A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for August, 2008

So, forgive and forget, eh?

Just like that, no matter the crime? Well, maybe not “just like that, with a snap of the fingers”, but we do need to forgive. Now, we humans are apt to hold onto small snippets of injury that could be released with little effort if we really thought about it. But, unfortunately, sometimes we get into a rut and just decide to martyr ourselves over small slights. Even here, there is such a sadness at the fact that, “letting go” would improve the health and well-being of the organism. In fact, one of the things that saddens me the most is the misconception that forgiving someone automatically absolves them of the crime, as though it were never committed.

That can happen, as I understand it, but not by your word or action, it happens at a much higher level than most humans can even hope to attain in a particular lifetime. You may learn compassion, and you may learn utter forgiveness, and it releases you from the blockages that such anger causes in the flow of energy. Only as the “other”, i.e. the one you have forgiven learns to forgive are their shortcomings forgiven them. Each of us must learn forgiveness for our shortcomings to be absolved. You do not absolve another’s crimes by forgiving them, you only release the life-force to flow freely within you again.

C Forgive me, at the risk of belaboring a point too far, I am going to use a little analogy. Imagine that you are pointing to the one who wronged you in an accusatory manner. There in the fingers folded back on your palm held tightly is a list of the wrongs committed. You must release that list, open your palm and relax, letting go of the hurt and pain that was caused by the wrong in order for the healing balm of the Holy Spirit to begin to enter you and heal you. This is the forgiveness you are being asked to give, indeed, commanded if you want the healing for yourself. This process actually does not affect the other person at all. It is for you alone to receive the gift offered.

This same process must happen in the person who wronged you for their wrongs to be righted, and for them to receive any healing from the Holy Spirit. Now, the truth of it all is that, if you are no longer holding onto the hurt and pain, as you have every right to do, but it will continue to harm you if you do, the other person, sensing that what they did no longer has the power to hurt you, may actually begin to look at the events and begin to release their own “angst”. There is no guarantee of this, and it should not be looked for, but it has been known to happen, as when the Holy Spirit is in a project, miracles most certainly can happen!

Relaxing the fist is not easy. Sometimes you have to take your other hand and pry open your own fist, i.e. a lot of prayer, but if you can get there, the rewards for you are immense. C

So, what this means, ultimately, is that, yes, you must forgive, but, should you hope that the other’s sins will be ultimately forgiven you must pray that they learn to forgive also. The grandest part of this little piece of knowledge is that once you realize that this is how the flow works, you know that the one who committed the crime against you, in order to be forgiven, must repent and forgive also. You know that the forgiven individual is not going to commit the crimes of the past, because they have turned their life around and now serve the Holy One and the “energy” can flow for all.

Do you see, my friends, that this is why it is so important for you to mind your own path, and not your neighbor’s, not even your “enemy’s? Each of us will go before the ‘Holy Counsel’ and answer for our own crimes. This is where they are absolved and it is and will always be individual by individual, not a group process. If, when you come before the Counsel you have forgiven, i.e. released all injuries done to you, and are at peace, your shortcomings can also be forgiven, for the healing energy can flow through you.

Following this line of thought further, it will come to pass that the more folk who learn proper forgiveness, the stronger the energy will flow for all mankind, and the stronger the energy flows, the sooner will all receive the healing needed to grow strong and healthy minds and spirits. Whoa, now that would be glorious in the extreme, yes? Yes!

But . . . . .we must remember that the changes that occur in the heart in order for forgiveness to happen are seldom instantaneous. Many times, when a crime has been committed, there is a loss that must be grieved before true healing can even begin. Like the stages of the butterfly, changes happen over time, but they are worth waiting for, for the human that learns to forgive does, eventually, become a fully winged and free butterfly!

Controlling . . . . .

Aren’t buzz words great? Heavens, 20 years ago, recovering alcoholics were the only people that even had a clue that their problems came about because of their own control issues, and now we all know that’s a problem each of us has in differing degrees, Right? Well, sort of. Like all buzz words, having control issues is pretty much a joke for many people.

But we do all have the silly things. If they interfere with our lives, they can render us quite dysfunctional. There’s a rather nice website that I refer people to on a relatively constant basis, it’s just called Coping, and for the person who simply needs help sorting out what’s going on in their lives, The Dr.s Messina have set up some very nice check lists. When the crisis becomes something one cannot sort out alone or with the help of a listening friend, it’s time to consult a professional.

The website addresses control issues with the concept of detachment. They explain it in such a way that you understand it as a healthy response to stimuli. There are things that are just not yours to “fix” or render better, and the Dr.s Messina post an excellent checklist to help us understand where our boundaries should be and what to do to bring them into healthy alignment. The problem is that many of us grew up in families where proper psychological and physical boundaries did not exist. This is much more common than currently understood, and has led us into most of the issues that face us as a people today.

The Native American teaching regarding Sacred Space is one that is sorely needed by us as a society if we are going to learn to cope with the pace at which our world currently spins. I have discussed it at Wild Garden Arts, the website for my art, if you go to the site, click on the leaf labeled “Sacredness” and you will be at the page on which the picture of the tree in the medicine wheel is displayed.

Often, it is only with the understanding that each of us is actually born with a “sacred space” or the right to it, that we can realize that even interference that we feel is “for their highest and best” may be interfering with their lessons. This does not mean that one should ignore a friend or loved one’s bent toward self-destruction, it simply means that we cannot remain respectful of their sacred space and try to take over their lives. If a person is bent toward the use of drugs in such a way that it detrimentally affects you, you may need to choose to leave. These are the things that a professional can help you sort out.

When you can learn a healthy compassionate detachment that will love without trying to own or even manage, then you yourself are in a much better position to assist those you love and care for. This is a tough one, I know, I have had my own “issues” with boundaries. The Buddha addressed this many generations ago, his teachings are as salient today as ever. Elizabeth J. Harris gives an excellent rendering of the meaning of detachment and compassion as the Buddha taught it, and will help anyone on a search for the knowledge of how a person can develop healthy boundaries toward living a happier life. The mandalla above is a wish for peace to you and yours.

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera . . . . .


I love this symbol. It has not, to my knowledge ever been made the symbol of a cause or religion. It is so beautiful I have often wondered why. I have also wondered why my fascination with this beautiful mark that simply signifies et cetera, all that other stuff. Except that I am an amateur calligrapher and have been since I was 12. That would probably explain loving the beauty of it, but there’s more to my love than that.

The very meaning of sacred is to set apart, as in no longer common or profane but held in high regard. The ampersand is a bridge; its meaning is inclusion, not exclusion. It ties things together: Black & White; Red, White, & Blue; You & Me. There is nothing exclusionary about the ampersand. If it became a holy symbol it would be because there was a group of people that understood that God loves everyone, red & yellow, black & white, they are precious in his sight, and it’s not just the little children of the world, it’s the workers, & the aged, & the moms & the dads, it’s the bus boy in the restaurant & the owner, & the waitress, & the waiter, & the customer, the straight & the gay. Oops, did I say that? Yeah, I did.

There are those who would point out Sodom & Gomorrah to me and say, hey, God doesn’t like gays! And I would have to say to you that you haven’t studied this tale nearly well enough to even begin to preach to me if you take that as the message. I want to know a couple of things. Have you seen groups of gay men going around and raping other men? Have people come knocking on your door insisting you give them your guests to appease their sexual appetites? If that is the case, then, maybe God does need to come around with fire and brimstone. I’m glad that’s not my call, but, as a woman, I really detest the idea of rape, and I cannot believe it would be any easier on a man.

As far as I can tell forcing others into a sexual byplay is not what being gay is all about. I have had the honor of having been befriended by some very honorable men who happened also to be gay. They wouldn’t think of forcing a partner. So, where is your comparison, really? Does it even come close to holding? I don’t think so. And that only works for me if you take seriously the idea of stoning your children if they refuse to clean up their room, or stone a stranger for walking through your church when uninvited, now there’s a church that forgot the message for falling in love with the messenger. Go for it, sing Hallelujah, Glory to God, and when the stranger comes in your midst and doesn’t wipe his feet, (yes folks that is in the OT!) you stone him. That would make the headlines

To adopt the Ampersand as a holy symbol requires that we see ourselves as being “in the soup,” as it were, with everyone else. It requires that we drop the us and them perspective. It requires that we love God, and love our fellow man; even when our fellow man isn’t from our social club.

Awareness ~

The churched call it being “saved”, but other paths usually call it being awakened, it can mean the same thing, only different verbiage. It does indeed feel like you have been born into a new realm of reality, and so calling the phenomenon rebirth, once you have experienced it is not at all unnatural.

The sadness, for me, comes with the process in the more fundamental form of Christianity that jerks at the emotions. This is something that has haunted me for many years. Does this process need to be accompanied by so much emotion? I don’t believe so, I believe that there may be an emotional release within the heart of the one experiencing the awakening, but the induced emotionality of the “Hallelujah” preaching of the man on stage is not needed for this process to be genuine. In fact, the less induced emotion, the greater the release from within, from what I have seen and experienced.

So, what is the “Awakening” that some call getting “saved”? It is literally as though one had been pulled awake into a new reality, in fact, when it happens, you find yourself looking around expecting everything to be different, only to find it is you that has changed. You have a new sense of life, a new sense of self, and a new sense of all that is. There is a hunger to understand what this “newness” is. If you are among the churched, you will begin to study the Bible in earnest. If you are among the Indigenous peoples of any land, you will sit and listen to the Holy person with renewed interest and understanding.

No matter the path you are following, you will have a new understanding of matters spiritual, and of greater truths than those that end at the tip of your nose. In fact, that is a large part of the entire phenomenon. You have become aware that there is more in the world than your own selfish needs. This is why I have no use for the emotion inducements of the Evangelicals. When the awakening takes hold in truth, there is no longer a need to center everything you do around whether it meets your own selfish needs or not. The world has grown, and you have seen and know that there are others that have needs besides yourself.

I spent a large part of this life’s journey within the confines of church doctrine, and I have seldom seen the induced “salvation experience” result in this awakening to the needs of “other”. Most of the time, these are the ones that are the so-called “backsliders”, which is where the folks at the Second Baptist church of Warhol have gotten the idea that “salvation” is something that has to “take” in order to be permanent. You would have hoped they would have thought out the idea that perhaps one needed to respond with more than a Hallelujah to find true “salvation.”

No pastor or mentor can take credit for an Awakening, the “job” of those whose lives have been forever touched by Spirit is to plant the seed. When a person wakens, it is simply between them and Spirit, and a matter of the seed sprouting roots and growing. That is nothing any human can call their doing. And it is not peculiar to Christianity, it is part of the spiritual walk of all sincere pilgrims no matter the faith. However, it is indeed the seed planting, spoken of by Y’shua, that is important. You let Spirit “grow” the crop, you just keep planting.

Most pastors feel that a “new convert” will not grow and will “backslide” if they do not come to church every Sunday. That is also a fallacy. If Spirit was in it from the beginning, the person will stay on the path whether they follow the doctrine of a particular church or not. There are many times that the pastor of a church exhibits so many of the traits of the controlling personality that one begins to wonder if the pastor was also an induced “salvation” and never actually awakened to Spirit.

Soldiers of the Cross?

Has it occurred to you that Y’shua never made that correlation? That was a Paulism. Would it surprise you to find that Y’shua probably would shudder at such a title for “His” followers? Remember that to all of the people of Judea soldiers were representatives of Rome. They were often cruel, many times brutal, seldom considerate of other humans in any way. That is so far from the “Path” that Y’shua was teaching that it seems way off key when we celebrate such a position. Now, keep in mind, as I address this glitch in our thinking that the US has never had a “professional” army in the same sense that Rome did. We have professionals, yes, but the bulk of our army is citizens, not mercenaries. There’s a reason for that, and it does indeed go back to the type of people soldiers become in such an atmosphere.

Be that as it may, Y’shua would not have encouraged his followers to emulate soldiers in any way. I am not all that certain I understand why Paul took the church in that direction. Part of the issue may be that Y’shua was calling individuals to a closer relationship with Spirit, while Paul was organizing a flock he hoped would all march to the same tune.

I admire individualism. That cannot survive in a regimented atmosphere. In fact, if you look at the many churches we have all within a few blocks of one another in many cities, you will see that most churches have no give in the fabric of their construction for the individual. When someone has a different vision of Hashem, they almost have to start another church instead of making room in the old fellowship for a different way of seeing things. I remember hearing a preacher once say that if you did not see God the way he saw God, you could not worship at the same altar as he. I didn’t argue, I just left.

But then, here is the point of this musing: does a God that so completely treasures variety that there are so many different flowers, trees, plants, animals, even colors of humans, really want those who follow and obey to be like rubber stamp copies of one another? I doubt it. Even the clouds in the sky do not copy one another exactly. And then there is something else that it seems Y’shua wanted, it was for each of us to mind our relationship with the Almighty, and leave our neighbor’s relationship to God between the neighbor and God. But then, Paul thought it was all right to scold people for doing wicked things when they weren’t even doing them. So the children follow the pied piper, should I be surprised?

Rebirth ~

What is this phenomenon? Is it really necessary? I did a Google search on rebirth, and saw an ad by Playstation that rather caught my breath. Adult female, assisted by female (Dr?) with an adult male covered in what looked like myconium as though head coming from birth canal. Interesting. Almost frightening. I had to check it out to make sure no new cult was using such weird techniques to imitate the emotionality that accompanies the phenomenon in the churches.

Seriously, is the “born again” phenomenon actively pursued in the more fundamental churches what Y’shua was addressing when he spoke of being born again? Personally, I don’t think he was being all that oblique, I think he was addressing reincarnation. When such a question would be asked of him, he who was so totally aware of Spirit, could most likely tell, just because of that awareness, where a person “was” spiritually. With that, he would know if one needed to live another life or three before one could arrive at the awareness of Spirit needed to “enter into” the kingdom.

I remember being told many years ago, in the church where I was attending, that Christianity was the only faith where such a phenomenon was taught. I was quite disappointed to find that that was yet another lie. An awakening of some sort is taught in every major faith on the planet, and many that are not even counted major faiths.

The words death and rebirth are quoted in John’s Gospel as being Y’shua’s. (Many teachers of Christianity teach that one will go to everlasting damnation if one even looks at the inner workings of another faith, a convenient way to keep people ignorant of their dishonesty as well as to keep people in the Flock who might otherwise feel that, all things considered they might as well join the Hamayim). So, let’s look at Y’shua’s teachings:

3In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.[a]

5Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

4“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”

John chapter 3 is the basis of much of what the church believes about this phenomenon, and written the way it is, there is little doubt that it is some enigmatic phenomenon that has to do with belief in him as the one and only Son of God. The problem I have with that is that, even among his most beloved disciples, all of whom attended shul, he would have been stoned to death if he put his teachings into those words. And he would have been making a liar out of Moshe(Moses), who had said that Hashem(God) had said he would never ever incarnate. Something every one of his Jewish followers would have known extremely well, and who also knew the penalty for saying one was God. (I suspect this is the reason the preachers so dislike it when we mere humans decide we want to read the Tanakh as it was written.)

There are few ignorant among the Ivrit (Hebrews), as every child whose parent follows the old laws is taught at the very least temple Hebrew.  So, how did Y’shua get away with saying he was God incarnate for three years until the Romans finally tired of his rabble rousing? I don’t think he did. And I do believe he may have taught about rebirth as reincarnation,  he might have even talked of Awakening to God’s Grace, but I doubt if he talked about being God in the flesh, not even in roundabout ways.

I have searched Y’shua’s teachings extensively, and I have found no indication that he intended for our pilgrimage to be a series of emotional highs and lows. In Luke 14, in fact, he spoke of counting the cost before you leap to say you can do it, whatever “it” is. He wanted those who followed his teachings to do so in a well thought out and steadfast manner. This does not call for high emotion, this calls for studying and knowing what is asked of you.

We are meant to walk the path, not run, not skip, not hop, walk it, in a gentle and steadfast manner, by making a decision to live that way, not by getting “high on God”, that might be fun, but, such an emotive decision early in one’s life seldom leads to obedience and compassion.

Mysticism ~

I have often been amused at the tongue in cheek correlation between the idea of walking through the mists on a dewy morning and walking through the mists on a “mystical” journey. Yes, I know that is either corney or punny, choose, But the metaphorical connection to mysticism and a misty morning obviously struck the photographer of one of my favorite desktop backgrounds, because this photo is entitled, Mystic morning, Yosemite. Yet, is it tongue in cheek or just a deeper connection than apparent on the surface? When you walk down the path to look at the mysteries of the Universe, there is no guarantee that you are seeing any more clearly than your less adventuresome neighbor who follows the truth as he perceives it, in a normal psalter.

So, why do we do it? Why are we drawn down a path that is never ever going to able truthfully to guarantee us any clarity of vision? I have been frank enough with you that you all know that I hear voices, some of them not the kind ones that one would take to be a holy teacher or friend. For me, following the path of the mystics was simply because any other direction and I was crazy or possessed.

But, I am not the first to follow that path, nor will I be the last. So what draws us? Most of my fellow wanderers are intelligent enough not to buy the swill that’s sold at the street corner that this is a way to “know the truth”, no one can honestly guarantee that. However, when you sit down and talk at length with the wanderers, most have experienced something that cannot be explained by a “normal” take on religion. Some may, like myself, have repeat experiences that will not go away. Some may have only one experience but it so filled them with awe or wonder or dread, that the only thing they could do was seek an answer from somewhere.

The photo above on the right was taken by a close friend who has experienced the pictured phenomena for most of her life. When she was sent to me, it was during a time when the encounters were not always pleasant. She would not discuss these things with her grandparents or their church, as she knew she would go through an exorcism, and she knew she wasn’t experiencing that sort of phenomenon in her life. When we met, it took a while for her to trust that I did not deal with the devil, but as we progressed we became inseparable friends.  There were lessons on prayer and meditation, things she should already have known from the church, there were lessons on being sensitive to “Spirit” and listening to what she needed to know. I didn’t teach her, Spirit did. We are still close friends, even though separated by many miles.

She now serves where she is, I where I live. All we can provide is a bit of light shining in the dark. Sometimes the mist is so thick we can only see a few steps ahead, it isn’t easy, I wouldn’t try to sell anyone the path I walk. But if you are already on it, please wave, we can sit down and share a cup of coffee and some fellowship!

Luminosity of Spirit . . . . . .Nirvana?

I have heard it argued both ways, that the Sermon on the Mount was addressing life after death, and that the SotM was addressing a better world here, if we would learn to live the way he taught. When I read Neil D. Klotz interpretation, there were many things that pulled together for me. I have come to believe that Y’shua was very much addressing how our lives can change in the here and now, if we will learn to live a “surrendered” life.

This is a life so dependent on Spirit that we know that all of our needs will be seen to, no matter what they are. I have actually known people for whom this has happened. I can testify that Spirit will indeed see that your needs are met, if not your wants. And there is where we come to the similarity between the “surrendered” life of Y’shua’s teaching and the life without external attachment of Buddha’s teaching.

When one lives a life without external attachment, one has reached a point where there is an acceptance of all that befalls one. This has been called fatalism by many from this side of the theological divide, and to a degree, that may be truth. But it is not the whole truth. There are “graces” in Buddhism, as there are in all major faiths. The presumption that we understand a faith or path from the outside looking in was one of the many things Y’shua cautioned us about, yet many practice that very form of judgment.

When Buddha taught regarding Nirvana he was not addressing an afterlife experience, he was talking about the golden life one would be able to lead when one no longer held onto desires as rights. You can understand this if you look at the meaning (from Huston Smith) of the word tanha, in the Four Noble truths. “I want what I want when I want it, no matter the cost.” This was the cause of suffering and misery. Letting go of this was the road to Nirvana, the Eightfold Path that led to enlightenment was the prescription toward getting “there”.

Y’shua taught the Eight Beatitudes, Gautama Buddha taught the Eightfold Path, I believe they are the same path. Simply taught to different audiences, therefore with different emphasis, according to the needs of those intended to hear the message. (The Lakota believe the Path of the Morning Star (eight points) will lead to happiness in this life and a good crossing into the next life. Coincidence?)

I also believe that we the people of earth will only remain divided as long as those who desire the dividing are allowed to influence what we think. When we can surrender our will, let go of the desire to have what we cannot have, and learn to walk in inner peace, there will be outer peace, and not before. There are many who believe the prophecies of the end times and of great disasters befalling the human race. That is one possible future. Look at the story of Jonah and the whale. Prophecies may be true and still do not have to happen. We can treat our fellow humans with kindness from deep within, and in doing so, bring about a time of true peace.

Abiding . . . . . .3rd part.

Please forgive me for the length of this discourse, this is so basic to the path I have walked, and though I would by no means hold myself up as a marked holy person, the fact that the voices have made life more difficult for me, and may be doing the same for others, they have made it more difficult even at times, to hold onto reality and my place in the sun. This is, again, the reason I share my path with you, if what I have learned can in any way ease your path, I will feel it was worth the risk in exposing myself this way.

Again, simple ceremonies, such as Tai Chi, or walking the labyrinth, or laying out ones “sacred” items, even if it is nothing more than the book you are reading, your copy of Holy Writ, (be it Bible or Quran, or Bhagavadgita, or Torah), perhaps a candle, a cloth for the table on which you will work and take notes. These things help to put you in the “space of prayer”. What ever works for you, that is what you do. Do not tell another that they are doing it “wrong” even if they are frustrated and asking you how you ‘do it’. Share with them the way that works with you and let them find the way Spirit works best with them.

I have worked with several “students”, other voice hearers mostly, who have been dedicated to wanting to learn a sane way to live and learn and serve Holiness. In the progression of learning, I have found that there comes a time when Spirit takes over the lessons. Spirit will still send them back to me to get more depth, but she begins to lead them in their learning. I have had more than one with whom this has happened. They would come sit with me and we would talk about a concept that needed to be introduced into their lives, and they would leave me shaking their heads, puzzled at what that was all about.

Over the next several days, she would show them the lesson in the best way for them to learn it. It would amaze me. I was not their teacher, she was, I must say that because of that, I began to think of myself as a mentor much more than a teacher, as I simply facilitated the learning process in my charges. This is why I say to you do not insist on a specific way of learning for anyone else. If Spirit works with you as she has worked with me, you are not the teacher, you can only show what works with you, and let Spirit guide the others from there.

I will emphasize again, the only command Y’shua gave was to love, the basis of Buddha’s teachings was kindness to all. If the dog comes to you and starts talking about killing the neighbor, warn the dog that such talk will get it permanently kenneled, you don’t live that kind of life. I have never sought students, they have come to me. I would never encourage one who does not hear voices already to try to hear them. It is difficult to discern the source of those voices and there are many that will attempt to guide you in the wrong direction. That is the reason for the emphasis on compassion in my teachings. A voice hearer cannot afford to live any other way. Let the ones whose minds are not so open to the realms of light and dark be the ones to condemn others, it is not your job, and you cannot afford to let such thought patterns creep into your thinking. Not in any way!

Now, perhaps I need to discuss something here that will help you understand how I came to “teach” the way I do. I worked for a time in a spiritually oriented drug rehab center. The administrator spoke of the fact that alcohol, like drugs, opened up the mind to the lower realms of the spirit. It really made no sense to me at the time, and in context of his conversation on that day, would not have lead to what occured to me later. It was in knowing a gentleman whose association had been with AA and learned their way of viewing the spiritual life that it all came together.

I have come to realize that AA’s practice is a solid spiritual path that cares not the parent faith, simply disciplines the individual to live a personally spiritual life. With all the things that have been brought into my awareness regarding my own difficulties, this makes a great deal of sense. Again, it is not about what you call yourself, it is about how you live your life.

Therefore, know that I would not willingly teach anyone who has the will to hurt another, if you have not already been broken by the pain of what you have suffered it is not mine to break you. If, however, you are ready to live a life in service to the highest, I can help get you on track, that is all. I am not some grand “faith healer”, I am not some incredible “evangelist”, I am a simple woman, living a simple life, willing to share the path that has brought peace to my troubled mind in times that in their way are no more nor less troubled than the past. It is my sincerest hope that if you are also a voice hearer, what I share will help you to find a path of peace and gentle grace.

Abiding . . . . . . .again.

The reason that I use this particular “piece” of illuminated sky to illustrate the topic of abiding is the first beatitude as translated by NDK,

Blessed are those who base their lives in the luminosity of Spirit; theirs shall be the ability to bear edible fruit.

Basing our lives in the luminosity of Spirit is the principle task then, toward living a life that abides in Spirit. But, how do you do that? It is not easy, and it must be realized that there is discipline of one’s own spirit that must take place in order to base oneself in the luminosity of the Holy Spirit. This is not something that spontaneously occurs when you say please, it happens over time, and only if you allow Spirit to take the polishing cloth to you on a daily basis.

So, how does this process occur? Prayer! Yes, prayer. Daily meditational and vocal prayer. I say both types, because we westerners are apt to think of prayer as a “Christmas list” of wants and needs. That is only a very small part of an active prayer life. We were, indeed, encouraged to think of the “Aba-Eem” as being willing to answer our every need and even many of our desires, by Y’shua. But that is only a part of what effective prayer entails.

First, there is actually an attitude of prayer. The Natives of North America call it walking with a light step. To a Tibetan monk, it is so much a part of his training that by the time you would meet him, it is woven into his entire being. But, there it is, isn’t it? Training. There are many Christians who believe that if you “train” and weave, and discipline the spiritual life, you drain the spontenaity out of your service, and therefore, the Holy Spirit. That is a factor that must be watched for, they didn’t come to that conclusion sucking it out of their thumbs.

Ouch, that means you have to learn to walk a balance beam. Too much insistence on “doing it” this particular way, does indeed leave Spirit outside the door. I will share with you here that the first time I realized what the Buddhists were doing and enjoyed it was when I learned to do Tai Chi, it is a daily exercise that is meditational in nature. It is  prayer in motion. Doing Tai Chi teaches you the proper attitude that actually puts you in an internal “place of prayer”.

This same thing is accomplished for the western mind by the walking of the labyrinth. It is a deliberate stilling of the mind, while remaining aware of the “flow” of things all around you and in you. And, that, dear reader, may be the very key as to why these disciplines work to increase our awareness of Spirit. She is not called the “ruach ha’kodesh” for no reason. That phrase means Holy Breath, and could even be taken to mean Holy Gentle Breeze.

In fact, there is much in the Gospels to indicate that Y’shua thought of her as the essential life force in the very air you breathe. You could think of the Holy Spirit as being available to you as Oxygen, and not be far wrong. It is this level of awareness of Spirit that is involved in basing your life in the luminosity of The One.

Perhaps I need here, to address the reason that I call the Holy Spirit her, rather than him (Christian usage, as in the spirit of Christ). I would like you to look at Proverbs chapter 8

1 Doth not wisdom acry? and understanding put forth her voice?

2 She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.

3 She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.

4 Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.

5 O ye asimple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding bheart.

6 Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.

7 For my mouth shall aspeak btruth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.

9 They are all plain to him that aunderstandeth, and right to them that find bknowledge.

10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.

11 For awisdom is better than brubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

12 I wisdom dwell with aprudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

13 The afear of the Lord is to bhate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.

15 By me akings reign, and princes decree justice.

16 By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.

17 I alove them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

18 Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable ariches and righteousness.

19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.

20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:

21 That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.

22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his aworks of old.

23 I was set up from aeverlasting, from the bbeginning, or ever the earth was.

24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.

25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:

26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor athe highest part of the dust of the world.

27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a acompass upon the face of the depth:

28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:

29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;

31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.

32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.

33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.

34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

35 For whoso findeth me findeth alife, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.

36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love adeath.

Now, I am sorely aware that I have gone on too long, though I am by no means finished with what Spirit has taught me about this particular lesson, so I will here divide this into another post. If you wish to read on, please do so, but this is a good place to stop and contemplate if you are tired. Thanks,
Su

Godinabox ~

Have you ever wondered about the Godinabox folks? This is not some new religion, this “religion” is as old as mankind. It’s the folks, no matter what their parent faith, that feel that God has provided only one stairway to heaven. This is where I usually get tossed out of a sermon, the preacher starts to tell the folks that there’s only one way you can get to “heaven” and you “Cain’t bah hit!” but, on close examination what they are really telling you is that you MUST buy it, at least you must buy that they know the way, and that if you are going to arrive there, it will be as part of their particular caravan, there is no other caravan that will arrive at the heavenly gates!

John Boanerges wrote, in his 1st letter, (see 1John 4:7 & 8 ) “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God, he who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” When I realized what that was saying, it hit me like a slap in the face, a thunder clap and an earthquake all at once. It’s simple. “By their fruits ye shall know them”, Y’shua, this time, Matt 7:16, if they love, they are God’s own. If they act with hatred, I do not care what they call themselves, or if they are the high pubah in their church, they don’t know God.

However, by the same token, if they love, at some point in their soul, they know God, also no matter what they call themselves. Puts an entirely different spin on all that preaching and shouting, doesn’t it? That is when I first realized that many who called themselves Christians were nowhere near the mark, and many who called themselves by other names, like Ivrit, or Lakota, or Buddhist, belonged to the Holy Spirit. Now, what that means to me is that the “Names” mean absolutely nothing. You can be a Buddhist, or a Jainist, or the preacher at the South Fork Baptist Church, it is not what you call yourself that will be evident in the final call, it is how you live your life.

And, by the way, that includes all of mankind, not just the members of your particular fellowship. If you are loving at church and walk outside the sanctuary swearing to sue your unbelieving neighbor for all he’s worth because his dog soiled in your yard, you need to rethink. And by the same token, if you have a dog that soiled in your other neighbor’s yard (Buddhist) and you figure it’s no big deal because he isn’t from the family of Gaaawd, you’d better rethink. And you need to remember that Y’shua did have something to say about things like that.

37″Do not judge, and you will not be judged.

Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.

Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give,

and it will be given to you. A good measure,

pressed down, shaken together and running over,

will be poured into your lap. For with the

measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

 

Luke 6

Abiding ~

I once did a rather long and drawn out study of this concept, not because my church was teaching it, but because the Master seemed to teach that this was the only way we humans could remain obedient to the principles that are required of us. I will share what I found, and it may take me more than one post. It is not an easy concept to grasp, nor is it easy to live.

What makes it somewhat easier for me, and still by no means a cake walk, may simply be that I know in my heart of hearts that my continuance in this body is bound up in my life with Spirit. I know that sounds terribly melodramatic, but on an everyday basis it really is not. Spirit actually does not need melodrama, that is from our side only. Service is a quiet thing, proceeding day by day with little fanfare.

I simply had a diagnosis that gave me roughly just a few years to live, as when they found the diabetes, it was a fulminating disease operating in my system at full rage. I was in hospital with a Klebsiella infection, once the AIDS people start getting those, the Drs tell them to get their affairs in order. That was 20 years ago. I still have diabetes, but it has not killed me, and I am still quite a ways from the final call. I once told my Dr, however, that I was ready to go, my bags were packed and the reaper would not have to knock twice. She understood.

Now, you would think that with such a sentence hanging over my head I would have planted my feet on somewhat safer ground than exploring the real meaning of Y’shua’s teachings, and let the theologians do the thinking for me. I am, however, too stubborn to do that, and I had already run into things that made me think the theologians were not quite “there”. Since it was my head over which the sword swung, I decided it was time to do or die.

I’ve been living an exploratory life since, and that was a large part of why I was intent on exploring the concept of abiding. One phrase in the OT that sticks out to me is the phrase, “I Am” used by Hashem regarding the eternal and immediate presence of G-d. I wish I could speak Hebrew, I have studied it, but I don’t have it as a language, I would like to combine the words for father and mother, sort of like Aba-eem, if I knew how, to convey this intimately caring ever present life force that is willing to be with each and every one of us if we seek it.

I know that there are many Christians who believe that this is only available through Jesus, but I do not believe that, simply because of passages in the OT indicating that in the Hebrew texts, The Spirit of Holiness, Truth and Wisdom was available to all who sought her. See Proverbs chapter 8. I do believe that the balanced following of the Path of the Rabboni is most definitely one way to find that presence in your life, but not the only one.

The passages in the Gospels that I question regarding Y’shua being the only way, could so easily have been improperly translated if the Greek scribes were not careful, since, if Y’shua frequently used the words for the “I Am”, it wouldn’t take much to turn it around. “The “I Am is the way, the truth, and the Life, no man cometh unto the Aba except through the “I Am.” (and the true meaning then, would be the Holy Spirit, which is the I Am presence of God) instead it was translated “I am the way the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” Boy, that would be an easy slide, wouldn’t it? And we don’t have the original Aramaic to prove one way or the other.

I find that quite frustrating, as there are enough scholars out there, with enough moxie to challenge church doctrine that, were the originals available, and could be worked with, there would be no question about what was meant, or at least less question, as languages sometimes change within 20 year periods let alone 2000 year periods. Anyway, understand that if you are hungry for the presence of The Holy One in your life, you are not left with only one option.

Grace ~

I suspect this is going to turn out to be a continuation of the post on the Sermon on the Mount. Grace is such an enigmatic concept that I fear most Christians just don’t get it. They sing about it, they write about it, they preach about it, but they do not practice it.

If a person believes that Calvin was right, and that all mankind is full of depravity and “wrongness” and that the only way to be “saved’ is to believe in Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection, why is there this constant barrage about particular “sins”? One of my pet peeves with those who supposedly believed the rabbi from Gallilee, is that they seem to know nothing of who he was and what he taught, and didn’t teach. Four gospels were kept of all the accounts that were written about him and what he had to say. Only four! And not one of them records him as having said anything about being Gay!

The biblical commentary about that lifestyle is all in the Tanakh, what Christians call the Old Testament. And even here you are incomplete!! I will not call the bible holy. Your predecessors picked and chose which books were put into the so called holy writ from the Torah to the accounts of the rabbi’s life! You speak of the blood red line from Genesis to Revelations like it was some great prophetic explosion of knowledge, never reckoning with the fact that that was the compilers’ intention, nor that in so doing the collection was rendered helplessly incomplete. Even your Paul would have shuddered to see what you excluded from the compilation you call your Holy book!

Y’shua did not comment on being gay in the Sermon on the Mount, but he did speak of ordinary shortcomings like lust and judging others before you look into your own soul, and being an ordinary human being and adultery, the results of lust. Why not preach continually to your own tendency to pick a spouse and then discard same when the one you promised eternal fealty no longer suits you? Oh, that would be uncomfortable to preach that sermon in your church, too many of your congregation are divorced. But nobody practices a gay lifestyle, at least not openly, so that’s a safe “sin” to preach against.

Prayer from the heart . . . .

Prayer from the heart . . . .

It must gall you that you can no longer use the argument that same gender relationships are not natural. With all the research now in evidence that the gay tendency is a product of over-crowding, why don’t you preach against having too many children? Oh, I forgot, that’s blessed in Genesis. My guess is that those who harp unendingly about the Gay lifestyle are jealous that the “boys” are having too much fun. Stop worrying about somebody else having all the fun and leaving you out and worry about the progress of your own soul toward the high calling that Y’shua came to show us.

Learn to love. Learn to forgive. Learn to pray. Learn to abide. Learn to mind your own business and walk the good walk yourself, then you won’t have so much to worry about when you meet the One whose job it is to judge, eh?  Walk as though you were given the best gift ever, then I will know you understand grace.

The Sermon on the Mount ~

This, to me, is more the way the young rabbi from Galilee looked. Not a blond, not even fair haired. Not necessarily swarthy either, just not Swedish. I have always pictured him with a smile on his face. Don’t get me wrong, I do know about the time when he made a scourge and cleared the temple, he was not without a temper.

I have also long since come to the conclusion that he did not have any intention of founding a new religion. I think he’d have laughed at the idea and asked the querent why? There was only one Hashem, did we need 20 thousand different sets of rules to honor the Ancient of Days? When he sat down to teach, he did not say there would be a new way to do things, no, instead, he spoke of a newness of heart. He spoke of obedience to the Spirit of the Law, not just the Law.

In fact, if you look carefully at the Sermon in Matthew, starting around chapter 5, you will note that it is actually a bit sarcastic. There was never a time when men walked around with staves in their eyes, yet he spoke of removing the log from your own eye before you tried to help your brother get the splinter out of his. He spoke about men and lust, addressing the idea that if a man so much as looked at a woman with desire he had already commited the act with her in his mind. I don’t believe for one minute that he didn’t have urges like any other man, he was just pointing out the futility of judging others for something that occurred every five minutes for every man in that crowd.

He talked about lighting a candle and putting it under a bowl, and if that wasn’t a bit of sarcasm, there is no such thing. Duh! He talked about anger with another human itself being tantamount to murder, he who cleared the temple with a whip! He told people that if their hand caused them to sin to cut it off. He was not a masochist, nor the teacher of such a twisted way of thinking, he was pointing out, dear folks in a gentle and maybe not so gentle way, that judgment of others was a losing game, not our job!!

Now, was he expecting that all would go out right then and there and start living a debauched life? NO! That was not the point at all! He was talking about the fact that your faith is something that should be lived between you and Hashem and leave your neighbor alone to live his life without your interpretation or interference, not because there did not need to be law keepers or magistrates, but because gossip and it’s cousin false judgment will surely destroy a people more quickly than a war in your very midst!!

I keep coming back to this, and I suspect I am just talking to empty air, but, folks, Y’shua was not after teaching you the law, there were already 600+ mitzvot that covered pretty well every act of mankind, some even not for discussion in polite company, he was after teaching the heart of the law. That, again, is compassion.  Read that sermon again, and ask the Ruach Ha’Kodesh (Holy Breath or Holy Spirit) to show you what the real message was. It’s not how to dissect your neighbor’s eye, it’s how to live as a whole human being, loving your fellows.

Objective Truth ~

Time saving Truth from falsehood and envy

Time saving Truth from falsehood and envy

How difficult the whole idea of “truth”, for it is one thing for this person, and another for that. Even the philosophers and theologians cannot agree on exactly what constitutes truth.

It is admirable that one should seek to serve her through all the days of one’s life, I would never feel that a person had wasted their life if this were indeed their goal, I would, however, caution such a person, that the minute you think you know the answers, the cosmos WILL change the questions. And that is an objective truth. I know that it has been used humorously, that that is because we can only stand and laugh at our collective condition, otherwise we would melt in tears with no hope of improvment.

Widipedia’s article on Truth ~

The meaning of the word truth extends from honesty, good faith, and sincerity in general, to agreement with fact or reality in particular.[1] The term has no single definition about which a majority of professional philosophers and scholars agree. Various theories of truth continue to be debated. There are differing claims on such questions as what constitutes truth; how to define and identify truth; the roles that revealed and acquired knowledge play; and whether truth is subjective, relative, objective, or absolute.

So, if the philosophers cannot agree, and the theologians spend midnight oil attempting to find it, and the scientists pull out their collective hair because they know that even the act of observing an incident changes it, how can one find the ‘Truth”?

It is this very condition along with other factors that first brought me to the realization that only if you sit on your hands and insist on a particular POV, can you ever really be certain that you know the Truth. When I began my search, and remember, I hear voices, and not always pleasant ones, so the search was all the more important to me, I began to look at all the different perspectives on God, and what this philosopher had to say as opposed to what that philosopher could argue. What I found was what I show others, that throughout the major religions there runs a golden thread, but it is not about objective truth, it is about compassion. I know, that is not a comfort, as compassion for all is not an easy thing to give or even find. But that, it seems, is the bottom line, and the truly common thread in all of the greats.

What that said to me was that it was more important to get down in the trenches and help than to stand on the hilltop and proclaim. Dang, I hate that, because it means that, if I am to truly serve truth, I’m gonna have to get dirty. So, may I make a suggestion? If you are truly in search of the truth, take some time out of your upwardly mobile life, and work as an orderly or as a nursing assistant for a while. Help a few people to the bathroom when they are ill. It will help you understand that sometimes it isn’t what you proclaim from the mountain top that matters, it’s what you learn in the trenches of life.

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