Thursday, July 9, 2009

Information is not Necessarily Transformation - Part II

Picking up where we left off yesterday...

- Biblical revelation says that we are essentially related to something Infinite. It says that, in fact, we cannot know the full meaning of our life until we see we are a little strand in a much larger tapestry. today astro-physicians and social biologists are saying the same thing: Truth is converging like never before.

(I adore this ... truth is defying our own definitions of reality, our own doctrines, our own comprehension of all that is, and is showing us that universal truth is all-pervasive ... whether we're talking about individual spiritual experiences of "what is," or discovering what's being realized within quantum physics -- God is EVERYwhere, and in EVERYthing (funny, scriptures always said so, but we didn't see it, somehow...! See Romans 11, the last verse in that chapter.)

- God always and forever comes as one who is totally hidden and yet perfectly revealed in the same moment or event. It is never forced on you, and you do not have to see it if you don't want to. What I will call "non-dual thinking" has the greatest chance of seeing the epiphany.

(I see this in scripture too ... "as a man thinks in his heart, so is he" ... and we see throughout scripture that those who *think* they already possess the right view, have the right perspective, adhere to the right beliefs/morality, are those who miss God. Jesus makes this clear over and over again (I may blog about this tomorrow). Dual thinking says, "everything falls into categories of 'right' or 'wrong'; 'good' or 'evil'", and stems from our addiction the the tree of the knowledge of good and evil -- which we are STILL to stay away from!)

- Most of religion, historically, expected we would come to God by finding spiritual locations, precise rituals, or the right words. Our correct behavior or morality would bring us to God or God to us. Actually almost everybody starts there -- looking for the right maps, hoping to pass some kind of cosmic SAT test. The assumption being that if you get the right answers, God will like you. God's love was always highly contingent, and the clever were assumed to be the winners.

(Yes ... this is my experience of Christianity, at it's heart, regardless of it's particular "flavor.")

- The genius of the biblical revelation is that we will come to God through what I'm going to call "the actual" the here and now, or quite simply what is. The Bible moves us from sacred place (why the temple had to go) or sacred action (why the Law had to be relativized) or mental belief systems (why Jesus has no prerequisites in this regard).

(Sooo... why does Christianity insist on clinging to buildings, rules and statements of belief...? Do we not trust the Spirit? Have we entirely missed the point?)

- As Eckhart Tolle points out in The Power of Now, you don't have to be in a certain place or even be a perfect person to experience the fullness of God. God is always given, incarnate in every moment, and present to those who know how to be present themselves (this pattern is quite clear in the Bible). God is manifest in the ordinary, in the actual, in the daily, in the now, in the concrete incarnations of life... it is our experiences that transform us if we are willing to experience our experiences all the way through.

(BTW, I do highly recommend Eckhart Tolle's books ... including "A New Earth" - the best expose I've yet read on the pervasiveness of the carnal nature - which he calls the "ego" - both within us, and within our human cultures -- perhaps THE problem in life!)

- God comes to me disguised as my life. But for most "religious" people this is actually a disappointment. They seemingly would rather have church services.

(it does seem to me that we prefer rituals about God, far more than encounters with God..!)

- God's revelations are not a Platonic world of ideas and theories about which you can be right or wrong. Revelation is not something you measure, but something, or Someone you meet!

(& yet, Christianity teaches us to be myopically fixated on right and wrong!)

- It's not about becoming spiritual beings nearly so much as about becoming human beings. The biblical revelation is saying that we are already spiritual beings, we just don't know it yet.

(if we believe that we're fallen human beings, separated from God, unable to connect with God, guess what our experiential reality will be? Change perspective and change experience!)

- We have created a terrible kind of dualism between the spiritual and the so-called non-spiritual. This dualism precisely is what Jesus came to reveal as a lie. The principle of Incarnation proclaims that matter and spirit have never been separate.

(Amen! This has become SO very clear and true to me! Our traditions have skewed our perspective and experience of this divine reality! God is all in all.)

- We need to develop the maturity and capacity for self-critical thinking. It is the first step beyond the dualistic mind and teaches us patience with ambiguity and mystery.

(& yet we are taught, within Christianity, to not think ... to accept what we're told "by faith" ... to not question, which leads to doubt and rebellion ... to fall in line with the "safety" of group-think.)

- Our temptation now and always is not to trust in God but to trust in our faith traditions of trusting in God. They are not the same thing! Often our faith is in our tradition which we can talk about all of our past saints and theologians who have trusted in God. That's a very clever way to avoid the experience itself, to avoid scary encounters with the living God, to avoid the ongoing Incarnation. We tend to trust the past for it's own sake, as if God came to earth to protect human tradition, or that past time is somehow holier than present time. Jesus specifically says that it is not true (see Matthew 15:3).

(I see a wholesale avoidance of experience ... living vicariously through the encounters of those in the past ... waiting forever for the "soon" (?!?) return of Jesus, to blow away the planet and most of its occupants ... and therefore not living in the NOW, the only moment we *have*, at all.)

- It is amazing how religion has turned the biblical idea of faith around to mean its exact opposite: into a tradition of certain knowing, presumed predictability and complete assurance about whom God likes and whom God does not like. I guess we think we have God in our pocket.

(we've turned God into a mere mascot ... a talisman, a magic symbol ...)

- The problem with group-think is that such groups are highly malleable and very subject to fear and violence from supposed threats to their group. This leads to becoming idealogues, which means that one replaces real experience with predetermined conclusions. They have their answers before listening to and learning from the information.

(I've experienced this, both within institutional Christianity, and in that which calls itself "simple church". Paranoia reigns. Perceived threats are attacked with the first knee-jerk reaction. The message is, "I already know what to think, so don't confuse me with any other perspective - I'm right and you're different, wrong and dangerous." And those with a differing perspective are deemed to be the "enemy" ... and Christianity has shown, historically, that it knows what to do with the enemy. Warfare verbiage is prolific throughout the culture of Christianity, and leads to a justification of attacking and even killing -- after all, "our mascot-god is on our side." "There will come a day when they will kill you and imagine that they're doing God a favor.")

- The genius of the biblical revelation is that, instead of simply giving us "seven habits for highly effective people," it gives us permission and even direction to take conscious ownership of our own story, at every level, every part of our life and experience. God will use all of the material, even the negative parts, to bring us to life and love. Now that's really good news! Suddenly we can take our own lives seriously, the good and the bad parts, because God has done it first!

(nothing wasted ... nothing eliminated ... nothing regretted ... nothing despised.... nothing, and no ONE, excluded)

- Pain teaches us a most counterintuitive thing -- that we must go down before we even know what up is. In terms of the ego, most religions teach in some way that all must "die before they die." Suffering of some sort seems to be the only thing strong enough to destabilize our arrogance and our ignorance. I would define suffering very simply as "whenever you are not in control."

(as a recovering anal-queen-control-freak, I can attest to THIS!!!)

- Spiritual experience teaches us what to do with the absurd, the tragic, the nonsensical, the unjust. If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it! If we cannot find a way to make our wounds into sacred wounds, we invariably become negative or bitter. If there isn't some way to find some deeper meaning to our suffering, t find that God is somehow in it, and can even use it for good, w will normally close up and close down. The natural movement of the ego is to protect itself so as to not be hurt again. Biblical revelation is about transforming history and individuals so that we don't just keep handing the pain onto the next generation.

(Yes indeedy! For transforming pain, I highly endorse Theophostic prayer (www.theophostic.com), The Work of Byron Katie (www.thework.com) and Emotional Freedom Technique (www.emofree.com) -- various tools work variously for each person ... my own healing has come largely through Theophostic - my own healing-story is on that site.)

- The biblical narrative is saying that there is coherence inside of the seeming incoherence of history. Our smaller stories have a Bigger Story holding them together. We are free to read the Bible with a healthy head and a happy heart at the same time, both critically and spiritually. We are left in that in-between space, connected to both heart and head, where we are not too much in control -- so that God can be.

(I love the Bigger Story that is more and more emerging for me, becoming clearer ... AS I let go of what I thought was the story (the group-think version of the story). The God I experience in the here and now enables me to better interpret what was being said in the scriptures ... which seems to be the very message *of* the scriptures...!)

Shalom, Dena

2 comments:

MysticBrit said...

Hmmm... I think you mean astrophysicists, Sis... astro-physician sounds like a 'space doctor!':D
I love how, as we go deeper into the nature of matter and energy, and quantum physics, everything becomes more God-like. We see that it's All One. This is so profound that it makes my heart leap for the joy of it!:D Matter is 'condensed energy' so to speak... there is so much in these ideas, and we're only just beginning to touch the surface of it. Beautiful!
Onwards and higher and deeper we go...

dena said...

Of *course* I meant space-doctors..!

:)

LOL, that's what I get for typing out book-text by hand, rather than purchasing a scanner (my kingdom for a scanner!). Next time, I shall don the contact as well.