Am I the untouchable (touch four)


The bible I was taught as a child is simplistic. The bible I knew as a young adult is dualistic. The bible I hold as an adult is still dualistic and simplistic.

And always duel-istic.

Dualistic AND duelistic.  It seems you can’t have one without the other.

I have no need for the bible to be fact or “right” any longer.  But nor do I NOT have to believe in “God” (or whatever name you prefer).  Because that is still dualistic and duelistic.

I wonder if this is really what any “beneficent god” wishes (predatory self-centred gods excepted)?  And if we could not have our bible (or whatever sacred text), would we be believers?  Would (name your One) be worth the fighting and killing and dying?

I know that some wonderful people worry about me and my soul when I write like this.  I wonder if others think I am going to the dark side (and steer well clear).  I thank you all – you are all very kind.

It’s just that – much like the tale of  “The Emperor’s Clothes” – I have come to a point where I see this “dualistic” bible/sacred text we have evolved (and made factual – but not really – but it is really) just like that “no mention no clothes” tale.  Something we dare not admit.

And it really is not just the bible.

I see the same thing with other religious and sacred writings.  Because all faiths seem to revere (make experts) those who can memorise texts.  Just NOT like film geeks who gain kudos by reciting chunks of film scripts – and so NOT like we swoon over children who can name every capital of the world – and NOT like we can take a memory course to memorise anything and everything …  So just why this memorising of sacred texts?

When we can use a smartphone.

My children do.  In the middle of a conversation they go all “smartphone”.  Because there we all are – all chatting away about something or nothing.  And, as happens in conversation, someone ventures an opinion … a thought … an idea …  And (as happens nowadays) some are always checking their phones. Which I learned includes “going smartphone” (as I call it).

Because as the conversation continues, someone will say that is wrong.  That, whatever “that” was, is actuallya, b, and (usually a conversation-ending) “c””.  The “going smartphone” wins every time.  Which means conversation (and connecting with each other) loses out.  Right is might.  And right we must all be.

“Going SmartPhone”: the immediate search of a word or phrase (of conversation) in the WWW of wisdom.  It is also – recently – referred to as “fact-checking”.  Except our children have been doing it for ages.  It’s just I never knew.  I thought I was just talking to children who are more opinionated than me.

But try asking why the results from the “WWW of wisdom” are correct … and the answer is always: “Because they are.”  Which is why I have come to call those who do it with bibles: “bible smartphoners”.  Because the answer is always: “Because the bible says.”

Except google and the bible say different.  Because what comes back is “stuff”.  And the “going smartphone” always requires one to ignore some results and select in others, even to try a different search phrase if the results “aren’t right”.

Which, in the case of the bible, is like throwing out twenty-one consonants and claiming vowels as the whole (and correct) alphabet (bible).  I see that still happening – just in a more “kindly” way (usually).

Which leaves me with a growing curiosity.

The biblical Chosen People and their long trek before entering the Promised Land … I was taught to say this is fact.  Because the bible says so.

So what about this … “Kadesh Barnea, Gaza, & The Exodus”, The Superstitious Naked Ape  (given to me by another)

Please click the link and have a read – I will still be here when you get back.

(hello again)

After reading that post my curiosity is this:

What does needing to be right change in me (and you)?  And what does needing the bible to be all right (or all wrong) change in all of us?  Because one thing the bible (and all sacred texts) has taught me is this:

Love does not need (“predatory self-centred stuff” some call love, excluded)

So just why do we believers need the bible to be all right?

.

 

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10 thoughts on “Am I the untouchable (touch four)

  1. I know that some wonderful people worry about me and my soul when I write like this.

    Be if good cheer. Seeing as I am like Julie Andrews ( of Mary Poppins fame) and practically perfect in every way I will never lose a wink of sleep worrying about your soul…you have my word!
    However, as I am a vegetarian I might well be concerned about your sole … if you have one of those.

    Maybe the question that might be more worthwhile to ask is: Do I need the bible at all?

  2. Pingback: Am I the untouchable (touch five) | Just me being curious

  3. “And if we could not have our bible (or whatever sacred text), would we be believers?  Would (name your One) be worth the fighting and killing and dying?”

    Well, most of the early church didn’t have Bibles, and many couldn’t read it if they had one. Yet, they were willing to be fed to the lions, be subjected to torture, and other forms of martyrdom for their faith. God isn’t the Bible or a doctrine. You won’t willingly become lion food for those kinds of things. He is love in relationship, and you will go to any lengths for love. (I love the Bible, btw, just in case someone gets the wrong idea here.)

    Good stuff, Paul! Yes, you’re strange, out there, teetering on the brink…but that’s why we love you so much. 🙂

    • Thank you Me. The “teetering” (for me) is not and never has been (so far).

      It is simply enjoying the infinite width, breadth, length, depth, weight, lightness, shades and colour, sounds and scents I have been given – that are available right now for all of us. The more I explore the less need I have of limiting that banquet and party by going “nose blind” or “eye blind” or “sense blind” because someone says that I must (if I want to be accepted).

      Some (???) back, there was a conversation on this blog about “outriders”. Those who lived their lives on the fringes. Never part of the pack. But always part of the pack. I remember chatting then: is “the pack” reluctant to follow because of fear of following, is the pack jealous of an outrider for the freedom they have, is an outrider to be kept at arm’s length in case they end up getting eaten … ? But mainly – just what kind of world would we have without outriders?

      I never thought of myself as that before. I still find it hard to consider myself as that. Because the more I explore the more there is to explore. And I love the bible – I will love whichever sacred text you throw my way. So long as no one expects me to swallow it whole – so long as you allow me to explore – so long as you don’t demand that everything you find unpalatable.

      Like (which) “faith”. Like (which) “God”. Like (which) “worship”. Like (whose) “sin”. Like all the (different varieties of) religious “road furniture” we think (believe) gives us (god endowed) rights over (god barren) others.

      More and more for me “kindness” is the key.

      Because I find more and more that I cannot hate you AND be kind to you (not if I don’t know you). If I don’t know you and I cannot be kind to you – it is because of what I believe you to be – not what you actually are. And if I can do that to you (hate you) then you can do that to me (hate me) without knowing who I am either. Except we don’t hate each other – we hate because we believe we should hate. And THAT is weird!

      But now flip that.

      If I can be kind to you simply because I don’t know you – then perhaps you can be kind to me as well. And if we can be kind to each other without knowing what we each believe, who we each are, what our different journeys are, where our journeys are taking us, what choices determined which paths we follow .. then can we ever hate each other? And as we find out what those decisions were and why – who the people are I our lives – what we enjoy and what we are good at … will we not simply find more and more in common (rather than less)? And if we still have little in common as we do get to know each other … ?

      I may not love you. Not like a brother from another mother. But I can love you like I love ice cream, or a big fat steak, or a great film, or the smell of freshly cut grass, or the sight of a heart-stopping sunset or sunrise. I can love you like that.

      Because some days I don’t want ice cream. Some days I want to sleep and miss the sunrise. But I know I can have an ice cream when I want. And I know the sun will come up tomorrow and the day after that.

      So I can love you today or tomorrow or the day after that. I have not need to hate you. Which makes being kind really easy. And hating you really hard. And I like easy.

      And both living and religion got me to this point of my journey. What I did with both living and religion.

      What I did with the bible. The church. The words written, the words spoken, the people who speak them to me, and the people who listen with me. Some are of religion and a lot are not. Some were inspirational and some were complete and utter nightmares. Some I would trust with wallet and heart – a lot I would not.

      But I find this to be true more and more:

      Every time I trust you I cannot hate you. Every time you” let me down” (whatever that means) I still don’t have to hate you. And if you rip me of it is probably because I closed my eyes to something because I wanted something for nothing (or a lot less than it would usually cost). Or someone had told me that I should close my eyes to something. Or believe things without asking questions. Or just because I was having a bad day and wanted to be somewhere else. So I stopped what I usually do.

      Checking “the feedback” of connection.

      But every time I am told I must not trust so quickly, should not connect so easily, should not talk to random strangers so confidently – I shrink a little. Inside. I withdraw a little each time. And it changes me. Because I come to believe that this person might hurt me. Or that person might rip me off. Or that person might disrespect me. Or that person might not like me. That person might laugh at me. That person might find me a bore. That person might … and the list of speculation goes on and on. The reasons to withdraw and shrink become a way of life. But I have to have a catalogue to get through each day. Or else I have to check each and every person – and I simply don’t have to time to do that (and I might get ripped off if I start talking to them)!

      So I have labels. Labels that mean I don’t have to talk to you. I don’t have to check the feedback because there is no connection to check. And just like a pressure cooker about to burst – all the “must not” and the “might” and the labels and the “watching out for me because no one else will watch out for me” all the “I trusted someone once and look where it got me” builds and builds.

      And hating you without knowing you is the release. Hating you for the label I have given you (or been told to give you) is the release. And if “hate” is too strong a word – then what is the right word? What word describes intentionally assuming that because of my label for you – your are dangerous to me? Because the consequence is toxic.

      Maybe not at first. But like “poison” it seeps in everywhere. Slowly and silently. I think hate is the toxic outlet of suppression. Hate is the toxic result of having to do this or that to be accepted.

      And sacred texts play their part. Religion plays its part. But I have found this …

      When we run out of things to argue over – some wily bastard will always find just one more!

      🙂

      And I have just written (touch six) – thank you for allowing this release! 🙂

  4. Pingback: Am I untouchable (touch six) | Just me being curious

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