Sunday, September 15, 2013

War, Peace and Grandpa in the Sky

Pinko and I have quarreled.   Most observers would say this quarrel is not a bit serious, but I feel sad and separate right now, even though I know that ego works in exactly this fashion to keep all of us feeling isolated from each other, preventing the sort of connection that leads to Unity Consciousness.  When I scan the world for examples of how ego works, the Israeli government never fails to provide an illustration.   Warmongers and Religions depend on fear and ego to maintain control over the population and keep the coffers filled.

I am as aware of the damage done in the name of religion as any of the militant atheists ridiculing spirituality, and I remain confused because these same atheists never seem to acknowledge this distinction between simple meditation practices that encourage inner peace and unity and the same sort of irrational fervor that brought us the Crusades and the Cold War, as well as the eternal, ambiguous War on Terror.   As if taking a few deep breaths and relaxing into the imagined idea of a world at peace   is the same thing as old people sending their Social Security checks to the 700 Club.

I don't dispute the fact that there are snake-oil merchants everywhere or that institutionalized religions present a picture of a judgmental, punitive Grandpa in the Sky to justify their own patriarchal hierarchy.
I dispute the notion that religion has anything to do with spirituality, and I resent the implication that by nurturing Spirit and the connection between us all, we hippy dippy airy fairies are cognitively deficient and/or delusional, and are somehow acknowledging the existence of Grandpa in the Sky.

This all has to do with the Intention Call - a weekly, 15 minute global meditation.  There are over 3,000 of us participating now.  It's sponsored by a tantra temple in Hawaii, and doesn't cost the participants a single penny.  In a world dedicated to annihilating each other, it's not like 3,000 hippy dippy airy fairies are hurting anyone on Saturdays when we breathe a collective breath and imagine peace.  Further, it's not like anything else is working when it comes to peace - and if we feel peaceful enough so that the people around us can relax and open their own selves up to a little peace, where's the harm?  And if little by little, as each one teaches one, 3,000 of us become 6,000 of us, and then 6,000 become 24,000 - that's a good thing, right?  The hope of the Intention Call, where of thousands of people focused on peace and unity find the inspiration to turn  thought into action, albeit in small ways, isn't so different from all the educational outreach programs of organizations working for social and economic justice or sustainability, really.

Each one, teach one is the best way to change the world.
Even Gandhi said something like that.
Maybe he was delusional and cognitively deficient, too.

I knew when I shared the link to the Intention Call, Pinko would have something to say about it - and sure enough within minutes, a provocative little dig had been made.  I knew it would go that way because through the magic of algorithms, I had seen that he had "liked" this picture:

Militant atheists always say stuff like this - as if every atrocity committed by humans proves there is no love in the universe.  The atrocities we commit against each other and the planet are not going to be stopped by Grandpa in the Sky because no matter how many preachers and politicians say that we need to send our money and our children to fight for the honor of Grandpa in the Sky - there is no Grandpa in the Sky.  And yet, militant atheists toss those of us who continue to believe in a love that leads to unity into the same category as Bible Thumpers even though we reject Grandpa just as thoroughly as the militant atheists.  The comparison is neither fair nor logical, but it hurts just the same.

In the past, I wouldn't have shared the link to the Intention Call at all because I would have wanted to avoid a quarrel.  And as it happens, I very nearly didn't share it yesterday because I didn't want to cause a riff.  Then I realized I would be stifling myself, compromising my own integrity to protect a relationship - and that any relationship worth protecting shouldn't require me stifling myself.  So in answer to what was most likely a little innocent ribbing, I spoke my mind.

To his credit, Pinko responded with all the right words, and maybe there's no quarrel at all.  Maybe I'm just up in the night with my own ancient fear - the fear that speaking my mind means there will never be a man in my life because mouthy women and boyfriends are mutually exclusive.  The Patriarchy has used the scary thought of spinsterhood to shut up women for generations.
We don't need Grandpa in the Sky to judge us harshly and rain down violent, catastrophic punishment.
We can do that all by ourselves.

There is no quarrel.  
But I still get an attitude about militant atheists.


Mr. Charleston said...

It's funny, when you said grandpa in they sky a vision of Ronald Reagan in Air Force One leaped into my head. I'm going to check out the meditation thing. Thanks.

PENolan said...

An excellent mental image, Mr. C
I generally see John McCain

ellen abbott said...

Excellent post. Militant atheists and just atheists, in my experience, cannot separate religion from belief in a unifying force or source though they have no problem accepting as fact the Big Bang even though science itself has demonstrated the effect of consciousness on matter.

I'm having a discussion with an atheist who says he has an open mind, just show him some proof. The problem is with what he will accept as proof.

PENolan said...

Atheists often will only accept things they themselves can understand as Proof, as if it's impossible for anything to exist that is beyond their understanding. I get it that we're all limited by our own frames of reference, but that framework is not the limit of possibility. Discussing these topics with atheists can be useful, though, in learning how to articulate your own perspective.

Jennifer said...

This is a great post, as always. (And I have been reading faithfully, only on an i-pad or my phone and i-world and google/blogger are not much friends and whenever I've attempted a response it wouldn't work. To respond to your writing is in itself enough of an excuse to open my computer, and I'm sorry I haven't.)

I'm glad there is no quarrel. That's happened to me often, imagining a quarrel when there was none. Something about that woman/man existing on non-parallel planes thing. At the very least it's always interesting. (One would hope.)

I can't subscribe to militant anything, probably because I don't believe any human can be completely black and white. Strong ideas and opinions are good, but beating people over the head with them is warlike. It sure wouldn't work on convincing me. I won't talk about 'be the change...' here because we've already been there.

I especially identified with your notion of being inclined to not speak your mind, and how sparks a fear of never being loved. Right on the money - that patriarchy shit runs deep.

Change most often happens outside of our immediate awareness. Even in ourselves. In that respect, we carry on, internally as well as socially. Some of us more militant in opposition to something or someone, others by joining together. If one way can be accused of being to "girly," then great. Because the patriarchal model hasn't worked so well, has it?

mac said...

I wouldn't say I like that image. However, it, and things like it, are part of what convinced me there is no gods.

Peace and love, however, are more powerful than any imagined deity. We could all use more of both.

Like Elvis says , what's so funny 'Bout that?

PENolan said...

mac, it's always a pleasure to see you

Susan Partlan said...

It really is best to quarrel from the start over points of personal integrity, in my experience. If you keep your mouth shut you just pay for it later starting a larger explosion when silence is no longer possible.

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