and setup for the exploration)
"That is the open flank," said Steve to me quietly. "Go for it. Rescue the man from his role-playing. Challenge him to become a human being."
As it turned out I didn't need to say anything. A young man stood up and did this in my stead. He introduced himself as a fisherman and a student of history. He said that as a fisherman he is often alone for long periods of time, with time to think, and time to face the reality and the majesty of the universe and of the human being. He asked the Man of The Cloth why he felt he needed to defend God. He suggested that the very notion of wanting to defend God revealed a deeply rooted flaw in his reasoning.
The fisherman spoke quietly, not boastfully. He said, "you told us that God is the Supreme Being. If this is so, can't the Supreme Being defend itself? You are telling us that it can't, that it needs your help. This notion discredits the very model that your religion is based on. But I am not surprised. Your model is the Byzantine model, the old Roman imperial model that hijacked Christianity. This model puts God so high into the sky in terms of a Supreme Being that it renders humanity as equal with the dirt of the Earth, so that the two shall never meet. But the Christ tells us that God and man are one. Thus, you are denying your own religion. You have destroyed its very heart. You have taken the most profound unity that exists on the face of the Earth, and split it apart. You may have tried to put Christ into the middle, as an intermediary between God and man, but you deny love, consequently you put yourself into the middle. That's the imperial model of Christianity that Rome created and Byzantine continued. So, now you say that you must defend the Supreme Being. How curious! Which Emperor are you defending, which fondi? You imply that God is impotent and depends on your defense. In other words, you are telling us that you don't really believe in your heart that the Supreme Being that you talk about, really exists. You are defending a myth, or a lye that you tell yourself. Then, tell me, what are you really defending? Is it your Sovereign that hates love, the self-appointed ruler of an empire who is naturally impotent and needs your help indeed, as an empire has no principle. No universal principle supports the structure of empire as a form of government among men."
The Man of The Cloth stood up for a rebuttal, but the fisherman raised his hand and held him off. Since the Man of The Cloth did not sit down again, the moderator of the panel decided for the fisherman and asked him to continue. Still, together with her ruling, the moderator asked the fisherman if he was suggesting that no Supreme Being actually exists. She asked him, if he felt that the whole concept of a Supreme Being is a myth, and if so, how this would be reflected in what we regard as social morality.
The fisherman assured the moderator that the concept of a Supreme Being is not a myth, that only the Roman model of it is. "I don't believe that a Supreme Being sits high above the clouds in a far off heaven and rules the world. If this were the case it would have stopped all of our terrible wars long ago. Besides, who would want to live under such circumstances as a slave or helpless plaything of some distant deity?"
The fisherman said that he recognized a Supreme Being of a different kind, a Supreme Being that he said was present in the hall at the very moment. He said solemnly, "humanity is the Supreme Being. We, as human beings, are the tallest expression of life in the known universe. The human being is the Supreme Being. If you ask for proof, the proof is right here. We are sentient and intelligent beings, we are discoverers and creators, and builders of civilizations. We can understand complex issues. No other form of life is able to do that. We are able to create music, art, drama, and technologies that generate energy and materials that transform the planet, which in due course will enable us to spread life throughout the universe. And yes, the human being, the Supreme Being on this planet, is all-powerful. We are able to end the ages-long cycles of war that have plagued us for centuries. We also have with our creation of technologies the means to free ourselves from the scourge of the next Ice Age and all future ice ages. We have the power within us to do that. The only reason why we have not done this to date, is that we have allowed our own divinity to fall asleep by 'selling' it to a mythical entity high up in the sky. This is the kind of distortion of reality that the perverted churches have accomplished that are modeled after the Roman and Byzantine empire-ideology."
As requested, the fisherman explained what all of this has to do with morality. "Morality unfolds," he said, "as we begin to love and honor one-another, and especially ourselves for our humanity and for the humanity that we all share. That is where we find our power, our strength, wisdom, honor, and beauty. Christ Jesus called himself both the Son of God and the son of man, thereby uniting divinity and humanity as one. He described God and man as one in being. In this reality, the reality of our being, the very notion of fearing God, which is synonymous with being ashamed of ourselves, comes to light as an invalid concept. I think this is what the beach people encourage us to learn."