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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Opinion vs Fact, Myth vs Reality

Today on television, books, schools, and churches we hear people speaking their opinions as if they were facts - not recognizing the twist of interpretation, they speak as if everyone would see it "that" way. Yet, there are many ways of looking at everything, and the more ways we look, the fuller the picture we get. But, as finite beings, we cannot ever reach the place of 100% knowing of anything, for there is yet another way to look at whatever it is. We can approach fact in science or mathematics, but we cannot all agree on what "it" means.

We can, for example, look at a lump of coal. What does it mean? What is it? Is it something waiting to become a diamond? Is it something to put in Christmas stockings of misbehaving children? Is it a way to warm a home or power a factory? Is it evil pollution? Does it tell the story of its history as it was formed eons ago? Is it something to be used or not? Where did it come from and why was it formed? Are we glad we found it or do we rue the day someone began to burn it? etc etc etc.

What are the facts? And then, I must ask - why are myths mistaken for facts?

My favorite definition of myth came to me from Joseph Campbell - Myth is something that never happened but is always going on. 

The situation with facts and opinions and myths and Reality is that our cultures are facing paradigm shifts because there has been a collision beginning with Galileo, Newton and Darwin. The old myths that had been mistaken as reality or Reality are now disproven as fact, as literal. The earth is not the center of everything. The earth does not stand still. The Infinite does not suspend the laws of nature. We are closer to the other mammals than we want to think. The Universes are so vast that they are unknowable, and on and on.

So we face a dilemma. Do we throw out religion, or do we look more deeply at the myths for their meanings? I have come to believe that the richness of myth is far more mysterious and marvelous than if these myths were actually Reality. We are alive in the exciting time of huge paradigm shift and can be part of the opening of the depths of the myths that have guided humankind for so many centuries back into the clouded time before history was recorded.

I have a suggestion. Pick your favorite religious myth that was once thought to be fact. Contemplate what meaning it has that can speak across time and culture to guide us into a closer walk with the Infinite One. Journal on it. Mull it around. Mine it. Go beyond what you have ever thought before. Let the infiniteness of God reveal Itself to you. Be a pioneer and fall in love with the new land to which you are led.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Miracles Happen

Last week my prayers focused on my son, on his birthday. I prayed for God's hand to comfort and uplift him and free him from anguish. I prayed for good things for him. He was outside of my reach, but not outside of God's.

Saturday morning at 7:30ish my cell phone rang. "Hi Mom, I'm in the area. Can you go to lunch?" It had been 7 years and 4 months since we had seen him. Suddenly, it was over!!!!!

I tearfully hugged him. Oh my how good he looked to my heart starved for my son. My daughter and a granddaughter came from a nearby town as they hadn't seen him for even longer (except he stopped by their home Friday night). Of course, my husband was there. It was the very best THANKSGIVING ever. In a Thai restaurant our family healed, shared, laughed, cried and became whole again.

He had been praying too and God told him to go see Mom. He flew out from the East Coast Friday, spent Saturday with us and flew back early Sunday morning. He came for 1 day!!!

God is great!! There are not enough words to express the magnitude of my thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Thoughts on the Day and History

57 years ago today I was walking around and around and around my obgyn's office building. He said a lot of walking would make labor start. The baby was getting large and was overdue. For 2 days I walked, this day and the day before. Then on the 15th, he said to go to the hospital and he'd induce the baby, but labor started in the nick of time. Many hours later, on the 16th, I was holding my 9 pound 8 oz. baby boy. I was in love. He looked at me with big eyes. His hair was long and dark. He was wonderful. And what a gorgeous, bright, curious and intense little being he was and became. So many beautiful memories over many years began that day, and then something collapsed and 7 years ago he went his own way, sort of divorcing us. I still get tearful.

Nevertheless, I would do it all over again. He will always be a part of me walking around on this planet, as of course is my dear daughter born a few years later.

I want to tie this to what I think is an abomination -- massive abortion, particularly to babies of color -- which I think of as genocide -- especially when Margaret Sanger's history is studied (founder of Planned Parenthood which should be Planned Murder). She wanted to get rid of people of color. And 57 million or so babies killed later, she has greatly reduced that population. And many who would have been mothers missed the amazing story of falling in love and journeying through life with another little being.

I also want to tie it to ancient Rome and seeds of its fall. It was common then to practice infanticide - babies, particularly girls but also boys who had defects, were thrown alive on the trash heap to be devoured by animals. They thought it was all right to do so.

Furthermore, ancient Roman entertainments were often murders in the arenas. Life was not valued. We could go on with examples, but I think you see the point.

Here we are in "modern" times and babies are being treated with no respect as they are killed in barbaric ways in the womb or partially out of the womb and then their parts sold to researchers. The most popular entertainments for many are violent films, television shows and "games."

I see echoes of the fall of ancient Rome afoot here. I would like Western Civilization to not fall. I would like us not to fall into medieval kinds of lives.

I pray for guidance for what to do.

Lord, I see patterns that lead down dark pathways. Guide us to turn to Your Light. Lead us to value this incredible thing we call life. Open our hearts and minds to love of life and therefore one another -- from the unborn baby to our neighbors on this planet. Lift the cloud of confusion. Open us to You.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Torah and Paul

I'm reading another fascinating book on Paul, quite different in many ways from the one by Crossen and Borg. This one is by N.T. Wright. I want to share a bit of this morning's reading put into my words and understanding.

The Torah (Law given to Moses) was given by God to help keep people from collapsing into chaos until humanity matured. It was given to the Israelites, but not for them exclusively. It was to be shared with all people when the time was right.

Paul's thesis was partially that --- opening to the new life of living in Christ was the new Torah. The old ways were incorporated in the new way and were greatly expanded. The influx of Spirit brought this new life. People were made anew under a new internal covenant that fulfilled the one with Abraham. The Temple was now primarily within and circumcision was of the heart. The way to live was alive within each awakened-in-Christ person.

It seems to me that most of humanity still has not matured. We as a species are somewhere between 3rd graders scuffling on the playground and rebellious teen-agers who grow into adults that are slumbering in relation to God and Reality. History repeats itself ad nauseum. People are in the same predicaments as our ancestors.

Many Christians (and members of other religions too) are engaged in nonsensical theology made up by the ignorant. People who do not study history are indeed condemned to repeat it. People who do not want to know, who just want to be told, walk blindly to and fro.

Occassionally someone "gets it" and their Light shines brightly for all to see, and perhaps be persuaded by such a Light to follow in that direction rather than the world's darkness and nuttiness.

I am thinking that in this context, what I must do to the best of my ability is to work on myself. I can focus on those behaviors, ideas, people, etc. that are known to lead to awakening. I can do something with myself that I am unable to do with the mass of humanity. If we each worked in this way, there would be Lights in every city and countryside for others to find and follow the example and way. In this manner, there is hope.

Lord, knowing we live our entire lives in Your Presence, we turn more fully today to You, asking for help to take down the veils that keep us from knowing You in direct and personal ways. Fill us with Your Spirit. Awaken us to be all we can be and know all that is knowable about You - knowing that by virtue of being here on this planet, there are some parameters that may have to wait for another time and place to fall. But, as totally as possible while on earth, lead us to You, to Understanding, to Wisdom, to Love, to Oneness. There is a soft rising of joy coming up from the depths, as these words roll through me in new ways. I come ...