It is my sad contention that love is not love, indeed, that it is no longer even capable of recognizing that it is without the capacity for recognizing its spiritual impotence. Look around, if you still have eyes with which to see! Greed controls the levers of government in virtually every Western democracy. Violence is extolled and justified from every religious and political angle. A pathological liar occupies the White House and his primary base of support is Christians! The Jewish state of Israel is daily dismembering its Prophets as it constructs an apartheid fortress! Islam, which birthed Rumi, shreds its holy and mystic heart for idiotic quests for power instead of Unity! The interests of privilege and profit bury both intelligence and science simply to maintain power -- even if it means the extinction of tens of thousands of species and the possible viability of life on this Planet! Guns have more rights than women and there are men, both religious and secular, who claim that it is the duty of women to submit to the will of men (of God): even if that will is forced through complete domination and rape! Violence against immigrants, refugees, racial and sexual-identification minorities, and even "liberals", are justified and endorsed by many on the streets and in the public medias! And the Catholic Church, once recognized as an international beacon for spiritual benevolence and social solidarity -- and a consistent moral vision -- is mired in a sink-hole of obfuscations for its hypocritical sexual idiocies and policies! Madmen, of Right-Wing "populist" movements, threaten the thread-bare international mores of "civilized" behaviors and institutions! And! And where are the voices and movements that remind, and call us forward, into a sacred compact with our meaning and purpose as human beings? (Of course, I can think of many, such as the Catholic Worker Movement, the Findhorn Community in Scotland, and the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment as a few examples. What are some examples especially important to you?)
Yeshua bar Alaha (the famous Jesus Christ) summarized his Teaching with "Love one another as I have loved you". These words are completely devoid of meaning if we are not totally revolutionized by them! We have got to stop playing the Christian game of believing in Jesus: if it means that our intention is to escape into salvation! Relationship with Yeshua must come to mean a living hunger -- a yearning or longing -- to enter into his poetic-life. "Blessed are you" must translate into the practice of "Beautiful are you" and "Welcome Home!" Our gender-identification, greed, and violence is an everyday-rape of our Sacred Consciousness as human beings: as for us, so too, for this entire precious blue Planet!
Is there an "escape route"? Is there a path forward into our sacred possibilities? First of all, I think that we need to renounce religion, in order to recover our sanity. We are clearly insane! But to "renounce" means something other than to "turn away" from. Rather, to "renounce", must come to mean to "announce" the heart of religion, the heart of gender, and the heart of our humanity... To "renounce", means to "announce" the truth of the very Heart of the Divine Beloved (erroneously called "God"). What is that truth? Simple...
Knowing this truth is not unique to me. Yeshua knew it: the ancient Shaman-Mother knew it. The Prophets knew it. Sages knew it. Blessed Muhammed knew it. Poets knew it. Mystics of the world knew it. Lovers knew it. Nearly every Mother knows it. What is it? How to explain? Here are some examples: what does water do? Doesn't it always seek the lowest place? What does light do? Doesn't it seek out the cracks? What does a Mother do when she sees her Son in agony? She never experiences that pain from afar: she takes it on, she shares that pain, exactly as if it is Her own. Love is not love if it is not energized by compassion. The radical truth of Yeshua bar Alaha insists that relationship with and in Him means our identification with the will to see and act in the world as agents, as instruments, of compassion-let-loose-upon-the-world! Compassion is our authorization to feel and act, finally!, as liberated human beings!
Yeshua's parable of the "Good Samaritan" illustrates our authorization to feel and act as instruments of compassion. You can look it up for yourself (you can find it in Luke 10: 30 - 37). The operative phrase is "go and do likewise". It is probable that most of us will never meet up with a man on the road, beaten up by a robber, and left for dead. But everyday corporations, billionaires, and governments rob everyone when they prioritize their profits, privileges, and power over the common good. So, how you vote and what you buy directly and specifically reveals your "go and do likewise"... or not! We have, as the Christian religion and as a self-proclaimed Christian nation, decided to honor and worship Jesus... while, as a simple matter of consequence, our theologies and justifications have constructed for us a "comfortable Christ"! This emasculated "Christ" wants only our alleluias and hosannas: wants our grateful salvation-line: neither of which leads anywhere but to a mansion of mirrors filled with images of ourselves!
On the other hand, the "go and do likewise" of compassion means a radical change of mind and heart: we are supposed to live, vote, buy, and decide from the sacred perspective of compassion: what is best for the poor, the marginalized, and the desperate, first: the well-being of all life, of every eco-system, on this Planet and the well-being of the children who will be living here long after we are gone: and what is best for everyone -- both genders with an equal voice -- every class, every nation, and every specie. "Go and do likewise" is as sacred, and as religious, as it gets.
This Yeshua bar Alaha is the Divine Icon revealing our true identity and sacred purpose as human beings! Sure, put him on the altar of your life -- but make damn sure that he is striding forth, side-by-side with you, into the altar of your radicalized daily life! We can't let billionaires worship money, screw the Planet, and at the very same time pretend that we are worshipping God! The Unholy Trinity of Privilege, Profits, and Power is not capable of serving either Human Beings or this Planet! We need to practice and announce the Unity, and Unifying, Energy of Compassion!
"I stopped waiting for the world to improve and exercised my right to intervene in that world." -- Vaclav Havel