It should not surprise us that history has honored Moses and his descendantsof rule-writing companions. If realism is your master context, these oldrules still breathe deep common sense. Here is my 21st Century wording ofthe classical Ten Commandments as listed in Exodus 20:
1. You shall not devote your life to any reality more than to Reality with acapital R.
2. You shall not mistake any names, thoughts, ideas, or symbols, for thisunnamable Reality.
3. You shall not trivialize the symbols that do illuminate this Reality.
4. Keep free a seventh of your time for nurturing your Reality devotion.
5. Honor your ancestry in Reality-devoted living.
6. You shall not murder your neighboring beings.
7. You shall not misuse your sexual powers.
8. You shall not take for yourself what belongs to another.
9. You shall not falsely accuse the life of another.
10. You shall not covet having a life that is not your very own potential.
All the stories surrounding Moses are the wildest sort of historical fiction,but this truth need not diminish the rich meaning of these old stories. As thestory goes, Moses, in his concern for his enslaved brothers and sisters, losthis cool and killed an oppressing soldier. He then had to flee to the desert.Walking about one day he spied a strange sight: an ordinary bush, a smallpiece of the natural world was enflamed with the Awesome Wholeness ofRealitywith a burning of Awe that did not quit, but turned the spacearound it into Holy groundthat is, into an Awe-invested space.
The truth that was breaking through to Moses in that signal event was avocational calling of astonishing magnitude. He was to lead slaves fromtheir captors without getting killed by the pursuing armies of Egyptiancivilization into the wilderness and there construct for them a new kind oflife. Surely we can all identify with Moses when he cried out, Callsomebody else.
We can also surely identify with Moses when he wanted to know who it wasthat was calling him to such a radical vocation. The answer he got from theburning-bush revelation was not very satisfying. Just say that the IS inevery is has sent you. The Final Reality of the Moses dedication was, andshall ever be, an unnamable mystery. We still ask the Moses-typequestions: Who or what sourced this cosmos What are we up against inthe horrific events of our overall history Will human effort ever makesense of it all Is it truly my best case scenario to devote my life to aradicalform of realism. Would I be better off creating for myself a morecomforting view of reality
Also, in spite of the fact that freedom from the slavery of Egypt was ablessing to be intensely celebrated on the other side of the Red Sea whileEgypts chariots sunk into the mud, this freedom is also an anxiety. Thosepeople knew how to be slaves in the then well-ordered Egyptian society;they didnt have any experience being freedom in the wilderness. Werethey sure they wanted to be free Surely we can identify with thatquestion. We still have to answer it for ourselves.
It really does not matter to us that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were devotedto this course of living These flawed patriarchs whom we also meet inthese ancient stories were pretty weak recommendationseven if they trulyare ancestors of the Mosaic Spirit wisdom
Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and a lot of other men, as well as women,plus Jesusall thought that the devotion of Moses was right on. But whowere they Even if Jesus did turn out to be another hot burning bush ofAwed expression, he was indeed only an unauthorized peasant, in an out ofthe way place, centuries and centuries ago. It still takes some strongimagination to see the full blaze of Final Reality in his birth, life, teaching,death, and living presence among a small selection of ancient religiousfanatics.
Nevertheless, this small community of men and women have expanded, andtheir Spirit descendants are still recommending to us that realistic living isthe best case scenario for our one and only lives.