I'm glad I named this blog Church of the Churchless when I started it up back in 2004. But since I no longer adhere to any religious dogma, I'm free to experiment with my churchlessness.
So here's a mini-sermon from the Church of What the Fuck. The name came to me yesterday as I was thinking some more about why I started to disagree with what Tim Freke was saying in his book, "The Mystery Experience."
(Reasons described in my previous blog post, "Allow cosmic mystery to live, not killing it with religion.")
As I read deeper into Freke's book this morning, I learned that he's big into God is Love. Well, I've got no problem with love. In fact, I love love. But I'm not attracted to the sort of lovey-dovey spiritual God is Love stuff that clearly turns Freke on.
Especially when the source of that love, the ground of that love, is believed to be cosmic being -- which Freke considers to be unconscious of itself until conscious creatures like us humans come along and start loving, along with all the other stuff we experience.
This is conjecture.
Yes, love is real. It's part of what we Homo sapiens do.
However, there's no good reason (nor any good intuition) to support a belief that what lies in the realm of Mystery beyond all human knowing is love. While I'm not out to be a love killjoy, it irks me when people claim that love is the wellspring of existence.
Here's what we know about the wellspring of existence: nothing.
Nobody has any idea why there is something rather than nothing, or even if that question makes any sense. So nothing is known about existence pure and simple, which some prefer to call being.
I love to ponder the mystery of existence. That's why I bought Freke's book, "The Mystery of Existence." I loved the title. But I can't accept God is love as the essence of that mystery. I much prefer three other words.
What the fuck? or What the fuck!
(It'd take a whole other sermon to discuss what a difference the ? and ! make to these three holy words; brief answer is that they differ somewhat as to how fuck is used as an intensive; aspiring theologians in the Church of What the Fuck may wish to study here and here.)
What the fuck is my preferred way of relating to cosmic mystery. It's a terrific phrase, pregnant with meaning, as befits its sexual overtones. Here's the Wiktionary definition:
- (vulgar) Used to express astonishment, shock, incredulity, or disbelief (as a shortened form of expressions such as "What the fuck is going on?", "...are you doing?", or "...is that?").
- (vulgar) Used to express nonchalance or the dismissal of any consequences of something one is about to do. I finally said “eh, what the fuck” and quit my job.
What the fuck? exactly expresses, both emotionally and cognitively, how I feel when I envision the mystery of existence -- how it is that here I am, doing what I'm doing on planet Earth, which is circling one of hundreds of billions of stars in the Milky Way galaxy, which is one of hundreds of billions of galaxies in the observable universe, which came into existence some fourteen billion years ago, yet existence itself has existed for... What the fuck?... nobody knows... probably eternally.
So since nobody has any idea about what existence/being is all about; since nothing is the only honest answer to what is known about the mystery of existence -- I choose to proclaim a truthful What the fuck? before the majesty of our not-knowing, rather than the much less defensible God is love.
Leave mystery mysterious. Don't contaminate cosmic mystery with human conjecture. Honor honest not-knowing. These are the main points of my first Church of What the Fuck sermon.
I'll end with a preview of a follow-up sermon, where I'll discuss the sacred differences between What the fuck! and What the fuck? As noted in the Wiktionary definition above, What the fuck! expresses nonchalance and lack of regard for consequences.
I'm not suggesting this as a wise course of action in many circumstances, such as smoke coming out of an electrical outlet in your home, or a hacking cough that won't go away. No, I'm talking about a sense of cosmic nonchalance.
What the fuck! is a highly recommended attitude for those in recovery from religious dogmatism, rigid commandments, fear of falling into the Devil's hands, and other fundamentalist bullshit. If you feel like doing something, and can't think of any reason not to other than your religious conditioning, embrace...
What the fuck! Just do it.