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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Quo Vadis

This morning I finished reading "Quo Vadis." It was a fascinating semi-fictional/historical story set in the reign of Nero/the Beast, a truly crazy man. It explores the struggle between Nero and the birth of Christianity, including scenes with Peter and a few with Paul. It was a romance, a drama, a story of conversion and transformation, and it was crazy violence of Nero as he burned Rome and blamed the Christians. It was written in the late 1890's which made it more astounding to me that so long ago such a portrait of those times was possible.

But then my thoughts were drawn to other directions, expanded from the people of the first century portrayed in the book. I thought of all the billions of humans who have walked earth, their hopes and dreams and fears, their night sweats, their passions, their love and joy, their private moments -- all unknown to us except in very minor ways in a tiny group of those who wrote and whose writings survived.

In my life, so many moments gone by, most not even remembered  by me. Long gone fears have faded away. The angst of countless decisions mostly forgotten. Thousands of prayers evaporated into the unknown. Private joys, moments of this and that - seemingly gone.

I am led to wonder why we waste so much time agonizing over whatevers that will linger in no one's memory. Oh, the wasted time and energy put into meaningless things. We could fill those hours with love and joy and beauty, with creativity, with lifting and making a difference.

It seems to me that what stops us is ourselves. Are we addicted to minutia to the exclusion of the meaningful? History repeats itself over and over and over again. I must ask, it that necessary? Is it possible for humans to walk to a higher Light? I wonder.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Insert Spirituality

My current reading is Nikolai Berdyaev. I'm going to share some quotes to discuss:
The man whose life is not turned towards God cannot demand to be shown God or to have His reality demonstrated. The reality of God cannot be "inserted" or demonstrated from without.
Constraint and exterior limitations result from the rejection of life, as it were, from without, and the adoption of an "extrinsicist"  attitude toward the things of this world. For that is exactly what a thing is, namely, that which is outside ourselves and not within. Spirit, on the other hand, always remains in the inner depths, for it is itself depth, it is within, and its life can never owe its origin to the purely external, the superficial and the extrinsic, or it fact to anything which is lifeless and impenetrable. Depth is the symbol of spirit.
He discusses how religion got off track trying to make God a thing. The naturalist mindset has ruled other dimensions and ways out of consideration. One of the ways back, he says, and I agree, is to study those who actually found God, the mystics. While one cannot simply insert spirituality and the spiritual realm, we can consider the thoughts of those who did enter such a realm. They left a trail that can point us in the right direction.

God can be found in the depths. God is not found in idolatry of a book, a set of tenets, theology, rituals or any other external thing. God is found deep within and is experienced. That experience cannot accurately be communicated for it does not fit in words. Words can point, but are not It.

I'm playing with ideas around experiential evenings involving some combinations of lectio divina, journaling, meditations and guided meditations followed perhaps by some conversation rooted in these.

I feel deeply that we must have a spiritual awakening on this planet, for we are at a turning point which could be disastrous, but could be averted, if enough people wake up spiritually. We must move beyond the naive outer, external and perhaps pretend religious practices to deep and meaningful communion with Spirit.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


The "news" is rarely literal or actual. I have come to see it mostly as a play presented to us to keep us busy and often upset. I see it as a control and power thing. I see it as it was predicted in "1984" and "Brave New World."


  • Someone comes out of a meeting and says inflammatory things about what was said. Other people who were in the same meeting say they did not hear that. The press accuses those who say they did not hear the ugliness as being liars. The press goes into a frenzy over a possible comment but does not even notice the inflammatory speech of people on "their side."
  • The President's doctor gives a detailed account of his physical and mental exam and answers questions for an hour. The press refuses to believe it and begins asking ridiculous questions and making up problems that don't exist - Are you keeping back some information? How can he be healthy and eat cheeseburgers? Are you sure he is mentally fit? Does he have addiction problems? Does he wear dentures? etc etc etc.
  • We keep changing enemies - as in "stop think." We are to accept yesterday's enemies as friends and yesterday's friends as enemies. We are to try to improve relations with country X, but working on that makes one a traitor.
  • We keep changing the most disastrous things - in the 60's global cooling, in the 90's global warming, in the new millennium climate change. Each time some subset of scientists are brought forth to "prove" the new disastrous situation. So when planetary experts say the climate shifts on earth fairly regularly with 120 years of cooling and 200+ of warming, they are not heard, as fact is not what counts. We people of earth must be kept off balance in order to control us and in order to keep those in power in power.
Well, I could go on for pages, but I just wanted to set the situation I want to discuss.

The majority of people seem to be quite naive and fairly easy to manipulate.

So while so many of us are kept busy being upset about what is "happening" or "not happening," or what is said to be "happening" or not "happening," we are not busy with our spiritual life. So instead of meditation, contemplation, spiritual study and conversation, there is a wave of drug addiction, alcoholism, violence, etc. -- or the opposite of spiritual awakening, People are often trapped in an illusion.

I ponder how we can get a wave of spiritual awakening going and extricate us from the imaginary comedy/tragedy presented to us not as a political play but as fact. The restless people trapped in the cycle of "news" really in the depth of their being want something more meaningful and real.

I think people actually yearn to know God. Therein lies my challenge, and hopefully yours, how can we move more people to not only know about God but to actually Know God? To Know God changes everything. How can we reignite the age-old understanding that all and everyone are sacred?  

Many ideas flow in mind. Let us pray together.

Oh, wondrous God, I know that I live all of my life in Your Presence, for You are always with me. I seek Your Guidance so that I may more fully Know You, and I ask for inspiration to find ways to bring a spiritual awakening to the people of earth. I listen....

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Love - Hate

Jesus rests his case for the ultimate significance of life on the love ethic. Love is the intelligent, kindly but stern expresssion of kinship of one individual for another having as its purpose the maintenance and furtherance of life at its highest level... If we accept the basic proposition that life is one, arising out of a common center - God, all expressions of love are acts of God. Hate, then, becomes a form of annihilation of self and others, in short - suicide.  ---- Howard Thurman
This quote is so apropos to today at so many levels. We see violent extremists wanting to annihilate all they call "other," not realizing that they are actually committing spiritual suicide. We see political hatred at an all-time high. It is fascinating and terrifying watching people jump off such a cliff and going farther and farther from spiritual awakening and understanding.

Monday I had an experience of a friend who waxes loving and suddenly hateful. Periodically, she gets set off by some seemingly simple and neutral thing. I watch the dynamic in her microcosm and see the dynamic of the macrocosm. I know that the shift to love and to stay at love is an internal thing that must be made inside the heart and soul. I wonder, however, if there is a tipping point that could start the tumbling out of hate that could be applied from the outside - just to get the process of awakening to Jesus' radical love ethic started. And, I wonder if there is such a point that could apply to the macrocosm - to groups that hate. Let's consider this.

Perhaps most importantly, you and I can consciously practise Jesus' love ethic and become radical lovers of life.

Monday, January 8, 2018


Ever since the day after Christmas, we have been very ill with the flu. Hope to be posting again in a few days.

Health is an incredible blessing.