Wednesday, 21 July 2010
683 - Upstarts
[thanks to http://www.hageprat.com/images/eden/eden-tropical-biome-1.jpg]
As Firefox has it, inviting you to clothe your browser in a chosen skin: Choose your persona.
Christianity is Trinitarian, which in conventional terms has rounded edges. At least, of the three personalities, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each has been assumed to bind in, or at least, mutually support the others.
Jesus, by his life, is seen to have left this family to redeem a fallen humanity: those who choose his path are bound back in, where previously, presumably, they were Hellbound. Heaven is seen as mutually supportive, safe environment; Hell as feral, where the beasts that are bigger than you bite, and those that are smaller burrow. It is possible to read the scriptures as promising universal salvation, but only if you assume the storyteller has a twinkle in the eye when the story is told: Oh , the sheep will get to heaven, but the goats will be cast into outer darkness [*But we know, listeners, that no-one will really turn out to be a goat*]. Christianity has, somehow, to incorporate a fall, even if it is wholly happy with evolution as a concept.
But what if the Trinity were a little more ranging? What if, for example, the Holy Spirit were a bit of an upstart, blowing where it will, including in all the awkward places?
If any of these were true, there might, despite the scriptures, be a cause for believing a person, or people, could exist who were perfectly happy to live their allotted span on the Earth, be called into existance at birth, and out at death. Somehow at the end they might become part of the firmament of Love in which dwell all others: they might for the duration be the Holy Spirit, and explain an anarchic streak in humanity, and perhaps elsewhere.
Such a people might live by pre-fall myths, as Hugh Brody, delicately unpicking Genesis, and interpreting its creation stories as wholly agriculturalist (even Adam starts a gardener, and the first murder is by a herdsman of a farmer) suggests Hunter-Gatherers continue to do. Or somehow they might dwell in myths of the new Jerusalem, with the old heaven and earth passed away already. Or not dwell in myths at all, but in the conscious heart of the universe, expanding despite the odds, or expanding and contracting continuously from and to a point of singularity, as Einstein's scientific poesis defines it.
They might find each other out, or simply recognise each other by the twinkles in their eyes, and know they are somehow one, even though the myths, beliefs and practices they have been shaped by are wildly different, even mutually contradictory. It would be for them to wrestle meaning out of the primordial mud, and watch it sink back again (or not watch, as their senses depart despite themselves).
These people would be neither good nor evil, might dream they are deific, but wake to the demonic (remembering that dreams can occur in waking reality, and waking reality in dreams). Finding enough succour in each other and the anarchic Spirit of Holiness, they might be borne by each other through the hard times, and be blessed in the good, directing their blessings to their friends in the dark till roles are perhaps reversed.
They might find wisdom comes midway through such a life, so that they no longer need rely for absolute being on the support of others, but shine their Spirits, enflamed by Love, for the benefit of all. They might even appropriate the myths of others, but only to enfuse the myths with compassion, expanding them past the realms of feasibility till all are redeemed, so that they need not hand the myths back, because they have already given the fruit of them to those they have taken the myths from. (And these in turn have grown their own myths, with which to feed their anarchic friends.)
A model by which we might see such interactions could be the networked domes of the Eden Project, which contain and make possible the ecosystems within them. You go to see the plants, but you also go to see the star-crossed architecture which makes them possible.
Some may be called, from time to time, to explore each other's worlds. The anarchic trinitarians might lower a friend into the ecosystem, or an archaic Trinitarian might fly a kite to the anarchists. A touch of realism, however: of course (of course) each would return to their kind: Model 2 might be deep sea diving, or aeronautics: no-one could remain anywhere without the support of their fellows. (A network of tetrahedrons, extending upwards and down, might just perform the job.)
In conclusion, beyond the calls demanded by individual religions might be a further call, to each and everyone, to which each and everyone responds. I (who am biased in this) might phrase it thus: Choose your persona. Go and Story!