WHY? – For the love of it of course!

(My Canadian friend, Wendell Krossa, hits his latest web offering out of the park, so I share most of it with you here. It is much longer than I care to have in my Blog, so be prepared, but it really is worth reading. I took the liberty to divide it into six sections and title them appropriately.  – hh – September 26, 2010)

I. A New Narrative for Humanity

The basic trend of the universe and life has been to organize into matter, objects (stars, planets), and life forms and then to progress toward more developed and advanced forms and systems, things that are better than what existed before. This is evidence of some great Mind, Consciousness, or Spirit behind all reality. And the fact that all reality and life organizes and progresses toward something better is evidence that the great underlying Consciousness or Spirit is love.

… Love is the ultimate reality. Love is at the core of all reality, all life, and all consciousness. Whether we perceive it or not, it is foundational to the universe, life and consciousness. It is at the very essence of any thing, the most basic nature of any thing. This is simply to affirm the ancient religious insight that God is Love and that this spiritual reality is the essential nature sustaining all physical reality- that which creates and sustains all in material existence and inspires it all to progress toward something better. And consequent to the Ultimate Reality being love, the highest achievement of any life is to try to love and to express love by engaging life to make it something better. Love then summarizes the deepest thing we can know about ultimate reality, about the material world, about the spiritual, about the purpose of life, or about any of the mysteries of existence and life. Love is the sum and pinnacle of knowledge, insight, revelation, discovery, achievement, success, and all else. Love is everywhere and love is all you need….

Over the past few decades the public consciousness has suffered repeated bouts of apocalyptic alarm and even panic … global cooling … mass starvation … forest devastation … species loss … ozone hole expansion … fisheries exhaustion … pollution  … global warming … bird and swine flu … economic panics… These alarms all have in common the belief that things are getting worse and life is heading toward some potentially disastrous collapse and ending. Why this human tendency to believe the worst things will happen and possibly destroy life? This is especially confounding in light of the fact that progress toward something better has been the fundamental trend that is so clearly evident in the cosmos, life, and human civilization.

These bouts of alarmism are symptomatic of more fundamental human misperceptions about reality and life, particularly the misperception that there is something dark and threatening behind reality (an angry God), and hence life declines toward something worse and ultimately may be completely destroyed and finally end. These bouts of public hysteria may also have something to do with the rise of the modern dogma that meaninglessness is the core defining characteristic of reality- that life is just stumbling along randomly without any purpose or direction and may crash completely anywhere along its meandering and meaningless trajectory. And bouts of public despair may have something to do with the modern devaluation of humanity and the related belief that people are essentially a corrupt and destructive influence in the world. Some of these themes derive from archaic religious narratives and simply do not connect with fundamental reality as we are now discovering it to be. They are themes that have engendered endless fear, darkness, despair, and hopelessness. They do nothing to enhance our perception of the wonder of material reality, life and consciousness and our security, safety, and improving well being in this world. And they miss entirely the progressive development of all things toward a better future which is the basic trajectory of reality and life.

… we need to inform new human narratives with a refocused orientation to light, love, and hope. … the evidence from sources such as the material cosmos, the progress of life, and the history of human experience, all points overwhelmingly to the fact that love is at the root of all reality. Therefore love should be a fundamental theme shaping global human narratives. This will encourage people to fully affirm and engage life to make it something better.

… love is the central feature to understanding what it means to be human and to live as human. It is the defining feature of human consciousness. And in the primacy of love we also discover the core defining feature of cosmic Ultimate Reality or divinity. The ultimate reality behind all- what has long been called God- is love. This primary human value should rightly be the core feature of a new overarching narrative for humanity.

…. When I use the term divinity I am not referring to a religious deity. I am referring to Something transcendently beyond mysterious- beyond words, definitions, understanding, metaphors, and all the rest that we employ to understand the incomprehensible. …. We are curious beings and want to know as much as we possibly can about unknown things and hence we pursue all avenues possible in our quest to know more about the great mysteries of existence. …. Most people over human history have intuitively understood that Something created this cosmos and life and human consciousness. Something intelligent and hence with personality. Some greater Consciousness, Self, Spirit, or Mind. And over history we have grasped more and more that such a greater Reality is of the nature of love- that is to say infinitely generous, merciful, and compassionate.

….all those features that humanity now recognizes as having defined inhumanity through the past, such as vengeance, punishment, or domination – these elements have long darkened the human understanding of love. …. From our more advanced perspective today we can affirm that this great Mystery behind all physical reality is NOT hostile to its creation. It does not punish or threaten or dominate. We recognize more clearly now that this Mind, Consciousness, Spirit or God is benevolent and generous and hence we have a habitable cosmos and a world that is a safe place for life to grow and develop within. It is a safe place to experience and develop our personal life stories, which is the point of it all….

… it is this singular discovery and insight regarding the supremacy of love that summarizes all the other elements of fundamental goodness that human intuition and knowing has uncovered. Love is an all-encompassing term that covers all the rest that we understand as goodness or humaneness. It is the most essential thing to being truly human or humane. And love is what is most real behind all material things. It is the foundational reality behind the cosmos, life and consciousness.

This understanding of the nature of the fundamental reality as love probably emerged in the distant past in conjunction with the growing valuation of love in human experience and relationships. We know this to be true because human love is so entirely opposite to natural animal existence. It is so entirely outside of natural evolution (red in tooth and claw) that it can only be understood as something super-natural. It is a humanizing quality of such transcendence that we intuitively understand it to be evidence of something divine in us. And as such we experience it as something that enlightens, purifies, and completes us in ways that nothing else of nature can. It lifts us to another place altogether. So we know love as the most valued human characteristic in this life ….

II. Evidence of Love as the Core Reality

Different people will approach this understanding of the primacy of love in different ways…. Love is the ultimate rational explanation for what created such a universe and world. Others may take a more traditionally religious approach in accepting such knowledge as revealed truth from their sacred books which embody the insights of the ancients. Others will rely on their intuitive sense of things….Whatever your views on how people know truth, trust your gut on the centrality and fundamental nature of love because there is nothing more true in the entire universe.

Related to this, we instinctively realize that something does not come from nothing but from something of similar properties, potentials, and characteristics. Conscious loving persons must come from something of the same nature and character….

Whether we understand this truth from an instinctive intuition or adopted belief (faith) or whether we take a more observational approach and see evidence in nature that demands such an explanation, there is affirming evidence everywhere that the ultimate reality behind all else (that which creates all and sustains all in existence- traditionally referred to as God) is indeed love. Nature all around us provides evidence of divine presence and activity and it is all alive with evidence of love….

Love as the core reality is evident in such things as the fundamental progress of the universe, the progress of life, and the emergence and development of human consciousness in civilization. Love is evident in these three fundamental emergences and trajectories of reality and life.

The overall story of the cosmos itself reveals that everything organizes toward something better. All reality has always done so. Everything organizes toward more order, higher forms of order, more complexity, more diversity, more developed forms and systems, and more advanced things. In a word, all reality and life evidence a profound impulse to progress toward something better. Progress toward something better is the most fundamental trajectory of all reality. Reality and life do this because they come from Something that grants this impulse, capability, and direction toward something better. Some creative force and Mind within all reality and life inspires this primal impulse to organize and progress.

… this fundamental progression toward order and the natural law that guides material reality with its regularity and predictability along the path of progress is the most basic evidence of ultimate care and love. The energies (fundamental forces) that hold all things together in material existence and enable material objects to exist and life forms to exist and experience life are evidence of the Love that wishes all to exist and live out their unique stories in an ordered, predictable, and rational existence. Love creates a universe that in every way is “life friendly“ and oriented to progress forward toward something better….

Our ancestors got things right intuitively. There is some Central Organizing Principle- also referred to as Spirit , universal Mind, or God- that is the driving force in organizing material reality into the forms that make life possible. This is quite simply rational thought taken to its logical conclusion. Theism is the ultimate rational conclusion in the process of common reason and understanding.

It is simply not possible for something to organize on its own randomly from true nothingness. Common sense presses us to such rational conclusions. Nothing produces nothing. It cannot produce something. Something cannot create or organize itself. And yes, there are elements of randomness in reality and life but they are not involved in producing anything ordered of value nor do they define the fundamental impulses or overall direction of reality and life which is toward increasing order, not chaos and disorder. If anything, randomness has to do with the element of creative freedom and the spontaneous development of life.

Organized things that exist can only come from other organized or organizing things with the same features, potentials, and properties. Only Consciousness can produce consciousness….

And because we reject the irrationality of materialist explanations does not mean that we must then default to traditional religious explanations of causation, purpose, or design (e.g. sky gods who intervene in natural processes and human affairs to coercively implement their will). So when I make reference to divinity or deity, do not default in your thinking to religious views of God/gods. Those old ruling kings or judges, who punished and rewarded, embodied the worst features of the old mythical narratives. It was all about domination, control, intervention in human freedom, exclusion of unbelievers or sinners, punishment, destruction, and apocalyptic ending for all life. No. When I refer to God I am referring to some profoundly transcendent Mystery, a Mystery that is love, life, consciousness, mind, and light. And obviously, as such it would also have intelligence and personality or personhood…. So let me summarize that a basic starting point to common sense in understanding reality and life admits that something can only come from something and not from nothing and that the ordered, predictable and life-enhancing nature of physical reality exhibits a creating Something that is of the basic nature of love and goodness.

Because there is such love at the heart of reality, therefore there is also a profound fundamental impulse and direction to the organizing of reality and life. It is clearly upward, which is to say all organizes toward something better than that which existed before…. Life is all about progress, advance, or increasing development and it is so obvious that it is simply incoherent and irrational to deny it. Noting the basic trends of reality and life progressing toward something better leads to an appreciation that any ultimate pessimism or despair is simply an incoherent conclusion and is a serious misreading of the natural world.

… we see this progress in the fundamental basis of reality, the material cosmos itself. It began in an intense fireball or explosion of energy that expanded and cooled and as it did so, basic matter was then organized into the atomic structure of material reality. This is a profound mystery that material reality emerged and organized into rationally ordered matter. It has never been explained more rationally and coherently than to state that an intelligent Creator did this. No other more plausible explanation has ever been given. This emerging material cosmos continued to progress toward the order of galaxies, stars and solar systems. All of this order expressed something predictable and law-like and this evidenced great care and concern to create a predictable environment in which life would later emerge and develop. The laws of the universe that provide for ordered existence are profound evidence of the care, concern, and love for the life that would later emerge in the history of the cosmos.

What makes reality rational is the basic order of all things and the regular patterns behind all, what we call the laws of nature. We see this in the orbits of galaxies, stars and planets. There is coherent substance, regular movement, direction, and predictability. In fact, predictability is based on the fundamental order of physical existence. We don’t have chaos structuring reality, but rather order. And the fundamental order of the cosmos and life expresses the fact that love is at the core of it all.

… divine Love values freedom most highly in order to attain authentic creativity and goodness (freely arising and freely chosen or uncoerced creativity and goodness). Such elements of chance and spontaneity in the world do not work against fundamental order but enable creativity in the orderly systems of material reality. For instance, tectonic plate activity is somewhat random and has been essential for the development of life (mountain building and the effect this has had on the evolution of life) and for the human appreciation of natural beauty. But such things have been destructive to people living in plate boundary areas and hence the responsibility to adapt to or control such elements….

The entire flow of the cosmos and life reveal the great care and concern for the emergence and development of creatures, especially conscious creatures. The flow of the developing cosmos and life has never been without suffering but despite such suffering we still see overwhelming evidence of fundamentally rational processes that provide the basic provisions for material existence. We see fundamental goodness in the predictability of the laws of nature, and the orbit of the moon, and seasons, and in weather patterns. We see infinite generosity in the profligate energy of the sun and stars. Even the random and sometimes destructive element that is present in all processes and disturbs regular patterns, this also allows for creative bursts of new growth and development….

We see purposeful organization further in such things as the position of our sun and planet in the Milky Way galaxy. The exact position of our earth was important for the clarity (free from cosmic dust and radiation) to enable us to explore and understand the cosmos we inhabit. Other places in our galaxy do not offer the same clarity. Purposeful organization is also evident in the exact relationship of the moon to the earth, and the earth to the sun, even in its wobbles and recession that allow for variety in climate (such being necessary for change to occur- again for the development and further progress of life). So the ordered cosmos is our home, a safe and beautiful universe where the very order of matter and basic forces and basic laws makes existence and life possible. It is a safe home rich in energy, life, and possessing astounding beauty for conscious minds to wonder at. Love did all this- it established a material reality that is the most fundamental evidence of such love.

Let me emphasize again that all such organization to create a life-friendly and progressing universe is not just evidence of some greater creating Intelligence or Mind behind all things. This organization is evidence of something much more important- that the essential nature of a greater Intelligence or Mind is love, goodness, generosity, and compassion. It is not just evidence of the existence of a God, but that such a deity is most essentially love.

III. Consciousness – The Point of It All

…. In each cell several thousand enzymes unfold and fold complex proteins each second. Yet it all functions with amazing precision to support life. And has anyone ever understood or explained how all quintillion cells organize into a functioning human body that serves as a vehicle for conscious persons? Well, here we have it- the magnificence of fully functioning and conscious human persons….

We see this purposeful and progressive organizing also in the emergence and development of the most complex organism in the universe- the human brain. It is difficult to even try to contemplate the complexity of interactions among neurons, like intricately choreographed storms of minute sparks flowing through brains in complexity to support the thinking and acting of persons. The human brain is the only suitable organ designed to mediate the wonder of human consciousness.

At the pinnacle of the grand cosmic trajectory of progressive organizing we have the gift of consciousness and mind. Consciousness is the point of it all. Consciousness enables us to be aware that the universe exists and that we exist and to find reason for our existence as fully aware human persons….

And while consciousness also opens to us the experience of suffering it enables us to experience the wonder of being swept along in the intense joy at the beauty of life and existence. Most important, consciousness enables us to discover and experience love. Consciousness awakens us to wonder at this unique quality that lifts us out of the darkness of nature into a plane where we are free to live supernaturally in loving one another. This experience of love is so uniquely different from the cruelty and selfishness of animal existence that it can only be appreciated as something divine having entered the realm of the human. Only supernatural Love can explain the emergence of the human self with its inherent compassion, its impulse to include all, and to respect others….

And from human creative potential rooted in conscious minds we find a further extension of the fundamental trajectory of organizing toward something better. We see this in all human creative endeavor in human civilization, which is simply conscious humanity organizing or creating something better and more humane and loving over time. This is the ultimate expression of love in the cosmos. This love is evident in the improvement of such things as basic living conditions (the decrease in war and violence and better systems of economic and political cooperation- democracies). It is also evident in ongoing improvements in medicine, in housing, and employment, and in food supply and variety (new crops, GM advances). It is evident in human-created systems of transportation and communication. And it is evident in human technology advancing toward ever better machines that improve human well-being. The most profound evidence of compassion expressing itself in reality and life is found in the human species and its civilizing endeavor where conscious persons are creating a better world of nonviolence, inclusion, caring, and liberation from all forms of oppression. This is love expressing itself in creating something better for all life. Love reaches its highest pinnacle in the conscious creative expressions of human beings in civilization.

We also see human creativity active in civilizing nature and freeing it from its random elements that have been so destructive and caused so much suffering. We are learning to tame nature’s wildness (wilderness). We are learning to organize and humanize nature and life, to funnel its wild energy and randomness toward more humane outcomes. The entry of consciousness has been an expression of love seeking to create something better out of the raw material and energy of the cosmos and life. To domesticate and guide all toward more purposeful, predictable, and organized outcomes. This is love in action.

And we also see this fundamental trend of creative progress in human art, philosophy, religion, science, and all human thought, imagination, and understanding. We see it in systems of human rights, and freedoms, and ethics.

So the evidence that the foundational reality behind all is love can be seen most clearly and profoundly in ourselves and our actions toward one another in civilization. Out of the darkness of animal existence with its predation, domination, exclusion and destruction there has emerged in humanity the most profound experience of the light of love. This is evident in our amazing capacity to feel empathy toward others (ability to consciously feel with them), to care, to protect the weak instead of destroying as in wild and dark nature. We are so profoundly and magnificently different from animal life. And this is not to disparage other life forms that we share a planet with. Love in humanity has inspired people to value all of nature, hence the many endeavors to protect and conserve nature in all its forms.

All this organizing and progressing toward something ever better, ever higher and more advanced, and more developed, all this speaks to the fundamental impulse of love behind all reality and life. There is no other coherent and reasonable explanation for the amazing progressive history of the cosmos and life. This rising trajectory of progress absolutely gives the lie to all pessimism and doom as an entirely wrong misreading of reality and life.

IV. Compassion Begins Revealing the Mystery

…. early Jewish prophets began to present a new view of justice as mercy and liberation from oppression, no longer as payback or punishment. The breakthroughs of Jesus continued this line of discovery and insight with an ever more humanized emphasis on forgiveness, mercy, and compassion toward all, including enemies….

This perception of ultimate reality as love is absolutely the greatest discovery in the history of humanity. It is the maturing of human consciousness to the awareness that the most fundamental reality of the cosmos and life is love. Love is the most real and true thing in the universe. The mysterious, creative power behind all reality is love or compassion. The great light that has emerged into the darkness of nature is the awareness of love. There is no greater discovery ever to be made in human thought, perception, feeling, or understanding.

I hesitate to use the term God to describe this ultimate reality as it carries so much distorting historical baggage and tends to limit human thought to some idolatrous anthropomorphism that is far short of the transcendent unknowable reality that is the basis of all existence. But it is nonsense to speak of love without acknowledging its source in Mind, Consciousness, Intelligence, and Personhood of some transcendent divine nature.

This is the one truth about reality that is absolutely primary and fundamental- that God is love, or better, compassion. God is compassion or empathy. God feels with the experience and suffering of the other. This is the most radical breakthrough in human understanding in all history. And God as compassion must now reshape all of the rest of interrelated human ideas. It must reshape our perception of justice not as payback but as mercy and liberation. It must purge the priestly understanding of divinity as holy, as something separate and judgmental. That old view of divinity as holy had to do with distorting priestly views of God as the center of religious regulation, ritual, and ceremony. That old theology is dead. God as compassion means that we now view divinity as located in humanity and human potential to do good. God is more about emotion and conscious experience and feeling, not law, or ritual or institution. In a very true sense we feel God (when we experience compassion) more than we abstractly know God. And yes, there is still the element of transcendence, in that divinity is beyond comprehension or expression in terms of its actual nature. … it is even a waste of time to seek to know, serve, please or be devoted to such a hidden Mystery. As Thomas Sheehan has said, that God is doing fine anyway, so lets focus instead on serving the humanity that we can see. This is where we know and serve God- in our fellow human beings. In feeling compassion for others and acting on that empathic feeling.

God as compassion means the end of religion. God as compassion has an automatic consequence that decimates religion with all its ceremony, ritual, belief systems, institutions, and regulations. Compassion means to focus on the other, to feel with the suffering of the other person and this can not be mediated through religious regulation, ritual, or institution but only via human response to the desires and needs of others.

Also useful to note here is that compassion does not to seek attention for itself. A God of compassion can not be some Idi Amin-like being that seeks constant attention, praise, and the singing of his praises. Such selfish preoccupation and egomania that characterizes the Kim Sung Ils of earth is not worthy of attribution to a God of love. It is dehumanizing and demonic, not godly. Seeking to be the center of attention, praise, and service is a violation of the essence of compassion. This fact alone should challenge much devotion to God, service to God, and mindless ritual as a distortion of divine love.

… All of the organizing of material reality toward something better, and the organizing of life toward something more humane is a manifestation of love. The ever more developing, advancing, progressing trends of reality and life are Love seeking expression in material reality. This is all evidence of love expressing itself which is what love or compassion will naturally do…. The essence of love is compassion- to feel with the other and to act to liberate and improve the well-being of the other.

Divine love then explains everything in reality. It is the central missing piece of any complete Theory of Everything. It answers all of the great questions- why something, why life, why consciousness, and why this progression toward something better that is everywhere evident in the cosmos, life, and civilization? It is beyond question the greatest discovery ever made by human minds and the greatest insight that will ever be made. That God is love and in such love there is no darkness at all. No vengeance or payback. No threat or punishment. No ultimate death. Only unconditional forgiveness, mercy, generosity, life, light, and love. God is the purest form of love, beyond any human comprehension.

…. Again, it is not just that there is intelligence behind all things, or Spirit or Mind. It is something far more profound and foundational- the great Mind or Spirit of the universe is of the essential nature of love….

The discovery of the nature of divine Mystery as love answers the most profound questions conscious human minds have ever asked. Are we alone? Are we safe, especially in the face of death? What does our existence and consciousness mean?

Love at the very core of divinity provides the most solid basis for human meaning, it lightens consciousness as no other perception can, and it grants a foundational security and sense of safety regarding existence in this universe and world. It not only reassures us that we are not alone but that we are ultimately safe no matter what happens to us in life.

V. Love Values Humanity’s Freedom

Perhaps most helpful in relation to the discovery of love is that it explains something of the great mystery of human suffering. Throughout history evil and its consequent suffering have posed the greatest of challenges to people hoping that love ultimately defined reality and life. And while evil and suffering will always retain elements that are inexplicable there is hope for understanding suffering more if we grasp the truth that love values freedom supremely….

…. Recognize that divine love values freedom above all else because without freedom there is no genuine goodness produced in life. Coerced, controlled, and manipulated goodness is not authentic goodness at all. It is robotic, not offered spontaneously from a place of free choice. Freedom is absolutely essential for goodness to be genuinely spontaneous and sincere. But such freedom opens the way to possible abuse and even evil. Genuinely free people will sometimes make wrong choices. Such is the cost of real freedom and goodness. It can result in suffering caused by free people.

So the highly valued prize of genuine moral goodness is not possible without real freedom. If good is in any way coerced and not spontaneous, then it is not authentic. Love therefore prizes freedom as essential to attaining such goodness and this freedom permits choice that can result in suffering caused to others….

Divine love will therefore not overwhelm, control or coerce free human persons. It will not intervene or control others. Love respects the freedom of individual persons and will not intervene to violate freedom of choice, action, and consequence. Genuine goodness only arises from such freedom. Coercion in any form does not produce human goodness hence the supreme importance of freedom to achieving authentic goodness in life….

Whatever our philosophical approach to this issue, there is accident, violence, and natural destruction. But love in humanity has emerged to counter and eliminate where possible this darker element of suffering in life. Human love sees all suffering as evil and works to create something better. …problems confront us and push us to find solutions and in the end we are all better off for having experienced the problems. Problems (suffering) operate to inspire us to find solutions, to learn, and to then offer something better for others who will follow us. We may never be able to fully comprehend or explain the mystery of suffering but we can see that it has inspired the ongoing improvement and progress of life. It has inspired people to find cures for diseases, to lessen violence, to find better ways of adapting to the forces of nature, to fight for the spread of human rights for all people, and so much more.

… God is love, love values freedom supremely in order to attain genuine creativity and goodness, hence the potential for evil. The fact that love values freedom above all helps, in part, to explain the suffering of life. We ought to value freedom just as God does, despite the suffering that results. This also means that the responsibility to prevent suffering is entirely up to us. It is in freedom that we exercise genuine creativity to make life better. There is no ‘outside’ or ‘up above’ divinity to intervene, overwhelm coercively and save us. It is our responsibility alone to act to help others and to make life better for all.

And even more mysterious than the issue of why evil exists is the wonder of why love exists everywhere. This is the truly great mystery of life.

… love is the basis of all truth. Love is the most fundamental reality and this means that love is the basis of all truth and it is essential to the fullest understanding of any thing. You can search or explore down into subatomic reality or out into the infinity of the cosmos or into the depths of consciousness for ultimate realities or meaning and you will always end up at this most fundamental and elemental thing behind all else. Everything else can be understood and explained most fully and correctly in light of this most real, true, and foundational of all things.

… it is the actual practice of love or compassion that leads to any enlightenment and understanding in regard to this reality. It is not theologizing or theorizing about love that leads to enlightenment. Rather, it is the actual practice of love that leads to discovery of the primacy of this ultimate truth. Discovering such truth is not the result of a scientific approach based on empirical observation or measurement, tested hypotheses, gathered data, and scientific analysis, as helpful as these may be in some areas. Nor is enlightenment and understanding of ultimate truth and reality found solely through meditation or study of the spiritual, again, as helpful as these may be in some areas. The discovery of the core nature of ultimate reality and truth is best achieved through the actual experience and living of compassion….

Love is the one characteristic that makes us most human, most authentic. The expression of love is the expression of our true self. It makes us most authentically human and most authentically ourselves. It puts us in tune with what is most real and fundamental about all reality, as well as most real and fundamental about ourselves. Love is the highest expression of what it means to be human. What created the cosmos, and life, and the human species has now come to its fullest expression in us. Our aware and intentional endeavor to love, to create a more humane world is the ultimate expression of the original purpose for the cosmos and life.

Love is also intensely personal. It is essentially about individual personhood and relationship. In fact, love only exists between relating persons…. Love can only come to actual existence when it is expressed between distinct persons. It is a relational reality. Hence the understanding of personhood in relation to divinity. Love arises from a unified center of consciousness, from a personal self. If this is true for us then how much more so for divine love.

VI. Humanity’s Greatest Discovery

The greatest discoveries in life are not yet to be made. The greatest discovery of all has already been made….To appreciate something of the supreme value of this discovery of love, think of animal existence and its brutality. Think also of so much of past human history that has exhibited similar brutality and cruelty. What would life be without the light of love entering and changing things for the better? What meaning could any existence possibly have without love?

The long-standing question regarding the origin of the cosmos and life (Why something? What is the purpose of it all?) is no longer the great question in the human search for meaning. At this time in human history we now know that it all emerged from Love. And we most certainly will further refine our understanding of these great emergences but we already know why they exist. Love is behind the origin of it all, love is the central point of it all, the purpose of it all, and the ultimate meaning of it all.

Based on this fact that love is at the foundation of all reality and life we can be assured that everything in life will be all right in the end. This helps to resolve all the great mysteries, problems and questions of our existence and lives. On the issue of death we can know that a loving God will do the best for his children. We are his creation and can trust his unconditional forgiveness, love and generosity. We come from love, exist in love, are never separated from love, and return safely to love in the end. So Love helps us understand and face the great crisis of death. Because of infinite divine love we can feel safe in the face of suffering and death, knowing that we are never alone or abandoned. The divine love that sustains us in existence is closer to us than our own selves, our own bodies and breath. Such reassurance is the point of grasping compassion as the Ultimate Mystery. It is that which creates and sustains all things and carries them safely to their intended end….

We exist because of love, and for love. To love and be loved. And we are all worthy of love. This fact is central to resolving personal identity, self-appreciation, and self-affirmation issues.

Love then becomes the great centering reality; the great inspiration and guide post for human meaning, understanding, purpose, ethics and behavior. This discovery leads us away from the darkness of animal existence with its predation, domination, exclusion, punishment, and destruction. Love brings a great light to life, a light of ultimate purpose, direction, and ultimate meaning. Love explains what it means to be human and the purpose and reason for human existence and striving.

The discovery that the great divine Mystery behind all reality is love is beyond question the greatest discovery ever made by the human mind. It is the greatest discovery that can ever be made. Nothing can surpass it. It explains everything in reality and life. It is present in all, none are far from it, but all exist in the very center of infinite Love (there is no circumference or distance from divine Love). Nothing is separate from it for nothing exists that is not sustained every moment by it. And nothing exists outside of it….

Love at the core of all reality and life means that love ought to be the most important thing that we seek to understand, to learn, and to practice in our lives. Love is the root solution to all of the world’s problems- in its expression in the many varied aspects of human goodness, such as forgiveness, mercy, inclusion, and tolerance. We ought to learn all we can about love, compassion, or empathy. This is the point of our conscious existence, and the point of the universe and life. If we try to get this right as much as we can then we have succeeded at life. It we accomplish many other things but ignore this, then we have failed at life….

And in the end, love is the answer to everything that worries human spirits. Because of love, we can assure everyone that everything is ultimately going to be all right for everyone and everything. Everything will get better eventually. This is the most basic fact about reality and life. It progresses endlessly toward something better. So don’t fear anything or be anxious. Love is the most real thing in life and reality even though we don’t often see it clearly or feel it as intensely as we would like. But everything is going to be all right ultimately because everything is safe in love, held in existence by Love and inspired by Love to progress toward a better future.

God is love is the most real, most fundamental, and most basic reality of all. This Love is our safe home in the end. We all come from this Love, we live our lives sustained by this Love, we are never separated from this Love, and we return safely in the end to this Love which is our real home.

Wendell Krossa wkrossa@shaw.ca

Published in: on September 26, 2010 at 4:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sayings… Lost and Found

Many church historians have written about the origins of Christianity. Unfortunately, most have merely repeated the early works and confessions of church leaders who had an agenda of their own, namely, maintaining order and authority in a growing religion, congregations that had minimum communication with each other and were threatened by both a Greco/Roman culture and the evolving counter-religion of Islam.

The first four centuries were indeed fearful times for early Christians. Emperor Constantine finally gave them some peace by supporting Christianity as the religion of the Empire. This encouraged church leaders to take more control and gather their teachings into formulated creeds which the Christian Church still recites to this day.

What Christianity teaches is generally well know today. The narrative of Christ Jesus (who he was, what he accomplished on the cross, and what he will do when he returns) is taught around the world. Too often, these teachings and other related doctrines have led certain Christians to conclusions which separated themselves from each other and sometimes even destroyed each other for what they believed was a just cause.

For the most part, what Jesus actually taught and said cannot be found in the Christian confessions. The narrative and creeds spun about his life and its contrived saving purpose have all but erased his real gospel message of a loving Father’s Kingdom. He claimed this Kingdom was already present where humans of all cultures, races, and religions accept and forgive each other, and generously care for those in need, just as God accepts, forgives and cares for them. This is a picture of mercy, not sacrifice. There is no room for payback or punishment in this Kingdom of Love proclaimed by Jesus.

To help us understand how a misrepresentation of his message could have happened, recent scholarship has revealed how the original sayings of Jesus, which they call “the Source,” were nearly lost in the stories of Jesus’ life.

After Jesus’ demise and from 40-50 A.D., there were three groups of Jesus followers. 1) There were those in Jerusalem who followed the disciple Peter who had returned to many of the separatist teachings of Judaism. Many of these teachings such as One God, Heaven, Hell, Satan, Judgment Day, Resurrection, and others found their roots in Persia during the Judean captivity under Darius and his state religion of Zoroastrianism. 2) There were the followers of Jesus’ oral (unwritten) sayings on living in the Kingdom. They were found in the hill country villages of Galilee and were not at all interested in Jesus’ narrative or what was happening in Jerusalem. 3) There were the followers of Paul in Syria and beyond, mostly Gentiles and the first to be called followers of the Christ-Messiah and resurrected Savior of the world. Paul was able to succeed in convincing Peter and his followers to join him in practicing a more free religion, but one still centered around the Christ-Messiah. The Jewish/Roman war and destruction of the Temple, Jerusalem, and surrounding Jewish settlements about 70 A.D. scattered these groups.

After the Temple and Jerusalem were destroyed, the writer Mark built his story plot around Jesus’ life being a symbol of the Temple’s destruction. About 80 – 90 A.D., the writers Matthew and Luke borrowed Mark’s plot and with some variations of their own, such as Luke’s virgin birth claim and Matthew’s eternal punishment claim , they also added the original sayings of Jesus from an unknown source. Perhaps local scribes had finally written them, but these simple sayings have never been found except in Egypt, included in the recently discovered Gospel of Thomas.

About 100 -110A.D., the writer John, not the disciple, took another tack. His claim was that Jesus was the Son of God from the beginning of time. This was very similar to the Roman claims for their heroes. He may have been the same John who recorded wild visions of destruction in his apocalyptic book of Revelation, also a dream of Judaism and the Eastern wisdom religions. At this time, Luke also constructed his book of Acts of the Apostles, stories with a flair that had been told for at least two generations among the early congregations.

The preaching of the supposed meaning of Jesus’ life from the four “gospel” plots mentioned, and Paul’s connecting his Christology concepts to the fulfillment of the Old Testament Torah (Law of Moses) finally smothered the followers of Jesus’ sayings. But when today’s scholars remove Mark’s plot from Matthew’s and Luke’s narratives, those sayings of Jesus stand out loud and clear on their own, especially in Matthew. Simple and clear, Jesus’ original sayings have no connection with his life as it was told in those narratives nor with an apocalyptic future of the world, much less endless sacred things, rituals, and doctrines added later. Even his sample prayer to his Father says: May your name be honored among us. May your kingdom spread among us. Give us our daily bread. Forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors. Keep us safe from injustice… That’s it! Much less than we have memorized.

Obviously, the ONLY thing sacred according to Jesus is a son/daughter of humanity, as he called himself,  who honors the Father as his Creator/Provider and who accepts and forgives another human just as their loving Father forgives and accepts them. And the only thing we have to fear is the injustice of another human, not the judgment and punishment of our loving Father whose justice is forgiveness and whose judgment is acceptance, just as Jesus taught in his stories.

Henry Hasse ~ September 19, 2010

Published in: on September 18, 2010 at 6:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

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