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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.