March 16th, 2014

A Seeking Skeptic Meditates On The Paternoster -- Part One: Our Father.

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There is a relationship between the perception of God as a Male Supreme Being  and the politico-socio-economic status of the people who hold such beliefs.  Primarily a pastoral economy and secondarily a patriarchal kinship structure seem to generate such beliefs.  An earthly chief who dominates here below is the model for a divine chief who dominates above.  The only fathers that i know much about are me and my dad, neither of which were very good examples of either fatherhood or divinity.  I confess that not many women in my life illustrated divinity to me either, although i think that such "divine" qualities as mercy, compassion, humility, love have become defined as stereotypiclly feminine traits/

"God" is, of course, no more a father than "she/he/it" is a garbage bag.  All of the assumptions that i make about "God" based on experience in the material world are limiting, excluding big parts of the larger "picture."  Assuming that "God" is "like a father" or anything else we have experienced gets us into spiritual trouble and leads to inquisitions, heresy trials, fundamentalisms and Jihadisms.  This is why i have chosen a via negativa with out any corresponding via positiva. I don't want my vision of the divine (if i ever get one) clouded by the misperceptions of Judeao-Christian, Semitic, North Indian, East Asian, aboriginal, or any other specific human history, culture, or structure.

Yes, i do say "Our Father...." but i try to think that this is just a substitute for wordlessness.  I try to cleanse my thoughts of male images and other material perceptions.  "Our Father" becomes my Om, what i imagine is the sound the universe makes in its utter silence.

Btw.  It just now occurred to me that hearing the "Our Father" sung (even with my tin ear and lousy voice) a far more moving experience than speaking it or hearing it spoken