A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for the ‘abiding’ Category

The Vine and the Branches ~

I have long believed that when Y’shua is quoted as saying, “I Am” he was actually saying “The I Am” an easy misinterpretation, as the jot that indicates the word “the” is small, and easily missed. However, that changes much of the gist of what he was saying. Looking at one of his best remembered teachings, let’s look at what that little jot would do.

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

If you read that as, “The I Am is the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in the vine and the vine remains in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from the vine, you can do nothing. If you do not remain in the Vine, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in the vine, and the Vine’s teachings remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be disciples of the I Am.”

Yes, that took a fair amount of rewording, but makes more sense in a world where to claim to be God would get you stoned. There are other factors that have made me wonder if this was the gist of so many of Y’shua’s teachings. The I Am is the very now, very here presence of God Very God, in Jewish teachings. This makes the “I Am” a very powerful, very present force in the life of the individual. We must remember that Y’shua was not talking to Gentiles like most of us, he was talking to the faithful of the Nation of Israel. The thrust of his ministry was, from the very outset, to make the individual aware of the very real presence of God the Father in their lives.

It is not my belief that he was teaching his followers to disobey the laws of Moses, for he said to them that not one jot or tittle would pass away from the law until all had been fulfilled. I actually believe that he was teaching that the law was written for humans to learn to get along with one another, and show compassion at every turn, rather than taking a legalistic approach to their faith. I believe he also taught that humans were not created to fulfill the law, but to live wonderful, dynamic lives within the framework of a body of law brought forth to guide and direct them in their day to day living. If that is the case, it may be incumbent upon those of us who were not born Jewish to abide by the Noachide laws.

This is a set of laws within the entire body of Jewish law that guides us in living in a fashion that honors God in all of creation. These are also easily fulfilled if we live by Y’shua’s Law of Love. It may be that the mitzvot are all easily obeyed once we live by the Law of Love. I realize this makes me one of those who feels that the Jewish roots of the Christian faith are more important than have been observed in past history, and therefore at odds with much of the current thinking on Y’shua’s teaching, but one of the things I have found in my exploration of  Jewish faith, is that many of Y’shua’s comments and stories make sense only from this vantage point.

Separating him from his Jewish roots, and setting him on top of the monument Paul used in Athens, has so paganized the church and it’s teachings as to make Paul’s letters more important than all that is recorded of Y’shua’s words. It is this that has distressed me in my journey toward finding a way to live with the voices. There are too many places in the New Testament where Paul and those who wrote letters in his name prove their humanness. Paul did not understand the lack of choice faced by most homosexuals, society lacked the science to explain it, which is why I believe Y’shua left that aspect of life alone. Paul could not admit openly that he was wrong in listening to rumors regarding the church at Corinth. A letter attributed to Paul, but probably written by another places women once again in the position where their usefulness is only as mules to carry the unborn. “GACK!” ( BTW, it’s an honor to be a baby carrier myself, glad for the job, just not my only point of usefulness)  Y’shua’s treatment of women was much more compassionate than that!

The scholars cannot agree as to the true roots of most faiths, as much has been lost in the generations since the original teachers.It is basically for this reason that I consider all who practice compassion, what amounts to obedience to the Law of Love, as my brothers and sisters in this walk of life, no matter their perspective. I realize this leaves room for those who follow a humanist perspective, I am not sure it matters. I am sure it matters very much that we live compassionately, beyond that, it may be that we must let God sort it out.

The North of the Wheel ~

grazininthegrassThe North of the Wheel is the place of the buffalo; the place of the Elders; the place of snow and white hair. It should be a time of wisdom and of telling stories of days gone by, of teaching the younger ones how to survive, and how to live free. It is about the ending of cycles, and about beginning new ones. It is the place where we make the next step on the sacred spiral and start another round.

The Tatanka Oyate, Bison People, the people we know as the Lakota, were mainly in the deadbuffplains and foothills of the Dakotas. They depended on Buffalo for everything, food, clothing, housing, tools, all came from the buffalo. When the buffalo hunters shot so many in a few weeks, they knew they were set free to do this to kill off the Souix tribes. It was an incredibly uncivilized thing to do, and as far as I am concerned, the real savages were pale of skin and quick with a gun.

To the Lakota, Tatanka was a gift from the Holy Spirit. And, yes, Wakan translates Holy, so address her properly, and stop pretending that Christians were not turning their backs on G-d when all of this was going on. I do not blame today’s Christians for that sin, I wbblame them for continuing the blindness in the name of being right when our white ancestors stole this land from the people already here, as though it were right to do so. Had we been even willing to learn from the original people,  we would probably not be in quite the pickle with the environment we are in now, but, oh no, the white folks were better educated, so, of course they knew better than the poor “red savages”.

Anyway, let me step down from my soapbox, here, and get back to the matter at hand. The buffalo, to the plains people; were a source of gratitude to the Holy Spirit. They knew they were cared for and that Spirit protected them. They don’t worship the buffalo skull when it is placed on the alter, it’s there to remind them that Spirit provided the means to live. The North then, is the place of gratitude and acknowledgment that Spirit is there for us all. The white buffalo, prophesied long ago are being born more frequently now, and are, to the original people a sign that peace and harmony are just ahead of us.

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.

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