November 5, 2011

The Problem with Idols

Divine Embrace
Photo Courtesy of New Mother, New Earth Night Songs

I'm working on some theories about cultural and religious similarities. As I was studying Buddha, I had a simple yet profound revelation. The problem with forming idols is twofold:

1. They are based on someone else's experience.
2. They distract us from having our own experience.

I'm beginning to think some of the enlightened ones truly were enlightened, that they truly had encounters with God the Father in all of His fullness (Divine Love; Holy Spirit, Father God, Jesus; Allah; YHWH; The One True God; The Unnamed God; etc.). I am also beginning to see a pattern across the nations where en masse we idolize someone else's experience in order to avoid the pain and struggle involved in having our own experiences with Divine Love.

Without this experience of Divine Love, there is no possibility for enlightenment. Enlightenment is simply recognizing that without Divine Love to eclipse our human attempts at love, we will always digress to hatred. There are plenty of myths, legends, and stories in all cultures relating this very concept. Countless literary geniuses on the level of CS Lewis, David Mamet, and whoever wrote all those amazing Greek myths bring this fundamental truth to life.

Photo Courtesy of New Mother, New Earth Night Songs

So many Christians (myself included) have spent a tremendous amount of precious time building walls to keep "outsiders" from encroaching upon our religious views (right, left, fundamental, pentecostal, etc., etc.), and we do this in the name of protecting the innocent, maintaining morality, keeping the peace. Hmm...I don't see much evidence of peace. I see more evidence of people saying peace when there is no peace.

I feel it right now. I feel the rancor rising within you, and I realize I am stepping way out of my comfort zone here with this message. It may even appear to you, my faithful readers, that someone besides Angela is writing these. I promise you, this is me. Raw and full of curiosity and wonder.

More importantly, it is me filled with faith-inspired anger that tells me so many have settled for less than what was promised. So many have bought the lies that religion sells, and we've lived for so long without encountering Divine Love, the only thing that truly sets a person free and gives them purpose and meaning in their life.

Can we all take one giant step back and see that the enemy has crept into every culture? Can we take another giant step back and recognize that germ theory hasn't gotten us anywhere? Can we finally see together that the enemy truly is within each one of us, and he's whispering lies?

Rose Drops
Photo Courtesy of The Alchemical Marriage

Lies like these:

You're no're too good.
You'll never amount to're all full of yourself and think you're really something special.

No one likes you...they only like you because of what you do for them.
You're too fat, you're too're too pretty, you're too skinny.
You're too're too smart.

And can we once and for all realize that a price was paid to rescue us from the enemy within us? That price was paid in the name of Divine Love, the love that eclipses all human love and accepts each person at the level their at and then calls them ever higher to reach their unlimited potential.

And then, upon the realization of the great price that was paid for our freedom, can we find the gift of courage planted within us to face the demons within, take authority over them, and evict them forever so that Divine Love can fully inhabit our souls and give powerful life to our spirits? Imagine what kind of peace that would bring.


  1. I have come to realize that whenever "God" is imagined or defined, that is what idolatry is. When we wake up from our conditioned sense of awareness, even just a little bit, we realize that what we thought "God" was is what we truly are.

    Many avoid this realization as then it becomes up to them to express that energy into the world. The good news is that of we do express that energy, then "God" exists in the world. And if were do not, well then "God" does not exists in the world.

  2. Actually, I've been thinking about this lately. I don't have my own thoughts figured out about it all, but I did have this revelation one day: Whatever we believe God to be, that is what He is. And whatever He is to us, that is what we represent to the world. Why would we ever want to represent hatred, judgment, anger, and superiority toward others, when instead we can represent love, acceptance, joy, and peace? I am choosing love, acceptance, joy, and peace in every situation I possibly can. Thanks for reading and commenting, Bruce. Welcome to my space!

  3. In 'The Naked Now' Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest, talks about the two trees in Eden and how they have become a metaphor for how we experience God. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil represents the limitations of dualistic thinking--believing things to be true/false, right/wrong. The mind can only take us so far. The Tree of Life represents contemplation and experiencing the eternal things of God in ways that aren't abstract or theoretical. Lord, please grant us the courage to expose the lies that keep up us from Sweet Communion.

  4. "... God placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life."

    Ever since I realized that the angel "guarding the way to the tree of life" was NOT there to keep me from it, I realized there are many aspects of life that keep me youthful and vibrant.

    !. Learning, finding a teacher, being a student.

    2. Performing, increasing (rather than decreasing) activity.

    3. Keeping an open mind, dispensing with judgment, categorization, and definitions.

    4. Sensory enrichment, sensuality, being open to the loving touch and tenderness of others.

    5. Exercise and healthy diet, of course.

    6. Seeing things from a different perspective, enhancing and expanding perspectives.

    As Julie wrote, duality,but not only duality...

    Linearity, polarity, conditionality, causality, spaciality, and perhaps more of the sentient programs that our unconscious mind is loaded with.

    We could begin to see ourselves as input-processing-output machines. The exercise, affections, and diet keep the workings lubricated while the other aspects keep the machine running.

  5. This list really speaks to me. I have been pondering it for a week. I am pressing in for breakthrough on number 4 and 5 for myself. And I would add a 7th...Walking in a lifestyle of true forgiveness. That definitely keeps me young, vibrant, and filled with hope and life. Taking ownership of my own stuff and offering grace and peace to those who have either hurt me or I've interpreted their actions as hurtful. It is very freeing.

    By the way, what you said about the angel not guarding you from the tree of life. I also believe that, but I am very curious as to what you think he is doing there. I have been studying angels in great detail and would love to have your take on his role there.

  6. Ah! So true!
    (that's all I have to say!)