Friday, June 11, 2010

Simple Gifts

(fm the BC thread "The Singer Not the Song")

At least with the Shakers we got the circular saw and good furniture

And music

'Tis the gift to be simple, Its a gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
Will be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend, we will not be ashamed,
To turn, turn, will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right
Note that Jewel misreads the verse, substituting "a gift to be simple." In doing so she obscures the heart of the message. The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing knew what they were saying. When Elder Joseph Brackett wrote "the gift to be simple" he was I think stressing how through simplicity, attained through labor, worship, and celibacy, people can approach the unity and perfection of the God in whose image we were made. In their focus on present perfection, as opposed to the future by procreation, the Shakers are both affirming their humanity and their position within nature that they celebrate and their special quality that comes from God's gift of the ability to approach perfection due to that special gift.

We do God's work when we know, in both the spiritual and sentient sense, the natures of Nature and of God and of Humanity. Singer is not even close to this insight. He, and other secularists, Marxists, Gaians, Wiccans and Satanists reject an external purpose to the Universe that holds a special role for human sentience, creativity and dignity. Most faiths reject the Shaker formulation and assert that when properly sanctified the act of procreation is itself another form of celebrating Creation and provides opportunities to use our intellectual and spiritual senses to better apprehend and therefor approach God's intent. In other words contemplating "What do women want?" or "Why do children act like that?" can be a form of prayer.

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