THE INTERNAL GOD : A Book Mention

BEWARE YE WHO ENTER HERE. ¬†I may be a heretic. ¬†(The original Greek sense of this word implies one who is free to choose.) ¬†But the evolved ¬†meaning is¬†one who holds an opinion at odds with what is generally accepted. ¬†Thus,¬†Jesus of Nazareth was a heretic who was guilty of choosing freely to oppose the mainstream religious practices at the Jerusalem Temple ; ¬†and of loving too much, getting himself crucified by those with whom he differed about how to worship ‚ÄĒ those who thought they owned the practice of worshipping ‚Äúcorrectly.‚ÄĚ ¬†

I hope I model myself after such contrarians as Moses, Socrates, Buddha, Jesus. ¬†But I may be very wide of the mark. ¬†It’s above my paygrade to know ; and above ours to judge. ¬†‚ÄúJudge not, lest ye be judged‚ÄĚ said Jesus. Yet so much of religion is based on the silly question of¬†who’s in and who’s out? Who knows? ¬†Certainly not me. ¬†If you think you know, beware, for there are those who feel sent to kill the heretic. ¬†You might be drawn in to joining a murderous crowd.¬†

Ok, about the title of my essay, The Internal God. ¬†The more common expression is eternal, forever-lasting. ¬†But most of our observations tell us that almost nothing is eternal ‚ÄĒ as even the Sun will eventually run out of energy, explode, or vanish into a black hole, whatever that is. ¬†Ah, but ideas can be both internal and eternal. ‚ÄĒ Just imagine going to the tool crib for a¬†seven¬†and being told they are all presently being used by other borrowers ‚Ästsorry, wait your turn. ¬†“Seven” is eternally available to everyone. ¬†Your ability to grasp the concept of number, or beauty, or justice, entitles you to use it. ¬†But be careful ‚ÄĒ powerful tools often cut in two directions. ¬†For example, those who want justice when they’ve been wronged also want forgiveness when they have transgressed. ¬†

So where is this internal God? ¬†Let’s be clear ‚ÄĒ I am not God! ¬†But perhaps consciousness, the awareness of the presence of an ideal ‚ÄĒ the I¬†AM ‚ÄĒ¬†is God in us. ¬†This is an elusive concept. ¬†It can’t be possessed. But it can be beheld. Jesus said the kingdom of God is within you¬†(Luke 17:20,21¬†see various renderings via pulldown menu). ¬†¬Ņ So, can you see God in me? (Probably not, if I choose not to see God in you!) ¬†Yep, words are slippery, and it’s our task to squeeze’em to get all the juice. ¬†

There’s a new book which speaks to such a broadened approach, titled THAT ALL SHALL BE SAVED: Heaven, Hell, and Universal Salvation. ¬†It is likely to draw fire from those who prefer “that old time religion” which crucified Jesus and his fellow heretics. ¬†An excerpt can be read here.

 

¬Ņ¬Ņ Who Crucified MOTHER EARTH ??

In the Moonlight, by Albert von Keller. 1894. Oil on canvas: 150 x 100,5 cm,   (Wikimedia commons.)

Nearly 2000 years ago a devout Jewish heretic was hanging on a cross, put there for the crime of loving too much.  Some accounts say the Romans nailed him up there ;  others, that the rulers of the Jewish Temple had arranged it.  

Even tho’ I didn’t yet reside on this planet, I know it was me, a Christian heretic, who required it ‚ÄĒ due to my reluctance to deny myself the false pleasure of being my own god. ¬†(Clearly, I’ve failed, but as I’ve matured somewhat, I’ve come to think of¬†pleasure¬†as a counterfeit of¬†joy.)

It’s GOOD FRIDAY¬†again, and humanity is asleep in its dreams of technology-as-savior. ¬†Many of my Christian friends are in utter denial that Earth’s climate is changing rapidly, and have elected someone who has ordered ¬†removal of the few safeguards America had cobbled together to delay us from snuffing ourselves. ¬†Yes, friends, global warming is very real, as you can assess with you own eyes, by watching this one-minute satellite animation of 25 years of arctic ice declining in a blink of geological time. ¬†(Heed the evidence of your eyeballs instead of Limbaugh’s lies!) ¬†Remember : ¬†the industrial revolution is only ~200 years old ‚ÄĒ so 25 years is a long portion of that! Prior to our harnessing of carbon energy, the CO2¬†levels had remained mostly steady for 10,000 years. ¬†200 years ago they were about 280 ppm ; ¬†today they are over 400 ‚ÄĒ preparing to cook us like planet Venus, accord to astrophysicist Adam Frank.

We are crucifying our Mother. ¬†Some of you, who will accuse me of deifying Nature, have deified a man who would be shocked to find himself to have been designated as God-in-the-flesh ‚ÄĒ by Emperor Constantine, (“the Great Decider”) who wasn’t even a Christian until decades later on his deathbed, when he accepted Christ. ¬†Yet the divinity of Jesus has been “settled doctrine” since the year 325AD. ¬†Kids, he was a man who accepted the dangerous assignment of teaching us of our divinity, but not to invite us to worship him, or into our current thinking that we have a right to ruin Creation thru wasteful living, by claiming to be our own God-in-the-flesh. He was a man who came to teach us we are all divine, when and as we discover that obedience is freedom. ¬†“Oh, but I couldn’t possibly be like Jesus ‚ÄĒ please excuse me from your heresy, sir.”¬†Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me,¬†said he. ¬†We must each do our own thinking, rather than letting church bullies decide such momentous things for us.

So, how to change course? ¬†(Is it even possible?) ¬†Twelve-step programs tell us we must admit our addiction. ¬†Yes, my name is ____ and I’m addicted to carbon, soot, darkness. ¬†But rather than distracting ourselves by attempting to minimize our addiction with a smaller carbon footprint, we need to step up to calling for policy changes that bring us a radical recovery thru energy conversion. ¬†Light, instead of carbon. ¬†The apostle John summarized his experience of Jesus in a single, short sentence : ¬†God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.¬†¬†But that sounds so naive! ¬†Could it be true? ¬†What about the holocaust, and birth defects? ¬†

Look, no matter how thin you slice the baloney, it always has two sides. ¬†And the problem of evil is no different. ¬†So, what’s the flip side of that? ¬†(Glad you asked.) ¬†¬ŅHow about the problem of the ideal? ¬† And what is the ideal of sustainable living on the planet we’ve been given? ¬†I will not hasten to answer, but I suspect it has something to do with light ‚ÄĒ seeing it, being it, loving it. ¬†Yes, Jesus did say I am the light of the world. ¬†But he also said you are the light of the world. ¬†Yeah, you! ¬†And me, too. All of us together, no outsiders, not even Judas! ¬†He stretched out his arms and welcomed us all into the Father’s creation, our walled garden. ¬†Love her. Protect her. ¬†Rescue her. ¬†We’ve been blessed with a gift of dominion. ¬†Let us not trample, but walk here gently.