May 4, 2014

Hallelujah Anyway

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding. -- Job 38

So elsewhere I've been drawn into, for the X times infinityest time, yet another discussion about God. You know, the ones that go...

Is He this? Is She that?
Is God's "morality" thin or fat?
Does He wear a halo or a hat?
Does He care if you crush a gnat?
Can you see Him?
Could you be Him?
If He tells you to kill your kid
Would you do what Abraham did?

All the usual suspects show up
With all their suspect notions.
Some come to sell you a Bible.
Some come to sell you a potion.
Some come to sell you a bottle
Of the very best Atheist lotion.

In short, when it comes to God -- as we learn in the Holy Book of Dylan -- "Everybody wants to get you down in the hole that they're in."

Me? I'm a believer because... well because I've really got Nothing Better to do. That's because measuring myself against even the smallest, most finite, and bounded idea of God I can conceive I'm about gnat size in relation to that. I wish others saw it that way, but among the smart monkeys most of us think of ourselves as some sort of gigantic intellect -- at least in comparison to, say, a clam. Interesting that the "intelligent" who are long on stupidity are always short on humility.

The point is that smart monkeys like us are, deep down, stupid and shallow in anything that even starts to compare us to the Creator. At best we've been granted a small, dim sense of the shadow of the afterimage of Creation and are forever limited to that. We cannot go beyond it. For us there is no outside looking in. We simply don't have the wetware.

For many this vague, haunting sense is such an insult to their monkey mind's ego that they cannot endure the humiliation. And so they deny what little light they have and turn, turn away. It's futile of course but so many now are so afflicted that they find, with each other, small and cold comfort in numbers.

It's a shame that in this brief Grace-granted glimpse of the Immense Light between a sleep and a sleep that so many shut their eyes to the unfolding Miracle of each Moment, and think, poor little monkeys, that since none of it is about them none of it needs to be seen as it is -- glorious, compassionate and indifferent. They actually think ... no "believe"... that the Creator should not be beyond their good and evil; that the moral life of Creation should reflect our dim and limited mind.

Given the Gift they use it to curse the Giver.

Poor fools. Poor prideful fools. Poor little limited semi-smart monkeys. Pick a fight with God? All their puny arms together are still too short to box with God.

Posted by Vanderleun at May 4, 2014 11:32 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

"Slay God" and revert to mere survival. For without "God", what else is there?

Eventually, there is no Art. There is no other. There is no Why. There is no meaning.

All there is left is you and the needs of the flesh you reside within. ;)

Morality becomes relative to your respective situation and how you can 'get' whatever it is you are after.

For as long as you exist there is the precedent of (whatever it takes) filling the needs of the lowest rungs of Maslows pyramid and taking the fragments of other peoples beliefs and manipulating them so that they serve your self-same basic needs.

A Narcisisst. A sociopath. The modern barbarian. It is they who profess their 'religious' beliefs most loudly, those who are the wolves in the fold, who, through time, are identified by the telltales of who they are - at least for those who can ... perceive.

In this most unspiritual epoch (rather ironic, wouldn't you say?), you may not be aware of Gods' precence, but you surely would be aware of his absence when sitting in a room with one of these modern barbarians.

True, most Atheists/Agnostics have not decayed to that level, but if they work at purging themselves of all Deist imperfections (Christian, Hindu, Islamic etc... Dogma), they will eventually arrive at this dark and dead sea.


Once the Godhead has been removed, the inner decay begins (the nature of the person determines the speed of the decay):

Christianity ----> Secular Humanism ----> Atheism ----> Moral Relativity ----> Nihilism.

(Atheism and Moral Relativity can be switched, though the others seem to be the standard progression)

Posted by: cond0010 at September 2, 2011 12:05 AM

Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.
Job 40

I find myself less and less willing to be drawn into these discussions anymore, Gerard. You are a more sturdy debater than I am. I have no patience nor do I care to try to convince anyone, after all, who am I? I simply respond by saying, "Of course there's a God. It must be you, because only you seem to be able to figure out what God should be like if He were ever to exist."

Posted by: Jewel at September 2, 2011 2:26 AM

Our default human nature still seeks to either free ourselves from our dust, or kill other perceived threats by projecting our shortcomings on the Other and killing it. The study of the human need for a scapegoat is a key element of understanding blood sacrifice. You rightly note that we have not moved from this default.

To take Abraham and Ike out of the context of the long view and make it stand alone as a refutation of blood sacrifice is to torture it out of its plain meaning, and to in turn sacrifice a hard truth for the purpose of a desirable context.

Paul said that Abraham received Isaac as back from the dead. That speaks more plainly to the purpose and intent. God stayed a human hand that was willing to simply acknowledge that He who gave life where there was no possibility of life, (Sarah's barren womb) had the simple right to assume His ownership of that life, and require it again. In Abraham's duller understanding of obedience to a Greater, he would not have thought twice about the sacrifice and the story would be a lesson of brutish obedience; but Abe already had many years to think about where life came from. He fully understood that Isaac was not his own doing, and that was a new concept. THAT was the beginning of the Covenant. The Promise and the Gift from above, as echoed in the Nativity.

If Abraham, being the first of all who believe, was the first to value the Gift that was in the blood more than the blood itself, then it goes back to the visitation. God came to earth in human form to reveal what Abraham could have never guessed on His own. I can posit that Abraham fully believed that if God truly "required" again the life He had given, then it was no problem for Abraham to consider that God was not breaking His promise of an heir and a son, but would indeed raise up Isaac from the dead, if necessary.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at September 2, 2011 4:34 AM

A couple of days ago you put up a cover of Hallelujah by Annie Lennox, who can sing.

Posted by: Fat Man at September 2, 2011 4:55 AM

I generally say something similar, Gerard: atheist, agnostic, believer, we all seem to agree on the mindblowingly awesome size of God. So given the size of God and the size of me . . . why exactly would you think I am the one in charge of whether or not I believe?

Although I have to say for me it was a two-step process. I have always found it easy to believe in God. When I was in the middle of what was supposed to be a fatal siege of ovarian cancer and had a couple of white-light experiences plus a powerful dream followed by my cancer disappearing--after that I came to the second, far more difficult step: persuading myself that God believed in me.

Posted by: Wenda at September 2, 2011 8:05 AM

The unknowability of God is a chasm that can be bridged by God. And it has: "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" -- John 14.9.

"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends... (John 15:15).

Posted by: Donald Sensing at September 2, 2011 9:33 AM

Three letters put together that make such a troublesome, misused, misunderstood word.
The word that we use to describe so much, but in so many ways is also misused, misunderstood...
'Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God. He who loveth has been born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is Love.' 1 John, 4:7-8
I'm not referring to romantic love, or holding some kind of concept of what love is out there on a pedestal as a false idol...and I believe using the Lord's name in vain is completely wrong, especially to try and get something out of someone ("you know baby, I Love can we have sex?")
Love is to be lived, to be felt, to be shared.
Love is patient, kind.
Love, ultimately, is all-forgiving.
God is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent...
Substitue the G.O.D. word with the L.O.V.E. word, and you have unlocked the mystery (at least that mystery that we as humans can comprehend, for ultimately we can understand Love, the emotion).
We are not God, but we have GOD (LOVE) within us, the infinte capacity to Love, to give Love freely, to be Loved, to Lovingly forgive...
I cringe when I hear people who speak of being a 'God-fearing' (fill in the religion here).
Why do you fear Love?
If we could overcome all of the implications of a three-letter word that people fear, and embrace LOVE, let LOVE flow through us...
I can truly worship Love, through living Love.
True Love is eternal.

Posted by: Uncle Jefe at September 2, 2011 9:47 AM

Some good stuff here,
And mostly true,
But I'll stick with Leonard
When it comes to Hallelujah.

Posted by: Casca at September 2, 2011 10:38 AM

Amen Brother! This morning, over Indiana, I watched Orion the Hunter rise. Orion has been rising for thousands of years over mankind... Rising in a sky so vast and endless it cannot be thought about in pragmatic terms... So man ignores it. Proof of the Creator is over our heads! Oh, wait... I saw a study recently that says something can indeed come from nothing. Silly me! What was I thinking about? Poor little monkeys...

Posted by: Captain Dave at September 2, 2011 12:32 PM

Some days it is very difficult to believe in God. Very hard.

Posted by: Cilla Mitchell, Galveston, Texas at September 2, 2011 1:02 PM

Hallelujah indeed! Another version from a rising star who can actually sing:

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at September 2, 2011 3:19 PM

Ah, Alexandra. Great cover.

Posted by: vanderleun at September 2, 2011 4:00 PM

The hardest thing for God ever had to do was give his enduring love away, for free. We fill the holes in our short lives with material nothings, to the exclusion of God's love for eternity.

Posted by: Terry at September 3, 2011 8:03 AM

I believe, Terry, that since Love is limitless, it is not a hard thing to give it away. It is there for one to receive, and if one decides, to reciprocate. The unconditional nature of Love does not diminish the power of Love. And the beauty of Love is that it is our freewill to accept Love or not, rather than be forced to 'submit' to it or fear it.
Love IS.

Posted by: Uncle Jefe at September 3, 2011 8:21 AM

The closest most of us will come to seeing the face of God, in living flesh, will be when we gaze on a newborn or a toddler doing anything. And that's good enough for me.
"Where is God?," you ask. Well if "the Kingdom of Heaven is within," guess where the King resides.

If you believe that God is all-pervasive, omnipresent, then you cannot be other than That in form. There's no place for anything else.
If you behave accordingly, what do you have to worry about other than physical pain and mental anguish which only hurts the physical/mental actor. No small thing when you forget what you really are. The Playwright applauds your/Its performance nonetheless.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at May 5, 2014 4:20 PM