-- Gandalf (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings)
Okay. Yep. Skin cancer has bitten me. A little bit of "slicing, dicing, and freezing" and all clear for now... which only makes the wisdom of the wizard Gandalf all the more applicable and necessary... Whether it's this or that, sooner or later, we are all, each one of us, very fragile and very mortal beings... so, in point of fact, everything that we think, say, or do matters...
Look around! Wherever there are lies, manipulations, greed, exploitation, injustice, the profiting from guns and bombs, the destruction of the planet (also for profit), sexism, racism, the lust for privilege and power over others, the pursuit or practice of authoritarianism... and, well, you can see that these are deliberate distortions of the "godly spirit" with which we have all been endowed simply because of our humanity, can't you?
Either that, or Jesus was just another flaming dickhead filling us with his version of cosmic bullshit!
The kingdom of heaven (God) is within you! (Jesus) So, if not a flaming dickhead, why do we "Christians" cling to systems of domination and power that do not serve either the kingdom of heaven or us? Any sort of honest reading of the so-called Gospels of this Jesus, and it becomes abundantly clear that he was a mystic-revolutionary: high on the essential insight of the kingdom of God everywhere he looked: and most evident in the poor, in the oppressed, in the marginalized, and in women: in all those abused and violated, day-in and day-out, by the practitioners of the Unholy Trinity (Privilege, Profit, and Power).
Mystic-Revolutionary that he was, he freely distributed his Manifesto of Liberation (gospel) to anyone inclined to listen, consider, and enter upon the way that he identified with himself: and linking that way with the secret Name of God: I Am... and so we have the clarity of his proclamation that most clearly identifies those not adopting the path he proposed... After insisting that he came "to bring good news to the poor... the release of captives, the recovery of sight to the blind, the liberty of the oppressed, and the year of the Lord"... Luke (6: 20 - 26) reports his version of the Beatitudes, which can be summarized with the simple: Blessed are you poor and woe to you rich!
So much for our system of predatory capitalism! So much for our profiteering from selling guns and weapons of mass destruction! So much for our sexism, racism, exploitation, oppression, and violence! The poor will inherit the earth (the kingdom of heaven)! Those who are in process towards a transformation of consciousness are everyday-invited to go beatitude farming: to explore the meanings and possibilities latent within the wisdom-teachings of Jesus. English, not being the language which Jesus spoke (Aramaic), only begins to touch upon the layered wisdom of the Beatitudes... [I recommend that you read and study Prayers of the Cosmos, Reflections on the Original Meaning of Jesus' Words by Neil Douglas-Klotz]
Could there be a better way to entertain the Christmas season and New Year than that of beginning to acknowledge the kingdom of heaven right here, right now? If you have developed the habit of watching FOX News or some such network and associating with the extremist-right, just let it go! It's all either hoo-ey or very bad comedy! The mystic-revolution of Jesus is all about personal and social transformation: the revolution is "I was hungry and you fed me!" (Or the extremist-right "or not")! Don't kid yourself: the way is not with insurrectionist lies, but with liberationist loving! Kindness, justice, nonviolence, gender reconciliation, and what the extremist-right calls the radical left is the recognition and practice of the "kingdom of heaven" right-here, right-now, among all of us!
And as for my skin cancer, I suppose that I'll have to set aside my beloved fedora, and find a hat with a wider brim... and maybe a horse to go with it...