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Friday, May 13, 2022

Just A Gaze

This morning I read about a scientific study that proved an experience of mine, and probably of yours too. You know how it is when you can feel a person starring at you, and you turn to discover they are actually starring at you, or a person turning around when you are starring at them? It actually makes neurological reactions that can be detected. It seems it is a real thing.

In meditation I was shown an expanded understanding of this. It involves our connection to The More. God, Divine Presence. As we deeply turn to God in prayer and/or meditation, God "feels" our gaze, and, if we go quietly into the silence, we can feel God's Gaze being returned. That changes everything, or at least it has for me.

Unhinged from God, people flail around. We can see that most everywhere today and also historically. The evil done by people is done when the people are not connected to The More. Connected people - those whose gaze turns to God and God's Gaze turns to them - are peaceful, compassionate, kind, etc.

Meditation is one of the keys. I can only imagine what a different world it would be if/when a large number of people would daily meditate and open and keep open that incredible Connection.

Oh Divine Presence, lead us to Connection with You. Show us how to encourage others to Connection. Show us how to encourage meditation. Lead us to be the difference the weary world needs. 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Violence

It seems that much of our world has plunged into violence. It is heart-breaking! We see horrors of war and butchery, a huge amount of deaths of the pre-born (60+ million since Roe in America), shootings and stabbings on the streets,  drugs flooding in from Mexico and China that kill, trafficking of children into sex trade, cartels controlling so much, people in China being imprisoned in their apartment buildings to starve or die from lack of medication, a shift toward totalitarianism and Marxism, etc, etc, etc.

So, why? Richard Rohr sent out the following statement this morning:

The root of violence is the illusion of separation—from God, from Being itself, and from being one with everyone and everything.

That seemingly simple statement puts it succinctly, and I think accurately. As the people of earth get more and more untethered from spiritual roots, they get farther and farther from living and acting from spiritual understanding. Everything goes when nothing matters.

BUT everything does matter. Some are alienated from the truth of who they are. They are lost and in pain, and act out with reckless abandon. 

We are actually spiritual beings. We are accountable for our words and our deeds. 

We need somehow to communicate that God, The Divine Presence, Creator - is everywhere, in everyone, in every single thing. All is sacred. We are intertwined. We need to honor life, to honor our planet, to honor ourselves and everyone.

We can turn the mess around. We can wake up to the Truth, model it, teach it, be it, share it, shine it. Love our neighbors as ourselves - love yourself, and out of being at peace in your own heart, share that love with every speck of this planet and all upon it. 

Shall we try to save this planet before it descends farther?

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Message from Coptic Manuscripts

The Coptic Manuscripts, that were found in Upper Egypt in the 1940's, give us some insights that had been lost and buried for preservation from the authorities that sought to burn them all. I am reading a new to me book on them, although I have read them and books about them over the years. The excerpt below from thoughts about some words in The Gospel of Thomas struck me this morning.

As John the Baptist said, “One can give only what one has received. Nothing more, nothing less”. Do not let yourself be guided by those who do not have the experience of which they speak. Intuitively, we know to beware of those who eagerly offer “good advice.” As the Indian sage Nisargadatta said, “Those who know what is good for others are dangerous people.” You can bear witness to your faith, but never graft it on another. When this is seen as the luminous truth it is, it becomes an awakening force in itself. All that you can say is: “That which is alive in me is also alive in you.”

The truth in these words struck me deeply this morning. I have pondered and criticized those who are incongruent, inauthentic, just plain phonies. I think this does come from "teaching" what one does not actually know - or perhaps just know a smidgen and try to puff up the ego. 

When one Knows, there is a luminosity that speaks for itself. The light that has been quickened can touch another and seed the quickening in them. It is not what we say, but the energy of Divine Light upon which the words rest. It us not what we do, but the Divine Energy that does it through us. Once seen and experienced in another, we know it is in us too, and we seek to know it more.

Seek the luminous words, deeds and presence. We know it, when it comes to us. Seek to be a contagion of the luminous for others. The weary people of earth are starved and thirsting for it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Can You Tell Me About the Moon?

Experience is essential to knowing. If you have seen the moon, but I have not, none of your words can lead me to know the moon as you know it. If you have tasted a mango, but I have not, none of your words can lead me to know the taste as you know it. If you have known God, but I have not, none of your words can lead me to know God as you know God.

If the moon is reflected in all the bodies of water, and I look at the reflections, I only have a hint about the moon, but also I might think there are hundreds of moons, all living in the waters.

Ignorance can be fed by partial or second-hand information. 

Important things for our successful journey on earth include actually and fully becoming Love, seeing fully, being compassionate and coming to Know God by whatever name you use to identify the Divine Presence.

Others can point The Way, but each of us must walk The Way ourselves. 

Some things are simple. Just get a mango and eat it. The journey of awakening spiritually can be complex. There are many paths, but some lead nowhere or in circles or to dark places. Jesus told us to look at the fruit - what does this or that produce? 

I re-read "Perennial Philosophy" almost every year. I find snipets of the same ideas across the ages, from every corner, discovering the same things. Voices from everywhere tell of Oneness, of all creation testifying to the incarnation of the Divine in all people, all animals, all plants, all of creation singing out the song of Oneness.

I contemplate a flower, and I touch that song. I silently bless a passerby, and I feel our connectedness. I meditate, and I know God in my soul and in all.

Seeking such experience means stopping being controlled from the outside, including the frenzy of social media, news, etc. It is the task of our lives to not get sidetracked by the lures of the shallow and crazed, but to turn to Peace and Beauty, to Love and Eternal Light and let our imprisoned splendor shine as a beacon of hope to the those lost in the frenzy.

May your light so shine.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Aristotle and Me

This morning I awoke thinking of Aristotle's Golden Mean - live neither too far to the right nor too far to the left, but walk the Golden Mean. Extremes lead to dark and unhappy places. Being off balance is not a positive thing.

Then I thought of Paul's comment of looking through the glass darkly, and then face to face. The glass is darkened and distorted partially by extreme biases, closed minds, the my way or the highway mentality.

Extreme points of view held by the extreme right or the extreme left produce the same results - violence, hostility, anger, alienation, paranoia, judgments, damnation of others not in one's extreme group, and never peace and happiness. Extremes are the dark glass of no clarity, distortions, and falsity.

How does one get back to the Golden Mean, if we find ourselves out on the extreme limb. I think we have to first examine ourselves. I often think of Thoreau's words, An unexamined life is not worth living. I agree, and I notice for those out in the extreme regions of life, it is very difficult to get them to honestly examine themselves and their situations and positions. I suggest asking oneself some questions such as:

  • Do I usually/often take the position that those who do not agree with me are in some way dumb, bad, perverse, totally wrong, even dangerous? 
  • Am I sure that I am always right?
  •  Do I get angry/irritated when others speak from some other point of view?
  • Am I ever able to have a calm and civil discussion with someone who sees things far differently than me?
  • Can I entertain the thought that it might be at least interesting to hear the other's point of view?
  • Am I happy, at peace, joyful, meeting each person, each moment with love, curiosity and acceptance?
  • Do I have friends of divergent points of view, accepting their right to see through their glass without angrily trying to make them look out of my glass or trying to shut them up?
These, and other such questions, can open at least a tiny spark of light to begin a more wholesome and balanced approach to life.

As for me, I find it absolutely fascinating to learn about other people, other ideas, other ways. If my current understandings are valid, nothing disturbs them. BUT, if I hold false ideas, misunderstandings, etc, I want to know and let them go. I know that the Divine is Infinite, so I know that I can never know all. I can keep growing in knowledge and understanding only if I do not hold fanatically to any one thing.

In this moment of history, I see far too many who have veered off to the far right or far left, and are causing unnecessary upheavals all over the place. There is nothing to fear from honest debate. There is a great deal to fear from extremes of the closed minded. Let us get back to the Golden Mean. It might just restore and save us all.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Feral Life

 fe·ral /ˈferəl,ˈfirəl/adjective

  1. (especially of an animal) in a wild state, especially after escape from captivity or domestication.
    "a feral cat"
    Similar:
    wild
    untamed
    undomesticated
    untrained
    unused to humans
    unbroken
    not broken in
    not house-trained
    not housebroken
    Opposite:
    tame
    pet
    • resembling a wild animal.
      "a feral snarl"

    • A theory began to develop in my mind recently, after I read about feral cats taking over an unused stadium. At the same time all sorts of human news spoke of random violence, shooting, stabbing, pushing under rail cars, illegal this and that, and on and on.
    Then I read a recent poll about religion. 29% responded "none" when asked about their religion. Then I read about the high incidence of single-parent households, disintegration of the family and even demonization of the nuclear family. I read about the immense drug problem, and that being the main cause of death of young adults. Of course, world strife, war, invasions, etc were on every news source. It seemed that a significant portion of civilization was coming apart at the seams (as a quilter, I know how important strong seams are 😊).

The idea that some people are turning feral crossed my mind. Some people were not being "domesticated," that is, not learning the moral code that has been developed over eons, the code that has held civilized life together.

Re-ligeo/religion means to bind to the mores and ways of any particular religion. Since no major religion teaches pushing people under trains or shooting at party goers or zoning out on drugs, it is obvious that these people are not taught how to be part of a functioning human community, so they have gone wild, or feral.

With Pandora out of the box, so to speak, how do we civilize these feral people? Can we civilize them? Can we turn this around?

My first thought is to find a spiritual group that has a long history of teaching love and peace and self-responsibility, and take yourself, your children and your grandchildren there regularly. Whether your heritage is Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Sik, Baha'i, Hindu, New Thought, etc - find a spiritual home where you feel you can fit.

Stop buying, watching, and playing movies, games, books, etc. that make violence normative. Find others that teach kindness, helpfulness, love, forgiveness, joy, peace, unity, adventure, and all things that uphold the best of humanity.

Encourage and support activities that promote healthy youth from arts and music programs to sports programs.

Decide to be part of the solution.

Together we can do it.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Tearful

I feel so tearful. For a couple of weeks, I've felt tearful, unlike the usual me.

There are some personal things I'm dealing with healthwise and situational too. Yet, it is more than that.

It's as if I feel the people of the world weeping. I hear the cries coming from across the planet. I hear the people in China boarded up in their apartment buildings, starving, jumping out of windows, crying out in fear. I hear the cries of the people in Sri Lanka as their country descends into chaos. I hear the cries of Russian parents by the thousands. whose sons and daughters are dying in Ukraine, and their cries over frozen money and little food and immense inflation. I hear the cries of the Ukrainians in the millions as they endeavor to protect their homeland, as they flee, as they die. I hear the cries of inner cities taken over by drug cartels and human traffickers, and as their sons and daughters are randomly killed by drive-by shooters and by drugs. It seems the people of earth are crying out all at once.

I hear them in my heart. Do you hear them?

Oh Divine Presence, we hear Your people cry out. Guide us as to how to respond, what to do. What are You calling us to do? What can be done? Shine Your Light into our souls and lead us to bring peace to this planet. Surely together we can bring an end to this weeping that is coming from all spots on earth. Your dear children suffer en masse. Comfort Your children and inspire us with Your Guidance. We listen...