Richard Rohr, OFM, shares in his daily reflection today (5/21/2017) speaks about how the “law” cannot lead to transformation. He writes:
Law is a necessary stage, but if we stay there, Paul believes, it actually becomes a major obstacle to transformation into love and mercy. Law often frustrates the process of transformation by becoming an end in itself. It inoculates us from the real thing, which is always relationship. Paul says that God gave us the law to show us that we can’t obey the law! (See Romans 7:7-13 if you don’t believe me.) Paul even says that the written law brings death, and only the Spirit can bring life (Romans 7:5-6; 2 Corinthians 3:6). This man is truly radical, but it did not take churches long to domesticate him. We’ve treated Paul as if he were a moralist instead of the first-rate mystic and teacher that he is.
….Religious requirements only become the source of deeper anxiety. Humans quite simply don’t have the power to obey any spiritual law, especially issues like forgiveness of enemies, nonviolence, self-emptying, humble use of power, true justice toward the outsider, and so on, except in and through union with God. Or as Jesus put it, “the branch cut off from the vine is useless” (John 15:5).
One interpretation of nonviolence that is subtle yet very true is that to be truly nonviolent is to not try to coerce people’s belief systems.
I am thinking of when I was a zealot for Catholicism and always trying to defend the faith against Evangelicals or fundamentalists who were telling me I was going to hell for not being a part of their faith tradition. What a waste of time and energy and totally missing of the point.
It seems to me that all things we know of in this world are belief systems. It’s not that belief systems are bad at all, they give us the containers to try to make sense of reality, which is as we know, an illusion.
Yet not every belief system is equal, I’d say. If I think that everyone who doesn’t accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior is going to go to hell and burn forever and ever, then that is a “less inclusive” belief system that can be violent (coercive) if I lord it on other people. I may be acting out of my understanding of love since I’d be trying to save them from burning, but I’d be in denial of my own ego needs to be on the “right” path or “the best” religion. I’d totally be creating god in MY image instead of the other way around.
My own current belief system is light years more inclusive than when I was a younger person, yet it still is a belief system. The real metric for evaluating a belief system, as far as I can tell, is how much love is increased in my own journey towards myself, towards others. Love is the measuring stick. Love that is inclusive and inviting and that provides for me a foundation to see love everywhere, especially in my mistakes or in the negativity in the world. Even negatives are operating out of love, albeit love of self.
I also think that one can experience true unity and oneness with the Infinite Creator and merge into what is called Unitive Consciousness without totally transcending belief systems. Belief systems and experience are not the same thing. Belief systems try to name reality which is good as far as it goes because it allows for an ability to discuss pathways, like maps, for self and others. Yet, true experience of the divine is beyond naming.
The bottom line, for me, is that true nonviolence can be best or perhaps only embodied if we come from unity, looking at the world FROM oneness, and then seeing that all things are LOVE MANIFESTED. And it’s not just a seeing (head thing) but a totally knowing (gnosis).
One silly example of this that happened to me just 2 nights ago was at bedtime. I was lying in bed with my wife and the cat was in the middle of us. I had a few moments of total love where I just knew (gnosis) and saw (coming from unitive consciousness) that the cat and my wife were the SAME BEING just in different “concentrations” of it in some way. They were God experiencing God at this particular chakra of God (late 3rd density). I often have synesthesia (multiple firing of senses at the same time) and as I was experiencing this gnosis, I was seeing the color green (traditional color for heart chakra, green ray love energy) as their color. It was the same essence. And I was also of the same essence. We were all God! I just smiled and acknowledged the absolute beauty and truth of the moment. I carry this gnosis of all things as oneness at all times. Sometimes it resides in the background, sometimes like the other night, it comes out in my awareness front and center.
Paul’s amazing seeing and gnosis of oneness comes out in his attempts to articulate it as the Body of Christ and “putting on Christ,” and “in Christ.” It’s like Paul is saying that Christ is a energetic robe or force field that then we can enter or put on and experience (more) directly the oneness of all things. This was a new message for humanity, esp in the West, as this kind of gnosis just wasn’t there before. I believe that Paul was also really intuiting the future social memory complex* that will be a 4th density lived experience among humanity. In fact, “church” in a way will come to a fullness when a social memory complex is realized. Church is a code word for saying that there is a uniting principle of oneness in the people and they come together as One Body. Well, that’s what a social memory complex is, too. Like our own cells, which are vastly different in different organs, come together to make you and me, each person will be a cell in this larger Body of shared mind and heart. This is what the Body of Christ is and this is what a social memory complex is. Cool, huh?!
*From the Law of One (www.lawofone.info):
11.17 Questioner: At what stage does a planet achieve social memory?
Ra: I am Ra. A mind/body/spirit social complex becomes a social memory complex when its entire group of entities are of one orientation or seeking. The group memory lost to the individuals in the roots of the tree of mind then become[s] known to the social complex, thus creating a social memory complex. The advantages of this complex are the relative lack of distortion in understanding the social beingness and the relative lack of distortion in pursuing the direction of seeking, for all understanding/distortions are available to the entities of the society.
38.7 The social memory complex is properly a fourth-density phenomenon.
45.11 The basic purpose of a social memory complex is that of evolution. Beyond a certain point the evolution of spirit is quite dependent upon the understanding of self and other-self as Creator. This constitutes the basis for social complexes. When brought to maturity, they become social memory complexes.
47.2 …the distortion of free will causes the social memory complex to appear as a possibility at a certain stage of evolution of mind. The purpose, or consideration which causes entities to form such complexes, of these social memory complexes, is a very simple extension of the basic distortion towards the Creator’s knowing of Itself, for when a group of mind/body/spirits become able to form a social memory complex, all experience of each entity is available to the whole of the complex. Thus the Creator knows more of Its creation in each entity partaking of this communion of entities.