Take it or leave it.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

THIS ONE'S ON ME


Many of the world's religions share common themes and stories. For example, Christianity holds that God sent Jesus Christ to Earth to spread the message of eternal life. In John 3:16 it says, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." 


Not to be outdone, Catholics take it step further. Jesus Christ willingly sacrificed himself on the cross for the redemption of human sins, they say, on behalf of all humanity. Specifically it was original sin he atoned for, the OG of all transgressions, in which Adam following Eve's prodding disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden and ate from the Tree of Good and Evil. The battle of the sexes is eons old. 
In the Bhagavad-Gita, considered by many to be the Hindu bible, we have a version of Christ called an Avatar, who visits the Earth from age to age. Krishna was one such Avatar who lived 5,000 years ago. He tells his disciple: "Whenever there is a decline of righteousness and unrighteousness is on the increase, I manifest myself. For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked, and for the establishment of righteousness, I come into being from age to age."
Now this begs a question. If God is all-knowing and all-powerful, couldn't the Creator make the world in such a way that humans were righteous and free of sin without His having to intercede? This seems reasonable. Unless, like Woody Allen, the Maker writes a part in the divine drama for Him to play, as God-man, specifically because he enjoys interacting with His creation, and maybe performing a miracle or two. Surely such a thing is within the realm of possibility. If we are all divine manifestations, rays of the Divine Light, the Avatar may be an expression of the Universal Luminescence seen through a high-powered magnifying glass. I can envision such a thing. One can only hope God is a better actor than Mr. Allen.
What was Christ's message? It was love. In Matthew 22: 36-40 a disciple asks Jesus to name the "greatest commandment in the Law." Jesus replies: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
So, Love. The message of the Hindu Avatars is the same. Sai Baba, believed by millions to be one such Avatar, said repeatedly that the purpose of all of creation is the expression of love. God was lonely, needing an object in order to express His love. But God is all that is, and Love requires a recipient. So God created the delusion of the "other" in order to be both giver and receiver of the love that is His nature. But the delusion, which the Hindu's refer to as maya, is so strong that transcending it takes an act of grace, an infusion of divine love so great as to awaken our deepest powers of devotion. Imagine if you will the magician Harry Houdini who locks himself in a safe as part of his greatest trick only to forget the combination or throw away the key. Yikes! If you can "break the chains of love," as it were, cut the ties that bind, love merges into Love, giver and receiver are revealed to be one and the same. And God - pure, infinite, unconditional Love - is fully realized. This is the purpose of life, but it also begs a question.
If the aim of creation is love, why is there so much fighting and hatred and animosity? Love is really only a small factor in the worldly equation. Shouldn't everybody be walking around all lovey-dovey, holding hands and staring up at the clouds glassy-eyed like a bunch of hippies? Should we all just grow our hair and join a commune? But the truth is wherever you turn, you see love. Even fighting and hatred and animosity have as their root love gone awry. We don't get our way, our love is unrequited, we are jilted, used, abused, met with ingratitude and frustration, and we raise a cry. 
Love has so many expressions that it is often overused or misused as a blanket term. Attachment, attraction, infatuation are all called love. The feelings of parents for their kids. The feeling of kinship among friends. The pleasure one gets through a sense of possession is called love though it would be more accurate to call the feelings you have for your car or new home "satisfaction." And the yearning to reach truth, to know God, to contact the divine within you and let it flow from you like an inexhaustible spring, this is what really deserves the holy word of Love, if you listen to the Masters.
This Love conquers all. It is only when misdirected, becoming allegiance to a cause (as in fascism) or adherence to one particular doctrine over the rest (even the Christians had their Crusades) that love resembles hate and becomes destructive. The message of Hinduism, like that of the Gospels, is love. Love all, serve all. Feel that love which knows no boundaries, which cures hate, saves you from torment and despair. See through the eyes of unconditional love and heal the world. And be healed yourself.
Now I think I understand the whole nature of the cosmos and this divine drama, in a nutshell. Or at least I feel it. I just hope nobody else has to die so that others may believe. RIP Christ and Krishna. I am with you in my heart. Hopefully righteousness will prevail and soon, so that you won't need to revisit the Earth. But if you do, be sure to give me a buzz. How cool it'd be to say I had drinks with Jesus. I wonder who should buy, him or me. Doesn't matter, 'cause water's free.

Until then, I have a lot of playing to do. Listen carefully to the words, but disregard the part about cigarettes - after all it was 1980:



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