Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Avoid the Box

“Abide not with dualism,
Carefully avoid pursuing it;
As soon as you have right and wrong,
Confusion ensues, and Mind is lost.”
Edward Conze, Buddhist Scriptures

The unbearable weight of being trapped in a world
That is only black or white
Right or wrong
Good or bad

If you want to ruin anything thing
Be dualistic

Just try to live in an “either / or “ world
“I am good, or bad!”
You will inexorably end up bad, and in despair
Or in rare cases, totally good (fundamentally a narcissist)

All of us have our dark places
Our twisted parts
And we do best when we understand and see
Both sides of ourselves
That keeps us humble, that keeps us human

A country that is dualistic
is almost always tribal, arrogant, rigid, and blind
and ultimately immoral

“My country right or wrong!”
I have no problem with that, as long as we can see
That sometimes we are wrong

Without that critical pluralism that allows us to see our own failures
We end up destructive and abusive

Jesus was not dualistic
No way
He was sacred AND human
Demanding and comforting

And when we follow Jesus, we cannot be dualistic either
And this is where we go wrong
Those of us who try to stumble in the footsteps

Being black and white in the world of faith
Does not clarify
It confuses

Can we have certainties?
Of course
I am certain there is a power greater than myself
I am certain that this power is love
I am certain that all people carry Sacred DNA
I am certain that we all come from this reality, from Love
(many call it God)
And I am certain that we return to Love when we die

In the time in between
All bets are off

The more certain we are, the more dangerous we are
The more we try to hold on to black and white formulas
The more likely we are to end up in contradictions
And in places that are not Love

Dualism pushes us into a world of righteous or sinful
Innocent of guilty
Good or bad

Zygotes are innocent and must be kept alive
(unless they are the product of IVF, then we throw them away)

Women who are pregnant are somehow not innocent, and should live with the fact that they had sex, tsk, tsk
(although I am puzzled how an 11 year old who was raped and beaten is not an innocent)

People are death row are definitely not innocent
Just kill them!

We are good, they are bad
So we can impose our values and beliefs on them
Even as we devalue them as human beings

We are good they are bad
So we can bomb them, shoot them, exclude them

We are in, they are out
God loves us, God hates them
So we can minimize and oppress

But the reality is this is a “both/and” world
We are both good and bad
Right and wrong
Weak and strong

And it is in this place of uncertainty that we must live
We have only one compass point
That can lead us through this fog

Love, and an openness to the complexities
Love and an understanding that it is not always black and white
Love and an willingness to enter into the pain of the other
And understand


If we cannot do this
We will end up being very unloving
In the name of love

How crazy is that?

No comments:

Post a Comment