Wednesday, April 01, 2015

A meditation for Spring Time

The Gospel of Philip reads:

Those who sow in winter reap in summer. The winter is the world, the summer the other Aeon (eternal realm). Let us sow in the world that we may reap in the summer. Because of this, it is fitting for us not to pray in the winter. Summer follows winter. But if any man reap in winter he will not actually reap but only pluck out, since it will not provide a harvest for such a person.
This, too, is a hard teaching. Very often, especially in the United States, we do things when we will see a return, the Return on Investment. The calculation has permeated the religious world: Where will our efforts produce the most return? The most donations, the most converts, the most successful churches, the bestselling books and dvds.

Philip tells us that we should sow, and let us reap when we reach the other realm. Any who try to profit from their efforts in the world, they pluck out, they have no harvest, or they have no fruits.

As an agricultural metaphor, it works fairly well. Although some people enjoy eating sprouts, most people prefer to wait for the plant or fruit to mature, and reap when the produce reaches full growth.

In our lives, we are supposed to give without thought of return. Obviously, stuck in this world of matter and these systems of archonic control, we can't give ALL. Or can we? Some do, and we generally call those people saints. I'm not certain we're all called to be saints.

In the canonical gospel of Mark, there's the story of the widow and the two pennies.

And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living. (Mark 12:41-44)
I don't think we're talking about money here. I mean, that's the metaphor, but there's something behind the metaphor. If we give, and we have to sacrifice to give, that's the kind of sowing talked about in the Gospel of Philip.

In the modern world, we are so materially rich we can hardly stand it.  We tend to think that to 'give' requires money. However, in our modern world there are shortages. Attention. Time. Connection. Love. Kindness. Compassion. All of these things are lacking. Humans are so disconnected, depressed, alone that they'd rather die than bother someone. Or their so disconnected they'd rather be rude and sure of their ideas than give another their time to see what they had to say. Modern humans are so afraid of depth, even as our breadth of knowledge increases and increases.

We forget that what is remembered are not the large dramatic donations and gestures of the wealthy, but the small acts of meaning. A shared cup of coffee when a friend has a bad day. Holding a hand, or a kind word when a loved one dies. A silly joke shared, or a deep discussion about the merits of two sports teams. On the right ground, in-depth all night explorations of scripture or discussions of politics may also form the connections.

This is the sowing in winter. These inconsequential seeds, this is the giving of what we have, the connecting with people where they are. Spirit is not about who has the most knowledge, but how well you can relate to your fellow humans, trapped here in the Black Iron Prison.  This is the solace in the Vale of Tears. These are the seeds sown in winter, that bloom in spring, ready to harvest in Summer.

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