Loving God More Than Loving Me
After Cobb, where? Well, to Lucifer Jones. But that may not be until I'm in my 50s at this rate. I'm going to have to be done with a great number of family/community/political work before I can get too deeply into those matters. Getting and spending requires focus, and I don't have all that right now. Nevertheless, I was asked if I love God more than myself or my family? Hmmm...
The priesthood has a very difficult task, which is to reconcile their interpretations of the divine with their understanding of human needs. How do you dumb down the Infinite and put human beings into the middle of it such that their core moral values are lined up with what any priest or Church says is God's Will? Very difficult indeed, especially when human knowledge ebbs and flows.
If you take it as a given that God is indeed Infinite, then you have embodied in the mind of God, all the laws of the Universe - the very order of everything, whether or not we humans are able to understand it. God is purpose. God is the purpose of the universe. God is the source of human capacity to understand the Universe, such as we can, such as it is. So loving God is a difficult proposition. Unless you anthropomorphize God, you cannot 'love' God in anyway like you would love a human being.
Of all the jobs the priesthood has, invoking God's name to call the people to worship seems like the easiest. What is entailed in worship... ah there's the rub. If one worships God by serving his purposes, there are certainly different abilities of humans to do so which other humans (and presumeably God) is aware. If God's purpose, as described by The New Covenant of Jesus, is transparent to humanity, then it is very unlikely that you could fool humans and decieve God at the same time. In other words, since we are commanded to love our neighbor, we could not love them falsely. Our neighbors would be able to correctly percieve our love with the same facility as God would judge our love of them. This is a very key thing. If love was embodied in the gift of a red rose, then it is important that God gave us all equal facilities to see that the rose was indeed red. Otherwise how could we spread the Gospel? My entire point here is that I am asserting that human beings must have the same facility for interpretation of love and good and evil as God would have. We couldn't arrive at different conclusions; this is utterly fundamental and the meaning of the Tree of Knowledge which kicks off Genesis. We do know.
But certainly the love we owe God is different than the love we owe each other. Certainly we should demonstrate it in different ways. Isn't much of human love in the form of mercantilist self-sacrifice? We give to others out of our pockets, out of our own expense. We take time from our own lives and give it to others as an expression of love. But surely God doesn't need anything from our pockets. God doesn't need our time. He owns time, he is time.
Here's where it gets ambiguous.
I am not an evangelist, but I clearly understand that it serves the Church to give glory and honor to God in your earthly works. By loving your neighbor, by doing the God-given red rose, you are showing the kind of universally understood love that God and humans understand. Is that showing the love of God if you don't say so? If you anonymously donate a million dollars to the victims of a tsunami, is it less worthy in the eyes of God if you don't send it in an envelope that says 'In the name of Jesus, only Son of the Father'?
Are we to be evangelists at all times? Are we press flacks for the God Corporation? Does God need marketing? Is prayer answered if silent?
I have concluded that we know implicitly when we are serving God and when we are not, whether or not there is a Church or a priest involved. It only takes a moment's reflection - it must be something very close to our biology, the very idea of God spontaneous within us. If indeed we all have souls, then our understanding of good and evil must be like our understanding of fear, hunger, laughter and music.
At this point in my life I have answered some questions about being selfish, in terms of knowing what I need to maintain my own integrity and spirit. The same things that keep my head up are about my existentials. Am I being the kind of person worthy of my powers and abilities? Do I have enough power and ability to achieve the kinds of goals I wish to pursue? Are those goals worthwhile? These are introspective questions against my own soul and the value of my life. I try to be conservative and pay attention to those things that I might change and I shape my ambition to get in position. I am moving towards doing greater things with and for my neighbors, to improve things. If I'm not, then all the writing I've done at Cobb is empty sophistry and matters not whether nobody reads it but God.
So I will make the selfish and perhaps self-serving statement that God does indeed understand and bless my purposes. I do so without the assistance of the priesthood, which in fact I'd rather have and will most assuredly seek later in life. My love for myself is conditional upon my ability to achieve those goals and discipline myself to their noble purposes, but I defend myself at the expense of a more communitarian altruism. I'm not handing out red roses to everyone I meet, but engineering a Rose Bowl, and to the extent that I am not loving my neighbor on a daily basis in my garrett, I hope to compensate for with the size of my ultimate gift - or die trying.
I am aware that this is the cop-out of every tyrant, God understands me. I'll have a better explanation when I actually do become Lucifer Jones.