Sunday, November 29, 2009

Eavesdropping on God ... at Creation...?

I like this ... possibly God's thoughts at Creation..?

Recognizing the Illusion

It's as if God said, "If I'm going to become physical, then I've got to carry with me all the laws which make a physical world work. I will do this by inventing a tiny particle which, through its design, will, first, create the universe and then dictate all behavior like gravity, magnetism, the strong force, and the like throughout the universe because of the way I have constructed it. At the same time — and in order to make things easier for Me — I will invent senses which make the possessors of those senses think they see and touch and hear real things, think they witness space and feel time pass, when in fact all that realness will just be an illusion."

Consciousness and Quantum Behavior
Barbara Dewey
Page 9

Shalom, Dena

Saturday, November 28, 2009

There's a Whole in the Bucket

Ok, I admit it right up-front: I am blog-cheating.

I am *stealing* this brilliant blog-post from my dear friend, Marianne Clyde ... partly because this is soooooo good, partly because I'm currently at an art-show (as you read this -- pray for good sales! and gooder conversations!), and mostly because my husband Mark sings this song a LOT, and then it gets stuck in MY head...!

And I absotively LOVE how Marianne shows the trap of circular (erroneous!) thinking that we all get stuck in!

Here goes (enjoy!):

Is there a hole in your bucket?

From out of nowhere I found this song playing around in my head. I have a unique talent for storing children's songs, poems, nursery rhymes in a special corner of my brain. Many people might think it's a little odd or at the very least indicates low brain function I, however, find them full of treasures and life lessons that can be applied to our lives even as adults. You can actually listen to the tune here: so that you can also have the tune in your head. (Stick with me; there is a point.)

"There's a hole in the bucket, Dear Liza, dear Liza
There's a hole in the bucket, Dear Liza, there's a hole.

Then fix it, dear Henry, Dear Henry, dear Henry
Then fix it, dear Henry, Dear Henry, fix it.

With what shall I fix it, Dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I fix it, Dear Liza, with what?

With a straw, dear Henry, Dear Henry, dear Henry
With a straw, dear Henry, Dear Henry, with a straw.

But the straw is too long, Dear Liza, dear Liza
But the straw is too long, Dear Liza, too long

Then cut it, dear Henry, Dear Henry, dear Henry
Then cut it, dear Henry, Dear Henry, cut it.

With what shall I cut it, Dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I cut it, Dear Liza, with what?

With an axe, dear Henry, Dear Henry, dear Henry
With an axe, dear Henry, Dear Henry, an axe.

The axe is too dull, Dear Liza, dear Liza
The axe is too dull, Dear Liza, too dull

Then sharpen it, dear Henry, Dear Henry, dear Henry
Then sharpen it, dear Henry, Dear Henry, sharpen it.

With what shall I sharpen it, Dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I sharpen it, Dear Liza, with what?

With a stone, dear Henry, Dear Henry, dear Henry
With a stone, dear Henry, Dear Henry, a stone.

The stone is too dry, Dear Liza, dear Liza
The stone is too dry, Dear Liza, too dry

Then wet it, dear Henry, Dear Henry, dear Henry
Then wet it, dear Henry, Dear Henry, wet it.

With what shall I wet it, Dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I wet it, Dear Liza, with what?

With water, dear Henry, Dear Henry, dear Henry
With water, dear Henry, Dear Henry, with water.

How shall I get it, Dear Liza, dear Liza,
How shall I get it, Dear Liza, how shall I?

In the bucket, dear Henry, Dear Henry, dear Henry
In the bucket, dear Henry, Dear Henry, in the bucket.

There's a hole in the bucket."

Here is the point. As soon as I started thinking of this song, I thought of how often it seems that as soon as we get something, it seems to disappear. When we get a raise at work, it seems to be gone before we know it. When we recover from one cold, another one seems to come to replace it. We begin the breathe easy when things start to be going well in our families, only to get a phone call that bring that sick feeling to our stomach. It seems as if we have a hole in our bucket. No matter how fast we fill it, or try to keep it full, the contents leaks out.

So, I asked God. If you could tell everyone about how to stop the leak, what would you say?

"What leak?"

You know. The leak from their lives so that they never feel full or satisfied or complete. The leak of abundance, money, love, energy, joy, fulfillment, satisfaction, sense of purpose, clarity of direction.

"You are starting with a faulty premise."

What do you mean? I am thinking of life as a bucket and that bucket seems to have a hole in it. Every time it looks like it might be filling up, the water leaks out. Every time we think we have enough money, time, talent, love, it seems to slip away. So I am asking how to patch up that hole.

"As I said, your focus is wrong. If you concentrate on the leak, you will never feel full. Just as in the song, the solution ends up pointing to the problem. In trying to fix the leak, there is much activity. You feel as if you are making progress:

1. You identify the problem.

2. You have a solution in mind.

3. You develop a plan to carry out the solution.

4. You acquire things that will help you create the solution.

5. You develop another plan to hone or perfect the things you have acquired.

6. You gather the tools and develop yet another plan as to how to use those tools.

7. Finally, you find that you are ready to implement the plan that will lead to the solution only to find that the solution is not possible because of the original problem.

It becomes a vicious cycle. Much of life is just like this. There is a flurry of activity until everyone is exhausted, only to find that the initial limitations prevent the solution. People are very good at looking busy and productive, but to what end? Here, your focus in on the bucket, and more accurately, on the hole in the bucket. You are thinking that if you can just fix the problem (the hole), you can then have everything you want. This is wrong thinking. Your focus is on the finite and the measurable. If you focus on that, you will never have enough of anything."

But, Lord, how can we fix a problem if we don't focus on it? What should we focus on?

"The Source of the flow, which never runs dry. Ever. And that is within you, leak or no leak."

You can follow Marianne's blog here:

Shalom, Dena

Friday, November 27, 2009

Prodigal Generation

I see us, those of us living on earth here and now, as the "prodigal generation".

Though it could well pertain to all people of all time ... dunno.

We left Home (God/Heaven) in our own minds ... going into the "far country" of separation-from-God ... we took our own inheritance, voilated love, rejected our Father, made our own way, lived it up, and discovered, to our utter amazement, that it wasn't fun. And our pig-sty stinks.

We have collectively been there, done that, and we know what doesn't work.

We can stop now, trying to keep doing what doesn't work.

We have done our part, if not by being a good example, then at least by being a horrible warning.

What if earth is "time out" for the universe ...? What if folks from other planets come here to see "how NOT to be"? What if earth is considered "cosmic hell"...?

But the lesson is not how *bad* we are ... it's how *wounded* we are. And what are wounds if not open invitations to receive healing?

The thing to learn from our past is not "shoulda/coulda/woulda" but "what can I learn from what I experienced? how can I choose again now?"

I love the Father's answer to His Son (all of us): "Son, I am ever with you -- everything I have is yours."

So much for separation ...! ;)

shalom, Dena

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving ...

Recognizing that not everyone who reads here is in the US, and therefore does not celebrate our national holiday of Thanksgiving, I thought I'd instead dub it: Day of Awareness of Gratitude-Fodder.

Which has nothing to do with turkeys, nor overeating.

Some things for which I am grateful (randomly and off the top of my head):

~ The Internet -- better to schmooze you with, my dears...!

~ My children ... all eight of 'em (plus the 3 obedient ones), in all their varied and wild flavors...!

~ Parents who are proud of me ... and tell me so.

~ A husband who adores me ... and tells/shows me so...!

~ Sisters who have survived my childhood torturing of them, and seem to actually enjoy me now...! Miracle!

~ Dear friends ... though few in number, intense in affection!

~ Rediscovery of my creativity ... which I'm enjoying!

~ Beauty in the world, all around me ... just waiting to be noticed!

~ Freedom of movement ... what an amazing body!

~ Skin ... I like that it's waterproof. And stretchy. And (somewhat!) bounce-back-able!

~ Taste-buds ... so much to enjoy.

~ Rain-boots ... much like skin, only less stretchy -- more form-retaining. Been wearing mine a lot lately. They have leopard-spots.

~ Stairs ... makes it easier than jumping way-high ... or climbing ladders. Marvelous invention, stairs.

~ Smells ... most of them wonderful ... the most recent dirty diaper (still lingering in the air) exempted. Though it's good that my boy's elimination system is working so very efficiently. I know, by faith, and by experience, that he will, one day, prior to getting married, choose instead to use the "potty."

~ Hair ... despite alarming shedding, I still have some. A lot, actually, including in new and surprising places. Aging ain't for sissies.

~ Reading glasses, which I've only this week begun to use ... I both loathe and love them. I'm having a bit of angst over them, and yet am choosing to be grateful. Now I must find some smashingly fashionable and/or outrageous pairs. Strewn throughout the house. So as to find them.

~ Dollar stores -- wherein to purchase such items as a slew of reading glasses...!

~ Fog. Even though it made it challenging to navigate my way home tonight ... on a narrow, 2-lane road ... which I could only see for about 10 feet in front of me ... it's a beautiful and ethereal thing. And a rich resource for metaphors of this life!

~ Old friends and new ... and for the ability to connect with them ... and that they WANT to connect with me ...! :)

~ Rotation. As in, it's NOT my turn to host Thanksgiving at my house this year ... and so I'm grateful that I do not have to vacuum, nor cook a turkey, as I have for the past four years. For lots of people. I must vacuum one of these days soon, though ... been ignoring it whilst preparing for this latest show ... the dust bunnies are not only multiplying, but they appear to be quite feral, and seem to be organizing, as if to take over the house...! Grateful that they do not yet possess a high level of consciousness ... and I could say so much more, but I shan't!

Blessings and Awarenesses of Gratitude Fodder to ALL of you..!

Shalom, Dena

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Heaven - I'm in Heaven...!"

The end of the world is not its destruction, but its translation into Heaven.

That dovetails with what Jesus taught -- "The Kingdom of God/Heaven does not come by observation, but is in your midst [within you]."

What if Heaven is where we're from ... and where we are drawn to return ... not by dying, but by awakening to it...?

What if it IS at hand ...? What if Jesus was right...?

Certainly we've all experienced or glimpsed those moments of Heaven ... moments that felt "at home" ... moments when all was right ... with a deep-seated feeling of inner peace, hallmarked by a total relinquishment of judgment toward others ... and a ceasing of a need to be other than what we are.

It seems to me that the doorway into heaven is forgiveness ... of ourselves, of others.

For me, hell is no longer a place for people to endure endless torment, after we die ... but a life lived in an unawakened state ... a state of being unaware of our connection to God. It's an illusion, this sense of separation, albeit a very powerful one.

I can either face my illusions (lies) head-on, and watch them dissolve in the healing Light of Truth, or I can ignore them, and therefore ensure their perpetuation.

I believe that I'm here to dig deep, to look deep within, to allow my own painful perceptions to be transformed into loving knowledge. To let the Spirit transform the fear I think I see, into the Love that really is there.

Thus, Heaven encroaches, transformation by transformation ...!

What could be more important..?

Shalom, Dena

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Who Are We?

[This week's blog-posts are likely to be hit or miss ... unless I manage to find some undiscovered time ... I'm overcoming a virus, I'm gearing up for a big 3-day art/craft show this coming weekend, and then there's that obligatory thing we call Thanksgiving looming large this week ... ]

Some random thoughts about who we are ...

~ What if we're not so much afraid of the darkness within us as we're afraid of the Light within us? Maybe because the darkness is familiar, and therefore comfortable.

~ What if the ego is threatened by the Light, the concept that we might be "good enough" already, without endless striving ... what if it's so threatened that it's telling you right now that what I'm saying is "dangerously wrong"?

~ What if the mean-spiritedness we see in others (or feel in ourselves) is just a defense against the light? What if we could see others, and ourselves, as having bright souls, temporarily overclouded with confusion-laden and fear-based personalities...?

~ What if God loves us absolutely, and the universe supports us unendingly, but that our own self-hatred keeps us from receiving, thinking we're not "deserving"...? What if we need to agree with God, in order to experience God, and God's supply..?

~ What if it's not humility, but utter arrogance, to declare that what God made in His own image and likeness, what God begat (for like begats like) is "depraved" or "wretched" or "separate"..?

~ What would it look like if we could each finally know and accept that Love is an infinite and impersonal reSource -- that there's enough of everything for everyone, and that we get to keep only what we give to others ...? Would we then cease from putting others down and judging them ...? Would we start blessing others instead?

From Marianne Williamson's book, "A Return to Love":
A person who succeeds in any area is only creating more of a possibility for others to do the same. Holding on to the thought of finite resources is a way of holding on to hell.

Ohhhhh, may we see clearly our choices, at the moment in which we are offered the opportunities to make them...!

Shalom, Dena

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Potential, or Capacity...?

What if, in the eyes of God, we're all complete, perfect, and how have UNlimited capacity to express it brilliantly...?

I wonder how many of us have been cursed with "potentiality"...? Is it just me, or did anyone else grow up hearing about all the "potential" you have? Did adults look at you, somewhat wistfully (if not with unadulterated desperation), and speak of "all the potential" that you had ..? And did you pick up on the subtle (if not glaring!) message that this was in stark contrast to whatever you currently WERE -- as if to say, "you look like an utter failure, and I'm at my wits end with you, BUT, I'm stubbornly denying it, and, O God Please Hear Me, I hope-hope-hope this is just a stage you will outgrow, and that you will eventually be good enough!"

And, if this person were perhaps a parental figure, the unspoken post-script might well be, "SO that you will reflect well upon me!"

Ahhhh, such pressure is put upon people who are cursed with their potentiality...!

We're then under the tyranny of endlessly projecting into the future, rather than enjoying the present ... living in the despair of never measuring up to the nebulous standard of the projected-potential. Our ego takes the position of the tyrant who demands that we be who we think others think we *should* be ... without benefit of the guide-book for how to achieve this great mystery ...!


Consider, on the other hand, capacity. Capacity speaks of the immediate present -- the NOW. To what is *at hand*. Would Jesus tell us to "be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect" if it were not remotely possible...? How cruel, if it weren't! The key is not in achieving, or attaining, or accumulating ... but in *owning* what we already have inside of us.

When all we have is the curse of potentiality, we can become frozen by our choices ... we can see all manner of possible paths to choose, laid out before us, and inside we can hear that voice that warns us that we'd "better get it right, or else there will be utter waste, as well as dire consequences!" It's often paralyzing if we believe we have to figure out which path leads us to the realization of our "potential."

What if we consider this: rather than obsessing over Point Z, how about if we look at what's right in front of us, and choose to step from Point A to Point B...? What if we listen within, and realize that God meant it when He said we would hear Him saying which way to go ...? And what if we realized that even if we take what we THINK is the "wrong" path, we will end up learning whatever it is we need to learn, which will enable us to make a clearer choice the next time ..? What if mistakes are the God-given vehicles for learning?

Which brings me to another form of paralysis: perfectionism.

When we think we have to do ALL things well, the first time we do them, we will sit on our proverbial (or literal) butts, bemoaning out self-induced misery...! But we can be virtuosos, once we realize that virtuosity in life doesn't mean singing perfectly -- it means singing out loud, to the best of our yet-discovered capacity...!

Have you ever had the nagging, depressing feeling that your life is yet to start, even as you look in the mirror and realize that you've lived for a certain number of decades...? Have you ever wished for the permission to cut loose, let go, and REALLY start to live fully? To experience the Abundant Life we were promised...? Do you have a sense of reigned-in, suppressed, pent-up energy and talent? Is your talent "buried" (& do you realize who buried it?)? Do you have a hidden-belief that you were meant to do great things, coupled with a sneaking suspicion and fear that you've been wasting your life...?

Do you feel as if you've been locked up within, unable to get free?

Guess who holds the key?

We're each our own prison-guard.

We have locked the door with our own fear.

Our egos are invested in having us die with the same unfulfilled potential we think we were born with.

It takes a miracle to set us free ... the good news is that a miracle has been provided for just that freedom.

Shalom, Dena

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Random Yet Related ...

Various things that spoke to me today:

Our circumstances are not an accurate reflection of God's goodness. Whether life is good or bad, God's goodness, rooted in His character, is the same.

-- Helen Grace Lescheid

How Important Is Oneness?

It is worth an entire book, not just half of one. Everything would change if this one idea was "gotten," if this one thought resided in your subconscious and became your natural instinct, if this one concept became your operating philosophy, and the operating philosophy of your species.

Everything would change. Everything. Politics would change, economics would change, relationships would change, your ideas about careers and parenting and sexuality and conflict resolution and the purpose of all of Life — everything — would change.

Elder's Meditation of the Day - November 21

"In the absence of the sacred, nothing is sacred, everything is for sale."
--Oren Lyons, ONONDAGA

The Elders often say that when something is sacred it has spiritual value. You'll hear, on the Earth there are sacred spots. You'll hear, our ceremonies are sacred, our children are sacred, marriage is sacred. When something is sacred it means it's so holy you can't attach a value to it. Therefore, it's not for sale. It's an insult to suggest buying something sacred. On the other hand, if we look at it differently, as there is no sacred land, ceremonies are not sacred, our children are not sacred, etc., then everything is for sale. Sacredness creates spiritual space. Sacredness makes things holy. Sacredness shows respect for God.

Great Spirit, let me honor things that are sacred.

['Course, I see all things as being sacred/holy ... albeit much of it in need of a perspective-tweak! ~ Dena]



Question of the Day:
What are we modeling for the next generation?

The greatest gift of centered and surrendered people is that they know themselves as part of a larger history, a larger self. Their life is not about them! They are just one lovely instance of a Much Larger and More Wonderful Life.

In that sense, holy people are in one sense profoundly conservative, knowing that they only stand on the shoulders of their ancestors and will be shoulders for the generations to come. They are only a part of the Eternal Mystery of God unfolding in time, and yet they are a part!

So these same people are often quite open and reformist because they have no private agendas or self-interest to protect. They are unattached to any superior self-image or inferior self-image. Both are a waste of time. It is all about God, and they are just participating.

Adapted from Radical Grace: Daily Meditations, p. 265
(Source: “Center and Circumference,” Radical Grace, Feb. 1990)

Current Mantra:
Let It Be


Saturday, November 21, 2009 – Not Alone

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
~Robert Frost

Today's Affirmation

I follow the path that Spirit illumines before me.

Today's Meditation

Dear God,

When we are yielded and still and seek Your will, love lights the way.
Thank You for nudging us onward, especially when we think we are lost.
Wherever we are, whatever we are doing, You are with us.

Shalom, Dena

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happiness ... a Choice?!?

Some random thoughts about happiness ...

What if God WANTS me to be happy...? What if I need to train my mind to see the good all around me ... to see the beauty in life ... to see the reasons to celebrate rather than to gripe, or to mourn ...?

(what if I don't WANT this responsibility ...? what if being a victim of circumstances is *easier*... and more *familiar*...?)

But what if happiness is NOT circumstance-dependent...?

What if happiness is a choice, that requires a decision...?

(what if my ego is right-now rising up, declaring this to be WRONG...?!? Hmmm... a clue!)

I notice that my ego does hidden battle against happiness ... I notice it prefers that I see the chaos, the calamity ... the confusion ... I notice that it's really invested in skewing my thinking so that I see the glass as "half-empty" (with a leak...!).

But, I cannot get away from what I've been learning, lo these past many months -- that the most important realization of any condition is that I am always at the brink of CHOICE -- I can always choose to perceive things differently.

I notice that whatever I focus on, I get more of it. It seems that creation is an extension of thought -- that reality begins in the mind. If I think "lack" ... I get lack. If I think "enough" or even "abundance" ... that's what I get.

Funny that ... and funnier that I don't YET trust it...!

I can hear my own egoic voice, and what I imagine could be the voices of some who are reading: "But that's just pretending -- it's not being honest to deny the negative crap that's happening!"

What if the negative "self" is not the REAL self ...? What if it's the impostor? I see that yes-indeedy, I need to get in touch with my negative feelings, but ONLY for the purpose of releasing them ... so that I can be aware of the love that's always and ever flowing beneath the cacophonous frenzy of negative confusion. Just as the "grey" skies are only a temporary, ephemeral illusion ... the sky continues to be blue -- and if I rise up "high" enough (in my consciousness), I can see it, if only in my mind's eye ...

To my ego, there is no greater "crime" than in claiming my natural inheritance ... which is joy, peace, hope, happiness, abundance, security, generosity, LOVE! It will continuously point out all the "reasons" I "should" instead have misery, confusion, despair, anxiety, lack, insecurity, selfishness, FEAR!

I'm becoming aware of the dangers of hidden beliefs ... and one of the universal hidden beliefs, it seems to me, is the belief that it's somehow wrong to be too happy...!

The collective, institutionalized ego known as religion hasn't helped matters here ... suffering has become glorified. We have been taught to fixate on the crucifixion, while all but ignoring the more-transformational resurrection...! (Did you know that the crucifixion was not focused upon, in Christianity, for the first 1000 years ... instead, the resurrection was the primary focus ... think on that.) Crucifixion without the resurrection is just a meaningless symbol of death... focused on fear. Resurrection is a shift in that perspective -- fear overcome by love -- death overcome by life.

It's SO easy to have great faith when things are going "well". But sometimes we have to fly by auto-pilot faith ... "blessed are those who have faith who cannot see," Jesus tells us. Sometimes we're in a faith-fog ... all we can see are the circumstances -- we can't see on the other side. That's when we have to trust what the Spirit has shown us (I notice that what religion has preached to us does NOT work here ... it has to be something we've known within, not heard from without).

This is a learned process -- we can LEARN to trust in happy endings ... in good resolutions ... in the reliability of miracles. When we have this faith, our trust invokes the proof of our beliefs.

It's a CHOICE.


The Talmud says, "during the time of the darkest night, act as if the morning has already come."

I mean, if I can choose to focus on the negative -- then surely I can choose again, and instead focus on the positive.

And yeah, it's harder than anything to start that shift ... when I'm eye-brow deep inn negativity, it takes gargantuan effort (so it seems) to find something to be grateful for ... something in which to derive hope ... something that inspires joy.

Negativity is SUCH a learned habit ... and harder to kick than heroine or nicotine!

The universe conspires to support us in every way ... God is always expressing His love and care for us. The problem is that we don't agree with Him ... we don't yet love ourselves as He loves us, and so we rebuke His messages ... we block ourselves from experiencing the miracles that are ever coming in our direction ...!

The world teaches us that since we are less than perfect (by appearances), we do not *DESERVE* to be happy. And so we are stuck. When good things come our way (love, success, supply, abundance), if we think we don't deserve it, we sabotage ourselves from receiving it. We cannot accept and receive joy when we believe we are not deserving.

What if it's not just our right to be happy, but our *responsibility*...? What if we are meant to be conduits of God's happiness and love ... meant to extend to others around us...?

What if happiness is a sign that we have accepted God's way of thinking, God's will?

What if hope comes as we participate in hopeful solutions..?

What if optimism and happiness are the results of choices, and the intentionality of learning a NEW spiritual perspective...?

Jesus said, "Be of good cheer -- I have overcome the world."

Nothing in this world can thwart the will and plan of God -- NOTHING!

That which comes against us is not real ... it's an illusion that WE empower with our minds.

The only reality, the only power, our only natural state: is love.

Try it on for size -- just for kicks and giggles...!

Shalom, Dena

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Revelation: God's Way of Knowing

This was passed on by my dear friend Annie, and as you read it you'll realize why I couldn't NOT share it:

Revelation: God's Way of Knowing

Dan Stone

The Holy Spirit teaches both by revelation and experience. The revelation can be instant and direct, without being transmitted by any formal ''teaching.'' We say, ''Oh, I see.'' The Spirit then uses seen and temporal experiences to work that revelation into us. The revelation gets established in us through personal experience.

Some people have a hard time relating to that, because they associate the word teacher with a schoolroom, where we just impart knowledge. But the Holy Spirit's teaching is experiential teaching. Of course, we do learn facts, but I'm talking about the process whereby we become one with what we are taught. We become one with the truth through experiential teaching.

This experiential knowing is indicated in the biblical words for know. Both the Greek and Hebrew words for know that I am referring to indicate experiential understanding of and oneness with. When ''Adam knew his wife...'', it wasn't an intellectual thing. Adam experienced oneness with his wife. That's exactly what knowing is. There is no anxiety about those things that you know, because you become mixed with them. You and what you know are one.

When God gives you a flash of insight, that's it. ''Oh, I see!'' Everything else, from then on, is just an elaboration on that flash. When you know, you are forever changed in that area. You'd have to make a conscious effort to go back on what the Holy Spirit showed you. That's why it's hard to sin in an area when the Holy Spirit truly shows you something. It's hard to go back on truth. Truth liberates.

I've always liked the word awareness more than the word growth. Because what really happens in each of us? Our awareness simply expands. We become more aware of Who already was. ''Oh, I see more and more of Him.'' We're not seeing more and more about Him. We're seeing more and more of Him. He is the peace. He is the joy. He is the life. He is the love.

Until we see that, we are always saying to God, ''Give me something. Gimme. Gimme. Gimme.'' But when that insight comes (and I'm not saying it has to be sudden, although it was with me), we say, ''Oh, I see. I already have life. I already have Him.''

When God gives your spirit a revelation, often your soul responds with, ''That can't be. That can't be.'' But your spirit is saying, ''It is. It is.'' Revelation doesn't take place in your brain. God reveals Himself in our spirit. He says, ''Yes, the absolutes are true. When you begin to live in My reality, you'll begin to say, 'I am.' Until you live in My reality, you'll say, 'I am becoming' or 'I want to be' or 'I hope I am.'''

How many times have I said, ''I'd like to be. I wish I were. Maybe someday.'' And God was on His throne saying, ''You are! You are!'' When you truly see that Christ is your life, time ceases to be a decisive factor in your life. Everything is just now. You live in the present tense of God. He is not becoming. He is. You are not becoming. You are. You operate from ''I am,'' not ''I will become.''

Every revelation is according to God's good pleasure and His own timing. Timing is so important. You might get the itch before God wants to scratch. You think that you're ready to stop the itch, but God may say, ''You're not itching enough yet. If I were to meet you right now, it would be like harvesting something before its time. You wouldn't grow to full maturity.'' In His own way, in His own time, God reveals.

What is it that the Holy Spirit primarily reveals to us? Jesus told us:

[The Holy Spirit] will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me; for He will take of Mine, and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you. (John 16:13-15)

The work of the Holy Spirit is declaring to us the Father and the Son within us. The Spirit makes no declaration about Himself. He attempts no glorification of Himself. He doesn't point to the fruit or the gifts. The Holy Spirit does not single Himself out because nothing originates with Him. The Spirit is the means by which the life of the Father and the Son comes forth. He wants us to know that we manifest the life of the Father and the Son. That is His revelation.

From: Stone, Dan, The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out. Dallas: One Press. 2000. pgs. 126-129.

(I intend to get back to money ... unless I'm inspired otherwise, LOL!)

Shalom, Dena

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How to "Better Others" ...!

Every so often, I run across a quote that says not only what I most need to hear, but what I then most desire to share ...

This is one of those:

"Do you sincerely wish to help others to better themselves? Avoid
criticizing them or moralizing, and start by bettering yourself.
Merely by your example you can show them they are making a
mistake or behaving badly. Yes, by your example. Because, when
you work on yourself, you are working on others: they notice
qualities in you that are lacking in them, and that makes them
progress, as they understand the advantages for them in doing as
you do. Those who concern themselves with the weaknesses and
vices of others become dull and disagreeable, as if the faults
they talk about finally rub off on them; it's awful, you feel
sorry for them.

So start by making changes for the better in yourself, and let
other people be. Accept them as they are, be patient, work
relentlessly, day and night, to show them just what can be
achieved through sincere endeavour. If they don't yet know, they
won't learn it from your words, but they will from your example."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov

Breathing this one in deeeeeeeeply ... SO simple, SO liberating ... releasing my obscene, absurd notion that I was put here to *fix* anyone ... I am here to learn who I am, which can then be contagious for others to learn who they are ...!

Shalom, Dena

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What About Money...?

Do what you love. Do what makes your heart sing. And never do it for the money. Don't go to work to make money/ go to work to spread joy." (Marianne Williamson, in "A Return to Love")

What if poverty isn't more holy than wealth...?

What if a boring life, a boring career, isn't more holy than an exciting life and fulfilling career...?

What if money isn't evil, but a neutral tool to be used either for harm, or for healing...?

What if every business would stop viewing people as potential pawns for a sale, and instead view them as humans for whom to extend love ...?

What would it look like if there was a radical shift from a sales-mentality, to a (true!) service-mentality...?

What if the only purpose for money is to heal the world, to demonstrate love ...?

What if all money is God's money, and there is no lack ... and there's only how our own perspective gets in the way of us receiving love in that form...? What if our fears are our only problem...?

What if we could become responsible enough to be open to whatever money comes, and to trust that it always will...?

What if we asked the Holy Spirit to remove the obstacles to our reception of money...? What if we believe lies about money, and need to see truth?

What if, in begrudging someone else's right to make a living, we are begrudging ourselves the same...?

What if it's true that what we give, we receive, and what we withhold we have withheld from us ...?

What if we prayed this:

Dear God - I surrender to You all my thoughts about money. I surrender to You my debts. I surrender to You my wealth. Open my mind to receive abundantly. Channel Your abundance through me in a way that serves to heal the world.

What if ...?

Shalom, Dena

Monday, November 16, 2009

What About Careers (Part Three) ...?

I've noticed something (& not for lack of trying) ... we can't fake authenticity.

It seems that we tend to put a whole lot more effort into being special, rather than being real. It's as if we all secretly believe that we're a fake ... that we're an impostor ... that we're really horrid wretches, and must. at. all. cost. hide. this. from. everyone. else. must. pretend. to. be. OK ..!

And so we dazzle 'em with our embellished personality-bling...

Such a charade, with everyone trying to conform with everyone else, who's doing the same...!

My, my, aren't the Emperor's new clothes to die for...?!?

(well, yes! so, drop the illusion and live!)

Think of a bunch of little children ... before they start to worry about the "shoulds" in life. Imagine their open, bright little faces ... so receptive, so unselfconscious ... so shining. It's only when they later learn to compete, conform and comply, that their light becomes dimmed and distorted ...

That natural light, which we all have (we are the Light of the world, according to Jesus), is our grandeur. The ego's attempts to "improve" upon this natural state becomes distorted into grandiosity. And they are different ...

The former says, "I'm complete as I am - and so are you."

The latter says, "I'm better than you - no, wait, I'm less than you - no, wait, I'm better than you" ... and so on.

The liberating truth is that we're just like everyone else ... we're all offspring of God. The truth is that everyone is accepted ... there's no need to compete for anything we need. There is enough. Of everything.

(I know, I keep saying that ... and I'll *keep* repeating it 'til I GET it...!)

We can be tempted by our own attempts to be impressive ... but, of course, others perceive that as pathetic. Grandiosity is always a cover for despair. But even when the ego receives a positive stroke, it cannot receive it, for it knows that it was just one masked-ego stroking the mask of another ... it knows it's not authentic. What isn't real doesn't exist ...

Here's what Marianne Williamson says (in "A Return to Love"),

A miracle worker is an artist of the soul. There's no higher art than living a good life. An artist informs the world of what's available behind the masks we all wear. That's what we're all here to do. The reason why so many of us are obsessed with becoming stars is because we're not yet starring in our own lives. The cosmic spotlight isn't pointed at you; it radiates from within you....

If we wait for the world's permission to shine, we will never receive it. The ego doesn't give that permission. Only God does, and He's already done so. He's sent you here as His personal representative and is asking you to channel His love into the world. Are you waiting for a more important job? There isn't one.

There's a plan for each of us, and each of us is precious. As we open our hearts more and more, we're moved in the directions in which we're meant to go. Our gifts well up inside of us and extend of their own accord. We accomplish effortlessly...

We are to do what there is a deep psychological and emotional imperative for us to do. That's our point of power, the source of our brilliance. Our power is not rationally or willfully called forth. It's a divine dispensation, an act of grace."

Go forth and shine as the Light you ARE.

Shalom, Dena

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What About Careers (Part Two) ...?

"Do I want to serve God, or do I want to be happy?"

Oh -- is it either/or...? Must we make a choice? Do we imagine that God is out to make us miserable, giving us talents and gifts which we must deny, in order to serve Him...?

What if a life lived close to God is meant to be a life filled with JOY...?

What if sacrifice was never God's idea ...?

So ... should I ask God to send me a brilliant career/ministry/job, or should I ask God to show me the brilliance He's already put IN me ...?

What if the concept of "going out and looking for fulfillment" is a distraction (not to mention a false concept) ... what if it's about expanding my ability to receive what already IS...?

As I see it, no matter what I do, it becomes my ministry ... for spreading either fear, or love ... shame or healing ... ego or God. I figure I'm here to be used in the service of healing the world ... how it manifests is God's business ... though He invites me to express who I really am ... to discover how my own creative abilities can best be expressed ... success includes the necessary trials and errors of the discovery-process. Mistakes are not what derail me ... mistakes are my learning-tools.

What if none of us are "special" ... meaning that none of us are "better than" anyone else. We're each unique, and worthy of celebration as we are. Do we imagine that God isn't celebrating us, even at this moment...? On one hand, ALL of us are special ... on the other hand, none of us are special at the expense of anyone else. Specialness would require separation ... which breeds fearful competition.

The truth is -- there's enough of everything, and we are one. We can be generous and gracious with all we have ... for there's "more where that came from."

Beethoven, Mozart, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Picasso, and Einstein didn't so much create anything, as that they accessed within themselves that which was created by God, and placed IN them. They then expressed what had been put in them ... they called it forth, and manifested it in a way in which others could share. Their genius was not in creation, but in expression. Great art strikes us as familiar ... we wish that we had said/done/sung/painted/created that. Our souls thrill with the reminder of what we already know, already have, and we're given "permission" to express as well.

Again, it's not about what we do, so much as how we do whatEVER it is we do ... we can discover who we are, and let our doing flow out of our being.

Shalom, Dena

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What About Careers...?

Just a quick little blog post today ... low on time, but overflowing in what-ifs!

What if success has nothing to do with dollars, prestige, accomplishments, attainments & accumulations ... and everything to do with going to sleep each night, knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served and blessed others ...?

What if our careers are a "secret deployment" into the unawakened world, all about learning how to put love first ...?

What if the pertinent career-question is *not* "what should I do?" but "when I do anything, how should I do it...?"

What if we each have a specific role to play in God's plan for humanity ... and what if it's not our job to *make* it happen ... but to respond to what's revealed, trusting that if we have certain gifts/longings/desires, God put them IN us, and is able to provide us the means to accomplish it ..?

What if sharing our gifts is what makes us happy? What if this is not only OK with God, but what He put us here to do ...?

What if we prayed this:

Dear God, please reveal my life's purpose ... please use me as an instrument of Your peace. Thank You for my talents and abilities -- show me how to use them to spread love. I surrender my job, my career, my gifts, to YOU. Help me to remember that my REAL job is to love the world into awakenedness and healing. Thank You that You ARE unfolding this, in and through me."

Anyone want to join me in that prayer...?

Shalom, Dena

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Seek Not Outside Yourself" ~ Part III (Final)

Sorry 'bout leaving y'all hanging yesterday ... but my computer was about to crash, and I took it as a sign to stop there..!

And, now for the Rest of the Story...!

A Course in Miracles promises that there is another world to be seen. In the Bible there is reference to a new Heaven and a new earth. These promises do not speak of an improved version of the old, but a radically and totally new one. Yet, we are much more interested in trying to fix up this world than in seeing a really new one.

The Course gives this direct injunction,

"Learn now, without despair, there is no hope of answer in the world."

and continues, in the Workbook,

"Seek you no further. You will not find peace except the peace of God. Accept this fact, and save yourself the agony of yet more bitter disappointments, bleak despair, and sense of icy hopelessness and doubt. Seek you no further. There is nothing else for you to find except the peace of God, unless you seek for misery and pain.

"This is the final point to which each one must come at last, to lay aside all hope of finding happiness where there is none; of being saved by what can only hurt; of making peace of chaos, joy of pain, and Heaven out of hell. Attempt no more to win through losing, nor to die to live. You cannot but be asking for defeat. Yet you can ask as easily for love, for happiness, and for eternal life in peace that has no ending. Ask for this, and you can only win. To ask for what you have already must succeed. To ask that what is false be true can only fail."

Then, any real spiritual path merely leads us to remember our Real Identity. To put it another way, to remember that we were Happy before we started thinking we were un-Happy. Happiness is our natural state and by attempting to be something else, we have made ourselves very unhappy. What we are seeking is what we are.

Rajneesh, in his commentaries on Tilopa's Song of Mahamudra, says it this way,

"The great teaching is: You are already what you can be, realize this. You are already the goal, be aware of this. This very moment your destiny can be fulfilled. For what are you waiting? Don't believe in gradual steps -- take the jump, be courageous."

Let us say that we finally see the wisdom of this. How do we begin? A Course in Miracles recognizes the fundamental basis for our incessant seeking and attempts to point us in the direction of the only final and ultimate experience of fulfillment which it calls the Kingdom of Heaven, or the Peace of God.

"Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven, because that is where the laws of God operate truly, and they can operate only truly because they are the laws of truth. But seek this only, because you can find nothing else. There is nothing else."

What does it mean to seek the Kingdom of Heaven? or Truth? or Love? This is where most get fouled up. The self-mind, which is but a mimic, attempts to project and imitate the state of Realization it has read or heard about and winds up in endless self-deception. The real spiritual search is far simpler, though not nearly so attractive as that. There is nothing to be attained, achieved or accomplished.

"This is a course in how to know yourself."

Is it not shocking that you don't have any idea who or what you are or where you came from? St. Teresa of Avila pointed this out around 400 years ago,

"It is no small pity, and should cause us no little shame, that, through our own fault, we do not understand ourselves, or know who we are. Would it not be a sign of great ignorance, my daughters, if a person were asked who he was, and could not say, and had no idea who his father or his mother was, or from what country he came? Though that is great stupidity, our own is incomparably greater if we make no attempt to discover what we are, and only know that we are living in these bodies, and have a vague idea, because we have heard it and because our Faith tells us so, that we possess souls. As to what good qualities there may be in our souls, or Who dwells in them, or how precious they are -- those are things we seldom consider and so we trouble little about carefully preserving the soul's beauty. All our interest is centered in the rough setting of the diamond, and in the outer wall of the castle--that is to say, in these bodies of ours."

The inscription at The Oracle at Delphi was "KNOW THYSELF." How does one go about it? For what does one search?

"The first step toward freedom involves a sorting out of the false from the true."

"The search for truth is but the honest searching out of everything that interferes with truth."

"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. It is not necessary to seek for what is true, but it is necessary to seek for what is false."

"Love is not learned. Its meaning lies within itself. And learning ends when you have recognized all it is not. That is the interference; that is what needs to be undone."

So that the application of A Course in Miracles involves first seeing the problem exactly as and where it is and then becomes a careful negation of all the interference to the actual experience of God which is right in our face, closer than our very breath at all times. We must see that all seeking is suffering; the seeker himself is the problem. Once again, Merton seems to understand,

"Both Christianity and Buddhism agree that the root of man's problems is that his consciousness is all fouled up and he does not apprehend reality as it fully and really is; that the moment he looks at something, he begins to interpret it in ways that are prejudiced and predetermined to fit a certain wrong picture of the world, in which he exists as an individual ego in the center of things. This is called by Buddhism avidya, or ignorance. From this basic ignorance, which is an experience of ourselves as absolutely autonomous individual egos--from this basic wrong experience of ourselves comes all the rest. This is the source of all our problems."

Perhaps Meister Eckhart, who also saw the problem, offers some hope,

"Further, I say that if the soul is to know God, it must forget itself and lose itself, for as long as it is self-aware and self-conscious, it will not see or be conscious of God. But when, for God's sake, it becomes unself-conscious and lets go of everything, it finds itself again in God, for knowing God, it therefore knows itself and everything else from which it has been cut asunder, in the divine perfection.

"No one ought to think that it is hard to attain this, however hard it sounds and however hard it may be at first to cut one's self asunder and be dead to everything. But once you have come in, no life is easier, nor pleasanter, nor lovelier, for God is very anxious at all times to be near to people, and to teach them how to come to him, if they are only willing to follow him. Nobody ever wanted anything as much as God wants to bring people to know him. God is always ready but we are not ready. God is near to us but we are far from him. God is within; we are without. God is at home; we are abroad."

All forms of external seeking are interferences and, as such, must be surrendered. God must find us. And, in fact, God is always seeking us, but cannot find us because of our constant and consistent activity of seeking for things that are not God; by our being perpetually turned away from Him. All seeking, even the overt search for "God", is avoidance and must be surrendered. In the words of Thomas Merton:
" is not even a question of seeing a road. It is simpler than that. For as soon as you stop travelling you have arrived."

and this is echoed by the Course,

"...there is no journey, but only an awakening. .... There is no road to travel on, and no time to travel through."

By what means does God find us? When the fruitlessness and deception of all seeking is actually recognized and surrendered, what is left is a deep longing, a radical discontent, which is the underlying motivation for all seeking in the first place. This longing, when left without a projected escape or relief, even for a moment, is like a distress beacon and is the only real prayer of the soul to God, by which God may find us. Only when this longing, this discontent, becomes pure and without any hope of escape via natural or projected supernatural means does it have any hope of penetrating beyond the limits of our self-containment, of the individual or collective unconscious. All prayer prior to or other than this is incapable of reaching through the veil of samsara, the bounds of the unconscious, of finite mind; but it does serve to purify the longing by ultimately failing us. Sooner or later the realization dawns,

"...that I do nothing of myself...."

A Course in Miracles emphasizes and expounds on this,

"Here again is the paradox often referred to in the course. To say, 'Of myself I can do nothing' is to gain all power."

because it is the separated self which is the problem and all of its doing is, in fact, nothing real at all, but it is an interference to what always already is.
Here we once again encounter a fundamental teaching of the Course -- that truth, wholeness, perfect peace already exist. They are already resident within our consciousness. It is what we have attempted to add to Truth that has interfered with our awareness of it. To understand A Course in Miracles and bring the principles into application requires that this be understood first. Awakening, enlightenment, the Peace of God, whatever you wish to call it, is not something to be acquired, attained or earned. It is our Real Nature, already existent. Of course, that is not our awareness, our experience, but it is the fact. So, if we are to seek the Kingdom of Heaven, what is it, then, for which we are to seek? The Course, once more, is very explicit, both as to what to seek and what not to seek. It begins in the Introduction,

"The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love's presence, which is your natural inheritance."

"Removing the blocks"! It repeats this theme in many ways. A Course in Miracles could not be more direct, explicit or simple to understand on this point. Why is it that so few students of the Course turn their attention in this direction? Why do we insist that it is difficult to understand? Here, I believe is where we encounter our unwillingness in its most naked form.

"Specialness is the function that you gave yourself. It stands for you alone, as self-created, self-maintained, in need of nothing, and unjoined with anything beyond the body. In its eyes you are a separate universe, with all the power to hold itself complete within itself, with every entry shut against intrusion, and every window barred against the light. Always attacked and always furious, with anger always fully justified, you have pursued this goal with vigilance you never thought to yield, and effort that you never thought to cease. And all this grim determination was for this; you wanted specialness to be the truth."

Who is willing to see the truth in this? The Course is so very simple to understand.
"All that you need to give this world away in glad exchange for what you did not make is willingness to learn the one you made is false."

But, who is willing to do that? This is what A Course in Miracles calls "a little willingness." How does one come to that willingness, that realization? Are we willing to look upon unwillingness as and where it is?

If this is seen, then it is clear that truth can neither be sought nor found by the self for it was never lost. All seeking by the self is avoidance, looking away from truth, attempting to validate its own existence. Truth can only be dis(un)covered by a rigorous questioning of every concept on which our experience and thinking is based and a thorough negation of all that is false, thereby finding out who and what we actually are in truth. The only seeking which has any hope of success is for the blocks in our consciousness which prevent the awareness of our immediate union with Reality. Only by clearly seeing the false as false can Truth be REvealed, REcognized, REmembered, REALized.

"Teach only Love, for that is what You are."


I believe I'll let this speak for itself ... as I'm still very much in the thick of learning, and learning how to apply it to my life, my relationships, my experiences... my healing.

What is most profound to me is that God is not intending to punish us (the ego's interpretation), but to *HEAL* us (the Spirit's interpretation).

Let that one sink deep, and even deeper ...

[For those who want to know, this article came from here. And the entire Course in Miracles, both the text, and the daily exercises, can be found here.]

Shalom, Dena

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Seek Not Outside Yourself" ~ Part II

So ... what is it that we're seeking? Are we seeking God? Do we *really* want the Kingdom of God above all else...? Are we willing to see how hugely-invested we are in having both our ego AND the Kingdom?!?

And do we know this is impossible ... that we must choose...?

What if the vast majority of our spiritual seeking isn't really spiritual, but egoic? Are we willing to look at this. I admit that I'm conflicted. Part of me is hungry for all truth ... and part of me wants to remain in what's familiar and comfortable ... preferring the pain I know, to the unknown.

Let's dive in together, and examine a few of the too-common reasons why folks embark on what they *think* is a spiritual journey. Again, I will be quoting from this article:

1. Comfort
There is an ever-present sense that something is missing or wrong, that there must be something else, something better. Perhaps one has encountered some immediate difficulty, disappointment or loss and is looking for a way to fix the pain. We look to God as Santa Claus, some sort of fantasy father who will give us what we think we want, who will magically take away the pain without disturbing the fundamental cause. Or perhaps one encounters the profound loneliness of life on earth and attempts to assuage it through social contacts. This is probably the single biggest function of churches and religious or so-called spiritual groups of any kind -- a sort of extended family. While there is seeming good in this, these groups in fact can and do become an impediment to the awakening that they purport to seek. In this alienated modern world, we all feel more than ever the need for relationship, of relating to and being with people of "like minds." This, too, can become a block to real spiritual awareness. To gather together in a group to talk about Truth and argue or agree in order "to get along" (which really means to attempt to avoid the pangs of loneliness) may be no more than a distraction from the personal inner work necessary to come to real spiritual realization. In a social environment there is a tendency to suppress the radical and fundamental change which is necessary for real awakening. Simone Weil in Waiting for God points out,
"The trap of traps, the almost inevitable trap is the social one. Everywhere, always, in everything, the social feeling produces a perfect imitation of faith, that is to say perfectly deceptive. This imitation has the great advantage of saving every part of the soul. That which longs for good believes it is fed. That which is mediocre is not hurt by the light; it is quite at ease. Thus everyone is in agreement. The soul is at peace. But Christ said that he did not come to bring peace. He brought a sword [of discrimination], the sword that severs in two ...

That sword, I recall, severs soul (ego) from Spirit ... I must SEE how my ego is operating before I can relinquish it ...

Let's read on:

Most of the enlightened ones who have come to Truth have been rather solitary, non-conforming types. Some were married and had a career, but kept to a few close friends at most. Beware the social trap! Truth does not come by committee decision. If the goal is principally comfort, an escape from the inevitable misery and depression of this world, then any so-called relationship becomes just another of the many varied ways which we avoid and evade transformation. The group or church environment can give an impression of faith and experience which is comfortable, but that is the problem -- it is not real faith or real religious experience at all. We hug and socialize and think we are being spiritual. There is nothing wrong in that, but there is little or no Truth in it. Social closeness is not Oneness and it may be just another way to avoid Oneness.

I can so clearly see this in my own life's experience...! I can see how I've long settled for a poor substitute, and called it a "spiritual experience" ... requiring me, and those with me, to convince each other that the Emperor's new clothes were indeed fabulous. The pretending did a great deal of damage ... as I sacrificed my Spirit to my ego.

2. Experience
Most of the writings about religious experience speak of "bliss" or indescribable love. The seeker then sets out to find, not union with God, but bliss. Many self-hypnotic techniques, passing themselves off as "meditation," can lead to tremendous feelings of euphoria, even wondrous visions, and temporary distraction from the misery of the world. What is sought and sometimes found is merely another "high" that can be induced far more easily and quickly with drugs. Any self-induced experience is not authentic experience of God. This must be recognized. Thomas Merton, in speaking of what he calls authentic transcendent experience, says this,

"To attain this experience is to penetrate the reality of all that is, to grasp the meaning of one's own existence, to find one's true place in the scheme of things, to relate perfectly to all that is in a relation of identity and love.

"What this is not:

"It is not a regressive immersion in nature, the cosmos, or 'pure being,' in a narcissistic tranquility, a happy loss of identity in a warm, regressive, dark, oceanic swoon."

Are we willing to see that we are experience junkies, addicted to adrenalin, drama, stimulation, titillation and excitement? And that this seeking after experience alone is but another block to the awareness of love's presence.

A Course in Miracles points out,

"To fulfill the Will of God perfectly is the only joy and peace that can be fully known, because it is the only function that can be fully experienced. When this is accomplished there is no other experience. Yet the wish for other experience will block its accomplishment."

Experience that comes from my ego is a counterfeit at best ... blocking me from the true experience of the Spirit, which I cannot manufacture.

This next one is like a kick in the gut for me...!

3. Specialness
Here is a trap for many who have seemingly come very far "along the way." Beware the drive to be an enlightened being among unenlightened ones; this is a major deception. "I know and you don't" is clearly and obviously a position of separation. This "guru trip" is, however, a very seductive trap. There is tremendous power is having "followers" for whom one is the spiritual guide. There is possibly no greater power exchange in the world between two individuals than when one surrenders his life to the guidance of another. This is not to say that there are not true teachers, but among "gurus" there are few.

We must see the tendency to use even our spiritual path to reinforce the belief in "me". The man who consciously seeks to be spiritual, virtuous, pious, is not a man of Truth. He is seeking to be different, special, superior. He is seeking virtue for the "me". To be holier than thou, so to speak. And murder! It is possibly the ultimate in self-deception. Most know the seven "deadly" sins. If you would like to know the deadliest form of them, put the word spiritual before them--spiritual pride, spiritual lust, etc. In whatever way we attempt to make ourselves better or more special than anyone else, we are moving directly away from Truth, from God, from true spirituality.

Ohhhhhh yes, my ego's latest clever disguise is that of "an enlightened one". I'm so very glad to have this pointed out! I would rather see and know it, than be blinded to it...!

4. Escape
For many who have encountered the actuality that "Life is suffering," religion or spiritual pursuits offer an escape from the seemingly never-ending onslaught of brutality in this world. One sees that the material world is corrupt and attempts to escape into some other structure or form, such as a monastery or religious community, which purports to lead one to God. All that is happening is throwing off one paradigm and substituting another. What is actually going on is merely the attempt to avoid dealing with the consequences of self-centered existence, to avoid the perception and experience of suffering and to evade the realization that there is no hope in this world. Thomas Merton exposes this deception when talking about Christian monastic life in the present,

"With the Desert Fathers, you have the characteristic of a clean break with a conventional, accepted social context in order to swim for one's life in an irrational void.

"Though I might be expected to claim that men like this could be found in some of our monasteries of contemplatives, I will not be so bold. With us it is often the case of men leaving the society of the 'world' in order to fit themselves into another kind of society.... The social 'norms' of the monastic family are also apt to be conventional, and to live by them does not involve a leap into the void -- only a radical change of customs and standards."

Yes ... that sums up how I experienced Christianity ... self-righteous escapism.

Let's read on ... to become more aware of the problem ...

In the event that any of these four reasons is the motivation for the spiritual search, one will not find true spirituality. In this type of seeking, one is merely attempting to strengthen or protect the narcissistic self-image which is the only cause of suffering (and seeking) in the first place. If it is not God or Heaven we truly seek, then we are not seeking at all but merely running away, seeking only escape or distraction from the awareness that nothing here is final or ultimate; refusing to face the unavoidable conclusion that without God, our lives are empty and meaningless as we march inexorably from birth to death.

Oscar Wilde once said that the Western mind, given the choice between going to Heaven and hearing a lecture about Heaven, would choose the lecture about. Another way of saying this is that most are much more interested in the so-called spiritual path than in actually arriving at the destination. All of this is but unwillingness to look at the problem AS IT IS. Is it any wonder that we live a contradictory existence filled with conflict? Perversely, we know, at our deepest level, what the problem is, but are unwilling to let it go. We want the solution while still holding on to the problem. At the bottom of all of this are but various forms of unwillingness. And, if one looks carefully, he sees then that the only thing which must be undone for salvation to be manifest is unwillingness. We must give up hope, hope of finding satisfaction and fulfillment here in this world, in the life of separated, self-centered existence. Unless the basic error is uncovered, there is no hope for a solution. Without the discovery of this fundamental error, the spiritual search is as doomed as all the others. In fact, it seems that the real spiritual search only emerges when the realization dawns that there is nothing final, pure or perfect here.

Sounds dismal and hopeless, no? But wait ... there's more ...!

Tune in tomorrow for the "Rest of the Story"...!

Shalom, Dena

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Seek Not Outside Yourself" ~ Part I

So far, since I began this blogging adventure, I've not yet let 3 days go by without blogging ... and I know I'm getting behind, when my husband asks me when I'm going to write again...!

Let me 'splain ...

Three days ago I received a longish article from a friend ... and I skimmed it, so I could tell her that I'd read it (!) ... but it arrested me ... something in me said, "slow down, read this, take it in." So, I copied it out, and spent the morning reading it ... slowly, digestively ... and it floored me.

I sent it out to a few friends ... those I thought could take it. Not only is it long, but it's challenging to what we tend to think, what we think is real ... and how we deal with life. Thus far, the responses have all been positive ... and no one has sent hate-mail my way ...! ;)

I'll share it here ... at least for food for thought ... and also because this is how I process. I need to roll in it a bit in order to own it...!

Let's start with this rather startling quote:

"You will undertake a journey because you are not at home in this world. And you will search for your home whether you realize where it is or not. If you believe it is outside you the search will be futile, for you will be seeking it where it is not. You do not remember how to look within for you do not believe your home is there."

I would venture a guess that most of us can relate to the journey part ... the searching part ... but I would say that for most of us, it's a newish thought to realize that the journey is inward, rather than outward.

Now, this should be obvious ... for Jesus told us that the kingdom does *not* come by observation (we can't see it -- it's not "out there somewhere") ... but it's at hand, in our midst, within us. The journey is from our wrong-minds to our right-mind. From the ego-mind to the Christ-Mind.

In looking around us, we see evidence of this seeking EVERYwhere ... folks looking for happiness in other people, in jobs, in fame, in accomplishment, in accumulation, in achievements ... even the US Declaration of Independence states that the pursuit of happiness is our *right*. It would seem that it's more our obsession. And we seem to be uberly confused about where to look for it. As long as I believe that I'm incomplete, lacking, defective, depraved ... I will avoid looking inside ... I will look outside. I will work on becoming "better" ... self-improvement becomes my goal, driven to measure up to some undefined goal ...

And when the outside-fixes don't work (for they can't), then I will desperately seek to hide my defects from you ... as well as from myself. The result of this is that I live in fear ... fear of being exposed ... fear of having you see what a wretch I believe myself to be. Fear even, and especially, that God will punish me for my wretched defectiveness.

However ... happiness is an "inside job". The kingdom is within ... and so too, the King.

When I try to fix an inner problem with an external solution, I end up running into the reality that all externals are transitory & temporary ... nothing in this physical realm is final or perfect. Everything outside of me is relative, contingent and temporary. And every solution creates more problems (our government is a lifesize demonstration of this reality!). Nothing outside of me satisfies me ... it only *seems* to ... but, like a junkie, I must continually go after my next "fix". I can get on that endless treadmill of "ok, that didn't work, but THIS will ... ok, that didn't work, but THIS will ..." I can get so busily distracted that I fail to look at the root of what's really going on - that happiness only comes with a radical acceptance of what IS. And what I see around me is NOT what truly IS. In judging by appearances, I'm assuring and sealing my own misery.

Religion's answer (including Christianity) is to say: "Nothing in this life is real ... if you want what's real, you have to wait -- you can't have it now. It will come when you die, or when Jesus returns to do a Utopian make-over ... so just behave yourself, deny yourself, and follow the rules 'til then. Oh - and don't let yourself get contaminated from your neighbor's spiritual cooties. Nasty stuff."

Let me quote from this article:

But, if perfection only exists in the "afterlife," what would be the purpose for being here now? What sense does it make that there be a meaningless, miserable world that one must tolerate and adapt to while waiting for some sort of reward only after this life of suffering comes to a painful and fearful end? What sense does it make to lead a life of quiet desperation, conscious unfulfillment, shifting and changing degrees of happiness, or temporary and pretend satisfaction, while only waiting to die, that we may reach fulfillment only after this life is over? This is insanity indeed! And probably why many have rejected it in favor of "Go for the gusto." Since few can find an intelligent answer or any real satisfaction in the approach that one must die to go to Heaven, most have discarded this possibility as a real solution and have instead adopted the belief in progress, growth and evolution; that while this world is not perfect, final or ultimate, we are somehow gradually moving toward that perfection. And, with that settled, continue to pursue a life of distraction from the persistent feeling that there is something fundamentally wrong here.

However, what is not really seen is that to believe perfection is only a future state is an admission that it is not possible here and now. And, if it only exists in the future, it does not exist at all as a real possibility. To be possible means that it already exists now. Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven (or God) is "at hand." He did not say it was coming sometime in the future. "At hand" means NOW. So that, if perfection exists at all, it must exist right now. He also said "...the Kingdom of Heaven is within you." He did not say to go looking for it in some external form or activity.

I believe that we must first recognize that ALL seeking, all searching (whether physically, socially, psychologically or spiritually) is ultimately the search for God -- though we may call it many things. All seeking is based in our profound sense of lack, emptiness, and meaninglessness ... and it's based on the LIE that we are separate from God and from each other...!

Let's listen in again:

The search for the infinite on the part of the finite is not only impossible but ridiculous. A Course in Miracles points out,

"Those who seek the light are merely covering their eyes."

It is like a fish swimming frantically, searching for "the ocean." Or perhaps, a man jumping and jumping and jumping, trying to escape gravity. No matter how high the separated human self jumps, it cannot escape its own self-imposed limitations. All spiritual "practice" is an attempt on the part of the ego to confirm and strengthen the belief in an autonomous, separated self as it attempts to find God as Thou, as other; as an object of its desire. One can never find God "up there" or "out there" somewhere, as an object of reflexive consciousness. Therefore, all forms of external seeking must be surrendered as an interference to the actual relationship with What Is in this and every moment.

"Seek not outside yourself. For all your pain comes simply from the futile search for what you want, insisting where it must be found. What if it is not there? Do you prefer that you be right or happy?"

I'll continue with more of this tomorrow ...

Shalom, Dena

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Exposing the Ego ~ Relationships ..!

I'm in great need to write this post ... to share what I'm learning, as part of what it takes for me to breathe this in, and internalize it ... and make it *mine*.

Hopefully it's not an utter waste of time for anyone who happens to be reading this...!

I find this utterly fascinating, and so very true ... and I want to get it with all of my being ... for I know that I know that I know that I'm meant to live this way... and I confess that I'm finding it to be a huge challenge, to live out what I'm learning ... to apply it to the relationships I'm experiencing ... and yet, that's what I'm here to do.

Let the UNdoing continue!

Here's a quote from A Course in Miracles, which I've recently begun to read, and to do (the daily exercises):

When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. As you see him, you will see yourself. As you treat him, you will treat yourself. AS you think of him, you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself.

Victor Hugo, in "Les Miserables," wrote, "To love another person is to see the face of God."

I don't think that's mere sentiment ... and perhaps it explains why so few of us can attest to encounters of the God-kind ...

In every relationship, in every moment of every day, we teach, learn and demonstrate either love or fear. It all boils down to one or the other, no matter how cleverly disguised.

Relationships exist to return us to God -- from Whom wee imagine ourselves separated.

See if this rings true for you: our perception of others becomes a battleground between the ego's desire to judge their "appearances", and the Spirit's desire to accept them as they are. The ego seeks out fault -- the Spirit seeks out true innocence. What we see will depend upon what lens we are looking through.

And, we will see in others those things we do not wish to see in ourselves ... but the places in us where we deviate from love are not our sins, but our wounds. God doesn't seek to punish us, but to heal us.

And He desires that we would see the "sins" in others as their wounds, too ... and join Him in desiring to bring them healing.

I'm seeing forgiveness in a new light ... the old way said, "you have offended me, sinned against me, but I shall rise above you and forgive you ... though I may not forget ... I may never truly trust you again ... for now I know what you are capable of."

The new way is saying, "I imagine that you have offended me ... I am imagining that there is sin, that there is separation ... so I'm seeing in you what is in me, but what I am blind to ... you are offering me a gift, enabling me to see what's harming me unawares, within me ... so my forgiveness is an acknowledgement that only love is real, and offense is in my egoic mind ... I see that you and I are the same ... wounded ones in need of healing ... and so I extend to you the very kindness, compassion, and love that I most need for myself."

Forgiveness, as I'm learning, is seeing beyond the "offense" into the true nature of the other one, seeing only love there, and recognizing that all attack is a cry for love. Whether I receive love or an attack/call for love, my response can only be love, if I'm in my right mind.

My prayer can be, "God help me to see this person through Your eyes, and not my ego's eyes." I want to see as God sees, think as God thinks, and love as God loves.

My ego will attack and defend ... (& defense is a form of attack -- hard one to face!). My ego wants walls and divisions ... my ego will seek for those to support me in my egoic stance.

I'm recognizing, after I stop resisting, that the ones who most hurt me are my greatest teachers ... they show me the limits of my ability to forgive ... and I need to see this in myself, even as I don't like looking at it. But as I refuse to see God in another person, to that degree do I remain blind to seeing God within me.

Do I want to be right, or happy...?

I notice that when I'm treated with grace ... when others extend understanding, compassion and forgiveness to me, I respond in kind. I notice that when I extend this understanding, compassion and forgiveness to others, they respond in kind. I notice that meeting an attack with an attack only escalates the ego in both of us.

Now, if only I can remember that, while IN an egoic situation...!

If only I can keep that in mind when my children's' egoic-squabbling gets to that level wherein my own ego is engaged..!

My lucid moments need in invade my real-life experiences...! Help!

Maybe that's it ... maybe I can just top mid-reaction, and cry out to God, "HELP! My ego has taken over and I can't see my way out!"

What if I could remember that people are not what they say, and they are not what they do ... what if I could see past that appearance, into who they really are, and respond to THAT...?

What if I could connect with the truth of each person, and accept them in that light, even if they're not in touch with that truth about themselves...?

What if I could keep in mind that all attack comes out of fear ... that they're really calling out for love...? What if in doing so, I could remind them of who they really are?

What if I could learn to live this way ...?

Shalom, Dena

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Exposing the Ego ~ Some Reading Snippets

Yesterday I bloggeth not. It was "running around the countryside doing artsy stuff" Day. Schlepping painted furniture day. On days like that, I wonder why I chose such a medium as furniture and mirrors and lamps ... heavy, ungainly, unwieldy stuff ... why didn't I choose postcards to paint? Or Styrofoam? Or even canvas? I'll stick to blogging about art on my art-blog, however, and get back to ego-exposing here ...

As always, I'm reading my way through a few books at a time, and it's uncanny how they're all saying the same thing ... love that! Confirmations and reinforcements abound! OR, is it just a matter of seeing on the outside what I'm coming to see on the inside...? I do believe, and am experiencing, that we get the world that we expect. If I expect rejection, I get it. If I expect joy, I get it. If I don't like what I've chosen, I get to choose again.

That seems to be one of the most profound messages in life: I AM NOT STUCK -- I CAN CHOOSE AGAIN!

So, here are some snippets that have jumped out at me lately, causing my heart to sing, and my mind to spin:

~ Love is what we're born with -- fear is what we learn ...

~ The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear, and the return to love...

~ Fear, when expressed, shows up as anger, abuse, disease, pain, greed, addiction, selfishness, obsession, corruption, violence and war ...

~ Love is our essence, for we are made in the image and likeness of God. Love cannot be destroyed, but can be so well-hidden, that we are not aware of it, in ourselves, or in others ...

~ The transformation of the world does not change the world itself ... but changes our perception of it ... then we shall see it as a place of love, gentleness, hope, wonder and joy... and what we see, we receive ...

~ A miracle is a shift in perception ... exchanging our limited/faulty perception for God's omnipotent/true perception ...

~ Fear permeates the world ... free-floating anxiety ... fear of failure, of success, of relationships, of lack of relationships, of dying young, of growing old, of disease, of poverty, of lack, of pain, of numbness, of even joy ... we fear life more than we fear death ...

~ There is no time, no place, no state wherein God is absent ...

~ Every moment of every day, inevery situation, and with every person I encounter, I am offered the radical choice to react with fear (in one of its many manifestations, including to deny fear itself!), or to respond with love ... fear keeps me stuck, love sets me (and the other one) free ...

~ It's universally accepted that infants need love, or they will die from the lack of it ... at what point do humans cease to need love ... at what point are they no longer beloved children of God, desperate for love ...? Never. Why do we go to extreme lengths to rescue abused children, but then go to just as extreme a length to punish the same children, once they grow up and abuse in turn ..? Why would compassion cease to be a response..? Here too, we have a choice to react with fear, or to respond with love ...

- We all need love as much as we need oxygen ...

~ Our collective fear creates a mass-hallucination ... we believe in that which is not real ... only love is real ... the rest is manufactured by our egos, and is not real ...

~ The shift from fear to love is the only miracle ... how that manifests in the material world will be variant ...

~ Love in my mind creates love in my life ... this is Heaven.
Fear in my mind creates fear in my life ... this is hell.

~ My fearful self is an impostor ... it's not real ... and yet it will seem to be real, and will run the show, to the degree that I believe in it, heed it, and thus give it "power." The spiritual journey is my awakening from the pretense to the Real... from pain to peace ...

~ Returning to love isn't the end of the adventure, but the beginning ... awakening from the ego-induced nightmare, into the Spirit-based life. It's a return to who I really am. And thus invite others to do the same. It's why I'm here. It's why you're here.

Shalom, Dena

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Exposing the Ego ~ A Deeper Look at Jesus

I stand here in trepidation ... entering a realm that's considered sacred-beyond-questioning ... and yet, I must question what I've been taught, by humans, about Jesus. Integrity begs me to do so. Truth beckons beyond the surface-understanding ... beyond the traditions of man, the unquestioned pat answers. I figure that anything I say here will offend someone. It's inevitable.

Here's what gives me the gumption to do this: I believe that Truth is self-evident. I believe that Truth can withstand any amount and degree of scrutiny. I believe that we need not protect Truth from scrutiny ... I believe that whatever falls away, must. I believe that humans have convoluted Truth via our inherent limitations of thought, vision, and experience. And mostly, because we have attempted to peer at Truth, and to comprehend Truth, via our egos. Our self-protecting, self-projecting agendas, both individual and collective, have warped who Jesus is, and what He came to do.

And mostly ... I dare to believe that it's the Spirit Himself who is leading me, drawing me, wooing me, into all Truth. Because I asked -- no, I begged -- Him to do so.

Join me as I ponder the possibilities ... as I "try on" an alternative understanding, just to see if it fits, if it resonates with the Spirit within. YOU must take what you ponder to the Spirit, for this can only be affirmed experientially ... it cannot be transmitted or absorbed by osmosis. You can be quickened by the thoughts of another ... but we must all move beyond second-hand religion, into first-hand personal relationship with Truth ... for Truth is the Word of God, the essence of God, and our primal and foundational Home.

Let us plunge...!

It seems to me that everyone wrestles with Jesus ... in various ways. For Jews, He's the reason why they've been hated and killed. For Christians He's the penultimate expression of God. For others, He's the ultimate kill-joy ... the epitome of how *not* to enjoy life, and the proof of why one shouldn't become a Christian.

It seems to me, that if we saw Him as He is ... none of us would reject, or even resist, Him. It seems to me that all of us, whether Jew, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, atheist, agnostic or Christian, have misunderstood Him... that we've all seen Him through our own distorted lens.

What if He could be invited to set the record straight...? What would He show us?

What if, rather than being a harbinger of judgment, of fear, of wrath ... Jesus would want us to see Him as our Elder Brother, who truly brings *good* news for ALL mankind..?

Jesus gave us His mission statement, in His first public address ... let's look at it (found in the gospel of Luke, chapter 4):


The NASB has it in caps, to indicate that it's a quote from the Old Testament ... in this case, Jesus is quoting from Isaiah 61, verse one. If we go to Isaiah, we may notice that Jesus chose to stop where He did ... He did not say the next verse, which is:

And the day of vengeance of our God

Why didn't He include that statement? I have my own hunch ... perhaps you can ask Him for yourself. I personally believe that He didn't quote it because He only did what HE saw the Father doing ... and so He didn't see the Father bringing vengeance. I believe that this is an example of the human writer inserting his own egoic perspective into the text ... it's inspired, yes ... but God used fallible humans in the writing of the text, perhaps so that we would thus *know* to not take it at face value, but to inquire within ... perhaps so that we wouldn't worship the Bible, and rely on it, but would use it as a *useful* tool for connecting with the Spirit, who alone can lead us into all truth.

Going back to the mission-statement ... look at what Jesus said He came to do ...

To preach good news (gospel) to the poor ... to those who are excluded and maligned by the ones who fancy themselves as "chosen".

To release the captives -- and what enslaves us more than the very lies we believe in our own minds...? He later told us to have our minds renewed -- to exchange our own egoic perspective with God's perspective ... to move from lies to Truth. We shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set us free.

To bring recovery of sight to the blind ... we're not all physically blind, but we're certainly all spiritually blind. REcovery implies that we once saw ... and are in need of returning to correct sight -- and what blinds us more than our own egoic perspective? Jesus said that those who claim they can see, are those who are truly blind. It's only when we admit that we are blind, that we can begin to see...!

To set free those who are oppressed -- what oppresses us more than this egoic world we have created..? We create monstrous institutions that then demand our exhaustive service... We create bureaucracies of rules -- rules upon rules, that choke the very life out of us...!

To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord ... this is speaking of the Year of Jubilee. In the natural, this was demonstrated (foreshadowed) by every 50th year in Jewish history, wherein everything returned to it's original owner ... slaves were set free, lands returned to whomever had originally owned them. In the spiritual realm, this was demonstrated by Jesus, who came to initiate the new covenant (the new heavens and new earth), wherein all would return to GOD (though we had only left Him in our own egoic minds) ... so that all would know God, and none would have to be taught of Him ... wherein the Spirit would lead everyone into all truth.

The problem is that we believe the ego more than we believe the Spirit ... until we come to our senses, recognize our self-created pig-sty for what it is, realize we are a Child of the Father, and return Home. The "far country" is only in our minds ... the separation between us and our Father is only in our minds. We were only ever enemies of God in our own minds.

But, Jesus did more ...

Our egoic mindset, the egoic world we have created, operates in the law of sowing and reaping ... cause and effect ... action results in reaction ... karma. What you sow, you shall reap. If you do this, that will be the consequence. It's the way in which we have imprisoned ourselves ... this is our captivity.

What we see, what gets our attention is the reaping ... the effect, the result. Then, we trace it back and say, "Aha! Here's the source for that!" We see this playing out in Jesus' time ... when they found a blind man, the disciples asked, "what caused this blindness ... the man's sin, or his parents' sin?" There was no question in their minds that a *sin* had caused this blindness. But Jesus answers outside their theological box ... "it's not about anyone's sin, but about displaying the glory of God." Jesus could do miracles because He saw beyond appearances -- He saw with God's perspective (and greater things shall we do, when we also see via God's perspective). Miracles happen we we are aligned with the Mind of God, when we operate out of the Mind of Christ (which we are told we *have*).

So ... the evidence of the effect, "proves" to us that there must be a cause..!

It's a fundamental principle of physics that if a thing exists, it will have an effect on something else. And the opposite corollary is also true: if there is no effect, then there is no cause ... without an effect, the cause cannot exist.

Everything we see and know in this world is the effect of our belief in sin. Sin, we believe is the "first cause" ... and from sin comes the effect of pain, suffering and death. Paul said, "the wages of sin is death." Sin is the cause -- death is the result (the effect). We believe this. We see and experience death ... and we trace it back to the "proof" of sin. Death is the ultimate proof that sin is real -- or so we believe.

But ... what if it could be proven that there is no sin, no separation...? In order to do so, we would have to be shown that there is no effect. A thing cannot exist unless it has an effect. To show that there is no sin, no separation, it would have to be demonstrated that death is not real.

Someone would have to show that death is not real ...

Jesus was that Someone.

His mission was to set us free ... and to do so, He came to show that there is no death. By all appearances, He died. The witnesses were innumerable. But so were the witnesses to His resurrection ... He demonstrated that there is no death ... that life is eternal, for all Life is the Life of God -- there is no "alternative" Source of Life.

This gives me incredible pause: The way in which He took away the sins of the world was to show that they had NO EFFECT. Through overcoming death, He took away all the sins. Jesus lived in this world of suffering, sin and death ... and demonstrated that it had NO effect on Him. He shattered our illusions.

The early followers believed this .... their focus was on the resurrection, and not the crucifixion. There were no artistic renderings of the crucifixion until ~1,000 years after His death ... the art emerged during the Dark Ages. The focus was primarily upon the resurrection ... the overcoming of death, the shattering of our illusions, for a millennium.

However, also during those early years, the following of Christ became a State-sponsored religion ... the allegiance switched from the leading of the Spirit, to the sanctioning of the Ego. Power, prestige, control, and even enforcement via the sword, became the means of promoting the beliefs ... committees (councils) got together and decided, by means of power-play enforced voting, what was State-sanctioned truth, and what was heresy. The goal was to get everyone to believe and behave in the manner in which best served the State ... the religion was in cahoots with the State. This is the origin of the religion we call Christianity. Christianity is the ego's reaction to Jesus.

Jesus didn't come to form a new religion, but to call us out of all religions (for they are all manmade) ... to call us out of our egoic minds, into the Mind of Christ. To align our thinking with God's, to awaken from our slumbering deception, and live as who we really are. To *know* that we were never separated from our Source/God, except in our own skewy thinking ... to know that there was never sin, except in our own fear-based, guilt-based minds ... to know that we do not die ... we merely lay aside our earth-suits when they no longer serve us.

This is the Atonement ... the At-One-Ment ... when we know that we are one with God, and with each other. When we awaken from the nightmare of our own making, and live Life, as Jesus did ... He is the Way, the Truth and the Life ... and we "come to" the Father when we follow Him in the way He taught, in the way He lived.

He is indeed the Savior of the World ... only in the all-inclusive way He intended, rather than in the exclusive way that Christianity depicts ...

Again ... I'm sharing what I'm coming to see ... don't take my word for ANYthing! If anything I share resonates, take it to the Spirit for confirmation. If anything I share strikes you as offensive, consider the possibility that your ego is trying to maintain status quo, so that it cannot be detected, so that it can continue to rule you with fear and guilt. Again, take *that* to the Spirit, and let Him lead you into the Truth He has for YOU, at this time, right where you are.

We CAN trust the Spirit to lead each of us into all Truth. We CAN.

Shalom, Dena