Tuesday, July 26, 2011

EDEN, A Story Of Human Development- a note to Edward Fudge

God is God and we are not.  Edward, you use this phrase a lot and I think I know what you are emphasizing, that humans need to be humble and not have an attitude that they know more than the source from which they come. I totally  agree. A human without genuine humility in terms of how little they know , or are conscious of, compared to what may be knowable is simply not being fully human. S/he is not keeping within human bounds and limits.  When we are without genuine humility we are 'outside ourselves' and should rightfully be viewed as an unholy spectacle. 

Garden Of Eden
But it is a tragic mistake, for example,  to view  Adam and Eve eating  the 'forbidden fruit' as an example of humans overstepping their appropriate boundary. They certainly did step into something new and different but  it was, if done in courageous humility, a move forward into becoming more human, not less. An important learning from this ancient story is to show that in order to become more than  'dreaming  partial humans not knowing the difference between good and evil' these humans 'had to'  take that step of independence. The orthodox  treatment of the story misses the 'truth of the whole'  meaning of the myth. This difference in interpretation leads a person, hopefully with great humility, down a very different road than orthodoxy alone has led us. I should emphasize  the  step of eating of the fruit may have been 'overstepping ' if the attitude was one of ego pride rather than courage born of  fearful humility. So I have to reserve judgment on the mythological couple for I don't know  their inner disposition. But  I do understand that unless  some humans make such similar choices  humanity does not and cannot become more of what it's obvious potential  is. For that story to not be our own personal  story, lived out in humility , is for us to not move toward higher consciousness which is mutually essential for both  Human and God.

Your  statement God is God and we are not is one that  needs to be discussed, questioned, amplified and processed.  It is not  wholesome  and  grounded when taken as a bumper sticker sermon(which i know is not how you mean it.)  It reminds me of the one  ' God said it. I believe it and that settles it.'  Such a statement does not exhibit an attitude of humility but one unwilling to take the risks of learning. Eve, to her great credit, demonstrates she does have that willingness.  Such statements are saying to one's fellows, 'leave your brain at the door' as if God did not intend for you to use curiosity, imagination and intelligence to the maximum.  Using one's fullest intellect  does not run the risk of  making him/her  less  humble but the opposite. 

Scripture says humans are made in the likeness and image of God. Jesus makes a statement that 'you are Gods.' The whole of N.T. writing stresses that we are 'to be like' or 'to become like God.' You know the passages. Central in the N.T. is the  very unusual idea, compared to the Old, that 'God becomes Human.'  It follows that in some way  the corollary of that is also  a potential and , in ways at first unimaginable,  'Human will become God.'  The first statement insists that the second be also placed on the table. This, I think, is where the N.T. really is leading when  humbly approached with heart and head fully opened and engaged.  In Christian orthodoxy this very thought is considered  an example of 'eating the forbidden fruit' rather than taking the risk of human learning as it should be.

As you know from other statements I have made I do believe the Sacred and its creation,humans, are moving forever forward in a process where they become more and more the same, for they are so mutually intertwined and mutually supportive and interdependent. Each is becoming, through mutual  conscious suffering of the opposites, more and more conscious.  So, to me, to state so emphatically , which is how I hear it, that  God is God and we are not, is to intentionally  underline a separation and to  emphasize  the difference in a 'set of opposites' These  like all opposites are in need of reunion(not clearer separation for  humans  already fully experience that, more than ever before due to increased consciousness of recent centuries.), of becoming one(reconciled) by the work  of the Spirit. It is only when all opposites:body-soul, heaven-earth, spirit-flesh, God-Human, male-female, Agape-Eros, power-meaning, good-evil....to name a few.... are united, as they once were before any creation or any form, that it can be said that God is 'all in all'.  Before creation all  opposites were united but none were yet fully conscious. All was as Adam and Eve are described--not knowing 'good and evil', thus unconscious of the opposites.  We are no longer like that as humans.  The opposites have become fully and now dangerously separated through objective scientific thinking processes. The need now has become to reunite the opposites  but  to do so consciously and responsibly. This is what can potentially  bring to higher reality all the qualities that  every religion prays for on earth.... peace, love,joy, unity, justice....( the fruit of the Age of the  Spirit.)  

Only in the relationship between Sacred and the Human are the opposites able to move toward reuniting in consciousness in both God and Human. This is where we are now, this is the meaning and the energy that drive individual spiritual development and human  history.  A more reliable statement might now be  God is God and Humans are humans, and each is becoming more and more of the same mind and consciousness. Cordially, Jim Hibbett

No comments: