in life – when actually or calling or purpose is simply to be in that vacuum.

I now have it conceptualized against the four-fold table featured in “The Social Tesselations,” the soon-to-be-published book featured here on the Writings page.God chart

So what, then, about this Christian tradition of believing the Christ Child was born on Christmas Day.  This year, I almost felt guilty (or silly) one night while listening to some carol which focused on that particular birth.  It is really kind of silly when you think of it that we would pick out ONE kid to symbolize the light of love and the majesty of mystery when all kids’ births could serve the same.   But they do not (except to the parents, who soon enough forget the majesty when they are cleaning up oatmeal off the high chair for the 49th time).  So we picked a kid, and we made a myth, and the myth is good.  It told us:  on this day, we awake to the birth of love.  What, really, can be bad about that?  On EVERY day, with EVERY birth we COULD awake to Love.  And they were indeed the perfect family to pick for that – they fit right in to the mythic expectations of the day and the Christ child actually did became what all living creature can become:  perfect love.  He became what all humans can become:  one part of a trinity, total acceptance, the worker of miracles due to his ability to allow and let go.

In the above God Chart, we see the four winds, the four directions in which we might head.  The “environment” to the four cells is two fold:  on the one hand, we live in constant change.  On the other, we live in the unknown.  The response to change is to permanent-ize; the response to the unknown is to (pretend) we know.  So let’s visit the four cells in order 1, 2, 3, and 4.  1.)  One response to change is to act.  When we act consciously,  to build something, we tend to do it on the basis of what we (think we) know is true.  This preserves tradition.  This builds businesses, books, bridges, or badass creativity.  2.) another response to change is meeker.  It is to feel, to believe we are all in this together.  To hug, to chant, to believe with the people who believe as you do, to hope that you have it right, to recognize the vulnerability of all and to go with that–not to try to overcome it as the #1-ers do.   3.) True believers respond to change and to the unknown by cloaking themselves with a certainty, an identity, one needed so much by themselves inside that they dress like it, pray like it, kill like it.  It’s cult, it’s a clique, it’s a gang.  It’s not just a feeling, it’s a set of actions or behaviors and even ceremonies and emblems that mark one as a member.  Wow.  Then there are the 4s.  4.)  The wise guy responds to change and the unknown to fall into them and to allow them to be.  Always.  Eternal.  The void.  Trust.  With humility, acceptance, non-egoically.  This is where Christ really beckoned us to be, but RT, often because some #1-er type institutionalized it, gets people into Quad 3, which can be dangerous, or Quad 2, which can simply be numbing.

Dare to be in the unknown.  That’s where God is anyway!

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