Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Seeing the Light

I've never in my life been one to fit the mold. Any mold. In grade school, I was often teacher's pet, though I did not belong to one of the pastor's "pet" families (these would be the ones with money with which to make large contributions to the church.) In high school, I was a liberated hippie chick…who never touched drugs, alcohol, or members of the opposite sex. Once out of school, I set my sights on being independent, free, answerable to no one…and married at twenty-one. And then became a born-again Christian who could never reconcile herself to Ronald Reagan or fundamentalist politics.

Which is the journey which brought me to be WHO I was, WHERE I was, this past weekend: A WASP/Catholic/one-time Fundamentalist, married to a Polack, catering a Scandinavian Festival, toting my books on Celtic Spirituality and the Medicine Wheel. Still going wherever the road takes me, without much regard for who else might be going, or how they chose to get there.

For the most part, I've found other people to be more often a source of annoyance, pain or frustration than acceptance, strength and community. I am constantly shocked and dismayed at the selfishness, violence and self-delusion of which human beings are capable. There are times I think I could do without them altogether. There are times I think the Universe could do without them altogether. And yet…

Through my recent reading, I have come to believe that creation IS God. Creation is an expression of the Almighty, brought to being through the light of that Power. And the Light of the Author of the Universe exists in every one if Its creations. From the smallest amoeba to the most solid sheet of bedrock, the Creator is in everything. God is truly In The Details.

Yet, if that's true, the Creator's light is no less in every human being than it is in every other being. Then I have to wonder: What's happened to it? Why do we seem not only to be without that Light, but to have consciously and religiously chosen not to acknowledge Its existence in our fellow creatures? Why are WE the ornery, renegade pains-in-the-ass among the Creator's works?

Is it because we think we know? Everything? Anything? Is it because we've taken these great creative brains we've been granted, and used them to separate us from the Almighty, rather than to bind us to It? We can, and do, construct such elaborate fantasies…to the point of constructing a remote "God" in our own image; one who embodies all the strengths and frailties of the human psyche, and inflicts them helter-skelter upon the hapless human race. We have chosen this over recognizing and nurturing the "God" within ourselves. Our religions now have us born dark and evil, riddled with sin, from which only the light of a far-away God can redeem us. When did we stop understanding that we share the inner light of the Creator with every other bit of creation? What caused us to make that choice? How did we get so far off track?

I don't pretend to know what happened millennia ago. I haven't even a theory, really, about what could have made us turn away from the Light inside ourselves, the signature of the Creator that we share with all other creatures and things, and decide that power is embodied exclusively in something far away and outside ourselves. But it seems to me that, lately, it's a matter of living down to our own expectations.

There is a theory in Child Development circles that a child will rise to the level of expectation put on him/her. Can the same not be said of the human race? If we believe that we come into this world lost and evil, separated from the Divine, are not we then predisposed to behave as such? Are we not then going to identify first the evil in ourselves and in other creatures, and spend our lives struggling to rise above that state? If that's all we ever ask of ourselves, isn't that all we're going to do? Certainly in my own lifetime, I've seen the damage that diminishing expectations can do. Once upon a time, say, forty or fifty years ago, there were expectations of decorum, courtesy, respect and deference that have disappeared over the past four decades. Watch television for three hours on any given night and see what we are left with. It is not encouraging. And it's only getting worse.

I despair for humanity, because I think we may have lost it. The Big It. But then again, just because you don't see something, even steadfastly refuse to see it, does not mean it's not there. The Light is there. The Spirit is there. We are connected. To each other. To everything else.

I can only acknowledge that in my own mind, my own life.

And hope that an increasingly effective number of others will do the same.


  1. These are questions I've had myself. I read and read and read and seek the truth, ask for the truth and I think that slowly the truth is revealing itself to me.

    Who gains in having a population believing that salvation is OUTSIDE of ourselves as opposed to inside us--that we are powerless on our own, but are redeemable if we believe in an off planet God?

    Sadly, I've come to believe that organized religions exist to control the masses. This was a difficult truth to realize, however there really is no other sane explanation. We are brainwashed from the time we are born (most of us anyway) and so questioning a belief system becomes something wicked and shameful. I know this because I lived this. No way would I consider hearing that what I had been told all my life was a lie. But then I asked myself why I couldn't accept even LISTENING to another way, and it was because it emotionally seemed to cripple me, I couldn't accept that I might have not been discerning enough, that there was evil everywhere behind what I had believed and I truly live believing the best about all people.

    But then I allowed myself to listen to other points of view and I realized that I did not die knowing that perhaps I had been lied to. This allowed me to open my mind and heart to everything and I can sift out the truth when I have all the information and not just one point of view.

    You question humanity and where we went wrong. My thoughts are that there has been a concerted effort to dumb down the true creators in the world (US!!!!) through mind control, poisons in vaccines and our water and our food and sprayed in the beautiful skies above us. I see humanity (most of us)as victims. Our minds have been altered so that we cannot think clearly anymore. Think about how every single ache and pain needs a prescription--how everyone and their brother is depressed, how our children are being drugged from the time they are little children for ADD, ADHD and whatever else they deem necessary to stop kids from being kids. Schools hate the creators! They want robots, not leaders or independent thinkers.

    But here's where I see hope--despite all the assaults on our physical bodies from the human predators, I see humanity slowly waking up. I am proof positive of this--no one was more clueless or more of a follower than me--and I managed to wake up and search for the truth.

    We are not our bodies--we are all connected by the superior intelligence of our divine minds. That's what I believe. Those who know this have to work to help everyone else remember.


  2. Your last five lines say it all. Beautiful writing.

  3. Powerful post. You should cross post this on Women on.

    Sometimes I wish I could take a time machine and drown St Augustine at birth, but someone else would have taken his place.

    A lot of what Karen posted is true, organized religion is as much about control as it is about faith. And that's where the conflict with the inner light comes in.

    If we listen to and follow the light where it takes us we're claiming a personal revelation; but the church officially closed that route with the apostles. No more prophets, thank you very much. The conflict between the supporters of Pelagius and Augustine is one of the keys I think. Augustin could command a lot of support. It may not have been as crass as "support my theology and I'll support papal pretentions of authority."

    You've given me a lot to chew on. Back in a few.

    Oh, and once the authorities of church and state made it very plain that they were willing to kill to maintain their version of the truth a lot of lights went under the bushel.

  4. When I said I don't have theory about what made us turn away from the light, I was not considering the control and political aspects of the organizing of religion. Of course that's correct. And today's Christianity does seem to have Augustine to thank for a good bit of throwing a pile of bushels over that light.
    At some point, someone, or a group of someones, was not satisfied with nurturing the connection to the true character of the Creator. Instead, they could concoct a version of a Power in the Sky, and use it to exert control over large groups of (perhaps) less devious folks, becoming, in effect, gods themselves. (And screwing up scores of others' lives for millenia to come.)

  5. And Augustine was a recovering Manichean; a synthesis (according to Wickipedia) of early Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and Bhuddism; probably with some early Greek mythology thrown in. Short take? Spritual world filled with light and good. Material world, where we all live dark and not so good, in fact evil.

    Pelagius reportedly accused Augustine of being more of a Manichean than a Christian. If you believe that the world around you is evil and that all the light is in the spiritual world...........well you aren't going to be looking for the light in anything around you.

    It didn't help that Augustine was a bishop in North Africa during the barbarian invasions. If he'd had a cheerful disposition to start with it went south as the empire was forced to continually retreat.