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, February 25, 2017

Eat The Damned Apple!

So, you know the story: Adam and Eve ate the apple and, viola, the entire human race was cursed by their odd act of disobedience.  Speaking of odd acts, though; it's an odd act for god to ban the eating of apples!  Why wouldn't he (for it WAS a he) ban facial hair or hand washing or swimming in the perfect, pure waters of Eden?  Maybe it was all a ploy to get humans to wear clothes.  You ate an apple!  Shame on you.  In a perfectly logical consequence, no nakedness for you!  Like taking your kids' cell phones when they eat some of the ice cream you were hoarding for yourself.

The key phrase is "shame on you."  The initial story of our coming of age as humans features a rigid, controlling male god who entraps two hapless humans with the result that he not only rages at them until they are ashamed, he curses their progeny for all time.  The story seems preposterous and very like something the old pagan gods or the writers of fairy-tales would concoct.

Here's why this story works though and possibly why it got written in the first place.  Children inherit the foibles of their pares one way or another.  Either we grow up to be just like them or mayhap we pledge to never be like them.  In either case and most scenarios in between, we find ourselves acting out our parents' drama.  Having very strict and controlling parents, for example, I vowed to always love my children and not punish them.  I was as rigid about leniency as my parents were about strictness.

In 12-Step programs, you are asked to create your family tree and note the various addictions that your ancestors had.  Then you look at yourself and your siblings along with your children.  Indeed, the shame and self-loathing that I experience can be seen in my parents and grandparents.  The beauty of the 12-Step philosophy is in an image it uses.  You are asked to see your grandparents handing the human condition to your parents and your parents handing it to you.  Each time the burden is passed, it gets smaller.  Hence, it's a hopeful spirituality.  It posits that if you are in sync with a higher power of your own understanding or with universal good, you evolve towards the lightness of being or enlightenment that is your birthright.

So, as far-fetched as the Adam and Eve story is, it has a nugget of truth in it.  No parents are perfect and children inevitably feel some shame just for being children.  From their point of view, if a parent punishes them or ignores them or is having a bad day, it must be (thinks the child) my fault.  Our parents, god-like to us, couldn't be wrong. We can't bear for them to be wrong; the consequences to us (think the children) are too grave.  We grow up with shame.  As much as I wanted to be the perfect mom, I passed on the burden of the human condition albeit unintentionally.  And so it goes. Eat the apple; don't eat the apple.  It's all the same.  Roxie


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