Defences

Cory is perfectly defended against truth.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5d/Dividing_Light_from_Darkness.jpgHe wants to save me from that Hell to which all unrepentant gay people will inevitably go after death. I want to save him from hell now, from the idea that humanity is naturally wicked. I tried argument. No, the Bible does not condemn gay people, or even support the ideas of new-Earth creationism. In minutes, he came back with three articles, showing that Genesis 1 does not contradict Genesis 2 and that the Centurion’s pais was not his lover, even though the word means precisely that. You know, proper Scholarship, delving into the meaning of the Greek and Hebrew and everything. He challenged me to show that David and Jonathan might have done anything more than hug in an entirely hetero-manly way, and I admit defeat. I am not going to show that to his satisfaction.

Those writers start from the desire to show the Bible uniformly condemns homosexuality, and does not really contradict itself, rather than looking into the Greek and Hebrew to find what they might mean. Clearly the stories are contradictory: In what order did God create? Adam, plants, animals, then Eve, as in Genesis 2, or plants, animals then Adam and Eve together as in Genesis 1? The compiler of Genesis, taking these pre-existing stories, did not mind the contradiction, because they were stories. The believer in Biblical inerrancy must show they do not contradict each other, because he is forced to deny that they are stories.

If you read the stories with an open mind, you will see they give different orders of events. File:Creationsun.jpgThen, go to that article and see how it seeks to obfuscate the fact. But, did the translators of the NRSV deliberately set out to make their translation lie? How many different words are there for “every”? I do not need Hebrew to see the contradictions.

We can debate the meaning of malakoi or arsenokoitai endlessly, and there are theologians who can create impressively detailed arguments for any view. I may choose which of these I like. I choose the arguments which say the Centurion’s pais was his lover, because my Christianity is liberal, not conservative. I start with liberal Christianity.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5f/Judith_und_Holofernes_%28Michelangelo%29.jpgThe first choice is between seeing people as wicked and in need of control, as conservative Evangelical Christianity does, or seeing us as basically good and in need of fulfilment, as liberal Christianity does. Just as our innate homosexuality is good and not foul, so are our other innate characteristics: we have a capacity and desire for love and connection and creativity.

Argument sometimes works. I can tell of the pais to someone who is open to the winsome possibility of their own goodness, and the horror of the Evangelical belief system, and they may respond. And there are people like Cory trapped in that horror, and any argument will merely elicit a counter argument.

Those who have ears to hear, let them hear. Hear Rumi:

Make everything in you an ear,
each atom of your being,
and you will hear at every moment
what the source is whispering to you . . .
You are, we all are, 
the beloved of the beloved.

And in every moment,
in every event of your life,
the beloved is whispering to you
exactly what you need to know.
Who can ever explain this miracle?
It simply is.

Albertine

The Narrator writes from the perspective of an older man, looking back on his deluded affair with Albertine, leading to their marriage. She never loved him, he never loved her, they were caught in their illusions. And so it seems that there is no joy in any of their meetings. Why are they meeting again, I ask myself.

I thought I wanted something, and thought I might have it, and felt joy. Now I think I probably won’t.

But- even if the perception was wrong, the belief illusory, the joy need not be. There was joy for a moment, even if based on falsehood, and it was real joy. I wish to delight in every scrap of joy, there is little enough of it. Actually, I am not absolutely certain the belief is illusory- and I hate unknowing, I would have preferred to destroy the possibility just so’s I could Know. I have to recognise that, and consciously resist it.

And- that what I wanted is probably illusory does not take the joy from the situation as it is, which has delight too.

In Meeting, Peter ministered on his son and son-in-law walking in Switzerland while he and his daughter pottered about, getting a little worried they were taking so long, and his joy on their return was like the joy of the father of the Prodigal Son, it seemed to him.

Another lesson on being positive rather than negative. Being positive I have so much more delight, so much more motivation and energy. My hurts have nearly overwhelmed me, and so that is the only way to be. There is enough hurt, without dwelling on it.

Trans women in the Kama Sutra: There are two kinds of eunuchs, those that are disguised as males, and those that are disguised as females. Eunuchs disguised as females imitate their dress, speech, gestures, tenderness, timidity, simplicity, softness and bashfulness. The acts that are done on the jaghana or middle parts of women, are done in the mouths of these eunuchs, and this is called Auparishtaka. These eunuchs derive their imaginable pleasure, and their livelihood from this kind of congress, and they lead the life of courtesans. So much concerning eunuchs disguised as females. Thanks to Shiva Shakti.

At the CAB conference, a session for managers, we discussed this scenario: a volunteer who is a wealthy parent tells a lone parent on benefits, “these people should not have children if they cannot afford to keep them”, and then complains when the lone parent goes off on one. How should we handle the situation? My hackles start to rise at the words “these people”- these people are individuals- and I wanted the wealthy volunteer to be persuaded of that. Others say that her attitudes do not matter- as long as she obeys the rules, including not saying things like that, and provides the service according to the rules, she may think what she likes. I want her able to say what she believes, and to be challenged constructively. What do you think?

and- “Admit to what you feel greedy about. It will point to your most tender desire.”
~ Danielle LaPorte, truthbomb.

I love all of me.
I love the greed, and the meanness, and the cowardice
I love the whining and the self-pity,
I love the stupidity and the stolidity
and the ugliness.
I love the lack of spontaneity
and the voice which says I am play-acting.
It is in those parts of myself which I judge and condemn that-

what? Not sure, and I am asserting that because it feels right rather than because I have really taken that into myself. It is at the least, part of this whole human being which I must love and care for.

Added: Rumi wrote something similar:

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.