Friday, March 27, 2015

So Moses comes along, climbs his mountain, and comes back with the rules for an agrarian clearly property-ownership-based society.  A previously nomadic people caught in a desert, looking for a home, for good land, having a need to settle.

Jesus comes along many years later to help us get more realistic toward the human creature, that basically a lot of what we do, now that we've settled down into walled cities, is sin, that really a man commits adultery a thousand times a day, that the society based so rigidly on building up riches isn't so hot, that a humble return to the communal spirit and naive goodness of those whose illusions of society have been pulled away from them is a realistic approach.  Deemphasis on fire and brimstone sin bashing, rather a simple approach, 'it's what comes out of you, not which goes in, which defiles.'

Even the religious authorities, who guard, interpret, execute all the laws, are subject to the greater sins of being hard-hearted, hypocritical, selfish, arrogant, overly rigid, unrealistic.  Not loving thy neighbor, nor taking the Lord of goodness and charity as important.  Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, he tells them.  Ouch.  It's as if he is saying that we must accept the nomadic quality of the creature, that goodness and righteousness is found on the road, maybe even provided by the good kind-hearted Samaritan, as if such people were an unlikely source of anything good in the collective viewpoint of the day.

It's as if we must go further and further back to the earliest of campfires, to the sharing of the kill, to the things that can happen when the moon is full, and find a decency and an innocence and a remarkable mind capable of beautiful things.  And there find, or rather remember, the qualities that will get us through the next thousand years on the planet.

Who is it that we let determine the value of a person as far as allowing them to have an efficacious life?  Based on what they do 'for a living?'  Indeed, you might get suspicious, why there are so many lawyers in the city, struggling to keep the rules in place by making new ones.

Who else do we have but the artists, writers, dancers, painters, musicians, film-makers, to set the way forward as far as reasonable values?  Or perhaps someone who takes all such things into consideration, but putting them all together by dint of understanding the common depths from which such things rise from.  And that person, almost by definition, would have to stand outside the norm of 'how society works,' have to suffer the great devaluation of the human being...  A person not able to fit in so well in any particular pre-made box.  A kind of scapegoat as far as the way, the mode, by which he can garner his knowledge.

I go to a hockey game, invited by neighbors.  The arena, a world of male dominance, beer the drug of choice, flashing lights, the cheered-for scuffle on the ice as a moment of real stuff and aggression, the importance of scoring, getting the puck into the net...  Leading me to reflect on a society that could be matriarchal.  I think of the importance of the women as anointer, as the choice maker, empowered to pursue what she wants to pursue, a strong woman.

No comments: