Posts Tagged ‘Wholeness’


In Exodus there is a scene where Jethro, Moses father-in-law comes to Moses and points out that he needs to stop doing everything for everybody. He needs to commission leaders and trust them to care for and lead the people. It is quite an aha moment for Moses, yet it seems like a no brainer. Micro-management kills creativity and the spirit, the reverse is altarship of a leader overburdens that leader and shatters them. See when you become the be all and end all for a healthy community then the Shadow easily overtakes you, you are no longer apart of, and living in and out of…you become that which you wanted to avoid. You succumb to ego, to the voices that believe you are the only way. We have seen it in a myriad of industries whether religious (slipping into cult) or entertainment or politics or sports or business.

Brothers,[a] if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.For each will have to bear his own load.

-Epistle of Galatians 6:1-5 (English Standard Version)

Paul is writing to the families and gatherings in Galatia, much like Jethro came to Moses. It is time to remember that we are who we are. We do what we do, no one is better than another one. But be together. Ensure that the community is part of discernment, not just the individual so the true Spirit is revealed. It really is laying out an idea of house gathering. Something current institutions struggle with. We do huge corporate gatherings okay, a place to be included. But actual belonging, being, is about knowing the neighbour.

It becomes part of what Jethro laid out, smaller group gatherings. Like the old Parish model where a church served a neighbourhood. Those who attended would live there, and do life there. This concept is harder within a world that is separated-faux connected by social media and technology-in other words never disconnected yet always separated. Loneliness, in the see of crowds.

Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

-Epistle of Galatians 6: 6-10 (English Standard Version)

Share all things. Life. It is about connecting at a level of personal and intimate ways. Opening oneself up to the other. Being and doing life together. Sometimes these groups take the form of a book group, coffee klatch, political thought, writers (or other art) group, sports team, Sacred text exploration, movie group…what is the key though is it is a group that connects each week, spends time together talking and sharing about life. When one leaves they are encouraged, and feel a positive change.

See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. 12 It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which[b] the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

17 From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.

-Epistle of Galatians 6:11-18 (English Standard Version)

And if you had missed the point that it is about connectedness and belonging over any structured set of rules– Paul himself smacks the legalists upside the head with his bold written strokes. We are here to be something new. That means we build on what has come before, constantly re-examining based on new experiences, new information, new insights and mystic life.

The new birth is about becoming whole. Aspects that we have been taught of our interior castle need to be silo’ed becoming one. Not only our interior castle, but then the exterior community is the same. Moving into a state where discussions of the whole life are not verboten or taboo, but become normal table talk. For how can we grow to our full potential, if we cannot broach the most intimate of topics about our life with our social circle of support?

For what is belonging, but becoming…the being we are meant to be in the whole community.

 


I have quipped on this current journey of my life that the mind palace had collapsed, in the rebuilding it needed to be of universal design so that it did not crumble so easily. As a new chapter opens upon my life, the epilogue of an old possibly. A transition that holds in the grief journey we enter into the concept of slave and promise. Heirs and slave. What do Hagar and Sarah hold for us? Is it a caste hierarchy, saying that only those who have monetary, material or health are those that matter? No, for Paul eloquently lays out the allegory. The ancient Indigenous and Eastern teaching of the internal struggle for truth and wholeness:

I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave,[a] though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles[b] of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

-Epistle of Galatians 4:1-7 (English Standard Version)

The Holy Breath of creation, some term the Holy Spirit, others the Divine. It is what has always been which we allow the shadows, gremlins, saboteurs, gunk of life to hide away. It is about the Cosmic Christ, that drive to be Christ-like/resonance living into the Love Commandment, that removes the veil of our souls. Truly knowing the moment when you are a child of the Holy Mystery, connected oneness. It is an ongoing transformational process. It is like the vocational journey, life brings you into it, transforms you through it. Move and change, adapt, learn and grow.

 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years! 11 I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.

12 Brothers,[c] I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong. 13 You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, 14 and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. 15 What then has become of your blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?[d] 17 They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. 18 It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you, 19 my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! 20 I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you

-Epistle of Galatians 4:8-20 (English Standard Version)

What a challenge for inclusion? A challenge for love of neighbour? Paul relates his own challenge that the community embraced to aid him. He did not lose his humanity, his inherent worth due to it. Rather the community stepped up and discovered what he needed to live out his calling among them. The challenge being the back sliding for the social capital is harder to maintain that just breaking everything down to material wealth. It is akin to the idea of universal versus private health care. Why does universal exist? From an understanding that health care is not there for you when you are healthy, but when you are not… regardless of socio-economic status it is a society stating you have value and deserve treatment and support. While private dictates a system for the healthy, and aid only comes to those “financially deserving”.

This is akin to Paul’s challenge here to the community. You did this, I hope it wasn’t because you saw me as different or “worthy of”; it is the way you should be. That is due to one’s inherent being they deserve aid. Not only aid ala charity, but a society that discovers what it takes for everyone to be included and ensure it happens. For that is what it is to know the Holy Mystery, to affirm the divinity of each of us.

Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia;[e] she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written,

“Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;
    break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
    than those of the one who has a husband.”

28 Now you,[f] brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” 31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.

-Epistle of Galatians 4:21-31 (English Standard Version)

Now, if you do not understand or have heard, because folks learn and get discipled differently Paul lays out an example from the Hebrew Bible. He was well versed due to his past as a Pharisee, and religious oppressor that came with that political-religious party. An ancient story, a foundational story of blessing. Paul brings it down to the personal. An ancient story of many spiritualities and religions of the interior struggle within. This is what Paul lays out with Sarah and Hagar. As Rev. Matthew Fox would phrase it, dancing Sarah’s circle wide. That is letting the promise be known is within us all, not exclusive or predestined to only a few. BUT FOR ALL.

It is the struggle within for the true self. The self we have used religion, medicine, naturopaths, psychologists, life coaches to discover and bring forth. It comes down to what we hold to be true about ourselves. Doing the soul work to purge what is untrue, and it can be simple as a smudge to as complex as re-wiring the brain through things such as shadow box therapies or EMDR. The outcome is the same, to let the promise live.

Are we willing to let the promise live in ourselves?

Are we willing to see the promise in another, even when they cannot?

 


One of the greatest lies we tell ourselves is that normal is a universal precept. It is not. Each and every one of us is normal for our journey of life. We each have experiences, positive and negative, glorious and disastrous, and sometimes awesome or monstrous…yet that is normal for our life journey.

Be perfect therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect.

-Matthew 5:28

bookAs Martella-Whitsett aptly points out in her 2011 How to Pray without Talking to God, the word perfect in the original language is teleios, which is more aptly translated as wholeness (p.129). That is Brother Jesus is pointing out that we are already whole, living in the Divine Life is we choose to accept and live into it. Or we can accept the negative, and not realize that there is something beyond. That is continue to live within the “what ifs” or “what won’t happen” or “woe is me” narrative that becomes so much easier to exist within thus we create the false teaching within the Law of Attraction that you have brought this upon yourself (or in Biblical times, who sinned to create this condition?).

A something wrong consciousness is not a reality but a limited perception. A consciousness of separation is not a truth but a choice. Consciousness is pivotal.

(Martella-Whitsett p. 135)

Image may contain: textConsciousness is what we do with challenges and successes. It is not advocating for the slippery slope in some fundamentalist healing sects/meta-physics that our minds can cure everything or Spirit/God can by using the right incantation of words of “Truth”.

It is standing in your wholeness. Some would call it the image bearer of the divine, others in unity with the divine. Yet that is wholeness, affirming that spark of divinity that is within you, and you are just as you are meant to be.

This has been an important re-affirmation for my family. We have found sometimes within the disabilities community families can be so wrapped in grief for loss of what they believe normal is… they do not experience the beauty, wonder and wholeness that is with them or is them.

Or in Martella-Whitsett’s words (p.137):

Healing is the activity of recovery, repair and restoration, correcting a consciousness that had veered away from wholeness. In other words, we heal ourselves by cultivating a consciousness of wholeness.

How do you do that?

Martella-Whitsett outlines a practice that is all too familiar. Words may change, but the practice/disciplines are essentially the same. Sacred reading. Time in communion (prayer/meditation); Self-examin (affirmation/denial); community of spirituality; and journalling (words or images)…

Because it is in the moments of pausing from the busyness and noise of life that we can draw deeper into the Holy Mystery. We resonate with the Holy Breath that was breathed into us at creation, and the star dust within activates.

Or as bluntly as the reverend puts it in her book (p. 137):

God does not heal! God is wholeness.

And we re-encounter and renew that wholeness by time spent.

What is your steps into wholeness this week?


It never hurts to pause, and re-examine the core beliefs you were indoctrinated with in life. At different steps in life. That is what the discussion of the Sermon on the Mount was about. Shattering/obliterating the old that needed to go; preserving that which is true to you, and building upon that to flavour a new future. Being blessed in the tension of transfiguration, and knowing that no matter what the world, your community, your family or your own inner saboteur/gremlin may tell you—YOU ARE COMPLETE AND WORTHY JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. It may sound corny, but corny is because we know it’s the true we do not want to accept.

The journey of interior/exterior change continues. The laws and lawyer classes had made things convoluted (hmmm…) and no one was sure where different groups stood on what was allowed or not, what was true or not. In fact, the family that ruled between the Empire and the Religious Oppressors maintained authority by constantly playing all sides of the conflict (like a modern day dark money PAC will).

What is resonating of the past where these words were spoken, that is true in your world today?

Take a moment and mind map it out or draw it or journal it—whatever creative process you use to let go of the rational, and let the creative energy flow. What in your world today is holding you captive so that you cannot live into the best you? What is the gremlin trapping within you?

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.[n]

-Matthew 5:33-37 (NRSV)

So much rhetoric was destroying the ability to trust one another. People were taking on things not because they wanted to. It was out of fear of losing out. Fear of being kept out. Fear of not keeping up. Building one’s own prestige. One’s own “holiness” or reputation…and the list can go on and on.

The core though was they were being untrue to themselves. They were keeping up with whatever voice was sabotaging them, they had to prove/disprove things that did not matter.

We all hear a voice like this at times, or many times. What rings in your head that keeps your word from being simply yes or no?

Pause on that.

Name it. I like Clyde, but what name resonates with you.

Draw them, and spend a moment or perhaps several. When you are ready to silence the false voice. The Gremlin/Saboteur. Dispose (tear up, burn up, throw out)…but only when you are ready. For this is a step into the authentic you, not just a per functionary check box on a spiritual bucket list.

Are you ready to destroy the false promise of you and enter the true assertion of you?

Burn a Gremlin.