Friday, August 20, 2010

The Naked God


I have written before about Richard Rohr*. I have come to believe that the kind of spirituality he practices and preaches is really only one that will ever be satisfying to me and my (perhaps overactive, never quiescent) conscience and forever restless soul. His counsel is all the things I cannot do: be silent, let go, rest in the Mystery, stop beating up on yourself, don't judge, accept yourself, be still. And I'm slowly coming to understand that these are all the things I know I must do if ever I'm going to find the Truth, which is all I've ever sought, which when I think about the heart of me has kinda consumed my life. I've gotten this far thus far: I'm convinced that what I'm looking for won't be found in the religion I know--indeed, it probably holds true for all Christian religions--with its logic-chopping about dogma and doctrine, its scandalous materialism, its commitment to self-preservation before all else. It's beginning to become increasingly clear, as clear, I suppose as anything about this subject can be, that the naked god of my quest can only be found by not seeking him. And it's fitting that this god of the universe, the seen and unseen, is paradox, enigma, forever unknown and unknowable.
The goal of all spirituality is to lead the “naked person” to stand trustfully before the naked God. The important thing is that we’re naked; in other words that we come without title, merit, shame, or even demerit.  All we can offer to God is who we really are, which to all of us, never seems like enough.  I am sure this is the way true lovers feel too.
As you know, the act of lovemaking requires some degree of nakedness, and perhaps sacred silence to absorb the communion that is happening. The same is true in loving and being loved by God.  We have to let go of our false self (as superior or as inferior) to be ready for real unity with God; and to do that, we have to be silent. 
Silence is the language of God, and the only language deep enough to absorb all the contradictions and failures that we are holding against ourselves.  God loves us silently because God has no case to make against us.  The silent communion absorbs our self-hatred, as every lover knows.
The piece mentioned at the bottom of this post mentions Rohr, and it's worth your time to read if you're interested.

*Here and here and here.
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