Archive for the 'prophets' Category

Chthonic faith

November 16, 2012

This relates back to my previous post — it’s some of my ponderings.

It occurred to me that one of the distinctions between the oracles and folks we might call prophets is that oracles commune(d), I think, with sort of subterranean spirits or forces, and prophets commune with a God out there and up there sort of in the heavens.

In fact, the subterranean spirits came to have a really negative reputation.  Do we have a male figure who communed with subterranean forces in an amicable interaction?  One without anger at or fear of such a force?

What I’m wondering is that a person can’t have a balanced view of the spiritual realm without having plugged in to both sets of forces, and that men find plugging into chthonic forces more difficult.  Maybe this difficulty became transformed into rejection of such forces as “evil.”  They’re not, I don’t think; I think they are just more reactive to our own small imperfections.  I think they just require the person to engage in a certain kind of surrender that is better supported for women in Western culture.

So, I think, to develop a connection such as the oracles of old had, it takes a certain style of surrender (sincere and complete, no element of playing at it at all — “no holding back,” as Jackson Browne writes about something else in “Sky Blue and Black”) and it also takes addressing the surrender inwards and downwards.  I’m not sure lots of Western religious practices encourage that.

What I get when I engage in it includes a connection with the earth.

We have Earth Day, but nevertheless I think she’d like it if more people “called home,” to her.  Like my sons’ kindergarten teacher who wondered whether my older son didn’t like her because he didn’t smile at her, the earth, I think, could use the explicit expression of our affection.

It’s Friday evening, and while I’m not going to Friday Night Shabbat Services tonight, I am reminded of the image of Shabbat as a bride, I think it goes.  Mother Earth, Father Sky, Adonai and a female companion, God’s light side and God’s dark side, yin and yang, Shiva and Kali (do I have the right pairing?) — I think we need wholeness in divinity, or balance in the forces of the universe (for those who prefer the impersonal version of what I’m trying to get at).

The moral equivalent

November 15, 2012

I think by this Willy meant the thing equivalent to the point of reference in terms of some essence of the point of reference — Willy used the phrase a lot, to find an analogy that would explain a problem at hand.

Someone once explained to me that in Judaism men find their spiritual lives through prayer, women through applying the rules of kashrut in their daily lives.  These could be seen as moral equivalents, at least according to the perspective of the speaker.

I’m looking for the moral equivalent of the female “oracle” of ancient times.  We have Moses the guy who brings his community the Ten Commandments; is he the moral equivalent of someone like the Delphic Oracle?  And if not, what should a man be doing if he takes up the role of being a mouthpiece for God, for expression of Platonic forms, for understanding of the forces of the universe?  Maybe he’s a physicist or mathematician like Albert Einstein.

Any way, this is a question I’m pondering.

the physics of prophecy

September 4, 2012

I was reading this morning in a Richard Rohr Daily Meditation about how prophets often are killed (the passage was mostly about marrying the priestly and prophetic traditions, harmonizing action and contemplation, outer and inner, etc.).

I think the difficult end to which prophets come may actually be in a way an energetic by-product of their becoming prominent to the outer world.  There is a tendency to preach, for example, and, I get the impression, to assume that the larger the crowd and the greater the fame, the better.

I don’t think it’s that crowds and fame are “bad” per se, I think that there’s a problem with how to arrange the energy a prophet brings into this world.  I think the dynamic with crowds, fame, and acclaim and the dynamic of the prophet’s relationship with the source of their insights are incompatible.

I think prophets bring in the understandings, and if they communicate them in “smaller” or other or indirect ways — through the level of the collective unconscious that is accessible to more people generally, not through preaching, teaching, and books, for example — they last longer.  I think that’s just the “physics” of it.  If they go with that flow, I think the system can sustain itself more easily.

Of course, this means forsaking all kinds of ego temptations, including the desire to run the race as a solo event, not a relay, or to dance as a soloist and not part of an ensemble.

It can also bring with it logistical difficulties of coordination and communication with others and their egos.

I think “prophets” share with others who have some prophetic tendencies but also have other skills that the more purely prophetic don’t have.  I think together they form links in a chain, as Plato somewhere in his dialogues describes.  And these links in turn will link to others, and so forth, until everyone is linked in.  Linked in in a spiritual network, not LinkedIn in the social one.