(Originally published 06/05/13 at Trojan Horse Productions.)
It’s difficult to start this post, as the story’s prone to leave one speechless.
What sort of karma would impel a child to be born into that context?
At the shelter, we’re compelled to attend chapel every night. A different preacher comes each night, in a monthly rotation. These generally disappoint me in their utter failure to speak to the sort of situation in question here. About 40% of the presenters are preoccupied wholly with what will become of your soul when you die; whether you’ll go to heaven or hell; and your need to “believe in Jesus” as the key to salvation. It’s all about a cognitive assent, saying “yes” to a certain set of ideas. There is no presentation of Christianity as a lifestyle, nor any discussion of the role of discipline in following Jesus.
Another 40% of the presenters are preoccupied wholly with obtaining “blessings,” principally by the means of praise: “When the praises go up, the blessings come down.” A “blessing” here is always a material, for example monetary, advantage that one has done nothing to earn. It is as if God were some cosmic King Lear jealous for flattery.
Neither group mentions the call to repent, in terms of any need to change one’s ways.
The only hell that concerns me is the living hell that folk create in this life, here and now, for themselves and their community.
Qabala teaches that prior to creating the present universe, God created a different one, indicated in Genesis 1:2 by the Hebrew term tohu, meaning “chaos.” This may have existed for millennia prior to God’s subsequent creation of the current universe of rectitude or “order,” as described by the balance of Genesis chapter 1.
Tohu was characterized by disorder particularly among the various “life forces” or impulses that we find in any given human soul.
Features of “chaos” survive in the current universe, particularly in certain segments of society. At a discussion board where my screen name is “Proteus,” I briefly asked about that here. At the time I wrote that, I did not yet know about “chaos” as a Qabalistic term.
It is incumbent upon each human individual to order one’s own soul. I am convinced that the authentic teachings of the historical Jesus powerfully facilitate that process (See the final paragraph of “Was There a Jesus? If So, What was He Like?”). The puzzle of evangelism is how to coax people to undertake that work.