The Better Angles

Christianity is my north star. It is not my religion, I am a secular mystic. I believe things are as they are and I believe that is understood, absolutely. I am a product of my parents circumstance. I’ll call it; Original Fate. That includes my birth as a Catholic, as a Christian. Basically, that is what providence looks like. In other words, the direction on the sign begins with: You Are Here.

As a Catholic youth in parochial schools I was taught to be Catholic. The best thing about being Catholic was Heaven. All Catholics in good standing went to Heaven. Everyone else was going to Hell. It was hard for me to understand this as a good thing. Fistfights with my neighbor resulted. He was my friend, but he was not Catholic. I was so upset that this friend of mine was going to Hell, that my frustration lead me to punch him the face and initiate a fight.

There is no Hell, at least not one that is eternal, and Heaven, is the same way. Heaven requires Hell to exist. The same is true of Hell, without Heaven, no Hell. We have made these things up. Imagined them to be true. It is a terrible thing because there are real consequences to thinking some deserve Heaven and others Hell. The typical model has a lot more people in Hell than can ever hope to know Heaven.

These considerations, in turn, are how we model society, and as we have only ever imagined a Heaven and Hell, we are the God that owns it. An imaginary, yet brutal, God.

Christianity has its better Angles. The God that would create each and every one of us, individually as some sort of hobby, and then send nearly everyone to an eternal Hell, this psychopath, is also all forgiving. People hope to spend an eternity with that God. I am not one of them.

Okay, better Angles. Clearly all forgiving and eternal damnation are not compatible. All forgiving works for me. Eternal damnation, that just seems ridiculous. How is it sustainable? It would require a God, or whatever, to be determined that a misery so incomprehensible as to only be understood by its unending certainty and perpetual escalation, be maintained. An all forgiving God simply makes that impossible. Obviously.

These silly expectations are not necessary. They only matter to, and impact, the world we live in, enjoying no durability beyond human societies and cultures. It is sad that we would imagine such injustices, and then, turn a blind eye to the suffering they perpetuate, blaming God, instead of shouldering our own responsibility. We create these conditions and then we assign their consequence to an “all-powerful” God, a God whose true power is our denial. Our denial the we are that God. An imaginary God entirely of our own design and limitation.

I do believe a true God must exist. One that can only be known and understood by experience. We can understand God by the observation of what must be absolute. That which can only be known by a singular measure, complete in-and-of itself and immune to compromise. Unable to suffer injury or slight. The truth, understanding and compassion are three such things.

All efforts to define God fail as God is not of us. We are of God. We simply lack the authority to define God. God is to be understood by experience, by acceptance, by understanding and there is simply no way not to do this. We can imagine what is naught, we can deny, yet we can not escape God.

Michael, The Mystic Tourist © 2018

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