A quick heads up: This blog may trigger you in the area of your attachments. Please be patient and read through to the end….I promise there’s a happy ending!
Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing
there is a field…
I’ll meet you there.
Detachment is perhaps one of the greatest skills we can develop in our journey toward wholeness and peace. As Jesus is quoted as saying in Paul Ferrini’s book, I am the Door, “judgment is the original sin.” It is our judgment of things that is the cause of our suffering. Jesus says the same about judgment in scripture, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” When we judge experiences, situations, things, ourselves or other people as good or bad, we create separation which then causes suffering. Instead, we are invited to gaze upon our human experiences from the position of objective observer, trading our judgment for curiosity and wonder, and our tendency to separate for union. When we judge we separate. When we cease from judging we join.
Jesus taught us that Oneness is our Source and our origin. After coming to understand and then embody this Oneness within himself, Jesus then set out to teach this to others. Oneness within himself. Oneness with others. Oneness with all of creation. Oneness with that which he called God. Oneness, as Jesus explained, can only be known when we pierce through the veil of perceived separation – setting down our tendency to judge, setting down our tendency to separate, even setting down our desire to care.
Caring can only arise out of judgment, which then leads us down the path of suffering. Caring arises when we judge something as good or bad (usually bad). Caring then causes us to take up our sword in response to that which we have decided we have to fix, heal, change, or defend ourselves against. (I am especially guilty of this in my former attempts to reform or change the Catholic Church or in my many attempts at keeping myself safe from a broken heart). Profound freedom arises when we are able to cease from caring and simply let things be.
This is what God does. God does not care. In “His/Her” great love, God gave us the radically liberating gift of free will. In this, we are free to be and act and think and believe anything we want – and God doesn’t care. God doesn’t judge our thoughts, our actions, or our beliefs as good or bad. God simply watches in curious wonder – joining (loving) us through whatever choices we make. By natural law, we experience the consequences of our choices, but these consequences do not come from God. Instead, in the mind and heart of God, we are loved without condition. No matter what we do or how we act, we are loved. God might find it interesting that we would choose fear over love, judgment over acceptance, suffering over peace, but God doesn’t care. God does not seek to change or alter who we are or what we choose. Instead, God allows us the freedom to learn it for ourselves. The same is true of the actions of our world. God doesn’t care. God stands back in curious wonder over the choices human beings make and the consequences we create for ourselves out of these choices. But still, God doesn’t care. God does not seek to change or alter our choices; allowing us the radical freedom of learning (or not learning) for ourselves.
Jesus told a story which reveals God’s unconditional love and the powerful gift of free will that arose out of this love. This story has come to be known as the Story of the Prodigal Son. In this story, a father (playing the role of God) has two sons. The youngest son asks for his share of his inheritance early so that he can leave the perceived safety and security of his father’s home to go out into the world and find his own way. Loving the son freely and without condition, the father agrees, knowing that the son’s choices may lead him down an uncomfortable path, but allowing him the freedom to risk failure so that he might learn and grow (or not). The son chooses all sorts of experiences that might be thought of as opposite what his father might wish for him and he suffers the consequences of his choices. He eventually learns that it is in separating from his father (God) that his choices caused him suffering, so he (humbled and exhausted) chooses to go home, hoping his father might forgive him and allow him back into union with him. Not only does the father welcome him back, not once does he inflict judgment, reproach, criticism or condemnation on his son. He accepts him with nothing but love. When the son asks for forgiveness, it is the son who needs to forgive himself from choosing separation over union. In the father’s eyes, there is nothing to forgive. Even if the son had continued to choose separation, it seems the father would still love him, waiting for the day that life would beat him down enough that he might, just might, risk the peace of union over the suffering of separation.
Jesus told this story to explain to his disciples what God is like. God does not care. If God doesn’t care, than why do we? (Stay tuned next week for an invitation to caring that is free from judgment, perceived separation and suffering.)