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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Polarization

Polarization leads to thinking of the "other" as nonhuman, not worthy of consideration, not worthy of kindness and care. In extremes, it leads to slavery, segregation, racism, apartheid, concentration and reeducation camps, war, and totalitarianism.  It is an ugly, non-spiritual mental space that always leads to dark places.

We need to pay attention to our thoughts, words and actions to shift our own selves out of polarizing positions. 

It seemed important to me today to bring our awareness to this, as there seem to be some extreme polarizations going on right now. I suggest this is unhealthy and is leading us to places we'd be wise to turn from. 

For the first time in my long life cancel culture has emerged, talk of enemy lists is spoken of freely, free speech is under attack. Before it's too late and we go into extreme times, I urge us to do our part in turning away from polarization. 

Lord, open my heart to all of your creation. Help me love as You have called me to love. Heal in me any contentious attitudes. Lift me above polarized thinking. Heal me so I can truly love. Lead our world to turn from polarization. Let this be a time of awakening. May Your Will be done. Amen Amen and Amen

Friday, January 8, 2021

Do We Live In a Museum?

 A couple of days ago I read something that keeps playing in my mind.

If the doors of perception were cleansed, said Blake, everything would appear to man as it is --- Infinite.... 

Plainly, it would mean the achievement of a new universe, a new order of reality: escape from the terrible museum-like world of daily life, where everything is classified and labelled, and all the graded fluid facts which have no label are ignored. ---Evelyn Underhill

Of course, this also made me think of Paul and his description of looking through a dark glass, and Jesus' urging to not judge by appearances but to use righteous judgement.

What struck me as a new way to describe it is the museum reference. I think it is apt. I notice quite a few do live like this. Categorize it and stuff it in a drawer. Put a label on it and don't consider it again. If it resists this process, ignore it, dismiss it, or just call it nonsense or heresy or unworthy of consideration. This leads to life cut off from so much, in a circular rut.

The questions spring to mind. How to get to the threshold to be aware this is going on, and then how to begin to climb out??? 

I think some kind of internal switch has to turn on, perhaps from a shock that shakes the person to the core or some form of suffering to that breaks open, even a bit, the crusty walls of their personal museum. Possibly it could begin with reading, study and conversation with someone out of the rut. That would be a gentler way, but still painful as the walls have to come down and the categorized drawers emptied. Light has to stream in. What I am reasonably sure of is that it can't be done for a person, it has to be done within a person.

With so much turmoil going on, I hope and pray this is the time that personal museum walls come down in huge numbers. We desperately need awakened people to help the world walk away from violence and chaos, from totalitarian tendencies set in motion, from the dark side.

God bless us all and lead us to The Light. Lead us to see with cleansed eyes and hearts - to see and know Reality.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

It Is Not That Complicated

I just finished reading a book that made the spiritual path convolutedly  confusing, esoteric, filled with ponderous ideas, written by an author taking herself far too seriously. Good grief! No wonder so many have turned away from spirituality.

My current state of understanding includes:

Joy is always present in a truly awakening person. " Joy is an infallible sign of the presence of God." Teilhard de Chardin

The path includes unconditional love, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, generosity, as per Jesus.

We are required to heal our wounds, go beyond our egos, be the best version of ourselves. 

 We are to be sincere, congruent, with integrity.

We are to care for one another.

We are to spend time communing with God in prayer and contemplation, in silence, in listening. 

 This leads us to Oneness.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Divine Possibilities

There are many slogans falling off the lips of religious and psychological folks. You can have it all. If you can think it, you can have it. You deserve it. Go for it. etc etc etc.

But there is a higher duty or responsibility or stewardship placed upon us. Some are so deeply mired in the trivial or the ugly, the call to More is severely muted, but there are enough who hear, at least softly, the call of More that there is hope for our future. The question arises - shall we evolve or devolve as a people, as a planet?

Imagine with me that there are, let's say, sort of levels of being human, a sort of continuum of consciousness. At one end we might place Lao Tse, Buddha, Jesus and others. At the other end we might place Caligula, Hitler, Stalin and others. We most likely are at some point between the extremes.

The call issuing constantly is toward the higher end of the continuum, while there is also a tug toward the lower. I believe that we are responsible for ourselves, for how we use the gift of this life and for answering the higher call. I believe we are here as stewards plus are to open spiritually. We have purpose.

We can take on the higher ways, Be the higher ways, and lift ourselves and others. We can take to heart the Way of Jesus and other great Teachers and actually walk it, or we can lazily just keep on as we've always done. Choosing actively and consciously to walk the Way, takes work, inner healing, the cleansing action of forgiveness, humility, fortitude and sincerity. It leads to a far different us and far different everything.

The core of much of religion is a version of the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do to you; refrain from doing to others what you hate being done to you, etc.

If we genuinely take the Golden Rule step, everything changes. As we reach up to the Higher, the Higher reaches to us. We are connected. Once connected, absolutely all things are seen anew and we step onto the amazing path of Spirit. It's a new way. It synchronizes us with one another and with The More. It's what's calling us, and has been calling every moment of every day.

Yes, I come to 2021 eager to answer the call. Guide and strengthen me to live a Golden Rule life this year. As I evolve toward You, I participate in the lifting of others. We move away from the darkness toward Your Light. I feel our connection right now. Thank You, Divine Presence for never giving up on me.


Thursday, December 31, 2020

Goodbye 2020 and Good Riddance

Although the end of a year and the beginning of a new year actually happens every day, we say that this is the last day and tomorrow is the first day. 2020 ends today and 2021 begins tomorrow. It can be a psychological shift, a mental opening to newness.

2020 has been globally horrible in many ways. There is not only the grief of so many dying, there are also the many side effects. There are businesses lost, dreams stomped upon, isolation and depression, leaders who let their egos make them mini-despots, confusion and fear and so forth.

There us another side though to consider. People have grown closer with one another in their homes. Many have slowed down. People have learned new skills from gardening to cooking to crafts to sewing to Zoom. People have learned to pray and meditate, and a considerable number have began to explore spirituality.

In a practical manner, there has been government and private cooperation to work to get a vaccine, medicines, equipment and facilities to handle Covid. Nations have shared medical knowledge and meds and vaccines. Unusual partners have worked together.

As with most things, it is not all bad nor is it all good. Perhaps it is a spiritual opportunity or even a test. Maybe it's not so much what happens as it is how we respond.

As we begin 2021, I hope we come to it resolved to not let ego lead us, but rather to respond with love and kindness and compassion to all people and events that are ahead in our paths. Let us be the best version of ourselves.

God bless you and keep you and lead you through 2021 and beyond.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Colliding Worldviews

I regularly deal with someone I care deeply about who has an opposite worldview. His view revolves around My way or the highway. My worldview revolves more around There's another way to look at this, and another, and another... He seeks, and believes he has found, clear and irrefutable truth. I seek truth on a journey of awakening, knowing Truth is infinite and not containable in words or anything else - Infinite.

The clashing of worldviews can be painful, or in some cases exhilarating, depending on the people involved. We can have good natured debates, irate arguments or just walk away as we shrug our shoulders.

In some ways, because we each have a unique life, all of our worldviews are unique. Sometimes they are close, and we can share together. Sometimes they are so far apart that it seems the other is speaking an unintelligible foreign language or even gobbley gook nonsense.

It's difficult to give a one size fits all solution to this. For me, I listen for The More to guide me. I am shown that along this path there are souls at every level and there are many paths. Just as I cannot argue a two year old into being a 30 year old, I cannot force someone to drastically shift their understanding. So, for those whose language is barely intelligible to me, those behind me and those ahead of me, so to speak, I realize it's not up to me. It's between them and God. 

Evelyn Underhill said that God's pull in our lives is like iron shavings to a magnet. We are all drawn. We'll all get there. And we do well to remember that there are many paths to Oneness, Awakening, Enlightenment to full Awareness. Bless us all on our journey.


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Our Christmas Life

Evelyn Underhill spoke about most people's lives being lived conjugating three verbs: to Want, to Have, and to Do. Craving, clutching and fussing on the material level, keeps most busy and also feeling like something is missing. The fundamental verb, the essence of spiritual life is to Be.

As I mused on the above, Christmas came into my mind. Many have spoken about the subversion of Christmas with materialism and sentimentality. That is so obvious that my mind slid quickly by that. Meister Eckhart's words jumped to mind. He asked basically, what good is it that Christ was born to Mary those many years ago, if Christ is not born in our hearts today? Now that seems to me to be the crux of it all.

In Christmas Eves past, in my talk/sermon, I often spoke of the Christ being born in the cradle of our hearts. Early Christianity spoke of metanoia, of transformation, of spiritual birth.  

So, what would it Be to birth the Christ personally, to Be transformed, to Be all we are intended to Be? Shackles would fall from all parts of us, from eyes, from heart, from ears, from mind... We would know that all is Spiritual. God is breathing creation every moment, including us. 

Jesus taught us, now we can have eyes to see and ears to hear the message. Finally the Universe sighs.

It's not about being politically correct, wearing the right clothes, seeking a promotion, giving or getting the "right" gift, or anything superficial. It's about genuinely Being forgiving, loving, lifting, caring, living compassionately. It's about living the Way, the Message in such a way that the Light streams from us and touches others and sets their Light free too. That's what Jesus did. Reread His words and hear them personally. You are sitting at His feet and soaking up His Way and taking it on as your Way too. That's what He asks of us.

May the Christ be born in the cradle of your heart this Christmas.