i got soul but i’m not a soldier

6/26/11, St. Cate’s. Deuteronomy, the bit about manna, then St Paul to the Corinthians. Nice use of metaphor; otherwise, Paul is nothing to write home about.* Besides, John got there first. Jesus as living bread! Obviously Jesus was not suggesting cannibalism–his words, his teachings, these were the bread and wine he had to give. Immortality would come, then, through deliverance into the afterlife.

* Ba-dum CHING.

I’m not sure I believe that part. Not sure what I think of an afterlife. All the evidence I’ve accumulated over the years suggests we get reborn. It’s a comforting notion, the afterlife, for the loved ones grieving. For those who go, all of this world and this life pass away. They’re loosed of the bonds holding them in this life, just souls again.

Immortality: to be able to move forward, having learned the lessons of this life. To live again and again. Or just once. Whichever suits. Because the truth is that we can’t know until we get there. I am familiar enough with the thought that I’m going to die. The scary part about death, for me, is the part where I actually die. I’d prefer not to notice. I just want to go to sleep someday and never wake. So I will pointedly not care about what’s next. I can care about it then. Now is for this world, the good I can do before I go. I need to be open and aware: open to the lessons my soul must learn, and to better ways of living with each other; aware that I change the world by living in it and that I can choose how I change it.

We can be bread and wine to each other, if we try. To do so based on the teachings of Christ requires, I think, two things: to love one another and to love the universe. Microcosm, macrocosm.

I also have difficulties with fathers as supreme beings. Mine wasn’t anything like that. Still isn’t. I can believe God as mother more readily because I have always thought of mothers as the ones who do the keeping, the capable ones. “Domestic goddess” is literal for me! I prefer the conception of God as genderless (or gendered at will), the universe that shelters us. It works with what is known by science. I don’t know how to treat a father-god, let alone revere one. Something in me is repelled by the idea of an all-powerful father. The women in my acquaintance have tended to possess enough compassion to balance their cold equations.

I can conceive of a merciful, healing, passionate God. I can believe in a Father whose mission is to foster love and understanding. Why does that person need to stand above? Why not with? Jesus didn’t seek power during his time here on Earth. He travelled, teaching and building a faith. He sought to free the people from their doctrine. Sounds like we could use that kind of teaching nowadays.

Working within the context of loving one another and loving the universe/God/whatever you call it, I don’t see the need for further doctrinal dictates. We sin against each other; we have to settle our own matters. Frankly, I’d hope God would be beyond caring who’s having sex with who and who’s eating the wrong animals. How I go forward as a person, how I treat other living beings, that’s what counts.

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