Thursday, December 31, 2015

Affliction

It's hard to hang with God. It seems far easier to be swept up and away in a storm of disbelief, doubt, denial. The inexplicable swallowed up in the solution that it is an indifferent universe--infinitely cold and distant, a tilt-a-whirl spinning mindlessly, enacting the danse macabre to the same tired, trite tune.

It's hard to hang with God. When you observe the same senseless acts of cruelty, racism, and hatred, played out over and over, endlessly, like a rerun on a channel you are incapable of changing despite all efforts to do so; would seem a good time to call it quits.

It's hard to hang with God. A lifetime of unfulfilled prayers, petitions denied, supplications ignored, lends itself to a skeptical mind and a cynical heart. These are simple by-products; the exercise of cause and effect, night following day, despair trumping deity.

It's hard to hang with God. There seems much to support severing the relationship, evidence to end the event. And I would if I could but I can't...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osVaF4t-zFc

Monday, December 21, 2015

Mizpah

May God watch between thee and me while we are apart one from another.

Friday, December 11, 2015

To Russia With Love

If you come back a third day, know this is directed at you. Your interest has been a balm. Bolshoj spasibo!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Glimpse

"But you...apparently accord this bird some reverence. Do you think it has some magical power?"

"Absolutely not. That would be unthinkable for us. We are not practitioners of magic. It is a symbol for us, a memory, a relic, an inspiration, a reminder of what God asks of us."

"And what does God ask of you?"

"To fly without wings. To do what seems impossible. To cling to our loves through the rapids of our hates. To know God charges us with the task of making miracles. They exist between person and person, as flame goes from candle to candle. To know that all we can know of right and wrong is through the way our acts are revealed in the lives of other people. There is no other way to see God."

Patricia Storace from The Book of Heaven

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Model Behavior

I introduced you to Gwenn Jones back on July 13th, 2013 (see archive). As the world spins in torment and the agony of self-incrimination, I thought I would share how Gwennie responds to the madness...


I recently read a Patricia Storace quote: (The Book of Heaven) "Women are the knights without armor, the soldiers without an army." As terror grips the planet, take comfort knowing there are those who stir the stagnation of fear by tracing the infinity sign in the morass whispering, "thank you." Not in ignorance, but defiance.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ahlan wa Sahlaw

The welcome I extend is to the first visitor from the United Arab Emirate. (first new country since the Bahama's on 7-20-15) The UAE consists of 7 emirates with Abu Dhabi serving as the capital. It is an Islamic country who's official language is Arabic. Interestingly, immigrants outnumber nationals by a 9 to 1 ratio. I am curious if the visitor is an actual Emirati, or an ex-patriot currently residing in the UAE. I had a former teammate from Troy High School (Brian Lester) who once lived there for some time, coaching a basketball team in Dubai. Still, I know so very little of the country, I would be grateful if the unknown guest would take time to post a comment and tell us about themselves, how they found this blog, and anything permissible to share (it seems wise, given the circumstances, to be discreet on social media). Maa salama!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Source of Gratitude


Your brain makes instantaneous evaluations of everything, in terms of threat or benefit (approach or avoid--fight or flight). No conscious reasoning goes into these evaluations. You actually have what is called an "affective reaction" just reading words (for instance; happiness or disgust). Because affective reactions are so tightly integrated with perception, we can find our self liking or disliking something the instant we notice or experience it. What G-G-G promotes is honoring the initial experience, (be it thought or emotion) then allowing for other possibilities of perception to present themselves.

The possibility we strive for is the event (whatever it may be) being viewed as a "gift." When we experience something negatively, it takes aptitude (skill) to create a scenario of that negative event being seen in such a way. (ie; as a gift.)  We aren't grateful when we lose a job, for instance. What we encourage and ask our readers to do is foster a BELIEF that the universe is inherently biased toward expansion. A baby does not want to leave the womb and is forcibly ejected, screaming and crying. Trauma! Yet we all know it is essential for the baby's growth. The events in your life can be interpreted in the same fashion. As much as it hurts, as painful as it might be, the attitude that it is an expansive experience that currently defies our understanding can be cultivated.

While it is true the heart constantly sends messages to the brain, it is also true the brain has an innate ability to disregard the messages. Think of those that have anger management problems. The heart tells the brain this isn't good for us--yet the brain justifies and continues the behavior. (however irrational) Unless and until the brain is harnessed, the hearts communication is lost in the ongoing and persistent "chatter" of the brain. And that chatter is going to consist of justification of one's behavior. (As an example: victims feel totally justified whether they have actually been victimized or not. http://www.newschannel5.com/news/local-news/woman-arrested-after-she-said-she-pulled-gun-inself-defense)

It is the view at G-G-G that gratitude is the outcome of perceiving events (life experiences) as a gift. Perceiving events as a gift when everything you know or believe tells you otherwise is a difficult proposition. Why aren't I grateful for this gift? That question reveals the personal bias in play that can sabotage any further consideration of the event. If there is no further consideration of the event, we won't be, can't possibly be, grateful for that event. It is in this sense, the ability to invert, expand, disassemble, or reconstruct the event into a gift, is where the learning takes place.

To understand "gift" as essential for gratitude, see the very first post AURORA. Use the Blog Archive to the right. Click on 2012 and scroll to the bottom.

(A readers question ["What do you mean a learned skill, I thought gratitude comes from the heart."] was the source of this post--thank you.)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Quaquaversal

God whispered, "Write."

I laughed, "Why? I've told them what they need to know and they don't understand."

She said, "It doesn't matter. Try again."

"They are locked in their paradigms," I replied. "And they are really, really stupid. I am sorry, but they are."

A smile flickered as He asked, "And you?"

"Less so."

"Tell them how."


1) God isn't anything that you can describe. God is limitless.

2) You get to see aspects of God.

3) The aspects you see are your life experiences.

4) The experiences you have are dynamic--not static.

5) This means experiences are SUBJECT TO CHANGE!

6) You can change (alter, amend, modify, revise or redact) your experience.

7) The quality of change is usually (but not always) subject to your involvement, interest, enthusiasm, adaptability and perseverance.

8) You can view your efforts impersonally. Results are neither endorsements nor rejections.

9) God encompasses whimsy and extravagance. (google; leafy sea dragon) Limitations are the cornerstone of your paradigm.

10) Expect nothing--ask for everything.


"Happy?"

"Are you?"

"Won't do much good."

"We'll see..."

"Ha!"

"I suggest you review # 8."

"Touche."

"...Pat, thanks..."

"Good Lord it wasn't anything..."

"Either am I."

"You can't be anything if you're everything."

"So you did have something to say after all."

"I've already told them that."

"Yeah, but you know how everybody loves Cliffs Notes."

Saturday, September 5, 2015

That Tat

I admire Bekah Miles and I don't wish anything I am about to say to be interpreted as criticism. She is brave to have come forth publicly with her problem. That said, it is important you are aware that 'Save Me' is nothing more than a compelling, seductive, spiritual snare. Those with a conscious spiritual directive (as I assume those who come to this site have) would do well to avoid the pitfall of anything resembling a "messiah complex."

As spiritually driven individuals it is inherent in our nature that we reach out to help others. Success, however, can lead to credit oneself for that which Life does through us. Here the ego plays on our vanity and we start believing we're something we aren't. That it was our power (intellect, wisdom, character) that initiated the transformation, when, in fact, it was our ability to let God (Life) work unopposed by ego that brought about any particular change. Personal feelings of what is best for an individual must be set aside so that their truth emerges--not a confirmation of ours.

What I believe would be beneficial for Bekah to realize is: No one can do it for Bekah but Bekah, so 'Save Me' is misguided. I think she unconsciously realizes this because she is the only one able to read the message Save Me, while everyone else sees I'm Fine. (although it is interesting to me that I'm Fine is harder to detect [not as legible] as Save Me--again, an unconscious clue) The other revealing detail was her use of the word, should. ("when I know I should be happy") Should is a very restrictive word. It reveals how things are suppose to be. If things aren't that way, then something must certainly be wrong. And is so often the case, the individuals blame themselves. (there must be something wrong with me!) Should is a very harsh taskmaster. Much better is replacing the word should with could. Not only in this specific case, but in nearly all situations.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I'm Fine Save Me

A young lady (Bekah Miles) has received a great deal of attention for sharing a Facebook post regarding a tattoo she got above her left knee. Read from our point of view it says I'm Fine. From her point of view (looking down) it reads Save Me. She meant for it to be a conversation starter for mental illness.



See her story here...

"To me it means that others see this person that seems okay, but, in reality, is not okay at all. It reminds me that people who may appear happy, may be at battle with themselves." Bekah then goes on to write what depression means to her: "To me, depression is..." concluding with; "Depression is the tears I have because I don't know why I feel so worthless, when I know I should feel happy."

Of course this comes as no surprise to me. (Or you either, if you have been reading this blog.) On October 10th, 2012, I wrote the following in the post Not Good Enough:

"Whenever I engage with an individual on an authentic, genuine level, the deeply ingrained feeling of not being "good enough" will surface. Time and again, over and over, this "hidden" secret comes out. Exploring it's range and scope usually reveals the obstacles that individual is currently dealing with, or has buried to their detriment. It is so prevalent it is predictable."

I wish to be clear; I have no degree in psychology. I am not a trained therapist. What I am is a person who has a relationship with God (or Life, the Presence, Cosmic Consciousness--whatever you wish to call it). Within that relationship certain things are brought to my attention that are obvious. You may disagree with my conclusion or maintain I oversimplify serious mental illnesses. I won't argue with you. But I will ask you this: try it. Put G-G-G to the test. Start by sliding down the page and reading About That Vase (8-5-15) or archiving Wabi Sabi (2-13-14). Read the rest of Not Good Enough. If you are interested, read the entire blog and get a real sense of what it is I'm suggesting. Then come at me with everything you've got! (which, if we're being totally honest, may include a disorder or two of your very own)

--- View the  Huffington Post write up of August 31, 2015 ---

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Soft and Simple

I often feel foolish for having this desire, this wish. But I do.





Wednesday, August 5, 2015

About That Vase



I was pretty direct with God in Monday's post, wasn't I? You break it, you buy it. Meaning, of course, if the universe is flawed, God has to be held responsible. But what if the "template" was always for us (humanity) to integrate the spiritual with the material? If God is ONE (unified, whole) how would it be possible to observe or experience other aspects of Oneself? Fragmentation was required, division necessary. In a word, duality. So the physical world came to be. And eventually, us.

Understand that fragmentation was contingent on the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing. Only this could insure an impartial, unbiased flow of information from experiences that, by their very nature, would be partial and biased. Because the One had to imagine something other than Itself, (ergo a clone) the only way possible was through a limited and seemingly separate expression of It's consciousness; with these limitations and separations becoming more pronounced as they filtered down through the diverse manifestations of the One. (think; man--dog--flower--rock)

And this is where we come in. With our understanding we can observe and experience fragmentation as a revelation of the One. The bowl pictured above is an image of kintsugi, the Japanese art of pottery repair. (see; Wabi Sabi 2-13-14) It is an invaluable aid to understanding what we do with the broken pieces of the vase. We put them back together, more beautiful than before. In this way we answer the two most vexing questions that mankind has ever posed: "who am I" and "what am I doing here."


Monday, August 3, 2015

You Break It You Buy It

"And God saw every thing he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." Genesis 1:31

"And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them." Genesis 6:6-7

Wow! Didn't take long for things to go to hell in a hand basket, did it? A mere 5 chapters after God declared, "it was very good," he is ready to wash his hands of the whole thing. (literally--I mean it was a flood, after all) Now man I can understand. We exercised free will in the garden and had the temerity of having daughters that were attractive to the sons of God. Who promptly came down and took the daughters of men as wife's, and started producing off-spring. (Gen. 6:2-4) Talk about your double standards! Apparently God felt it was okay for his "sons" to be reckless and carnal-driven, but the "wickedness of man was great in the earth." (verse 5) My question is, what did the animals do that they were included in the destruction? Were they wicked too?

Another question that I have is; what punishment did the "sons of God" incur? The text is silent until the New Testament. (see; 2nd Peter 2:4-5) Supposedly, "...God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved until judgement." Chained? Everything I've ever heard about them is that they are a pretty active bunch. Who was Jesus exorcising out of people in the Gospels (Mark 5:1-20 as just one example) if not for fallen angels? Did they somehow get time off for good behavior? What were they doing going around possessing people when their (supposedly) chained up?

The larger point is this: did God get it wrong when he said it was "very good." If God did create the world and everything in it, he's accountable for it. He is either omniscient or he's not, right? If he's not omniscient, then he's not really God. If he is "God," he knew what was going to happen and still declared it very good. You say, 'hold on there Pat, we had free will. Don't you know choices come with consequences.' Fair enough! So too, with God. The consequences of free will is that bad decisions are going to be made. If your child touches a hot stove when you've told them not to, do you wipe them off the face of the planet for disobeying you? How about when an adult takes hold of a child's hand and places it in a fire, do you drown the child for disobedience? (the adult being a son of God and the child a daughter of man) If you go into a store and knock an expensive vase from a table, do you blame the pieces of broken pottery on the floor? Stupid vase...it chose to break! No, you're the one who set things in motion and the consequences are your responsibility. So too, with God.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Savvy?

God is of no importance unless He is of supreme importance. ~Abraham Joshua Heschel

Friday, July 31, 2015

Self-importance

One day, the governor of Kyoto called upon Keichu, the great Meiji Zen master. One of Keichu's attendants brought the governor's calling card to Keichu. The card read, "Kitagaki, Governor of Kyoto."

"Never heard of him," said Keichu to the attendant. "I have no business with nobodies: tell him to go away."

The attendant returned to the governor with the story. "My mistake," said the governor, and taking the card he scratched out the words, "Governor of Kyoto." Then he handed the card back to the attendant and said, "Please ask your teacher again."

The attendant returned to Keichu. "Oh, that Kitagaki!" he exclaimed. "Bring him here! I want to see that fellow!" 


Retold by Paul Jordan-Smith from "Zen Koans" by Gyoma M. Kubose

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Master Meister

                                                                       Dedicated to J.A.H.

Not that one should give up, neglect or forget his inner life for a moment, but he must learn to work in it, with it and out of it, so that the unity of his soul may break out into his activities and his activities shall lead him back to that unity. In this way one is taught to work as a free man should (dispassionately). Keep your eye on the functioning of your inner life and start from there--to read, or pray, or do any needed outward deed. If, however, the outward life interferes with the inner, then follow the inner; but if the two can go on together, that is the best of all and then the man is working together with God.

~Meister Eckhart   From "The Talks of Instruction."

(I am proud of you Aaron)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

New and Improved

If you look at the letterbox picture (bottom left) at the top of the page, you will now see three new tabs: Gift Gratitude God. That was the original name of my web site and the philosophical theology at it's heart. After its second year in existence, I declined to pay the annual "domain name" cost and had Gwenn change the name to WPGrogan. Drab and dreary perhaps, but it was free! Regardless of the name, every blog posted had Gift Gratitude God as it's center, it's core. It is what I promote, it is what I teach, it is what I believe. (no matter how imperfectly)

The change was necessary because Gwenn told me that the continuation of the web site (which did appear in most browsers as the second link available under my name) was totally arbitrary and could disappear at any time. We didn't own the rights and only the anomalous nature of the title protected it from (possible) removal. So Gwenn, over the last seven days, dovetailed the main ingredients of the web site into the blog. And I couldn't be happier! It is my hope that you will jump at the opportunity to "check under the hood" and "take it out for a spin." Enjoy your Wednesday!

The Question

Now there lived in Damascus, at the height of that great city's glory, a famous Imam. This celebrated man, equally at ease in caliph's palace or monk's retreat, had obscure origins; yet so great was his piety that Allah always seemed to favor him, for he rose far in the world.

One day, the reigning caliph decided to hold a triumphant procession for his Imam: "As a mark of our esteem for your piety," he proclaimed. The Imam took the costly and elaborate presentations calmly, for he was a man who thought of himself without vanity. Finally, all was in readiness and, although it was the time of rains, the morning of the procession dawned bright and clear--still another sign of Allah's approval upon which all commented.

Through the winding streets of Damascus moved the colorful procession. First came the wild desert sheiks in striped robes of red and yellow, mounted on small-headed horses. The more sophisticated nobles followed them on foot, their heads bent piously down, the gold in their tunics glittering in the sun. After the nobles came the holy men of the city and with them, in their center, the Imam clothed in robes of snowy white linen.

The citizens of Damascus lined the streets, cheering and throwing sprigs of jasmine and clusters of roses. As the Imam approached, the shouts of praise rose to new heights and the heavens seemed to rain flowers. At such acclaim, the Imam's heart swelled with joy and satisfaction, although his face did not betray him.

Now it happened that just as the procession was approaching the palace gates, outside of which the caliph and his retinue waited to greet him, the Imam heard within him a Voice that seemed to well from his very bowels: "And have you," It asked, "forgotten Me so soon?"

As though struck by a blow on the back of the head, the Imam fell to the ground. But before anyone could touch him, he leapt up and fled through the crowds, burning with a terrible remorse. Far he fled into the desert and swiftly, as though hot coals filled his sandals. Finally, exhausted and unable to go further, he halted at an abandon hut. The Terrible Voice still filled his ears with Its sound. The tears still streamed from his eye's. The Imam vowed that never again would he enter a city of men until he had cleansed all falseness and vanity from his heart.

For five long years the Imam lived in a little hut, meditating, praying, and praising Allah. For ten years more, he roamed the desert and passed through small towns, aiding those he could help, giving comfort to all.

Then one day, by chance, his path led him once more into the city of Damascus and through the very gate by which he had fled fifteen years before. But how the Imam had changed! A diet of herbs and berries had starved the flesh from his frame; prickly vines and desert thorns and stones had scarred him from head to toe. The once radiant Imam was now more decrepit and shattered than the poorest of beggars in the poorest of villages.

When the smaller children caught sight of this ragged apparition, they screamed and fled; the older ones threw sharp-edged stones. The grown-ups, citizens of Damascus who fifteen years before had strewn the Imam's way with flowers, now pelted him with pieces of filth; and instead of praises, filled his ears with their jeers and gibes. The poor Imam's heart swelled with sadness and despondency and he hung his head low.

Just as he dragged himself past the palace gates, where the guards stood with raised sabers to drive him off, the Imam again heard that terrible Voice, welling from deep within him; "And have you," It asked, "forgotten Me so soon?"

~Elizabeth Retivov  Stories from an Eastern Coffeehouse (N.Y. Hedgehog Press 1963)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Power of Christ Compels You

Okay Pat, you brought some things to light that I didn't know concerning Lucifer and Beelzabub, I'll grant you that. But there is no arguing about Satan! He appears many times in the Old and New Testament.

Yes, yes he does. Lets look at a representation of Satan in each. 1st Chronicles 21:1 says, "And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel 2) And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it."

Okay, pretty straight forward. Read the rest of the chapter so you understand that this is where David builds an altar that will, eventually, become the spot where the Temple of Solomon is built. (The First Temple)

Now lets move to 2nd Samuel chapter 24, verse 1: "And again the anger of the Lord (the Hebrew in this case is YHWH) was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. 2) For the king said to Joab the captain of the host, which was with him, Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people."

So which is it? Satan or the Lord? (Yahweh) The text is very clear. If the Bible is to be taken literally, God and Satan are interchangeable.

Lets move to the New Testament. Matthew 16:23 says, "But he turned, and said unto Peter, 'Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.' " This was Jesus speaking and he just called Peter, Satan. (interestingly, a few verses earlier, [verse 18] Peter is the rock in which Jesus is going to build his church--"and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.")

Is Peter actually (literally) Satan?

Pat! Pat! You're just cherry-picking! Well, in my defense, the cherries are there to be picked. I didn't write the Bible and I don't think it can be read literally. You're the one who says it is inerrant, must be taken literally as the WORD OF GOD, not me. But you really don't believe that, do you? You bend, fold, and mutilate the scriptures to your own design, notion, and purposes. You doubt me? The World Christian Database carries "extensive data" on 9000 Christian denominations. (nine thousand!!!)

And what causes the creation of a new denomination? Doctrine disputes. A different interpretation of scripture. You've got it wrong (literally) and I am going to start my own "true" church, sect, cult, or ministry. Why you ask? The power of Christ compelled me.



(And yes, the title of this post [taken from the Catholic rite of exorcism] and the last sentence are an intentional jab at spiritual arrogance.)

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Devil Made Me Do It

Lucifer as a proper name is used ONCE in the entire Bible. To be sure, the Vulgate uses lucifer in other places (Job 11:17--Job 38:32--Psalms 110:3--2nd Peter 1:19) but what one finds is the following translations: though shall be as the morning; Mazzaroth [constellations], morning, and morning star, respectively.

Lucifer's one appearance is at Isaiah 14:12; "How art thou fallen from heaven O Lucifer, son of the morning." Problem is, if you actually read from the beginning of the chapter, you'll see it is the King of Babylon who is being discussed. Verse 4 makes this absolutely clear. "That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!"

To understand the confusion, we have to start with the Hebrew: helel ben shahar is the text (shining one, son of the dawn). The Greek rendition was heosphoros (dawn bringer). And the Latin, lucifer. (light bearer) All three are references to the planet Venus. Only later in the Christian tradition did lucifer become a proper name. (Lucifer)

So, Beelzabub was a Canaanite god and Lucifer was a Babylonian king. Where the hell are all the devils?

To Be Continued

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Lord of the Flies

Reading Matthew 12:24, "But when the Pharisee's heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the PRINCE OF THE DEVILS." (emphasis mine) Verse 26 and 27 go on to say, (Jesus speaking now) "And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges."

Point being, Satan and Beelzebub seem to be thought of as one and the same. (see Mark 3:22 and Luke 11:15 as well) As familiar as we are with Satan, Beelzebub is not as well known. Lets take a look where he came from.

Baal was the main God of the indigenous people of Canaan. Baal meant Lord, Master, Prince, or "one who exercises dominion." In the 2nd Book of Kings, chapter 1, we read about Ahaziah, King of Israel, having injured himself in a fall, sending messengers to Baalzebub the god of Ekron, to see whether or not he was going to recover from his "disease."

Verse 3, "But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and say unto them, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron?" Basically, HEY! why aren't you coming to me with your problem instead of a rival? God isn't happy with Ahaziah and insures that he will "surely die." (verse 16)

Understand that Baalzebub appears no where else in the Old Testament. Baal appears everywhere, as a stand alone rival to Yahweh (Numbers 25:3--Jeremiah 23:13) as well as places and peoples names. (Baalpeor--Baalhamon--Baalhazor--Baaltamar--Baalgad/Jerubbaal--Eshbaal) But Baalzebub shows up only in 2nd Kings chapter 1. How did this local god become the prince of the devils?

Between the 3rd and 1st century BC, the Hebrew scriptures were translated to Greek. (the Septuagint) Between 390-405 AD Jerome translated the Greek into Latin. (the Vulgate) Here's what happen to the word Baalzebub: Hebrew: Ba'al Z'vuv Greek: Beelzeboul Latin: Beelzebub.

The devil is in the details but this Beelzebub seems to be a demonic fraud.

To Be Continued

Friday, July 24, 2015

Equal Opportunity Employer

Just got back from running my neighbor's 17 year old son around. He's looking for work. Talking to him yesterday, it was easy to see the dejection he was feeling about the process. So, as I am want to do, I got involved. It makes me feel good about myself. We will see how it plays out. I'm invested and will stay on it.

Now I have some errands to do for myself. My health has improved enough I can do things left unattended by Wednesday's/Thursday's onslaught. If there is one "gift" involved in suffering, it's when it stops, one is so grateful. Anything and everything is appreciated. Feeling NORMAL is celebrated!

As to Mother Teresa's caveat of one not accepting pain as punishment, see the post, To Sleep Perchance To Dream, 6-10-13. It is an interesting topic and I wonder how you guys feel about it. Do you think (even a little bit) you are being punished when you are beset with illness or disease? Weigh in and let me know what you think.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Quit Kissing Me!

Suffering, pain, humiliation, sickness and failure, is but a kiss of Jesus.

Once I met a lady who had a terrible cancer. She was suffering so much. I told her, "Now you come so close to Jesus on the cross that he is kissing you." Then she joined hands and said, "Mother Teresa, please tell Jesus to stop kissing me." It was so beautiful. She understood.

Suffering is a gift of God, a gift that makes us most Christlike. People must not accept suffering as a punishment.

~Mother Teresa

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Pain

Today has been an experience in suffering. How anyone can be against doctor assisted suicide is beyond me. Sanctity of life? Experience what sufferers do and tell me all about the sanctity of life.

But that isn't what I want to talk about. It is the reaction to Monday and Tuesday's posts. You can delve deeper into the 'why' of my view of Jesus and who he was (and wasn't) reading a number of posts, but Was There A Resurrection--4-27-14 is a good place to start. Use the blog archive to navigate to the post quickly.

Last, I want to welcome the Bahamas to the site. Came aboard Monday and actually has been back a few times since. First new country since Portugal. Welcome Bahamas!

Sorry, that's all I got the strength for.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Jesus Was Wrong

And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. Mark 9:1

"Some of them that stand here..." Seems straight forward enough. No ambiguity. No pretense of waiting around a couple thousand years. "Some of them that stand HERE shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power."

Naturally, you should read the end of chapter 8 and what follows 9:1. It is important to strip away the "out of context" nonsense that Christians use to deflect anything that doesn't fit their narrative. And Jesus being wrong doesn't fit the narrative. How could he be wrong? He is the only begotten Son (capital S, not small s) of God. He is God actually, in a confusing, 3 in 1 trinity sort of way. And if God be wrong, I don't want to be right! Or so the attitude seems to be. The truth may set YOU free, but Christians don't seem to want to have much to do with it.

Listen, I knew yesterday's post would (metaphorically) strike at the heart of the Christian paradigm. I knew there would be a backlash. I knew I was "in for it." What I find fascinating is that its your text. It is what your God said. And you are upset with me for bringing it to your attention. Why?

You revel in the Gospel's description of Jesus denouncing the scribes and Pharisee's duplicity. When I show you yours, you vilify me. You want to present an attitude of taking the Bible literally, except of course, when you don't. And all of this would be fine, if only you would leave your God out of politics and quit trying to shove your morality down my throat.

So Jesus was wrong about the coming of the Kingdom. He was right about so many other things. He experienced the human condition and (somehow!) maintained his empathy and compassion. He saw that people are quick to point out problems in others, though slow to see those same problems (or worse) in themselves. He taught inclusion, both of women and social outcasts, something that was extremely controversial at the time. He spoke of forgiveness and he exemplified love. He said to love God with every fiber of your being and to love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:30-31) That everything else was secondary.

For me that's enough.

Monday, July 20, 2015

He Ain't Coming

I think it time we address this; Jesus ain't coming back. It isn't as though we haven't been patient. We have. Still, we are fast approaching TWO THOUSAND YEARS of waiting, and at some point, you know, you just have to face the cold, hard, truth.

He ain't coming.

If you're actually familiar with your Bible, Jesus' has a lot to say about the "end of times." Nation rising up against nation, famines, and pestilence, and earthquakes--that sort of thing. He even says, "And many will be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another." (He sure got that one right!) The problem is, my dear Christian friends, later on, in the midst of the very same Mount of Olives discourse, he goes on to say this: "Verily I say unto you, THIS GENERATION shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." (Matthew 24:34)

He ain't coming.

Now, we can read the same in Mark and Luke, 13:30 and 21:32 respectively. [Luke is slightly different in that Jesus passes the Mount of Olives (19:37) but speaks to the crowd at the temple. 20:1] No matter, the point is all three of the Gospels relay pretty much the same words and event. Indeed, that is why they are called the synoptic Gospels. All three follow a recognizable and familiar story line.

He ain't coming.

So, here we have Jesus talking about the end of times, how to recognize that it IS the end of times, and that it is going to happen SOON! The people of THIS GENERATION will not pass (die) before the metaphorical shit hits the spiritual fan. Jesus has been extremely clear; It is going DOWN! Alas, it didn't. And hasn't. And we just have to come to grips with it.

He ain't coming.

Pat! Pat! You've taken it out of context. Pat! Pat! A day is like a thousand years in the eyes of the Lord! (see; 2nd Peter 3:8 and Psalm 90:4) Of course I have. How could it be otherwise? Because it HASN'T happened, I must be wrong, right? Well, go back to 2nd Peter, chapter 3 and see why a "day is like a thousand years in the eye's of the Lord." People have already started to complain: "And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." (3:4) So Peter does his best to spin what Jesus said. Misdirection at it's finest!

He ain't coming.

Because a day doesn't have a single thing to do with a generation. THIS GENERATION. Jesus was addressing people in front of him. And those peoples' day wasn't a thousand years long. It was 24 hours. And Jesus wasn't talking to the Father about the end of times--one gathers that God probably knows the agenda. In fact, is the only one who does. (see; Matthew 24:36) So who exactly is Jesus talking to? Us? The message was meant for us? Really? That is what you believe? That Jesus was cryptically sending a message to OUR GENERATION one thousand nine hundred and fifty years later--even though he said "this generation" with a life audience in front of him? Boy, that Jesus is sure tricksy!

He ain't coming.

Well, you say, that's depressing as all hell Pat, whats to be done? If our bacon isn't going to be pulled out of the fire by divine intervention, (which it most assuredly isn't) what the heck are we supposed to do? One thing we can do is read the brilliant insight of John Dewy: "Men have never fully used the powers they possess to advance the good in life because they have waited upon some power external to themselves, and to nature, to do the work they are responsible for doing."

Yep, we become accountable. We take responsibility for our own mess. We stand up and say its starts with me. We actually change our...hmmmmm...on second thought...

God help us.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Charmed, I'm Sure

News from Cern...

http://www.businessinsider.com/new-pentaquark-particle-discovered-by-lhc-team-2015-7

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0kXkWXSXRA

(Days Later) The "double entry" (links) from Gwenn set off a tsunami on my computer. Created all sorts of problems with font and font size--Arggg. Didn't have the heart to ask her to come back again so soon and work on the computer. (see previous post) Oh well, fixed now and I can share the pentaquark with you! Whats it all mean? Not much in the long run. Just another aspect of God revealed on the sub-atomic scale. The discoveries will be never ending. Its just the nature of the beast. (if calling God a beast is an apt metaphor) On to dark matter!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Hat in Hand

"And there are those who have little and give it all."

This I have tried to do. Nearing the completion of the third year of this blog, though, I have asked Gwenn to do something I have had a great reluctance for; the installation of a "Donate" button. It is conspicuous over on the right hand side of the page. I find it more than embarrassing asking you for help. Truth is, I find it humiliating.

"And you receivers, and you are all receivers, assume no weight of gratitude, lest you lay a yoke upon yourself and upon him who gives. Rather rise together with the giver on his gifts as on wings."

Still, this is my own particular peccadillo. And the ancient text are all consistent--'Ask and you shall receive.' So I am asking for your financial support, however little or much as you deem fitting. The humiliating aspects of asking for help are, apparently, something Life wishes me to grapple with.

"It is well to give when asked, but better to give when unasked, through understanding; and to the open-handed the search for one who will receive is joy greater than giving."

I would be that joy for you. And I would strive to rise with you on your gift, despite my inept and awkward nature toward receiving. Perhaps God has a grand lesson for me--transforming humiliation into humility.

"And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor do they give with mindfulness of virtue. Through the hands of these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth."

Thank you for smiling on me.

(all quotes from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet.)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The 10 Suggestions

1) Thou shall relax! I've got things covered

2) Thou shall cease killing each other.

3) Thou shall refrain from fouling your own nest.

4) Thou shall value diversity.

5) Thou shall breathe deeply and dine slowly.

6) Thou shall grant the benefit of the doubt.

7) Thou shall learn to listen.

8) Thou shall speak often with your eyes and less with your lips.

9) Thou shall familiarize yourself with forgiveness.

10) Thou shall strive to be grateful.


Found in the appendix of the "Book of Padrac" at Skellig Michael, circa 600 AD.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Dance With The One That Brung Ya


Darrell Royal, head football coach at the University of Texas, was asked on the eve of a critical game with Texas' bitterest rival, if the coaching staff planned on doing anything different, had they planned any surprises. To which Royal replied with the title of this post. He meant that his Longhorns were going to do what they did best. I need desperately to heed that advice. With all that is going on in the world, and the killing of nine souls in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday the 17th, I have been overwhelmed with the negative aspects of life. So, I have to get back to the basics. I sought out an old friend for advice:

"And most of all I will love myself. For when I do I will zealously inspect all things which enter my body, my mind, my soul, my heart. Never will I overindulge the requests of my flesh, rather I will cherish my body with cleanliness and moderation. NEVER WILL I ALLOW MY MIND TO BE ATTRACTED TO EVIL AND DESPAIR, rather I will uplift it with knowledge and wisdom of the ages. Never will I allow my soul to become complacent and satisfied, rather I will feed it with meditation and prayer. Never will I allow my heart to become small or bitter, rather I will share it and it will grow and warm the earth. I will greet this day with love in my heart."

~Og Mandino The Greatest Salesman in the World (Scroll II)

To those victims of the shootings--what can I say? There is an insanity in our country that has nothing to do with mental instability. It is a way of life. It is a belief system. I realize that nothing significant is going to change. Not in our gun laws. Not in our cultural hatred. Not in the glorification of a short lived government (the Confederate States of America). I hope, despite my saying that, your deaths will not be in vain.
                                                                                                                        
Depayne Doctor--Cynthia Hurd--Susie Jackson--Ethel Lance--Rev. Clementa Pinkney--Tywanza Sanders--Rev. Daniel Simmons, Sr.--Sharonda Coleman-Singleton--Myra Thompson. Rest in Peace.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Grinding Gears

Well, it's certainly been interesting since I posted Mum's the Word. I suppose I took that suggestion a tad too seriously. I've found that being Irish and a natural inheritor of a 'kiss from the Blarney Stone,' (in fact, I think it was more a make-out session) that I didn't want to use one word when ten were available. So I nixed possible posts understanding I wouldn't be able to live up to my own challenge of brevity. No matter...lesson learned.

As to re-engaging the blog after an extended layoff: not easy. I keep believing I've said it all. God (Life-Presence-Universal Mind) says to keep telling you. Like my first journalism class in High School where the rule of thumb was; "tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em, tell 'em, tell 'em what you've told 'em," God seems to want me to continue. (yeah-I don't understand it either) Why do I think so? Reread the 10-14-14 post 'Open Parenthesis'. (specifically the paragraphs listed 'Second' and 'Fourth') Here is what has happened since. IRAQ 12-2-14  ITALY 1-21-15  DENMARK 2-15-15 ZAMBIA 3-12-15  HUNGARY 4-8-15  VIETNAM 5-6-15. (new countries and the date they showed up as a "hit.") In the eight months since Open Parenthesis, six new countries. Averaging about one every six weeks or so. (Wakarimasen 2-12-14 to Open Parenthesis 10-14-14 was 8 months as well, with 13 new countries--but remember, 3 came in 16 days. So, a slightly higher average, but more countries were available as "new.")

Now here is what happened this morning. I checked the blog for activity and saw Greece was on the day before. I thought, OH-HO, Greece is new! Double checking myself, I saw I was wrong. Greece had come in sometime between 2-12-14 and 10-14-14. But it did cause me to wonder what Western European country hadn't been a visitor. The only one I could think of was--Portugal. And I thought about trying to "lure" them into a hit like I had Japan (2-12-14) and Australia. (G'Day Mate! 5-29-13) The thought exhausted me. I didn't want to. I exited the blog and went out for a couple hours to run errands. Guess who dropped in between then and now? Portugal.

So. Yep. Uh-huh. A co-inky-dink. But a powerful, interesting, rather remarkable co-inky-dink. One I choose not to ignore. And unless I am willing to start hearing voices in my head, (which I am not) one of the ways for the "source" to communicate. (and emphatically at that) As to where we're going? Don't know. But I do know where we've been:  Australia--Austria--Belarus--Belgium--Brazil--Canada--Chile--China--Columbia--Denmark--Finland--France--Germany--Georgia--Greece--Hungary--India--Indonesia--Iraq--Ireland--Italy--Israel--Jamaica--Japan--Kazakhstan--Kenya--Kyrgyzstan--Lithuania--Malaysia--Mexico--Netherlands--Pakistan--Philippines--Poland--Portugal--Romania--Russia--Serbia--Singapore--Slovakia--Spain--South Africa--South Korea--Sweden--Switzerland--Suriname--Taiwan--Tanzania--Thailand--Turkey--Ukraine--United Kingdom--United States--Venezuela--Vietnam--Zambia--Zimbabwe.  

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Effortless Progress

"Blue also has magical powers," she said. "You watch a reef and tell me if I am lying. Blue crashes onto a reef and what color does it release? It releases white! Now, how does it do that?"

Lloyd Jones; from the novel 'Mister Pip'

Friday, May 15, 2015

Mum's the Word

For the remainder of the month I set forth a challenge. Before speaking, mentally decide how you can relate what it is you want to say in the fewest words possible. (If an example is required, refer to 4-14-13.)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Told Me What?

So what am I saying? (an indulgence to those who claim they don't understand) Because you hold it in your mind, it (GGG) will sustain you--nurture, nourish, and maintain you. It will be your guiding light, a beacon to bring you home. No matter the hell you are experiencing, if you can conjure the thought that this is a Gift, which you could (somehow) be Grateful for, you will not only find the means to muddle through, you will experience God. This isn't a promise--it is reality. Decide that God can use YOU as a means to interact with life (creation: any and everything) and the process produces the outcome. The resistance (fuck this!) that you experience is the result of expectations. Let it be what it is. (it's going to be anyway) Then allow yourself time to examine why you struggle against what is. This is the unmasking of your ego and the method by which you surrender to that which some call God. (call it what you wish) Regardless, once you begin to integrate what Life brings you, (harmony) you demonstrate a personality reflective of the aspect of God you are here to embody. GGG is a method, a process, a 'hack,' that allows for immediate transformation. There is no simpler spiritual application you can employ. The link provided yesterday (Shots of Awe--Godmode) is validation from another source of what I have been telling you for nearly 3 years.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Told Ya

Gift Gratitude God is one such "God Hack." As an ontological engineer employing what has been suggested, (GGG) you do create conditions that construct a conduit to the numinous. What is experienced then and there is epiphany...yet you question it. All your preconceived ideas are put to the test. How restrictive is your definition of what God 'should' be?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fB-48RCOdA

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pure Enough

When we convince our self we can't possibly live without another person, we resist all intention and impulse of discovery. I belong with/to this other person and they belong with/to me. We're SOUL MATES! I'll love them forever!! Our mind is made up.

As you listen to this powerful song by Jennifer Warnes, ask yourself the following questions: 1) If "this love is real," why are you unhappy the way it's unfolding? 2) It might be worthwhile to investigate, "don't matter how it all went wrong," you might discover why. 3) If you "never get enough," how needy are you? 4) Not "get(ting) nothin' done" or "be with anyone," sure plays to self-indulgence, doesn't it? 5) I think it fine that you're, "never givin' in, never givin' up babe," so long as you accept the emotional cost it entails. 6) Would you ever really want a "cure for love?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPdUkWCDmGM

It may be a sacrilege to break down an emotional song this way. The purpose is not to disparage it, or you. Truth is, it's one of my all time favorites. And there are times it can be therapeutic to get down in the mud and grovel in our misery. Lets just be honest with ourselves as to why. We want love to be the way we want it to be. If it's not, we start self-destructing, abusing, indulging, blaming, pouting; in general having a major, all around shit-fit.

What I ask of you is this: go beyond the pain, the rejection, the humiliation. See what lies beyond. And beyond that, yet again. I promise you there is more. Once imagined, once experienced, once integrated, you'll understand the gift love has offered you. It won't be what you expected, but it will be enough to sustain you. Even if your heart has been broken.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Overtime

The many questions Doubt posed worried Wonder no end. Things went from bad to worse when Fear materialized next to Doubt and the thought, "You are going to Hell," flashed in Wonder's mind.

Virtue didn't seem surprised. "Hey Fear," she said. "How goes it?"

Fear sneered but didn't respond. His focus was on Wonder. Doubt suddenly moved next to Wonder and eyed his tibia. When Doubt actually began to gnaw on him, Wonder nearly jumped out of his skin! "What the..." was all he could manage, violently shaking his leg.

Virtue deftly interposed herself between Doubt and Wonder, separating them, while hailing Fear once more, "How ya been?"

Fear finally lifted his gaze from Wonder and glared at Virtue with hostility. Wonder had seen and felt Fear any number of times in the past, and knew him to be a man of few words. Fear seemed to be able to communicate subliminally. The images that Wonder experienced around Fear always terrorized him. Even now his thoughts were of Doubt eating his innards and Fear summoning the Angel of Death. He felt himself ready to bolt.

Virtue picked up Doubt and half dragged him towards Fear. "No kidding?" she said to some unheard response. "You are a formidable emotion, no doubt. Where would we be without you?" Here she deposited Doubt at Fear's feet, and placed her face inches from his. "Still, I find you lie too often and encourage the worst in humans. Your teachings are crude and lack subtlety. Wonder is in no need of your message today."

The very air around them seem to shimmer like a heat wave. Fear was trembling with suppressed energy and looked as if he would lash out at Virtue. Wonder felt woozy, wanting to help Vi but unable to move. The images in his mind where so potent he had difficulty comprehending the singular conversation. He was sure however, that Vi was shielding him. He forced himself to move toward her despite his trepidation. But his dread was such he stumbled and nearly took a header. He was caught before falling by two slender arms. He believed it was Vi, but looking up he saw it was the lady Grace. He had often thought about travelling to her state. Now he was in her arms. She was so elegant he became self-conscious. He glanced at Vi and saw her beaming at him like a summer sun. Her look was so full of affection he visibly blushed. He wasn't so discombobulated though, not to notice that Fear and Doubt had somehow vanished. Wonder wondered if wonders would ever cease.

After untangling himself, Wonder thanked Grace. He then walked over to Virtue and hugged her. It was the first time he had ever initiated an embrace between them. The hug-fest was broken up by the loud utterance of, "Ba'al Shem!" echoing through the glade. All three turned to see a young Hasidic Jew, book in hand, staring at Virtue. He didn't appear to be older than 6 or 7. He waited expectantly, smiling at her and fingering his left earlock until Virtue--after considerable thought--announced, "Ubiquitous." The young boy nodded sagely and resumed his travels.

"What was that all about Vi," Wonder asked.

"Seems I'm awash in validation, Wonder," answered Virtue, watching until the boy disappeared. She turned to Grace and expressed her appreciation she showed up when she did. "I wasn't entirely sure how that was going to play out Grace. Your timing was impeccable." Grace nodded, her features relaxed. She stated, "You're needed in the north, Virtue. Your time has come."

Virtue seemed surprised. She whispered, "so soon?" and then, after several heartbeats, "so be it." She shot a quick glance at Wonder and asked Grace for a minute to spend with him. "Of course," Grace responded, moving toward the woodland trail. Turning to Wonder, Vi saw he couldn't mask the disappointment on his face.

"Do you really have to go, Vi?"

"Yes, Wonder, I do."

"Can I go with you?"

"Not this time Wonder."

"But I always wanted to be in the state of Grace, Vi!"

"You're not so very far away Wonder. You're closer than you think."

"I don't know what that means Vi." A note of desperation crept into Wonder's voice. "I don't know so many things. How will I learn everything I need to know without you? How do I do that?"

"Over time Wonder, over time."  

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Fourth Quarter

As luck would have it, Faith suddenly appeared and strolled into the clearing. With a pleasant smile she greeted both Wonder and Virtue and stated, "Heard Wonder is experiencing some confusion."

This caused Vi to break out in laughter. "Might just be the person trying to explain it to him, Faith."

Wonder shook his head and piped up, "No, it's true. I don't understand. Everyone seems to have different ideas of what God is, or how we should act, and what to believe. How am I suppose to know which one is right?"

"Believe in the process Wonder." With that she winked at Vi and continued on her way, whichever way that was. Faith like to find her own path. 

Wonder's glance at Vi was dejected. "I don't know what the process is, Vi."

Virtue studied him for a time before saying, "Wonder, do you know the men of science say that there has never, ever, been two snowflakes alike? In all the snowstorms, in all the world, since time began, no two snowflakes have been identical. Does that seem possible?"

Wonder shook his head slowly. It seemed preposterous.

"And what happens when thousands upon thousands of snowflakes fall in a specific location?"

Finally! Something he knew. "Snow, Vi."

"Indeed! The uniqueness of the individual snowflake is lost--it becomes homogeneous. It loses itself in something larger, and, some would say, greater. But that isn't the end Wonder, not by a long shot. Most snow eventually melts and becomes water. It soaks the soil to nourish verdure, or finds a stream to slake a thirst, or seeks solace in the anonymity of the ocean. Wherever it goes though, evaporation and transpiration take place--or sublimation if it hasn't melted--and it will, eventually, find itself lifted skyward to form a cloud. Guess what happens then Wonder? The PROCESS starts all over again! Be it snow, rain, dew, or fog."

"To what purpose, Vi? Why?"

"Look around, Wonder, and ask yourself, 'why not?' God wants you to know Him. She didn't think that possible without revealing Herself."

"Vi, how can God be a He and a She?"

"Wonder, God isn't a He, a She, or an It. God transcends gender. God is nothing--no 'thing.' God is everything. Every Thing! And the urge, the impulse, the desire to experience, is what God is up to. Or down for, as the case may be."

Just then Doubt crept in...

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Triple Play

"Oh Vi, you're making fun of me," Wonder asserted. "How am I ever going to figure things out if you keep teasing me?"

"Well Wonder, it is important to maintain one's sense of humor when talking about the Deity," Virtue insisted. "Did you know the Lord goes around introducing Himself as Al?"

Wonder gasped, "The Lord calls himself Al, Vi?"

Virtue struggled to maintain a straight face saying, "Yes He does Wonder--Al Mighty! In fact He insists his full title is, 'Good God Al Mighty.' "

Wonder bit his lip and looked at Virtue with reproach. "Vi, you blaspheme."

Virtue glanced at Wonder with kindness. She gently took his arm and said, "lets sit down for awhile Wonder," and led him off the trail to a small glade. Once they had settled in, Virtue asked for his undivided attention and told him the following story:

"At the beginning Wonder, the Lord of Creation said to the Lady, 'with everything We have fashioned, how are We going to keep Our shit together?' (here Wonder gasped yet again) The Lady, with only a slight raise of an eyebrow, suggested there might be a less crude way of putting it, but that yes, definitely, Creation would produce large amounts of waste. Whimsy, who was there at the beginning and a vital component of the creation process, suggested that 'poop in a group' was more refined, and that he thought he had the answer--'shit kickers.' The Lady concluded this wasn't solving the problem of 'good taste,' insofar as terminology was concerned. Well, Whimsy was up to the task and provided an alternative; 'dung beetle'. But he asked that the beetle push the shit with his feet, no! no! with his BACK feet, head pointed the opposite way! As the Lady contemplated the idea, murmuring, 'perhaps a poo pushing beetle would work,' the Lord commented, 'how in the world are they going to be able to sustain a straight line?' Whimsy, by now totally enamored with his notion, said to make it so they navigate--steer--by stars million and millions of miles away. The Lord of Creation asked Whimsy 'why so grandiose?' to which Whimsy responded, 'to keep humans humble.'




"So...that's the end of the story, Vi?"

"Well, its the end of the point I am trying to share with you Wonder. Humans believing that they can 'blaspheme' is the height of arrogance. It would be as though an electron in your body was saying that YOU were illegitimate or counterfeit. The electron's existence is dependent on the very thing it would repudiate. It is inconsequential ignorance. The Lord and Lady care far less what you say as what you do. Remember that. Even if you are no more than a poo pusher."

[ image courtesy of http://www.toptenz.net ]

Friday, April 3, 2015

TMI Squared

Whimsy leaned toward Wonder and whispered, "Bees knees please the breeze." He looked expectantly at Wonder, as though he had shared some state secret, eyebrows popping in a suggested and silent conspiratorial brotherhood. Wonder was at a loss as to what to say. He turned to Virtue with a quiet desperation born of bewilderment. When Virtue simply smiled and cocked her head, Wonder was left to sputter, "Ah, umm, yes...er, ahhh...I'm sure that's true." Wonder was uncertain if he felt more captivated--or exasperated--by Whimsys declaration.

When nothing more came from Wonder, Whimsy seemed a bit crestfallen. Exhaling, he looked all around and in a singsong cadence declared, "Wonder blunder under the Thunder;" then, with a touch of Virtue's shoulder announced, "you're it," before careening madly down the path and melting into the woods.  

Wonder looked at Virtue with more than a little confusion, asking "what did he mean Vi? What blunder did I make?" Virtue slung an arm over Wonder's shoulder suggesting, "lets keep walking," and resumed their journey. It was some time before she said, "Whimsy was making the point that you fail to see the continuity. That all things are really one thing. That life is nothing more than God revealing Himself in a million different ways."

This helped Wonder not at all. He felt as though a secret was purposely being kept from him. He dejectedly asked Virtue, "is that what he said, Vi? I didn't hear him mention God at all."

"Well", Virtue started, "thunder is often used as a metaphor for God. The ancient text's are filled with descriptions of it being His voice, or a manifestation of His power. Whimsy was saying you don't hear His voice--His message--in the flight of the bee. That bees knees, nearly always seen laden with pollen, not only ensure the regeneration of flowers, but food for bee offspring as well. It is a classic win-win situation. Naturally, this would 'please the breeze,' since the continuation of life is Life's purpose, and the breeze is most certainly a part of Life. It doesn't exist outside of it."

"So the breeze is a part of Life, Vi?"

"Everything is a part of Life Wonder."

"Even death?"

"Especially death. How can transformation take place without death? All that Life feeds on is--Life! That constitutes death in your mind. But it is simply an alteration of the physical, not the spiritual. Just as there couldn't be death without life, there can't be life without death. If there is no up Wonder, you can't possibly go down. And how would you go forward, if backward didn't exist?"

But Vi, why can't we just live forever?!"

"You do Wonder, you do."

"How do you know Vi? How can you be sure?"

Virtue chuckled softly, turned and looked deeply into Wonder's eyes. "It's simple," she said, "every little breeze seems to whisper, 'eternities.' " *

* (apologies to Maurice Chevalier)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

TMI

Harmony had formed an impromptu conga line of several squirrels, a hedgehog, an entire family of voles, and one extremely nimble brown bear. They disappeared down an incline straddling the Dipatoe river, 1-2-3-KICK'ing with utter glee. Wonder sighed and turned to Virtue, "She never seems to stay around for very long. She comes and goes so quickly."

Virtue smiled and said, "Harmony is an 'intent', Wonder, not a person."

"How can that be Vi," Wonder questioned. "We were just with her."

"Being around the Lady creates a sort of resonance Wonder. You were engrossed and deeply affected by Her presence. Harmony was the result."

Wonder chewed on this answer for awhile before asking, "Is the Lady, God, Vi?"

"Partially," Virtue answered. "She is half a potentiality. The Lord is the other half. They each have a realm where they rule. We exist where the two realms overlap. Formally it is known as the Vesica Piscis, Wonder, but most simply call it life. Everything that you know of springs from this source."

Wonder's head was spinning and he walked a long way contemplating what Virtue had said. He had heard so much that he didn't understand. First from the Lady and now from Vi. He felt lost. "Oh Vi," Wonder finally confessed, "I feel so muddled."

"Don't over think it Wonder," Vi suggested. She could see her little friends furrowed forehead and knew he was apt to get lost in the answers. "The dung beetle doesn't even know the word 'astronomy' exists. And the idea of 'celestial polarization' has never occurred to any dung beetle at any time since creation began--yet they do what they do. It is something to marvel at, not muddle over."

"But how do they do it Vi, how?"

"How now brown cow?"

Wonder and Virtue turned to see who had spoken. It wasn't a total surprise to see Whimsy flashing his irresistible smile. He went on: "Hey diddle diddle--Her Lady loves a fiddle--And the cow jumped over the moon--The little crab scoffed--And said to be off--So the Archbishop ran away with a loon."

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Hmmm

Yesterday, after glancing at the librarians' name tag, I noted her name was similar to an author of one of the books I was checking out. (Terry Pratchett) Overhearing us, the other librarian announced that he had just died. Arriving home, I Googled the information to see that Mr. Pratchett had died 3-12-15.

I had just "met" Pratchett a month or so ago. I had stumbled upon a number of his quotes from various books he had written and was quite taken by his unusual view of things. (See; Tipping The Scales 2-17-15) So much so I wrote a "tribute" to him with Fiddler on the Roof. I followed with two additional (and consecutive) posts; Back to the Garden and Sky Light, carrying the "tribute" forward. I haven't posted anything since. (12 days) I wonder what to make of that...

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Sky Light

"So it all has to do with celestial polarization?" Wonder asked.

The Queen of Heaven smiled and stated, "That's it in a nutshell."

Wonder looked around to see where this amazing nutshell was. He was understandably confused. The explanation of a dung beetles' ability to navigate by star and sky defied logic. Unable to locate the nutshell, Wonder looked up at the Queen of Heaven and said, "do they really dance?"

The Lady responded, "It might be more accurate to say they orientate themselves. But that's akin to saying humans only dance to find themselves. While true, it certainly misses the essence of what dance is. The impulse to dance is in your DNA, Wonder."

This in no way cleared up the many questions that assailed poor Wonder's mind. He was spared further confusion when Harmony appeared and clasped first his, and then Virtue's, hand. "Let's skip to the loo and then back home," she suggested. "Our Lady has a Fiddle Festival to attend."

"Indeed," the Queen of Heaven said. "The new batch of fiddle sticks are going to be tested!" As she gathered her gown before moving off, she smiled at Vi and said, "be sure to tell Wonder about the 'riddle of the fiddle.' "

The last thing Wonder wanted was another riddle. He was riddled to death. Never-the-less, he turned his head to Vi with a sigh.

Virtue snorted and laughed. "Wonder, relax!" she said. "You aren't expected to know all the answers. Just take it in and see what happens, okay? Harmony's here and she'll help"

"Okay, Vi."

"Okay!" Vi responded. "The riddle of the fiddle is as follows; When you rosin a bow--It's important to know--A result of that friction--Can induce benediction."

Harmony and Virtue were reduced to tears of laughter when, Wonder in tow, they exited the garden to Harmony's innocent query, "what light through yonder Wonder breaks?"

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Back To The Garden

Virtue came across Wonder on a path to the Garden

"Hey Wonder."

Looking up with wide eyes, Wonder responded; "Hi Vi," and subtly reddened when Virtue hugged him. Despite his slight embarrassment, he was pleased his friend always embraced him. Virtue meant the world to Wonder.

"Whatcha doing?" asked Virtue.

"Watching a dung beetle," replied Wonder. "They always push their poo in a straight line."

Virtue laughed. "Yes, they're accomplished astronomers," said Virtue. "They navigate using the Milky Way."

Wonder gasped in amazement, never doubting Virtue. "Who would have ever dreamed of that?" marveled Wonder.

"Lets go ask Her," Virtue responded.

And so it was Wonder and Virtue made their way to the eastern entry of the Garden. A flaming sword was rotating impressively at the entrance, watched over carefully by Charles the Cherubim. Virtue passed by the sword and angel both, but Wonder hesitated. "Am I allowed?" Wonder questioned. Immediately the sword swelled to ten times its original size, blocking any possible access. "Vi, help me!" Wonder shouted.

Virtue turned, retraced her steps, and took Wonder's hand. She led him back down the path until they reached a small, overgrown trail. Virtue and Wonder were a good long while on this trail until they reached the little known western gate into the Garden. The passage way was unobstructed.

"Why is there a sword at the eastern gate," asked Wonder.

"To keep the tourists out," said Virtue.

"Am I a tourist, then, Vi?" Wonder remarked.

"No Wonder," responded Virtue. "You just doubted a good intention is all."

"Oh," Wonder mused. He recalled that Hell was paved with those.

"How come there are so many Fiddler Crabs in the Garden, Vi?" Wonder posed, carefully stepping over and around the vast horde of crustaceans that seemed to be scurrying everywhere.

"Shortage of fiddle sticks, Wonder," Virtue answered. "A real shortage of fiddle sticks."

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fiddler on the Roof*

"What is heaven like," asked Wonder.

"Quite orderly, actually," replied the Archbishop pompously. "There is, of course, ritual in all its splendor. The proper way of praying, chanting, sacrificing, and the like. Do you know there is only one way of kneeling before the Lord, or pronouncing His Unspeakable Name?"

"How does one speak an unspeakable name," wondered Wonder aloud.

"Exactly!" thundered the Archbishop. "The riff-raff have no idea! Without 'Rabbi's Rule of Order' I'm sure all Hell would break loose. Inappropriate genuflecting, alms giving,--and hugging!--there is entirely too much hugging going on, if you ask me. I am of a mind it's the celestial music that goes on to all hours of the night."

"Country music?," queried Wonder, hoping he could look forward to hearing Patsy Cline in Heaven.

"Celestial music you nincompoop," shouted the Archbishop, "CELESTIAL!"

"Fiddlesticks," muttered Wonder.

"I've got it on good authority they cleaned them out completely in the last handbasket," the Archbishop replied smugly. "Violin bows are mandatory now."



(My small tribute to Terry Pratchett and his humorous way of seeing things)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tipping The Scales

Balance. It was all about balance. That had been one of the first things that she had learned: the centre of the seesaw had neither up nor down, but upness and downness that flow through it while it remains unmoved. You had to be the centre of the seesaw so the pain flowed through you, not into you. It was very hard. But she could do it!

~Terry Pratchett I Shall Wear Midnight

Friday, February 13, 2015

No Waiting

I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me want to laugh out loud. And I don't want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who appreciates the gift.

~Shauna Niequist Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bar Hopping

1965 was my last year of Little League. I was 12 years old. During one batting practice I was in center field with a teammate when I heard a CRACK of the bat and saw the ball rising in a prodigious arc over head. I immediately turned and ran towards the point where I thought the ball would come down. (think Willie Mays in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series against Cleveland) Going full tilt with my head turned up to eye the descending ball, I ran under a chin up bar (the three level metal construct of high, medium, and lower bars) and knocked myself out. When I came to my entire team was in a circle around me. It was an interesting phenomenon, looking up at a patch of blue sky with worried faces peering down at me, and having no idea of what had taken place. I don't remember pain so much as being disengaged from reality. The 'here and now' didn't carry any significance. My brain was like a tire on an icy road...I couldn't gain any traction.

Obviously many things had taken place while I was unconscious. 13 kids and 3 coaches had time to run some 250 feet out to where I was. Someone (?) was dispatched to my house to get my mom. By far the most interesting thing that happened, though, was when I was walked (supported on either side) to the parking lot to await my moms arrival. One of the coaches (not sure which one) said; "you're just like your dad...you can't pass up a bar." 

To be sure, the comedic genius of the line was lost on me at the time. But distance and memory have enshrined the one-liner as a beautiful insight into human nature. We have the capacity to laugh when danger has passed, or even in some cases, while we are in the midst of it. Further, it isn't necessary for danger to be the essential ingredient. Any of our hopes, dreams, or desires, can be put into proper perspective with a dose of humor.

So it is with my high expectations for January. I have to laugh. I have been here before, nearly two years to the date. (see; Flatline 2-18-13) I wish continued exposure to rejection made it any easier. It doesn't. But there must be a joke in here somewhere. To that end, perhaps a contest? Finish the following premise: A Priest, a Rabbi, and Pat walk into a bar...

(The winner will receive a free copy of the e-book, "The Last Enchanted Forest.")

Saturday, February 7, 2015

In The Begining Was The Word

"Likewise, exposure to WORDS related to the elderly makes people walk more slowly, WORDS related to professors make people smarter at the game of Trivial Pursuit; and WORDS related to soccer hooligans make people dumber." The Happiness Hypothesis~Jonathan Haidt  (Bargh, Chen, and Burrows, 1996--Dijksterhuis and van Knippenberg, 1998)

So, do you think the words and ideas promoted in January could make a difference in the level of intimacy you share with God?

Word on the street says it will.

Update: 2-12-15  The limits of my language are the limits of my mind. All I know is what I have WORDS for. ~Ludwig Wittenstein

Thursday, January 29, 2015

If You Want Me To

Understanding you can be shy at times, God is willing to go first...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Aspects of God

I talk in both the web and blog sections of "aspects of God." Lets view some biblical accounts to better understand what I mean. Genesis chapter 18 portrays Abraham receiving 3 visitors on the "plains of Mam-re." One is God, the other two angels. God informs Abraham he is going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham begins to NEGOTIATE with God! (verse 24; "Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?) The negotiation goes on and on till Abraham whittles the Lord down to (theoretically) 10 righteous men. Talk about cheeky.

Chapter 19 provides a further insight. The two angels (having departed and arrived in Sodom) tell Lot to "...escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed." (verse 17) Lot isn't entirely content with being saved--oh no!--he prefers to pick his OWN destination. (city of Zo-ar; verses 18-22) More incredible yet, God says in verse 22; "Haste thee, escape thither; for I CANNOT DO ANY THING till thou come thither." Astonishing! Lot revises God's plan (of saving HIS skin) and holds up proceedings until he can get to Zo-ar.

Genesis chapter 32, verse 24-30, allows us a remarkable look at a wrestling match between Jacob and God. (or, at the least, God's proxy) The upshot is Jacob prevails (though his thigh becomes, "out of joint") and demands not only a blessing, but to know his adversaries name. (knowing a persons name in ancient times was equal to having power over them; see, the Tetragrammaton) Instead, God changes Jacob's name to Israel, (meaning; 'struggle with God') blesses him, and goes on his way. Jacob is so moved by the encounter he renames the place Peniel (literally, 'the face of God') for he has "seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."

To recap, we see it is entirely possible to: 1) negotiate with 2) alter the plans of, or 3) fight with God, and still remain in His good graces. In fact, we see it is conceivable to ask for a BLESSING while we wrestle with Him! And it matters not one whit whether we take the scripture literally or figuratively--as metaphor it still retains its instructive value.

Psalm 96:1 (as well as the 98th and 149th) suggest we "sing unto the Lord a new song." (Just a mellow old river cruising along--twisting and turning and SINGING my song--its not always happy, lively, or gay--but there's usually truth in what I say) [see, Aurora 7-20-12, 'Ol Man Grogs'] Whether it's one of negotiation, alteration, or contention, let your voice be heard. God will stoop to pick up every note.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Incoherent

It is important to understand that no scripture, idea, concept, or person's opinion, can encompass the "totality" of what is referred to as 'God.' We simply don't know what we don't know. And unless you are God, how can you declare the extent or limitation of what is possible? Accepting our ignorance of the totality of God, we can then intellectually (and honestly) allow for individual manifestations of ASPECTS of that God. One need only study a snowflake in juxtaposition to 'snow' to glimpse the possible truth of such an idea.

Your paradoxical partner on your life's journey is your ego. On the one hand it will strife to glorify the self (look at me-me-me!). On the other, it will forever be whispering, "you're not good enough." This conflicted image of oneself can lead to a host of unwanted behaviors. While attempting to quiet the saboteur, you mimic actions contrary to self in hopes of acceptance. While desire for personal and social acceptance are powerful, if  'you' are misrepresented in the process what have you gained? Validation of the inauthentic self. This reinforces the subconscious tape, "I'm not good enough," and conflict continues. (neuroses)

Unifying contrary aspects of self begins with acceptance. Unless and until you come to terms with your behavior--be it lying, drug use, physical violence, infidelity, etc.--you give yourself  'permission' to continue said behavior. Denial and deflection are nothing more than "coping mechanisms" that allow a continuation of this false sense of self. (dichotomy) Only ownership of action can create the construct necessary for change.

The change we wish for is a cohesive demonstration of self. This must include an understanding of the spiritual component intrinsic to all human beings. Spirit is the traditional believe in a "vital principle or animating force within living beings." Spiritual then, is; "pertaining to, consisting of, or having the nature of spirit or a spirit; not tangible or material." Disregard or dismissal of this fundamental part of our being leads to an incomplete, skewed view of who we are. This misunderstanding allows the ego a continued domination of interpretation regarding the events in our life.

Suppose, instead, entertaining the idea that you can manifest aspects of God--rather than your ego. Since the totality of the God we talk about is beyond our comprehension, we must allow for anything and everything being possible. Part of what is possible is tapping the unlimited potential that exists at the core of your being. You know its there. You've eyed it, whispered to it, even felt it from time to time. You've also been terrified of it because it removes all your excuses. It holds you accountable. It proclaims nothing is impossible if you apply all that you are and all that you wish to be. Truth be told, you prefer knowing its there than in putting it to the test. Because you know for a certainty that your ego will say you aren't good enough--and you'll believe that twice as fast and far easier than any silly notion about God. Which, unfortunately, answers any and all questions about the title of this post...

Friday, January 23, 2015

Corrective Eye Surgery

Martin Buber tells this tale: "Rabbi Mendel once boasted to his teacher Rabbi Elimelekh that evenings he saw the angel who rolls away the light before the darkness, and mornings the angel who rolls away the darkness before the light. 'Yes,' said Rabbi Elimelekh, 'in my youth I saw that too. Later on you don't see these things any more.' "

Seeing is of course very much a matter of verbalization. Unless I call my attention to what passes before my eyes, I simply won't see it. It is, as Ruskin says, "not merely unnoticed, but in the full, clear sense of the word, unseen."

But there is another kind of seeing that involves a letting go. When I see this way I sway transfixed and emptied.

But I can't go out and try to see this way. I'll fail, I'll go mad. All I can do is try to gag the commentator, to hush the noise of useless interior babble that keeps me from seeing just as surely as a newspaper before my eyes. The effort is really a discipline requiring a lifetime of dedicated struggle; it marks the literature of saints and monks of every order East and West, under every rule and no rule, discalced and shod. The world's spiritual geniuses seem to discover universally that the mind's muddy river, this ceaseless flow of trivia and trash, cannot be dammed, and that trying to dam it is a waste of effort that might lead to madness. Instead you must allow the muddy river to flow unheeded in the dim channels of consciousness; you raise your sights; you look along it, mildly, acknowledging its presence without interest and gazing beyond it into the realm of the real where subjects and objects act and rest purely, without utterance. "Launch into the deep," says Jacques Ellul, "and you shall see."

The secret of seeing is, then, the pearl of great price. If I thought he could teach me to find it and keep it forever I would stagger barefoot across a hundred deserts after any lunatic at all. But although the pearl may be found, it may not be sought. The literature of illumination reveals this above all: although it comes to those that wait for it, it is always, even to the most practiced and adept, a gift and a total surprise.

~Annie Dillard "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek" Chapter II 'Seeing'

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Seeing Things

It can be difficult to get our heads around a concept like the electromagnetic field. It is a complex and extensive subject. Still, we need to know that what we call 'light' is more appropriately called "visible light," and resides in the electromagnetic spectrum. It makes up a very small fraction of the entire field, which consists of: Radio waves--Microwave--Infrared--Visible Light--Ultraviolet--X-Ray--Gamma Ray.

Within visible light there is a subset of 7 parts, as there is in the electromagnetic field. (it might be of interest to know there are 7 musical notes as well) These are what we call colors. Red--Orange--Yellow--Green--Blue--Indigo--Violet. Just as in the EM field, working from left to right, red is a lower frequency than orange; as radio waves are lower in frequency (energy) than microwaves.

So what does all this mean? What you perceive as color is just energy (light) operating at a particular frequency. The frequency of color is measured in 'terahertz,' which is the number of cycles per second. (terahertz = one trillion cycles per second) So red, which vibrates at 400 to 484 terahertz, is vibrating 400 trillion + times per second. And red is the "slow" one! (violet vibrates at 700 trillion + times per second) And that rate of speed is simply incomprehensible.

Understand, I am not disputing the science. I accept it. It's just too much for me to process. I can't wrap my head around it. I find this mindset beneficial when I talk to an agnostic or atheist. I contend that 'God' is everywhere and everything. As possible explanations go, atheist's "can't see it." And that's alright. But if something as simple as color vibrates at such velocity, then maybe what we call God vibrates at the rate of a centillion. (that's 303 zeros behind a number) After all, who can say? We'll just have to wait and see.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Man Behind The Curtain

Thomas Kuhn (author of "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," [one of the most influential books of the 20th century] and Professor of Philosophy at MIT) compares the way scientists perceive (or don't perceive) the unexpected in nature. "In science, as in the playing card experiment, [see; the Red Spade Experiment.] novelty emerges only with difficulty, manifested by resistance, against a background provided by expectation. Initially, only the anticipated and the usual are experienced even under circumstances where anomaly [deviation] is later to be observed."

Like the rest of us, scientist tend to see WHAT THEY EXPECT TO SEE. Darwin once spent a whole day in a river valley and saw "nothing but water and plain rock." Eleven years later he walked in the same valley, this time looking for evidence of glaciers. "I assure you," he wrote a friend, "an extinct volcano could hardly leave more evident traces of its activity and vast powers...The valley about here must have once been covered by at least eight hundred or a thousand feet in thickness of solid ice!" Once Darwin knew what to look for, IT WAS EASY TO FIND. ~Mind Over Matter (Conversations with the Cosmos)  K.C. Cole pp 217 [emphasis mine]

Those that wander to this site are looking for something. My effort is to make it easier to find. To this end, we examine what we call reality and apply the lessons we learn from the world around us. All the while, we are aware of statements from the likes of Nobel Prize winner Sir John Eccles who says: "I want you to realize that there exists no color in the natural world, and no sound--nothing of this kind; no texture, no patterns, no beauty, no scent."

What we learn is color is actually electromagnetic waves of different frequency. Sound is simply fluctuations of air pressure. Our interpretation of this phenomenon becomes our reality. We see blue, we hear trumpets, and we smell the chocolate chip cookies in the oven. That God is a construct of our mind in no way deters that He exists. Having the ability to infuse our world with texture, patterns, beauty, and scent, (though they don't exist) enhances our experience--exponentially! So, too, with God.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Wanna Play?

Nothing delights an infant quite like peek-a-boo. The gasp of surprise and amazement shown when a person reappears from behind concealing hands--WOW! How did they do that?! They were gone and now their back...that was awesome! Do it again!

Why baby finds this so amusing is that they lack "object permanence." That is the ability to know objects still exist even if they can't see (hear, smell, taste, or touch) them. And I think people behave like babies when it comes to God. What we lack is "spiritual permanence." The ability to know God still exists even if we don't see Him.

I think it fair to say most adults have experienced a transcendent moment (or two) during their life. Be it the exquisite intimacy of lovemaking, the vastness of the ocean, or the unity of purpose with all life forms, we step outside our ego and catch a glimpse of the eternal. The hidden face of God. And we know with a certainty (despite all logical objections) there is something "more."

Still, to be fair, such moments are fleeting. We are left yearning for the face behind the hands. (Do it again!) God, though, wants to teach us other games. Games of nuance and complexity like, 'hidden in plain sight,' and 'yes! it's really me.' (the game board is earth and there are 7 billion moving pieces)

Of course, you don't have to play. You can do as you wish. Just be careful is all. The day may come when someone slips up behind you and whispers, "tag...you're it!"

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Hoi Polloi

We had a special visitor yesterday. His name is Reverend James Richardson and I would be remiss if I didn't strongly encourage you to read his comment. (on The Hidden Face Of God post) It is an extraordinary gift that I don't want any of you to miss out on. That said...

I've harbored a dream that the comment section at G-G-G would become a rousing sanctuary of spiritually minded individuals. (lively while respectful) Though I have failed miserably in generating anything of the sort, I still hold out hope. My fear is, bringing attention to the Reverends comment, you think some sort of bar has been set. (or exists) Nothing of the sort! The Reverend spent 20 years writing for the Sacramento Bee before turning to the ministry. (He has a Master of Divinity as well) He writes better than I do! So please don't be intimidated by anyone else's thoughts, perspectives, experiences or degrees. You belong here, as do your comments.

"If you compare yourself to others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself." ~Desiderata  Max Erhmann




(A personal aside to the right Reverend. You have been misled. The SF Giants are utterly wicked. This I tell you as a life-long Dodger fan. Proof is Juan Marichal's bat and John Roseboro's noggin. That and turning the first base area into a quagmire to thwart Maury Wills. Despicable!)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Hidden Face of God

We all have preconceived notions of what we mean when we use the term God. Whether they came from a temple, mosque, bible study or bull session, concepts have formed in our head what is meant when we speak the word "God." It is important that you understand what YOUR definition is. Is He Almighty? Merciful? Jealous and quick to anger? (see Old Testament) Or all these things and more? Do you fall back on, "God is love," and feel confident you have successfully answered the question? (if so, please define what love is) I'm not suggesting there is a correct answer, or even a better or worse answer, only that your answer is of vital importance. You can't get to the place you want to be if you don't know where you are.

Exodus 33:20 states; "Thou cannot see my face; for there shall no man see me and live." Yet, just a few verses before this (Exodus 33:11) we are told; "And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend." (see Genesis 32:30 as well) My point? Why let others define your relationship with God? One will tell you this, another will tell you that. And I am sure they mean well and are of good intention. Still, the fact remains they are describing THEIR experience of God, not yours. The intimacy of your relationship with God is yours to decide.

King David in the 2nd Psalm, verse 7 says; "I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day I have begotten thee." John 10:30 has Jesus stating, "I and my Father are one." (Personally, I think of this as a metaphor similar to what you would hear at a wedding; the preacher declares the two have become one. Of a certainty, John and Sally are still two distinct persons. It is their hearts, minds, and souls, that have been [theoretically] fused.) These are both powerful examples of how David and Jesus saw their relationship with God. Intimate in the extreme.

Rumi suggests: "Your task is not to seek for love, but merely seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it." I wonder if we can't say the same about God.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Bind Us Tight

The response to "let me know if you are interested," has been very encouraging. However, before we proceed, I would ask you go to the first post written. (you can simply click 2012 in the archives to the right side of the page and scroll to the bottom--Aurora Co) I want you to understand the enormity of what I am asking you to undertake. If, after reading, you think you would still be willing, click on the link in the next post. (Aurora Requiem 7-29-12) That song (If It Be Your Will) is the benediction that allows us to integrate the unimaginable. Medieval alchemists attempted to turn lead into gold. I ask something entirely different, for you to transmute evil into grace.

In 1962 a movie based on the life of Helen Keller was released. It was called "The Miracle Worker." In it Anne Sullivan (played by Anne Bancroft) attempted to teach a blind and deaf girl, Helen Keller, (played by Patty Duke) sign language. Helen had no concept that the "finger game" held any other meaning than play. It was simply something to do to occupy one's time. Then Helen experienced illumination. A piercing of the veil of ignorance. The finger patterns she had been exposed to represented something much larger and far grander than a game. Sign language became the vehicle that allowed Helen to understand and interact with the here-to-for unseen, unheard world around her.

With that in mind, I ask you to consider this: While breathing in (slowly and deeply) say, "I recognize the divinity within." While breathing out (slowly and gently) say, "I smile to my divine self."

This might appear to some as vain, ludicrous, inane or insane. All well and good. Still, I ask you do it as often as it comes to mind. We are at the initial stage of learning a "spiritual language" that may be as foreign and alien to you as sign language was to Helen. Indulge me. When rising in the morning and retiring at night, (and as many times during the day as you remember) let the words saturate your conscious mind: "I recognize the divinity within--I smile to my divine self." It will be our point of origin.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Thursday, January 1, 2015

My Goodness

To increase your awareness subtlety is useful. To wit: the most famous prayer in Christendom is the Lord's Prayer. It starts off, "Our Father who art in heaven." I would ask you consider changing it to: MY Father who art in heaven. Understand, I am not suggesting exclusivity or sole proprietorship of the Deity, only a recognition of the intimacy of YOUR relationship with God.

Examine the start of the 91st Psalm: "For those who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord: MY refuge and MY fortress, MY God in whom I trust."

Please consider a review of the 6-19-14 post (Emphasis on an Echo) with the following in mind: "If you want to find the secrets of the Universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration."
~Nikola Tesla