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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Balzac and Today

This morning I found some challenging ideas in Balzac, the brilliant thinker from France who lived 1799-1850. He divided people into three basic groups.

The creature with simple consciousness only is a straw floating on a tide, it moves freely with every influence. The self-conscious man is a needle pivoted by its centre—fixed in one point but revolving freely on that. The man with Cosmic Consciousness is the same needle magnetized. It is still fixed by its centre, but besides that it points steadily to the north—it has found something real and permanent outside of itself toward which it cannot but steadily look.

The goal is to awaken out of the slumber of simple consciousness, move beyond the imprisonment of self-consciousness, and move into the expansive state of cosmic consciousness. He puts it pointedly:

The "resurrection" is not of the so-called dead, but of the living who are "dead" in the sense of never having entered upon true life.

It seems unlikely that one could leap from simple consciousness directly to the cosmic awareness, so the middle step is necessary. Few known people, however, seem to shift into the cosmic awareness. Those we know of are scattered throughout history. It is possible, and I think likely, that there are more than is known, quiet folks who were lights in their areas, villages or tribes but left no written record. 

It is also possible that in this very moment of history there are those who have been "resurrected" out of limited life to have touched the Light and Know beyond usual knowledge, know God. Some may be reticent to share for various reasons. If you are such a person, I urge you to share. The people of the world need Hope and Light and the path to their own "resurrection." 

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Walking What?

In the words of St. Francis,, “It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.”

Oh how this quote sets ablaze something in me. It speaks to my long held understanding of how important, even urgent, it is to be congruent - to walk and be and model what we believe - to not say one thing while being another. 

Gandhi was reported to have said something like - if you want to know what I believe, watch how I walk my life. What an amazing place this world would be, if we mustered up the courage to live this congruently, this honestly.

I know I've written about this before, so excuse me if I'm being repetitive. Francis' words this morning hit my heart so deeply that I had to share his understanding of being one's teaching, of one's teaching actually being how we show up in life.

So, lets ask ourselves, "What am I teaching those who see me walk my life?  What did I teach yesterday? What shall I teach today?

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Just A Quick Word

Nagging in my consciousness this morning, not letting my mind stray far from it, is a thought with many arms. It is centered on abortion. Are we as a people really wanting to eliminate all inconvenient life?

The argument for abortion frames itself in inconvenience. It is not a good time, or there are enough children, or people will find out about one's unfaithfulness, or some such inconvenience.

Carrying out the commitment to eliminate all inconvenient life, where do we stop? Do we eliminate the inconvenient homeless or inconvenient thinkers, or....? Where does that line of thinking stop?

We really need to turn away from that madness toward the sacredness of life. We need to move our consciousness above our petty inconveniences to embrace life, help one another, love one another and live with our whole being on sacred ground.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Intuition or What?

There are so many ways to look at those flashes of knowing, that turn out to be accurate, and might be gathered together in the category of intuition.

They could be from the collective unconscious, from guides or angels, from archetypes to which we relate, from our chakras, from our own subconscious, from flashes of past lives, from God, or even from aliens. That just scratches the surface of things hypothesized.

Back when I was studying for ministry, I read a pile of books on mysticism - from those who studied others to the others being studied. We read Jacob Boehm, Meister Eckhart, Mechtild of Magdeburg, Hildegard of Bingen, and dozens of other mystics. We read Evelyn Underhill and Richard Bucke. So we basically studied how people had attuned themselves to the Infinite, and how we might also do so.

Richard Bucke seemed to fully believe that humans were moving into conscious union with The Divine that would be as monumental as the first self-consciousness of humans in the far distant past. He surveyed the exceptional awareness of the mystics and felt they were fortelling what was coming for us all. 

At every time in history, there have been those who were in tune with the Infinite such as prophets, sages, shamen, wise ones, etc. A question I have is - does this seem to be accelerating? For a shift of all of humanity, there would have to be a critical mass, it seems to me. I see quite a few who are writing and speaking about spiritual matters, but that is still a small minority. I also see a lot of confusion, violence, fear and such in the news and in lives across the globe. 

What can each of us do to attune to the Infinite? I suggest we disengage from a lot of negatives, as much as possible in this "modern" era. Spend some time reading and quietly contemplating some mystics, pick one to begin and stick with that one until you feel like you know them. Spend time just being with nature. Meditate, listen, journal. Put value on your spiritual life.  Just as you would not go out without brushing your teeth and combing your hair, don't go out without bathing for a time in spiritual moments.

There is so much more to life here than you know. Seek it. Find it.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Morning Memories Waft Through My Mind

Often, as I am in the half awake/half asleep moments of the morning, things float into mind. Sometimes it is memories sweet or sad, or answers to questions or to how to fix a project, or sometimes it feels like whispers of the Divine softly flowing and inspiring me.

This morning it was a sweet memory of my dad. He used to cut the white shell off of old, cracked golf balls. We would spend time together unwinding the thin rubberband that came next. There were two possible finds at the very center - a gooey, honey like center, or a small ball that had a lot of bounce. I always hoped for the ball, which I would use for playing Jacks. It added more challenge to the game than the little red ball that came with the set of Jacks. Not only would it bounce higher, but also it might bounce in any direction, for it was grooved by the tight rubberbanding that once encased it.

It is also a metaphor for people. Most people are not totally open to share their deep center to everyone, or may not even know themselves, at least consciously. So they put on an outer shell of protection, a mask. There are layers and layers under that shell - years, decades or more of experiences and memories and decisions. There is a center of perhaps unknown substance to most, for it becomes entombed in the tightly wound bands of the static of human ego.

I know, however, at the center is the soul, the spirit, the eternal essence that is undamaged by whatever has transpired in the jumble of the miles of rubber band which have been accumulated. In every person there is the shining light of The Divine, no matter what the appearance. It is our task to unwind the tangle and stand at last in that Light, letting our Light so shine that it radiates Reality and Hope for all who have eyes to see (paraphrasing Jesus). That is our task to which we are called. I know this to be true.


Saturday, April 17, 2021

Why Am I Here?

I was thinking this morning about the idea of a Sacred Contract, written about perhaps most recently by Caroline Myss. I have spoken and written quite a bit about all of us having a common mission - learning unconditional love - and individual missions/purposes. These ideas are certainly related.

We can tell how we are doing by observing our lives, our self talk, our emotions and our consistency or inconsistency of following our inner guidance, our intuition, our beyond thinking knowing. 

People often abandon their missions early on because of experiences in childhood and develop a portfolio of excuses. What called to you in childhood? When and why did you stop going that direction?

For me, it was art and spirituality that had a sort of magnetic pull on me. I veered away from art based on a set of experiences in high school and because of my mother. I kept my urge to create in the background, and I see now I created some big problems for myself by creating the wrong thing. Later I turned my call to create toward sewing, cooking and writing. Nowadays I do draw some and make a lot of quilts, mostly for charity.

I didn't veer away from spiritually. I think the call was so strong that I had to walk that way.  From early childhood, I've had a personal relationship with the Divine. If it had been open to me, when I was younger, I probably would have gone into the ministry. I see now, I needed time and experience to sort of ripen in order become the person who could authentically minister. It was 1978 when I was ordained, and I still had a lot of growing to do.

Because we discern what our purpose/mission/sacred contract is, does not mean it will be fulfilled and handed to us on a silver platter. We aim, we refine, we stumble, we pick ourselves up. We are called and know when we are or are not aligned with our calling, at least if we are paying any attention at all.

So we must ask ourselves and be honest with ourselves - Have I learned unconditional love, does my behavior show it? Am I walking in my purpose, am I fulfilling my sacred contract?

Now go forward with clarity, always listening within.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Real Life

I grieve as I see the violence and agony sprayed across the news in its various forms. In newspapers, on television, on the internet, on social media we hear of this murder and that, of children killed, of mass attacks. We hear of nations massing violence producing weapons on borders. We hear of devious plans to take over the world.

I want to cry out to the people acting with hatred and violence. Can't you remember you came here from a spiritual realm and are to be developing your soul, your compassion, your loving kindness? Can't you remember life here is a privilege? Can't you remember you are accountable for your life? Don't you know about spiritual debt?

Real life is lived awake to spiritual obligations and joys. Real life is knowing there is more than the physical. Real life is steeped in service and care for others. 

It would be so easy to bring peace to earth if only we would remember who we are.