Saturday, April 11, 2009

How Do You Balance
the Various... Worldviews?...

As requested by my friend, I didn't immediately post this emailed question to me, from last October 10th, 2008.
Instead, I've waited 6 months. (is that ok?)

My friend wrote me, to ask a good question based upon this bloggie's reflection of me, and one particular "Local Male Content" blog post in particular.

My friend''s emailed Question:

"I'm happy you're happy. I'm wishing the both of you the absolute best in your new life together. So please don't take this wrong, but I am a little confused about something: How do you balance the various.... worldviews(?)... you've mentioned in your blog?
I get that the first part of your most recent post (53, voodoo, etc.) wasn't serious, but then you have talked about Shaman meditation, Nazarene hymns, Jewish traditions, Mormonism, Catholicism, having a job related to the gambling industry, drinking & swearing on occasion, and always being pro-life, pro-American, pro-freedom, anti-leftist, and seem to read the Bible a good bit.
I'm definitely not calling you out on it. We all have some conflicting stuff going on. There's gun-toting liberals, polite atheists, gay republicans, charitable evolutionists, etc., out there. I'd probably disagree with Vodkapundit and some of GOMLP on everything except politics. And (worst of all) while I try to keep posting about Christianity, I have to keep fighting the urge to hate certain people whose actions are despicable. I just haven't encountered someone with your unique blend of traits, and am curious.
Keep up the good work.

My reply to my dear friend:

It is always good to hear from you, and your email is especially intriguing and honest.

That above all, I appreciate.
Yours is very likely the best email I've ever received. Thank you and thank You.
I only hope that my answer will be as genuine and as thoughtful as your questions.
Either way, it's bound to be a long email...

You've correctly seized upon the gist of that LMC post; it was intentionally composed with various religious beliefs in mind. By observing the Jewish Rosh Hashashana and Yom Kippur (new year and Day of Atonement) this week within my personal life, I not only tip my hat to my, our Jewish brethren, but honor a thousands-year-old tradition of theirs in solidarity. Like I do when I light my Menorah for Hanukkah in December.

Likewise, I suppose when Glenn and I meditate and chant around a Cedar campfire, it is honoring a timeless 'Native' tradition, recreated anew again, to ward off possible malevolent 'spirits' or influences. If it does/can not do that, at least the smoke therefrom is just a joy to smell, and makes for a restful, deep sleep~!
The spirituality of American Indians - both tribally and personally- is something so intense within my soul, I could not do without it.

My little brother Glenn and I have talked long about a unique belief within another religion, Mormonism, many times- marveling at their tenet that "Indians" are literally the lost tribe of Israel, and are heirs to the real Judaism.
He believes it-- thinking that the earliest natives to this continent sailed from the Mediterranian Sea, instead of walking across the land bridge between Russia/Mongolia and Alaska.

"Nazarene hymns?" What are those? Haha.
The pastor of the Church of the Nazarene in Talihina lives nearby me here in Yanush, we are old friends. He and his wife invited me to sing one or two Christian hymns in their growing church to help celebrate the many Choctaw who attend there. Why me and not a member of their church? I didn't ask Brent, so I don't know. I do know the Choctaw words to the two hymns I will be singing, but Brent sure doesn't know my singing.

Why do some larger congregations have sign language interpretors for thieir deaf members?

I think I can sum up inconsistancies, like my fondness for BudLight, my tendency to utter an ugly word occasionally and my casino/gambling careers like this:
God already knows that I'm unacceptably soiled with sin, unworthy of His companionship throughout eternity. By my, indeed our nature, I am unworthy already for Heaven.
But I try to live a life wherein I look for the God in every person (He's there!), in each child of the Creator.

How do you balance the various... worldviews(?)... you've mentioned in your blog?
By just doing that- recognizing the Differences within God, as shown by His various children; honoring them for their single, spiritual heritage despite dissimilar views that we hold.
Honoring Him, through them.

And as for those whom it would be easy to hate, because of their actions or their words or their deceitful beliefs? Well, that is God whispering to you and to me, to search out the proper Christian response, buried within our minds, to say or to do. They are opportunities presented to us, in order for us to ponder God's Word for a just reply/response.

-- The same reason that God allows little children to suffer with terrible diseases, pain. The same reason God allows some nations to be Christian intolerant, why God allows Muslims and pagens and witches and Buddhists and Liberals too:
So that His children can search their own minds for Truth. Or the Bible, or both.

In closing, dear friend and brother, I'll tell you a little story.

Once during a drug-assisted vision quest, I asked to be shown the true nature of God. I opened my mind to any possibility, and expecting my loving Father to respnd to my request, as any loving father here below would.
What I saw in my vision was sobering, unpleasant and very certainly unforgetable.
I saw a vision of a long worm, which had only one eye at one end of His body. This Worm was curious as to What He was, as He was all that there was. So it wriggled and writhed around trying to see all of itself, all at once, all at the same time, but having only one eye, he could not grasp his entirety all at once. Thus he constantly was moving, examining himself in every conceivable position.

Once, there was only God and nothing else. God was not lonely, per se; but He wanted to know what He was. So God created everything that we are, that we see today, from galaxies to grasshoppers. What materials did God have at His disposal to create all these things, eternally? Only Himself, ...only Himself.
That's all that there was: God. Nothing more.
Through everything which He created, He is learning about Himself: Himself as a Jew, Himself as a Muslim, Himself as an oak tree, Himself as a Grand Dragon of the KKK, as a grasshopper, as a murderer.

In all things I do or say, I only try to honor God, letting Him view Himself as a sometimes inebriated, sometimes vulgar Choctaw, doing my singular, one of a kind life/experience all for Him.

Your friend,
( two days later, I emailed: "And now, 26 paragraphs on the tenets of Buddhist reincarnation...~!" ) It's been a running joke since that day~!

Opinions? Responses? The comments, they's open~!


Most Rev. Gregori said...

I must say that this is about the posting you have ever done, at least since I have been visiting here.

I have come to believe, over the years, that there is a little bit of TRUTH in every religion.

I also believe that God, being every where and filling all things, means that He is also in each of us, which, when reduced to its basics means that I am you, you are me, we are all a part of each other, all of CREATION and God, while at the same time we are apart from each other, all of CREATION and God.

It is for this reason that I also celebrate All of the major Jewish Holy Days because as a Christian who follows Jesus Christ to the best of my ability, and knowing that Jesus was born, raised, lived and died a Jew then I am also a Jew, a New Testament Jew, but none the less a Jew.

You are Choctaw, I am part Mohawk therefore, the blood flowing through your veins is the same as that in mine. Since my father was part Lebanese, my blood and that of those in the Arab world is the same, thus it pains my heart when I hear of the cruelty on the part of so many of our Muslim brothers and sisters.

My father was also part German and French, which makes my blood the same as those cultures, and besides the Mohawk blood from my mother, she also gave me Italian blood. And Lord knows, there were enough rogues and monsters to come out of each of those cultures as well. Why?

Well even though each of us contains the essence of God, there are some who are more aware, more in tuned with this essence, and who have a longing to come into a closer union, a closer communion with the Creator, our Heavenly Father, much as a child seeks the comfort and love of their earthly father. This is what leads many to reach out a hand of friendship and brotherhood to those they meet along the way, for in truth, they are reaching out to God.

In return, we feel God's LOVE in the touch of a child's hand, in the feel of a gentle summer breeze against our cheek. We feel it in the embrace of a loved one or in the smile of a stranger passing by. We can sense God's infinite Love in the playful giggles and laughter of children or in the gentle touch of a friend's hand when we are suffering. And those of us who know the joys of a pet, can feel a more pure form of God's Love in our pets' acceptance of us, no matter what, in how they love us with no strings attached. Like God, our pets accept us just as we are.

Please forgive me for such a long response. And may our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ richly bless you, Leti and all whom you hold near and dear.

The Localmalcontent said...

Thank you, Abouna, and likewise to you, sir.

Ya know, the funny thing really, is that in person, I do not speak all that much, a man of few words.
Well chosen words, but few.

Here at the LMC and as many of you know also, I'm long-winded as can be: I proofread everything to see if I can cut out 1,000 or so words, or at least simplify what I want to say.

Someday, I'll actually compose those 26 paragraphs about reincarnation, Buddhism and such-
carving it down from 106.

Kini said...

Happy Easter!

Mike said...

One of my best online friends was a woman from Michigan, a conservative who was also a Wiccan. One of the manliest men I ever met was also one of the most caring...who happened to be homosexual.

I could blather on about everything you wrote about, nothing critical, but the thing that interested me most was your vision quest. I read Carlos Castaneda's books as a young man and was fascinated.

Several years ago I worked for a friend's dad as a plumber, just in between roughnecking/drilling jobs and asked his wife much the same question. She was a devout Methodist and he raised and fought fighting cocks. I asked the same question of a friend who liked to go to church stoned and have had the same question asked of me because while going back to school I worked part-time at a liquor store and my dad was an alcoholic.

I don't think you...we...have to justify anything to anybody, only to ourselves. One man's sin is another's innocent pleasure. God will be the ultimate Decider.