Tuesday, February 27, 2007

WHAT IF...? Religion and the undiscovered Self (on the uses of belief for hatred)

WHAT IF....? ..
Religion and the Undiscovered Self.

“See to it that the light in you is not darkness.”
Luke 11:33

Once, out of time, the devil went for a walk with a friend. They saw a man ahead of him stoop down and pick up something from the ground.
“What did that man find?” asked the companion.
“A piece of truth.” said the devil.
“Doesn’t that disturb you?” asked the companion.
‘Not at all,” said the devil, “I shall help him make a belief out of it. Before long, out of the vanity of his own discovery, he will discount all other beliefs and end up worshiping his belief. Then he will become closed to all other truth! And the devil laughed.
“That way, you see, he is a hidden part of My Kingdom which is power OVER. Whenever Christians use their faith to judge others as less faithful, they belong to me “ and he laughed and laughed.

They walked further, and after a while the devil said. “I have even a better idea. These humans have such a craving for worship, together with an obsessive need to reduce anything new to the familiar and simple answers. I got the bishops at the Council of Nicea to declare that Creed which cuts out the life and gospel narrative of that Nazarine.
“How so?” asked his friend.
“What is essential in that Creed? That he was born, sufferee, died and rose again. Not a thing about the radical message he preached and the way he lived. Nada. Nil. Zilch. Zero. I worled hard on those bishops.” And he laughed.
“I do not quite get it?” said his friend.
“Don’t you see?” said the devil. Worshiping him blinds them to his Way: following the Light Source within in total love of God and others. Since worship makes him the source instead of owning it themselves, the result is that they keep on ‘slaying’ him and his message throughout time, all the while thinking they are doing good!”
“I think I am beginning to appreciate your cleverness.,” said his friend.
“Well, by putting him up on the altar, by making him the Great Ikon, they won’t recognize how he is the one who is fully human, and invited them to accept the Kingdom within, that each of them has the same Spirit he had. So, the result is that these stupid humans remain passive Gospel-consumers rather than active Gospel-creators.” And the Devil roared with laughter.

“Wow!” said his friend, “That’s amazingly clever.”

“I haven’t finished yet,” said the devil. “I’ll suggest so many concepts about God to make creeds and idols out of with many rules about how to be “Christian,” that they will end up abusing each other and killing each other over who has the whole truth. His following will disintegrate into a thousand sects and cults, all arguing and competing with each other like a pack of dogs over one bone. I will make believing Christians a scandal to non-believers all the while they think they are being holier than one another by the concepts they believe.

“It is amazingly easy to get them to use their beliefs to judge one another and to engage in a secretyet sincere form of idolatry. You have no idea how easy my work is.” And the devil snickered again.

“Whew!” said his friend., “I can’t believe your cunning.”

“Neither can THEY,” said the devil, “which is all to my benefit. But I am never quite finished. I’ll fill them with needing the safety of unquestioned belief and either having or hankering for many good things. They will not be open to the stranger in their own midst, and never need to be vulnerable to anyone. They cannot be open to the new radical Way of compassion he summoned. Because responding would mean emptying their hearts and minds, no one will be foolish or courageous enough to risk that. They are safe in their little churehes, and the big ones, too.”

The devil cackled and crowed: “My slyness is so divine I am almost bursting! Last and best, these stupid humans will never realize that being full of themselves, so sincere and so sure of their salvation, filled with the superiority of their belief systems, they are becoming, Hah, just like me. I can use sincere‘belief’for hatred sake to destroy the world. I am just starting with the Muslims.”

” Don’t you just LOVE my cleverness?” Endless chortling

* * * *
What if, finally
–we don’t need the devil to warp religion?
–as long as we put our faith in concepts of belief we have misconcieved the message?
–until we leave the superstructure and imperialism of belief we are destined to harm one another all the while believing we are doing “God’s will.”?
–all false images of God must be slain in order to release truly radical redemptive spiritual energy, and the allow the mystery we call God to remain beyond human understanding?
–our darkest night is still in front of us?
–the mind becomes one pointed and the “one point” is then removed?
–putting Anyone on a pedestal dis-empowers us?
–the primary Jesus’ wisdom is that we, he, all of us have the same access, energy and power and life in the Father that he invites?
–the radical transformation of human consciousness, turning upside down all wisdom of the world, that Jesus demonstrated, has not yet been apprehended?

–When we are full we are really empty, and only by emptying ourselves can we be filled?

Where do we go from the top of a 30 foot pole? (Zen saying)

Paschal Bernard Baute
"What If...religion and the undiscovered Self."
Article published in
Carl Jung and Soul Psychology, Edited by Karen Gibson, Donald Lathrop and E. Mark Stern, Haworth Press, 1986, pp. 62-63
copyrighted, 1986, revised, 2007


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