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Saturday, August 27, 2016

"Finished" Book

This morning I came to the end (for now) of "The Syrian Christ." I found this book fascinating, and it led me to know a bit more about customs, ways of thinking, idioms and so forth of the people of the Bible lands. I am going to share the concluding words of this book here:
Free and co-operative individualism is winning signal victories over the unnatural authority of creed in the Protestant bodies, and the bondage of the letter is giving way to the freedom of the spirit. The Gospel of Christ is triumphing over the theories about Christ, and spiritual self- fulfillment by becoming Christ-like is crowding out of existence all theories of magical salvation. The creed of the theologians consists of many "articles"; the Creed of Christ only two --- 'Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbor as thyself.'  I prefer Christ's Creed. 
Me too!!! I prefer Christ's Creed.

However, his optimism in 1916 seems to have grown clouded by 2016. There are many leaders of congregations who have doubled back to the old magical ideas of the creeds of the 300's and embroidered new and strange ideas upon them. Following Christ's Creed is simple, but perhaps too difficult to put into effect for some people. So, manipulators have added all kinds of hoops to jump through to be judged by them to be acceptable and what is sometimes called "saved." It seems to me they have dropped the 2nd half of Christ's Creed to all who are not in their category of "saved." So they deem Christ as giving mere suggestions and the control freaks of history as much more solid.

I don't want to get into it today, but I find the concept of "saved" as ludicrous - Jesus said God is love. What is there to fear? They speak of the words saying to fear God, which more accurately might be translated as "awe." They don't know the history of the human creeds, what Constantine did and why, how original sin was non-existent until Augustine and his buddies added it in what some say was a mistranslation of Paul, they don't study idioms and customs of that part of the world, they don't realize Jesus spoke Aramaic, they don't know of the shift from a Jewish sect to a Gentile world who did not understand anything Jewish and so really got far fetched from original meaning, and thousands of other facts that inform the true seeker on the Christ-led spiritual path.

Anyway, all the crazy details are really meaningless, except they control so many. I urge all who wish to follow Christ to work on His Creed, implementing these two items into every moment. See where that takes us spiritually. These two simple/challenging parts of the Creed could actually usher in peace on earth, the Kingdom of God here on this strange little planet.

God is Love. Love God back. Our neighbors have the spark of God within, salute the Christ in everyone. I salute the Christ in you.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Yin and Yang

Today I was thinking about my life here and the wide range of experiences -- and why???

On the dark side I've known: terror, fear, abuse, rape, loneliness, bruises to body and mind, betrayal, extreme pain, dramatic deaths, desertion, mental illness of those close to me, tears, and just about anything you can think of.

On the Light side I've known: God, Love, usefulness, inspiration, joy, friendship, creativity, hope, intelligence, success, laughter, happiness, peace of mind and probably most everything you can think of.

My first conclusion is that this earth experience is not for wimps. We have our spiritual muscles tested to the max. Sometimes we get some respites so we can catch our breath.

So this is not the vacation planet for the universe. This is maybe an intense school, or an asylum, or maybe a correctional planet. I think we must do our best not to get distracted by the dark side. We've been told over and over again the Way. the Path, yet so few of us walk it.

We've been told that when we do leave here, we are asked if we learned unconditional love and if we completed our purpose for this life. Therefore, we would do well to focus on these two things.

We might contemplate Love and Purpose, journal about them, focus on them and do our best to be able to answer "yes" when the time comes.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


This morning I awoke with the thought that something is amiss on earth, something is screwy. It is strange here.

First of all, the great spiritual lights across the eons have spoken about what a spiritual life displays. Some of the common words are: compassion, love, peace, kindness, forgiveness, generosity, praise, devotion, holiness, honor, Oneness...

BUT I look around my life and life in general and these are not the most common ways people historically or currently walk this earth. In many cases the display is opposite or far on the way to opposite of the signs of spiritual awareness.

How can this be? Centuries upon centuries of spiritual ones speaking, yet seldom heard. By now, shouldn't a large number of us, even a majority, have heard and heeded and strive to be actually spiritual? Sure, I know many who are, but maybe not enough to make this place the kingdom of heaven on earth it could be if most everyone sought to be spiritually awake. Not enough to tip the consciousness scale on the side of Godliness.

Perhaps it is partially that we have to start over with each new entrant to earth. We are always getting a new batch of souls and another batch are leaving. The influences on each new soul are varied. Today the influences are extended beyond family and community, books and teachers. Now there is the wild mix of evil and goodness on the internet, the television, movies, games, etc. There are huge differences being presented to impressionable new recruits to planet earth. And we see our Western civilization breaking down. It is terrible, frightening, filled with deep sorrow and yet fascinating to observe from sociological, psychological and spiritual vantage points.

I see that we stand on one of those huge historical divergence of roads - as in Frost's poem, "The Road Less Traveled." I can see the likely road humanity is taking is not the highest and best, it is the one that leads to much pain and destruction.

I call out into the atmosphere of this earth for souls willing to somehow know this call and turn and walk into a genuine spiritual awakening time, to turn from all that is unGodlike, to turn to all those things that define a spiritual being, to purify and allow the working of the Holy Presence in deep and profound ways. Before it is too late. Before darkness descends upon our earth for centuries, bring forth the Light.

Lord, I have heard Your Call and I send it out to all willing to hear, to those who never even read this but touch the energy, the meaning of these words. Speak in those hearts, Lord. Lead us to turn this darkness into Light and lift not only today, but also the future into harmony with You. I know the time is short, and I also know that with You, all is possible. Lead us to usher in a new era of Goodness and Light, spark the hearts and souls of us all to ignite with this Vision and be filled with Your Love. Let it be so. Amen, Amen and Amen

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


This morning I read something that I've said many, many times to myself and also out-loud.
The purpose of life is not to be happy. The purpose of life is to matter; to have it make a difference that you lived at all.  --- Rosten
My vision for my life has been for as long as I can remember is:  be a beneficial presence. Not that I always succeed, but that I always aim for this keeps me seeking to do better and better. I want to be the best version of Marlene that I can be and to do the most good I possibly can.

There have been times that I failed miserably. I have picked myself up and brushed myself off and tried again. Never in all these 76 years have I tried to be a hurtful presence, yet some say they have felt hurt. My intentions have sometimes misfired in strange ways. I am thankful that God knows my heart and forgives my periodic artlessness in this thing called life on earth.

I share this because we all experience the slings and arrows times, but we must be brave and not let that define us. We must not seek nor allow excuses that inhibit us from standing up with courage to be the best we can be. I believe we need tall standing Spiritual Lights now, perhaps more than ever, to shine the Light of God's Love everywhere. We must step up and be all we can be, for I see that we are almost in an emergency time on this planet.

Great Holy Presence in Whom we live and move and have our being, ignite in us The Light and help us to stand tall and shine Your Love every second of our remaining time here on this planet. Help us to be beneficial presences, witnesses for the Highest and Best, all that we can be. The ancient seal of faith seals this prayer, Amen, Amen and Amen

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Great Loan

This morning I am reading some words of Rabbi Heschel and Meister Eckhart on life. The Rabbi said,
I am endowed with a will, but the will is not mine, I am endowed with freedom but it is a freedom imposed on the will. Life is something that visits my body, a transcendent loan; I have neither initiated nor conceived its worth and meaning. The essence of what I am is not mine. I am what is not mine... I have not brought my being into being. Nor was I thrown into being. My being is obeying the saying 'Let there be!'
Meister Eckhart said that we should consider everything here as on loan.

That is a lesson that came full force to me when the father of my children passed during the week between Christmas 1976 and New Year's day 1977 when the equipment was turned off. All that he had worked so hard to attain, stayed here. All the Little League games missed to do more work, were nonsense sacrifices. All the moments of his life added up to the consciousness he developed - positive and negative - and that consciousness was all he took. I realized that the body is simply a sort of space suit the soul wears in order to function on earth, and that body is made of Mother Earth and stays here along with the houses, the furniture, the jewels, all "possessions."

So, yes, I totally agree with the Rabbi and the Meister. Life IS a transcendent loan. As with the parable of the talents told by Jesus, what do we do with that loan? That is what counts.

It does not matter what earthly things we accumulate as we walk this earthly path, for they all belong here and stay here. What matters is our development of compassion, forgiveness, kindness, love, caring, generosity and the qualities that belong to the soul. The things here on earth are nice decorations, but they are not transcendent. Maybe that's what Jesus meant when he suggested not to lay up earthly treasures for they do not endure.

Think of all the thousands upon thousands of years that humans have walked earth, of the "treasures" each person held dear. Where are they now? What were they? No one even knows.

I want to develop my spiritual muscles, my soul, I want to be more Christlike in the remaining time I am granted here. I want to leave behind things that matter, not just things. I want to breath the breathe of God's glory into the life here, give resuscitation to this weary place. I want to help people find peace and lay down violence, find compassion and let go of judgement and hate, I want to help open eyes and ears and hearts to what's really going on, to the spiritual reality behind and in and through this earthly exercise.

But how Lord? You place this seed in my heart, now show me the way. Place this seed in millions of hearts. Quicken human awareness. Let his be a time of blowing winds of spiritual awakening. Blow away the fog and shine Your Light into us all so that it can be said that never was there such a time as this.

Sunday, August 7, 2016


Meister Eckhart said things like compassion is a sign of the Christ, without compassion we are outside of God, true spirituality always is filled with compassion. This morning I was reading a Matthew Fox book on Hildegard of Bingen and came across a bit of her thoughts on compassion. She was discussing the hard-hearted, whom she saw in a dense smoke with black eyes. 
This sin hardens people so much that they do not wish to know the image of God nor recognize it in other people because without kindness they lack any kind of mercy and goodness... Hard-heartedness is the worst sin since it shows no mercy. Neither does it think that charity is necessary nor does it do any good works. Hard-heartedness was strong in tyrants.
I find it intriguing that this great spiritual light of the 12th century that has shone all the way to the 21st century finds hard-heartedness the greatest of sin. Since my main goals while here on earth are to awaken spiritually as much as I can and to be a beneficial presence wherever I am, I must search my heart to see where there might be a stray hardness.

Examination of oneself requires courage and the willingness to honestly assess and then correct what is found. So I thought where would common instances of hard-heartedness be found. Some concepts that are outside of my way to live and be come to mind - prejudice, violence, greed, untruthfulness, judgmentalness, meanness, all the negatives actually.

Inside of me I do find some focused pockets that I must open with compassion. I find myself hard-hearted to the true believers of any ilk who are closed minded and loud mouthed, often filled with rage and roar. I just don't want to deal with them, I want to turn away. I tell myself that I've had far more than my fair share of this kind of folks, and I'm worn out and have nothing to give there. Yet I do understand that locked inside of them is the Seed of God, and that Light jumps up and down trying to sprout and shine. Perhaps my compassion could create a little crack in that hardness so that their light could begin to shine. Perhaps all of us can make enough cracks so that God's Light is everywhere ablaze bringing glorious vistas.

Let's ask ourselves what hardness in us needs to soften so that we can share Compassion fully, without reservation?

Lord, soften my heart and help me share Your Compassion wherever I am, with whomever comes across my path. Unlock my heart to beat in unison with Your Heart. Lead me do and be what You would have me do and be with all of Your Children.

By the way, Webster's definition of compassion is - sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it. And the Webster Thesaurus says, sorrow or the capacity to feel sorrow for another's suffering or misfortune compassion
Synonyms commiseration, sympathy, feeling

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Religiosity? Spirituality?

As church attendance declines and mayhem increases, society as we've known it strains to go onward. The society of the 1940's and 1950's that cradled my childhood and youth is a far different one than exists today.

I think religiosity has played a large part in this shift/decline. What I mean by that is a rather empty, nonthinking, nonjuicy, religious tenor that truly turns people away from church and its usual values. Church is now a big business that for the most part is out of line with the modern understandings of science and Biblical scholarship. Instead of leading people to personal experiences of the Divine, people are expected to just believe things that are unbelievable in the literal sense, but are not led to understand the grand mythic stories that tell of a magnificence that is way beyond the literal. I think that most preachers get some of the grander understanding in seminary, but are told or decide the congregations are not ready or able to know the mythic grandeur. In most churches, the myths are told as literal and so are greatly diminished.

Theology has marched on with archaeological finds, older documents found, deeper understanding of languages and customs and idioms, with awareness of midrashic components of the New Testament, with the ability to read the words and understandings of the great spiritual minds throughout the ages, etc. For most part, none of this has reached the pews.

It is my conclusion at this point in my life that it is far past the time to shift to spirituality. It is time to have a vibrant, thrilling, impactful relationship with God, to know God not just to know about what others have determined we should know.

Let's use food as an example. First we'll take the foods we don't like, say liver. We try to explain what it tastes like and feels like in the mouth to someone who has never seen or tasted liver. It cannot be done. They have to taste it for themselves. Or we endeavor to tell someone what it is like to eat something we love to eat without them ever seeing or tasting it, say a hot fudge sundae. Words will never be able to convey the experience.

So too with spirituality, the journey into Oneness and intimate relationship with the Holy Presence, it has to be experienced. Words about it can give hints, but cannot give the KNOWING.

It is time to turn to spirituality.

My Beloved Lord, lead us to know You. Lead the religious leaders to turn to spirituality and leave religiosity behind in the dustbin of history. Quicken a great spiritual awakening on this beautiful earth. Lift our hearts to the song of Oneness and to living awake in Your Presence. Let this be such a time as never before as people from all walks of life and all histories awake up in You. Let a giant wave of awakening sweep across the lands. Oh God, I can see it. Make it so. Amen, Amen and Amen