No one knows what the body can do. -Spinoza

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Angels in the Apocalypse

Though I recognize some will mistake the following confession as either sheer total blasphemy, or simple arrogance, I will take the risk of saying it anyway.

Sometimes I imagine I am an angel that chose to live on earth because God needed angels down here quite simply so they could struggle through the bare reality of this human toil, and do the work of making it good, even while it is so very hard. Because, honestly, it's not like angels would have it any easier once they were human too. It's just that they'd be driven to strive towards goals of refinement, awareness, improvement, compassion, and a sense of closeness to divine light. Sometimes I imagine any of us might be angels in this way, loving our way through life, just trying to remember that closeness to the divine has been in us all along. When I think this way it feels like I could love and love and love and love and love and love and love, and that somehow my being tired makes a little more sense.

The trick that goes along with such a view, it seems, would be to recognize that even angels have to adjust to the demands of earthly life, accepting the constraints of physical limitation, and finding out what can be done in them. Even an angel would have to work to be more than the patterns their parents intentionally, or inadvertently raised them to have. So, the lives any of us live would be both a joy, and a struggle, even for an angel. Whatever the conditions of the time and world situation that angel appeared in would have to be dealt with, just like any of us have to deal with the reality of our own lives.

So, just as an example, even in the bleak alternate reality of an apocalyptic future in which water is scarce, there are no more berries left in the world (which means many of the very colorful birds that once existed are now simply extinct due to lack of appropriate food source), everyone has a bad back, and it's just frickin' cold outside --in such a reality, even an angel would have to be as bad ass and crazy as this guy. In a world such as that, God be with us all.

image from German fashion
(in case you can't tell--those are wings embroidered onto the back of his jacket, and a solid patent waistband to boot)

In fact, in this world that is ours already, God be with us all right here, right now --us angels living human lives, striving to remember how close we always-already are to divine light here on earth in the midst of it all.

1 comment:

  1. I just enjoyed this post Elaine. Simply. I read it over and over, and I enjoyed the perspective you share in it!