Friday, June 21, 2013

Materiality as god and the question of hospitality, a view from a stranger in the midst

But no stranger had to spend the night in the street, for my door was always open to the traveler
                                                                                                             -       Job 31:32

I had been working at a job where I would visit literally hundreds of people a day.  Most of these people were rich and well to do, living in mansions and small estates.  They had big cars and houses, seemingly living the successful life as defined by U.S. American culture and society.   They appeared to have everything, the blessings of materiality, good families, good credit and plenty of money in the bank.  Yet my experience of this community, particularly as a stranger, is one of fear, of loathing and a fear of loss to the point of refusing conversation, both women and men, young and old hiding behind multiple doors, and gates.   My impression after experiencing the life of the well to do and wealthy is that hospitality becomes an opportunity of risk as their god; materiality, dictates their engagement of the stranger.  Now to be clear times are hard, suspicious and cynical as forms of hospitality become properties of the familiar, and this appears logical and sensible, yet the unfortunate realities of oppression even of the so called rich should not dissuade from a sense of Godliness as it relates to an interaction with the stranger.  So I am compelled to ask, what of hospitality, more importantly what of the stranger? 

Job 31:32 reads, “but no stranger had to spend the night in the street, for my door was always open.”  The implications of this text are significant as images of God’s people who happen to be homeless, come to mind, and the unfortunate situations that occur because of homelessness.  Further, the text intimates that hospitality is the responsibility of the person; i.e. you and me, and not some government system or social safety net.  Each person is responsible for the hospitality of the community.  It is not some responsibility to vote away for party and country no matter your faith or political leaning.  Hospitality presents the question “is God the stranger at the door?   For me this becomes the underlying reason for the importance of hospitality, that God is at the door seeking to pour divine grace and mercy on your behalf and this a call not to harden your heart.
             This is a hard thing as materiality rules our day as no one wants to be in need.  Yes, my beloved our need to protect what we have worked so hard for has become our god at the expense of our humanity and this of our heart.  In that our hearts have become hard and callous and this no different than the Pharaohs of Egypt.      

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Experience as Ultimate Truth, Thoughts on the Cosmic Spirit and John Coltrane

The sojourner's experiences speak loudly the truth that is their life, and this is the ultimate truth as everything else is a matter learning someone else's experience and the hearsay associated.  The sojourner's life and their experience is their ultimate truth.  In this, love moves through and through yielding the hope and strength needed so desperately by the sojourner.   And this my beloved becomes a dynamic faith, full of colorful grace and mercy, at times, yielding intense emotion.  Experience as the ultimate truth of the sojourner makes their faith tenacious as an appeal towards  the circumstances and situations of this life.  Truth then lies in the sojourner and this in oneness with the cosmic spirit.   This becomes as the pyramid of old, of ancient knowledge of an endless of cosmic universal truth, that the sojourner is the truth of the cosmic spirit, they are the very evidence of supreme cosmic spiritual knowledge.  The said the sojourner moves each moment of their day as the embodiment of universal energy. 
      So it is that they move in their energy and in their truth and no other.  Rising with the morning sun I see an image of a flower, yes, a yellow follower as it blooms in the bright spring day.  It is here a living form of cosmic energy, it is alive and therefore true and without variable.  Truth resides with the flower and this is ultimate truth. And this is what Jesus, Gandhi, Buddha and Muhammad and other teachers knew, that liberation emerges as the sojourner recognizes themselves as the truth of an evidentiary thought of the cosmic spirit and this as a matter of supreme love.  As I write this post I am listening to John Coltrane make beautiful music, it is jazz at its best, a most enlightened act.  Yes, and for me jazz is that enlightened act of provocation that reveals melodies reflective of the sojourner's oneness with the cosmic spirit.  And this is Coltrane's greatest contribution to Jazz.  He is a particular embodiment of cosmic energy and his Jazz is reflective of his liberation, his style and his movement in oneness with the cosmic spirit as he acknowledges that he is the provocative act of supreme love.  Jazz then, as lived out by the sojourner is a holistic act of truth rooted in a provocation indicative of supreme love.
     The sojourner recognizing themselves and their experiences as ultimate truth is cognizant then of the vital importance of liberation and the intense need to overcome oppressions which are not the ultimate truth but an illusion, and a myth.  Beloved once we see ourselves and our experiences as the ultimate truth, oppressions which are embodiments of  illusion and myths become unsustainable.
Monica Joy Cross copyright June 2013