Friday, March 12, 2010

A Still Hidden Universe

A Still Hidden Universe
by Paschal Baute, March 12, 2010, draft 1.0

The year was 1914, A discovery was about to be made that was so astounding that the scientist could not believe it nor trust his own figuring. He stared and stared at what his figures meant. Finally he hedged and put in a “constant� that corrected the outcome to fit the prevailing view of the universe.

Even when another scientist said to him, Dr. Einstein, when we take out this funny little cosmological constant that is part of your equation, then this shows that the universe is EXPANDING, not static and determined in place.

Einstein refused and refused for another eight years, until Edwin Hubble got him to look through the Hubble telescope in California. Then her admitted and realized. He later regarded this concealment as his greatest scientific mistake.

Imagine. One of the most brilliant minds of our times could not, would not accept the radicaly different view of the universe that he had himself figured out. Is it possible we too are still blind?

Is it possible that a still hidden view of the universe that most cannot accept exists? Yes. I believe there is.

We say that seeing is believing. Burt it is also true that believing is seeing. If we do not have a frame for something we cannot see it , even if it is there, staring us in the face.

Consider civil rights. Until the Civil Rights protests, until Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., white society was bind to racial inequality. It took the courage and risk of John Howard Griffin who painted himself black and traveled the south to report first hand experience in Black Like Me, to wake up white society.

Likewise with the women’s movement. Male society, and in particular the White Male Society was blind to the inequalities endured by women. Many churches and their members are still blind, believing that the social strucutre of Biblical times is the inerrant word of God.

I propose a spiritual universe that each of us is part of exists that neither saint, nor sage, nor organized religion, nor most practicing Christians have yet awakened to.

In the past two years, two men I knew, both intelligent and professionally trained men went home from church on Sunday and committed suicide.

Consider that one can go to church for one’s entire life, thousands of time and never hear the pain of the person sitting next to them. Nor be invited to do so. Church for most is praying, singing , hearing scripture and a homily and some socialization..
Less than five percent of the congregation does the work. And the sermon better not make the people too uncomfortable.

Is it possible this view of religion is a misleading, and perhaps unintentionally detrimental to what the Hebrew prophets preached.
The summary of all the prophets can be put in two words of Isaac Luria, “tikkun olam, repair the world., heal the brokenness of he world.

It was not Until 1934 when two drunks preparing for their evening round of drinking had a wake up call which is still challenging our understanding of how the spiritual universe really works.

Bill said “Have a drink, Ebby, as he mixed gin with pineapple juice. No, replied Ebby. I got religion and don’t need it. Astonished, Bill challenged him. Ebby refused. Bt Bill was intrigued and went on to found AA.

Alcoholics Anonymous insists that we go to this mystery we call God, God as we understand this mystery, only by admitting our brokenness, telling our story to one another and listening, really listening to others’s stories.

In other words, we are already connected to one another in our common and mutual imperfections, addictions, denial and hidden flaws. We find our way spiritually best by owning and sharing with one another in a series of very personal admissions. L

Until we face this, do this, we cannot be healed.

My own life experience tells me this is so. We are surrounded and eaten by addictions of every sort, most of which are entirely outside our awareness. And, such is our denial and need to protect ourselves from this admission that we will hold a grudge forever if anyone tires to point this out to us.

We go to God, this mystery we call god, only through and with each other, admitting our mutual and common brokenness. This is how real faith community is founded., one that can grasp, change and challenge our hearts, beyond pretending, beyond looking good, beyond singing, praying, and listening to preaching.

Actually, theorloigically, this is an incarnational theology, that it is through our human-ness, though personal sharing that we encounter this great mystery calling our hearts out of ourselves into relationship.

Without hearing another’s pain, spiritual life is a facade, a pretense. The prophets call us to this. If someone is in a ditch, leaven your gift at the altar. When did we see Thee, Lord, at Judgment we will ask. Only when you heard the lame, the lost, the last, the least, the leery and the lonely.

The twelve steps of AA is the great spiritual discovery of our century. Imagine ! Until now, after centuries, after millennia of sages and saints, only now do we discover and truly begins to realize this deep awareness. That we are already connected to one another (and to everything in the universe). This is our wake up call, to stop pretending, stop multiplying prayers. Perhaps ever for some of us to stop participating in fa worship that had no realy personal challenge of listening, t that passes for “Christian,� or religion is so many places.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wreck like me, I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.

Lord, make me an instrument of your Peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is despair, hope, where there is doubt , faith, where there darkness, lie, where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may never seek to be consoled as to console, to be pardoned as to pardon, to be loved as to love with all my soul.

For it is in giving that we receive, in pardoning that we are pardoned, and in dying to self that we are born to Eternal Life.

Great Mystery, I am blessed beyond all deserving. Noblesse Oblige. Let me spend my life responding to the great mystery of Love to be found everywhere.

Could it be that we are not human trying to be spiritual, but spiritual beings, with restless hearts, finding a way to be human, fully human, embraced by a Love that has hunter, hounded, haunted and herded us, until at last we sasy. Yes, Lord, lheart I am, Use me. Thank you, Lord.

It was Einstein who said, that the most beautiful thin in the universe is the mysterious.

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