Sunday, November 30, 2008

Eckhart and the GTD System....

In the video I've mentioned in a few recent posts (Wisdom in Daily Life), Eckhart states that people spend 70% of their lives waiting for something, in anticipation of the next event...the future...there's always something that needs to happen...never happy with where they are.  This time what he said did not bring to mind Bible verses...but rather, I thought of something from the OCD side of my egoic self...the organizer side...the side that believes if I can just find the right combination of plastic storage containers (I love plastic storage containers) it will set my life aright and all will be well.  Of course this will need to be supplemented with just the right planner!!! 

David Allen has a system that millions of people buy by. There are hundreds...perhaps thousands ...of web sites that "preach" the system. The book that launched it all is called "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. The main tenants of his system? The categories for "getting things done?" Well, at first glance, they seem to directly contradict Eckhart's teachings about staying in the now and being present...but after doing some research, I am not so sure.  The four categories David Allen suggests sorting everything from one's inbox into are

  • Projects
  • Next Action
  • Waiting For
  • Someday/Maybe

The mental angst of having too many thoughts and to do's and what about's (referred to as "stuff") whirling around in our brains is discussed in a post called Getting Started With Getting Things Done on a productivity blog called 43 Folders. 

The Problem with “stuff”

Getting Things Done succeeds because it first addresses a critical barrier to completing the atomic tasks that we want to accomplish in a given day. That’s “stuff.” Amorphous, unactionable, flop-sweat-inducing stuff. David says:

Here’s how I define “stuff:” anything you have allowed into your psychological or physical world that doesn’t belong where it is, but for which you haven’t yet determined the desired outcome and the next action step. [pg. 17]

Stuff is bouncing around in our heads and causing untold stress and anxiety. Evaluation meetings, bar mitzvahs, empty rolls of toilet paper, broken lawn mowers, college applications, your big gut, tooth decay, dirty underwear and imminent jury duty all compete for prime attention in our poor, addled brains. Stuff has no “home” and, consequently, no place to go, so it just keeps rattling around.

Worst off, we’re too neurotic to stop thinking about it, and we certainly don’t have time to actually do everything in one day. Jeez Louise, what the hell am I, Superman?

So you sprint from fire to fire, praying you haven’t forgotten anything, sapped of anything like creativity or even the basic human flexibility to adapt your own schedule to the needs of your friends, your family or yourself. Your “stuff” has taken over your brain like a virus now, dragging down every process it touches and rendering you spent and virtually useless. Sound familiar?

On one of the Oprah webinars I heard Eckhart acknowledge the need for planning.  There is a time and a place to plan.  Our minds, he says, are a useful tool for just such tasks as planning. And it seems that proper planning might actually free us up to be present, in the now...and not lost in some future "have to do". 

I started writing this post to illustrate how at odds these two "philosophies" are but now I am not so sure that the one does not complement the other. 

The following quote is from an article in Wired Magazine called Getting Things Done Guru David Allen and His Cult of Hyper Efficiency:

Allen says his goal is to be free from worrying about anything he has to do. His techniques allow him the pleasure of having, much of the time, nothing on his mind. "People are afraid of the void, afraid of negative space," he says. "But having nothing on your mind is one of the most awesome experiences."

And wouldn't Eckhart agree?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Veil...

Last weekend, I  listened to an Eckhart video....a short one.... called "Wisdom in Daily Life"  In the video he talks about how stillness and the beauty of this world are hidden by "the screen of thoughts. That makes me think of the veil that the Bible talks about. 

"For this veil of misunderstanding can be removed only by believing in Christ. . . . But whenever anyone turns to the Lord from his sins, then the veil is taken away." (2Corinthians 3:13-16 TLB)

Again...keeping in mind that sin really means missing the mark...and that "Christ" can also mean the spirit within man...the Stillness, the Presence, the Universe....whatever name you wish to give it.  To me it is "Father" Jesus referred to God many times in the Bible. 

And Krishna speaks of a veil, Maya, that darkens and blinds the minds of those over whom it lies.

Scripture also talks about us being alienated in our minds.  Sounds like a veil to me. 

So the answer to lifting the veil is to turn to the Lord, to believe in Christ...with all the deep and many variations that implies. 

Friday, November 28, 2008

Eckhart and Scripture....

On a spiritual list called The Now 2, someone posted a transcript of a talk given by Eckhart Tolle.  As is often the case, biblical concepts came to mind when I read the transcript. 

I am a Christian...although sometimes, with all the nonsense Christians spout off, I am almost embarrassed to admit to that without adding some disclaimers.  My friend annie recently said

 "all truth comes from God whether it be thru Jesus or Lao tze.  the Christ mind is not confined to Jesus alone, but to all who realize the I AM in their consciousness"

I do, however, believe scripture when it declares that Christ is the name above all names...and that every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  I don't have all the details of that worked out in my mind, but at this point I do believe that. Still, that leaves me pretty far from the stereotypical 700 Club and Focus on the Family Christian.  And I get excited when so much of Eckhart's teachings mirror concepts found in scripture. There are so many things I read or hear from Eckhart that immediately make me think of scripture.  For the transcript I mentioned, when Eckhart says:

I don't use the word God very much, because it is often misused, but the ego is in a state of warfare with God. It is a state of deep suffering.

I immediately thought of:

6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Substitute carnal mind for egoic mind....remember that Jesus said the Law could be summed up in just 2 the Lord with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself. That is impossible to do when we are caught up in the egoic mind set and God (Stillness/Presence/Universe) is not too pleased with our ego's shenanigans.  Flesh is another biblical word that imo means egoic self...and I think the pain body is also thrown into the travails of the flesh.  And there you have it....Paul (in Romans) is saying the same thing as Eckhart.  That amazes me. 

Keith quoted the verses in Romans to me many times...and I never really understood and what it meant. I've been a Christian for ten years, but it took the teachings of Eckhart to unlock some of the mysteries in the Bible.  And not only are these teachings to be found in his writings, but in many other writings, from many different religions, that teach non duality. Gary Sigler refers to it as our mistaken identity which is none other than the egoic/false/carnal/adamic self-mind. 

I am going to end this post with a link to a video that was in my inbox yesterday...a thank you to Oprah and Eckhart.  It is cute...and very well done.  Yes, thank you Eckhart for being the voice God used to make this all "click" for me. 

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Love Your Enemies.....


Love Your Enemies

I came upon this picture the other day and thought it was appropriate for a Thanksgiving post... We had an unconventional Thanksgiving.  The kids are with their dad (He is the chef afterall) so Keith and I had strip steaks cooked on the George Foreman grill.  It could become the next holiday tradition (similar to Easter pizza) I don't have any deep insights about loving my enemies so I found some quotes on the web...and posted them below.  I hope everyone had a blessed and happy Thanksgiving. 

"If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility."
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


"Rage is a powerful energy that with diligent practice can be transformed into fierce compassion. However much we disagree with our enemies, our task is to identify with them. They too feel justified in their point of view."
— Buddha Siddhartha Guatama Shakyamuni


"To get rid of an enemy one must love him. "
— Leo Tolstoy


"Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend."
— Martin Luther King Jr.


"If you can cultivate the right attitude, your enemies are your best spiritual teachers because their presence provides you with the opportunity to enhance and develop tolerance, patience and understanding."
— Dalai Lama XIV


"You can love a person dear to you with a human love, but an enemy can only be loved with divine love."
— Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)


""Merely to resist evil with evil by hating those who hate us and seeking to destroy them, is actually no resistance at all. It is active and purposeful collaboration in evil that brings the Christian into direct and intimate contact with the same source of evil and hatred which inspires the acts of his enemy. It leads in practice to a denial of Christ and to the service of hatred rather than love.""
— Thomas Merton (Passion for Peace; Reflections on War and Nonviolence)


"Everyone believes in the atrocities of the enemy and disbelieves in those of his own side, without ever bothering to examine the evidence."
— George Orwell

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Max Lucado on the 2008 Election...

While searching around a bit for different perspectives on the election and the different parties,I came upon the following about this year's election by Max Lucado.  Gotta' love Max... 

“I’m genuinely hopeful about the next few years in the US. Our democracy has given the citizenry the right to select a leader and we have. Now is the time for us to pray for President-elect Obama and the next administration. I, along with a group of religious leaders, met with Senator Obama last June. We discussed a wide-range of faith-related issues. He expressed his belief in God, trust in Jesus and need for a Savior. I left the meeting with the feeling that I had met a man of genuine convictions. I hope you will join me as we pray for his wisdom, discernment and safety.

I also offer prayers of gratitude for President Bush. He has weathered one of the most difficult eras in American history. His personal conduct has been exemplary and devotion, inspirational. He has kept his pledge to keep America free from attack and the Oval Office free from scandal. For that we can be grateful.”

Max Lucado,
November 11, 2008

In the last election...the one the Republicans won, Max gave his views in an interview for Beliefnet called Red State Values/Blue State Values.  Some notable excerpts from the article:

Is there a way that religious leaders like you can help heal the rift?

I think so. I certainly have a responsibility in my church. You know, I can't pastor the whole world but in our church, the Sunday after the election, we all got on our knees and we asked God to heal the country.


We all got on our knees. And we're not a kneeling church. We don't even have kneelers-I wish we did--but I said, This is such a big deal. And I said, We're not Democrats or Republicans in here. We believe nations exist to serve God; God doesn't exist to serve the nation but we serve him. Let's ask for him to take over now. And I think that's the role of the clergy.

About the Democrats, he said:

Traditionally, they've had a deeper concern for the poor, for the forgotten among us--greater equality among the cultures, especially for immigrants. They've been more concerned over men's and women's equality; I think that's still something that needs to be addressed. The Democrats have traditionally really helped our nation in the area of racism; I mean where would we be if not for the civil rights movements of the 1960s and 70s? Jimmy Carter was one of the best presidents America's ever had; there's a man who entered the office in faith and, like George Bush, was criticized for making decisions on his knees. I can remember reading an article like that in 1979; he said he made a decision on his knees. Well, now Bush gets the criticism.

I know this beliefnet excerpt is from four years ago..but the same sentiment and humble spirit is expressed in both writings.  I am thinking Max is probably a conservative...and there are things he believes that I do not agree with, but what a balanced view...what a unifying spirit....

I love Max....

A Coincidence.....

From what I read online, it appears that Ann Coulter had to have her jaw wired shut today because of a bad fall.  I'm not kidding...and even though she annoys the hell out of me, I would not wish that on her.  I must admit though, it is poetic justice that it was a broken jaw and not a broken foot or wrist.  Appears she will not be able to talk for a while.  Hmmmmm.

Neither Does Ann Coulter...

Speak for me, that is.  Not by a long shot.  Not even close.  She came up in my post about The Blue Christian blog.  He was not all that taken with her either.  It amazes me that she has written about a dozen books...and is a best selling author. To me, Ann Coulter is like passing a really bad car crash.  You just can't help but look.  According to Wikipedia she "holds Christian beliefs". 

In a 2004 column, she summarized her view of Christianity: "Jesus' distinctive message was: People are sinful and need to be redeemed, and this is your lucky day because I'm here to redeem you even though you don't deserve it, and I have to get the crap kicked out of me to do it." She then mocked "the message of Jesus ... according to liberals," summarizing it as "...something along the lines of 'be nice to people'," which, in turn, she said "is, in fact, one of the incidental tenets of Christianity".

Perhaps she missed the part in the Bible where Jesus proclaims the law in nutshell when he says, you God and love your neighbor as yourself...and love your enemies????  See below in RED LETTERS.  We all know what the red letters mean...


Ann must have missed that part of evidenced by the following quotes....

 We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war.

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."

"We need to execute people like (John Walker Lindh) in order to physically intimidate liberals."

"If those kids had been carrying guns they would have gunned down this one [child] gunman. ... Don't pray. Learn to use guns."---

"The fact of Islamo-Fascism is indisputable," she said. "I find it tedious to detail the savagery of the enemy . . . I want to kill them. Why don't Democrats?"

Bumper sticker

Monday, November 24, 2008

James Dobson Doesn't Speak For Me....

I happened upon a web site today the title of this post suggests.... James Dobson Doesn't Speak For Me. It is a web site birthed because of controversial remarks made by James Dobson in reference to  Barack Obama's 2006 Call To Renewal Speech.  An article on called Evangelical Leader Blasts 2006 Obama Speech describes Obama's remarks:

The future Democratic presidential candidate told the group that the United States is a highly diverse nation, and no one religious belief has a monopoly on moral values. Even within Christianity, he said, there are many ways to apply the Bible's moral principles.

"Would we go with James Dobson's [interpretation] or Al Sharpton's?" Obama asked the cheering crowd, referring to the two widely different religious leaders. "Which passages of Scripture would guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which says that slavery is OK but eating shell fish is an abomination… Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount — a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application?"

Apparently, Dr. Dobson didn't know he made honorable mention in the speech back in 2006...but recently became aware of it because the speech had "gone viral" (in Dobson's words) and was "all over the internet." He felt he should comment so he devoted a large portion of one of his shows to dissing  the content of the speech.....and Obama.  There are links at the page to audio links of both the speech and Dr. Dobson's comments. 

What Dobson had to say, in my opinion,  was inflammatory and disrespectful.  Apparently so did  Kirbyjon Caldwell.  In response, he founded the James Dobson Doesn't Speak For Me website. 

Lest anyone think this guy (who I've never heard of before my research for this post) is a die hard Democrat....NOT.  Here is what Wikipedia has to say about his links to the conservative side of the political coin:

Caldwell offered the official benediction at Bush's inauguration in 2001. 

Caldwell again offered the official benediction at Bush's 2005 inauguration. When asked to offer the prayer again at Bush's second inauguration.

On May 10, 2008, he officiated at the wedding of Jenna Bush and Henry Hager in Crawford, Texas.

According to some reports, Bush and Caldwell speak regularly on the telephone for spiritual counseling and prayer.

Caldwell's work at the Power Center was one of the inspirations for Bush's "faith based initiatives" and Caldwell was influential in Bush's decision to create the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

The web site describes its mission as follows:

We are a coalition of pastors and other Christians, led by Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell who are standing up for our Christian faith and supporting Barack Obama. We are signing in our individual capacities and not on behalf of our churches or denominations.

There was recently a Time Magazine article that implies this website was part of a premeditated plan to attack Dr. James Dobson. Unfortunately, I was never contacted or given an opportunity to comment on the article. Nothing could be further from the truth. This website was created to directly respond to comments made by Dr. Dobson in his June 24 broadcast and to set the record straight about Senator Obama and his deep Christian faith. It was created to respond to Dr. Dobson in a spirit of love and lift up a candidate we think is the best choice for our country. The reason over 10,000 individuals have signed up is because they believe in a positive, affirming vision of the United States, not because they believe in attacking Dr. Dobson.

To date 12,000 Christians have signed the statement on the web site. 

Sunday, November 23, 2008


In the Comments Section of yesterday's post Sue said:

Seriously, if those people could see what a bad name they have given God throughout the WHOLE GODDAMN WORLD they would maybe reexamine some of their stuff.
Sorry, that's very critical and judgmntal of me. I'm doing what Dobson is doing with gays, with evangelicals, aren't I?

Sue's comments were sort of a springboard to post about some things I have pondered lately...collected snippets from here and there ...too long for a mere comment. 

In his book the Irresistible Revolution, Shane Claiborne talks about terrorism — the terrorism within each of us.  Yea...if I'm honest I must admit that it is there.  There are people I would like to hurt. 

In another writing of his called The Yeast of the Pharisees he says:

The righteous "yeast of the Pharisees" is still infectious today, it attacks "liberal" and "conservative" Christians alike. Conservatives stand up and thank God they are not like the homosexuals, the Muslims, the liberals. Liberals stand up and thank God they are not like the war-makers, the yuppies, the conservatives. The causes are different, but the self-righteousness is the same.

In an interview for the Wuttenburg Door he says the same thing in a slightly different way

What I've seen is a self-righteousness that we've got it all together on both sides. It's, "Thank you that we're not like people that listen to secular music or are homosexuals" or, on the other side it's, "Thank you that we're not like those people that don't eat organic or are Bush lovers."

But seems like the outspoken, politically, religiously active evangelicals...the ones who, overtly or covertly, want to turn this country into a theocracy...some even eventually wanting to get back to OT law and punishments like stoning...well..they are the ones who seem to be throwing the first stone and it is really, really hard not to want to wing the biggest rock I can find back at them. 

Let's use Ann Coulter's "fag" comment as an example...a comment made in front of a group of Christians, no less, who snickered and applauded.  I mean there is no excuse, explanation or reason why someone who calls themselves a Christian should use the word "fag".  EVER.  I followed the link to the video and she is so smug and self righteous, so freaking full of is REALLY hard for me not to judge her.  Hell, it is really hard for me not to HATE her.  And I'm working on that....

  As far as the far, far right...the ones who seem to me to tote around the biggest bag of rocks,  they are the ones who want to change the rest of the nation to fit their beliefs (never mind that many of them do not agree and that there are  many varying beliefs among them) 

Dobson said the following about Obama:

“What terrifies me is the thought that he might be our president . . . might be in the Oval Office . . . might be the leader of the free world . . . might be the commander in chief — because as I said a minute ago, the man is dangerous, especially in regard to this issue of morality. I can’t tell you how strongly I feel about this.

“He’s saying that my morality has to conform to his because we all have to agree or else it’s not democratic.

Is he really saying that??

Obama said in his Call to Renewal Keynote Address | June 28, 2006

discussing charges by the Christian Right, that he, Obama, is not a Christian

....... I answered with what has come to be the typically liberal response in such debates - namely, I said that we live in a pluralistic society, that I can't impose my own religious views on another, that I was running to be the U.S. Senator of Illinois and not the Minister of Illinois.

...which I think is a pretty good answer...but then he goes on to personalize what being a Christian means to him...and he relates his actual experience of kneeling at the cross...of "becoming" a Christian.  Another quote of his that seems to say he is not trying to cram his view of religion down the throats of others...

"When we ignore the debate about what it means to be a good Christian or Muslim or Jew; when we discuss religion only in the negative sense of where or how it should not be practiced, rather than in the positive sense of what it tells us about our obligations towards one another…others will fill the vacuum, those with the most insular views of faith, or those who cynically use religion to justify partisan ends."

I have meandered from the original intent of this post.  Judging..who does it, who should do it (no one according least not until we take care of the beam in our own eys) and how can we stop it.  Good questions.  The answer seems to be that someone has to be the first to stop throwing the rocks. 

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Blue Christian on a Red Background

Another blog you might want to check out...also written by a self described evangelical is Blue Christian on a Red Background.  But he is not your average evangelical.  As I was looking through some of his archives, he had harsh, harsh words...and well deserved for sure, for Ann Coulter and her "fag" remark...about John Edwards.  This was back in March of 2007 (sometimes I run across stuff in my meanderings in cyber space that I missed the first time around :)The next day she spoke at the "Reclaiming America For Christ Conference." 

He also had harsh words for James Dobson...and his "Letter from 2012 in Obama's America"  What a bunch of nonsense.  Blue Christian correctly identifies it as such...and refers to Dobson as 
"The Prophet of Pretend" in this very thorough critique of the "letter."  Although Blue Christian personally believes the Bible speaks against homosexuality, he gets down right worked up over some of Dobson's points about gays.  He sums his post up by saying:

We are required to bear witness to biblical ideals regarding sexuality, whether addressing homosexuality or America's norms re heterosexuality. But doing so, with great care and meekness and humility while admitting we too struggle with sexuality, is far different than Dr. Dobson's shrill, illogical, and immoral (yes indeed!) attack on our neighbors. I personally repudiate Dr. Dobson or Focus on the Family as representing the Christian Faith I believe in.
And it makes me extremely sad, not glad, to say so.

Yep, I have to agree...the whole letter is pretty sad and panders to the fear evangelical Christians have that once you let the liberals get a foothold..well, you know, the whole country will go to hell.  People will be marrying their dogs, there will be no guns, the gays will have taken over and will have converted all the straight boy scouts to little gay clones of themselves.  Please....

Friday, November 21, 2008

Can A Christian Vote Democrat?

Before it's too late to keep rehashing the election I have a few sites and blog post drafts in the queue. I might be posting some of them this weekend.  I say might because you know how easily distracted I am...and chances are good that I just might find some other very important topic that piques my interest...

Debra posted an article on EU called  Could A Christian Vote Democratic by Keith Drury. He has a plethora of writing on the web. Just google him and see.  The article she posted comes from a site called Tuesday Column.  Overall, his writing and viewpoint are rather conservative.  He adheres to the holiness view of Christianity.  Some of the denominations that are mentioned on his "about me" page are ones that I am familiar with from my Free Methodist days with my grandparents.  Church of the Nazarene....Wesleyan Methodist.  The following snippet from his site.  He has been teaching at.....

 Indiana Wesleyan University since 1974 I joined the faculty in 1988 and for several years teaching youth and CE. After returning for six years to my denominational headquarters to lead Christian education I returned to IWU for my “final job in life” --teaching CE, leadership and other practical courses to 475 religion students who will become the next generation of pastors.

I like this guy.  He is a lot more conservative than me but in a love God and your neighbor with all your heart kind of way. Not the typical evangelical "let me shove what I believe down your throat" kind of way.  This guy voted for Obama.  Geeeez....I guess contrary to what you see and hear in varying degrees all over the place, you CAN be a Christian and vote Democrat.  Who would have guessed? 

Some of his points in this article are:

On which party is the "Christian party":

Actually I don’t believe there is a “Christian party” in my country. Neither of them satisfies me as far as “Biblical Christian Values” go. On one issue one party is closer, on another the other party is closer to Christ-like values as I see them and on many issues neither party is Christian.

On abortion:

I think abortion is like the environment—both the parties took the wrong side given their stated values.  Democrats should be the protectors of the weak—the fetus, and Republicans should be the protectors of individual rights and the strong rich interests of the medical cartel, given their tradition. If I was a one-issue voter and abortion was the only issue I’d vote Republican.

While not exactly pro-choice...he is resigned to the fact that Roe vs Wade, if overturned would give the decision to the states, which likely would continue to allow for legal abortions.  It is a heart change that he sees as the answer....

We are in a major effort to persuade the rest of the nation that human rights need to be extended to life that is not recognized as life. I want to spend my energy on this cause—and on that we are winning.

On prayer in school:

Even though I am a devout Christian I do not believe the government should write school prayers—students should say their own prayers.  Republican pandering on the school prayer issue is embarrassing. I wouldn’t trust government-written prayers and believe “civil religion” is idolatry.

One of my cyber buddies...Dena....wrote in a recent post that she now sees pro-life as more than just anti-abortion.  Drury states something similar in this post....

I believe that God wants capital punishment banished from the earth so that neither individuals nor governments kill people, including unborn people and evil people alike. 

On education he says:

I think we need massive initiatives in education because the Bible calls us to bring up the next generation. I’d even be satisfied if we’d put 10% of the money we’ve been squandering in Iraq, pretending to fight terrorism into grants for college students. And, another 10% into public elementary and secondary education. Where’d we get the idea that a Christian should be for low taxes and against education? I don’t see that anywhere in the Bible.

So anyway...before I quote this guy's whole post verbatim, I will list some of the other topics he mentions and why he leans to the left when he votes based on these issues. 

        • Immigration
        • Emissions Standards
        • OSHA Rules
        • Higher taxation of large corporations
        • Higher taxes on cigarettes and alcohol
        • Nationalist military spending
        • Gun control
        • Minimum wage
        • Care of the poor
        • Health care
        • Etc. etc. etc. 

I find myself agreeing with a lot of his views.  Some related writings on his site.....

What will your church do with evangelical Obama-voters?

I'm a Liberal.... and I admit it

Did God make Ray Boltz gay?

Interesting writing...sort of from an evangelical kind of viewpoint...but infinitely more enlightened than many...the genius behind the following sign included.  I found the pic via a link on EU...from the Transformations Blog.  You can read more about it there or at the other sites on this google list more than happy to tell you all about it.  I bet God is so proud of this sign ...especially at a church that bills itself as a "Church Without Walls."  Exactly what does that mean anyway? 

Muslim President

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Unanswerable Questions.....

Not that long ago, there were two theological paradoxes that bugged the hell out of me...taunted me, frustrated me, confused me, occupied my thoughts throughout the day.  I simply HAD to find the answers.  I simply HAD to know the truth!!! A few years later, here I am...embarking on paths I never even knew existed. Loving God in a way I never dreamed I could back when I was so mad at him.

Did I find the answers? I formed a few opinions and beliefs...subject to change.

Did I get some peace about the questions?  Thankfully, yes. 

I think I've mentioned before that John Gavazonni refers to these mysteries as "contrarianisms."  My biggest, most haunting issues?  The most confusing paradoxes? 

The existence of evil and the existence of a good God. Exactly how does that work? There is even a name for that seeming inconsistency. Theodicy - the branch of theology that defends God's goodness and justice in the face of the existence of evil. 

And there was the free will and divine sovereignty question. Open theism, predestination, free moral agency..."proof" of both can be found in scripture!!   

Those were the biggies....but they were by no means the only points of frustration.  How about reconciling the God of the OT with the picture of the invisible God we see in Jesus?  How about the fairness of blinding eyes and hardening hearts (which sort of falls in under the heading of divine sovereignty)  I was so agitated for so long.  I'm not agitated anymore...and in fact, I delight in some of the questions that used to infuriate me.  I came upon the following quote the other day:

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
—Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

There is a writing on the Rebel God site called Human Suffering and the Silence of God.  It does not have all the answers to the theodicy question but it is well worth reading and might even help promote some peace about these unanswerable questions.  In the article, there is a quote that sort of goes with the above quote...and I will end this post with it...for your consideration and musing....

The real question is, what does God want to tell us by making us ask?

God's Camera....

....the endurance of darkness is preparation for great light.

St. John of the Cross

I've had the following writing saved in my files for a few years.  I found it on a cyber journey of yesteryear.  Who can even guess how I found my way to it. (although I have this sneaky suspicion that God somehow rigs Google search results... much like a crooked gambler might stack the deck) Perhaps this is a possible explanation for our unanswered questions, the paradoxes, the things we don't understand.  For God to tell us the answers would be like opening a camera with film in it...overexposing the film to the light....rendering it useless.   


To what shall I liken my own, mine elect, says the Lord?
And how shall I imprint the Divine Mind within them?
I shall liken them to photographic film.
I shall roll them onto a spool and place a label saying


When the time is right I shall transfer them to my Camera,
and as time goes by I shall open the shutter for brief flashes of revelation.

And the light will penetrate the film and make its deep impression.

 And when my work is complete I shall remove the film and process it.

And behold! See what has developed!

The Divine Mind is exactly portrayed for all to see -
no longer does the film need to be kept in the dark.

But some will not accept that my work proceeds in the darkness,
even the thick darkness, for they say, "God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all."

They neither know nor understand.

They would prise open my film and expose it to the light, and when I process it I would be presented with that which is jet black and full of darkness - with no imprint of the Divine Mind.

For such I would have no use in my Kingdom.

Reminds me of the words of Jesus...

"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Your Altar

In Fierce Grace there are segments that discuss the spiritual experimentation with psychedelic drugs that helped transform Richard Alpert...respected Harvard professor into Ram Dass. He was the first Harvard professor who was fired in over a century. One segment of the video explains that the drug use was simply a method of trying to obtain enlightenment.  There are other methods.  There is the church method.  The relationship method.  Etc. Etc.  They are attempts at filling the soul hole....the God shaped hole in everyone's heart that nothing else can quite fill. 

He also talks about a period of intense drug experimentation at a big, old rambling house on someone's cattle ranch.  It was there that he became dissatisfied with the cycle of getting high, coming down, getting high, coming down, getting high, coming down.  So off to India he went where he met Neem Karoli Baba, also called Maharishi, a Hindu saint who became his teacher and guru. When he returned from India years later he knew that what he was searching for...was inside of him. 

Anyway in my here and there reading this weekend...there were two quotes I came across from two different interviews from two different eras in history.  I think it is safe to assume Ram Dass probably did not vote for John McCain?  But it made me wonder whose picture should be placed on our altars.  Who is a person who most closes your heart?  Who is hardest for you to love?  My answer took about 2 seconds to formulate. (Dr. Laura) Following are the quotes from the interviews.  Something to think about....whose picture would we find on your altar? 

From an interview in the 90's

David: I see that you have Bob Dole on your altar. That's a nice touch. (laughter)
Ram Dass: I take the person who most closes my heart and I watch my heart close as I look at their picture.

From a recent interview:

His house feels like a temple. There are altars everywhere, covered with pictures of saints, tropical flowers, candles and incense. He has a photo of George Bush on an altar, “because he’s someone I have trouble loving.”

Monday, November 17, 2008

Yet Another Sermon on the Mount..with dreds :-)

I've been reading about Shane Claiborne this weekend.  I will post more on him in the near future...but since I posted recently on the Sermon on the Mount, here are two videos entitled "The Best Sermon Ever."  It is simply Shane reading the words of Jesus from the Bible...not sure what translation. 





About Rachael

A moving segment in the Ram Dass Fierce Grace video was an interview with Steve and Anita Isser, the parents of Rachael Isser, a young girl who was murdered when she went to meet a friend at the ball field.  I don't know any of the details because they don't discuss the details in the video..and nothing comes up in the first few pages of google results. 

They are very likeable, "you and I" kind of people, sitting in their kitchen, coffee cups on the table in front of them.  You can hear children playing in the background (they have two other kids) and at one point there is the sound of a train off in the distance.  One feels instant empathy and compassion.  They remain composed as they talk about their daughter's death. Tears break through but they maintain control and are able to speak and tell their story. 

They talk about  a letter they received from Ram Dass, a letter that gave them the courage to go on…a lifeline, a light at the end of the tunnel. The letter was like a catalyst. Both of the Isser's credit the words in the letter as the lifeline that gave them any hope in a hopeless situation.The letter was hand written and had obviously been read many time.  It was wrinkled and the ink was smudged.

Rachael finished her brief work on earth and left the stage in a manner that leaves those of us left behind with a cry of agony in our hearts as the fragile threads of faith are dealt with so violently. Is anyone strong enough to stay conscious through such teachings as you are receiving? Probably very few and even they would only have a whisper of equanimity and spacious peace amidst the screaming trumpets of their rage, grief, horror and desolation.

I cannot assuage your pain with any words, nor should I, for your pain is Rachael’s legacy to you. Not that she or I would inflict such pain by choice, but there it is, and it must burn its purifying way to completion. You may emerge from this ordeal more dead than alive. Or something within you dies when you bear the unbearable and it is only in that dark night of the soul that you are prepared to see as God sees, and to love as God loves.

Now is the time to let your grief find expression. No false strength. Now is the time to sit quietly and speak to Rachael and thank her for being with you these few years and encourage her to go on with her work knowing that you will grow in compassion and wisdom from this experience.

In my heart I know that you and she will meet again…and again and recognize the many ways in which you have known each other. And when you meet you will in a flash know what now it is not given to you to know. Why this had to be the way it was. Your rational minds can never understand what has happened but your hearts, if you can keep them open to God, will find their own intuitive way. Rachael came through you to do her work on earth which included her manner of death. Now her soul is free and the love that you can share with her is invulnerable to winds of changing time and space. In that deep love include me too.

It was a very moving scene in the video.  There is another scene at the end of the video between Ram Dass and a young woman...perhaps in her mid twenties.  She visits him in his home.  She is trying to make sense of the murder of her fiance in a South American country where he was doing some kind of humanitarian work. They had planned to dedicate their lives to helping others. The conversation is touching and it gives the viewer a glimpse into the compassionate, empathetic heart of Ram Dass.  He probably would not fit the criteria of "Christian" to many who claim the name of Jesus as their own, but he displays the nature in a way most Christians can only aspire to (including the author of this post) 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fierce Grace

My interest in Ram Dass has been piqued enough that he has been the focus of my internet travels a lot of this weekend.  Yesterday morning I watched Fierce Grace, a documentary of his life. It was a little over an hour and a half long.  I usually do not watch things that long...but this one captured...and attention.  It was filmed after he had his stroke...which occurred sometime back in the late 90's. 

About his stroke he says:

"..... I didn’t have a spiritual thought in my head . . . all I noticed were the pipes on the ceiling."

"Here I am, Mr. Spiritual, and in my own death, I didn't orient toward the spirit.  It shows me I have some work to do. Because that's the test.  That's the test.  So I flunked the test."

The video shows him working with all kinds of therapists...physical, in water, on an exam table, learning to walk. One scene involves a conversation with his speech therapist at what appears to be his home.  He still has difficulty with communication.  He discussed some of his struggles, including what to do about people who insist on finishing his sentences for him.  About finding the right words he says:

"The concepts exist and then they are clothed with words...and the clothing closet isn't, isn't, isn't open." 

About his lot in life:

This isn't who I expected to be.  This is all new. Because my expectations of me old didn't have this stroke in it. 

I picked up his latest book, Still Here, when I stopped at the library earlier. He sees himself as a sort of guide into old age, illness and death. 

I feel like an advance guard. An advance parley that calls back to the baby boomers. And now, I call back about aging because aging and things like stroke are going to be in their present much sooner than they think.

There will probably be more to follow... but you know how I am :)

In the meantime, three interesting links to check out are 

Interesting facts about Fierce Grace 

Audio files of Ram Dass

An Interview With Ram Dass

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ram Dass.....

I am constantly amazed at the wonders on the internet.  The places you can go...the things you can learn on the whimsical, unpredictable rabbit trails on which we can embark in that great kingdom called the world wide web.  Amazing.  Truly a miracle. 

This morning I started out by answering a post on EU.  It was a post from annie and in it she mentioned the "universal individualized."  Call me old fashioned (yea, like that is ever going to happen) but, even though I get the concept...and actually agree with it....I am more comfortable thinking of the universal (which sounds rather impersonal) as my Father.  annie sees God as her Father, too, by the way.  And this brought to mind a song I listened to last night on you tube, a song that is included in the hundred or so songs on my praise and worship playlist. (isn't you tube great?) So off I went to you tube to include the link to the video in my post.

When I signed on, there were a few video suggestions tailored for me, based on my previous you tube viewing.  One was Dennis Miller interviewing Ann Coulter, another was scenes from the movie The Passion (the scene with Jesus and the women caught in the act of adultery) and there was one from Ram Dass about suffering. 


It was only a few minutes long so I listened to it.  I liked interest in Ram Dass was piqued. So what else does one do with a piqued interest?  I googled him.  Predictably, one of the first sites that came up was the  wikipedia article about him.  Quite the interesting guy...

More to come

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Just Who Was Jesus Referring To?

On EU we have a diverse group.  Many of us tend to lean toward the liberal end of the scale...but there are some who lean the other way.  Recently, someone mentioned a couple who donated their life savings (40,000 or 50,000 dollars) to Proposition 8 in California, the huge initiative to ban gay marriage.  It was successful.  She wanted to know what we thought about the donation. 

The first thing that came to  my mind was the verse proclaiming "Lord, we cast out demons in your name, prophesied in your name, and performed many miracles in your name, didn't we?'

And I posted that I wondered if perhaps that couple might be among those to whom Jesus Jesus proclaims...depart from me...I never knew.  Someone on the list deemed my response judgmental.  Perhaps it was.  But just who is Jesus talking about here?  It seems to be those who thought they were doing God's work...casting out demons, prophesy....stopping the gay agenda?  Sounds kind of 700 Club to me?  And backing the 700 Club are staunch, fundamental Christians. 

If I believe in tolerance, then among those I must learn to tolerate are self righteous fundamentalist Christians.  I admit I have a problem with that and perhaps I am getting the beam and the speck mixed up....choosing not to see the beam in my eye but focusing the on the speck in their eyes.  BUT...I think they get the beams and the specks mixed up as well.  I guess my biggest beef with them is that they expect (and some militantly so) to force everyone to live by their view of what the Bible says is right and what the Bible says is wrong. 

To me, in the scene of the woman caught in the act of adultery, they are the ones holding the rocks.  All present, with the exception of Jesus, were sinners..yet, I imagine it was the fundies of the day who were holding the rocks.  And in my mind's eye...I see all the outcasts there on the ground...gays, prostitutes, druggies...drunkards....bums....and I see Jesus saying....He who is without sin...go ahead....wing that first stone....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thomas Merton's "illusary, fictional I"

The illusary, fictional I sounds like the ego to me.  Don't ask me the route I took but somehow in my web travels today, I came upon some quotes by Thomas Merton that captured my attention.  They captured my attention, in part, because they say things very similar to what Tolle says about the egoic mind. 

    • "All sin starts with the assumption that my false self, the self that exists only in my egocentric desires, is the fundamental reality of life to which everything else in the universe is ordered."
    • “There is only an illusory, fictional ‘I’ which seeks itself, struggles to create itself out of nothing, maintained in being by its own compulsion and the prisoner of his private illusion.”
    • "We must make the choices that enable us to fulfill the deepest capacities of our real selves."

I've spent the past hour or so...via google...exploring Thomas Merton sites on the internet.  I found a a fairly new blog called Merton and Friends Weblog.  It takes quotes from Merton's writings and then adds a short commentary.  At a site called  The Words of Thomas Merton..there is quite a stash of quotes, some displayed against a photo background.  Resources abound on the web about Merton...although there is very little of his writings for free.  Most of his books (and there are a lot of them) can be purchased all over the place.  I found the "Seeds of Contemplation" at google for 34 cents (plus 3.99 for shipping). 

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gary Sigler on The Sermon On The Mount

And speaking of the Sermon on the Mount...

Gary Sigler's, The Character of God In You, expresses the viewpoint that the carnal man can never follow the directives in the Sermon On The Mount.  Only the quickened Christ nature within can walk that walk. 

Before I met Keith, he had quite the awakening experience after reading Gary's booklet (which is available on his website)  Keith said he realized that the Christman within him had never been addicted to cigarettes and so, after many failed attempts, he simply stopped smoking.  He was delivered from it.  Just like that. 

I think that is an amazing if I could just somehow put that into play when faced with a Mr. Sticky cinnamon bun...or a piece of turtle cheesecake. 

Another Jesus Manifesto...

While looking up some stuff for the other Jesus Manifesto  post, I came upon a its entirety as a PDF file.... called The Jesus Manifesto.  It is written by by John Edmiston. In the title it is described as:

How To Live In The Kingdom Of God

An exposition of the Sermon On The Mount

Glancing through it, it seems interesting and well written, with practical suggestions for living out the sermon of the Mount theology in our modern day world. 

For example, on turning the other cheek he says:

Jesus continues with verse (39) “But I tell you not to resist an evil person.”

Now what does this mean? Does it mean that policemen should not arrest drug dealers? Should we hand the keys to Fort Knox to burglars? Should we let terrorists run loose?

Not at all! This verse is not meant to be interpreted in such a literal fashion! Jesus is talking about inner resistance or spiritual resistance or reactivity.

Jesus is saying: “Do not let evil press your buttons. Do not fly into a rage. Do not get into a lather and desire to sue people or to take revenge, don’t let evil make you ugly and hateful and bitter and vengeful.”

The natural man is ensnared in the instinctive, adrenaline packed, fight-or-flight reaction. This reaction was very useful when we had to figure out what to do with a saber-toothed tiger – do we get our club and spear and fight it, or do we run and hide? At a sign of threat we produce lots of adrenalin, the blood goes to our extremities to help us run and fight and we react swiftly and instinctively to surrounding events.

This is fine if the house is on fire or we are in a war. But it is useless in normal everyday life where the threats are of a vastly different nature. If you go into a difficult committee meeting with your muscles tensed and your face red and with your teeth bared, you will not negotiate anything worthwhile.

When we go into the fight-or-flight reaction the blood goes away from the brain to the extremities and our thinking becomes unclear and we can make poor choices. There was a case of a man who killed his daughter when he thought a burglar was in the house and shot without thinking. Anger, rage and defensiveness cause dumb decisions and inflict much of our social harm.

The Christian alternative to the fight-or-flight reaction is personal mastery through nonresistance.

Mastery is the ability to use professional skill and wisdom to solve problems in creative and non-reactive ways. It involves taking the focus off the problem and onto the solution and then achieving that solution.

Say two people get a flat tire we will call one Problem-Focused Pete and the other Solution- Focused Sam:

Problem-Focused Pete – sees the problem, says “why did the nail get in my tire, what was the nail doing in the road, I am going to sue whoever left that nail here, now I am going to be late, I am calling my lawyer, soon Problem-focused Pete is yelling at the top of his lungs and abusing the car and the tire and the road and the nail manufacturer and is photographing the tire and the nail and videoing everything for the court case and is still there six hours later collecting evidence and complaining loudly.

Solution-Focused Sam: Gets out the jack and the spanners and the spare tire and uses his mechanical skill to change the tire in under a minute and is back on the road in no time. He goes home and watches Problem-Focused Pete being arrested on TV for abusive behavior.

Jesus wants us to be like Solution-Focused Sam. He wants us to be calm, to be wise, to be professional and to be constructive solvers of life’s problems.


Hmmmm....sounds a lot like what Eckhart has to say about resistance etc. although as I glanced through this e-book (which was about 300 pages long) I saw things I disagree with (some strongly.) I also saw some very good, practical suggestions for living out the Sermon On The Mount in real time...real life...and not just as an ideology we aspire to but never really expect to achieve (in this life anyway.)  Some pie in the sky ideal that our flesh/carnal mind/egoic self looks at and says way, jose.  Check out the book.  It's free and contains some no nonsense suggestions that make more sense than those contained in many books I have actually paid for. 

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Democrats vs Republicans

My friend Kathy used to talk about how she felt growing up in her large, quite conservative, very right wing, 5 point Calvinist family.  I remember her saying she felt like a Democrat in a houseful of Republicans.  I don't think she was really referring to politics because she seemed to lean pretty far to the right herself...but her words illustrate the point that most of the time Democrats and Republicans are as different as fire and water.  And both sides are suspicious...and critical...and even afraid of the other side.  The key word in the preceding sentence is "other."  That is a major trick of the egoic mind.  Singling people out as the "other" and then subtly or not so subtly turning them into the enemy.  The concept of the "other" is also key in Girard's theory of mimetic rivalry. 

It may have been from a link on the Jesus Manifesto blog that I came upon a site called Put Away Falsehood which dealt with rumors about Obama...the infantide claims...his ties to Terrorists.  It is a definitely pro Obama site.  But from there I found an unbiased site called Fact Check.  It is a bipartisan site that seemed equally willing to point out the discrepancies and less than honest innuendos (and flat out lies) in the Obama campaign AND in the McCain campaign.  It deals with many of the jabs each side has issued against the other.  Check it out for a balanced (though somewhat cynical) view of all the crap still circulating around the internet and via word of mouth communication. 

And speaking of crap, I came upon a treasure trove of it at a blog called "Solving Light." Oprah, Obama...and Tolle have all had top billing there of late.  Articles like

Sarah and Oprah - The Spiritual and Moral Contrast

The spiritual contrast between them is too stark, starker than that between the sun at high noon and midnight in a dismal swamp.

Hint...Oprah does not fare well in this contrast with Palin.



The Obamas Look to Oprah as Their “Global Role Model” Oprah Looks to Her Mentally Deranged Guru, Eckhart Tolle. Tolle Looks to His “Source,” an Exact Match for Satan

or how about


which seems to take a detailed look at the "blatant" narcissism of Oprah, Obama and Tolle.

I am guessing this guy did not cast his ballot for Obama.  He seems utterly fixated on the connection between these three...and seems to have pegged them as some kind of satanic trinity. 

I am going to post a bit more about writings because, truthfully, even the writers at Saturday Night Live cannot come up with stuff THIS good.  The sad part is that his writings are not sattire.  He is serious. He believes the stuff he writes and he wants to convince anyone who will listen to believe it too.  Just to pique your interest and to give you an indication of his fear and fixation, I will close this post with the picture he uses to illustrate yet another post called Oprah’s Guru, Oprah, and the Fall of Obama. He claims that Oprah

has welcomed with specificity, each and every lie the serpent fed to Eve in the garden.

AND she is passing it on to Obama.  You can see Eckhart in the background dressed in his cute little serpent suit...and he is, of course, the author of these lies.  Well...perhaps he is better described as the "reteller" of these lies since they are timeless.



Gee...I wonder if this picture was photoshopped?  Perhaps I should check out it's validity on Fact Check? 

The Jesus Manifesto....

Somehow in my cyber travels, I came upon a site called The Jesus Manifesto.  I vaguely remember visiting there before, back when I was reading a lot of Girardian stuff and hanging out at sites like Preaching Peace and Every Church a Peace Church. It is an interesting site...set up in blog format. The Jesus interesting name. On the "About JM" page it proclaims:

When Jesus started his ministry, he issued a manifesto–a statement declaring the coming of the Kingdom. To find Jesus’ manifesto, some people look to the Sermon on the Mount, but my vote is for Luke 4:18-19:

The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

I looked up the word "manifesto" for this post.  It is one of those words I "know" the meaning of but am hard pressed to find synonyms to define it.

Emily will often ask me what a word means when I use it in a conversation with her. 

"What does, blah blah mean, Mom?" or "I don't know what blah blah means."

I pause, think a moment and often answer, "You know...blah blah." as if by some magic power repeating the word or phrase will bring the definition from the depths of her subconscious.  It has become sort of a family joke. 

"No, I don't know what it means.  That's why I asked."

Then I struggle to find the synonyms to describe "blah blah." Sometimes synonyms are elusive and putting familiar words in "other words" is difficult. 

So to add to my own mental cache of words and their meanings...and in case Emily ever asks me for a definition of manifesto in the course of a conversation, I offer the following from Wordsmyth:

a public statement of principles and intentions, usually by an organized political group or person.

One of the synonyms listed is "pronunciamento."  Oh, that should come in useful if Emily ever asks.  :)

Anyway, the site comes from an emergent, feed the hungry, clothe the poor, my allegiance is to the Lord sort of perspective.  I don't mean that in an offhanded or condescending way at all.  I didn't spend a lot of time there because I visited on a weekday morning when time is limited.  There were a few writings that piqued my interest. I converted them from text to speech (using Text Aloud) and listened to them on my MP3 player when I took my lunch break stroll around the neighborhood. 

The post called "Ghandi Was Wrong" explores the tension of living in a "now/not yet" Kingdom.  The victory has been won, Jesus accomplished it on the cross yet the lion has yet to lie down with the lamb.  Their view is that we are living in overlapping kingdoms.  It is finished but that is not what we see with our natural eyes...and just what is our responsibility in this overlapping time warp?

Another post I read there is called "Striving for a Just Peace without the Myth of Redemptive Violence" The authors of the writing refer to this myth as the envisioning of:

.....a utopian future brought into the present by efficient violence and skillful use of less violent, but still coercive, soft power.

The post discusses the allegiance to political parties (and in fact the insistence by many members of those parties, that in order to be a Christian one must side with their particular ideology and vote for their candidate.) The solution?

The only way to confront this compartmentalized form of syncretism is to do what Paul does in his letter to the Colossians: announce that Jesus is Lord Redeemer of all areas of life, including all powers and authorities, and that his victory over the forces of evil happened on the cross and in his resurrection.

Anyway, it is an interesting site to go take a look-see. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Deepak Chopra's Third Jesus...

I just watched the first in a series of six podcasts by Deepak Chopra on Unity. The series is based on his latest book, The Third Jesus.  I like what he's had to say so far.  Below are a few of the points he's made in this podcast "Who is Jesus and Why Does It Matter?"

  • The first Jesus he refers to is the historical Jesus. The son of man who walked the dusty trails and vales of the middle east. 
  • The first Jesus is mentioned in the writings of Josephus.  Not only that he existed and was crucified, but Josephus also alluded to the resurrection.  I didn't know that. 
  • The second Jesus was the Jesus invented by the church...from ancient times to the present. The Nicene Creed Jesus...the pomp and circumstance Jesus...the Jesus whose teachings have been distorted and misinterpreted down through the ages until many bear little resemblance to what he was trying to say.
  • The third Jesus is the indwelling of the mysteries the Bible speaks of...the Christ in you, the hope of glory. 
  • Jesus was not a Christian.  And the people to whom he said things like...."don't you know you are gods" were not Christians.  When Jesus spoke of being born again...he was referring to coming into "God Consciousness" in "I and the Father are one"
  • References in the scripture to the experience of God Consciousness are largely ignored in Christianity (Jesus said, "You search the scriptures for eternal life but you will not come to me"  Paul said, "The Spirit gives life, the letter kills." John said, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth"  All these are paraphrased) 
  • Churchianity has set itself up as the authority on how to "get to God" discrediting the experience of the quickening of the Spirit. Instead of the experience, we have dogma. We have ideology. 
  • Then, to defend the ideology, wars are fought.  He said there are 35 wars going on right now..all fought in the name of God. 
  • Deepok's view is that the more insecure one is, the tighter they hold onto their beliefs.  He credited fundamentalists as being among the most insecure.
  • It is easy to mistake knowing ABOUT knowing ABOUT God...for actually KNOWING Jesus.  For actually KNOWING God. 
  • When our consciousness shifts/mutates/is born again, EVERYTHING changes.  Our social interactions, our thoughts, our physical state, our relationships...everything. 

There was more said...perhaps I will comment in future meanderings. 

Sunday, November 2, 2008

They Do Not Know....

Psalm 82 says:

5They do not know, nor do they understand;
        They walk about in darkness;
        All the foundations of the earth are unstable.
6I said, "You are gods, 
        And all of you are children of the Most High.

I came across something the other day in my surfing (don't ask me how or where).  It was the story of an eagle who was raised by a chicken...and so "it did not know, nor understand and it walked about in darkness."  The story was by Anthony De Mello. 

A man found an eagle's egg and put it in a nest of a barnyard hen. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them. All his life the eagle did what the barnyard chicks did, thinking he was a barnyard chicken. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He clucked and cackled. And he would thrash his wings and fly a few feet into the air.


Years passed and the eagle grew very old. One day he saw a magnificent bird above him in the cloudless sky. It glided in graceful majesty among the powerful wind currents, with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings.

The old eagle looked up in awe. "Who's that?" he asked. "That's the eagle, the king of the birds," said his neighbor. "He belongs to the sky. We belong to the earth--we're chickens."

So the eagle lived and died a chicken, for that's what he thought he was.
From the book Awareness, by Anthony de Mello, S.J.