Things I Don't MIss Hearing in Church Services - Part 2

Tuesday 23 September 2008

Edit: Just for clarification, when I am dissing what I call the institutionalised church, it's not church services per se that I am dissing. There are plenty of people who attend church services who are weaned from the Mothership breast. I personally don't attend church services because they bore me to tears, but to each their own. :D And I know that the title of this post is "Things I Don't Miss Hearing in Church Services" which is probably misleading - I do tend to slip at times into the mindset that it's church services but this kind of thinking extends out into Churchianity and its books etc, it's not so much a time and place thing as it's a mentality thing. Just thought I'd clarify that :)


Thou shalt never question or doubt anything.
You don't need to. Mother Knows Best.

Been thinking about the insane, or at least very psychologically unstable, way that Churchianity refuses to acknowledge the reality of the messiness that is people moving from one way of thinking and being to another. Churchianity, that lovely dysfunctional Mother of ours, really doesn't seem to be able to admit that the process is an ongoing one. A down and dirty one. It doesn't fit into her spreadsheet. She wants you to be hale and hearty right now, because you are a witness for the Lord Jesus Christ and dammit, you gotta shine, show the world, prove yourself, prove it, prove it, prove it. Prove that this thing works. Work it, baby. Work it. Stuff your shit and work it.

The Mothership seems to find it terribly difficult to accept our tarnished parts. Unless it's in tightly controlled love sessions from 7.30-9 on a Wednesday evening when we're talking about X Problem, but make sure you've got it together by Sunday. If we take longer than is deemed appropriate to get rid of the rust - well, there is something wrong with us. The Mothership doesn't have time for different strokes for different folks. I understand why the Mother insists that people do most of their mind altering conversion stuff in the dark, because people in process ... well, they're even uglier than usual, right? And we can't have that. These people are spokespeople for the living Christ. And they dare to sometimes look even worse than those messy, disgusting, foul things outside? Anathema! Everyone knows that becoming a new creation in Christ means that you become instantly perfect. Because look at all those fine examples of perfection that have gone before us. Like ... yeah, exactly.

So the Mothership insists on us all being whitewashed cups. Funny, isn't it? And in the process, slows down the very process of perfection that she tries to control us to. Insists upon our shininess and yet stops us embracing those very ugly things that require embracing for us to someday become more shiny. So many of us, sniffing the strange wind, have been running from this paradigm, trying to find safe pockets of space to be able to be real, sensing that we need this like we have never needed anything before. Turns out that being real is way easier out in the world, away from the Mothership. And she said we would die out here!

Well, how would she know? How would she be able to dictate that to us when she married the system centuries ago and doesn't know the first thing about what goes on in the real world. About strength in powerlessness. About paradigms other than the stock standard fear/power/control one. The Mothership knows our fear and instability and how dangerous it is living in a world where we are interdependent with fearful, unstable people and systems. As an act of lovingkindness she offers us her giant breast to suckle and we atrophy our minds. She's taken the openness, the individual journeying and the "hear from God yourself" version of reality which produces breathless beauty and great freedom and reduced it down to something easily drinkable for us. To save us the hassle, you know? The mistakes on the way.

How long it takes to understand this danger. The Mothership, our protector, has taken that which would give us confidence, and heart, and courage, and unfolding, the beauty of a life lived right where we are right now because she prefers her children suckling and weak and dependent on her. She's addicted to it. And we have believed her for so long. But many Mothership kids are growing up, realising that placing all your trust eggs in another fallible human being or system is a much more dangerous insanity than relying on your own. At least you're familiar with the dynamics of your own insanity. At least you are in the position to follow the threads of your own views if you dare, to work through the threads of those views, follow them back to their source. Wherever those convolutions may take you. And at least then you have a real, live heart within which to work out of. One that beats and hurts and pains and loves but one, apparently, that God resides in. One that walks out the principles and makes it something real.

The Mothership is wearing all the right clothes and saying all the right stuff, but freakishly a lot of what comes out of her mouth is the opposite of what Life seems to be saying. Often the things we hear in our hearts are the opposite of what the Mother tells us, but of course she reminds us we are weak and suckling and dependent, and part of human nature is the strange, self-punishing desire to relinquish our own control and give it over to others. We prefer it like this. We prefer to give away our control and our safety in return for some soothing principles and a well lit path.

We prefer it to complexity, doubt, ambiguity and ambivalence. These are evils that should be banished. Which is sad because the places we are most wounded are the places where we are most in doubt, ambiguous and ambivalent. Swinging like monkeys through trees. It's part of the messiness of the process. The Mothership tries to budge us from position A to position X without any swinging inbetween. And she tries to move us in her time span, not our own. And to change requires a good sense of timing. To to budged before I am ready to stand up and move forward an inch is a dangerous thing to do. It causes boundary violations, more suppression, more damage, more numbing to the already damaged alarm bells inside my own body telling me to stand still. I am the one who gets to choose when I move, when it comes to treading around inside my own wounds. I am the one who determines when I have learned something well enough, had it soaked into my skin, to go on and learn something else. And I am the one who determines when I need to rest in the middle.

The Mothership forces you to move before you are ready. She forces you to move forward ... into such a tight turning circle that you can't. It would be laughable if it wasn't so depressing. Funny, but as far as I am experiencing so far, Life gives such enormously wide turning circles that the problem isn't so much not having the space to turn around as having so much space that I get agarophobia. The possibilities for freedom within ourselves lived breathing the Source are endless. But the road there involves the hard work of thinking and pondering and doubting and changing our minds and sitting down in the middle of the road for a year because we're goddamned exhausted with pretending. And nobody can stop us and nobody ever should have. This is our right, as human beings, to think for ourselves and to come to our own conclusions. Anything else is abdication.

People in process. Unstable all the way. Rocking backwards and forwards. Going from one extreme to the other. Veering first this way and then that way. Seeming to contradict themselves. This is who we are, and we get to be like that. It's messy, but it's real. The Mothership, she reminds me of the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz without the bubble of insight. The Mothership thinks she is made out of heart, but really she is just made out of steel.


  1. "We prefer to give away our control and our safety in return for some soothing principles and a well lit path."

    I think that about sums it up. We would rather not think. Look at technology? Hell, my kids can't do long division by hand because they don't teach it anymore, everything is calculators and whole numbers. The same is true in the religious context...we want someone/thing to think the hard things through for us so we can just sail along.

  2. : D
    Yeah, yeah, yeah..., and, man, YEAH! Gosh, I really appreciate this! : ) Brilliant-
    hehe, "The Mothership..."
    "The Mothership forces you to move before you are ready"... and your whole paragraph preceding this sentence is so key to our journey out of the madness. (I have totally seen and unfortunately known the harm you mention there... and just happy to be out- yeah, baby!)

    Hey! that painting is in REM's Losing your religion video...(you probably already knew that)

  3. Now that's the kinda writing that gets you into trouble with the powers. :)

  4. Erin - what is so scary though is that our preference to not think puts us in the most dangerous positions, exposed, and vulnerable. Sheesh, that's the kind of shit they should be teaching in schools - how to think, how to definie your own boundaries better. Stuff algebra :)

    Manuela - no, I didn't know that painting was in LMR. I don't even know if I remember what that video looks like - if I've even seen it, it's been years. It's an amazing painting. I love the expression on Jesus' face. Just just just beautiful :)

    Kent - well, if I disappear, you'll know I've been taken hostage by the elders of the First Church of Our Way or the Highway for some re-education :)

  5. You go girl and bring on the messieness its soooo much better :)

  6. UM - really? It's really amazing. I am so drawn to Christ's face in this painting. And then to Thomas's furrowed brow :)

    Lou - you go too girl! :) I agree. Messiness is way better than the pretend stuff - can't go back to pretending now :)

  7. Hey Sue,
    I really like that term- "mothership". So accurately descriptive. Kinda reminds me of "the Borg" from Star Trek. Remember them? ("resistance is futile- you will be assimilated..."). Now that's a bad comparison....

  8. CM - it's actually a good comparison, hehe :)

    (Naw, I'm going a bit overboard now. It's not THAT coercive, most of the time).

    And I am embarrassed to admit it, but I have never seen an episode of Star Trek. Nor have I seen any of the Star Wars movies.


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