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Thursday, December 22, 2022

The Christmas in You

This morning I was led to share with you my little Christmas book that I gave out as gifts. I hope you read it and find some meaningful and inspiring ideas.

The Christmas In You

The Christ within is calling you right now.

Will you answer that call?


Rev. Dr. M. Marlene Oaks

            Christmas is a time of year that speaks to our hearts. It is a time of feelings, of love, of family reunions and going to Grandma’s house, a time of deep mystical meanings.

            Just as going home for Christmas means different things to each of us, the mystical feelings and meanings of Christmas have variety for us also.

            We, in the Western world, consider ourselves primarily Christian, a religion which, of course, was birthed in a Middle Eastern area. We have adopted in the West a thing of the East and, for the most part, forgotten its roots, its idioms and metaphors, its cultural and historic ground of being that are all woven throughout its stories, parables and tenets.

            There are many interpretations of what it means to be spiritual in a Christian sense, and so there are many ways to look at Christmas. Let’s look together at Christmas in, perhaps, a new way. Let’s join together to tune in to some deep insights that will open up the opportunity for a new Christmas experience this year.

            It is not necessary for us to look at Christmas in an historical flow for the purpose of this writing. You may find that this is something you will want to explore on your own. What I would like to do here is to look at now, and also look at how our present experience of Christmas interacts with our now. Truly, now is the only moment we can experience and breathe and live. So, let us look freshly at the Christmas experience together, here and now.

            To me, and to many mystics throughout the world and time, the Christ is a consciousness of Oneness. As we awaken to that consciousness, we too become “the anointed one” or the Christ. Saint Paul spoke of the Christ in you, the hope of glory.

            Some people feel very close to Jesus, and, at the same time, are confused by recent archeological, historic and other developments. They want and need to understand where this leaves him in our lives in this modern time. I can only tell you my own understanding. Jesus was a man who was born with a deep spiritual feeling and yearning. He pursued this inner urging until he had the deep and complete experience of Oneness — I and my Father are one! ... It is not I, but the Father within doing this work! ... Why do you call me good? Only the Father is good! ... Call no man master! ... Papa...

            Jesus, to me, was a very precious and wondrous expression of God-Life. He was one of the few lights across the ages that totally knew who he was and who everyone else was, as well. I feel in him, the deep desire for us to know this same thing. I also feel in him, the knowing that this is possible. He was a great teacher and a great example, our elder brother who was a wayshower for us to show us the way to a living relationship with God during our earthly life.

            The consciousness of the Christ was expressed in varying degrees by others too — in Buddha, in Lao Tse, in Confucius, in Meister Eckhart, in Jacob Boehme, in Hildegard of Bingen, in Mechtild of Magdeburg, in Plato, in Socrates, in Emerson, in Blake, and in many others. And thousands, maybe even millions, have touched the “edge” of such consciousness with White Light experiences and glowing lives.

            I feel challenge hurled across the ages directly to you and to me — greater things than this shall you do! That is a question that I have asked myself many times. “What have I done lately that could be considered greater than the works of the Father through Jesus?” I wonder what could be the prompting for Jesus saying such a thing if it were not possible?

            Something within me nods yes, yes, it is possible! What is the way? The Master Teacher said, “I am the way,” and when I ponder this statement, from deep within me I receive an answer. The consciousness that Jesus embodied is the way home to spiritual awakening. The consciousness I seek is already there within me awaiting me to knock upon its door and let it open and express in and through me.

            How thrilling! I do not need to acquire anything from the outside! Within me as original equipment is the consciousness of Oneness, the knowing that I am one with God and that in conjunction with God, all things are possible. Even if I have temporarily forgotten, "it" is still there. I have, within me, the key to answer the challenge hurled down through the ages — greater things than this shall you do. This challenge takes on a new meaning to me. Yes, something within me says you can live an enlightened life.

            Then arise the questions in my heart and mind - What in me holds me back from turning fully to this consciousness? What am I waiting for? Am I afraid to embrace God so fully that I would actually do greater things than Jesus? Who would I be if I were doing greater things than Jesus? What changes would have to be made in my life? If I don't turn fully to God, can I live with my deep inner regret?

            What can the beloved Christmas story tell me to shed light on my here and now journey and assist me in my present day dilemmas? Let's look at it all from several levels, coming as open and teachable beings, as if afresh to this ancient story.

Literal Level

            What does this have to do with Christmas? There are many levels of meaning of esoteric literature like the Bible. There is the literal level. Yes, a child was born sometime around 2,000 years ago, even though he was most likely not born on December 25 as shepherds were not out in December because of the cold, and many think May was a more likely time. Plus the birth was probably between 6 and 4 b.c.e. as Herod died in 4 b.c.e. (By the way, this means that the millennium so feared happened between 1994 and 1996, a gift from a wayward calendar maker of eons ago. So, it's over, and we're still here.)

            We know that Jesus sprang forth from his mother just as we all do. His birth happened as it has so many billions of times. Yet, his birth was exceptional because of what he did with his life. Just as there are few Leonardo da Vinci's or Mozart's, there are few spiritual giants that are born here on our earth, perhaps none to match the stature of Jesus of Nazareth. There were some extraordinary events around his birth with various people picking up intuitively that a unique child had entered the earth (such as astrologer kings and shepherds and rabbis and others.)

            So, there was a literal, historic event that was the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, or Joshua ben Joseph, as he was most likely called.

            He had a literal ministry and impact on the world that has been interpreted in countless ways. From shortly after his crucifixion to this day, people have argued and fought over their "right" interpretations, even killing others who did not agree. He was the messiah (to sit on the throne of David and establish a new political kingdom, even though he said that his kingdom was not of this world). He was the new Moses, leading his people out of the wilderness in a new way. He was the sacrificial lamb, taking on the errors of the people and erasing them once and for all rather than having to sacrifice lambs regularly for this purpose. He was the only son of God. He was the son of God, telling us that we too were the children of God, making him our elder brother. We could go on for many pages just listing the various things people have said. Perhaps he says to you today, Who do you say I am?

            Whatever way we interpret the ministry that began with the inspiration of Jesus and whatever way we interpret Jesus himself, Joshua ben Joseph was born into a cultural milieu that could not help but influence his ministry. He was a Jew. The prime objective of the Jews of the first century was to be holy, which meant to be clean. To be clean meant to follow precise regulations. Many of Jesus' stories can be seen as a refutation of the cleanliness laws that defined holiness in his day. The Good Samaritan, for example, showed touching and helping the hated Samaritan, which would make a person unclean and even more unclean if he were indeed dead. But, Jesus made this touching and helping a virtue. From the picking food on the Sabbath to the spit in the mud, we can see a rebellion against the cleanliness laws as a way to spirituality. He introduces onto the stage of earth a new possibility of personal communion with God, forgiveness, love, honoring others including women and lepers and people thought to be unclean, healing, hope, optimism, eternal life and so much more.

            Another literal factor to be considered is that the Romans occupied his homeland and defined the parameters of life. No one was allowed to upset the politics of the Romans. Things were carefully controlled. The leaders of the Jews and the Romans had worked out a way to coexist. No uprisings could be allowed. There were many voices that were left to speak, complain and prophecy as long as the authority of the day was not threatened. A veneer of peace had been laid on top of the indignation of subjugation.

            Truly, it was a fascinating time in history, a time that changed the entire future.

Mental Level

            There is the mental level in our understanding of Christmas and of Joshua ben Joseph — there is a child within each of us. It is in the cradle of our hearts. It is parented by all that we are. To the degree our thoughts are True thoughts, the Child of Light comes forth and births an experience of positive living in our lives, even an experience of walking with God as we journey through this life.

            In turn, our life becomes the child of our thoughts and beliefs, of our consciousness. Joshua ben Joseph has urged us to become as little children, to let that Christ Child within express in and through us. And we have been guided and warned — that it is done unto us as we believe.

            We are greater than our thoughts and beliefs, greater than the events and circumstances of our lives. We are the one thinking and believing, perceiving and interpreting. We can change our thoughts, beliefs, perceptions and interpretations, thereby we are free to change our choices and actions. We are the ones at the helm of our own minds and hearts, and ultimately, we are at the helm of our lives. We are at the helm either in lonely seeming separation from God or in glorious co-creation with God, as we let God in to Guide us. We have the offspring of our innerself reflecting back to us as our experience of our lives. If we want to know what our consciousness is, we can look at our responses to life! When we want different offspring, we can change our thoughts, beliefs, perceptions and interpretations and then our actions. When we change the cause, we can only reap different results.

            How do we do this? There are many techniques taught today that are powerful. We can say affirmative, contemplative or other prayers. We can meditate and take charge of that wildly swinging mind. We can refocus our lives as we say affirmations that reflect the highest and best rather than the worst. We can visualize our lives as they would be lived in full alignment with God. We can hang around positive people. We can participate with a group of people on the path of spirituality, sharing, questioning, praying, and growing together. We can do forgiveness exercises. We can listen to tapes, go to lectures and take workshops. We can learn to be aware of what we are saying and thinking. We can monitor ourselves. As soon as we notice that we are off track, we can change what we are saying or thinking or doing. We can take responsibility for ourselves, for how our lives are now and for changing our lives so that they express the Truth of us and our magnificence, and so that our lives glorify God rather than ego. Then, we can begin to know the personal Christmas story of our own lives.

            These techniques are powerful. And, it seems to me, necessary. As we clean up our lives from within, we find ourselves experiencing an entirely different form of life. We discover that we are free and whole and complete. We realize that we are lovable and capable. And then we realize that all others are also doing the best that they can in any given circumstance with the degree of awareness they have. We are all in process. Compassion grows in the heart of the spiritually awakened, alongside a sense of humor. At the same time, we may find that we need to make choices to move away from those not willing to awaken, shake the dust off of our feet and move on.

            I’ve seen some try to skip dealing with their own mental level, and I’ve never seen the attempt to skip it produce any positive outcomes. We can only pretend that we do not need to clean up our inner programs. Pretending does not make it so. As long as we stay the same, our results stay the same. At some point, we must each face our own shadow and do the work to bring light there. The Christ is born in a pure heart.

            Consciousness raising is a process that deepens with experience and time. Outside of this dimension, there may be no time or space; however, we do seem to be in this dimension and time and space do seem relevant here. These are the days of TV dinners, instant communication around the world, computers with vast stores of information available for the touch of a finger. And we sometimes need to remind ourselves that spiritual growth and awakening is still a process that has not been made instant by our technology. Sometimes, I wish it were otherwise. When I feel that urge for instant enlightenment (I want to know it all right now and skip the process), something within me lets me know that such a leap would be overwhelming and not necessarily beneficial. There are times of leaps, even quantum leaps, and there are times of slower unfoldment. Each is according to Perfect, Divine Timing. The Universe gentles me along in such a way that my growth is helpful, stretches me, but does not pull me apart. It is all wonderful.

Mystical Level

            Once we sincerely begin facing our shadows and bringing mental healing into our lives, we tend to experience a greater degree of health, prosperity, harmony, joy, love, self-acceptance and other-acceptance. Then, the little voice within nudges us onward. There is more. We can only drive so many cars and live in so many houses. We can only experience zestful and perfect health to its fullest, and not beyond. We can have a fullness of outer things, of material things and when we are full, we simply are full. We can only forgive so much, and then it is done. Once we fully accept ourselves, that too is done. So, the mental level takes us a far piece down the path, and then there is more.

            For me, within, came the urging that grew ever louder and stronger. The Christ is within you. Practice the Presence of God. Know, at a deep level, that you are One. Let the Christ in you be born this day. Let the Consciousness of Oneness express fully in and through you. The mystical level of the meaning of Christmas began to form within my awareness.

            It is not that all of the “work” and time spent on the mental level were not valid; in fact, that very step prepared the way for the next step. Without handling the mental stuff, we are not ready to take the inner journey of experiencing Oneness in an expanded way. As we clean up our inner selves, the veil becomes thinner or perhaps cleaner and more transparent and we hear the Inner Voice and see the Light within that is shining and is ready to shine forth in magnificence.

            At this time on our planet, it seems to me that there are many who are touching the hem of the garment. There are many who worked on their mental lives to such a degree that they are hearing a deep calling to go further and let the Christ Consciousness be born within. That seed of potential needs but a little watering to encourage its birth. We need only a little willingness. As we knock, the door truly does open.

            Perhaps, for the first time in history, there is a great possibility that many will be on the planet at the same time who have answered that call and let the Christ Consciousness be born within and expressed to the world.

            Something in me says that many who read this little book will be those standing at the door of the Inner Kingdom, knocking. You, my beloved, are breathlessly close to the Christ Awareness.

How Will It Be?

            How will it be? I know that I have had moments of hesitation and even moments of fear about the next step. I guess that I could say that I have tested the waters and, so far I have not been willing to stay there all of the time. So many thoughts come. What will others think? This is so unlike the ways of the world. Who, me? Little Marlene from Whittier, California? Is this insanity? I could just go quietly about my life, doing nice things and living a happy life like ordinary people. Maybe I have a Messiah complex.

            But, as I often say, the Holy Spirit is a terrible nag. The Voice will not go away. I am ever urged onward, as I suspect you are too. The answers come on their own terms. We cannot stop them, for they have a life rooted in a Higher Order. What counts is what we think of ourselves and our relationship to God, and therefore our receptivity to God's nudgings. The ways of the world have not worked to produce the kingdom of heaven on earth, so do we continue to align ourselves with the lesser way? You and I are children of Life, equal to and at one with all — no greater and no lesser than any other child of Life. This is sanity, the world is insane. We would never be happy just living a nice, quiet life. We realize that all are One with God and all have the potentiality of living from Christ Consciousness. From this awareness, no-one is greater or lesser. All are beloved Lights of God. All are Godlings.

            What things support the birth of the Christ within? I can tell you what I have learned, realizing that there is more. Of course, we must keep clarifying our consciousness and keep letting go of those things that are out of harmony with the highest and best. And we go further. The one major, significant step that I urge you to take is daily meditation in conjunction with daily prayer that is comtemplative and communing (not beseeching or separating). Go into the Silence and practice the Presence of God. Turn within to that Inner Guide for all decisions. Listen to the voice of inspiration. Build a deep awareness by daily communion in the Silence. In your prayers, speak words of Oneness and develop your recognition of God's presence fully, until a deep realization and experience of Oneness occurs.

            Pay attention to your daily walk. Observe your thoughts, words and actions. Use the guide of our Master Teacher — by their fruits you shall know them. Ask yourself, “what is the fruit of this ________?” Somewhere within, we know the fruit of any action, thought or word. Will this idea, thought, word or action produce the fruit of the Christ Awareness? Or will this bring the fruit of separation and less than God? Be willing to pare away, gently, whatever is not of the highest and best. Be honest with yourself. Risk the frontier of inner honesty.

            One of the old sayings that has helped me so much is: if you don’t change the direction you are going, you are likely to end up where you are headed. What direction is this thought, word or deed going? Do I want to go there? If so, keep it up. If not, stop it and turn it around.

            For many of us, sharing the path with others who are open and questing and sincerely trying to welcome the Christ within, is an incredible assist. I mean delving into the conversation and thought at a deep level with commitment — taking classes, reading, applying, experimenting, having our intention toward the Light. For me, this is the single most significant study I have ever done. Just going on Sundays to a church or synagogue or mosque alone will not do it. It requires deeper study and application in order to make the shifts in consciousness at the level we are discussing.

            Living In Christ Consciousness

            You may be wondering, “what is the result of all this attention and energy directed toward the spiritual path?” What would it be like to live in Christ Consciousness?

I don’t presume to have all of the answers for you, or even for myself, at this point. I know some and I will share what I see. What I shall say comes form the touch of experiences that I have had, from reading about others and from the Voice within me.

            As the Christ, you experience life in an entirely different way. You have handled forgiveness to such a degree that it is no longer necessary. You have ceased judging others, so you have no need to forgive them anymore. You know, at once, that each being is a child of Light. Your seeing this, assists it in coming forth into expression. You look beyond appearances and see the Truth of everyone and every situation. You experience the spirituality of compassion.

            You notice that somewhere along the path, struggle and conflict have dropped off. Each day is an experience of harmony, even in the midst of what the world might not call harmony. You see an expanded version of life, a larger play. The melodramas in your life, no longer hold your rapt attention, for you see beyond them. You realize that the melodramas are merely shadows; ways of acting out our various degrees of awareness. And they drop away when they are no longer useful as teachers. You see Harmony operating everywhere, always.

            One day, you realize that you no longer feel lonely anymore. You vaguely recall that loneliness came out of feeling separate from God and you are so aware of your Oneness that it is impossible to feel lonely anymore. You know that you move through life with the Living Presence of God. Wherever you stand is holy ground. You; therefore, move with a new confidence, based on knowing that you have an invisible means of support.

          When questions arise, you turn immediately to the Inner Teacher, to your God. You know that within you, there is that which knows the answer to everything, so you never hesitate to turn within first. Infinite Wisdom guides your every step and every decision. You know what you need to know, when you need to know it. You do not need to carry a lot around with you for the answers, because within you is THE answer. You no longer need to go around asking everyone for their opinions and getting confused by the variety of opinions. Clearly the highest, the best answer comes to you as you automatically turn within.

            Scarcity is a dim memory. You know with every fiber of your being, that God is the Source of everything. God expresses itself to you in the form of all of your needs met and there is plenty to spare and to share. You do not need huge bank accounts, and you no longer spend a great deal of your time taking care of your money. You allow the Divine Circulation to play in your life. You remember Jesus demonstrating the coin out of the fish’s mouth to pay the taxes and you feel somewhat like that. As you cooperate with God, whatever your needs are, they are simply met. Truly, the Universe is abundant and you, as a child of Life, are abundantly supplied. Yes, even lavishly supplied.

            You feel a deep and bubbling joy. Misery is gone. The joy of God plays in and through you. You find joy in people and situations constantly. Even the so-called tiniest things are joy-filled. There is much laughter in your life. People feel joyful just being around you. In fact, there is a certain charm that is experienced by others around you that is quite magnetic. It is the joy of God playing through you. Life is fun, happy, humorous and so wonderful. In many ways, you see the cosmic joke. The heavy energy of significance is gone. Delight sparkles in you.

            You notice that healings happen around you. You see right beyond any condition that is not complete health. You see the Divine Inheritance of Perfect Life. You know that God is health and that the people you see are one with God. You see no reason for less than perfect health in anyone who is willing to be healed. Also, there comes the recognition and knowing that it is all right when others wish not to be healed, according to your definition of healing, at this time. There is a larger plan and you are attuned to it. You have no need to be pushy. You know what you know and are ready and willing to assist all who ask — and you are equally ready and willing to let everyone make their own choices. There is a deep knowing of soul freedom, of eternal unfoldment, of God Intelligence being in charge.

            Perhaps, the finest of gifts is that of Love. The Love of God expresses in and through you at all times. You feel and know that you are loved and that you are Love, itself. A radiance seems to emanate from you. The precious experience of God Love is felt deeply and cherished as the finest of treasures. The richness of this Love fills your moment-by-moment experience.

            Others feel that love, that unconditional, agape love emanating forth from God through you, and in many it ignites the love latent within them. You see Love in everyone and look upon life with Love. In the past, you might have had a syrupy kind of love, a weeping sympathy. Now you know about God Love and your Love is free. You can feel empathy for others and love them without becoming part of their challenge and sinking into sorrow. Your love radiates a knowing beyond any temporary condition or mask. No matter what may appear at the outer level, your loving eyes see right to the Spiritual and the Truth. People remark that your love is unconditional. It truly is, for you do not rely on outer appearances, but you rely on Spirit. Your love is constant. Your love is God, loving through you, by means of you. Some say that your heart Chakra is open. Whereas before there was fear, now there is perfect love.

            What results in your life is a total experience of peace. What do you have to be unpeaceful about? God is everywhere, always fully present. The Infinite Intelligence of the Universe won’t let you down. If you can’t trust God, who can you trust? The clarity of your peace is contagious. Others feel peaceful as they come into your presence. You are truly a beneficial presence wherever you go. You know many things that will not fit into words, that have to be communicated nonverbally. It grows so strong within you that people do; in fact, “catch” it. You are living the Christ Awareness.

            You have had your own personal Christmas. You have gone through the pains of childbirth in varying degrees to birth the Christ that is within you. This babe requires your ongoing tender love and nurturing to bring it fully into every aspect of your life, to bring it to maturity. You must now tend the garden of your heart, rocking the cradle of your soul to keep it attuned to the Divine Rhythm. With your gentle co-parenting with God, the babe will grow. It will grow beyond where we can guess. It will lead you to glories untold.

            It seems to me that whatever we may say about God, God is more because God is infinite. Infinite cannot fit into words or definitions, for if it could, it would be finite. We can never fully know all of God. So, as our Christed life with God develops, we will be led to new horizons, to places at this moment we are unable to fathom.

            We have only covered a few of the attributes of God here together. One of the things I believe is that when we experience the Cosmic or Christ Awareness, all the attributes express through us in a very expanded and expanding way. And I believe that when we totally experience any one attribute, we have all the attributes expressing. An example would be: someone who is truly peaceful is also loving and joyous. You can’t be peaceful and be unloving at the same time. That isn’t peace.

            I think that all of us yearn for the birth of the Christ Awareness. I think that our deep knowing tells us that we came here to learn to be Love and to learn all of the things that are Spiritually True. A Voice within calls us home to the Kingdom within. Nothing else will satisfy us. Oh, we may try many things: materiality, sensuality, workaholism, other isms or any number of other things — and at the end of each of these paths, we find ourselves still hungry, still yearning. We realize that we were not hungry for these things. All the stuff of this life is fine and none of it is what we ultimately came to this planet for. And besides, when we pursue the spiritual path fully, all of the things of life come in flowingly.

            I remember Peace Pilgrim sharing that one day she awakened to the realization that she was working very hard to support her drapes and china closet and other belongings in the manner to which she had become accustomed. She had given up her true mission in life in order to take care of her belongings. She gave away everything and spent the rest of her life teaching peace. She walked all over the world, giving of herself, of her peace. What she had were the clothes on her back and her Christ awareness.

            I am not suggesting that you and I do this. That was her path. I AM suggesting that we look at how much of our life is spent with things that ultimately have no significance to us, how much of our life are we spending on the truly meaningful things. What is truly meaningful to you?

            Someday, you and I will leave this dimension. As we give of ourSelves, our life makes a powerful and positive difference. We can be confident, then, that we will leave a world that is better because we lived here, than it would have been if we had not come.

            What will we take with us? We will take our consciousness. Our soul will go forth to the Light, with its degree of awareness to continue the eternal unfoldment.

            Let us enjoy the pleasures of life here on planet Earth in the third dimension, knowing that this is a unique opportunity to experience life the way it is here. And let us keep in perspective the spiritual reasons for being here and the eternal journey upon which we are walking.

            The Voice within you is calling you right now. You have a homesick kind of feeling to return to the Spiritual Kingdom within and facilitate the birth of the Christ within you. You realize that you do not have to give up anything to be the Light of the world that you are — you only need to release the illusions of separation and spend more time, daily, doing your spiritual practices. You really do want to contribute here and to let the Christ awareness express in and through you. I know this is true about you.

            The Christ within is calling you right now. Answer that call. “Yes, I am ready to be the Light and to live from Oneness. I am willing to be one of those awakened souls that are walking this planet right now.”

            I am willing to let Christmas be a personal experience for me this year by accepting the birth of the Christ Awareness in me. This year, the holidays are an incredible time of rejoicing, for I have come.

            I release the ghosts of Christmas past. I let go of the dramas in memory around other Christmas times. This Christmas I see as Itself, for I no longer view it through the stream of memories, nor through the commercial eyes of the consumer. This is a personal Christmas, a time of awakening.

            May the Christ be born in you. I salute that Christ in you. I love you. Thank you for letting me share with you today.


Dr. M. Marlene Oaks

Saturday, December 17, 2022

A New Way to Look at Life

 Florence Scovel Shinn put a new spin on a familiar teaching:

Regard your neighbor as yourself. 

There are many ways to look at anything and everything. Let us consider some of them in relation to this quote. Jesus used the word love in the first of his two great commandments. Here Florence uses the word regard. Somehow that takes me to a different place.

How do we regard ourselves? How do we hold our foibles and errors, large and small? Are we generous with ourselves or harsh? Are we even honest to ourselves about our lives? Do we boast and come to life full of ego, or are we humble about our successes? etc etc etc.

It leads me to think that maybe the only way we can regard our neighbor is the way we regard ourselves. Or, the only way we can love our neighbor is by loving ourselves.

Honesty and forgiveness need to lead the way so that our regard and love for our neighbors and ourselves can be free of distortion. 

And, of course, our neighbor includes all that we call other. It is not just those who are in our family or group, or those who live on our cul de sac or in our building. It is not only humankind, but also it is all life and our entire earth system. 

It turns out there is a general rule - The way we do anything is how we do everything. Or how we regard anything/anyone is how we regard everything/everyone. Or how we love anything/everyone is how we love anything/everyone.

Don't just believe me or disagree with me. Think on these things.

Monday, December 12, 2022

Take a Long and Thoughtful Look at What God Has Created

 In Romans 1, Paul makes this statement:

Ignoring God Leads to a Downward Spiral

18-23 But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.

The Celtic Christianity stand was that there are two scriptures, the inspired writings and creation. It seems to me that those turning away from God have been entombed in "the asphalt jungle," and have not spent anytime, or very little time, communing with natural things. Maybe today, and future days, spend some time observing and being present with a flower or a tree or a sea shell, and with an animal, and then with another human person. In fact, a very powerful exercise is to be present with yourself, gazing into your eyes in a mirror, and after few minutes say to yourself in the mirror I salute the Christ  in you, I love you ... (or I salute the God, or the Light, etc.) By the way, being present requires no judgements, no condemnations, just being present with neutrality.

I also see there are those who have opted for "cheap figurines" of various forms. They are entombed in  consumerism, or sportsism, or politicalisms, or other non-natural, non-God created things. They have little room in their lives for the natural, except maybe in making speeches about it and using it for political purposes. Truth becomes irrelevant, not to be sought, and in the way of whatever entombs one. All must be sacrificed on the altar of whatever is the synthetic focus of the entombed, whether it be politics, or global warming, (or is it cooling?), or whatever has replaced a relationship with The Divine Presence.

The farther we remove ourselves from being with the natural, the more we are entombed. The more feral people become. The more empty people feel, and the more they feel that they do not matter and nothing they do matters either. Therefore, the more violent and outlandish they become.


There is a resurrection principle in creation, thank goodness. We see it in the springtime, in the butterflies, in the flourishing forest after the fire, and in Jesus and others who proved life beyond death. No matter how one is entombed, the freedom of resurrection is available. It is never too late. The Seed/Spark/Light of God within never goes away. A little watering with love and attention and It flowers forth.

I salute the Light of God in you and call it forth, Now.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Mind Food

This morning I put together some statements that I need right now to fill my mind with hope and faith, as I still walk a long valley - soon to be a mountaintop experience. It occurred to me that you might find them helpful too.  As Jesus said, It is done unto you as you believe,                      

                        Affirmations – Mind Food

Adapted from Florence Shinn

Infinite Spirit, reveal to us the way, let us know if there is anything for us to do.

Infinite Spirit, open the way for our immediate supply. Let all that is ours by Divine Right now reach us in an avalanche of abundant good.

I cast this burden upon the Christ within and go free.

Jesus Christ brings the good news that there is a higher law than the law of karma and that transcends the law of karma. It is the law of Grace/Forgiveness. Karma is forgiven under the law of Grace.

Divine Order is established in our minds, body and affairs.

We are always under direct inspiration and make the right decisions, always aware of leadings/intuitions that come to us.

I will that the Will of God be done.

There is no loss in Divine Mind.

God says, I will restore to you the years the locasts have eaten.

Bring forth the Divine Design for our lives. Let the genius in us be released. Let us see clearly the Perfect Plan.

I form the habit of practicing the Presence.

Poise is power – it gives God Power a chance to work through us.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

The Scripture for Sunday

In preparing to be liturgist this Sunday, I've been reading Matthew 3:1-12 and some commentaries. Here it is in The Message translation:

1-3 While Jesus was living in the Galilean hills [some 60 miles north], John, called “the Baptizer,” was preaching in the desert country of Judea. His message was simple and austere, like his desert surroundings: “Change your life. God’s kingdom is here.” John and his message were authorized by Isaiah’s prophecy:
Thunder in the desert!
Prepare for God’s arrival!
Make the road smooth and straight!
4-6 John dressed in a camel-hair habit tied at the waist by a leather strap. He lived on a diet of locusts and wild field honey. People poured out of Jerusalem, Judea, and the Jordanian countryside to hear and see him in action. There at the Jordan River those who came to confess their sins were baptized into a changed life.7-10 When John realized that a lot of Pharisees and Sadducees were showing up for a baptismal experience because it was becoming the popular thing to do, he exploded: “Brood of snakes! What do you think you’re doing slithering down here to the river? Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to make any difference? It’s your life that must change, not your skin! And don’t think you can pull rank by claiming Abraham as father. Being a descendant of Abraham is neither here nor there. Descendants of Abraham are a dime a dozen. What counts is your life. Is it green and flourishing? Because if it’s deadwood, it goes on the fire.11-12 “I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. The real action comes next: The main character in this drama—compared to him I’m a mere stagehand—will ignite the kingdom life within you, a fire within you, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He’s going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned.

I want to share some brief thoughts on this. It is estimated to have been written between 75-80 CE by a Jewish Christian. All of the Gospels were anonymous, only being given names sometime after the year 150 CE. So far the earliest copy found is in some tiny fragments from the 2nd century. In the 4th century, there was a new testament, the Codex Sinaiticus -- a copy is in the British Library in London. It is different in what it includes from the current New Testament.

The book called Matthew has several purposes: to tell the story of Jesus, be a catechism for new converts, and be a guide to the people of The Way who were facing persecution from all sides. 

In this passage above, John is preaching and baptizing. People were coming from a wide area. At that time baptism meant a person was giving their allegiance and obedience to the coming king. I had always thought of John in some rough costume, but here we are told it was camel hair, a soft and warm fabric woven of camel hair. 

John knew that some who came to him were not sincere, and admonished them. It seems that going to hear John and being baptized by him was a sort of "in" thing to do. He taught that true repentance meant change within and new behavior, a new heart. He told them that it was not enough just to be a descendant of Abraham, one had to be made new, inside out.... and someone was coming to help with that.

Can you hear John the Baptizer speaking to us today? He speaks the same timeless message still. Can we hear him? Will we listen and do as he says?

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Who Is Here?

 They sat in the same room, but not in the same universe.                                        ---Aldous Huxley, The Devil of Loudon

Just ponder the little quote above. Here he is writing about a maiden and a savvy and powerful man. Yet it seems to me, that could be accurate to say about most or all people.

In the moments we come together, we come from backgrounds that contain millions and millions of different experiences and personal interpretations of those experiences. No one can truly know what it has been like to be the person before us. We traveled circuitous routes to this moment in time, to this place, to this person/s. So much has happened that is unspeakable in words. Some can be deciphered by observing and intuiting, but that is not the full picture of a life. I can surmise we share some of life's common themes - love, loss, hope, fear, success, failure, etc., but I cannot fully know the impact or the details. I scarcely can understand my own.

All this to say, we would do well to practice kindness and compassion for all who come into our lives for quick moments or long times, and of course towards ourselves too. There is no way we can fully walk in one another's shoes and comprehend fully the whys and wherefores of those who stand before us. Let kindness and compassion be our guides.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022


Though GOD is everywhere present, yet He is only present to thee in the deepest and most central part of thy soul. The natural senses cannot possess God or unite thee to Him; nay, thy inward faculties of understanding, will and memory can only reach after God, but cannot be the place of his habitation in thee. But there is a root or depth of thee from whence all these faculties come forth, as lines from a centre, or as branches from the body of the tree. This depth is called the centre, the fund or bottom of the soul. This depth is the unity, the eternity—I had almost said the infinity—of thy soul; for it is so infinite that nothing can satisfy it or give it rest but the infinity of God.                  ---  William Law

I have been taught in many ways by the writings of William Law. He definitely inspires and challenges me. It is only recently that I discovered that not only was he a contemporary of the Wesleys, the founders of Methodism, but he was also a mentor of theirs. I find it so fascinating that he can also be a mentor of ours via his writings, as can anyone who left a written trail of their thoughts.

First of all, I am in agreement with the above statements of his, and I find them important thoughts to contemplate for those of us on the sincere spiritual path. It seems self-evident to me that the Creator is present throughout all creation. Also, it is unlikely that I can connect in meaningful ways with God in some far-flung galaxy, at least at my current state of development. His reference to Jesus' vine and branches analogy works so well in his discussion. We are rooted in God, we are at all times connected as part of the vine in our deepest soul places. We are connected to and part of eternity and infinity. We are part of God's creation. And we yearn to remember who we are, to remember that rootedness. Nothing else can possibly satisfy. 

It seems to me that most people are so turned off by the controlling, hyper-organized, money-gathering establishment, industrialized complexes, that we do not know where to turn for genuine mentoring. Disillussioned people are leaving established religions in alarming rates in most places. So where do they go? 

I personally found my way back through studying the writings of those I thought were enlightened. I created my own pantheon of mentors via books. I read the New Testament over and over. I read the mystics - Meister Eckhart and Hildegaed of Bingen are constant favorites. I read Buddhist thoughts and Hindu words and Sufi poets and philosophers and psychologists and historians and theologians and new physics. I journaled and meditated and contemplated and prayed - and I traveled to many places on earth. Wherever I was, whoever I was reading, whoever I spoke with, I was also connected to The Divine One, rooted, inspired, guided, and in many ways protected. I can attest that the spiritual journey is exhilarating and at times a bit scary, but it leads always to the Light of all, the Light at the center of our own souls.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Planet for Wounded Souls

This morning the thought came to me that this is a planet for wounded souls, given the chance to heal or not. Through forgiveness we are led to compassion for ourselves and others.  This is a grace we give ourselves and others, God has already given us grace.

If we refuse, and we can because we are not puppets but recipients of freewill, we sink into blame and bitterness, offering no compassion. We are then part of the ongoing human problem. We offer not the hand of compassion, but the knife of condemnation and blame. 

We either participate in resurrection or crucifixion.

I come to this day of Thanksgiving filled with thanksgiving for this opportunity to come to the planet of wounded souls and move from wounded to compassionate. Perhaps I came as wounded from the beginning, I'm not sure. But I do know I have been wounded to the core of my being numerous times during this life. And yet I stand and testify to God's healing Love and Grace. I know it, personally and deeply as sure as I know anything.

The ones who stabbed me with their weapons of earth and words of steel, have been my teachers. For a time they distracted me, and I blamed them, then tried to understand how they could be as they were, then forgave them - finally I just released them to God and thanked them for leading me to understand what I so desperately needed to know. 

All leads to God when we are paying attention.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

God Bloodthirsty or Actually Pure Love?

So often I ponder the decline of Christianity, and other religions as well, which you know, if you've read many of my posts. The arc of history and myth give some clues. It seems to me we did ourselves in with screwy and nonsensical theology. Just consider this and do your own research. I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I'm pretty close to understanding the history. But don't just believe me. Check it out.

The first eleven hundred years of Christianity blamed the crucifixion on Satan, which gave the people someone to blame, even though a mythical archetype. This changed with Anselm of Canterbury in the eleventh century. He said God needed to be appeased and based his theory on the medieval system of knighthood and honor, and on the patriarchal world where people were afraid of the leaders and tried to appease them. God became a violent, emotional, mean, scary being wanting revenge and killed his own son to get it. A few groups said that he did it out of love, pouring himself out through Jesus.

I find all of this appalling. To me the crucifixion was an act and a symbol of Roman/human brutality. In the end it did not win. Life eternal had the last word. God, so to speak, had the last laugh.

I have read and reread the New Testament maybe hundreds of times, wearing some out, underlining, etc. beginning in my childhood. I have read hundreds and hundreds of books from all points of view. I have higher degrees. I have been a senior pastor.  I'll share some of my conclusions in a minute. First a mini history.

There are no known writings concurrent with the life of Jesus, no people who actually knew him have written. We have Paul's letters beginning two decades after Jesus. Paul did not meet Jesus, but he did meet with James, the brother of Jesus who was the leader of The Way, and Peter the apostle. The Gospels were written from 70 to the end of the first century or possibly beyond by unknown authors. They were circulated as Memoirs of the Apostles. It was sometime after the year 150 they were given names in order to distinguish them. No contemporary of Jesus mentioned him, although the historian, Josephus, at the end of the first century made a brief reference, The other situation is there are no known original documents, so we have copies of copies of copies. They were written in Greek about Jewish people who mostly spoke Aramaic. You can see the cultural and language problems. There are numerous translations with varying slants, all translated from the same Greek documents (the first fragments are from the 5th century). There are countless other things to consider, but I think this is sufficient to make the point that we have sketchy information. We have a lot of speculation and dogmas and theologies based on these documents.

My conclusions at this point of my journey to the best of my understanding include (read the New Testament yourself and check these out):

  • Jesus never asked to be worshipped. He asked us to follow him.
  • Jesus cared for everyone, included everyone, punished no one.
  • Jesus told us to worship God, to pray to God, and to know God is Love.
  • Forgiveness was central to his teaching as was healing and feeding.
  • He asked people to be better people here and now, not in order to buy entrance to the golden streets of a far away kingdom, but to glorify God while on earth.
  • He taught about the inner kingdom, the pearl of great price, the shining light on a hill we are called to be.
  • He taught about humility and not about ego - not I'm better than you, but that we are all on this earth as brothers and sisters of one Divine Father.
  • He called God "our Father" - not his exclusive Father.
  • He lived a human life that was attuned to God and showed us how to so live.
  • And oh so much more.
  • He touched my deepest places and changed my life and called me to follow him. This following has taken me many places, to many people, to many ideas. In these 82 years, layers and layers of understanding have peeled away. Ever deeper and fuller relationship has grown. My connection to the vine has grown stronger. My tolerance for nonsense theology has grown thin. Those who have defamed my Lord and distorted his teaching and his life have created the turning away not from Jesus and his teaching, but from their nutty theologies.
So, I invite, no urge, you to consider what I have written, discover it for yourself, and come back to The Way free of the strange twists of theologies made up by men across the ages.

Let your light so shine...

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Grace and Change

 Ephesians 2:7-10          The Message Translation

Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.

Grace holds change in its tender arms. Someone has said the only thing we can count on here on earth is change. But I suggest that change is necessary, and change need not be scary. 

Change has happened continually in our bodies and our lives as we move toward spiritual maturity. I'm sure we can all remember countless scrapes and bruises and cuts we've had over the course of our lives - and they healed by the Grace of God, from the inside out with a little help of antiseptic and band aids.

We've all had emotional wounds as well. They heal from the inside too, as we forgive, pray and embrace with love. Or, they drag us down when we refuse to let them heal. They keep festering only if we keep rehearsing them in our minds and hold that dark cloud in our hearts. Sometimes, it seems, we forget God has forgiven us and always loves us. We're like the fellow in the story Jesus told who was forgiven a debt from his boss but refused to forgive a debt of his fellow worker. 

God saves us from ourselves. But because we have freewill, we simply have to cooperate. We need to accept the Grace God offers and pass it on to others, offering them Grace too. There is surrender involved, surrender to God and not the ego. 

As it says in the scripture at the top of this writing, He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.

Jesus keeps inviting us in to play at his level, to welcome the Grace of God, to be a Light and not hide it, so that we can participate in the spiritual work God has ready for us to do. In my experience, it takes time and healing of wounds and sincerity and humility and a big dose of change to become ready to do the work God has ready for us to do.

Open to Grace today. Walk out your door letting Light shine so that God is glorified and people are drawn to God. Get ready for the work you are to do. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

My Impossible Dream

For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of peace on earth. I have worked in many ways to help this dream come true. I realize it is most likely, most assuredly, impossible. There has never, up to this moment in time, ever been peace on earth, not even in small segments of earth, not even in families. It seems antithetical to the way of this planet. Yet, it seems to me, that God keeps placing that dream in my heart and mind. There must be a purpose. 

I sometimes wonder if my patron saint is Don Quixote, and we both spend our lives tilting with windmills. Humor aside, my models are more mortal and yet Divine - Jesus, Lao Tse, Buddha, Meister Eckhart, Hildegard of Bingen, etc. etc. etc. They all had turmoil in their lives from the violence of the Roman Empire to the ignorance and attacks of the Middle Ages. 

These models of mine and others did not achieve world peace either - but they did find/achieve inner peace. And the inner peace they achieved made a difference for them, for those who knew them, for those who read about them all across the ages - and pertinent to this writing, to me. Like ripples in a pond responding to a rock thrown in, those who found/achieved inner peace have left ripples, long-lasting ripples. Perhaps we could also say that they have left a trail of breadcrumbs for us to follow. 

My impossible dream seems less impossible. I can find inner peace. I often live in inner peace. Maybe my tiny ripples make a little difference. Maybe if many of us find/achieve inner peace, our collective little ripples join to make a bigger difference. Maybe together, little by little, we can shift the consciousness of earth. Maybe it is worth a try.

Let's have inner peace day every day and see what happens in our lives and in the lives of those around us. Join the Divine Experiment.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Egos on Steroids

Today is election day in the United States, and wow do we see the ego up and front and in our faces. We see candidates, of course, boasting and attacking. Unfortunately the press are also on the ego parade, no longer reporting, now advocating, promoting and attacking. Hyperbole tries to out exaggerate other hyperbole. It's a contest in madness. It's not the sharing of points of views and let the people weigh and decide what they deem the best approach to our collective problems.

Today is a cautionary tale about how it is when the ego takes the lead. As a person focused on all things spiritual, this seems to me to be opposite of what we should be doing, if we care at all about our spiritual life. This is almost a cartoon of what happens when we let our egos lead rather working on diminishing our egos and allowing ourselves to be more and more transparent, so that the Light does shine as Jesus asked us to do.

It's not our own personal light - light to be bragged about and strutted. It's the Light, the Light of God, the Light of the Cosmic/Universal Christ, THE Light. Let, let, let - let it shine. Get out of the way.  Cooperate, allow, invite - but don't think we can take credit for it, that's the ego talking. The meek, the humble, these are the ones we are called to be. If we can get ourselves out of the way, the Light does shine, and we in no way need to tell someone, they can see it. 

Friday, November 4, 2022

A Child of Now

Unlike the poet, the mystic is “a son of time present.” “Past and present veil God from our sight,” says Jalal-uddin Rumi, who was a Sufi first and only secondarily a great poet. “Burn up both of them with fire. How long will you let yourself be partitioned by these segments like a reed? So long as it remains partitioned, a reed is not privy to secrets, neither is it vocal in response to lips or breathing.”

     The Divine Within by Huxley

I suppose that at some level spiritual seekers have as the underlying goal to become a mystic, although I think it is likely most are not consciously aware of it, at least at the beginning. What calls us down this path? Of course it is God speaking in our souls. What happens as we sincerely seek? Eventually we become sons and daughters of the present where we drop ego and touch Oneness and join the universal understanding of the mystics of all backgrounds and ages.

As long as we indulge ourselves in long past memories, either positive or negative, or in future fantasies, we are in a state of hypnosis. In fact, when I studied hypnosis, I learned these are sure fire induction techniques. Many, many people stumble through life in a semi-slumber, where they are subject to all manner of suggestions from other sleep walkers. Under hypnosis a person does not have use of critical thinking skills. They accept suggestions without question. A simple example is a stage hypnotist telling the subject the onion they are eating is an apple, and to them it is until they wake up.

To wake up on our own, we need to practise being here now. Meditation and contemplation are key. Re-establishing critical thinking is important. Awareness Awareness Awareness - of what distracts and what empties, observation of self and one's reactions and actions, of one's slumbering and suggestability, detached and aware. Aware without judgment. Total awareness.

This is the only moment we have. This moment is the moment we must take our breath. This is the moment we can love. This is the moment we can know God. It has been said, For such a time as this you have come.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

A Nudge from Richard Rohr

Humans are fashioned to love people more than principles, and Jesus fully exemplified this pattern. But many seem to prefer loving principles --- as if you can really do such a thing. Like Moses, we each need to know God face to face. [Exodus 33:11, Numbers 12:8]  Note how Jesus said 'God is not a God of the dead but of the living (for to him all people are alive)  [Luke 20:38]  In my opinion, his aliveness made it so much easier for people to trust their own aliveness and thus relate to God, because like knows like.                                                                       --Richard Rohr The Universal Christ

I came across this quote this week, and it meant so much to me because I've been wrestling in my mind and heart with people who do put principles ahead of people. All things spiritual have been at the center of my life for as long as I can remember. I discovered that much of theology was made up by men who did not have the inspiration of Jesus or of any great avatar, so they made up rules that had to be followed or else... (what else depends on the times, could mean re-education camps, shunning or burning or gas chambering or burning in hell forever or...).

It also has led, and is leading, to splintering factions and fights between factions - one stands on this "principle" and another stands on a differing "principle." Most have little or nothing to do with the founder/namesake of the group/religion.

My current dilemma in understanding comes from the splits regarding people who are gay. As far as I know, Jesus never put an asterick on his statements. Love one another as I have loved you* (*except for some people. ) He never put an asterick on his definition of God, God is love* (*except towards some people).

I have often thought that if we go back to the original - in my case Jesus - we gain clarity. If we go to people over history who have mused over what Jesus really meant, we get a mixed bag, and we get distorted thinking. 

Even in science, which is pretty much a collection of principles, the scientist keeps on testing the principles and hypothesizing and testing new principles - in attempts to come to know what is true.

So what if we cut down on the emotions of protecting the "principles" we've become attached to, and just sought Truth, going to the source, listening with our hearts, living the most loving lives we can? What if we just considered the wild theologies of the ages as interesting history that may or may not contain useful clues, not rules from the hand of God? What if we went back to those who really did know God face to face? What if we were radical lovers of God and God's creation?

Monday, October 24, 2022

Pitfalls of Non-attachment

Spiritual avatars have spoken over the ages about non-attachment being a necessary part of the spiritual path. We must not be puffed up by our successes, our good deeds or our personal abilities, nor are we to be so horrified by our failures that we try to hide them or blame others. We are to simply live as the best people we can be, whether or not someone is looking. To God be the glory, to walk humbly and lovingly, to seek God every moment - these are our callings.

But, some use non-attachment in regards to evil and darkness. They wish to justify abhorrent behavior. In "The Divine Within" by Aldous Huxley, he addresses this quite clearly. Here is a small snipet of what he says.

Nonattachment cannot be practiced except in relation to intrinsically good or ethically neutral actions; the idea that it can be practiced in relation to bad actions is a delusion, springing from the wish of the ego to go on behaving badly, while justifying such behavior by means of a high and apparently spiritual philosophy.

It seems to me, we must guard against our egos using non-attachment as a cover for our failures and bad behaviors, but also as a culture we must not simply look at wrong behavior as neither here nor there. We must not condone the evils going on and just walk on by. 

People need to learn the basic ways that make life liveable. Bad behavior has to be reigned in and hopefully changed so the person can be restored. We cannot allow murderers, pedophiles, thieves, violent people, etc to roam the streets. We cannot continue to walk over passed out homeless people on the streets. That is not the place for non-attachment.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Thy Kingdom Come?

Many people are familiar with the Lord's Prayer, at least at the word level. Many have said Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done... maybe hundreds or thousands of times.

But they live lives that say Thy Kingdom go, my own will be done instead.

They live anything but a life focused on the Divine. They get angry about this or that and dispose of family and friends who have a different opinion. They are promiscuous, or addicts of other things. They are seduced by the latest fad from wokeness to tennis shoes. They get angry and jealous and greedy. They fight and even promote the horrors of war. They let their lives and emotions be controlled from the outside via current opinion, advertising, social media, television talking heads, or politicians. Etc. Etc. Etc.

All of this and more shouts Thy Kingdom go!!!

There is, of course, no valid spiritual voice anywhere in history suggesting focusing one's life on Thy Kingdom go!!!  or that this would be a good idea.

With so much of the world in this moment of time doing just that, it does create a dilemma as to how to turn such a negative trajectory around.

Dear Good People of Earth, let us pray for guidance and for courage to face this time, to be part of those who truly with all heart and mind say and live Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Time Trap

Movement in time is irreversibly in one direction. “We live forwards,” as Kierkegaard said, “but we can only understand backwards.”

Here on earth, we seem trapped in the corridor of time, which makes many of us obsess over all things trapped with us in time, thereby never getting out of our own way. All things in time die, disintegrate and eventually disappear. So, while we need certain things in order to stay on earth, our physical and in-time, life is not IT.

We can learn by looking backward, but we can't go back. We only have this moment. What are we to do in this moment? What calls us out of our obsession with what Jesus called Things that rust.

We are to still our minds, open our hearts, let go of egotism and allow the influx of Spirit. We are To seek the Kingdom of God, the very Ground of our being. We are to read and contemplate the words of the great spiritual teachers, the Ones who came to Know The Way.

Many are called but few are chosen. Who is chosen is up to each one of us. We choose to lay down the temporary and seek the Eternal, The Infinite - or not.

But thought’s the slave of life, and life’s time’s fool, And time that takes survey of all the world Must have a stop.

      ---- William Shakespeare 

Sunday, October 16, 2022

It Is Equal In Its Way

... the minute in itself is essentially neutral; that both the positive and the negative—both life and death—go on in it; that God sends his rain upon the just and unjust; that there is an essentially equal view of the world. --- "The Divine Within"

Huxley's next to the last book came to my attention again lately, and I downloaded it to my Kindle this week. I find it stunning every time I read it, and so you'll likely find me discussing various quotes that strike me, although there is very little that doesn't strike me in the book. I encourage you to read the book yourself.  

This particular section, and this little quote, seem to me to be so current to the odd messes going on. Let's consider some context, at least from what I have come to know from this long treck through this particular life.

  • Most of us come here as developing souls to learn the special lessons of earth, and some come as teachers.
  • We have freewill to choose how we respond. 
  • Looking across history, little has changed as to the lessons here.
  • We are accountable for our lives. When we leave here, we will be asked questions, including - Did you complete your purpose for this life? Did you learn how to love, unconditionally love?
Therefore, the current fad of blaming everyone and everything else is a deeply flawed strategy.

Life on earth has a spectrum of experiences that could be considered neutral, and upon them we heap our rage or our forgiveness or our learning or... It's up to us. It happens to us all, across all of known history. 

What we seek and how we respond to the raw material of life will lead us to The Divine or to a whimpering victim kind of life. It's up to us how we deal with this thing called life.


Thursday, October 13, 2022

For the Non-churched But Spiritual Folks

For those of us who are not congenitally the members of an organized church, who have found that humanism and nature-worship are not enough, who are not content to remain in the darkness of ignorance, the squalor of vice, or the other squalor of respectability, the minimum working hypothesis would seem to run to about this: That there is a Godhead, Ground, Brahman, Clear Light of the Void, which is the unmanifested principle of all manifestations. That the Ground is at once transcendent and immanent. That it is possible for human beings to love, know and, from virtually, to become actually identical with the divine Ground. That to achieve this unitive knowledge of the Godhead is the final end and purpose of human existence. That there is a Law or Dharma which must be obeyed, a Tao or Way which must be followed, if men are to achieve their final end. That the more there is of self, the less there is of the Godhead; and that the Tao is therefore a way of humility and love, the Dharma a living Law of mortification and self-transcending awareness.   ---The Divine Within, Aldous Huxley

This quote puts it so clearly I think. Most of us know, or at least suspect, there is more going on than a quick glance might suggest, and that Something More is The Divine Ground of all. Yes, I can verify from my life experience that It is knowable, and it is the yearning of our hearts. There is a Way (the first name of the followers of Jesus), there is a Tao, and we must follow it if we are to awaken this lifetime.

I recommend we read and reread the above quote and contemplate it. It is rich and dripping with profound truths. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Logic or A Different Kind of Logic - and How It Affects Our World

For days now logic keeps coming to mind, specifically logic types as learned in the University a very long time ago. In some ways, logic was one of the most long-term useful classes I took. I'm going to give you a super simple synopsis, and you can look into it further if you are interested.

The most ancient logic we studied was Aristotelian Logic. Aristotle's Logic ruled for many centuries, and I see it now, yes today, leading us down the primrose paths. He put forth a premise that he thought solid and reasoned from it. The premise did not have to be challenged, in some cases the premise was obvious, but the reasoning from it went astray. The primary example that I recall was this: men are bigger and stronger than women (premise that seems obvious for the most part), but here comes the astray part - therefore men have more teeth than women. But nobody bothered to count teeth. 

This "logic" is currently used daily on most newscasts, in the majority of lectures and sermons, in books and movies. I'll get back to that in a minute.

The second logic is Modern Logic. It aims at validity, provability and other things. It can be quite complex. The Encyclopedia Britannica online discusses this quite well.                                     

I would like to take a moment to explore the earlier logic with you and how it is used to distort and manipulate people. Let's take the border. The government spokespersons say it is closed and nothing needs to be done. Newscasters on most newscasts repeat this. They don't go to the border, they don't speak to people who live on the border. They ignore the pictures of people streaming across the border. They attack people who say the border is open, yet 4 million people without visas and from 190+ countries streamed in during the past 2 years. They fail to mention that the government has been flying and busing them all this time to various cities, not sanctuary cities. They attack governors who send small amounts of people to sanctuary cities to make a point. It is quite a mess, almost comical, except people are being hurt. Children are being trafficked. Drugs are pouring in and killing people in large numbers. And China, who makes the fentanyl, and who has declared they will dominate the world and bring down the West, plus the Mexican Cartels are the winners. 

We can see this kind of logic in many areas, from politics to potential World War 111 to Covid to the many variations of religion, and on and on.

This is primarily because of two things, it seems to me. Aristotelian Logic and Confirmation Bias. Instead of seeking out the truth and acting from the truth, our leaders state flawed premises and argue from them. And, they only say, and only want said, things they have stated as truth, whether or not they are truth. We are beginning to see evidence of Thought Police.

In these perilous times, do we dare to be seekers of Truth? I hope so.

Jesus told us, Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will open. Let us seek and knock and dare to live in Truth, and in seeking Truth without hesitation. Let the lies fall away. Let the manipulations stop. Let us awaken.

Friday, September 30, 2022

The Big Picture - What Is Really Going On?

 We are living on a rock with a molten center that whirls around once a day, so that we all travel  24,901 miles every day of our lives. And our earth goes around the sun once a year, so that we travel an additional  584 million miles each year! Yet we do not perceive the rapid movement or feel any G force. Our senses tell us that we are on a very stationary earth. Jesus told us not to judge by appearances, but we tend to anyway.

We are orbiting one of billions of stars in the Milky Way. The Milky Way is one of the billions of known galaxies. The immensity is mind-boggling. Our Creator is way beyond amazing. It brings to mind Psalms 8:

NIV Translation

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

Message Translation

 God, brilliant Lord, yours is a household name. Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you;  toddlers shout the songs that drown out enemy talk, and silence atheist babble. I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous, your handmade sky-jewelry, moon and stars mounted in their settings. Then I look at my micro-self and wonder, Why do you bother with us? Why take a second look our way?

Let us take a moment to be humble, throwing away our hubris.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The Role of Conduct

The aim and purpose of human life is the unitive knowledge of God. Among the indispensable means to that end is right conduct, and by the degree and kind of virtue achieved, the degree of liberating knowledge may be assessed and its quality evaluated. In a word, the tree is known by its fruits; God is not mocked. - 

              "Perennial Philosophy"

It seems to me there are numerous ways that we experience the difference between right conduct and wrong, sometimes very wrong, conduct. If we are paying attention, we can think about the possible outcome of this or that choice of behavior, and thereby choose better and avoid a great deal of pain. We can learn from our successes and our failures. Indeed, we are required to so look, if there is any chance of truly living awake to and in God.

I have often spoken and thought about Jesus' well known words, By their fruits you shall know them. I consider this to be one of the keys to the inner kingdom he spoke of. When we look with clear eye and heart at our personal fruits, we can see where we need to adjust our thinking and our conduct in order to get better fruits. (Get the log out of your eye before trying to get the speck out of your neighbor's) This is essential to a well-lived life, and it is essential to move us to the actual spiritual awakening that is yearning within us.

We are here at this time and place for higher purposes.  It seems that many people don't know this. Human conduct, historically and presently, then falls far into the pit of dark and bad conduct where there is only faint light. But light there is, and those bringing hate and destruction can catch a glimmer and lift themselves up and out of the pit.

To the people of earth, brothers and sisters, now is your time to enter the Light. Be the best you can be. Let your good and kind and loving conduct be an example, a light, to others. 

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Saturday Again

It rolls around once a week, but it seems it comes around ever faster. Time seems to change as we age. A week is a smaller portion of one's life in the so-called golden years than in one's youth. It seems eons ago when I was a little girl, wandering through orange groves, long since uprooted and paved over, dreaming of becoming a fashion designer, Edith Head my heroine. I entered a contest with "My Friend Irma" comic book to design the clothes for an upcoming issue. I entered and won! There it was in print  - This month's fashions by Marlene Eakin of 8313 S. Washington Avenue. Whittier, California. I was so excited.  I soon received letters from service men around the world, not knowing I was only 10 or maybe I was 12. Mother gave me the letters with big swatches cut out - an early form of redacting. I wish I had that comic book, but mother threw out all of my box of comic books one day when I was at school. She said You're too big for comic books. She sold or threw out much of my life. I never had a say.

Life has taken me places that were completely out of my dreams in those days. In fact, they would have seemed extreme, far-fetched, and impossible. Sometimes, even now, as I look back, in some ways many of the paths of my life seem magical or stunning, like how in earth did that happen?

But here I am, somewhere nearer to the end than to the beginning of this particular life, and I'm still in the land of the unexpected and unplanned. The question still stands even to this day. how in earth did that happen?

I have several hypotheses. When I was getting ready to enter this life: 

  • I signed up to complete a lot of karmic loose ends. 
  • I was bored and wanted an odd and interesting life. 
  • I wanted to be constantly challenged and test myself.
  • I wanted to prove I could go through advanced challenges and yet keep my connection to God and not lose my faith.
  • I was stark raving out of my mind at the moment of choice.
Yes, I do believe/know our essence, our soul, gets to give input into our incarnations, with the help and guidance of a wise spirit or oversoul or guide. I do believe/know our essence is eternal and not extinguished by anything, not even the horrid and evil. And I do believe/know we are accountable for what we do and how we face our challenges/lessons. We will be asked to evaluate it all when we leave these earthly bodies. I know that the first question will be, Did you learn to love unconditionally? That seems to be the common curriculum here on earth.

I hope and pray the current valley is the last weird lesson of this life, and that I get to have some peaceful years back in my own home, with all my things organized so that I can create and learn and enjoy awhile with my beloved husband and whoever God sends our way.

Let it be so.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Dual Citizenship

We live in two worlds. Not everyone is aware of this, and so take the one as the entirety of life.

  • The world of time has a seeming beginning and a seeming end. Stuck in the worldview of time only leads one to think everything goes, this is it, get it now. It tends toward belief in violent gods who destroy life in the end, and who require blood offerings. All in time ends, one way or the other.
  • The worldview of the Eternal Now leads to sensing a flow, a connection with all, a unity, yet a focus in this moment and then this moment on and on. The God of Now is not a destroyer but rather an Eternal ongoingness.  Furthermore, we are in the flow of this eternal ongoingness. We are part of it and its limitless nature, even if we are consciously unaware.

We live in both worlds, at least while on earth, but our lives are quite different if we are unaware of the Eternal Now. Historically, avatars, mystics, accidental mystics and saints are the main inhabitants of this second world. These days, we have access to their writings, to classes on meditation, to spiritual advisors, and if we want to grow spiritually, and are ready, we actually can. There are countless encouragements available.

We may straddle the divide of time and eternity, yet we can do so with open hearts and minds, letting go of the violent time-gods who lay in wait to end our lives and want our sacrifice. We can live in the ongoingness of the Eternal Now. We are safe. Life continues.

Monday, September 12, 2022

State of Mind

 In Perennial Philosophy we read:

The crimes which are everywhere forbidden proceed from states of mind which are everywhere condemned as wrong; and these wrong states of mind are, as a matter of empirical fact, absolutely incompatible with that unitive knowledge of the divine Ground, which, according to the Perennial Philosophy, is the supreme good.

This idea collaborates my thoughts that the violence going on is reflective of the decline in membership in religious groups, and thereby losing the moral teachings and encouragements found there.

Some of the questions that haunts me are:

  • How can we turn this around?
  • How can people be turned away from the "wrong thinking" that leads them and society to sink?
  • How can people be led to care about "unitive knowledge of the divine Ground?"
  • What can each of us do about it?
Let us each pray on this, listen and open ourselves to Guidance. Let us be courageous and filled with hope. 

Open us, Lord, to be courageous and contagious with Love of You and willingness at long last to Know of our Oneness with You, to know and know that we know You are the very Ground of our being. Let us fill the world with a grand Awakening.