Thursday, 22 July 2010
682 - Tetrahedral Spirituality?
It might be that God is love should be read "And even God is created by Love (even as Love allows that it is being created by God)"?
So that it is impossible to set oneself against love, because one is love, even if one sets oneself against God (but because one is love it is not that one is set against God so much that one is with God?
It might be?
Try replacing 'love', capitalised or uncapitalised, with 'consciousness'. Or maybe 'light'. Jesus, the light of the world? Perhaps in some sense this is other than fact or metaphor, but a third thing? Spiritual?
Perhaps there is a universe of this kind of light. So many specks linking and unlinking - a communion of Spirit. Perhaps, like factual light, this light can be particle or wave, in two places at once, or one, or three, to make a plane, or four, to make three planes, a tetrahedron.
In a tetrahedron each of the four points allows the others to pull their ways, each three support the fourth. If the four have equal pull, there is no distortion. Perhaps in every discussion of Christian theology, one should speak not only of the Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but of a fourth? Humanity? Each Personhood holds and allows the others their place. If no humanity, endlessly reproducing, which new ears would there be to hear the wonderful gospels, which new voices to join the choir, which mothers and fathers to nurture and let go their children, or elder kids to do what is right the whole time, or prodigals to range from home and return (and range again perhaps, this time full of meat, with the love of their life met at the party their parents threw, to risk the pain of childlessness for the joy of a new generation).
I always feel Jesus, being the firstborn, in his telling of the parable would have had compassion for the older brother of the prodigal son, as well as the father, and perhaps the fatted calf too! This is a story in which nobody loses: though the older brother becomes angry and refuses to come to the family party, and severs his own links with his father, even he is not rejected: "'My son', the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. ...' So the question is, what does it mean to be always with the father, and to have everything he has. Everything including, presumably, the love for, joy at the return of, and celebration with the prodigal? He who has ears to hear, let him hear, as is said.
The parable of the prodigal son sounds like an icon of the Trinity, with the wilful Holy Spirit blowing where it will, including home. The three points are the father, older son, and younger son. But a fourth is provided by the storyteller as he speaks, and his audience, the speed of sound later, as they listen. In the same way, Rublev painting his icon would have felt a part of the encounter, just as you or I do standing or seated in his place today.
Such an encounter reveals love and compassion in us. We are seeing the love and compassion of the trinity, and sharing in it. There is great pain in turning away to the next thing, anger bubbles beneath (and on) the surface. We are like the elder son.
If, however, the story never ends, there need be no turning away, no cessation of love and compassion. Or the minute we turn outwards, away, we become part of a new tetrahedron, and anger, though seemingly present, has no opportunity to break before it is gone. Perhaps it never fully formed at all. What we thought was anger was the effort, mentally, to break away from a trinity we didn't want to leave, because our mental quest is not only to God, but to each other. And each other's others - the fatted calves, perhaps; or the spirituality of the religious East. Then maybe those parts of creation that have not evolved on Earth, or at all.