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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Early Gnostics

I've been reading some of the early Gnostic Gospels. One I'd never read before is "The Greatest Human Evil Is Forgetfulness of God." Quite a title isn't it?

Here is a quote from it:
Elevate yourself by mental power. Maybe not all of you can do that, but some of you can!
For the degeneration that flows from forgetfulness is drowning the earth, infecting soul and body, veiling the soul like a cloak and stopping you from abiding in the heart. 
So don't be swept away by this mad flood!
Find the way into your heart! Look for a good teacher to show you the path to the gates of remembrance, where there's a light, radiant and bright, free from darkness. 
This was written in a time of Roman excess, yet what I read seems almost as if it were written for this very time where you and I live. Spirituality is not the prime goal of most people. It seems that a version of hedonism is the main goal - do what you want- eat, drink, drug yourself, ignore meditation and prayer, ignore your heart, destroy those you define as "other."

To stop the drowning of our earth with darkness, we simply must turn to spirituality, to an open heart, to compassion, to focus on kindness. It can only begin one person at a time. You and I can turn away from the darkness and to the Light, even more than we have before, and shine that Light so others are drawn out of the darkness to It.

Saturday, December 23, 2017


I've been thinking about how powerful we are in potential and how we often meter that power down, often because of wounding.

For me, another name for my wounder is "teacher." I have had many, many, many wounds in my life, beginning with birth. It took me awhile to forgive and then finally move to gratitude for what I had learned from each and every teacher - and perhaps what they learned from me. I came to believe that wounding cracks the shell of ego, and ego has to go in order to truly awaken and grow spiritually.

What people often do is to ignore the teaching and go straight into self-pity or maybe some kind of revenge. In that process, we are victim, and we name ourselves things such as no good, unlovable, worthless, less than, etc. All of these shut down potential in us, not in the wounder. We wander around life being less than we can be, maybe in some perverse ploy to show how badly we are hurt and how wrong and bad our wounder is. But they then "win" and we are the loser for we bury our potential in a pile of sorrow, tears, recrimination, fear, etc.

It seems to me we begin to unlock our potential by changing about how we speak to ourselves about the events in our lives - for example, rename enemy to teacher, or challenge to rise above, or opportunity to exercise our compassion, or...

Then, I suggest we do some focused forgiveness practices such as in my book, The Key - Forgiveness and Beyond. I also think journalling daily is incredibly helpful. We need to examine ourselves in order to set ourselves free. This is really essential in order to release our potential. We need to cease our addiction to our own pain and judgments and open to the freedom of infinite possibilities that are already within us.

I'm going to write more later about the vast potential in each of us. Let us begin our journey to express more by practising the suggestions in this writing.

Infinite One, I know my life is lived out in Your Presence. Lead me to forgive and release and open in ways needed for me to step into more of the possibilities that You have placed in me. Guide my thoughts, words and deeds to be more and more in harmony with You. I seek to be the fully free person You created and call me to be. Open my heart. Open my eyes. Open my mind. Open all of me to Your Great Good.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Mechthild of Magdeburg

Mechthild is one of the historical women that I have studied and has made a difference in my spiritual journey. She lived 1207 to 1282, not the typical historical time for enlightened, educated women to flourish, but she did anyway.

In preparing for a brief spiritual experience for our Methodist Women's meeting, I decided to introduce Mechthild. I have already introduced Hildegard. I have printed out 20 quotes from Mechthild and will roll them up and tie with ribbon. Women will pick one which I will request be a spiritual practice for 2018. Two of the quotes I'm going to share are:
Prayer is naught else but a yearning of draws down the great God into the little heart; it drives the hungry soul up to the plenitude of God; it brings together these two lovers, God and the soul, in a wondrous place where they speak much of love.
The day of my spiritual awakening was the day I saw and knew I saw all things in God and God in all things. 
I find listening to those who "knew" leads to encouraging my "knowing" and often opens me to new byways of awakening, just the thing my soul needs at any given moment in my journey.

Mechtild's statement about prayer leads me to understand a bit more about the dynamics of prayer going on within me as I pray. Her description is lovely and powerful at the same time. My little heart opens to be filled with the infinity of God and has been ever so hungry for God. The union is love. From that union, I am led to understand that God is everywhere, in everyone. I breathe in God and am at peace.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

2nd Century Thoughts on Satan

The 2nd century Greek philosopher, Celsus, was vehemently opposed to Christianity. So I wondered what bothered him so much.

According to Elaine Pagels this is one of his arguments:
What makes the Christians' message dangerous, Celsus writes, is not that they believe in one God, but that they deviate from monotheism by their "blasphemous" belief in the devil. For all the "impious errors" the Christians commit, Celsus says, they show their greatest ignorance in "making up a being opposed to God, and calling him 'devil' or, in the Hebrew language, 'Satan.' All such ideas, Celsus declares, are nothing but human inventions, sacrilegious even to repeat: "it is blasphemy... to say that the greatest God... has an adversary who constrains his capacity to do good." Celsus is outraged that the Christians, who claim to worship one God, "impiously divide the kingdom of God creating rebellion in it, as if there were opposing factions within the divine, including one that is hostile to God!
Celsus accuses Christians of "inventing a rebellion" (meaning sedition) in heaven to justify rebellion here on earth.
He has other objections too, but today I thought I'd put this one up to consider.

As it turns out, quite a few people thought (and still think) about this division and the ludicrous notion that God has an antagonistic also divine being fighting him, perhaps an equal. If God created all, and God is all good, then how can this be accurate? It does not make sense. In the creation stories, God saw that all was "good."

I invite us to think about this. It has been a very long time since I believed in satan. I arrived at that conclusion on my own. And, I find Celsus' argument very interesting.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Knowing vs Following

In the 1st century, there were various groups with divergent assessments of what it meant to follow The Way. The teachings of Jesus had quite a wide range of interpretations. There were 2 primary groups, however. These were Gnostics and Orthodox. As we know, the Orthodox "won." The Gnostics hung on for about 300 years, but did not totally vanish, for their ideas began to surface in the mystics of the Middle Ages, the Reformation and more recently in the teachings arising again such as Lectio Divina, journaling and Centering Prayer.

Although there were various groups of Gnostics (from the Greek for knowing), they had some common ideas. They believed that the kingdom was within, and silence was a door to it. They believed that each person needed to have direct relationship with the Divine, and not be subject to outside authorities. They believed that rituals and rites did not create actual change within a person. They believed that all who enter the Presence, find the same Oneness. They shunned the quest for worldly wealth and status in favor of living a Divinely led life.

In part, they lost because such a teaching defies organization. The Orthodox, on the other hand, had creeds and rituals and things to follow that were understood easily. They organized, gained power and then merged with the political rulers. The Orthodox then called all others heretics, burning their books (even the early ones from before the 4 Gospels), punished their heretics and seized all power. They did their best to stamp them out forever. But they did not succeed entirely. As I mentioned, for example, the mystics were quite Gnostic without probably knowing it.  Fragments, scrolls, books, etc. keep turning up in what are called, "finds." The most famous finds I think are the Nag Hammadi find in 1945 in Egypt and the Dead Scrolls a few years later at Qumran in the caves. They begin to give us a peek into the early history that had been suppressed and supposedly destroyed.

I guess I could say that my heart leans toward knowing and against being subject to outside opinions and controls. Orthodoxy kept a version of Christianity alive for 2,000 years, but it tried to destroy the wonderful and unique inner knowing. We could debate whether or not Christianity would have survived at all without the strict theology of Orthodoxy, but it seems clear to me by the extremes to which it went, it also damaged the journey into the kingdom within. By distorting and taking away the mystery, many today are leaving the fold or are struggling to believe myth as reality. The science of today discredits much of theology, if it is held to be actual reality. But, as we see in the emergence of Perennial Philosophy across time and space, truth can be hidden within stories, stories that in themselves are not true but hint at and point to Truth.

Do we dare to walk The Way of Knowing? I can do no other.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Waking Up

I'm reading a book on Buddhism that led me to some thoughts on Christianity that I want to share with you.

Originally, what we now call Christianity, was called The Way. Sometimes we think of the Tao for it too is The Way. I was toying with some ideas though about The Christ Way.

What does it mean to follow, to walk The Way? To me it means to walk a path that encourages in each of us the awakening to Reality. The goal of Buddhism is to wake up, remove oneself from the illusion and fully see, act, be, etc all as it is. What if the goal of Christianity is to wake up in the manner that Jesus awoke? He showed and taught a way that leads to awakening.

It is reported that he asked us to follow, to come to know what he knew, to do even greater things. In walking The Way, what do we see as signs of awakening? What was he showing us?

In his reported statement that what you do to the least, you do to me, he is showing us that all is connected in Oneness. When I see that doing X causes pain in one person, I can also know that pain reverberates to everyone, including myself. When I see that doing Y creates harmony, I can know that too reverberates to everyone. Every time I choose to awaken, it touches everyone with a sprinkle of awakening.

If we look at the things reported that Jesus said and did, we can see what walking such a path involves. It is a servant path, as in washing the feet of his disciples; he was servant, not making himself above others. It is in listening and seeing beyond the rules made by man, as in it is all right to heal or to provide food and pick the corn, even on the Sabbath. Rules apply to those who are not awake and do not see the Whole. It is about generosity and sharing- as in feeding the crowds. It is about Love as he taught and modeled Love - unconditional, pure, non-manipulative, non-discriminating, given to all even those named "enemy." It is about forgiveness, given and to give.

All of these things, and more, show us The Way to awaken and see with Christ conscious eyes, hear with Christ conscious ears, and live as we are called to live.

For so long we have slumbered in the illusion created and maintained by the unawakened. The blind and asleep ones have led us astray into ideas and activities that only keep us asleep to the One and to who we actually are.

When I look at the life of Jesus from the point of view that his life was an example of awakening, I can follow in a new way and begin to actually step upon the path of The Way.

Friday, December 1, 2017

What is Moral?

We are told it is bad/immoral to lie, to bear false witness. In general, I think this is accurate. But then special circumstances pop up to make us question the absolute nature of this rule, maybe any rule. Say the Gestapo is banging on your door and want to know if you are hiding Jews. It seems to me it is moral to lie to them and protect the lives of innocent people. What do you think?

Then this argument can get polluted by the confusion of the unawakened mind. Yesterday a jury found a career criminal, an illegal alien who had been deported 5 times, killer of a young woman in her prime, shooting her with a stolen gun in midday, --- innocent. There was no dispute that he shot her nor that she died because of it. So now we see in this "sanctuary city"(certainly not a sanctuary for citizens), the value that says that it is immoral to control our border and so we must protect those who come without following the rules. It seems to me that jury made an immoral decision and set a violent man free to continue his violence. He learned he can get away with anything just because he was able to sneak into this country.

Clear thinking seems to be rare. It saddens me.

Perhaps there are no absolutes, but then the thinking about when the exceptions are more moral than the rules needs to be pristinely clear. Let us consider these things and do our best to see clearly.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Opinion vs Fact, Myth vs Reality

Today on television, books, schools, and churches we hear people speaking their opinions as if they were facts - not recognizing the twist of interpretation, they speak as if everyone would see it "that" way. Yet, there are many ways of looking at everything, and the more ways we look, the fuller the picture we get. But, as finite beings, we cannot ever reach the place of 100% knowing of anything, for there is yet another way to look at whatever it is. We can approach fact in science or mathematics, but we cannot all agree on what "it" means.

We can, for example, look at a lump of coal. What does it mean? What is it? Is it something waiting to become a diamond? Is it something to put in Christmas stockings of misbehaving children? Is it a way to warm a home or power a factory? Is it evil pollution? Does it tell the story of its history as it was formed eons ago? Is it something to be used or not? Where did it come from and why was it formed? Are we glad we found it or do we rue the day someone began to burn it? etc etc etc.

What are the facts? And then, I must ask - why are myths mistaken for facts?

My favorite definition of myth came to me from Joseph Campbell - Myth is something that never happened but is always going on. 

The situation with facts and opinions and myths and Reality is that our cultures are facing paradigm shifts because there has been a collision beginning with Galileo, Newton and Darwin. The old myths that had been mistaken as reality or Reality are now disproven as fact, as literal. The earth is not the center of everything. The earth does not stand still. The Infinite does not suspend the laws of nature. We are closer to the other mammals than we want to think. The Universes are so vast that they are unknowable, and on and on.

So we face a dilemma. Do we throw out religion, or do we look more deeply at the myths for their meanings? I have come to believe that the richness of myth is far more mysterious and marvelous than if these myths were actually Reality. We are alive in the exciting time of huge paradigm shift and can be part of the opening of the depths of the myths that have guided humankind for so many centuries back into the clouded time before history was recorded.

I have a suggestion. Pick your favorite religious myth that was once thought to be fact. Contemplate what meaning it has that can speak across time and culture to guide us into a closer walk with the Infinite One. Journal on it. Mull it around. Mine it. Go beyond what you have ever thought before. Let the infiniteness of God reveal Itself to you. Be a pioneer and fall in love with the new land to which you are led.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Miracles Happen

Last week my prayers focused on my son, on his birthday. I prayed for God's hand to comfort and uplift him and free him from anguish. I prayed for good things for him. He was outside of my reach, but not outside of God's.

Saturday morning at 7:30ish my cell phone rang. "Hi Mom, I'm in the area. Can you go to lunch?" It had been 7 years and 4 months since we had seen him. Suddenly, it was over!!!!!

I tearfully hugged him. Oh my how good he looked to my heart starved for my son. My daughter and a granddaughter came from a nearby town as they hadn't seen him for even longer (except he stopped by their home Friday night). Of course, my husband was there. It was the very best THANKSGIVING ever. In a Thai restaurant our family healed, shared, laughed, cried and became whole again.

He had been praying too and God told him to go see Mom. He flew out from the East Coast Friday, spent Saturday with us and flew back early Sunday morning. He came for 1 day!!!

God is great!! There are not enough words to express the magnitude of my thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Thoughts on the Day and History

57 years ago today I was walking around and around and around my obgyn's office building. He said a lot of walking would make labor start. The baby was getting large and was overdue. For 2 days I walked, this day and the day before. Then on the 15th, he said to go to the hospital and he'd induce the baby, but labor started in the nick of time. Many hours later, on the 16th, I was holding my 9 pound 8 oz. baby boy. I was in love. He looked at me with big eyes. His hair was long and dark. He was wonderful. And what a gorgeous, bright, curious and intense little being he was and became. So many beautiful memories over many years began that day, and then something collapsed and 7 years ago he went his own way, sort of divorcing us. I still get tearful.

Nevertheless, I would do it all over again. He will always be a part of me walking around on this planet, as of course is my dear daughter born a few years later.

I want to tie this to what I think is an abomination -- massive abortion, particularly to babies of color -- which I think of as genocide -- especially when Margaret Sanger's history is studied (founder of Planned Parenthood which should be Planned Murder). She wanted to get rid of people of color. And 57 million or so babies killed later, she has greatly reduced that population. And many who would have been mothers missed the amazing story of falling in love and journeying through life with another little being.

I also want to tie it to ancient Rome and seeds of its fall. It was common then to practice infanticide - babies, particularly girls but also boys who had defects, were thrown alive on the trash heap to be devoured by animals. They thought it was all right to do so.

Furthermore, ancient Roman entertainments were often murders in the arenas. Life was not valued. We could go on with examples, but I think you see the point.

Here we are in "modern" times and babies are being treated with no respect as they are killed in barbaric ways in the womb or partially out of the womb and then their parts sold to researchers. The most popular entertainments for many are violent films, television shows and "games."

I see echoes of the fall of ancient Rome afoot here. I would like Western Civilization to not fall. I would like us not to fall into medieval kinds of lives.

I pray for guidance for what to do.

Lord, I see patterns that lead down dark pathways. Guide us to turn to Your Light. Lead us to value this incredible thing we call life. Open our hearts and minds to love of life and therefore one another -- from the unborn baby to our neighbors on this planet. Lift the cloud of confusion. Open us to You.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Torah and Paul

I'm reading another fascinating book on Paul, quite different in many ways from the one by Crossen and Borg. This one is by N.T. Wright. I want to share a bit of this morning's reading put into my words and understanding.

The Torah (Law given to Moses) was given by God to help keep people from collapsing into chaos until humanity matured. It was given to the Israelites, but not for them exclusively. It was to be shared with all people when the time was right.

Paul's thesis was partially that --- opening to the new life of living in Christ was the new Torah. The old ways were incorporated in the new way and were greatly expanded. The influx of Spirit brought this new life. People were made anew under a new internal covenant that fulfilled the one with Abraham. The Temple was now primarily within and circumcision was of the heart. The way to live was alive within each awakened-in-Christ person.

It seems to me that most of humanity still has not matured. We as a species are somewhere between 3rd graders scuffling on the playground and rebellious teen-agers who grow into adults that are slumbering in relation to God and Reality. History repeats itself ad nauseum. People are in the same predicaments as our ancestors.

Many Christians (and members of other religions too) are engaged in nonsensical theology made up by the ignorant. People who do not study history are indeed condemned to repeat it. People who do not want to know, who just want to be told, walk blindly to and fro.

Occassionally someone "gets it" and their Light shines brightly for all to see, and perhaps be persuaded by such a Light to follow in that direction rather than the world's darkness and nuttiness.

I am thinking that in this context, what I must do to the best of my ability is to work on myself. I can focus on those behaviors, ideas, people, etc. that are known to lead to awakening. I can do something with myself that I am unable to do with the mass of humanity. If we each worked in this way, there would be Lights in every city and countryside for others to find and follow the example and way. In this manner, there is hope.

Lord, knowing we live our entire lives in Your Presence, we turn more fully today to You, asking for help to take down the veils that keep us from knowing You in direct and personal ways. Fill us with Your Spirit. Awaken us to be all we can be and know all that is knowable about You - knowing that by virtue of being here on this planet, there are some parameters that may have to wait for another time and place to fall. But, as totally as possible while on earth, lead us to You, to Understanding, to Wisdom, to Love, to Oneness. There is a soft rising of joy coming up from the depths, as these words roll through me in new ways. I come ...

Saturday, October 28, 2017


This week I recalled how much I enjoyed all the courses in sociology that I took many years ago. I've been reading a study on how religious groups grow, split, innovate, etc. and the principles that operate, especially focused on Christianity ("The Rise of Christianity, How the Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World for Centuries").

The study separates sects (breakaways from existing groups) and cults (new religions). It seems to me that Christianity was a bit of both in the beginning anyway, although this is not suggested as far as I can tell in the reading. I see it as a part of Judaism with a new addition until after the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE and finally in 88 CE. Christians met in the synagogues with other Jews at first, telling their stories of  Jesus as they related to the readings from the Torah, etc. that were the scriptures of that day. It morphed into a new religion beginning fully after 88 CE.

In the year 40 C.E. 0.00175% of the Greco-Roman World was Christian, in 239 CE it grew to 1.4%  while by 315 CE it was around 17%. It grew slowly at first. Estimates say there were about 7,500 Christians by the year 100 for example.

The main growth in religious groups comes from relatives and friends and neighbors of converts and fans out in various directions from each new converted person. At first Christianity grew via Paul primarily in the artisan and fairly well off groups. As it moved out into the world, it became more Greek than Jewish in many ways. Some have suggested that Paul was a Plato kind of thinker.

What it means to be a Christian has changed dramatically over and over again. Even today, to say one is a Christian means widely divergent things depending on the group to which one adheres.

I've spent a great deal of time trying to understand the 1st century and what happened. And as a person fascinated by history, I watch in amazement as the streams spread out in a staggering array of beliefs, yet they all call themselves Christian.

We may never know all we want to know about beginnings and later meanderings through history, but we can do our best to discover and put the puzzle pieces together and then decide what seems to be the "truth" as  best as we can discern it. And, we can be kind to those who followed a different stream and see from another vantage point. There is no way we can know it all.

Let us all do our best to be kinder and more open to explore the path - less authoritarian and dogmatic. What a difference that would make here on earth if we let go of hubris.

God bless us all.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Ideas on Grace

Recently I've read an interesting idea about grace -- it exists at every level. I'd not thought of it in that way. Let's define terms - grace = unearned good, freely given. So what about levels of it?

1)   Physical grace. This is the normal workings of our bodies when we are in health.
2)   Intellectual grace. This is the normal workings of intuition and inspiration.
3)   Spiritual grace. This is the normal awareness of God and the normal gifts of the Spirit.

Without interference, we live under the shining banner of these graces. Who or what interferes? We do.

1)   We eat and drink and do things that are detrimental to our physical well-being. We manipulate foods so that they are no longer natural and therefore no longer in harmony with our bodies. We do not act as if our bodies are temples. We forget they are required in order for our souls/spirits to participate in earthly activities, are sort of spacesuits for our souls.

2)   We often do not take care of our intellect so that we can be open to inspiration and intuition that pours upon us. We fill our heads with trivia, with dark things, with dead end alleys as we chase after the perfect product to make us acceptable. We succumb to mind-numbing hours of television, video games, and trashy novels. We forget that our intellect is perfectly suited to hear the murmurings of Spirit, being the perfect receptor to guide our lives on earth.

3)   We either do not know that we are spiritual beings, or we purposely turn from our own Ground of Being as we pursue anything at all that is not God. Our souls yearn to know the Oneness, the Unitive Consciousness, our spiritual place in the vast expanses, but most of us turn away.  As children of the Most High, we are capable of such union, but humans rarely go there.

What is required is for us to get out of our own way. Some ideas include:
  • Let go of ego. Stop being preoccupied with small letter self. Let go of the limited view of Reality that ego provides.
  •  Read writings of great thinkers who have reached out of the boxes we have self-made. There are so many that mean so much to me. Lao Tse, Jesus, James the brother of Jesus, Meister Eckhart, Hildegard of Bingen, Thomas Aquinas, and modern writers such as Aldous Huxley especially his "The Divine Within," and "Perennial Philosophy," Matthew Fox, Richard Rohr -- and many more. Start with one and let the trail unfold.
  • Spend time every day in the silence. Turn off devices and just be. Spend time with what God created, such as a tree or a flower or a seashell. Write insights in a journal and re-read from time to time.
  • Somehow get into the Light and let It shine. Find the imprisoned splendor within, and unleash it. Be willing to be the magnificent being you are in Truth.
Re-claim grace at every level.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Today I want to share a prayer I wrote several years ago. I hope you'll read it several times and journal upon what meaning it brings to your life.

We are told we are children of the Light. We have the DNA, so to speak, of THE Light in us. We are children of the Most High.

Lord, help us to peel away all that we have placed upon Your  Light, so Light can shine through us & glorify You.

You have placed in each of us talents that await use. As we move into living as Light, we ask You help  us re-discover the talents within that wait to be expressed. We have come to the moment that we no longer wish to bury the gifts that You seeded in us.

As we look out into our families, our church, our community, our nation & our world, we see that much has to be done to create the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

I come this day ready & willing to participate in a larger way. I come ready & willing to shine Your Light, to be the best I can be, to make a difference with my life. Lead me Lord.

What joy floods my soul as the glittering truth of these words filter into the very center of me. Thankfulness dances in me. I realize that You have heard my prayer. In the name of Christ I ask for it to be accomplished. I seal this with the ancient seal of faith as I say Amen, Amen & Amen

Monday, October 2, 2017

Turning It All Around

Turning from the horrendous "news" that bombards us each day can be challenging for sure. I have been pondering what to do to turn this world around from its downward-spiral. And an idea came to me that I am going to share with you here and ask you to be part of it.

World Lay Ministry Team/Task Force of Light

Premise: Together we can do amazing things. We can be a united force to lift and heal. We can be a task force of Light that dispels the darkness. The good people of earth are the vast majority. It is time to stop a tiny minority from wrecking havoc here. It is time to think new thoughts and do new things that support all life on earth.

Requirements to join: Sincere heart for peace. Filled with compassion. Belief in a Higher Power that is Good and Loving. Desire to be part of the lifting of the people of earth. Commitment to non-violence. Willingness to move beyond tribal lines to embrace all of the children of God, all people of earth. A love for our beautiful little blue planet in the corner of the Milky Way.

Tasks: Daily prayer for our planet and its inhabitants. Reach out to help and lift whenever and wherever possible. Seek ways to make a positive difference, remembering even seemingly tiny choices can make a difference. Refuse to let the darkness take over. Check in here weekly for a new prayer and read it prayerfully and thoughtfully, and if appropriate, share it with others and invite them to join.

Pledge: With all of the integrity of my being I promise to do my best to fulfill the requirements, do the tasks and move quietly to lift the people and all inhabitants of earth and earth itself. I promise to monitor my thoughts, words and deeds to focus my life upon peace, compassion and lifting. 

If you agree, say "YES" deep inside. You are now a member. Tell others. Let's turn this planet around.

Prayer for Week

 Source of all being, Divine One, I turn to You this day humbly committing myself to be a member of The Task Force of Light. 

Open my eyes to see what I can do. Grant me the courage to follow the highest and best in all I do and say and think.

With deep love in my heart for this planet and for all of its inhabitants, knowing we all come from One Source, from You, I step into this new way to be. 

I claim peace on earth. Let it be so.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Cosmic Christ

The Cosmic Christ is thought and spoken of in many circles these days. What does it mean? Basically that the Light that is within is the Cosmic Christ. It is Eckhart's seed of God in everyone. It is the historical Jesus' understanding that the Kingdom of God is within. It is the knowing of Oneness of God. It is mystical and also practical.  It is our hope for the continuance of our earth and of our species.

With the enormous static of this world, particularly this "modern" world, I see a vast majority of people who have no idea what this means, why it would be important, what it would take to move through the static to the place of peace and the knowing of God, our Source, our very life. I have concern for our future, but also I have a hope for spiritual awakening - in time.

We are bombarded with "news" which is almost totally opinion and spin and pretty much on the dark side aligned more with Darth Vader than with God. We are bombarded with ugly, violent, hateful movies, and music. We are bombarded by busyness, by the trivial, by shallowness. We are in some ways fractured and yearn somewhere deep within for restoration and freedom from all of this.

People are leaving churches and other houses of worship because most sermons are book reports, sometimes written by others and purchased from a sermon service; because little actual Biblical scholarship (think cultural context, language, idiom, etc) is explored and taught; because the pre-modern, pre-rational, pre-scientific thinking is taught as actual and literal rather than the myths and parables that they are, and can teach so much more and make sense only in that light; because the teaching and the actions are not congruent, don't match and are not actually taught as maps and goals leading to awakening; because few are teaching how to get out and beyond the static to an actual experience with God; because the great mystics of each tradition are not studied and so most are spiritually illiterate; because people give up on this all and turn to other things - sports, television, gaining wealth, nationalism, etc.

My prayer and contemplation seeks an answer as to how to shift us all out of the traps that lead away from God, from finding the Cosmic Christ within and into releasing the imprisoned splendor of God's Light within each and everyone.

I turn this day, once again, to You, my Creator, my Source, seeking Your Guidance. What am I to do to participate in a spiritual awakening among the people of this earth? What am I to do in my own journey to hear You more fully and act more consistently as You would have me act? Lift my awareness.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Preparatory Lessons, Spiritual Development and/or Child Abuse?

The past few days I've been rolling some personal thoughts over in my mind.

So here I am, over 3 years of frozen assets. I still function, participate and even lead. How do I do it?

It came to mind that I am somewhat used to not having my things because of my early life - and I ask myself what was the purpose long ago?

Examples: I came home from school one day and my treasured box of comic books, including "My Friend Irma" that had my name in it for designing the fashions for that month, gone. In panic I discovered mother as the culprit who simply told me "you're too old for comics, so I got rid of them." No discussion, no warning. Just gone. In maybe 4th grade, I came home from school to discover my beloved violin was gone. I loved it. Mother again the culprit, "You're tone deaf, you don't need it." No discussion, no warning, just gone. I could go on, but I think the pattern is clear.

Why? I have asked why so many times. So was this preparation for this time when I do still have my money and my belongings, but I cannot use them because they are wrongly frozen? It bears a strong resemblance to my childhood except they are not gone but out of my reach. Did those tearful and stressful days of my youth steel me for this present restriction? Or was it simply child abuse?

Or am I living the Book of Job and getting non-attachment, spiritual muscle development, faith and other spiritual lessons?

All I seem to be able to do is take a deep breath, pray, participate as much as I can and keep on going. Each week is supposed to be THE week all is set free to come to us, but it passes and the next week takes its turn to be THE week. Perhaps one week will actually be THE week, maybe even this week. In the meantime, I live.

Dear God, One and only Presence, the very Breath of my being, lead me onward. Help me be the person You call me to be. Lead me out of this valley of restriction into the arms of freedom. Lead me to use the freedom well to make a positive difference on this earth in the hearts and minds and lives of earth's inhabitants. Freedom, Lord, Freedom.

Monday, September 18, 2017


In my studies, I sometimes return to the Greek philosophers. They are interesting in that they represent the first rational thought and have a developing range of views, plus Hellenistic thought and language were prevalent when the New Testament was born. You know that I am very interested in the 1st century CE and what really happened. It seems to me that context is essential in understanding the goings on of humans, for in many ways we are products of our times. It may not be possible for us in the 21st century to totally take off our 21st century glasses in order to view any past time the way the people of the time viewed their world, but we can take steps in that direction.

Today I want to consider Plato in our times to bring his thinking here to bear upon our lives and predicaments.

One of the things he said was basically this: No real reform of the fundamentals of political thought could take place without a corresponding reform of man's ideas about the whole nature of reality.

We see a bit of chaos here and a large dose of it there. We see breakdowns of how it was and see morphing into something else. From black masked hooligans destroying and terrorizing to crazed dictators to unreliable media and politicians and leaders of all stripes, it is a different world than the one into which I was born. There has been strife afoot in all times. This seems more intensified maybe because of the instant access to information and disinformation.

From all that and more, I conclude that we also need some reform of fundamentals of political thoughts, and if Plato is correct, we need to look more deeply into the nature of reality.

We have the advantage of scientific research to tell us some of the fundamentals of physical reality, which were totally unknown by any human until very recently.

But the philosophic quest into the nature of reality and Reality is fractured, it seems to me. Christianity is in decline. Its premises along with the Judaic premises have been the root of our own national take on reality/Reality. There are overt attacks on that version of reality. Plus, as Christianity declines, religious fervor turns elsewhere - think climate change, sports teams, celebrity, etc.

Plato and Socrates thought if you didn't know the nature of a thing, the person for whom it is made and the purpose for which it is made, you didn't know it. Take a shoemaker. To make shoes he/she has to know these things.

Consider these things in relation to our religion and our nation and our world. Let us think on these things and with sincerity, courage and curiosity apply the best of our thinking skills to the nature of reality in its various forms. What is the purpose of a nation? What is the purpose of a religion?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

On Being Still

In preparing for next Saturday when I lead a prayer and meditation workshop, I have put together a Power Point presentation. It is basically ready, and as I go over it, my excitement grows. I wonder what breakthroughs people will have. I wonder what things I'll be led to say beyond my prepared ideas. 

It is exciting to me on many levels. I used to do quite a few week-end or week-long retreats in various places from California to Colorado to Hawaii to Minnesota to Russia, and more. I haven't done that for awhile. I love doing it, and am so glad to be able to do it again.

The theme is a line from a Psalm - Be Still and Know That I Am God. Oh, how I love that line. It has meant so much to me over the course of my lifetime. It has walked with me through great times and deep valleys too.

We will start with contemplating that line and then writing about what comes to us. I suggest that readers of this do the same. Read the line several times, close your eyes and silently say it to yourself, then be still. In a few minutes open your eyes and write whatever comes to mind ---- stream of consciousness it is called. Then read what you've written.

Continue this practice by opening the Bible or other inspirational reading and read until something sort of grabs your attention. Repeat it, roll it over in your mind, be still, then write. This is called "Lectio Divina" or "Divine Reading." It is a powerful, yet simple, spiritual practice that I highly recommend.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

More Thoughts on James

From my book, "What On Earth Is Going On, Spiritually Speaking?"
I am thinking that for us to rise above the circumstances of our lives and do as James urged, we need to face what it is that we are resisting. What holds us down and keeps us in our enclosures? What keeps us in the fog? What keeps us busy, so we don’t even aim for full understanding? What weighs us down so that we don’t allow ourselves to rise up? 
In my experience, the beginning of a journey requires knowledge of where we are now. Facing ourselves honestly is a huge part of the spiritual awakening journey.
The idea that we often live in a fog came to me years ago. The fog creates a kind of amnesia mist, so that we forget we are children of the Most High, made of stardust with a seed/spark of God within.

Especially in this modern world, there is so much frenzy that can keep us down. There is busyness, all kinds of technology, hysteria in media and social networks, flowing mountains of information and misinformation, on and on.

Somehow we must (if we actually want spiritual awakening) pierce through this veil of fog bombarding us and walk into the Light, the Truth, the Freedom, the Love that IS.

We can use the tools of critical thinking, contemplation, meditation, prayer, listening and rising above the din. I suppose there is only so far we can go in this life on this planet in these times, but strive we must not only for our own souls, but also for the soul of the planet.

Let us journey to the edge of the fog, pierce it, peer out of it, move into the Light.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Exploring Non-Attachment, Again!

On the top of my list seems to be the lesson of non-attachment. For 7 years now my son and family have been far away in miles and heart, leaving us in the dust as they run away in anger and misinformation. For 3+ years our assets frozen, the money from our previous house in some suspended place, my decades-long savings locked down, this past 2 weeks off and on my checking account (the tiny bit of liquidity we currently have/had) under attack by hackers and so frozen, expense money for my husband's business hung up for weeks and weeks with no reason given, and trying to buy a Juki sewing machine since March with one cockamamy excuse after the other from the store. Me teaching sewing to children in July at a local store, with the promise of a check in a week to 10 days, but no check as of today. Many, seemingly unrelated things in some state of suspended animation.

Then there is the experience that I am calling "emotional water-boarding." The bank guy says within 24 hours a big portion of our money will be available or next Friday my savings will be free or or or or... but no reality behind the promises. The government making promises, but no action. Always tomorrow or next week, but that passes and passes and passes and passes.

Okay, to the best of my thinking the pattern here is for me/us to learn non-attachment.

Intellectually I seem to understand that our bodies are fluctuating dances of atoms, stardust in motion. I know our bodies are earthly and will stay here, as do all of my "possessions." Jesus told us not to take stock in things that rot, afterall. My essence, my spirit, my soul also is in a dance of change as I grow and expand understanding over the course of this life adventure.

All is change. So what is there to hold onto? God is the only answer I can find. God is always God. Change is in the dimension of incarnation but not in the Ground of Being.

So I read and think and write and contemplate all that is spiritual, that is of God, weeding out the false understandings of others and of myself. God is not the words in a book or a blog, but hints can be in the words. Words can be true or false. People can teach flawed things that become accepted generally. Paul said to test the Spirit. I do my best to do so. I only want to know and teach the Truth. Words seem to be the most effective way to communicate, even that which really cannot be put into words.

The times I have known the Light and seen through the Veil, I cannot tell you in any effective way the immense, expansive, incredible feelings and knowings. I can only tell you I have touched the Infinite, and I know you can too. I know with Teilhard de Chardin that indeed we are spiritual beings having a human experience. We can flow gracefully through this adventure of a human experience or we can grab and grasp onto the set decorations, thinking them the things we want and need. But, they are merely set decorations and will rot. Let us turn to that which is the very Ground of Being.

Oh my dear God, what a chapter in the book of this life it is! These years have been so deeply challenging. Yet, I do feel some things dislodged in me that needed to go and the filling of those spots with You. Help me complete this lesson and move into a more personal space, into our own home. The things in storage I know are things that rot, yet they also are symbols of memories, lessons, history and ideas that have developed over the years. Your weary daughter surrenders. Your Will be done.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

From literal to meaning

I just finished John Shelby Spong's book on liberating the Gospels by viewing them through Jewish eyes. He makes some spectacular points. He, like I, is concerned about the future of Christianity if the message does not get off the literal track, the track that says the Bible is literally the word of God and so has no errors. It's as if some celestial hand reached down to earth and wrote the words on something or other, even before there was anything was written in that part of the world. Which, of course, is nonsense. Thinking people are getting turned off to this way of understanding.

Besides that, a book cannot contain the Infinite. Words can point the direction. We must walk The Way and find God in our lives.

There are so many contradictions in the Bible that anyone reading it would immediately understand it could not be inerrant. Let's just take one item. When does the New Testament say that Jesus became the son of God? By one account at his baptism, by another writer it was at birth, another writer says from the beginning of time and another says after the resurrection he became the adopted son of God. Since we know that all of these cannot be accurate, we know the Bible is not literal and not inerrant. There are a huge number of these contradictions throughout.

If we realize that these people were story tellers, weavers of myths, non-linear people, we could start searching for the meaning encoded in the stories that actually can inform us spiritually and inspire us and lead us to a deeper walk with God.

The journey the Bible takes us on is the faith story of a people. It tries to show with stories the incredible spiritual experiences that cannot fit into usual words. It has deep meaning that is missed when the superficial lockdown of inerrancy and the weight of pretending God wrote it weighs upon it. Humans wrote it trying to explain how it was with them as they walked with God or turned away and took a detour.

I urge you to read modern scholarship of Spong, Borg, Crossan, Eiseman, and others and discover a vast frontier of deep spirituality. Let's set Christianity on a path for longevity by freeing it from the limited views forced upon it.

Monday, August 28, 2017


James tells us to persevere: 
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. --- James 1:4
That is a pretty astounding idea. The result of being a persevering person is maturity and completeness. We have to hone ourselves upon the challenges of life, not giving up, persevering, and this leads us to grow up spiritually and psychologically. This leads to completeness, to wholeness.

Those who avoid the challenges and wimp out are developing immaturity. Their spiritual and psychological muscles are flabby and next to useless.

I see some strong relevance to what I see on the news of this day. College students hysterical that someone disagrees with them, so demanding "safe spaces" and other wimpy things. Violent demonstrators trying to shut down others because they just can't handle other points of view. I see the lack of cogent debate and very little critical thinking. I see extremists blowing up others they disagree with, apparently unable to have a reasonable debate on issues. I see the snowflake generation expecting all to be handed to them, not seemingly aware the struggle makes you strong as you earn your way up.

Just as you cannot get a gold medal at the Olympics by just being there, but must work hard, over time to tone your physical and mental states. So with life in general. James' advice would do us all well to follow. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Facing Life

In preparing for my talk on James on September 10, I am once again struck by his practical guidance. He encourages us to persist and pray for God's guidance and eventually become mature - spiritually mature. We are not to shrink away from difficult times, but to robustly face them with God's guidance.

In working with people, I find so often people want to ignore what it is they have to deal with or to blame others or to some way stick their heads in the sands of life. I see this in people near the end of this life, people who do not make the spiritual preparations useful for such a time. They do not repair broken parts of their lives such as tensions or animosities with others. They do not go consciously into the experience of leaving earth and going elsewhere.

It is such a joy to work with people who are alert, attentive, ready to make amends as needed and to prepare spiritually for the next part of their spiritual journey. Life, eternally is in fact a spiritual journey in whatever dimension we find ourselves.

Let us all keep up to date in our amends, living joyously and lovingly. Let us practice the high guidance James gives us as he shows us the way to walk The Way.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

My daddy

Yesterday was the much-anticipated eclipse of the sun and also the 110th anniversary of my father's birth,  plus our annual physical exam. Wide extremes.

Our physicals were great. All my tests, blood work, etc fantastic. Cholesterol at 80 something!

The eclipse didn't seem like much here with a supposed 70% coverage by the moon. It didn't get dark or cooler here.

My daddy's birthday brought some tears to my eyes. I thought of most of what he had done for me gone except in my memory. My thoughts ran to the wonderful tall swing he built me, and the tetherball pole he put in that same yard. I wonder if they are still there??? I thought of my wonderful drop down desk with cubbies on the wall in my teen years - later sold by mother and then later returned and put in their garage to turn to dry rot. I thought of the wonderful silk screen outfit he built me and how I thoughtlessly abandoned it during a huge time of crisis in my life. I thought of the beautiful needlepoint pillows he made for my rocking chair that are now somewhere in Colorado.

I thought of his lessons - going back uptown Whittier to return 50 cents too much change; still waters run deep; when things get unbearable, go for a walk; this is the 7th day and God is resting; a sense of humor is crucial and so much more. I thought of riding on his shoulders, of working on science projects together, of his incredible mind that still remembered algebra when I needed help and could still recite poems learned in his youth when he was very advanced in age. I thought of his last days and his humor - when finding out he had a massive stroke in both lobes of his lower brain he said, "Well you might as well unplug me." And a couple of days later when in congestive heart failure and sounding like he was drowning, telling the nurse, "Sure glad I got my pneumonia shot."

I loved my daddy. I think his actions showed he loved me too, even though he never said so. Between him and my little New Testament, I was able to go through terrible times in my childhood, youth and beyond. And I am here today no small part due to the dear man who I am blessed to call daddy.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Going Forward

Following Jesus has meant many things historically and to me. As a child, I sang and believed the songs -  "Jesus Loves Me," "In the Garden," "Just A Closer Walk With Thee," etc. I wanted so very much to live as he wanted me to live.

As I grew, I came to understand that Jesus exemplified the Cosmic Christ and spoke and modeled The Way to live in communion with God. My life goal then became to internalize The Way and walk it as best I could, living in the awareness that my life is played out in the Presence of God.

I see a glimmer of this understanding taking a bit of a root, but I am concerned about the future of Christianity.

I want the understanding of Oneness as children of God to flourish and expand. I want people to be seekers of Wisdom, lovers of God and of each other, quick to forgive and to give mercy, filled with compassion, eager to lend a helping hand and being doers of The Way taught by Jesus.

As a student of history (my minor in college), I know that the religion that is called Christianity has veered off course repeatedly. I also know, as I have shared here previously, that Christianity began to decline in followers at least since the Enlightenment.

I also know that the death of the teachings and practices of The Way would be disastrous for humankind. Our souls yearn to find a better path, a better way to live, a closer walk with God. I know that The Way can nourish those deeply held yearnings.

There are several things I see that could facilitate this turning back to the original intent of the teachings of The Way. I shall share a few:
  • Stop the ignorant teaching of the Bible that ignores who spoke it and later wrote it ---what was the context of each story, who lived it, what did it mean to them, and are what possible meanings to us today?
  • Stop teaching the magic as literal. Everyone knows the magician is fooling the eye and not actually doing magic.
  • Stop teaching the pre-scientific, tribal stories as literal. They have much more usefulness when read as parables and metaphors anyway. The earth and the sun do not and cannot stand still, etc.
  • Stop the superstitious nonsense. We don't have to do rituals or go through any rigmarole to gain God's favor, for example.
  • Realize the Bible is a Jewish story, all main characters being part of it, so embrace it and stop the ignorant anti-semitism. Jesus was a Jew you know.
  • Stop getting rich by misleading the people with false teachings.
  • Start teaching the actual context of these various scenarios. The Exodus story maybe was around 1200 BCE but not written till the 500's BCE while in Babylonian captivity, and why is that important, for example. What was actually going on in the 1st century and how did that influence the writers of the New Testament?
  • Understand the Jewish storytelling techniques and the practice of midrash.
  • Start teaching the inner transformation that comes with spiritual awakening and how to achieve it.
  • Start teaching Oneness, sacredness of life, the way to live such a life, healing, forgiveness, love for all including our enemies.
  • Get real about our stories and inspire one another.
  • Teach the silence, meditation, centering prayer, affirmative prayer.
  • Actually teach, model and encourage walking The Way.
  • Be willing to transform oneself and be made new.
I am deeply saddened by the current state of affairs on our planet. Before we destroy ourselves and this beautiful planet, let's clear our heads and set forth on an actual journey to live as love, as care, as compassion, as helpfulness, as kindness, as brothers and sisters, offspring of one God. Let's set our intention on spiritual awakening.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Where Are the Wise?

Here in the 21st century, we have a lot of knowledge. We know about quarks and galaxies; we know about amazing medicines and architectural rules and skyscrapers; we nonchalantly use electronic blips and walk around with the world in our hands with our cell phones. We are awash with knowledge.

But where is the wisdom? 

Watching news, movies,  television - it looks like the world has gone mad, won over by the dark side, on a frantic search for more of this and more of that and then even more.

Above all else, The Biblical Book of Proverbs tells us, seek wisdom. Definitions include:
noun [It's a noun - it's a thing] 
the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise. 
synonyms:sagacityintelligencesensecommon sense, astuteness, 
smartness, judiciousness, judgmentprudencecircumspection
the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment. 
"some questioned the wisdom of building the dam so close to an active volcano
 The thing/noun, wisdom, is something we apply to life that involves using all those things listed as synonyms. We apply our knowledge to a situation, generously slathering it with common sense, good judgment, etc.  Then we get wisdom, the wise choice.

I say that religion, government, and life in general, are today suffering from wisdom deficit disorder.

A major challenge for those of us awake and outside of the hypnotic daze of the sufferers of wisdom deficit disorder, we are being called to apply wisdom and Wisdom liberally in an effort to lift others out of this malaise.

I might add that it seems to me that this task is time sensitive. So, let us figure out how to proceed as swiftly as wisdom suggests.

Oh, Great Divine Light - fill us with Your Light and awaken in us Your Wisdom. Lead us to know what we can do to heal the wisdom deficit disorder that affects so many of us, indeed affects a wide swath of humanity,  from leaders to ordinary citizens of earth. Let wisdom be nourished and grow and expand, and let the craziness be healed and leave the face of this earth. We call forth Wisdom NOW. With joy, we give our gratitude. Amen

Monday, August 7, 2017

History or Meaning?

As we watch the churches drain of members, we older folks often look in wonder and confusion. Why for heaven's sake, do the people leave? I have a couple of thoughts to ponder.

I think the "church" is often looked at as full of myth mistaken as fact, full of hypocrites who do not live as preached, irrelevant as to finding one's way in life and taught from an often hysterical tone.

I lay this partially to the lack of genuine Bible scholarship shared with the general population, and therefore to the adherence of the old notion that the Bible is literally the Word of God dictated to various people over time. So it refuses to note the contradictions, the horrible violence tried to be sold as God's directive, the recent addition of the Bible to the human scene (writing starting less than 3,000 years and ending 2,000 years ago), not to mention ignoring much of the science of today, or even common sense.

For over 200 years, Bible scholarship has shown a different view of the Bible, a not literal historic library of books but rather a collection of writings about people over many generations trying to make sense of God and life. The writings were written centuries after the stories, in the case of the Old Testament/Hebrew Scriptures, and tens of decades in the case of the New Testament. The awareness has expanded and become more and more solid. In good seminaries, this scholarship is taught, but it is seldom passed on in the pulpit from the clergy who know better but simply pass on old ignorance, maybe to not rock the boat. Well, for whatever reason I really am not sure. I have personally heard clergy say, for example: "My congregation gets on me if I haven't given them hell and damnation for awhile. Even though I know there is no hell, I give it to them once in awhile."

To take words written by pre-science people as literal is absurd. For example they believed: the earth was the center of a 3 level universe; God lived above in the heavens so "he" could look down in order to watch the goings on; he kept a record book and would use it as evidence against you; there was no idea among these people of galaxies and what stars were or anything scientific; if anything bad happened to you or your tribe, it was retribution from a very angry God; illness and physical afflictions came from demons sent to punish people who deserved it; women were not quite human and had no rights to speak of; weather showed God's pleasure or wrath, etc. etc. etc.

On the other hand, to take the words as a glimmer of how people experienced God over those centuries can lead to deep meaning for us today. How people experienced God in Isaiah or Jesus, for example, tells us a lot. How we can experience God in this day can be informed by these writings.

As Marcus Borg shared, we can set aside whether or not this or that happened, and we can explore - what does it mean.

If you do want to go on a more scholarly search, I recommend books and Youtube sharings by John Shelby Spong, John Dominic Crossen, Marcus Borg, Matthew Fox, to name a few. My quest began when I was just out of high school and I came upon "Man and His Gods," by Homer Smith. It blew my mind apart and led me away from any church, and eventually into my spiritual journey that is the core of my being and back to church.

I am sure that the Way of Christ, the lessons of Jesus, can play a powerful role in healing the broken people and nations and usher in Peace both inner and outer. I am also sure this will not happen if we do not shift from ignorance to full meaning, letting go of our juvenile understanding and maturing in spiritual wisdom.

God be with us. Lead us on.