this is my story.
When I was a child, I was shown a drawing of a cross suspended across a chasm, cliffs on either side labeled MANKIND and GOD. They told me that this chasm was because I had rebelled against God. It was my sin that kept me far from the divine. I do not recall ever rebelling against God. I recall years of praying for a cross to manifest itself and for Christ to bring about the much-promised union with God I longed for. Years I tried to will myself into feeling in my chest the words I read in that Book. Years I felt the separation like a millstone around my young body.
I went looking for God and found only absence. At first, I was afraid. I had put all my hope and meaning and purpose in the idea of somebody on the other side of the chasm who loved me. If I could not find anyone there, how would I be ok? But as I sought the God who loved me, He receded deeper into the mystery. Then God was gone.
I did not expect that the absence would be my salvation, but — Without God , there is no separation — for what is left from which to be separated? Without God, there is no chasm. Without God, there is no where to be but here. Belief in God was alienation for me. Unbelief has been my homecoming.
How do I speak of my relationship with an absence? I can say only this: the death of God was my salvation. God was the weight on my shoulders, the ache in my chest. God was shame. God was fear. God is gone, and I am free.
This is my story. Yours may be different. Maybe in your story God is real. Maybe in your story God is good. Maybe in your story there’s somebody waiting for you on the other side of the chasm, and maybe Jesus is the bridge. That’s not my story.
In my story, I search for God and God is nowhere to be found. In my story I reach out to take the hand of Jesus and find only a fistful of platitudes and manmade constructs. In my story, I search for something solid on which to build my faith and find only this unlikely cliff. There is only this bit of earth on which I stand, surrounded by infinite Mystery in all directions. In my story, I am learning that it is enough.
who am i?
I am a prophet seeking a gospel worthy of my calling, I am a believer in search of something to believe, I am a voice crying in the void. Always I have been this way. Always leaning further out over the existential edge of mystery in hopes that I might be able to grasp something real.
I once believed that the earth would be redeemed, that life promised life again, that this conscious experience was just the beginning. I cannot count on any of that anymore. Now I believe there is no God but everything, there is no heaven but earth, there is no soul but the consciousness emerging from the organism I call me. Now I surrender to the universe as it is, not as I wish it to be. I seek to understand the heart of what is Real -- what I once called "God" -- and to live in harmony with it.
As a young child I was scrupulous (in the religious scrupulosity sense of the word), watching my step to make sure I stayed on the straight and narrow. I only knew of one path to God, and I was determined to follow it. Through my life the path has wandered and split, opened up to more options, and eventually dissolved into a “field out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing” (Rumi said that). What has stayed the same is my determination to seek the Divine, by whatever name it may be known.
I have learned that the Divine is only known by unknowing. I have to come to believe that the Divine is hidden not in the supernatural realm but in the ordinary energy and materiality of this existing Universe.
I am a follower of the Mystery which has no Name
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