Judeo-christian religion – as any religion – can not really be understood without understanding its cultural environment, history and the origins of its language. In the Bible names weren’t just hip names; each name was a Hebrew word , or phrase, that has a meaning. The verb hawah, meaning to exist or indicating pure presence is feminine - with the prefixed pronoun Y (> he) she conceives form or gestalt. Y-hawah ( > Jehova ) simply means “he exists” . This is the sacred union ( > Hieros Gamos ) of the first principles of the masculine and feminine. So is: I AM, YOU ARE, HE IS, SHE IS, IT IS, WE ARE……
Therefore it can be said, that the presence of god is feminine: Shekhinah is the English spelling of a grammatically feminine Hebrew name of God in Judaism. The original word means the dwelling or settling, and denotes the dwelling or settling of the Divine Presence, especially in the Temple in Jerusalem. ( from Wikipedia) The masculine aspect of God cannot manifest without Shekhina.
Three topics never to be discussed in “polite company,” it has been said, include sex, politics and religion. But the world has evolved since someone first said that, probably centuries ago. It should be clearly stated that spirituality and religion are distinct entities. Spirituality is universal and amorphous, often indefinable. Religion is splintered into numerous shards and often asserts itself in extremely dogmatic, authoritarian and rigid fashion. This is by no means to condemn those who attend church or belong to an organized religion. Indeed, those who profess atheism or extreme anti-religious views are often as dogmatic as or more so than members of any particular denomination. Mutual respect, beyond mere “tolerance,” must be the passionate goal of people living in a world where religious factionalism currently underlies much of the conflict across the globe. Jew, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Pagan … Catholic, Protestant, Sikh, Shiite, Sunni, Taoist…. Every day people are murdered because of their religious affiliation. Some call themselves the chosen ones, the one and only way – which is nothing more than a formula for continued conflict with those who do not agree with their self-proclaimed chosen place in the universe. Lost completely in all of this tragic foolishness is the essential human quest to connect with our roots, our origins, our true nature, our ultimate potential – the quest that underlies all spirituality. Yet while the religious wars go on, there has been a growing realization among many people of the true commonality of world religions and beliefs, the fundamental ways in which they agree, and the ways that their visions can complement each other instead of vying for the ultimate spot at the top of the platform. There is no one “chosen people” or religion – such a world view leads only to war. We are all chosen people, chosen somehow to be in this time and place of such momentous potential and danger. Humanity is poised for a huge evolutionary leap forward – if it is indeed to survive at all – and many sense this intuitively throughout cultures across the world. That leap will of necessity be spiritual in nature, and could potentiall also spell the diminishment of organized religion as we know it as a key player in world events.
Let’s define religion in absence of gnosis, inspired by Wikipedia: Religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence. That’s what most people think it is, but that’s not what it really is.
Religion could very well be the bridge between the “ manifest and the Unmanifest”, the “name and the Unnamed” . Is it the “explanation of the inexplicable”. The creative urge and the “power to will” that drives us (mad), indicates that we very well could become evolution incarnate or simply “awareness of what we already are”. As we become more and more conscious, we may understand that we already are consciousness itself . Always on the way to become…..
Animals for instance instinctively live by the dictates of circumstance, function, call it matrix or what. The human being is about to take the next step, or may be even a quantum-leap. The goal seems to be free will, the freedom of the creative mind. Freedom to express the innermost core values of Being. The art of being, knowing, doing…….
But in order to know ( > love ) ourselves, the One had to become two. One then was reflected in the other – thus creating an almost perfect illusion. Realizing that “you is me” , the two wanted to become one again. That is life. The promise of atonement is to reconnect. Modern scholars such as Tom Harpur and Joseph Campbell favor the derivation of the word and meaning of religion from ligare “bind, connect”, probably from a prefixed re-ligare, i.e. re (again) + ligare or “to reconnect”. So do I. If you dare to see Jesus as the perfect masculine and Marylin Monroe as the perfect feminine idol, the two belong together as one: A perfect divine love-affair female role model.
This photo was shot in Hollwood. It’s a mural and – o my god - “all you can see, you must believe” . Really? Truly? There was Jesus. Was it a divine miracle or man-mad manipulation. Well, may be it was both. Whatever, who cares: Photographic images, once the ultimate proof of visible reality, “drawn with light” , now have become digital illusions. The author knows, but you’re the one who’s got to believe me. Figure it out for yourselves, if you want to know more about this illustration, go to A Divine Love Affair.
This “Art of Being” headlines one chapter in “A Philosophy of Judaism” by Joshua Heschel. I love to read and to refer to this book, although I do not agree with all of it. The law of the art of being, according to Heschel, is: “Agreement of the heart with the spirit, not only with the letter of the law, is it itself a requirement of the law.” That sounds quite familiar. This insight is universal and applies to almost any creative act. Heschel continues: “ The goal is to live beyond the dictates of the law…. stiff with formalities, is a cry for creativity.“
If one can accept the Bible as a strictly allegorical book of wisdom, then the fall of man in paradise makes sense. Our rudimentary knowledge of God was sin inasmuch, as we lost the innocence of being an animal, that doesn’t know but acts driven and determined by circumstance and instincts.….. we still are chimeras composed of the body (- parts ) and genes of the animal and the genius of the animate ( > muse > feminine principles )
Masterminded scandals, church drop-outs and -ins, pedophile sex- and excommunications, religious pornography all sweat behind the fig-leaf of absolute truth, which now in the apocalyptic time of revelation becomes the “emperors new clothes” .
Truth cannot and therefore should not be aggressively argued or even fought for, whether it is absolute or “whatever one believes” – it has to be accepted in utmost tolerance. But there are limits ……..
Truth “is what it is” and it certainly can be found in all “Holy Writ” , whether the Bible, Mormon, Hindu, Islamic, Taoist, Gnostic…..but as well in “unholy books” like Charles Bukowski’s and Linda King’s love poems, like the “wicked good” tent poetry of Raymond Shurtz….. . You can find her – the truth - in the hymns of Sumer, dedicated to the Queen of Heaven and Earth Inanna. All Books, all poems are motherload, truth is the gold. All should be read with the gift of understanding and, of course, true love of truth.
Joshua Heschel, being a Jewish scholar and Theologian makes following argument which I feel is not acceptable on a universal level, but of course for a Jew or any other believer in God, who believes in the Bible as the ultimate and all too often only word of God. It is what I call the religious double bubble. I quote:
“We are moving in a circle” - or even worse in a spherical bubble, my opinion - “ We would accept the Bible only if we could be sure of the presence of God in its words. Now, to identify His presence we must know what He is, but such knowledge we can only derive from the Bible. No human mind, conditioned as it is by its own perspectives, relations and aspirations, is able on its own to proclaim for all men and all times “This God and nothing else”. Thus we must accept the Bible in order to know the Bible; we must accept its unique authority in order to senseits unique quality. This, indeed is, the paradox of faith, the paradox of existence.”
We should accept the Bible in order to know the Bible. But we do not have to accept the Bible in order to know God. God is, if at all, omnipresent and that is how far I would go to identify the “presence” of god. If you want to know yourself you’d have to accept yourself …….. that makes a lot more sense to me.
firstname.lastname@example.org 12/03/2013 6:36 AM (37 minutes ago)
Anselm, interesting site. Did a quick browse and read double bubble. Many of the issues of the paradox that you present are presently rolling around in my head. At a certain point, the true nature of the experience we call life becomes irreconcilable. It seems we must accept and embrace; kind of tread water until our consciousness catches up with reality. A friend and teacher of mine told me that the goal of the life experience is to become ”consciousness conscious of consciousness”. The One knowing the One. He also pointed out to me that the only important element in the process of evolution is my individual evolution. So, I am discovering that as I evolve so to does the state of humanity.
It is interesting to recognize that we are all artists. Sometimes we create consciously, other times…well, not so much so. I find it difficult, yet necessary that I allow everyone to make manifest their inner world, their inner state of consciousness. All I can do is try my best to create/manifest more consistently with reality.
In accordance with Jung’s collective unconsciousness, I figure that as I live my experience and do my best to act appropriately, my experience is added to the collective experience. And as more and more people are beginning to add their thoughtful experiences to the collective there is a good chance that the scales will tip in favor of that which is true, and perhaps our culture will begin to awaken from the illusion it has created for itself.
Thanks for your efforts in this direction.