Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Camel Through the Eye of the Needle

I don’t expect to be well-loved or popular because of this blog entry, as with all previous blog entries.

Free means without possession, without money.
Ponder this the next time you hear the phrase "Land of the Free" and the now common "haters of freedom."

To own is to owe. To owe is to be enslaved. Enslaved to what? Hmm... Mammon?

"Forgive us our debts, even as we forgive our debtors."
Forgive us our owing (owning), even as we forgive those who owe (own) us.

My friend, Sonia, in Portugal, whom I never met in person, sent me this email & gave me permission to quote it here:

“- Being moneyless for thousands of people is not even a choice, so you
shall be thankful for having the opportunity to choose.
- Being moneyless - when it is a choice - is something that, in many cases, results from a past with money. For example, consider Buddha, the rich prince, or San Francisco, a rich son before becoming priest. Money is not only the terrific monster of capital, it is also the serpent that bites its [tail]: money prepares the way to avoid money.
- And finally I remembered that sentence of Thomas Aquinas: «Evil has no being». Why bother about it?”

The answer that came to me:

“I think about this serpent biting its own tail all the time. Yeah, money is part of the mysterious play of the universe. I was born relatively privileged - therefore I can choose what I'm doing. But it would be foolish to feel apologetic about it. What other choice do I have to be healthy? It is the choice (thus, the love) that is the point. There must be a Prodigal Son, it seems.

“I have hung out with street people who never had the experience of privilege, and I cannot blame them for being totally baffled by my choice. In my travels to underdeveloped nations, I could not blame people for wanting to experience the capitalistic gluttony of industrialized nations, at the expense of environment and human dignity. It seems it is something humans must go through. Like it or not, the serpent in Eden must be part of the ‘plan’.

“Ah, Thomas Aquinas' question! We bother with evil because it is part of the Play, if we know that evil has no being. It is fun to bother with movies and myths and games, if we know they are pretense!”

Who can follow her own religion? What camel can go through the eye of a needle?

“One way leads to wealth. The other way leads to Nirvana.” (Gautama Buddha, Dhammapada v. 75)

“But the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish.” (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 26:31)

“No one can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Jesus Christ, Matthew 6:24)

Ponder this: If money were not a master and humans the slaves, then humans would have a choice to be free of money. And this is the mysterious beauty of the universe: when we can finally admit that we are enslaved to money, that we have no choice. Only with this great confession can the impossible become possible. Is it possible for a camel to go through the eye of a needle?

I do not expect non-Christians to follow Jesus.
But everyone expects Christians to follow Jesus.

In the words of Jesus:

None of you can be my disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” (Luke 14:33)

Yes, here’s the mysterious paradox: Only when professed Christians can finally be honest and confess the obvious, that they do not believe the teachings of Jesus, only when we can confess that Jesus’ teachings are impossible to follow – only then can we believe the teachings of Jesus. Only then can the impossible become possible.

Is not the first step of recovery from alcoholism to say, “I am an alcoholic?”

Ask any professed Christian:
is not confession the first step into Christianity?

Back when I thought I was a devout Christian, it dawned on me one day:
"If I say I believe in Jesus, in Jesus' teachings, I am not honest. I surely do not believe in Jesus, in Jesus' teachings." Sin cannot see itself. Only when sin can see itself and admit it is sin can it vanish like the illusion it is.

Yes, “None of you can be my disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.”

Death is the loss of possessions.
When we possess nothing, right down to giving up possession of our bodies, our minds, and our thoughts, our beliefs, our dogmas,
then the taste of death is gone.
Death, where is your sting?

Possession is illusion.

Dis-illusionment is the key to life.

Yes, our illusion shattered,
our heart broken,
right down to our most cherished religious beliefs.

Who can survive dis-illusionment?

Only the Real.

"Be yourself, no matter what they say." (Sting)