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Sunday, August 30, 2020

Chards of My Life

This morning I had a vision of shards, as if of broken pottery, coming together all around me, towards me. Bits of my life scattered and strewn here and there coming together. Literally with my belongings in multiple places in boxes, as we wait for releases of our assets. More profoundly, bits of my heart and soul. Something is spiritually astir. I have seen and felt it.

And I feel it in my body, a tugging in my heart. A newness ready to unfold is present before it is tangible. I have felt it before. I know without knowing. Words are so frail in the attempt to communicate. Nevertheless, I know something is on the horizon, not quite yet visible.

I stand ready and open for God to lead me into where God calls me. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Filter Escape

It is well-known that humans look through individual filters, worldviews, biases. Reality for each of us is different, unique. There are overarching tribal/group biases that have some common ground, but with variations. Right now, the biases/filters are extremely polarized. There is little sympathetic attempt to understand other ways to view things. 

Extreme attachment to any particular filter can be dangerous. Think of religious wars, killing one another in the name of "God." Riots are sharply different filters colliding. Behind violence is a clash of worldviews. Estranged families are acting out the collision of filters.

So, how do we escape this dilemma? Can it be escaped?

Empathy, compassion, kindness can be first steps to ratchet down the dangerous levels. As a child I often heard, "Try walking in another's shoes." We can ask ourselves how to peek into other filters to understand how others "see" any situation. We don't have to agree, but we can grow to understand.

We can actively do this. If you are politically very left-wing, listen with an open heart to conservatives. Switch to Fox News once in awhile, for example. If you are a born again, evangelical Christian, listen to some progressive Christians such as those using modern discoveries about history and archeology, such as John Dominic Crossen, Marcus Borg, or ex-Christians such as Bart Ehrman, or Jewish Biblical experts such as Amy Jill Levine. Enter other filters respectfully with the intention of understanding.

In most cases it is difficult to know who or which position is totally correct, if that's even possible to know. It is humbling to realize our worldview and therefore filter, only contain a tiny fraction of reality. It is strange to realize that we tend to create our own reality.

Let's create a more loving and kind reality.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

A Little Walk

Sometimes songs play in my head, I can't carry a tune, so I rarely attempt to sing them out loud. This morning I heard - Just a little walk (actually its talk, but I heard walk this morning) with Jesus, tell him about my troubles...

That led me to consider an actual walk with Jesus. 

We're in the hills of Galilee, strolling, appreciating nature, the warm sun upon us. His presence is felt as a unique profound peace. He holds himself and walks as a man with inner confidence and strength. Kindness shines from his eyes. The words he speaks are totally congruent with his behavior, and so I know he believes whatever he says, and I too believe. His theme, the ideas he returns to most often, revolves around love. Others have taught love, but there is a specialness in his way. No one is excluded from this love. It cannot be earned nor can it be lost. It just IS. And his eyes particularly shine when he talks about the kingdom within producing a glorious earthly kingdom, if only we would walk with him fully. He sees the possibility of human life if aligned with God's Love and expressed as a ray of that Love. There is a sadness too. He knows how hard it would be for us to give up our dark sides. He sees the sorrows ahead for us as we refuse to love one another and love God with complete devotion. He realizes that what he knows is a seed that falls on various grounds and will not sprout in some hard places, and will not sprout generally for centuries or maybe never. Yet he loves, and loves still.


Saturday, August 15, 2020

Predicting the Future

For thousands of years spiritual practices involved being here now. Of course, our bodies have no choice but to be in the present moment and at the actual current location. Our minds can stray here and there, so spiritual here/now teachings are directed to the mind. For example, Jesus told us to take no heed for tomorrow and to not lay up treasures that perish.

I was thinking about this, this morning and sort of looking over the paths I've taken. I really could not have predicted the incredible twists and turns I've experienced. From even just the vantage point of a year ago I was clueless as to the coming year- macular degeneration came into my life, a pandemic raced around the world and shut much of it down, riots destroyed parts of major cities, politicians started defunding police, a candidate for President is obviously in some stage of dementia, Marxism is being funded and promoted, the press is largely supportive of negative attacks on our Constitution and way of life. It is as if we've gone down the rabbit hole with Alice.

So I see not only value of the spiritual practice of being here now, but I also see the practical aspect. No matter how intelligent we are, we cannot predict much of the future accurately. Yes, there are intuitions and maybe psychic flashes, but for the most part, the future is not known, at least the details. We know we will leave this planet one day and move into another realm, but we don't know the exact time or place of our death.

Perhaps it would be best to make this very moment the best we can, for actually this moment is all we have.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

A New Idea Came to Me Today

I can't get it out of my mind. Jesus and his close followers were not among the 95℅+ of extreme poverty of the time. They owned boats, houses and land, and they had a treasurer. Jesus told them not to take gold, silver and copper when they travelled - and of course you don't need to say that to someone if they didn't have any anyway.

I'm going to have to mull this over. I'll get back to you.

Monday, August 10, 2020

The Problem of Violence/Evil

I'm reading a book about Sri Aurobindo (Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of Consciousness) who was an influence on someone who deeply affected my life. I want go discuss a bit of it. He was writing this in regard to WWII and actually all war. After WWI, he wrote about not actually defeating Germany for the same or worse would rise again. So his point is basically about all wars and violence.

In order to cure the world's evil it is first necessary to cure "what is at its root in man."  Nothing can be cured outside if it is not first cured inside, nothing can be controlled outside if it is not controlled inside, for inside and outside are the same thing. There is but one Nature, one world, one substance, and as long as we approach problems outwardly, we will get nowhere. And if we find this solution too difficult for us, then there is no hope for man or the world, because all of our outward panaceas and saccharine modalities are ultimately doomed to annihilation and destruction by those hidden inner powers. "The only way out," Sri Aurobindo wrote, "is through the descent of a consciousness which is not the puppet of these forces but is greater than they are and can force them either to change or disappear." It was toward this new, supramental consciousness that Sri Aurobindo was progressing in the midst of his revolutionary work. (He worked for India's independence)

We may find when all the rest has failed 

 Hid in ourselves the key of perfect change.

So many over history have sought a way to end violence and the sanctioned violence of war. Obviously it has not been found, or maybe found by a few who have been unable to lead enough others to see the solution and implement it.

I agree with him that violence begins within the unawakened person, a person wrapped in ego, in self-centered life. One can hardly imagine Jesus, Buddha. St. Francis, Meister Elkhart or the Dali Lama acting violently. Because of such people, we know it is possible to stop being a puppet of the dark energies. What we don't seem to know is how to get a sufficient number of people awake to tip the scales away from the darkness, away from violence. 

Yes, hid in ourselves there is the key of perfect change. Let's meditate on this profound truth.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Grieving Globally

This morning in my meditation, I saw how so many people of earth are grieving, grieving for so many losses in so many ways. Of course there is the massive grief from the deaths of huge numbers of loved ones in the pandemic and its side effects. There is the grief of all kinds of losses such as: loss of employment, loss of businesses, loss of home, loss of trust, loss of stability, loss of freedoms, even loss of hope for some.

Then I thought of the stages of grief: shock or disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, and acceptance. 

There are individuals and whole cultures going through these stages this very moment, not in unison of course. In any given moment, there are people in each stage. It has been shown that we do not go through these stages in an orderly manner, I'm done with shock now so I am going into denial. We go through all of them, but not in order or once and for all. We can be depressed and find ourselves back in shock, for example.

As I observe others, personally or in the news, it is clear to see people in stages of grief. We frequently see the anger stage in full blown expression. We even see people paid to express extreme anger. We see the guilt stage quite clearly as we watch one group blaming the other.

So I guess the question might be, how can we go through the grief of this time on earth without blowing up our way of life? How can we help one another grieve and pick up the pieces and still have our cherished freedom?

Please think on these things.