Friday, February 27, 2009

The Sacrament of Life

Ps. cyanescens, Maya mushroom stone, Maria Sabina with the mushrooms

Can the Christian church survive as the tradition of Western society? Is it worth saving and what compromises would have to be made for it to evolve into a genuine description of existential reality consistent with our scientific knowledge of the universe? Could the heritage of the Western tradition be reflowering the evolutionary tree of life and the reunion of female and male in protecting the passage of the generations of humanity and of all life's diversity? Isn't this our true destiny? This would mean a profound change at the very root of religion, about what redemption actually is and what the messianic quest is as a human vision quest in healing the existential condition.

Isn't God the Father and the Son hanging on the Cross seriously going to have to bite the dust? This is the only option - do or die. The Second Coming is simply a trap to ensure the continuity of a false teaching in perpetuity. Generally it's better to save the patient than bury a corpse before its truly dead. But only if the patient is still alive and kicking, not a pagan Man-God idol crafted in his own spite to suit other more pagan purposes. It is a fallacy - a travesty of reality - to repeat the Nicene Creed, to drink Jesus' soma and sangre as a rite of human sacrifice, or to think of Jesus as the only begotten Son of God who will return on a white horse in the Day of Judgment.

Jesus and his teachings are the act of an individual human genius reinterpreting the diverse religions of his day, from the Essene, Pharisee and Sadducee forms of Judaism, through wandering as a ‘Rabbi’ seeking the lost sheep of Israel, to the frank fertility worship of the countryside and adjacent lands such as resurgent Edomite Nabatea - in the form of his relationship with the women, supported our of their very substance, anointed by a woman ostensibly to his doom, whose name would always be spoken, and lamented by the women when the men scattered like lost sheep, to his doom and in the heady Dionysian miraculous dread of his deeds.

The capacity of Christianity to spread like wildfire through the pagan world resulted strongly from the cross-cultural nature of his mission integrating the God acting in history traditions of Jewish and Zoroastrian apocalyptic thought contrasting darkly with the chaos of the foolish shepherd wreaking social havoc, and the lavish Tammuz-Adonis like heroic mission of the women, tax collectors and gentiles and of his anointing to his doom.

A true understanding can come only when we neither conflate his image into the sky as a pagan Man-God, nor strip him down to leather thongs, in reducing him to a mere parochial zealot from Keneret but appreciate the paradoxical depths of many of his source sayings, particularly those in Thomas and appreciate the cultural ingenuity underlying his mission even to the point of turning the tables and the very carefully planned crucifixion sequence.

Deifying Jesus as some pagan demi-god without whose blood there is no remission from sin, sacrificed by his filicidal Father as his only begotten Son, while endlessly awaiting the second coming of a feudal commander on a white horse is an insult to his ingenuity, his humanity, and his compassion.
As a human innovator, Jesus deserves as major a recognition in advancing the understanding of cultural religious transformation as Albert Einstein has in relativity and quantum theory.

Can you really redeem the inner essence while the outer dogmas are unflinching fallacies?

How is this honest to the people and how is it true to the nature of the universe?

The only doctrine I can afford to trust is first person experience. We are the eyes and ears of the sentient universe, through which it comes to know itself, no longer through a glass darkly, but face to face, knowing also as we are known. I've wandered India as a Sadhu, taken initiations with renowned Tibetan lamas now long dead, kept the way of the Tao, and partaken from the sources of the worlds most potent visionary power plants from the Amazon jungle to the Mexican deserts. My sacrament of holy communion is a magic mushroom and my covenant of faith is to the diversity of life.

Maria Sabina in reverie under the 'little saints" as she called magic mushrooms, or flesh of the gods.

Better the 'flesh of the gods' in a truly visionary fungus than the empty vessel of cannibalistic blood and guts of an ancient murder victim and a pact with a demiurge who has failed for two thousand years to return to reestablish a totalitarian feudal empire!

But now it's over to us to do the good thing and make the guardianship of the universe and its conscious life forms a living reality.

Its us who have to make the journey across the Styx now and bring back the bundle of life.

Isn't the entire destiny of the Biblical tradition to re-flower the Tree of Life lost in the Fall?

Isn't this what the future generations of humanity need more than anything else?

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