Sunday, September 29, 2013

THE MIND

A mind that is present in the moment,
and no longer scattered about,
is a mind that acts as the wisest of guides.
It knows it still only sees in part,
but knows better how to live with that reality.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

TO FIND OUR WAY OUT OF THE MESS








It's the most egalitarian reality available to all equally. Nothing held back, and the vast majority of it impossible for greedy human hands to selfishly take for itself, where by in doing so, it then wouldn't be equally accessible to everyone else. The Creator is way more just and compassionate and trustable than are we. The evidence of that is plainly displayed all around us. There are no favorites here.

 This is why Nature has become the best thing for me to point to in regards to the goodness and overflowing blessings of God....towards EVERYONE....EQUALLY.

 And human economic systems and their ideologies, and Religious systems and their ideologies, and Governmental/Political systems and their ideologies, are never respecters of this. And the reason we humans have fallen out of touch with this, and our lives fallen out of sync with the beauty of it and become so confused is that, it is those things that have had a greater influence on us.......than has the Creator.

 And if me expressing that makes any of my more orthodox friends uncomfortable, I offer this. I specifically express it this way intentionally. And know this......it is not a rejection or replacement of what you might immediately be thinking. It is an attempt at recovering it.

 There is no more a domesticated figure in the Western Tradition than Jesus....the way he is functionalized and used by all kinds of systems and turned into a very predictable kind of safe compromiser which he wasn't at all. He is dangerous. ~~~ John O'Donohue

 A friend posted this to their Facebook page and I think it fits here, even if NT Wright might not agree with what I posted above. In many ways, what NT Wright is describing in what he says here, is very much my point also.

  "The western world has been ruled by a dictator who paved over the springs of water with thick concrete, thus forcing the people to drink from his complex system of pipes. That worked for a while until people started pining for the distant memory of bubbling springs and fresh water. Then, in time, without warning, the springs burst through the concrete in a sudden explosion. 

Wright’s dictator is materialist philosophy, and the water “is what we call today ‘spirituality,’ the hidden spring that bubbles up within human hearts and human societies.” Wright continues...

  "The official guardians of the old water system (many of whom work in the media and in politics, and some of whom, naturally enough, work in churches) are of course horrified to see the volcano of 'spirituality' that has erupted in recent years. All this 'New Age' myticism, the Tarot cards, crystals, horoscopes, and so on; all this fundamentalism, with militant Christians, militant Sikhs, militant muslims, and many others bombing each otherwith God in their side. Surely, say the guardians of the official water system, all this is terribly unhealthy? Surely it will lead us back to superstition, to the old chaotic, polluted, and irrational water supply? They have a point. But they must face a question in response: Does the fault not lie with those who wanted to pave over the springs with concrete in the first place? “'The hidden spring' of spirituality is the second feature of human life which, I suggest, functions as an echo of a voice; as a signpost pointing away from the bleak landscape of modern secularism and toward the possibility that we humans are made for more than this."

 People get all sweaty palmed and worried about all this wandering outside what they consider safe. Well, guess what? What was consider safe didn't turn out to be the doorway into LIFE. It instead too often functioned as a room with nothing but locked doors.

 I really don't think the Creator is all sweaty palmed and worried. For goodness sake.....isn't it this Creator that turned us over to ourselves in the first place? The Creator continues to put trust in humans and than humans choose to disrespect that trust which is a precious gift.

What follows here is a link to a very profound presentation dealing with this.

THE MISUSE OF HUMAN FREEDOM

Saturday, September 14, 2013

WE FORGOT OUR PLACE IN THAT WHICH HAS BEEN CREATED

The community shaped by religious belief shouldn't need the apostle Paul to remind us, that those with a surplus, their surplus is always for someone else's need. Nor does the community shaped by more secular thinking need the atheist man I mentioned a few days ago to remind those with a surplus that their surplus is always to help meet the needs of others in need.

Human nature tells us that. But we stopped listening. Instead we listen to fear and greed and those dehumanizing voices that are always spinning a different story and the voices in our heads that are so creative when it comes to justifying the stories that continue to deny human decency and living justly with others by living justly within ourselves.

This bird had come upon a huge cash out. But there was something this bird did not do. He/she did not begin building a silo to store up for some future time. No, it just took what it needed at the time.

Now I know many will say in the world of humans this is just not wise.

Well, here is what I say.......Look around and tell me what kind of world you see that humans have created having removed themselves from the natural rhythm of the created world?

And even saying that, the fact humans have removed themselves from that and attempt to do life in an unnatural way......we don't just upset the rhythm among humans....wehave upset the rhythm of the whole beautiful gig.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Monday, September 09, 2013

REGAINING OUR SANITY AND INNER WORLD HEALTH

The wheels are coming off. Or maybe they have been off now for a long time already? Or maybe I'm just engaged with a unique cross section of the population and am seeing stuff/the fallout regularly that others don't run into and experience?

Relationships are blowing apart everywhere. People are in conflict with others and with themselves. It effects marriage relationships, parent/child relationships, boss and employee relationships, peer friendships, and on and on and on. It's dysfunctional....an exercise in false belonging. When there is control, manipulation, abuse, infidelity, cheating, using others to get what we want, etc. etc. etc., that's dysfunctional. It all leaves people malformed and hurting, and repeating the cycle themselves.

And to even say this in the times we live is risky. It often elicits all kinds of accusations of violating the personhood of others who demand that they are free to do whatever they want to do. "Who are you to act so uppity like you are so perfect!!!!!"

I'm not uppity, nor am I perfect. But I know what I see. And I know it is destructive. And I know it doesn't have to be this way. But this is what the narrative of this culture has produced. The community is not healthy. The environment is dysfunctional. The storyline perpetuates the mess. And people who are suffering under the fallout for some reason still cozy up to the narrative in all its forms and are somehow entertained by it.

Regaining our sanity and the health of our inner world demands we break free of the dysfunctional narrative that is constantly at work shaping our thinking and dictating to us how life is suppose to be. The ridiculous voices that represent the dysfunction and spread it, have to be tuned out. It's not a matter of getting rid of them. They are not going away. We as individuals have to decide between sanity and health, or the destructive madness.

Our public bodies and the life that flows from them are refections of the condition of our inner world.


 

Saturday, September 07, 2013

SALVATION....AS THE BIG DISTRACTION


The plot is lost when the focus is off.

Salvation: a self absorbed misdirection.

Some words from Wendell Berry on the matter.

 "Religion, as it has been openly practiced in this part of the world, has encouraged people to believe that the world is of no importance, and that their only obligation in it is to submit to certain churchly formulas in order to get to Heaven. And so the people who might have been expected to care most selflessly for the world have had their minds turned elsewhere — to a pursuit of “salvation” that was really only another form of gluttony and self-love, the desire to perpetuate their lives beyond the life of the world. The Heaven-bent have abused the earth thoughtlessly, by inattention, and their negligence has permitted and encouraged others to abuse it deliberately. Once the Creator was removed from the creation, divinity became only a remote abstraction, a social weapon in the hands of the religious institutions. This split in public values produced or was accompanied by, as it was bound to be, an equally artificial and ugly division in people’s lives, so that a man, while pursuing Heaven with the sublime appetite he thought of as his soul, could turn his heart against his neighbors and his hands against the world." 

~ Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace ~

ABANDON THE FRAMES/ALLOW THINGS TO RETURN TO THERE APPROPRIATE PLACE

The aggressive competitive way of being that represents the culture we live in, has little tolerance or time for reverence for anything. The conservative religious worldview most of the first part of my life was defined by and framed by, really knew nothing about a life of reverence.....even concerning the Divine it was said to represent. Actually, most of that time, and the experience it created, had left me more lost than ever.

Abandoning all of that through a season of critically taking a look at it from top to bottom was a scary endeavor. The turbulence it created could have certainly led me back into the perceived safety of the familiar worldview. Pushing through that fear saved me.

Reverence is returning.

This is one example why when I stumbled upon John's writing that it resonated with me so much. He was speaking of things I had begun to experience.

"To think is to go beyond. Thinking that deserves the name never attempts to make a cage for mystery. Reverential thought breaks down the thought-cages that domesticate mystery. This thinking is disturbing but liberating. This is the kind of thinking at the heart of prayer, namely, the liberation of the Divine from the small prisons of our fear and control. To liberate the Divine is to liberate oneself. Each person is so vulnerable in the way he or she sees things. You are so close to your own way of thinking that you are probably unaware of its power and control over how you experience everything, including yourself. This is the importance of drama as a literary form; it provides you with the opportunity to know yourself at one remove, so to speak, without threatening you with self-annihilation. Your thinking can be damaged. You may sense this but put it down to how life is. You remain unaware of your freedom to change how you think. When your thinking is locked in false certainty or negativity, it puts so many interesting and vital areas of life out of your reach. You live impoverished and hungry in the midst of your own abundance." ~ John O'Donohue

Friday, September 06, 2013

NECESSARY READJUSTMENT


Allowing nature to be restored to its rightful place, and ourselves being restored to our rightful place within it, and learning to live caught up there in its rhythms, in place of living ensnared by the interpreted world humans created, is the creation of a space needed for a deep cleansing healing to begin. It is here that fruit begins to grow naturally and pretty much effortlessly.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

HAVE YOU GONE CRAZY


The Sun ~ by Mary Oliver

Have you ever seen
anything
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon

and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone--
and how it slides again

out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower

streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance--
and have you ever felt for anything
such wild love--
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure

that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you

as you stand there,
empty-handed--
or have you too
turned from this world--

 or have you too
 gone crazy
 for power,
 for things?


NATURE AND BEAUTY AS GRACE

Grace...
whispers of
relentless affection
singing us all
into healing!

That beautiful observation came to me by way of a message sent to me by Paul Young a few years ago. In my mind I often think of it in a way where I interchange Grace with Nature/Beauty. Creation feels very much like grace to me. And its whispers of relentless affection can sing us all into healing. It is a very subversive transformative presence. And coming to understand that it really is a presence makes all the difference in how one approaches it....enters it.... dwells in it....and allows it to enter and embrace them and effect them.




Tuesday, September 03, 2013

WE NEED IT MORE THAN WE KNOW


Getting the equipment ready for another couple hours spent in a wonderful landscape. There is loads of Creation going on here. It's good for many things. More than we can even comprehend.

"When the mind is festering with trouble or the heart torn, we can find healing among the silence of mountains, or fields, or listening to the simple, steadying rhythm of waves. The slowness and the stillness gradually take us over. Our breathing deepens and our hearts calm and our hungers relent. When serenity is restored, new perspectives open to us and difficulty can begin to seem like an invitation to new growth."
 ~ John O'Donohue ~



















SO GRATEFUL TO BE HERE

We are so lucky to be here. So surrounded by all things good given to us freely who get the privilege of doing this journey through this life....through this astoundingly beautiful place, a place that if it didn't exist, our feet would have nowhere to stand. It really is enough to just be here.

And so much of all the extra curricular activities that occupy the human population just keep us unsettled and confused in regards to this reality.






Sunday, September 01, 2013

IN THE NETHER LANDS

Off in the nether lands 
I heard a sound 
Like the beating of heavenly wings 
And deep in my brain 
I can hear a refrain 
Of my soul as she rises and sings 
Anthems to glory and 
Anthems to love and 
Hymns filled with early delight 
Like the songs that the darkness 
Composes to worship the light.

  ~ Dan Fogelberg ~