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Showing posts from 2009

Lady Of The Silver Wheel

Tonight is a special night. Yes it is New Years Eve. It is also a Blue Moon (a second blue moon within a calendar month). The next one will not happen for another 19 years. Added on top to that it was also an eclipse today albeit only visible on the other side of the earth from where I am. Take a moment to honor the moon as it to is filled with the spirit of life:
High in the
Castle of Glass
A Silver Wheel turns
In the night

Slender hands
Guide a thread
Keeping it true
Keeping it tight

As it spins
Fate it begins
To opens
It's eyes

Lady of the Moon
Of the Stars
In the Spiral Castle
I hear you sing

Lady of the Silver Wheel
Lady of the Silver Wheel
Arianrhod, Lady of Changes
You spin the Web of Life

The web of life

Gather up
Every thread
Weave them together
Join them as one

The spindle
Begins to turn
A soul's new journey
Has begun

On the Earth
With every birth
So the web that joins
Together all life

Is as one
Daughter and son
Animal, human
Old and young

Lady of the Silver Wheel
Lady of the Silver Wheel

Goodbye 2009!

Wow, another year is over. It is hard to believe. As the snows slowly are melting and running down the driveway, I stop to think about this year. For me personally, it has been a year of changes. I became a vegetarian, moved to a new type of space in my spirituality which has enriched my work, and in my relationships. We have had a full year of a new president which has given millions of people hope.

I wonder what the new year holds?

Being a Man

We have lost something. Men have that is. Our society rewards an unstoppable drive in a male. We have been fashioned into a type of predator. We see a goal and we will do anything to reach it. Whether that goal is sex, a promotion, a new car. The predator impulse is a primal pulse but it has been twisted into something much darker. There is nothing wrong with hard work to achieve a goal, but in this society that demands instant gratification this is a sweet poison slowly killing the male spirit. So many of us men have lost or connection to the Earth. We no longer take time to connect with her. We do not pay attention to the phases of the moon or the growth of plants around us. We have lost our ability to feel deeply. I grieve for what I have lost as a man. I feel it. My spirit is wounded, and I suspect that I am not the only one. I only know one cure for this disease...stopping. Turn off the television and computer. Spend time with our families. Read to the children…

The Loss

I have been largely kept inside due to a huge snowstorm that hit. Today I was able to get out some, but had to be very careful as the roads are covered in ice and snow. Last night, during my time of meditation I tried to connect to the snow, winds and nature outside. I wanted to know it..to truly feel it inside. I could not do it. At this point I felt an intense loss. Have we as modern people lost the connection to the earth and nature? I feel we have. We live in a climate controlled world where we never have to deal with any realities of nature. We have lost our feeling of connection...to each other, and to the earth and cosmos. We have lost our sense of the tribe. Can we regain it? Is it even possible. I went outside tonight and did my meditation...under the moon...being present to the cold. Touching the earth. We connected....perhaps there is hope.

What is that growing inside you?

Jesus saw some little babies being breast-fed. He said to his disciples, "These little ones that are being suckled are similar to those who enter the kingdom." They said to him, "So we enter the kingdom by being like babies?" Jesus said to them, "When you transform the two into one, and when you turn what is inside to be like the outside and the outside like the inside, and what is above like what is below, and when you turn the male and the female into one and the same, so that the male not be male nor the female female; and when you create eyes in the place of the eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness; then will you enter the kingdom." Gospel of Thomas 22

This is the creation story in reverse. The male and female return to one. The body is replaced by a body, and it is like the Enigma song says...a "Return to Innocence." It is a state of oneness within the self and a oneness…

Winter Solstice

Right now as I look out of my window, the see the snow falling, I heart the winds blowing. Reports have been on the news about this being one of the worst blizzards in my part of the country for at least 10 years. I look out and try to connect a bit with the blizzard. Are there any life lessons to be learned from it? I cannot think of any lessons that have any great depth, except concern for the welfare of the homeless or those without heat. Be prepared seems to be another lesson, as many people are stranded on the streets...do they have blankets, bottled water etc in their cars?

Weather like this is a reminder that as much as we may like to think we are in control of the world, we are not. Nature tells us that whatever we may cling to, it is not permanent. Things change. Just a few days ago I was outside without a coat, now people are at risk of freezing to death. All things are transient the winter winds whisper, do not cling, do not rest on your laurels, but be mindful and …

The Spirituality of Avatar

I watched the movie Avatar tonight and I expected a feel good movie, but was profoundly moved and impressed by the spiritual messages in it. The connection to the planet, animals, and each other are wonderfully expressed. At one point, the main character prays to the world soul, only to be reminded that she does not take sides but only seeks balance. This is well worth watching!

Your Spiritual Type

I remember reading about the types of yoga in the Bhagavad-Gita. I still go back to it again and again as a powerful vision of what the spiritual life could look like. Hinduism highlights several types of yogas or spiritual paths. In my mind, they are like spiritual types. No person is only one type, though one or two may be predominant. Here they are:


Bhakti Yoga
Bhakti Yoga emphasizes on the love and devotion to the Divine. The individual performing this type of Yoga concentrates on the existence of Divine often in a particular form. He/she learns to show love, compassion to the creatures co-existing with him/her, through keenly worshipping the Lord. Bhakti Yoga can be practiced in a number of ways, such as praising the God by singing, chanting, reading religious books, listening to prayers and by watching religious movies.

Jnana Yoga
The Yoga of true knowledge, Jnana Yoga aims to detach the person performing it, from all the temporary things of the life. The person doing it attains tra…

Did they have a robber mask on?

If the owners of a house already know that a thief is coming to break in, they are going to be on guard before that thief gets there and they are not going to let that thief get in and rob them. So in your case, then, be on guard against the corruption found in the world. Strengthen yourselves, so the things that will rob you can't find a way to get to you, for that trouble you expect to come, will come. The understanding ones will get this. When the crops became ripe, he harvested it with a sickle. Anyone here with two good ears,listen up!" Gospel of Thomas 21b

What are the things in our life that we let steal our joy? What are the worries of the world that make us forgive things like compassion, and charity? We know things are gonna come. There are gonna be troubles for ourselves and others. So what can we do? Be ready. Be ready to share what you have. Be ready to find peace in the storm. For me part of that is a daily meditation practice, so that when I am angry, hu…

Christmas?

This really has a powerful message. As an green eco-friendly guy, the consumerism really seems nuts. Even though I do not identify as a Christian in any traditional sense, the message is very powerful.

The Interview With God

If you are not comfortable with the God imagery, imagine it is a conversation with your own soul or self. In my mind they are the same.

Thieving Kids!

Mary asked Jesus, "Tell me what your disciples like." Jesus replied, "My students are like little children living in a field that does not belong to them. When the owners of the field come around, they are going to say, 'Give us back our field.' The children remove their clothes right there in order to give it back to them, and they give their field to them." Gospel of Thomas 21a

What you do not truly possess you do not keep. I had an aunt who married young. She took care of her husband, waiting on him hand and foot. He did not want her to learn to drive and so she did not. He did not let her pay bills or handle the money aside from shopping. They were both very "old school" as far as relationships go. She felt very secure in this relationship. But there was one problem, when he died, she knew nothing as to how to take care of herself. Her life spiraled out of control. She began taking pain meds...more and more until that was what killed h…

Dreams

I do not know what many of you think about dreams and/or synchronicity but I have had three dreams and two of them were especially pertinent and I am waiting on feedback on the third. In the first dream, I dreamed of a friend I have not seen in years. She told me she was troubled and alone in the dream. I wrote her an email after waking to find out that the religious group she had led for years split and dissolved. The split was kinda ugly. The second dream was about a friend's child who in the dream said he just needed to be held, that he hurt. Again, the next day the mom contacts me to tell me he busted his thumb up in the car door the night before. Last night, I had one of another friend I have not had any contact with in a good 5 or 6 years...again something was not right and she was very distant and troubled. I wrote her and await feedback. Just odd stuff, as I dream a lot but these dreams all felt different and were very vivid.

Plant a seed that is already there!

The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us what Heaven's kingdom is like." He said to them, "It's like a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, but when it falls on prepared soil, it produces a large plant and becomes a shelter for birds of the sky." Gospel of Thomas 20

Spiritual awareness is a seed within every person. It often goes unnoticed. But as we develop this awareness it grows and even provides comfort and help for others. How are you going to nourish this seed today?
annihilation

Before you come here, come here!

Jesus said, "Good job to the one who came into being before they came into being. If you become my student and practice deep listening to my sayings, even these pebbles will serve you. For there are five trees in Paradise for you; they never change, in neither summer nor winter, and their leaves never fall. Whoever knows them will not taste death." Gospel of Thomas 19

This is one of those obscure sayings. One cannot help but wonder what it means to come into being before coming into being. Perhaps it is something like waking up to life before you die. How sad it is that there are those who never truly lived while they live. They do their routines, they follow all societies rules and expectations and never truly live. What does it mean to be truly alive? I think it means living in the present moment. That every moment is precious, and should not be wasted worrying about a possible future or dwelling on the past. We only have this moment with our loved ones. This sunset and sky…

The End is Near....to the Beginning

The disciples said to Jesus, "How will the end come?" Jesus said, "Have you already found the beginning, since you are looking for the end? Don't you realize that the end will be where the beginning is. Well done to the one who lives at the beginning: that one will know the end and will not taste death." Gospel of Thomas 18



What is the beginning? The beginning is the original mind, uncorrupted by society, beliefs, and norms. It is the realm of experience, not just beliefs. When Jesus spoke about the beginning, one cannot help but think of the Jewish story of creation. The man and the woman lived at one with nature, each other and the Divine. They were one with everything. The Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas contrasts those rapture people who write books about being stuck behind playing on end time fears. Jesus is not an apocalyptic preacher. Instead he is a mystic, calling those who would hear back unto oneness, which is the completion (end) as well as our b…

What if?

What if the Divine were within everything and all we had to do was see it? What if in seeing it we could see clearly? What if seeing clearly we were guided by our deepest selves? What if gnosis is simply seeing clearly? It is.

Thanksgiving and Experiment

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. My family and I are actually having ours today. Also, I am going to try an experiment...I am going to spend a month speaking of God/the Divine as female. I am curious what this may do in my consciousness.

Do you hear what I hear?

Jesus said, "I will give you what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no hand has touched, what has not arisen in the human heart." Gospel of Thomas 17

I had believed in a spiritual realm but never really had any proof. That was until one summer night. A friend and I were leaving the city heading back to our small town. We were hit by an oncoming car. I remember looking down on the wreck. I saw the other person's car-its color and model. I saw the person get out of that car to check on us. I was watching from above in perfect peace. I realized that someone was there with me. I did not even bother to look at them, but simply told whoever it was that we were in a wreck. Then with an inner knowingness, I said, "I have to go back, don't I?" With a jolt I regained consciousness in the car. I saw the same person at my friends window checking on us. Sure enough he drove the car I saw from above. This was a moment that spoke to me of something more...not he…

Let there be war!

Jesus said, "Some folks think that I have come to spread peace upon the world. They do not know that I have come to spread struggles upon the earth: fire, sword, war. There will be five in a house: Three will struggle against two and two against three, father against son and son against father, and they will stand alone." Gospel of Thomas 16

Wait a minute! Did Jesus really say that? I thought that he was the prince of peace. Where is all the meek and mild stuff? Actually while this may come as a surprise to some people, this passage is very similar to one found in the gospels, who in turn took it from the Hebrew scriptures. At first reading, this really seems like a negative passage. Thoughts of converting the infidels by the sword, the inquisition, the crusades, and such. Actually the battle for the Gnostic is not outside ourselves. The struggle is within. We have received that seed of gnosis when we see the Divine within ourselves, other people, and indeed all of t…

No New Births

Jesus said, "When you see one who was not born of woman, fall on your faces and worship. That one is your Father." The Gospel of Thomas 15

And where do you find one not born of woman? Look within. That is where God is found.

Let us pray! - NOT

Jesus said to his disciples, "By fasting you will bring sin upon yourselves, by praying, you invite condemnation, and by giving to charity, you will harm your spirits. When you go into any area and walk around the land, when people welcome you in, eat whatever they serve you and heal the sick that are among them. After all, whatever goes into your mouth will not bring impurity to you; actually, it's what comes out of your mouth that will bring impurity." Gospel of Thomas 14

What immediately jumps out to me is that Jesus in this passage is answering the questions asked by the disciples in saying 6. At first one may ask why these things are bad. I also ask who is doing the condemning. I think the key is in the rest of the saying. When they go around others...I don't think Jesus is condemning fasting, praying, or giving to charity. I think it is wrong when done in front of others. Jesus is condemning the hypocrites who love to be seen doing spiritual things. I think of t…

Hey, I know you!

Jesus asked his disciples, "Tell me what I am like by comparing me to something." Simon Peter said, "You are like a equitable and just angel." Matthew said to him, "You are like a wise philosopher." Thomas said to him, "Teacher, my mouth is utterly unable to speak what you are like." Jesus said, "I am not your teacher. Because you have drunk from the fresh and bubbling spring that I have kept, you have become intoxicated." And he took him, and withdrew from the others, and spoke three things to him. When Thomas came back to the disciples they asked him, "What did Jesus tell you?" Thomas said to them, "If I tell you even one of the things he said to me, you will pick up rocks and stone me, and fire will come from the rocks and incinerate you." Gospel of Thomas 13

This is one of the most fascinating passages in the Gospel of Thomas in my opinion. The scene is similar to the ones found in the gospels, but it contains a…

Follow the Leader

The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you will depart from us. Who is to be our leader?"
Jesus said to them, "Wherever you are, you are to go to James the righteous, for whose sake heaven and earth come into being."
Gospel of Thomas 12

This is one of those sayings that in my opinion say a lot for the Gospel of Thomas being an authentic early text. It reveals something that know about the early church that was later supplanted by Peter's role. We know that James was the leader of the church in Jerusalem and it was he who was reputed to have led the first council in Jerusalem rather than Peter who was claimed by Christians later as head and leader of the church i.e. the first Pope.
So how do we read this? Is this simply a statement of leadership of the fledgling movement? Well yes and no. Keep in mind that the churches of the first century were house churches...meaning they were meetings in peoples homes with many different people serving in different t…

Abracadabra-One into Two!

Jesus said, "The heavens will pass away, and the one above it will pass away also. Those who are dead are not alive, and the ones who are alive shall not die. When you used to eat what was dead, you made it come alive. When you dwell within the light, what will you do? When you were one, you became two. But when you are two, what will happen then? What will you do?" Gospel of Thomas 11

This passage is fun to mediate on. This contains the Gnostic message in a nutshell. It tells how we come to buy into the world's system with its values. The heavens in Gnostic mythology are the dwelling place of the Demiurge...the corrupter-who takes good things but corrupts them. Things like money systems that hurt the poor, the giant corporations who build their empires at the expense of the environment, and the ways we need to feel superior by putting others down, the way religions exclude...these are all evidence of some corruption...which mythologically we call the Demiurge. …

Gnosticism's Challenge

Gnosticism is not a purely mystical system. It has something to say to this world. It stands against the systems of the world that lie to us about who we are. It seeks to reveal the ways that dehumanize humanity through corporate greed, the ego, and religious systems that oppress.

We are Gnostics. We are people who believe that the Divine One resides within all of us. We serve God by serving others in love, compassion, and caring. God does not need our prayers, though we may offer them. God does not need our praise, though we may offer it. God is inside and outside of us. We have forgotten who we are as sons and daughters of God. God has sent messengers in many forms and ways to call us to remember who we are and where we came from. There are powers at work within and without that would have us forget and submit again to the yoke of slavery...the slavery of being asleep to injustice, uncharitable beliefs, and systems that oppress. We reject those systems and shout out....remember! Reme…

Come on baby, light my fire!

Jesus said, "I have lit this world on fire, and I am going to watch over it until it blazes." Gospel of Thomas 10

There was a seeker who wanted enlightenment, and so he traveled miles and mile to seek a teacher. He traveled up the highest mountain through rough terrain to seek this teacher's wisdom. He sat at the master's feet and spoke to him, "Master, I have come a long way through much troubles to be here. I am here to seek God." The Master was silent. This repeated itself several times. Finally, the teacher stood and walked over to the riverbank. He waved the student over. "Look at your reflection in the waters." The teacher said. The seeker looked at himself in the waters as he as told. Suddenly the master grabs the seeker's head and holds it under the water. He keeps holding it there, and the seeker begins to struggle. Finally, when the seeker is about to pass out, the Master pulls the man up. "When you seek God as mu…

A Dream

I dreamed last night that I was studying and teaching a Christian Vedanta. It was Christian in that it used the Christian and Gnostic scriptures and Jesus as a spiritual teacher. It taught Vedanta in that God was the deepest self of all things and that we needed that spiritual insight to truly perceive it. What was interesting was that in this dream I was teaching about all the various Christian scriptures and how they point to oneness...many of them ones that I had never considered in waking life.

Riding my John Deere

Jesus said, "There was a sower who took his bag of seeds and went out and began scattering them all around. Some of the seeds fell on the road, and the birds came around and ate them. Other seeds fell on the rocky area, they did not take root, and so did not produce any grain. Others seeds fell among the thorns, which choked out the seeds, and the worms came and ate them. The last batch fell on fertile soil; and it produced an excellent crop: they yielded sixty per measure and a hundred and twenty per measure." Gospel of Thomas 9

I am sure there are those of you who are familiar with this saying. It is also found in the New Testament gospels. The questions I begin with upon reading this is: Who is the sower? What do the seeds represent? I think the sower is us. We are the one planting seeds. The seeds are all good. There is nothing wrong with the seeds for them not to grow. It is where they are sowed that matters. So what are the seeds? I am not going to pos…

Is Gnosticism Dualist?

I must say that the title is loaded. It presupposes something that is patently false. Historical Gnosticism is not a monolith. Neither is contemporary Gnosticism. Dualism can be defined where there are two opposites that never meet...God vs. Satan/Demiurge or Spirit vs. Matter. Almost no Gnostics hold the Zoroastrian view of a Good power versus an equal Evil power. God is often described as the All. God emanated all that is and all things will eventually return to that source. Some Gnostics were nature negative, sadly. These particular Gnostics saw the divine spark within everything but that it was trapped there. However and thankfully that is not the only view, and many if not most Gnostics today reject that view. The other view is panentheistic, that all things exist within God. The spark of God is there...the material universe is not bad but rather impermanent. Nature has beauty, but nature can be vicious as well. Nature can inspire us in the majesty of the sky at su…

Got any live bait?

Jesus said, "Humanity can be seen to be like a wise fisherman who cast his net down into the sea. When he pulled it back up it was full of little fish. Among all the little fish there was a beautiful large fish. The fisherman threw all the little fish back into the sea, keeping only the large fish. If you are able to hear, hear this saying." Gospel of Thomas 8

What immediately jumps out to me about this passage is that is is not God who is the fisherman. God is not dividing the saved or unsaved or any such theology that many of us grew up hearing. The gospel of Matthew interprets the parable that way. But Thomas sees humanity as the fisherman. You and I. There was a marketplace of ideas. There were other ideas competing for my attention as well. My pain and sense of loss from fundamentalism brought me to other angry people who were negative towards religion. With this group, we often sat around talking and never really doing anything. We were coffee table philosophers-cynical…

Lionburgers on the grill!

Jesus said, "Blessed is the lion that the person eats, as the lion becomes human. How disgusting is the man that the lion eats, yet the lion will still become human."
Gospel of Thomas 7

I had an uncle who married young. He and his wife were in love and envisioned a happy future together. They were young and experimented with drugs. Sadly, he became addicted and that addiction ruined his relationships with his children, his wife left him after years of long suffering patience. Sadly, the man died due to his addiction. His son was in jail, and his daughter is currently wanted by the police. He died alone. The lion is our addictions. The lion in this passage is one's desires, attachments, addictions, obsessions and all those things that grip us. They could even be ones own opinions or religious beliefs when they grip so hard one no longer can respond with compassion. The human in this passage is the child of God. It is who you are. You are a son or daughter of God, who has f…

I know what you ate last summer!

His disciples came to Jesus and asked him, "Should we fast? What is the correct way we should pray? Should we give to charity? What kind of diet should we observe?" Jesus replied, "Do not lie, and don't do what it is that you hate. All things will be revealed in heaven. There is nothing that is hidden that will not be displayed, and there is nothing covered over that will not be uncovered." Gospel of Thomas 6

This is one of the sayings of Jesus that I can spend a lifetime or more with in contemplation. His disciples are ready to set up a religion. There should be a certain way and perhaps times to pray. There are dietary regulations and certain ways to do things. Of course doing such a thing then divides people into the us and them. There are those of us who do these things -we are the spiritual ones...and when we don't do them, we feel guilty. I lived many years in such a prison. It can easily lead to self-loathing and judgemental ism.

But Je…

THE CHARTER FOR COMPASSION

This is beautiful!

Where are you trying to hide that thing?

Jesus said, "Know what is right there in front of your face, and the stuff that is hidden from you will be revealed. There is nothing that is hidden away that will not be displayed, and there is nothing buried that will not be raised up." Gospel of Thomas 5

In spiritual practices such as contemplation, meditation, and lectio divina, a lot of crap comes up. Pardon my crudeness, but you know when you have acne pop up and eventually the head of it fills with puss? It is the same thing when you have a regular spiritual practice. Your junk comes up and you are better prepared to deal with it, and get to the root of it so that you may be healed. Your thoughts of hatred, jealousy, lust etc. all come up. And it does not just come up once! It comes up again and again until it is right up in your face. Now you have to deal with it. It is painful and may have to be cleaned out several times until you have let the issues go. With spiritual practice, our issues are out there...…

Vegetarian Lifestyle

It is nearing two months that I have adopted a vegetarian lifestyle. I was nervous at first if I was going to be able to follow through with it. Now it is second nature. I don't think twice about it. Occassionally an odd thought will fly through my head that I won't be able to eat something ever again, but it is so natural now.

Continuing to ask the baby...

In continuing to reflect on the passage about asking the infant seven days old (see previous blog entry), I cannot help but think of the ecstatic poetry of Rumi. His passion for God/truth was so much that he appeared drunk and a fool to many who would be too serious. He loved God so much that propriety and tradition was thrown aside. I can see this too in Jesus words. Jesus is the laughing Jesus calling us to holy innocence. Lay aside everything that would keep you from God....and in laying everything aside, you then find everything. This path is a path of joy!

Baby Talk

Jesus said, "The person who is very old won't waste a second in consulting an infant seven days old about the place of life, and he will live. For the many who are first will be last, and they will be one and the same." Gospel of Thomas 4

In the Jewish culture, a baby is circumcised on the eighth day after he is born. Here Jesus offers us a hilarious picture...the elderly asking a newborn about what it is all about. And yet Jesus challenges us with the notion that the baby is the wise one. Why? The baby is unprogrammed. He has not been told what is and what is not. He has not been indoctrinated by society, television, cultures and religion. The babe is a blank slate. He or she only knows what is. He does not worry about tomorrow or regret yesterday. The baby lives only in the present moment. This is baby dwells in oneness. The Gospel of Thomas challenges the reader again and again to go back to the beginning, not in a nostalgic way but rather in a way of li…

A Gift of Love

A Love Song to God

Would you be my lover?

A beautiful poem that I apply to God. The poem is written by Tagore. I feel it expresses the love relationship I have with God and hope to cultivate deeper. God as Lover pt 3

This is true my love
That the lightning flash of the light in your eyes
Makes the clouds in my heart explode and blaze.
This is true my love
That your sweet lips are red as a blushing bride.
This is true my love
That the tree of paradise flowers within you
That your footstep beat the rhythm of my soul
That the night sheds drops of dew at your sight
That the morning surrounds you with light from delight
That the touch of your hot breath intoxicates my soul.
This is true my love
That daylight hides in the dark of your hair
That your voice makes the world fall silent to hear your song
That the universe is nothing but your lovemaking.
This is true my love.

Have a seat in my trash heap.

If you come to know yourself, then you will be known, understanding that you are children of the Heavenly Father. But if you do not know yourself, then you live in squalor and poverty, and you are that squalor and poverty. Gospel of Thomas 3b

This is the second part of Saying 3. The first part of saying 3 ended with the reminder that the kingdom is within and without. Now Jesus takes it to the next level. The challenge is to know ourselves. This is a lifelong journey. Like peeling an onion, we take away layer after layer...only to find another layer. I believe that this first part is also a challenge to mindfulness. We are called to be mindful/in the moment when we do our everyday routine, but also to be mindful of emotions, thoughts, and feelings that pop up. For example, say you work with someone whom you do not really like. They come to you and ask a question and you are short with them. To know yourself, is to be aware of your feelings toward them-to step back and observe those fee…

Look! It's a bird! It's a plane!

Jesus said, "If someone who leads says to you, 'The Father's kingdom is in the sky' then the birds of the air will beat you there. If the leaders say to you, 'The Father's kingdom is in the depths of the sea.' Then the fish of the sea will be there before you. Actually, the kingdom is inside you and outside of you." Gospel of Thomas 3a

The first thing that jumps out at me is that it is the leaders who are pronouncing where the kingdom is found. How many preachers today have announced that many will be "left behind" in the rapture. They then say that the true believers will meet Jesus in the air. But here we have Jesus saying these leaders do not know what they are talking about. The kingdom is something we must find within ourselves and in all creation. The proponents of the rapture point to the end....to Armageddon. Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas points back to Eden. He points back to the mythical point where humanity was in union with each o…

Did you find it yet?

Jesus said, The one who looks should not cease looking until he finds. When he finds what he is looking for, he will be distressed. After being distressed, he will be surprised. Then that person will have dominion over all. Gospel of Thomas 2

A woman was cleaning house when she realized that her wedding ring had fallen off in the process. She searched high and low in the house. She began to panic, when she did not find it, double checking here and there for it, wondering how she would explain the loss to her husband. In exasperation, she sat down on the sofa, and in that moment of release, remembered she had put it in her pocket so she would not get any cleaner on it. In my own spiritual journey, I am constantly surprised. When I began this journey, I believed God was only outside of me. This view applied to others too....especially those I considered unbelievers. As time went on through the years I still sought God but found a still, small voice within.....when the big shift happened…

Did you hear what he said?

These are the obscure sayings of the living Jesus, that Didymus Judas Thomas transcribed. Whoever perceives the meaning of these sayings, will not taste death.Gospel of Thomas 1

This is the first saying in the Gospel of Thomas. It lets the reader know that the meanings of these sayings are not immediately evident...I believe they operate much like a Zen Koan...that these sayings are best meditated on. Didymus Judas Thomas is interesting in that both Didymus and Thomas both mean Twin. Whether or not Thomas wrote this is not the point..the point seems to be that we are called be twins of Jesus. Jesus, in the Thomas Christian tradition is free from the doctrines that surround him in many churches. He is much more like a zen master or yogi than an "only begotten". We are challenged to become awake by waking up to the meaning of these sayings. When we wake up we are truly able to experience life in all its beautiful fullness. You will not find in the GoT exclusivism or one-wayism …

Scriptures and the Gospel of Thomas

I took some pictures of the oak tree in my yard. The fall color explosion of leaves on the tree is gorgeous! I will try and post them today after I get them uploaded.

So I have been reading that new "scripture" called The Song of God and while there are a few good things in there...it is very odd. It contains a polemic against Christianity and Mormonism (which reflect the one who "received" the scripture's own history and bias). It contains a different story using stories from the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) adding unusual twists. God in their story is an exalted man and exalted woman whom they call Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. They were once like us and they achieved Godhood. In fact there are innumerable divine beings ruling planets. We are God's literal spirit children (sounds very much like Mormonism). Jehovah/Yahweh is the demiurge. Lucifer is mislead. It all seems very much like an odd mixture of Mormonism, Christianity, and Gnosticis…

Seasons Change

The weather here seems to go back and forth between very warm to chilly and back again. I have decided to save a bit of energy and shut off the heat and air conditioning and allow the insulation to do its work. The house is very comfy.

This past weekend we re-arranged the house and my sunroom looks fantastic, and is now being enjoyed as a scenic reading room! I can look out on the trees and see the wind blowing and close my eyes imagining the breath of God blowing in those winds...there is no difference really... is there?

The Song of God

After that dream that is still hanging with me, I did a search for the words The Song of God. Oddly enough there are two scriptures entitled The Song of God. One is the Bhagavad-Gita (translated Song of God), an ancient scripture which I am familiar with. It is the story of Krishna and Arjuna. Arjuna is getting ready to go to battle and stops right before doing it. There are parts of it that are truly inspiring, but parts that are offensive to me. Krishna talks Arjuna into going ahead and going to war...that those he is going to kill are already dead and will be reincarnated anyway...and they will eventually be saved. I hope nobody takes that approach with me.

The other is something currently written. I have not read it, but only blurbs on the website. Seems to be woman and gltb positive and is more focused on deed rather than creed. Curiosity got the best of me and I ordered it.

Christianity?

I am not going to go on a rant on Christianity. I went through my anger stages with it ages ago. My background is as a Southern Baptist Missionary. I believed completely and was a fundamentalist of fundamentalists. I left it slowly as chinks in my faith began to strike at it leaving a crushed heap. When I first left the Baptists, I sought out a denomination that seemed less literal..and took a few years to finally choose to convert to Roman Catholicism. I even tried a stint as a monk. But finally I came to see that I could not say the creed in good conscience. From there I was years later to take the fragments of what was good from it and leave the rest...or as we here in the south say...you eat the meat and spit out the bones. (not a good analogy for a vegetarian but you get it LOL) I think modern Gnostics do this well as many see the demiurge responsible for the atrocities in the Bible and the true God who his the spark in all things encourages the good things.



Reason 1 that I am not…

Delicious Meatless Wraps

You will need:

1 Sun Dried Tomato Tortilla per wrap
1 Sliced Advocado per wrap
Garlic Hummus
Green Onion
A slice of red and green bell pepper

Spread on the Hummus to cover the tortilla.
Chop up green onion, the red and bell peppers, and advocado.
Put them on the tortilla.
Eat and enjoy!

The Song of God?

I had an unusual dream. The dream lasted all night. I would wake up a couple of times, look at the clock, fall back asleep and the dream would continue. I am not claiming any divine revelation or anything like that, just a thought provoking dream.

In the dream I would hear a beautiful chorus singing the words "The Song of God" over and over. I had a feeling I should know what it was and know the words of it.

I also saw God bathed in light. What was interesting was that God was made up of millions of sparks, and these sparks were enlightened humanity. The were humans who, while not perfect, had awakened to love humanity and indeed all of nature and were transformed by the experience. These individual sparks then joined to become the light which was God. Was it that there was no God apart from them? They then were the loving parents of humanity, appearing as a father and mother to humanity...sometimes as the falling acorn, sometimes as the laugh of a child, others as …

Belief

I am finishing up one book: The Spiral Staircase by Karen Armstrong and am halfway through another: In Search of Belief by Joan Chittister.
In Armstrong's book, she shares her journey through the convent, her loss of faith, and her transformation to a different type of "monastic" existence as she puts it as a "freelance monotheist." Her journey is fascinating. I have read several of her books and this one provides more insight into her journey as she was writing those books. I find that I can relate to her loss of faith and her transformation. I also found it fascinating that she lives a type of contemplative life now in the world. I can relate to that.

In the book, In Search of Belief, Chittister writes as a nun who left behind a faith that no longer made sense, allowing it to develop into something more thoughtful and powerful. This book is about the Apostles Creed, and her new eyes to read the creed in a new way. No longer able to sign on the dotted …

Being Green

I am slowly becoming more green. My consciousness has changed and is continuing to change. I am aware of the plastic I use and work to reduce using it. I recycle and have completely reshaped how things operate at my work to make it more green. I have become a vegetarian. I am seeking to replace the lights in my house with the energy efficient lights. I am using less water... I know I have a long ways to go, but I am taking steps to get there.

A Loss of Faith?

For years I have compared my spiritual life to a spiral...a spiral staircase perhaps. I would work through some beliefs or issues and move on only to come back again, though this time I am changed. I am different. My time as a teenage and college age fundamentalist. My time as a missionary and later a monk. My time of questioning, doubt, and being kicked out of my church for questioning. My relationship with Christianity has been an odd one. Even now I wonder if I am still shedding some of the last vestiges, or staying on the sinking ship of my faith. I do not know if I could call myself a Christian. There are parts I enjoy. I enjoy the liturgy and the ritual. I like Jesus as a champion for the underdog. Perhaps I am still grieving s loss of faith. Whatever is happening, it is not easy. I miss the community. I miss a sense of a personal God. I miss certainty. I wonder how many turns around this spiral staircase I need to make before I can step off, and if I step off-where will I be.

God as Lover 2

I have lived with God for many years now. I am 37 and was baptized at 16. God and I have fought and almost divorced. At the beginning of our relationship, we could not get enough of each other. God wooed me and the bliss and peace was like a drug. Over time our relationship matured and changed. Later still, others tried to step into our relationship and I became suspicious of God and we separated for a time. But even as I ran away from our relationship, God was always there, coming in many faces and forms-not just in the ones presented to me by the church. Eventually we reunited and over time we have grown very comfortable with each other. We are like an old couple at times..where we do not need the wooing but there is an abiding love. At times I am overwhelmed with love and am so appreciative of the relationship that is there.

Faith

My relationship with my faith is an interesting one. A priest friend said it sounded like I am in a place where I am not simply swallowing everything that is fed to me but am now chewing it...finally taking my faith seriously and personally. As an evangelical so long ago I believed and debated doctrines with vehemence. Now I am not totally sure what I believe about a lot of things...and it makes no difference to me. If Moses took people through the Red Sea, if Jesus was born of a virgin, if he literally physically rose....those things do not concern me. My faith means that I don't read the scriptures so much literally as seriously. How I live both personally and socially means so much more. Am I more caring, am I living authentically, how I can help those that need it seem so much more important. I want to help those that need it. I want to help the environment. I can feel God equally in church or in nature...or with friends. There is no sacred or secular...it is all sacred. Big t…

Laughing

I am laughing at myself. What impressed me about the Episcopal service was not the service (creeds, etc) but the community and the view of nature outside. Even in church nature is my religion.

Celebrating Three Weeks

This past Friday, I celebrated three weeks of being a vegetarian. In doing research on the effects of meat on obesity, the treatment of animals in most mass production farms, I no longer can in good conscience eat meat. There are many other excellent reasons to consider it as well. The greatest challenges has been learning to cook without meat. Oddly enough I seem to have a knack for it, and have cooked some very delicious meals. You Tube has some excellent recipes and of course the video Meet your Meat which looks into the mass production of meat for the nation.

God as Lover pt 1

I love this image. I felt it very strongly today at mass. I am a reader and can spend days pondering theological concepts. I tend to live in my mind. But it is at Eucharist that I almost fall into ecstacy. It is such a beautiful act. It is the union of the lover and the Beloved. God is that beautiful lover who enters me, filling me where there is no longer God and I, but rather Oneness. In Jewish tradition, having sex with your spouse on the Sabbath is considered a special holy thing. I think for those of us in Christian liturgical tradition we also experience this blessing in the Eucharist.

Church

I visited an Episcopal Church today. The church was beautiful, well lit by natural huge windows opening up to trees whose fall leaves were changing. It was easy to experience God in such a setting. The view of nature bordered on estatic for me. Leave it to me to have a pantheistic experience in church!

Taoism

I love reading about Taoism. Though I am sure I am only grasping the tiniest ember of its teachings, I am tremendously moved by what I am able to understand. The challenged to be flexible and not to grasp is a challenge but it makes so much sense to me. I may want things to go a certain way and to my work to help that to happen, but something comes along and BAM!, it all changes and goes another way. I can pout and throw a fit. I can cry, weep, and mourn. I can tell someone my woes. Or I can let go. I can observe the shift in the flow and reconsider my actions and work somehow with the new flow. I am only just touching the iceberg on this...but writing about it helps my try to make sense of it all. :)

God the Sibling

I have a very close relationship with my sister. Growing up we fought like cats and dogs, but as adults we are very close. We talk about issues, laugh at things, and are totally ourselves. Whereas in society we always have some shields and masks up, with a sibling, those masks are either non-existent or easily seen through-at least in my case. Can God be like that? I have to admit that my conception and relationship to God changes constantly. Sometimes God is like a Father or Mother-when I want to be held or protected. Sometimes God is not personal but is a presence. But often God is someone I talk to. I can just chat with...though at times I put on a religous face...God can easily see through it. This is something that I would like to explore further. At one time I spoke to God constantly as a close friend or brother...but I seem to have lost that.

God the Child

I must admit, I love the pictures of Mary holding Jesus. But I have never really contemplated what it might mean for God to be a child. God had needs. God in Christ needed food, love, friendship, affection and all the things all humanity needs to survive and thrive. What would it mean if God came to me as a child. In working with young people, I see their need to play, to laugh and to move. Does God enjoy these things too? I think so. If Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever-then he retains his humanity. I believe God can laugh with us. I believe God can be playful, just as we are sometimes. I see God active in the children...their innocence, their ability to love without strings. May I always be open and continue to open to God as a little child.

God as Father

There is a move within Christendom, that is exploring many faces of God, that have not been emphasized much within the church. I enjoy exploring these faces, as I feel it helps me know the beloved that much more. That said, I do not want to lose the traditional faces either. I do relate to God as Father. When I think of Father...I tend to think of various words-daddy, lawgiver, corrector, protector, comforter. One particular story that helps me know what God may be like is when I was a child. I had begged my parents to let me walk home from school for some time. Finally they relented with the warning, come straight home...do not go anywhere else and do not talk to strangers. So my first day to walk home came around. I walked past my aunt and uncles house and across the street were kids jumping on a trampoline. Well kids being kids-the next thing I knew I was jumping with them...for several hours. My parents were frantic-thankfully they called my aunt and she had seen me jum…

God in Nature

Of late I have been paying attention to the awe and wonder I feel in the presence of nature. Just "simple" things like the processes of leaves changing color, of the relationship between bugs ang birds and similar things. I am reminded of Paul's word that "in God, we live and move and have our being" and cannot help think that this world may be the womb of God. When Paul speaks of creation groaning for redemption...perhaps it is nature's birth pangs for us to see our place in nature..not as lords but as a part of it.

Organic Vegetarian Chili

It is a cool rainy day today. I love this fall weather. As I try to explore vegetarian cooking that is quick, easy, healthy, and inexpensive I opted for organic chili. It was delicious. And better yet, it will last several days-so I can be lazy and not really have to cook. Mmmm...

Tent Life

I read about this guy in the Oklahoma Gazette. He is living in a tent for 6 months in an effort to recover simplicity of lifestyle. I admire his values...and it goes to show that a change is happening within Christiantiy, making sectors of it more earth friendly. Here is the link to Tentlife.

WOW

Wow that was a long delay in between posts. I will get back on a regular schedule of posting again.

What I am exploring of late is the Divine Feminine in Gnostisicm. Holy Sophia, Zoe, and the Holy Spirit.

But for now here is a verse from my favorite book:

(Gospel of Thomas Logion 19) Jesus said, "Hooray for the one who came into being before coming into being. If you become my students and pay close attention to my sayings, these stones will serve you.

God as Mother

I was raised in a home with my mother and my sister. My parents divorced when I was around 5 or 6 and it really did not bother me when it happened. My parents remained friends and they still are to this day. My mother was strong but loving. My sister and I fought as siblings were prone to do but get along famously today.

The past few years I have been fascinated with God as Mother. I would say it first was a spark from my love of Mary. She in a very real sense was a feminine face of God. She was loving and compassionate. But I also began to look at scripture for images of God as Mother. I found her as a mother bear willing to protect her young at any price. I found her as a mother bird and hen wanting to gather her chicks. I found her in the word compassion in Hebrew is the same as the word womb. That gives a whole new meaning of the Spirit hovering over the waters in whom we live and move and have our being. I found her in the Jewish tradition of the Shekinah...the glory of God on ear…

Images of God

Part of my studies right now with the Order is to examine our images of God and to press into what types we see God as and then to press them to expand. I have no problem seeing God as having ebony skin. I have no problem seeing God as a black mother who loves her children and directs them in the way they should go. I really have no problem seeing God as any race and have several pictures of multiracial Christs on my screen saver. The same goes with seeing God as female, gay and or straight. God has been my lover...it is a part of me.

I had a spiritual teacher about 5 years ago who really pressed me to get beyond my stereotypes of God and the ways I limit God. It was torture at the time, but now it comes with such ease it seems comical the way I struggled.

Tired of Talk

When you are tired of talk and debates-
Come.
When you are tired of your endless ramblings of theology-
Come.
When you have gluttoned yourself on your thoughts-
It is time to come.
Come! Come the Beloved calls out!
He longs for you...with panting breaths of desire he cries out your name.
Longing for union he calls out.
Come....set aside your worries...and be with Me.
All the books on love in the world
are nothing compared to the experience of Love.
Come!

To know God

I took a walk through a nature reserve today. It was very hot out, and I headed back after seeing a snake. I am a rainy day kinda guy.

Today is Earth Day. For Gnostics, we take an unusual approach to the earth. On one hand it is filled with God, the pleroma, the kingdom. The Gospel of Thomas (Logion 77) says it quite eloquently: "Jesus said, "I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there."

The divine spark is in everything. But that does not make everything helpful to us. A tornado, earthquake or rattlesnake bite does not feel good. In a sense it is not helpful at all. Tragedy is like that. Gnostics look upon such events as the activity of the archons...the powers that want to keep us locked in this world. Whether literal or figurative, they are the things that can often cause us to lose our spiritual center. But in those mome…

Jesus as Wisdom Teacher

I follow the way of Jesus. In a sense I am hesitant to use the name Christian simply because of all the baggage that comes with it in this day and age. Images of fundamentalists condemning or evangelizing can turn many people off to Jesus. Sadly, looking at the scriptures, one gets a different picture of who Jesus was than what many churches require belief in. In the gospels, both the canonical and non-canonical-we see the viewpoints of the author. They are writing with an agenda of a Jesus that fits their belief system. That said, one thing stands out in all of them. That is Jesus as a wisdom teacher. In many ways he operated somewhat like a Sufi sheik or a Indian Spiritual Teacher. He takes students, and invites some to a deeper level of relationship with him. He speaks in parables and often in ways to jar the common understandings of the time. Perhaps in that way he is akin to a Zen Master as well. He is one who has attained Gnosis, Enlightenment-however you describe this union wit…

"A Good Day" With Brother David Steindl-Rast

Loving God

At the edges of the pleroma

Final Vows

Today Sr. Betty and I took our final vows in the presence of a few Sikh friends. We chose a lake nearby and it turned out to be a chilly, windy day. But the Spirit of God did move across the face of the waters and heard our vows to the Lord. We were blessed by a few more guests...a couple of geese with its beautiful babies.

Only Breath

The Order of Peace

Tomorrow is the big day. I will take my final vows as a friar. I have been working with two friends in a nearby town in the formation of a religious order called The Brothers and Sisters of the Order of Peace. The Order of Peace is unique in a couple of respects. One is that the OP is an interfaith order. I have to say that this was a challenge to us as we were working on the Rule of Life and the Constitutions. We wanted to honor other faiths without blending them into some crazy mix that watered them down. Three of us will be taking our vows. The other brother is a Christian with a strong Hindu philosophy take to Christianity. A Christian-Hindu, I guess you could say. The sister that will be taking vows is a Hindu. All of us have been friends on the spiritual journey for years. What have attended each others worship gatherings, sat together in silent contemplation, and studied and debated sacred texts together each relating them to his or her own tradition. So we finally…

Taking a Step

Come with me my friend,
Ours is not the path of scholars,
Nor is it the path of the righteous.
Ours is the path of lovers.

Peeking

Oh Beloved,
I walk by the trees, through the grass, on the rocks.
I see you peeking behind them. I feel you so near.
The pleroma has been covered, but it is leaking through-awakening my desire for you.
Don't be so shy. Come sit with me.

You and the Other (with a capital O)

Crumbs

O Divine Beloved,
I seek you day by day
Will you come out of your house and spend a little time with me?
If you will not, then perhaps you will allow me to even rest at your feet
I shall even be happy with crumbs from under your table.
Even your chastisement is bliss to me
as long as you have spared some attention on me.

Dreaming

Once upon a time the Beloved decided to allow part of himself to dream so that He may know himself in a new way. In this dream, this part of God was you. But this "you" forgot who you really were and got lost in the dream. This spark of God forgot its Source. But the Beloved sent messengers across this forgetful spark's path to shine the light of truth so that the spark would remember that it was one with the Beloved. How does the story end? I do not know...you tell me.

The World and The Demiurge

I feel like I am finally coming to a place where I am really taking Gnosticism as my own. What I mean by that is that I have spent the past couple of years learning about Gnosticism laying a foundation of historical Gnosticism and adopting its theology as my own. Now I am at a place where I feel that Gnosticism is my religion and I can actively engage it and even reinterpret it in a modern context while at the same time honor where it came from. I realize that even the term Gnosticism in a historical context is not helpful as there were several early groups that are categorized under Gnosticism that are different from each other. Each of these factions did not agree and some were not even that friendly to each other.
In modern Gnosticism we tend to lump all the Nag Hammadi scriptures together to form our local groups. Though without a good foundation into the thoughts of the individual groups and which writings go where, a person can wind up very confused.
The historical Gnostics…

A Song to Sophia?

Sting-Desert Rose
I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

I dream of fire
Those dreams are tied to a horse that will never tire
And in the flames
Her shadows play in the shape of a man's desire

This desert rose
Each of her veils, a secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this

And as she turns
This way she moves in the logic of all my dreams
This fire burns
I realize that nothing's as it seems

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

I dream of rain
I lift my gaze to empty skies above
I close my eyes
This rare perfume is the sweet intoxication of her love

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

Sweet desert rose
Each of her veils, a secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this

Sweet desert rose
This memory of Eden haunt…

God in the Silence

One thing I notice is that when I sit with God in the silence daily, I am aware that I am naked before him. No not literally. Rather, I rest in the precence of the Beloved separated from my beliefs, religion, age, race, sex etc. I sit as a soul apart from all my labels and beliefs. I sit in the presence of Divine Mystery. Is this what a Buddhist or Hindu feels when they sit in silence?

God in the Silence

One thing I notice is that when I sit with God in the silence daily, I am aware that I am naked before him. No not literally. Rather, I rest in the precence of the Beloved separated from my beliefs, religion, age, race, sex etc. I sit as a soul apart from all my labels and beliefs. I sit in the presence of Divine Mystery. Is this what a Buddhist or Hindu feels when they sit in silence? Are all contemplatives really brothers and sisters?