Knight of what?

Knight of what?

Why does the Knight of Faith believe he will get the princess in this life?
He will accept every moment as God’s will for that moment.
But yet he believes the princess is coming to him in this life.
Even after she marries another?
Even after she dies?

But Julian of Norwich said that God made her to understand that she should not pray so much about specific wishes, but more about loving and praying for everything all together:

And when God Almighty had shewed so plenteously and joyfully of His Goodness, I desired to learn assuredly as to a certain creature that I loved, if it should continue in good living, which I hoped by the grace of God was begun. And in this desire for a singular Shewing, it seemed that I hindered myself: for I was not taught in this time.

And then was I answered in my reason, as it were by a friendly intervenor*: Take it generally, and behold the graciousness of the Lord God as He sheweth to thee: for it is more worship to God to behold Him in all than in any special thing. And therewith I learned that it is more worship to God to know all-thing in general, than to take pleasure in any special thing. And if I should do wisely according to this teaching, I should not only be glad for nothing in special, but I should not be greatly distressed for no manner of thing: for All shall be well. For the fulness of joy is to behold God in all: for by the same blessed Might, Wisdom, and Love, that He made all-thing, to the same end our good Lord leadeth it continually, and thereto Himself shall bring it; and when it is time we shall see it. And the ground of this was shewed in the First [Revelation], and more openly in the Third, where it saith: I saw God in a point.

*[“A friendful mene” = intermediary (person or thing), medium]

All that our Lord doeth is rightful, and that which He suffereth* is worshipful: and in these two is comprehended good and ill: for all that is good our Lord doeth, and that which is evil our Lord suffereth. I say not that any evil is worshipful, but I say the sufferance of our Lord God is worshipful: whereby His Goodness shall be known, without end, in His marvellous meekness and mildness, by the working of mercy and grace.

*[i.e. alloweth]
[So God’s allowing evil to happen is worshipful??]

Rightfulness is that thing that is so good that [it] may not be better than it is. For God Himself is very Rightfulness, and all His works are done rightfully as they are ordained from without beginning by His high Might, His high Wisdom, His high Goodness. And right as He ordained unto the best, right so He worketh continually, and leadeth it to the same end; and He is ever full-pleased with Himself and with all His works. And the beholding of this blissful accord is full sweet to the soul that seeth by grace. All the souls that shall be saved in Heaven without end be made rightful in the sight of God, and by His own goodness: in which rightfulness we are endlessly kept, and marvellously, above all creatures.

And Mercy is a working that cometh of the goodness of God, and it shall last in working all along, as sin is suffered to pursue rightful souls. And when sin hath no longer leave to pursue, then shall the working of mercy cease, and then shall all be brought to rightfulness and therein stand without end.

[So sin is allowed that souls might prove themselves rightful? Or that they might be made rightful by quitting the sins and repenting?]

And by His sufferance we fall; and in His blissful Love with His Might and His Wisdom we are kept; and by mercy and grace we are raised to manifold more joys.

[So God allows us to sin, but all the while keeps us with his infinite Power, Love, and Wisdom? And through sinning and repenting we become holier than if we’d never sinned? Maybe because mistakes are part of life, and life is here that we might become both real and Real, might learn to span the mundane and the spiritual — somehow that training makes us more fit for the purely spiritual realm that is life beyond this life??]

Thus in Rightfulness and Mercy He willeth to be known and loved, now and without end. And the soul that wisely beholdeth it in grace, it is well pleased with both, and endlessly enjoyeth.

[Chapter 30, Revelations of Divine Love, Julian of Norwich]

God promised he would make a mighty nation out of Abraham’s sperm.
The nation would get the land of Canaan, currently occupied by others, forever.
And the covenant would be kept by cutting off the extra bit of skin at the tips of the penises of all the male children.
That is a stupid covenant.
It is shallow, mean, boring, and ridiculous.
So it looks to 21st Century eyes when they for a moment imagine that it’s not coming from some religion they’ve followed their whole lives, but is instead just a thought experiment:
“Hey, now imagine God does this … . Is God worth knowing?”
“Suppose there is a spiritual Reality and It can relate meaningfully to humans. Do you think It would do this … ?”

What? No! That’s dumb. That sounds like something a primitive people might come up with to explain why they’re more worthwhile than every other group — but the real explanation for why they think they’re chosen is tribalism: people’s inborn tendency to think they and their allies are the most special, most real.

Abraham falls down on his face before God, but does not initially believe God will do what God has promised.
But then Isaac is born to Sarah when she’s too old to bear children, so it’s looking like maybe God’s going to make good on his oath.
This is the story told in Genesis 17.
I don’t approve of this story and I think it has made a lot of trouble for a lot of people for a long time.
Still, without it, could we have had Judaism?
And did Judaism not refine itself?
If a people obsess about having a right relationship with God long enough, will they not, as the ancient Hebrews did, discover more and more that God is One and God is Love?

Luke’s account of the Greatest Commandment suggests that Jesus didn’t come up with the famous formulation, that it was already current in the thought of first Century Palestine:

25 And lo, a certain lawyer stood up, trying him, and saying, `Teacher, what having done, life age-during shall I inherit?’

26 And he said unto him, `In the law what hath been written? how dost thou read?’

27 And he answering said, `Thou shalt love the Lord thy God out of all thy heart, and out of all thy soul, and out of all thy strength, and out of all thy understanding, and thy neighbour as thyself.’

28 And he said to him, `Rightly thou didst answer; this do, and thou shalt live.’

[Luke 10:25-28, Young’s Literal Translation]

And think of all the trouble caused by the Christian notion that you can only attain salvation by believing that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, that he was executed for all our sins, and raised from the dead that we might all live. And yet, without this belief, would Christianity have happened? And doesn’t Christianity, like Judaism, also contain a true spiritual path?

No dogma, however perfect, when understood poorly, will lead to wisdom.

In time, if repeated enough, a good dogma is likely to eventually to point one towards a good understanding and thus towards an organization of one’s feeling, thinking and acting around Pure Love: that is what makes a dogma a good dogma. But when dogmas are turned into tools of power, wealth, and/or prestige; the temptation is to avoid understanding them so as to go on better using them to one’s advantage. For humans have an evil deep in their bellies — all day long they long to slide everything to their advantage; and witness how they cuddle with their little families and calling that “Love”, call it “Duty”. Not that one should not be good to one’s family, but “Love” is what chooses everyone equally and forever, and one’s “Duty” to Love involves first and foremost resisting the urge to slide everything to one’s advantage, to love and care for only those that love and care for you.

What are we saying?

We’re saying that Abraham was not chosen, and yet he was — for without the story of his chosenness, Judaism might never have grown in wisdom, flourished and spread. We’re saying that Jesus is not the savior and yet he is — for without the story of Jesus being the Way, his teachings (that we would argue are wise in their essentials) might never have been preserved, poured over, religiously followed.

People are tribal. We gravitate towards systems that justify and explain why we and ours are special, deserve more love, more care, more attention, more safety, more thriving, a more important place in God’s kingdom. We forget that the first will be last and the last will be first. We forget that the greatest commandment is to love the Love that chooses everything with everything we are; and to love everyone with the same gentle, Love-centered care with which we should love ourselves.

People are tribal. A good religion may use that tribalism to take root, but it will contain within it the seeds to grow beyond that beginning. For wisdom is loving God in all.

So why applaud Abraham for being willing to kill Isaac while believing God will yet spare Isaac and continue making a great nation through Isaac’s cum?

Why cheer on the knight of faith for believing he will get the princess, betrothed now to another who she appears to love and want to marry, at some point in this very life?

Abraham should’ve told God that Isaac is not his to sacrifice to God, that humans cannot trust their own wisdom well enough to murder another human in God’s name, that faith shades too easily into madness for humans to let faith overrule the inborn guardrails that God himself has planted in all humans: aware, clear, honest, loving-kind, joyfully-together.

The knight of faith should’ve let the princess go and find the happiness she’d chosen. He should’ve prayed that she find happiness in the path she’d chosen — even though that path was to take her away, not towards him.

These men were not heroes of faith. Heroes of faith see God in all. Heroes of faith know that God does everything and God is always right. Heroes of faith do nothing, believe nothing, attempt nothing. For Love is already all there is and Love is already exploding everything to smithereens, making everything only-Love forever and always; and one who has true faith in that, one flows with Love, flows with God-in-all.

So you, my would-be Knight of Faith: You are just another horny, greedy, lonely, scared man desperately begging for some perfect body to push mighty nations into, for a politics that keeps you and yours safe, for an art that seems great to you and others.

And yet, is that so bad?
Is the knight of faith stance perhaps not a reasonably good one, given the overall iffiness of human beings?
Maybe it is a personal path with the ability to grow beyond its all-too-human origins. The Knight of Faith maintains his earthenware goals but with the twist that he will depend fully on God; so maybe the Knight of Faith maintains his earthenware goals but with the twist that he will depend fully on the Love that chooses everyone. And maybe that twist will save him from himself.

I think, KoF, you’d do well to pray that God guide you to your baby girl and she to you, that God guide you and your nation to a healthy democracy, that God guide your art beyond the narrow confines of yourself into the wider joy; but all the while praying most of all to see God in all, to live in through and for Love. In this way your evil heart might lose out to your good heart in this very life.

Humans and their dogmas = humans and their lies!
But some dogmas are more conducive to better and better organizing one’s feeling and thinking around the Love shining through each conscious moment, the Love that creates sustains and ultimately is everything.

Julian of Norwich said that everything is in God’s hands and is therefore just as it should be, that everything is was and shall be well.

If Something Deeperism is correct, then human wisdom is possible, and even humans that aren’t terribly wise can to some degree recognize the inner vistas towards which wise testimonies point. For Something Deeperism holds that Love is Real, that we humans are all essentially the same, and that we humans can all relate our ideas and feelings imperfectly but still-meaningfully to Love = Reality. Something Deeperism holds that we all know that we are all infinitely-thus-equally crafted in the image of and chosen by an infinite eternal Love more fundamentally than we know our doubts or certainties. If we all share the same essential spiritual vista, then we should all have some ability to discern whether or not a given spiritual poetry is good or not.

How could Julian of Norwich not be wise? Wouldn’t that only be conceivable if wisdom was a hoax?

So how can we believe that it will be better or worse if we find a woman that fits us, or if the nation slips into a Russian-style dissenters-disappear kind of modern thugocracy, or if our art is Beautiful, or if we live or die?

Because Julian of Norwich said that God does all that is good and allows the rest and that God is in charge of everything and all is was and always will be well.

What are we missing?

Fundamentalist religion routinely confuses untrue dogmas for critical Truths and thus oversteps itself and makes trouble; but hippy-dippy spirituality routinely leads to empty platitudes about loving everyone while the adherent drifts undisciplined all over the place.

And so another essay never-minds itself as exhaustion falls like a heavy curtain or shadow o’er land and sea.

Author: Akhenaten Smith
Editor: Aten de Ra
Producers: B. Willard and A. Whistletown, in partnership with Skullvalley after Whistletown Bookmakers & Wild Promises Swift Disasters Studios
Copyright: AM Watson

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