This is another rant I put on the Jesus Radicals forum
John 3:3 “In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
7You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
This is how I see it…….
To be born again means to peel off all assumptions and prior experience. Enlightenment is not a matter of learning something new or learning a technique but is a matter of stripping away, unlearning all that we know.
The Budhists say everything is an illusion, Through meditation the illusion is dispensed with, leaving – nothing or nothingness.
I say, When the illusion is stripped away what is left is everything or everhthingness or – God. What we “know” and “think” are obstacles to us really hearing or seeing, they are the scales on our eyes which must be washed away for us to truly see.
In this context of everythngness, if we are disciplined enough to keep our psychological mouths shut when we pray, if we can listen to God rather than unload our own clutter onto him, that awareness or gnosis that occurs is an active living spirit, a wave on which we can surf. Where the wave takes us we have no control, our choice is simply whether to be on the wave or not.
If we can unlearn our thoughts and realise enlightenment then we are naturally, as God made us, in proper relationship with land, people and God. This enlightenment realises that there are no distinctions between the three, we are all one thing – the biblical analogy of the body with god at the head. The distinctions between rich and poor or between people and the earth are just illusions that we cling to.
Transcendence from illusion makes us one with the poor and the earth, not just ideological commentators on these things.
It also makes us one with the enemy, with the empire, with the military for they too are just illusions to be transcended. The emporer really is naked.
Earlier this week I mentioned somewhere on this forum the question of dialecticism, of the natural force of conflict between a thesis and an antithesis producing a historical synthesis. This is the nature of the universe, of god’s creation. We are all a dialectical synthesis, born of our parents but very much a unique entity unto ourselves. The process of sexual re-production in animal and plant species is dialectical. The splitting of cells in all life forms is dialectical. The relationship of rain and sun producing fertility is dialectical.
Good and evil too are dialectical, this is how God created the universe, or the garden of eden at least. God created satan and put the snake in the garden – and it was good. All of the stories of the bible are dialectical, opposing forces clash but god manifests in the synthesis, in the by-product of the conflict, not in the conflict itself. I suggest this is how the wars in the old testament should be understood – not as a confusing challenge to an ideology of non-violence but of a story with an inherent dialectical conflict, the lesson of the story always being in the nature of the synthesis.
So, the personal task is to wash away the illusions of our ego, our sins. What this means in terms of how god will manifest through our engagement in natural dialectics is unpredictable, it cannot be contained by ideology, orthodoxy or philosophy.
The Persion and Helenic notions of dualism (which I say is the essence of what is wrong with all the foreign Gods that are rejected by the god of Israel) holds simply to a notion of good and evil – end of story. History is percieved as a contained clash of two elements where one element eventually wins, it does not deal with God’s natural law of dialecticism.
All Christianity born of the church of Rome has inherited this original sin of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
The personal task is to give up our obsession with good and evil, including the morality of non-violence, in looking to our own involvement and mission in the world. The personal task is to keep our eye on the prize of the dialectical manifestation of god through his synthesis, through his creation, not on the thesis or antithesis.
See also “The Faith” by Bejam Denis Walker