(A Spirit Pilgrimage)
i have lived my years within
the overarching umbrella of Christendom
worn-down to the rusting wires by now
but still THERE as a controlling spirit
for close to a billion people
that taking of the bush-builder Jesus
and his raw Spirit-Story
reformulated as Christ Pantocrator (2)
making him the ghost-in-the-machine
of a remade and remade and remade grand Empire
Here then is my story
of a love-hate relationship
with this ancient oppression
still at work in the world-psyche
1700 years later
i am here as still something
of an ecclesiastical functionary
with my own epiphanies and revisionings
considerably squeezed into a bi-polar frame by these archaic creedal formulations created by the winners of an ancient life and death word-battle in which there is only one winner
And so —
these remnants of long-hidden wars
focussed-on intensely worked-over words
in a crass kind of numbers-dance
by an emperor seeking to give his empire a new integrating propaganda
And for the ongoing prisoners
of this Christendom way-of-being?
what of the questioning loyal opposition?
Here is the intense intimidation
to walk the orthodox tight-rope
in which neutered opposition
is presented through innuendo
and the use of word-hints
that say to the astute hearers
“There are other ways of looking at this”
there is a freedom of sorts
that comes in bowing the knee
to the long-dead emperor
parroting the cultic credo
and getting on with living one’s heresy
as long as one is not too public about it!
Well that’s the way it was
i think — not “is”
— not QUITE anyway!!
But what of the NOW?
what of we who live in the awareness
of Constantine’s end?
an awareness that knows how strongly
his ghost still places a cold hand
upon our ongoing?
Ahhh — now — that is another story!!!
(1) Contexting this Poem
Out of ongoing conversations with colleagues on issues of the nature of Christian Faith for our part of the 21st Century; this poem almost “popped out”, not quite of it’s own accord but almost. Yet it is the coming to fruition of a long Journey; still continuing.
It talks strongly of my commitment, loyalty (even love) for the “people of god”who walk a Christian journey. Yet an almost equal disaffection (mixed with a strange kind of respect) towards the expression of Church that is an overblown and legislation-bound cum property-management organization.
As you read and reflect, please keep in mind that at its core is a call, initially to myself, for the breaking with the imperial models of church that still strongly lurk around us; seeking the continued discovery (rediscovery?) of “christian experiences”that offer again diverse intimacy with the “Holy-Other” who meets us in surprising ways; so often when least expected.
(2) the omnipotent lord of the universe