Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Who Weeps for God?

Wandering-woman recently posted "Life in 6 Words," along the vein of a book titled Not Quite What I Was Planning (a collection of six-word memoirs by famous and not-so-famous writers, artists and musicians). You can read an NPR article about the book here.

I commented after her post that what came immediately to mind for my six-word memoir was:
Who weeps for God? I do.
And here's why.

In November 2007 I read a quote by the Hindu mystic, Ramakrishna, that I have thought about every time I read or hear a report about global warming and endangerment or loss of species and natural places - all those things that make noise in my brain and from which sometimes activism and sometimes meditation provide the slightest relief. Ramakrishna said:

People shed a whole jug of tears for wife and children. They swim in tears for money. But who weeps for God? Cry to Him with a real cry.

I don't want to go too deeply into who/what I believe God to be, but for me She is, first and foremost, The Artist. With the radical damage that mankind is doing to the glory of this creation, well ... talk about the tormented artist!

Doesn't it twist with the mind to refer to God in the feminine? Far from being de rigueur or even politically correct, using She rather than He in reference to God still sounds affected, as if the sole purpose of calling God She is for shock value alone. I have difficulty with it, mainly because I have father issues and -- even at my age -- the thought of God the father (or even the priest as father, and I'm not Catholic) is a comforting trap for me.

So in the last few years I've worked on this concept privately. It irked me that I'd been conned into thinking of God as a guy when, innately, I knew better. A breakthrough came when I remembered the childhood bedtime prayer that my mother taught Nel and me, the one she learned in Christian Science Sunday School when she was a small girl. It begins:
Father-Mother-God, loving me . . .

I realized what an open Godview framework I'd been given as a child and it freed me. Later, when I read The Bhagavad Gita with Chapter Eleven's mindblowing cosmic vision that framework opened wide, in spite of the Lord-of-lords male slant that seems minimal compared with the whole awesome vision of God (Krisna in the Gita) portrayed there. (Some famous reflections on The Bhagavad Gita, by Einstein, Albert Schweitzer, Aldous Huxley, Gandhi, Thoreau, and Jung, among others can be read here.)

In my lifetime the world shrunk. "From sea to shining sea" once seemed a vast entitlement of riches and enrichment. Now we're arguing over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and Mike and I have placed The Nature Conservancy in our wills in hopes of making the preservation of The Last Great Places our legacy. I hate this season each year when around 200,000 baby Harp Seals are clubbed to death for their fur on the Canadian ice (I boycott fish caught in Canada for this reason). Black bears are being poached in the U.S. for their gallbladders by Asian hunters -- they're running out of bears over there. Frogs are in great peril, and the bumblebee also.
And the polar bears, oh the polar bears ...

Thus, in my meditations and sometimes late at night just as I'm falling asleep I find myself weeping for God instead of praying to God. My heart sort of flutters and it's then that I know God knows.

photograph: Clipart.com subscription


sharryb said...

Thanks for such a beautiful, heartfelt post. I hear you.


Lydia said...

And thank you for yours today (about the flags on the University grounds).

newzoopoet said...

I found your blog via Sandra Beasley's, and I must say, your writing is charming, riveting...
Thank you for blogging.

Lydia said...

Wow, Angela, thanks for such kind comments. I left a message at your blog after reading one of your amazing poems.

Anonymous said...

I loved this post Lydia. We share so much in common on this subject. Thanks so much for posting a comment to my blog so I found it.

Lydia said...

Thanks much for your kind comments. I so enjoy your blog (and your blog's header is the most lovely I've seen).

Roxanne said...

Lydia, this is a lovely post. Thanks for sharing ... I most recently also started referring to god in the "she" and it's created a new relationship between me and the divine.... I dropped by after your comment on the "People Reading" Blog ... (ps. the book is good, and that's from an artsy type like me who hates finance books) ... I will drop by again :)

Lydia said...

Have others said that it is an honor to meet you?
I'll read the book!
There's a longer message at your blog.

Unknown said...

I do

I weep for god
Often I cry out loud

And misunderstood

Reduced to the roll
Of an eternal puppet master

Whoes very ideals
Are twisted
To justify
And rationalize
Truely the worst behavior
I could possibly imagine

But more often
I weep
For the Earth mother

Lydia said...

That's a powerful poem!
And I do agree with you about weeping for Mother Earth . . .

robin ann mcintosh said...

this is such a beautiful post, thank you for sharing it with me.

wow. you are an enchanting writer... and for me, a powerful example of a woman standing in sobriety - strong and free.

i am so inspired by your blog!

Lydia said...

Dear little bird,
You humble me with your comments.
All is Grace,



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