It takes a village
I have long felt that Mystery, Intuition, Creativity, Imagination, Spirituality, Inspiration, Magic, and Authenticity are all different names for what we think of as "God." Watching the land over the nearly 8 years I have been here has deepened this notion for me, because I see it in action, and experience it every day. Franciscan priest and mysticism rebirther Richard Rohr, in The Center for Action and Contemplation Newsletter: The Mendicant, Vol. 9, no. 3, takes inspiration from St. Bonaventure (13th Century), who taught that "The Creator's supreme power, wisdom, and benevolence shine forth through all created things." This stands in direct contrast with our anthropomorphizing of "God" in our own image, downsizing this tremendous creative power, in one of the greatest spiritual coups of all time. A force that is literally incomprehensible from our perspective, was packed in a box by the 18th Century Church, that is small, petty and cheap, just like us humans and what we produce for short term control and monetization. In one of the greatest ironies of humanity, instead of God making us in its image, we have remade god in our own...
Rohr challenges us to re-expand our notion of God by applying St. Bonaventure's concept literally:
"Don't start by trying to love God, or even people. Love rocks and elements first, move to trees, then animals and then humans. Angels will soon seem like a real possibility and God is then just a short leap away."
He also expands our small notion of time, a byproduct of cheapening the expansive creation we occupy:
"God did not just start talking to us with the Bible or the church or the prophets. Do we really think that God had nothing at all to say for 13.7 billion years, and started speaking only in the latest nanosecond of geological time? Of course not; the radiance of the Divine Presence has been glowing and expanding since the beginning of time, before there were any human eyes to see or know about it."
The implications of this are staggering to our "small enlightened minds..." Just like scientists discovered that the Sun does not, in fact, rotate around the Earth, so now, Rohr is helping us understand that we are NOT the center of creation, nor our ability to think, the pinnacle achievement of it. The modern notion of "enlightenment" was the biggest scam in the history of humans. It was the moment when our rational minds joined in war against our mystical experience, and the church choose to pull the wool over our eyes to maintain power.
I have practiced expanding my notion of God long before reading Rohr's perspective on it. During my vision quest, I laid on a rock, which spoke to me when it recognized that I had finally slowed down enough to hear its language. A lizard couple danced and played in a way that showed me their language of love. Hummingbird sent me regular messages, just through its presence and actions. By the end of those three days up on the hill, I was ready to see that wonder in people, and angels came to visit too. I knew I had been with God, and I could finally see that in all relations. It is so refreshing to hear someone like Rohr, from within the crumbling edifice of Christianity, also expanding their notion of God. Perhaps there is hope for religion after all. His voice is getting stronger, and resonating far and wide.
Today on this new moon, I redouble my efforts to connect with this land and learn all about God from it. It has so much to offer, and has been my salvation. It is why I build spaces to honor Her and the rest of my relations. The origin of generosity and giving is the Earth and that is why She is my Spiritual Messiah.
Dirt is medicine