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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.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Clues From Jesus

The injunction that Jesus gave in regard to prayer is unquestionably the method that he found so effective and that he himself used. How many times we are told that he withdrew to the mountain for his quiet period, for communion with the Father, that the realisation of his oneness with God might be preserved intact. In this continual realisation—I and my Father are one—lay his unusual insight and power. And his distinct statement which he made in speaking of his own powers—as I am ye shall be—shows clearly the possibilities of human unfoldment and attainment, since he realised and lived and then revealed the way. --- Ralph Waldo Trine

Such a powerful understanding is shared in this quote. I have often thought such and written about it. Jesus left us clues of how we are to live, if we sincerely wish to follow The Way.

Here is a powerful nutshell. Go apart, be still, commune with God, remember God is always present, live that oneness, let possibilities unfold, give God the credit.

Do this and watch the amazing unfold in and through your life.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Spiritual Ignorance

It has been said by some that humanity's biggest problem is spiritual ignorance. I tend to agree.

It's not that the information has been withheld. It is not that there have been no enlightened ones who spoke from the depth of knowing. It's not that we lack at least a partial spiritual road map.

It is partially because the great understanding of some have not been recorded or have been recorded only in fragments or in distortions. Even so, if we seek in the pile of fragments and distortions, at least some of the spiritual truth can be found.

Humans seem to be easily distracted by shiny objects - as the dog in the movie "Up," who constantly changes focus as it shouts "squirrel." Material things are our Achilles heel, when we make them the primary focus of our lives. That leads to greed, hunger for power and a hefty ego.

I think that it is possible for us to be at least less ignorant, spiritually speaking. Please consider what this might mean in your life.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Art

There are so many ways of art. 

  • Our lives are an art that we develop during the journey. Hopefully, we become more gracious, radiant and joyful as we move along the path of this life. We artfully express the inner light, as we open more and more to the Divine.
  • The various physical manifestations of art are huge. The gardener creates a beautiful garden. The farmer creates beautiful fields with delicious foods. The builder creates useful and often stunningly beautiful buildings. The poet creates poems that touch us at many levels. The artist portrays his or her vision. etc etc etc.
  • Indeed, all of our creations are some sort of art, from the ugly to the beautiful, from the macabre to the divine, from the unremarkable to the magnificent.
Last night I was teaching about drawing on fabric. I found myself often saying that I saw the idea in the shower or while walking or..., and then I drew it. The often humorous drawings came to me, rather than than me creating them out of some sort of effort.

This led me to think about how life in general is like that, when we relax and are open to inspiration, ideas come wafting in, or maybe sometimes come in a gallop. But they come without effort. From where do they come? Maybe from various places - from our subconscious, from our superconscious, from the collective unconscious, from spirit guides or guardian angels, from our over soul, from God. It depends on a lot of things.

I can tell you, that the more we honor these gifts, the more they come. The more we spend quiet time, time with a tree or flower or something natural, the more they come. We are a lightening rod for ideas, if we accept rather than reject them.

So once again, I urge you to open to The More, thereby increasing the artfulness of your life. Lighten up with The Light.


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Inner Landscape

Just as our garden has layers of soil from the fertile top soil down, so does our consciousness. We know of our everyday consciousness, our dream consciousness, maybe our intuitive consciousness. We have many layers, however.

In a workshop somewhere, you may have experienced a guided meditation and discovered new awareness. You may have learned to meditate, and therefore know of levels of awareness and stillness not available in a busy life,

I think that those inner, deeper, more aware parts of ourselves need to be visited often, accessed, engaged and invited into our lives. Then, even in the busy day of a "modern" person, a deeper guidance can come to us. 

So to speak, we can garden our own inner landscape. Take a moment and imagine going deeply into yourself. Relax, let your breathing be even and slow. Bring with you a scripture verse, or a question, or just be still and calm and at peace. 

If you feel the need of a practical understanding of a current decision, you can visualize the choice before you in life and the path each choice would create. Say you are thinking of moving. In your relaxed state of mind visualize your life as it might be in choice A, then in choice B.

The point really is to cultivate an active relationship with the more of you. You are a carrier of Divine Light, and therefore have much more to you than you have so far experienced, no matter how enlightened you may be. Infinite is Infinite,

Relax and cultivate your inner landscape. Pull up weeds and fears and false thoughts. Tenderly care for your Divine Light. You will find yourself open to your soul in a deeper way, and richness of your inner landscape will flower and shine.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Aha

Friday, yesterday, in my prayer time to heal those whose real self is camouflaged by the darkness of violence and hatred, some flashes of insight came to me.

I heard the well loved words of Jesus as he asked us to let our light shine and not to hide it. Flash - verification of my premise for this particular call to prayer that I have initiated. The light is already within everyone. We don't have to acquire it, buy it, cajol it from some guru, or find it under a rock or in a book. We have to LET the light shine. 

I've known that for a very long time, but I'd not been struck so resoundingly by the implications of this set of Jesus' teachings. He told us that close to 2,000 years ago. He knew that at the center of us all is God's Light. Made in the image and likeness of God, we are seeded with Divine Light. We were made to live gloriously.

Now I feel invigorated to pray to set free those who don't know they carry such magnificence inside. You, me, everyone, every single being carries The Light and can LET IT SHINE, ALLOW IT.

Let us see together the blanket of darkness lift and vanish so the reality of each being can shine so brightly that the world is transformed, set free, free to be light and love and peace and creativity and joy and celebration and more....

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Where Am I?

If we were to decide to explore ourselves, where do we find who it is that we say and think we are?

I can say to you, "I am Marlene." Where in myself do I find this identity? The lips that say the name are made of atoms, as is the entire body. They are not Marlene. The Atomic Energy Commission has shown that in just one year 98% of our atoms are replaced. Atoms circulate constantly. If you sit in a crowded room for an hour or so, you leave with some atoms that originally came in with each of the others, and they all leave with some atoms that originally came in with you,

We obviously cannot find ourselves in our flowing river of physicality.

We cannot be our egos or our personalities. They are formed in the context of culture and home. They change, sometimes dramatically, over the course of a lifetime. The twelve year old ego and personality that I call "Marlene" is almost another species from the ego and personality of this moment in time.

Our souls bridge the divide of this world and eternity, of earth and of a multitude of dimensions, Few people have been aware of their souls, and fewer still have been fully aware of their souls. We can increase our awareness of this true and eternal self, the one we have always been and shall always be.

There are many techniques to assist in disengaging a bit from the limited being we seem to think we are and to enter, at least with some degree of awareness, at a soul level.

It does not involve religion. Religion is made by people, mostly men, with various agendas, a wide array of understandings, mostly in error. As I stated a few days ago, in Christianity for example, most people are taught to believe in Jesus and not to believe Jesus. The shift to believing him is a positive step in the soul direction. He is one of the very few who were awake at the soul level. If we believe what we know of what he said, and then begin to implement those things in our lives, we would take a giant step into soul territory,

The entertainment of the outer world keeps Truth under a veil of camouflage. You might notice that Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tse and others went apart, into nature, into wilderness somewhat regularly. We can walk on grass, sit under a tree, spend time in a garden, or actually go out into a longer time in nature. We can disengage from our electronic devices for an hour, then a day, then longer. We can be still - Be still and know that I am God. We can meditate. We can listen to our breath, to the sounds of nature, to the silence. We can notice the guidance that comes to us. but is shut out with the noise of usual life. We can come to know the Spark of God that is already within us. We can remember our eternal journey. We can allow our soul to breath, even here while occupying this spacesuit of atoms.

Remember who you are.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

It Depends On the Perspective

 This morning I came across this quote from Seth via Jane Roberts.

It is quite true that your physical senses create the reality that they perceive. A tree is something far different to a microbe, a bird, an insect, and a man who stands beneath it.

These words intrigue me.

I have often thought of how our state of consciousness leads us to interpret everything. This morning I began to think about the millions or zillions of worlds currently going on here, on and in this world. 

Each object, each moment are perceived and experienced differently by every living thing, based not only in individual consciousness, but also by species and by the range and kinds of senses available to each species and to the range of senses sometimes diminished within the species. So a blind or deaf person's perceptions and experiences are different than a seeing or hearing person's. A person living deep in a jungle, unaware of modern civilization, perceives and experiences things differently than a person rushing through Central Park.

A mole living beneath the earth perceives and experiences life differently than the soaring eagle. A gnat has a far different life than a squirrel. Etc etc etc.

Back to the tree in the quote above. Each and every living thing that comes by the tree perceives and experiences it in their own unique way, and perhaps differently on different days. What is the tree? Shade? Home? Obstacle? Refuge? Lumber?

Which leads me to say that reality is relative. And yet, historically we humans have fought large and small wars over our particular versions of reality. Maybe we should employ empathy and endeavor to understand other perceptions than our own. 

Think on these things.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Maps

This morning I was thinking of maps and our lives. We have physical, mental, moral, and spiritual maps ingrained in us. They can be quite challenging to change once they become automatic, habitual and how we show up in life.

Our physical maps help us find our way to the store and to a friend's house and school and church. They are practical, We know how to navigate our part of the world.

Our mental maps can be practical too. Mathematics are very practical, as are the alphabets we use and grammar rules taught to us in school. They can be a problem if we learn inaccurate mental maps and cling to them.

Moral maps are somewhat or very different in different times and places. They can create some huge clashes in our lives. Right now we are seeing clashes between the Taliban's version of morality and that of the Westerrn world. They have a vastly different set of moral maps from when and how violence is sanctioned to how women are treated.

Spiritual maps mostly come from the religion of our families, which also means from the area of the world into which we are born. Occasionally a person changes their religion from that of their family and part of the world they call home, but this is not the usual experience, If I had been born in India, for example, it is highly likely I would be Hindu.

It is helpful to be aware of our own internal maps and maybe update them to a more compassionate life plan. Observe yourself as you navigate your days and take note of what you learn about yourself and your maps. It can be quite surprising.

Ask yourself things such as: what is my automatic reaction to people who are different from me; do I judge critically those with different maps; am I willing to open to more empathy and understanding, etc????

We are called to love, which means we likely need to make some inner adjustment. Being self- aware is essential to updating our maps.

Lord, center of my soul, center of all souls, guide me to develop self-awareness. Lead me to live as walking, talking love. I hear Your call to be more. Here I am, Lord, lead me.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Listen, Do You Hear...?

Once again, the words of Ralph Waldo Trine jump off the page to pierce my veil and open me to More.

It was the truth, the truth of this inner kingdom that would make men free that he came to reveal. "The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." "My Father worketh hitherto and I work.... For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.... I can of mine own self do nothing." As he followed the conditions whereby this higher illumination can come, so must we.

So must we.

So often, in what accounts we have about Jesus from the last quarter of the first century and beginning of the second century, we are told about the inner God, about realizing without God we can do nothing of consequence. Jesus speaks to us across the long centuries to tell us he cannot do anything without God and even challenges us, Greater things than this shall you do. 

What are his conditions? 

  • Opening and keeping open the inner awareness of God, 
  • Taking time apart to be quiet and listen, prayer and meditation necessary
  • Making God the priority and materiality of lesser import, 
  • Watching oneself and correcting our course as needed perhaps using his yard sticks such as assessing the probable result (fruit) of our direction
  • Love, unconditional agape love
  • Forgiveness and a generous heart
  • Being open and teachable as a child
These are some of the things he shared that will help us walk The Way of God, the path of joy and freedom, the path of knowing who we really are, the path illuminated by God. If this is what we desire, then this is the way.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Believe In or Believe

Ralph Waldo Trine's words really spoke to me this morning:

We have been taught to believe in Jesus; we have not been taught to believe Jesus. This has resulted in a separation of Christianity from life. The predominating motive has been the saving of the soul. It has resulted too often in a selfish, negative, repressive, ineffective religion.

It seems to me that this might be the crux of the decline in churches and church attendance. I know how irritating it is to me when someone wants to "save" me. How superior they sound. How unloving they appear. How shallow they are in their relationship with God, and at the same time thinking they know what is in my soul. They spout some distorted theology that apparently they have never taken to the court of reason and logic. Well I could go on and on, but I imagine you understand what I'm saying here.

On the other hand, I have been an advocate of believing Jesus for a very long time, as long as I can remember. As you know, his first followers called his teaching "The Way." That is, do your best to believe what he said and live it, be it, shine it, walk it. This is the way to whole and true relationship with God and humans and all life. This is the way humans are meant to live --- loving, forgiving, praising, being generous in thought, word and deed.

I urge you to re-look at the Gospels from the mind that says - if I actually believe Jesus, how would I choose to live my life? 


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Who and What Are We To Be?

"A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another." No man could be, can be his disciple, his follower, and fail in the realisation of this teaching. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another." And going back again to his ministry we find that it breathes through every teaching that he gave... So a man who is gripped at all vitally by Jesus' teaching of the personal fatherhood of God, and the personal brotherhood of man, simply can't help but make this the basic rule of his life—and moreover find joy in so making it. A man who really comprehends this fundamental teaching can't be crafty, sneaking, dishonest, or dishonourable, in his business, or in any phase of his personal life... He is thoughtful, considerate, open, frank; and, moreover, he finds great joy in being so. --- Ralph Waldo Trine

Yes, this is our calling. Being gripped by the teachings of Jesus, we are made new.

This week, as we begin our prayer for those under the weight of violence and hatred, let us love them so much that they are set free from the horrible burden under which they live. Let the call of Jesus to love and honor one another penetrate their darkness and lift them to the Love and Light of God.

Yes, I know it is not likely, but it is possible. Yes, I know I am an idealist, but it is more hopeful and healthy than being a pessimist. Let us strive for the highest and best nevertheless. Let us heed and live and exude the teachings of Jesus and see if the unlikely just might be possible.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

How We See It

It was Jeremy Bentham who said: "In order to love mankind, we must not expect too much of them." And Goethe had a still deeper vision when he said: "Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though it were his own."

I think we could say these are opposite views of humankind. I have come to know that our viewpoint skews all. The person of positive faith makes it through difficulty with their faith strengthened, while a negative viewpoint makes even the tiniest challenges a horrid time.

This morning I am thinking of this from the vantage of my life journey and from the overall view of humanity and our collective challenges. 

Personally, I think I have journeyed through an amazing gauntlet during the course of my life so far. There have an incredible amount of twists and turns, switch backs, mountain peeks and deep valleys, surprises, shocks, tears and laughter. It has made me stronger and more aware of God in my life, God at all times everywhere.

This leads me to the prayer time I ask you to enter each Friday at noon your time. We pray for darkness that blankets those acting with violence and hatred to be lifted. Looking at life through the viewpoint of no God, of no hope, of fear, people thrash around and make a mess of life. 

I propose that the good people of earth join in prayer to heal the hearts of those overwhelmed by darkness, so much that they have lost their way. With compassion in our hearts and a vision of what could be for these lost souls, let us pray together in one voice for the darkness to be lifted and for violence and hatred to be gone from their lives, and for every smidgen of it to be gone from our own hearts as well.

With God as our companion, our faith is strong and courage calls us forward to walk as Christ walked, to love fearlessly and pray without ceasing. 

God of us all, guide us to live and be as you would have us live and be. Lift all darkness from every corner of our hearts and minds. For those who are acting from the darkness of violence and hatred, hold them close, and help them release their false understandings so that they see and come to know Your Love and Light. Flood us with Your Wisdom and lead us to live together as one human family, seeing and seeking the highest and the best for one and all. I know all is possible with You. I release this prayer to You. May Your will be done. Amen, Amen and Amen

Friday, July 23, 2021

A Wise Thought from Goethe

It was Goethe who said: Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute: What you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Only engage, and then the mind grows heated. Begin, and then the work will be completed.

Let us take this thought to heart and  dare to dream big. I dream of world peace where we can all love one another. I dream of the shadow of darkness, hate and violence lifted and gone forever. I dream of plenty for everyone.

Dream big with me and see what happens. Open the inner door to the Divine and feel the flow of strength and ideas. Today can be such a day. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Another Thought from Nona

Spiritual philosophy teaches eternal progression; there is no final revelation. The Spirit of truth is our guide. ---Nona Brooks

The idea of life being a journey rather than a destination has been taught by many spiritual teachers in many religions.  For me, one of the ways I understand that is, that since God is Infinite, I cannot possibly contain Infinite or fully understand Infinite. Infinite has no edges, no boundaries, no borders. It is this, and more and more and more, ad infinitum. So, I should relax into the journey, celebrating each moment on the path of life. I should endeavor to be here now in this unique moment to fully live and embrace the gift that is here in this fleeting now.

Perhaps a more difficult practice is to let the Spirit of truth be our guide. Discerning Truth is an advanced spiritual practice. Egos get in the way and spin things this way or that. Outside events, other people, the news can grip us, confuse us and lead us astray. Personally, I have sought the Spiritual truth all of my life and have faced many blind alleys calling me astray. 

What is the Truth? How can we be guided by it, if we don't know it? There are touchstones I use to seek out Spiritual Truth. I like Jesus' yardsticks, such as --- By their fruits you shall know them; Love God with all your being and love your neighbor as yourself...

If I do this or that or believe this or that, where does it lead me? What is the fruit, the result, of this? A sincere seeker can usually figure that out. Then do I want this fruit? Does this support loving God and myself and others?

Sometimes we are led to hard choices. These show us how firmly we are on the path, striving to live with Spiritual Truth as our guide.

Oh Divine Presence, lead us in Your Ways. Teach us to know Your Truth and live as shining lights, feet firmly on Your Path. May it be so.




Monday, July 19, 2021

Listening to Sages

One of the sages that has touched me deeply is Nona Brooks. This morning I was pondering these words from her book, "Mysteries."

We live, move and have our being in God-life. By divine power, we are alive now.

At first it seems a simple statement, yet on further consideration, it has layers of meaning that can open us to more. Let's dive a bit together.

Being in God-life, we can never actually be separated from God. Maybe we can ignore God, but wherever we are, whatever we are doing, we exist in the Divine. Just as we can ignore the air, it is nevertheless present with us. In meditation we often are asked to be aware of our breath first, and then the Divine. Right now we can stop and consciously inhale air and also inhale the Divine. We can become aware. Try it.

We are alive, but how? How did we come to exist? We don't have the power to give ourselves life, to continually, day after day, hour after hour give ourselves life. We can do things that support our lives such as eat properly, but we cannot make this life continue. 

There is something almost magical about being alive. Nona Brooks says it is by divine power that we live. That makes our life, all life, sacred. We can ponder what this means to us, how we might behave differently, how we treat ourselves and others once we realize the sacredness of life.

You are a sacred person, endowed by God with talents and purpose, and the gift of life so that you can express them. I urge us all to live out our talents and purpose, knowing full well  who we really are. 

Go in peace dear brothers and sisters.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

A Call To the Good People of Earth to Take Prayer Action

 A Call To the Good People of Earth

There is so much talk and dismay everywhere we turn about the rising violence and division and strife. People want to do something, but it seems unknown as to what to do. The vast majority of people are good people. A tiny fraction of people are violent and divisive. Thinking on these things, I had the following idea strike me a few days ago:

This morning I had a powerful directive from the Holy Spirit to initiate a nationwide, or maybe global, call to prayer. Come to our church or go to any place of worship and pray for the forces of good to cleanse us from the darkness seeping in so many corners of life on earth, to cleanse the hearts of those perpetrating the violence. At noon in each time zone, let us lift our voices, our entire beings, our faith in fervent prayer. Let us not accept the rising violence, the resurrected racism, the strife we see rising. Let us not fear this dark tide and shrink from our task. Let us stand up to all this and speak our prayers with strength. Let us put on the full armor of God together.

We are starting a noon prayer every Friday in our sanctuary similar to the samples below. You are invited to be present and to invite friends, as well as let others you know in other churches and towns and invite them to participate, and you are invited, of course, to pray wherever you find yourself at noon. Prayer is powerful. We are not at the mercy of the tiny fraction, we stand together with God, with Love, with Oneness. Let us create a wave of prayer across this globe that will lift the darkness and set free those imprisoned by it. In the old English, hell meant walled off. People acting out negatively are walled off from God, unable to express their divine potential. Even though they are few in number, they create mayhem and fear. Let us pray for God to touch their hearts.

Join us in inviting every church, synagogue, mosque, temple, every good person on earth to pray at noon in their time zone. Help get the word out.

Sample Prayers

Almighty God, Creator of the heavens and the earth, we know You are always with us. We stand in this knowing and lift our beloved nation and world up to You. In Your Name, we command the forces of darkness to be gone, vanquished, disempowered, lifted from us. We call forth Your Powers of Love, of Wisdom, of Light to fill us all and lead us forward. Lead us to fully love one another as You Love us. Lead us to cherish and accept one another, to cherish all of Your Creation. Let Love reign and strife be gone. Let hatreds drain away. Let violence fall from us. Let our eyes be open and our hearts attuned to You. We claim Peace here and now. We seal this prayer with the ancient seal of faith and integrity, Amen, Amen and Amen

 

Oh, Holy Presence, in sorrow I come to You. I weep inside for those tortured souls who have gone down the paths of darkness and have convinced themselves that ugliness and violence are right and proper. I lift them to You, and I ask that Your Lovingness enfold them and lead them to drop the pain of hate and open to the joys of kindness and love. Wherever these pained souls are on this planet, I know You are there. Touch them, Heal them. Restore them to the beings You created, to Your very image. I am filled with thanksgiving for I know what is possible with You, what is possible for them, what a future we might all have together as Your children. Let it be so. Amen, Amen and Amen

May God bless us all,

Rev. Dr. Marlene Oaks

Temecula, CA 

 


 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Let The Violence and Division End

 

I am concerned about the rise of violence and division emerging all over. Everywhere I go I hear the same concerns. There seems to be a depression calling from the soul, but what can I do about it? I am only one person. Holy Spirit asked me to get all the good people of earth praying together.  So, I am asking all the good people to join me in prayer. Let the prayers ring around the world. I will share more soon. Join me in this prayer:

Oh, Holy Presence, in sorrow I come to You.

I weep inside for those tortured souls who have gone down the paths of darkness and have convinced themselves that ugliness and violence are right and proper.
I lift them to You, and I ask that Your Lovingness enfold them and lead them to drop the pain of hate and open to the joys of kindness and love. Wherever these pained souls are on this planet, I know You are there. Touch them, Heal them. Restore them to the beings You created, to Your very image.
I am filled with thanksgiving for I know what is possible with You, what is possible for them, what a future we might all have together as Your children.
Let it be so.
Amen. Amen and Amen

Monday, July 5, 2021

Contact

Hello Friends,

I frequently receive an email from some of you that only says "regards." I am not sure what to do about that. I am researching.

I am grateful you read my blog and reach out to me. 

God bless you all,

Love, Light and Blessings,

Marlene

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Pain and Redemption, Restoration

This week has been a week of pain and redemption or restoration lessons.

Physically, I had a tongue biopsy. He took a piece about the size of a nickel; my tongue swelled up like I had a big marble at the spot; and pain, oh my pain! I took his super strong pills the first day, but I switched to ibuprofen the second day. I strongly dislike the mental fog from opiate pills!!! I put numbing goo on the spot several times a day, still today, and the biopsy was Tuesday. But my tongue is forgiving. It is healing. It is redeeming itself with the magical inherent nature of healing. And, all is well, no actual disease, just Covid tongue, one more reaction from the shot, and it will go away on its own just as my red arm went away eventually.

I think of the typical cuts, bruises, scrapes, burns, surgeries etc that happen in the course of our earthly lives. Our bodies waved an internal magic wand and voila, gone. It seems like God knew this earth and our bodies might make a real mess if there were no restoration. Imagine if you could see all of those things at once, if they never went away.  We'd be quite a mess with all cuts, bruises, etc never healed and present for all to see. I am thankful, oh so thankful my body can heal.

Then there are emotional cuts and bruises, maybe a bit harder to heal. We had that this week. We were shown the power of friendship and love as a friend stepped up in a big way as a dire situation hit us. As it turned out, help came from another place that should have prevented the situation in the first place. Our peace and safety were restored.

In the course of life, we have the opportunity to learn and grow and deepen, or to become bitter and take on the cape of victimhood. We are called to have courage and faith, to flex our spiritual muscles, to overcome. This is our time to be all we can become. We are to redeem the challenges by overcoming them, by refusing to be a victim. 

Let us be overcomers, lovers, faith-filled, magnificent beings created in the image and likeness of the Divine. Let's just see how spiritually awake we can be.


Monday, June 28, 2021

In Tune With the Infinite

Ralph Waldo Trine (1866-1958) wrote In Tune With the Infinite, among other things. He influenced Henry Ford, Napoleon Hill and many others. He is often thought of as the grandfather of self-help and positive thinking books. Below are some quotes for us to consider from his above named book:

The great central fact in human life, in your life and mine, is the coming into a conscious, vital realization of our oneness with this Infinite Life, and the opening of ourselves fully to this divine inflow...

For in the degree that we come into this realization and connect ourselves with this Infinite Source, do we make it possible for the higher powers to play, to work, to manifest through us. We keep closed to this divine inflow, to these higher forces and powers, through ignorance, as most of us do, and thus hinder or even prevent their manifesting through us. Or we can intentionally close ourselves to their operations and thus deprive ourselves of the powers to which, by the very nature of our being, we are rightful heirs. On the other hand, we can come into so vital a realization of the oneness of our real selves with this Infinite Life...

It seems to me that the quest to awaken to living at this level of oneness is not the central concern of most of us. Some go to church or retreats or meetings for other reasons - for social needs, to hedge our bets just in case there really is a God, to learn the rules for religion made up by others, etc. Some are busy in the static of social media, wanting to be entertained, seeking empty endeavors and hollow activities, all substitutes for genuine life.

Yet I see a deep hunger in the eyes of people. There is more to life, but they don't know exactly what or how to find it. They don't know where to turn. They haven't learned to turn within to the inner kingdom and deeply connect with The Infinite.

I suggest, if you feel this hunger, find someone to teach you Centering Prayer or some form of meditation and practice it regularly. Walk in nature and open to attune yourself to the vibration there, to feel the tree, the flower, the rays of sunlight. Be willing to awaken to the Infinite. You will be "fed."

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Maniachal

What an interesting word, maniacal. In my life I have had the experience of having someone close to me who had multiple manic breaks, including weeks in a lock up ward. His experience was nothing like anyone else's. During the breaks, his reality was bizarre to those of us looking on and struggling to understand. Bless his tortured soul, he has moved on to the next life where he has found peace I'm sure.

As I look at the current meltdown in our world, it feels to me that much of it seems like a manic break. The values of my lifetime are under siege. It seems like I'm Alice down the rabbit hole in so many ways.

Yet, it also seems like it is a small percent of people who are promoting the destruction of our way of life. It turns out the majority want law and order, our Constitution, our freedoms. Historically, small groups have turned the world upside down. Think the initially small group of Nazis or the small group of Bolsheviks, for example. We need to be informed and aware lest we see history repeat itself.

And we need to stand with our faith. Faith can inform and lead us back on track. Go to church or synagogue or mosque or Buddhist temple or whatever spiritual place calls your soul.

Lord, lead us in Your Ways. Fill us with wisdom and courage. Awaken your people. Save our freedoms.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Me and My Shadow

 In my regular email from Richard Rohr this line grabbed me today:

Usually everybody else can see our shadow, so it is crucial that we learn what everybody else knows about usexcept us!

I've often said that we cannot hide our consciousness, but somehow this way of putting it strikes right at the heart of it. And he's right that we can hide it from ourselves, even though the world can see it.

Our shadow is the dark side in us, the inner dialogue of judgemental thoughts and angry or fearful or hateful feelings everything we don't want the world, let alone God, to know. We need a good inner bath of light and love. It is, of course, ego driven - the part of us that thinks itself superior and so judge and jury of all.

If we are sincere about our spiritual life, we simply must face our own shadows. The great news is that God is merciful and forgiving and calls us to be likewise. We are called to forgive ourselves and others and to cherish ourselves and others. We are not called to be perfect, but to be honest and sincere and loving, always striving for an ever more full connection to all things divine. We are to walk the path of awakening and get back on quickly if we should stumble and step off.

There are no spiritual teachings, of which I am aware, that call us to be angry or mean or judgemental and fill up our egos. Yet so many people act as if that is the natural way to be.

Let us look honestly at ourselves and repair the broken pieces and get ourselves firmly and sincerely on The Path. 

Walk with the Light. Be Love. Gently walk out of the shadow of the false self and be free. All is well with your soul.


Friday, June 18, 2021

Post-Retreat

Yesterday my handouts and experiences centered around the spiritual second birth. As always, I learned from my own retreat. I was filled with joy and remembered again how much I love leading retreats and sharing what I've come to know.

I felt new doors opening in me as I turn to the last chapter of this earthly life. I have more to do, and I am being led. I am excited about where God is leading me next.

I've often said that, if people are in my presence, it is with purpose, and I am to spiritually share with them. So, one of the interesting things yesterday was a woman came who came to our church for the first time Sunday. So while I spoke of the idea of emptiness making anything useful (doors make the room useful, cups have to be empty to receive liquid, etc.), this woman came full, sure she knew everything there was to know about God, Jesus and the Bible. She smugly told me she didn't agree with anything I said and would not be back. Okay, but she did stay for the whole day. So I'm thinking seeds got planted in her soul that will germinate and lead her to a more expansive spiritual life when she is ready, or maybe before she is ready as a spiritual surprise.

What I know is the realm of Spirit, of God, is always calling us. Second birth, or maybe third or fourth or twelfth birth, is there waiting for us to answer the call.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Pre-Retreat

I'm leading a mini-retreat Thursday for the women at church, it's only 10-1:30. As I meditate and pray and  develop the experiences we shall share, I'm experiencing it all ahead of time. I realize that I am having a pre-retreat.

My goal is to lead people to experience The Presence in multiple ways. I hope a major opening happens. I hope for inner moments that transform.

Lord, guide and lead me to present a deeply meaningful day. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Being Helpful

 According to Swedenborg:

Faith apart from good works is just this kind of airy nothing or image, and so are faith and goodwill apart from their practice...

Helpful acts are the good that love does, deriving their essence from the union of what is good and what is true.

It seems to me that my faith almost compels me to act in accordance to its nature. What I hold dear and true directs how I show up in life. Since I strive to live attuned to The Presence and to walk The Way, my actions need to be in harmony with the spiritual realm. When they are not, I see quickly that I have stepped off the path, and adjust myself to what I know to be spiritually so. I seem to live in this dance of on and off the path, with on being more prevalent as I mature.

So, we must evaluate our good deeds. Are they done in love? Are they in tune with God? Do they come from actual goodness? Or are they from ego, from self-glory, a manipulation, or some such darker and less pure place?

It is good to examine ourselves and continue to refine our lives to bring them more and more into spiritual harmony.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

A New Thought About Our Bodies

This morning, in that in between time of sleep and wakefulness, I had some musings about my body. 

I saw my body something like a small child or even a pet dog. The "I" that is living in this body has to take care of its body, or it will not be able to stay vital and useful. "I" have to bathe, brush and comb, feed, protect, and be in charge of the body. The body is a vehicle for my soul to be able to be here and learn and grow and contribute. In a similar way to taking care of my car so it can transport my body. I must take care of my body to transport my soul.

Some people do not take very good care of their bodies. They do destructive things like eating way too much so they carry huge amounts of fat wherever they go, or they feed it drugs to numb it, or do all number of things that are opposite of tenderly taking care of the vehicle of their soul.

There are also those who harm the bodies of other people. I wonder if we could clearly see what the body is, if violence against self or others would cease???

It seems to me, it would be wise to care for our bodies so that our souls can get the full experience of human life on earth and learn what our lessons are here in this life. Maybe we could see the sacred job our bodies have as the vehicles of our souls, of everyone's souls. 

Bless the amazing human body, bless our particular human bodies, bless all bodies. Thank You God for this awareness. Help me be a better steward of the body You gave me.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Goodwill Might Not Always Be Good

I'm reading a Swedenborg book this morning, "Regeneration." The section where I am is about who is our neighbor. It is very interesting.

He says our closest and highest neighbor is the Lord. To me, thinking of the Lord as my neighbor is a new way to look at our relationship. He is in me, along side of me and my constant companion, yes I've known that. The neighbor, the most wonderful neighbor, puts a new spin on my thinking. I will contemplate that.

He basically says my neighbors are those in my life, my church my country - at least all who are of goodwill. All of goodwill deserve my love and support, but not those of ill will, not the self-serving, the greedy, the evil behaving people. It is not good to support the darkness. Refrain from supporting those who engage in harm.

He makes sense, in that whatever we support grows stronger. At first it seems in conflict with Jesus's idea of loving our enemies and praying for those who spitefully use you. But on further thought it is not in conflict. It is loving to support the highest and best in ourselves and others. And, conversely, it is not loving to support the lowest and ugliest in ourselves and others. It is, however, to my mind, that being a neighbor of goodwill to those who are in darkness includes praying for them and also not encouraging their darkness.

Looking at all of this from Swedenborg's point, my charity and goodwill are to be focused on those of goodwill. They aren't to be focused on those of ill will, as that encourages more ill will. Here are some of his words:

 Goodwill, then, is an inner motivation that makes us want to do what is good and to do this without reward. Doing this is the joy of our life...

If people have love for themselves and the world as their goal, there is no way they can be focused on goodwill. They do not even know what goodwill is; and they completely fail to grasp the fact that intending and doing good for their neighbor without looking for payment is a heaven inside them—that inherent in this impulse there is just as much happiness as heaven’s angels have: more than words can convey.

  --- Swedenborg

Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day/Decoration Day

In The United  States of America, today is our annual honoring of those who have died in service to our country. Let me rephrase that. We honor military deaths in service to our country in warfare. Not included are other categories of people who have died in service, such as medical people or police or fire persons  or construction workers or anyone saving lives or building bridges or doing various heroic things. I add them in my heart and am also thankful for their service.

Our military is important, necessary and vital to protect us from those who would do us harm. We are grateful for their service. We are also grateful for all those in other categories who have died in service.

As always there is another way to look at it. Consider this with me: It is only because of our unhealed consciousness that we need the military. If we actually realized and lived spiritual Truth, we would honor one another as sacred. We would no longer attack one another. We would lift each other up. 

We would celebrate both our differences and our Oneness. Just as my eye is different from my toe, yet part of me, there are varieties of people who are all part of humanity.

Consider how life on earth could be, the potential right in front of us, if we healed ourselves. No greed, no power struggles, no egos leading the way anymore. It may seem far-fetched, unlikely even, but in my heart I know it to be possible.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Sanskrit and Jesus

I was thinking this morning about Jesus living only 4 kilometers from the capital of Galilee and all of the exciting travelers passing through there + his dad being a builder would have gone there for work + he would have been exposed to all kinds of thought. I remember the first time I read the Bhagavad  Gita. It seemed to me that Jesus had quoted some of it, or at least some of the ideas in it.

Then I was reading a bit about the Sanskrit word yesterday - satchitananda. Briefly in a simplified overview, Sat is the all pervading Reality. Chit is the knowing, the perceiving. Ananda is the blissful. All lead to being consciously united in God/Brahman.

I suddenly saw all kinds of examples of satchitananda in the New Testament. Flashing in my consciousness were a flood of thoughts - Our Father who art in heaven - the kingdom of heaven is within (Sat) - eyes to see and ears to hear (Chit) - love one another, forgive (Ananda) - all leading to oneness. Many more came to mind in a flash of understanding.

The idea is pointing to the experience of God, of Oneness. How can I explain to you the taste and smell of a certain food you have not seen, smelled or tasted? I can tell you God is here, and you can acknowledge it might be so, but you have to have the knowing, the experience, to truly understand, and that leads to a special inner peace or bliss. Then you can personally experience the glorious knowing in every fiber of your being that God is here, you are a living part of God, all is part of God, all is sacred.

I wish this for you. So it is, Amen.

Monday, May 17, 2021

To Give Up Is Not An Option

Sometimes, I must confess, I feel like giving up on humans. What an unruly bunch we are. Tinged with insanity, malevolence, greed, ego and such, we like lemmings jump off cliffs of common destruction. Voices of compassion and reason are shouted down or attacked with a vengeance. There seems to be some sort of perverted attraction to the refusal to learn from history, and even to distort it or rewrite it.

There are sweet pockets throughout history and now - sweet pockets of those living out a higher vision of love and generosity and peace, a recognition of a Higher Power and of respect and responsibility to It. So I must not give up.

I pray daily for guidance and inspiration as to how we can shift the consciousness of many away from the destruction we seem as a species to seek out, over and over and over again. How do we get people to sincerely seek out a higher path?

Divine Presence, Breath of my breath, open my eyes and mind and heart to You. Guide me, guide humanity, to You, away from destruction, away from dark paths, into Your Light and Love. Awaken us to the call to do and be more, more loving, more attuned to "our higher angels," more stewards of this sacred gift of life on earth. Oh dear Presence, I am thankful, as I realize You hear my prayer, hear the longing in my heart, hear the groaning of humanity. I listen.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

From Time to Time Humanity Goes Nuts

Just look at our collective history, and you will see rising and falling of times of apparent insanity speckled periodically with glorious clarity. This is seen in religion, government, families - well everywhere we find people.

Sometimes the insanity is extreme - in my lifetime I've seen Nazis, communists, McCarthyism, prejudice and all manner of hatred. I've also seen pockets of light, of good people standing up, making a difference, modeling moral behavior and refusing to turn to the dark side.

Right now there is a rise in a peculiar kind of nuttyness. It's hysterical, and it's anti-science, pro-pseudo science, anti-spirituality, loosely allied with fact and untethered from truth. People telling the truth are called names and attacked, fired from jobs, suspended from school, ridiculed and spurned.

In these dangerous times, it seems to me, we need to decide where we stand. Will pressure lead us to succumb to the nuttiness in the air? Or will we refuse to turn to the dark side? It is a vitally important decision. Will these times be a dip into darkness, or will this be a time of inspiration, courage and hope? How will our descendants see us - nutty or shining lights? What kind of civilization shall we stand for?


Sunday, May 9, 2021

Mind/Spirit - Body

This morning the thought popped into my mind - I wonder how loosely our Mind/Spirit is tethered to our body???

In sleep, some part of us goes to fantastical places while our bodies stay put at the place we left them when we entered the realm of sleep. In meditation, prayer, hypnosis, concentration, musing and such, we go somewhere without our bodies. Engrossed in a book or film, we can be so enthralled that we are mostly unaware of our bodies.

Pain, of course, brings us back into our body awareness, but with some practices, we can also go away from pain.

Near death experiences tell us of a soul's journey going to another dimension, leaving our bodies here on earth. Intuitive flashes lead us to know something beyond where we stand.

It occurred to me, that a great deal of our earthly life involves Mind/Spirit adventures that are only loosely tied to our bodies. We need bodies to reside on earth, but we seem to be able to spend quite a lot of time oblivious to them.

Working from our Mind/Spirit, it has long been suggested, and mainly proven, that we can improve the life experienced by our earthly selves. Positivity brings something far different to us than negativity. Love radiating from a soul level magnetizes us to a different level of life experience than daggers of judgemental anger.

The challenge seems to be to integrate what we know from our forays away from our bodies with our earthly life experience. If we could realize how fantastic it all is and cherish the full spectrum of our lives, our day to day existence would be lifted beyond to actually awaken to KNOW the Spark of the Divine lives here in each of us.

I salute the Divine in you.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Balzac and Today

This morning I found some challenging ideas in Balzac, the brilliant thinker from France who lived 1799-1850. He divided people into three basic groups.

The creature with simple consciousness only is a straw floating on a tide, it moves freely with every influence. The self-conscious man is a needle pivoted by its centre—fixed in one point but revolving freely on that. The man with Cosmic Consciousness is the same needle magnetized. It is still fixed by its centre, but besides that it points steadily to the north—it has found something real and permanent outside of itself toward which it cannot but steadily look.

The goal is to awaken out of the slumber of simple consciousness, move beyond the imprisonment of self-consciousness, and move into the expansive state of cosmic consciousness. He puts it pointedly:

The "resurrection" is not of the so-called dead, but of the living who are "dead" in the sense of never having entered upon true life.

It seems unlikely that one could leap from simple consciousness directly to the cosmic awareness, so the middle step is necessary. Few known people, however, seem to shift into the cosmic awareness. Those we know of are scattered throughout history. It is possible, and I think likely, that there are more than is known, quiet folks who were lights in their areas, villages or tribes but left no written record. 

It is also possible that in this very moment of history there are those who have been "resurrected" out of limited life to have touched the Light and Know beyond usual knowledge, know God. Some may be reticent to share for various reasons. If you are such a person, I urge you to share. The people of the world need Hope and Light and the path to their own "resurrection." 

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Walking What?

In the words of St. Francis,, “It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.”

Oh how this quote sets ablaze something in me. It speaks to my long held understanding of how important, even urgent, it is to be congruent - to walk and be and model what we believe - to not say one thing while being another. 

Gandhi was reported to have said something like - if you want to know what I believe, watch how I walk my life. What an amazing place this world would be, if we mustered up the courage to live this congruently, this honestly.

I know I've written about this before, so excuse me if I'm being repetitive. Francis' words this morning hit my heart so deeply that I had to share his understanding of being one's teaching, of one's teaching actually being how we show up in life.

So, lets ask ourselves, "What am I teaching those who see me walk my life?  What did I teach yesterday? What shall I teach today?

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Just A Quick Word

Nagging in my consciousness this morning, not letting my mind stray far from it, is a thought with many arms. It is centered on abortion. Are we as a people really wanting to eliminate all inconvenient life?

The argument for abortion frames itself in inconvenience. It is not a good time, or there are enough children, or people will find out about one's unfaithfulness, or some such inconvenience.

Carrying out the commitment to eliminate all inconvenient life, where do we stop? Do we eliminate the inconvenient homeless or inconvenient thinkers, or....? Where does that line of thinking stop?

We really need to turn away from that madness toward the sacredness of life. We need to move our consciousness above our petty inconveniences to embrace life, help one another, love one another and live with our whole being on sacred ground.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Intuition or What?

There are so many ways to look at those flashes of knowing, that turn out to be accurate, and might be gathered together in the category of intuition.

They could be from the collective unconscious, from guides or angels, from archetypes to which we relate, from our chakras, from our own subconscious, from flashes of past lives, from God, or even from aliens. That just scratches the surface of things hypothesized.

Back when I was studying for ministry, I read a pile of books on mysticism - from those who studied others to the others being studied. We read Jacob Boehm, Meister Eckhart, Mechtild of Magdeburg, Hildegard of Bingen, and dozens of other mystics. We read Evelyn Underhill and Richard Bucke. So we basically studied how people had attuned themselves to the Infinite, and how we might also do so.

Richard Bucke seemed to fully believe that humans were moving into conscious union with The Divine that would be as monumental as the first self-consciousness of humans in the far distant past. He surveyed the exceptional awareness of the mystics and felt they were fortelling what was coming for us all. 

At every time in history, there have been those who were in tune with the Infinite such as prophets, sages, shamen, wise ones, etc. A question I have is - does this seem to be accelerating? For a shift of all of humanity, there would have to be a critical mass, it seems to me. I see quite a few who are writing and speaking about spiritual matters, but that is still a small minority. I also see a lot of confusion, violence, fear and such in the news and in lives across the globe. 

What can each of us do to attune to the Infinite? I suggest we disengage from a lot of negatives, as much as possible in this "modern" era. Spend some time reading and quietly contemplating some mystics, pick one to begin and stick with that one until you feel like you know them. Spend time just being with nature. Meditate, listen, journal. Put value on your spiritual life.  Just as you would not go out without brushing your teeth and combing your hair, don't go out without bathing for a time in spiritual moments.

There is so much more to life here than you know. Seek it. Find it.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Morning Memories Waft Through My Mind

Often, as I am in the half awake/half asleep moments of the morning, things float into mind. Sometimes it is memories sweet or sad, or answers to questions or to how to fix a project, or sometimes it feels like whispers of the Divine softly flowing and inspiring me.

This morning it was a sweet memory of my dad. He used to cut the white shell off of old, cracked golf balls. We would spend time together unwinding the thin rubberband that came next. There were two possible finds at the very center - a gooey, honey like center, or a small ball that had a lot of bounce. I always hoped for the ball, which I would use for playing Jacks. It added more challenge to the game than the little red ball that came with the set of Jacks. Not only would it bounce higher, but also it might bounce in any direction, for it was grooved by the tight rubberbanding that once encased it.

It is also a metaphor for people. Most people are not totally open to share their deep center to everyone, or may not even know themselves, at least consciously. So they put on an outer shell of protection, a mask. There are layers and layers under that shell - years, decades or more of experiences and memories and decisions. There is a center of perhaps unknown substance to most, for it becomes entombed in the tightly wound bands of the static of human ego.

I know, however, at the center is the soul, the spirit, the eternal essence that is undamaged by whatever has transpired in the jumble of the miles of rubber band which have been accumulated. In every person there is the shining light of The Divine, no matter what the appearance. It is our task to unwind the tangle and stand at last in that Light, letting our Light so shine that it radiates Reality and Hope for all who have eyes to see (paraphrasing Jesus). That is our task to which we are called. I know this to be true.


Saturday, April 17, 2021

Why Am I Here?

I was thinking this morning about the idea of a Sacred Contract, written about perhaps most recently by Caroline Myss. I have spoken and written quite a bit about all of us having a common mission - learning unconditional love - and individual missions/purposes. These ideas are certainly related.

We can tell how we are doing by observing our lives, our self talk, our emotions and our consistency or inconsistency of following our inner guidance, our intuition, our beyond thinking knowing. 

People often abandon their missions early on because of experiences in childhood and develop a portfolio of excuses. What called to you in childhood? When and why did you stop going that direction?

For me, it was art and spirituality that had a sort of magnetic pull on me. I veered away from art based on a set of experiences in high school and because of my mother. I kept my urge to create in the background, and I see now I created some big problems for myself by creating the wrong thing. Later I turned my call to create toward sewing, cooking and writing. Nowadays I do draw some and make a lot of quilts, mostly for charity.

I didn't veer away from spiritually. I think the call was so strong that I had to walk that way.  From early childhood, I've had a personal relationship with the Divine. If it had been open to me, when I was younger, I probably would have gone into the ministry. I see now, I needed time and experience to sort of ripen in order become the person who could authentically minister. It was 1978 when I was ordained, and I still had a lot of growing to do.

Because we discern what our purpose/mission/sacred contract is, does not mean it will be fulfilled and handed to us on a silver platter. We aim, we refine, we stumble, we pick ourselves up. We are called and know when we are or are not aligned with our calling, at least if we are paying any attention at all.

So we must ask ourselves and be honest with ourselves - Have I learned unconditional love, does my behavior show it? Am I walking in my purpose, am I fulfilling my sacred contract?

Now go forward with clarity, always listening within.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Real Life

I grieve as I see the violence and agony sprayed across the news in its various forms. In newspapers, on television, on the internet, on social media we hear of this murder and that, of children killed, of mass attacks. We hear of nations massing violence producing weapons on borders. We hear of devious plans to take over the world.

I want to cry out to the people acting with hatred and violence. Can't you remember you came here from a spiritual realm and are to be developing your soul, your compassion, your loving kindness? Can't you remember life here is a privilege? Can't you remember you are accountable for your life? Don't you know about spiritual debt?

Real life is lived awake to spiritual obligations and joys. Real life is knowing there is more than the physical. Real life is steeped in service and care for others. 

It would be so easy to bring peace to earth if only we would remember who we are.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Dealing With Physicalness

Life brings its joys and its challenges at all ages. Even though it's hard for me to realize, I am officially elderly, some might say very elderly at the ripe old age of 81. With this station in life comes some physical challenges unlike any before.

Systems go haywire. Doctors get stumped. Pains become frequent  visitors. Slogging on becomes mandatory, unless one just gives up and fades softly into the night. I don't plan on giving up. I know I have more to do here.

Currently my weird body problems include high parathyroid hormone, therefore bones thinning and infusions needed; swallowing problems and occasional Heimlich maneuvers needed; my immune system attacking my tongue, at least as a working hypothesis, while tests go on to verify what on earth is happening. The tongue thing is new, a few weeks, constant burning, coated plus with white rings, super odd. Today 14 vials of blood at the lab to test for just about everything imaginable. Should be interesting. A biopsy on the list for soon.

Okay, maybe my body is complaining and in need of more TLC than usual. Maybe the Keto diet our doctor put us on is not loved by my body. Maybe the stress we've been under struggling to get our prosperity restored is taking its toll. Or maybe I'm just getting old.

All this leads me to say, take care of your body, your spacesuit that gives your soul the opportunity to learn and grow and flower here on earth. It is a beautiful, magical thing. This morning's egg is transformed into skin and bone and organs. Last night's dream may tell you about some door you need to open, as if a message from another dimension. You may fill with love and compassion and marvel at beautiful sunsets and ancient redwood trees. All of it requires your body. Love it, take care of it, keep it in tune for the grand adventure of life on earth.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Many Lives for the Price of One

As I turned 81 this week, I find myself reflecting on the years. It really seems that I have lived individual segments that could almost be thought of as different lives. There is a constant current of spiritual seeking, creativity in many forms, slogging through whatever it is and a few other things. But still, there are distinct sections.

I wonder if I am addressing different karmic obligations by having sub-chapters in this chapter called Marlene??? Am I wrapping a bunch of stuff up in this chapter? There are almost no people active in my current sub-chapter that were in earlier ones, except my children. My parents lived to 93, so they played a variety of parts in each segment until they passed. Well, actually they play an underlying role still in the effect they had/have on me and my children, especially my son. 

I notice I have somewhat slid into new stories with little or no attachment to those in previous segments. I may think of this one or that one fondly, but they remain as characters in a different story. 

There are people currently in my life that feel like old friends. My husband feels to me like we've been together forever. He has brought a peace into my life unlike any before.

Whatever my journey, I know I walk it with The More and with guides, a cloud of witnesses, soul friends or whatever name. I am not alone and neither are you.

I hope to learn my soul lessons well this life. I hope to fulfill my purpose for coming here. For this I strive.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

What Do Our Actions Say?

As a Christian I endeavor to follow the life and example of Jesus, imperfectly for sure. I try to be loving, forgiving, giving and congruent, although too often I fail and fall short. In my heart I see the goal, I aim for it, and re-aim. 

This morning I am reading a book by Rufus Jones. I find all of his writing inspiring. He was a Quaker. I'd like us to consider something I just read of his.

The influence of Erasmus, the greatest of the humanists, upon the scattered groups of spiritual reformers was very profound. He discounted the value of dogma and theology and turned instead with freshly awakened interest to the original teachings of Jesus...

( A few pages later he wrote this.) It may well be said that the world is not yet ready for this advanced idealism, that Christ Himself was filled with apocalyptic hopes, that He was proposing a programme for a new dispensation, not for this present mixed world. That may all be as it may be. But in any case, there ought to be a world like this one for which Christ lived and died. And that kind of world will never actually come unless some of us take the vision and the hope seriously and set to work to make it real here on this very earth.

Let us set our various dogmas aside and look again at what Jesus taught and endeavor to follow with our whole beings, with heart and mind and action. If you agree that there ought to be such a world of love and compassion, of caring and generosity, let's do as much as we can to bring it about. It won't come magically. It will come when good people all over, scattered in all countries, decide it is time to Be as Jesus called us to be.   

They will know we Walk The Way by how we live our lives.

Monday, March 22, 2021

One of My Favorite Mentors - Emerson

Yes, Ralph Waldo Emerson and I have spent quite a lot of time together. His "Essays" have affected me deeply, and his ideas have tweaked my mind and led me into new trails of thought. He was quoted frequently back in the days when I gave sermons, talks, seminars, etc.

This morning, I saw a quote of his that was significant in my journey. 

Your life talks so loudly that I cannot hear the words you say.

It is somewhat related to a Ghandi statement. Someone asked him what he believed, and his reply was to watch how he walked his life. 

If someone watches me for very long, they will know me at some unspoken level. I remember one-time in Russia, when I used to go there to teach spiritual things, someone told me they believed what I said because they watched me and how I reacted to the various people and surprising challenges of life there. And that was perhaps more important than my words, or at least reinforced my words by being what I taught, even in moments when not realizing anyone was looking.

I suppose human life could be lifted, if each of us were aware of what our lives teach. Is there congruence between our words and actions? Do we teach love and oneness by how we live our lives? Or do we say one thing but do another? Being who we say we are is vitally important.

As an interesting and instructive exercise, watch yourself and be aware of what you teach by what you do and how you react. Be aware of inconsistencies. Strive to become, in thought, word and deed, the best version of yourself. That is a precious and priceless gift to yourself, your loved ones and to all humanity.

Our lives talk loudly. What is being said?

Friday, March 19, 2021

Remembering Is Our Task

There are great men and women strewn across history of whom we are sure have been touched by the Divine, inspired beyond earthly understanding, knowing spiritual things directly, on fire with God. Some are said to come from God, and we worship them and their words.

Since they all tell us we are brothers and sisters, it seems clear that we all have come from Divine realms - but we forgot.

I propose that part of our assignment here on earth is to remember.

Let us remember that all beings are divinely created and in essence are holy. Let us love one another, encourage one another, lift one another, honor life and remember. Listen and you can hear beyond the physical and mundane. Listen  beyond superstition, beyond confusion, beyond custom, beyond to Truth of Oneness. Listen and remember.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The Spark of the Divine

For a very long time now, I have taken the words of Meister Eckhart deep into my being - The seed of God is in you, a pear seed turns into a pear tree, a hazel nut into a hazel nut tree, and the seed of God into God.

It led me to my constant teaching about all of us needing to actually KNOW God, the Divine, the More, rather than stop with knowing about God. I have led many seminars, retreats, etc. which aimed at a direct communion. There have been such blessed moments.

Right now I am reading Rufus Jones' book on the Quakers. They were one of the groups with a similar call, although there have been many over the centuries. Sadly, they generally end up losing momentum and inspiration and are dwarfed by "organized religion."

Jones wrote, Religion, they believed, does not rise outside and flow in; it springs up inside and flows out. It is not primarily concerned with books, documents, creeds or institutions. It is rather concerned with the awakening of the divine urge in the utmost depths of the self.

He also points out that this has to be within the context of the times. We cannot recreate first century Christianity, for example, for the culture, the habits, the meanings of words, the worldviews are vastly different from those here in the 21st century. I agree, but then I am drawn to ponder how to offer a way in these times that leads to the flow out of spiritual knowing that comes from precious communion with the More.

I am aware of a yearning hunger, often just under the surface, for genuine personal experience of God in many people. I find ideas swirling around in me, yet because I am old, it is unlikely my task. Perhaps one who reads this blog will be inspired to offer ways to walk that path and water the Divine Seed within. I know my words go where I cannot go. My love comes to you, my siblings in spirit. Do what you can to lift others out of the darkness that comes when Oneness with the More is forgotten.


Thursday, March 11, 2021

Your Light

Light and spirituality have long fascinated me. I discovered that the different versions of the Bible speak to us differently with remarkable variations of understanding shed on the concept of light. I've highlighted some parts that particularly speak to me.

I sent out some Bible verses on light for our women's group to ponder and be ready to discuss. On Biblegateway, you can read the Bible in many versions. I chose three to compare Luke 11:33-36. 

King James - The Bible of my childhood:

33 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.34 The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.35 Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.36 If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.

The Message - A Current Favorite Version of Mine

33-36 “No one lights a lamp, then hides it in a drawer. It’s put on a lamp stand so those entering the room have light to see where they’re going. Your eye is a lamp, lighting up your whole body. If you live wide-eyed in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a musty cellar. Keep your eyes open, your lamp burning, so you don’t get musty and murky. Keep your life as well-lighted as your best-lighted room.” 

The Voice - A New to Me Version 

33 You need a light to see. Only an idiot would light a lamp and then put it beneath the floor or under a bucket. No, any intelligent person would put the lamp on a table so everyone who comes in the house can see. 34 Listen, your eye, your outlook, the way you see is your lamp. If your way of seeing is functioning well, then your whole life will be enlightened. But if your way of seeing is darkened, then your life will be a dark, dark place. 35 So be careful, people, because your light may be malfunctioning. 36 If your outlook is good, then your whole life will be bright, with no shadowy corners, as when a radiant lamp brightens your home.

To my surprise, a version of the Bible I've not read spoke loudly to me. I particularly like The Voice as well as The Message, (2 newer translations in our current language).  The way you see is your lamp, grabbed me. I thought of as a man thinketh, whatsoever you believe, I have seen the problem and it is us, etc.

I have read countless studies and seen over and over again how attitude affects all we do and say and chose. I like the way it described our outlook as being the WAY we see, and our outlook may be malfunctioning. If we see shadowy corners, that is a sign for us to give our outlook a check-up. We used to call it, a check-up from the neck up.

I encourage you to read these verses and consider them in relation to your life, your light, your outlook. And then, work on being aware, or more aware, of how you respond to life's many situations. Let's go for more light.