Sunday, June 22, 2008

Jesus is my Guru

As a newly divorced woman in her mid-forties, I have entered a strange new world of dating. And I am doing it in the strange world that is Asheville.  Being who I am, I tend to be attracted to men who are spiritual.   This translates into my last three dates being with a guy who has been a devoted practitioner of a particular form of meditation based on some kind of yoga out of Hindu/Indian traditions.   So, it has a guru.  And he (date guy) does.   I'm not a guru type of gal.  My protestant gut is suspicious of any human being who claims too much spiritual power. Power corrupts and corrupted spiritual power may be the worst kind.  

(Think inquisitions.  Or Osama bin Laden, for that matter.  Although I don't really think of either of those as spiritual, but political power which cynically used the spiritual weaknesses of people to rile them up.  But that's another post.)

Anyway, I'm discussing my general distrust of gurus with this guy, who is trying not to become defensive about his love of his guru (he's gone to India 3 times to see him) and trying to share with me that it's really all about love -- increasing our love through meditation, blah, blah, blah.  

So I say, "Well, Jesus is my guru.  I don't need any other ones."  And I realize it is true.  That I do think of Jesus much in the same way he thinks of his guru -- as a human being who became so imbued with God-love that he was capable of extending it through not only his words and touch, but even through time and past death.  While I'm fairly ambivalent about church these days, I am still crazy about Jesus.   Though it defies intellectual understanding, I have experienced Jesus in encounters I will call mystical because I'm not sure what else to call them. I have been healed by these encounters -- spiritually, emotionally and physically healed.   Not always in the ways I hoped to be healed, but in ways that powerfully changed me or the direction of my life. 

I experience Jesus as a guy -- a real Middle Eastern Jewish guy -- who fully and completely got it.   Got God.  Got the point of life.   And was transformed -- transfigured -- by it.   And then became a conduit for transforming others.    I don't know what happens to most of us when we die -- worm food?  reincarnation?  straight to heaven, do not pass go, do not collect $200?  -- but I believe that Jesus, in some real sense, did not die.   His body is dead and gone, but his spirit is alive and well.   And not in some vague "everything is divine" sense, but in the sense of that Jewish guy who lived 2000 years ago and taught and walked and healed and was crucified. That his particular life experience -- incarnate, real, fully human experience -- was critical to his ability to continue through cultures and time to speak to us as fully human ones.  

Perhaps there have been other human beings in history who share this category -- Buddha comes to mind -- but I can't attest to that.   I can attest to Jesus.  And because I experience him as still present, still available, still healing, I don't see the need for some other human to come along and claim some spiritual power into which I need to tap.   I can go straight to the source -- the Big God -- or I can go to Jesus.   And Jesus, having been human, is easier for me to get most days than the BG.   

What about you? 

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Go, Hillary!

Well, I'm inspired to break my two-month fast from blogging today because of Hillary Rodham Clinton and her powerful and gracious concession speech.  I watched it start to finish and was moved to tears throughout.  Unlike many people who got more angry the longer she stayed in the race, I found myself growing in admiration for her spunk.  Those of you who have read my blog in the past know that Hillary was never one of my top choices for Democratic nominee.   The war in Iraq was high on my list of reasons.  Along with that were my concern that she is too much of a Washington insider to think in new ways about our country and its needs and that she is too much of a savvy politician to stick to strong progressive stances in spite of opposition. 

Nonetheless, as a woman, a mother and a feminist, I am delighted that she did as well as she did.  By staying in the race she did, as she said today, put 18 million cracks in that glass ceiling leading to the White House.   She accomplished, as she said, the remarkable task of making it unremarkable that future women will be considered true contenders in such a race.   Hillary Clinton is a brilliant woman, an inspired politician, and a great leader for our country.  I believe that she will continue to be so in whatever the next role for her turns out to be.  And I sincerely hope it is a significant one.  

I am grateful that she came out so strongly and clearly for Obama and for the Democratic party. Good for her.  In the coming months, may her followers be as clear and gracious as she was today.