The Pagan Path

Those who wonder are not lost; they are trying to awaken! 'The Sleeper must awaken!'

Friday, January 19, 2018

Commmunion With the Divine

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Genesis 3:8

I AM a Christian, personally speaking: I very likely will always be so! As such, I still communicate with our Heavenly Father, I still commune with what is called Scripturally, 'the Body of Christ' ( a title, not a name-more correctly, 'the Body of the Christ' ). Maybe unfamiliar to most, though I daresay this term will become more popular in the near future, 'omnism' is basically the idea, or fact that no religion has a handle on Truth, but that all religions contain Truth ( my interpretation ). The Christian religion, for instance, being the basis for the culture most of us were brought up in, seems to give the clearest image of the Creator God, but by no means is it the only one: there are more ancient religious text than even the Hebrew Scriptures that are available to show those with an open mind & heart a different, but similar image, or picture!

The question 'What IS communion with God?' is one that bears other questions; 'what is communion?': 'what/who is God?' To answer the latter question first, a little clarity might be in order! If by 'God' is meant the Christian God, or the Creator God of Scripture, then this description, while not wrong, barely begins to cover the Truth. If by 'God' is meant the Source of all, Divine Energy, even the Universe, One not definable by any religion, though all religions have tried, then we begin to understand that, though all these different religions, culturally speaking, have noted varying aspects, as they perceive them, of this Source, or Divine Energy. An ancient parable from the Far East ( as I remember it ) describes it almost perfectly; four blind Indians came upon an elephant & each one had his description: one grabbed the tail, thus describing the elephant as short but sinuous, while another latched onto the elephant's ear, saying that an elephant must be wide but narrow ( thin ): yet another wrapped his arms around one of the elephant's legs, claiming that an elephant must be very stout, while the last one found the elephant's trunk, declaring, like the first, that an elephant was a sinuous creature, but that they were very long instead. None of these descriptions were wrong, necessarily, they all were just different perceptions, different aspects. Religion is simply man's finite attempt to define the Infinite!

Communion, then, becomes a bigger question than most Christians might admit to, or even acknowledge! Is communion simply the practice, as we have traditional perceived it, of observing the ancient ( 2,000 year old? ) ritual of the bread & wine, as representing what Scripture terms 'the Body of Christ' ( Luke 22:14-19, et al ), or is it something more? It could be well said that communion is simply the interaction of the corporate Body of Christ, Scripturally speaking. While this is true enough, could it, should it not be said that we only scratch the surface?

Simply put, according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 'communion' is defined as 'an act or instance of sharing'. 'The Communion of the Body of Christ', then, according to Christian usage, is a sharing in the Life of Christ, or God. The bread & wine, true enough, signify the Body & Blood of Jesus, the New Covenant, but does this ritual alone define 'communion'? It should go without saying that it does not! 

Communion, most of us can agree, is much more than just the ancient ritual of the bread & wine, whether observed daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or bi-annually. Communion is something, whether we admit it or not, acknowledge it or not, that we all observe on a daily basis. This can mean anything from 'Communion with Nature' to 'Communion with God' ( ? ). Communion, in this sense, then, knows no bounds, especially the bounds of religion. In this respect, Communion is akin to the One Christians call 'God'!

The Source of all Life, then, we can all agree, cannot be defined by mere humanity! There is no book written, no script over produced that can either define or contain the great I AM. Like the iceberg, humanity has only ever scratched the surface, so to speak, when it comes to describing the One that Scripture calls 'the Almighty'. Like the Indian Parable above, all religions have sought to describe this Source & though all, in some semblance, have touched upon the Truth, none have a complete, or perfect definition, because the cultures from which these religions have been engendered have always varied when it comes to their experience of the Divine. 

Since the Christian God, though veritable enough, is only one aspect, our perception of the Divine Source of All Life, can we really & truly say that unless one acknowledges the Christian God as THE definition of Life, that one has no Life in them?! Scripturally speaking, this is exactly what we have taught & been taught for thousands of years! Indeed, covenantally speaking as well, this is what we have deduced from them. But as we have seen, 'God' cannot be defined by a book, much less the doctrines of men. Sure, one might say, 'the Holy Spirit, according to Scripture, told these men of old what to write'; true enough, there is much universal truth ( applicable to ALL humanity ) in Scripture, but even so, since they ( the Scriptures ) were written to an Ancient Near Eastern people, the original audience were the primary receptors of its promises. 

Having established, then, though not beyond all reasonable doubt, maybe, that the Christian God is not the one & only image of God, we press on to communion  with the Source of All Life, who has been described by humanity in a variety of different ways! Communion, as we have also established, is simply a sharing, a sharing of intimacy, spiritual or otherwise. So really, Communion with God cannot be defined by religion alone, be it Christianity or not. Communion, like its Creator, is so much more than any religion, as defined by humanity, or some 2,000 year old ritual involving bread & wine ( Body & Blood ), though, it could be argued, it IS just that, since we all, in our humanity, ARE made up of Body & Blood!

Charles Haddon Shank

No comments: