thank you, peter tosh

The morning after I came home from the hospital, I woke up with Tosh’s voice in my head, singing “the mighty God is a living man/now you’ve seen the light/stand up for your rights.”

This gave me a bit of pause, Gentle Reader, as you might imagine.  Why then?  Who even knew I remembered that song? Or, more importantly, how incisive and “right” Marley’s lyrics always were?  Anyway, I thought about it to the limited extent available to me at that point.

For one thing.  Stand up for your rights.  I realized that this does NOT mean those ego based rights people think of so often- when I was Slave Girl to the Divorce and Bankruptcy Courts there appeared to be an almost endless stream of people coming in to the attorney’s office clutching soft drinks with gnats in them, waving them in my face and in loud voices asking what their “rights” were in such egregious situations.  (I was not altogether sweetness and light at such times.  Often I said, well, you have the right to party! paraphrasing yet another song.)  So, no.  Not those sorts of rights.  What it seemed to mean to me was that once that larger awareness dawns, you see what is actually “right”, and that is what you must stand up for.  Not so much just your place in line, but everyone’s place in that line.

Then there’s the thing of the mighty God being a living man.  I’m starting to think the Greeks probably had it pretty correctly viewed: THEIR Gods were all over the place and far from incorruptible even if for the most part infallible.  In this perspective, divinity itself has foibles.  Those foibles result in things that we as humans don’t understand and as a result resist.  Which leads to all the hilarity that normally ensues in the course of a day.

And more, if the mighty God IS a living man, then that means that EVERYTHING is divine since we have seen the divine and he is us.  All of us.  Foibles and all.  I contrasted this with the Christian, Catholic setting I had just been released from.  In that paradigm, pain, fear and suffering are the tools of the trade.  You are to believe that a “loving God” sends his son to earth to be pulled to pieces, in essence. You yourself are punished constantly for some amorphous and unknown “sin” (which with a bit of research seems to largely involve sex and poverty- check out Martin Luther’s screed on who was possessed by devils, for example) of which you probably have no concrete memory but for which you must atone 24/7.  In all of this, only God is divine.  I’ve always had problems with this paradigm because it seems to smack, perhaps even stink, of hierarchical, top down, patriarchal process.  The good things are at the top, and where are all of us?  Not, Gentle Reader, at the top.  Nature is, of course, deeply suspect and right there? We should all be very suspicious indeed.  How can the very source of our beings, what feeds and nourishes us and regales us with beauty,  be evil and require such religious scouring as to be death defying?

So.  Even though I fell into a pretty deep pothole post-hospital, I think it did provide clarification of a sort- or perhaps just proof of how far around and beyond the bend one is.  I think, no, really I’m sure, that “religion” is a means of control, plain and simple.  The realization of what is truly divine is something available to us all, and it IS what we all are.  We are all pieces of a mighty divinity and it would certainly be nice if we could remember that a bit oftener than we do.  The fact that there ARE foibles and places we don’t get it doesn’t mean anything except there’s more to see and learn and we shouldn’t bog ourselves down with opinions. ( In that vein, I’m almost over my screaming meemees about the anesthesiologist.  We live in hope and progress is always possible.  I may yet be reunited with the garden shears! ) But I am still wondering what is to be done about the complete insanity we see all around us, and how much longer we’ll really survive as a species if we don’t start putting the truly divine before the clearly profane. I think polar bears and clean water and the Arctic and the people of Syria and Baltimore- ALL OF US- are a HELL of a lot more important and divine than the profanity of profits those at the top derive from the suffering they are inflicting on us all.  Doesn’t it seem as though if we all just stopped collaborating with this paradigm it might make a difference?

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