“Life is full of permutations and combinations. Sometimes the order you do things matter sometimes it doesn’t, but in order to find the solution in life you must work through each possibility presented to find your opportunity.” ― Gregory Willis, Birth of a Nephillim
They (whoever ’they’ are) say that the only constant in life is change. Unfortunately our resistance to it has caused more fear than is often reasonable. I think it is realistic to expect a certain kind of internal antagonism to change as it suggests that a new permutation of me is emerging which can mess with my sense of stability and certainty. The prophets, sages, and mystics have all rallied around the idea of evolutionary consciousness, an emerging becoming of our existence that moves through the various stages of life with nervous curiosity and tentative reluctance.
Looking back on my journey can help me recognise the subtle changes that have occurred and contributed to the upgraded version of the new me. I have often wondered, a little over anxiously if the various dispositions of thinking that I have moved through have been permissible, especially in the light of the rich historical backdrop of the great thinkers and innovators that went before me.
When I began my spiritual journey (institutionally speaking) I was introduced to an idea of God that I have since come to recognise as distorted and distasteful. The first permutation of my idea of God was one that posited all people as depraved and somewhat of a disappointment to the creator, hence the need for a rescue narrative that assured them of an afterlife paradise. Without that reassurance there would be dire consequences of a hellish kind. I started my religious vocation as a hell fire and brimstone preacher who sought to cast out the darkness by offering a light lunch of gospel truth. First stage naivety no less.
After many years of seeming success I came to realise that this was not the ‘whole truth and nothing but the truth'. TRUTH is a journey into greater awareness and that awareness is still unfolding.
The second permutation of my understanding of God came as I became disillusioned by the lack of interest or response from my fellow humans even when I wielded the big stick of fearful afterlife threatening. I heard a prompt inside that said, instead of constantly trying to cast out the darkness of homo sapiens why not just speak light and life to people, which awakened a prophetic interest in encouragement and divine providence. I still thought people were fundamentally depraved but this permutation came with a new twist of hopefulness and an imaginative permission to speak to people about the gospel in new found light.
‘Heaven and Hell are states of consciousness’ - Pope John-Paul II
When I began to question the geographical plausibility of heaven and hell, of which I am still a little agnostic (unknown..to not fully know), it thrust me into the possibility of seeing everything I had believed differently. This is a huge subject and one that I am not at liberty to unpack in this blog, suffice to say you owe to yourself to question the rhetoric and anecdotal evidence that has dominated religious thinking over the Centuries. Don’t be afraid to ask more questions ….
This led me to my current permutation of God which is centred in a loving deity that has never really been angry or bitterly disappointed in humanity, just deeply and profoundly committed to our wellbeing even when we are not walking the right path, behaving the right way or subscribing to correct doctrines. Light and darkness are not opposite realities at work in the human genome but complimentary energies that the divine works with to guide us. The light and darkness that resides within us is the chaos and order that reflects the genesis poem of beginnings, the working platform for the transcendence that articulates our emerging immanence.
This permutation says we are all children of God, and that God is committed to helping us live fully alive even when we reject the most basic moral constructs of decency. God seems to believe in us even more than we believe in ourselves, and that extends to any afterlife existence…in my opinion. Whatever permutation of God you find yourself in know that change and evolution will have their way in your life, just wait and see.
P.S. For those who would like to remind me of the Noah Story that mentions 'God regretted making humans'…can I suggest that there might be an alternative interpretation of the narrative that centres on how the flood story, that also features in many other ancient stories is overlaid by a primitive consciousness that saw the gods as angry with humans behaviour, and most natural disasters were seen as deliberate acts of divine retribution. Our insurance policies still call them ‘acts of god’. We all know that floods are a feature of inclement weather conditions that cannot always be linked to supernatural causality.