Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pondering Christians

According to the person who made the video, when David Bowie sang this song, he was exploring the writings of Aleister Crowley. In his day, Crowley was called "the wickedest man in the world," possibly because he was a notorious hedonist, bisexual, drug experimenting social critic (Wikipedia). I only learned that stuff today when I was trying to find the video. I originally heard this song because my mother listened to a Biff Rose album called The Thorn in Mrs. Rose's Side over and over and over again when I was a little kid.

I've been pondering my theological foundation lately. I'd have to say I'm a Universalist Christian, but I hate to call myself a Christian on account of so many Christians are perfectly awful people making a mess of everything they touch. That twisted group at C Street call themselves Christians, and so do countless suburban dumb asses who think they found a good place in the parking lot because God loves them Best. Of course, most of these people would say Universalists are going to Hell, but they call themselves Christians. I don't want to have anything to do with those people which is difficult since they seem tirelessly intent on being the boss of everything.

As I understand it, Universalists do not think there is any One Right Way to enlightenment. Further, I can't say that I believe in God per se since belief about God, and everything else when you get down to it, is all in the mind anyway which brings us back to Fill Your Heart by Biff Rose and Paul Williams.

I only learned that Paul Williams had been involved in writing this song today, too, which made me think that it's pretty easy to dismiss anything that could be attributed to Ewoks.

Warm Fuzzies notwithstanding, the idea that people need to let go of their own xenophobic fears so the world will be a better place is compelling. We see these societies in Sci Fi all the time, perhaps because Science Fiction is the only place where societies that are based on open-minded compassion can actually exist.

I wasn't particularly surprised to read that Aleister Crowley experimented with drugs and may have been behind David Bowie's choice to record the song since the lyrics remind me of the way you think when you're tripping - or to be more historically accurate, the way we thought back in the late 70's at North Texas State University when we were tripping on the acid somebody cooked up in a bathtub and sold to a school full of jazz musicians.

Given that Timothy Leary has been credited with spawning the New Age movement with his book High Priest, I think it's safe to say that the philosophical underpinnings of our tripping came from that vein of thought. It was all about Love and An Open Heart and Mind. And so is that Biff Rose song my mother listened to over and over and over again when I was a little kid which evidently became a central influence in my personal theology.

It doesn't really matter if you believe in God from a Kabalistic view or the Christian view. Or if you view God not as a being at all but more like The Force in Star Wars, or The Colors of the Wind in Disney's Pocahontas. Or if you don't believe in God at all. Your spirit is the key. I'm much too much of an existentialist to say "eternal" spirit because, in the end, it doesn't matter whether the spirit is eternal or not. What matters is how we live our lives.

Looking at America today - with all the rancor about Gay Marriage and Health Care, not to mention endless wars, crime and whatever other bits of reality that make you want to hide under the covers forever - I'm wishing that I could go live with aliens like in Cocoon. It's easy to blame Congress, Christians or Corporate Greed, but all kinds of people in all walks of life are ruled by fear, anger and suspicious self-interest.

All the Yellow Submarines in the world won't free those minds, and they make up the dominant culture. I truly believe that Love, in a universal sense, could cleanse those minds and make them free - if only they weren't tragically and dramatically afraid. Frankly, I don't understand what is so damn scary. Romans don't like it when people try to take away their power and their money which is why Jesus had to go. And most Americans today, regardless of the religion they claim as their own, are simply petty little Romans fiercely clinging to their sorry status in this socio-economic hierarchy we call home.

It's no wonder a lot of us turn into recluses smoking weed.


plentymorefishoutofwater said...

Best blog title ever. That's all I have to say.
Check out my dating disasters if you get a minute: plentymorefishoutofwater.blogspot.com/

Vancouver Voyeur said...

I've always thought religion was more about power and control than about God. I've also equated organized religion with organized crime, run by white guys, with power and money going up the chain of command. I think I'm a pagan at heart, believe what you will, it doesn't matter, we're all going to the same place in the end, regardless of what we believe.

Holte Ender said...

There are a few good Christians out there, very few, most of the ones I meet have a terrible, intolerant attitude, I decided years ago to keep my spiritual feelings to myself

You talked of Aleister Crowley, it's going back a few years, but Led Zeppelin were supposed to be spiritually involved with him too, especially Page and Plant, their early 70s work reflects an obscure spiritualism that was heavily looked into by message seekers.

Anonymous said...

All that rancor and anger and hating really, really gets me down and every now and then I have to stop paying attention. Which is hard for a current events junkie. But it festers away in the spirit if you let it. And if it's doing that to an individual, imagine what it's doing to us as a species.

I'm not so much aligned with Christianity or anything else, but I do believe in most of the things Jesus said. And I'm really quite sure this situation is not what he envisioned.

So what do you do? Walk the talk. Love your neighbour. Light one up and hope the angry scared Romans are eventually bred out of existence.

PENolan said...

VV, your idea about organized religion and organized crime makes a lot of sense - particularly in view of the dang romans who drove my Celtic ancestors into the woods and called them witches. Holte, it makes sense that those guys would have gotten into Crowley's ideas too. One of these days, I'll have to do more than read a wikipedia blurb.
Jen, I'm stuck on this topic lately because I suspect the dramatic difference in orientation toward life - being open hearted vs being closed and suspicious - explains why that man won't talk to me. It's easy to see this shit at work in the wider world, but it's really hard to take when it gets personal.

Plentymore - welcome! I have my own experience with plenty of fish. Google ShatAKing one day and you can read all about it. If you tell the story on the radio, though, I want a mention ;)

Randal Graves said...

Didn't Paul Williams guest star on an episode of Nancy Drew?

Down with Caesar, Up with Boudicca!

Now I'm going to have Mr.Crowley stuck in my head all day.

PENolan said...

I've had The Moody Blues singing "Timothy Leary's Dead" in my head - which is going to be strange tonight watching the dress rehearsal of White Christmas.

Gail said...

I have come back to read this three times!! Each time I am enlightened, entertained and amazed at your skill.

I am a Christina and bythat Imena I think Jesus is way cool and I like his teachings and I do what I can to live those teachings. No extremes, just kinda middle of the road, ya know?

Great post.

Love you


intelliwench said...

Amen to all you said.

I love Gail's proclamation that she is a Christina -- the perfect counterpoint to the patriarchal Christian :-)

BBC said...

The Gods are Crazy was a good movie.

I'd have to say I'm a Universalist Christian.

Better to call yourself a Unitarian, or nothing at all, in part because they have been lost for thousands of years and love being lost.

Besides, to be a christian or muslim is to be a brainwashed under achiever.

"God is big enough for all religions"

No, god is too big for any religions currently on this rock.

God, it's just a stupid word monkeys made up that isn't going away because so many need a make believe friend out there.

BBC said...

There are a few good Christians out there,

I like the risque humor they send me.

PENolan said...

For the moment, while I'm trying to self-identify, I'll go with Christina Quaker (nod to Gail and Intelli).

Sometimes silence is the only thing worth hearing.

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