"God is our father, and above all God is our Mother..." -- John Paul I
While it might seem a tad bit strange to title these thoughts "Sacred Pleasure" -- and the have a painting of the Black Madonna with Black Christ Child -- along with a quote from Pope John Paul I... it does make sense to me! For all three, title, Black Madonna, and quote, have been selected to advance a particular intention... or, I might say, a specific mission: the return of the Divine Feminine in our practical spirituality...
The recently posted article -- Deep Sensuality -- on this website, was written to explore something of our need to reconcile our "being-ness" with the sum of its sensual and spiritual nature. The many-centuries long division of spirituality from sensuality has done great harm to all of us as individuals and then together as peoples: a plague of violence, oppression, and injustice is upon all of us and upon this precious blue Planet: too many people use religion to incite hatred and violence -- especially upon women... too many people use their access to power to prey upon and dominate individual persons and entire regions, religions, and nations: and then, of course, there is our rapacious attitudes and practices in regards to Mother Earth... I believe that the root cause of what we see around us is the practical elimination of the Divine Feminine from our hearts, lives, and societies...
Is it shocking to think of the Mother of Yeshua, the Poet of Nazareth, as a black African Woman? And what of Yeshua himself as a black man? Would white Christianity have practiced black slavery for centuries if it had reverenced the Christ as Black? Would white Christianity have concluded that "black lives matter" long ago if it had adored a Black Christ? Would Christianity -- and generally speaking, all religions -- have practiced and advanced the liberation and equality of all women if it had seen in all women living images of the Divine? Would Christianity -- and generally speaking, all religions -- have recognized the spiritual and creative and social and political insights of women if every woman had had equal access to economic, political, and religious decision-making and power?
As with the above mentioned questions, so too with "sacred pleasure"... the catastrophic division of "sacred" from "sensual" really gave birth, if you will, to the notion that "Woman" was the cause of the "Fall" of Man: and the penalties associated with that "Fall". Is this notion really essential to the liberation inherent in the wisdom teachings of Yeshua? This is where "sacred pleasure" begins: "Love one another as I have loved you"! Now that was an "orgasmic thrust" -- if there ever was one -- upon the consciousness of humanity! So why are so many Christians wanting to erect stone monuments to the Ten Commandments instead of building shelters for the homeless Christ? Why is war and violence so thoroughly and effectively practiced -- by all the children of Abraham -- instead of the obvious "sacred pleasure" held out as an invitation to us by the Poet of Nazareth?
Perhaps the radical image of the Divine as Black Mother and Black Child might nudge us closer and closer to the Real Reality of the essential holiness of being human: here and now, with no one either left out or left behind... perhaps too, we need images of the Divine as "illegal immigrants", as lesbian lovers, as Muslim Woman and Child, as, well, perhaps even as Donald Trump with a Ted Cruz Child on his lap... What do we need to liberate our "sacred pleasure" in "Love one another as I have loved you"?
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.