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Archive for the ‘spirituality’ Category

Sun

The Sun

Sun

 

I reckon that the Sun with its accompanying rays is perhaps the greatest gift enjoyed by humankind. The source of all our Earthly existence and bounteous lifeforms, this blazing ball of burning gases was worshiped from earliest times. I’m not surprised. Our tribal ancestors knew more than we give them credit for, tapping into their body sensors to inform them what deserved worship. When the sun was out they felt good and able to hunt down their next meal; when it retreated back into its dark shell, the only thing to do was to retire and have a good, albeit sometimes cold, night’s sleep. This icon of the heavens was vital in all sorts of ways to ancient man, and yet perhaps the most telling was the benefit of a psychological high, when it brought with its warmth and vital vitamin D.

Today we 21st century dwellers fancy ourselves as a much more sophisticated bunch than our superstitious forebears. Technically addicted whizzkids, we daily dash our way along acquisition highway, frantically trying to obtain our next fix in the search for contentment and happiness. Of course, it never arrives, leaving us a burnt-out wreck of an excuse for a human being. Perhaps it’s time for us to get back to basics and ride the rhythms of the natural world. Time to stop and bathe in the ever-giving splendor of our great energy source – the Sun. Closing our eyes and allowing its warmth to melt our frozen soul, allows us to go back in time, to the era of simplicity and survival, when very few things really mattered.

Standing here in the city centre of Lincoln, England, my weary eyes slowly scan all around me – the concrete, the cars, and the rush and bustle of ridiculously early, pre-Christmas mania. The University with its seats of learning and new- found financial clout, stretch out far below the Medieval Anglican Cathedral majestically perched high on top of Lincoln’s only hill. The ecclesiastical ancient towers pointing towards a serene and cloudless November sky, an intermediary between the world of man and the highest heavens. And there, in all its glory shines the Sun, pouring its welcome but weakened rays on the scurrying crowds below. Time to look up and reconnect with Nature’s golden gift, the beacon of hope for all who walk in darkness. Time to feel the energizing power of its arriving space-travelled beams.

My wistful mind suddenly unearths a distant memory from my boyhood days – a Star Trek episode from the original Gene Roddenberry series. One James T Kirk, Spock and all the gang are visiting an alternative ‘Earth’, one on which the Roman Empire never fell, with ‘Sun’ worshipers forced into bloody combat in the gladiatorial arena of a modern TV studio. Of course, as always the good Captain has the last word before triumphantly beaming back up to the Enterprise. Standing on the outskirts of the city our heroes notice that there are not one but two suns in the sky, unlike the Earth of home. It’s only then that the penny finally drops. The enslaved combatants weren’t ‘Sun’ worshippers after all but ‘Son’ worshippers. Kirk and Spock stand in awe and stare.

So too me as I gaze up at our beloved Brother Sun. For, ‘A Light has come into the world and we comprehended it not.’ Enough said.

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Time Flies

Time Flies

I don’t know about you, but from where I sit, time is an ever-increasing, delusory flow. Years feel more like months, months like days and days like hours. What on earth is going on. Am I awakening at last to the timeless Reality, that lies behind the mists of time. Anyway, its got me wondering regarding our future death-bed experience, that great unknown that awaits us all, once our allotted time has run its course. Perhaps this somewhat dreaded moment in our lives is the only truly authentic one that we encounter in our lifetime. Could it be that rather than a ‘sleeping with our ancestors’ we are in fact awakening to the delusion of our past and the eternal present of our Being. I guess time will tell, if you’ll excuse the pun.

John Wesley, the founding father of Methodism, claimed that the distinguishing mark of early Methodists was that they ‘died well’, not raging against their upcoming passing, but embracing it with a deep joy and assured contentment.

I guess that’s where the proverbial s**t really hits the fan. When all our religious beliefs and spiritual practices are really tested and shown to be pure gold or worthless dross, burned up by the fear of death.

As we age, our sense of time changes. Life, whatever it is, appears to pass ever more quickly. We reminisce about the long balmy days of our childhood summers, when time seemed to stand still, helping our youthful innocence to get a hold, albeit it a limited one, on life and reality. Now our summers pass without us even realizing it as seasons lose their illusory effect and our aging consciousness appears to opt out of the time game.

Are we being weaned off our time-dependent anchor, one that ego loves to hold us by? Regrets of the past, together with fears regarding the future are the weapons in its devious, yet effective psychological arsenal; those fashioned to lock us into a permanent state of angst. Perhaps this sense of ever speeding time is one to be embraced rather than something to be concerned by, a liberator to pull back the veil of delusion. Beyond the virtual reality games of time lies a greater Reality, one unconstricted by the laws of physics, whether Newton’s or Einstein’s. A state of affairs where we can forever enjoy the exhilarating moment of awe and wonder, the return to Source and its eternal embrace.

Now surely that’s something worth thinking about as 2017 accelerates its hallucinatory way into the seemingly sequential mists of the years ahead.

Dylan’s Author Page ~ http://amzn.to/1LRfKMC

 

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Purpose (1)

Purpose And Our Inner Voice

Boy, don’t the days fly by. And not only the days, but the months and years as well. If life is just an accident, one conjured up by mindless chemicals floating around in a mindless Cosmos soup, then we’ve been had; a not so funny, sick joke has been played on us by our CPU brains. A reasonless existence, one permeated with the darkest of all humours, a pointless exercise that will eventually dissolve before our very eyes.

Those whom we love will pass away into mere memory and if lucky a gravestone that seems to taunt us as we mourn and remember. It would appear that our lot here on Planet Earth is pointless, an absurdity that cannot be disguised by neither morality nor desire-driven hedonism. Maybe, ‘eat drink and be merry’ is the best advice after all for after all we do die. Best fall into our freshly dug six foot hole, obese, drunk, but with a smile on our face.

And yet, in the midst of this seemingly meaningless madness called life, we can’t shift two ever-present elements in the mix. A Voice that keeps returning and a sense that, even in spite of the surrounding evidence, that everything is for a Higher, if undefined, purpose. Even the most convinced atheist can’t quite manage to shake off these dual hauntings, no matter how dogmatic their cherished anti-faith. This Batman & Robin duo of our psyche-souls, keep turning up when we reckon we’ve got it all figured out, trying to find some solace, albeit temporarily, in our adopted agnosticism or atheism.

The Voice keeps calling us; one that can’t be easily ignored. Like a Mother’s mealtime call to her child who’s playing in the yard, it doggedly requires a response, this invitation to come Home and see what Love has prepared. Of course this niggling sense that we’re on a journey Home is either a delusion or the very secret of life itself. Yet, I reckon that the Voice, firm but compassionate, comes to whisper through the cracks of our rigid, day to day consciousness to touch the very heart of who we are. At times of great crises It tends to grow louder and more direct, though always in a deeply respectful way that desires to lead us into a course correction, one that brings us ever closer to the Way. In the midst of our chattering sensory bombardment world, learning to listen to this Voice is the very key to Wisdom and all that may lie ahead for us both in and out of space-time.

Now, purpose tends to hide itself among the desire-driven reflexes of daily life. It’s always there but tends to only reveal itself, one glimpse at a time when all our ego efforts for acquisition and pseudo-love come crashing down. It appears happy to wait until we have exhausted ourselves chasing after the trinkets that promise much but ultimately rust to dust. Not surprisingly, many of us only begin to get a picture of our own purpose as we leave behind the hormone-fuelled explorative years of youth and the false securities of middle-age. It takes many turbulent decades for us to finally realise that all we’ve previously experienced has been unknowingly leading us back to the Path, the narrowing Track Home.

So, in winding up may I respectfully suggest that our Purpose is simply to receive Divine Love in all its unbounded, unconditional generosity, and pass it on as the Voice instructs. As we co-operate, albeit in our all-too obvious human frailty kind of way, our assigned Batman and Robin will send our Joker ego and its dark, despairing nihilism packing. Only then will Love manifest Itself more fully in the shadowy landscape of our own inner Gotham City. That is until the day Death’s door opens and All will be revealed in our consummated Home coming.

Dylan’s Author Page ~ http://amzn.to/1LRfKMC

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Ego Escape

Portal

Ego Escape

Just when things appear to settle down we’re often struck by a totally unexpected storm, one whipped up and promoted by ego. As the hyper-defensive element of our earth-bound self, it doesn’t take much to set off a frenzied response to an often exagerated threat. For ego is a restless wee beastie, one unable to lead us into the pasturelands of peace, into the cool caverns of contentment.

Of course at times ego’s second-sight is spot on. We may in fact be under attack from the ego of another, one as dysfunctional as our own, one prone to defend personal space and pseudo-integrity at the slightest hint of danger.

So what hope is there for us in the storm-tossed sea that we call life, the space-time conundrum of ego warfare? Well, thankfully we’re not all ego, for the fragmented and wounded psyche is only the tip of our Being iceberg. Ego likes to tell us that it is identical to Self. Yet it lies., for deep within us, under our trauma-scarred layers of soul skin , lies our Core Self, the tender implant of Divine Love. It’s name, spirit – the paradoxically transcendent/ immanent otherness that permeates all things.

Thankfully such a Presence is available to us once we’ve awakened from ego’s propaganda dream, one in which it promotes itself as, not only our little helper, but that of Source Itself. Shocked out of our numbing slumbers by a crisis that ego can’t handle, we mercifully fall into the therapeutic arms Presence, viz. spirit, that inner spark from the Divine Fire.

From then on in, we can live in one of two ways. Plugged into the stress inducing, constant alert settings of ego or the peace stream that freely flows from spirit. This radical change in the daily options open to us, dramatically helps us ride the waves of adversity as they come our way. Indeed, walking in the Spirit, as the mystic Paul so aptly put it, can defuse such explosive threats before they even reach us. Ego, on the other hand loves to precipitate such debilitating events as a justification n for its existence, its means of feeling wanted and more importantly needed.

No, awakening to who we truly are, is the only lasting road to peace, a peace that bypasses the never-ending ego data of the wounded psyche-soul, a peace gifted to us via the portal of spirit.

In practice we tend to move in and out of two dissimilar world’s, viz. the jungle of ego encounters, and the realm beyond, the Spirit Ocean of Divine Love. Self -compassion and forgiveness comprise the doorway to the latter, a doorway through which we can walk at will. Of course one world is more Real than the other, but its exploration is one that takes a lifetime. Such is the purpose of life.

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Rain Clouds Of The Soul

 

Soul 3

Rain Clouds Of The Soul

 

I’m sitting here in the dreary Lincolnshire rain, waiting for my wee doggie Suki to get groomed. The overpowering sense of greyness has loosened my muse to roam as it pleases. The raindrops damp dance on the roof of my car conspire with the cloud-filled skies to remind me of our psyche-soul and its past, and sometimes present, sojourn through the nothingness of depression and melancholy.

 

Saturated by a multitude of fears, our hyper-sensitive psyche closes its doors to the Unknown, the very place where Divine Love dwells to woo the spirit of humankind. The dull survival based setting of nothingness promises much; a technique to keep us safe, albeit deeply miserable as we await normality to return and send us on our way.

 

Yet here, under the de-energizing darkness of the soul, is an opportunity to discover what is Real and what is not. The myriad of little sub-personalities who claim our attention, like Job’s well-meaning comforters, reveal themselves and their fear-driven agendas. Each promises us safety and a report of the state of play within our world. Yet, each is misleading, catching only a mere glimpse of the spectrum of Truth. Their take on our emotional and spiritual equilibrium is an exaggeration and a big one at that, leading us deeper into to the toxic mix of depression, anxiety and a lot more voices, each promising to be our savior.

 

So where does balance come from as we await the passing of the clouds of despondency. Well, in that very fact – that this too will pass. The transience of ‘the blues’ is as certain as the passing of our highest epiphany. We are creatures made to sail the seven seas of life, surviving the storms and enjoying the rewards of welcomed calm.

 

Once we realize that our psyche-soul is a sensuous ship that sails Life’s ever-changing ocean then we can accept our journey with all its highs and lows. For in seeing that part of us for what it is, we gain perspective, one that enables us to look further into our sense of Being. The reward of such an outlook is the discovery of our Core Self, that timeless ingredient of our identity that lies beyond the rain clouds and sunshine of life; a constant spark of the Divine Fire that knows it Source and the direction of Home. A still, ever-burning flame that cannot be quenched, the love-child of Divine Love, placed at the very centre of Self, the preserving anchor of our sanity when the troubled rains of life fall.

 

Once realized and encountered, albeit briefly, we can no longer be swept into the pit of despair and left for dead. For even there, the rays of the Divine Sun will warm our troubled hearts and reveal the Elysian Fields that are to come.

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Cry For Love

Love 8

Cry For Love

 

The world of humankind is one long wail. A heart piercing scream that flows from its dysfunctional, broken soul; a symptom of a break long gone, when we walked away from Source looking for who knows what. We run around like a scavenging dog looking for others’ discarded morsels of pleasure and reassurance. It lasts for a while, until we are mercifully jolted out of our stupor by One who tracks us down. A Hound of Heaven that’s had our scent from before time immemorial.

So how does it happen? Well, usually through a transpersonal crisis and a big one at that; an unexpected, irresistible turn of events that hits us for six. Health, relationships, finances, even sanity itself all lie within its varied but effective armoury. Floored, with our ego defenses lying shattered on the cold ground of Earth, we enter into a Darkness, one in which we shall paradoxically come to see the Light.

It appears that we are descending into the very essence of Hell itself as ego screams for all its worth. Yet, in Reality we are rising upwards to a Heaven of liberating Love, one that knows exactly what it’s doing. Stripped to the bare bones of our Core Self, we appear helpless, not knowing which way to turn, as yet unaware that we are now free to reconnect with a Love without price.

This return, this drawing back to Source and its timeless Being, is the reason we are here; a surrender to the very starting point of our very consciousness. A prodigal’s return to where it all began. The Grace that launched a zillion stars as the backdrop for a timeless story of Love spurned and Love rediscovered.

So as we head into our daily routine, let’s not forget the bigger picture, the inner drama being played out in every waking second of our time on the Stage called life. Shakespeare has nothing on the Mind that conjured up such a passionate tale of existence and Beyond.

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Frozen Faith

frozen-faith

Frozen Faith

When I cast the occasional look back over my old spiritual and religious haunts, I’m frankly astounded. For what I see is a frozen version of what was birthed in radicalism and unconformity. What began as a somewhat idealistic, yet deeply genuine search for God and all things divine appears to have morphed into a rigid belief system, one that doesn’t allow for honest questioning and experiential change. In my book, ‘Way Beyond The Blue’ I wrote a little parable to describe this settling process. In it the waters of Spirit were placed in religious and esoteric buckets and told to flow no more. God was taken in for care, like an ageing relative who could no longer be trusted to do their own thing.

 

In my early pilgrimage everything was taught and learned through the specs of scriptural texts. If a Biblical story couldn’t be found to back up our experience of God then I’m afraid it was immediately suspect. Revisiting the social media sites of my past religious contacts I see nothing has really changed. Sermons are still preached on David and Goliath, Paul’s letters to his Roman converts, and of course the scariest of all, ‘The Book of Revelation’. The menu hasn’t changed that much over the past 40 years, apart from a few trendy added extras to disguise the taste. The same trite, well-worn insights are wheeled out, Sunday by Sunday, to keep those in attendance committed to the cause, rather than exploring the boundless prairies of Divine Love.

 

Many of my old friends, after years of faithful service, have been promoted to the position of ‘elder’ or wise Christian guardian of all things church, allowing them to preach the odd sermon now and again when the pastor is away on vacation. What a settled and predictable life, one that resists Spirit in It’s dogged atempts at blowing things apart, at turning our beloeved belief systems upside-down. I guess, having been shaken to the core by the tragic storms of life, I can no longer hold to this sure and steadfast mindset, one that has maintained every jot and title of my friends’ adolescent faith.

 

It appears that my old spiritual nurseries still foster a semi-infantile view of all things God. Just turn up every Sunday morning, sing a few songs, give a few dollars, and listen to the same old sermons and all will be well. Of course, it doesn’t really work out like that as life buffets us for our good. Suffering, it would appear, is part of the deal, not a major part , though an unavoidable and highly significant one. The iconic Nazarene Himself could have quite easily slipped into the religious mindset of his day and been a good Torah believing, synagogue-attending Jewish boy. Yet He didn’t. For, something was stirring deeply in his psyche-soul, a spiritual energy that led him into the minefield of reformist and prophetical life. A path that eventually ended (at least within space-time) as a tortured, hanging victim of a second-rate Roman execution squad.

 

Of course many of my old friends suspect that I have fallen away from my early faith, my first love to use the evangelical vernacular. They may well be right, but I reckon that like Alice of Wonderland fame I’ve tumbled down a rabbit-hole more in touch with the Reality of which the Nazarene spoke. A ravenously loving God, one running wild outside the concept-based, formal paddocks of religious conservatism. Now, before any of my former comrades raise the old chestnut of one having ‘a root of bitterness’ lurking deep within, may I respectfully save them time and effort by stating that thankfully that particular trait melted away a long time ago. No, what presently lies with spiritual gut is rather a potent cocktail of sadness and bewilderment. A sadness that grieves the lack of risk taking present in my old faith communities, and a bewilderment at the level of toxic stoicism that has infiltrated the unquestioning and often subservient followers of Jesus.

The religious life is a funny old thing.

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