Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

A Passover Myth

Originally posted on March 26, 2014

In the spirit of creative mythmaking, I made up the following to illustrate the possibility of what true spiritual freedom means, which is not even subtle mental enslavement to what some authority figure dictates—forget about how terribly distorted those rules may become over the millennia—but rather taking on responsibility for the present moment and daring to think what should be done now. So:

According to the Book of Exodus, Moses followed the Lord’s personal  commandments to him, and gone through the rigamarole of freeing the Hebrew Children from Pharaoh. Yay! Moses led them across the Red Sea and toward “the Promised Land.” Yay, for the myth. Boo from the perspective of the Canaanites. But that’s another myth. So in my creative mythmaking the following scene occurs:

Moses goes up to Mount Sinai and made contact with God. Forget the details, that’s not the point. “Okay, Lord, here we are, ready for your commandments.”

Thus sayeth the Lord: “You didn’t get it, did you? I was freeing you from slavery. I was freeing you not from one master so you could become subservient to another master, who you and your theocracy claimed was the God that dominated you. I didn’t mean for you to believe that I would have further commandments. No! I was trying to free you, liberate you: No masters! Take responsibility!”

God rambles on, in my fantasy: “The trouble with responsibility for humans only a few hundreds of thousands of years out of monkey-mind is that responsibility still feels like a burden, not liberation. “You mean we have to choose what we do?” Yeah, that’s the point of freedom. “But there’s so much, we get confused, tell us what to do!”  No, that’s a slave mentality!”

“Weirder, and this never got into the Bible, I can’t tell you what to do. I don’t know what is right for you, and what will be right a hundred years or a thousand years from now. I don’t work that way. I’m more of a woman, giving birth to kids who might turn out to be wicked. I am out of control. It’s you who have made me a parent who dictates, it’s your projection. It’s your slave mentality.”

Thus sayeth the Lord, in my fantasy, S/He not being given to succinct-ness, though of course this may well be just a projection: “I give birth to uncountable life forms in uncountable galaxies. I don’t mess with the details. Live, live well, live better—what your philosopher Alfred North Whitehead said. What is better for you is to be determined as you evolve. One millennium, certain rules apply to certain peoples. Further on in your evolution, changes keep happening and then maybe other things are better. Recognizing that evolution is happening, that fundamental features change, is itself an evolutionary step that you are only beginning to appreciate.”

“More to the point,” (sayeth the Lord), “You are responsible, which means that you are able to respond, to co-create political, moral, social systems. You have not begun to get this, yet. You may not fully get this for a few thousand years. But in time.

So stop being slaves. Stop thinking that someone else has to tell you want to do, even God. Work it out among yourselves. And realize that you’ll have to continue to work it out forever. Whatever you’ve worked out becomes obsolete in light of new inventions, discoveries, new awareness.”

“Moses,” (the Lord sayeth), “You still live in a time when there is no concept of evolution, of new-ness of basic standards. There was no awareness of human ecology, that we’re all in this together, that this party against that party is nuts. You haven’t learned that peace-making isn’t weakness, but rather requires all the strength of character, the maturity, the sophistication of adult wisdom. It may take a good long while for that to sink in. Hey! You don’t even know what I’m talking about! You’ve zoned out and are hearing what you want to hear and imagining that I’m dictating commandments! Hell-oooo, Moses!”

“Oh, my, I’ve lost him. Lightning! Thunder!? Nope, human minds are locked into the pre-Passover,  pre-exodus mentality!

Moses is numb. He’s stuck in thinking, “There has GOT to be a boss somewhere. Maybe there are worse bosses, meaner bosses, and better bosses. But for sure we can’t be our own boss.”

The Lord: “As a matter of fact, you can, get real, but alas, that involves a profound shift in consciousness.”

Oh, well, life will evolve. Perhaps some day folks will begin to recognize “slave mentality” for what it is: This is just the way it is. We need to accept it. Can’t fight it. Wiser men than us have thought this out and shown us the way. We can’t dare to plot new avenues. That would be dis-respectful, impudent, arrogant.

There’s a fine distinction that must be made between true humility and phony humility, which is just subservience masked as rectitude and copping out from thinking things through.

True humility recognizes that maybe what we’ve created isn’t the endpoint, and takes responsibility to think it through again. True humility is open to feedback and willing to consider other viewpoints. It need not agree with other viewpoints, but neither can it blithely ignore them. True humility is arrogant just a tiny bit, enough to come to provisional conclusions, implement them, but be open enough, not so arrogant, as to be willing to re-think those conclusions in the face of changing circumstances.

This impacts another human desire: Let’s settle it once and for all. But this is immature: There is never, ever, a once-and-for-all! It keeps changing, and true response-ability recognizes this. Creativity is needed, and there’s no guarantee that every creative idea is a good one. Creativity does not confer effectiveness or reality. Indeed, for the most part creativity doesn’t work very well. It often comes up with follies or dead ends. But it’s prolific and keeps trying, and that’s what pushes forward. The awareness of staying fresh, looking at the results, noticing when something works better than before—this is part of wisdom.

People: “Aww, man, can’t we get guarantees?
The Lord:  Nope. No once-and-for-all, no rules from on high, no clear directions.
People, “It’s not fair!
The Lord: “ Grow up, get a grip!” (More compassionately:)
   Sigh.  Ah, that may take another several millennia.”

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