Monday, May 31, 2010

Let me put that another way....

On one of the yahoo e-groups where I am a member, there is a lot of arguing about the inerrancy of the Bible..and the validity of other spiritual/inspirational writings.  Everyone has their ideas about what is acceptable reading material.  Some of us are quite laid back and trust the spirit to lead us...and everyone else....into all truth.  I consider myself to fit in that category.  if someone is reading something that does not resonate with me personally...oh well.
A Course in Miracles is oft cited by the "new age police" as a writing that borders on demonic...and one that just about guarantees a quick trip, headlong, down the slippery slope.  Personally there is no resonation between me and A Course in Miracles.  Even though I read the first few lessons, it left me kind of scratching my head. 
Lesson One:
Nothing I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] means anything.
  • This table does not mean anything.
  • This chair does not mean anything.
  • This hand does not mean anything.
  • This foot does not mean anything.
  • This pen does not mean anything.
Hmmmm....Okay...but I'm kind of fond of this laptop....and this hand and this foot.  They do, in fact , mean something.  Just try to wrestle this meaningless laptop from these meaningless hands. 
But the lesson goes on...
  • That door does not mean anything.
  • That body does not mean anything.
  • That lamp does not mean anything.
  • That sign does not mean anything.
  • That shadow does not mean anything.
You get the point...and perhaps it resonates with you...but I stopped after about lesson 3....
I do not understand anything I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place].
So while, A Course in Miracles is not my choice of reading material, I don't really care if others read it...or discuss it on the list.  Some do care.  A lot.  They moan and groan, whine and complain about how the list has gone totally new age and is no longer Christian. A few get downright pissy and name call and defame the character and motives of the others they deem new agers. 
But whatever....
I have found truth all over the place.  I have found truth in Eckhart Tolle's writings, and from the pen of Ram Dass, Paramahansa Yoganda, Adyashanti, Pema Chodron and many other teachers/preachers with ties to other religions and spiritual outlooks.  I have found truth in some of the excerpts I have read from the Quran...Spiritual Notes to Myself....and from mainstream writings of authors like Phillip Yancey and Max Lucado.  So far, nothing that has resonated goes against truths I've found in the Bible.  So far.  I am not ruling it out.  The Jews living in the time of Jesus clung to their scriptures and refused to accept the diamonds of truth Jesus laid at their feet because it went against their scriptures.  Even when Jesus told them flat out, "You have heard it said, but I say....." they could not look past what was written.  
So an example of how the truths I find one place are confirmed in other (not always similar) places, there are three quotes I've come across about death.  First from Eckhart....
The secret of life is to "die before you die" -- and find that there is no death.
And from an 18th century mystic.....Francious Fenelong
Daily dying takes the place of final death.
We must bear our crosses; self is the greatest of them; we are not entirely rid of it until we can tolerate ourselves as simply and patiently as we do our neighbor. If we die in part every day of our lives, we shall have but little to do on the last. What we so much dread in the future will cause us no fear when it comes, if we do not suffer its terrors to be exaggerated by the restless anxieties of self-love. Bear with yourself, and consent in all lowliness to be supported by your neighbor. O how utterly will these little daily deaths destroy the power of the final dying!
And the confirmed in scripture part?  Well, Paul's references to dying to self are all through the epistles...
Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; 2 Timothy 2:11
I die every day - I mean that, brothers - just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord. NIV 1 Corinthians 15:31
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. Galatians 2:20
I die daily...crucified with Christ...if we die with him....die before you die...these little daily deaths. 

annie posted the following quote on EU...which was originally posted on Will's facebook page.  Yet another diverse source saying, in essence, the same thing....

On June 2, 1987 Fr. Anthony DeMello entered into fullness of life, leaving a rich legacy of teaching & literary works. In one meditation he wrote "To a disciple who was obsessed with the thought of life after death, the Master said, "Why waste a single moment thinking of the hereafter?" "But is it possible not to?" "Yes." "How?" "By living in heaven here and now." "And where is this heaven?" "In the here and now."

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