Thursday, June 17, 2004

The Warmth of the Love of the Goddess

"Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire."
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

I think he was right to say that, and I believe that humanity can do it. As a matter of fact, I do believe that in isolated pockets, here and there, across the landscape of a world cold with fear, some people are already warming themselves by the fire. The key, of course, is that you cannot start to warm yourself until you have done something to help someone else find their place around the fire. The more people you teach to start a fire, the more torches you give out, the warmer your fire is, and the more room there is to sit around it.

Now, even as these fires are being started, there are some mean old bastards out there, some of whom take a positive joy in putting out the fires of love. Others grab a burning branch and try to keep it all to themselves. There are even those who in their confusion invite people in from the cold, and try to make room for them by throwing others out from the fire.

There are even other metaphors that are more strained than this one out there! No, there are, really!

All of this nonsense of snuffing the fire, casting others out, stealing burning branches, all of that stems from a basic misunderstanding of the nature of this fire. With a normal fire, you must constantly refuel it. You can run out of kindling, or oil or coal, or whatever you are using. So the fear that an ordinary fire will go out is a rational one, and behavior such as stockpiling fire supplies makes sense.

The fire of the Hearth of the Goddess is not that kind of fire. It is our experience with the limited human capacities for love and tolerance that leads us to believe that this fire can go out for lack of fuel. We are wrong to assume this is the case. This baby is in no danger of going out! It will burn forever, with us or without and it is our choice to sit beside the fire or wander in the cold. I don’t think humans (that means me) can really comprehend that the warmth of the love of the Creatress for Her creation is endless.

There is also this irrational fear that I have and which I feel others must have as well, that if I hand a torch to the wrong sort of person, I will get in trouble. If I were to love a bad person, that this would displease the Goddess. I have this kind of comic vision of Her coming down from on high, taking the torch from me, cuffing me roughly and saying, “Look you nimrod, not that jerk! Go find a decent person to give this to.” I feel this way because that is what the churches I grew up in taught, because that is what I observed my parents doing, etc.

Again, this fear is an illusion. It is my responsibility to pass out these torches, these representations of my love, of my Creator’s love to as many people as I possibly can. It is not my responsibility if they do not accept the torch. It is not my responsibility if they put out their torch. Once I give it away, it is theirs to do with as they choose. The goal is that we together start passing out more torches, inviting more people into the warmth. So if I give out my love and it turns out that Charles Manson happens to get it, I have still done no harm.

Let’s see just how far we can make this metaphor go . . .

There are some people who would take the fire of the love of the Goddess for all of Her creation and say, “If you don’t do what I tell you, I’m gonna use this and burn you.” What they actually say is often “God will burn you if you don’t do as I say” but what they mean is “I’m gonna burn you.” Now, I can’t prove this, but I suspect that you cannot be harmed by the love of the Goddess. But I think it is possible to sit in the light of Her love ice cold for the fear that you will be burnt if you don’t do what they tell you. Fear is the ultimate killer of this fire.

It is possible to hand out dead torches, empty of the fire of the Creator and insist blindly that these torches are burning . . . and others may accept them in the belief they are lit even though they cannot see or feel the flames themselves. Once you feel the warmth of the love of the Goddess though, you won’t accept substitutes. You’ll know. And it sucks to know those feelings and yet to have returned to the cold.

One other thing I have learned is that all over the world, people hand out different torches, candles, lanterns and other endless variants of God’s love. Some are labeled Jesus, some Allah, some Krshna, and on and on. The funny thing is, when you feel the warmth from all of these different fires, it feels the same. There are also some places where you can pull up a seat in front of a warm fire and be in a crowd of followers of all kinds of different faiths and bask in the same warmth and feel a part of the same family.

The hardest thing is getting up, getting an armload of those damn heavy torches, going out into the cold and handing them out. That takes some doing. The best part is going back to the fire, but with new companions and old friends.

I’m not talking evangelism here, I’m talking demonstrating daily, in your life the love of the One for us all.

I am not very good at this. Like I said, I keep being afraid of doing the wrong thing, but I am gradually learning that when it comes to showing love there is no wrong thing. I just do the best I can and somehow, it all works out. I’m not sure why, but when I go to work, I seem to feel this need to extinguish all of my torches and leave them by the door. I gotta work on that.

From Christian author Marianne Williamson:

“If you think you can’t, you can’t.
If you think you can, you might.
But if you think God can—you’re on your way.”