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God; etc.

Nov 10, 1994 06:12 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins

Art Patterson,

AP> The idea of the poor being receptive to liberal ideas makes
sense.  But I have had quiet another experience with the poor.
Our congregation was in the inner city of Winnipeg, our inner
cities are not like New York but they are not suburbia either.
The poor here are very conservative and many of them have goals
and values that the rich have.  Many would love to make tons of
money and move up the ladder, most do not believe in sharing but
in getting ahead.  I think I should qualify this by making a
distinction between the poor and the destitute the destitute are
more prone to liberal ideas - the welfare poor don't tend to be
at least in the environment I was in.  This experience is
recorded in the 60's American scene when the SDS tried to
politicize the poor and found that they were often staunch

Your experience exactly matches what I find here in the central
valley of California and in Los Angeles.

AP> I see the majority of American's are moving to the right
again even though Clinton has made significant changes in
domestic policy and conditions.  I don't understand it.  But as
you may know baby boomer Canadians easily glide to the left.

Yes the whole thing is irrational.  The big factor is image.
Presidents are no longer elected on political platforms--the
elections depend upon who is the best marketed, and who has "the
look." One of the most popular Presidents in history was Ronald
Reagan--yet more indictments for political corruption were made
during his administration than any other in the entire history of
this country.  The issues are too complicated and people don't
understand them any more.  The popularity of political figures is
determined by how they come across, not by what they do.  Though
the economy is improving, a poll I saw shows that most people
give the credit to Bush, even though there is absolutely no
objective evidence for doing so.

AP> Something happens when people are selfish and materialistic
that takes the world into a pit and then when we become sick of
our narcissism there is a chance for change.  It is evolution, or
process, and I don't think we will see what our little commitment
to consciousness will reap in the future.  HPB and Olcott said we
don't deserve to know as a species.  At least not yet.  I have
very little political hope because of the collectivity of the
political premise.  If the collective consisted in aware educated
and fully functioning individuals then it could be depended upon.
But our educational, politic and moral expectation of people are
so low that voting among many other responsibilities is
effortless.  No need to be informed just vote the way you always
have or be swayed by the media or react.

Yes.  Beautifully stated.

JHE>> "God" is another word that I have problems with because of
the Judeo-Christian view of a personal God-the-creator-of-the-
universe with whom one can have personal intercourse.

AP> I really understand what you are saying here.  G-d is such a
misused word with such a stretch of meaning it is almost
meaningless.  The only problem I have in using other words is
that the same semantic problem creeps into them.  When I decide
to speak my heart on the issue of Deity I tend to use the word
Ground.  It has its root in Meister Eckhart and more recently
Paul Tillich.

Yes, the same semantic problem does arise.  My personal solution
is to try to avoid terms all together, and try to use
semantically unpolluted terms when it is necessary to discuss it.
When we speak of God-the-creator-of-the-universe, we are really
talking about something beyond our human powers of speculation
anyway.  My experience is that when Christians talk about
"God/He", not from habit, or the repetition of dogma, but from
their hearts, they are really coming from their own experiences
of the Divine that is within them.  But to make that "god within"
the God-the-creator-of-the-universe as generally understood in
Christianity is problematical to me.  But the merging of the two
concepts in inherent in the Christian system, so I usually let it
pass without comment.  One the other hand, when students of
theosophy do it, I raise the issue and point out the Mahatma KH's
explicit denial of the existence of a personal cosmic or extra
cosmic god.  They usually express an agreement with KH's point
(even though a student of theosophy has no obligation to agree
with any teaching), then in the next breath continue with
something like "...God in all of His glory...." It makes me feel
like banging my head against the wall.

AP> About the personal issue.  My son and I were discussing this.
He has an antipathy to seeing God in "personal" terms.  I told
him that I appreciated his viewpoint and that it works to an
extent but I asked him to consider that personality is a metaphor
for the Source, see now I am avoiding God-Talk language.  He is
into Druidry so I asked him if he ever felt that nature had
feelings he said yes I said that was personification and a useful
tool in describing our relationship to God.

Being a Literature major, metaphor is my stock and trade.  I love
them.  The problems arise when the metaphor is mistaken for the
reality it symbolizes.  Also metaphors can become too
comfortable.  It is like having a great and meaningful slogan,
but after repeating it over and over, the words become a habit
and the meaning begins to slip away.  Your son's antipathy to
"seeing God in `personal' terms" might force him to search deeper
into the issue, and perhaps make new discoveries.  I'm always
excited when I see children come up with new concepts that arise
out of their rejection of older ones.  If it fits him, he will
keep it until he outgrows it--then he will find something else.
A great metaphor for our spiritual search might be the hermit
crab who goes from shell to shell searching for one that fits,
only to soon outgrow it.

AP> In making the analogy between God and human-beings I was
thinking that when I think of myself as "I" with my human self
identity it is part of who I am in my entirety but not all of who
I am.  I as a human being am who I think I am but I hope that I
am more than that.  I am hoping that there is something about us
that is transcendent of human personality but is also contained
within it.

That's great if it works for you.  I'm in the habit of
identifying "I" with my personality self.  Like most people (I
believe) consciousness of the transcendent is not with me at all
times.  This is something that I seek and explore through

JHE> ...K.H.  writes "We have no patience with the Sunyasis"....

AP> Paul Johnson helped me out here when he said that I should
read the Silence as thesis, antithesis and synthesis.  The first
part is negation the second seems to be affirmation.  I am
working at it.

I saw Paul's statement on this and was pretty excited about the
possibilities in it.  But he also stated that he was unsure if
his interpretation holds together and was going to explore
further.  I'm looking forward to Paul's further explication (in
confirmation or not) on this.  But the application of thesis,
antithesis and synthesis to the sections of the ~Voice~ is hardly
a standard interpretation.  Paul may have a genuine insight here,
or it may fall apart under closer examination.

Jerry Hejka-Ekins

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