Invitation

A recent meme proclaimed “Capitalism Kills Love” and I agree. In fact, capitalism is a theory that assumes that God and love are irrelevant.

That got me thinking about how we regard the universe. Our sciences regard humans as the supremely “intelligent” species, and everything besides “life forms” as inanimate. In other words, dead. It and our other “knowledge” disciplines regard humans, life forms, and the universe itself largely as potential menaces that must be conquered and controlled to ensure our survival and safety. And if we don’t regard them as such, then we must be demented to want to conquer and control things that pose no threat and enable our existence six ways from Sunday. Either way, no love there.

What if we’ve got it all wrong? What if it’s all alive, intelligent (in ways we’re still too dumb to understand), and friendly? What if it all just wants to play, but we keep freaking out on contact, killing it, subjugating it, imprisoning it, and exploiting it?

What would happen if instead of trying to secure safety, abundance, happiness, and the rest that we aspire to, we invited them instead? What if we omitted the “or else?” What if we afforded others — “animate” and “inanimate” — the same consideration we’d like when they want something from us? Do we presume that the universe doesn’t want us happy?

I think that’s exactly what we presume at a very deep level; which is why it’s so difficult to truly be happy and believe that happiness is our birthright.

It’s not that we don’t want to help or give. We just don’t want to be forced. We want to make the decision ourselves and be appreciated when we do. We want the opportunity to connect with others and show that we appreciate them by sharing what we can. That rule shouldn’t change when the shoe is on the other foot.

Maybe we’re not living abundant lives because life is resisting our demands and manipulative machinations, waiting for our invitation. Maybe that invitation is what it really means to “have faith.”

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About Millard J. Melnyk

Motley past, promising future exploring an open, potent understanding of mutuality, individual dignity and personal power through trust. DEAUTHORITARIANIZE EVERYTHING!
This entry was posted in God, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Nonviolence, Psychology, Relationships, Science, Spirituality and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Invitation

  1. Peter says:

    One of the foundations of the Christian RELIGION involves the fall of Adam – but Jesus is described as the redeemer BEFORE creation. Could it be that we have completely misunderstood the meaning of sin? Suppose it really does mean missing the mark of what God created us to be! Then consider that civilisation as we know it has only been around for some 10-12,000 years, and in that time man has created many religions and many empires. Imagine that it will take time for humanity to learn the ways of love and peace (maybe as a result of the guidance of the Holy Spirit) – part of this learning process could include the need to learn from experience, the ways that do NOT work.

    This is the first article I have read on your blog – I’m not yet familiar with many of your thoughts. Does this make any sense?

    • Yes, and thanks for commenting Peter! I always appreciate it when people take the time and effort to communicate.

      My jury’s still out on the question of “sin” but it certainly seems to involve missing the mark. However, I’m not satisfied with simply comparing who or what we are with what we’re supposed to be. I want to understand what induced us to be otherwise — experientially, not just theoretically.

      I involve love in questions of theology. We need to ask the question of sin compassionately, with empathy and understanding for ourselves. I’ve found those things notably lacking in most Christian theology I’ve read, particularly what predates the 20th Century. I think two world wars and the horrors of the Holocaust and other genocides finally pushed our thinkers over the edge to consider alternatives to the mechanistic, behavioral categories we became so used to, pushing them to rediscover spirit.

      I understand “spirit” as intention that motivates us towards what we want. If that’s the important aspect, then the question of sin becomes a question of intention, motivation, and desire. And then our solutions to it need to address the inner, spiritual, motivational roots of the disparity between who and what we are and our aspirations for better.

      I wholeheartedly agree with you about learning through experience. All other forms of learning mean little if it doesn’t become experiential. Karen Armstrong eloquently describes that religion was always an experiential matter until recently. We need head, heart, and body. None are optional.

      I’m right in the throes of trying to understand what you mentioned about learning experientially what does NOT work. It certainly is how things seem to happen. The book of Job reinforces it. I’m just not satisfied yet. There’s something key about suffering that we still don’t understand.

      Thanks again. I’m always eager to discuss these things with anyone willing to dig into them with me! 🙂

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