Conspiracy Theory

Can it be true? Is the Devil responsible for every wrong thing that ever was, from the barest papercut to the most seismic earthquake, the hugest hurricane? For pain, itself? What does it mean, the Plan of God, and is it the same as the Grand Design? Why would the War in Heaven echo within these questions, and through time and creation? Do you think you can know the answer? For it requires a shifting of scale, as to what you thought God was capable of, and then of what you thought angels, the power of these were, who were said to be a little greater than human beings. What you probably have in mind as to what God is able to do, this is more in line with the ability of the archangels, if we say that Lucifer was once the first of them (and Michael the second).

It took a little getting used to, that last thought. I had read Tolkien’s “Ainulidalë” where Melkor, the rebel Ainur, and the greatest, shaped creation—and I thought, certainly it could not have been like that for the real world, for certainly angels and their ilk did not possess such power. And yes, the evil that was will, the harm man does to man, that could have come from the original rebel; but earthquakes? hurricanes? Certainly not having source in the Fall. Or so I thought. What it took to shift my paradigm was to hear that God had not created pain. I half overheard it, the Lord said it to me as if in a dream. And then it all made sense to me. The aesthetics of pain, pure pain: it is discordance itself. Verily, good things have been made of even this, but that result is the work of the Lord, and not of the pain. Discordance itself, permeating all creation: this was the scale of the greatest of angels. Quite the idea.

But… it was really like that?

What is this conspiracy? Why did we never know this? The Book of Job gives us clues. You know the story, Satan makes a wager with God when God gushes about His faithful servant Job. And so Satan is given permission basically to let loose on poor Job, to test that faith. So at the end of his trials, when Job is about to lose it, God appears. About the reason(s) for his travails, He says:

4 Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
    Tell me, if you have understanding.
5 Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
    Or who stretched the line upon it?
6 On what were its bases sunk,
    or who laid its cornerstone
7 when the morning stars sang together
    and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
[Job 38:4-7]

He goes on in that vein for a bit. Not once does he point a finger and say, “Satan did it!” Nope. He takes “blame” for the whole shebang. And to anyone who asks why He didn’t tell us this before, this news about pain, above—I would simply point you to that speech. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to be let in on this tidbit of a revelation.

Also, there’s a look at Satan’s capabilities in the Book of Job:

Job 1:16 “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them”
Job 1:18-19 “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house, and suddenly a great wind came across the desert, struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead”
[NRSV]

We were talking about natural disasters, here. So are all natural disasters directly the work of evil forces? Maybe not, but natural disasters are due to how the world works, and how the world works is in part due to the strivings of evil against the good. I found that the creation of pain was the start of the War in Heaven. The evil, it is told, spread through a third of all angels. We’re talking billions. The War had a good deal in making the quality of fate, as the angels contended on what was, and is, and is to be—for creation itself. And it is yours to decide which side you are on, those who fight for truth, or those who make their own desire the greatest of their ideals.

So, if you ever come to a place were the walls seem to shut around you, when there seems before you only a dead end, know that these are from the twisting of the innards of the cosmos, and indeed there you may be able yourself to fight in the War in Heaven, which has ended, is ending, and will end—as herald to a new age. If you can make a way out of a structure sealed in shadow, you give the angel fighting on the side of faith and logic a means to bring the demon down. The conspiracy of the darkness is one of despair, for this is how it propagates. Like a virus, to the detriment of its carrier. Find the truth, indeed, the faith and logic: it is with us, not our foe; we are of the light. The Grand Design inhales the darkness and breathes out the dawn, and we are one with the Plan if we do likewise, to carry the candle flame into corners light forgot.

And the grandest conspiracy of all? That which makes all other conspiracies pale in comparison? Of course, it’s right before your face. Pretty much every day. What is the way to all you ever could hope to want? It is simple, and no one ever told you: it is love, and only love: be not but love, do not but love. That’s it. As the soothsayers 4 said, “There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you meant to be. It’s easy.” It is what’s behind the whole ball of wax, why God took the blame for all the wrong that’s ever happened, when it’s never His fault for anything (never!). If God is all good, but let His greatest creation have the greatest angle of leeway, and it was from that created one that ultimately, all evil and pain come… it almost seems too easy. But that’s God for you.

“I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.” [Luke 10:24 NRSV] It is many a time such a way with mysteries, that once unraveled they show a very simple underlying structure. If this is a great saying, what I write here, remember that it was not the Lord who said, “God is love.” But the Lord, indeed, said that they who were to follow him would do greater things than he had done. Yea, verily. He gives us even this. There is no question, love is the answer. The secret is love. Tell everyone.



If you like what’s written here, check out my book, Memoirs from the War in Heaven.

words

we took the words away
there, in the dream of the heights
contending for not even dust
the imagining of dust
so transient—a whisper brushes them gone
but of the Most High, a perilous trust
and we do not fail, we do not fall
as we all of us
and all of them, perceived the Fall
traced in time before us
a chasm devoid of heat
some of them to despair before others
for we had chosen our path
and they had their futures cut off from time
it does not stand, against love
there is of it no opposite
hate is merely an evil aping
and nothing else is infinite, if only in promise
it is the word of the En Sof:
that which is Without End
which speaks the Word, YHVH, as Christ…
lucifer’s had been “life”, but now these such
were breathed into new shelters
foreign imaginations
for all of us had won the War
and darkness was not anymore in heaven
none unworthy shall speak here
we took the words away

The Secret

I recall reading C. S. Lewis talking about one of the most famous phrases in the English language: “God is love.” He said not to get confused about it, that perhaps there is a subtlety to it we are not readily grasping; he said it is actually not true what some of us think it means: love is not God. But I beg to differ—I think he is selling love short. It has also been written that God is made of the simplest substance imaginable, and I tell you that this substance is indeed love. Love is so simple, we’ll never understand it. Perhaps, then, not to say exactly that love is God, but that the one component (as it were) that comprises the En Sof is exactly love. Nothing more, nothing less.

“En Sof” is a term from Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism. It means, literally, “the Endless”, and it refers to the infinite, unknowable God. “He” is said not to have an existence that we would understand, we being in the land of finite forms. I once thought to equate “Him” to the number zero, and perhaps if any numbering were applied, zero would be it. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought: God is love… that explains it all. I say to you, “There is no ineffable. God is love.” If we can bring into semantic form the subtlest of mysteries, then we can truly explain absolutely anything. Love is the paradoxical quotient that we can render in our minds a divine dimension, infinity’s existence among the finite.

Be not but love, do not but love. In this is the teaching of all the mystics. Bob Marley said it, “Could you be loved? And be love?” If indeed by every action, you do as love would have you do, would you not then say that you are love? If God’s every action is that of love, why would you say that He is not made of love? For what is it truly that makes every one of us, if it is not the choices we take? But with God, it could be a deeper thing. What is the secret to love? It can be soft, it can be immovable. Love is also not always satisfied, much to many a mystic’s chagrin. What is love? God is love. Does it not tell you anything that the whole of the infinite can be described in just one word? What is the secret to love? We are made in the image of the God who is love. Do you not see?

Perhaps to cynics, all that love is can be summed up as an emotion which represents deep affection. Relegated to romance, most often foolish; or to mothers and children, nothing more commonplace. But it was out of love that God created all the world. A God who was hate surely would not have done so. Hate is not, either, the opposite of love, but it is in fact just an evil version of it. The opposite would most closely be nothing. And there, too, is the rub: for love sometimes seems like it is nothing at all, being everthing that it inspires and the things that it makes or brings. Take all those things away to try and find out love’s true nature, and you seem to have nothing left! What is the secret to love? Love, you fool! You will see that there is no secret. (And there, that is the secret to love.)



Shades of Mordor

It is a well known fact, at least in some circles, that the author J. R. R. Tolkien was a devout Christian. It was he who turned the popular theologian (and author himself), C. S. Lewis to the faith. Was Tolkien actually thinking theologically when he wrote some of the source material for the Lord of the Rings trilogy? When he wrote the piece entitled, “Ainulindalë,” the creation myth of Arda (where Middle Earth is located), was he in fact making an allegory that one could, if they wanted, apply to this world, the real world? One doubts that Tolkien meant it to be so, quite like that. But I read the part where Melkor, the greatest of the Valar, abandoned the purpose of Ilúvatar, who was God, and made discordant notes in the music of the creation. I first read this and thought how clever a device it was, that it would solve so many things in the nature of Middle Earth, and in fact, looking at the world around me—which was the inspiration for Arda, in any case—it would make sense of a lot of things here, too. And then I dismissed that idea off hand.

I remember between having read the “Ainulindalë” and when I went through the brunt of the War in Heaven, a piece written by a clergyman about when Japan had experienced their disastrous earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Some religious folk took to the pulpit to pronounce that this was the judgment of God, a payback (decades later onto people who had nothing to do with it) for Pearl Harbor. But the article I read had something different to say. It was talking about how God was not in the tremors, nor in the mighty waves, not in the cataclysms themselves, but in fact was present in the aftermath, in the people picking up the pieces of what had just happened, who were giving a hand to other people even when all they themselves had had been destroyed. God was in these pockets of mercy, the small warmth of a hand helping another hand. And in this, I sensed something of a truth had been told.

Now there was this other thing I read, maybe a year or two before the end of the War, and it was sort of funny, how an all-powerful being had so much trouble with a finite entity in a jerkwater part of the cosmos. They were like, Really? And I could see the author’s argument: why didn’t God just zap Lucifer when he got out of line? But then again, at what point would you do that? When he had the first thought of turning evil? When he had first committed an evil deed? Maybe before that rebel was even born? What do you think? One might believe that with an infinite wisdom, the Lord would pick the best possible time, correct? And there we go: this, then, would be called the Last Judgment. It might seem He has a little more patience with that sort of jazz. And for another thing, just because an entity was finite did not mean that they would be no trouble at all, even for an infinite being: Lucifer was the greatest entity in the cosmos, second only to God. What you might think of, the power God would have: that probably was more in scope to the power Lucifer had. Consider that.

If we say, for one, how powerful indeed God’s greatest angel would have been, and then, at the tippy top of Heaven from where he fell, what resources he must have had: one might wonder, what if Tolkien was onto something? What if God were not the one that gave birth to Pain, at all? What if the concept of disaster were not, per se, written in the Plan? At least, not by the Most High? The question suddenly becomes, does it answer too much? Is it too neat a package, that wraps everything up too simply? It might be the final act of the play that is dualism. Satan, from the minor functionary in the Book of Job, becomes by the time of Christ the prince of demons. And now, we would be saying that he alone is the ultimate source of all the wrong and pain and disaster that ever has existed. He threw that mighty a wrench in the works that was the cosmos. It is a staggering thought.

And so would be why there is so much ugliness mixed in with the beauty. They are both intrinsic in the mix. Why bad things happen to good people. Why it is easier to do wrong instead of to do right. How could God let it happen? That’s life, and thank God for it. Because now that things are the way they are, the hardwon things are that much sweeter. No, it is not the Devil that has made it this way, but what God did with the pain and the wrong! God is love. And you cannot defeat that. Love in our reckoning is a soft thing, an “old fashioned notion” according to Tina Turner. But I tell you that when with faith we say to the mountain, “Move!”, it is love that does the moving. And there is more to the story, I think… but all is to be told when the time rings the proper hour. Selah.


 

The Logical Prophecy

We must grow up in our thinking. And in fact, we are growing up. It used to be commonplace to have slaves; the New Testament mentions them as though slavery were never going to go out of style. But here we are, instead, where one mark of civilized thinking is against the very concept of a slave. Time calls for change. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, but when I grew up, I put away childish things. There are those who are still holding their breath until they turn blue. Being a creationist, for instance, is a stunting of growth, spiritually. Believing in the literal truth of the Bible may be likened to the belief that planets traveled in perfect circles. It is a naïve way of thought, put charitably. Or, you know? you can say that it is plainly wrong, if it comes down to it. There was to be found a logic to the motions of the planets, but it was not so simplistic. This understanding is called science.

Even the fuller answers, what we understand now, are bound to be imprecise, but we can have that in mind when we deal with the calculations that we can use. In other words, your faith, based on tradition, is not as good as my science, based on observation and experimentation. You may say that your faith is where the buck stops, but there is a whole road of commerce that goes on outside those doors. So what room is there for faith, these days? Some to go the opposite way, extreme, that we cannot believe in anything anymore, that which is not solid, liquid, or gas. And that which faith holds as true often cannot be proved, else it might no longer be faith. We can think that with the means of science, everything we can know we will know, so all that faith is can be summed up as that which we do not understand yet. But aye, there’s the rub!

On one side, let us say that all things are comprehensible, everything is in logical harmony at some scale, and the why of that has a why, and the why of that. On the other side, let us say that there will always be something yet to be understood. Neither side are known to be true. We’re just saying, and as far as conjectures go, that these two thoughts are not bad ones. They could both be so, and the world does not have to be changed by them being so. If science is all we can know, everything is within its province. Yet if faith is to act in the absence of knowledge, faith is never priced out of that market. And what one religion in particular claims in its root, which happens to be my religion, “God is love,” it will await the infinite theory and song to capture not even a fraction of what that means.

We must grow up in our thinking, each side oversimplifying in what they say the other side is saying. To say that what science disproves of faith, we must hold to what science can itself prove. It is not “just a theory”—it is a rigorous theory, borne of intelligence. But it is the height of arrogance to think that such a world that has been given us has no more depth of purpose than what we can think to give it. Perhaps if we chose instead, to listen, one side to another, and they are not always opposing forces: what we could learn! And love, what both sides ultimately agree upon, we all know what that word means, don’t we? Do we? Can we? Should we? Where would we begin? How will it end? I wonder…

What is love? Only a fool knows. (Fools like you and me.)