The Revelation of God in Jesus Christ


A “god” is the idea of a god — the idea of a god is a god:

The most basic meaning of the Hebrew “elohim” is that of “powers“.  The human mind names, personifies, and maps-out these various “powers” and their interactions, but ultimately the “gods” are the culturally-appropriate manifestations or mental vehicles for a given power/energy/idea.

The demons, angels, pantheons of deity, Gods and Goddesses — they are all the impulses that inspire and guide You — unpackaged and unfolded as poetry and story-form.  They are personifications of the “powers” arising from nature and found within human-nature, externalized and examined in their most potent and purest symbolic form.

They all exist in our right-brain — as the warring desires in our minds, which battle for dominance in our decision-making.  It is we who make the “gods” real by the ones we choose to be guided by and the ones we “make flesh” by our actions.

Thus — if my “guiding power” is violent, then my actions and worldview will be contentious and hostile.  If my “dominant god” is compassionate, then I will experience my life through the lens of acceptance, mercy, and forgiveness.  Etc.

The long-standing human tradition of myths, religions, mystical experiences, etc. — is the essential activity of differentiating yourSelf from the unconscious forces of existence by personifying them, and then bringing them into a relationship with yourSelf consciously.

“Gods” are the set of ideas and perspectives through whom we view our world and ourselves.  They are but a name for someone’s mode of being — relating to their inner-self and their external interactions.  Our beliefs are our reality tunnels — and every one of them is an individual and culturally-appropriate manifestation of the Singular God.

Which is why it’s not entirely respectful to comment on the specific beliefs of another religion/culture to which you do not belong — because God gives the portion of his Word that is expedient and culturally-tailored to the specific conditions found among the community of the seers/prophets who received it [not to your conditions or culture].

The revelation of God in Jesus Christ:

The “God” whom I follow is the story of Jesus Christ.  A belief-system which commits me to the basic concept of servanthood and compassion.

I have voluntarily bound myself to Christ and his Word by my covenant to obey his every commandment.  This voluntary servanthood [or yoke] binds me to the fundamental reality that “God” is found in being under the most, serving the most, and being connected to the most [instead of vice-versa].

The revelation of God in the scriptures is that the most basic fabric of all existence is “chesed” — the loving-kindness and compassion of a God who relates to the universe with the level of intimacy that is the result of “beriyth” — or a covenant.

God is not “self-existing” — for He does all things through covenant [including creation] — which actually binds Him to all things.  A “self-existing” Being is independent and cannot be bound.  This is why God could “cease to be God” if He acts in certain ways — because the power and unity of God is a product [not a starting point] — and He is God because of the covenant He’s bound Himself to.

Thus — faith is not a stop-gap measure, or transient state-of-mind that we can drop once we’ve crossed-over and are “with God”.  All things [including gods] must have and keep faith, for it is the necessary element of the trusting engagement and active cooperation that is “existence”.

God’s covenant relationship with all of creation means that He exists for us – not Himself.  Likewise, all things exist because they are bound in covenant with God as well.  That is why any damned thing in the created universe can return to outer-darkness [“return again to their own place“], where there is no existence.

Neither the elements of the universe nor God are self-existing or independent entities — because the existence of both parties is a covenantal relationship.

Belonging to the “true church” of God has no meaning or value

There is nothing special that I get for having joined the latter-day church of Christ.  In fact, it gives me nothing special or noteworthy — and that’s the point.  There is no advantage to being LDS, to having the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, to holding the rights of the priesthood, or having access to temples, etc. — for me.

You can’t “pass the test” of Life — or “solve the problem” by aligning yourself with the “right religion” on earth before you die — thereby securing your “salvation”.  Life is not a bank you can rob — and “get out” of it with eternal treasure.

Things don’t “get solved” — they comes together and fall apart, and come together again.  “Salvation” or “Enlightenment” comes from letting-go and allowing there to be room enough of all of it to happen — without fearing failure or desiring success.

We naturally desire the immortality of our ego, our beliefs, our group, etc.  God reaches into human history through the person of Jesus Christ to extend immortality to all — on the condition that they accept it unconditionally-alone, meaning by abandoning the hope of securing it for “You” or your “in-group”.

When our “god” is not Jesus Christ — when we do not deny ourselves, cease to identify with this skin-encapsulated center-of-will in the universe, and take up the yoke of Christ — then our fundamental allegiance will always be to Self-preservation, Self-reliance, and Self-centered survival.

We can never be One with God or with others — because we constantly experience God and neighbor as something inherently “Not-Self”.

Having the “mind of Christ” in you means you pour yourSelf out, in love.  Because, in love, surrender is victory.

Instead of falling into Self-centered separation and sin — fall in love, into Christ-centered connectivity and intimacy.

And not just with God — but with your family and your neighbors, your enemies and those who would despitefully use, hate, and persecute you — and this love won’t leave out the animals and plants, the earth and the stars — because deep-down and far-in, it’s all one energy flowing from them, through us, and back out again.

One thing [a uni-verse] that we experience coming through in individual waves.

Next Article by Justin:  Fourth Chapter of Luke

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(A Family that Lives Together…)

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16 Comments

  1. I love what you wrote in the last paragraph. I would add and build upon what you have beautifully put forth.

    “Fall in love, into Christ-centered connectivity and intimacy.
    And not just with God — but with”

    THE DEVIL.

    I am serious. This experience will pacify the inner and outer tumult more than any other willful act of love. This will submit the very fury of Hell to the all powerfull love of the Father and channel Christ more than anything else. To take all that you personify as the Devil and just conquer with love. It doesn’t mean you go along with every crazy act and the very evil plans which can be atributed to the guy. It does not mean that you fear the power of the dark side and yeild to ‘it’s’ bidding. But simply that you accept that you have a relationship with it. That it is a close and intimite bond and you decide for your Self that the powers commonly associated with the dark side are met with understanding and love whenever it comes to you and your stewardship or sphere of influence.

    This is why Jesus always told us to not fear…because as you wrote Justin…”deep-down and far-in, it’s all one energy flowing from them, through us, and back out again.” Breathe IN… Breathe OUT.

  2. So many good points. There are things here I have been learning all my life.
    But this statement has been very much a part of my spiritual learning in recent weeks.
    “Salvation” or “Enlightenment” comes from letting-go and allowing there to be room enough of all of it to happen — without fearing failure or desiring success.

    There is a whole field of failure I no longer fear. I am no longer in doubt of my salvation.
    But I do have a lot of desire for certain things to happen. However I see that it is when I let go of trying to get what I want and just accept what the Gods want to send that good things happen.
    I guess I really have been being much less demanding. And that truly seems to allow the universe to freely give what we want.

    AS the post speaks of love and intimacy with all things I guess I should have thought of applying the principles of love to my relationship with all things. I see love as a freely given thing or it is not love. I think I have even written somewhere in a post that if a person demands something of their spouse they thereby make it impossible for the spouse to give it out of love.

    So that means if I am trying to wring our something I really desire from the universe I have just prevented the Gods from giving it to me of their own free will, or out of love.

    This is why attempting to be saved by works damns people.
    So I have been damning the things I desire in my heart by feeling like i have to work hard to get themas if no one out there is willing to use their power to give them to me.

    Yea i agree with that crazy chantdown fellow. Love doesn’t pick and choose.

  3. By the way, Justin. Do you remember where those series of comments were, where we fleshed out the true nature of prophecy? Remember we talked about pulling from the pre-existential realms of possibility into the here and now plane of reality? I can not find those comments for the life of me.

  4. It’s from here:

    Well this witnesses very well to the point that the spirit has whispered to me recently that to prophesy is really speaking things into being. Are the conditions described predestined or preordained? Of course. But this does not necessarily mean that they must or will automatically come about for you or for me in this realm or this life at this moment….at least not without a pronouncing of words in the physical realm to make it so….to let it through. It is often only a case then, of seeing or detecting the PREexisting conditions and stimulating them, even stirring them up or speeding up the natural processes. Helping in many ways the universal elements to solidify and take form in the realm of physical reality.

    When we prophesy we are not forcing anything but we are creating. We identify conditions in some alternate plane of reality and we invite them to come in and play a part in this time and space. A prophet/prophetess is not merely being dictated to by some other force, what will come about. And even though he/she may well be corroborating a long list of other prophets through the ages, he/she is also adding to it something personal.

    This is why Paul says the gift of prophecy is the best of the gifts. Were actively helping to create reality. Some prophesies may take longer than others to materialize or be fulfilled. Sometimes this is due to a matter of timing things perfectly and sometimes it is due to a simple lack of faith on part of the prophet/mouth piece and other participants who also play their part by investing power/belief in the spoken/written words.

    This means that there are not only True and False Prophets as in accurate or inaccurate prophets or rather successful or unsuccessful prophets…there are prophets of the Lord, prophets of the Devil. True prophets are in essence truth speakers, speaking truth into existence and activating its manifestation on this plane. False prophets are not necessarily failures when it comes to speaking something before its happening, nor are they called false out of lack of fruit. They are false prophets who with their words, invite falsehood to prevail on this plane.

    and

    I can tell when we’ve been tapping-into the same morphic field Elder Chantdown — the concept that the future is a sphere of all possibility that gets pulled-into the sphere of actuality [rather than us just following time like it’s railroad tracks] is something that I’ve been writing about in my notes, but haven’t discussed anywhere yet.

    And here you’ve essentially wrote the very thing I’ve been thinking.
    I once heard that “Worry is the misapplication of imagination“. It’s essentially taking only the bad things out of the sphere of All That Could Possibly Happen and bringing them into the Right-Now — rather than mentally going to that same realm [All That Could Possibly Happen] and pulling the good things out and bringing them to life, making the Word become flesh here-and-now.

  5. […] Mormons Christian or not? It can be upsetting to be excluded, whether for heretical doctrines or for being a stranger in a stranger land or for being an oxymoron (gay and Mormon): Once, years […]

  6. “What do you think this new thing is, or will look like?

    I have been thinking about it, reading signs: Volcano under the ocean, Hawaii….for awhile. Dreaming about lava and then water. I’ve had several dreams. Then last week Abilene, who’s just turned 5 now was running around the house yelling (randomly), ‘When you see ash falling from the sky that is Jesus’ love.”

    So it’s July 2012, and I’ve been marking this month in my mind for awhile, getting some signals that there’s some movement happening in the earth…Every time I ask God, I get “Christmas in July” playing in my head like a song.

    After publishing my last blog (my blog is always from objects that are brought to me from chaos, found things) I went to the grocery store and found an entire notebook from a Jewish study course smashed and run over in the parking lot by where I parked my car. It was about “Time,” and this is something I have been focussing on for over a year…

    Then last week I was in the pool and as I was swimming I recalled a poem I wrote for the Christmas card of the church I was working for 10 years ago. It was about Jesus being in the center of the earth,

    “Crawling up the horizon, ghost in the fanning sun
    Jesus comes.
    Mind and marrow lie steaming in recent fusion with their king. Techtonic plates howl and melt to his side,
    at the rectifying hand of the protoype.
    The equation of the world, shuffled by the hand of God.
    Rays of dawn now open doors
    for his bride to promenade.”

    I couldn’t remember it when I first recalled it the other day, but I thought it might go with the new blog I’m working on right now. Still, I thought, 10 years ago, there’s no way I could remember or find it again!….

    Then I was going through some old boxes yesterday, pulled out a random page, didn’t really look at it, tucked it into the notebook (from the parking lot) that I found that was sitting on my desk. Later, I looked down and actually read the bottom of the page that was sticking out of the notebook and it was the rough draft of the poem! Serendipity born from chaos again. I’m trying not to read so much into it these days, because it could drive someone crazy! But all the while, it happens to me all of the time!

    Thinking a lot about Chaos vs. order….chaos brings fear, anxiety and fighting. Order bringing sanctuary. But fear is a real emotion that cannot be negated.

    I don’t expect you to join facebook or anything. You don’t have to be my angel there again this year….but I find that your insights complete mine more than anybody’s. We can talk anywhere you want to. There are just certain conversations that I can’t have with everyone. So thanks.

    I’ll keep you posted about more that I find is coming up. Ramadan is coming up. I think that a shift in our understanding is coming up. Like the poem said, ” The equation of the world, shuffled by the hand of God.
    Rays of dawn now open doors
    for his bride to promenade.”

  7. It’s interesting that you bring up:

    Volcano under the ocean, Hawaii….Dreaming about lava and then water

    Because as I was writing the posts about myths and stories being the fluid state of religious experiences — and religious systems being the atrophied state trying to cling to the old-stories, rather than experiencing them anew …

    … I kept coming back to visualizing that idea as lava flow. The burst of religious experience [such as Joseph Smith experienced when the two heavenly personages appeared to him in 1820] is like the molten lava flowing downhill.

    But once that burst of lava-flow meets the cooler air — it immediately begins to harden — like religions do. A transcendent spiritual event crystalizes into a time-and-space, material reality. Eventually — the lava needs to burst through again.

    An ebb-and-flow — expansion-contraction — inhale-exhale — divine experience–material reality — steam-condensation — etc.

    We’ve gone quite a long time without a burst of experience such as Paul or Joseph Smith had — we’ve been living off the hardened re-telling of the words and forms of their stories — but we have no stories of our own, for our generation.

    I think the “new thing” that’s building up [the “immanent” thing many people feel is “coming”] — would be another burst of experience.

    And if my understanding of the prophetic time-tables are correct — we are nearing the point in human history where it will be an earth-wide revelation — an apocalyptic event that will see a new heavens and a new earth.

    But, of course, every generation has thought that their’s was the one — so I’m still watching. But, like Elder Chantdown said about prophecy:

    When we prophesy we are not forcing anything but we are creating. We identify conditions in some alternate plane of reality and we invite them to come in and play a part in this time and space.

    A prophet/prophetess is not merely being dictated to by some other force, what will come about. And even though he/she may well be corroborating a long list of other prophets through the ages, he/she is also adding to it something personal.

    It would involve agents on the earth brining those conditions into reality here in our time-and-space — by living and acting as though it had already come — instead of waiting for it to fall on their heads. At least that’s my opinion on why the Apocalyptic-Clock seems to have been stuck on 11:59 for the last two millenia.

    Also,

    Thinking a lot about Chaos vs. order

    Recently I wrote down — “Chaos is the space of the Divine“. I looked at it for a couple minutes after I wrote it — thinking about what it meant. Then, to expound on it, I wrote down:

    Looking for God among the order is like looking for the snail among the slime or the dog among the prints. Order is the result of His presence — it’s the evidence of where He’s been — but it is not where you will find Him. You will find Him out among the Chaos — working to create new order.

    It all happened kinda fast, and I didn’t know what it meant or what to do with it. You wrote:

    Order bringing sanctuary

    and it makes me think about the Hebrew concept of “holy” — as meaning separate, or walled-off, divided apart from the common.

    The Latin is “sanctified” [the same as your word choice, “sanctuary”] — or pertaining to inside the “sanctum” or walled-off grounds. The opposite would be the “profane”, which is pro+fanum [outside the temple] — beyond the marked bounds of the template or boundaries marked by God.

    There is no real difference between the Order and the Chaos — meaning, they are the same “stuff”. The only difference is the information — the arrangement of the “stuff”. Once Chaos [the dis-organized] receives the information [reveal-ation] — it “magically” transforms into Order [the organized] — *poof*.

  8. And “poof” It hardens and becomes something completely new…Thank you, Justin. This is so rich, on many levels–nice volcano metaphor. I was just starting to think of the the lava flow as the creative flow (personal to me) before I read this, too, but now we are a step further together… I’ll take these thoughts and comment more later.

    I loved that Elder Chantdown bit :)

  9. This part:

    “Looking for God among the order is like looking for the snail among the slime or the dog among the prints. Order is the result of His presence — it’s the evidence of where He’s been — but it is not where you will find Him. You will find Him out among the Chaos — working to create new order.”

    Has been really ringing inside of me for the past couple of days. I think it really is true, and it’s a total change of perspective from what the general church believes. It may be part of what we are called to frame and reveal to this generation. The stole I told you about, that I made for that priest last summer, had a huge black and white tangle configuration in the center back–the white was enveloping the black.

    That same priest made a post last week about how our God is ordered, and chaos is a problem that causes anxiety and fight or flight…and I said my bit in the comments about how I had been drawing a lot of inspiration from tangles, and then I quoted “my friend.”–you, and I just felt, weird. Nobody responded to me, and my comment stuck out like dissent.

    Every other comment was like, “Yeah, order! Go order! Amen brother!” and I felt strangely exposed and out-of-place, so I deleted it, and left the group. I have been trying to just be myself–out there these days, that’s what everyone says to do, but I don’t think they mean it. I think it just sounds good to say that.

    I had come back to that old church just this summer, my hope was for healing, but I’ve decided that it’s not possible in a church where no one really has a voice except for the minister (king) who sits up front and gets to tell everyone what’s what. I think a discussion church would be better. Sort of like this.

    I’ve also been thinking a lot about the order that ensues in the wake of God. That’s because he’s God. My mom cleaned up her garage this week, and her comment was, “Sometimes you have to make a mess in order to get things cleaned up.”

  10. That same priest made a post last week about how our God is ordered, and chaos is a problem that causes anxiety and fight or flight

    Albus Dumbledore said:
    “There is nothing to be feared from a [dead] body, Harry, any more than there is anything to be feared from the darkness. Lord Voldemort, who of course secretly fears both, disagrees. But once again he reveals his own lack of wisdom. It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”

    I imagine that could be modified to say:
    “There is nothing to be feared from chaos, Minister — for it is only the unknown we fear when we look upon chaos, nothing more.”

    Dumbledore’s point was that it was Voldemort who was scared-stiff over death and darkness — so he assumed everyone else would be too. The reason Harry was able to beat him in the Dark Forest was because he was not afraid of death.

    To quote Dumbledore again:
    “The true master [of death] does not run away from Death. He/She accepts that [they] must die and knows that there are far, far worse things in the living world than in dying.”

    “Chaos” — by which people like the above-mentioned minister use to mean “absence of externally-imposed order” — is the same way. But it’s not about a battle of “chaos vs. order” — that’s the wrong debate. It’s about fearing the chaos or desiring the order — pitting one against the other.

    LDS are at a bit more of an advantage [theologically-speaking] over other Christians — because the creation of earth in our mythos is said to be an organization of “matter unorganized“. Pre-existing material, arranged and put to good use. In our creation myth — the Gods come into a space of chaos, and give it power — give it a purpose worth fulfilling.

    But it’s not about “fighting” chaos with order or about embracing chaos “over” order. For example, my family is an ordered unit. The higher entropy [greater disorder, “chaos”] state would be for each of the members to exist as separate ego-islands, unto themselves. Yet we are ordered — protected against the effects of entropy by our organization as a community [called “family”].

    But — just like your brain isn’t active by virtue of having some “King Neuron” running the whole show, but has its strength according to the number of connections running between all the neurons together — our family is organized in a more fractal, nature-like interplay and cooperation between the unique units.

    I’m not “anti-order” — I’m anti-archy — the imposed order, force, coercion, or compulsive order. Any “-archy” is that linear, meccano-like corporate conformity and monotonous sameness. It says to tie-up all your sticks into neater and tighter bundles, making sure they are all the same size and length — it’s strong like a brick-wall is strong.

    An-archy says let things organize theirselves as they will naturally tend to when they’re left alone — like the cellular cooperation within and between a body’s organs. Human interactions become less of an oppressive power-pyramid — and something more like a dance, something that we could imagine to be fun to experience with others.

    It works like nature does [which can seem “chaotic”, depending on how you look at it] — without an outside foreman being habitually obeyed by the “underlings”.

    The very people who fear chaos, use means of imposed order that end-up causing more chaos. When order is imposed, when interactions are controlled — from above or from outside — out of obligation or “duty” — things get out of natural equilibrium or balance — and get more out of control. Until we end-up spending all our energy fighting to control what our attempts at control have caused.

    Any of these “-archy” forms of control [used as a means to hide from the fear of letting go and letting be] are ultimately arbitrary, partial, temporary, and illusionary.

    Any of these always tend to dehumanize the very people it’s seeking to “serve” by “giving them order” — and those it tends to dehumanize most, are the ones who think they lead it.

    When fear drives your actions — it doesn’t quite matter what the goal is, how noble or honorable it may be — fear is still driving, and it will lead nowhere worth going.

  11. I think a discussion church would be better. Sort of like this.

    I like the term “discussion church” — also “family church” — I think “tribal church” rings for some people too. The word “community” is ringing too.

    It all hits on a common-feature that I think many people are feeling. And that’s that people want to feel like other human-beings with whom they associate hear them and [perhaps] can counsel with them — or at least just get what they’re saying.

    I don’t know if other Christians have this dynamic — but it’s common to hear people advise “doubters” to not speak-up in church settings about their issues [so as to avoid “contention”, etc.] — but instead counsel them to “just express your doubts to God”.

    But saying that doubters can “just talk to God” is still basically telling them to keep their doubts to their self — when I think people are really asking for a community in which they can be heard by the other human-beings there too.

    There needs to be something that allows for a healthy dialogue about what this whole “church experience” is really all about to open-up.

    Right now, the problem is we have no dialogue. We might participate in role-played discussions with pre-perscribed responses, etc. — which lend reality to the impression of a uniform/united church. But the impression of uniformity among Mormons is just a facade of being built on a solid foundation — but this image is built on the works of men and may have success for a season, but when shaken — it will suddenly crumble into its true picture: an institution built on sand, smoke, and mirrors.

    The diversity is there among us already — it’s just everyone knows what to do/say to keep up the appearance of conformity so that none of it manifests outwardly.

    We don’t discuss — we “act”, we “role-play” — but no into-me-see, open-ness, or commune-ication.

    I have been trying to just be myself–out there these days, that’s what everyone says to do, but I don’t think they mean it. I think it just sounds good to say that.

    I think like this about many things — I like the way you (s)worded it.

  12. Yeah it occured to me the other day that Lucifer did not really rebel against God in the way we think. He was simply scared to death of “leaving” our Heavenly Home and all of us…He knew of the concept of strength in numbers as far as a mass group soul and started off fearing multiplication, growth in this new way. This was due to a bad understanding of individualism which obviously still persists with him since he tries to pass as its champion but what gets taught and passes for individuality in this world is false….which is apparent because it is non compatible with group unity. In reality all opposites are complimenary as they represents two halves of a whole.

  13. Evidence of the lack of understanding of individuality in today’s world is demonstrated by what Joana pointed out…that everyone is running around saying “just be yourself” but then when you do that they want to crucify you. Christ teaches true individualism in perfect harmony with group unity. I mean we know how the world’s brand of group unity is a lie too…so we will never get the one right without the other….the two are really simultaneously coming into being for each and all of us (who choose it for ourselves)

  14. It occurred to me recently the difference between “tolerating” versus respecting. I was remembering when I worked on a staff for a church, the way that the staff spoke about the congregation was very objectified, like, “Watch out for so-and-so, they’re a little weird.” It was always in the name of being aware and keeping the peace, keeping the worship team rehearsal tear-free — that kind of thing, but it’s a little deceptive, too, because from the other side–not being on the staff now, I have realized that your average lay-person thinks that the church leaders are there to serve them, and have their best interests at heart, when in actuality a mere member of the congregation is walking a fine line of tolerance.

    And the leaders make a point to keep their “discussions” of individuals secret, so if they have a judgement about you formed, it’s like having a secret wall there–The individual feels it, but can’t mention it because of the general belief that the leaders are benevolent.

    When one is merely tolerating another person, it means that slightest mess up can damn you. It means that people are already on the verge of being suspicious, so that if there is a miscommunication, rather than want to straighten it out, they’ll just feel confirmed in their suspicion, building a downward spiral

    And Justin you mentioned this:

    We don’t discuss — we “act”, we “role-play” — but no into-me-see, open-ness, or commune-ication.

    Precisely. These prescribed role play discussions really drive me nuts, and I think it’s why the Spirit within me told me just to listen and never say anything in them because people people were only tolerating each other.

    Conversely, my friend and I did a review blog of the Unitarian Universalist church this past Spring, and I found the people there to be respectful of differences. I had some great conversations in the meeting hall, but I think that’s because differences are what they’re about.

    I wanted to share one more realization I had recently about the church — it cemented why I can never go back; it’s a little personal, but enlightening, and I know I’m not going to say it on my blog, so I’m just going to say it here.

    Recently, I remembered some sexual abuse in my past. It happened to me when I was about 8 years old and I had blocked it out– at the time it was confusing, my family was really good/moral Christian/church-going, and I didn’t know if the abuse meant that I was a ‘bad girl.’

    The abuser was our next door neighbor, a little boy who was about 5 years older. He was cool and smart, kids looked up to him. He was from a broken home, his parents were alcoholics and fought all the time. It was the opposite of my home. He would get me in the closet, and tell me what to do to him. I guess it felt good to have his attention, but I was so young.

    When the abuse ended he just stopped talking to me, and instead of feeling relieved I wondered what I had done wrong. I remember watching him from my front yard, trying to figure it out. (His younger brother (who was my age) was my playmate, and we played everyday). I guess I wanted to believe that what happened was special in some way, when it never would be, I was just the little girl he was having in the closet.

    So, I forgot about it for a long time, but that didn’t mean that it wasn’t formative in the ways that I conduct my relationships — especially relationships with men.

    And then it occurred to me a couple of weeks ago how much listening to this one priest’s sermons was like a sexual climax — 10 minutes every time, slow build to bing-bang-boom. And especially to someone like me who is really inspired by ideas, it “turned me on.” After hearing one I’d obsess all week about how I could live and do everything he said better. I’m a people-pleaser already, but now with the realization of the abuse, I started drawing more parallels. And when we started going to the church I’d listen from the vacant balcony alone because my then-toddler could run around–it reminded me of the hidden place, the closet.

    So, all my bad memories (that I couldn’t actually remember) coupled with my love for God, my desire to help at church and be connected, valued, loved, just made everything I did there a bit “off,” a bit over-the-top sometimes, “vibey” interactions between me and the leaders would leave me reeling, until they started to just “tolerate” me because they could feel something weird but no “into-me-see”, and then there were a couple of miscommunications, and then they “killed” me. That was it.

    It was really a positive thing, but not at the time. At the time it hurt, and felt like punishment. My whole life has revolved around putting on my grandmother’s dress and going to church on Sunday. And this was my church. I had been going there, teaching the children for a couple of years, I knew everyone’s names, they had seen me pregnant, I wanted it to heal. I wanted to be part of that family, but my fear/love for the church leader would not let me.

    But now that I identified it, I don’t want it to heal. (I mean, I want to heal personally), but I can’t go back to a church that holds a memory of abuse. And now I understand that any spiritual experience dominated by a dominant male, where I am sitting there silent, while he inspires me and tells me what I am to do, cannot work.

    I am thinking about how many women might be in the same boat. Sexual abuse during childhood is surprisingly common. My husband says that I should get into feminist anarchist philosophy. I don’t know — all I know that I’ve started going to work on an urban farm every Sunday morning now. It feels good to chat and work the land, and be around things that are alive..

    I still miss putting on grandma’s dress…and the longing to be “inspired” by a charismatic sermon is still very present, but I’m starting to see it as freedom to not go. freedom to *not* keep returning to a damaging memory.

    Thanks for letting me share.

  15. Thanks for sharing. I think your story makes the “coming out of the closet” metaphor so much more impactful.

    And now I understand that any spiritual experience dominated by a dominant male, where I am sitting there silent, while he inspires me and tells me what I am to do, cannot work.

    I noticed with the GEMTAM book project, when it was more active — and I spent time discussing it on Facebook and on other blogs — I started getting a reoccurring question from many different fronts:

    who is the originator of this idea?

    and

    who is the leader of this?

    etc.

    I had never gotten those kinda questions before — and as an anarchist, I didn’t even know how to give them an answer. Originator? Leader? There isn’t one.

    I think the desire for the dominant male, sitting on the throne, directing the action — is an unhealthy one. I’m always cautious about anything that starts to seem like advertising — starting to feel like publicizing — that makes someone into “the leader”.

    I think the issue is that there is too much about “a leader” already — too much about an originator at the front of the show — and it should be more about the connections between normal people, gathering and having fun for the sake of Joy [instead of obligation].

    There isn’t a King organ, in charge of your whole body — but you are an organ-ism — a symphony of interacting parts, working in unity. You can’t quite tell if you’re a brain who has a stomach to get food for it — or if you’re a stomach who has a brain to find food for it to eat. And your brain [the one most people think of as “in charge”] isn’t run by a King neuron, directed the trillions of its neuron-underlings — but the brain is strong because of the connections between neurons, and the number of connections you have.

    See — I think the church of God can gather together [it’s a commandment to gather together often]. It could be outdoors or even in a building or in a home. It could be monthly, weekly, daily, hourly — as often as “often” is needed. We can go to hear inspiring sermons from preachers and teachers, to hear the word of God from prophets and revelators, to experience visions, healings, tongues, etc. I think the trouble is the imposed-order that’s put onto something that ought to be spontaneous and natural — that ought to just happen — not be boxed-up in the One-True-Way. It’s dictating who gets to do what, when they’ll do it, how it going to look, what the topic will be, what time it’ll end, etc. — that’s leaving no room for the Spirit to be active.

    This idea that the “Supernatural” is something sitting on a throne, over-and-above our natural existence is killing any experiences of Joy. And this leader-based, out-there, church building-based spirituality models this one, Male-focused dynamic only. There’s no “Our Mother,” to go with “Our Father” — no Earth to go with our Heavens.

    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, relating to God according to their world-view, based in King-ship and Serf-dom.

    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, detached, and separate from our Self. But we are not these separate one-person islands — our narratives are all intertwined with each other.

  16. «Having the “mind of Christ” in you means you pour yourSelf out, in love. Because, in love, surrender is victory.» (Perfect)

    But «We can never be One with God or with others — because we constantly experience God and neighbor as something inherently “Not-Self”» cannot be true except by applying some kind of philosophical resources. For example, Ying::Yang can never get either mixed or melted. But they both are One, a perfect circle. Hegel and Marx develop this intuitive idea to resolve the opposition ideaYing::ideaYang as it becomes contradiction (thesisYing::AntiThesisYang and vice versa) , then by synthesis there should arise a new either ideaYing or ideaYang at a higher level of conscious. At this higher one it will find its new neighbor as its own shade. That process is infinite though Carl Marx stop that dialectical motion at his unproven Classless society.

    But, as you can see nowadays, URSS is a head crashed, Corea is a bull shit, the same is China. But We can be One — though I am catholic and you are not — in the process worked by Jesus and called «Mystical Communion of Souls». I do not understand it enough well yet because Roman Catholic define Communion restrictively to the fact of the identity and reality of flesh plus blood of Jesus as Holy Host only if the bread and wine is consecrated by the authority of the Visible Head of Roman Catholic Church (today, Pope Benedict XVI). This is at these days for me yet either a mystery for mystic dialogs or an unknown mistake for philosophic development, or both.


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