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Monday, February 23, 2015

More thoughts on Love

As we were out driving around, observing magnificent clouds contrasted with gorgeous blue sky, my mind turned to the unqualified directive from all spiritual greats for us to love.

Jesus went so far as to say that loving neighbor, self and God fully, unconditionally is the key to everything. I thought how that plays into living in the now. Right here and right now I am to love. This holy moment is the only one I have to live, and I am to bring all the love of God into this very moment.

No excuses. We never know what is just about to happen. In the blink of an eye, my life has turned on end. Happy play, and suddenly a knife on the throat. An aneurysm, and he was gone. One day love from a family member, the next good-bye forever thrown in extreme anger. One day savings and a bit of ease, the next all frozen for no reason and without due process. etc. etc. etc.

No matter what comes at us, we are still to love. No spiritual great says to love when convenient or when others are behaving a certain way. Living in this tiny moment only, surely I can show up as Love and set aside all of the pressing things that call me to turn from love. In one turning moment, one day, I shall leave this body to mother earth and return to my spiritual home. I want to be loving others in that moment. I want to answer the unqualified directive to love by actually loving no matter what.

Lord, help me to Love as You would have me Love.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Our Consciousness is Showing

No matter how hard we may try, who we are at our present development level shows up in many subtle and also not so subtle ways. Ultimately our journey will lead us to know Oneness, to Enlightenment, but we all are at various points of that journey. Some of us are stuck, some leaping forward, some early on the path, some far along, etc. At each point, we are working on developing some part of ourselves.

We focus our lives on a wide variety of interests, which are in many ways all paths that lead to Oneness, God, the Cosmic Christ. Some focus their interests on different chakra energies, working  up the chakra road to the top awareness of Oneness.

[Earliest mention of chakras are found in the Vedas(1700 BCE - 1100 BCE). Breath channels (nāḍis) of yogic practices had been discussed in the classical Upanishads, and during the eighth-century Buddhist Hevajra Tantra and Caryāgiti, that hierarchies of chakras were introduced. From Wikipedia]

In other words, in many cultures for a very long time, the concept of a hierarchy of energies exist and are significant. It is interesting to go more in depth in reading this.

However, I want to get back to our consciousness is showing, and often we don't even realize it.

Let's say where a person is on their path is focus in their intellectual energy. They speak often in ponderous ways, giving treatises on this and that subject. They value books, learning, quoting others, etc. We most likely have met such people. If they are not self-aware, they may not realize how they come across.

I have known some people whose energy is focused on the second chakra, that is sensual, sexual energy. They infuse their conversations with inflexions of tone that are suggestive and throw in sexual innuendo. For some, their lives are focused on sensation, which leads the person into pitfalls unique to this focus. Sadly, heart-breakingly, I have lost some beloved people to the scourge of AIDS. Knowing the dangers, they would/could not rise above the sensual and change their behaviors.

Wherever we are on our journey of awakening, we have what card players call "tells."

I suppose it is our job to discover our own "tells" and work to rise up toward the pure consciousness of Oneness.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Where We Focus

It is interesting to notice people at seemingly the same time and place experiencing and seeing different things. When I was in college, in several classes, we were shown a film about eye witnesses of a car accident. When interviewed, each had wildly different takes on what happened, including such details as the color of the cars.

In more personal situations, I notice that not only something like the above can happen, but also the filter of past experiences, hurts, unresolved issues, etc. play upon the current moment. Even in a friendly group, each person reacts to a simple statement differently - some with positive responses and some all the way to the edge of hostility. So some may infer helpfulness while another may infer belittling. The reaction speaks volumes about the person responding and less about the one making the statement.

Let's expand this to our spiritual journey. Each segment of religion has one or more books they consider sacred. Each book is written by a series of humans, so that human flaws crept into the writing. The adherent of a particular segment will select the portion of their sacred book that matches their heart and mindset. The mystical will look for the mystical. The legalistic will look for laws to use as clubs against others. The loving and seeker of the Presence of God, will see verses about that and interpret the more violent passages metaphorically. The angry and seeker of superiority will see verses about their way being the only and the need to harm others, and they will interpret the loving verses narrowly- as only to their group, but only so long as they conform. And so forth...

This morning I read some Sufi things (the mystical side of Islam). Let's compare these sayings to some of what is going on in the world now, and perhaps put on our thinking caps as to how to get some of the angry to hear this side and take it to heart.

Ibn El-Arabi wrote:
My heart is capable of every form:
A cloister for the monk, a fan for idols,
A pasture for gazelles, the votary's Ka'ba [temple],
The tables of the Torah, the Quran.
Love is the creed I hold: wherever I turn
His camels, Love is still  my creed and faith.

Abdul-Matin wrote a book called "Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet." He began by sharing what his father taught him on camping trips, that he considers a basic tenet of Islam, The earth is a mosque, and everything in it is sacred.

According to Matthew Fox, Ibn El-Arabi, like all Sufis,... claimed that there was a coherent, continuous and perfectly acceptable progression between formal religion of any kind and the inner understanding of that religion, leading to a personal enlightenment.

Perhaps explore more Sufi philosophy, if you feel led: Avicenna (980-1037), Ghazali (1058-1111),  Ibn  El-Arabi  (1165-1240), Rumi (1207-1273), Hafiz(1320-1389),  Idries Shah (1924-1996) who was an historian of Sufism.

I suppose before we can hope for others to shift to the enlightenment side of their path, we must do so. Let us commit to practice the Presence of God today. My old touchstone - speak and act as if you stood before God in His Presence - for in fact you do.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Following Christ - Some Thoughts

For many years I have been drawn to Thomas a Kempis' "Imitation of Christ." It has seemed to me for as long as I can remember that for me following Christ meant to do as he did as far as possible.

I think when Jesus said "follow me," he was not just talking about traipsing around Galilee, he was talking about a deeper thing. He was, of course, talking to the people where he lived so that the vast majority were Jews with a smathering of Romans and maybe a few others. But I am convinced he meant to tell all who would listen to follow his teachings, to do as he did, to follow his example, to become like him and they too would know God and therefore be a healing, lifting presence on earth.

Jesus, Joshua ben Joseph, was the name, Christ was the title which basically means "the anointed." It seems to me that there is little mention of Jesus' early years, except in some spurious and much later writings, because he was developing into the person who would be Christed. His long meditations in the desert, his walks in the hills, his study of the ancient scriptures, his journey in general led to the point where God burst through and he was Christed and on fire with the Lord. At that point, the aching in his heart for others to awaken to the deep spiritual realities filled his poignant invitation - follow me.

When I read George Lamsa's little book on the idioms in the Bible. I was astounded at the things that are idiomatic in the Bible, but are taken literally today. You might want to read it. One of the big things for me was that eating my body and drinking my blood was an idiom for following and being devoted to the one saying this.

This morning I was thinking about following and my journey to be as loving, forgiving, lifting, healing and light-filled as possible and not let circumstances constrict me from following Christ. And as I thought on this, the idiom came to mind, and I thought that even near the end, knowing the end of the earthly journey was near, he asked his most intimate followers to follow him even more deeply by committing to be like him by taking his very being on. At that point it was certain he did not mean by walking around and literally following him over hill and dale. It meant taking on his very being.

So I challenge myself again this morning, and I challenge you, hear the call, follow Christ deeply and fully and walk the journey to be Christed.