WE HAD IT ALL – SO WHERE DID IT ALL GO?

In the ‘50’s, America had recently finished WWII – fairly unscathed –
And then, without much thought, dove into a deep, largely innocent, materialism –
At country club “blue pools,”
Bigger houses, cars with sharp fins, longer vacations, sometimes even to foreign countries,
Along with a lot of golf, art, alcohol, and sports –
We had it all.

‘50’s novelists commonly wrote about Americans’ inner emptiness
While 50’s churches filled to overflowing with families worshipping a unique conformist “American religion.”

This country has been like a giant pendulum – erratically swinging between left and right –
And between puritan intensity and a “there’s no tomorrow” type of indulgence.

We created an American-persona “God” to serve in those American churches
Relying, however, upon the strength of our military-industrial complex to “save” us –
If needed –
Instantly self-forgetting and self-forgiving anything, historically, we’ve done to others.

No one reads those 50’s novels anymore – they’re too sterile –
True – but depressingly flat.

Nowadays, Americans no longer strive so much for material things –
In part because, for the most part, they’re relatively less affluent than back then,
But still want to understand where all their American “greatness” has gone.

Occasionally, a few Americans have even started musing about the possibility
Of, one day, becoming inwardly wealthy – maybe for the first time.

What a thought!

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OUT HERE WITH THE BIRDS

America’s future doesn’t lie in wealth or power –

Instead, it’s a proof text
Demonstrating how different kinds of people
Can live in relative peace with one another –

If this works in America
It’ll work everywhere else on earth –
And provide solid evidence that reasonable laws
Can substitute for blood, cultural, or racial ties.

America’s future doesn’t lie in religious cults, no matter how ancient, popular, or patriotic–
But in a country purified of violence and materialism.

Until recently, Americans have been living a wrong idea –
That we have somehow been “chosen” –
An idea that, repeatedly, brought destruction upon earlier civilizations.

Really, it’s the “everydayness” of America that’s so great!

Recently, however, we’ve gotten somewhat off track –
And have found ourselves lost out in the grass –
But, maybe, that’s not so bad –

Actually, it’s really sort of peaceful
Out here with the birds.

WHAT ARE MEN SO AFRAID OF?

“Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” 12 Mathew 32

The religious traditions that exclude women from a central role vis-à-vis God flagrantly sin against the Holy Spirit. By imposing strictures against women’s relationship with God, especially in preaching and teaching, men, in direct opposition to Jesus’ admonition, are forcefully diminishing the Holy Spirit by restricting it to one half of the human race – since the Holy Spirit is, of course, freely available to all human beings, not just to a single sex, and, certainly – not just to males.

So, what is it that men have been so afraid of? Is it that women’s natural love of nature implies they might also have the potential to be more intimate with God as well? And is that why men, so very long ago, felt an urgent need to manufacture a male “exemplar” God to prima facie exclude all images of women from the godhead? Or might it have been an even deeper fear – that God might actually possess strong feminine aspects?

There’s also been a lack of “inwardness” in our postmodern lives. It’s far easier to project human intelligence “outward” into science and technology, finance and politics, than “inward” where thinking inevitably has to confront emotions and feelings. Ironically, the outward “male” path is easier to follow than the inward “female” one because it’s so difficult for one’s rational thinking to sort out one’s emotions and feelings – especially when we become so “attached” to the latter. However, that’s where most of the “juice” in human life resides – along with an ability to get “real things done.”

Here’s the problem: in men’s traditional approach to religion, “spirit” has not been taken very seriously, while materialism has been avidly worshipped. As a result, the spiritual visions of Jesus, Buddha, and Mohammed have, over time, become transformed by the religious institutions established in their name into a kind of ersatz spirituality – shading into frequently violence-tinged “spiritual materialism.” This has created the kind of spiritual imbalance that, one day, might flip humanity into a final tragic cycle of self-destruction.

The “hard” male-dominant social structures that have created this spiritual imbalance – i.e., the world’s vast, almost child-like, yet extraordinarily expensive military organizations, the constantly morphing multinational corporations, and the West’s “sacred” capitalist economic structures – by common consensus have now gone too far and are currently threatening humanity’s very existence.

In light of all of this, isn’t it time – even past time – to think about spiritually starting all over again – and modestly and respectfully requesting women’s help?

IF YOUR MIND IS FULL OF DEAD SNAKES

If the God you worship is a true God –
But your heart lives in a trash dump –
What do you think you’ll see when you look at God?

If your mind is full of dead snakes
That you mainly enjoy counting –
Then a God who’s constantly offering fresh spiritual life
Will probably never get noticed by you.

If you believe life is truly a miracle –
Spontaneous – one of a kind –
Why restrict yourself to a regular routine –
Never contemplating the possibility of surprises?

If you don’t deeply yearn for the Spirit –
And always hold tight to the material –
One day you’ll discover your heart’s been moving in the opposite direction from joy.

Materialism isn’t bad, per se – it’s what sustains the Spirit –
But if our hearts only desire more things –
While refusing to open up to the Spirit –

Eventually – we’ll fall down –
Turn to dust
And blow away.

So say the prophets.