I see that Ken has the daily mull up and running again, with a few improvements. One of those improvements is a picture of the blogger, next to their post.
This presents a couple of problems where I'm concerned—and I'm going to need a little help from my readers.
The problems I spoke of are:
- It's simply impossible to get a picture of me, in the conventional sense. My existence and nature just don't lend themselves to photography. You can't just take a snapshot of The Ground of All Being on a Sunday afternoon in the park.
- And then, in this particular universe, on this particular planet, among certain organized religious groups, there's been a long-standing taboo against anyone creating an image of me.
I have mixed feelings about the second difficulty.
On one hand, I have a sort of theoretical agreement with the whole idea—the intention is definitely sound.
It's sort of a reminder that The Ground of All Being is truly beyond human conception and control, that he/she/it/I can't be reduced to a picture.
I like that, because it's true.
I also like it because in practice, the kind of 'graven images' it addresses are all too often intended to be worshipped—which raises two more problems from my point of view.
The first is that I really don't like the idea of anyone worshiping me.
I'm not an ancient near-eastern king. I'm something much more profound, and much more fundamental.
I don't need worship, and the act of worship separates me from my creation.
Each and every one of you is and expression of me, and when you pretend that I am something wholly other than you, you begin to live in a fantasy world instead of reality.
You deny your own holiness when you bow down before me like I was just some human potentate, rather than the spirit and word within you.
You deny the holiness of one of my creations.
Within the Judeo-Christian tradition, this has been pointed out time and time again.
I could cite other traditions, but as I explained in an earlier post, everything on this blog is filtered through Ken's worldview and consciousness. Since he knows precious little about any tradition other than the one he was raised in, I'm rather limited in my examples.
Genesis calls Adam (which means "human") the son of God, created in his image, in a context parallel to other life forms begetting after their own kind. Jesus taught his followers to call God "Father".
That's what Jesus was accused of, for claiming God to be his own father, and his answer was to quote scripture justifying human beings doing it in general.
That's just in one tradition.
So I don't like to be "worshipped".
And my second objection to images amplifies the problem.
When people worship these images, they aren't really worshiping me. They're worshiping something they have made, and so they remove themselves from me twice.
When people worship a golden calf, imagining that it's me, they confuse themselves even more.
There are people out there worshiping not me, or a historical human who they believe is more me than they are, or even an accurate picture of that historical human, or even a contemporary artist's conception of what that human would have looked like if he were a modern American, but their own projection, on that painting, of what they guess that person might have been.
You see how distant it can get.
On the other hand there doesn't seem to be any escape, because even without pictures people still insist on creating false images of me.
It's generally called "theology", and it gives people the illusion that they know what I approve and disapprove of, and that they have the right to push their own ideas on others.
So I've decided to undermine the whole thing.
I could just leave the little word "God" up there next to my posts instead of a picture, but instead I thought I'd invite my readers to send in pictures which remind them of me.
If I find one I like I'll put it up there, and I'll change it from time to time for a new one.
Please don't send me anything suitable for worship, or anything offensive. Remember, these aren't designed to be true images of me, which is impossible, but just reminders of how, or where, some of you see me.
A flower, or a nebula, or a spider-web—a child's smile, a chemical formula, an amoeba—you decide. But nothing political, or religious, or offensive to anyone with brains.
And, of course, nothing copyrighted.
If you want to communicate anything else, you can use the comment form below.
I'm not trying to be controversial, just to have a little fun.
Send your photos to email@example.com and put the single word "picture" in the subject line. Please don't write me there for any other reason, since neither I nor Ken will ever see anything but the picture file.
I look forward to seeing what you think of me.
The Ground of All Being