Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Gospel According To Nietzsche (part 1)

Nietzsche wrote, "God is dead."

Of course he meant the concept of God. God cannot die if He hasn't ever existed. And a God who has existed, by there very definition of God, cannot die.

Friedrich Nietzsche

And, on that point, I will concede to Mr. Nietzsche. Sometimes the concept of God must die. And it might just have to be a most brutal death.

Statisticians will tell you somewhere around 90% of the US population believe in a supreme being. That is a consensus by any definition. But what is debated, where the rub exists, is who or what and even how that "god" is?

Every religion has their definition of the god or gods they worship. It's kinda an important point to hem down before you get the big ball of a spiritual movement rolling. And so when people are asked to define the god they believe in, the consensus dissolves, and the splintering of opinions is as diverse as the people themselves. There are those that believe there are millions of incarnations of several gods, or that we are all god, or that there is a personal god that intervenes in his creations lives as traffic cop, cosmic Santa, mountain top guru, etc...

Above, the Hindu god Vishnu, who in the Hinduism tradition has ten avatars and according to many of his followers infinite incarnations.

This fracturing of understanding, this confusion, these feelings of god being far off or disaffected, or something undefinable, incomprehensible...well maybe they need a brutal death too.

One of the most comforting things to me about the Cross and the sacrifice of Love there, is that God intervened in time and space in such a spectacular, if not extremely odd way as to never be forgotten. He showed His willingness to be affected by our struggles, pains, despair. He redefined empathy. He became one of us so that we could know he understands us. He chose our form, our languages, our barbaric rituals, so that he could be near us. The concept of god that pervaded the world was turned upside down, it was killed there on that hill. And then it was resurrected, with a power that defeats every enemy of life and love.

Wow. Jesus. The name on which mankind can call and be whole. The friend who is closer than a brother. The lover of our souls.