Posts Tagged ‘Community transformation’


On this soggy Saturday I took time to re-introduce my kids to the Original Star Trek thanks to Netflix. Yes they quite enjoyed the Trouble with Tribbles, but it is the Mirror Universe story that strikes a chord in this reflection.

For those unfamiliar it is a story of a transporter miscue during an Ion storm that projects Kirk and company into an alternate timeline where the Federation is warlords running an empire akin to a space Nazi-Roman regime. It shows a visual example of the true and shadow selves lived out. For within the Mirror Universe you see the shadow of the true form. How it works brilliantly, is that from either perspective the Shadow exists.

This brings us into the Aquarian Gospel sending out passage in chapter 122:

The Christines spend seven days in prayer. Jesus gives his charge to the twelve and sends them forth on their apostolic ministry, with instructions to meet him in Capernaum.

1. The Christines prayed in silence seven days; then Jesus called the twelve aside and said,
2. Behold, the multitudes have thronged about us everywhere; the people are bewildered; they wander here and there like sheep without a fold.
3. They need a shepherd’s care; they want a loving hand to lead them to the light.
4. The grain is ripe; the harvest is abundant, but the harvesters are few.
5. The time is also ripe, and you must go alone through all the villages and towns of Galilee and teach and heal.
6. And then he breathed upon the twelve and said, Receive the Holy Breath.
7. And then he gave them each the Word of power, and said, By this Omnific Word you shall cast spirits out, shall heal the sick and bring the dead to life again.
8. And you shall go not in the way of the Assyrians, nor Greek; you shall not go into Samaria; go only to your brethren of the scattered tribes.
9. And as you go proclaim, The kingdom of Christ has come.
10. You have abundantly received, and freely you shall give.
11. But you must go in faith; provide yourselves no crutch to lean upon.
12. Give all your gold and silver to the poor; take not two coats, nor extra shoes; just take your wands.
13. You are God’s husbandmen and he will never suffer you to want.
14. In every place you go search out the men of faith; with them abide until you go from hence.
15. You go for me; you act for me. They who receive and welcome you, receive and welcome me;
16. And they who shut their doors against your face, refuse to welcome me.
17. If you are not received in kindness in a town, bear not away an evil thought; do not resist.
18. An evil thought of any kind will do you harm; will dissipate your power.
19. When you are not received with favour, go your way, for there are multitudes of men who want the light.
20. Behold, I send you forth as sheep among a pack of wolves; and you must be as wise as serpents and as harmless as the doves.
21. In all your language be discreet, for Pharisees and scribes will seek a cause for your arrest in what you say.
22. And they will surely find a way by charges false to bring you into court.
23. And judges will declare that you are guilty of some crime, and sentence you to scourgings and to prison cells.
24. But when you come to stand before the judge, be not afraid; be not disturbed about the way to act, the words to speak.
25. The Holy Breath will guide you in that hour, and give the words that you shall speak.
26. Of this be full assured; It is not you who speaks; it is the Holy Breath that gives the words and moves the lips.
27. The gospel that you preach will not bring peace, but it will stir the multitudes to wrath.
28. The carnal man abhors the truth, and he would give his life to crush the tender plant before the harvest time.
29. And this will bring confusion in the homes that were the homes of stagnant peace.
30. And brother will give brother up to death; the father will stand by and see men execute his child; and in the courts the child will testify against the sire, and gladly see its mother put to death.
31. And men will hate you just because you speak the name of Christ.
32. Thrice blessed is the man who shall be faithful in this coming day of wrath!
33. Go now; when you are persecuted in a place, go seek another place.
34. And when you meet a foe too great for you, behold, the son of man is at your door, and he can speak, and all the hosts of heaven will stand in your defence.
35. But do not hold your present life in great esteem.
36. The time will come when men will take my life; you need not hope to be immune, for they will slay you in the name of God.
37. Men call me Beelzebul and they will call you imps.
38. Be not afraid of what men say and do; they have no power over soul; they may abuse and may destroy the body of the flesh; but that is all.
39. They do not know the God who holds the issues of the soul within his hands, who can destroy the soul.
40. The Christ is king to-day, and men must recognise his power.
41. He who loves not the Christ, which is the love of God, before all else, can never gain the prize of spirit consciousness.
42. And they who love their parents or their children more than they love the Christ can never wear the name of Christ.
43. And he who loves his life more than he loves the Christ cannot please God.
44. And he who clings to life shall lose his life, while he who gives his life for Christ will save his life.
45. When Jesus had thus said he sent the twelve away by twos, and bade them meet him in Capernaum.
46. And they went out through all the towns of Galilee and taught and healed in spirit and in power

 

In the Mirror Universe Kirk, Scotty, McCoy and Uhura had to play different roles to survive, learn a new cultural context and understanding. Yet they also sowed seeds of life where they came from. Where things were different, where it was mutual collaboration, not might makes right mentality that caused growth.  Through common ground.

This was antithesis within the Mirror, where barbarity ruled, where advancement was through subterfuge and assassination. Actually, a very good example of the Roman Empire Brother Jesus and his group existed in. These behavioural patterns within the Ancient Roman Empire permeated through to other cultural ruling structures to ensure survival, but also allowing the oppressive classes to thrive.

This was the world the gossiped about bastard born son of the village girl, that the carpenter was suckered into marrying. Not valued or respected in his own community, but out into the Empire lands spreading a gospel of transformation. The very fact it was called a gospel was proving it to be a political statement.

This was the transformation message of compassion, interconnectedness, self-love/healing/worth, and living out of the core of the Cosmic Christ within.

With this message taken out by Brother Jesus’ students— the Mirror Cracked.

And the Empire was challenged.

Much like the seeds sown by our world’s Kirk, the Mirror Universe Spock.  The mirror got a hairline fracture.

So today, as you prayerfully consider how the Christ within is calling you out into your own world to live life. Ask yourself…how will you create that hairline fracture today? In this moment.

How will you crack the mirror?

Advertisements

Since there have been institutions, whether it is service clubs, political parties, businesses, government, religions or even capitalism there has been those who are “in” and those who are “out”. These are dependent on pre-set rules by the in-group (or in the case of religion, the righteous) to the stratification of the other. This is the challenge when hearing the ancient stories of Brother Jesus.  For in the last 100 years we have been taught to take a literal reading of the biblical text. It ignores context, or history or anthropology or sociology of the time. But it goes beyond that, it also strips the hearing of the story as the literature it is. A Gospel is a political manifesto woven into a life narrative.

Pause and think about that. By sharing this story each hearer, speaker and recorder was putting their very life on the line. Why? Well treason is a big thing today, and it was a bigger thing back in the day when certain folks weren’t even seen as people. But I digress.

Whether it is the Gnostic texts, synoptics, Johannine, other gospels or this Aquarian it is written in such a way to percolate contemplation, discussion and questioning of the societal norms of the era it is from, but also within the era of today.

Simply take today’s text, Aquarian Gospel 119:

The people of Capernaum welcome Jesus. Matthew gives a feast. The Pharisees rebuke Jesus for eating with sinners. He tells them that he is sent to save sinners. He gives lessons on fasting and on the philosophy of good and evil.

1. The news soon spread through all the land that Jesus was at home and then the people came in throngs to welcome him.
2. And Matthew, one of the twelve, a man of wealth, whose home was in Capernaum, spread forth a sumptuous feast, and Jesus and the foreign masters and the twelve, and people of all shades of thought, were guests.
3. And when the Pharisees observed that Jesus sat and ate with publicans and those of ill repute they said,
4. For shame! This man who claims to be man of God, consorts with publicans and courtesans and with the common herd of men. For shame!
5. When Jesus knew their thoughts he said, They who are well cannot be healed; the pure need not be saved.
6. They who are well are whole; they who are pure are saved.
7. They who love justice and do right need not repent; I came not unto them, but to the sinner I am come.
8. A band of John’s disciples who had heard that John was dead were wearing badges for their dead;
9. Were fasting and were praying in their hearts, which when the Pharisees observed they came to Jesus and they said,
10. Why fast the followers of John and your disciples do not fast?
11. And Jesus said, Lo, you are masters of the law; you ought to know; perhaps you will make known your knowledge to these men.
12. What are the benefits derived from fasts? The Pharisees were mute; they answered not.
13. Then Jesus said, The vital force of men depends on what they eat and drink.
14. Is spirit-life the stronger when the vital force is weak? Is sainthood reached by starving, self imposed?
15. A glutton is a sinner in the sight of God, and he is not a saint who makes himself a weakling and unfitted for the heavy tasks of life by scorning to make use of God’s own means of strength.
16. Lo, John is dead, and his devoted followers are fasting in their grief.
17. Their love for him impels them on to show respect, for they have thought, and have been taught that it is sin to lightly treat the memory of the dead.
18. To them it is a sin, and it is well that they should fast.
19. When men defy their consciences and listen not to what they say, the heart is grieved and they become unfitted for the work of life; and thus they sin.
20. The conscience may be taught. One man may do in conscience what another cannot do.
21. What is a sin for me to do may not be sin for you to do. The place you occupy upon the way of life determines what is sin.
22. There is no changeless law of good; for good and evil both are judged by other things.
23. One man may fast and in his deep sincerity of heart is blest.
24. Another man may fast and in the faithlessness of such a task imposed is cursed.
25. You cannot make a bed to fit the form of every man. If you can make a bed to fit yourself you have done well.
26. Why should these men who follow me resort to fasting, or to anything that would impair their strength? They need it all to serve the race.
27. The time will come when God will let you have your way, and you will do to me what Herod did to John;
28. And in the awfulness of that sad hour these men will fast.
29. They who have ears to hear may hear; they who have hearts to feel may understand.

Stories like this have been preached on out of the canonical gospels for centuries. They are used to show how the most heavenly minded can be of no earthly good as the cliché goes. Yet the point of the cliché itself is missed. Or, as I have found easy to do in my teaching, show how religion can be the opiate of the people by those in power creating oppressive rules that literally convince groups of people unless there is radical change, or purchase they will never be in paradise.

Yet there is more depth to this, as you take in the idea of literature and begin to unpack the characters. A few spiritual practice challenges for you:

  • Re-write the story from the perspective of the Pharisee. What have you learned of them? More personally what of them exists within you?
  • Re-write the story from who the religious then and today would save is the “sick/sinner”. What have you learned of them? More personally what of them exists within you?
  • If you are creative minded, take time to mindfully contemplate the story, then create a dream mandala using images from newspapers and magazines to illustrate the feast with today’s labels. What have you learned of this dichotomy within you?

Within each community, we have crisis. We have those who want to create false dichotomies based around being saintlier than others. I am sure in each of your neighbourhoods you can think of an issue where labels are reigning over the greatest commandment:

37Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment.39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’…

-Matthew 22:37-39

For that is the essence of the passage above with the feast. It is Brother Jesus listening to the Pharisee postulating all these rules and divisions of life, while sitting there eating with those who are spat upon and living love.

Quite a political statement on who gets life? Who is connected to the source. Who lives into and out of the Holy Mystery’s love incarnate in the Cosmic Christ. Brother Jesus who was so heavenly minded he actively worked to destroy the hierarchal system and oppressive structures of his day. He lived a life so scandalous because of the all-embracing love. A simple labourer who lived into and out of the love of the Holy Mystery that he could see each and every person as those crafted at the beginning and called blessed and very good.

So, with your spiritual interior soul work. Coupled with reflection on your own community. Where are you needed to tear down some walls, build some bridges, and simply do as Brother Jesus and feast?

Who is at your table today?