SAYINGS OF A GADFLY
by Max Maxwell
At a gathering a preacher said, “There is no way to God but through his Son Jesus Christ. Through him we gain salvation. And those who do not believe in Jesus will burn in hell forever, for every human heart is filled with sin. Only in Christ can we find salvation.”
The Gadfly said to the crowd, “Salvation is not a gift brought to you from above that you did not already have within you. It is not passed to you by the laying-on of hands, nor granted by the church. You will not find it in the venerated relics of your sacred traditions. It is you. You are salvation. You are the sacred bread and the living water. But you are also hunger and thirst. Feed one another. You are the light and the salt of the earth. But you are also darkness and rancid meat. Illuminate and preserve one another. You are the way and the truth. But you are also lost and false to yourselves. Love one another. For it is by your own love that you shall be saved. This was the teaching of Jesus. But his followers feared this message. They dreaded becoming the fullness of truth, so they made Jesus bear this burden for the world. A fear of the depths of their own spirits wounded their hearts. So they made Jesus their Lord, that he might spare them the responsibility of new freedom. And they trembled at the realization of their own divinity. So they made Jesus a God that they might not notice the kingdom of heaven within them. And their submission to Jesus became a tyranny over truth. And their love for Christ became a hatred for life. And their burning passion for righteousness became the flames which burned their neighbors at the stake. There is no way to God but through your own heart. For every human heart is filled with God. And to seek salvation outside of your own soul is a betrayal of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Do not turn Jesus into a false idol just because you lack the courage to face your own goodness.”
Your thought advocates Judaism, Brahmanism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. In my thought there is only one universal religion, whose varied paths are but the fingers of the loving hand of the Supreme Being. In your thought there are the rich, the poor, and the beggared. My thought holds that there are no riches but... life; that we are all beggars, and no benefactor exists save life herself.
Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth. I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.