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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, paedophiles, 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.                                               https://www.britannica.com/topic/history-of-logic/Modern-logic

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.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Shallowing

William James wrote about the shallowing effect. That concept I find to be profound and so applicable to what I observe around me.

People are encouraged to judge by the superficial- skin color, station in life, political affiliation, sexual identity, etc. Sort of tribes are formed around these superficial things, and there is hostility toward those tribes who form around different superficial things. Go to your corners and do battle, at least verbal slings, with the others attached to other shallow thoughts. But never, never do any deep thinking, nor research into various other ideas. They are constantly shallowing.

So we have the climate changer religion, who, with distain, call others deluded deniers. We have hatred of the other political party and attempts to destroy those who dare to think any other way. We have one race demonizing other races.

You who have willingness to deeply dive into all sides of a thing, are brave. You are likely to be either shunned, attacked and/or lied about by the shallow thinkers who want to skim life on the surface. 

Please, please be brave. Think and think some more. Think of unintended consequences. Think about all points of view. Think about history. Think about the future. Read all sides of an issue. Read/watch the other newspaper, the other channel. Realize no one knows all. We only see a tiny bit. 


Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Speak then Live

 “Be still and know that I am God.” This truth is to be lived, it is not to be merely pronounced with the mouth…. There is really nothing to argue about in this teaching; Any arguing is sure to go against the intent of it. Doctrines given up to controversy and argumentation lead of themselves to birth and death.          

   --- Hui Neng

Born 638, southwest China—died 713, the sixth great patriarch of Zen Buddhism and founder of the Southern school, which became the dominant school of Zen, both in China and in Japan.

Apparently he was one of earth's Avatars. I just read a bit about him today, but this quote really grabbed me so I wanted to share it and see if it grabs you too.

Just the kernel of it, if followed, has the potential to change life on earth for the better. Imagine if everyone lived the truths that spring from their mouths. In other words, no more lip service to the great ideas and teachings, but actual attempts to live them.

Let's consider what we say and how we live. 

We speak of love. Can we be more loving? We speak of forgiveness. Can we be more forgiving? We speak of integrity. Can we be more congruent with integrity. etc

Can we spend more time in the silence just being with the Divine?

What would our lives be like if we lived the great teachings?

Monday, August 29, 2022

Birthing God Within

Huxley, in The Perennial Philosophy, wrote of the necessity of practice in order to learn a skill. One cannot, for example, become a great artist by simply reading a book on art. In regards to our spiritual growth he adds:

In no circumstances, however, can the study of theology or the mind’s assent to theological propositions take the place of what [William] Law calls “the birth of God within.” For theory is not practice, and words are not the things for which they stand.

As I look around the world today, it seems to me that more and more people are untethered from high aspirations and moral principles, let alone actively engaged in "birthing God within." There is so much chaos and violence, and I am led to conclude all of the mess we see is related to the lack of seeking God within and the emptiness in the core of our being this creates.

I hope and pray more and more people are led to a genuinely spiritually awake person who can lead them in practices that quicken the birth of awareness of the Seed of God within. It seems to me this is perhaps our only hope for us at many levels - to  stop humanity's current path of self-destruction, to fill the aching hole in the center of a person not awake to the Light within, and to fulfill our purpose for being born here on earth.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Words from One of My Mentors

Back in 1978, as I prepared to move to Hawaii and found a new church, I was given the amazing gift of spending a day with Dr. Joseph Murphy in his home in Laguna Hills. He wrote over 30 books, at one time spoke to thousands every Sunday, and in all ways was an amazing man. His book, "The Power of the Subconscious Mind," was a best seller and therefore his most well-known book. He started out to be a Jesuit, but found more in other places. Look him up on Wikipedia, amazing man.

Anyway he told me that if I stayed focused on basic human needs, I would be a success. He said my sermons and classes needed to be practical, truthful, spoken at all levels, for those who came to me would be at all levels of understanding, and also needed to be inspirational and challenging too,

He said focus on relationships of all kinds - with self, with others and with God. Talk about healing them.  Talk about how they are interwoven. Talk of their importance. Talk about the power of the mind and self-talk. Give them practical and inspirational ideas.

He said focus on prosperity of all kinds - an abundance of good in their lives, abundance financially, abundance in life experience, abundance of goodness and compassion, abundance in spirituality.

He said focus on health and healing of all kinds - physical health, mental health, spiritual health. Share how they are interrelated and under our control for the most part. 

He said focus on God and practicing the Presence. All are important, but without God, one can only go so far in life in all other things. In fact, all other things are part of God, they are not separate.

Encourage everyone to be a life-long learner. Never stop. God is Infinite, so no one will arrive to the point of being all knowing. Humbly keep on learning and sharing and learning some more.

Tell them of the power of the subconscious mind and how to harness it for good. Tell them they are responsible to be and do the best, to rise to their lives as the best version of themselves they can be.

Tell them ways to get there, and with your own life model how it is the best you can. How you come to life will be the biggest teacher and encourager to those who come to you to learn.

Do these things, and all will be blest.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Jesus vs Woke or Awake vs Puppet

This morning I awoke with a deep sorrow over the direction our nation and our world is sinking into. It's as if I'm watching what history will later call the decline of the great Western democracies and the downturn to authoritarianism, especially Marxism.

The thinking has become what we once called "stinking thinking." Following a thought to its logical conclusion, using logic, understanding cause and effect, taking responsibility for one's life and reactions to others and on and on - are now attacked as being unwoke. The woke are fast asleep however, asleep to all things sane and useful.

Christianity, and basically all religions, has been attacked, labeled unwoke, and shunned in the circles of the ruling elite. They are attempting to replace religion with other false religions such as climate change, rights of extreme minorities, sports, etc. They are actively working to destroy civilization such as: allowing invasions/taking down borders, ginning up wars and fears of nuclear attacks, banning books, trying to create a race war, removing law and order, taking children out of the control of family, destroying the sexes in various ways such as castrating children, making all language neutral, going against biology with fabricated craziness and on and on.

Christianity is deemed dangerous because Jesus teaches us to love, to forgive, to use our ears and eyes, to find God within, to pray, to care, to be kind, to be of integrity in all things, to think, to be fully human and divine, to value our contribution here and to know that we are accountable for what we do here when we pass on from this life.

The slimy woke activists despise this. They want us under their control. They want us to be confused. They do not want us to be in control of ourselves, as they promote being "triggered" as an awful offense. We used to call it having our buttons pushed, and then the need to get rid of one's own buttons or else be a puppet on someone else's string.

Can it be turned around? I really don't know. This arc of history may be bent too far right now. But I do know all who are awake are called to try.

Oh Divine Presence, infuse us with Your Clarity. Guide us and Lead us to follow the Teachings of the Great Spiritual Lights. Show us how to turn around/repent. If it is Your Will, stop the decline of civilization, of critical thinking, of spiritual awakening - help us turn this around. We are open to Your Inspiration.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

What Level?

The question arose in me this morning, out of what level am I living? It was prompted by something Meister Eckhart wrote.

To this end I was born, and by virtue of my birth being eternal, I shall never die. It is of the nature of this eternal birth that I have been eternally, that I am now, and shall be forever. What I am as a temporal creature is to die and come to nothingness, for it came with time and so with time it will pass away. In my eternal birth, however, everything was begotten. 

My creaturehood will certainly pass away, yet my soul will continue in its eternalness. So, my questions to myself are: Which occupies the majority of my time and energy? Out of which level of myself do I operate most frequently? Is there some reasonable balance?

It is obvious that some of me has to care for the temporary expression of me. My body has requirements. My mind has requirements. Relationships need to be cared for. Beyond these kinds of things, the eternal self is here too. 

If I make decisions purely from the level of my temporary self, they are shallow and egotistic. Decisions that include my eternal nature are expansive, inclusive and meaningful. I am aware that what I do here, I am accountable for there.

Let us consider out of what level are we living, choosing, expressing and in general showing up as.  How we show up in each and every moment reverberates across the ages and across the dimensions. 

Friday, August 12, 2022

Medical Week/Torture?

Sometimes, it seems, things get worse before they get better. For years I've had various issues with my digestive system, and they have intensified. I have a wonderful new gastroenterologist who pledges to get to the bottom of it and solve it. So there are a battery of tests underway. The most recent was a 24-hour acid test. They put a tube in my nose, down my esophagus just to the entrance of my stomach, taped the tube to my nose, over my ears, and to my neck, and attached it to a monitor. There were sensors at the bottom of it all to measure the acid and record the ph. It was very uncomfortable and also fascinating. It never went to the alkaline side, and went periodically as acidic as the lowest that can be. That is, the line between acid and alkaline is 7. Above is alkaline, below is acidic. It went as low as .01 several times, and I saw it at 0 a time or two. Mostly it was around 3-4.

It seems to me, that the most severe symptoms have always been related to stress. I imagine there are other factors, but stress is always there as the symptoms emerge. I don't mean the daily and usual stress of life on earth, I mean extraordinary stress factors.

Part of my curriculum here on earth must be to find ways to not let extreme circumstances stop me on my spiritual quest. The Divine relationship is my primary "assignment." I must not be diverted - not by body issues, not by others, not by finances, not by world events, not by my thoughts, not by anything.

So I keep on reading spiritual writings, keep on praying and meditating and contemplating, keep on serving, keep on writing, and keep on with all of my spiritual practices. And Inspiration is still giving me gifts of Guidance and Understanding, and God is still my companion. Life is good. Life is an incredible gift and must not be wasted. Excuses, even seemingly "good" excuses, are not acceptable. 

We must not let ourselves be sidetracked from our primary life and mission. We are here to be a light, a lifter, an inspirer, and to grow and expand our own spiritual lives. Let us move forward together to be all we can be, never mind that distractions pop up. Keep our eyes on the real goal.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

The Contact

To my feeling this final complete passing over of consciousness from the mind to the soul is by act and will of God alone, and cannot be performed by will of the creature, and is the fundamental difference between the contemplation of Nature and the contemplation of God. The creature worships, but the soul alone knows contact.

Lilian Staveley (1878-1928) was an Anglican laywoman whose inward spiritual life remained hidden even from her closest friends and family members until after her death,

Her amazing thoughts grabbed me this morning.  "the soul alone knows contact."  It seems to me that what our inner yearning draws us toward is The Contact, The Knowing by experience that God is and is with us and in us, that we are not spiritual orphans after all.

As I look upon my own life, at those Holy moments of Contact, it is clear to me, has always been clear to me, that I cannot make them happen. It is not by my will, it is a gift given by The Divine. 

I can, however, prepare myself through service, mindfulness, prayer, contemplation and meditation to be open and receptive, so that Contact is more frequent and deeper. 

The real treasures of life are those precious moments when the fog clears and there is God, God and I, we are one, enfolded in incredible Love, Peace flooding the mind until it is still, and suddenly we are One.

No, I cannot make it happen. I can prepare myself so when God wills it, wills me to Oneness, I am ready to receive Holy Contact.  

Oh Divine Presence, reveal Yourself to me. Reach into my soul. Touch my inner most being. I yearn for Your Contact. I hunger to know You. Let it be so.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Gospel of Thomas

 “Whoever has ears, let him hear. There is light within a man of light, and he lights up the whole world. If he does not shine, he is darkness.” Jesus said, “I took My place in the midst of the world, and I appeared to them in flesh. I found all of them intoxicated; I found none of them thirsty. And My soul became afflicted for the sons of men, because they are blind in their hearts and do not have sight; for empty they came into the world, and empty too they seek to leave the world. But for the moment they are intoxicated. When they shake off their wine, then they will repent.”

I was re-reading some of the Gospel of Thomas this morning. It was one of the 13 early Christian writings found in 1945 in Nag Hammadi in Northern Egypt.

Its many references to light have always fascinated me, as I am connected to many light-filled moments in my life. Here Jesus says "There is light within a man of light, and he lights up the whole world. If he does not shine, he is darkness.”  To me this is reminiscent of other things he is reported to have said, like don't hide your light under a bushel, let your light shine, etc. 

It seems to me that we are called to The Light and to let It flow and shine through us. We don't have to go somewhere else to find it. We cannot purchase it. It is already within us. If we don't shine it, we contribute to the darkness. 

Perhaps the darkness has intoxicated us so that we forgot who we are. Perhaps this is why, with the current attack on religion going on all over the world, there are those who are purveyors of darkness. From the woke shores of the far far left to the Marxist shores rising in so many nations, there is darkness. No Light of God is welcomed.  Yet there are those all across this planet refusing to let their light go out. To you I say, shine your light, keep shining, refuse the darkness.

 

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Living the Stories

This morning I awoke with an idea that startled me. I, and most likely you too, have been living the Bible teachings. It's like my earth school curriculum has been set up so that the key themes in the Bible are taught to me via my life experience. Some have been part of this experiential teaching numerous times. Maybe I didn't quite get it, or there were nuances I missed, or they were just so important that they bore repeating.

 One of the repeating themes has been -

 Judge not by the appearance, but by righteous judgement. (KJV) or in the Message translation: Don’t be hypercritical; use your head—and heart!—to discern what is right, to test what is authentically right. or in the Voice translation: You should not judge by outward appearance. When you judge, search for what is right and just.

Whatever translation, we are told to go beyond the surface, beyond first glance, beyond the ego's biased assessment, and maybe even to see the person and the situation from a God point of view.

There are untold numbers of examples in in my life. One example keeps coming to my mind this morning. I was once the pastor of a church that had a very old and beautiful building. It was built near the end of the 1800's. It was Gothic with a pipe organ, hand carved and beautiful woodwork. It tended to creak and seem a bit spooky at night.

One day a sweet young thing voice called me and asked me to perform a wedding that night. It seemed they loved the beauty of our church and wanted a woman minister. So I drove down to the church just before 7 that evening and went in and turned on all of the lights. Then I heard the roar of motorcycles in the parking lot, lots of motorcycles. My first thought was - oh no, nobody knows where I am!

In walked a group of leather-clad young people, chains, studs, the whole thing. The bride walked up to me. She was wearing jeans and a leather vest with nothing under it, nothing! She said, Your flowers are so lovely. Could I pick some for my hair? I told her that would be fine. She came back in with a ring of flowers in her hair. She looked so stunningly beautiful, glowing and radiating happiness. I had a conversation with the bride and groom and decided they were genuinely in love and aware fully of the commitment they were about to make. We all went in to the sanctuary, and I married them. They were so happy, tears in their eyes, beautiful vows they had prepared to say. Afterwards, they thanked me profusely and gave me the biggest honorarium I'd ever received. They waved as they rode off, faces covered with huge smiles.

If I allowed my fear led by the appearance to take over, I would have missed some lovely people and a precious memory. 

Either I am thick-headed, or this lesson is so important that it just has to be repeated - different scenarios, different faces, same lesson. I am getting better at it, but I do find I slip from time to time. Perhaps some of the examples I've lived are pop quizzes for me to see how I'm doing. Some are more like mid-terms. 

When I opened the Book of Life for this life, I opened the Bible stories that would teach me each and every day, even if I never actually opened a physical Bible. I did, however, open and study and read the Bible over and over, since early childhood. My life experiences and my understanding of the Bible maybe are a bit different than yours, but they are all rooted in timeless stories and sayings.

Thoreau said that an unexamined life is not worth living. I urge you to examine your life to discern which sacred stories are your particular curriculum, your assignments to learn during the course of this life. 

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Where Is Your Church?

God is in every place; think of every place as a church.  

     -- Jeremy Taylor  1613-1667

 In a great Cathedral, we are breathless at the soaring arches and dazzling stained glass windows. In a redwood forest, we feel enveloped in peace. Spending time contemplating a rose, we enter into a deeper relationship with Beauty. In a bustling crowd, we can suddenly see the many faces of God. Even in the seemingly uninspired places, there is God waiting for us to look beyond appearances, to shine our light and love, to be a lifter.

As we approach life with spiritual openness, we begin to discover that it is true, every place, every thing, every one is sacred. We come to worship and celebrate wherever we may be.

If we carried with us today in our hearts the quote from Jeremy Taylor, we might make some amazing discoveries.  Try it in the (church) grocery store, in the (church) park, in the (church) bookstore, in the (church) slum, wherever you go or whatever see on television or the internet - see a church. Then of course, the next step might be - how do I behave in church? Do I see others as spiritual brothers and sisters? Do I have a joyous attitude? Am I prayerful and caring? Can I be that wherever I am? Can I grow to act and think at all times as if I am in the Presence of God, for I am. Wherever I am, God is.

Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?

To be out of your sight?

If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
    If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
    to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
    you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
    At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
    night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you. 
               Psalm 139:7-12 The Message translation

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

An Insight From the Past

One who reads the words of prayer with great devotion may come to see the lights within the letters.  --- Hasidic teaching

To me, this has also been the outcome of the Christian practice of lectio divina, divine reading.

Skimming the surface of any great thought may give a glib understanding, but not the full robust and meaningful idea intended. It is there to be mined, to delve into, to roll over and over in our minds. There are layers and layers of meaning in the great writings of all traditions.

I also suggest it is not very useful to take someone else's understanding of anything of any consequence without deep contemplation of one's own. Peel back the layers of meaning on your own to reach the layer that speaks to you at this moment in time. 

It takes more time to genuinely go on a spiritual quest, but it is so rewarding and exciting. Many partially slumber through this life, skimming the surface, taking the easy way, and missing the gems, the truly good bits.

I encourage you to practice by mining the meanings in the quote at the top of today's writing. Then go on to other great words. Be a spiritual explorer.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

My Prayer

                                                         Infinite Divine Presence

Ground of my being

Breath of my life

Lead me to know You more fully

Guide my steps, my mind, my heart

Lead me to be all You sent me here to be

Wash away my fears and doubts

Awaken in me The Light

Release me from all darkness

Show me how to Shine

Help me love all of Your creation

Here I am Lord, at last ready to know You

Joy is sparkling in me

For You hear me and are even now responding with Love

I turn this over to You with the ancient seal of faith,

Amen Amen and Amen

 

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Lessons From My Granddaughter

We went each Halloween to a very elaborate maze. We were together at this time as it was also our granddaughter's birthday time. She had the most amazing spatial awareness. She would walk through the maze once and then run through it easily. One year, when she was 7 or 8, after I was done with the maze and sitting down, she wanted to go through it again. She came out with big eyes, saying There are some women in there crying. They can't find their way out. Can I go back and lead them out? She went to them saying, Follow me, I know the way.  The women came out amazed and praised her and thanked her over and over. One came up to me an hour later, and was still so thankful and incredulous such a small girl could do that.

This morning I awoke with this memory vivid on my mind, and a clear analogy. 

Jesus said Follow me, I know the way. He taught the way to live a spiritual life, the way to know God. People were astounded that a carpenter from the little village of Nazareth would know the way. It was so important that his teachings were even called The Way, and his followers were members of The Way long before the name became Christianity.

In this moment, in this second, I turn to follow The Way of The One who knew The Way. I cease flinging around after empty choices, using my life energy for naught. There is One who knew and taught and walked The Way. From this moment on, I will do my best to put my foot upon that path and follow. I pledge this in a solemn yet joyous oath, and seal it with the ancient seal of faith and integrity, Amen, Amen and Amen

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Summing Up My Life So Far

When I was a little girl and then a teen-ager, I read my little New Testament over and over and over again. Jesus and Paul became my Companions, Mentors, Role Models, and Friends. I had a problem with the preacher's words, that somehow didn't usually work with what my Companions were teaching me. I prayed and prayed

At the University, I learned about the history and development of theology by men of various times and places, of various understandings and intellects, of men before science, of men with control and ego issues and political axes to grind, of men with translation issues and documents that were written down long after the events, etc. I saw a web of confusion, of mutually exclusive ideas, of misinterpretations, of lack of understanding of context, and in some cases ludicrous conclusions.

So, I did what anyone with a conscience would do, I left the church, but I took my Companions, Mentors, Role Models and Friends with me. I did my best to be like them - to love lavishly, to forgive fully, to be generous of things and of heart, to care, to offer a hand up, to give thanks for all of God's goodness lavished upon earth.  Later in life, I returned to church, being ordained in 1978, offering my unique perspective, not regurgitated nonsense. I did my best to share only what I actually Know.

Sometimes the hurts of my life were hard to overcome and stood there taunting me. Sometimes I let my Companions down, and of course myself down too. I was well into my adulthood when I could finally release with complete forgiveness the hurtful people of my young years, and then those who came after. 

I seemed to attract the mentally ill, from extreme manic to borderline personality, each with their own challenges. I seemed to attract some raging angry people, some with advanced manipulation skills, some who were downright mean and uncaring. I came to see them as teachers, as testers to see how well I was doing in living as my Companions taught me. I faltered. Picked myself up and tried again. I cried. I prayed. I wandered through trees and felt the calm of old redwoods. I sat on shores and watched the endless waves. I stared at the night skies and thought of the millions of millions of galaxies and uncountable stars and planets. Oh how magnificent! How small my cares.

I lived the Book of Job, all being stripped from me - family, friends, money, home, almost all earthly things, with just enough left to cling onto the edge. I knew it to be a spiritual experience, a teaching time, a burning off of more of the dross. I hope to live long enough to have some time in the restoration phase, but I don't know if this wish will be granted.

From time to time, I have been granted a glimpse into The More. I have seen the Light. I have met what I call Beings of Light, I have seen beyond. I have heard with my ears Guidance loud and clear. I have sat in one place and seen another that was simultaneously occurring. I have had deep and profound spiritual moments, ever since early childhood. I have experienced inspirational writing that just flows through me without my intellectual gyrations. All were gifts. I cannot make them happen. They happen as gifts, as surprises, as evidence. For you see, I know there is so much more than those with earthly blinders can even imagine. I know the bedrock of earthly life is to develop spiritually in spite of, or sometimes because of, whatever is going on here. I know life continues. And I know it is a privilege to be given this opportunity to come to earth and develop our souls.

In case I don't get to know all of you who read my words on this blog, I leave this testimony to lift you and help you as you journey through your own journey of awakening to The More.

May your life be all God intended it to be when you were given the gift of coming here. May you drop your intense focus on the this and that of this place, and turn to The Light where you will find what you have been seeking. God bless you and keep you. 

With all of my heart,

M. Marlene Oaks

Monday, July 4, 2022

Blessed Independence Day

What a day it was, that original Independence Day. Men with a new vision of how to be a nation signed a dangerous document declaring this new land would no longer be subservient to Great Britain, indeed not a part of it at all. They risked everything to stand firmly against the greatest power of the day.

They were not perfect men, as men rarely are. They did have a great vision and the courage to stand behind it. I am always moved deeply when I think of those days, of the discussions and arguments that led up to the final document. Ordinary men became great men that day. I am thankful for them. My freedom is an inheritance from what they began.

Have you read it lately? Here it is:

In Congress, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Signed by:     (Let us honor them today as well as our Founding Document)

Georgia

Button Gwinnett

Lyman Hall

George Walton

 

North Carolina

William Hooper

Joseph Hewes

John Penn

 

South Carolina

Edward Rutledge

Thomas Heyward, Jr.

Thomas Lynch, Jr.

Arthur Middleton

 

Massachusetts

John Hancock

Maryland

Samuel Chase

William Paca

Thomas Stone

Charles Carroll of Carrollton

 

Virginia

George Wythe

Richard Henry Lee

Thomas Jefferson

Benjamin Harrison

Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Francis Lightfoot Lee

Carter Braxton

 

Pennsylvania

Robert Morris

Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Franklin

John Morton

George Clymer

James Smith

George Taylor

James Wilson

George Ross

Delaware

Caesar Rodney

George Read

Thomas McKean

 

New York

William Floyd

Philip Livingston

Francis Lewis

Lewis Morris

 

New Jersey

Richard Stockton

John Witherspoon

Francis Hopkinson

John Hart

Abraham Clark

 

New Hampshire

Josiah Bartlett

William Whipple