I have been writing a series on Worldviews and the power they carry to shape our perceptions and experience of self and of the world. In the last post, Understanding the Power of Worldviews, I related a story about an argument I had with my fundamentalist evangelist father when I wanted to attend an Islamic worship service as a youth. My search for Truth was not appreciated in a household which already possessed this rare elixir of salvation.
Come to think of it, why would anyone look for something they already possessed? Unless it is perhaps me looking for the sunglasses already on top of my head, or my ball cap or…. I do those kind of things sometimes.
This reminds me a bit of the old mythical tale, whose source I cannot remember right off, but the story is that God, in order to make life more interesting, hid man’s divinity right in the place he was least likely to look for it: inside himself.
And this reminds me of a tale from the Holy Grail legend of Parzival, who eventually finds the Grail Castle, and of Feirefiz, his pagan (Islamic) half-black/half-white brother. The two had been separated from birth, and so each was unknown to the other when the two knights encountered each other in a meadow and did what knights do. They fought a great battle, each against the other, until even their horses were out of the event, and the two waged on in war against the other stranger, until finally, Parsifal’s sword broke. Feirefiz, being an honorable knight, refused to kill an unarmed and valiant fellow knight, and so a conversation of discovery began.
And so it was their brotherhood was discovered, their one flesh, one blood, their one body. One early author, Wolfram, says of their fight, “as if they were one flesh, they engaged in battle and did each other great harm, out of honor.”
Now what does all this have to do with Mr. McCain? Well, “You may have heard of Rev. John Hagee, the McCain supporter who said God created Hurricane Katrina to punish New Orleans for its homosexual “sins.” Well now meet Rev. Rod Parsley, the televangelist megachurch pastor from Ohio who hates Islam.”
“We were created for the conflict. We get off on warfare.” declares Reverend Rod Parsley. Now this is a good example of what I call The Power of Arrival: A Self in the World. It took me a long time to learn that if I were to hold a worldview of spiritual warfare, of good against evil, then I was also committing myself to a worldview necessitating enemies, of eternal warfare.
No wonder a ‘war against terrorism’ was an easy sell after 9/11; a worldview of duality, of us against them, of good against evil…, can help ease the mind and heart aches of a complex and entangeled world. And the worldview revealed by Rev. Parsley in this video, shared and apparently espoused also by Mr. McCain, ought to tell us something about the envisioned future they share with their brothers and enemies.
I suggest we’d all do well to go hang out in an Aspen Grove for a bit. We might re-member some Forbidden Knowledge that would change our lives, and perhaps even the world. I suspect it’d be a bit of wisdom that already lives in our hearts… the way my sunglasses are often on the top of my head when I go trying to find them.