Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thou mayest

In John Steinback’s East of Eden, a powerful story of choice, lust, love and redemption, he has one of the characters, I think it was a Japanese man, long-time friend of the family, say, by way of explanation for, and resolution of, all the conflict, “Thou mayest.”

Thou mayest. In a family dominated by a strict, fundamentalist father who believes in the literal interpretation of the bible, natural desires and needs take on the extra weight of heavenly censure. Everything – love, sex, passion, hope, is temptation and must be resisted. Guilt accompanies almost every thought and action. Loving and innocent motives become twisted and conflicting. Not, Thou mayest, but Thou shalt not.

The characters struggle with one another, find some peace after great suffering and pain, and achieve a vague awareness that their conflicts, especially their inner conflicts, what they’ve been struggling against, aren’t necessarily temptation. They can be, but fundamentally their needs and emotions are neutral, not either good or evil, but with the power to be either good or evil depending on the heart and intentions of the individual.

In fact, perhaps not neutral at all, but actually good. All the natural human emotions - love, sex, passion, hope, aren’t temptations at all, but actually good because they’re ‘natural’ and therefore God given. Good because if God is love and original sin is a mythic metaphor created by the ego to explain its birth, then all of God’s creation is meant to be good, when seen without the ego, when we choose to see it with spirit instead of the ego. Thou mayest, not Thou shalt not.

I think Steinback is saying that the fundamentalist interpretation of the bible popular when he was writing, just after the turn of the previous century (and still popular today), had the metaphysics inside out, upside down and backwards. There is no devil to tempt us and God is love. Thou mayest. We do have a choice, to awaken to our reality as spirit or remain asleep in the fear and horror of the ego illusion. The Tem Commandments were not about Thou shalt not, but about Thou mayest. What Thou mayest means to me is that God is saying, it’s only a dream, your reality is with me, you are still with me, you are eternally my child, live from that space with that knowledge.

Thou mayest - we need not fight our natural emotions – love, sex, passion and hope, but experience them as blessings and opportunities to choose to awaken to our reality and everyone’s reality, as spirit. If I honor myself and you and everyone as spirit, “I need fear no evil [nor do no evil] for Thou art with me.”

Thou mayest is not an ego message, it’s a God message! It’s not a license to kill or indulge or commit mayhem. It’s an invitation, a plea really, to get our bloated nothingness out of the way; to hide nothing from God, not one spec of pain or fear; to let go of what we think we know (what we’ve learned with the ego), of our belief in sin, guilt and mistakes and give it all over. Its permission to live fully as spiritual beings (surrounded by other spiritual beings) having earthly experiences.

No comments:

Post a Comment