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separation

Separation is sometimes not real.

I claim we are already one. Our unity is a reality that doesn’t need to be achieved, but only made manifest through our actions. Although challenging, I suggest it is easier than it appears.

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About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • http://triangulations.wordpress.com Sabio Lantz

    Wow, fantastic illustration of a problem that is both philosophical and pragmatic. Well done!

    We raise chickens — not the brightest of animals. Only rarely does a chicken understand that walking around the outside of the pen can they reach a friend on the other side. Most just stare in puzzled frustration.

    Wait, did I just say that chickens were not the brightest of animals?

  • Heidi Durham

    Very true Sir.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    We are one. In the fellowship of sin.

    That’s the problem. There’s no overcoming it on our own.

    Look at history (if you can stomach it.

    Look at yourself.

  • David Waters

    Great point Steve, so nice to feel guilt and shame slung at us, you must be a preacher.

  • Gary

    “The fellowship of sin”????

    I have gotten to the point where I can’t even stomach the fundy bullshit any longer.

  • Mark Camerom

    Great ‘cartoon’! We need to just walk away from the box we are all clinging to, preferably in community with others and definitely linked with Jesus. Well done…it may not have been what you were thinking but your stuff makes me think…Thanks!

  • Marty M

    Ahhh, yes Steve:
    ‘In a world where all must fail,
    Heaven’s justice will prevail.’

  • http://www.tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara Lunardo

    Piercing, beautiful, true.

  • http://villiageidiot.me Ben Roberts

    Great cartoon on perspective. From each person’s point of view there are two sets of bars separating them.

    Brilliant!

  • http://millardjmelnyk.wordpress.com/ Millard Melnyk

    @Steve Martin: Your posts exemplify my contention that Churchians believe in evil and sin more than they do in God, Good, and the power of love. Their lips and tongues belong to God, but their hearts are joined to the devil.

  • marcie

    Yah know keeping us down always wretched evil sinners so we don’t believe in how great and amazing we are is BS my friend.

  • marcie

    Just subscribing =)

  • http://millardjmelnyk.wordpress.com/ Millard Melnyk

    @David: Great, insightful visual! I’d just add a step to your commentary: before we can manifest something through action, we must see clearly enough to do so.

    I’m pondering these days why we are so deeply, instinctively averse to digging into a simple question. What made me see it wrong?

    If the problem were simple ignorance or lack of awareness, as soon as we got informed of our mistake, we’d adjust and behave accordingly. I see little evidence to support that kind of innocence.

    What I do see are recurring patterns that span thousands of years, patterns of concerted effort to excuse, justify, and even institutionalize the perspectives that separate us. On an individual level, I see people struggling to make sense of life while they preserve and defend the very fears and irrationality that cause them to feel unsafe and confused. Until we understand why we cling to dysfunctional perspectives, we aren’t going to escape the consequences of clinging to them. In that scenario, adjusting our behavior is no more than a Band-aid.

    The first step is to ask what powers our attachments to things we know full well are dysfunctional. We must answer that question personally, specifically, each for ourselves. We can’t answer that question for someone else, like Churchians are so fond of doing. We can’t answer it with generalities like “sin” or “human nature,” like Churchians are so fond of doing. There are specific reasons for our specific fears about specific attachments that cause us to behave like addicts in specific ways in our personal circumstances, making us cling to perspectives that force us to live defensively and patterns of behavior that damage the people, relationships, and things we care about.

    My experience is: when I get down to those answers, they are the kind of truth that Jesus said would set us free. Just getting down to the truth opens up whole new ways of looking at a situation, revealing constructive things I can do to improve it, along with a sense of confidence and power to proceed. It’s ANTITHETICAL to Churchian preaching, which tells you to look at your dismal condition, then look at the ideal outcome, and then pray and read the Bible and go to Church and make confession and do good works and ____. We all know how to fill in the blanks, and they seem without end. The promise? One day, over the rainbow (or perhaps after you die), POOF! A MIRACLE WILL OCCUR! You will have no clue how it happened, but there you’ll be!

    Everyone who has experienced the reality of a living God, however we each might conceive of him or her, can tell you specifically how they experienced God, what happened where and when and what its significance was, no differently than I can tell you exactly where I was when I heard that John F. Kennedy was shot or got news of the 9/11 attacks. We call them epiphanies, visitations, Eureka! experiences, visions, dreams, enlightenment, answers to prayer, insights, revelations, etc. Everyone who has had them can describe them.

    What Churchians like to call “sanctification,” “transformation,” and getting “free from sin” are no different. (PS. you heardly ever hear “overcoming evil” anymore except in a social justice context.) The dearth of information about how this all works proves the hypocrisy of Churchianity, which claims to know but can’t describe.

    If we see things incorrectly, the first step should be corrective, so that we can see correctly. We can’t take corrective action until we identify a problem’s causes. Churchianity is blind, deaf, and dumb on that point, so no wonder it didn’t teach us how. I’m trying to figure it out, with modest success. I could use all the help I can get!

  • http://millardjmelnyk.wordpress.com/ Millard Melnyk

    @Marcie: RIGHT ON, my friend! :)

  • Sarah

    Yes we are already one. If we can but have the humility to live it.

  • Sarah

    Millard, Marcie- absafuckinglutely! WE ARE BEAUTIFUL AND F*CKING MAGNIFICENT. Anyone who doesn’t like that doesn’t know how amazing they are.

  • Sarah

  • Sarah

    Sorry guys- the above vid is `Beautiful People` by Chris Brown.

  • http://millardjmelnyk.wordpress.com/ Millard Melnyk

    @Sarah, HA HA! No apologies necessary my dear. There are levels of exclamation that we just don’t have words for. FUCKING MAGNIFICENT comes about as close as we can get. :)

  • Sarah

    Millard- wasn’t f*cking apologising for the exclamations :-) just that I hadn’t explained the vid:

    Here’s another one people:

    `Titanium` by David Guetta.

    None of us think we’re special. So we cling to `God` but then we leave that behind and gradually, gradually we can see- we are all special.

  • http://millardjmelnyk.wordpress.com/ Millard Melnyk

    @Sarah, cool!

    I used to feel special and thought there was something wrong with me. Now I realize that was just part of the brainwashing. It won’t do to have people feeling special, you know. Then they might get the crazy idea in their heads that they shouldn’t be exploited! Can’t have THAT! LOL

    Now I just feel special without apology and without feeling a need to justify it. It feels funny to say that, not because it’s strange, but because it’s a colossal understatement. FUCKING SPECIAL is better. Even better would be to think about our specialness like an entire continent off the “there they be dragons” edge of our inner maps, a whole world that we have just begun to explore now that we realize the dragons are bullshit.

    The sad thing about God vs. our specialness is that God has been used so overwhelmingly as a tool of exploitation by psychopathic, power-hungry religious leaders (yes, that’s the rule in spite of the exceptions,) that almost no one, “believer” or “unbeliever,” has any other reference than some abusive Dude in the sky. I don’t see a “vs.” I’m a both-and kind of guy… ;)

    I’ll check the vids out when I get my work done (from which I’m playing hooky at the moment.)

  • Kris

    What a clever illustration! Really enjoy your work and mind, David. k

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    thanks kris!

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Some of you don’t like to hear the truth.

    I don’t blame you. I don’t much care to hear the down side of things, myself.

    But you have to hear the diagnosis before the cure means anything.

    That’s just the way it is.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    I love this Bonhoeffer quote (I just got it off the Mockingbird blogsite):

    “The Christian is the man who no longer seeks his salvation, his deliverance, his justification in himself, but in Jesus Christ alone. He knows that God’s Word in Jesus Christ pronounces him guilty, even when he does not feel his guilt, and God’s Word in Jesus Christ pronounces him not guilty and righteous, even when he does not feel righteous at all. The Christian no longer lives of himself, by his own claims and his own justification, but by God’s claims and God’s justification. He lives wholly by God’s Word pronounced upon him.”

    .

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    steve: have you considered that when you say the truth hurts, that you might be responding to something someone else thinks is truth that it hurts you?

  • http://millardjmelnyk.wordpress.com/ Millard Melnyk

    @Steve, so Bonhoeffer apparently felt enough disconnection from vibrant experience of his faith to write that. Not sure why you love that quote. It sounds like he was covering a lack of power with a declaration of dead faith.

  • Gary

    No Steve…you are simply the hypochondriac who believes he is sick.

    We won’t indulge your delusions.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Millard,

    I love the quote because he, Bonhoeffer, trusts in the Lord Jesus and His promises, above any of his own feelings, or works.

    This is hard to do in this world of self-obsession.

  • Gary

    We’re not teaching “self Obsession” Steve. You seem to be quite fixated on the concept though. You simply can’t fathom that a person who is happy to be healthy can be so without some sort of self indulgent narcissistic mindset. It’s sad really that your thinking is so limited and two dimensional.

  • marcie

    I’m obsessed with self =) because I am perfectly and wonderfully made, came into this world with everything I need for life and godliness created in the image of a mighty god, who will finish the good work began when conceived before the earth began. Why should I not believe in me when I’m all that my friend. That’s a whole lot to be proud of. =)

  • Gary

    @marcie,

    Love it. As usual…you have a keen ability to cut right to the heart of the matter.

    I bet Steve loves the sermon by Jonathan Edwards “Sinners in the hands of an angry god”. All my old pastors spoke of it with high praise. I believe it may have done more harm to the Gospel than any other single sermon. That poor bastard probably never did understand the heart of God till he was with Him.

  • marcie

    OMG I remember that one too….. How sad to realize after its over and live knowing your lifes work left behind a linage of destruction. Hope our friend Steve doesn’t meet our amazing god and dwell in the same shame. I would be sad about that =(

  • Sarah

    For fuck’s sake God loves us. End of.

  • marcie

    Millard =) love your post about letting go. Today I saw it in my mind in reference to my life… I had a death grip on the lies because it wasn’t just what I believed but my identity! God painfully pried my figures away one by one I held on with all I was. When it was done I realized in my hand was a pile of shit. All that resistance for a handful of absolute shit. After being emptied with palm open god carefully replaced it with a single pearl…

  • Sarah

    F*cking ace Marcie. Yes one day I’ll use a different word!

    You Go Girl.

  • marcie

    Just one more thought (this one is for you Sara, cleanses the soul to use expressions that are said to be forbidden LOL) the fucking reason I didn’t know it was shit, even though I could smell it was I refused to open my hand because of fear and take a honest look at it. Open your hand and look at what your holding onto….

  • http://millardjmelnyk.wordpress.com/ Millard Melnyk

    HA HA I LOVE IT! Supposed to be working, but as my new friend (I presume) Sarah might say, FUCK IT! :)

    @Steve, I was discussing elsewhere with someone who looks at things very much like you seem to. It inspired my next post (hopefully) to my blog http://tochristians.wordpress.com/. When it’s ready, I’ll leave a note here. The discussion made clearer than ever the stupidity of locating Jesus Christ, his power, his virtues, and the reality of what he taught OUTSIDE space and time. The person described it as “not here on this earth.” That viewpoint is dealt with in Scripture, and it isn’t good.

    @Marcie, beautiful. I’m really glad we “met”.

    @Sarah, you just make me laugh. You go too, girl. :)

  • http://dmergent.org/2012/02/17/reclaiming-education/ Doug Sloan

    The bottom line is this – we are all cousins and we are all mutts. We are one family and we are the only family. In an objective and indisputable way, we make the point of the universal family by moving backwards from today through our own genealogy, by traversing a history that is personal and direct. In doing so, we are forced to confront our universal connection to all people and all events that, previously, we thought either defined us separately and exclusively or divided us along lines of opposition. We have just proven that there are no races, no tribes, no ethnic groups, no castes, no royalty, no aristocracy, no social classes, no families and there has not been for at least 30 generations. Here is the real kicker – this same exercise, this same proof will have the same result for each generation. It was true for our parents. It was true for our grandparents. It was true 1000 years ago and it was true 4000 years ago – it has always been true.

    excerpt from RECLAIMING FAMILY
    http://dmergent.org/2011/10/14/reclaiming-family/

  • Sarah

    Right I’m going to leave one more “Fuck it” expression then I’m going on to a new word:

    Bloody hell can’t find it! Do you remember the scene from `4 Weddings and a Funeral` where High Grant and little tomboy girl are trying to get to the wedding and he’s om the motorway very panicked and late, “Fuckityfuckityfuckfuck!” and he misses the exit and says “Please don’t say `That was our exit` and she says it was and he goes “FUCK IT!”

    Classic.

  • Sarah

    Looked up Eddie Izzard and swearing and this was all I can find:

    Enjoy.

    Love you all.

    Sas x