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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Christmas?

We've been watching some Hallmark Christmas movies. In every single one there are statements like "This is what Christmas is all about." They refer to tree lighting ceremonies or community parties or some kindly event that is lovely but not what Christmas is ALL about. I think of the emphasis of Christmas in the past, in my life, in history.

Christmas is the time to pause and celebrate something spiritual and amazing. If you are Christian, it is time to celebrate the birth of Jesus and the entry into history of a deeply personal relationship between Jesus and God, some say the birth of God's son in a different way than we are children of God, while some say his is the path to our adoption by the Divine. If you are not Christian, you might be honoring the birth of a wise prophet and teacher. If you are agnostic, you might still say it is worth honoring a man who has changed history over and over again for over 2,000 years and bore testimony with his life of the power of his faith, who has inspired great art and music and architecture and put his stamp upon humanity.

Whoever you think Jesus was/is, I believe the shallow commercialism that has emerged is not healthy and not in line with anyone's view of Jesus and his birth. Let's put a healthy dose of spiritually back into Christmas - the mass celebrating Christ, Christ the annointed one, the Christ in you, the Universal Christ knocking on the door of every human heart.



Monday, October 18, 2021

What Is Truth?

Of course all things are filtered through the biases and lenses of those who see or hear something or the other. It could almost be said that truth is somewhat elastic. I'm not talking about some of the wild stretches of the woke world. I'm talking about normal conversations. One person takes something as a compliment and another as a sarcastic remark. We are told more about the one evaluating than about the situation. I give some examples of this in my book on forgiveness.

When conveying something within the other's decided worldview is usually simple. Each has adopted the same underlying assumptions, so they are basically already in agreement. This is possible in their particular worldview. They know and understand the things upon which the already agree. For example: they have the same religious convictions, they have the same political convictions, etc.

The friction arises when worldviews clash or when something comes up that is way outside one's chosen worldview.

I have found that when something is far outside of a person's usual worldview, they tend to view that as fantasy or untruth. It can be very frustrating, even devastating to the person in the middle of unusual circumstances. To convey the veracity of some thing way outside of someone's worldview may be close to impossible. People can become uncomfortable, even antagonistic.

If you find yourself in such a situation, I suggest some internal questions you can ask yourself rather than jumping into an argument or running to tell someone this person is lying or in fantasy land. Ask yourself, could this be possible? Would this be unlikely, yet still possible? Can I just listen with an open heart? Can I refrain from the personal need to be right? Can I just stand as love and caring?

It might change both lives.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Not Set In Stone

Our lives are lived in constant possibility, pregnant with options. We are limited only by our beliefs, self talk and fears.

We are not given a limited supply of life force at birth that runs down as we age. When I think of this idea, I see the aged Buckminster  Fuller jumping up and down on stage filled with enthusiasm (I was privileged to see and hear him several times). Or I remember Dr. Joseph Murphy rapidly talking with zest in his later years. There are quite a few examples just in my personal experience. My age is no excuse for not participating fully.

If we believe all is lost, for us it is. If we believe there is no hope, for us there is none. We set the limits of our lives ourselves. There are countless examples of overcomers strewn across history. They are our heroes. So I suggest - be your own hero.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Furniture

This week the idea of using furniture as a metaphor for beliefs came to mind. Beliefs may be negative/harmful, or positive/helpful. We can stub our toes or cuddle up comfortably in them.  Our lives are largely created by the beliefs we hold. Our experience of life is according to our beliefs. 

Whatever we believe, we attract experiences of like kind. Joyful, happy, loving, giving people have a far different experience of life than angry, unhappy, unloving, selfish people. Jesus told us that it is done unto us according to our beliefs, that our faith makes us whole. James Allen's classic little book, "As a Man Thinketh," says it clearly.

We may need to rearrange the furniture of our minds, take some pieces out to the trash, refinish some pieces or make various changes here and there. Along with Henry David Thoreau's idea that an unexamined life is not worth living, we really do need to examine our beliefs and whether or not they lead us to a more fulfilling life.

Make a list of your core beliefs, such as for me: it's all spiritual, earth is a learning opportunity, our souls were before this life and continue on after this life, God/Divine Presence is Love and does not have negative human qualities, I'm to be learning unconditional love, I'm to listen to Guidance and act accordingly, what I choose to do matters, I am part of all that is, I am responsible to God for how I live and what I do, I am to endeavor to walk The Way.

From these core beliefs, branches and roots spring forth. If you see some less than life affirming beliefs in your list, take them out to the trash and replace them with higher ones. Keep rechoosing the higher beliefs until they are firmly in place. Watch the almost magical changes unfold.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Fun for Me

I have a different version of fun I think than many others. Saturday I got to lecture and show some of my examples of art quilting and then give a little lesson on how to make drawing simple at our local museum. It was truly fun for me. I felt happy and free. I really loved it.

The past few years have been a time of challenge and therefore spiritual growth.Yet, they have been somewhat tiring too.

What brings me enjoyment varies. I like being with others, I loved being grandma, I like being in nature, cooking, reading, speaking and teaching, and of course writing and all kinds of creating. These have been closed down a bit with the weight of circumstances. I have continued to be fully me and to do the best I can in all of the areas that call my soul. But in some many ways, my life has been shattered. Many of the parts of my life are no longer the same. It is the constant activity of picking up the shards and assessing something else out of them that can be wearing.

This is life's process of diminishing the ego and helping something more come to the fore. I know we all have times of this sort, and it is how we deal with them and allow them to teach us that makes all the difference. 

It is with a tinge of excitement that I again pick up the shards and begin to see a new way, a new pattern, some More.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Dynamo Within

 Paracelsus stated this great truth: “Whether the object of your faith be real or false, you will nevertheless obtain the same effects.”

This morning I was reading something by my long ago mentor, Dr. Joseph Murphy. He quoted the above statement.

Paracelsus  stated this profound truth, expanded upon by Dr. Murphy. He wrote many books, often focused on the one mind and its two processes - the conscious, objective and the subconscious, subjective. In his examples, he sometimes spoke humorously about the subconscious mind calling the conscious mind "boss". The conscious mind says say I really don't like mushrooms. At some point the person is served something with mushrooms in it. The subconscious says The boss doesn't like mushrooms, so we'll create an upset stomach for him.

As we develop our beliefs, they are seeded in our subconscious and accepted without question, ready to act, when any matching situation occurs.  A simple example is the mushroom vignet.

Faith is a powerhouse in us.  When the conscious mind plants seeds of faith in the subconscious accompanied by strong emotion, they become a dynamo.  Those seeds can be positive or negative, good for us or bad for us. The subconscious just receives them without question and then acts them out.

Let's consider the power of faith. I have often said that fear is faith aimed in the negative direction. It is faith in what we don't want. Faith is a powerful energy, radiating from us and seeking its own kind to bring to our experience. It is magnetic. 

So, we  need to sort out our  beliefs and things of faith to clear away any that work against our greater good and greater good in general. We might take a personal inventory. Make a list, an honest list. Begin to release and replace the negatives. Let's say you call yourself by negative terms regularly or even occasionally - I'm stupid, I'm ugly, I'm not deserving, etc. Stop it and replace with spiritual truths - I'm a creation of God, made in the image of God, a magnificent being loved and whole, etc.

In a short time, you will see a difference in your life. Others will respond to you more positively. You don't have to speak your beliefs about yourself out loud, others pick up your energy, your body language, your demeanor, as do you of others.

Have faith in yourself, in the Presence that walks with you, in the dynamo within, placed in you as original equipment. You truly are magnificent. Own it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Strip Theology to Its Core

 "And, in the wider field of religious thought," says a writer in a great international religious paper, "what truer service can we render than to strip theology of all that is unreal or needlessly perplexing, and make it speak plainly and humanly to people who have their duty to do and their battle to fight?"

Sometimes a sermon or a book or one comment or the other literally make me cringe. It may ignore history, or modern discoveries, or common sense or... I wonder how such a statement can come out of the mind and mouth of an "educated" person. 

I do believe that if Christianity is to survive in the long run, the theology needs to be rethought. It needs us to consider what were the premises of Jesus and Paul, when was this or that bit of theology inserted and by whom for what purpose??? We need our teaching to be congruent, that is lifted out of its contradictions. It needs to make sense. It needs to guide our lives to be more and more Christ-like. It needs to be both mystical and practical. It needs to move us, inspire us, touch us at the deepest levels.

As society becomes more and more material, more Marxist, more away from religion and farther away from churches, synagogues, temples, mosques  etc, it does not look hopeful at this moment. It seems this may be the crucial moment in history to turn it all around. I wonder if we are up to the task??? I seems up to those younger than I, and yet they seem the least likely. My heart calls out, "oh if I had only known what I now know back in my youth," but of course that cry is useless. I pray some vital younger people will be called and will answer.

Lord, open our eyes, open our hearts to You. Show us The Way to The Way. Give us the inspiration and the courage to find true spiritual lives and to release the false and the shallow. Our hearts cry out to to return to You.