bobby1933 (bobby1933) wrote,

On Richard Rohr's-Meditation On "The-World, the-Flesh. .and-the-Devil--The-Spiral-of-Violence."


This is a great essay, and (i, hope when i get around to it) a good stimulus for meditation.

The sources of evil/violence are the world, the flesh, and  the  devil, in that order.

By "the world" Rohr and his source (Camera?) mean "systemsL" economic, political, family, religious, educational, legal, welfare, health, military, public safely, etc. systems.  The 19th century comedian (Dunne?) said that when business get to be more than buying ten penny nails in a brown paper bag, its hard to distinguish it from murder.  There is really nothing wrong with trading something i need (nails) with something you need (money); but when exchange becomes systematized, it is no longer fully controlled by i and you.  Like Mary Shelley's monster, we created the systgem, but it has a life of its own and we tend to become servants of rather than masters of our systems.*

The "flesh" which is not  the natural body but the body as imagined by humans, usually in a systemic context is where the monotheistic religions place their moral emphasis.  Even the dictionary comes close to defining morality as :"sexual morality."  No doubt we have inflicted much violence on each others' bodies in modern times, but it is not certain that there is  more violence in Industrial societies than there was in Agrarian, Pastoral, or Complex Horticultural societies.  I am convinced that there was far less violence, sexual or otherwise in Gatherer-Hunter and Simple Horticultural societies.  Chesterton's assertion that that the Christian doctrine of Original Sin, saved Europe from the pagans' natural view of the body is as laughable as it is tragic. in my opinion.  Freeing the body from the rules imposed by economics, politics, family, education, etc. could scareely make things any worse than they have been since the first "chiefs" imposed the first non-consensual rules.

The devil sits atop the spiral of violence. not because of its power but because of its powerlessness.  Evil's power, says  the Tao Te Ching, cannot harm people if they are in sync with the Tao.  If we cannot acknowledge and address the violence inherent in systems, talk about "the flesh" and "the devil" is pointless.
Tags: gnosis and agnosis, richard rohr, violence
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