Alegria on God’s Two Natures, and the Nature of Love

Poet Alegria Imperial recently shared with me these thoughts inspired by my post about postmodern evangelist Peter Rollins, below. Since I’ve had to turn comments off, I’m reprinting them here. She writes (emphasis mine):

I fully understand what Peter is saying and what you said is his main point “that our priorities are often topsy-turvy”, and that the reason we are in such a bind is we cannot see—”beyond the color of their (other’s) eyes, beyond the contours of their political and religious commitments…”

I would like to take that main point further—that the reason for such “topsy-turviness” is that we cannot see the intrinsic nature of things but especially of man, which goes beyond what nature ordains. And Christ came to show this to us. Christ, who is God, by being born as man already defies two opposing natures as we understand: can God be man and man be God? As God and thus, king of the universe, Christ chose to be born poor, died poor and thus, ostracized because intrinsically, kings are born with power and wealth; he didn’t although his lineage had to be of David, a most powerful king. As man he belonged to a religion but which he changed by turning its essence around: “the Sabbath for man and not man for the Sabbath”, and thus was viewed as a rebel.

Christianity, the religion established on his life and words, ensconces compassion and forgiveness as intrinsic attributes of judgment: the essence of a human being is not who he appears to be but who he could possibly be or the sum total of what is hidden in the eyes and ears of others, or in Christ’s words, “his heart”. He then summed up the Ten Commandments in one the word, “love”. More than two thousand years after he died, we are still grappling with that word, pushing and bashing people and things we cannot understand, such as the intrinsic nature of man versus the intrinsic nature of male and female.

What is love, indeed? Christ who is God became Man out of love. Is there any place for that love in this utterly complex life, this entangled world we have created, a life and a world we have layered with structure after structure so much so that these have caged our heart, our intrinsic nature as human beings, which has languished beyond our reach, our recognition. Take all those dying if not bodily as those caught in raging wars, emotionally and spiritually as those abused by those deranged with power, or those misunderstood thus denied of rights to live like those who find love beyond their intrinsic nature as male and female. In trying to keep order, trying to keep nature intact, there is so much dying around us, so much killing, so much pain inflicted on each other….

What actually got me thinking about this absurdity of forcing “love” into a mold that cannot transcend physicality was a post on Dec. 7 in the Today in Literature column about the suicide of Hart Crane during a cruise. He couldn’t reconcile his feelings for the stewards of the ship and the presence of his fiancee—they were getting married. I imagined the same thing as I did while watching another same sex couple at the inner harbor in Baltimore how it must have shredded their souls to pieces and submitting to melancholia simply gave in as in this poem that wrote itself (published in LYNX):

by Alegria Imperial

in the haze,
crow circling bare trees
finally alights

while sun
tints bay, i dive skimming
crimson-bottomed boats

duck pairs braid
shadows on my back—
i slurp refuse

gulls overhead fight
over what’s left,
screaming mute—

the same scraps
i tossed in my daze
a moment earlier

before i plunged
mesmerized by