This is how it is: There is nothing more bursting with wild, exuberant beauty than the Creator. If God really has eyes, imagine how rapturous those eyes must look when creating a spiral galaxy, or a ribbed leaf, or an electron, or a blue ringed octopus. Imagine how ecstatic those eyes must look when creating YOU.
Western religion has told you a great lie: that life is, at its core, un-beautiful - that this life is punishment for disobedience (Eve in the garden); that your pure soul "falls" unhappily into a corrupt body, that creation is infused with evil, that you were born sick and in need of saving, that death is evil, that nature is untrustworthy, and that the best thing that is ever going to happen is the end of creation.
Every attempt we make to grasp the Great Mystery must be accompanied by an equal humility that admits that we can never contain the Holy - between covers of a book, inside the walls of a building, even in human language. The German poet Rilke has the most succinct description of God: "So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp."
When we forget the humility, as we so often do, our worship decays into hypocrisy, megalomania and psychopathy. What is more insane and full of hubris than to claim that the creator chooses me but not you, speaks my language but not yours, looks and acts like me but not like you. Religious institutions (like individuals) constantly forget the immenseness of the Holy, and lack of immensity brings on a shrinkage of the flow of beauty which is the pure water that washes corrosion from the human heart.
People say God is love. I find myself saying more and more that God is Beauty, and love is one result of that Beauty. We need Beauty in this world - the immense kind of beauty that frees us from our fears and envies of small things - and we experience beauty as wildness, not as obedience. Beauty draws us outside of any box we have been put into, by ourselves or by others. Wherever you find a fear of wildness and beauty, you find degenerate religion feeding it.
Yes, I know! This is exactly opposite of what we are so commonly told by the holy men: that wildness is the mark of degeneracy! Because obedience to their authority, not experience of the Divine, is what matters most to them. (To be clear: "wildness: is a far deeper word than it sounds, so there is care involved here.)
In the Celtic shamanic wheel of the year, we are now in the mythic South - the direction of the summer, the immensity and power of the life force, the full exuberance of creation, the direction of joy, music, dancing, and feasting. The world is filled with the delight of creation - the green hills, the radiant flowers, the fruits being infused with ripeness.
My prayer as we make our way up the great mountain peak to the the summer solstice: let us remember the immensity of the Sacred. Let us remember and call forth the genetic, holy beauty breathed into each of us, that it may wash the corrosion from our hearts that makes us smaller than we truly are. Let us ask Spirit to ripen our inborn beauty. Let us sigh along with the old woman.