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, "'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.