The password to my mind

Every so often I forget the password to one of the many sites I write on on the internet, and no matter how I search my password book, I cannot find it – and so I am forced to examine myself to create a new password, a new key to the inner voice of Me that is expressed in the various pages of my blogs.

Since I ceased to write on this site more than a year ago the inner me has been tested by fire, and while its still feeling a little singed at the edges, I don’t think I .. or perhaps I did, to some degree .. have the whole phoenix experience, to emerge remade, or was it simply remodeled.

I drift.  I wish I could say it was in a sea of calm, but mostly it is in a sea of confusion, of tested compassion and patience, of wishing and wishful thinking, and wondering where God is in all these adventures.  I drift, as though in a row boat with no oars, sail or rudder, gently, quietly, after all of the rapids .. Do I need a holiday, or is that nearly over?  Is the slowly rising head of boredom a spur to send me down old paths when I thought I was guided to new?  When will the drifting cease, and the fountain of words return, that tell stories and shares thoughts without the struggle of ‘what to say’?  A blank page feels like a closed door right now.

Many years ago I met a nun who’s every greeting began with ‘and where is God in your life today’ .. I am sorry I lost track of her, she moved to Canada (from Australia) to study the ‘Spirituality of St Ignatius’, and left me rather floundering with my own. In the many years since that event, I’ve gone through angry and out the other side.  I’ve gone through broken and been the re-maker.  I’ve gone through a strong desire to change completely, and tried other paths, just to find myself come full-circle, back to where my heart truly is, at the feet of God, wondering ‘what next’ in this crazy adventure I have made of my life.  I … have … made … not God, because, while God is the core of my being, it (or he) is not the chooser of my path.

People say that God has a plan for every person, then stand bewildered when the plan includes them dying young, or in some horrible way, or withering into nothingness bound down by pain and sorrow, and those who are left behind stare at the place God was supposed to be and find it empty, and themselves empty, because God did not keep the promises we think it (he) made .. or worse, we are told that God made the promises, just before we (they) destroy ourselves, because the path has been too hard, or was it that we thought we were simply not good enough?

No, I am not suffering from depression.  Where is the bit I just wrote about being bored?  Boredom and I are not good companions.  I have no patience with bulldust, most particularly my own.  🙂

When I decided to reanimate this blog I took my favourite bible (I have 13 versions of the Christian bible, all different, or is it 14 now) and opened it up to find a password, and then when I didn’t like what I read, I went to one of my favourite passages .. and because I think I have been boring enough, let me copy it here.  You’ll recognise it –

  1. If I speak in the tongues of mortals or of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
  2. If I have the prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
  3. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
  4. Love is patient, love is kind; love is not envious, or boastful, or arrogant
  5. or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
  6. it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.
  7. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
  8. Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to the end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.
  9. For we know only in part and we prophesy only in part,
  10. but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end.
  11. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways.
  12. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we shall see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
  13. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

I have looked into the glass darkly and only seen myself.  I have touched the darkness with both hands and found only God.  I have been a Spiritual Warrior who desperately wanted to put down her sword .. but no, it is still in my hand.  The Sword and the Words are the same being, according to Revelation.  Are we at the time when we will reveal ourselves truly, or should we just lay down our hearts and say “Dear God help us.  We are lost again”.

The Christians speak of the second coming as an age of miracles when we will be rescued from our own folly.  But why should God rescue us again, when we have ignored, denied, denigrated, destroyed and worse, and been hypocrites in ‘his’ name?  And continue these behaviors without regard for others.  We try to externalize the anti-Christ, when perhaps, we should look within ourselves?  The real mystery is why God continues to love all its (his) creations, and I do mean all of them, even after a millennia of bad behaviour.

So I shall lay down my sword and pick up a pen, or at least type on my keyboard, since my writing is pretty awful most of the time.  You’ll be seeing me.

Love & Peace

Advertisements

Observing Genesis: The Tower of Babel and Faith

Who is God?

.. or even ‘what is God’?

I remember a discussion, well, almost a discussion, with an interesting young male Christian who, when asked not to use the Bible as a source of reference for ‘who is God’ gave up the argument straight away, because the Bible is the only source, or ‘Word’, we have of who or what God is – and the views are conflicting.

And then there is Faith. One daily religious message I get describes faith as a ‘gift from God’. It goes on to say that ‘Faith allows us to perceive the truth’, but I have to question quite a bit of this statement given that other religious people have ‘faith’ in their God, so is their truth different to mine, if I choose to believe in Jesus’ God rather than Job’s, or theirs?

That’s one of the conflicts. Jesus’ God taught ‘love one another’, Job’s taught ‘fear me or I will punish the most innocent among you’. Which would you prefer to follow, given a choice? Allah preaches peace, but some of ‘his’ followers preach Jihad? Whose truth is that?

The daily religious ‘thought’ then says faith ‘persuades our emotions to embrace the truth and then moves our will to act upon it’. Persuades .. does faith nag? Persuasion can be a very quiet and gentle voice, or it can be a nagging irritation .. think of a tired two year old who demands something she or he wants, regardless of what the parent wants. In the end we give in, because there is no other way to stop the noise. Which raises the question ‘does God nag’? And since our emotions are connected to our ego (the inner child who often lives in fear), which demands immediate obedience, particularly when we are unhappy, how does it help us in the search for truth? Do we search only through desperation, or, as sometimes happens .. revelation? Is that why ‘born again Christians’ (and Muslims .. I’ve been nagged by them too ‘the one true religion’) have so much zeal that they sometimes forget good manners and start nagging me to ‘convert’ .. only I don’t have to, I’m already Christian. Why do I have to be ‘born again’, or even baptised again? And which ‘faith’ do I choose .. there are so many that call themselves Christian these days.

In the beginning there was one language in the world, and that one language inspired humanity to reach towards God, or did it? Perhaps it inspired only arrogance? The people even built a tower to try and reach God’s resting place (Genesis 11:1-9) – though I don’t see how that works, given that God is a spiritual being, and heaven is not in the sky around the planet. Down came ‘the Lord’, saw they were gathered as one people (the way he created them to be, given that God created all things) and then decided to punish them for their aspirations by taking away the common language and scattering humanity across the earth. They stopped building the tower for a while.

I’m confused. Why did God decide to do this? The passage says that the Lord then stated “… and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them”. Since humanity was created to create, what is the issue here?

And so I slip down into the notes and find: ‘this theme revisits the “preservation of the divine-human boundary”. God did not want us to live forever (Genesis 3:22-24), nor to bear half-divine children (6:1-4). Not sure what that has to do with stopping people building towers, but perhaps Jehovah didn’t want humanity to gain knowledge that would show its true nature, given its pleasure in disrupting our lives? And was the tower literal, or figurative .. the search for the knowledge of what God actually is, or who it is .. confusing conversations, comparisons, and creativity would definitely stop people finding out who God really is. Such a pity at a time when we truly need it most.

The tower of Babel, or the outcome of its building, still affects the world today. When will we once again find a common language, one based on Love not hatred, one based on Faith and not fear, one based on one Truth .. not my truth, or your truth, but OUR truth. Until that time we are still roaming the world, lost, alone and frightened .. and yet the voice of God is now within us .. so who created the boundary .. who scattered the people? Who is the Lord Jehovah, if God teaches Love? And who took the barrier away .. I think the Christians know the answer to that particular question, or think they do.

God bless you.

Jesus is …

… the reason for the season.

Last Christmas, and many Christmases before that one, I have seen those words on signs outside various churches around many towns. I remember the first time I saw it, I thought how untrue it was. Here was the Xmas rush happening around me, more traffic, more toys, more goods to be enjoyed or ignored or broken and thrown away, and tons of dead trees to make all that xmas wrapping that gets wasted, for the most part? Presents for everyone who could afford them, and if they couldn’t .. hand-outs are hard to come by, though so many good groups of people try to help those who live below the poverty line. Mannon is the reason for the xmas silly season, because we actually have no idea when Jesus was born, we only have speculation.

Easter .. to me Easter is when Jesus is the reason for the season, not the chocolate eggs, and bunnies and bilbies, and chickens, and the ‘buy more’ mentality that so many people seem to suffer from even now. Jesus died for us, and rose again .. three days later …

So here I am sitting in Good Friday and contemplating the curiousity, the question, of how someone can die on a Friday and rise again on Sunday – and there’s supposed to be three days, 72 hours, or so, between the two .. let me count on my fingers, because that’s what I did when I first asked this question – when I was a child – because it hasn’t made sense since then!

Died on Friday .. 24 hours to saturday, 24 hours to sunday, 24 hours to monday .. Umm…. couldn’t the people who created this story count?

A few years ago I looked the subject up on the internet and found many interesting discussions on the Passover over 2000 years ago. Thanks to the wonders of computer technology we now know the date, or the estimated date .. and then have the choice of saying ‘died on friday, rescurrected on monday before dawn’, or ‘died on thursday and resurrected on sunday before dawn’. Most writer’s agreed that he died before 3.00pm whichever day it was .. and so his rising would have been, allowing three days (and nights), around 3.00pm on the sunday .. and yet he was on his feet to greet Mary at the tomb just as the sun rose. So .. that brings the question of Thursday being too soon to make the prophecy fit. How about Wednesday? Died around 3.00pm, Thursday, Friday, up around Saturday 3.00pm .. did he hide until dawn the next day? Given what he was supposed to have gone through, I think I would be hiding too, or just simply resting .. since no one came near him on the Sabbath day we don’t know.

All in all its quite a mystery, wouldn’t you say?

Love & Peace
Ama

I have questions …

I was talking to my daughter today, who has been reading this blog, and she suggested I put my opinions into all my discussions. Having just read the articles again, I think I already am .. but mostly my opinions come out with about a thousand questions, because I am trying to make sense of what I am reading .. I am in fact, just like Hedley Lamarr, “My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives”. (Blazing Saddles, 1974) My mind leap frogs from one thought to another, trying to understand how the God of the OT can be the same God as the NT, when he/she/it (yes, I will call it IT from now on) does things like let Satan ‘test’ Job by destroying his whole family; not punish Lot’s daughters for sleeping with their father, even after their mother is turned into a pillar of salt for looking back to her home be destroyed; and asking Abraham to kill his own son, to prove his faith; and then IT turns around and says, through Jesus, “Love one another as I have loved you”. If we went by actions alone, the OT god has proved ITself totally untrustworthy, and the NT God then turning around and saying ‘trust me’, is kind of like the vampire in Buffy (the movie) doing the same. Why would I want to? I can’t turn my back on you. What’s the other message – incest is just fine, but curiosity isn’t?

So I have questions –

Let’s talk about Abraham. Abraham’s legacy, or legend, is that he had two sons late in life, the first by his wife’s servant/slave, Hagar, and the second by his wife (after God healed her of barrenness), who was his half-sister (same father). Now Sarah, not wanting competition for their legitimate heir, had Abraham turn Hagar out into the desert with Ishmael. My first question would have to be why didn’t God cure Sarah’s barronness before Ishmael was conceived, and after that we hit the cascade – what did Hagar and Ishmael do to deserve being tossed out, and how could Abraham do it, knowing it was entirely possible that both of them would die out there? Does this make Abraham a good man to be the founder of the Jewish faith, not to mention the Christian and Muslim? Is infanticide acceptable to God? Did Ishmael suddenly lose importance to God, not just Abraham, because Sarah had a baby at around 90 years – no, God was there, he was the one who advised Abraham to do what Sarah asked, and afterwards IT came up to Hagar and helped her, but if IT is all-knowing and all-wise, why did IT (God) allow the situation in the first place?

How about this thought – last night I watched a TV program about the history, and legacy, of Abraham and his decision to cast away his first son. It seems that God blessed both Ishamel, and Isaac, Sarah’s son. Ishamel’s descendents became the Muslims, and Isaac’s became the Christians, and the hatred between them .. is still present in the modern day. And why? How does having a willingness to kill your own child prove you are a good man and one worthy of being honoured by God – by IT bestowing the gift of ‘land’ on you and your descendents? Hence the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The Israelites believe God gave them the land the Palestinians live on, and they want it back .. and they are not adverse to just ‘taking’ it .. after all, God gave it to their Ancestor .. but .. which one of the son’s is actually supposed to hold it? Was that what the ‘love everyone’ God was trying to create .. a war that began perhaps 4000 years ago, and continues today? Or was that why IT wanted one of the son’s killed, to simplify the situation? And who’s angel was it that stopped Abraham’s hand? But that’s another thought completely. And then .. which son did God actually ask Abraham to sacrifice to IT? The Jews say it was Isaac, and the Muslims say it was Ishmael. I think it really doesn’t matter. What loving God would demand a sacrifice of anyone’s child, to prove a person’s faith? And not just once . oh no …

Let’s talk about Job.

Job, a true believer, a ‘blameless and upright’ man, who feared God and turned away from evil (Job 1:1), had seven sons and three daughters when God told Satan is was all right with him to test Job’s faith. Job worried for his family, and made sure that all of them were ‘right’ with God, but who looked after him? What did he do to God to make God turn him into an example? Nothing. Up until the moment of Satan’s discussion about Job’s faith, God had blessed Job with abundance, but within minutes it was all gone. What did Job do? He tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell on the ground and worshipped God. Was that enough? Oh no. Satan demanded to ‘test’ Job more and God said “very well, he is in your power, only spare his life” (Job 1:6). And Job was then ‘inflicted by loathsome sores’ all over his body. And yet Job still worshipped God. He blamed himself for doing something wrong, rather than questioning God’s judgment upon him (Job 6:24). Even his wife demanded he curse God and die, and his friends turned against him and told him it had to be his fault that the suffering was happening ‘because God doesn’t punish people for no reason’, and yet we know, from the story itself, that the only reason Job lost all his children and possessions was because God told Satan he could be tested. In the end God restored Job’s fortune, and he went on to have more children, but who was Job then, how could what had happened not changed him in some way? Or was he simple crazy, or the story an allegory .. because God is not the loving God in this one. Was Job the sacrifice to show Satan that IT had one true follower? What does that mean for the rest of us, who are not as strong, or as crazy, as Job? What will happen to us when we blame God when things go wrong in our lives, as people so often do?

.. now that is an interesting thought – because, in this age of mass media and instant communication, if God smited someone for losing faith in IT, you would have thought we’d hear? Because people lose faith all the time, and the story of Job is one of the reasons why they do.

So the next question has to be – what changed God? Or did we change one God for another? But that will be for another time.

Love & Peace
Ama