Friday, March 6, 2009

No Boys Named Judas

Can you explain to me why there are no boys named, Judas? I've never heard of a single one, have you? Why? Seems like a perfectly good name. Strong. It's a variant of the name, Judah, which is Hebrew for, "the praised one." Ironic, isn't it? No one has ever praised Judas the Disciple. Ever.

We just wouldn't consider naming a child, Judas. Any other odd name, sure, but not that one. Hell, thanks to the late Frank Zappa, we even have a Dweezle walking through this world. But, by all means, steer clear of Judas. Odd...and unfair.

I suppose it's because we recognize the intrinsic power of a name. What you call something is often what it becomes. Names hold us fixed in certain circumstances. In certain ways of being... A name is a very personal, and should be considered, a sacred thing. So, we avoid those that are historically associated with 'evil doers'. We simply stop remembering the truth of the name, focusing only on a person who, having that name, acted miserably.

Here's another beautiful name that no one will use. Lucifer. It means, "Light Bringer." It's been said that God called this, his favorite angel, "The Morning Star." How beautiful! What? You didn't know that Lucifer was one of God's supreme Archangels? Indeed. And, Yahweh was heartbroken that when given the choice, Lucifer decided to reign in hell rather than remain and serve in Heaven. The second Archangel, Michael "He Who Resembles God" The Warrior, was called upon to show him to the heavenly door. But, God's first chosen of the celestial body was his beloved Lucifer. He, whom we Humans re-named, Satan "The Wanderer".

Hmm. If you didn't know about that lost, grieved relationship, perhaps you weren't aware of the close friendship that The Christ had with Judas, then? Judas was one of the closest of the twelve because he constantly challenged Jesus, whose name is actually, Yeshua "Salvation, " to consider the potential of his ministry. He kept The Christ honest, as a man, in his intentions to impact political oppression. Judas was the one who, for the sake of his countrymen, pushed for more, bigger, better from Christ's ministry, in the hope of alleviating their suffering.

So, what's in a name? Perhaps, everything.

Why do we hate some people? Why do we shun them? Attempt to erase all traces of them? When they've done unthinkable, evil things, aren't they still Human Beings? Yes. But, not the Human Beings we want to be...hope to be...

Unable to separate the person from their actions, certain individuals become the face of evil. And, that's what they remain. We forget that they were children who were loved by parents. We don't want to consider that they had friends. Or that they deeply loved someone. That they struggled with life just as we do. No. They are villains; nothing more. Reduced to one dimension.

But, if they, all of them- Hitler, Genghis Khan, Marie Antoinette, Saddam Husein, Timothy McVeigh, Lucifer, Judas, hadn't carried out their destiny...what then? History is written by the victors and survivors, not necessarily the truth tellers....

Besides being universally hated, these despised spirits have one thing in common; all met and carried out their destiny. We don't have to like or admire that. We simply have to consider it.

Destiny: "A predetermined course of events often held to be an irresistible power or agency." The ancient Greeks thought that all things were predetermined. We were simply playthings for the gods who pushed us around on a game board. Willynilly doing what they wanted with us. It's as good an explanation as any for the random things that often shock our lives.

I think many of us, without realizing it, seem to have the same thinking when it comes to our view of Spirit. Some find comfort in believing in Spirit as an all-powerful entity that loves us while orchestrating all of our moments. But, can you imagine how utterly bored God would be if he already knew the moves just because he'd designed them? UNIVERSAL YAWN!

It's not that way, thanks to the gift of free will. We are the captains of our own ships. We make our choices. We must own our actions. And, I'd like to think that Spirit has some surprises each day because of how we've behaved.

I also know that, along with free will, we have a unique role in the unfolding play of life. Each of us. So, as it relates to The Christ's dear friend, Judas...look at it this way: If Judas had not accepted his role...if he had not betrayed The Christ...the story of the death and resurrection would not have played out. And, the miracle would have never come about.

Some spirit had to agree to accept the heavy weight of being the betrayer. Some spirit had to agree to be the one who goes through history absolutely hated. Some strong spirit had to agree. And, I believe The Christ didn't hate Judas for doing his part because he understood the necessity of it. He understood the rightness of it. But, we don't seem to be able to follow his example.

All villains have a significant message. They teach us what not to be. They demonstrate the need to reach for better. They remind us what is required to be a real Human Being. Even as they serve as examples of what not to be, they serve as part of the story of shared Humanity. Most importantly, they are significant change agents; out of their evil acts, unimaginable good emerges. They escort levels of good into being because we learn, through their examples, how to be better.

I'm not suggesting that you name the next male child in your life, Judas or Lucifer. (Although there may be episodes when you, in total frustration, call him a Little Demon.) But, I am asking us to consider that Judas was loved deeply by Jesus. Just as Lucifer was God's first angel in the tiers of heaven. If they were loved enough to stand intimately close to those divine Spirits, can't we find it in ourselves to consider the totality of them? Can't we remember that our devils are actually Human Beings, not the events they were called to put into action? Could we stop and remember that each spirit is more complex than we can truly understand? Who are we to judge? And, why should we...

Namaste' Till Next Time,


Anonymous said...

WOW, something to think about.
I'm forwarding your blog to some of my friends. I know they read your blog but they have yet to join.

Thanks for the thought.
Hope your four-legged friends are doing well.

OH, bytheway, I joined "Life With Dogs" today...I look forward in following Mr. Arthur's blog as well. Though, I'm considered a Dog/Cat them all.

Toni said...

Hate the behavior, not the person? And not 'hate', just accept you would do it differently? Another Biblical name I love is Rahab --- oooh, bad, ick, a prostitute! -- but she saved the lives of her household thru faith, eh? I might someday name a furry beastie Rahab ...

Opie said...

The opposite also rings true, it's difficult to live up to the expectations of being named Jesus, or Abraham or even Gawain. These and many others are names very seldom heard, if for no other reason than how do you expect you kid to live up to it. It's the human drive for mediocracy, no one want's to take the chance of extremes.

Dawn said...

Holly, this is beautiful. Its amazing how our human minds attempt to box everything neatly up and make the Truth fit in our understanding. This is what terrifies me about religion. Jesus said, "One of you will betray me." He dipped the bread and handed it to Judas, at which point Satan entered into him. (John 13:21-26) Judas was hand selected, literally to carry the weight of one of them most horrific events in history. How brave.
And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain, don't carry the world upon your shoulders...yeah Paul and John...did you do this to let him off the hook a bit?

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