I tend to prefer the irreverent. The satire. The making light of some real serious shit. Life skills. Life skills. This one probably isn’t going to be that, but there will no doubt be some subtle irreverence mixed in. I…..
“Elvis is my daddy, Marilyn’s my mother,
Jesus is my bestest friend.
We get down every Friday night,
Dancin’ and grindin’ in the pale moonlight.
Mary prays the rosary for my broken mind.”
— Lana Del Rey, The Body Electric
There’s two ways to look at this, & this is finally the point. In Strategic Planning or mediation you revert to common values, common goals, and from there you move to discuss the diversity of approaches, the seemingly at odds differences. Stay with me here as I’ve found this useful in my work life. It hasn’t always proved equally successful in my personal life, but there’s definite applications.
In major religions across the world, we have found reason to think God wants us to kill each other, convert each other, win the other side to our way. This isn’t the mainstream I know… this may not be the way you feel or approach it. But the reality is, historically, it has happened individually and collectively. The Crusdades much? So many examples.
So I believe you can arrive at commonalities through two ways…. one, what are the core values each religion shares… and how does that come out in common spiritual practices? And two, recognize and respect the differences, get to know those well, and be okay with that. Two very different approaches that I think promote inter-religious understanding, opening the door for collaboration…. or at the very least us just not wanting to kill each other in the name of God.
This good thing originated as an observation that some spiritual practices have commonalities between religions. I found that interesting… and hopeful.
“Touch this statue to the mouths, so the mouths can taste.
Touch this statue to the nose, so the nose can smell
Touch this statue to the eyes, so the eyes can see.”
— Egyptian tour guide at Ghiza Pyramids
In the bombed out buildings of Cairo West
A wild dog hunkers down
Mangy back wounded belly
Connected to the earth, fur in the wind bristles.
He licks at the belly full of sand maddened with hunger.
Teeth flash and tear at flesh
Exposing blood, belly soft.
The sand spills out like bunker sacks pierced
Stacked pathetically against an unavoidable flood.
Teeth rise and fall syncopated will
Reaching to get at the inside.
This is a last resort.
Sphinx frozen poised, sentinel to the sacred
Temple houses the body
The body becomes the temple
In the stale bowels
Pyramid holy house putrid air, the heart a tomb.
All is taken, none remains.
Five thousand years deliver me feet here on Ghiza sand
Before me stands a withered boy pushing trinkets
Ribs like rails screams,
“Whole schmeir, one dollar before I kill myself.”
Inside the tombs foul breath fills my nose
And lingers there in the daylight
The boy stands camel rope in hand chewing leather.
Teeth rise and fall syncopated will
Reaching inside my pocket
This is a last resort
“Touch this dollar to the mouths so the mouths can consume
Touch this dollar to the throat so the throat can swallow
Touch this dollar to the stomach, so the stomach can be filled with sand.”
All is taken, none remains
Existence is sacred.
Combine this with some ancient spiritual practice of kissing statues or the catholic practice of kissing the rosary.
Robert Cameron Rogers
The hours I spent with thee, dear heart,
Are as a string of pearls to me;
I count them over, every one apart,
Each hour a pearl, each pearl a prayer,
To still a heart in absence wrung;
I tell each bead unto the end-and there
A cross is hung.
Oh, memories that bless-and burn!
Oh, barren gain-and bitter loss!
I kiss each bead, and strive at last to learn
To kiss the cross,
To kiss the cross.
Intentionally vague, intentionally meandering and stream of consciousness. I find these things come to me when writing and allowing my thoughts to flow free, not concerned with structure, paragraph organization, and linear progression… you know stream of consciousness and seemingly random. I would have never accessed these type of revelations through conscious intentional thought and MPA style prose.
Commonalities among Spirituality. A good thing.