Intimacy as the Opposite of Sin


The married Life:

Marriage proceeds from the mind first – and as a consequence results in a bodily, sexual event.  Satisfying sexual relationships are ones grounded on the trust, love, communication, and intimacy of two, real-life human beings who have covenanted to receive each other as husband and wife.  These intangible qualities exist first – and then spill-over into the bedroom.

This is because all creation consists of two basic aspects [2 Nephi 2:14]:

  • that which acts (called Spirit)
  • that which is acted upon (called Element).

The physical, the flesh, the Element is the component of existence that is acted upon.  Therefore, it cannot create any change in the Spirit.  The mind must be changed [“repentance”], the heart must be softened [“broken heart”], and the spirit must be crushed [“contrite spirit”] before anything genuine and lasting and joyful blossoms into material reality.

Adam and Eve were married before they even knew they were naked.  Their union as husband and wife was a solution to loneliness – not lust.

and the god YHVH said
it is not good that adam should be alone

[Genesis 2:18]

The sexual union is the chief means of physically expressing a genuine connection of Love between two people.  It is Love/unity dynamic of our sexual contact that distinguishes humans from other animals [who are sexual for procreation and pleasure].

In the garden, Adam and Eve lived in open-faced, fearless, and intimate fellowship:

  • with God
  • with each other

Once sin was conceived in the heart [Moses 6:55], it produced two alienations/separations:

  • from God
  • from each other

Thus, restoring the kingdom of God will:

  • restore the union of humans and God
  • restore the union of men and women

Intimacy [openness or “into-me-see”] is the opposite of what Satan suggested Adam and Eve do when they discovered their nakedness in the garden of Eden.  Before he found them – they were naked [Adam fully exposed to Eve and Eve to Adam],

and they were both naked
the man and his wife
and were not ashamed

[Genesis 2:25]

and it was Satan who taught them that such full-fellowship is shameful and showed them how to cover that shame with hiding and separation.

see
you are naked
take some fig leaves and make you aprons
father will see your nakedness
quick
hide

[The Garden]

It’s unfounded fears, rooted in this state-of-mind based on the concepts of sin, separateness, and shame – that keep us from having real community and bridging the gaps between the sexes.

An experience of Life that is founded on separateness:

The problem with any religious tradition that begins with the initial, out-right assumption that God is entirely separate from nature – is that it becomes impossible for the Mother and the Father to ever be one – because She is left with no voice and can never be His friend.

This idea that the “Supernatural” is something sitting on a throne, over-and-above our natural existence is killing any experiences of Joy.  Our lives just become a wasteland of stress and fear – where we all live out inauthentic lives, fulfilling purposes that are not truly our own, reliving and retelling the stories of a by-gone generation – having no Life.

We can never be one with God and with our neighbor from this perspective because we will always continue experiencing God and neighbor as something that is foreign and detached.  Attachment and connection become devalued – because they demand our vulnerability.  There is a fear that maybe if we really get into a relationship with another human that we might just start to care too darn much – or even worse, we might just lose our Self.  Like independence is the key to Life?  We are not separate one-person islands, our narratives are all intertwined with each other.

If your goal in life is Joy – then connectivity is key [see, Zion will not be Established by Unrelated Persons].  If you want to be “free” or “self-sufficient”, then you can knock yourself out with independence – but the way of Jesus is to stretch yourself out until you die to your “Self” as this all-alone and sufficient bag of skin.

Adam and Eve ate the fruit of a tree of duality and separation [see, The Tree of This-and-That] – and it’s the experience of being in Jesus Christ that is the fruit of Life that brings you back to non-duality [“I and the Father are one”] and interconnection [“all mine are thine”].

The revelation of God in the scriptures is that [instead of separateness], the most basic fabric of all existence is chesed, loving-kindness or compassion [“to be passionate with”].  It’s the image of a God who relates to the universe with the level of intimacy that is the result of berith, or a covenant.  It’s an image of existence that’s based on the single concept of unconditional love [call it chesed, agape, whatever].

All things are included, loved, gathered-up, forgiven, and knit together into a single, vast organism – God.  The only difference between God and humans is that humans still see a different between God and humans – because they are using a mind hardened by the basic concept of sin and separation to look [see, The Split-brain Model of the Gospel: The Fall of Man].

Having Life, or just having the image of it:

Religions become concerned with ethical behavior and doctrine – instead of changing people’s minds/hearts and how they view/experience their world.  The problem with approaching religion as though it were a method of relaying ethics and doctrines is that ethics only teach us how to live as though you were one with your neighbor.  You learn the modes of action that imply a compassionate relationship with another person.  It offers you incentive to act in a certain way – but it cannot generate the genuine feeling of it.

While there may be certain ethical implications of making a covenant with God – such things neither add to or subtract from current pool of human ethical wisdom.  It is not the domain of religion to be laying down specific “hither thou shalt come and no further” ethical guidelines for human behavior that transcendent time, space, culture, and circumstance.  Rather, religion is about providing the environment for people to experience the miraculous works of God and manifestations of the spiritual gifts – because once the experience is had – the very way in which a person approaches and experiences human problems/decisions will be altered.

The gospel is about that transcendent experience that smashes a hardened, left-brain sensation of separateness and opens a person up the fluid, right-brain awareness that all creation is a continuous and connected event that we are all a part of [see, Taking our Myths Literally].  The Supreme Being is all of creation – from beginning, until now, and on forever – as one continuous pattern, one symphonic arrangement.

Without the spiritual gifts, the power of God, the signs following the believers in Christ – Mormonism [or Christianity] is just another school of thought for civil policy and moral behavior.  When dead to the workings of the Holy Spirit – the gospel is used to work for people rather than working on them.  We use Jesus to meet our needs – rather than getting them judged by Him, falling to the earth and weeping at His feet.

It’s an approach to religion that mistakes the symbol for the Reality – the image for the Life – the stage-show act for the actual experience – the poetry for the prose.  It turns the preachers into the preached and pedestalizes the stories and experiences of someone else, making it into the one-and-only true formula.

It’s essentially idolatry [see, Making an Image out of God] – to look at the image that pointing and cling to and serve it, rather than to Look, Follow, and Live [see, …and the labor which they had to perform was to look…].

Next Article by Justin:

Previous Article by Justin:  Paul and the church at Judea

[In Search of a New Church Home].

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7 Comments

  1. This is beautiful. Thank you.

  2. I wrote:

    The revelation of God in the scriptures is that … the most basic fabric of all existence is chesed, loving-kindness or compassion … the image of a God who relates to the universe with the level of intimacy that is the result of berith, or a covenant.

    This goes right along with this [quoted from the LDS-Talk blog here]:

    Q: “Is God self-existing?”

    A: No. There is no evidence whatsoever that God is self-existent, for He does all things through covenants, including the creation acts, which bind Him down to all things. This is why the scripture says, “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” A self-existent Being, independent of all things, cannot be bound in any way, including through covenants or contracts. This is also why the scripture says that if mercy robbed justice, or if the works of justice would be destroyed, “God would cease to be God. The covenantal relationship God has with all things does away with His self-existent nature. He now exists for us, not for Himself.

    Q: “Is God the only thing that is self-existent?”

    A: As not even God is self-existent, then nothing else is either. All things are bound by covenant to Him. This is the nature of the created Universe, meaning it exists through covenants to God.

    Q: “Is His essence made from elements found in a self-existing universe?”

    A: Nothing in the Universe is self-existing, including God, therefore when the scripture says, “the elements are the tabernacle of God,” it means that, like all other things, this is a covenantal relationship, and therefore neither party is independent.

  3. The truth expressed in the second to last paragraph of the post is beautiful and crucial to our situation today if we are to break free from the chains of hell. It reminded me of what Bruce Lee taught us.

    “Because one does not want to be disturbed, to be made uncertain, he establishes a pattern of conduct, of thought, a pattern of relationships to man. He then becomes a slave to the pattern and takes the pattern to be the real thing.”

  4. Chantdown — I thought about emphasizing the play on (s)words I made in that paragraph:

    It’s an approach to religion that mistakes […] the stage-show ACT for the ACTual experience …

    the way that you’ll often do.

  5. This has really helped me to see my errors in recreating God in My image of Him. I really hope that I can break away from seeing myself & life around me from My perspective. And give myself over to seeing myself & others & things as God sees them, by inviting Him Inside, as I had once done.

    I did experience this on one occasion when there was a time in my life I felt I had been striped of everything I identified with regarding this earth & those around me and found My Savior & Our Father.

    It has been a very tough journey trying to find my way foward to enjoying that experience permanently. I can’t go back in time but I must remember what that felt like and how to make that permanent.

    It was like the veil was temporarily removed & then replaced. Not replaced according to my desire but rather according to God’s.

    I do remember that the Lord told me this would one day happen & become a permanent condition, but how that is to be accomplished has eluded me for 40 years.

    But the things you mentioned in this piece seem very familar to me.

  6. zack — thanks for that.

    I think losing the feeling is fine. It’s like all natural cycles, which ebb and flow. We can rise — receive a different perspective — but we are to then bring it back down. We can inhale the experience — but it’s not meant to be held in, but exhaled out among our family and community.

    We can ascend and get a bit of that heavenly light — but we must then descend back and bring that light down here where it is desperately needed.

  7. Adam and Eve — as representations of the effects of the tree of knowledge — covered their genitals, hiding them in shame:

    and they sewed fig-leaves together
    and made themselves aprons

    Jesus Christ — as a representation of the effects of the tree of life — was lifted-up and fully-exposed on the cross:

    then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall
    and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers
    and they stripped him
    and put on him a scarlet robe
    and when they had platted a crown of thorns
    they put it upon his head
    and a reed in his right hand
    and they bowed the knee before him
    and mocked him
    saying

    hail
    king of the jews

    and they spit upon him
    and took the reed
    and smote him on the head
    and after that they had mocked him
    they took the robe off from him
    and put his own raiment on him
    and led him away to crucify him
    […]
    and they crucified him
    and parted his garments
    casting lots […]
    and sitting down they watched him there

    The research of Dr. Zugibe, which Mormon Heretic posted at his blog and at Wheat and Tares, suggests that the heels of Jesus’ feet may have been nailed to the side of the vertical-beam of the cross [instead of the front of the feet nailed to the front of the beam].

    Having his feet nailed to the side of the vertical-beam would not allow him to close his legs — meaning that he would have been totally exposed to the viewers — genitals and all — lifted up as a completely helpless, vulnerable sacrifice.


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