The Birth of a God

I see that someone at Wikipedia makes this the day in 597 (before our common era) when the Babylonians capture Jerusalem and put Zedekiah on the throne. A bad move for the Israelis but eventually something good for world religion, I think. Zedekiah would revolt, it doesn’t go well, the city is captured & put to the torch, the king is made to witness the execution of his family, is then blinded, and after that herded up with the artisans and poets and others with skills and taken to Babylon…

There something magical happens.

A mountain tribe cobbled together from various bits of human refuse, find themselves longing for something, and in so doing weaving together stories mostly borrowed from elsewhere, and out of that discover a god that is no longer a tribal god, but something new, something terrible and something beautiful.

The god that is the web of intimacy, the god I worship, would find its first beginnings there in the Babylonian dream time, still yet a projection of humanity onto the world, but also now something more, something pregnant with deeper truths.

A hint of a divinity worthy of such naming is now on its way…

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  • Richard Kollmar

    James, this post requires a postscript. I have long thought of monotheism as one of the worst ideas ever to come down the conceptual pike. Notwithstanding your penchant for Universalism–a movement with which I have no sympathy, as you will have guessed–I struggle to understand how you could mistake the mad, tyrannical parent of the Hebrew Scriptures for a “web of intimacy.” By my lights Psalm 137 expresses a longing for the dimly remembered time before city-states & civilization, when human beings were woven into the fabric of the non-human world, everything was alive, & there was no need for a God-notion that is itself a symptom of the dis-ease it seeks to cure.

  • Gregory Wonderwheel

    “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?”
    With each step the touch of foot upon the ground makes a strange land intimate.

    Richard, the mistake seems to be yours, because I don’t read James as referring to any “mad, tryannical parent of the Hebrew Scriptures” in this blog. James points to the living God, “something terrible and something beautiful” that can also be called the web of intimace, while the “mad, tyrannical parent” is but a dead God found in decaying tribal stories.