Become a Follower of the Big Dude!

Meet the divine Dude in this blog. This Dude has had and seen his share of sacred shit. He's not afraid of it or of its language. I can't relate to a god that's been crucified, but I can relate to one whom my government has imprisoned and humiliated. I can relate to one who's been raped by his own holy men. I can relate to one who grew up playing baseball or soccer and who dated the Prom Queen. I can relate to the god who knows the working of corporate conglomerates, pimps, and teen-age girls who are pregnant. I can relate to the god who loves alcoholics and drug addicts just a tad more than wall street hotshots. This Dude thinks all of us are mortal particles in an ocean of sacred shit. This Dude recycles.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Big Dude Dwells Within!

We read about the God who lives inside of us.  I've always thought of that, intellectually, as some kind of co-creative spark that each creature uniquely possesses.  I'm coming to see that literally some kind of different spirit or being lives in my being--in lock down along with childhood feelings both of sorrow and glory.  Wordsworth wrote:  "those first affections,/Those shadowy recollections,/Which, be they what they may,/Are yet the fountain-light of all our day,/Are yet a master-light of all our seeing."

 He's saying that some higher being inhabited us more fully when we were children and as adults, we have a harder time grabbing on to that innate connection.  To my absolute amazement, every time I unlock a childhood feeling, bring it into the light of day, I am closer to
that indwelling Spirit or God or the Big Dude, call it what you will.

 We're on a journey as "spiritual beings in a physical world" says Teilhard de Chardin.  Before we were conditioned and shaped by our parents and our culture, we were instinctively drawn to whatever life presented--laughter, clouds, a loving touch, a butterfly.  We knew that life was amazing!  In my own case, I learned to NOT be amazed, to stifle my amazement and joy.  I learned, in fact, to be afraid.  I learned to be quiet and to try to please authority figures.  By age 5, I had very little wonder left in me.  Mine is not an unusual situation.  Many, many humans have far worse experiences in childhood to wipe out those "shadowy recollections" and even those "trailing clouds of glory" that Wordsworth speaks of.

 Many of us learned that the God of our families and even our schools or churches was a harsh, punishing God who would separate those sheep from those unacceptable goats, who would see our slightest sin, who might strike us dead if we doubted or questioned authority.  This was the God of my mother, for sure.  He was a weapon used to scare us into the behavior required of the moment. How do we recover from that false idol and begin to open ourselves to our own spiritual nature lost in the rules and judgments of family and culture?

 I'm learning that every time I free a feeling that has been on lock down for decades, I experience a bit more of my connection with the Divine.  I feel the fear of my 13-year-old self white knuckling it through church services as I'm sitting in church today.  I feel the horror of my 5-year-old self rejected and shamed for being injured on the playground as I'm dancing with friends.  Don't feel.  Don't be so excited.  Don't be happy.  Be afraid.  Be. Afraid.

 How do we know, much less love, a God that seems to have been a perpetrator of pain and fear or, at least, seemed to be at the command of such perpetrators.  I think of watching a priest beat a third grader with a switch in front of a room full of 8-year-olds.  I remember trying not to move a muscle, trying to be invisible, trying not to ever be noticed by God or any of his representatives.

 And so it was for many human children. It doesn't have to be once we're adults.  We can heal. That divine spark, all but extinguished, burns a little higher every time we remember a squashed feeling and let it live.  God lives, for me, in all those locked up places--in enthusiasm, spontaneity, joy.  In my unbridled 3-year-old self, arms outstretched, running and leaping into Uncle Phil's arms where he sat in a speedboat. That "running toward" is the diving spark that's coming back to me.    

Saturday, September 6, 2014

After a Long Hiatus, Grace

I've been away almost a year.  Perhaps I had cancer and was fighting for my life?  Perhaps I had no computer?  Perhaps I . . . no excuse.  I lost faith for awhile and was wandering in the dark.  It happens.  If we're honest, it happens a lot.  If our "faith" is not just intellectual, but permeates all corners of our being, it happens really a lot.

Intellectually, I can't reason my way into any kind of faith.  My heart and spirit and gut apprehend it in some strange way.  The only way I can really explain my lapse is this:  I was looking down afraid of the next step.  Instead of looking up to find the way, I was focused on staying erect, on not falling, on putting one foot tentatively in front of the other.

That, too, is the journey.  That's where I've been.  Sometime is IS faith to take one step at a time. Sometimes that's all the faith we can muster.  Listen to my words. We don't "muster" faith or, I should say, our spiritual nature.  It's in and around us.  We can ignore it.  We can refuse to trust it.  We can be hurt so much by life that we can't conceive of a God who would treat us that way.  All of that.

In the end, faith is really mysterious.  It's a choice but we don't make it alone.  There are forces in an around us, guiding us.  Sometimes we are aware; sometimes we are not aware.  They are there whether we believe it or not.  Our beliefs do not shape the universe.

There.  That's when I have faith.  When I get out of my poor ego self and recognize that I'm just a particle, not the wave.  I have to trust the ocean which I can never fully know or understand from the droplet's perspective. My beliefs do not shape the Universe. Roxie