Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sermon on the Mounted

I have since learned that the preacher was insulted.  She who came to me unannounced, presumed to know my "problem" and how to fix it-- she was insulted.

Then I got a birthday card, wherein her apology is clothed in the message that in her heart lies a trump card.

But Happy Birthday anyway!

It was the usual story.  I am made in god's image, my primordial ancestors given idyllic splendor with a condition -- don't eat the fruit of the Tree.  Then came the embodiment of Evil, as a snake, and the stupid woman was seduced to eat.

As I result, I am bad.  I am broken, and sinful, and my only chance to be reunited with something called god is through "the heart," specifically through another thing named "Jesus."

This was told to me as if it was news.              

Normally I don't stick around for this stuff, but I made an exception because the preacher was likable, and perceptive.  Plus, I was trapped -- and that is the most bothersome part of the message.

I came home that night after a day of moving boxes and job hunting.  I did not want visitors, but I'm not living in my own space, and so could not overtly complain.  A bubbly middle-aged woman shows up, unannounced, and immediately takes an abnormally strong interest in me -- I was set up.

First came the ice breaker, later the question:  do I have five minutes to spare, to look at a drawing?  And then I knew -- here it comes.

I was shown in pictorial form what I narrated above, the story of the Fall and the proposed solution.  Five minutes became half an hour as I attempted to understand what this preacher had to offer, and (especially) why she had come.

Eventually I lost patience, and the response to my charges of condescension and judgment was surprising. The preacher stated she is so happy with this God-thing in her "heart"  that she is bursting, and so must share.  But without an appointment?  When what was clearly expected was for me to sit attentively and listen, and agree, instead of having a conversation?

In other words, it was about her, not me.

Beyond the pretense and conniving that set up the meeting, I do not feel I was subjected to a self-lie, at least not a conscious one.  This was not some spaced out, starry-eyed "born again" . . . or was it?

She did repeat things an awful lot, as if my rejection was a matter of incomprehension.  Allow me to elucidate what I was trying to say that night.

The "Fall of Man" story makes sense to me on this level:  at some point consciousness became able to process "good versus evil," and has been working out the ramifications ever since.  One of them is the tension between accepting and dominating inclinations, which include knowing.

I can accept that I have inherited the consequences of duality -- clearly.  I can even accept the idea of alienation from "God", but what do you mean by that?

And there exchange goes on forever, trying to delineate exactly what that word is supposed to represent. And that's the problem, because "god", understood in such venerable terms as the "ultimate source" or "uncaused cause", has no qualities.  It's Mysticism 101:  all attempts to label and discuss are pointers, at best.

So, what is that we were really talking about?  What am I alienated from? 

What was she alienated from?

c. 1470

Postscript:  The preacher and her husband have since taken me out to lunch for my birthday, and gave me a Christmas present as well. This is all very nice, but I still don't know what it's about.

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