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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

An aside

Yesterday I turned 3/4 of a century! Hard to believe. Inside there is still the little girl running through the orange groves, and all the moments of my life. I hope that I will be granted enough years to do the things God had in Mind for me to do when I was given entree to life on earth.

It was an odd birthday. With a huge bacterial infection in my foot, I was wheelchair bound and wheeled into a lovely restaurant.

I couldn't help but think of the unfair and bizarre freezing of my assets and life in general, sprinkled with the thought that God would restore the years the locusts had eaten. I asked for a sign, a clear sign that the frost would melt. Then a voice message on my cellphone from my beloved son, from whom I had not heard for almost 5 years! I wept and wept. Truly a sign of hope.

Thank You, God, for restoring my hope and for the soon to be restored rest of my life.


When I was young, there were a handful of church denominations from which to select. There were Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopal, Brethren. Christian, A.M.E. and several other denominations. But nowadays there are many new churches. You can tell them by their non-traditional names.

Each of the new churches seem to have their own particular slant on what is Biblical teaching and what is the truth or untruth. Sometimes their differences are tiny and sometimes huge. I suppose that each has a visionary founder that sincerely thinks they have found the true and correct understanding of Jesus and the whole Bible story.

As I often say in workshops as I lead them to do this very thing in small groups - there is another way to look at  ---------; there is another way to look at _______; there is another way to look at _______; etc. We do well to stretch our minds by doing this simple exercise on some neutral object, say a chair or doorknob. Great insights come from this. If you never have seen this chair before, what might it be? Then keep going a half a dozen or more times, there is another way to look at this chair. In workshops people come up the most creative and sometimes humorous looks at an object that once was only one thing. Try it for yourself.

With the explosion of church varieties, we could do the same exercise. The trouble is that so many groups think and teach they have the whole truth, period. This of course makes God little, definable and no longer infinite. How can I know Infinite? Kind of silly when I think about it.

Another way to look at this dismaying array of "denominations" is to say to oneself - there is another way to look at such and such belief, etc. In that way we could expand ourselves into a larger knowing and deeper walk. But most just want to memorize "the right way to believe" as defined by whatever group has formed and declared they KNOW what no other group knows.

I suppose I would urge a more paradoxical approach to religion and a mystical way into relationship and experience of The One. But I know each person must find their own way and may not be ready for such a leap just yet.

I bless each journey. I celebrate each person who cares enough to walk any spiritual path that leads to Love, Forgiveness, Service, Kindness, Congruence, and an attempt to live awake to the knowledge that each day all we do and say is in the Presence.

God bless us all.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Paradoxical Palm Sunday

I just discovered this morning in my re-reading of "Art of Loving" by Fromm that I am a paradoxical thinker. It was a huge revelation to me.

Most of the West has followed Aristotle's logic - A cannot be non-A. Most of the East plus most of the mystics have used paradoxical logic - A and non-A do not exclude each other as predicates of X. 

"Teachers of paradoxical logic say that man can perceive reality only in contradictions, and can never perceive in thought the ultimate reality-unity, the One itself... The world of thought remains caught in the paradox... Thus paradoxical logic leads to the conclusion that the love of God is neither the knowledge of God in thought, nor the thought of one's love of God, but the act of experiencing the oneness with God."

A Taoist thought: To know and yet think we do not know is the highest attainment; not to know and yet think we do know is a disease.

Yes!!! That is exactly what I think and have come to know.

So I was pondering how do I apply this to Palm Sunday? How do I experience it and therefore make it meaningful? I was thinking of some of the elements: Jesus entered with people celebrating, knowing what they did not know; only Jesus knew the outcome; Jesus did the hard thing that he felt was the right thing; the people were clueless for the most part; there was a larger story going on.

Our lives are also played out with most onlookers clueless about what is going on a deeper  levels, often we may be clueless too. A triumph may only be so by appearance, Jesus told us to judge not by appearances but judge righteous judgment. What have been our failures have led to our successes which led to failures that set the stage for success, etc. Failure is not failure and success is not success. They are a string of lessons and they are more.

I detach from judging the dance around me and just am. I watch it, knowing it is not what it seems to be. I trust the One.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Logical Consequences

Eric Fromm said that the logical consequence of theology is mysticism, and the logical consequence of psychology is love.

So taking psychology first, effective psychology leads to a person who is a loving person, in the sense of mature love. That is a person who is a giving person without hidden agenda, just gives because that is what he/she does. This person cares for others, responds appropriately to others, respects and sees others and takes time to know others. This person treats others as ends in themselves and not as means to ends. The psychologically well person exudes love.

We see some such people in our world. We admire them. We wish there were more like them. We aspire to be them.

Then let's take theology and the thought that it ultimately leads to mysticism. As you may know, the mystics are dear to my heart, speak to me most dearly, and are cherished by me. I have a touch of this mysticism in me that I wish to grow. Who is a mystic? A person who knows God/Source/Higher Power in a direct and intimate way. A person who periodically sees through the veil. A person who knows, writes and says things that come from a higher place. A person whose allegiance is to God and not to other people's words about God, for the mystic does not learn about God but rather is with God. Historically mystics come from all streams of religion - from Christianity such as Meister Eckhart, Hildegard of Bingen, Teilhard de Chardin; from Islam Sufis such as Rumi, Al Ghazali,; from Hinduism such as Lalleshwari, Meera, Swami Ji; from Buddhism such as Suzuki, Alan Watts, the Dalai Lama; etc.

Although rare, mystics do arise among us. It seems to me, we would do well to study them rather than any theology, for they found a way to know and be with The One.

So looking around life and also history, I think most theology is nonsense for it does not lead to mysticism. It very, very rarely leads a person into a direct experience of God. It does not lead people to be with God. It leads people to read about God, hear about God, memorize other people's thoughts about God, etc.

In the Christian tradition, we are to follow Jesus who became the Christ. We are to follow in his footsteps. We are to do even greater things than he did. We are to heal, to love, to forgive, to know God so intimately that we call Him, Papa. We are to be Christed for that is what it means to take on his flesh and blood and do and be as he did.

But, theology has not led us there. How many Christs do we see? Perhaps the current state of theology is impotent. Perhaps just downright wrong headed. Jesus said, "by their fruits you will know them." So as we look at the fruits of current theology, what do we see? I do not see mysticism. I see factions protecting their way for theirs is the "right" way. I see clubs that exclude non-members. I see clubs that want to destroy non-members. I see little recognition that God is everywhere, in every path and calls us up and out of the fog of separation.

I only see mysticism in glimmers of people who have gone off the theology trail and sought their own way, springing off their original theology, but not staying there. At the core of every teaching is Truth. But then those who do not Know directly begin writing and putting layers upon the original Truth and people are required to believe whatever these theologians say, even when it is opposite of the original Truth revealed by the original Mystic who told the Truth in the first place.

The way I see it is that Jesus told us one Truth and then centuries of pontificating men (mostly men!) put all kinds of strange layers upon the Truth and we are to believe what these unconscious men have written, and we are to believe on faith or we're not to be in the club. Throw out intellect, throw out archaeological discoveries, throw out newly discovered ancient documents, throw out common sense, ignore the mystics and listen to the pontificators.

Or seek to follow the Truth. Seek to actually Know God and walk in His Presence. Listen to the mystics. Blaze a trail to Oneness, to Love, to Light, to Knowing. Answer the call that urges from the depths of our souls for us to awaken.

I can almost imagine what life on earth would be like if millions of awakened people walked in Love and Light, actually being Christed.

Lord, lead me to You. Awaken me so that I may Know You and walk in Oneness.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Means and Ends

One of my favorite sociology professors used to speak of reification as a major problem in modern life. That is, means become ends and vica versa - such as the end goal of going to school is to get education and the means/way to know how you are doing would be grades. Reification would  that the grades now become the end goal so buying papers, cheating on tests, etc would be acceptable.

So this morning I was re-reading Eric Fromm's "The Art of Loving," and I read this: ... conviction of the uniqueness of the individual is expressed for instance in the Talmudic statement:"Whosoever saves a single life is as if he had saved the whole world; whosoever destroys a single life is as if he had destroyed the whole world." Equality as a condition for the development of individuality was also the meaning of the concept in the philosophy of the Western Enlightenment. It meant (most clearly formulated by Kant) that no man [woman] must be the means for ends of another man [woman]. That all men [women] are equal inasmuch as they are ends, and never means to each other.

It dawned on me that the valley we have personally been navigating was created and maintained by those who wanted to use us as means to their ends, with no regard to the anguish that this creates in our lives. And then, my mind went to the wider problem of the disintegration of Western civilization and culture. Not only do we see daily attacks and brutality on all things Western and Christian, but we also see the culture around us falling apart. The culture in which I was raised is light years from the current culture as seen in print, music, television, movies, values of the young, etc. So much is crude, disrespectful, ugly, blatantly sexual and far from the spiritual journey.

Maybe an equal threat to our civilization is from others. For example, on Sunday "60 Minutes" had a section on what is happening to Christianity in the Middle East. I cried as a Bishop, maybe he was an Archbishop, said he had to leave behind in Mosul many 1st century Christian documents as he was only given 5 minutes to leave! I cried as I saw churches and all things related destroyed by wild, ignorant, brain washed fighters.Only a couple of Westerners were there helping train those who defend, and they paid their own way to get there to help.

Do enough of us have the courage, desire and will to stand up and save our civilization?

I weep at the descent of decency. I weep at the descent of compassion. I weep at the descent of spirituality. I weep at the descent of our very way of life. I weep at the rise of the barbaric.

Is this the way of the  post-spiritual world?

I hope we all think on these things.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Vertical Psychology

I am excited for I have finally begun the re-editing and preparation for Kindle of my book "Vertical Psychology." I am on a big learning curve as I am writing it in a new program, Page Plus, that promises ease in Kindle prep. As I write and edit the book, I am struck by the ideas I wrote so many years ago in preparation for seminars in Russia. I hope when I get it ready and up on Amazon that you will read it and let me know how it seems to you.

It will take a bit of time before I am ready to share it electronically. So hold on while I go into a writing mode for it.

Friday, March 13, 2015

It's A Good Morning to Wake Up

The Indian Mystic in the 15th century, Kabir, once said: "Why not wake up this morning, you have slept for millions and millions of years."

Yes, why not wake up. Shake off the busyness of our plans, our day, our minds and wake up.

Shake off our excuses and wake up.

Shake off our fears and wake up.

Shake off the looming disasters and wake up.

Shake off that which weighs us down and walk into the Light. Why not.

If you know life to be eternal, then you know this goes all directions - before this life and after this life. Because we are still here dealing with stuff, we know we've not fully awakened yet. Maybe he's right, maybe it has been millions and millions of years we've been putting off waking up.

Stop doing things that keep the trance going. You really do know what they are.

Ask yourself what it would take to awaken. Listen. Notice. Be aware. Walk consciously. Trust the guidance.

Have courage. Fear not for I am with you.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


This morning I read a poem by MC. Richards that I want to discuss a bit.

The schooling that we seek is full within,
It rises to the surface as we move.
It has the face of angels, human speech...
Our planet is our school, and far beyond:
our church, our shop and study, and our fields.
We are all learning to awake:
awake in dream, in meditation and in prayer.
Inspired awake! Inspirited awake!
We feel it thus: one mighty school, the teaching everywhere.

In so many ways this speaks of some of my themes in my book, "What On Earth Is Going On? Spiritually Speaking?"

We are here on this planet to awaken, to remember who we are, to learn. There are clues and lessons bombarding us, and so many times we ignore or run from them. All great mystics tell us to WAKE UP, open our eyes and see. We are in this cradle of educational opportunity, blessed to be able to learn from everything and everyone. Truly the earth experience is luxuriant with constant opportunity to learn, to develop and awaken.

Let us join the poet - Inspired awake! Inspirited awake!

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Spark

I have long called that spiritual center in us, the knowing intuitive, holy center - the Spark - in my book, "Stretch Marks on My Aura," I have insets from my journals and called them "from the Spark." (not in print right now, but may put on Kindle books in the future.) Anyway, the creative bursts I have had in various areas all of my life have seemed to me to be inspirations from elsewhere. That is, I have written or painted or sewn things that I did not learn from earthly means. I just suddenly knew. Later, I discovered that Meister Ekhart also refers to that place in us as the Spark.

This morning I was reading some more Eckhart, and there was a reference that Aquinas said that Angels learn by intuition. I thought - and they then also teach us by intuition. That is how they function. I felt the flutter of wings. And I realized that the story quilt I had just done in a Marylou Weidman class depicts an angel over all the turning points of my life. Perhaps subconsciously I was crediting "my" angels with the intuitional leaps, the comforts through the deep valleys, and the vast roles they played/play in my life.

A thought to ponder.

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