I think I’m beginning to get a little better understanding of what is happening on the planet at this time. All of this talk of gay rights, Christianity and chicken got me so upset over the last week that I seriously began to doubt that we, as a species, would ever really find a way out of this. It felt hopeless. I have never felt the level of despair and hopelessness I’ve felt recently. As bad as it has ever gotten for me and my life, and believe me I’ve had some rotten times mixed into the great stuff, I’ve never ever lost hope that it could get better. Until I saw how people treated each other this past week. The things that were said were hurtful on both sides. All of a sudden you either believed in Jesus Christ and his selected bible passages…or you were a total heathen and deserved death, hatred, or at the very least, to be vilified.
I’ve lived a pretty sheltered life for the most part. I didn’t have the same experience of coming out as a lot of teenagers and others have had. My parents accepted me the minute I told them I was gay. That was at 11 years old. At 9 years old I remember telling my dad that I was different than the other boys. I didn’t know why I was different…I just remember liking my boy friends and loved being with them. My dad and I sat on the floor in my parent’s bedroom and talked about it. He assured me that there was not a thing wrong with my feelings nor about my feeling different. He told me it was normal and that it may change, but not to worry about it…just be myself. Then we listened to music together…Roger Whittaker to be exact. The song I remember from that time is New World in The Morning. The lyrics went like this:
Everybody talks about a new world in the morning.
A new world in the morning so they say.
I, myself don’t talk about a new world in the morning.
A new world in the morning, that’s today.
And I can feel a new tomorrow comin’ on.
And I don’t know why I have to make a song.
Everybody talks a bout a new world in the morning.
New world in the morning takes so long.
I’m very appreciative of my parent’s love and acceptance of me. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t experience that kind of love like I did. Whenever I did experience being called a fag or other hateful words intended to hurt me, I paid no attention. I embraced it for the most part. If you were going to call me fag or gay, then I’d be the best fag or gay you’d ever met. It was the ultimate in revenge really. In Junior High and High School I went so far as to wear makeup to school and dress in crazy clothes. Luckily it was the 80’s so you could pretty much get away with crazy stuff like that and everybody thought it was cool….mostly.
So here we are in 2012 and arguments are being started, wires are being crossed and a few people are stirring the pot for whatever reason. It reminded me when I read Plato’s Republic. The metaphor of the cave in particular, I believe, applies to this situation. There are a group of people in a cave. (cave could be interpreted to be life here). The people inside the cave can only look upon the shadows cast upon the wall of the cave before them. Light comes to them from a great fire burning behind them, higher up, and at a distance. Located between this fire and the people of the cave is a road at a higher level along this road a low wall has been built. Here other people have puppets, which they use to cast the shadows upon the cave wall.
These shadows are given names by the people in the cave, and they consider them to be real things. However anyone outside of the cave in the bright sunlight would no longer see the shadows (or be under the illusion manifested by the puppet show). The people inside the cave cannot stand the bright light of the sun outside, and so always avert their eyes back to the shadow wall.
These are the people who seem to be asleep to the spiritual world, dreaming a dream of worldly consciousness, and afraid of waking up. The process of ‘waking up’ or turning away from the obsession with ego, and the mundane awareness, away from the shadows and back toward the light, is Metanoia – the transformation of the mind from that which is worldly to that which is the light of true consciousness.
People, at any time, can choose to not be enamored by the shadows in the cave. The shadows have names…freedom of religion, the right of a business to operate however they want, the right to be married, the fear of God’s wrath when we say we know better than Him. All of this is just a temporary distraction from what is really going on here…there is a brighter place that we have feared to go to together. There are puppets used as distractions so we stay in the cave. There is fear that you will wake up and stop believing all this. But it’s really hard to save face and change your mind. There is an art to changing your mind. Christian’s can change their mind and stand on higher principals of love and acceptance. But if they did they would have to accept love in all it’s forms. My gay brothers and sisters would have to have a lot of compassion and understanding while we all grew together and come out of this cave. And we’d have to remember that there are going to be those who are SO committed that we stay where we are that they will use any means necessary to keep us there…including dividing us, killing us and separating us inside our communities. If there is a devil…surely this is it.
So what now? We are on the cusp of something big…I can feel it. All the distractions and smokescreens that will be thrown our way cannot take us off course from our journey together. But they will try. Chic Fil A is a distraction/shadow. Sarah Palin eating at their place and flaunting it is a distraction/shadow. Hate groups aren’t anything new…but they are also a distraction. The KKK was a distraction. It’s ALL a distraction. It’s nothing but shadows. So let’s get our head back in the game here and look for a way to bring this together. There is a new world coming…and a new world in the morning, that’s today.
Be kind to each other. For everyone (all of us) is fighting a hard battle.
Thank you dad (and mom) for the inspiration for this. You did a great job with me and I love you for it.