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.)

Philip K. Dick

I am tied to Philip K. Dick by fate, among other things. We are brothers, or more correctly, we are twins. He wrote on more than one occation that he believed himself to be in contact with someone whom he named Thomas (which means twin), though he seemed to picture Thomas as one who lived in apostolic times. Then again, he thought at times that we all were actually living in apostolic times, that the better part of 2000 years were a sort of “fake” time, that real time had frozen way back when. He also seemed confused between Thomas and his own existence in eternity. Which sort of makes sense, since in February and March of 1974 (2-3-74) he had suddenly had the Halospace open in his mind.

I am able to explain a few things. Count it as my CV for the position of Thomas. For one, he saw what he said was a great pink light, and I know what that was. In my own visions, I saw at one point a silvery swirling cosmic egg split, and the two resultant lights that came from it: one was pink and one was light blue. I saw the pink light pass by and away, but the light blue light entered me. It was me. And that pink light I did not know for the longest time, not until 25 years after it had happened, that that was what it had been: it was him. And further, he’s actually not pink: it was red infused with light, which made it look so. His color is red, as mine is blue. I might go into what these colors might mean in another post. Maybe.

It may be that he was so clued out about what and/or who his twin was so that I, being him, would have no idea about it, either. But like many things that he left in the air, I nailed it down. Where he got 8,000 handwritten pages of ideas? It had been balled up in an eight hour long vision of what he called modern art forms he experienced early on. I myself had such an experience, minimally so, when I had a dream that God the Father showed me a little of the Kingdom of Heaven. Phil was a saint. He was a prophet. He was human. Was he right about anything? He was right about everything. As we progress through the years, his books: they don’t reflect reality, because they came first, unless you’re talking about reflecting was to come: reality more and more reflects his books.

It has been observed that Philip K. Dick books come upon you at just the right time as to be able to absorb them. Such was the case for me, at least for two of them: A Scanner Darkly, when I had been into the drugs scene in college; and VALIS, when I was experiencing things divine in scope. Yea, verily: the Force was strong in this one. Now look around you; did this, what you are looking at, did it come at some synchronistic time? Then this would be my evidence, that I were his twin through time. If this seems instead to be some random writing that you happened, even better: this is your introduction to the weird (a word that once meant “fate”). I’ll see about coming up with more on how we are tied, PKD and me. As he wrote to me once, “The theory changes the reality it describes.” Yes, weird.

Judas Iscariot Redux

About Judas, perhaps it has been a big misunderstanding. One argument seems to hinge on one word: “betray”. It would seem that what was actually written was “hand over”, or even “deliver”, which are not quite as wickedly charged. There are several theories about his innocence that are scripturally based, but really, if you want to see that Judas was ultimately innocent, you must hold that part of the Bible is, in fact, wrong. Especially the Gospel According to John, the last one to be written, decades after the Lord had ever graced the Earth. One clue that Judas may not have been, in fact, on the wrong side, is when the Lord proclaimed he would be turned over, they did not all go, “No, not ever!” but instead, “Is it I?” So maybe there are mixed messages coming from the Gospels.

I once had a conversation with my neighbor, who is a pastor and who wrote a book about the Bible, whether Judas could have been innocent. He only went as far as Judas being likened to Pharoah (of Moses fame), whom God hardened his heart so that His glory could be revealed. To my neighbor, the Bible is the final word on all things. Which, in fact, cannot be the case, not as we live today. If you say to a believer about the parts that contradict other parts, they will come back with something about putting it in context. And that is what most people who would read the Bible will most undoubtedly lack: the proper context.

If instead, they were to say that the book is so holy that whatever interpretation you use, it will do the right thing for you, one could just as easily posit that it contains human error, but God (who is the root of holiness) will put those errors to work to His purpose. And, if you believe you think it has special meaning even placed into the context of the modern day, that’s basically what you’re saying. So here’s a question: if it took divine revelation to write the Bible, does it take divine revelation to read it, too? We seem to be going around that corner. But that seems a very sparse offering, what it seems has been given this world. We only have opinions, n’est-ce pas?

Bible advocates fear to say that there is anything in error within the entirety of the volume (or two volumes, or sixty-six or so volumes). If one part is wrong, does the whole thing come crashing down like a house of cards? I’d like to think that the works sanctioned by God to be more resilient than that. My opinion, then: the Bible was made by human beings, capable of error in whatever they attempted. The Bible is holy, again in my opinion, because it contains the two most important names of God: God is the I AM, and God is love. Therefore it is profitable to seek holy wisdom from those pages.

If all your faith relies on the Bible being without error, my words will not penetrate enough to change your mind, correct? Yet it is spiritual baby food to have faith in that. If you want to try the solid offerings, try accepting that errors did get into that book. Believe instead that it is instead that Jesus Christ is what does not err. For he was more than human: he was God. And see if it is true, that if you chop open a piece of wood, he will be there. See if you have accepted the Holy Sprit, and so the Lord is in your heart. Even then, your heart will err, but he will make something of all that you do and feel, even the sins. Let divine inspiration in, and you may understand clearly.

Do not expect to understand all the Bible lays out, or even why some things happen in those pages. And do not think that the Bible is the infallible Word of God. God deserves better. 1) We do not understand at least parts of the Bible. 2) The proper context for understanding some parts are a matter of history, which includes a lot of things which are debatable. 3) And once again, if you think it is applicable to today, you are putting it into a new context, and you, who do this (as Bible thumpers will quickly opine themselves), are a fallible creature, prone to error. So we come back to needing the Holy Spirit guide you to the proper meaning, especially as it might apply today.

What about holy men and women of today? Can we not rely on their interpretations? Prophets these day are mostly false, unfortunately (has it ever been different?). If they seek after money or power, then you will know them to be false. And almost all of the rest of them are just crazy. That’s the sort of situation we find ourselves in. Try instead to light your own candle to find your way. Not to say we shouldn’t research things ourselves. This is to say to research even what other people say, not just what you may understand of it.

So, what does this have to do with Judas? Perhaps I’ll give them this inch, the infallibility of the Bible folks: everything in the holy book (or books) serves a higher purpose, even the mistakes. Yeah, that’s not even an inch, I guess, maybe half an inch. For I have come to believe that the part where the Bible calls Judas Iscariot a son of perdition—that this is in error. Or that he was a devil. I believe Christ never said such things, and I even believe that Judas comes before Peter in the ranking of saints.

I’m not the first to think this, though maybe the most extreme in doing so, putting him before Peter, but there it is. Look at the case of Mary Magdalene: she was put in the light as a prostitute by the powers that be (a Pope, in the line of St. Peter), though she never was such a thing. But the unintended consequence was that she became the de facto patron saint of all prostitute. See? God sometimes works with the error. And I’m sure Ms. Magdalene would rather it had gone this way. Why are we bothering ourselves with trivialities, when the task at hand is to save a soul?

With that in mind, let it end like so: there was a purpose in the Bible including the error of Judas Iscariot. As some faithful will tell, there is evidence—some very well reasoned—that he betrayed his master and friend. In first, believing the Bible as divinely inspired by God, can our faith grow large enough to thing that that Word can be trumped by the Logos that is Christ? Another term for Logos might be called, Holy Reason. Can we pray to be able to see the truth, and then can we stand up for that truth? For the clues of Judas’ innocent are there, to be put together. This is the next level. And to those who are worried about what is from God, and what is the deception of the Devil, is it full of compassion and forgiveness? Or is it all judgment and damnation? Just saying.

Judas Iscariot

Let us say that the Gospel According to John is correct, and the other Gospels, too; but John especially, for that is where Judas Iscariot is most vilified. Let us remember what the Lord said, that did he not choose the twelve and one of them is a devil? Yet he did choose that one, too, the one who would hand him over to the authorities to be crucified. At the Last Supper, John writes that when the Lord picks out Judas as the one who would hand him over, that Satan enters him—and it would appear that Satan orchestrates the events that follow. Where Judas goes and collects his 30 pieces of silver and leads a contingent who will know which one Jesus is by a kiss of greeting. All well and good, Judas is evil and a betrayer, no?

But here’s the thing: after Judas finds out that Jesus will die due to his handing him over, he goes to the priests, throws back his 30 pieces of silver, and says he is guilty of an innocent man’s blood. Is it not plain, then? This is called both repenting and confessing his sin! Even if he had been evil, right up this point, this is where he turned it all around. Because we have someone now who repents and confesses his sin while Satan is still inside him. And at that point, knowing nothing but violence against an enemy, Satan torments him so severely that Judas hangs himself. Satan torments not he who is of the evil one’s house. With so severe a torment, in this case, that it would have seemed better not to have been born. This, Jesus foretold: that in the way of his own death, there would only be one who was lost, so that scripture would be fulfilled. For turning over the Son of God is sure to have its consequences.

And perhaps it is revealed when Jesus said about choosing twelve and one has a devil, what that was about. It was going in the opposite direction that Judas travels, from how everyone thinks he goes: not from apostle to betrayer, but from evil to good. The Lord chose someone wicked that he would, at his last, turn to good. It took the final act of handing his Savior over to ultimately find the light. Right on time, just before he himself goes into the next world. That the son of perdition is he no longer: that that is the miracle of the grace of Jesus Christ. We were lost, but now we are found. Were blind, but now we see.