My friend Bob Griffith (Hypersync »), a soon-to-be-ordained Episcopal priest, put up an excellent post, asking “Why? »” He deplores pre-emptive war, and the support of so many Christians behind it:
>Why are our innocent civilians any more important or valuable than are innocent civilians in any other country . . . especially if we consider how God views us all? . . . I cannot say they don’t understand, because these are intelligent people. Yet, it seems they simply cannot see; they do not seem to understand. The crime, in my opinion, is that many of these same people claim Christ as their example–their attitudes, ideas, and actions are so contrary to the example and call of Christ that it is mind-boggling.
I couldn’t possibly agree with Bob more. Millions of Christians have little awareness of the actual teachings of Christ regarding universal, unconditional love and generosity. The question remains, why? I believe it’s largely that we do not understand what the Gospel is. The original Gospel (Good News) wasn’t about “believing in” Jesus, but the News Jesus dedicated his life to proclaiming and demonstrating–that the Kingdom of God is here. At hand. Within. Spread out upon the earth. To be in the Kingdom of God means that God’s presence is felt everywhere, that God is in control, not the self. The Kingdom is present when the ego is absent.
I believe it isn’t seen because it’s unacceptable to the ego. And so the Good News shifted from being the teaching of Christ, to the gospel about Christ. This is not nearly as threatening to the ego, which can choose to “accept” it or not, but still retains control.
The ego objectifies whatever it can. Realities such as regions of the earth are abstracted into concepts like “country.” We’re further indoctrinated into believing that there is “my” country and others are “foreign” countries, and their citizens’ needs are of a much lower priority. A lot more becomes “mine” to disguise simple reality. There’s *my* heritage, *my* race, *my* religion, *my* property, *my* desires, *my* rights, which are important. What’s yours is up for consideration. Or dismissal. Or labeling. Iraqi/American, saint/sinner, man/woman, gay/straight, black/white/Oriental, and most of all, good/bad.
The ego is like the surface tension bounding a drop of water. To fall into the sea seems like death to it, but the surface is not the water. When the drop falls into the ocean, the water is not damaged, but it is now without boundaries, connected to all the water in the ocean.
Jesus often used the metaphors of birth and children. Be born again, born of the Spirit, he said. Receive as a little child, or you cannot enter the Kingdom. Little children know nothing of the thicket of illusions that form the ego. Another child isn’t an Iraqi or an American, but a friend.
We need to know that concepts and distinctions are games of the mind. While they’re essential to
playing in the Matrix—working, living, thinking, building — they remain games. Reality is still unchanged. It’s the Kingdom of God.