Conformity and Renewal

…be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…

–Romans 12:2, KJV

If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.

–Jesus, Luje 17:33, NLT

What does being “conformed to this world” mean exactly? From what, does Paul suggest, should we be renewing our mind? Many have read the above passage from Romans and interpreted it to mean something along the lines of: “If it isn’t like me or the traditions of my church and family, or follow the precepts as proclaimed by my pastor, then it is of the world and I am to reject it.”

This is too easy, however; this is living the Inner Life: the “framework we build and with which we shelter our Egos and Perceptions…It is protective, offers guidance, and seems reliable in an apparently unreliable world. It gives meaning and explanation to the uncertain. And, when it is attacked by other emerging viewpoints, it is defended violently.” Recall, “The Shadow is who/what we believe we are not…For every aspect of behavior and personality the Ego has chosen for itself, all else is thrown off onto the Shadow. The Shadow is everything the Ego denies….”

But, consider: What is “the world” of which the Bible speaks so often and, most often, in a most odious fashion, that we should reject it wholly? Again, too often, pastors and their flocks have taken it to mean “everything in the world that is not like us and what we perceive in the Scriptures — that which is not of our familiar culture or our personal Inner Experience.”

What if we break it down a bit? One might say the World is:world

  • sin
  • destruction
  • loneliness
  • arrogance
  • dog-eat-dog
  • unloving
  • dark
  • hateful
  • proud
  • disobedient
  • ungrateful
  • cruel

The list could easily go on and on, but I think we can all agree that this is the most typical view of The World — it is right and good that we should abstain from such things, to be sure. But, the interpersonal problems may arise when we, again, view the list above purely from our own personal reference points of what these evils are.

What does cruelty look like? What is pride? What is sin, exactly? Does the male in my community who enjoys expressing himself through the use of eyeliner embody sin and lostness? Is the woman next-door who refuses to wear a dress and “dresses like a man” proud and disobedient? Is homosexuality equivalent to destruction?

This is where the purity of Jesus’ words may shine through — Do not cling to your life.

The renewing of our minds ought to be a renewing of our thoughts to the Outer Experience: “…the realm in which Understanding and most perfect, unconditional Love dwell. It is the place from which we can come to understand our Egos and its decisions and perceptions, and the place we can come to embrace our Shadow and realize that we are One…”

Perhaps The World is most aptly translated to mean: the thoughts and practices and ways of those who live their life locked in their own personal framework of Ego; going through the motions of life without really seeing.

May we continually renew our Minds, to let go of our lives and our narrow perceptions daily, to see All as it truly is and embrace genuine Love and Harmony, as Jesus did.

Return to Your Roots

Cliffside-Tree-Roots

Let us take a lesson from Sister Flora, who draws nourishment from deep down within the Earth. It is the connection of the roots, drawing energy and nourishment from the Earth that sustains the Tree.

Jesus said it this way:

See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these…that is how God clothes the grass of the field…will he not much more clothe you… So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ …your heavenly Father knows that you need them. –Matthew 6:28-32

Sister Flora does not work or toil or worry, she only draws up the energy from Mother Earth to bring through her veins everything she needs. Likewise, we too, if we reconnect ourselves to the Earth and cosmos from which we came — within which our roots still exist from the beginnings of Evolution eons ago:

— we will find all the energy, creativity, love, and sustenance that we could ever need. 

Similarly, our roots interconnect and intertwine with the roots of others who are connected rootsto this planet, who were birthed here. And when we are aware of this intimate connection with The All, The All is entirely open to us: we are It, and It is us. We are each other, and we are Everything. Therefore, again, we lack for nothing.

In this manner, it is strikingly evident what Carl Sagan has said in regard to us and the Universe:

The cosmos is also within us… We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.

If through Evolution, the cosmos has begun to open itself and search within itself all of its own possibilities, then we are a powerful part of that search — that Knowledge and Unearthly Wisdom! Let us reconnect ourselves and draw that into us.

One more thought for encouragement. I often behold the apparent restrictions human civilization has put on Sister Flora, confining her to certain zones, if you will, where she is allowed to flourish among us, surrounded by concrete. But then I consider, how awesome it is that, as long as her roots are connected to the Earth and drawing all she needs from within the Heart of it, then, in fact, she is not restrained in the truest sense! Likewise, while it may seem at times that we are imprisoned in our own emotions and minds and societal situations we’ve gotten ourselves into, nonetheless, there is always Freedom, there is always Wisdom, deep down at the Heart of Creation, waiting to be tapped.

May we continue to strengthen our connection with the Earth, our Mother, and reach our roots down deep to draw upon her nourishment and wisdom.

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Emotional Attachment

Why must there be so much hatred? Why do we run so quickly to judgement fueled by emotion, rather than objective understanding, leading to peace and harmony? It makes me very sad when I encounter it and cannot break through….

Memorial "the Holodomor" 1932-1933 (death by hunger) in Kyiv, UkraineAlas, these too, are all Attachment and Aversion… They float in and out like clouds across the Spaciousness Within. We need not claim any as our own… Still, as a regular human being, how I wish I could talk sense into others around me regarding these truths!!

To straighten the crooked you must first do a harder thing — straighten yourself.

The Dhammapada of Guatama.

 

When they kept on questioning him [Jesus], he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

John 8:7

 

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Jesus, Matthew 7:1-5

 

How easy it is to immediately say: Well! In this particular instance I know what I am talking about; therefore I will close my ears to you and what you have to say and tell you what’s what!

But the wise men of ages past knew and have told us what it is to be wise — to judge not, to embrace The Shadow in all of us, and realize we are all exactly the same; we are connected to each other. We are all of The One. It is not our place to judge the actions of another, especially not solely based on our initial emotional reactions to it! But we must seek to understand, and above all, Love. And Perfect Love is not judgmental or conditional, it simply Is… Mother Earth, indeed the cosmos around us, from which we ultimately came, exhibits a perfect love for us in that the Universe does not judge us for our constant pettiness and smallness and arrogance; the sun still circles around us, the earth still rotates, It does not speak, It does not complain…

Unconditional love feels like nothing… emotions, feelings, judgements — these are all conditions. (Visit this page for more on the Witness State of Unconditional Love.)

Indeed – if we rather turned our attention inward and only sought to straighten ourselves and not others, what a marvelously beautiful world this could become! To attain a state of simply Being, and allowing others that same respect, is a path toward Peace.

Ultimately, however sorrowful I may feel from time to time, it is all up to me and the straightening of myself within, and not the pressure or conditions I feel like placing on others.

May Namaste  — I, the Divine in me, bow to the Divine Spark within you — be the sincere word among us all, to tie us together.

namaste

 

This Day of Renewal

I had an interesting personal realization yesterday as I roamed the street… One of the many lovely people who stopped and chatted with me was a woman who mentioned her desire to collaborate and learn from me regarding several aspects of my profession–how she might incorporate what I’ve achieved in her own aspirations. And part way through our conversation, she looked at me and asked, “Are you a believer?”

I have to confess that I had to pause, and in my own mind time seemed to stop for a very long time. 😳 You see, being raised in a sort of Christian extremist environment (and all the stress, confusion, and mental and emotional baggage that came with that), you might say that the Traditional-God-one-thinks-of and I, while not divorced per se, are in separation right now– we’re currently seeing other people. 🙂

However, in taking a moment to reflect upon my answer for this truly lovely and sincere woman, I took note of the “karma alarm” in my gut and pondered these flittering thoughts:
+ As I was in the middle of my peaceful activity, I sincerely opted for choosing a brief Yes or No answer.
+ I knew, without having the time to explain and hash out a complicated answer, basically what I’ve already hashed out at length here in this cyber-space, a Yes or No answer was inherently going to carry with it all sorts of assumptions, one way or the other.
+ So, am I a “believer”? What all can that potentially mean–both within and without the assumed Faith?
+ In my gut, I knew I resonated at a certain level with this soul’s sincerity and love, at the most basic root…

…So I said Yes. Because the statement that I’m not a believer would be far more untrue than the fact that I am, even if not everything we proclaim to believe lines up precisely in every detail with each other. And here, I appeal to my love of the Myth and allegory.

After all, is not the heart of the Christian Easter Story a story of renewal after death? Of spring emerging from winter? Of a wise teacher and master dwelling within us in spirit and memory for all time, never to leave us; his or her influence ever present? Of an eternal freedom available for all to embrace?
How is this basic celebration of life and hope and renewal any different at its core from those of other cultures, even the premises of reincarnation and transformation of Buddhism? The gnostic Sethian tradition implies at times that the historical Jesus was only a human vessel for the “spirit of Seth,” the chosen and righteous son of Adam and Eve; therefore one of this tradition could very well ask whether the resurrection was not merely allegorical to begin with… Certainly, to some in that era, and even today, it is.

Symbolically, however, the crucifixion idea itself embodied deep dilemmas and meanings of the human psyche, and so the Crucifixion per se became a far greater reality than the actual physical events that occurred at the time.
Only the deluded are in danger of, or capable of, such self-sacrifice, you see, or would find it necessary. Only those still bound up in ideas of crime and punishment would be attracted to that kind of religious drama and find within it deep echoes of their own subjective feelings. –(source)

We all share the same loves and hopes and dreams, and we all tend to embody these and personify them in differing manners according to our traditions; I would not that I harm another fellow being by even merely implying a snide rejection of what they hold dear.

Additionally, I realized, why am I afraid of my past tradition, my heritage? True, it did more harm than good when it was a part of my life; but that is not the case in The Now. (This is Aversion– it is the same as Attachment, only a pushing away instead of a pulling toward; it’s the same energy, the same poison.) My religious background is surely a part of me just as is any other spiritual heritage that has been passed down to us from our ancient ancestors. All is just a continuously evolving variation on a theme that has been playing since the dawn of existence. Tradition may surely have freedom to point toward god, while not defining god…. Remember, don’t confuse the finger pointing at the moon, as being the moon itself.

By my saying Yes, the woman instantly felt safe with me. It was palpable; she’d found a kindred spirit in me, someone who could understand where she was coming from when she spoke, someone who could culturally relate to her. Near the close of our conversation, she wanted to pray with me. And I asked myself, why should there be any qualms? Do I not speak and wish blessings and goodness upon this fellow being? If I pray to a Heavenly Father (for the woman’s sake) aren’t I also praying to The One Who Is?

The connection I made with this dear woman is more real than any labels we might have instead squabbled over. May we celebrate together in freedom this Day of Renewal, with mutual love and respect in our shared heritage.

The Savior Discusses Inner Life

More from “The Dialogue of the Savior”; Nag Hammadi Scriptures, pg. 303

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As long as what is within you is kept in order — that is, the soul — your bodies are enlightened…

The soul here can also be translated to read:
your nature” or “your belief,” according to the scholars’ footnotes.

Overcoming the Power of Darkness

I shall teach you… In truth, fear is the power of darkness. So if you are afraid of what is about to come upon you, it will overwhelm you… Rather, look at what is within, since you have mastered every word on earth. This will take you up to a place where there is no dominion and no tyrant… I tell you, reflection is…where truth is… Make what is inside you and what is outside you a single one.

–Words attributed to Jesus.
From The Dialogue of the Savior; The Nag Hammadi Scriptures, pg 302.

Gnosticism and Kundalini

This excerpt from the most informative and thoughtful article “Christ and the Kundalini” by Dr. Ramesh Manocha beautifully articulates the true essence of Christ’s long-misunderstood teachings, bringing light to an age-old problem of dogma and religious infighting. Enjoy this brief selection, and click on the link above to read through the entire article; I highly recommend it!

In the Gospel of Peace, Christ explains that the experience of spirituality is foremost. …He says “Seek not the law in your Scriptures for the law is life, whereas the Scripture is dead. I tell you truly Moses received not his laws from God as writing but through the living word. The law is living word for living God to living prophets for living men. In everything that is life to the law is the law written, for I tell you truly all living things are nearer to God than the Scripture which is without life. I tell you truly that the Scripture is the work of man, but life and all its hosts are the work of our God. Wherefore do you not listen to the words of God which are written in his works? And wherefore do you study the dead Scriptures which are from the hands of men?”

Thus Christ’s law is a living, cosmic and experiential one, and is actuated by the awakening of the spiritual experience within the seeker, not by intellectual study or by following those who themselves have not truly had the experience…. More so, self realisation is a process of genuine, inner spiritual transformation which must be experienced to be understood, since it lies beyond the domain of scriptural description or theological definition. Since it is gained by the grace of the Divine Mother( Holy Spirit) alone, it is most certainly not possible to organise or institutionalise this experience in human terms.

…Christ’s spirituality differed radically from our modern understanding. His teaching was dynamic and zen-like focusing on the experience of inner purification and transformation, the elevation of the seeker’s awareness into the state (not concept or dogma) of self-realisation. He sought to overthrow the immoral culture of the Romans and to deliver to the dogmatic, letter-bound Jews the mystic fulfilment promised to them in the Mosaic covenant.

Central to his teaching was the understanding that the feminine aspect of God, God the Mother, was the means by which self-realisation and spiritual evolution to god-awareness occurred. Christ venerated the Divine Mother as the Holy Spirit. It is this power, described in the East as residing in the human being as the Kundalini, that is the last vestige of the Goddess-tradition in the Christian West.

…..Why did the Churches suppress these true christian traditions? Partly because they are patriarchal institutions based on the questionable dogma of Paul who perceived women (and therefore the feminine principle) as inferior entities. Partly also because spirituality which focused on the Divine Feminine would also focus on the redemptive power of God the Mother and on Her role as the grantor and matriarch of mystical experience. This kind of understanding, like all mystics and mysticism, defies organisation, dogmatic hierarchies and institutions preferring the role of individual experience, revelation and progressive growth toward divine awareness.

The Holy Ghost, then, threatened to neutralise the fear-oriented dogma which the Churches have used, in the name of Christ and Spiritual Truth, to maintain their secular power and wealth.

…Consider Christ’s warning “he who has blasphemed against the holy ghost shall be damned forever”. What then of the Churches who have virtually edited the divine feminine out of the Western Cultural tradition in order to maintain their grip on the masses?

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