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Friday, June 28, 2019

True Religion

This morning I read a thought that resonated loudly with what I have come to know.

True religion ignites within and flows out. It is not taught from without and flows in. It is not a doctrine enshrined in institutions. It is the spark already in the soul that awakens and grows and overflows.

It is something each soul desires to experience, but most don't. Most get sidetracked with the goings on and doings of life. Most settle into a routine that is the usual routine of each time and place. Vaguely they feel a nudge to something more, to The More. Sadly, I think, most leave this life without awakening to become the outpouring of the spiritual light within.

I pray more and more of us become attentive to the spark of The More within and let it flow gently and gloriously out. Let your light so shine...

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Seeds Die, Sprout, Are Born In A Grand Cycle

I read many spiritual writers from all persuasions, as you know, if you read this blog or know me personally. I truly have been on a spiritual quest from early childhood.

I've read a quite a bit about Christian mysticism that reignited in the middle ages, and I have my favorites, those who spark some recognition within me. Recently I've been reading about breakaway groups that seemed to eventually coalesce around what came to be known as Friends or Quakers.

I am struck by how they sought basically what I seek, and came to similar conclusions.

  • There is a seed, a light within each of us, the seed of God. It is our responsibility to water and nurture it to maturity. 
  • The church, for the most part is a soul -dead organization interested in itself.
  • Preachers are mostly speaking from their lips rather from a soul on fire within, from a personal knowing that literally made all things new.
  • We are called to the original Way, to the simple teachings of Jesus and to jettison all the rigormorale and hoopla.
  • God is a verb, once touched, acts in wondrous and surprising ways through us.
  • Each soul yearns, hungers, for the Knowing, the Oneness, for that which does not fit into words.
There in comes the flaw. The original and inspired teacher is not replicated. That is followers begin to talk about, but not experience, what originally was an incredible direct knowing. Most of the original seed fades away and is replaced by rituals, creeds, and rules. From time to time, a seed from one original or the other sprouts in someone, they go forth inspired, but then again it fades away.

Jesus told us of the kingdom of God within. By the time Constantine and his bishops were done, the fire and the seed faded into an almost unrecognizable hierarchy, a labyrinth of rules and constraints.

We can find the light-filled seeds strewn across history and nurture them within our souls so that they sprout in us. We try again to share the glory of God and of Love. Perhaps this time could be a time of amazing spiritual awakening once more. 

I urge you to find the seeds that speak to something deep within you, nurture them, give them your love, be excited about your own spiritual journey. It is your main purpose for being here. Remember who you are.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Hunger for Meaning

It is clear to me that we all search for meaning in our lives. It is a main nutrient to our souls. We wither and experience diminished lives without it.

Part of our dilemma is we get sidetracked and latch on to meaningless things promoted as meaningful by a shallow and controlling shadow we call our leaders.

We settle for worship of a book or a person rather than striving for genuine relationship with the Divine. We sink even farther from the yearning of our souls as we fill our days with adoration of sports teams and celebrities, spend endless hours devoted to consumerism, and waste the precious hours we have here on earth.

But what has meaning is the other direction. Compassion, kindness, living love, service to others, finding our gifts and giving them, quiet meditation and contemplation, spiritual conversation with others also seeking truth and meaning, actual connection with God - these are moments of meaning. Strung together, they create a life flowing over with meaning. Deep satisfaction feeds our very core. Our parched souls soak up the meaningful and blossom in new and amazing, even startling, ways.

It takes courage to shake off the propaganda that hypnotises us, lulling us into empty lives or at least half lived lives. Let us awaken and strive for full and meaningful lives.

Today I meet life in new ways. I am open to Guidance into the arms of meaning. Lead me Lord.

Monday, June 17, 2019

A New Creed

The theme of the California Pacific Methodist Conference was "I See a New Church." This morning, I feel led to begin working on a new creed. Here is my first draft. You are the first to see it, and I ask you to prayerfully consider it, knowing it is in its first stage.
 I believe in God, The Creator, The Ground of all being, everywhere present, transcendent and imminent. I believe in The Presence of God, The Holy Spirit, personal and indwelling. I believe in Jesus who became The Christ, illumined and inspired, awake and connected to The Presence so fully he became aware that he was the child of God and called us to do likewise. I believe in The Way taught by Jesus, The Way to live as he lived, full of love, forgiveness, and compassion. I believe in life eternal, always lived in God's loving Presence.
Furthermore, I believe each is called to live The Way so fully, so congruently that what we believe is shown in thought, word and deed, letting God's Light shine, so. that others are drawn to The Way. I believe Jesus taught us how to live and gave us the task to bring The Way into hearts and minds of all humanity, thereby initiating spiritual awakening and peace on earth.
This is my calling.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Preparation for...?

Wednesday we go as delegates from our church to our CalPac Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. We are preparing today, both by packing and prayer.

I wonder just how much one can actually prepare for events, because the future always brings the gift of surprises. I think the best one can do is continually prepare our consciousness to be Awake and Aligned with THE Presence, open to real-time Guidance with the courage to follow It.

This particular Conference has some possible major outcomes. Will we pull out of The United Methodist Church because of last year's decision to exclude the gay community? Or will we stay and work on transformation from within? Either way, this Church will never be the same.

Lord, prepare me in my depths to hear and follow Your Guidance. Prepare all the delegates to come humbly open to You so that the highest and best ensues. Bless the United Methodist Church, leading us to shine Your Light in the best possible way. May Your Will be done.

Thursday, June 6, 2019


I'm reading "Map Knowledge, A Thousand Year History of How Classical Ideas Were Lost and Found." I am struck by the repeated destruction caused by fanatics. Books, art, scientific items all burned and smashed by the crazies of history.

There have been centers of great scholarship such as Athens, Bagdad, Cordoba and Toledo. Enormous effort was made to gather the great works of humanity and to refine and add to them. Then the fanatics came in time and time again and burned wide swaths of destruction. Fragments of some remain, a few were elsewhere and survived.

In recent history, we watched in horror as Hitler's minions burned piles of books. It is said that destroying books and eliminating points of view kill the soul of a culture. Fortunately, recent book burnings cannot really wipe out those ideas because with printing automated there are many copies. In previous centuries, when hand copying was the only method, many scrolls and books really were gone forever.

Today we see fanatics working to shut up other points of view. From dictators to college students, dialogue is attacked.

Let us learn from history and refuse to give fanatics power to destroy.

Divine Presence lead us to honor one another. Help us listen with compassionate ears and speak with kindness. Open us to quest for truth gently. 

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Down the Rabbit-hole

When I stand back and look at my life, comparing how it all was, say in 1952 when I was 12, and now when I am 79, it definitely feels like I am down Alice's rabbit hole.

Once upon a time the teachings of Jesus and Hebrew prophets were revered, and they were known and spoken of as the backbone, the inspiration for our freedoms. They inspired the founders of this great experiment, our Republic. Sure it is flawed and evolving, yet unique in history. It created a place where people could rise from whatever circumstances to wherever hard work and vision could take them. It created a place where there was less poverty and misery than ever before. Because of all that and more, patriotism was alive and well.

The decline in Christianity seems to be in step with our overall decline. My heart weeps.

Today it is fashionable to degrade all that we historically and recently held dear and turn away to promote socialism in a fascist color. Free speech is called hate speech if it is not in agreement with the shouting and ignorant mobs. History is not taught accurately, but has become more like propaganda. What happens to socialist countries is ignored, say Venezuela. What is called for is pretty much like communism in the manor of the old Soviet Union. Because history is distorted, I assume the glowing supporters have never learned what really happened there. As they cry to take away guns, they seem to not know that was one of the early steps of the Nazis.

Then there is the mass murder of our babies. Life is apparently no longer sacred. Since Roe vs Wade, over 60 million American human beings have been slaughtered. A tiny few were for rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. The original pitch was that abortion was to be safe, legal and rare. Now the pitch is it's just a bunch of cells.

I could go on and on with the dizzying shifts I have witnessed in my lifetime.

It is important to acknowledge there have been some positive shifts such as civil rights and women's freedoms to be anything we envision. I think these kinds of shifts are evidence of our foundational beliefs in God and the Jesus teachings of love, forgiveness and lifting others.

Yet I cannot shake the terrible vision of decline to the end of all these things we once declared to be self evident. It is possible change the trajectory, to have a reframing of our perspectives, to rise again as a people who bring hope and goodness. I hear scattered voices that could ignite high vision and lead us to freedoms and blessings for all. May eyes and hearts be opened.

God bless and lead us.