Saturday, October 2, 2010

This Little Light of Mine

Gearing up to write for Black Magpie this morning, I was troubled.  I think the post (High Time) is timely and political and serious which is what it's supposed to be, I guess. Or maybe we're just in some serious shit in this country right now, so it's timely and appropriate to be serious.

Whatever.  The trouble is that I don't feel Political at all right now.  I feel Spiritual. Somehow, there doesn't seem to be any place for Spirituality when you're sitting at the table with the cool kids in the high school cafeteria.

I fully appreciate that God and Jesus have caused a lot of trouble in this world, but I would argue that neither God nor Jesus had anything to do with that shit.  People caused that shit.  Maybe God is a loaded gun, but it takes a person to fire the gun.  Further, God doesn't necessarily have anything to do with anything at all. Maybe in the beginning, God created Evolution.  Who the fuck cares?  We're here now, and whether or not there's a God has absolutely nothing to do with how we treat each other.

Even if there has never, ever been any God at all  there is still Beauty in the world.  And Inner Peace.  It's difficult to talk about experiencing that Beauty and Peace without referencing Energy or The Source.  The trouble is that tons of people - even militant atheists - are so stuck on God as Grandpa in the Sky that you can't even be grateful for beer without somebody making fun of you.  Or worse, they're afraid you're going to shove grandpa up their ass the minute you mention something that sounds remotely similar to God, when all you're really saying is that there's something more to this existence than meets the eye, and it's Beautiful.

Believing in something that resembles The Force doesn't make me as stupid as Christine O'Donnell.

"Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter," says Master Yoda.   Maybe all God ever has been and ever will be is a luminous spirit inside of us that connects us to Life and to each other - but isn't that enough?  God as a judgmental old bastard is patriarchal bullshit designed to keep power in the hands of antebellum dicks like Newt and Rush.  The Church, as a money making institution, needs the bullshit most of all.

The power of the patriarchy runs deep.It ran in me this morning while I was writing for BMT.  I'd be more mad at myself for hiding my light under a bushel, except for it's probably okay to let that light shine brightest over here in my own space.  Max, the Magic of Life Coach, sent me this video about a month or so ago.  It's a passage from Marianne Williamson's book, A Return to Love.  I shared it with a couple of friends, but I hesitated to share it more broadly because the word "God" is so connected to The Patriarchy that merely hearing the word can make your blood boil and run cold at the same time. All she's really talking about, though, is that energy we also call Life and Love. We also hear the same ideas about inner peace and energy in Yoga class, and from Earth based, Goddess oriented theology - so it's not like Jesus cornered the market on this stuff.  The folks at Unity have been saying that the Christ energy is available to all of us all the time it for years and years.  It's basic New Age Hippie Spirituality.

I can't help it that a bunch of patriarchal assholes commandeered God for their own purposes and perpetrated atrocities in the name of God around the globe for generations.  There is a light in all of us - and maybe if more people would let it shine, we could break free from a way of life that commits all our resources to war and start dedicating our resources to each other and our planet.


jadedj said...

Damn good post Tricia. I am with you all the way.

As you say, the problem with the word God is that it conjures up that dude with the long gray beard ready to do some serious damage on your person if you fuck up. And if you fuck up really badly, you burn...for eternity. Now that is some serious retribution. This is not and never will be my idea of something that is larger than we. There is no question in my mind that retribution is the opposite of light, beauty and harmony, which is more accurately a description of a higher order.

verymissmary said...

Great post!
I'm inspired to read the book because you mention being at first hesitant to mention book because she uses word GOD. Knowing you, and I'm just feeling this probably doesn't have to do with G-d...perhaps more with her writing or message, based on the video message? It is sweet and inspirational but is missing a very critical point about WHY we have fears,and what we might do about them. Just an opinion here, and again, I haven't read the book yet.
Thank you for including Master Yoda!

verymissmary said...

Another thought, not to be antidisestablishmentarianistic, but...I am thinking that some of our greatest leaders who were sensible ones - leaders who wanted to help us out of destruction and mayhem...were very spiritual indeed. Dr. Martin Luther King, M.Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Abraham Joshua Heschel, etc. Look what Jesus had to put up with! It's too hard to choose either/or i.e politics or spirituality...who decided that we can't have both? Meaning we are all deeply spiritual beings who may care and want to contribute to some area of politics...
incoherent with a cold, yet still thinking, oy.

Jaliya said...

I just want to hug you HUGE right now. Your post is another reminder, another life raft, another source of Light.

I can't stand the word "God" and all it infers. I've become allergic to religion as such ... and think there are as many expressions of Spirit(uality) as there are humans on the planet.

Gary Snyder wrote something that says it all for me:

"Our troubles began with the invention of a male deity located off-planet."

You, dear heart, are a very bright and luminous light.

PENolan said...

Hey Jaded - I'm pretty sure those folks have made life a living hell for everyone within 20 yards, and as long as it's making money for The Church, we'll keep hearing all about how we're all going there.

Right now, I'm going back to bed.

VMM, glad you're thinking. Hope the cold gets better soon.

Jaliya - big hug right back at ya!
I'll google Gary Snyder when I wake up from my nap.

mac said...

As I was reading this, I thought, "I know this"
Yes, I am an atheist. I have no belief in god, any god. However, I think deep within us all, lies a very strong spirituality.

I just think religion tends to suppress that spirituality.

I know Marrianne Williamson from some of her other work. There is no doubt, she is a very special person.

Vancouver Voyeur said...

I've always said organized religion is akin to organized crime. It's a power structure for the guys in charge to control those below them and make money off of them. I'm more of an inner light type of person and know that none of us has figured it out yet so I don't pay much attention to the stories the various churches tell.

Susan Tiner said...

I belong to an Episcopal church and sing in the choir there -- have been a member 14 years -- and I can't tell you how many times mentioning this to new non church friends produces the strangest facial expressions and comments like "oh" like I'm wearing a kick me sign or something. I'm not even particularly religious -- am spiritual -- but the church affiliation threatens people.

Jennifer said...

I guess a bunch of patriarchal assholes have been commandeering God for a few thousand years.

Tricia - I always say this but this post moves me lots. No secret to you, I suppose; we share this understanding about that kind of light - beauty. I refuse to be distracted from it by those angry assholes.

Beach Bum said...

Believing in something that resembles The Force doesn't make me as stupid as Christine O'Donnell.

I agree, while we have come far in learning about ourselves and or place in the universe I believe there are aspects of the universe that our minds cannot comprehend at this time and we may never.

I also agree with Mac in one respect, religion does nothing but suppress spirituality.

PENolan said...

V.V., organized religion = organized crime just about sums it up.

Susan, one of my best girlfriends sang in a gospel choir for years here in NYC before she moved back to Northern California. She found it very uplifting. Actually, the church where I work (Riverside Churchis actually pretty cool. I'm just not into that kind of fellowship. Apparently, blogging is all the fellowship I need ;)

mac, I feel you on the suppression thing. God as Fierce Fund Raiser has screwed up spirituality for lots and lots of people.

Beach - I'm content to let the mystery be. Do you know that song by Iris Dement?

Jen - right on. I'm going to breathe now.

Liberality said...

I am not religious but I am spiritual. I think even the dirt, the very Earth, is spiritual.

PENolan said...

I know you do, Libs. That's why I love reading your blog, and I love it when you stop by over here.

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