Posts Tagged ‘Religion and Spirituality’


Lectio Divina of Tools

Tradition dictates that Poppa Joseph was a carpenter, there is scholarly debate whether this is true, or simply a labourer…what is known is that under Oppression, where his mother was viewed as nothing more than property by Romans, and her own people, Joseph showed progressive love and took in a child that was not his, whether it was truly Divinely conceived, or the by-product of Roman Soldier rape that a vision revealed the blessing this awakened soul would have in his travels in the world is up to your own journey to determine.

But this passage comes after the Christian Canonical story of finding Jesus testing the Holy men in the temple, and their return to Nazareth, and the family workshop. It has Masonic overtones which make sense for the time Levi was writing to resonate with the readers on the truth found in the building blocks, and the universalist outreach intended for this writing, and showing how many different paths had converged in the wisdom of Brother Jesus.

So we are taking this passage as a Divine Reading, a contemplation for your own truth, and if you feel like sharing in the comments what you have learned, feel free.

Get comfortable where you are, breathing deeply in and out, finding peace and centring. Feel the modern world evaporate around you.  Feel the smells, the sounds of a busy Nazareth town come into your life. The dust on your clothes and feet. The smells and textures of the workshop you are in.  You are the Christ Child, learning about the tools.

In this first hearing which tool resonates with you, sit with that for a few moments:

The Aquarian Gospel 20:

After the feast. The homeward journey. The missing Jesus. The search for him. His parents find him in the temple. He goes with them to Nazareth. Symbolic meaning of carpenter’s tools.

1. The great feast of the pasch was ended and the Nazarenes were journeying towards their homes.
2. And they were in Samaria, and Mary said, Where is my son? No one had seen the boy.
3. And Joseph sought among their kindred who were on their way to Galilee; but they had seen him not.
4. Then Joseph, Mary, and a son of Zebedee, returned and sought through all Jerusalem, but they could find him not.
5. And then they went up to the temple courts and asked the guards, Have you seen Jesus, a fair-haired boy, with deep blue eyes, twelve years of age, about these courts?
6. The guards replied, Yes, he is in the temple now disputing with the doctors of the law.
7. And they went in, and found him as the guards had said.
8. And Mary said, Why Jesus, why do you treat your parents thus? Lo, we have sought two days for you. We feared that some great harm had overtaken you.
9. And Jesus said, Do you not know that I must be about my Father’s work?
10. But he went round and pressed the hand of every doctor of the law and said, I trust that we may meet again.
11. And then he went forth with his parents on their way to Nazareth; and when they reached their home he wrought with Joseph as a carpenter.
12. One day as he was bringing forth the tools for work he said,
13. These tools remind me of the ones we handle in the workshop of the mind where things were made of thought and where we build up character.
14. We use the square to measure all our lines, to straighten out the crooked places of the way, and make the corners of our conduct square.
15. We use the compass to draw circles round our passions and desires to keep them in the bounds of righteousness.
16. We use the axe to cut away the knotty, useless and ungainly parts and make the character symmetrical.
17. We use the hammer to drive home the truth, and pound it in until it is a part of every part.
18. We use the plane to smooth the rough, uneven surfaces of joint, and block, and board that go to build the temple for the truth.
19. The chisel, line, the plummet and the saw all have their uses in the workshop of the mind.
20. And then this ladder with its trinity of steps, faith, hope and love; on it we climb up to the dome of purity in life.
21. And on the twelve-step ladder we ascend until we reach the pinnacle of that which life is spent to build–the Temple of Perfected Man.

As you prepare to hear the story a second time, the tool that resonates with you, what images/memories/feelings arise within you centered around that tool? Sit with those, experience those, and release them into the Universe as the truth that Love will embrace in the now.

Hear the teaching a second time:

After the feast. The homeward journey. The missing Jesus. The search for him. His parents find him in the temple. He goes with them to Nazareth. Symbolic meaning of carpenter’s tools.

1. The great feast of the pasch was ended and the Nazarenes were journeying towards their homes.
2. And they were in Samaria, and Mary said, Where is my son? No one had seen the boy.
3. And Joseph sought among their kindred who were on their way to Galilee; but they had seen him not.
4. Then Joseph, Mary, and a son of Zebedee, returned and sought through all Jerusalem, but they could find him not.
5. And then they went up to the temple courts and asked the guards, Have you seen Jesus, a fair-haired boy, with deep blue eyes, twelve years of age, about these courts?
6. The guards replied, Yes, he is in the temple now disputing with the doctors of the law.
7. And they went in, and found him as the guards had said.
8. And Mary said, Why Jesus, why do you treat your parents thus? Lo, we have sought two days for you. We feared that some great harm had overtaken you.
9. And Jesus said, Do you not know that I must be about my Father’s work?
10. But he went round and pressed the hand of every doctor of the law and said, I trust that we may meet again.
11. And then he went forth with his parents on their way to Nazareth; and when they reached their home he wrought with Joseph as a carpenter.
12. One day as he was bringing forth the tools for work he said,
13. These tools remind me of the ones we handle in the workshop of the mind where things were made of thought and where we build up character.
14. We use the square to measure all our lines, to straighten out the crooked places of the way, and make the corners of our conduct square.
15. We use the compass to draw circles round our passions and desires to keep them in the bounds of righteousness.
16. We use the axe to cut away the knotty, useless and ungainly parts and make the character symmetrical.
17. We use the hammer to drive home the truth, and pound it in until it is a part of every part.
18. We use the plane to smooth the rough, uneven surfaces of joint, and block, and board that go to build the temple for the truth.
19. The chisel, line, the plummet and the saw all have their uses in the workshop of the mind.
20. And then this ladder with its trinity of steps, faith, hope and love; on it we climb up to the dome of purity in life.
21. And on the twelve-step ladder we ascend until we reach the pinnacle of that which life is spent to build–the Temple of Perfected Man.

Finally settle in for a third hearing of this story.  During this time you are in the now, what are you being called to do in the now with the tool that resonates with you? In your journey? Your life? You’re living in life?

Hear the third reading:

After the feast. The homeward journey. The missing Jesus. The search for him. His parents find him in the temple. He goes with them to Nazareth. Symbolic meaning of carpenter’s tools.

1. The great feast of the pasch was ended and the Nazarenes were journeying towards their homes.
2. And they were in Samaria, and Mary said, Where is my son? No one had seen the boy.
3. And Joseph sought among their kindred who were on their way to Galilee; but they had seen him not.
4. Then Joseph, Mary, and a son of Zebedee, returned and sought through all Jerusalem, but they could find him not.
5. And then they went up to the temple courts and asked the guards, Have you seen Jesus, a fair-haired boy, with deep blue eyes, twelve years of age, about these courts?
6. The guards replied, Yes, he is in the temple now disputing with the doctors of the law.
7. And they went in, and found him as the guards had said.
8. And Mary said, Why Jesus, why do you treat your parents thus? Lo, we have sought two days for you. We feared that some great harm had overtaken you.
9. And Jesus said, Do you not know that I must be about my Father’s work?
10. But he went round and pressed the hand of every doctor of the law and said, I trust that we may meet again.
11. And then he went forth with his parents on their way to Nazareth; and when they reached their home he wrought with Joseph as a carpenter.
12. One day as he was bringing forth the tools for work he said,
13. These tools remind me of the ones we handle in the workshop of the mind where things were made of thought and where we build up character.
14. We use the square to measure all our lines, to straighten out the crooked places of the way, and make the corners of our conduct square.
15. We use the compass to draw circles round our passions and desires to keep them in the bounds of righteousness.
16. We use the axe to cut away the knotty, useless and ungainly parts and make the character symmetrical.
17. We use the hammer to drive home the truth, and pound it in until it is a part of every part.
18. We use the plane to smooth the rough, uneven surfaces of joint, and block, and board that go to build the temple for the truth.
19. The chisel, line, the plummet and the saw all have their uses in the workshop of the mind.
20. And then this ladder with its trinity of steps, faith, hope and love; on it we climb up to the dome of purity in life.
21. And on the twelve-step ladder we ascend until we reach the pinnacle of that which life is spent to build–the Temple of Perfected Man.

When you are ready, enter into your breathing practice again. Feel the sounds and smells of the town fade, feel the workshop disappear around you. You are the Christ Child, you are love here and now as your modern room reforms around you.

Do a check in with your body, your fingers, toes, rhythmic breathing into the now.

Welcome back Love,

What are you going to do with your tools today?


Sin and forgiveness. Brutal sacrifice of animal, self-flagellation, a brutal murder of a son by his loving father for redemption…all ancient stories interpreted into the modern age through a very new reading of texts as literal. What is forgotten is allegory, the art of legend for truth, and the context the story was written in. What was forgotten with Levitical laws is a people once enslaved, debased and abused returning to their homeland and needing to discover themselves, heal from trauma, and re-learn how to connect with their inner core, their Golden Cord, one that Brother Jesus illuminated with his greatest commandments in Matthew 22:34-40 (New Living Translation):

34But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. 35One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

37Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’e 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’f 40The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

What is missed in this core of the ancient law, is what was missed in the recited Shema, and in the Levitical Law and cultic practices of the day—that it comes to the core of the being, the love of self, for in discovering love of yourself that is authentic you have awakened. One who is awakened is resonating at a vibrational level of truly living in awareness of unity within the Holy Mystery and the Holy Mystery within.

John The Baptist, Jesus’ elder cousing by 6 months, he of the hair loin cloth, wild honey and locust eating, an Essenes living in the wilderness, neither shaving (and probably not bathing), calling out the so called religious who are using God’s name in vain, who have placed power and control as the God above Love.  The nest of vipers, revealed by this Harbinger—the one that will lead the way (for those of DC Comic persuasion in the `80’s will remember the Millenium crossover and the Forever People who were leading the call for the evolution of the Meta-Gene…anyway I digress).

For not was much written of this chap outside of his conception, and then the time of Baptizing Jesus, to then his beheading for a child who a Herod lusted after…but what was his back story. The Aquarian Gospel shares some thoughts that may resonate with you on this account, but in the idea of sin and forgiveness, using the language of the early 20th century it rolls out a teaching around Sin/Forgiveness and a challenge to the idea of Murder on the Cross for our Sins (13:11-22):

  1. John was delighted with his visit to Jerusalem. Matheno told him all about the service of the Jews; the meaning of their rites.
    12.John could not understand how sin could be forgiven by killing animals and birds and burning them before the Lord.
    13. Matheno said, The God of heaven and earth does not require sacrifice. This custom with its cruel rites was borrowed from the idol worshippers of other lands.
    14. No sin was ever blotted out by sacrifice of animal, of bird, or man.
    15. Sin is the rushing forth of man into fens of wickedness. If one would get away from sin he must retrace his steps, and find his way out of the fens of wickedness.
    16. Return and purify your hearts by love and righteousness and you shall be forgiven.
    17. This is the burden of the message that the harbinger shall bring to men.
    18. What is forgiveness? John inquired.
    19. Matheno said, It is the paying up of debts. A man who wrongs another man can never be forgiven until he rights the wrong.
    20. The Vedas says that none can right the wrong but him who does the wrong.
    21. John said, If this be true where is the power to forgive except the power that rests in man himself? Can man forgive himself?
    22. Matheno said, The door is wide ajar; you see the way of man’s return to right, and the forgiveness of his sins.

Matheno a wisened elder in Egypt takes the young John under his wing and into the temple for a celebration, where the blood—I mean just imagine the aromas, the death, the burning, the blood, the cries of animals as they know what is to come, the chanting, children and women cast outside not able to bear witness to the horror, but this child does, and asks a deeply profound question: why does God want blood?

Think of that, for it is a question I have always had throughout my journey when I am told that it is death on the cross, shed blood that gave me access to God….

            Why does God want blood?

Or if we take the source of all—

Why does Love demand Death?

Why does Love demand Violence?

Why does Love demand BLOOD?

And John takes the journey, for without blood, and force sacrifice then a group cannot control and exert authority, for if love is all, and it resides in all, through all and with all…then…if love is all there is…

Sin, forgiveness, cannot stand…love wins…

And the blood, death, violence…is not of Love…it is false…it is designed to break the Golden Cord…

So step out, tune in, awaken…and Love will lead. Love will heal.

So are you willing to let Love reign in you, through you and with you?

 

 

 

 


Unity. Oneness. Interconnected. All things in the Holy Mystery, the Holy Mystery in all. There are many ways to reflect the core truth of existence.  But these few passages sum it up quite good from the Aquarian Gospel 9:15-17:

  1. Before the worlds were formed all things were One; just Spirit, Universal Breath. 16.And Spirit breathed, and that which was not manifest became the Fire and Thought of Heaven, the Father-God, the Mother-God. 17. And when the Fire and Thought of heaven in union breathed, their son, their only son, was born. This son is Love whom men have called the Christ.

(For more on this common thread read Aquarian Gospel 10-12)

Quite simple, the thread that connects all is L-O-V-E- full stop, no additions, or buts. Another term (man what a thesaurus event) is Christ. Firstly many believe The Christ refers to Jesus the Christ or Jesus Christ, because was Christ not Mary & Joseph’s son’s last name? No, technically it was Jesus Bar Josephson (Jesus Son of Joseph) or in Mediterranean, Jesus of Nazareth.

Christ was his state of being, an awakened state. The Fillmore’s write about this in their 12 Powers of Man, where each disciple in the Gospel Journey tie into energetic powers within (ala Chakras if you will) that by unlocking and learning to live out of these powers you awaken the Christ within yourself.

In Franciscan formation, it is the idea St. Francis of Assisi laid out, that you learn to live without thinking (essentially make part of your very being) the Gospel lesson, before moving onto the next one. Forming the Christ within intentionally to know life in Love.

The Christ within, or as Rev. Matthew Fox as the Cosmic Christ, that awakened being—or if you prefer an Eastern flavour —Buddha. Ah those common threads again, connected in the eternal holy breathed existence that is all love.

This is the core, this is what any religious-spiritual path should lead a traveller to…a state of oneness, embrace, acceptance and love.

So…what road are you currently journeying towards Cosmic Oneness with the Holy Mystery?

 


This Sunday was a contemplative time, it started out as any ride to the Calgary Centre for Spiritual Living. My daughter off to Funday School, sipping my coffee with wifey and son in the service. Great music and meditation as usual. It has been a reflective time entering into a Foundations course and looking back on our spiritual journey, one ponders what ifs periodically, what if…

Well for someone who has journeyed through many ways of discovering the Holy Mystery that is in everything and everything dwells within, sampled many of the wells from the one river, the talk on agriculture struck a chord.

graft Weaker trees grafted onto a strong root. Think of our own lives, your own life…what is the roots that you grew from, that you grafted on your new beliefs that continued to grow.

This was the metaphor that spurred Dr. Pat Campbell’s talk on Sunday. Yet the talk resonated deeper in myself as I thought about my spiritual journey and what truly was my root. Family heritage would scream Christendom in the vein of Anglican or United Church of Canada…personal Christendom journey would run the gambit of evangelical to mainline…monastic to cleric…to stints in learning within Judaism, Bahai, Islam, Earth and Indigenous spiritualities….Druidery…Wicca…some occult…Eastern Philosophies…Ancient Philosophies…Conspiracy Theories…Paleo-SETI…and the list goes on to universalist…energy healing…Unitarian…New Thought…New Age…Paranormal…Ancient Mythologies…

And then it struck me, as I went deeper down the rabbit hole…foundation beliefs found in ancient stories that still resonate in Fables and Fairy Tales, but there was more. For current legends and stories resonate with truth for me.

Like walking out of a fog to claim what I have always stated is true to me. The story. It is what I hold onto, it is how lessons and truth are communicated, it is how I learn, grow, change and work towards transformation.

All other things had been grafted onto this great driving belief in me. The vocation of story teller…or as the Munay-Ki called it for me, Wisdom Keeper.

My root is the story of the cosmic oneness, my rising is how all is grafted onto the one, and that is how all my beliefs–stories sync into the one root.

CSL4


Okay, as noted in yesterday’s post Dollarama has been a gold mine for comic collections cheap. One of these was Dan Jurgens’ Thor: The Spiral (2011) published by Marvel Comics. In the beginning of the “event driven” universe, there is still hidden gems. This story picks up after Thor has become monarch of Asgard due to Odin’s death, has the Odinpower; and has been split asunder from Jake Olson (his human side). So Jake is living as a human paramedic, while Thor is ruling as an omnipresence, omniscience, and almost omnipotent being.

Using the magic, technology of Asgard and Asgardians as his heroes he begins his reshaping for the better of humanity. Crime rates go down, despots are removed, hungry are fed. It creates waves as a new Thorist religion grows up, and faithful of other belief systems begin flocking to the “Santa Claus” with the hammer.

Many questions are raised, first by the Gods of legend who challenge Thor to guide humanity to interdependence, not dependence on the God’s power. It raises conflict-verbal, theological and physical- with the Christian (Catholic) Church that see the vacuum being created as free will is removed and their concept of Saviour is challenged.  What does a multi-faith world actually mean?

It is a familair narrative within comics, what if the hero used their power to solve everything? What would happen? What if an interventionist God wish fulfill-er truly existed?

But it comes down to more within the mind and heart of anyone, for it tracks back to a theological debate that still has resonance today: Is Jesus fully human-Fully divine. You see as the way shower, and the example, this exists within all, and this story lays out what happens when someone is not tempered by human conscious and is left to be all powerful. And as noted by the Bard, absolute power does corrupt absolutely.

 


Buddy Jesus bobblehead

Buddy Jesus bobblehead (Photo credit: _escalade328s_)

Some would say during this Sabbatical I was to learn about relying on God. For those who say that, they have never really known me, my life or ministry. Others would say that it is time to reflect on what has come before. The unfortunate part of the contemplative walk is that we spend so much time looking and grieving at where we’ve been that we sometimes miss the blessing in the now or yet to come.

For many in the interview process look at my professional life and say that I could run this agency, why do I want this, what they mistakenly or crassly class, as entry level position. What they miss is the idea of getting to know the culture of an agency, but also there is more to the why answer.

Simply put, it is my wife & kids, my family. Yes titled leadership in a healthy non-profit is awesome, but it can also destroy one’s personal life, and control one’s home life (actually much like being a pastor if one does not create solid boundaries). And is this worth it with my children so young? This loss of the blessing of now with my family, for a title, for a minor remuneration increase?

For my kids to become part of many generations of helping parents who look at their parents and state, you cared more about those you served than us…a statement I never want them to think.

Lent for me, this whole sabbatical life, has been reflecting on the rise  of the religion/spirituality of compassion in all its manifestations, yet like the Shema presented by Brother Jesus, it all falls apart if it does not begin with compassion for yourself, your family, friends, and community…then grows our from there.

 


Stop read no further until you have read

Fall out Chapter Two! and if by chance you missed the beginning of our epic tale… Read Chapter One

One month later, the morning after a full moon.

            The basement suite Bronwyn rented in the Shire was technically one bedroom, even freed (or forced?) from my celibate vows; I could not find it in myself to attempt a move from the couch. I sit cross legged on the floor meditating, as she is on a call in the kitchen. Acknowledge and place aside as Lao taught me.

Tariq and Lao have tried to have us meet for our usual ministerial tea, but shame is keeping me away. The parishners of St. Clare’s officially left the Holy See, the Bishop lost the flock once they heard that the land was to be sold, they are a true parish house network sans paid clergy. Some notes and cards of support, encouragement and simply “we love you” have arrived at Bronwyn’s they simply do not seem to care what official denominational oversight says to them.

The DNA came back from the traitor kill as inconclusive, but it was more than likely a parishners that could not handle their minister transitioning. Bronwyn is working the case.

The rising morning sun is glowing through the too small window slits the Holy Mystery kissing her creation good morning.

Bronwyn’s phone conversation is ending, and my mind is not yet centered, but my heart is getting there. The defrocking still rests on me, like the loss of a lover, my bride has been stripped from me by someone else’s volition for the simple crime of living the marriage vows as my bride called me to.

“Tuck, I need you.” Bronwyn said.

I uncross my legs and rise slowly, grab the flannel jacket and pull it on over my gray casual shirt. Bronwyn looks again at my cleanly shaved head, she is still adjusting to the loss of the tonsure on my journey, but there seemed no need for that simple sign of an office I no longer was permitted to hold. “Game is afoot my dear Watson?”

She glowers at me. Detests she does comparing out work to Holmes and Watson, I wonder if she would dislike it as much if she was Holmes and I was Watson? “Another Bible kill.” The short hand the SPS has picked up around the traitor killing, which means that the case is not as simple as they first thought, which means Bronwyn will get some of her team to begin looking for past murders within Canada that may fit the pattern (if there is one) because this many staged murders is definitely not normal for Sherwood.

Off to the Fit we go.

En route to the scene, this time a church, it gets more awkward. “Lao and Tariq keep calling, when are you going to meet with them?”

“And say what, oh by the way thank you for inviting me to ministerial but you see I have no credentials.”

“Bullocks, and you know it, Tuck. So some bloody institution doesn’t like the way you minister, the people who call you Friar still see you as such, what is more important the children of God or the Institution of Man?” Bronwyn said. And yes that is the question that needs to be answered isn’t it? One question that surprisingly I am struggling with because even with having pushed the boundaries of church life for so long, who knew that it would be some stodgy old Bishop that would manage to get the Holy See to act so rapidly and decisively on something that usually takes years to achieve when it comes to ending a clerical life.

And the more important question is why should the acceptance of a dying institution even matter to me?

Speaking of dying institutions, it is an Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada congregation we pull up to. The crime scene tape is around the front of the building where one would normally see the church sign, but there is only the two stakes for the wood sign and obvious signs of a fire.  Not good.

I follow Bronwyn, most of the SPS is used to seeing me around, but they are still adjusting to me without my robes, she secured special consultants dispensation for me from the Chief to be able to continue my work. The one win I had experienced this past month.

The smell hits me first in the night air, the smell of singed flesh, and my toast from the breakfast joins the grass outside the entrance doors. Bronwyn chuckles, as she dabs some perfume under her nose and offers me the vile, it does work to cover up the smell.

I think that is a body. .  . and a Bible covered in blood a soot,

what is it open to?


Corcovado jesus

Corcovado jesus (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

How do

we make the sacred shine?

Create a safe,

welcoming home?

For all of God‘s children to shine

willingly move beyond the traps of false loves

—money, power—

to lovingly livingly embrace the Holy Mystery

How can we

reclaim a God of Love?

discard God of vengeful anger?

How can we

build that which Jesus called us to be?


Is no longer a safe space

sacredness is lost

the soul revealed

souled out

a place of judgment

labels

division

casting out

attack

must protect self

attack on children

sacred stripped bear to nothing more than earthly power and lusts

Where is the Holy?

God misappropriated for horrors

Control

Money

In or Out

Right or Wrong

Is this truly what Jesus intended?


Lived experience…

so we are told is the greatest school of learning

Yet even the struggle comes from within

to seek knowledge, live wisdom

to aid those called to help

what if…

the one called

is the one in need?

13.5 years

since the night of blackness

since a crutch was thrown away

a mental break with the anger that seized

drove to be soothed

through a warm…strong…amber…liquid…

no longer soothed

released in grief

yet this genie needs no bottle

it is a demon tearing at the soul,

rending and ripping

as the aromas of long ago soothings once more in the house

BEGONE!

Release,

weep,

it is okay to cry,

true humanity embraces emotions,

lives into them

and out emerges a soul

that is ready for renewal…

But the struggle will always be

below the surface

for in all of us exists

the duel capacity of self—

love or destruction…

but one must choose…

Love