• Stephen Oliver B-M

Odd but unique - Wondering who we are

In moments of silence we may catch ourselves in awe at the vastness of the universe, our own seeming insignificance, vulnerability to suffering and returning to the dust of the cosmos from which we came.

Looking out to a panorama of sky, seascape and seashore, faced by a corpse or our own face in a mirror, and perhaps confronted by yet more horrific news of injustice and human cruelty, we wonder at the meaning of it all, in particular to our meaning, the odd but unique persons that we are.

We are confronted most particularly as to how we will play our cards as we negotiate the ongoing maelstrom of existence as it relentlessly comes at us in time and space. We have a choice as to whether to hide inside ourselves behind walls of stony ice or come from behind such psychic protection to be human, just as we are, part of a universal family of hominoids, each individual with unique creativity but common bodily needs.

Coming out is a scary thing to do because, like the holier-than-thou religious people in the time of Jesus, we are liable to be confronted by projections of hate and fear at people set free from needing to be conventional and normative. Especially if we have committed ourselves to be unconditional lovers, fully human and open to the universe and unafraid of its seeming blindness to our human frailty, we incur the hostility of the ‘older brother’, the sensible person who stays in a safe conventional bubble, scared of the joy of the dance of life.

In this sense, all people, Christian or not, are challenged whether to be queer, to honour their individuality and rise up to embrace love in all its messiness but all of its fullness.

Experiencing the universe in this way is to be confronted by its mystery, its challenge to human reason, the wonder of 'why us', the 'why' of our existence and whether the inner awe and the outer ‘force-in-motion’ have any intrinsic connection.

The ‘Being’ of the universe challenges the ‘being’ of our inner universe. Is the monad of our reflective selves in some reciprocity at the limits of knowing, the Monad in which we live and move and have our being? In our day and time it is easy to deny any connection, indeed it is expected because science has reduced all to a machine of sorts, rationalism within a theory of chaos, in which transcendence and freedom are evaporated into an illusory trick given by primitivism such as religion. Our selves are now the glow of light given from a light bulb of mental consciousness that is temporarily present until cessation of breath turns the light off.

The depth of the soul and the the transcendence of Soul are a quaint hangover from pre-scientific understanding. We have split ourselves in two, the self that thinks and loves is an alien within a careless universe. The DNA of love may be acknowledged but the big question is, can it be the point of it all, the innermost centre or thread that weaves from the Big Bang, weaving in and out to evolve into a historical movement, the development ultimately of a universal human family of loving consciousness. DNA, sexuality and life are, of course, one and the same, just different levels of our mortal fleshy existence. When we say that love makes the world go round, that is what we are talking about.

The queer person may not be able to articulate the above awareness but that is what the queer movement is all about. Coming out is the choice to embrace this truth from the deepest part of our being and the choice to live out of that truth regardless of whether it is fashionable. It is terrifying, like the terrifying nightmare of being found naked by our friends and neighbours, naked in our sexuality and the love of breasts, genitals, womb and semen.

Where is the Christian in all this sea of emotion and human fallibility? Tragically the typical response by bishops, priests and bible studying laity has been to hide behind their holy books and the misery of social respectability. Every so often the neurotic conflict split between soul and flesh comes to light in the revelations of sickness that such repression of hypercritical duality engenders.

Faith in love means embracing ‘love-in-flesh’, its epiphany of its soul at one with the Soul of the Universe, the meaning that a child knows, each newly born babe that comes from the womb of the universe, the Divine Mother: the meaning of Queer Christianity.

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