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Monday, January 25, 2021

A Buddhist Kind of Day

I was just reading a very interesting thought about on-going death and rebirth. It's a tale about impermanence, therefore never stuckness.

Think of something that you experienced yesterday. It has passed away, never to be again. That moment, those people, who you were in that moment are not present in this moment. They exist only in a memory and interpretation of them. If you were foolish, that doesn't exist here and now. If you were afraid, you're all right right now. Moment by moment, all things pass away. New moments come to be lived freshly.

Life is a fluid movement, flowing ever forward. Change is constant.  The flowers in your garden appear and disappear. The tree grows and roots reach out and leaves fall and return as new leaves. How do we label something that never stays the same?

As we learn to relax into the flow, we are lifted out of our ego bubble into a closer relationship with Reality.  We can just be present in this magical one time event, this now, then this now, on and on, now after now.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

My Walk in the WAY

Just to frame what I'm about to share, since early childhood I have endeavored to walk the Way taught and modeled by Jesus. I became wary of a lot of the theology and speculation of men over the centuries. I have explored many paths, delved into history, tried to create a meaningful way to live my life as taught by the greats, particularly Jesus with some insights from Buddha, Lao Tse, a touch of of the Bagavad Gita, medieval and other mystics, and modern physics (all of which are quite sympatico with Jesus in my opinion). I firmly believe that by doing our best to walk The Way, we live an amazing life. We could have close to utopia should we really walk our lives in The Way.

So I often puzzle over why is Christianity declining, rapidly in recent decades. I hear people say things like: too much hypocrisy; too far fetched; not relevant to modern life; too superstitious; not provable, etc.

I can understand these criticisms. Yes, humans are often hypocritical, maybe glaringly so when claiming to be a Christian and then behaving in an un-Jesus-like manner. Much of developed theology is far fetched, and it turns me off too.  I wandered away for a time mostly because of the fantastical teachings. But then I felt a calling to take another look.

I discovered, for example, the word translated "virgin" actually means "young woman." I learned that the virgin birth idea was invented later by men who had no way to know gynecology and who wanted to make Jesus more special than he already was, plus they wanted to bring in goddess worshippers. They kept adding crazy ideas like her hymen wasn't even broken so she remained a virgin. Any woman who has given birth can clear that up right away. 

Jesus doesn't need to be weird and out there to be important in our lives, and the one who leads us out of darkness. Yes, he saves me, he saves me from dead end paths and a lot of messes. He teaches me how to live. He doesn't save me from hell. God of Love is not a sadist who wants to torture me. That's ridiculous thinking. Love and torture are mutually exclusive.

If you have given up on Jesus, give him another chance. Don't read theology (mostly made up of mental contortions), read the Gospels. Imagine him speaking to you about how God has inspired him to share spiritual living.

Monday, January 18, 2021

The Label Trap

Language has its strange side. In English we call the thing in front of me a table. The same thing has other words to label it in other languages. The strange thing is that, once labelled, we rarely pay any particular attention to it, especially to a person to whom we have attached a label.

This person is odd and so dismissed. This person is from another political persuasion or religion and so to be ignored or maybe attacked. This person is .... And on and on we go.

BUT, all people are complicated, many things, with many sides. This person you just labeled something, so you could dismiss them from your attention and maybe your life, is a million other things too. This person is a parent, a child, a spouse, an employee or employer, a friend to some, someone walking through pain and trying to understand, etc. This person is a spiritual being having a human experience just like you, a spiritual sibling on this trek through life here on earth, and quite possibly your teacher.

Once we take off monochromatic labels, we can see the rainbow of that person, the many facets, the sorrows and the joys of being them. Our compassionate heart opens, and we enter a more profound spiritual life. So many spiritual greats tell us compassion is a sign of a spiritually awakening person. 

Today, let it be a great label removing day.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021


Polarization leads to thinking of the "other" as nonhuman, not worthy of consideration, not worthy of kindness and care. In extremes, it leads to slavery, segregation, racism, apartheid, concentration and reeducation camps, war, and totalitarianism.  It is an ugly, non-spiritual mental space that always leads to dark places.

We need to pay attention to our thoughts, words and actions to shift our own selves out of polarizing positions. 

It seemed important to me today to bring our awareness to this, as there seem to be some extreme polarizations going on right now. I suggest this is unhealthy and is leading us to places we'd be wise to turn from. 

For the first time in my long life cancel culture has emerged, talk of enemy lists is spoken of freely, free speech is under attack. Before it's too late and we go into extreme times, I urge us to do our part in turning away from polarization. 

Lord, open my heart to all of your creation. Help me love as You have called me to love. Heal in me any contentious attitudes. Lift me above polarized thinking. Heal me so I can truly love. Lead our world to turn from polarization. Let this be a time of awakening. May Your Will be done. Amen Amen and Amen

Friday, January 8, 2021

Do We Live In a Museum?

 A couple of days ago I read something that keeps playing in my mind.

If the doors of perception were cleansed, said Blake, everything would appear to man as it is --- Infinite.... 

Plainly, it would mean the achievement of a new universe, a new order of reality: escape from the terrible museum-like world of daily life, where everything is classified and labelled, and all the graded fluid facts which have no label are ignored. ---Evelyn Underhill

Of course, this also made me think of Paul and his description of looking through a dark glass, and Jesus' urging to not judge by appearances but to use righteous judgement.

What struck me as a new way to describe it is the museum reference. I think it is apt. I notice quite a few do live like this. Categorize it and stuff it in a drawer. Put a label on it and don't consider it again. If it resists this process, ignore it, dismiss it, or just call it nonsense or heresy or unworthy of consideration. This leads to life cut off from so much, in a circular rut.

The questions spring to mind. How to get to the threshold to be aware this is going on, and then how to begin to climb out??? 

I think some kind of internal switch has to turn on, perhaps from a shock that shakes the person to the core or some form of suffering to that breaks open, even a bit, the crusty walls of their personal museum. Possibly it could begin with reading, study and conversation with someone out of the rut. That would be a gentler way, but still painful as the walls have to come down and the categorized drawers emptied. Light has to stream in. What I am reasonably sure of is that it can't be done for a person, it has to be done within a person.

With so much turmoil going on, I hope and pray this is the time that personal museum walls come down in huge numbers. We desperately need awakened people to help the world walk away from violence and chaos, from totalitarian tendencies set in motion, from the dark side.

God bless us all and lead us to The Light. Lead us to see with cleansed eyes and hearts - to see and know Reality.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

It Is Not That Complicated

I just finished reading a book that made the spiritual path convolutedly  confusing, esoteric, filled with ponderous ideas, written by an author taking herself far too seriously. Good grief! No wonder so many have turned away from spirituality.

My current state of understanding includes:

Joy is always present in a truly awakening person. " Joy is an infallible sign of the presence of God." Teilhard de Chardin

The path includes unconditional love, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, generosity, as per Jesus.

We are required to heal our wounds, go beyond our egos, be the best version of ourselves. 

 We are to be sincere, congruent, with integrity.

We are to care for one another.

We are to spend time communing with God in prayer and contemplation, in silence, in listening. 

 This leads us to Oneness.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Divine Possibilities

There are many slogans falling off the lips of religious and psychological folks. You can have it all. If you can think it, you can have it. You deserve it. Go for it. etc etc etc.

But there is a higher duty or responsibility or stewardship placed upon us. Some are so deeply mired in the trivial or the ugly, the call to More is severely muted, but there are enough who hear, at least softly, the call of More that there is hope for our future. The question arises - shall we evolve or devolve as a people, as a planet?

Imagine with me that there are, let's say, sort of levels of being human, a sort of continuum of consciousness. At one end we might place Lao Tse, Buddha, Jesus and others. At the other end we might place Caligula, Hitler, Stalin and others. We most likely are at some point between the extremes.

The call issuing constantly is toward the higher end of the continuum, while there is also a tug toward the lower. I believe that we are responsible for ourselves, for how we use the gift of this life and for answering the higher call. I believe we are here as stewards plus are to open spiritually. We have purpose.

We can take on the higher ways, Be the higher ways, and lift ourselves and others. We can take to heart the Way of Jesus and other great Teachers and actually walk it, or we can lazily just keep on as we've always done. Choosing actively and consciously to walk the Way, takes work, inner healing, the cleansing action of forgiveness, humility, fortitude and sincerity. It leads to a far different us and far different everything.

The core of much of religion is a version of the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do to you; refrain from doing to others what you hate being done to you, etc.

If we genuinely take the Golden Rule step, everything changes. As we reach up to the Higher, the Higher reaches to us. We are connected. Once connected, absolutely all things are seen anew and we step onto the amazing path of Spirit. It's a new way. It synchronizes us with one another and with The More. It's what's calling us, and has been calling every moment of every day.

Yes, I come to 2021 eager to answer the call. Guide and strengthen me to live a Golden Rule life this year. As I evolve toward You, I participate in the lifting of others. We move away from the darkness toward Your Light. I feel our connection right now. Thank You, Divine Presence for never giving up on me.