Om Namah Shivaya
I honor the divinity that resides within me.
A Sanskrit meditation as cited in
Eat, Pray, Love
by Elizabeth Gilbert
What If God Was One of Us
My Heretical Thoughts
I know this post won't attract a lot of readers because words like heresy never do. For those of you unfamiliar with the word but loyal or curious or bored enough to come by anyway, allow me to translate. Heresy is an opinion that goes against established religious beliefs. You could use the word unorthodox, but I don't think it packs quite the punch as heresy.
As I've said in other posts, I'm not a traditional believer. Many members of my beloved family take the Bible literally. I am not one of them. When I look at concordances that show the various translations and with my understanding of how difficult it is to translate, I can't understand how anyone could think one reading is the "right" reading or that a single translation could carry the whole original message intact.
I appal my family and other orthodox believers even more by not believing the Bible is the only book that we can learn religious ideas from. I think it's really thought provoking to hear Buddhist ideas or Hindu ones or beliefs of the B'hai. Many of my traditionally religious family members are very threatened by other works and cannot hear how similar some of the ideas and teachings are or pick things up that they might be able to apply in their own life. They can only look at other religious teachings with skepticism and disdain.
And to go even further, I shock them, by letting them know if we ever get to that depth of conversation, that for me there is no "truth." There are a lot of cool ideas to ponder and consider and dwell on enough to think about how to improve myself--by being a more loving and generous person--and improve the world--by hoping my love and peace and calmness could at the least not contribute to violence and hatred even if it can't foster peace. I find it interesting to discuss these ideas with others, even if they have found a "truth" they firmly believe in. The conversation goes better if they don't scorn me, of course.
The Makings of a Parable
I find the concept of parables--a simple story that tells a moral or teaches a lesson--a comfortable one. It allows for the sharing of a message about "good living" without too much emphasis on literalisms or mysticisms.
My studies so far in life have allowed me to play with this little parable. It's not my intent to offend or sway. It's just a little what if story that I find interesting to contemplate. I hope some of you appreciate it.
What if instead of the story being that
Jesus is God incarnate--the human form of God--
the meaning was all humans are a physical form of God?
So that the beauty of the story was not just
that Jesus was divine, but that we all are.
If that were true, then we would need to nurture and try
to reach and grow what was divine within us.
And if this divinity was specifically given to human forms,
then would not our very bodies also be part of what we
needed to nurture and enhance as the vessel and
one-time carrier of that divine spirit?
What if all the people worked on developing their inner
divinities as well as their outer vessels, their bodies?
Would that not lead to repeated swells of mass ecstasy,
with mind-blowing, trembling transcendence both
mentally and physically?
Would not this mass ecstasy allow for a greater world of
creative and positive energy--like a humanity sized climax?
And ultimately, what if the promise of eternity for cultivating
the divine within us was that all these divine spirits came
together both now when we have bodies and also later
when our bodies are no longer?
If that were true, then would not the spirits we cultivated as humans continue on in a new body-free form, continuing
to be a positive, creative, divine force in the universe?
Allowing myself to contemplate this story makes me feel a need to be kinder to myself, more honoring of my strengths. Thinking of my body as a vessel for a divinity within me helps me feel more motivated to work with my body to make it all it can be--to train to levels that allow me to transcend the limits I've let fat put on me. It helps me think of my body and my spirit/mind together as the divinity that I can experience now in this life. Thinking this way makes me feel more positive, more gentle with myself, more content in my uniqueness/imperfections, and more driven to blossom my potential.
Gentle reader, if I have offended thee, please forgive me and know that I honor your faiths and beliefs and the truths you hold dear and that guide you.