Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Have you ever said the Nicene Creed? I have a real problem with it. It is a statement of belief, but I don't believe any of it, at least not literally. Sure I can read it as myth and metaphor, in the historical context of the time it was written, but it does not describe what I believe or what I experience. So I wrote my own statement of belief.
Originally Written 11/14/2004
Guaranteed to Change
A Process exists that connects everything,
from before the beginning, to this moment.
The Process made me.
The Process made everything.
I am part of the Process.
I am human.
I am conscious and intelligent
and consequently self-aware and moral
with a talent for pattern recognition,
especially linear causality.
The Process that made me
is unconscious, amoral,
random and chaotic.
I struggle to understand the Process.
I project my conscious human nature
onto the unconscious Process.
The Process thus appears polarized and contradictory;
simultaneously positive - beautiful, nurturing, and creative -
and negative - horrible, devouring, and destructive.
My experience of the negative side of the Process is painful.
I am afraid and anxious of the negative side of the Process.
My fear and anxiety inhibit me
from fully engaging and participating in the Process.
I have failed to reach my potentialities.
I feel guilty and ashamed of my failure.
With an earnest desire to grow into my potentialities,
I relieve my guilt and my shame
by accepting my failures and the failures of humanity
and I relieve my fear and anxiety
by recognizing that the Process is indivisible;
the apparent duality of the Process
is a construction of my own consciousness.
With the Process reconciled
and relieved of my guilt, shame, fear and anxiety,
I am able to engage and participate in the Process.
I experience the positive side of the Process as Joy.
I experience the negative side of the Process as Grief.
Joy and Grief are two faces of the same feeling,
though Joy is inaccessible to me
unless the Process is reconciled.
It is wonderful to feel both Joy and Grief.
It reminds me that I am part of the Process.
Many folks would call the positive side of the Process "God" and the negative side of the process "Satan" or perhaps "Shit Happens."
Jung would have called the Process "God" because he reconciled the shadow and the light. His famous dream - At 12 he had a dream that left him in fear of eternal damnation until he realized that it was God who gave it to him. The vision was of a giant turd falling from under God's throne in the heavens on to the cathedral of Basel, shattering its roof and destroying the walls. The affectual response Jung reported from this vision is one of intense relief and an unutterable bliss. He says he wept with happiness and gratitude for the 'grace of the vision', but remained in fear as it showed him that there is a terrible side to God--an idea that reappeared throughout life. - and later his book, Answer to Job, explain that even God has a shadow.
I'm with Jung. When I say God, I mean the Process, both positive and negative. So God has a shadow side - cancer, suffering, death, pain, ... all that stuff.
God or Life or the Process or whatever you want to call it gives and takes both good and bad and we have no control over what we get and lose. All we can do is take responsibility for what we do with what we are given. Imagination and creativity are the keys to constructing a beautiful life. Most people would rather not take on the responsibility of creating a beautiful life and instead fall into the role of powerless victims. As such, they have mediocre, unfulfilled lives.