Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Are you ready for the Truth?

We are all called to be teachers of God. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all constantly teaching by how we behave not by what we say. Stephen Gaskin said that in the last analysis all we have to offer another human being is our own state of being. So what state of being is your being in?

The Truth with a capital T will set us free. We are so easily enamored with our truths, small T, that we often don't become aware of the Truth with a capital T. For those of us who are aware of the Truth with a capital T, it is incumbent on us to share it. As Pope John Paul II said, "Never impose, always propose."

And so it is up to us, the Truth tellers, to propose the Truth with enthusiasm, energy, and joy. The Truth of Existence is always fun, enlightening, invigorating, and generous.

It is up to Truth to change the world, not the world to change the Truth. Many small truths don't make a right. Truth is found in right mindedness and truths are found in wrong mindedness.

Often, my truth is not the same as the Truth. The Truth is to be found on the path of the spirit which means we have to leave the path of the ego. Jesus tells the rich young man that if he would enter the Kingdom he would need to sell all his possessions, give the money to the poor, and come follow Him. It was too  much for the young man. He became sad and walked away. He, unfortunately, was not yet ready for the Truth.

Truth which is everything, when we are in our right mind, costs us nothing. It is free for the asking and taking. However in our wrong mind, the Truth appears to be very, very costly.

The Truth does not change or disappear. It is always there waiting for us to recognize it. When will be the time for you?

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Has secular noise overwhelmed the silence of sanity?

Robert Barron says, "The secular establishment always prefers Christians who are vacillating, unsure, divided, and altogether eager to privatize their religion. That's the kind of Christianity the regular culture likes:utterly privatized, hidden away, harmless." p.107, To Light A Fire On The Earth.

In our contemporary culture, postmodernist philosophy teaches that truth is a social construction. Truth, small t, is a social construction, relative, situational, a figment of human beings creations on the path of the ego. However, Truth, capital T is about spiritual laws and this Truth is absolute and not of the making of human beings. One truth is found on the path of wrong-mindedness, and the Truth is found on the path of right mindedness.

In our secular world, no distinction is made between truth and Truth. This distinction requires a level of wisdom and understanding that most modern people don't understand. This lack of understanding generates much anxiety and fear. It is written in A Course In Miracles, "You have every reason to feel afraid as you perceive yourself. This is why you cannot escape from fear until you realize that you did not and could not create yourself." T-3.IV.3:8-9

The spiritual path is not about intelligence, knowledge, creeds, belief systems, etc. Spirituality is not cognitive. In order to ascend on the spiritual path one must "lose one's mind." As St. Paul writes, we have to become "fools" for Christ. True spirituality is a return to child-like innocence wondering at the Oneness of existence.

People on the  path of the ego don't want to hear about the Truth. It scares them. It means they would have to detach from the things that they think will make them happy. This is too much. The young man asks Jesus how to get to the kingdom and Jesus tells him to sell all he has, give the money to the poor, and come follow me, and the young man walks away sad.

People on the path of the ego who worship all kinds of idols don't want to hear about the Truth, they just want the Truth tellers to go away, shut their mouths, and keep their understandings to themselves. Unfortunately, they has happened more and more as the secular noise overwhelms the silence of sanity.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Agape or eros?

What does sex have to do with spirituality? Very little. Jesus and Buddha teach very little about it. Since we are not bodies with a spirit, we are spirits with a body, bodily functions are not a focus of healthy spirituality.

Unfortunately, sex is a pre-occupation, though, with religions. Probably because it is a powerful bodily drive like eating and drinking, defecating and urinating. Sexual behavior is something that religions can attempt to control people with.

Religions have made sex an idol. It is placed before their teaching about the love of the Divine. If religions can control the bodies of their members, they can subjugate and oppress millions of people and keep them captive to their control.

The spiritually mature have come to realize that the religious focus and control of sexual behavior is nonsense. Moral condemnation is further attempts to judge and separate not accept and join. With the focus on sexual behavior the Atonement is delayed and thwarted.

Sexual morality is a side show for religious circuses. Religions showcase sexual behavior that is titillating and tempting and focuses on  the very behaviors it is condemning.

Avoid the sideshow and stay focused on the importance of forgiveness, compassion, and agape.

At the end of the day, spirituality is about agape not eros.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

What are you?

You are not a body. The body changes over your life span. How could you be it? Look at your baby pictures; you are no longer a baby.

If we are not our body, what are we?

We are not a body with a spirit, we are a spirit with a body.

Same is true of other people. They are not bodies either. They are spirits within bodies.

Watch what one body does to another in war, in bullying, in physical abuse and assault. What is going on?

Bodies come in different colors, different shapes, different weights and heights. Some we judge to be beautiful, some mediocre, and some ugly.

Some bodies kill other bodies. In the U.S.A. black and brown bodies are assaulted, attacked, and killed by white bodies.

President Trump says that because he is a celebrity he can kiss, fondle, and grope bodies as he prefers. He says, "They let me do it." This has become our national standard. If you are rich and powerful your body can do what it wants to obtain pleasure.

However, the spirit becomes sad and is dispirited. The energy is very low and leaden. The spirit becomes demoralized when people are treated as bodies and not as spirits.

We recognize that something is wrong. Our minds have been lead down a mistaken path. We have become wrong minded instead of right minded. We have been robbed of our peace and joy. In this recognition it dawns on us that there is a better way and we begin our search for the better way to live our lives and engage with others who are called to a similar search.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Do you want to be happy? Do you know what it takes?

The Dali Lama has said that the purpose of life is happiness. The big question is, "What will make me happy?" The answer is to live a moral life full of virtue. People respond, "You can't tell me what to do!" And the answer is, "Of course not, it is not my intention to deprive you of your freedom. It is my intention to help you figure out what will make you happy."

Becoming happy is the outcome of implementing certain skills. As with any skill, a person could exercise it any old way he/she wants to, but will this willy nilly approach get the same results? We pay big money for tutors, for teachers to help us improve our skills because we have grasped that accomplishment takes deliberate practice. If you are to play the piano well, it must be practiced on a regular basis and a piano teacher can help.

If you are to live life well it takes a lot of practice and a certain amount of intention and reflection and a good teacher can help as well.

Many things on the path of the ego create obstacles and block our progress to happiness. Are we even aware of what thoughts and behavior will lead to happiness?

Osho makes an important distinction between pleasure, happiness, joy, and bliss. People seek sensory pleasure, but this doesn't contribute to longer term happiness let alone joy and bliss. The Universe calls us to bliss and few people know how to attain it. Sometimes the achievement of bliss requires the forgoing of pleasure. Feeling good and doing good can be two different things.

Achieving happiness and bliss requires discipline and awareness. In achieving a degree of happiness and bliss, wisdom accrues. Seek out and learn from the wise ones.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Is it time to listen to the wise ones?

We live in a culture which is radically subjective and relativistic. It has given up any belief in an objective morality. It believes that anything goes in certain situations, for certain people, at certain times.

In the postmodern world, every thought, every belief, every value, every preference is a social construction. Conscience, justice, goodness, truth, beauty have become things of the past that exist in the realm of nostalgia and sentimentality.

Where are the smart people? Where are the wise ones? Does nobody stand for anything anymore? Is there nothing that I can use as my compass, my navigational north star?

Into this moral morass, this moral swamp, comes Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu. However, these enlightened people shared an understanding of reality that the common human, who is asleep in social conditioning, cannot apprehend let along understand and apply in their lives.

What then is to be done to improve the human condition? Psychotherapy is needed at a societal level. The purpose of this societal psychotherapy is to remove the blocks and obstacles to truth. This removal of the blocks and obstacles to truth is the removal of fear. As Franklin Delano Roosevelt said which he is believed to have gotten from Henry David Thoreau, the biggest fear is fearing fear itself.

The biggest problem humans experience at a personal and societal level is fear. Fear prevents them from loving which is the path to peace, joy, and comfort.

The tool to eradicate fear is forgiveness. Until we can rise above the dramas on the path of the ego we will continue to experience turmoil and distress. Forgiveness requires a shift in perception and belief from the path of the ego onto the path of the spirit. The means of this shifting is what Jesus, Buddha, and Lao Tzu attempted to teach their fellow human beings. However, because of their fear and willfulness most people do no have the ears to hear, nor the eyes to see, nor the minds to comprehend the suggestions that the great ones offered humanity.

We are coming to a time of listening and awakening. It is here, now, and requires each of us to pay attention, reflect, understand, and apply the wisdom offered to us. Rising above the drama, sensationalism, and entertainment of the ego to embark on a new path of love, compassion, generosity, and charity is the means to the path forward in our human evolution.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Do you know any saints?

Some people say that the function of the church is to produce saints. The function of the church is to help people to become holy. Are there saints among us? Have there been in recent times?

Dorothy Day has been proclaimed a "servant of God" which is a step toward canonization in the Roman Catholic church. Pope Francis has mentioned Dorothy Day along with Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Thomas Merton as "exemplary Americans."

Do you have your own names of holy people in your life? I think of Father Edward Lintz, the pastor of Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary in Brockport, NY as a very holy man. He was a quiet saint, a servant of the people.

There are people in the world committed to goodness. They aspire to goodness as the best way to live their lives and be in the world.

The indicator of goodness, of holiness, of sainthood, is being awake. Recognizing one's existence as part of the Oneness, of the All. It is written in A Course In Miracles that "the sole responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself." T-2.V.5:1

If a person accepts the Atonement for oneself, (s)he cannot help but to be loving and Jesus tells us that the way to the Kingdom, the way to holiness, is to "love as I have loved."

Has your church produced any saints? If yes, how? If no, why not?