Thursday, 21 May 2009

The republic of heaven on earth

Those Christian synchrobloggers are at it again, this time with a series of posts about the Kingdom of God.

Well now, I'm a member of the republic of heaven on earth - the Divine is, after all, immanent in Nature, and the universe is a theophany (a divine manifestation) but I would say the "kingdom of God" (or whichever label you prefer) is already here.  All those who are seeking enlightenment by whatever religious or spiritual path are fully signed-up members of the Republic.  As Yeshua himself said, "The Kingdom of God is all around you and you do not see it." and "The Kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21).  He also taught his disciples (who weren't listening, as usual) how to access the awareness of the divine presence (aka "Kingdom of God" in his parlance): 'Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.' (Matthew 6:28.)  All you have to do is relax and sense the divine presence in all things.  "Do without doing and everything gets done" as Lao Tsu said.

There was no Fall, only an Arising.  The Earth herself is divine; and the Tao is within all things, ebbing and flowing.  The Divine has not withdrawn from Nature - Nature is Divine.
      Before ever land was,
Before ever the sea,
Or soft hair of the grass,
Or fair limbs of the tree,
Or the flesh-colour'd fruit of my branches, I was, and thy soul was in me.

First life on my sources
First drifted and swam;
Out of me are the forces
That save it or damn;
Out of me man and woman, and wild-beast and bird: before God was, I am.
from Hertha by Algernon Swinburne
Oh yes, and I must draw attention to the lovely poem by  Beth Patterson of Virtual Tea House on What it’s like rather than what it is, which is very nature-inspired, and also involves cake, and isn't missional like some of the other posts.  Also Steve Hayes' post is very interesting, reflecting on the different meanings of the words "kingdom, power and glory" in Eastern and Western Christianity.  My comment on this was that Kingdom (Malkuth), Power (Hod) and Glory (Netzach) are also the lowest three of the Sephiroth (spheres) on the Kabbalistic tree of life, where they symbolise Divine power descending into the realm of the manifest.  And finally, Phil Wyman talks about Jesus as an archetypal shaman - well yes he was, but he's not the only one.  There's also Odin, and Buddha, and many others.


Beth P. said...

Hey Yewtree! Just found your!
I posted it to my Google...and will be posting something about it to my Facebook page (do you have a Facebook address?) and Twitter...

Glad to meet you--and thanks for you comments on the 'kingdom' being the lower 3 sephiroth...very interesting.

I'll be you have an email subscription?

Beth P. said...

Oh--and thank you very much for your kind reference to my poem for the synchroblog. I often feel like I'm such an outlyer with this group, but they don't cast me off the island!

Thanks again--

Jeff Goins said...

Thanks for reading the synchro blogs and sharing your own thoughts!

Steve Hayes said...

Thanks for the comments, both on my blog and here.

Your post does highlight one of the major differences between Orthodox Christian and (neo)pagan theology -- that the former sees an ontological difference between creator and creature, while the latter does not.

Pastor Phil said...

Hi Yewtree,

Thanks for popping into the SynchroBlog. I appreciate your comments, and your observations here are a reminder to we often silly Christians that there is more to life than here after. There is the here-now.

Yewtree said...

Thanks for the positive feedback, all.

Steve - that is an old chestnut and not really true (it may be so in terms of your theological system, but it doesn't translate into ours). Thanks for reminding me, as I meant to write a blogpost about it.

We see the Divine as immanent in the Universe, not necessarily as identical with it (and yes, don't tend to pay much attention to the unknowable, or believe in the transcendent aspect) so the categories of creator and creature are a bit meaningless, really...

"I am the soul of Nature; arise and come unto me" (from the Charge of the Goddess).