Chelan Harkin: The worst thing we ever did was put God in the sky

The worst thing we ever did
was put God in the sky
out of reach
pulling the divinity
from the leaf,
sifting out the holy from our bones,
insisting God isn’t bursting dazzlement
through everything we’ve made
a hard commitment to see as ordinary,
stripping the sacred from everywhere
to put in a cloud man elsewhere,
prying closeness from your heart.

The worst thing we ever did
was take the dance and the song
out of prayer
made it sit up straight
and cross its legs
removed it of rejoicing
wiped clean its hip sway,
its questions,
its ecstatic yowl,
its tears.

The worst thing we ever did is pretend
God isn’t the easiest thing
in this Universe
available to every soul
in every breath

– from “Susceptible to Light” by Chelan Harkin

I agree with the essence of this poem, love that it is expressed in the form of a poem, and understand it’s written for effect.

At the same time, I would nuance it a bit.

SKY GODS

The sky-god phase was a phase in our western human culture. It didn’t happen in all cultures or for all of humanity. And I I suspect we are seeing the end of this phase, or at least the end of its monopoly.

It’s not inherently bad or wrong, but it does come with drawbacks and limitations as any view, and more people realize that these days and seek a different approach.

THE PLAY OF THE DIVINE

And who did all of this if not the divine, through and as us, culture, and evolution?

In some ways, we can say we did it. And it’s more fundamentally life who did it through and as us. Or the divine that did it, through and as us. And it’s also life – through and as us – that’s becoming aware of this now and seeks another way to see it.

All of it is life (or the divine) expressing, exploring, and experiencing itself in always new ways.

EASY AND NOT SO EASY

And yes, that makes God the easiest thing. It’s everywhere and every experience. It’s what’s experiencing and the experience, and those two are really one.

And that’s not always so easy for the divine – when it locally and temporarily takes the form of us – to fully comprehend. After all, as us it’s living within a culture where the sky-god view is ingrained, and where it has trained itself to see itself as separate.

That too is part of its dance and exploration of itself in always new ways.

FINDING IT HERE AND NOW

As usual, I like to explore this as a projection.

This is all happening here and now.

When I explore what I am in my own first-person experience, I find I am what the world to me happens within and as. To me, the world happens within and as what I am. Any ideas – of sky-gods, immanent divinity, people doing this and that, this person being a certain way, and so on – happens within and as what I am.

To me, all happens within and as the consciousness I am. I can project this out and say that all of existence is consciousness (AKA the divine, Spirit, God), and all of existence is the divine exploring itself, and that may be accurate. And yet, it’s more honest for me to stay with my own immediate noticing.

For me, all happens within and as what I am. I am this consciousness taking all these forms, and metaphorically exploring itself as all of these forms.


DRAFT

I agree with a lot here and understand it’s written as poetry and for effect, and I would nuance it a bit.

The sky-god phase was a phase in our western human culture. It didn’t happen in all cultures or for all of humanity. It was a phase and I suspect we are seeing the end of it, or at least the end of its monopoly.

It’s not inherently bad or wrong, but it does come with drawbacks and limitations as any view, and more people realize that these days and seek a different approach.

And who did all of this if not the divine, through and as us, culture, and evolution?

It’s interesting that the poem is written about some problems inherent in a particular duality while being written from a view of duality, as if all of it is not the dance of the divine.

All of it – what the poem is about, the poem, what I write here, you reading and having a response to it – is the divine expressing, exploring, and experiencing itself in always new ways.

And yes, that makes God the easiest thing. It’s everywhere and every experience.

That’s not always so easy for the divine – as us – to fully comprehend when it’s living within a culture where the sky-god view is ingrained, and where it has trained itself to see itself as separate.

And that too is part of its dance and exploration of itself in always new ways.

And, as usual, I like to explore this too as a projection. This is all happening here and now. When I explore what I am in my own first-person experience, I find I am what the world to me happens within and as. To me, the world happens within and as what I am. Any ideas – of sky-gods, immanent divinity, people doing this and that, this person being a certain way, and so on – happens within and as what I am.

To me, all happens within and as the consciousness I am. I can project this out and say that all of existence is consciousness (AKA the divine, Spirit, God), and all of existence is the divine exploring itself, and that may be accurate. And yet, it’s more honest for me to stay with my own immediate noticing. For me, all happens within and as what I am. I am this consciousness taking all these forms, and metaphorically exploring itself as all of these forms.

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