Monday, July 27, 2009

Waking up with a Thought...

I awoke today thinking some thoughts, that didn't seem to be my own ... they came to me, unbidden ... from that spirit/Spirit intersection ... and I felt prompted to share. Receive if you will, reject if you must (it's really ok, either way -- I'll still love you!).

Regarding the source of evil ... I know that our traditions teach us that evil arises from satan ... but I no longer believe in a dualistic perspective ... that God is the source of good, while satan is the source of evil. Jesus says that the source of evil is our very own hearts *Mark 7:21).

(For the record, I also no longer believe in a traditional satan/devil, but that's for another post...)

I see that God declares that He is the author of all things ... bringing about both good and calamity (same word for evil) ... and really, since all things work together for good, all things are ultimately good -- it's only our limited perspective (the "story we tell ourselves") that defines a thing as "good" or "evil" to us ... and I believe we are still to stay away from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, since we're not equipped with God's discernment, or eternal perspective (instead, we seem to insist upon climbing that tree, and pummeling folks with rotten fruit ... our judgments of their externals). Only God knows the heart - only God can truly discern and judge. We are called to love, regardless of whether we deem a person to be a brother, friend, neighbor, or "enemy" (love IS a force far more powerful than judgment could ever be).

Yes, I do see that Jesus spoke (to the self-righteous religious leaders, who thought they knew "absolute truth"), and said to some that their "father" was the devil, the father of lies.

Now ... do we really think we're meant to read this literally, or are we to read it within the context of a metaphorical rendering? We need to step back from our propaganda-ized, 2,000-years-removed-from-reality perspective, and consider the context, the historical setting, the beliefs of the time, and how *they, then* would hear this - rather than relying on how *we* have been taught to hear this. Do we *really* think that the devil/satan actually created life...? How may Creators do we believe in? There is only One Source of all life -- God. All things on heaven and in earth come from him, have their being in Him, are sustained by Him, and return to Him -- at least, if we're going to believe the scriptures.

There is no competing/counterfeiting life-source ... the only competition is the egoic bent of our own minds, and the individual and collective stories we tell ourselves.

Paul tells the (pagan, pluralistic) Athenians that "we are all God's offspring" ... and Jesus Himself makes it clear, during the Sermon on the Mount, that our problem is *within*. Our problem is our own thinking ... our minds need renewal, to line up with our hearts (these hearts which God told us He would give us ... trading "hearts of stone" for "hearts of flesh" ... hearts which are connected to Him ... hearts which are no longer to be seen/declared as "deceitfully wicked" and untrustworthy -- hearts through which the very Spirit of God communicates with us). At least, if we're going to believe the scriptures.

To really experience the Absolute - that life is radically good, that life courses through us, and that this life is the very presence of God - is to experience the essential pattern. When we experience the transcendent quality of God, when we encounter the Living God in an experiential (not merely head-knowledge) way, suddenly everything is ok, despite the absurdity, the injustice, and the inevitable pain in life. This life is a spacious and abundant life (the life Jesus spoke of, the life He brings, if we can receive), able to even absorb the seeming contradictions we encounter ... God is so great, so bottomless, so vast, that He can even absorb the "contraries," even the apparent collisions of opposites. When we experience Him in this profound way, it feels like a universal amnesty ... a total forgiveness of ourselves, and of everything/one else...!

We can't live there 24/7, but if we taste it even once, it's *enough* for an entire lifetime. When the veil parts, even once, and we see that life is radically ok, then we see that we are indeed (and always were) a child of God. That union is palpable, and nondeniable. We see that we have all we need, and always did. Nothing left to prove, nothing to attain - as a child of the Living God, we see that all He has was always ours. It's simply a matter of recognizing, honoring, trusting. And we are startled to our core to discover that when we know God in this way, we seem to know and accept our own humanity -- as well as the humanity of everyone else. When we meet ourselves at this revelational level of awareness, we also meet God. We have no access to who we are except through God, and we have no access to God except through forgiving/accepting/rejoicing in our own humanity.

The problem is the wariness, and even the fear of, experience. People who have not yet had an experiential encounter with God can tend to be rigid, dogmatic and controlling about doctrine ... it seems to stem from anxiety about not yet having had an experience of God. Missing the whole, they can cling desperately to some small portion.

The great commandment is not "thou shalt be right." It's to love. To BE in love, with God and all that God has created. All that is needed to participate in the Abundant Life, is to surrender and be grateful.

It doesn't require being "correct" .. we are all enmeshed in various forms of skewy thinking. This is status quo with the human experience. It's been said, "if you understand it, things are just as they are. If you don't understand it, things are just as they are." I sure don't want a God limited to my understanding ...!

The real question is never, "how right is this," for that leaves me, and my own understanding, as the reference point -- an impoverished state to merely exist in. The real question is: "what does this have to say to me? what does this have to teach me? what's the gift in this for me? How is God in this event? even, how is God in this suffering?"

Every experience, whether it appears to be "good" or "evil" to my skewed perspective, is yet-another opportunity to learn how to love. This very moment has a message ... this very moment has a fullness.

Show me, God ... draw me ever-more into Yourself ... continue to show me who You really are, and who I really am. Show me Yourself in every person I encounter, every experience that greets me ... peel back the veil of my own skewed--and-limited perspective ... let me question what I *think* I know, let that which is of man be shed, so that which is of God may emerge out of that stifling cocoon of "correctness-and-certitude" and rock my world with the absolute beauty of Your radical grace...!

Thank You.

Shalom, Dena


MysticBrit said...

OK Dena... my heart says everything you've written here is True (others may well disagree though:)).

I'd like to pass on something that 'came to me' halfway up this Wed morning, something which seems to be in tune with what you were 'given'. It moved me beyond tears, and I pray it touches all who read it.

Love is All That Is.
Fear is All That Is Not.
Love is Being.
Fear is Non-Being.

And so we know Love.

Love is a Word the mind has to use, because it knows not the language of the heart, which is wordless, consisting of the strong, tender motions of the spirit as it moves within, and mingles with, the Spirit.

Jesus is that Word made Flesh, and we are all, as He is, unique expressions of Love. This is All There Is To Know, and all else flows from this. Life consists in re-minding our Selves of this. In this way we become Who We Are.

For me, this is True:)


Dena said...

Oh, Harry, that's gooooood!

It fits with what I read by Borg, about how to see "I amd the Way, the Truth and the Life" ... and it fits with what you wrote (but of course)!

I also just wrote to a friend ... reminding her that everything is motivated either by fear or by love -- one is real, the other is an illusion...!

It's very true to me, too!

Shalom, Dena