Spider and Man, short revisitation
My essay, "Spider and Man" raised a few hackles, predictably. Part of that is may fault for being unclear. Following is an excerpt of a short exchange I had with my editor. I do't know that I will rewrite, at least right now. Maybe this will suffice to further refine my original point.
"Here is my assertion: leaving the jar is not as important as seeing it's there and acknowledging its limitations (unscrewing the lid, so to speak). This acknowledgment, to me, is the act. Once that's done, a person is much freer to use religion as a tool, rather than falling in love with the tool itself as is the case the world over. The mystery is the thing. God is not meant to be fully described by human language. It's not that God is hiding, it's that language fails. Hence, the Tao verse to which I refered. As humans, especially Western humans, we place great value in what we can touch, taste and smell. So when Jesus says, "this is life eternal that they might know God..." we think we have to know the ORIGINS of God, His (?) name, etc. It's comfy. But that's not it. That's a patriarchal, male way of looking at it, and it's pervasive. We all think like that in this culture. Religion was not meant to give answers as much as providing access to the mystery. Indigenous, pagan "religions" do that. True religion does that. Does that mean religious people do NOT have access to God? That was never my point, and if that's what comes across I have to rewrite. Seeing the limitations of a religion or religious sect is enough for most of us, truly. Then they can use the ordinances as SYMBOLS of connection, rather than EVIDENCE of connection and focus on the Great Mystery (in Lakota, Wakan Tanka - such a beautiful word). Huge difference."