Friday, December 15, 2017

Sinners or innocent; punishment or correction?

We have been taught in the Christian world that we all are sinners and as sinners we deserve punishment and damnation. Were it not for the death of Jesus that punishment and damnation would be for all eternity.

It is of note that sin calls for punishment nor correction. It is in our fears of one another that we hate each other and conjure up a god who will do our bidding to punish others so that we can pretend we are innocent. We are justified in our hate and punishment because of what we have judged the other to have done.

This thinking is, of course, insane. The creator of the universe has extended the creator's power and glory through us of which we are a blessed manifestation. We have a choice: would we see ourselves as inherently flawed, deficient, and inadequate or inherently innocent, lovely, and blessed? The spiritually mature have chosen the later. It is in this choice that peace and bliss is revealed.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Love is all there is.

We have been discussing a model of spiritual development which is based on James Fowler's work describing the stages of faith development. While, in a conceptual sense, this model is helpful, in the spiritual realm it is not accurate and may even mislead the spiritual seeker. It is misleading because in the last analysis, as human beings, we are provided a simple choice: love or illusions?

In A Course In Miralces, in the section entitled "The Laws of Chaos," the first law is that truth is different for everyone. The course teaches that this is not true. Illusions may be different for everyone, but Love is the same.

Illusions are individualistic and separate us. Illusions can turn us into enemies and adversaries. The more attached we are to our illusions the more hateful and attacking we can become. Chaos ensues and when we back off and try to develop some perspective, we realize that the belief in the illusions that separate us have led us to the insanity of hell. It is written in ACIM in the section on Principles in Miracles that the first principle is "There is no order of difficulty in miracles. One is not "harder" or "bigger" than another. They are all the same. All expressions of love are maximal."

It is true that we can believe in Love which involves an awareness of our Oneness with the divine, or we can believe in illusions which separate and divide us. It is really that simple. This truth is not different for different people. It is maximal for everybody. People don't have to choose it. They can continue with their attachments to their illusions which they may do until they realize they have been mistaken. They have missed the point of their lives because as the Beatles told us, Love is all there is. 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

It is not appropriate spiritually to play the victim

Sometimes we all love to play the victim. Some of us more of the time that others. For some it is their default position in life. When people habitually play the victim the ego has conquered their lives and made their lives a hell.

As a children of God none of us are victims except in our own minds. Our victimhood is a figment of our ego's imagination. Victimhood is not are true state. It is written in A Course In Miracles, "Teach no one he has hurt you, for if you do, you teach yourself that what is not of God has power over you. The causeless cannot be." T-14.III.8:2-3

Rather than victimhood, we can call upon the Holy Spirit for guidance in helping us achieve an awareness of our true invulnerability as spiritual creatures inhabiting, temporarily, bodies that get caught up in drama of attack and suffering on the ego plane but which is not real in the spiritual realm.

People who have achieved an intermediate level of spiritual maturity know that they are never victims except in their own insane mistaken beliefs.

For today rise above the baloney and hurt, and return evil with love knowing that the evil is not real and its only power to hurt you spiritually and psychologically is the power you give to it.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Body or soul: Which is for sale?

Who can be safe and secure and at peace who has an enemy? Belief in enemies is to believe in peril, insecurity, and war. This is the situation of most of humanity who sees enemies around every corner, hiding under every tree and stone ready to terrorize and traumatize. This perpetual state of anxiety, this continual war on terror is not the Will of God but a state that humanity has created and imposed on itself. If God's will is something different from what humanity wills for itself, humanity even fears the Will of God which is only for love, peace, and joy, but is opposed to what humanity has been choosing for itself.

Humanity's fears are for its bodies not for its souls. In our spiritual growth we come to understand and appreciate that it is our spirits that matter ultimately not our bodies. Bodies are nothing but organs and molecular structures which are constantly changing and impermanent. Bruce Cockburn sings a song in which the lyric is "there is a day when we all have to be pried loose."

And so we should refocus from our bodies to our souls and consider what, if anything, is the enemy of our souls? Mature souls know that the biggest danger is that we give our soul away or sell our soul to the devil temporarily under we eventually are found again.




Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Would you be a slave to life or a master?

Man has to go beyond his will so that he can become part of the divine will. One has to drop one’s own will; it is the whole trouble. Once our will is dissolved, then godliness starts functioning through us. Then there is no misery, no anxiety. One is utterly relaxed; there is no difficulty. All problems arise out of your will because will means fighting with the whole. It is struggle, and struggle is bound to bring tension. And you are doomed to fail; hence, however hard one fights, one knows deep down in the heart, deep down somewhere that it is futile. One cannot succeed against the whole. One can succeed only with the whole, not against the whole. Sannyas means surrendering your will, going beyond it. And the moment you surrender your will, all is yours. Suddenly the whole universe opens its doors for you. All the mysteries become available to you, all the secrets are handed over to you, all the keys. The paradox is, in surrendering the will you become the master. And in keeping the will and fighting for it, you will remain a slave.

Osho. Last in the Evening: 365 Relaxing Moments to Enter the Night Consciously, Osho Media International, p.6

Editor - And here we are back to paradox again. Jesus said, "If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it." Luke 17:33 It takes a degree of spiritual maturity to understand this and practice it.

If God is your co-pilot, switch seats


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

What makes the Buddha laugh?

An indicator of spiritual maturity is a rising above the ego and seeing beyond the mistakes of our brothers and sisters to their oneness with us in God's creation. This seeing beyond is what some call "forgiveness." In simpler, more vulgar language, it is overlooking the bull shit and side stepping the drama.

People are more than their problems and often they can't see that, but we that can have a role to play in gently laughing at the absurdity. When our brothers and sisters can laugh along with us we have joined with them in what A Course In Miracles calls a "Holy Relationship."

Why is the Buddha sometimes depicted as smiling? What is the Buddha amused by. What makes him laugh?


Monday, December 4, 2017

Ego or divine light: Choose

The moment you are empty of yourself, you are full of God. Both cannot exist together, remember. Remember again and again: both cannot exist together: it is either you or God. And it is the foolish person who chooses himself. Choose God: disappear as an ego. Forget yourself as an entity separate from existence, and in that very disappearance you are reborn. It is a very paradoxical state: the moment you are empty of yourself you become full, and full for the first time, overflowingly full, inexhaustibly full. The ego is just a shadow, it has no substance. It is a dream, not a reality. Drop the shadow so that you can attain the substance. Drop the false so that the real can be attained. All that I teach here is how to be empty of yourself so that you can be full of God. And the fullness is fulfillment.

Osho. First in the Morning: 365 Uplifting Moments to Start the Day Consciously, p.3

It is written in A Course In Miracles: "Now must you choose between yourself and an illusion of yourself. Not both, but one. There is no point in trying to avoid this one decision. It must be made. Faith and belief can fall to either side, but reason tells you misery lies only on one side and joy on the other." T-22.II.6:6-10

Basically it comes down to God's will or your own. Only the foolish would choose their own when they could enjoy the whole cosmos.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

One of the most important post in November, 2017 on NSL

NSL is starting a new label for posts on the blog entitled "most important." There will be a post identified every month which seems to contribute significantly to the goals of NSL. One of the goals of NSL is to create a model for spiritual development which guides our understanding of what a spiritual life consists of. The title of this post is "Our most important choice is acknowledgement of Oneness or persistence in our separation." An important indicator of spiritual maturity is the awareness of our interdependence with all of creation."

At a deep level people have a choice between the drama of the ego world or the peace and joy of Oneness with creation. Hopefully, people come to a point where they are aware of this choice because often they are unaware and feel trapped in vicious cycles and assume the role of victim of circumstances they perceive as beyond their control. While people cannot always control the circumstances which they perceive, they can, with awareness and intention, control their response and management of those circumstances. When people become aware that they have a choice, the further question, then, is what will they choose?

When people become aware of their errors and mistakes, these errors and mistakes call for correction and repair. This correction and repair cannot be done in isolation and on one's own but requires joining with others. This joining usually requires a request for help. It is not only okay to ask for help, it is necessary for in the requesting and obtaining help two and more become joined in improving their mutual welfare and in doing so the ripple effect blesses the whole world in ways beyond our comprehension.

The person and his/her brother/sister are joined together in the work of salvation which is a theological term meaning liberation from the bonds of error and mistakes to a place of peace and joy and well being.

It is written in A Course In Miracles, "You are your brother's savior. He is yours." T-21.VI.9:1-2

There is a powerful paragraph in ACIM which states, "God is not mocked; no more His Son can be imprisoned save by his own desire. And it is by his own desire that he is freed. Such is his strength, and not his weakness. He is at his own mercy. And where he chooses to be merciful, there is he free. But where he chooses to condemn instead, there is he held a prisoner, waiting in chains his pardon on himself to set him free." T-21.VI.11:5-10

And so another sign of spiritual maturity is the awareness that one has a choice and God is not mocked meaning that God's love for us is constant, universal, and our natural inheritance and what is required of us is simply the choice of acknowledgement instead of denial.

NSL had 601 page views in November, 2017

Notes on a Spiritual Life had 601 page views in November, 2017 which is about 20 views per day. Thank you for visiting the blog, and thank you for your referrals.

Most popular post on NSL in November, 2017

The most popular post on NSL in November, 2017 was published on 11/04/17 and was entitled "An indicator of spiritual maturity - knowing that love does not die." A saying in a primitive culture is that a person dies twice: once when the physical body dies, and secondly when the last person speaks the person's name for the last time. Having a spirit made manifest in the physical world, the impact of that spirit (karma) lasts forever.

I was taught and many other people too in my Catholic upbringing that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. A Course In Miracles makes it clear that the body is not the temple of the Holy Spirit but relationships are. It is written in ACIM: "The Holy Spirit's temple is not a body, but a relationship." T-20.VI.5:1 Section VI, The Temple of the Holy Spirit describes this idea in more detail. It is our relationship with our Creator and our fellow Creations in which the Holy Spirit abides. Jesus told us the same thing in the New Testament when he said, "Where two or more are gathered together in My name, there I will be."

Rev. Marlin Lavenhar at All Souls Church in Tulsa Oklahoma gave a wonderful sermon on October 29, 2017 entitled "Gone But Never Forgotten" in which he makes the point that love never dies. Bodies do, but not love. Love just changes form. Love is eternal. People with highly developed spiritual awareness know this. It is another indicator of spiritual maturity.


What is the meaning of advent for the spiritually mature?

Today, December 3, 2017, is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is the season of the year when we more intentionally than usual prepare for the remembrance of the divine light within us and all of God's creation. It is a time of the year when we come to a fork in the road and must choose whether we will go the way of mammon and the ego or the way of Love and of the divine. We must choose, because once we become aware that we have a choice, we cannot continue on our previous path of ignorance. If we do not choose all we can do is delay. This delay causes anxiety which we can medicate away so that we are anesthetized but sooner or later the anesthesia wears off and once again we are faced with the choice.

The path of spiritual development seems, at times, difficult and confusing and yet, looked at a little more seriously, it is actually quite simple. It is written in A Course In Miracles 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." It is this removal of the blocks to our awareness of Love's presence which is the mission of the Advent season.

We need to move beyond the drama and the nonsense and focus on the authentic, the genuine, the sincere. This focus on the authentic, the genuine, the sincere which is the meaning of the season which requires a degree of spiritual maturity to enjoy. May you enjoy this advent season.

What will make human beings happy?

The Dali Lama said one time that the purpose of life is happiness. All human beings want to be happy. He did not continue his comments to say what it is that will make human beings happy. Do you think it would be the same for all human beings or would it be different?


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Amazing grace

We live in a time when the errors of the ego are writ large for the whole world to see. Reason has no place when justification of the ego is desired. And like reinforce like and the group goes astray like lost sheep wandering in fog without the guidance of shepherds.

The wolves prey on the wandering sheep lost in the green grass that they nibble unaware of their peril. The shepherds rather than abandon their sheep seek to guide them away from the wolves and back to safety.

Reason like shepherds seeks to restrain and guide the ego but the ego resists attempting to strengthen its loyalty to its errors. The ego fears a loss of its diminishment and so defiantly continues in its error. Reason is filled with compassion and concern and patiently waits for the ego's fear to subside reassuring that there is something far more precious to be found. It is this compassionate patience which is called "grace" and some people have called it "amazing." A song has been created about this experience. Perhaps you know it?

 

What is enlightenment?


Friday, December 1, 2017

Seek and you will find

There are illusions and then there is truth. When it comes to illusions how can one discern truth among them? One illusion is no different in form and any other. The only difference is content. Seeking and finding truth requires a shift to a whole other level. This shift is what A Course In Miracles calls a "miracle." The 44th of 50 principles of Miracles is "The miracle is an expression of an inner awareness of Christ and the acceptance of His Atonement."

This awareness is a huge thing of which all human beings are capable. We all have the potential of achieving this awareness. As Jesus says, "Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be open to you." However so few people are seeking and without the intention the finding is unlikely to happen unless there is a moment of grace to which the person is open to accepting.

If you are reading this, it may be accurate to assume that you are a seeker too. Thank you for your intention and effort. Together we become The Christ and we join in the At-One-Ment. Welcome.

"We have not lost anything. God is not lost and hence has not to be found. We have only forgotten; it is just a question of remembrance. It is there in the deepest core of our being. Call it truth, God, bliss, beauty: all those things indicate the same phenomenon. There is something eternal in our beings, something immortal, something divine.

All that we have to do is to go deep, dive deep, into our own being, and see, realize, recognize. Hence the journey is not really a journey. We are not to go anywhere; we have simply to sit silently and be." Osho, First In The Morning, p.2