Wednesday, September 28, 2016


In thinking about things, I was
always floundering or at-sea  -
how much of anything of this
was real or even meaningful?
I just couldn't often grasp things
and all of the church thinking I
was being exposed to was of
old and crazy stuff. I found it
very difficult to integrate any
of that into the contemporary
forms of thought and action :
old wars, crucifixion, angry,
confusing things, endless lists
of names and begets and begats,
which thankfully at least the
Catholic Doctrinal push never
much concentrated on; though
I myself liked it enough to sit
around seminary library hours
to wile away time reading old
bible chapters and commentaries
and such as my way of passing
time. No questions, just a true
puzzlement. Basically I had
no questions because I swiftly
realized it bore little import  to
the 'me' of that moment. 
The world. As presented to us.
Pretty senseless, yet that was 
the context we were supposed 
to view everything in. Genesis?
It seemed without purpose. Why
was it even there? Completely
gratuitous. The other bible books,
after it, as boring as they got
too, at least had supposed ancient
and Semitic laws and commands
and stuff in them, even supposedly
proclaimed by God from some
mountain that resembled a 
factory. Or a spaceport. To 
'guide' people along, it was 
said. I questioned that too  -  
'guide' seemed way too soft a
word to put on matters that
were more like fiery commands,
do or die stuff. Little choice.
Instead it's a scatter-bucket of
old tales  -  the Garden, Adam
and Eve, the Nephilim, the
Serpent, temptation, Eden, 
fall. Jacob and his 12 bizarre
sons: ('Cryptic Halakhic' it
was called in 'Jubilees', written
in the second century  -  meaning
that "although it has no overt
laws, per se, its stories contain
'legal' teachings in hidden form."
Alluding here and there to
Divine Commandments and
practises instituted with Israel's
ancestors long before the great
revelation of biblical lore on
Mt. Sinai. Embodiments in 
'persons' of the laws that were 
to be given later at Mt. Sinai
and to the crowds below. Well,
I guess  -  but why? And who
needed all that? Why could 
not someone just say what 
they had to say and be done?
Why all this mystery and 
obfuscation? Couldn't God's
'Mankind' have somehow righted
itself and moved on, produced
cultures and civilizations; as
actually DID happen all other
places  - eventually  -  all over
the globe. This might seem like
nothing at all - however  -  many
years later, in Elmira, NY, the 
way I was receiving information,
I awoke with a start one night,
in the dead middle of the night,
with these words resounding in
my head; words which  referenced 
this very thought : "The Bible is
a book written for those still
in the hole." !! Amazing. It
really did, at that moment,
clarify a lot for me. These
small, indigenous people, a
mere tribe, with no knowledge 
at all of the rest of the globe,
had somehow taken it upon
themselves that they represented
everything for everybody. 
How absurd.
Jacob? From Day One a creep.
He cheats his brother, Esau, 
out of his rightful inheritance 
as the firstborn and then tricks
his poor, blind father into giving
him a paternal blessing intended
for Esau. Then he goes to his
uncle's house, (Laban), and by
questionable means ends up
with his flocks (prime source 
of wealth then). He sneaks
away for his homeland, Canaan.
All this while Laban's daughter,
Rachel, steals her father's sacred
images, then hides them in her 
saddlebags, and lies to him so 
as to prevent discovery.  Later,
we read of Jacob's children  -
one sleeping with his father's
concubine, and another having
sex with his own son's wife. 
When the only daughter ends 
up being raped, her brothers
respond by invading the
rapist's town and killing
every man in it, then also
plundering all the town's
flocks and possessions,
including wives and children.
Then they seize their own 
younger brother, strip off
his clothing, throw him into
a pit with the intention of
killing him, relent, and sell
him instead to a passing caravan.
Oh, really? Interesting group.
Real ground-breakers and
fore-tellers of all those so
wholesome commandments 
and dictates to come. 
I actually found very little
relevance, in any of this, to
myself, and that began the 
first divide I saw with what 
I would have been supposed 
to be representing. The 
fulfillment and satisfaction 
of all that 'word made flesh'
stuff and the beginning of
John's gospel much later.
This was an arc of continuity, 
perfected and completed
without fail, which ends up 
with the crumpled ruins of
objection dead on a cross,
in full view of humanity,
taken down and released 
once more to his family 
and group, who bury him 
and grieve for His death,
from which he arises after
some time, and then leaves 
again. Palpitating stuff.
I found myself questioning
what was going on  - it was
1963. I had difficulty finding
a relevant relationship for
1963, or 63BC, for that 
matter, with this material.
Its assumptions, and even
the way it was presented,
made little sense.  I was
living, and had been living,
a completely alien world  -
Flinstones and Jetsons and
Twilight Zones and Lone
Rangers and the rest. 
Physicists saying really weird 
things, time/warp continuums 
and the rest, which all made a
jumble out of any , ANY 
sequential  or logical format 
to this life. Chaise lounges
and ranch homes with
patios. Fast cars. Aluminum
siding, libraries, amusement
parks, camp-outings and
pop music. Nothing made 
sense and it seemed as 
though people's minds
had little room for any 
of this, any. The old OR 
the new : Talk about 'being
in the hole. I guess what I'm 
saying is that I'd come to 
a point where, in spite of 
thinking I did, I was at a 
point where I knew 
NOTHING about what
was going on, what 
I was facing, or where 
any of it had come from. 
No 'what', and certainly 
no 'why?'
Somehow this ancient age
was facing off, one-to one,
the ancient age long ago had
before us passed : tribalism,
a barren fierceness, violence.
Much of it, confusing as it
all was, was still and at the 
same time current and very
old together. What was I
to make of that? Within this
continuity we were meant
to find challenge, succor,
peace, and mission. I was
unable to do so. My interests
had been turned and had
gone elsewhere; sensitivities
flayed and barren and raw.
All that politeness and protocol
and right-ritual of all these
churches, none of it added 
up. I sensed I was far too
personal for any of that. I
wanted contact and touch,
wit everything and everyone. 
Slave to king, Hitler to Gandhi.
No matter. There I was.

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