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Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning



Wednesday, December 2, 2020

be yourself

To be nothing

Is to consent to being a simple creature.

This is the place of encounter with

“I AM that I Am.”

 

When there is no more “me, myself, or mine,”

Only “I AM” remains.

 

Then the “I” may fall away,

Leaving just the AM. . . .

                               Thomas Keating, “Out of Nothing”

                               Quoted in Richard Rohr’s daily blog 10/27/2020

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a human being

is a rare creature

 

most of us are human doings

defined in our own minds

and in the minds of others

by what we do

 

this is a merit based existence

I am my job

I am my degrees

I am my titles

I am my accomplishments

I am my bank account and my stock portfolio

 

Our own self value comes from these external things

And our value to others?

All too often the same

 

And so we plod through life

Doing

Seeking to earn our place

Justify our existence

 

Seeking to create value

 

As if!

 

The reality is that our worth

At least in Sacred Eyes

Is not merit based

 

It is inherent

We are the lost sheep

That Sacred will do anything to find and reclaim

We are the lost coin

Buried in the dust of the earth

 

Searched for, found, and celebrated

 

We are

Beings imprinted with the divine image

Impregnated with sacred presence

 

And all we have to do is be

To breathe in and breathe out

To go inside and find the gifts that have been implanted in us

And then live

 

In the moment

Still

Listening

 

Resting in the “still point” of the turning world (T.S. Eliot)

Being

 

Being God’s

Being ourselves

 

And knowing that is enough

 

Knowing we don’t have to prove ourselves

And we don’t have to “sell” ourselves

Or even protect ourselves

 

We can just be

And let that part of us that is divine and original

Seep through

 

That part that is love


Sunday, November 29, 2020

Casting people into the light

In a mesmerizing interview between Dan Rather and Carlos Santana, Santana, who was molested as a child, was asked by Rather "if" and "how" he had recovered from the trauma. Santana responded that he had indeed fully recovered because within his heart he had cast his abuser into the light of God. He said that if he had instead yielded to the temptation to cast his abuser into hell, then he himself would have joined him. “There is no future without forgiveness.”   “I am not what happened to me”

 

On-air segment of The Big Interview with Santana, January 20, 2015

https://danratherjournalist.org/interviewer/cultural-figures/carlos-santana/video-santana-interview

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you know it has been a tough year when

as a person who believes love wins

 

you find yourself wishing bad things

might be justly visited upon certain souls

 

Not proud of that

But there are voices rattling around in my soul

Saying that some people really deserve some of the hell they are creating

 

And there are voices in my soul saying that our country, our world

has been made into a kind of hell

 

and yet

and yet

and yet

 

Ah John, the beloved

Mystic

Man of passion

Child of the Spirit

 

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”

 

The light shines

Jesus lives

 

and the light cannot be defeated

and Jesus over comes death

(and a lot of other things)

 

this world is not what we have done to it

just as an abused child is not defined by what has been done to it

but is still and always a Sacred Child

 

so this world is not defined by what we have done to it

but is always, only the first incarnation

God’s expression of the Divine Self

 

the light shines

there is darkness

but the light always returns

 

ah yes

we can choose to cower in the darkness

we can sit in the gloom and believe that is all that there is

 

but the light is never overcome

it is there

in the world

in our souls

 

and we are called to choose light

to choose to walk into the light

 

Ah John, probably not the first John

but still, a student

reminds us

 

“God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness,

we lie and do not live out the truth.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,

we have fellowship with one another… “

 

We cannot live in the realm of hate and darkness

call it “hell” if you will

we cannot wish others ill

 

we cannot cry to God

to treat “them” as they deserve

for that would be to ask that we be treated as we deserve

 

we cannot ask for others to be dragged into the darkness

without be dragged into the darkness ourselves

 

I am angry right now

Angry over the hypocrisy

The lies

The neglect that has killed hundreds of throusands

The racism

The hate

The violence

 

I am angry at the President

I am angry at a hypocritical group of Senators

Who have set aside ethics, morality, even justice, for power

 

In my rage I wish them ill

and yet even as I do so

I know, I know, I know

 

That there is not future without forgiveness

To cast them into the darkness means I will be in the darkness myself

To cast them into the fire, means I will be in the fire myself

 

for we are connected

we Sacred children

and we must find our way to the light

we must believe in the light

we must walk in the light

 

there is no other way

 

so this day, even as I rage

even as the desire for retribution nibbles at my soul

I pray that Spirit might help me cast

those who so deserve darkness

into the light of God’s love

 

and that having cast them there

that I might follow

 

 

 

 

 

 


Saturday, November 28, 2020

Getting Heaven into Us

Nowhere is my destination.

And no one is my identity.

 

My daily bread is powerlessness.

Temptations can be overwhelming.

Gone is every hope of help.

 

An abyss opens up within me.

I am falling, falling,

Plunging into non-existence.

 

Is this annihilation?

Or, is it the path to the Silent Love

That we are?. . .

 

               —Thomas Keating, “The Last Laugh”  (quoted in Richard Rohr’s blog 10/26/20

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I have been thinking a lot

about the “self” lately

 

maybe it is just that I am getting older

with far less road ahead of me, than behind me

 

maybe it is the chaos in which we now low live

as the earth screams in pain from the cruelty of human beings

and the poor suffer abuse at the hands of the poor

and the powerful manipulate and oppress

using their crumbling scraps of power

malignantly

 

it seems as if the air is full of ego

and our world is dominated by the actions of people

who cannot see, proverbially

beyond their own noses

 

where ME rules

and WE is diminished

 

into this darkness

which is as brooding and cold as a winters morning

come the words of one

who would transform

 

who would warm our hearts

and fill our souls

and transform our minds

 

the words echo

they bounce around my sometimes empty soul

unavoidable and insistent

 

the first shall be last

the last shall be first

the old must die for the new to be born

you must give to gain

you must deny yourself

you must die to live

 

these words flow from the mouth of Jesus

they permeate the Bible

 

how do we miss them?

how do we ignore them? (and we do)

how have we managed to make faith about

 

domination

power

control

retribution

 

how have we managed to change Jesus

in to a sick parody of himself?

 

the fact is these are hard times

these are frightening times

the raw appeal to hate is terrifying

the blatant abuse of power threatens all

(even those who celebrate it)

 

 

and we have done what people have often done

in such times

 

turned to ego

turned to self

turned to tools of ego, power and wealth

hoping for safety and survival

 

now, which it is hardest

now, when it is dangerous

now when it is costly

 

is the time to die to self

to let go of so many of the things we hold on to

grimly

 

to fall into that abyss

of fear and uncertainty

into that liminal undefined space

within us

 

for if we let go of the old

the new will come

 

if we die to self

we will be resurrected to a new self

our true self

 

empty we will be filled with the Spirit

empty we will be reformed

 

transformed by the Sacred

whose greatest desire is to turn the world right side up

and get heaven into us

rather than getting us into heaven!**

 

we will be reborn

and the world with us

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**  This wonderful concept comes from Gregory Jerome Bentley via Facebook