Someone posted elsewhere asking for information about “my path” for as many people who wanted to contribute. If this were “a short essay about your religion(s)” it would get a very different answer.
Do you know who you are?
This is one of the primordial questions. There is no other with your identity, your true essence, what we might call your ren: you are a name in the process of speaking itself. When you speak, is your voice clear and steady? Do you sing your life or declaim it, are you a skald, a garret-bound poet, an orator, a beatnik, a street-corner rapper with plastic bucket drums? Are you afraid to speak up, even though it means that this word, this name, in the poetry that God Herself has written will never be heard?
The Creator said “I did not put it in their hearts to do evil” in His name of Ra. You are not born in sin; you do not need redemption. If you need reconciliation it is only because you – like so many – have forgotten that you are kin. You are the tears of the Creator, like all humans; you may choose whether or not your are a tear shed in sadness or in joy.
You are wounded; within you is the power to heal and become whole. You suffer shame, you are burdened with fear, and you need to forgive yourself for both. You are one of the tears of God, and thus have the power of rebirth. As the tears of the Peacock put out the fires of Hell, so too can you. It is your birthright; nobody gave it to you and nobody has the power to withhold it from you. You are worth investing in. You are worth healing.
The Divine has many faces and forms, and can present itself so that you will hear. But you are obligated to listen. Listen not just in prayers and hymns and the lighting of candles. Listen in the flights of birds, in the chance meeting with a stranger, to the wind in the trees, to the passing sound of a truck on the road: all these are the voice of God. All these are the Presence. You, too, are the Presence, if you can only remember how to remember. There is a God with your name, waiting for you to learn to cry it out.
You are not alone. You are in community within yourself and beyond yourself. Learn the ways of your heart, yes, but also learn the ways of your liver. Learn to hear your own God, and learn to see the face of God in others. We cannot see alone; before there were two things, there was nothing at all, just the infinite, formless, hidden dark waters.
What came out of the waters of the Nun has form, has duration, can be seen, can be known… and has an end. To be is to die. A word has silence before and after, and so it also is with names. If you do not speak now you will never be spoken. If you do not heal now your voice will never rise above a whisper. If you do not reach out now you will never know the Gods around you, whether they appear in the form of a child, a tree, a sparrow, or your pocket handkerchief.
You are a whole being, if you can put together your pieces. You desire; desire is a force that draws the universe together. Love is another form of gravity. Hunger is another form of magnetism. The joy you feel when you witness beauty is another form of lust. It compels relationship, it draws us together: this power of wanting. From this we build larger things, not just the communities of our parts, but the communities of the cosmos. You build right relationship with yourself, with others, with the Powers of the Divine, with whatever you know enough to sing back a tiny piece of that name.
And if you don’t know what you want, you can’t have it. Who you are manifests complete with desire; that is a nature of being. What do you want? A baby, a job that feeds your spirit as well as your pocketbook, a new book to read, a chocolate sundae? Embrace the power of desire along with the power of respect for the divinity that suffuses what you desire. If there is tension between them, let it hum and learn the notes.
You are the temple of the god who is yourself. The praises sung here echo to heaven. You are holy ground.
If you think back you can remember.
If you remember tomorrow you will become.