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Monday, August 27, 2018

Inner Malware

I am enjoying Richard Rohr's new book, "Just This." In fact, much of what he says is in line with my current spiritual understanding. He seems to think that mystical Christianity and the Perennial Philosophy are rising across the planet. I am hopeful.

He presents an idea rather like one my husband came up with some years ago. In one sense we can visualize a computer screen and drag unwanted thoughts and feelings to the trashcan. A new to me idea in this book discusses malware in human terms. Here is a bit of that:
I think of scanning for malicious software as a good metaphor for what the first few minutes in any session of contemplative prayer must always be... In time, you will get good at sensing/recognizing when you are flowing outward with a positive and generous energy and when you are sucking inward with a stingy, complaining energy (malware). One is love, the other is death. Stay at prayer for as long as it takes for you to move from negative energy to positive energy, from death to love; otherwise you have not prayed at all..,. Thoughts and energy have consequences.
I find his statement that we have not really prayed, if our energy has not shifted to the positive in the process of our prayer to be astounding! Perhaps as Paul said - nothing more than clashing symbols if not love.

I have long thought that prayer's purpose is to move us not God. Our job is to awaken to the ever-present Presence and get our lives in harmony with that incredible Divine Presence. We cannot move or inform Infinite Intelligence. We can clear away in ourselves that which is out of alignment with God and move into love, flowing generously outward.

His idea that the ugly in us is malware is such a good example in modern life. We know what malware is in our computers. We absolutely need to identify malware in our own personal operating systems. We need to observe dispassionately and release that pesky malware. It is not part of our original operating system - God said it is good, we are made in the image and likeness of God, as Paul said - we are temples of the Most High. We are called to live that Truth.

Presence of God, Presence of Love, Presence of Wisdom, lead me to You. Give me courage to face my own foibles and malware and to release them fully and completely. Lead me to You.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Tiny Disappointments

Life has many moments we experience as disappointments. It seems to me, this happens because we have expectations, but some other thing happens. In the end, we set ourselves up, but it can be difficult to own up to our part of the dramas in life.

I had several disappointments this week. First I was reading merrily along in Thomas Merton's book, that I've mentioned in the last couple of entries, enjoying words and ideas primarily about contemplation. Then I hit a brick wall of his very Catholic ideology. He told of how very important dogma and theology are, not understanding the chains they usually bring to hearts and minds. He spent a chapter telling us that we should give all of riches away. All I could see was my tour of the Vatican and the astounding riches there plus the historical knowledge of how it got there. They could feed the world if they sold half of the possessions stored there, not to mention riches they own or control all over the world. And on and on, until I closed the book and put it away. I am extremely allergic to hypocrisy. I'm not opposed to riches, just to those who have them and intend to keep them, and then tell me to give mine away so I can have enlightenment.

Secondly, we have received hundreds of promises from very important people over quite a long period of time that tomorrow all will be restored. But the proverbial tomorrow never comes.

This morning I saw a pattern that somehow needs to be broken. My mother had a habit of taking my things without warning, and I'd never see them again - my box of comic books, my violin, my car, etc. Not only disappointing, but many things from powerlessness to sorrow. Now some amorphous groups (not certain of all of the details) have taken my funds without warning. Unlike my mother, they issue promises of restoration and compensation, which so far are always tomorrow or next Monday. I see a similar pattern.

So my questions to myself are - What in me needs to be healed to break and end this pattern? What is the lesson I need to learn? What do I need to do in order to receive the restoration and compensation?  Do I need to take some further action, or trust and release?

Lord, I seek guidance. I seek Your way to address the small and large disappointments in life. Cleanse me of darkness so that my heart, mind and body may live in Your Light. Show me Your Way.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018


Thomas Merton in "New Seeds of Contemplation" has quite an assessment of current life. He said:
The constant din of empty words and machine noises, the endless booming of loudspeakers end by making true communication and true communion almost impossible. Each individual in the mass is insulated by thick layers of insensitivity. He doesn't care, he doesn't hear, he doesn't think. He does not act, he is pushed. He does not talk, he produces conventional sounds when stimulated by appropriate noises. He does not think, he secretes cliches.
Again I say "Wow"!  For the most part, I think there is sadly a great deal of truth in the above quote.

It surely describes the crazed talking heads on television; the wild demonstrators who demonstrate the exact behavior they purport to demonstrate against; the ruling class who make up ever more insane laws; the press who have forgotten facts and integrity; the declining churches who insist on ancient superstitions rather than scholarship and genuine spirituality; the television, films, "games," music and internet who glorify violence and perversions; the bizarre trend to shut up and demonize points of view not aligned with one's own... and I could go on.

Not to depress you do I write this. Rather I write that you may be reminded it is urgent to get out of the din and lead yourself and others to  quiet, thoughtful spirituality.

Seek, be still, journal, heal, love, shine your deep inner light.

Presence of Divine in me, ignite my very being to awaken to You. Lead me to You where my deep inner hunger can only be fed. Grant me courage to turn from frenzied illusions so that I may actually live a genuine life. Walk with me, guide me to true and holy writings and people, so that I may be the person You intended, a person in Your Image. Glorious One, I give thanks, for I know even in this moment a turning began. I place the ancient seal of faith upon these words and all levels of their meaning, Amen, Amen, Amen

Thursday, August 16, 2018

The God Moment

This week I'm reading a book I'm really surprised I've never read before. I'm thinking it might be "required"'reading for all on the spiritual path trying to walk The Way. It is Thomas Merton's 
              "New Seeds of Contemplation."
"Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul... So much depends on our idea of God! Yet no idea of Him, however pure and perfect, is adequate to express Him as He really is. Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him."

On and and on it goes with gems sparkling from a deep soul well.  It is quenching some of my spiritual thirst.

I have been considering the first statement in preparation for the forgiveness day I'm leading in September. I'm thinking about the intentional plantings, random plantings, and a whole sliding scale of moments planted from magnificent to horrendous.

Most of us have a great deal of weeding to do.

Then I am also thinking of the hubris of those of us who try to speak of God. There are no words sufficient to the task, yet we try.

We point in the direction, but that is not IT. We encourage quiet contemplation hoping the God Moment will touch our students, and then they will know That which cannot be spoken too. We encourage compassion, charity, ethical and moral behavior. They are not IT either, but the God Moment will only come to such people.

I wish for all to have at least one God Moment in this earthly journey - one moment that is the Experience, the KNOWING, the Touch, the personal Hand of God Showing, Being - the moment in which all is changed forever.

This I wish for you.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Bloody Theology

My basically yearly tradition is to re-read "Perennial Philosophy" by Aldous Huxley. Obviously, this is one of my favorite books.

This morning I read:
What we do depends in large measure upon what we think, and if what we do is evil, there is good empirical reason for supposing that our thought patterns are inadequate to material, mental or spiritual reality. Because Christians believed that there had been only one Avatar, Christian history has been disgraced by more and bloodier crusades, interdenominational wars, persecutions and proselytizing imperialism than has the history of Hinduism and Buddhism.
 This led me to think about the original name - The Way. People were to walk The Way Jesus walked, in fact called them to walk. He is quoted as saying such things as - It is not I, but the Father within doing these works... Greater things than this shall you do...The kingdom is within you... Our Father, etc. People were called to have the faith OF Jesus, not faith IN Jesus, except to have faith that he taught us how to walk our lives and get right with God (salvation's meaning). He was quoted giving the great teachings of incredible inspiration such as the Sermon on the Mount and amazing parables. Only in the book of John (written about 90-95 CE in Greek by a Greek speaking person who had of course never met Jesus or any people who had met him and had never been to Palestine) did the idea turn to worshiping Jesus.

The shift to make Jesus the one and only, unique, not like us, shifted into an us and them mentality that led to huge dissension and warring over the last 2,000 years.

Lately there has been some movement to understand the Cosmic Christ, the divine energy that is available to everyone to find The Ground of Being and walk life there. Maybe we can shift back to the knowing that this great man had great teaching, found the way to oneness and shared it. The Way is open to us all. Maybe we can turn to the great mystics that were led by Jesus' teaching to amazing depths of spiritual understanding - Meister Eckhart, Hildegard of Bingen, Jacob Boheme, etc. Maybe we can find The Way and walk it too - The Way of Oneness, The Way of awareness of the Presence in every moment, The Way that transforms us, The Way that could save the world.

God lead us to Your Way. Lead us to know You. Lead us to the unifying Cosmic Christ. Lead us to be in pure relationship with You. Awaken us. Transform us.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Lost Christianity, Forgiveness etc.

Jacob Needleman's book, "Lost Christianity" is fascinating me. He includes Father Sylvan's journal, which is amazing and challenging.

A line I read this morning is bouncing around in my head and heart - Forgiveness is the seeing that carries the holy force of reconciliation. 

It continues - God forgives; Christ forgives but actually the power of forgiveness lies with the Holy Spirit. I begin on a tiny scale, first with thought that seeks a freedom from the obvious egoistic reactions of like and dislike, a thought that is to some extent independent of desire. Thus I begin as a self-scientist. He goes on to his thesis that resonance is required. We must shift to resonance with Spirit for prayer, for the spiritual life we deeply desire.

I was struck by the idea of forgiveness as a kind of seeing that is not only my personal seeing, but seeing that comes with the holy force of reconciliation. To see as God sees, I think, is to see with compassion and understanding that is from Spirit not from ego. "Forgive them for they know not what they do," I think would be an example. This person we perceive we need to forgive (maybe myself) has wounded our ego only. This person is wounded or not aware or in internal turmoil. This person cries out to be seen, to be seen at the deepest level. We must align ourselves with the seeing of the Holy Spirit. We must do internal work to let go and to just be in resonance with Spirit. Be still and know that I am God.

So, we must be a self-scientist. What practices do we need to include in our daily lives? Meditation in some form is surely part of the answer. In the stillness, in the quiet, in the being with Spirit, in the dropping away of ego - a harmony, a resonance comes. maybe fleetingly at first, but eventually a more stable resonance rests upon us.