Desire: The Sacred Seed

I grew up in a theological landscape dominated by the doctrine of Original Sin. Maybe you did, too. For most of my life, I was taught some version of: At your center, there is a Jesus-shaped hole that only Jesus can fill.

This concept is so prevalent, it's not just limited to what we hear in our religious circles; it also shows up in the broader culture. My kids will confirm that pop culture is not my forte', but I do have a new hero in Lady Gaga (I'll save that for another post). In her Golden Globe award winning duet with Bradley Cooper, she sings, "Tell me something, boy, aren't you tired, tryin' to fill that void...."

I understand the appeal of this idea of a gaping void at our center. It seems to explain so much about humanity. Our insatiability. Our poor choices. Our seemingly unanchored floating.

And it may be that there is a lot of space or emptiness or darkness surrounding our core. But I reject this shame-based and fear-based theology of a void at our center. I don't think this is what the Christian scriptures or Jesus teach.

Instead, I suggest that at our very center lies a sacred seed, whose name is Desire. It was implanted in us at the very beginning, deposited into the earth of our bodies from the warm bloom of God's first breath in us. This Divine DNA encapsulates the essence of the One from whom it came. It holds the plan for the ongoing, eternal, ever-new/always-the-same  expression of the Creator. It may spring immediately into life; it may lay dormant for years, awaiting just the right conditions of warmth and rain and soil to launch it on its sacred journey. This seed contains all the nourishment needed to root down and rise up.

I find this image of a sacred seed to be much more in keeping with what God actually communicates about who we are, beginning with naming humanity, "very good" just after our creation (Genesis 1:31). And continuing with Jesus' naming the rivers of water which flow from our hearts (John 7:38) Or his insistence that the "Kingdom of God is very near; it is within you (Luke 17:21)."

And, I actually think that this explains even more about our insatiability, poor choices, and aimless floating. Most of us likely struggle to name our deepest desires, and so we get lost in pursuit of the lesser, shallower, and often disordered, ones. We live insatiably to the extent that we are disconnected from our deepest desires. We make poor choices when we aren't clear about what that deep desire actually is (hint: it always has to do with Union, with God, self, others, creation) and we spend our energy chasing lesser desires of security, affirmation and control. We lack stability when the nurturing of our desire doesn't send us on both the downward journey of rooting into the Ground of Our Being/God and the outward expansion of embodying divine expression in the world.

Friends, what if at the very center of your being there is not a Jesus-shaped hole, but a Divine distillation, a sacred seed named Desire? What if the longing held within that Sacred Seed is less the longing for Godself and more the longing of Godself? Or, what if those two are not really different? What if you could relate to your longing as gift and roadmap? What if you could bring some compassionate curiosity to desires that aren't yet pure? What if you could wonder about the desire under those desires? What if you could sense down into that still, small voice secreted away at your very center and trust what desire it speaks and give yourself to it fully? What if the time is right, right now, for your bursting forth out the tomb that has encased your own divine potentiality? What if each day begins with that much good news? What if...?