Feeds:
Posts
Comments
Growing A Church?

Growing A Church?

Now I’d better own up before I proceed. I used to be a church junkie, albeit a slightly reticent one in my somewhat zealous youth. You see, I believed the evangelistic take on God and his kids. God is working in the world and His agency is the institution belovedly known as church. Back in my Irish homeland, as soon as one came into an experience of the risen Nazarene, one was instantly ushered into a sheep fold under the name of a ‘sound’ church. I was never really sure what a sound church was, for those who embraced the standard orthodoxy seemed to be asleep to me, the only sound being my snoring during the pastor’s sermon. No, for me it was a more radical version of Jesus community, or so I thought. I was a founding member of a Charismatic, (yes, speaking in tongues etc) fellowship that attempted to do things differently. I should have known better though, for all life-giving religious or spiritual movements eventually conservatise, becoming clones of their older predecessors. Northern Ireland was, and still is, peppered with man’s attempt to get Divinity into a box, much like any other Bible Belt area of God’s good Earth.

That being said, I want to look at our fixation at growing a church, to use a trendy but ineffective term that’s doing the religious rounds. If one has a church, a group bang in the centre of Divine Will, then why not grow it – the bigger the better right! Well no, at least in my experience. Here are a few reasons for small is beautiful.

1) God isn’t obsessed by church like most of His/Her kids.

Jesus groups were to be transient expressions of God realignment, not the be all and end all. Packed buildings of Jesus people on Sunday mornings aren’t on God’s agenda.

2) Spiritual life is best shared through conversation and friendship.

The Nazarene hinted at this when talking about the two or three gathered into His name. When a few folk, with open and respectful hearts tune into the Divine in conversation, there is an opportunity for Presence to manifest and flow between those present.

3) Growing churches was never a Divine suggestion.

Growing things is frankly more to do with market share than the Way of the Kingdom/Queendom.

Institutionalised faith needs institutions and institutions need cash to survive. Once established, rigid faith groups frankly need bums on seats to keep going, and of course as we all know failure is never on the agenda for those believing God is with them.

3) Growth is an organic experience and one that is deeply personal.

The numbers game in religious circles, patronisingly disguised as a concern for the lost, is nothing to do with true growth.

Spiritual growth is the growing awareness of who we are, and our place in the Divine Heart. Such growth often follows times of great personal darkness. It cannot be manufactured on the assembly line of programmed religion. Rather it takes place in the desert of aloneness, when Light invades our Darkness.

4) Growth of our group encourages religious competition.

I’m afraid I have to smile when a new church opens up here in Lincoln. The pastor priest will always claim to be in total harmony with the existing churches in the city. Their targets for membership are always the ‘unchurched’, especially the young unchurched who are susceptible to subtle, or not so subtle, love bombing. What often happens though is a case of sheep transference. When the shiny new religious stall is set out, Jesus people sniff out a better pastureland and hop the church fence to enter the new field of fellowship. And so it continues, throughout the ages. Like competing supermarkets, religious groups are in the marketplace of desire. the subliminal message is always this: ‘Our take on Jesus is more authentic than that of other groups, so come aboard!’. The merry-go-round world of church membership falsely feeds the growth dreams of model pastors/priests. We are getting new people so we must be fulfilling God’s agenda.

5) Big numbers inflate ego’s group identity.

When we get high on our numbers, ego is lurking, willing to elevate us to a special status, that of God’s chosen.

Growth is put down to God adding to our numbers rather than our clever marketing or manipulation of broken folk looking for answers. Ego, looks over its sacred empire and gives itself a pat on the back, while giving God all the glory, at least publicly.

It’s empowering to be a member of a large and cutting edge group, though in time the ride will end in disillusionment and tears. It’s at this stage that God may get a chance to have a wee chat with us and bind up our self-administered wounds.

6) Church and its size is irrelevant in the great scheme of things

While caught up in the church growth delusion we tend to see life as a life-saving operation. It’s a case of getting as many folk as possible into the Jesus lifeboat as possible before they check out of space-time. And as most of us know who’ve sailed the seven seas in such a craft, it’s really a delusion, for the boat of salvation is merely a church expansion programme. Divine Love has birthed all and will embrace all, church membership or not. To limit a spiritual coming home to joining a church is a big mistake. For often we leave the integrity of our God encounter at the door to play a different game, one driven by the need to belong and be accepted; a shinier version of the game that we played in our wilder days.

So there you have it. Some wee thoughts why it’s best not to get involved with your church’s expansion drive known as evangelism. Since the days of my evangelistic zeal I’ve discovered that God is big, very big indeed. Faith groups are only part of a world that is loved, a Love without restraints that waits at the city gate for those with ears to hear to listen and respond. The Voice is everywhere, even, dare I say it, in the back pew of my old hemorrhaging church.

http://amzn.to/1KXBycd

Glass Half Full - Glass Half Empty

Glass Half Full – Glass Half Empty

Life is strange, no doubt about it. We are either up or down most of the time. Sometimes just hanging on in the middle before setting off again on our space-time big dipper. I reckon that it’s all to do with our psyche-soul and the programming that been laid down in it during the formative years of our life.

Some folk are natural optimists. They are infectious to be around, always seeing the glass half-full. They appear to be thankful for the smallest of things and ride the wave of life without a care in the world. Others among us, whilst recognising that we have some water in our glass, worry that it is draining away, as we approach the inevitable empty glass – death. For us, life seems a great big tragic joke. For the half-full brigade it appears like a never-ending Disney ride.

I guess we inherit our psyche settings from our parents, at least to some extent. Watching from our buggies and cribs, we took note of how the big two-handled life’s affairs. Tone of voice, facial expressions, number of swear words, all swept into our fledgling soul. Armed with this data we headed into childhood and our own encounters with the twists and turns of life. Copying our parents was the automatic wiring that kicked in when both the good times and the bad times rolled. Admittedly, over the course of time, we added a few strategies of our own, but as a rule we were glass observers in the mould of our significant two.

And then along came God, to shake up the mix. Either the glass half empty God of legalistic religion, or the overflowing God of the Nazarene, Yeshua bar Yosef. Now I reckon our taste in faith has much to do with the early programming of our god-like parents. Those raised by glass half empty folk head straight for the certainties of black and white legal religion, while the half-fullers head for the overflowing ecstasy of glass-filled faith.

Of course things can change. One dose of Divine intervention and yesterday’s half full devotee is transformed into today’s overflowing aficionado. One dose of tragedy and the ecstatic, running over follower crashes to Earth with a bump, seeing a cracked empty glass lying before them.

So what is to become of us? Well, I reckon that life must be lived in balance. Doom and denial have no place in the spiritual Journey. For wisdom, is holding both glass views in tension. We live in a world of decay and one of new birth. Both play their role in the cycle of life. Like the ocean tide, life comes and goes. ecstasy embraces us, only to withdraw back into the waters of memory. Fear grips us, only to release its hold as the surge of Spirit breaks upon the shores of consciousness. We ebb and flow. We drink of both cups in the party of life.

And yet, it won’t always be so. For, in the fulness of time, we move on to another Reality, one where weeping is no more and fear is obsolete. Not the teasing touches of eternity, that come our way in life, but the real thing. The consummation of all that timelessly springs from Source. The place where the human spirit bursts into fulness, no longer needing the ups and downs of glass illusions. For here Reality has replaced reality, the Prototype the Shadow.

Meanwhile, lets not get too upset or thrilled with the state of our glass. Rather, lets watch and wait as the tides of Life take us where they will.

http://amzn.to/1LRfKMC

Joy

Joy

Many moons ago, while sitting in a wee, Victorian, Sunday School hall, in Northern Ireland, a spinster songleader whipped up our five-year old psyche-souls into a fervent, albeit conformist, frenzy. “I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart! Where? Down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart to stay” we belted out in response to the fervent arm movements of the lady in question.

Boy, what a Presbyterian gig that was, as we innocently sat there being dragged into worship by the devout Miss Hazzard. And yet, for all the metaphysical twists and turns of my subsequent journey, she may just have had a point. We do have a deep joy down in our heart spirits, even though zealous religious hoop jumping doesn’t really get us there to enjoy it. I’d better explain.

Joy mustn’t be confused with excitement, the euphoric sense of victory in our inter-personal desire battles. No, the buzz of triumph in our ego exchanges, isn’t joy, for joy hasn’t anything to do with our relationships with others. Rather, it’s a state of being, one that flows from the creative Source, that we tend to call God. For the Divine, resides in an Ocean of joy, the very energy of Love itself.

To be in touch with joy, is to be in touch with God, the Singularity from which Divine Essence flows. It’s a touch, and yet more than that, for it’s a timeless touch, one constantly waiting for us when we step outside our definitions of day-to-day reality. It’s a gift, that’s been given to every birthed one, though one that we sadly leave unopened. as we frantically opt for the glittering, short-term goodies of human happiness. While we seek to arrive, we have the buried treasure all along, deep in the repressed crevices of our inner being,

We tend to leave stories of ecstasy and joy to the mystic, the dreamer of no earthly use, and yet we secretly envy them their paradoxically immanent encounters of Transcendence. One thing that puts us off is the lie that to reach joy we must go through the esoteric hoops of a spiritual assault course. Not so, I reckon. To find joy isn’t the reward for the sacrifice of self, rather it’s the discovery of true Self itself. So how do we encounter joy if we don’t have to become a religious or New Age ascetic. Well, we simply have to reckon on it being there, like a seed in the grounded earth of our psyche-soul. It doesn’t lie outside, a prize to be battled for in the journey of life. It’s already ours, patiently awaiting our awakening.

To experience joy in the realm of consciousness we simply have to let go of our psychological attachments to thoughts, feelings, beliefs and others. When disturbances come our way, demanding a permanent audience with our psyche-soul, we just take note and move on. For like phantoms of the night, our ego warnings of impending disaster, are ultimately an illusion, albeit ones that we usually choose to accept without a second thought. No, like a ships mooring ropes, let’s cast them off and instantaneously sail into the wonder of Reality, where joy bathes our very being. A step toward this process of liberation is to observe, to take a step back and get in touch with the One who observes All.

Observation, rather than reaction, quells the pseudo-storms of ego. For as we watch from the safety of our Self, that spark of the Divine Nature, that dwells in joy, the experiential knowing of all knowings,the power of fear dissipates. This letting go of thoughts defensive role, brings us back to Reality with a bump, as Joy, like an airborne fragrance rushes in to fill the vacuum of consciousness, if only for a moment.

So, Miss Hazzard may have been right all along! Jesus, has indeed unclogged my psyche’s arteries by modelling an alternative Way to live. I’ve always had that joy down in my heart, and always will. And the good news? Well, we all have. Once we step back from script of attachments, we’ll be surprised at what bubbles up.

http://amzn.to/1LRfKMC

roller-coaster 11

Roller-Coaster Religion

In our youth many of us loved to visit theme parks with their precarious, spine-tingling rides of terror. It was cool to be scared and come out safe and sound at the other end, before heading back for another go. It’s got me thinking about the religion of my youth. I reckon it was a roller-coaster ride to beat all roller-coaster rides. The big one where Cosmic powers laid down the tracks of my life, taking me on a topsy-turvy  spin of life and death. I guess I’d better explain.

I got on the roller-coaster when I was converted, when I bumped into the Divine at the Theme Park of Northern Irish religion. now at the time I believed that God was the owner of the Park, but I was mistaken. Like me He/She was just visiting, looking for lonely souls like myself, a Divine pick-up if you like. No, I was quickly ushered onto the Charismatic/Evangelical roller-coaster ride, not by Divine Love, but by the ride operators at the Park, the teachers of a faith, full of excitement and thrill.

At first things sped along nicely, as I ate my Bible snacks on a daily basis, drinking from the fizzy fountain of answered prayers. Just around the first bend though, things started to pick up. We weren’t on this ride for fun, rather we’d been recruited by the Divine, who incidentally was wistfully watching from the sidelines, for the Battle of all battles, the titanic struggle of Good v Evil, or Jesus v Satan. My wee psyche had inadvertently been hijacked for a cause, one that had strapped me in for the long-haul, by the vows of group commitment. For beside me, to the right and to the left, were my brothers and sisters, those fellow warriors who joined me in the cause – an army we were told that would storm the Gates of Hell. Boy, was that a rush. One mass of screaming solidarity flying around our God ordained track of Spiritual Warfare. We couldn’t lose with God on our side or could we?

Of course we had some wonderful ups along the Way, when we glanced far below the Face of Divine Love, smiling at us. Unfortunately we mistook this for Its approval, rather than the compassion that awaited us on our dizzy return. Anyway, it was an adrenalin blast, as we danced, sang, spoke in tongues and fell on our faces in the frenzy of devotion. And there sitting in front of us were our elders, who’d ridden the ride for many years, knowing each twist and turn, stoical in their steadfastness and control. All we had to do was copy them and everything would be all right, as we soared into the very heavens of God.

Of course, the downers followed the ups. There were casualties as we peaked and headed down into the tragedies of life at lightening speed. No matter how euphoric the ride, things got messy at times, both personally and collectively. We were bombarded by the fiery darts of the Evil One as we attempted to claim Northern Ireland for Jesus, through the cries and screams of intercessory prayer. And boy, did he pack a punch, knowing how to hit us in our spiritual solar plexus. Depression stalked our downward path, yet we cranked up and efforts and prepared ourselves for the next upward surge of Spirit. The Sunday sermon told us that it wasn’t an easy ride following Jesus, and so it proved, though not for the reasons that the preacher promoted. For a ride with Jesus and the Devil wasn’t a bed of roses, one that we could easily escape from. If we jumped, Evil had won and we’d pay for it for the rest of our lives. If we stayed we pleased Jesus but had hell to pay.

I managed to stay on the ride for 16 years or so, before I was pushed off , so to speak. Having lost my firstborn son Ben, to cot death at 5 months, I began to doubt the supposed All Powerful Designer of the Ride. Yet, even this wasn’t enough to have me get off the Revivalist track. It took some plain old rivalry with my leader friend to have me finally pushed off, an act of unintended mercy, that paradoxically saved my future, psycho-spiritual bacon. And of course, there was God standing by the kiosk of Compassion, granting me all the time necessary, for my cold-turkey detox from the adrenalin-fuelled track of Revivalist religion.

Eighteen years later, it was time for us to be reintroduced. Not on the Fairground Rides of Programmed Religion, but in the aching emptiness of a human heart. And so it has continued, a courtship of Aloneness, a Union in the fields of Self, far from the victory screams of Satan-obsessed souls.

http://amzn.to/1LRfKMC

Awareness Lane

Awareness Lane

‘Two roads diverge in the middle of my life,

I heard a wise man say’

Larry Norman ~ singer-songwriter

I think we’d all agree that life is a journey of sorts. A space-time walk through a kaleidoscope of images and experiences. For some it’s a simple passage, for others the most complex of trips, full of twists, turns and unexpected reversals. It’s amazing that so many of us make it through to old age, even those 60s rock stars who refuse to accept that the glory days are now but fading memories.

One thing regularly appears along our space-time Path, viz. Will Junction. I’d better explain! Life conspires to bring us to a fork in the road, one where we’re presented with two choices, the way of Ego & the Way of Love. Just when we’re sailing along on a seemingly steady course, up ahead lies the dreaded divergence that none of us like to face. One road is wide, a busy, noisy highway if you like, the other a narrow, silent, country lane.

Those of us who wish to get ahead in life, believing the promises and fears of ego, appear to be automatically wired to head down the highway, joining the crowd, those seeking the security of a cultural nirvana. Safety in numbers seems to be the way to go, as we eagerly rush towards our material and status destiny. As long as we keep our inner rev counter at full throttle, we can navigate any obstacles that come our way and make it. So the narrative goes, that regularly broadcasts itself at every junction choice. This is Ego road, the one that ultimately leads to our physical, mental and spiritual burnout. A road of promise, but a road of destruction.

Thankfully, we’re regularly presented with two roads throughout our earthly sojourn. We are not locked into the GPS directives of ego. For, another Path, runs parallel to desire highway, a lane most natural, at one with All. Here, we leave behind the craving to have, swapping it instead for the contentment of being. Letting go of our adrenalin-fuelled drive for status, we discover a sense of quiet ease, as Life takes us where it wills. And beside us on the Journey, walks Another, a reassuring Presence, that ultimately All is well, and shall be well. Here, we catch sight of, perhaps for the first time, a Natural order and balance in our space-time dream. Life and death, joy and sadness, appear to dance together, to carrying us further into that quiet acceptance of Mystery. On this Lane of Awareness we say little but observe a lot, for in our focus lies a revelation of sorts, a knowing that we are already Home.

So how do we tackle these circumstantial junctions of choice, those planted there by Divine Source. Well, simply through the exercise of the most potent of our gifts, viz. will.

Will, is an internal switch that seems to set our psyche-soul direction. It can be a frenzied fan of the Highway, or the calm sponsor of Awareness Lane. If activated by our spirit core, it flows effortlessly in its default choice, leading us into the Path of Peace. Will is our helpmate, once freed from the fear-driven shackles of ego. A most powerful aid in life’s journey, as it paradoxically submits to Divine Desire, that Cosmic Energy that carries us back into the Bosom of Ultimate Source.

So, safe journeying, my fellow travellers. May all roads lead us to Being. May the Lane of freedom, teach us the shocking heights, depths and width of Divine Love.

http://amzn.to/1LRfKMC

Running In Circles

Running In Circles

Trying to escape all things Divine is extremely hard work. For the more we run away, the more frustrated we tend to get. Why? Well, we always seem to end up back at the place where we initiated our attempted break for freedom. Life appears to conspire to bring us back to what we run from, with God being its favourite drop off point.

For those of us who’ve been raised in a religious belief system, the most logical tactic for our planned escape is to ditch God completely, converting to a quasi-confident atheism, with all its promised allure. Out of mind, hopefully out of sight, is its beguiling mantra. Just take up a rigidly atheistic viewpoint and the Divine will leave us alone to enjoy our non-belief in peace. Alternatively, we may prefer to take the slightly less dogmatic agnostic approach to bathe our religious wounds, while swaying to and fro between the opposing belief branches of promise.

Of course, Divine Love lets us have our day of supposed freedom, glad to see us free of our prior religious shackles and metaphysical misconceptions. For God really is into liberty, even if it involves being ignored by those who run a mile from belief systems that go by His/Her Name. So off we dash, running along the remaining track of life, entering each new bend with a renewed vigour and vim as we head for our godless utopia. The old ways lie far behind, distant memories of past metaphysical illusions and pain. ‘Thank God there is no god,’ we cry out in our paradoxical, liberated fervour.

However, the trouble is that we’re not running along a straight track, one that follows the flying crow into the remainder of our space-time existence. For, much to our amazement, we find ourselves running around a circular path that takes us right back to the big Mysteries of life, and eventually bang into a Presence, One that stands tall to block our illusory progress. Yes, at some stage we experience the Track Designer Supreme, stepping out onto Its creation to catch us totally unaware. Thankfully, we’re not frog-marched back into the tepid bath water of our religious past, but into the pulsating Rapids of Spirit Life, an Energy Flow that wells up from our hidden depths within. The Life abundantly as promised by the Nazarene, the Spring of Self from which gushes the endless Source of All.

Only then does it begin to make sense – this topsy-turvy Journey race that ends in healing tears of joy and release. No longer the hurdles of ego, no longer the fear of stumbling on the relational blocks of others, no longer the nightmares of finishing last in the adversarial affairs of humanity. Just a Presence, One that lets us collapse in a heap of sheer relief, just a Presence that allows us to rest before standing up once more to re-engage as Children of Source.

Remember, contrary to ego’s advice, there’s no  place to run and no place to hide. Best to cut short the Great Escape race and fall into the welcoming Arms of Divine Love.

http://amzn.to/1LRfKMC

Clericalism

Clericalism

I guess there’s always been a bunch of folk who saw themselves as intermediaries of sort between God and man. How come? Well I believe that bizarrely the roots of religious belief can be found in mob violence – the founding murder, so to speak. I’d better explain.

Ancient man lived in small extended family groupings or prototype tribes. When something went wrong in their fight for survival and things began to get a little heated, a scapegoat was quickly found and dispatched in a fit of rage. This unexpected blood-letting released a quasi sense of cathartic peace in the remaining family members, who began to interpret it as the blessing of the Divine Spirit in the Sky! “Ah, so if we kill someone or something on a regular basis, we can obtain the favour of the One above. If we sacrifice to Transcendence, blessings will flow.” The birth of sacrificial religious thought which sadly continues to this day.

Over time, the tribe asked for volunteers to dot he dirty deed and so the priesthood was born. Those not afraid to get blood on their hands in exchange for a new prestige within the community. “We are a cut above the rest,” became their sacred slogan as they sharpened their clerical knives. And so it has continued through the ages. For some the blood is still part of the killing vocation, for others it’s now a symbolic role, dispensing the wine of the slain Lamb on a regular basis. Since time immemorial we have been into blood and so it remains. Further exploration of this obsession is for another day. What I really want to focus on is the sociological residue of such a belief system – the clerical class.

Now, let me say that I’m friends with a number of priests of varying shades. I’m not here to question their motives or their devotion to the Divine; rather I wish to question whether they are needed. Of course, when professional livelihoods are involved the cleric understandably fights back with 2000 years of Christian tradition or even more in the case of the older religions. I can understand that all too human reaction. When we need food on the table for our kids we’ll perform all sorts of pastoral back flips to justify our existence.

No, do we really need a professional class of priests, pastors and dare I say it, Apostles ( for my Pentecostal friends) in order to know God. Do we still require the experts to stand between Divine Source and man? Well, if we still insist on communities that centre around a round of religious gatherings in a purpose-built building, then the clergy still play a role, albeit an organisational one. For, let’s face it, if there wasn’t a paid official to do all the stuff, the whole system would collapse due to apathy. Folk have always wanted a Moses figure to go up the Mount and come back with a tabletised list of instructions from God, especially if they can also perform the role of CEO for the business named church.

I guess I’m saying that we don’t need a bunch of men or women to dispense the Divine for us, for Presence already dwells within. What we may need is one almighty shock to our ego system, that reveals this dramatic truth, one that rarely comes through the dedicated efforts of the clergy. A sudden death, a health scare, a divorce, redundancy etc all have the potential to jolt us into an Awakening experience. The place for answers is within, in the depths of our ego screams. There the Light dwells and we knew it not. Most folk within clerical systems of ministry are nice folk, though not all. Yet, there very existence may divert folk from meeting the Divine, heart to Heart. A little ministerial cul-de-sac that seems to help for a while until a new top-up of concern is needed. Life is messy and it’s there that Divine Love has chosen to dwell.

The trouble is that the priest/pastor/reverend etc can feel that it’s their job to keep the whole God show on the road. This is often done by teaching the particular dos and don’ts of their interpretive tradition. Having joined the clerical class to help mankind they can so easily end up propping up a moral empire based on the interpretive add-ons of their religious tradition. It’s so easy to switch into control mode in the name of the God of freedom. It’s the historical virus that invades the very heart of religious systems. The priest once more stands as judge and jury on the whole God-man thing, tempted to shed blood, albeit verbally on the chosen scapegoat.

Finally, let me tell you a wee story. A couple of years back here in Lincoln, I was out for a walk along the local High Street when I noticed a bunch of Christians doing their evangelistic thing. Always willing to have a chat will fellow God folk, I stopped and entered into a friendly chat with a guy, who turned out to be the pastor of the gang. At first our conversation was friendly but soon it was strongly inferred that I should be a church member and come along to sample his particular brand of gathering. At this point I suggested that the pastor try a wee experiment. Why not stop all church gatherings for a year, when folk could just mix with society at large. After 12 months have a meeting to see how many people had become Christians through contact with his flock. Unfortunately, I saw sheer disbelief in his eyes. “Dylan, I couldn’t do that.” “Why not?” I asked. “Well, frankly my members wouldn’t make it if it weren’t for our church programme.” Enough said. ” The Christ within would wither up and die if the pastor’s flock didn’t get their weekly worship session and sound Bible instruction.

The clerical system at its worst methinks.

http://amzn.to/1LRfKMC

Suspicion

Suspicion

In the world of metaphysical thought there abounds the negative vibe of suspicion. For me, it’s clearly observed in the mutual wariness between the dogma-defined Christian Tribe and its experiential next door neighbour, the Spirituality movement. I picture these two clans of thought standing back to back at the garden fence, unwilling to acknowledge that the other may just have some valuable glimpse of ultimate Truth.

I guess we’re back into the analogy of blind men each having a hold on the Elephant of Mystery. Holding onto the Trunk, the Christians believe that they have it all worked out in the person of Yeshua and all his extrapolated  traditional add-ons. The Mind, Body, Spirit folk have their hands on the Ears, believing that they convey Cosmic Consciousness, the answer to all our dysfunctional ills. And the result? Separate teacher-gurus, publishing houses, conference circuits, rituals and sub-cultures.

I guess that I’ve jumped into the wide chasm of mistrust between both camps, in my desire to write for both. We do so love our sense of Divine ownership, our compulsive, obsessional belief that we have it all and don’t need to cross into the mindset of the other. All that I need is my big black Bible, a good church and, of course, Jesus. I’m saved and on my way to the sweet by and by, unlike the other lot! Alternatively, I’ve had enough of the Nazarene and the guilt trips of his hypocritical followers, for I’ve found my inner Self, the authentic home of Cosmic Love. I’ve finally cracked the Me thing and don’t need an external divinity, thank you very much. Just top up my supply of crystals and mantra chants and I’ll be fine with my free-flowing chakras. Let the other lot do the us and them thing, for I now love everyone even though I don’t engage with them.

And so the partially sighted march on into certainty, brushing aside the challenges and opportunities for further growth which the other tribe provides. The meeting of minds rarely occurs, though in the case of contemporary, Christian writer, Rob Bell, it has taken place, though at the cost of being demonised as a heretic by fellow admirers.

So, is there really anything to learn from each other? Well, I most certainly reckon that there is. I’d better explain.

The Christian Tribe

Can the Christian band of brothers and sisters learn anything from the Spirituality movement.? May, I humbly suggest that they can. Firstly, the generousity of Divine Love and its inclusive nature. We are all born in the divine image, despite the protestations of guilt ridden St. Augustine. Something deep within, very deep within in most of us, possesses the essence or imprint of Divine Love. Hidden by ego and its swirl of fear-fuelled defensive postures, there is a pearl of great price lying there in the sands of our pained psyche. Only ego sees and us and them – God or Cosmic Source sees all mankind through the Window of the incarnated Tao-Logos, the Beloved Son. We followers of the Nazarene can afford to be much more expansive in our view of the Queendom and who populates it.

The Spirituality Tribe

The SpIrituality Tribe tend to focus on the positive sides of life. All very good, methinks for such a take on Self and others is much-needed in our pessimistic media-driven world. I love the exhilaration of celebrating this mystery called Life. Yet, there is a brokenness in our space-time world that many spiritual folk choose to ignore. Violence isn’t one of the main topics at Mind, Body, Spirit conferences. The violent execution of the Nazarene is irrelevant to our Self growth and meditation, goes the party line. Sometimes the Galilean gets a quick acknowledgement as a spiritual, wisdom teacher, before being airbrushed out of the main tribal metanarrative. Yet, I reckon the tragic end, and claimed resurrection of Yeshua bar Yosef cannot be ignored. It challenges our cultural and metaphysical take on Reality, especially Source Reality. I’d love the Spirituality gurus to discuss the Nazarene more often, something that might help their ex-Christian followers reconcile with their religious pasts.

Of course, I could go on and on. It’s a topic for further discussion and mutual respect. Meanwhile I’ll continue to try to do my little bit in encouraging the estranged neighbours to look each other in the eye, for, it’s there that we can truly glimpse Other. Left to our own devices we head into exclusivity, together we get to have a clearer picture of the Mysterious Elephant in the Cosmic Room.

http://amzn.to/1LRfKMC

Religious Junkies Again

Religious Junkies Again

OK, so you’ve probably guessed it by now – I’m a recovering religious junkie. There’s many of us kicking around the edges of the main faiths, though Christianity appears to have produced more of us than most. The majority of us RJs won’t or can’t go anywhere near a ‘Sunday morning church service’ –  a funeral of a close friend being the only religious setting where you might find us on one of our good days!

So how on earth did we morph from regular guys and gals into those who overdosed on religious belief and practice, blowing our minds on a myriad of pastoral sermons with proof texts thrown in for good measure? Well, I suspect that it all started in childhood, and of course, our all too human parents, bless their cotton socks, had a significant role to play in our junkie development. I’d better explain.

Well, it began in one of two ways.

First case scenario – our mum & dad were religious junkies themselves, programming us into their image, you know the sort of thing, church twice on a Sunday, Bible Study on Wednesday evening and Prayer meeting on alternate Friday nights. If we add up the hundreds of hours that we’ve sat under the metanarrative of our parent’s favourite religious brand, that’s a lot of metaphysical material floating around the formative caverns of our subconscious. Of course, the co-stars of the story, were always Jesus and the Devil, with God, the Father coming a close third. Blood, lots of it, and the fiery darts of an extremely scary Prince of Darkness were enough to scramble our little fragile psyches via guilt and a somewhat forced appreciation of a dying Saviour. In more extreme cases, ‘Turn or burn’ was the brutal message of choice, when alter calls came calling, and  fear-birthed tears started flowing. Yes, many of us have inherited the faith of our well-meaning, but often misguided parents, those who believed themselves to be doing Love’s work in herding us, sheepdog-like, into their cherished pen of pseudo-salvation. Of course, many of us eventually jumped the fence and individuated, running with the crowd, as far away from certainty and imposed dogma as we could manage – right into the clutches of other more sensual devils and deceivers.

Second case scenario -the rest of us had fairly regular parents; those who loved us but couldn’t always connect emotionally with us. Carrying psycho-spiritual wounds of their own, their frailties and flaws often cut off the expected parental flow of unconditional love, resulting in our inner big holes of Self doubt and shame. I suppose hiding in the Garden would be a good metaphor to consider, covering up the vulnerability of a misperceived inadequacy, from the searching eyes of a temperamental, disapproving parent, at least until Jesus popped up from behind a Tree of Life. In our somewhat troubled teenage years, many of us, tossed to and fro on an ocean of dancing hormones, responded in desperation to the standard Christian formula of accepting Jesus into our hearts, Jesus being the acceptable and loving face of a Transcendent God, who still appeared to be a wee bit like our dad – unpredictable. There was no doubt about Jesus and his benign acceptance of us, but a God who required shed blood in order to forgive, albeit his own, was a totally different kettle of fish. However, in the battle of the good cop – bad cop gods, Jesus won hands down and we gratefully accepted his offer of forgiveness and protection, whilst stil keeping a watchful eye on His Dad of Justice and quality control.

The psycho-spiritual hole within us appeared to be miraculously filled, as we joyously jumped into the awaiting Christian sub-culture, God’s franchise on Earth, the bastion of Truth and Righteousness that would keep us from being tainted by our broken fellow-man. Suddenly, it was a case of them and us, with everyone, and I mean everyone, being labelled as ‘saved’ or ‘unsaved’. When Bobby Dylan turned onto Jesus, we danced in the aisles, at least until the Jewish Wordmaster woke up to the religious game giving up on his Vineyard church attendance.

And so, under the orthodoxy of sound teaching we were well on our way to the establishment of heaven on earth. However, as time went by, some of us began to worship the whole religious extravaganza, rather than Jesus, the one claimed to be its divine sponsor. Eventually, within our church of choice most of us were trusted with some crumbs of ministry responsibility, basically for being good little faithful boys and girls, those who served and perpetuated the system. And so, the religious drip feed was stepped up a notch or two, with our co-dependency growing by the day. If we reached the higher echelons of being, viz. being an annointed Christian, we might even be promoted to the position of an elder, sorry men only ladies, and sit on the platform with the pastor, nodding our heads in approval at his latest revelation. A fair exchange perhaps, for the pastor’s approval was most definitely worth it, being the ultimate currency of belonging in the pseudo-community of faith.

And there you have it. That’s how we come to be religious junkies; parental infusion or love-bombing in the guise of genuine compassion, all in the name of the suffering Christ. No wonder it takes something pretty special to expose our hidden drug problem – a really big transpersonal crisis, one to blast us out of the certainty orbit of planet church. And yet, this is where Jesus and his Transcendent Source show their true hand – unconditional love and embrace in the despairing depths of cold-turkey.

Haven’t we all so many stories to tell? The Divine and the Drug have peppered many of our space-time pilgrimages. But thankfully one thing is certain – once free, there’s no going back.

http://amzn.to/1LRfKMC

Further Up & Higher In

Further Up & Higher In

This world is such a ride. Ups and downs, thankfully followed by stabilising times of fairly level living, it’s the Schoolroom of all schoolrooms. Some folk seem permanently down, others always up, with the majority of us riding both in this head-spinning roller coaster of space-time living. The lessons are learned at differing speeds, most of us taking a few decades of adulthood to begin to figure it out, at least until death approaches to announce ride’s end.

Energy fuelled and energy draining as it is, is that it, one ride, albeit it an adrenalin fuelled one, into the abyss of non-existence? Well some of our greatest minds have concluded, for lack of empirical evidence that that’s the way it is. Yet others, those with sensitive and open hearts have sensed the touch of a Higher Hand, one that comforts us that All is well and shall be well. A Presence that appears in moments of despair to gently push back the clouds of unknowing and let in the Light.

Such a Messenger from another realm seems happy to come and go in the desert of our waking consciousness – a hide and seek game of child-like wonder. Yet, when we close the portal of the human heart and look around our violent world, all appears to be far from well. Religious and tribal violence burst their way into our homes via the new seer of television. Corruption stalks the economic and political world systems, while the poor meekly inherit the earth, or at least a paltry handful of it. Children are raped, believers beheaded, and the war lord’s march on in their frenzied trip of destruction, while the cultured elite shake their heads and send caring platitudes in the direction of the sufferings souls.

Yes, it looks at times like the Apocalypse is upon us. And yet, amidst the great encroaching darkness, a Light refuses to go away; one born beyond the canvas of mankind’s craved collage of violence. This Light, this Knowing of all knowings whispers that darkness doesn’t win in the Cosmic scheme of things. It plays its role of contrast and steps back to finally acknowledge a Higher Power, a Higher Realm, where the satan of rivalry and violence is no more. A place where we can truly rest without the fear of death and non-existence.

The mystics among us are the heralds of this in-breaking Reality, this all-encompassing sphere of Divine Love, where well-being will find its ultimate fruition. Here the broken-hearted find their wounds healed at a Touch, and tears of grief and despair wiped forever from their salted-cheeks. Here, we are told is a Land of plenty, a resting place for those of us who’ve let go in the world of ego. Those of us who have had enough and opted out of the psycho-spiritual rat race of being.

This is the dimension where the victimised Lamb, the One slain by religio-political power, now rests in the validation of Divine Embrace. Where blood and wine are the order of the day – blood to help us remember the ups and downs of space-time experience, wine to celebrate the consummation of All. A Land awaits our homecoming; not pie in the sky when you die, but the original Reality, one where we were conceived in the Mind of God and sent into our soul-sensory virtual reality, our schoolroom of choice to discover the hidden depths of Love in the desert of Night.

So where does all that leave us?

Well, as conscious beings who are heading Home, whether we acknowledge it or not. The Benign Pied Piper of Presence, leads us ever onward. ‘Further Up & Higher In’ is where the tune shall cease as we shall gaze in wondrous Silence and know that we are known.

Pass the Tune on, for surely it’s the only one that ultimately makes sense in this crazy world of form.

http://amzn.to/1LRfKMC

Easter Egg Anyone?

Easter Egg Anyone?

Yes, it’s that time of year again. The Easter bunny is coming out of his winter rabbit hole and offering us all a super-duper chocolate egg with all the cholesterol fuelled, inner trappings.

‘Let’s binge on sentimentality and cheap chocolate for the Lord of Life has risen.’

I never really understood the whole Easter thingy during my fundamentalist days.

Originally a pagan festival, (nothing against my pagan friends!), the Early Christian movement had the brain wave of hijacking it for the Cause, along with lots of other paganish things.

Yet, here I am sitting in Lincoln, where, at the top of the Steep Hill, the ecclesiastical professionals of Lincoln cathedral are getting all sad and forlorn about tomorrow’s inappropriately named ‘Good Friday’. Down here in the High Street, the traders are thinking about how much cash they’ll make over the holiday weekend. Elsewhere the average punter is worrying about missing the football because the mother-in-law coming for Easter Sunday Lunch and an afternoon sleep!

Here in the UK, religion has become a minority sport, usually played by those in the autumn and winters of their lives. Of course the trendy, jumpy up and down churches grab a few of the younger generation for a while, but only a few. Most teens and 20s are setting their sights on the next piece of electronic kit that can brighten up their predictable existence.

I wonder did the Nazarene prophet, see it all up ahead as he hung there dying on the Roman death device. Did a tear of existential angst run down his bloodied cheek? Could his death really be reduced to a sanctimonious wailing and gnashing of teeth, with crocodile tears replacing Living Waters. Could the Establishment’s token sympathy for a god/man be the one day wonder that would quickly pass into history, leaving culture to get on with the real business of life, making cash!

Let me be blunt. The death of the Nazarene wasn’t some legalistic case of Divine butchery, one to appease a Higher Justice. No, it was the exposure of what really lies within the ego realm of man, viz. rivalry and violence. It was a bloody revelation of Divine Love’s Innocence and our screwed sense of being. Dressing it up in theological garb with substitutionary atonement as its official garb is to cleverly avoid the issue. The God of Yeshuaisn’t into cultural niceties and warm cuddly religion. For, above all, Divine Love is a realist – one put away by political and religious power through the humiliating public violence of execution.

Of course the death of the Nazarene matters, for it strikes at the heart of our ego run society and the pained woundedness of our own hearts. Those in pain strike back and that’s what the big wigs of first century Palestine did to the revolutionary Nazarene.

The death of the prophet shows that the game is up. Religion, although it has a jolly good go, can no longer portray the Divine as enemy or Self-Righteous Holy Other. Presence came in the Nazarene to smell our shit and suffer the consequences.

So, ‘Good Friday’ isn’t so good – frankly it’s hell and a hell that we must face up to before the Dawn of New Life emerges from the tomb of our fragmented Self. No use pussy-footing around our frailties, for as every recovering addict knows, we are screwed without brutal honesty.

Of course there’s a greater Reality than our space-time dysfunctions – a Union with Source that has never nailed a prophet-preacher to a tree. One that lies back and embraces the Unconditional Love that’s been there all along. The Friday event is the shock therapy that awakens us to the real us and the real God. At least that’s my take on it.

http://amzn.to/1LRfKMC

Alignment

Alignment

 

Alignment is defined in the dictionary as an arrangement in a straight line or in correct relative positions. I like that. Everything is the way it was meant to be, placed in space-time as originally planned. Now, we’re told that we live in a Universe of chaos at the sub-atomic level and indeed, if the nightly news bulletins are to be believed, at the level of human society.

So is our life just a series of unpredictable collisions that bounce us off onto the next one? Are we no more than the humanoid version of a pin ball, rebounding off our peers and the Cosmos’s little surprises. Well, if it hadn’t been for the Nazarene and my own life experiences I’d have to agree with a hearty yes. Of course, at times in our space-time adventures it appears that we’re in total free fall, when everything just seems to go wrong. I call such events ego spin, when we let our ego loose to do its dizzy thing. Ego is built for chaos, a little psychological defender who attempts to keep us safe by actually making things worse. Instead of pulling out of our tailspin we only crash to the ground more quickly and painfully.

So why is there any hope in this virtual reality ride called Life?

Well, for me the Nazarene prophet hit the nail on the head when he alluded to a benign Transcendence that intervenes in the whole human show. In Aramaic parlance, the Abba or Cosmic Parent Source, One who head counts human hairs and feeds the birds of the field. Now, in our post-modern world such a parental view of ultimate reality is laughed out of court; and yet, the alternative is a game of chance with a wooden box as its reward. Of course, you may say that the Nazarene himself ended up the same way in spite of all his divine optimism. Hanging on a Roman execution device with others spit running down your bloodied beard, doesn’t seem like pie in the sky to me; the opposite in fact – hell on earth.

Yet, the claim of a one-off raising from the dead, a reversal of all that humankind can throw at the Divine image, is a claim worth examining, one that can’t be laughingly dismissed by skeptical and ultimately hope-less rational thought. If the Nazarene, was raised in a manner beyond the limitations of our present scientific knowledge, then his message was authentic all along. A compassionate Source Power does have the last word on the page of mankind’s skewed existence.

In my own life I have known times of chaos. The death of my baby son, my nervous exhaustion, the suffocating clutches of dark depression, have all battered my trust in ultimate meaning. I’ve tasted the bitterness of emotional free fall and it wasn’t pleasant – not pleasant at all. And, yet, when the psycho-spiritual dust settled I eventually sensed the realigning equilibrium of something Beyond, a Transcendent adjuster at work, One working to a healing blueprint. Today, I’ve my ups and downs, but after my life changing encounters with what I can only describe as infillings of Liquid Love, I feel, rather than primarily believe, in Divine Alignment. Experience is a great teacher, and one that can’t easily be ignored. No, in the virtual chaos of ego reality, a Magnetism is at work, drawing us back into order and designed Purpose; the restoration process known in religious thought as salvation and enlightenment in many of the philosophies of the East.

To be in our correct relative position with Divine Source is to be at peace; a state of underlying joy that no-man can destroy. To experience the Abwoon of the Nazarene, flowing through our inner, psycho-spiritual world without the constant resistance of ego, is why we’re here. Aligned and ready to go I reckon.

http://amzn.to/1LRfKMC

Freedom

Freedom

 

I guess that everyone’s after it; freedom, that is. It’s often used as a raison d’être for the vicious violence that swirls around individuals, communities and nation states. Everyone who fights sees themself as a freedom fighter of sorts. Yet the very fact that one fights is a sign that freedom lies a long way off. For true freedom isn’t just the rearrangement and temporary pacifying of our psycho-spiritual subpersonalities, but a much more radical process.

Freedom is ultimately the freedom from desire, the beguiling energy that draws us into the obsessive acquisition of both things and people. Unsurprisingly, mass market advertisers hate genuine freedom – for it’s their negating nemesis. Rampant, restless desire is their mistress. They use her to fatten their wallets and those belonging to their clients, the wealthy multinationals of our world.

It’s hard to escape desire’s clutches for its tenacious tentacles wrap themselves around our every waking moment. Newspapers, TV, Radio, and the Internet, all pulsate with demanding desire. ‘If you get hold of this then you’ll be free and happy!’ It’s one big lie of course, but that’s what makes human culture tick. We all operate within a subconscious con-job. No, freedom isn’t to be found within the citadel of establishment or the hippy tent of countercultural values.

Surprisingly, freedom is found within and only after an awakening to some disturbing wee facts. We are not autonomous creatures as suggested by cultural norms. Far from it. Rather, we’re constantly responding to a network of encroaching desires, a subliminal matrix that controls us like a puppet on a string. Desire disguises itself in the most intriguing of ways. It can come in materialistic, relational or, even more deviously, metaphysical forms, pulling us towards the illusory goal of acquired happiness and pseudo-freedom.

Authentic freedom usually comes after we imagine we’re going under; when the last of our desire attachments are cut away by the pruning Gardener of Divine Love. Each little snip results in a pain-filled howl, yet bit by bit, we arrive at a place where the only desire left is the one for Source. The bloom of Union will come after the Winter of angst-filled death, the hellish stripping away of our skewed desire web. Realigned with Source, we can tentatively re-emerge into the desire-flux world of men. This time though we’re not easily fooled, for our eyes have been opened. We’re now free to engage or disengage with oncoming transmitted desire. We see the matrix for what it is, the Deceiver of all deceivers.

So, best to let the illusion of personal autonomy go and jump into the embrace of Divine Love. The Dancer and the Dance, a Union of freedom, one beyond desire.

http://amzn.to/1LRfKMC

Blocked

Blocked

In last week’s wee post I looked at the dynamics of rivalry within a family context and the way to live in freedom while enjoying such relationships, viz. to align with Divine Desire and let everything flow from that.

Today I want to focus on friendships that blow up, taking as an example Peter and Yeshua. My examination of this relationship will focus on the Greek word scandalon or stumbling block and its role in our personal relationships. So here goes: I’ll quote a few wee lines from Matthew’s account of the blow up!

‘Yeshua began to reveal to his disciples how he had to go up to Jerusalem to suffer many things from the elders, chief priests and scribes, be killed and be raised again on the third day.

Then Peter took hold of him, beginning to rebuke him, saying, “Pity yourself Lord, there’s no way this is going to happen to you.”

But Yeshua turned around, saying to Peter, “Get behind me Adversary (Satan): you are a scandalon (stumbling block) to me. For you don’t understand the things that emerge out of God, but those that come from men.”

So much for lovey-dovey, touchy-feely Christianity! What on earth was going on here? Well, let’s try and unpack this bizarre little incident.

Peter, strong-willed as he was, was a loyal, dedicated follower of the Nazarene. Prior to this incident it’s claimed that he declared Yeshua bar Yosef to be the awaited anointed one or Messiah king. So part of Peter’s inner psyche seemed to be spot on regarding his itinerant teacher-master. But what else was lurking within?

May I suggest that Peter partly saw himself as an equal with Yeshua, the Big Brother to keep the unpredictable Nazarene on track to power. But wasn’t the extrovert fisherman a disciple? Well yes, to all outward appearances, yet Yeshua’s declaration of intent exposed a deeper dynamic at work within the dedicated follower. Please let me explain.

When we latch onto the strong desire field transmitted by another we initially drink it in, basking in the discovery of such an energetic psycho-spiritual force. Submitting we swim along nicely for a while until our internal mimetic wiring kicks in. Subconsciously, we adjust our inner Self to that of the transmitting other. Absorbing the desire of another we begin to clone ourselves in their image. We get to a stage when we look at them we see our new Self, and when we look inside we see them. Our desire friend has got inside us, like a dormant virus awaiting contagion time.

I reckon that Peter was at this stage in his psycho-spiritual development. Deep in his lower consciousness lay Peter, the Messiah, or at least the twin of the Nazarene, his Big brother realist equal. So when Yeshua broke the bad news of last suppers and cross-examination, Peter’s cloned Messiah self wasn’t taking it – not from anyone, not even from his beloved miracle-working preacher-prophet. The desire equal within, the one formed in the three years of following Yeshua’s unique desire trail wasn’t planning for this end of the road scenario.

When we tap into the desire flow of another we will inevitably end up their rival further down the tracks. It’s at this stage that we have morphed into a scandalon, a stumbling block for our Model transmitter. And so it was with Peter. Yeshua saw it immediately and turned to tell it like it was. “Peter, you have become a manifestation of the Satan, the rivalry dynamic that rules the affairs of man, an Adversary who is attempting to cross my will. You are a scandalon, a stumbling block relationship, trying to bend me to your will and stop me being me. I’ve a destiny to walk and you’re trying to trip me up, to keep me locked into our clone-based relationship. I’m afraid you’re not thinking like Divine Love but like a Monstrous Double, a twin-like co-dependency friend who is afraid to lose their Linus blanket Model.”

And that was that. Shocked by the Nazarene’s words the desire spell was broken, at least for a while, until the Gethsemane sword drawing incident.

So are we at the stage when some of our friendships, those born in the initial thrill of inter-personal desire transfer, have become prisons. The stage when we are being held into a relationship by chords of imitative desire, when fear to leave our Model and move on dominates our waking thoughts. Now the Nazarene, knew how to step over the Peter stumbling block and continue on into the annuls of world history. He moved in relational freedom by listening to the Voice within and following its instructions. Do we?

Incidentally, it’s interesting to note that Peter, post resurrection was finally realigned with his Friend, during an inner healing episode on a Galilean shore, but that’s another story, for another day. Strange also that legend has it that the Rock ended up upside down on a Roman cross. I wonder if he asked for it to be this way, so as to remain free of Model rivalry, even as he passed into the realm of his risen friend.

P.S. If you’d like to discover more about imitative desire and Model obstacles, please let me recommend my wee book, ‘Matrix Messiah”. It’s a much more detailed account of our desire settings and the inter-personal problems they can get us into. It’s not all bad news though for I outline a new way to live, a Way that follows the One without desire. Here’s a wee link to my Amazon author page if you’re interested.

Dylan

http://amzn.to/1LRfKMC

The Nazarene & Friends

The Nazarene & Friends

 

In my last wee post I looked at how many close friendships eventually explode or suddenly fizzle out, much to the surprise and shock of onlookers and the participants themselves. I have suggested that friendship at a subliminal level is all about mutual desire transmissions and the process of mimetic imitation. We become the other and the other becomes us. Two identical twins cannot afford each other psycho-spiritual space and the friendship abruptly ends.

Today and next week,  I want to look at two events in the recorded account of Yeshua bar Yosef’s close relationships and see if there is anything there that can help us enjoy the freedom of relationship without subconscious rivalry.

So let’s consider the seemingly disconcerting wee tale of Yeshua’s response to a request from his mum and brothers to have a wee word as we say in Northern Ireland. Here’s the account from Matthew’s memory.

“While he was talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers were standing outside eagerly wanting to speak with him. Someone said to him, ‘Look, you’re mother and brothers are outside wanting to speak with you’.

But he answered them, ‘Who is my mother and who are my brothers?’ And he stretched out his hand towards his disciples, saying, ‘Look, my mother and brothers! For whoever is doing the will of my Father (Abwoon), who’s in the heavens (transcendent realm), is my brother, and sister, and mother.'”

Now folk have never really got their head around this seemingly unloving statement from the Nazarene, seeing it as an expression of delusions of grandeur by the popular prophet-preacher. Yet, if we dig around it we’ll see that he is being extremely perceptive in his take on relationships, in this case family attachments.

For me, the key word here is will.

For many of us it’s a heavy, condemnatory religious word, so let’s swap it for strong desire.

Two wills or desires are on show here.

1) Family demands.

2) Divine Desire

It doesn’t take much to imagine the scene. Yeshua is merrily chatting away in his storytelling teaching style to enthralled followers while mum and the boys are trying to be patient outside. Finally they’ve had enough and send in an urgent, perhaps ego scripted message to their unconventional kinsman. ‘Yeshua, get your ass out here ASAP, who do you think we are, some of your weak little followers standing in line for a beatific smile?’

What we have here is the exercise of desire via hierarchy. The family saw their blood relationship to be of a higher order than the crowd around them. They had a bigger claim to Yeshua than the motley crew packing the wee house where Yeshua was spouting forth. In other words, the family were in rivalry with the crowd via their exercise of desire. Now Yeshua, must have experienced this kind of relational expectation before with his folks. That’s the way most family relationships work. In Ireland, the Irish mammy is one who must be obeyed! I’m sure that it was no different in the Jewish families of 1st century Palestine.

At first the Nazarene’s response appears to be downright disrespectful and unloving. The Jewish family was the pillar of society and the building block of a Palestine under occupation. Yet, I reckon Yeshua was taking the opportunity to teach about desire. Bluntly, he was saying that he didn’t respond to skewed desire as expressed by ego. Let’s not forget that this is how society works and is the dominant force outside the ‘Queendom’ as illustrated by his eventual violent end.

So to summarise, the Nazarene therapist was surely saying this:

There are two desire fields that act like a magnetic flux.

1) The Passion or Desire that emanates from Transcendent Source.

2) The skewed desire that we mutually transmit via ego, or wounded psyche-souls.

His disciples, those shockingly referred to as his brothers, sisters and mother are those who are being influenced by his desire, which in turn is aligned with that of Divine Source. In other words, if you follow me (resonate with my desire) then you will resonate with the Divine Desire that birthed you in the first place. Such an alignment is the experiential essence of being the Children of Transcendence, the Children of God.

The normal desire demands of our familial and friendship transmissions are never to take precedence over such a spirit alignment. The psyche-soul must always be under the healing and freeing influence of Spirit Breath and its life flow. To be tossed about by the desire pull of others is the root of unhappiness and relational discord.

Of course the Nazarene loved his family, particularly his mother. His concern for Mary at his execution is the painful evidence of this. Yet, he was aware that he had come from and would return to Divine Source. To be constantly living in the passionate creativity and restorative power of Divine Desire was his overriding goal. A goal, that to my mind, made hin unique among men.

Next week we’ll look at Peter, and his close friendship of concern with the Nazarene. Prepare to be shocked.

http://amzn.to/1LRfKMC

 

%d bloggers like this: