This post could well be the point of SingleTails. SingleTails in a nutshell. As this weblog has evolved since its inception, it became in many ways an extended meditation on what SM means. I now think I have an answer.
It came to me in a dream.
I woke up just now at 11:50 p.m. at night. Really inconveniently. I have to be at work at 6 a.m. tomorrow, so my alarm will go off at 4:40 a.m. I should be getting a good nights' sleep, because I have a BIG day tomorrow, even after I work a full day at Ho(t)me(n) Depot.
The Muse paid a visit.
(Thanks, Muse. Appreciate that. Great timing. Really.)
As usual, when I have problems sleeping, I start saying the Rosary to myself. The Rosary, an ancient, ancient form of meditative, repetitive prayers, can be a great way to get to sleep, and you don't have those problems with getting up in the middle of the night, driving out to Wawa, and waking up after your car collided with a police cruiser.
The Rosary starts off with reciting the Creed. "I believein one God, the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth.."
And that's what I did, running through it until I got to the part that goes, "And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son..." And that's when I stopped cold, knocked off my horse like St. Paul with an Understanding: SM is the Holy Ghost.
Now, the Doctrine of the Trinity is a lot to swallow. Even for some lifelong committed christians. The vast majority of the world just doesn't get it. Jews and moslems think that we're all covert polytheists, worshipping three gods rather than one God.
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
What's that all about?
St. Thomas Aquinas was probably the only human being who ever lived who could answer that question, but I'll take a stab at it.
Okay. You've got God the Father. The Creator. He who hung the stars, whose eye is on the sparrow. Who calls all things into existence. Omnipotent, all-powerful, all knowing. The Almighty. Yahweh. The Great I Am.
And then you have God the Son. Jesus called The Christ.
Now, most of us christians fall into the trap of thinking about Jesus as a really really really really Good Guy. And he was! He was the best! Without sin! No sin! Who had a handle on so many things! Ain't nobody can argue really with much of what he said, as recorded in the gospels. Love him!
But the thing is, Jesus is also God. "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us." This is the doctrine of the incarnation, that God, the Creator, the Almight, who hung the stars and watches the sparrow and who keeps all reality from descending into chaos or the void or whatever, became a man. A living, breathing, sweating, crying, laughing, shitting, sleeping, waking, tired, hungry, loving, hating, fearing, despairing, rejoicing, man.
Let that sink in.
Uh huh... uh huh...
How cool is that?
It's the incarnation that gives all the juice to christianity.
God, that God, suffered and died on the cross at Calvary for love of us. For you and me.
(Note: I am pointedly not trying to win you all over to being christians here. It's just that this is all stuff I've been hearing and learning and trying to understand and sometimes even finding myself able to believe since I was a little kid. It's a big part of how I understand myself, the world, and my place in the world. And this is all about SM, I swear. It's all a big analogy, and I have to explain what I'm analogizing to. If'n I were buddhist or jewish or sikh and I came to a new understanding of SM through those paths, I'd be explaining some of the basics of those beliefs to you hear.
Just wanted to be clear.)
Okay. So you've got God the Father, God the Son, and that brings us to God the Holy Ghost.
Tricky, tricky, tricky.
When I was little, every time there was mention of the "Holy Ghost," I would picture the sort of white, shroudy figure with the dark grey splotches for eyes and mouth from the Scooby-Doo episode. The Holy Ghost is not easy to get.
In the Hebrew Scriptures, he's referred to as "the Spirit of God." He makes an appearance twice in the New Testament, as the dove that descends from Heaven when John baptizes Jesus, and as a roaring wind when the Twelve Apostles gather in the upper room after Jesus' crucifixion and death.
I know, right? Like, say what? What goes on here?
So Thomas Aquinas thought the dove thing was the Big Clue, the key to unlocking the mystery.
Y'see, in becoming a man, Jesus--and remember he's God--does the ultimate in submission to God the Father. He lowers himself--aka submits--and becomes a man so he can die on the cross. And he does this because of his love for God, and because of God's love for all of us. And God, beholding Jesus' pure and perfect act of submission and sacrifice, is moved to greater love and adoration of Jesus. So there's this whole cyclical thing that gets started: Jesus loves the Father and feels the Father's love, so submits to him; God, really impressed by this act of submission, loves Jesus more (love you back!), and this More Love deepens Jesus' love and therefore makes his submission more perfect and complete; and this makes the Father love Jesus even more, and...
Well, you understand? Maybe just a little?
(And maybe with that talk about submission, you catch a glimpse of where this is going, huh?)
As christians, we are called on to be Christ-like. And in part this means to be really really really Good, but it also means that we should submit ourselves to the Father, even as Jesus did. So we come to participate in that whole Love you!--Love you back!--That makes me love you more!--Well that makes me love you more! thing that Jesus and the Father have going on.
And that participation, which we feel inside us--and it's really really cool when you're really feeling it--is what the Holy Ghost is. It's that being awed by Jesus' loving act of submission, and it's loving him more because of it, and it's being able to submit yourself to God the Father because you love God That Much.
The title given to the Holy Ghost is "the paraclete," which is an aramaic greek word meaning, "the one called upon for help." And the way that works is that when you're in pain, or lonely, or in need, or despairing, or just Pissed Off At The Whole Damned World (the way you sometimes get), it's the Holy Ghost that comes to help you out by bringing to you some small measure of awareness of your participating in the whole Love you!--Love you back! thing that the Father and the Son have going on.
With me so far?
Maybe just a little big?
Because here's the point of this whole thing: the Father is the Top, the Son is the bottom, and SM is the Holy Ghost.
The Top is the Power. The Top is the one who Makes It Happen. The Top is Creator and Destroyer. The bottom, out of love for the Top, submits himself to the Top. The Top, in response, adores the bottom. And is filled with greater love for the bottom. And the bottom feels this greater love, and is thereby moved to greater submission. Which makes the Top love the bottom more. And so it grows and grows and grows.
Joseph Bean and Guy Baldwin and Dossie Eastman and so many greater SM minds than I have talked about this cyclical building within the scene, and I think this is the best way for me to understand that.
Now here's the really cool part.
Imagine that off in the platonic Realm of the Ideal [what the hell? I thought we were in christian theology here? Now we're going all platonic?] that the Great Top and the Great bottom are off doing the Great Scene. Always. They're always doing it. And it's getting better and better and better all the time because of that Love You!--Love You Back!--Then I Love You More!--Then I Love You More! thing. And when you or I do a scene, we make all that power and submission and love manifest in our own lives.
And that's SM! SM is the Holy Ghost!
Because the really cool thing is that we don't need to be doing a scene all the time to feel that SM wonderfulness!!! We can call on that SM energy when we need it, when you just don't get what's going on with your life, when you feel yourself losing your sense of who you are, when you're lost and afraid, when you're lonely and wondering why the hell it is that you can't meet anybody who's right, when you feel incapable, when you're just not feeling it... You can close your eyes, still your mind, and feel somehow that Great Scene In The Sky between the Great Top and the Great bottom.
That's SM. With us always. Not just in the dungeon.
Back to bed.
And please, God, let me get some sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and envigorated in THREE HOURS AND TWENTY MINUTES when I have to go to work. Please?
You all say a prayer for me on that, 'kay?