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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Influencers of my Influencers

There are people, current and long since passed, who have influenced my life and understanding. Meister Eckhart and Ralph Waldo Emerson are two examples of those who have influenced me. Recently, I discovered that they both, plus others I regard highly, were influenced by Hermes. So, you guessed it, I began reading Hermes.

Right now I am reading his Asclepius, and I am finding it fascinating. I can see threads of it in many places in metaphysics, mysticism and various current teachings.

Some examples to consider:

There are not many, indeed so few religious men or women in the world that they can be counted. Thus it is that evil remains among the people through the lack of wisdom and knowledge of what really exists...

So God made man both good, and capable of immortality, because of his two natures: the divine and the mortal...

Man not only receives light, but he gives it. Not only does he progress toward God, but he forms gods.... So just as the Father and Lord has made the eternal gods to be similar to Himself, so humanity has made his gods in the likeness of its own features. 

His words, at least many of them, strike a cord of recognition in me. I think about Jesus saying his teachings fall on various grounds, few are fertile and produce fruit. I look at the many, many religions and sects and see how gods are created in the image of some manmade dogma. I see little emphasis on a personal relationship with God that is authentic and produces transformation. Most are in ruts, busy protecting their ruts and not seeking awakening/enlightenment. The view from the rut is not of what really exists and what really matters.

In all of this I can sadly see the why of the mess our world is experiencing. My continual question in my heart is about how to help us all/most/some shift to what really matters. Consider these things with me. God bless you.

 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Freedom - Liberation

What does living out of freedom mean, look like, feel like? 

Most of us are protecting ideologies, egos, image, status quo, programming, family stories and on and on. It is exhausting.

One of my aha moments came from Ram Dass's book, Be Here Now. It was long ago. We were vacationing at Lake Tahoe. My husband and children were trout fishing. I was lounging and reading the book. A flash of a moment burst in with such clarity that it shook me. If we are not present each moment, just as it is, we are missing our lives. Be where? Here. When? Now. These became my mantra until it was actually my experience, most of the time at least.

Later I studied Aikido, which focuses on now, now, now. The attackers are not coming all at once, but this one, this one, this one. Then est taught me also about successive moments of now.

What did this add up to as far as my life experience?  By being fully here now, it is easier to keep my balance, harder for events to throw me. It makes me resilient. I have nothing to defend, protect or hide. Life flows, I observe, I respond, I continue on. 

Without this life has to be changed and structured according to our beliefs or we're not happy. We manipulate. We react. We get stuck. The opposite of be here now happens in our experience.

By being able to keep my balance, be resilient, by observing, responding and continuing on, I am liberated and free, and  I simply continue on my journey.

I was led to share this today with you. I hope you will take it into your heart. God bless you.

Friday, November 20, 2020

A Note on Heresy...

I just read this interesting idea that heresy says "I can do it," or "You can do it." While orthodoxy says, "We'll do it for you."

This points to the way of mysticism, knowing God, and the codified theology that talks about God.

And to me that is a succinct delineation of the distinction between the traditional American Way and socialism or communism.

A crossroads presents itself. Frost comes to mind, " Two roads diverged in a yellow wood..."

Future history depends on our choice. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Heresy or What?

This morning I read about Bruno, who thought he'd found original Christianity. He read Hermetic writings from the 2nd and 3rd centuries. He was so excited that he dashed to Rome to share with the Pope. The Pope was Pope Innocent, who was so anything but innocent that I can't imagine why on earth he chose that name. He was responsible for wiping out most of the Cathars and much of the people in the South of France. So, of course, he wasn't welcoming to Bruno. He threw him into prison and had him tortured for 8 years before he had him burned alive.

What was the horrendous heresy that earned Bruno such a reception? He was excited to discover ideas such as we came from a spiritual dimension and can remember while here and discover God within. 

I would have been right there with Bruno in prison, for I agree. Today those ideas are no longer dangerous heresy, so I'm relatively safe. But I am led to ponder how ideas become so dangerous to the mind of the powerful that such extremes are enacted with their approval and at their behest.

Religion has become less important to most people these days, so there's no talk of heresy there anymore. Heresy is standing on shifting sand right now. It's about climate or politics or maybe sports. It's about correct words or sex or image. What was heresy last year has been replaced by the newest heresy this year. It's hard to keep up.

My solution is just to be as authenticity me as possible, seeking truth and interiority, and how you define me is not relevant to who I am. Let's stop the treadmill of trying to stay off some stranger's naughty list😇. Just be authentically you and me.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Soul and Body

Alfred North Whitehead, we used to attend the Whitehead lectures at Claremont School of Theology, had so many fascinating ideas. I relate to his ideas around process theology, for example, but today I want to consider soul and body. He felt that Western philosophy was a series of footnotes centered around Plato. Why would he think this?

Before Plato, the soul was thought to be the spirit of the body. But Plato shifted this into prisoner of the body. This laid the framework for the development of the idea of the need for salvation of the soul from the battle with the body. A negative dualism was born and enshrined in orthodoxy.

Plato said, We should make all speed to take flight from this world to the other, and this means becoming like the divine so far as we can..

Now the soul, being understood to be separate from the body, could go and do and be what the body could not. The soul was positive and the body negative. This has created all sorts of problems, especially for people of the West. It also created some pretty strange theology.

As a person who relates more with the mystics of all backgrounds rather than with theologies made up by unenlightened and out of touch with Spirit, mostly men, I often cringe at the convoluted dualisms taught as truths.

Also, as a person who has had multiple direct experiences with The More, I feel a certain sorrow that people are taught to believe things contrary to actual Truth, rather than to be taught how to experience Oneness themselves. 

I would say that the soul and body are partners in being able to experience life in this earth school. They are to be treasured, nurtured and set free to learn and grow and draw sustenance from this opportunity to be here for a time. Life is a gift, a treasure and full of surprises. Yes, one day we will give our bodies back to earth and shift into other dimensions, but for now our bodies are to be celebrated.

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Mystics that have touched me include, but are not limited to: Meister Eckhart, Hildegard of Bingen, Jacob Boehm, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Julian of Norwich, Rumi, Hafiz, William Blake.... I invite, urge you to explore the mystics. Also the Perennial Philosophy, especially the book of that title by Huxley.


Monday, November 9, 2020

Suddenly Freud

Freud said that We know and we don't know, and we play this game of hide and seek all of our lives.

I used to ask people who came to me for counsel, and who seemed stumped about this or that, What would you do if you knew? or some variant of that. I did this because it became clear to me we really do know, but we hide it from ourselves, or we play hide and seek with what is actually going on. In some odd way, we have often/usually disconnected from our full selves.

I was reading a Russian novel this morning, "Petersburg," and there was a curious manner of speaking - Suddenly broke in. I thought, that's what happens when we step out of the game of hide and seek - suddenly breaks in and we see and know, we have eyes to see and ears to hear.

As I look around the current state of things, a huge game of hide and seek seems to be going on. We actually know what is destructive and a danger to us, but suddenly has not yet broken in for very many of us so far.

I think we know because we are one with Spirit, the all-knowing, infinite One. But we have not stilled our busy lives and minds sufficiently to see and hear fully, so we take glib answers and bumper stickers and other people's points of view and get back to our busyness. There is no time to examine our inner knowing, get on with it, hurry.

I pray for suddenly to break the spell of hide and seek. 

Saturday, November 7, 2020

The Shadow

This morning I was praying for someone who sees life through the veil of paranoia, and therefore is unhappy, has difficulty with relationships and is alienated from many. I remember him before the shadow blanketed him. He was so delightful, sparkling with life and curiosity and joy.

Suddenly I saw a vision of the shadow on him. I've read a lot about our shadow selves and how it us difficult for some people to face their own and to be free of them. But this morning I saw the paranoia as just a shadow, like the one cast when we take a late afternoon walk or when we make shadow figures on the wall to entertain children. What do we do to get rid of shadows? Light. Shadows have no powers in themselves, they are just light obstructed.

Then I saw God's Light casting away shadows, even the ones we have named and made real in our minds. This includes so many things from irrational fears to yes paranoia.

So now my prayer:

May the Light of God shine fully in the heart of my loved one, casting away into thin air the shadow named paranoia. With a thankful heart, I turn him over to God's healing Light. I celebrate the revealing of his true nature set free from the shadows. Praise fills my heart.