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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.