The Arc of Lovelessness (3)
So, the fact is, if we approach life as merely boiling down to presenting a conventional picture of “success”, as much of contemporary western society tends to define it, then we are pretty much all in big trouble! Mostly all of what might constitute our greatest models in that sense, whether “worldly” or spiritual, turn out to have feet of clay… and additionally too oftentimes make life very difficult for their nearest friends and loved ones. But again, I think that reading this scenario as some failure of the world system or of them or us as individuals is to miss the point entirely. This is what makes us entirely, and even gloriously human.
The deep, not-so-dark secret of religion is that God needs humanity, and wants to love humanity even more than humanity would seem to need or to want to love God. As it turns out, much like “us”, God is not any sort of entity, but is more a living relationship. Just as we can never stand apart from one another, as if we were all some discrete and weird things in a system based entirely on a principle of isolation, God is never separated from us. To paraphrase Meister Eckhart, “God is me better than I am myself.” As time plays out, we all find that out. And as we recognize this fact, we begin to understand Grace.
In our society, that is, 21st century capitalistic society, it is very difficult at times to even grok the concept that, we are not only not pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstrap beings, but that we are not even separate beings to begin with! In fact we never have been or can be, from womb or cradle to grave and beyond. Which may sound like a prison if not directly experienced, but when realized firsthand actually reveals the illusion of separation to be the only prison. Love, which is the ground of all of our very existences, is only ever completely liberating. Furthermore, our own actual existential situation, far from being what Sartre promoted in No Exit, as it turns out is Heaven. Heaven is our basic condition, even here as supposed people, entwined and mixed-up in all of our passions and desires as we are. Imagine Grace as a Karo syrup poured all over all of us — there is a simultaneous stickiness and lubrication, which both joins us and frees us in a paradoxical manner.
Our sole task is to recognize that we are completely free in a way that we have yet to imagine, and to entertain that idea with Faith, as we express ourselves to the best of our ideas and heartfelt longings. If God has enough room to love and bring us all into being, than surely she or it has enough space to entertain a few oddballs’ random doodlings. Even if they amount to shit-smearings on the walls. Or television commercials.
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