(image borrowed from Salute HQ)
I believe there is a direct relationship between ‘happiness‘ & ‘atonement’.
In religion ‘atonement’ is often understood as ‘a price being paid’.
‘Amends’ being made.
Christians see the Christ on the Cross.
Blood violently being shed.
They fixate on it with films like ‘Passion of the Christ‘.
Others see another kind of offering.
An Old Testament kind of Leviticus-way, with an animal slaughtered ‘to make atonement.’
What if ‘atonement’ had less to do with a price being paid & more to do with a ‘reconciliation’ or a ‘bringing together’?
What if it is about ‘making’ or ‘creating’ AT-ONE-MENT?
In Christian Theology, ‘atonement’ is considered as ‘the doctrine concerning the reconciliation of God & humankind”.
Reconciliation – the act of reconciling or bringing into accord & agreement.
What if the Christ’s Cross was not so much about a final price being paid, but rather about ‘becoming one in a shared experience’?
A final at-one-ment?
Which could never be destroyed?
Which, I imagine, is or could be a ‘price’ or ‘sacrifice’ for the Divine Creator, but perhaps it is not so much about the ‘sacrifice’, as it is about the ‘being at one’?
I’m sure, by now, you’ve deduced that I believe in a Divine Creator.
You may not & that is none of my business.
I believe, the key to ‘happiness‘ is our ‘at-one-ment’.
Becoming ‘one’ with our Divine Creator, our own being & beautiful people with whom we are fortunate to share life.
Organized Christianity, if we generalize, would not support this conviction, after all how many unhappy Christians have you met?
He writes in Ancient Greek & uses the word χαρά – ‘enjoying a state of intense happiness or felicity’, explains Louw & Nida in their Lexicon.
The key to ‘happiness‘, is our ‘at-one-ment’.
Becoming ‘at-one’ with our Divine Creator, our own being & others, as well as the habitat in which we live.
We hunger for this ‘at-one’ment’.
I recently watched a presentation by Jonathan Haidt, entitled: ‘Religion, evolution, and the ecstasy of self-transcendence’.
He speaks of the ‘hive’-effect.
He is not a Christian.
I don’t get the impression that he is spiritual either.
Yet, he makes a solid argument that human-kind is desperately striving for ‘at-one-ment’.
He calls it ‘transcendence of the self’.
(Jonathan Haidt on TED.com – just click if you want to watch it, for yourself, it is 18 minutes long, at the end, the last 3 minutes is a sort-of a summary.)
Whether I believe, whether I am spiritual, or not – it is visible, recognizable – our desire to be ‘at-one’.
For me, some of that ‘at-one-ment’ begins to dawn in my being, as I aspire to embrace ‘at-one-ment’ with (s)He who brought into being, everything I know.
Or perhaps, as (s)He allows the dawning of this ‘at-one-ment’ in me, through what Paul calls “το πνεύμα του Θεού”, or the Spirit of God.
And as I taste His ‘at-one-ment’, I see it spill into my being.
And I see myself differently.
I experience ‘at-one-ment’ with my self.
And as it spills into my being, I see it spill into ‘at-one-ment’ with beautiful people.
Perhaps atonement, enables happiness?
A fruit thereof?
Perhaps happiness is being ‘at-one-ment’?
For as (s)He is it to (with?) me, I can be it for (with?) my ‘self’ & others.
What do you think?