Sunday, February 8, 2009

Another Diatribe—Sorry

When I was about 26 years old, Cecil, an older colleague and I were discussing reincarnation. I asked him his take on the reasons for it all. I’ve always remembered his answer. He said, “I think God is hooked on growth.”

That simple statement introduced me to an entirely new concept of God. For the first time, I began to comprehend God as something that is not, by its nature, static—but something that is dynamic, growing and developing. That idea fit so well, for me, and I liked it so much better than the traditional all-knowing-perfect-Being-without-blemish, that I took it and ran with it—never to look back.

Prior to that incident, I had grown up in a fairly fundamentalist religion though I had, by the age of 26, pretty much shaken the dust from my sandals. During those years, though, I had been rotely singing the hymn, “Amazing Grace.”
A few years before Cecil and I had that conversation, “Amazing Grace” had begun hitting the big time as the Baby Boomers were getting to the age at which we were beginning to question the Deity and the Jesus-Firsters were hitting their stride.
And I began to notice what the words of that song actually said. The hymn described the singer as a ‘wretch’. And I totally rebelled against that definition of myself. I perceived myself as a ‘seeker’ though I never did join the Jesus-Firsters. That movement struck me as a fad—which, I think, it did turn out to be.

Also, at about the same time Cecil and I had our talk, I read Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. That science fiction book made the startling suggestion that souls can’t be lost and don’t need to be saved! What a revolutionary idea for a little Southern Baptist girl living in the very buckle of the Bible Belt!

Well, obviously, I’ve strayed a far piece from the Fundamentalists since my early twenties [well before I had that talk with Cecil]. F’rinstance, I’ve read all the books in the side-bar—and then some.
I’ve studied the political upheavals of the early church and I comfort myself with the idea that in some portion of the infinite universes we have, together, created, the gnostics not only won those first struggles the infant church went through but, in at least some of those universes, stayed true to their primary principle that mediation between the individual and the All that Is is not necessary. Maybe they, too, understand that souls can’t be lost. Maybe they didn’t need to develop the concepts of sin and a Hell to toss the ‘sinners’ into if they didn’t toe the line in regards to the doctrines of the Church.

And, maybe, if there are such universes, the people who live there accept other people as they are rather than try to make them over to be just like themselves. Maybe there was no Manifest Destiny Doctrine on that Earth. Maybe skin color, gender, gender identification and religion aren’t used to divide and to prove superiority and inferiority.

My main regret, I suppose, is that I am not currently aware of living in THAT universe as opposed to this one.

And, the reason for my apology in the title is this:
My Goal overleaf is that of acceptance and, I admit, I’m not coming across as all that accepting in this post.
I didn’t set out to write a diatribe, believe me. That’s just how it came out—and I’m gonna accept the part of me that does get angry about what I see happening in the world these days and down through the histories that I’ve studied.

I’ll try and do better with my Acceptance goal regarding the planet tomorrow.

6 comments:

Matthew | Polaris Rising said...

I don't really see this as a rant! :-)

In terms of overleaves, the truly balanced person in Acceptance will always have some Rejection. Only those in the negative pole are nice all the time!

The best example I can think of for that is George Carlin. It's a lovely mix of acceptance and cynic.

Karen Murphy said...

Reminds me of a bit I meant to add in my post about never being done. It's about the goals. The thing is, the tendency (mine, anyway) is to think of the goals as something we're already good at, when in fact it's what we're working on. I try to remember that.

Oh, and I think the hardest thing about acceptance is the part about accepting oneself. Yikes, that's a tough one sometimes!

two crows said...

thanx, Matthew--
sometimes my rejection takes over my acceptance. it's probably more evident on PP&D.

LOVE George Carlin!

it's reassuring to hear that I'm in my positive pole if I can't stand what I see happening and make no bones about it.

I'd like to be able to emulate Ben Kingsley's depiction of Gandhi. but then I remind myself he was, after all, transcendental -- and an interpretation of the real man.
And I let myself off the hook.

two crows said...

hi, Karen and welcome to AtI--

yeah, I do remind myself that I picked this one because I've got work to do on it. let alone the fact that it's a favorite of olds.

but, since acceptance is [so I understand], the point of the whole exercise I would guess it would be a toughie.

and, well, having a goal of growth would, I think, make it harder to let yourself off the hook. don't people in growth _expect_ themselves to have met all their goals already?

glome said...

It's also important to accept the tendency to be impatient--to not accept, so to speak.

two crows said...

hi, glome, and welcome to AtI.
yeah, I'm learning, still, about tempering acceptance of others with acceptance of my own sense of outrage.