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Tuesday, February 28, 2017


In the shower this morning, my mind began musing on holes and individuality and grief. Each person is a unique creation with a unique purpose, no one else can fill their place. It is up to each of us to be as fully who we are as possible. No one else can be me, and no one else can be you. If we don't go for it, it doesn't happen - that part we are to play is left undone, a hole in the fabric of life so to speak.

That led me to think of grief. When someone of whom we are aware passes on to the next life, we feel some level of grief. I think that is partly because they have left a hole. No one else can be that person to us. There will never be another you, says the Marriage Encounter song. Grief can be deeply felt, as a close loved one goes on to the next life. It can be mildly felt, for a person that was barely known.

But then it can be about someone that we've never met, but whose work has in some way touched us. For example, Mozart died so young, and I wonder what amazing compositions we will not hear that he would have written in a later part of his life. I feel a touch of sadness about that. I wonder what Pres. Lincoln might have done to smooth the transitions after the Civil War, and I feel a pang in my heart. We also feel for current public figures (those who lived during our times), such as Pres. Kennedy and the hole he left as not only he passed on but also Camelot left us. My generation shook from the immense shock of a series of heroes being assassinated, not only Pres. Kennedy, also his brother, Bobby, and Dr. Martin Luther King. For the most part, our grieving ends fairly quickly when it is for someone we didn't actually know. However, it must be noted that for some it goes on and on - some people still are grieving Elvis.

I also grieve for the millions upon millions of babies that have been killed/aborted, whose lives never got to be lived, their gifts never given. Millions of holes. What could have been, was supposed to have been, but was destroyed by the notion that life is not sacred. I weep for them and also for those who decided that life is nothing but a clump of cells and not worth honoring. As we turn from acknowledging and honoring the sacred, we see society fraying at the edges and tearing larger and larger rips in the fabric of society.

I pray we as the people of earth, as the human family that we are, turn our hearts and lives to the Divine and change direction. The loss of Western civilization, or of course civilization in general, would be an immense and catastrophic hole. I say Western civilization here because that is the most under attack from within and without right now.

We rarely know far in advance when we will graduate from earth and will be asked if we accomplished our purpose and if we learned to love unconditionally. Let's strive to fill up the space that is us with all the vibrancy of love and light that we can. Let's be fully the divine creation we are and express our uniqueness. Dare to be you.

Sunday, February 26, 2017


There are many kinds of hunger, and all impel us forward to endeavor to find satisfaction. Our stomachs are empty, and we seek food. Our lonely hearts seek love and friendship. We seek meaning for our lives, for without it, we know something is missing.

Perhaps the biggest, most devastating hunger is spiritual hunger, but people rarely know how to satisfy that hunger. As I observe behaviors, it seems to me that there is a huge, massive spiritual hunger on this earth, When a person is at home with God/The Divine/The Higher Power, there is peace, there is compassion, there is a harmony, there is light and there is love. So I know that there are sad souls who seek something, and may not even know they seek Oneness with The One. I see the opposite of spiritual understanding - I see callousness, I see strife, I see darkness and I see hatred and violence.

There is an alarming amount of savage behavior on our planet. maybe more than I've seen in my lifetime, although WWII was a time of extreme savagery too, as are all wars, and also the times and places of communism/dictatorship. Just stop for a moment and see what is happening. It looks like the breakdown of civilization. A scary number of people are hysterical, violent, acting without reference to moral values and definitely not on any honest spiritual path. Even many who say they are "religious" do not engage in historical analysis, deep thinking, questioning, seeking, questing and breaking out of the superstitious domination system under which they are ruled.

I see part of the situation aggravated by the domination system that has taken over most of the religions of the world, They use fear, superstition, and outright false teachings in order to control people. There are few who try to lead people into spiritual depth, enlightenment and awakening. After all, awakened people cannot be controlled and so would not allow themselves to be dominated.

What could save us from a long period of darkness, would be an actual spiritual awakening, led by those who have no hidden agendas because they themselves are awakened. It is hard to break out of the carefully crafted domination system that controls most aspects of life. It requires quiet times, meditation, study, thinking, comparing, daring conversation - finally leading to the realization that this planet is a majestic masterpiece, over which we humans have responsibility, to realize that each life is sacred and that we are all part of a grand cosmic dance, to realize that superstition has no part in saving civilization let alone to play a part in the bringing forth of the Kingdom of God on earth.

One inner shift, and we, the citizens of earth, could turn this incredible planet into what it could be. I urge us all - Stop the destruction. Turn to the quest.

Oh great, Eternal One, open me to You as I have never been before. Lead me to spiritual awakening. Lead me to be part of the turning away from domination, ignorance, superstition, and violence. Lead me into the pure spiritual mission of my life. Open my eyes. Open my ears. Open my heart - to You. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Bone to Pick With Constantine

The more I read history, the more I feel sad for the demise of the original teaching of Jesus.

He taught the Kingdom within, the life lived by following His Way, The Way. It was a humble message centered around unconditional love for everyone including God and self and neighbor and enemy, forgiveness, healing, generosity, Oneness with God, etc. What actually happened in history is not that.

Let's look at Palm Sunday. Jesus came into Jerusalem on a pack animal, greeted by cheering peasants waving branches and articles of clothing. He objected to the collaboration of the high priests with Rome and the distortion of Judaism as a result. He stood for God's Kingdom.

Entering from the opposite side of town came Pilot with a full entourage of soldiers and high political types. His procession exemplified the dominating power. They came in from Cesarea on the coast, where he lived most of the time in the pleasant weather in a new palace.

We have a high drama of domination vs God's Kingdom.

300 years later the Roman Emperor, Constantine, decided that it would unify his empire if they all had one religion. It's a long story, but he chose Christianity and then set out to change it. He called together some of the Christian leaders (estimated to be 1/2 to 1/3 of them) to create a unified religion. The freedom of Jesus' inner kingdom and personal relationship with God became another arm of the domination powers. It has not recovered to this day.

If we honestly look at what happened after Constantine began it, is not a pretty picture. It is unlike the original Way. It is about control. It is about domination. The powers that took over, strangled away the sweet and yet profound, life-changing, transformational understanding that Jesus shared and asked us to follow.

I suppose that it is not too late. There have been great Spiritual Lights that flickered ever since. There have been moments of spiritual clarity, here and there. I wonder how we could ignite that True Light and bring transformation back via the Jesus understanding. Can we give up domination? Can the organizations give up domination? Can it be tolerated or even accepted by the dominators to set the minds and hearts of the people of earth on fire with what Jesus asked of us?

Imagine with me what kind of a place earth would be without the powers of domination and with the Light of God leading us in Love.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Paperbag Stage

From old home movies, I see a happy, exuberant little Marlene as a toddler and a little beyond. Then I see a carefulness set in. One of my survival techniques became to not be fully present so as to avoid some of the extreme pain inflicted upon me. And it seems to me that part of my journey of awakening requires me to eventually fight my way out of the "paper bag" I had created to help me keep the distance I seemed to need to survive. I got fairly skilled at just going away mentally while it all went on.

I can see clearly, with 20/20 hindsight, that some of the horribleness seemed to be dulled by looking at life through a protective distance. As I began to touch spirituality, not religiosity, the protection had to go, at first little by little. I think of Paul talking about seeing as a child and now clearly or about looking through the glass darkly and then face to face.

So, I thank that "paper bag" that helped me get to the place where I could truly delve into a deep spirituality. I can see it was a stage that had a purpose. It began to fall away in the late 60's and continues to fade into the category of what once was, but is no more.

Now I seek as full of spiritual understanding as is humanly possible. Now I wish to look into the eyes of others and see them fully. Now I wish to communicate fully and honestly. Now I embrace my life and those in it.

We all go through stages as we walk the journey of awakening and dodge and twist and turn from the hurling of opposition along the way. No journey is without the slings and arrows of life experiences. We can take them as teachers, learn from them and continue on our way. Our goal is forever full awareness of Oneness with God and life filled with and shining forth The Light and The Love of the Divine.

Oh my beloved One, lead me onward to You. Help me ignore the distractions of this world and stay focused upon You and what You call me to do and be.

Thursday, February 9, 2017


Bear with me for a moment. I've been reading a lot of Biblical history. From the fight with the prophets of Baal to the condemnation of those who have gone to the pagan side in the book of Revelation - there is great concern regarding the damaging effects of going pagan.

What did/does paganism look like? Some key points include materialism, sexual promiscuity, morals far away from Jewish/Christian morals, worship of idols rather than the worship of the unseen God, and a few others.

Ponder with me two different societies/worlds --- one based on paganism and one based on Jewish/Christian ways. Which would be the one we'd like to live in? We cannot aim for darkness and light simultaneously. We cannot be both greedy and generous. We cannot be both chaste and promiscuous. We cannot be both loyal and disloyal. We must choose.

As I look around, I see a world tipping in the direction of the pagan.

Let us contemplate these two paths and which we choose. Then let us listen for Guidance as to what to do.

I know You are here with us, always. We open the doors of our inner being to hear You at the deepest levels. We come willing and ready to follow You, be as You would have us be, and to stand for You in the world. We listen, Lord.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Saying Good-bye to Judy

This post is in honor of our dear friend, Judy, and her journey to the next life.

She was talkative and fun on Saturday afternoon when we spent several hours with her and her daughter in the hospital. She had a great attitude, especially for someone who had spent the month in the hospital, the rehab center, and then again the hospital, and who had not been home for that entire time.

Then on Monday morning I awoke feeling off. I felt like there was no way I could go to my art quilt group that morning. Shortly I received a call that Judy was failing. I realized that was the reason for the odd feeling. We went to the hospital and were told her kidneys and liver were shutting down, she struggled to breathe, her blood pressure was low and her body temperature several degrees low.

In ICU I held her hand and she said, "do you know?" I told her I did. We talked of what needed to be completed, said, or done. She said she was ready. She asked me to wash her face and put a cool cloth on her head. We talked a bit, she in a whisper. Then with another friend, we held hands, forming a circle and prayed for God's Love and Light and Guiding Hand and Highest Good for her soul. I told her that it could be a bit confusing at first, just remember to go to the Light. She asked repeatedly for her daughter. We knew she was on her way and reassured Judy. Others came, and we walked out of the room for them to come in. We gathered at the end of the hallway, a handful of friends around a table that surely had held many such gatherings for others also ready to depart. We talked about Judy.

Her daughter came, clutching the prayer quilt we had given Judy. She was asked if she wanted to hear it from the doctor or from our friend who had been her friend for many many years. She chose our friend. She wept with deep grief. We held her and encouraged her. She was able to compose herself in order to peacefully be with her mother. We knew Monday was THE day.

Our little group dispersed just before two o'clock, with 2 of us promising to return after some duties and appointments we had. I returned just before 3:30. Her daughter was with her and wanted to be alone with her knowing her time to go on was close.

Almost as soon as I put my backpack down and took off my shoes, I received a call that "Judy was with the Angels."

Her end is also her new beginning. Life eternal moves onward. She has "slipped the surly bounds of earth," as we all must some day. She left conscious and filled with faith, with courage and peace. I am thankful to call her my friend. She will be missed greatly here, and welcomed heartily there.

God bless us all.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Held and Guided

Looking back over some of the twists and turns, ups and downs of my life, I heard a voice saying, "And through it all, I was there with you. You came through it safely." I felt the echo of Julian of Norwich saying that all is well. I heard the old hymn, "all is well with my soul." I felt a new dimension of peace. Through it all, I was not alone. I was not destroyed. I was deepened in my understanding. This and that were stripped away, and there I stood. I stand this day.

This journey is NOT about the outer of life and its dance, its comings and goings, its pains and delights. It is about remembering who we are. It is about touching the Presence. It is about realizing Oneness. And then it is about shining that deep Light of Knowing out into wherever we are. And it is about how we walk this Way on earth. What deeds we do or don't do, the words we say or don't say, show what we know or don't know about the Spiritual Walk, The Way made visible or more obscure.

Sure, there are many, maybe the majority, whose walk does not shine the Light. It can be discouraging if we let what we see others do define what we do and who we are. We really must turn from that and turn to the great Spiritual Understanding, the Perennial Philosophy, the understanding of all of those of whom we know and can call Teacher - Lao Tse, Buddha, Jesus, James the brother of Jesus, Meister Eckhart, Hildegard of Bingen, Mechtild of Magdeburg, Julian of Norwich, Jacob Boehme, Thomas Kelley, Teilhard de Chardin and many others. There are those who have known some of the Truth. It seems to me that the more we look in their direction, the more pieces of the puzzle we have, and the more we can discern Our Way, The Way we are called to walk.

I suppose it takes some discipline, some establishment of spiritual habits, to join the walk along the Way. A recipe might be:  quiet time; study time; reflective time, writing time; listening time; participation time.

Walk consciously upon the face of the earth. Walk with awareness of the sacred. Be the person God had in Mind when we were created. Let That Light Shine.