Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.-Jesus
I wish I had realized long ago that this is the main message of following Jesus.
I wish I had realized long ago that this is the main message of all wisdom–often called sophia perennis.
Because, as Tony Parsons once said, the only thing to attain is the realization that there is absolutely nothing to attain.
It. Is. Finished.
And so within the paradox of wanting and having, we fear letting go.
Of our plans, our future, our finances, our goals, our ambitions.
So instead we collect, we hoard, we scheme and plan, we build our 401ks, mortgages, nice jobs of meaningful employment, and settle in for the long cruise.
This game isn’t easy, so we find joy in the struggle.
But as for letting go, no such thing. That’s only for the spiritually elite.
Perhaps. But, what if spiritual elitism is as simple as realizing such a freedom is available for free, without your need of achievement.
It’s the invisible hierarchy and ladder of Christiandom that has kept so many from the freedom of letting go, waiting for us to grasp it just around the corner.
There is absolutely no action necessary for it. Even letting go places too much of the onus of this decision upon our egos.
Just stop playing the game. The 9-5 cubical rat race. The get, get, get, provide, provide, provide cycle. It’s the greatest positive feedback loop ever devised. The great gamble. The great game. The wonderful dream.
Work, work, work, earn, earn, earn, get, get, get. Do it again.
It is God’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. If you spend your hours on food, clothing, water, and shelter you’re making it harder and harder to let yourself fall into the arms of unconditional love.
It is so hard for a wealthy person to inherit the Kingdom. He has no need of it, he’s made his own, of his own devising. And he loves it.
The Kingdom of Heaven–or to put it another way, the true reality–is waiting to reveal itself to you just on the other side of the curtain. But, this Kingdom is a simple life. Much simpler than you’re used to.
No money, no possessions, no plans, no ambitions.
These constructs are the sedative drugs of the middle class that keep us coming back for more.
Because the education costs money, and the job pays it back, but to live cheaply and wisely you need a mortgage, so you shell out even more. You wind up shackled to a job description where you spend at least 8 hours a day any way so why not consider this your chief identity.
Hi, I’m Joe I’m a…
And don’t think this is unique to America, or even unique to our generation. Granted, the scheme as has been perfected as of late, but this has been the bent of humanity since the dawn of its consciousness.
Food and Water, as some have labeled the phenomenon.
The more we have, the more we need, the harder it is to let go.
And so we don’t just hold on to our stuff, we hold on to people, to relationships, to idealism, and mental constructs.
It surely is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle.
So we wake up the kids early on Sunday and fight our way to church.
This should put a band-aid on the existential crisis at least for another week. Let me just get the boost I need to make it one more week.
Yeah, that’s it, I feel better I think I’m ready. You know what, I think I know how to solve that issue at work, I can’t wait to get back…and spend 50 hours at the office this week. I better go home and write that email. Got to provide for the family after all. That’s my duty!
And the loop continues endlessly.
The truth is, I’m talking to myself as much as anyone else.
But I’m hoping not much longer.
I’m hoping to wake up.
Because it really is God’s good pleasure to give me the Kingdom. And Jesus said don’t worry about about anything else, the food and clothing!
I don’t even have to try to get it. I don’t have to hold onto it. Once it’s given the only thing I could do wrong is try so hard to hoard it (like I do everything else) or use it so ambitiously (like I do everything else) that I lose it.
Because the great lie of religion is that there is a seperate seeker and a separate kingdom to seek.
The Kingdom is at hand, and it’s inside you. Inside me. Inside us.
But it’s selfless, and free. So I can’t put a fence around it and charge rent.
This breaks every mental construct that’s ever developed in my life.
So maybe the Kingdom isn’t in my mind. Maybe it’s not even in one singular location. Maybe, it is. Just like, I AM.
And maybe, for me to consider myself distinctly separate from God, from others, from the Kingdom is the great fib of human consciousness. Maybe, there’s nothing to earn, nothing to find, nothing to get, nothing to plan. Perhaps it’s always been my inheritance, I’ve simply been too egotistical to accept its boundless generosity.
So I leave the treasure that’s always been mine, to go find it somewhere else.
I’m the one that’s left.
Maybe, I just need to stop trying and come home.
And maybe, when we come home, we realize that to be human is simply to look back on all of creation, and with the uniqueness of our consciousness say, “It is good.”