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Submitted by Jerry Kolber on Wed, 9/29/2010, 7:01am
by Jerry Kolber
Been slowly (very slowly) making my way through the ESV Study Bible - read the Bible when I was in Hebrew school in the 80's (the whole thing - Old + New) but did it quickly and with the impatience and grok of a sexually confused 15 year old boy.
I'm re-visiting it because a) the Bible is as responsible for the rules, regulations and tonal quality of life and debate in America than the government is and b) Jesus is freakin' awesome and there's a lot of great metaphorical life lessons in those sex, blood, and passion soaked pages.
One thing that always perplexed me, until recently, was the idea of the Holy Trinity. Father and Son, I got, but the Holy Ghost? My boyfriend's wonderful, open-minded, deeply Catholic Grandma explained to me that she believed the Holy Ghost was love - the love that flowed through everything and everyone. I dig that. But there's more.
As I make my way through the pages, I have something of my own I'd like to add to Grandma Rose's idea. The Holy Trinity is like a triangle for hundreds of millions - maybe billions - of souls walking the planet right now. There's also a good 500 million Buddhists (like me and not like me) who believe that we are all part of one great emanating wave of life energy - distinct yet distinctly connected. That could be called love, or divine source, or light - and so I started thinking, the Holy Spirit is the energy of interconnectedness, the underlying zing-zang that unites us all.
One other thing. The triangle is dude heavy. Father, son - that's a lot of male energy, and even if Jesus was a man-God of fierce compassion, I do believe it's lacking in some femininity. Holy Spirit is genderless, and though most modern translations choose to interpret Holy Spirit with a "he" or "him", women still get paid a lot less than men for the same job, so I don't put a whole lot of stock in traditional relationship to gender. So , for me the Holy Spirit is also a divine Mother energy (not necessarily Mary, just a more open aaaaah, open, motherlike energy) suffused with Love as a transducer for the spirit of God and Jesus Christ to impermeate the world.
Now, I'm not saying I follow Christianity, or Catholicism, but in trying to come to understand and mutually respect the beauty inherent in the religion, and to co-habitate it with my own Buddhist leanings, this is where I've come to right now. If you take fear out of the religious equation - when you stop using religion to prop up your position, defend your ego, or gain territory - and see that it's just an opportunity to open up to divine and fierce compassionate interdependence (aka God-Source), all religions offer the same teachings of universal truth experience through love and acceptance and situation-appropriate action. That's the divinity of interdependence.
For those of you who were raised in a Christian tradition (whether or not your now Buddhist), I'm curious to hear - how do you interact spiritually with the idea of the Holy Trinity?
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