Oct 12 2005

I am obviously a very spiritual person, I am a minister.  For me spirituality is not dogmatic; spirituality is a journey toward a higher understanding of the nature of God, not the nature of God as man defines it to be.  For me true religion is about coming together to explore, discover and share our spiritual nature as it relates to our human nature.  Religion is about seeking to understand Universal truths; it is about discerning the loving intentions of all people that lie back of their opinions. It is about celebrating those pure intentions. 

What I share; my understanding comes through all life as it is presented to me.  Nature is a fundamental source of my learning, nature gives one a freedom to think unconstrained thoughts.  Nature listens, it quietly awaits revelation.  If one is to believe there is a power greater than we are; one that lies back of creation, then nature is Its creation in the purest state.  What happens in nature must be right in the eyes of God if it is truly God’s creation as I believe. 

My next source is the example of those who share my world today; are they happy? Are they fulfilled?  Are they well received?  Are they at peace with their lives?  What are the people like who are influenced by them?  Who were their influences?…  I seek to emulate the successes of these people, I seek to, by association, attention and discernment absorb their attributes.  I also pay close attention to their teachers.  I read the books they recommend and the sources of their favorite quotes.

The last place I look for true spiritual understanding is in the credos of organized religions, businesses and government.  I am personally very grateful that mass repetitions of the prayers of any religious teaching have been removed from our schools.   I am grateful that all uses of one religious teaching are being removed from our government and related organizations.  I am not happy that they are not replaced by simple teachings of common values such as tolerance, generosity and empowerment of others. 

In the recordings of the great teacher Jesus ‘one is more holy who prays in silence without a great show of righteousness’.  Why don’t we incorporate more opportunities for silent reflection, opportunities for each to pray after their own fashion?  Why don’t we create spaces in our schools and public places for silent contemplation, prayer and meditation; gardens and other places of nature or even just set times of silence?

We can eliminate from our society narrow perspectives without eliminating the loving intentions back of those activities.  We can make our community a better stronger healthier place while eliminating dogmas.  Our society; our world is at a point of pivot and each of us has a role to play in bringing about the world we would give to our children.  We make that world by the individual choices we make from moment to moment.

I invite you to choose with me more moments of peace of tolerance, of thanks giving this week.



April 6 2005

The first step in a true understanding is to dispose of our existing concept of God.  Any idea that is transcendent is by its very nature beyond our comprehension, so we can never have a true idea of Divinity, all we can have is a feeling.

One of the greatest areas of fascination for me is the archetypal nature of our stories and movies; our fables, ballads and fairy tales.  They are virtually all bound by the same theme of protagonist, antagonist and some form of conflict in which the protagonist is victorious.  A person might think that such a narrow structure would somehow bore us.  Yet every time we venture outside of this simple structure our stories are rejected. 

The fact is that we all relate so strongly to this theme because we all share this same inner story.  Every person is striving to be a better person from their limited understanding; from their box.  The box, or prison, that we all relate to is the apparent limitation of our physical experience.  Our box is our inner antagonist, and rules us by our belief in it; by the belief that we stand alone.  Our protagonist is that inner sense of potential defined by all the qualities we accept as healthy; qualities of feeling such as love, compassion, understanding and appreciation.  All these feelings define a deep recognition of our connection on some level.

Our proof of God is this very level of connectivity.  Not in the traditional western idea of some 'guy in the sky' but rather that knowing deeper than knowing which allows us to relate to the same story proclaiming our universal bond.

It is interesting to note that the more a person struggles with this awareness of our fundamental oneness (or Godness, it's all the same) the more their tastes run toward violent conflict.  Both in actual life and in the stories they relate to.  The story is the catharsis; the healing of that inner rift.  With this understanding we can help people to heal this rift in their own lives.

In my parenting I have consistently brought this awareness to my children.  In my teaching and in my example I have consistently portrayed this truth.  Rather than attempting to 'protect' them from violent stories I have helped them to understand these movies as a reflection of their inner conflict.  Every time the protagonist wins their inner Divinity is reaffirmed.  My children don't have much interest in violence because they recognize this deep Oneness.  They know there is a 'God' because they feel it and they recognize the feeling.

You too know this on a deep level and can now start to understand violence as the very healing of violence.  When we no longer live in denial and judgment we give the world permission to forgive herself; we bring peace, we bring love, we bring ourselves.

In Love and Light,