Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ Category


Why can’t there be a big red button?

-War Doctor

           Like any good science fiction questions around the essence of us (humanity) should be brought forward. This is at the bedrock of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary movie (watch trailer here), Day of the Doctor.  It is the deepest plunging into the hardest thing to  comprehend for any person… ourselves.

As the regeneration who chose themselves undeserving of the name, but asks the question as in the clips above, the Warrior Doctor, “I am looking for the Doctor.” The one who is called to heal, to help to aid…or as Clara will note the thrum of the Tardis is a sound of hope. But this is about that corner of the mind of the Doctor, no, the heart where hope has gone out.

For it was in the 9th regeneration that the fabled time war happened. When Daleks and Time Lords went to war to end all wars. Where the rest of the universes saw the Time Lords just as evil as the Daleks who view anything outside their race as need to be exterminated, which this mini-episode Night of the Doctor expertly portrays as the Doctor must make a choice to not be apart of the war or to be apart of the solution?

The haunting begins.

Much like we make choices within our own lives at any given moment with the information available. Whether it is good, bad, horrible or indifferent. It is what is possible and probably for us at that moment. Much like moments in human history (very hard to bring 21st century morals onto situation 400 years old or 150 years old as we try to erase instead of critically teach history so the cycle can be fully broken. Just ask any abuse survivor, the story and triumph need to be spoken so that it will not be repeated, in all its darkness).

This literally becomes the story. As the device designed to end the Time War by the Doctor is AI with a conscience and brings the Doctor to begin interacting with his decision. The decision? At that moment and time in war as the Daleks are all gathered at Gallifrey—to end it all, Daleks and his people. The haunting ripples this will bring through time.

The decision driven by the motto burned into a wall by him “No More.” The war must end.

The journey forward form that choice showing the grief cycle. The short regeneration shortly after not even there. The true shock.

But the struggle between who are known as the Tenth (David Tenant) and Eleventh (Matt Smith) Doctor’s to forget this period in time. How it shapers personality. One who lives in pained regret and the other who lives to forget, to move forward.

The haunting question answered by 2.41 billion.

But with the Eleventh Doctor being 400 years out…is there another decision that can be seen?

What if that decision can be tried?

What if in your moment of darkness your future selves could stand with you and you would not have to be alone?

What if, you live in acceptance of the choice and find hope in spite of it to move forward in a better life for yourself and others?

This may seem like nothing more than a toss away sci-fi movie from the BBC. Apart of geek culture and nothing more.

Yet we live in a time of reconciliation.

A time when groups who have been oppressed and the former oppressors know that something needs to change.

But how do we get there?

Sometimes a science fiction story can show us the interior and exterior journey in a way that creates conversations that can create the space for critical discussion and active listening, that other venues cannot.

Just think of using this in a religious or political or classroom setting with the Time War as the metaphor for residential schools, Canadian Eugenic practices for those with disabilities, the destructive LGBTTQ2+ laws; the dying with dignity or abortion laws; slavery, the list can go on…

For what questions would haunt our journey where the answer 2.41 billion could just be as haunting.

But even more so.

What is the new life?

What is the regeneration that awaits each one of us?

Where does hope exist?

Do you hear the thrum of the TARDIS? Or are you blocking it out?

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“I am going back because I am a coward. Sometimes it is easier to go back, than to walk away.”

-Wild Bill (Hickock, 2017 movie)

Westerns and Star Trek, it has been a childhood mythology renaissance in my house lately. Star Trek shares so many values that I hold dear around equality, exploration, peace, greater good (and the list goes on) as well as friendship, and the power of the intrinsic unnameable piece of the human experience that heals us and moves us forward.

Just look to Star Trek Deep Space Nine. The thrust of the whole series is essentially Truth and Reconciliation for a colonized, oppressed and almost genocide people—the Bajorans (at the hands of the Cardassians). It is the story of the Emissary, Benjamin Sisko who goes on his own healing journey with his dual role in Starfleet and now Bajoran Religious leadership. Releasing his own anger and pain at the loss of his wife at wolf 359 (for non-Trekkies, that is the major Borg battle where Captain Picard was assimilated and led the charge).

It is also more, as many have panned the finale of this series for pulling out the old trope of writing where it appears you have so written yourself in a corner that the only way out is to state “the Gods saved us.” Or some other miracle.  Yet, when you are dealing with a people who have had their worth shattered, and are bearing witness to reclaiming/learning their spiritual/cultural heritage it begins to make sense. Think of a whole planet colonized and people living through a healing journey of PTSD, and what finally ends the new war with the Dominion, the evil that has emerged from the Celestial Temple (wormhole) like an Anti-Christ…why it is the Prophets that save.

Could the society have healed without coming to terms and embracing that intrinsic missing piece? How can one heal from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder of their entire cultural identity being stripped away by generations, if it is not by truly embracing their truth? Truly, to embrace the old light that shines through the new cracks of the pain to finally shatter the bonds.

It also led to thinking of a youth retreat where we discussed bio-ethics. How? Star Trek Deep Space Nine’s 5th season episode, Rapture wrestles with a child who has a parent that may be dying and needing to make a decision that may or may not be within the parent’s wishes on life and death and calling. The other was Spock and Sarek’s relationship in Star Trek’s Journey to Babel as the father has fallen ill, they are estranged, and duty calls Spock, a logical reaction is to follow duty for the needs of the many should outweigh the needs of the one?  What does one choose? Which part of themselves do they listen to…

It flows, there are many different ethical conversations that emerge from movies and shows. Hickock (2017) was a birthday present from my son, and is the fictionalized look at the time Wild Bill was sheriff of Abilene. A good movie with decent pacing as you explore what it means to follow your actual heart. To leave the comfortable trail, and to see the new calling laid out before you. That is what Wild Bill was speaking to. He was not being a hero or brave by going back to Abilene on his normal path as a gunslinger. He was taking the coward’s way. For it was the comfortable path, as the one that was calling him was the unknown—scary, and would take too much bravery. So, it was easier to simply go with the comfortable road.

These musings have meandered a might but they all speak to wholeness of self and community. For that to happen it means standing at the crossroads and making a choice. The choice that matters is the one that speaks to personal transformation.

The choice that matters, and which part of yourself you listen to…where you seek the intrinsic wholeness of self, whom your Prophets are if you will. These are only questions you can answer.

The question before you are much that same as what Wild Bill had to answer:

Will you be a coward or a hero in your own story?


Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.

-Captain (Admiral) James T. Kirk opening monologue to Star Trek; Star Trek the Animated series and Star Trek I thru VI

Ah Star Trek, a good sci-fi world to explore many things of morals/ethics and yes, even spirituality.  Thanks to the wonders of Netflix Canada I have had the fun of re-discovering the animated series, a simple 22 episodes from 1973-74. It was a show designed as a continuation of the original Star Trek series, though declared outside of canon. Which frankly I don’t give a damn about, I enjoy good stories with characters I love, this idea of which is to be paid attention to is simply a pain in the butt. Anyways, I digress and back on point. (Full episode guide here.)

The show was fun because with animation instead of live action many more aliens could be added to the crew and worlds, as well, many new things could happen. Many of the scripts were adapted from those that were too costly to make a go on the original show. Much like the comics series and book series that followed the shows, it opened up new alien worlds explore.

The series was voiced by most of the original crew, sans Walter Koenig due to financial constraints, but Leonard Nimoy refusing to be apart of the series if the rest could not speak to a high volume of community and friendship. Yet Koenig was not absent from the series, he was the first Trek actor to writer a Star Trek story in season one’s episode The Infinite Vulcan.

It is a story of creation of a master race, imposition of peace and what truly emerges as a choice between control and free will.

Is the reader starting to see what can happen with these 23-minute episodes over a 22-week period? They work for all ages with viewing, a group of them could be used during specific times of the church year as well (ala Advent or Lent) as a special discussion series.

They are stories that can be tied into discussions, teachings for all ages, or used to craft a specific children curriculum for a part of the children’s ministry as each episode would lend itself to game/craft creation out of the story, and can easily tie into different topics from the epistles.

Considering season one’s episode Mudd’s Passion is a treatise on living as you were truly created (a nod to St. Paul’s writings in Romans that have been oh so misinterpreted as scriptures of pain over time).  There are 21 other short stories like this, that are accessible for all ages.

Basically, I do not want to offer up what a curriculum could look like for spiritual growth and direction. I do not want to say it should only be tied to the Christian Bible, for it can be used within any religious or humanist settings (as Gene Rodenberry was a rationalist humanist). What it is, is another medium for discovery and learning that can be overlooked so easily.

What it takes is someone willing to be creative. Someone who is good with craft/game/music creation or working with kids/adults to create these things on their own. Tying it into some discussion questions and launching. One thing I always stood on when I was working in churches was that money is not what was needed to create multi-generational communities. What was needed was passion, fun and purpose that when lived out becomes contagious. It creates the space for belonging for all, and that is the space that is needed.

Here is some thoughts on a simple tool that can be used.

And to quote Captain Jean-Luc Picard…

“To Boldly go where no one has gone before.”

 


It is a parable that uses a story telling device made famous on CBS’ How I met your mother…a father telling a story to their children to discover. This time around the story invests in theory of change.

There are many theories of change. There is the U theory or the stages of change to name but two. As well these have been adapted into grief work. There are stories of transformation and coming through change like the book parable series, FISH.  For you see change, morale are inter-twined together. It is about coming through the journey from what was to what is. But within the journey being able to honour and include the best of what was, wit the best of the new, or the crystalizing phase as in U theory to become the new norm.

This is the story of Dream Works Boss Baby (2017). For it is the story of actualizing reality beyond the “truth” out of fear, about enough of love (a resource) to go around and as such one group needs to be vilified over another.

“Obviously you have never been to business school!”

“Obviously you have never had a family!”

            -From Boss Baby (2017)

   But there is more. For it is the story of change in dynamics and understanding. The balance of quantitative results and qualitative existence. It is the story of new life. Not a complete abandoning of the old, but rather a building upon what was, to include what is, so what is to become can emerge.

This is the relationship between Boss Baby and older brother Tim on their journey together. A journey of give and take of learning. Learning that transforms each when they each open themselves up to learning from one another.  It was a gem of a surprise when my kids picked up the DVD from our local Wal-Mart for family movie night (and yes have been watching it at least twice a day since).

I am not going to share many plot points because it is a fun ride, and yes you need to experience it. Shape the parable for your own context. For it is time to discover hidden questions on your change journey:

  1. How are you Tim?
  2. How are you Boss Baby?
  3. How do you know you are ready to embrace the new? What from the old is coming on the journey?

But above all…remember you do not end with Ha! But Arrr!

Masts ahoy matey on the change journey!


poor

This past week’s of reflections from the Aquarian Gospel have wound around a similar theme of faith in action. That is actually living out that which we profess to live inwardly. In Franciscan Charism it is the sacred practice of open hand, knowing that which we are given is not ours, but we are stewards for a time until the true purpose comes to fruition.

This Facebook meme I posted three years ago screamed this, and came to mind as I re-read Levi’s re-imagining of these teachings have remained true to the way presented in Canonical Gospels found in the Aquarian Gospel 142 It is the wealthy asking what more they must do than follow rules and profess creeds. To which Jesus aptly replies:

22. The young man asked, To which commands did he refer?
23. And Jesus said, You shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not do adulterous things; you shall not falsely testify;
24. and you shall love your God with all your heart, and you shall love your neighbour as yourself.
25. The man replied, These things I have observed from youth; what lack I yet?
26. And Jesus said, One thing you lack; your heart is fixed on things of earth; you are not free.
27. Go forth and sell all that you have, and give your money to the poor, and come follow me, and you shall have eternal life.
28. The man was grieved at what the master said; for he was rich; he hid his face and went in sorrow on his way.
29. And Jesus looked upon the sorrowing man and said, It is so hard for men with hoarded wealth to enter through the door into the kingdom of the soul.

-Aquarian Gospel 142:22-29

The wealth wasn’t the challenge for being in unity. Look at the word: HOARD. That is keeping things beyond logic and reason, beyond usefulness simply for having. That is what wealth had become, something that must be so held on to it could no longer be used for its intended purpose.

Saint Paul writes to Timothy as tradition teaches:

For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

-1 Timothy 6:10 (New Living Translation)

So then what is the purpose of wealth?

To spend, to help, to grow, to live, to build—

to

L-O-V-E.

So this ruler was unwilling to let that which held his soul in EGO to be released so he could finally have freedom and understand what are tools, and what is unity. He had made his tools his Holy Mystery, and for that he was truly drowning in this life.

Are we ready to rediscover what is the true rhythm of life?

Where do we travel?

Are we the Rich Man or are we Lazarus?

35. A rich man lived in splendid state; he wore the finest garments men could make; his boards were loaded with the costliest viands of the land.
36. A beggar, blind and lame, whose name was Lazarus, was wont to sit beside the waste gate of this home that he might share with dogs the refuse from the rich man’s board.
37. It came to pass that Lazarus died, and angels carried him away unto the bosom of our father Abraham.
38. The rich man also died, and he was buried in a costly tomb; but in the purifying fires he opened up his eyes dissatisfied.
39. He looked and saw the beggar resting peacefully in the bosom of his father Abraham, and in the bitterness of his soul he cried,
40. My father Abraham, look down in mercy on your son; I am tormented in these flames.
41. Send Lazarus, I beseech, that he may give me just a sup of water to cool my parched tongue.
42. But Abraham replied, My son, in mortal life, you had the best things of the earth and Lazarus had the worst, and you would not give him a cup of water there, but drove him from your door.
43. The law must be fulfilled, and Lazarus now is comforted, and you are paying what you owe.
44. Besides, there is a great gulf fixed between your zone and us, and if I would I could not send Lazarus to you, and you cannot come up to us till you have paid your debts.
45. Again the man in anguish said, O father Abraham, I pray, send Lazarus back to earth, and to my father’s house, that he may tell my brothers who are yet in life, for I have five of them, about the horrors of this place, lest they come down to me and not to you.
46. And Abraham replied, They have the words of Moses and the seers, let them hear them.
47. The man replied, They will not hearken to the written word; bit if a man would go up from the grave they might believe.
48. But Abraham replied, If they hear not the words of Moses and the seers they would not be persuaded even though one from the dead stood in their midst.

-Aquarian Gospel 142:35-48

St. Francis of Assisi has been derided as non-scholarly for many a century, in comparison to other monastic movements ala Jesuits that focused more on scholarship. But what Francis taught was that each gospel story need not be only understood, but internalized, and then externally lived out through almost muscle memory before moving onto the next. For he knew the story is more than the words spoken or on the page. The story is life. And life lived is how we connect-unify with the Holy, and nieghbour, as the Shema tells us through Love that resonates from self.

So where does this lead us? You? Me?

To simply answer a question, what does it mean to internalize and externalize this story for us, here and now?

Are we ready for such a leap from page to life?

 


mustard seed

  1. And Jesus spoke a parable; he said, The kingdom of the Christ is like a little seed that one put in the ground;
    39. It grew and after many years became a mighty tree, and many people rested in its shade, and birds built nests and reared their young among its leafy boughs.

Aquarian Gospel 140:38-39

You can read the rest of chapter 140 that leads up to this parable, but it is safe to say the journey we have been on in this social gospel series has reached a zenith or a climax for the literary about. The rising action in this short length of Jesus-story has achieved to this parable just in case the preceding 140 chapters were not clear enough on the world that is possible.

That is what this is about. A little idea, a little dream, one little thing planted within the Holy Mystery—within us—and watch it bloom. Want to know something else that happens out of the original blessing we are created and called into/out of???

The tree that provides for all, welcomes all exactly where they are and who they are. It provides not just a space for existence but belonging, growth and thriving into who they are and are meant to be and become.

How?

The space to rest is the beginning.

For when you can pause enough in the rat race of survival. One can then have time to dream a dream. Baptist Pastor,  CCF Premier of Saskatchewan, and Greatest Canadian Tommy Douglas would remind us “dream no little dreams” for any dream in the fertile soil of the love (cosmic dust) we are bound through…creates new reality, new life and like the tree that springs from the smallest tree— H-O-M-E.

What a wonderful outcome of our original blessing when creation was given to us to explore.

So what is your little seed?

What soil will you plant it in?


Welcome back to the journey of being an outcast to cast out. The Aquarian Gospel chapter 139 flows out of the previous 138, and is the continued journey of discovery for the man who has been cast out, but found belonging in a new community. Now to seek further understanding of the choice made.

You have spent time writing and reflecting on your story in the now, and like the man making the tough decision to step into the story of you that is meant to be.

It becomes a time for Holy Reading for your journey. Take time to centre yourself in a comfortable place for contemplative prayer/meditation. You will be visiting the story three times in this sitting, with each visit having a question of focus for deeper contemplation.

As you centre yourself, bringing your breath deeply, and exhaling deeply.

Feel the room around you begin to fade away.

Feel the room of the 21st century become replaced by the dusty upper room. There are many men and women clamouring, eating, laughing around you. Smells of the ancient city, you are bid welcomed by this labourer turned teacher many talk about—some as sinner or devil others as the way.

Receive the offered food of simple bread, grapes and wine.

Rest on the cushions as you begin to take it all in. The journey to wholeness is in full swing.

Hear the story for the first time. On this visit, what memories are evoked for you? Which one brings the most visceral reaction in your being? Stay with this memory for a time to see what comes through for your journey in the now?

The first visit:

Jesus meets and instructs the man who was blind. Unfold the mysteries of the kingdom. The sheepfold. Declares himself the shepherd. Goes to the home of Massalian, where he abides certain days.

1. When Jesus heard what had been done and how the priests had cast the man whom he had healed, out of the synagogue he found the man and said to him,
2. Do you believe in God and in the son of God?
3. The man replied, I do believe in God; but who is he, the son of God, of whom you speak?
4. And Jesus said, The son of God is he who speaks to you.
5. The man inquired then, Why do you say, The son of God? Is there but one?
6. And Jesus said, All men are sons of God by birth; God is the Father of the race; but all are not the sons of God by faith.
7. He who attains the victory over self is son of God by faith, and he who speaks to you has overcome, and he is called son of God, because he is the pattern for the sons of men.
8. He who believes and does the will of God is son of God by faith.
9. The man in joy exclaimed, Lord, I believe in God, and in the son of God.
10. And Jesus said, I came to open prison doors, to make the blind to see; but, lo, the Pharisees are blind from birth.
11. And when I put the salve of truth upon their eyes, and bid them go and wash, and speak the sacred Word they will not go; they love the dark.
12. A multitude of people pressed about the Lord, and he stood forth and said,
13. You men of Israel, I say to you, The fold of God is large; its walls are strong, it has a gateway in the east, and he who does not enter by the gate into the fold, but climbs into the fold some other way, is thief and comes to rob.
14. The shepherd of the sheep stands by the gate; he gives the secret sign; he knocks; the watchman opens up the gate.
15. And then the shepherd calls his sheep by name; they hear his voice and follow him; they enter through the gate into the fold.
16. The sheep know not a stranger’s voice; they will not follow him; they flee away.
17. The people did not understand the parable that Jesus spoke; and then he said,
18. Christ is the gateway of the fold; I am the shepherd of the sheep, and he who follows me through Christ shall come into the fold where living waters flow, and where rich pastures are.
19. False prophets come and go; they claim to be the shepherds of the sheep; they claim to know the way; but they know not the word of power; the watchman opens not the gate; the sheep heed not their call.
20. The shepherd of the sheep will give his life to save the sheep.
21. A hireling flees to save his life when wolves infest the fold; and then the tender lambs are snatched away, the sheep are scattered everywhere.
22. I am the shepherd of the sheep; I know the sheep of God; they know my voice, as God knows me and I know him.
23. The Father loves me with a deathless love, because I lay my life down for the sheep.
24. I lay my life down when I will, but I may take it up again; for every son of God by faith has power to lay his mortal flesh aside and take it up again. These words I have received from God.
25. Again the people strove among themselves; they were divided in their views concerning Christ. They could not comprehend the words that Jesus spoke.
26. Some said again, He is obsessed, or he is mad; why listen to his words?
27. And others said, His words are not the words of one obsessed. Can unclean spirits open up the eyes of one born blind?
28. Then Jesus left Jerusalem and with Massalian he tarried certain days.

-Aquarian Gospel 139:1-28

As you prepare your heart for the second visit into the story. It is time to centre on the emotions that bubble out as you are taught directly at this time of transition/transfiguration by Brother Jesus.

Spend time living into that emotion and how the Holy Mystery within can resolve it by illuminating the truth of you.

The second visit:

 

  1. When Jesus heard what had been done and how the priests had cast the man whom he had healed, out of the synagogue he found the man and said to him,
    2. Do you believe in God and in the son of God?
    3. The man replied, I do believe in God; but who is he, the son of God, of whom you speak?
    4. And Jesus said, The son of God is he who speaks to you.
    5. The man inquired then, Why do you say, The son of God? Is there but one?
    6. And Jesus said, All men are sons of God by birth; God is the Father of the race; but all are not the sons of God by faith.
    7. He who attains the victory over self is son of God by faith, and he who speaks to you has overcome, and he is called son of God, because he is the pattern for the sons of men.
    8. He who believes and does the will of God is son of God by faith.
    9. The man in joy exclaimed, Lord, I believe in God, and in the son of God.
    10. And Jesus said, I came to open prison doors, to make the blind to see; but, lo, the Pharisees are blind from birth.
    11. And when I put the salve of truth upon their eyes, and bid them go and wash, and speak the sacred Word they will not go; they love the dark.
    12. A multitude of people pressed about the Lord, and he stood forth and said,
    13. You men of Israel, I say to you, The fold of God is large; its walls are strong, it has a gateway in the east, and he who does not enter by the gate into the fold, but climbs into the fold some other way, is thief and comes to rob.
    14. The shepherd of the sheep stands by the gate; he gives the secret sign; he knocks; the watchman opens up the gate.
    15. And then the shepherd calls his sheep by name; they hear his voice and follow him; they enter through the gate into the fold.
    16. The sheep know not a stranger’s voice; they will not follow him; they flee away.
    17. The people did not understand the parable that Jesus spoke; and then he said,
    18. Christ is the gateway of the fold; I am the shepherd of the sheep, and he who follows me through Christ shall come into the fold where living waters flow, and where rich pastures are.
    19. False prophets come and go; they claim to be the shepherds of the sheep; they claim to know the way; but they know not the word of power; the watchman opens not the gate; the sheep heed not their call.
    20. The shepherd of the sheep will give his life to save the sheep.
    21. A hireling flees to save his life when wolves infest the fold; and then the tender lambs are snatched away, the sheep are scattered everywhere.
    22. I am the shepherd of the sheep; I know the sheep of God; they know my voice, as God knows me and I know him.
    23. The Father loves me with a deathless love, because I lay my life down for the sheep.
    24. I lay my life down when I will, but I may take it up again; for every son of God by faith has power to lay his mortal flesh aside and take it up again. These words I have received from God.
    25. Again the people strove among themselves; they were divided in their views concerning Christ. They could not comprehend the words that Jesus spoke.
    26. Some said again, He is obsessed, or he is mad; why listen to his words?
    27. And others said, His words are not the words of one obsessed. Can unclean spirits open up the eyes of one born blind?
    28. Then Jesus left Jerusalem and with Massalian he tarried certain days.

-Aquarian Gospel 139:1-28

The final visit, spend time listening directly into the attunement of your heart and life vocation truly called into. Take time to sketch out the image that comes through clearly that reflects this vocation for you.

The Third visit:

  1. When Jesus heard what had been done and how the priests had cast the man whom he had healed, out of the synagogue he found the man and said to him,
    2. Do you believe in God and in the son of God?
    3. The man replied, I do believe in God; but who is he, the son of God, of whom you speak?
    4. And Jesus said, The son of God is he who speaks to you.
    5. The man inquired then, Why do you say, The son of God? Is there but one?
    6. And Jesus said, All men are sons of God by birth; God is the Father of the race; but all are not the sons of God by faith.
    7. He who attains the victory over self is son of God by faith, and he who speaks to you has overcome, and he is called son of God, because he is the pattern for the sons of men.
    8. He who believes and does the will of God is son of God by faith.
    9. The man in joy exclaimed, Lord, I believe in God, and in the son of God.
    10. And Jesus said, I came to open prison doors, to make the blind to see; but, lo, the Pharisees are blind from birth.
    11. And when I put the salve of truth upon their eyes, and bid them go and wash, and speak the sacred Word they will not go; they love the dark.
    12. A multitude of people pressed about the Lord, and he stood forth and said,
    13. You men of Israel, I say to you, The fold of God is large; its walls are strong, it has a gateway in the east, and he who does not enter by the gate into the fold, but climbs into the fold some other way, is thief and comes to rob.
    14. The shepherd of the sheep stands by the gate; he gives the secret sign; he knocks; the watchman opens up the gate.
    15. And then the shepherd calls his sheep by name; they hear his voice and follow him; they enter through the gate into the fold.
    16. The sheep know not a stranger’s voice; they will not follow him; they flee away.
    17. The people did not understand the parable that Jesus spoke; and then he said,
    18. Christ is the gateway of the fold; I am the shepherd of the sheep, and he who follows me through Christ shall come into the fold where living waters flow, and where rich pastures are.
    19. False prophets come and go; they claim to be the shepherds of the sheep; they claim to know the way; but they know not the word of power; the watchman opens not the gate; the sheep heed not their call.
    20. The shepherd of the sheep will give his life to save the sheep.
    21. A hireling flees to save his life when wolves infest the fold; and then the tender lambs are snatched away, the sheep are scattered everywhere.
    22. I am the shepherd of the sheep; I know the sheep of God; they know my voice, as God knows me and I know him.
    23. The Father loves me with a deathless love, because I lay my life down for the sheep.
    24. I lay my life down when I will, but I may take it up again; for every son of God by faith has power to lay his mortal flesh aside and take it up again. These words I have received from God.
    25. Again the people strove among themselves; they were divided in their views concerning Christ. They could not comprehend the words that Jesus spoke.
    26. Some said again, He is obsessed, or he is mad; why listen to his words?
    27. And others said, His words are not the words of one obsessed. Can unclean spirits open up the eyes of one born blind?
    28. Then Jesus left Jerusalem and with Massalian he tarried certain days.

-Aquarian Gospel 139:1-28

As you complete sketching the image re-enter your meditative breathing. Allow the cushion to vanish, the noise of the upper room, know the Cosmic Christ within Brother Jesus exists within yourself as the ancient world fades away and your contemplative space now reforms.

Bring yourself when you are ready to a focus on the image sketched.

Sit in a meditative contemplation of this image.

Let your breath become more regular.

When ready re-open your eyes.

Spend time each day looking at the image.

But today…

What is one step you can take this week to make this image more of a reality in your life?

—The social gospel is about transfiguring the world into the true heart of the Holy Mystery—that transfiguration begins with our own—