Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Un-New, Un-Man

  It was only yesterday that I figured out that "SCOTUS" is an acronym for Supreme Court of the United States. I was more familiar with the terms "the court" and "the Supremes". SCOTUS  is like POTUS (President of the United States) but it had not previously occurred to me to call them that. This week, they produced "rulings" on two key issues, and although it might be kinda fun to deride them as traitors and whatnot; I (as usual) am mostly noticing those items not being said. To me, it is more interesting to look over the blueprint, to get an idea of what is being built, rather than to just add my voice to the rants about "development ruining things".
  In the first place then, over in facebook land, I noted, early on; the divisions clearly appearing. Some sort of war between patriots and skittles perhaps? Clearly, we are a land divided, and a house at opposition to itself. The political spectrum of left to right, we might have correctly guessed, but what I found surprising was how consistently the male to female views sharply differed. I will be quoting none of the posts found, neither those agreed upon, nor those I found to be plainly insane. But in large terms; the fem-left skittles group was very glad indeed that the five kings dressed in black had authorized homosexual "marriage" across all state boundaries. They appeared to think that some sort of redux of the 1960s era civil rights struggle was being played out? The patriot, right-guy perspective was more to the effect that the court had begun inventing laws out of thin air, and that the unconstitutional abuses represented by such actions cannot possibly bode well for the future of the republic. So, besides the divisions noted, one is looking backward to a glorious struggle, and the other was looking ahead, to grim consequences. But, when I analyze things this way, I normally search for an unspoken, and third option.
  If you would like to try it sometime, one must "listen for" what is not being said, but what is yet being implied (especially in the assaults launched) by the respective "sides". One must learn to hear the quiet, in order to decode the third view, by words unspoken; in my assumed position.
  So, in the first case which the court heard, do you hear the silence on the status of citizenship? Bad "decision" number one of the week declares it is now "legal" that the government may find "criminal" those who "fail to purchase".
  The topic of the case has to do with health insurance, but that is moot to my point here. Regardless of whether we discuss a product or a service, for any government to be able to force purchase of anything, upon anyone; is the work tyrants love best. The roaring quiet just about here, is centered upon the legal fiat which redefines citizens, so to create "criminals" out of thin air. The "neo-crime" of "failure to purchase" (logically at least) creates the "right" for the ruling class (also out of thin air) to fine, detain, jail (or worse) such "neo-felons" at their leisure. It is a hammer which might someday fall, it is an arbitrary and unjust enforcement of raw power we see. The commerce clause was written to protect citizens from just such federal excess. The feds were never to be entrusted in this fashion, and so the founders chained future political ambition of coming rulers. That safeguard is now history.
  R.I.P. to the Constitution! The silence prevailing here, is that we are (apparently at least) in an unannounced post-constitutional phase? The quiet prevailing here, is the lack of eulogies for the deceased, our beloved document.
  Now, as an aside; in my opinion the logical and obvious fix to the problem of the uninsured, is to make provision for doctors and healthcare institutions to simply refuse to serve those that they deem to be bad financial risks. If no ability to pay is found in the buyer, then the obligation to serve should be a matter of conscience for providers. Thus, the internal motivation for purchasers of said insurance is for their own peace of mind, and financial stability. Duh?
  SCOTUS decided instead; to build an underclass of "neo-criminals", which technically becoming "lawbreakers", can (nowadays) "lawfully" be rounded up whenever Uncle feels the need to apply some political pressure. Such "helps" nobody, but the governing class, as it gathers unnatural powers to itself, so to grant the "legal" privilege to persecute, detain, and (ultimately) to "disappear" those it finds slow to obey. That monstrosity is what we are just now seeing being built.
  Now the silence just here, at the gathering of "powers-unnatural" is what sounds loudest to my ears.
  The other "ruling" which grants nationwide sanction to sodomy as an "equally valid form of married union", is of a different kind than merely creating "criminals" out of nothing. It is a much worse overstep, in that it redefines by statute, the creature "man".
  Many of the Christian comments I have seen posted repeat (correctly) that marriage is the union of one man with one woman. And as far as a definition goes, this works. But what goes unsaid (often) is that "the creature man" is not, and never really was. Or to rephrase, the Biblical view is that "man" was the two as one, not the one as one. The West has come, through a torturous process, to view the creature "man", as an autonomous and "atomic" individual, and any grouping thereof as ancillary, and frankly unrelated. The elevation of the one over the many thus, as a presumptive identity; necessarily reframes "the image".
  The original (and true!) working definition of "the creature" was that the two were joined as one. The union comprised of individuals covenantally bound to each other, proposes something like a "compound entity", or a "many-which-is-one" as the "reflection and depiction" of the True; Many-Who-Is-One. With this sort of view then, union (marriage) is so basic to the identity of "man" as "image", that to distort or forget such is to reject formally creation. Such must finally deploy as a fully blown denial of The Creator.
  Think with me, is it "coincidence" alone that the next gen is "pretending at" atheism, or are they in fact playing their true hand? Homosexual "marriage" can never be "additional to" the genuine article, in that it is formally at war with it! And listen to the quiet just here. Don't you sense also the big silence concerning the congruence of hatred for "religion", with love for "diversity"?
  Gruesomely enough, all of this is bad news indeed, but I have yet barely begun! The flat denial of YAHWEH, behind perverted sex generates a necessary power vacuum. Evict Him, and it not like you get nothing, you get altogether too much! And that; formats as far, far worse. When the Living God is denied, the "empty space" is always, always filled, but not with freedom. Look instead for the miserable, and for the deceitful and murderous.
  Recall that when the faith was new in earth, it in those days displaced and drove out "the gods"; those ancient foes of all that is decent, true and right. Those agents of chaos did not disappear, but instead they were chained in darkness. And as our fem-left, and backwards-focused skittles neighbors make "progress", they rejoice that they are casting off the restraints and narrow mindedness of old? Uhm, newsflash, this just in: Those restraints were in place for good reasons!
  In the bad old days, when those ancient enemies of God and man had fuller sway, life was not "better and free". It was the new blueprint, it was the Biblical Gospel which brought into earth, the fruits of education, progress, emancipation and compassion to a hard, cold and brutal environment. The shape of that new building was that the original "compound entity" (the original couple) now served as template for a much larger, grander and widely inclusive "new creature". The new blueprint includes the many, those drafted in from around the world (and across the age!) joined into one new "man" (well, woman actually). So then, the covenant between the Father and the Son is graciously inclusive of an uncountable host rescued from the wrath which is surely coming. The true image, in which the question: "Which is supreme, the one or the many?" is resoundingly answered with "Yes and Amen!". And this, my friend; is the Real McCoy.
  The enemy though, has his own sad and sick mock-up of what is being built. An anti-god, sending his un-messiah, to coerce through lies and fear, a mob of the confused. This, the un-new, un-man which is presently in the process of being slapped together, is a hopeless and insane project. Built with duct tape, baling wire, and plenty of chewing gum to hold the construct together, it simply must collapse under judgement as its' certain destiny. The thing being constructed partakes of the three elements of all idolatry.
  The flesh is "strange", and purposely attempts to defeat the marriage union. So we look for fornication, adultery, and perverse sexual practice being promoted. The next is a world sweeping kind of power trip (being on the "winning side" of history) so to defy the True King in His Majesty. And the final element is a direct and unmediated linkage into the spirit realm. The idols of old, functioned just this way, and the un-new un-man has no choice but to likewise construct.
  The quiet, just about precisely here; in this neighborhood I find to be deafening. What SCOTUS did this week, was to ratify two of the three legs! It justified arbitrary and despostic powers of the state, and next; did what it could to shatter the marriage union. It voted "Yes and Amen" to the world and to the flesh. The missing element is those ancient foes I keep bringing up, and bondage to them. And here, is the real quiet; the truly silent aspect of the postings.
  These official and legal declarations are spiritually functioning as a "summons", a calling-for to entities long enchained in darkness. Did any of the posts on either "side" mention that part of the deal? These "rulings" function as an attempt to raise from the depths, those vigorous and disgusting ex-persons of old! They, now enraged at the short time that they have to operate within, indeed bodes ill for mankind.
  The Christian testimony defending lawful union ought occasionally mention such things, don't you think? Where is the sound of it? Why the roaring silence?
  Now, as a man, I cannot say for certain whether we are indeed near the end of the age or not. I mean by this, at 56 years of age; I might see the return of Messiah before dying, and I might not. But, I can say with some confidence, that the two major signs which must precede that appearance (the great apostasy and the revealing of the son of perdition) have not (to my knowledge) yet occurred. Therefore, our standing orders have not changed.
  The reason it is "taking so long" for the return  of The Christ of God is simply a matter of His own honor. He has sworn to His own harm, upon His own dignity; to not lose a single one of His children. Each and every one of those boneheaded rascals (of His) shall most certainly be spared! Not a one of them overlooked nor lost, so He guarantees . . . Personally! For this, He makes time. The children of Israel, in their long march, never went faster than the slowest toddler, or the old and weak could go. Leading, He never out-paced the woman great with child.
  So then, we are freed to plead the blood of The Lamb upon our unhistorical, and skittles enhanced neighbors! Who knows how many of them will be turned out of the way of destruction and judgement by His generous hearing of our calls for aid? Who can count how effective our interceding might finally prove to be?
 Being on the wrong side of history, means (plainly) to be found a foe, traitor and fraud in that great and terrible day, by Him-Knowing. We knowing (somewhat) the terror of the Almighty, wish that mind wrecking fear upon no man, no matter how far he is sunk in the mire of that other, and doomed construction project.
  As for the devils, they are hammered toast. We have been sheared off from their destiny, by the good and generous meddling of The True King in our affairs. Bringing light, He Is Light!
  He is going to light up everything and everyone! Our choice then, as humans; is plain. Either we shine in and with Messiah Jesus, or we burn . . . alone. Regardless; everybody gets lit up!

Monday, June 22, 2015

On Ritual (date unknown)

  Have you ever watched people? My friend Ron calls himself a "people watcher", and as a psychologist/counselor he is pretty good at it. He will go to the mall, or perhaps some type of gathering . . . and watch!
  Ron is all the time talking about how repetitive the behaviors of humans are. And whether it is a tantrum or a smile the given person favors, they keep at it; and repeat the action. People do the same kinds of things over and over again, have you noticed? For instance, I am constantly losing or misplacing things. In serial fashion; I execute flawlessly the placing of a tool, or a piece of paper, so to three minutes later; have to "find". The routine manner of our personal rituals can drive a person crazy (why do I keep doing that?), and yet the repetitive is by in large what our lives are made of.
  Now, people will tell you that they personally hate ritual, but that is simply untrue. What we humans hate is "empty" ritual. Our usual goof of equating ritual to pointless actions, and to thereby denounce ritual itself is just lazy thinking. The fact that we are able to detect the fine nuance of ritual itself, so to correctly identify a poorly executed one, or one which has over time become meaningless; points out not a hatred of repetitive structured behavior, but an expertise in it!
  For us to be able to detect the shallow and rote, to grasp the perfunctory and disinterested actions of others is much more along the lines of a wine connoisseur's ability to sniff a slight variance in bouquet. His super sensitive nose and palate do not mean that he hates wine, it means he hates bad wine! And when it comes to ritual, we are like that also.
  Now, some might make the observation that the previous paragraphs are pure rubbish. That person might strongly dislike attending stylized, ceremonial public events. Baptisms, weddings, inaugerations and such like stuff might be a source of crashing boredom. So what? And the what is that they believe (wrongly) that they thereby dislike ritual. Such "official ritual" is but the tip of the iceberg!
   Ron will tell you, our lives are flooded with a repetitive and serial repeat feature. We cannot "hate ritual", for nearly all we do is ritual! Our lives are swamped, soaked and steeped in these patterns of over and over again, for years and then decades. We err, if we come to think that our personal and private rituals (since not public and staged) are not ritual.
  Think of an action, I don't care which, and "behind" it, lay ritual! Just ask people, they will insist that there is a "right way" to brush teeth. One lady I know seriously believes that there is a "proper way" to load toilet paper on the wall mount (it comes over the top). Try sometime eating a banana with a spoon in front of people, and observe their reactions, you are not doing it "the right way"!
  When somebody cuts you off on the interstate, what rises up in you? "What an idiot! Where did this moron learn to drive?!" In his breaking of driving convention, he is violating ritual, and we the experts can tell in a moments' time, he is doing it wrong! The ritual behavior of practicing the rules of the road, are normal, wholesome and sane, to break it is weird, dangerous and stupidly crazy. The ritual and meaning are not the same thing, more like neighbors.
  Our meaning is linked to serial actions. It need not be healthy or wise, it can be ritual alienation, or depression. Ritual violence and ritual sadness (and worse) can lend meaning for us. We keep doing the same kind of things, over and over, we believe in ritual.
  In my opinion, there is no good method to estimate just how much of our daily lives are ritual, but my guess is 90% minimum. You see, there is no "spontaneous" platform to stand upon, outside of ritual, to look backward from, so to examine the thing by.
  So, if meaning is the load, ritual is the wheelbarrow we carry it in. One person brags; "I work out five times a week!". Why? That one believes in strength, it gives her meaning. Another says; "I'm a vegan!". Ritually then, barbells and celery stalks are to make life better. We love to compare and contrast rituals between us, much as I traded marbles or baseball cards when a boy. We are looking to build an ideal set of marbles and ritual. Oh sure, we "correct" those with bad or destructive repetitions, because we are (if you'd like to know) quite knowledgeable about such things. So there is an inside and an outside to ritual.
  Inside the ritual, there is "nothing wrong with it", but viewed from the outside, it clearly needs to come to a halt! As a kind of rule of thumb then, ritual itself makes no distinction, as to whether ritual is desirable. It only "attaches". Exercising five or ten times a week is as valid as shooting up, as viewed from within ritual, and people know this, so they are constantly busy with the meta- ritual of correcting your bad habits.
  I don't much care for Freud, Jung or Adler. The psyche and why it chooses to defeat or frustrate its' own best interests seems normal enough to me. And all this "depth work", and years long counseling sessions are trying to assert that people's real words are not what they really mean, and that we need "to get to the root causes"? What a snoozer. 
  Heck, fights are about important stuff! The dishes were not washed and then dried and stacked properly! Now you're pushing buttons, them is fighting words! It is the "little things" that matter, and not because we are "small minded". It is because ritual is so humanly central, so dreadfully significant! Meaning itself is at stake. Those blockheads in Washington could not balance a girl scout troop budget, and an impending collapse of the economy . . . gets a yawn and the channel changed. But junior (once again!) "forgetting" to take out the trash? It is the stuff of high drama. 
  We ritually demean ourselves for having a poor sense of priorities just about here, but I see it differently. It is precisely the little things that matter most to us. This brings me to my final point.
  If the repetitive, the consistent, the dependable means anything, it means that we ourselves are fairly predictable. We ought to think about this occasionally.
  The 20th cen existentialists wearied their unfortunate pupils with their sad (and stupid) claim that life itself is inherently meaningless, and that actions per se are "absurd". They tried (very diligently!) to find that platform outside of ritual, so to view ritual by. These washed up ikons of cerebral horsepower were by in large ignored, and rightfully so. People know better than that.
  If anything, life is thronged, crowded, and jam-packed with meaning. You can't get away from it! The real challenge would be to correctly identify just one "meaningless" thing. It is a regular stampede of meaning down here. Admiring the daisy waving hello in the wind, watching the ladybug crawl up the stem, the sound of children's laughter, we are swamped in meaning! And from the inside, none of our rituals seem wrong to us. That is our problem here.
  Douglas Hofstater wrote once of a record player. The sound coming from the disc was entitled; "Music to smash record players by". The idea is great! The vibrations and squeaks which would cause screws and glues to come unfastened are being played over the speaker, and just that sound is what wrecks speakers! Well, I like the idea in any case.
  What we require is a ritual to break ritual by, a way to come out of our meaning, so to grasp the truer, better, faster and higher meaning. We need a way to shed ritual in order to grasp the real McCoy. We require a pattern to break patterns by. And to simply "hate ritual" and clamor for spontaneity and newness is itself the dullest of all rituals. Our syllogism; "Ritual gives meaning, and meaning is good, therefore ritual is good" is unbreakable from the inside.
  Perhaps this will help you see more clearly why I am a Calvinist? We are called alive, and things are spoken into being. Creation is the original miracle, and resurrection is like it, but moreso, so to speak. The call is out of death, and into life, and the living respond by trusting the Caller. That real McCoy, the higher faster meaning is along these lines.
  Ritual so completely defines meaning in our lives as humans, it is so overwhelmingly present; that it would require a super-natural ability, a strength from clean outside the world to overcome it. For us alone, there is no intracosmic solution, we are swamped unto death in ritual. But we are not alone. Ritual itself needs to die, but we unaided have not the strength to kill it, for all that we do only builds it. We are not unaided.
  So, if the Gospel preaches an alien righteousness, I am speaking of an alien ritual. The call is out of death, and then those living are called to lay down their lives. The apostle says: "I die daily". God is come to meddle in our ritual!
  Sanctification can never ever mean "getting my act together", or picking up new habits which are (somewhat) more wholesome. It is a glad acceptance of the loss of what we hold dearest, it is the loss of "meaning"!
  Friend, when you are pushing up daisies, nobody (including you) will give a rip about your fixation with toilet paper directionally rolling out. When you become Purina worm chow, not a soul on the planet will care if you dried dishes "correctly".
  The glory of Gospel is that we are being called into that freedom today! The living no longer "believe in" morals or politics or principles. They have entrusted all that meaningful freight to the Only One who could (or would for that matter) carry it safely. These many meanings of our lives we pass into His keeping, and have come to instead believe The One Meaning, He-Himself.
  We sought freedom from ritual, and tried to pretend that we did not care for it. That whining refusal only became our new ritual. There is no way out of this trap, unless we be carried in Another's arms right out of our world.
  Now, let's talk about the cross!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Pagan Pride Day (date unknown)

  Wait, wait let's go back and read that headline again. Does it really say; "Pagan Pride Day"? Reading the article, surely enough down at Young Park the event will be an all day "celebration of paganism" this Saturday!
  I think it was C.S. Lewis writing somewhere amid his essays to the effect; "Paganism cannot ever make a true revival". Now, not being quite certain that he did indeed so say, I would yet like in this C.P.E. to wax eloquent upon what I deem to have been his intention.
  In Mike-speak then; Once upon a time, in the vast forests of central Europe, dwelt clans, tribes and families of "barbarians". Their world was a dangerous one, clearly inhabited by spirits. Spirits of the dead, mingled with nymphs, ogres, trolls and such, were held at bay by the local expert, a shaman or sorcerer or a healer of some kind. The norm was that by ritual, or omen, or elixir; with due caution (plus some helpful magic and circumspection), life was made manageable. Really, it was just common sense to deal with the spooky threats of this sort by employing professional expertise!
  The later (and alien to those forests), concept of a single "super-God", who by His power, made and sustained all, and then arrived upon earth as a man (?), would have appeared to those pagans as not only incomphrehensible nonsense, but blasphemous! The Christian faith as it swept Europe, drove off (mainly at least) the gods, ogres, and phantoms which had made life previously so risky. And so, for those lands to revert to pre-Christian status, so to "revive paganism", can't actually happen, we know too much for that.
  It might be a bit like when you were very young. If perhaps you believed that airplanes went aloft via magic, that might be fine for a three year old mind. But the later information about airfoils, lift, drag and whatnot; have permanently altered your view of flight. You, at this stage, cannot return to the young view of magic. Well, you can, but not in good faith.
  I think it was along these lines that Lewis wrote, and we can appreciate his tidyness and brevity of expression, compared to mine. But I am fairly certain that the newspaper in the 1950's never posted in England a "pride day" of this sort. So, we are in a different position than he. I decided to investigate. After all; the event was free to get in!
  By my one day exposure to the phenomenon, the "revival" of paganism reminds me of our public image of pirates and Vikings. Have you noted in movies or in literature how adorable, witty and cute these people are portrayed to have been? They appear to be a very musical folk and are quite the dancers too? Pirates and Vikings are a bit like the pagans I met.
  Flash forward in time a few centuries, do we look forward to handsome clever depictions of our modern day Crips and Bloods? Will there be musicals featuring Muslim suicide bombers dancing their way toward destiny?
  The brutal and psychotic, the murderous and treacherous, the vile and repugnant nature of these ancient gangsters is forgotten, and their image rebuilt. So too, the pagans.
  The dread of crossing paths with the dead, or an evil spiriit, the appeasing of the gods with blood, the servile obediance to the shaman, all this is forgotten. It is all sunshine and daisies we view in the mod pagan. If ancient pirates are akin to thug drug lords of today, then ancient pagans are like our diagnosed paranoid schizophrenics. Every avenue must be guarded, "they" are out to get me! On one hand, the rape, murder and pillaging of old are forgotten, and likewise the short lives always lived in fear that "the powers" might be angry conveniently disappears!
  By my sampling then, the revived modern pagan is an almighty eclectic chap. Dipping in here, taking a snippet there, adding a dab atop from about four or five ancient cultures as fancy dictates, they imagine the cleaned-up, fun, and sassy thing they sell is the real deal.
  Now I did say "chap"? Actually, the majority of the pagans I encounterd were young women. All of that magnet-for-girls stuff was clearly in evidence. Face it, most modern marketing is directed toward a feminine customer base, and this same selling technique was quite evident at pride day.
  Are you in need of jewelry, incense, wall hangings or perhaps herbal formulas? I know just the place for you to shop. Powders, potions and cremes are all linked (at least, in the mind) back to a "goddess" type of theology, and inevitably to witchcraft. But, the main thing to note is that all of these products and services are not designed to ward-off, or to protect from rogue spirits. They are intended to draw . . . humans! It is mainly about gaining power over other people via these earthly tinctures, these incantations and crystals. So, when these gals are talking; and mention the word "spiritual" they have a soul thing in mind, and ordinarily to cause mine to shine brighter than yours; for a price. So to "draw".
  Thus, there is a cut and paste effort. The Egyptian, Norse and Celtic, are woven loosely in with the ancient Native American as an amalgamated world. The Druids of old show up disguised as modern Wicca, and this hodge-podge is all bundled up as a "new and fresh" marketing angle.
  The other main item I noted from the event was "the invisible 100 pound rule book". I engaged in conversation with three or four gals at seperate booths during the afternoon. As each made their pitch for what they sold, there was a surprisingly uniform rationale as to "why" this revival was so very important, timely and necessary. Each woman had apparently read the rule book, for they all sounded much similar in their reasoning.
  Don't you see? We are all about simplicity and getting back to nature! We cast off the hypocrisy and bigoted mean-ness of the past. And although not one of them mentioned the church, we need not be psychic to gather which "institutions of the past" ought be overthrown. We are all about freedom and expressing our unique individuality (in remarkably uniform ways).  I think the 100 pound rulebook in reality, only contains one rule. It reads something like; "Be yourself", or perhaps "Get free of the past". They didn't show me their copies, but there must be one humongously long footnote to the rule!
  If in similar fashion, we read the U.S. tax code as; "Render tax to whom tax is due", then the remaining 70,000 pages of the code would be a comparable footnote.
  Likewise then of neo-paganism, I heard mention (at length!) of the fabulously complex nature of their footnote to the simple rule of "Be free". The add-ons, the qualifications and provisos, the delimitations, exceptions and clarifications the ladies recited were astounding.
  My final assessment, after thinking it over for a few days, is that these folks are too cute, by half. The suggestive and sexy, the "strong girl" theme is apparently oblivious to what ancient idol worship was. The saleswomen were very clear on distancing themselves from any ancient religion. Zero mention of those monstrous demands for blood and slavery. There was no notice taken at all of the three legs of all idolatry. And whether old or new, the three are remarkably uniform across the age.
  In modern speak, we would say; "Sex, drugs and rock-n-roll", but only if we recall the wealth and power of musicians.  The three are the sensual (normally linked to an "ideal" feminine youthful appearance), the money plus power (of "greatness"), entwined with an alcoholic or narcotic (unmediated) link to the realm of spirits. The apostle calls it "The flesh, the world, and the devil", and who am I to disagree? My point is that ancient pagans were in servitude to local gods, which we would name demons. Furthermore, the modus operandi was uniform. Break the lawful marriage bond, be dazzled with gold and power, and link directly to the spirit realm. It was a very bad idea. But the revival of paganism has forgotten this crucial matter.
  To build a sexually loose and "free" culture celebrating the ideal feminine, to market with hopes of riches and greatness, and to suggest that herbs or amulets or channeling can get you directly in touch with "powers" has all been tried before. It collapsed under the weight of the truth of Jesus Christ. Those freed from their ancient chains would surely scorn this modern folly to rebuild that prison of ignorance and fear. In brief then, what is revived is the hate associated with the word "primitive"
  We used to view those sunk in the old darkness as primitive, but now it is applied to "Bible thumping" you and I! It was into that old pattern our brave Captain stepped.
  So come with me to Calvary to view the rage and spite which some would revive. This you would rebuild? Whipped, disfigured, spit-upon is He. Naked, alone and friendless He Be. This travesty of all that is decent and right is precisely how the "enlightened" treated the Mighty Maker when He came to call. See Him, and know yourself, your true self, and despair of your rule keeping and damnable cleverness! He alone is free, and thank God Almighty; He calls for me!
  You see? All our lives we tried to straighten up, to make ourselves "presentable". All our efforts are to cover up our smell, and to appear strong. The rendezvous point, the agreed meeting place of the supper, is where we are found. I ask is there anything lower than a cannibal? And just here we are found, we eating His flesh, the Lamb of God! Do you see? The meeting place is at our lowest, our worst; not where we would like, those moments we imagine ourselves to be young, smart and strong. The intersection with Him is our failure, not our mastery!
  And this unstoppable love shall roll over, and collapse (once again) all the man made (woman selling) superstitions of the day.
  His-story reads: "Messiah wins, bigtime!".

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Way ofThe Bump (date unknown)

  Note to reader; I have (apparently) developed the habit of rewriting these old C.P.E.s as I transcribe them off of old photocopies laying around the house. I shall endeavor to remain more or less true to the original here, but as usual; I find my normal writing to be often too dense and cryptic. It needs a bit of folksy fluffing up! So then, onward we sprint.

  There is a circularity to things, and one thing feeding off of another, in turn re-enforces the first. For instance, some people (often men) become millionaires as motivational speaker types. They, for a hefty sum; will come to a hall or an event so to "inspire" others (you, I mean) such that "we learn to" successfully overcome what I deem "the bump".
  The bump is all around us, and in us. Most notably perhaps, it is evident in the heart, and by this; please infer in the essay, that I refer to "our want-to". All day, we put up with co-workers who are ever trying to do the very least that they can, in order to get by. They do not want to work diligently. At the grocery store, people are surely found able to wheel out their cart, and also way too "exhausted" to return it. My room needs cleaning, and the oatmeal needs boiling, and exhaustion, or stress, or worry or some other interference "prohibits". It is a three inch high Mount Everest we behold.
  The reason we call it the bump, is to compare the phenomenon to those darned speed bumps found in parking lots. I enjoy watching low-riders drive over such bumps. It, this supreme slowpokery; reminds of how we ourselves are. The wreckage of the suspension system on a Monte Carlo is a bit like the wreckage in us, don't you think?
  The "want-to" in us is broken, and instead of gliding over tiny obstacles, we keep finding "excuses, forgetting and exhaustion" as the way to not-do. The way of the bump is our irresponsible nature in all it's glory. We "want very badly" to be let off the hook, and for someone else to lead. Motivational speakers are paid to attempt to override this strong "not-want" in us, so to furnish with a "new-want" to become leaders. The sketchy results of their "work" are normally covered by yet more excuses and forgetting on our part. Just here, we view the damage wrought at Eden. Our hearts are wrong, our wanters are wrecked; and it shows!
  Have you ever enjoyed the spectacle of a low-rider in the Albertson's lot? It is downright comical watching the ever so careful and slow approach to "Mount Speed-bump". But this unwillingness to begin is not nearly so humorous when found in people. Like the guys I work with, as they ever so slowly approach the "tough" job of digging a two foot deep hole, to find the water line, it makes me want to shout at them, "Get the lead out of your ass!". Or, on my other job of part-time janitor, the guys "not noticing" that huge pile of boxes that we are being paid to move! Out "want-to" is busted, and no number of coats of paint can hide the problem. It is in us, it is around us, and to some degree at minimum; is us!
  People will gladly inform you, "You shouldn't make a mountain out of a molehill", and they will soberly inform you that the lackluster and lazy man nonetheless "has his heart in the right place". And so, we can safely infer that like lowriders ascending the three inch "mountain", we normally are in fact making mountains of molehills. Moreover, this demonstrably proving that our hearts are not now, and never were "in the right place".
  All of this is fairly common as a conversational matter, especially if the target of the comments is not present. We wish we were different, but the problem here never does go away. No amount of scolding, or it's opposite, the dreaded building of "self-esteem", ever begins to put a dent in our block-heart behaviors. No stressing of "accountability and communication" ever appear to return a single shopping cart; or get one hole dug.
  In it's simple form, we might thereby ask; "How can I make myself want . . . what I do not (in fact) want?", and in any case, why would I want to?. Those reputed to be the zealous, those, the fired-up, them, the happy and efficient, are reputedly that way, but let's just face it; I'm not. Moreover, I don't really want to be like them, but supposing I could somehow counter this un-desire in me, of what use is the mere advice "to become exuberant, joyous and whatnot"? It just bounces off. You'll really notice this in church if ever you go.
  I don't think you could pay me enough to be a Pastor, I see the bump all too clearly. All of this gutless "you-first" stuff, the excuses and foot-dragging of the reluctant sheep, how do you go about shepherding them? The ever so slow ascent of Mount Gossip, the overcoming of the tremendous inertia to begin even the very easiest of tasks, these slow-poke baby steps would drive me bonkers!
  And it is just here, that we view the so-called "cure" being so widely slathered on. From the lips of the exhausted, out of the mouths of the forgetful, comes the stellar answer? It kind of sounds like; "And, if we all just (you fill in the blank as you please here) and were held accountable!". If "we-all" just did, or did not, something or another, then poof and kapow, all of this collective lead in our butts would mysteriously disappear? Please, stop the madness.
  You see, the disease in us is spread from heart to mind. We are impaired, and as such, we gladly endorse the shallow and stupid, and have "issues" with believing the rock solid and true. We believe in ghosts, and doubt the times tables. From there, it spreads to the soul, and we find we are simply overwhelmed with the pointless and busy, so to ever put off living until "tomorrow" (retirement). Next, it spreads to strength, and we end up vainly hoping to gather the "oomph" to tackle those really big jobs, while freely admitting we are (just now) too tired to even pick up the trash on the floor right in front of us. In all this, we numbly keep right on thinking that the overcoming of the bump is something we can (or perhaps could?) do, if-only, and if-only; off into a perpetually never arriving future.
  This puny "over-coming" (which never actually happens) is in a sense then, the Western and Christian "thing". This enormous amount of talk (this essay included), that never ending coaching, and all the inveterate planning through an infinite series of "meetings" makes me mentally ill. It is shameful in my estimation, that low-riders are far better at the task of bump surmounting, in that they are at least rolling!
  Somehow, we know. We know that our hearts ought be afire, and that they are not. But where the thing goes blank is how to get there, from here? We get downright silly, and await some "grassroots" type of "groundswell", in which the many are (collectively) fired up. Ah, then things will change! But (conveniently enough), it is never me who changes. We, along these lines; pray for "revival". In it all, that same "you-first" gutlessness, and the serial excuses made, for why "the message isn't getting out" (and such blather) always very conveniently indeed, lets me personally (but never you!), off the hook. And it makes me want to puke.
  Like so many surfers, we are paddling about in the water, awaiting the next big one. Consistently, and purposefully, we "forget" that He is the wave, He is the fire! Our ordinary "solutions" to the bump are thus abstract and impersonal; thereby impotent to change the want-to in us, much less to change the world.
  Very roughly, it might be like me telling you; "You ought be more thoughtful", while never mentioning that thinking is about something! You might or might not end up being thoughtful as you solve a problem, or puzzle out an answer, but thoughtfulness is the result of thinking not the cause! And this bizarre backwardness of ours, this half-wanting of what we want-not, is formally insane in my opinion. The firing of the heart is a contractual affair, a covenantal and oath swearing thing, and so rotates squarely upon promises given and received. In brief, the center of heart-fire, is He in Person, and specifically His trustworthyness. Do you see?
 This can only mean one thing, The Trust-ed One . . . trusts! Ergo, He is trusting me! Gosh, doesn't He (of all Persons!) know what a bad bet I am? How could He trust me to do the right thing, or be the right kind of man? And the new thing is by our trusting Him, we first begin to be trustable ourselves. Yes, and we give Him our center, yes, we hand over our want-to, believing He will not prove to be yet another finger-pointing, foot-shuffling, excuse maker. He proves true!
  The upside of Sanction is blessing, and of course, the downside is curse. Armed, dangerous and furious, He comes! Furious at what? And it is precisely here, here at want-to; that we begin to see anew. It was my gutlessness, my wimpy irresponsibility, enjoined by the entire world sunk in this very mire; which He comes to deal a death blow to. Now, a new fire is kindled in us, in that the death-coming, came! Our (we the believing I mean) shattering has been Personally and contractually intercepted! Lawyers are involved, it is real. So then, that constant dread of ours of "being held responsible", this is very "off the hook" thing, which we all our lives we tried to build (and could not) also died!
  God the Almighty, He is no wimpy nice Guy, no ineffective excuse maker (like us!), not that ever! No sir, He took the bit in His teeth, and rode right into flames to shield His kids. No incompetant boob of a leader (like some we could name), He "takes the initiative, and forces the solution" home. Sanction is plainly saying; "Break faith with Me, and you die". He, in our place died, and graciously, with Him, we too died! In Him, we have new wanters, new hearts!
  Zeal is like thought, it is about something. We are not zealous about zeal, we do not love love, nor do we trust faith. These pitiful zero sums of ours can only build the cage. Meanwhile,  He comes to kick down the doors!
  Clearly then, from Adam we inherited a "wait and see" approach. We very strongly desire to see the results before we believe the promise. We want-to have our cake, and eat it too! We remain blind to this backwardness itself in us, and that is the norm, which is being overthrown. Ever afraid to get in over our head, we await competence prior to doing the work. Yet, it is only by the doing that competance ever begins at all. To await competence, is to forever postpone; and we did so, because we wanted-to, while never noticing that our "want-to" has (apparently) been wrecked!
  Ask the true-hearts, they will tell you. "In the midst of my floundering, and in the very process of being overwhelmed, I found a strength to endure, which I knew not I had. It was the gift (His Gift), of the Son in us, and ever with us!" A new thing is in the earth, and so our infection of laziness and stubborn refusal to get involved is being reversed. In brief, we are (with His aid) beginning to want-anew. And though we might well appear to be "zealous" to others, it was never zeal we desired, but the Captain Himself. The hungry man does not want "appetite" but food! We the lonely, desire the person, not a "mindset". He finds us and He, in Person; is changing hearts, renewing them to want-again. He-afire, He-alight, He the desire of the ages, proves true; so the true-hearts say.
  But, be warned, this new thing very much appears to the "still forgetful" to be a dangerous and downright unwholesome "trend" indeed. This new going-up, appears to those standing upside down, to be a going down, and so to them is a loss of freedom, a sacrifice of individuality. And until they too are called awake, it simply must remain the supreme form of "un-want" in them.
  And so we valiantly strive for a downward mobility in their eyes. We reach as amateurs for mastery of the low and simple. At the bottom (which is in reality the top) we find our minds being likewise freed to think well of Him, and so too of others. And be honest with me, wasn't that the hardest portion of the bump all along?
  He the Infinite and Invisible, hears our weak call in time
     He the Eternal King, stoops to enter our dim shed
         He the lawfully rejected, gladly accepts
             He trusting to the death, we now trust
                  This, the pattern, this our prayer
                       He finding us, we finding true desire
                           To live!
                               At peace
                                  With the uncountable throng
                                      Made anew!