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Monday, July 22, 2024

Justice= Truth

 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be well satisfied.”  Justice is another name for truth, and truth is something that stands the test and is durable. Anything less than the truth fades away... Justice is as precious and as necessary as the air that man breathes. When justice is flouted, human equilibrium is thrown out of balance; but when justice reigns in a land, everything functions well.                     -- "The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth" by George Lamsa  
(Lamsa's book on  the Sermon on the Mount  is amazing.  He was an Aramaic language speaker from an area much like it was when Jesus walked the earth.)

It was a new idea to me that justice and truth are the same, at least in the understanding of the Aramaic  language.  

When Truth/Justice are ignored or denied, sad and dreadful things ensue. When they are honored, something good and enduring are honored.

That could explain the current situation in the world. Truth is not being spoken by our leaders in any area - not in politics, not in government, not in science, not in media, not in religion - not in any area. Therefore there is no enduring Justice in our world.

Let us begin a new movement, speak only the Truth. It is a sacred duty in order to honestly be able to say "I follow Christ."


Sunday, July 21, 2024

Ways to Read the Bible

 There are many ways to read the Bible, many eyes through which to view it.

There are the eyes of an archeologist. These eyes look for clues in the Bible as to where to search and dig. For example, The Armstrong Institute has found verification for a number of things by finding what the people left. I get their fascinating magazine, Let the Stones Speak. Another magazine I get and recommend is  Biblical Archeology Review.

There are the eyes of an historian. These eyes seek to find what actually happened, what was it like back in the day, what were the laws and customs and diet and on and on. What was the Roman Empire like?  One example, they never had a census where people had to go their home town to be counted. Can you imagine the chaos  of that in the huge Roman Empire? They did have a few censuses, but the people just went to an official in the town where they lived.

There are the eyes of a linguist, of experts in ancient languages, experts in idioms, experts in how languages change over time and meanings of words change.

There are eyes of apologists who seek to make it fit their theology. They want it to be all true and literal and do all sorts of contortions in an effort to force it and to stop all thinking otherwise.

There are eyes that skim the surface and give little thought or care.

There are eyes that seek the Truth, that delve deeply, that meditate and contemplate and find deep meanings. They know that some things are myths, allegories, or parables, and they contain great truths. 

This morning in meditation, I heard "No room at the Inn," is there room in your heart to nurture the Light of Christ?" The story might not be historically true, but is loaded with profound meaning. 

I challenge you today to look at the Bible, or any sacred text, with new eyes. Open your eyes, your heart, and your mind to  enter the Great Mystery of God.

Monday, July 15, 2024

What Is a Human?

 Epictetus answers - A rational and mortal being. He also tells us he/she can act like a wild beast and lose the promise of rationality and lose oneself, lose our humanity. When does one become as a wild animal? We act gluttonously, lewdly, rashly, filthly, inconsiderately .. When we act contentiously and harmfully and passionately and violently, to what have we declined? To wild beasts.

Therefore, it is upon our shoulders to get in control of ourselves and to be the person God had in mind when He created us. It is essential we become aware when the beastly rears its ugly head in us, and to send it away and refuse to sink into that dark place 

I think of Jesus extending the commandments. Not only should we not murder, but we also must avoid anger.  Not only should we not commit adultery, we should not lust. Etc. And if we even have something in our heart against someone, we need to stop what we are doing, even worshipping, and go clear it up. 

In so many ways Jesus would have agreed with Epictetus. How about you?

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Great Spirit

This morning in my meditation I was asking what am I now to do in my remaining years? I heard guidance to write this down and share it.

There is a Great Spirit that speaks in the depths of souls and has done so from the very beginning of humanity. It calls out the very best of us. It calls out to love, to be joyous, to be kind, to be generous, to be curious, to be creative, to celebrate this Great Spirit in everyone and everything, and to endeavor to be like It.

But It also made it so that we have to work to go beyond appearances. Much like an athlete in training, we have to stretch and flex and develop our spiritual strength. 

The Great Spirit is urging us vigorously to awaken to this NOW. 

It is time to realize the many religions are various attempts to awaken us to the spiritual truths in somewhat similar ways. The details vary as do cultures, but there is Truth to be found everywhere.

It is time to stop making slight differences the stuff of  prejudice, hatred and violence. It is time to stop dividing people into groups and judging them as a group, aka prejudice. 

We are all humans. We all are kin to God, The Great Spirit. We all have greatness of soul. Teach this to one another. Awaken this Truth in as many as you can.

So said The Great Spirit of God to me this morning and asked me to share it with you. I pray you contemplate these words and implement them in your life. God Loves you and so do I.

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Why I Don't Believe in the Virgin Birth

Recently I shocked an evangelical friend of mine, when I told him I do not believe in the virgin birth of Jesus, actually of anyone. It occurred to me this morning I might share my reasoning with you.

Long ago I had the realization that God gave me intelligence and expected me to use it. 

I began to question and explore.

 So here is a brief outline of my thinking.

 Paul wrote between 52-64 CE. The only thing he said about Jesus' birth was he was "born of woman under the law." He surely would have said something about a magical birth, if it were being talked about. 

The next writing we have is Mark who starts his Gospel with the baptism. Not a word about a virgin birth. All three baptism stories have Jesus see a dove or spirit and hear a version of Isaiah or Psalms saying he is my son. Indicating he did not know that before this time. 

Then there is the episode in Mark 3 where his mother and brothers want to take him away "for he has gone out of his mind." That does not seem consistent with Mary being made pregnant by God. It seems that story does not develop until The Way has moved fully into the Greek/Roman world where they already had such stories. 

For these and other reasons, such as the genealogies in Matthew and Luke all through Joseph, I am pretty well convinced that Paul spoke the truth

Saturday, July 6, 2024

A Really New Idea to Me

 He did not speak to His disciples of His resurrection, His ascension, and His parousia as three distinct acts, since the event to which He looked forward is not identical with any of the three, but is composed of them all. The resurrection is, at the same time, the ascension and parousia, and in the parousia the resurrection and the ascension are also included. --- Albert Schweitzer, "The Quest of the Historical Jesus"

Wow! I never even considered this as a possibility. My mind is whirling.

I can see this as possibly true. All three were contained in this multifaceted event. 

It goes on to say:

 "Jesus spoke of the future of His work and His teaching in a way that implied the consciousness of an influence to be continued after His death, whether unbrokenly or intermittently, and the consciousness that by this influence His work and teaching would be preserved from destruction and the final victory assured to it."

Here we are 2,000 or so years later and various versions of his teaching are still here. I'm going to have to contemplate all of this!

Thursday, July 4, 2024

1776 and Us

 July 4, 1776, the official birthday of our nation, is a joyous and sacred day. Courageous and visionary people dreamed of a new kind of government, and surprisingly they did something about their vision. They wrote The Declaration of Independence. They fought the greatest power of the day and won independence with farmers, builders, and other ordinary people. Great men led them, including the incredible George Washington. Then they wrote the landmark document, The Constitution. They realized some more was needed, so they wrote some amendments. It developed and grew and became the place in the world where dreams could come true.

John Adams said, “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

The quote above haunts me more and more. Christianity seems to be unraveling. Marxism is on the rise in the world and in subverting our foundation. Youth are being taught false history and to hate our country. 

It seems to me that it is time to wake up, to think, to stand for what once made this place great. I often think of my long ago political science professor who said, ""You can tell which country is the best by which way the borders leak."   From the very beginning, people with a dream were drawn here. I'm not talking about the current invasion - I'm talking about orderly and lawful immigration. Remember the history of the Roman Empire, weakened by bad emperors and declining morals, finally taken down by the barbarians flooding the borders. 

God bless the American Dream. Will we have the courage of our visionary founders, or will we go down as a failed experiment, a footnote in history?

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Are You Upset?

For what, then, has god made you responsible? For that which alone is in your power, the proper use of appearance. Why then do you then feel upset about the things which you are not responsible for? This is only bringing trouble to yourself.                            --- Epictetus

 In these turbulent times, it might be a good idea to listen to what Epictetus has to say. I see and hear all manner of people extremely upset over things they have no power over and often things said that are unverified or distorted.

So and so says XYZ and another says LMN. Pundits then say opposite things about them, and people rage, not being present at the event and not being privy to any inside information to verify, or being too lazy to research. Extreme ravings ensue. 

That's where we are now - polarized.

Before we get upset, let's do some research, listen to all sides, think, use logic, sprinkle with common sense. Take a breath. Calm down. 

Once that is done ask - Is there something I can and should do about it? Is it mine to do?  Do I have expertise in this area? Do I need to learn more?

Say it's a Constitutional issue. Read the Constitution. Listen to arguments pro and con. Think about it logically, not from left or right bias. 

Say it's a religious issue. Do some research perhaps in history, archeology, the study of ancient languages, etc. There are mountains of book, podcasts and YouTube videos from actual scholars. Before you upset yourself, get informed.

If you are still livid, you are in your limbic brain and not using your cerebral cortex. Don't make any decision out of emotionality. You are likely to make things worse. 

Taking responsibility for our own reactions or responses is the sign of maturity and wisdom.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Greek Stoics

First say to yourself, who do you want to be: then act accordingly. -- Epictetus

I keep reading and hearing that Paul added Platonism and Stoicism to his teaching and understanding, perhaps to make it more palatable to the people of the Roman Empire and possibly because it was already part of his worldview. He was a Jew and a Pharisee, but he lived his life outside of the Jewish homeland. He was a Roman citizen.

So I have been rereading Greek philosophy. I had not read Epictetus, except for a few quotes here and there, so I started reading his Discourses. I am now excited about his ideas. The Stoic ideas he presented are very much in alignment with mine, or maybe I should say I am in alignment with him.

The quote at the top of this entry is a simple and profound idea, one of a huge number of thoughts worthy to deeply consider.

Beginning to consider it, I wonder how many have asked themselves what they want to be. Not just career wise, but more importantly as a person. What principles do we stand on?  How do we act in life? Who are we?

Once we begin to get clarity, then action is necessary, unless we just want to be empty windbags. Practice a thing and it becomes part of us. What should we practice? I suggest kindness is a good beginning. Taking responsibility for yourself, not blaming, is essential. Focus on what you can do and do that and do it well. Be the best person you can be. 

Saturday, June 1, 2024


 Menticide is an old crime against the human mind and spirit but systematized anew. It is an organized system of psychological intervention and judicial perversion through which a powerful dictator can imprint his own opportunistic thoughts upon the minds of those he plans to use and destroy... 
Mental courage cannot be cultivated by physical training only. It requires training in mental stamina, in understanding of basic. beliefs, and even in non-conformistic thinking. ---. "The Rape of the Mind" by A. M. Meerloo, M.D.

Our minds, our ability to reason, our critical thinking, all of these are precious and need to be protected. The idea of menticide, the numbing or killing of these, is horrifying.

In the study of mind control, propaganda, hypnosis via mass media, the influence of the internet and now artificial intelligence, I find the dangers of menticide incredibly increased.

One of the things happening, in the overload of varying degrees of information, from totally false to accurate, people are exhausted and just give up the search for truth, thereby live a numbed down existence. Or they just take one strand of "information" and make it their truth with religious fervor.  Or... Whichever response we use to the bombardment coming at us, we have some degree of menticide.

I hear the Zen master shout WAKE UP!!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

God Is Love (Unconditional Love)- So Where Did the Idea of Satan Come From?

 Last night a woman walked out of my Bible study at the homeless shelter. She insisted that God did not create everyone, that Wrath created people and they were created to be evil and had no good in them.  I had never met someone so devoted to such an idea that she ran from the idea that God is Love and created/creates everyone.

This morning I was praying and the insight that came to me was that some people are highly invested in scapegoats. They therefore feel no need to forgive others. Anyone who they perceive as having caused them hurt and pain are bad and evil to the core. Satan becomes the ultimate scapegoat, eliminating self responsibility.

On the other hand, a young man that had come a couple of times, and had mentioned a severe childhood that still tormented him, and he asked me what my grandmother had done to me. Then he was astonished I was able to forgive her. I to!d him if I could do it, I knew he could too. He asked if some things  just aren't forgivable? I asked him what Jesus said on the cross. "forgive them for they know not what they do." His eyes widened and he repeated that several times and suddenly applied that to his situation. I saw the beginnings of inner freedom right before my eyes. I saw God working in his heart. Thank you God.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Blessing and Curse

 Technology is a blessing and a curse. We have access to so much and are mostly relieved of drudgery. Yet we are constantly being programmed, hypnotized, and isolated from one another and the challenges of life. We are examples of Pavlov's  experiments.

We see it wherever we go. Families at dinner "together," but all engrossed in phones or tablets, so not communicating with one another, not developing conversational skills, not debating and thinking. We see it as people are walking with full attention to their devices.

We see it as people take on the opinions of whatever news they watch, and call the "other" channels evil liars. We see it when people are out demonstrating for something opposite of their values or opposite of what is good for them. They are propagandized, hypnotized , not using critical thinking, and not aware of it either.

All of this puts our freedom in jeopardy. I think we need to quickly pivot. We need to teach critical thinking skills. We need to encourage time limits to use of devices. We need to teach people some hands on skills such as gardening, woodworking sewing, cooking, etc. We need to encourage time in nature, quiet time, contemplation, conversation, open debate of ideas, etc. 

I encourage you to think on these things. Debate them with others with different viewpoints. Put down your devices at least several hours a day and reconnect more deeply with real people and places. Think new thoughts. Challenge yourself. Let life be the adventure it is meant to be.

Monday, May 13, 2024

Growth Leaves a Trail of Destruction

 It is ironic. Often to learn something new, an old idea has to go. Often, maybe always, we leave a trail of shards of previous understanding lying on our path.

I think of Paul saying when a child, I thought as a child. Our Santa Claus, Easter bunny, fairytale childish ideas lay strewn behind us. 

Human knowledge has mountains of discarded shards. No longer is Mt. Olympus home to the gods. No longer is the earth the center of the universe.  No longer do witches cause crop failures. No longer a zillion things.

Yet, here we stand, often refusing to learn in order to protect whatever idea we hold dear. 

I long ago had the flash of realization that the the immense intelligence that created the universes, who imbued me with a bit of that intelligence, would not be upset at me for using it. Indeed, if God even could be upset, it would be more likely for not using that intelligence.

I get confounded by those educated people, for example, who insist the Bible is inerrant and infallible. Even without scholarly study, it is obvious that the Bible is full of contradictions. Theology is also a bundle of contradictions. Knowing this does not mean throwing the whole thing out is the only option, but just in case it is the only option, pretend there are none and attack anyone who points them out.

Okay, just a couple of examples. Genesis 1 & 2 are very different creation stories. Theology says Adam and Eve are the first two peop!e. So who were the people Cain went to in order to find his wife?  Genesis 1 repeatedly says that God declared every speck of creation good. Augustine, in the 5th century CE made up original sin, which has tortured people ever since. Compare what is written in Acts about Paul and what Paul says about himself. Compare what the Gospels and Paul say about when Jesus became the son of God also about his birth. Did you know they are very different? I could go on with countless examples, but you can find them on your own. 

For me, the Bible is still full of inspiration, guidance, and sacredness. It tells me a faith story written over centuries. It shows me relationship to God in various times and places. It reminds me how central God is for humans to come to know and follow. It reminds me how intimately we live and breathe in the divine and can be guided and inspired directly. 

Perhaps the flaws are perfect, for they require us to think and get engaged with our spirituality at deeper levels, as we strive to learn what the ancient people were trying to say. 

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Mass Psychosis

There have been a number of mass psychosis events of which we are aware. There  were the witch hunts, when thousands of women were killed. It is recorded that in some towns and villages there were scarcely any women left.  There were the Inquisitions. There were the Nazis and Communism under Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot and the Kims, and on and on.

They used torture, hypnotic techniques, drugs, propaganda, threats and more to implant false memories, create mass hysteria, and get people to sign confessions for things they didn't actually do. They were able to break most people, but not all. When their attempts stopped, because the victim escaped, or the captors lost, or for whatever reason, in a few days most of the victims began to regain their real memories.

Now the world is under attack in vast numbers by evil totalitarian people. They are using powerful technology for infiltrating minds. They are flooding the West with drugs. They are creating confusion in a multitude of ways. They are trying to change our language. They are undermining the values we hold dear. They are attacking our religions, primarily Christianity and Judaism, but also Tibetan Buddhism, and others. They are programming our youth to hate who we are and embrace the darkness.

At this  moment in time, a large (not huge yet) number of people are in mass psychosis, or at least neurosis, over propaganda-led attempts to control the world and end freedoms.

It is time to walk out of the embrace of evil. It is time to take back our minds and critical thinking skills.  It is time to stop the mind altering drugs and haze of alcohol. It is time to return to our churches and synagogues. 

Every time mass psychosis has succeeded, even for just a few years, terrible things have happened. We must not let it succeed this time.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

It Is a Wonderful/Awful Life

This fabulous earth school offers us the joyous and wonderful moments of love, passion, insight, metanoia, and so much more.

It also offers us moments demanding sacrifice, of terror, of deep sorrow and loss, and more.

Life is not bland, lived in a straight line of sameness. If we are paying attention, we see that this is a good thing. It's not supposed to be easy. All great things come from striving, learning, struggling, succeeding, failing, and finally succeeding. Whether it's learning to master the piano or learning to be the best human we can be, it's not easy. That's not how it works.

I firmly believe we are here to learn, and grow, to flex our spiritual muscles and see beyond appearances, beyond the bonds of ego. 

We are to awaken to the sacredness of all of creation. We are to look in the eyes of those we call "other" and see the spark of God. We are to step out of the shadow of our self-absorption.  

We are to put our feet upon this sacred Mother Earth, and our hearts in the realm of the Cosmic Christ.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

The World Before It Is Too Late

 If the world as we know it is not to collapse, we need to re-awaken to spirit shining in matter.... At the heart of matter is the heart of God.

        ----Teilhard  de Chardin

What a different life it is, when we discover sacredness everywhere. The earth is so wonderful, so incredible, created by The Divine Energy that dances throughout all creation. 

Each person is sacred, carrier of Divine Light, the Seed of God.

While we still can, before we tear the earth to pieces, before we let our egos start World War 3, let us awaken to the sacred.

We are in perilous times. What will we choose? A temper tantrum of ego on a rampage? Or the peace of knowing the sacredness of all that is?

Will there be descendants to look back on this time as a turning point? Or will the earth become a barren rock, decimated by the so-called "advanced" weapons of mass destruction used by egotism run amok? 

I suggest - stop fighting with each other and decide to get along and find solutions that work for everyone. We are stewards of sacred lives and a sacred planet. Let's act like it.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Another Look at Forgiveness

When we hold grudges and grievances against ourselves or others, it does not matter against whom, guess what happens? We suffer! Our minds suffer from the pain, sorrow and confusion. Our bodies suffer from the added stress and the extra chemicals running through them as a result of the anger and fear. Our spiritual life suffers because we cannot think of and experience God that is love simultaneously with our anger. Love and anger cannot coexist in the same thought. We waste a precious moment that will never come again when we indulge in the opposite of God’s Love. We lose out on so much life when we do not forgive.               --- Marlene Oaks, "The Key- Forgiveness and Beyond"

Preparing for my sermon April 7th, I decided to reread my book on forgiveness so as to bring to the forefront of my mind the things I wrote. that so many have said helped them. I have become an expert regarding forgiveness, as I've done so much of it, out of necessity really.

One of the salient points is that by not forgiving, we are the person who gets hurt, as per my excerpt above.

Ask yourself the Jesus question "Do you wish to be healed?" Are you willing to live the life of a healed person? You might be surprised at the people who have told me no. They didn't want to be that person, to give up their story, to take on adult responsibilities.

I have come to know this earthly life is a school for souls. So we can use the Socratic method of questions on ourselves. Such as: What am I to learn from this? What are other ways to look at this? (Think of as many ways as you can, brainstorm with yourself) 

Counsel yourself. Use affirmations such as: It's not going on right now. I'm all right right now. Thank you for teaching/testing me. I bless and release this person/situation to God. I forgive you and release you. I forgive and release myself.

Pray heartfeltly, sincerely, turning your pain over to God to grant grace and resurrection power.

Read my book. 😍

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Make Room

I just read a simple, yet profound, thought. 

The Ground of Being can only be known by those who make room for God.

The human mind, the unique energy that we are, can be used, let's say, in a positive or negative way. It can be used as a psychopath like Hitler, or as inspired beings like the saints, great poets and artists. It can come up with portable flame throwers, bigger more destructive weapons or Quantum physics. It can be focused on the silly and trivial, or on meaningful reading and conversation.  It can focus on the cult of culture, or on God and seeking that which is the very Truth of our being, our Ground of Being.

Where our focus is, there goes our life. Change our focus, re-aim our energies, and we go to a different life.

Friday, March 15, 2024

Christ of the Gospels or Christ of Religion?

Christ of the Gospels is a preacher and not a dispenser of sacraments or performer of rites; he speaks against vain repetitions; he insists on the supreme importance of private worship; he has no use for sacrifices and not much use for the Temple. But this did not prevent historic Christianity from going its own, all too human, way. 
       --- Aldous Huxley

Such a telling comment. It didn't take long until the teaching and message of Jesus Christ began to morph into various other directions, away from his message. I suppose this is the way it goes for many great inspirations. People want to put their two cents worth in; ego raises its ugly head; power struggles and control dramas ensue. The original is obscured.

It's a shame. Maybe shame on us for participating in the sham. Shame on us for not bothering to flush it all out.

I am convinced that if we took the teachings in the earliest Gospels more seriously, we could create peace and plenty and goodwill for all. Maybe even just focus for awhile on the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5, 6 & 7, say spend a month or more reading, rereading, contemplating and living with it. Set aside what you think you know, what you've been told, and come open and teachable to the feet of the Master. Let the understanding unfold itself in you. Come fresh and open. Allow your soul to begin to be fed. Let your hungry soul soak up the spiritual food.

If you do this, I guarantee you will never be the same.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The Conundrum

 I wrestle currently with the New Testament. I wonder which part is true or close to truth, as it contradicts itself quite remarkably.

The first 3 are called "synoptic" because they have similar stories or versions of similar stories. Mark was written first and Matthew and Luke used most of Mark, but added to and put their own twist on the stories. But the main point I want to make today is that they tell the story of the life and teachings of Yeshua/Jesus. They primarily tell how he wants us to live to find God and to be ethical people. Let your light shine, love one another, forgive, pray to God in private not making a show of it, etc. It's empowering.

But then we come to John and letters by Paul. Now it's a different story. It's not how you live. There is nothing you can do to get right with God. You have to believe certain things that Yeshua/Jesus didn't require in the synoptic gospels or in James's writing, the brother of Yeshua/Jesus. The most important thing is to believe in the death and resurrection of Yeshua/Jesus.

What??? Both can't be true.

Instead of a son of God, a great prophet, an avatar, someone so close to God that we knew with every fiber of our being that what he spoke and did was a result of his profound connection to God, someone who called us to do greater things, who pointed the way to God - now he became an idol to worship, unattainable, totally other.  In this scenario, we are powerless. Only someone else can save us and only by believing what these guys say we have to believe.


I wrestle with the conundrum, greatly because of what it does to people's lives. You can guess that I am closer to the synoptics in understanding, even though there are discrepancies there. I do understand they were written 40-80 years after the earthly life of Yeshua/Jesus in various areas of the Mediterranean by men who did not know him. Still, they heard stories, a variety of stories, and pieced together what they had. Their conclusions were strikingly different from whoever wrote John and from Paul.

Check for yourself. Read Mark, Matthew and Luke and ponder what they say. After a time, then read John and the 7 authenticated letters of Paul. Ponder what they say.

Since these writings have had the single most impact on civilization for 2,000 years, both for good and evil, it might be important to consider them anew. They have been used for slavery and to cease slavery. They have been used by maniacs like Hitler and Stalin, and by those who stopped them. They have been used by witch hunters and Inquisition torturers, and on and on.

 Sadly, they have been, and are being used, in order to manipulate for good and for evil.

Let us seek out the good and gird ourselves against the evil.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Words Are Not "It"

 Appreciating art does not make us a masterful artist. Enjoying a concert does not make us a composer. Reading a book does not make us an author. We must learn skills, practice, practice, practice. We must fail, pick ourselves up and keep on until we at long last become masterful at our chosen skill.

So too with spiritual life. Reading a Scripture, listening to speeches, reading what other people understand, etc does not lead us to enlightenment, to awakening, to Knowing God, Wisdom, Truth, to know and know that we know deep within our very souls.

Aldous Huxley said a lot about this, such as:

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. 

 I am drawn to the way William Law put it, "the birth of God within." Of course I know we live and breath and have our being in God, live every moment in the Presence of God.  For most people, it seems, this is like knowing there are radio and television and wifi waves right now wherever we are, but if we don't have the equipment to utilize them, they might as well not be there.

We can intellectually know a bunch about God (or whatever word you want to use to point to the Divine), without ever having touched the life- transforming experience of the Divine.

I am convinced that most of us walk around hungry, even starving, for the birth of God in our lives. We try to end that hunger with other things (food, drugs, politics, sports, shopping, gangs, gurus, the cult of culture, etc), with no success. Those are not the things for which our hungry soul seeks. We crave a spiritual and robust walk with God, direct, real, Oneness. 

It seems to me, we can only have this with a sincere change of priorities. With actually meditating, contemplating, praying, journaling, in other words, engaging in known spiritual practices that lead to such a life. And, at the same time, turning away from the opposite, from the substitutes we've been trying to use to satisfy our inner hunger. As Paul once said, in Philippians 4:8 & 9

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (NIV translation)

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Power Corrupts

Back in Political Science class we were told - Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Aldous Huxley said:

No infallible method for controlling the political manifestations of the lust for power has ever been devised.

We see the lust for power in politics, religion, and actually most groups. Every election year we see it on full display. It seems to me that it is overblown ego and unrealistic assessment of oneself. Lord Acton said that there are no good great men. Wow! That's pretty extreme. But still we must beware of being seduced into the web of a man who is in full blown lust for power. People can get their lust ignited in that circle. Lesser people in the hierarchy of power can feel superior by association.

If we seek spiritual enlightenment, it is essential to remove lust for power from ourselves. We cannot lust for power and also be spiritually awake. We humble ourselves before the Divine and seek to know and love that Presence. We seek to walk, talk, and be a conduit of the Infinite Light and Love. We join Jesus in sayimg, It is not I, but the Father within doing the work.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Painful Friendship

We have friends, a husband and wife and children, whom we love. They are good people, living what they believe. We enjoy being at their home, coming to their potlucks, enjoying music and Bible talks. We realize they are not where we are in theology, but they are good people and we like being with them.

So what's the problem? you might be asking.

They had a guest speaker come who spoke not only the opposite of what we believe, and have come to understand from extensive study, prayer and contemplation, but so far from us that he is in another galaxy. To us, what he spoke was bizarre, unfounded, harmful, besmerching of God and Christianity. He called himself a Pentecostal Presbyterian. His is a god who turns non- Christians into zombies, for example. He is delusional, saying the Bible is not translated accurately, so he's re-translating it using the Interlineal Bible. Not knowing Greek and using this system is ludicrous. I could go on, but this hopefully gives the flavor of the situation.

When I told our friends of my objections to his presentation, they said that they didn't understand the problem. We had a long back and forth via text. Finally, I said that in good conscience, if this is what you teach and believe too, I cannot stand with you.

It is painful. I just cannot support crazy theology. Too many people have been traumatized by crazy theology. I can't even imagine how much damage this man's so-called translation of the Bible will do, let alone his violent god and his zombies.

So with sadness I release and let go, blessing them and wishing them God's  highest and best. At this point I don't know where our relationship will go. I am sad.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

What Do You Know? Some Thought Inspired by "The Perennial Philosophy"

When we learn something, our knowing changes us. We learn to walk and talk and learn ever more complex things. Once our knowing  becomes woven into our system of reality, our intuitive ability is overshadowed and can become extinct for all practical purposes. It's a bit like the old saying, My mind's made up, don't confuse me with facts.

With our eyes we can only see a tiny fraction of the trillions of stars. People made assumptions based on what they saw. If a high powered telescope is used, what we can see expands and keeps expanding with stronger and stronger telescopes. We become like super beings compared to those only using their eyes.

Let's take that to spirituality. There is one Divine Reality in everyone and everything. All is sacred. This sacredness is and has been known by many peoples across history- indigenous people, Celtic Christians, mystics, poets, scriptures, etc.

BUT a person cannot directly experience and know this unless certain conditions have been met. 

What are these conditions? 

  • Make yourself clear via forgiveness practices. Let go. Work to hold no anger or resentment or regret regarding oneself or anyone.
  • Practice unconditional love. Show up to every moment radiating love without discrimination.
  • Be pure in heart. Let go of all behaviors, thoughts or attitudes that are not pure and holy.
  • Be humble. Know it is One Divine Reality working, moving, flowing through you. Therefore, let ego drift away.
  • Spend time daily in the quiet, listening, contemplating spiritual truths, praying. Make a space for daily sacred time. 
  • Write thoughts and insights in a journal dedicated to that purpose.
If you do these things, you will become awake to what those who do not do these things are unable to know. You will be like the person looking through the powerful telescope and not just looking with human eyes. You will be awake in ways you never imagined. You will be in tune with the Infinite.

Monday, February 5, 2024

Hear My Sermon/Talk

   On YouTube:

Yesterday I was honored to give the sermon at our church. If you'd like to hear my message on The Sermon on the Mount, please go to our church's YouTube channel.

I'd be interested in your feedback.

I pray you are having a blessed beginning to 2024.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Mining Spiritual Texts

 One has to live with the texts, and then they unfold. -- "Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy"

It is my experience that very little of enduring value is on the surface. Here is a statement from Bonhoeffer's biography that states it so well. In today's jargon we might say that we need to unpack it.

One of the important practices is called lectio divina, or divine reading. Pick a short scripture or some inspiring quote and take 5 to 10 minutes total. Begin by reading it slowly several times. Then read each word and roll it over in your mind. Then sit still and quiet for a couple of minutes. Have your journal and pen or pencil handy and begin to write without censoring, stream of consciousness it is called. Just write for a couple of minutes without stopping. Read what you wrote. Often you will be amazed at the insights that flowed through you. 

The more you engage in this practice, the insights will be deeper and more meaningful. Best case, do this daily. 

Friday, January 26, 2024

Celtic Christianity

Ever since I discovered Celtic Christianity, I have been in love with it. I wrote a little book on it and taught seminars about it. It nestles softly in my soul, cozy with I have come to experience and believe. I'm going to be starting a series on it next week, so I am reading some  new things, right now "Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul." Here's a tiny quote.

Pelagius taught that it is not so much what you believe about Jesus that matters. The important thing is becoming like Jesus, becoming compassionate...

Celantia, who asked Pelagius for a rule of life. “Tell me how to live,” she begged. To which Pelagius responded, “Don’t ask me.” The source of such a rule “is inside your own heart.” ...
If what she read within herself was in conflict with the teachings of Jesus, then she had misread her heart...
Pelagius’s response to Celantia is saying that the teachings of Jesus are like a touchstone for the soul, a measuring rod of inner wisdom. --- J. Phillip.Newell

All of this lives within me as truth, as my guide posts. 

Maybe you could read this quote daily for a week, and let it unpack in your heart.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Science vs God or Science Reveals God

If you believe God created all, but also believe science is opposite of God, hear me out. I had some thoughts in meditation this morning that I want to share with you.

The logic is this:

  • In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Everything sprang forth from God.
  • Everything reflects God, for out of Itself all was formed, everything is sacred.
  • Discovering how it works can lead us to know more about how God set it up, to know more about the Infinite One. 
  • Science tells us the laws and procedures that God set up. It does not go against God. It reveals more and more how magnificent God is.

Religious head honchos across history were more concerned about power and control than about enlightenment. They didn't want people to think for themselves. They wanted good little people to believe only them, all else was labeled dangerous and heresy.

Furthermore, they made up farfetched ideas and sold them as truth. It's called various things, brainwashing, propaganda, manipulation, ignorance, etc. 

Some examples: They sold the lie that ancient myths (stories that hinted at some truths) were in fact literal, factual, historical, and to be believed as such; that in times of illiteracy, with no one to write them down, with no one understanding even rudimentary science, all stories on the approved list were factual and required to be believed; etc.

They used shame, shunning, threats, violence, torture, and even death to force compliance.

Yet here we are in the 21st century, and some of this is still stifling people's thinking. There are far too many believing what they have been told without considering it seriously. I suggest that the magnificent intelligence that set up this universe in incredible ways awaits our awakening.


Thursday, January 18, 2024

All Is Sacred

I'm reading John Phillip Newell's book " Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul." I have long been in love with Celtic Christianity, even writing a little book on it. This recent book of his is as powerful as all the others of his that I have read. I want to share a moving quote.

The Mohawk elder stood with tears in his eyes as he spoke. He said, “As I have been listening to these themes, I have been wondering where I would be tonight, I have been wondering where my people would be tonight, and I have been wondering where we would be as a Western world tonight, if the mission that had come to us from Europe centuries ago had come expecting to find light in us.”

But of course they came as an arm of Empire, so unlike Jesus, so unlike the truth of the sacredness of everyone and everything.

But once Empire, via Constantine, took over, it never went back to what it was and what it could be. Once Augustine made up original sin, the innate sacredness was vanished. Layer upon layer of false teaching, controls, coercion, violence and more led Christianity far away from resurrection, newness, and sacredness.

Can we find our way back? it is my belief that it is imperative we do so. Imagine what history we could write, if we looked for the light in everyone and everything.

Go out today and look for the light.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Continued Dive Into the Bible

 Jesus said, "If they say to you, 'Where have you come from?' say to them, 'We have come from the light, from the place where the light emerged on its own, established itself, and appeared in their image.' If they ask you, 'Is it you?' say, 'We are its children, and we are the chosen of the living Father.'If they question you, 'What is the evidence of your Father in you?' say to them, 'It is motion and rest.'"

           ---The Gospel of Thomas, 

               saying  50/114 

This Gospel obviously did not make the cut as far as those who selected the Canon thought. It was known to have existed because others mentioned it. In the 19th century fragments of it were found, and then in 1945 the entire Gospel was found, along with a number of others. Some scholars say it is as old as the Gospels in the Canon. About half of the 114 sayings are in the Bible already. 

I am fond of this Gospel, especially its many references to light. The above excerpt is one of my favorites. 

So I was rereading it this morning and considering the idea that God inspires what people can comprehend, as I recently noted. I decided I would start unpacking some more, beyond Genesis 1 and the Big Bang. I turned to Jesus' teachings and what Mark said about him teaching different things to the disciples than the crowds. What could he not teach the disciples because they didn't know science, but is waiting for us to decode?

The final line caught my eye. Motion and rest = mechanics. An object is considered in motion when it changes its relationship to an other object and at rest if it stays in the same relationship. Except perception can alter that. An atom is always in motion, but as I look at the table, it seems static. 

Therefore, proof that the Father is in us is perception. All kinds of people have told us that we live and move and have our being in God, that the kingdom of God is within, etc. 

We can ask ourselves some questions. Do I perceive the Light of God in myself? Do others perceive it in themselves? Do we perceive it in others? How can we have eyes to see? Let us think on these things.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Reading Sacred Texts

 Only if we will venture to enter into the words of the Bible, as though in them this God were speaking to us who loves us and does not will to leave us along with our questions, only so shall we learn to rejoice in the Bible.

            ---- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

This morning, as I read Dietrich Bonhoeffer's biography, another way to view our reading came to me.

Imagine God is speaking directly to us, inspiring us just as those who wrote down the original inspirations. It is a personal letter to us.

The Presence of God spoke according to the ability to hear. The bronze age person, no matter how brilliant, could not understand the advanced physics that prove some transcendent Power initiated the Big Bang, for example. So they were told the magnificent creation story of Genesis 1. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth- God already existed and was more than the material world that was created.

I think of Jesus saying we need to come like a little child, and I think I must hear the inspiration as the early person heard. I must walk with God through history, through the stages of maturing, until we come to Jesus who intimately knew God and spoke powerfully out of that knowing. And, furthermore, he challenged us to have that relationship ourselves. He asks us today - do you accept the challenge?

Read the first 3 Gospels, starting with Mark, the oldest, then Matthew, then Luke. God and Jesus are talking directly to us. Set aside what you've been told and do your best to read and listen with new eyes and ears. Let those with eyes to see, see, and those with ears to hear, hear.

Let our hearts and ears and eyes be opened to truly awaken to our Oneness. God is with you.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Nothing Can Do Nothing

I've been watching some Fr. Spitzer lectures on YouTube. I love his joining science and religion. I am going to discuss one of his points today in a very diluted way. To get the full impact of his arguments, watch some of his videos, or go to his website

The Big Bang, 13.8 billion years ago was caused by something transcendent of materiality. If you say nothing caused it, you speak impossibility. Nothing can do nothing. 

Plus, the Big Bang was elegantly perfect to create the possibility of life developing. If one thing was a fraction of hundreths of fractions different, it couldn't happen. If gravity was a riny, tiny, tiny bit different, for example, it would have imploded on itself or exploded continuously, eliminating the possibility of life.

So, the bottom line is the Big Bang was created by a transcendent reality that existed outside, before material matter emerged. "Sounds like God!!!" Fr. Spitzer says. 

I think so too. What do you think?