Forgiveness is the word for all.
Here at the Cafe we don’t take sides. The world says a crime has been committed; but we say there is no crime, there is only Life! When we finally learn to open our hearts, our minds, and our eyes we truly see there is no for or against, there is only a oneness and unity to all life.
On a personal level, when you or I, fully aware and imbued with selfhood, project our own images, desires, hopes and dreams outward to those individuals that have been caught up in events of the last few days, there is tragedy. But the personal level is an illusion to be transcended, it is a construct of the rational mind, and as such is a late comer to the Party of Life, maybe just the last 50 to 100 thousand years in a 3 to 4 billion year blossoming forth. A mere heartbeat.
There is something else at play here though. Something missed in all the genuine heartache, handwringing, outrage, condemnation, sadness and even despair. Something unique to the Omphalos Cafe.
We Westerners, following the thirty years war early in the seventeenth century, have more or less enjoyed and have benefitted, at least materially, from what we like to refer to as ‘the separation of Church and State.’ That is part and parcel of the historical narrative we’ve been breast fed from birth. Many of our freedoms, not least that of speech, derive from that exorcising of God from the day to day running of our lives. But that is an historical anomaly, an aberration unknown to most inhabitants of this planet from time immemorial. To expect other peoples, other cultures, to see the spiritual and political worlds as separate entities as we Westerners do is silly and immature and demonstrates to the peoples of the world our complete misunderstanding of them and even more importantly, ourselves.
If you’ve made it this far take careful note of what follows. You will not hear it from anywhere or anybody that I know of. It is utterly unique to the Cafe, but true beyond words and what’s more, vitally necessary if we as a species are ever to genuinely transcend our limitations.
Islam grew organically from the vision, the hopes and dreams, yearnings and desires of a vast population. It is coherent, whole and alive for millions upon millions of souls.
Christianity too grew organically from the vision, hopes and dreams, yearnings and desires of a vast population. However, that population was NOT our own, it was that of the dying Roman Empire, circa 100 to 500 AD. Hence, of course, The Roman Catholic Church.
Only then, and here is where the narrative we’ve been saddled with needs revising, was Christianity—a natural and organic outgrowth of decaying Rome—imposed forcibly upon us Westerners. As I’ve quoted Zenon before, Christianity has always been a foreign body lying heavily on the soil and soul of nascent Western Europe. The Reformation and subsequent religious wars that culminated in the much ballyhooed ‘separation of Church and State’? Nothing more or less than a partial shucking off of what had been imposed from without, rather than grown organically from within.
What—had Christianity not come crashing down upon us—would have flowered naturally and organically from our own vision, hopes and dreams, yearnings and desires is unclear, and now largely lost. It lies in pieces all around though. I see parts of it in the vagaries of the New Age movement, in the Harry Potter, Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies, as well as our fascination with fantasy and the past. Nonetheless, it is a loss that continues to unsettle us, regardless of material and scientific advance.
How can we Westerners, who have never had a coherent centre, a oneness and unity with ourselves and the world about, have never experienced a genuine harmony between our spiritual and political worlds, fully grasp others threatened in body and even more importantly soul by our heedless striving?
We plain and simply cannot.
Forgiveness is word for all….