Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Who was the pope?

Someone asked me how could I write something positive about the pope or even fall for the Schiavo con job by the press. To set the record straight, I am not a catholic pro-life liberal. Those are terms set to limit who or what I am or can be. I don't even belong to any particular religion. I do accept there is something greater than myself in the universe. I am learning to become a person capable of living truthfully with myself and others. I am learning to be of service. Some days the lessons are harder than others. It means accepting the truth and rejecting the lies even when the lies are easier. As I am learning to discern, I see how easy it is for me to make snap judgements without viewing the evidence objectively. So I'm going to take a second look at the Pope.

To many he was a great man to others not so great. In fact some see him as another part of the system of lies. While the latter may be true, he discerned some truths and preached it.
The church he led, like many other religious organizations reinforce the lie under a false veneer of truth. I've been duly presented with "the evidence". It doesn't mean that nothing worthwhile can be learned from the church or the pope's life. An example is the catholic reporter link on this blog. I find stuff there that makes sense and forces one to look at the truth as some of the Pope's statements have done for me. Just as I find stuff at various places, though my favorite at the moment is signs of the times, I find truth in some of the things the Pope had to say.

The Pope inspired many to be more compassionate, or as compassionate as one could be when our minds are held hostage. His inaction on some issues allowed many of the injustices he spoke against to continue. As such don't think he was a savior. He was just a man struggling with the human condition as we all do. That he did it through the lens of the religious convictions of the catholic church, set a limit on how far he would go. Still his convictions guided his life to serve some good for others as professed by those he has touched. Like most of us I'm sure he did his share of bad deeds too.

What I do know is he spoke out about many forms of injustice and reached out to various groups that are often ignored. He spoke against economic exploitation, and saw that this war we are fighting in Iraq is unjust. I also know that his mind,like most other human minds, is ruled by a predator. As Castaneda's Don Juan would say: it is is "baroque", "contradictory", "morose". We can however get glimpses of truth. It is this that I was thinking of when I wrote about the Pope. That part of him that holds the possibility for truth. So he did not specifically speak out against the church's discriminatory stance toward homosexuals or women. I do agree that it contradicts his views about injustice. In fact he firmly defended the church's more discriminatory doctrines. However, since to me speaking against injustice implies injustice against all, his talks inspired me to work toward this, even if in practice he himself didn't quite get there. I don't know if I will either but I continue to work. I don't for a minute think or expect the church or any other organization to be pristine and holy in these things. That it is run by humans imprisoned by the desires of the predator's mind says a lot. That it has managed to serve many in various ways is refreshing. It is more refreshing when I see some get past even those limits to reminded us of some of the important things, especially during times when it is most difficult to think about. He taught us that our materialistic attitudes and exploitation of others are the ways in which we lose compassion and our humanity. He showed me that it is not just about what we want and want now, but about the sea of humanity striving to be free.

As I said in a previous blog he probably did as much as he could with what he had in him. I do know that Pope John Paul II spoke the absolute truth when he talked about the culture of death. If more of us had the concern for others and the disclipline he had, even if this disclipline was mostly used to staunchly defend the not so nice policies of the church, maybe we could come together and find a way to put it to good use. Maybe even find a way out of the enslavement of our minds, bodies and souls.

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