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Posts Tagged ‘ego’

Spark

Spark

What on earth keeps us going? What is it that gets us to the end of this, our roller-coaster ride that we call life. Of course ego claims the rights to our existence. We live in a dangerous world and ego has carried us over the line, like some Saving Private Ryan Marine type figure, exhausted but mission accomplished. I’m afraid that I can’t agree and here’s why.

Suffering is only in the eye of the beholder, and that eye is our fragmented psyche-soul, the one known as ego. The psyche is here to help us ‘experience’ what appears to be reality, this space-time simulation of existence. It’s the software that helps us feel every up and down on the wave of life. Its settings are either winning or losing, exhilaration or pain. All relational battles that cause us dismay are felt here. All circumstances are interpreted by psyche as a high or a low.

And so we travel along the illusion of time, picking up little victories here and there, along with the painful defeats that edge us ever closer to rock bottom. Now, the power of positive thinking or its New Age equivalent will get us so far. Shiny faced successful gurus point us in the direction of their secret, one usually packaged for the self-help marketplace. Now of course things seem to go better when we’re positive, the power of attraction and all that. Yet, a downer usually lurks around the bend, as we sail along reckoning we’ve got this life thing cracked. The downer in question may be a result of our presumption, but often it’s sent along for our own good. For there’s nothing worse than an ego in full flight, gliding on the winds of its own achievement. No, the downers are needed for us to reach our ultimate but unknown destination.

Now some of us feed ego with all the ammunition that it craves. Paranoia, sees defeats lying along both past and future timelines of our lives. If the sun shines it’s too hot. If everything is freezing over, it’s hell in reverse. The little interpreter within our heads is skewed, leading us into the wilderness of depression and despair. Ego, loves it, feeding our darkness to justify its role as saviour.

Religious belief, particularly the Charismatic/Pentecostal brand that predominates much of Western Christianity, gives us a measure of relief, albeit temporarily. For to be involved, is often not to think, and that definitely nullifies the contradictory ups and downs for a while. Cleverly interpreting the highs as God’s blessing and the lows as Satanic attack, we ride the Christian life, quoting the relevant Bible verses until the big one blocks our path. The Transpersonal Crisis shakes up everything, dislodging our stoical belief in the protection of God, the One who looks out for us. No wonder, such a crisis leaves us disillusioned and broken, for we later discover that ego was the sponsor of our religious ride, an ardent ‘Amener’ who backed our every move.

So then what are we to do. Well, I reckon that we need to turn our attention away from the psyche-soul, our sensor of life, and turn to another hidden participator in the human experience, the real power behind our being, viz. our spirit. Now before you think I’m getting a wee bit too esoteric, please let me explain. When I make something, I leave something of myself in the work concerned. Hopefully in my own writings, there is something of me transmitting itself to you, an inexplicable touch that is received within. Similarly I believe that Source has deposited something of its own Being within us, a spark from the Divine Fire of Creativity. An altogether other that lies deep within our consciousness, waiting for our day of awakening. A pin-hole of Cosmic Consciousness that lets in the Light, that we call God.

Such a spirit is altogether different form our wounded psyche-soul, not having a trace of defensiveness in its essence, for it has been birthed in the Divine. When all around is a high or low, spirit sits quietly, confident in its own Being, waiting for its time of appearing, waiting for ego to burn itself out in the pursuit of happiness and security. And burn itself out it most surely will. So, let’s step back from the spin of ego, smiling as it attempts to recruit us in its dervish dance of salvation. No, rather embrace the Queendom within, the portal of Divine Love, where all is well and shall be well.

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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.

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I'm A Holy Roller ~ Get Me Outta Here

I’m A Holy Roller ~ Get Me Outta Here

We glibly follow the Nazarene in many guises. One of our favourite ones is the serious disciple, the  believer whose big aim in life is to make Jesus, Lord. We play numerous church and individual basedl games in our zealous attempt at convincing ourselves that we’ve finally handed over the control of our lives to the mysterious Galilean. Now, as a recovering Holy Roller myself, one who played loads of complex Spirit games in my youth, I want to examine why so many Charismatic/Pentecostal folk eventually leave their initial, revivalist brand of choice.

May I be blunt? We can play an extremely plausible role within Spirit-focused faith, or indeed, within the many modern New Age alternatives and still not have yielded to Divine Love. I’d better explain. Ego, our wounded, and often frenetic, psyche-soul, adores religious or spiritual disguises. It’s a past master at the whole Angel of Light thing. Since time began, long ago in the mythic Garden, ego has wrapped itself in its psycho-spiritual skins to hide from the Innocent intimacy of Source, fearing that it has been spurned by Love and placed under a divine fatwa.

The Evangelicals among us were told that ‘the Satan’ used to lead the Heavenly choirs in their harmonic songs of adoration. In other words, a religious worship leader, or alternatively, a pseudo-spiritual vibrational expert. Maybe there’s some elements of truth in there, for ego, the faithful foot soldier of the aforementioned adversarial system, can certainly put on a good show. Ego loves religious devotion with all its directed hoop-jumping. It will commit itself to great depths of suffering and pain, all in the name of God. It will ‘serve’ and ‘love’ till it’s blue in the face and about to expire. Add a controlling pastoral or authoritative voice to the mix and ego will splash its cash to get some of what it appears to have.

Paradoxically, it’s all about trying to impress the Divine while being terrified of its pronouncements. Many of us, whether religious or spiritual, have played this game in our time, on the ever-spinning hamster-wheel of devotion. And yet, we all eventually fall off. Well, to be more accurate, we’re simply pushed off by the intervention of Spirit, in the form of Life. So let’s be clear; ego has vast resources of psychological strength, yet even these remain limited. At some stage in our sojourn Divine Love comes calling, loudly proclaiming, ‘Enough is enough. Time for aReality check!’

Now, it’s at this critical stage in our journey when we Holy Rollers, start rebuking everything in sight, in one last desperate attempt to remain in our religious delusion. ‘God would never let this happen to me – I’m a Holy Roller – get me outta here,’ we scream in frustrated sincerity!

And yet, in reality, this is the day of our salvation. Not the religious joining of a faith system through confessional game play, but rather, a felt and all too painful salvation. For Divine Love has decided to take us through cold turkey, weaning us off our devotional drug in a way that only Transcendence can manage. When Love strikes it heads straight for the dependency jugular. Yes, you’ve guessed it, ego. It only asks one thing – a surrender of control, an end to our illusory state of independence and strength. Of course, like some great lion with a thorn in its paw, ego doesn’t lie down lightly. Thankfully though, Source knows us better than we know ourselves, and the final act of compassion comes swiftly and decisively. We, or more accurately ego, is floored for good. Time for some thorn removal therapy methinks!

I look fondly back to my somewhat heady days as a Holy Roller. Divine Love was extremely gracious to me in many, many ways, and yet, all along It was planning to snatch me from the jaws of ego in the blink of an eye. ‘Do you miss it all’, I’m often asked. Well, to be honest no. Better to have ego, healed and reintegrated, rather than running around in its blind religious fervour.

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Dead Folk Walking

Dead Folk Walking

 

St. Paul or Saul of Tarsus to his Jewish friends, was, I reckon, a bit of a psychologist. Also a mystic, the guy would have a weird time trying to adapt to modern takes on religious thought and practice if he were around today. During the past week I had someone on facebook suggest that I get back into ‘accountable relationships’ within the Christian fold and let folk ‘speak into’ my life. Perhaps well-meaning, perhaps a reflex reaction to my unusual take on spirituality. Anyway, it didn’t take long for me to pass on the pious proposal; not due to some wild claim of perfection, but rather Paul’s radical take on psycho-spiritual health. I’d better explain.

‘Reckon yourselves dead unto sin and alive unto to God’ are some of the most therapeutic words that our mystic thinker may have uttered. Their profundity all hinges around the wee word reckon, an ancient accountancy term that implies taking the facts of cold numbers into consideration. To reckon is to rest upon that which is beyond dispute. So dear old Paul seems to infer that we’re dead folk walking. No longer living in a state of fear-fueled dysfunction towards Divine Love, but presently at One with it. The old wiring of our paranoid ego is to be reckoned as gone, because in Ultimate Reality it is. The mystic Paul saw past the transitory nature of our psycho-spiritual perceptions of separation from Source.

The human spirit has never been on a prodigal journey of excess and happiness hunting. No, it’s always been a spark from the Divine Fire, albeit one buried under the rantings and flailing arms of ego. It’s our psyche-soul that has believed the lie of God disapproval, arming itself with all manner of weapons in its first-strike policies of attack. Paul is claiming that the old controlling ways of ego are now dead and buried. We no longer have to engage with ego’s dysfunction or ‘sin’, to use a heavily rigged religious word. No, there is, and indeed, always has been an alternative way to live, viz, to be alive unto or within God.

Now what does this mean in practice. Well for a start the guilt of ego spin is no longer to be entertained. Bad news for certain strands of evangelicalism. The old thought patterns of never being good enough can be dispensed with forever. They were never true in the first place. No longer do we have to obtain brownie points with the Divine, or perhaps more importantly, others in our space-time sojourn. For, we have finally woken up to the facts of the matter – we are alive unto God. In other words, we can’t disengage from God. We live and move and have our very being in Divine Love. Can a fish escape from its ocean home – not likely. All we are asked to do is reckon on being as close to Divine Love as is possible, for in reality we are. Paul suggests that this radical new way of seeing oneself, others and Divine Source, is the key to joy and authentic freedom – freedom from the confused, threatening world of ego.

So back to my Job’s comforter. Well, of course there is nothing wrong with hanging out with other folk of faith, those with a spiritual take on life. None at all. But is it essential? I believe not. Let’s look at my friend’s two main spiritual directions for my wellbeing.

1) Accountable relationships

Well, I have to be honest, I’ve had my fill of so-called accountable religious relationships over the years. Those who have read my wee tale of Irish pilgrimage, The Prodigal Prophet will understand why. That being said, I reckon such relationships are not in line with what Paul has declared. For, if we reckon ourselves dead to the dysfunction of ego, why do we need others to watch our back and be the Lone-Rangers of our soul. If the new life that Paul so confidently declares is real then why are Christians so hung up on being hijacked once more by the old ways; so hung up as to have pseudo-guardians cover them within religious communities. No either this new birth or awakening is real or a myth that should be confined to religious history. I tend to plump for the former.

2) Folk who speak into our lives.

Lots of folk speak into my life, everyone I converse with on a daily basis, especially my good lady Zan, who keeps me firmly earthed in all matters marital. Of course my recent adviser wasn’t referring to that kind of input. Rather I suspect that he meant a counselor who could speak words of correction and advice to me, one who knows the Mind of God regarding me more than I do. Again, I’ve experienced this in the past. Usually it eventually turned out that such a wise caring counselor was just as screwed up as I was, perhaps even more so. One of the folk who fulfilled this role in my life wondered at a time how my marriage survived the traumas that Zan and I had passed through. A number of year’s later the same counselor had an extra-marital affair with the headmistress of his Christian school and resigned from all counseling ministry. No, there has to be a better way and there is.

Once ego, lets go of its Linus-blanket control, we are once again able to hear the Voice of Wisdom within. Unfettered by prejudice and skewed vision, the musings of Spirit are always close to hand. Sometimes a gut feeling, sometimes a precise though or insight, Divine Love within knows how to maintain us in the flow of  Life like no other. Of course, when we suggest such a thing, our concerned religious advisers will quickly recoil, accusing us of spiritual arrogance and delusory self-importance. Not so. We have only taken or reckoned the mystic Paul at his word. And that of course is sacrosanct in Christian circles. Enough said.

Happy listening to all and remember to take the pseudo-spiritual words of others with a large pinch of salt. Especially mine. If the words of wisdom from a caring other don’t ring true in your spirit-gut, smile sweetly and move on.

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Living To Die ~ Dying To Live

Living To Die ~ Dying To Live

 

I’ve just been listening to Cat Steven’s new wee song, Dying To Live ~ Living To Die. It’s really sparked something within me, on this warm, Lincolnshire, blog-writing morning; so here goes.

Many of us are dying to live. We just feel like we haven’t got to a place that can be really called living. If only is the wee phrase that gives it away. If only I’d a better, bigger, whatever. You know how it goes. The advertising industry certainly do for it is their raison d’être. We feel like a glass half empty if we’re lucky. Some of feel drained dry on a permanent basis as we struggle for a drop of life to keep us going. Show me the one who claims to be living life to the full and I’ll show you a liar, be they a hedonistic playboy or a religious zealot. No, not even after some sublime spiritual experiences do we constantly feel fully alive. I reckon, it’s the way it’s been designed, a metaphysical carrot to keep us on the Way.

Our dying to live takes many forms. Ego suggests a whole selection of ways that we can kill ourselves during our earthly sojourn. Addictions, a stream of broken relationships, self-imposed lacks of all kinds appear to be sponsored by our wounded, shame orientated self who confidently declares that we deserve to die. We are often our own firing squad, lining up to fire an assortment of psycho-spiritual weapons that will put us out of our misery. Unfortunately though it doesn’t work. We rise again to go through the whole suicide attempt again.

Let’s face it we are addicted to dying, hoping to prove to ourselves and Other that we are heroes worthy of Love. The gloomy, morose among us are death junkies par excellence. Everything is seen through the lens of death. Trips to the doctor’s surgery a regular ritual, hoping to hear the worst – news that induce pity and some sense of self-worth as we teeter on the brink of space-time.

And yet there is a dying process, one not driven by ego, that does lead to life. It is the awakening process within that unties the bonds of psychological attachments. Let’s just say that ego doesn’t like it at all. It will rant and rave that it alone is the expert in the dying business. Yet, under the guidance and encouragement Spirit Breath, the Intelligent Energy of our Source life-giver, we are led into situations where we go through mini-deaths. Yet these mini-deaths are really portals into a new sense of freedom, not the totality of Life as it shall be, but as it can be here within the constraints of space-time.

If Spirit nudges for us to jump off our personal psycho-spiritual cliffs of attachment then my advice, based on painful experience, is to leap with all one’s might. Divine Presence is always there to work its wonders, to catch and restore those who trust. Letting go of addictive relationships or other psychological crutches is always the path to life, no matter how much ego protests.

The reality in which we find ourselves suggests that we are all living to die. What an absurd thought. We run around like headless chickens for a while before running out of steam and ending up as a cold corpse in the frozen earth or a little urn of ashes to be sprinkled onto a local beauty spot. Could Source really be so cruel. Life seems to be a school which rings the closing bell, sending us into nothingness where the lessons learned will be of no further earthly use. No wonder many great philosophers ended up mad or taking their own lives.

Of course religion weaves its pseudo magic and asks the faithful to embrace suffering and die a thousand deaths daily – all for Jesus. Such a warped mindset has milked death for all it’s worth. Many religious organisations are kept going by the sacrificial endeavours of their members, all in the name of God, though often resulting in manipulation, misery and control. Death cannot be used as a religious tool to keep the flock in line. The dying of ego is a more liberating process than the  numerous self-hating hoops through which we jump in our pursuit of religious reality.

The whole life thing seems to be one great Cosmic joke, a teaser of the cruellest kind. We live to die. Full stop. Some folk appear to accept this and just get on with it. ‘Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die’ is the wisdom of many. It certainly brings a measure of release for some, but niggling in the depths of being the question remains. ‘Is this really all that there is?’

So, I guess if the Nazarene hadn’t turned up and gone through the whole gamut of human existence that I’d join the above club. No matter how wonderful the teaching of the Jewish prophet, it’s only half of the claimed story. Even in our scientific age we can’t get around the big one. Disheartened, fearful men and women, such as ourselves, came bursting out of a Jerusalem safe house to declare that their executed leader was alive and well. Not the kind of thing that disillusioned sect devotees usually get up to. How or what happened to the Nazarene isn’t the topic for this post but rather the answer to the ‘living to die’ downer. ‘Living to die to Live’ seems to be closer to the Divine Mystery. Our conscious Self appears to continue on after ditching this shell-like body. Rather than the end, death is only a beginning.

Try and get hold of Cat’s or Yusaf’s wee song.

❤ Dylan

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Who's Hiding Inside

Who’s Hiding Inside

 

Tucked away within a slime covered oyster, one lying in the murky depths of the swirling ocean, lies a pearl of great price. The divers of indigenous peoples take their life in their hands to dive deep to bring to the surface these watery treasures, for sale and display. Likewise it takes a level of  daring for us to enter the murky depths of our inner world to discover what lies beneath. It’s a dive that many of us refuse to take, particularly, may I tentatively suggest, those of us who claim to follow the Nazarene. Within the confines of both conservative and progressive belief systems, inner diving is looked upon with great suspicion. Labelled as a form of  self-absorption, a wasteful narcissism, we’re advised not to dabble our toes in the waters of Self.

For the conservative disciple, Jesus/Yeshua, is all we need. We keep looking outwards at mental projections of his death and resurrection, believing that we’re somehow saved from an eternity outside the reach of God’s love. Of course a measure of inner knowledge is occasionally suggested, but it refers only to the indwelling Spirit that has somehow come to take up residence within the faithful believer. Now where exactly Spirit is believed to have settled isn’t really explained, with both soul (psyche) and spirit (ours) bandied around as religious buzz words without any real explanation. No, the emphasis is primarily one of relating to an external God, One who is somehow out there. Mission, the evangelisation of others, is the overarching goal of the conservative believer, with very little time left for Self exploration and inner knowledge. Brainwashed that such introversion is for the selfish New Age types, the pearl is left to sit within the encrusted shell of ego, our wounded and dare I say it, unhealed psyche-soul.

For the progressive too, the inner search for meaning is also a somewhat Don Quixote waste of time. Rightly believing the  Nazarene to be a revolutionary of the scapegoating social order, the Progressive sets out of a Love mission to show the compassion of God to others. No airy-fairy pie-in-the-sky love for the Progressive, but a practical siding with the victims of society in a sleeves rolled-up kind of way. For the Progressive the Nazarene is to be found in the tear-stained face of others. A vital part of the salvation narrative but not the whole story. For the Progressive the inner world is one of angst and pain, the drivers of their compassion for wounded others. Yet, they too seem reluctant to explore their own inner world, preferring to explore the inner world of others instead. Much less painful and perhaps much more ego boosting. No, the Progressive follower of the Nazarene tends to see the Queendom-Kingdom without, in the mess of the here and now. The realm of Divine Love within is one that is believed but not really sought. More important things to do in our earthed, yet partial take on the Nazarene and his message.

Both religious tribes tend to view each other with deep suspicion while leaving the inner journey thing to the mystics of other traditions. Such inner travellers are viewed as a bit of a waste of space and those to be pitied with their tales of self-knowledge and an inner Presence. Get into that stuff too much and you’ll soon be living  at the top of an Egyptian desert pole or, more likely, taking a much-needed break in a mental health institution.

No, let’s face it. Inner knowledge isn’t top of the Yeshua followers to do list. Best left to the Mind, Body, Spirit brigade and their supposed, uncaring narcissism. And yet, the divine portal, the pearl of the human spirit, still lies deep within, growing and crying out for expression. And expression it will eventually get.

When the masks of ego fall away during the performance we call life, when the slime of our shell-like ego is washed away in the storms that beset us, when something breaks within, opening the clamp-like grip of our psyche-soul to reveal a touch of Source, the divine deposit that makes us who we are. Our authentic self, that part of us untouched by pain and struggle, that centre that flows into the Energy of God.

And the way in?

Silence and reflection as we lie on the Divine Psychiatrist’s couch, willing to meet our shadow Self with all its warts and deep felt pain. A passer-by on our journey Home, one we can’t ignore but need to embrace as we walk towards the Light. Such sessions aren’t the result of strenuous Self-Improvement effort but the co-operation of a psyche-soul that knows the time has come to relinquish control. The day of ego has passed and Divine Love begins to do its healing, yet painful thing.

Is it any wonder that we keep busy with Jesus? Better an outside Saviour than one who walks with us through the valley of psyche-soul, the valley of death into the pastures lands of spirit-Self and Divine Love.

Now where did I put that mask?

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Sorry, Do I Know You?

Sorry, Do I Know You?

 

Without doubt life’s a weird dance. A 70+ years’performance with all the intricate twists and turns of inter-personal relationships and attachments. The longer I live the less I seem to know. Yet, maybe that’s the way it was meant to be. At the end of it all maybe we’ll just fall into the compassionate arms of Mystery having done our thing on the dance floor of space-time.

One of the most baffling elements in life is our perception of those close to us. We get to a place where we think we know them, only to be shocked and surprised by some of their newly emerging hidden layers. At times I wonder if we’re just relating to a projection of ourselves – an idealised me, rather than the real other, whoever that may be. I suspect that the majority of our daily interactions operate on this semi-delusional basis. All that we know about the other is the mask which they wear with pride. A camouflaged disguise to throw us off the scent of their inner brokenness and pain. Often, we are merely two masks boosting each others egos, a little mutual appreciation society that gets us both through the day.

Of course we can easily switch masks at the drop of a psycho-spiritual hat. Our numerous little sub-personalities, those that comprise ego, have quite a store of them from which to draw upon. A face for every situation under the sun methinks. Like some frantic trick or treater  we are skilled at flashing up a new face in order to get what we need, viz. a little care and attention to numb our debilitating internal pain. Is it any wonder that relationships come and go, prospering only to eventually hit the rocks of estrangement? Our friend has repeatedly seen all our faces and is growing totally bored with them. Time to move on and admire a new set of masks. “So long! It’s been nice knowing you, or more accurately, not knowing you!”

The dance of the masks has many stages on which to do its thing. Marriage is a classic example of such a performance area. Many marriages break down as the power of the illusion begins to lose its efficacy, finally revealing what the other person was really like all along. Paradoxically, marital mask wearing is a pretty dangerous game, for as it draws us ever closer together, we automatically open ourselves up to the possibility of our mask slipping. Our fantastical romantic projections fall away, leaving us with just another flawed human being, one crying out for authenticity and love. Shocked, some of us miraculously find a new love within, one with which to embrace the other’s now deeply apparent brokenness. Others, exhausted by the endless marrital games of hide and seek, decide enough is another and run for the nearest divorce lawyer. Licking our relational wounds we hide away until another mesmerising mask passes our way, enticing us into a brand new love dance.

Collective mask dances also prove to be potent protectors  in our ego’s defensive armoury. “There’s safety in numbers,” we reason before signing up and joining in. Bumping into numerous others on the dance floor of communal swing, makes us feel much safer for a while. Much social belonging takes this tantalising form. Yet, we interact on the basis of keeping our hidden Self behind a jolly veil of whole-hearted participation. Sadly, a high proportion of our religious involvements within those pietistic families known as church, tend to fall into this category. Churches aren’t really set up for stark realities, for such realities would explode the often superficial group dynamic almost as soon as it was established. No, we all have available to hand a convincing religious self, a devout mask with which to deal with the depth of interaction required in our particular sect of choice. Just turning up with a beatific smile each Sunday is all that’s required for some groups. Others ask a lot more of us, in terms of time, energy and above all cash, along with a zealous believer’s mask, one that reinforces the control of the collective group narrative. Yet, as soon as reality begins to break through an unwelcome chink in a member’s psycho-spiritual armour and their mask falls to the ground, the collective quickly offers them a replacement mask, one to be pitied and prayed for in the continuing religious dance. Of course, the alternative response is a swift expulsion, a communal act of isolation that sends the maskless one out into the desert darkness of unbelief.

So, when we interact with those around us today, let’s see if we can identify our mutual, multifaceted masks. For behind such veneers lie real people, those buried in the pain of ego entanglement. A little act of courage on our part, may see us removing one of our precious masks, thus allowing the other to reciprocate. The first, healing steps toward a genuinely authentic connection. Yet, to achieve such an intimate level of inter-personal knowing first requires our own internal knowing. Only Spirit can draw us into our own persoanl dark room, that Silence where we sit naked and alone with Source. But more of that next week.

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The Search For Wholeness

The Search For Wholeness

 

After we realise that we are a separate entity of sorts, following the awakening of infancy, we set off on a journey that lasts a lifetime. An inner angst that all is not quite right drives us along a path that searches for wholeness and completeness.

Of course our newly formed ego pulls out many tricks to try to get us there. For a young child popularity seems to be the golden chalice to return us to our original state. Yet this desire to be number one in the eyes of our playground others just initiates us into a path of conflict and competition, one that can last well into later life. No wholeness there then.

In our teenage years the wonders of sexuality and its promise of a deep union with another, preferably an attractive one, beckons. Sex is the new healer we are told by mass media and the advertising industry. Just find the right sexual partner and all will be well – a libido utopia that promises much but ultimately deceives. For in seeking an appropriate partner to complete us we are actually looking for one with the negatives and positives of our early carers, viz. our parents. Behind the hormonal urges we are looking for a replay of our early wounding and affirmation. Hoping to get it right the second time we project and transfer the memories of past events onto the one before us – our better half as we foolishly believe. Of course reality eventually kicks in and we either settle for separate lives, giving up the dream of marital wholeness, or continue on in a numbing illusion to our end of days.

Of course some of us were sold the god of a particular religion as the key to wholeness. If only we believe and receive the divinity of choice with its rules for right living then all would be well. It certainly works for a while, especially in the heady days of our 20s and 30s. Initiated into an instant family of fellow believers we once more set about the reconstruction job of our early family life. Often the leaders of our local religious brand become our parents in our dance of restitution and recovery with god smiling benignly upon our efforts. Eventually though the old sense of being half-filled returns as our projected parents let us down once more, revealing their fragile feet of clay. Indeed they too are searching for wholeness in their role of leading others. But that is a story for another day.

Of course the pharmaceutical industry jumps in to take the edge of our inner angst, this feeling of  being somehow flawed. Antidepressants, whilst initially helpful in treating our dark depressions can never take us to the place that we desire. Every alternative addiction is tried and found wanting. Initially, tobacco, alcohol, recreational drugs, money, career development etc all promise much but with a heavy price. We feel worse and less of a person than when we started.

So this sounds all rather depressing. Well, yes I guess it is, and yet that is our experience for much of our lives. There will be occasional highs of connectedness and well-being but generally we feel like half a person or three-quarters at best. A little hole resides deep within, one that many of us choose to ignore, for heading there only triggers past pain and rejection.

So can we find a level of wholeness. Well, I believe we can, but it takes courage and dare I say it a measure of madness, according to ego that is. For, rather than trying to move people and things into the missing jig-saw space within our sense of Self, we just let go. Finally getting the message that we just are, Something other moves in like a flood to fill our angst strewn caverns. In giving up, we find what we have always searched for, A Source Presence that holds us in the palm of its hands. The bigger picture that we’ve missed in our days of frantic search. In going through the pain of  fragmentation we come out on the Other side, the Reality behind the screen of isolation and despair. The Cosmic parent who has not cracked our sense of Self through rejection and judgement. Our carer par excellence.

The Nazarene knew what lies beyond and lies within. Our wholeness lies in the depths of spirit under the fear-fuelled world of ego and illusory relationships. It is ours to give; a gift to our space-time Self.

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Time To Go Within

Time To Go Within

 

What a world we live in. No sooner has the dust settled on some outer conflict than it all breaks out again. It looks like we as a race are addicted to violence and it’s powerful cousin, reciprocal ‘military action’. What  is the answer to our violent rivalries, those erupting from the volcano of mutual desire. I want what you want. I want to be what you are. And on and on it goes until the penny drops. We are wasting out space-time experience. It can be better than it appears all around us and within.

Ego is the scriptwriter, producer and director of all that we observe without and feel within. Our world is a jungle in the ego-inspired drama, a dangerous place where security is the only god worth following. Yet such a locked in type of security is an illusion. We can never be secure in ego’s painted world, not unless we see through it’s sham-like reality, with its hate, war and suffering.

No there is another place, not one of pie-in-the-sky escapism but a Higher and more real Reality. Not the reality of pseudo-righteousness nor conservative morality but the altogether realm of Source. Much of our angst and suffering stems from our view of this space-time bubble we didn’t ask to be thrown into at birth. Of course there is much to enjoy as we float around space-time, but let’s face it there is also much pain. Yet, how real is our suffering in the larger scheme of things. Isn’t suffering just ego’s director’s cut on life. What is life anyway? Is it this dream we live through without waking up until our final breath? Is Life something altogether different from this vale of tears. Does it reside in another dimension, one beyond the world of energy matter?

I suspect that it might. For glimpses of another way of Being break through ego’s carefully guarded plot from time to time. The Studio head will have His way, tweaking our sensory reality from time to time to awaken us to the bigger picture! Life as we know it is a virtual-reality movie one in which we are immersed, actors on a stage and all that. Shakespeare knew a thing or two about life and its transient illusion.

So how do we stay sane within the minefields of life, those laid by ego to keep us in its realm of fear. Well, we can go within. Not purely into the psyche-soul where ego tends to muscle in, but somewhere beyond; the womb of our Inner Space – spirit. Here all is still and all is Real. A Star-Gate to the Home from which we came and to which we shall return. A portal to an authentic Presence, a stiller of our psycho-spiritual storm. It is here where we touch base with Source, the personalised Being who imagined us into being, launching us into the schoolroom of space-time. We are here to discover who we are, set against the ever-so real scenery of ego-drama.

No, religion and politics will not take us there, for they too are players in ego’s defensive script; harbingers of a utopia that doesn’t exist and never can under the subtle direction of ego. Yet, many chose to throw their cents worth into their great crusades in the name of progress. An admirable choice but one that will ultimately frustrate. No, violence isn’t going anywhere; not in this theatre of dreams. Yet, it too is a stage prop, one that the Nazarene exposed as non Divine.

Roll on the Second Act.

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Scared Of Love

Scared Of Love

 

Let’s face it. Most of us are scared of Love, real love that is! Not the sentimental version that sloshes its way around most of our waking hours, but burning love, the real deal. The Love that sees us naked, warts and all and still embraces us with an altogether different kind of acceptance, the very acceptance of Source itself, the One who thought us up in the first place.

Yes, even in its manifested human form we run scared of its all-seeing glance in our direction, swearing as we run for cover in the assurances of ego. Let’s be frank. Most of us at some stage in our earthly sojourn have been terrified of the one they call the Christ. Even His followers are really terrified of Him, believing the sin narrative that Christianity has overlaid Him with. We’re never quite sure if He’ll lay a guilt trip on us in the heady environs of the next life, one that goes something like this:

‘Never forget that I died for you, you undeserving sinner saved by grace!’

No, in our more honest moments we are still wary of the Nazarene, believing religion’s spin on His life, death and claimed resurrection. Such an underlying fear is revealed in our day-to-day avoidance of Love, those times that we prefer the security of insecurity to the Presence of Spirit Breath bubbling up within.

As for those who don’t give religion a second thought! Well, they’ve clearly had enough of the Jesus of Christianity. They’ve observed the Nazarene’s supposed reflection, the Christian believer, from a safe distance and decided, ‘Thanks but no thanks!’ The person of  the Christian Christ terrifies the free running ego. It spells entrapment and a suffocating confinement, a control that they can do without. It’s weird how multitudes quickly proclaim the Nazarene to be a ‘good’ Man before hiding him away in a religious cupboard that they vow to never visit. Yet apart from the religious caricature, there is something that scares folk stiff about the Galilean prophet. Maybe, we suspect that He was onto something regarding our inner life, something that asks us to travel through inner angst into a New World, a World of  reunion and contentment. ‘But He, asks too much,’ declare our wounded egos, those defenders against further rejection and pain.

Yes, this Man certainly rocks our inner and outer worlds. No wonder we run to hide in the Edenic bushes of our misperceived shame. Yet, we run from Love, a Love that has never rejected us nor called us sinners. Hasn’t ego done a great job in keeping us far from Divine Love, shepherding us into the sheep folds of zealous religion, or the hedonistic cities of  quick fix pleasure.

Time perhaps to revisit the Nazarene, on the neutral hillsides of our weaker moments. One Touch is all it takes.

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Non-Leader Leaders

Non-Leader Leaders

 

In the previous posts in this wee series, I’ve looked at the pitfalls of being, or pretending to be, a leader within religious or spiritual groups. Both office-based and charisma-based shepherd roles tend to eventually morph into masks for our insecure egos, our fearful wounded psyches afraid to come into the Light of Divine acceptance. Of course our original motives may initially be well-intentioned but the outward and inward pressures of having ‘responsibility’ for a flock tend to take their toll.

Inside every leader lies a prisoner waiting to make a break for it. Yet, such is the ego strength of the religious or spiritual role that one can’t really make it on their own. Thankfully Divine Love has an appointment with all leaders whether they wish to keep it or not! Divine hijackings are a regular occurrence within the sacred world of the leadership tribe. One way or another Divine Love will get our attention and knock us off our leadership role. For many it’s ill health, for some an unexpected divorce, for others a nervous breakdown – all signs that our running on the hamster wheel of leadership expectations isn’t the Divine Will at all.

Once we’ve gone through our own valley of disillusionment and ego dethronement we are, at last, able to be ourselves, warts and all, without fear of what folk think. We can let all the fragmentation of our psyche-soul hang out in the Presence of Unconditional Love, the one that ultimately asks nothing of us but honesty. Healing and realignment that can follow our leadership cold turkey experience as we have our religious paradigm turned upside down. Our role as ‘God’s little helper’ is well and truly ditched as we realise that we are as broken and dysfunctional as those we once tended with our sacred medical bag of tricks.

So is that it? Is the leadership game now over for good? Well, yes and no.

Certainly our days of wearing the sheriff’s badge of  official God representation has gone for good. Divine Love was never looking for our spiritual sharpshooting skills as we patrolled the Kingdom sects of men. No, the lawgiver and law enforcer role has been decommissioned by the gracious act of Divine intervention. ‘Enough is enough’ it proclaims as it blocks our progress up the ladder of hierarchical leadership imaginings.

When ego has let go of every vestige of religious or spiritual ambition, and we have found a restored level of humanity and vulnerability, Divine Love may come calling. It’s call is one of realignment and Spirit flow. No longer the projection of strength and a Charles Atlas spiritual muscle programme, but an honest acceptance of frailty floating on the Ocean of Spirit Source. No, the days of doing and goals are over. Now we are only asked to be. Out of such a being we will soon perceive the flow of Divine Life. Here and there others will be touched by a look, a smile, a thought or an arm around the shoulder. A new channel of Divine Flow has opened up in the affairs of man. We are a walking conduit of compassion and a Presence beyond our understanding. In letting go of our leadership we have become feeders, water carriers for the hungry and thirsty among whom we dwell.

In realigning with Spirit Source, outside the Alice in Wonderland world of religious leadership, mission and belief, we’ve become transmitters of  a Divine Magnetism, one that draws the broken into wholeness. Such a flux of mimetic attraction bypasses the old ego settings, now passing through our reintegrated psyche, that which makes us truly us. We have become wounded healers as the late Henri Nouwen so aptly described our new non role. This function in the Divine Love vortex, isn’t one upon which to re-establish the kingdom of ego. Rather it is one that produces a deep contentment, a knowing that we can’t fix anyone, that Source is All in All.

So, ‘Feed my sheep’ isn’t a Divine call to action. Rather, it is a call to being. Out of such a place of rest and inner acceptance we will channel the Source from which we sprang, feeding the hungry with the multiplied loves of our broken humanity. We are all feeders of Divine Love. Give It half a chance and It will satisfy the longings of those who come our way. Non-leader leaders, non-leader feeders – sounds like Heaven on Earth to me.

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The Day Love Comes Calling

The Day Love Comes Calling

 

Most of the time we wander through life in a sleepwalk of sorts, bouncing from person to person, desire to desire and our personal addictions, the places of relief where we can get our ego batteries recharged. Shockingly the spiritual or religious among us aren’t really that different. Please let me explain.

The one who has a vested interest in our sleeping state is of course our wounded self or ego. Sworn to protect us from further pain and rejection ego often chooses the sedation of sleep to keep us from the risk of facing our inner pain and its authentic solution. Like zombies we bounce off others without much true feeling, the goal being to conserve our sanity at all costs. Of course, if we belong to a zombie tribe we enjoy the buzz of fellow travellers, the reinforcement of our sleeping state through the camaraderie of our fellow snoozers. We are masters at communal dreams, those roller coaster visions of  Divine moves just around the corner. These dreams make us think we  are bang in the centre of the Divine Will, soldiers in a religious-spiritual army that will soon bring the Kingdom to earth. Yet all is done in a state of sleep with ego smiling benignly on our nocturnal fantasies.

Of course, the depth of sleep is heightened by our subliminal absorption of the desires of others. Infused by the psychic energies of others we foolishly perceive ourselves to be filled with the Divine Spirit, that enthusiasm that drives our personal and communal adventures. Without this constant top up by external desires, we might lie down in a heap and eventually awaken, so ego makes sure we jump straight into the cauldron of our in crowd, those who provide our desire juice. Much religious and spiritual community involvement is the setting for such desire transfers. Our sleep identity within the group is established by the desires of others and if they are happy then so are we. Yet, shockingly desire transfer is the unconscious sleeping pill that keeps us locked into psychic slumbers.

When absorbed desires reach a certain level we are possessed by them. In the sleeping state there is no space between them and our felt identity. We are that desire. It has been incarnated in our psychic skin. This is the stage of addiction, ego’s final and most effective psycho-spiritual tool for keeping us under. As I sit here in my local coffee shop, watching the outside world pass by I see the face of addiction in the obese and smoking folk who stroll by oblivious to their condition. I see a street preacher, ranting and raving at those who quickly run by, avoiding eye contact with the tract distributing zealot. Another addiction, one that ego well and truly trusts to keep us in the hypnotic depths of sleep. These and the vast array of potential addictions just do enough to dull our psychic pain and keep us from awakening to Reality.

Sounds like we are well and truly trapped by the perceived reality around us, one that lulls us into the continual highs and lows of ego-scripted dreams. We are fast asleep and, it would appear, unable to waken ourselves from ego’s seductive sedation. What or perhaps more pertinently, who can awaken us? Well, let me make a somewhat bold assertion. Whilst self-help strategies and other religion-spiritual techniques are useful, I believe that they are only of benefit after a dramatic encounter with Love. In other words they belong to the realm of our post-operative care. No, I believe that Divine Love has an appointment for all of us – a day when it comes calling, whether we like it or not. Having politely knocked at the door of our pained psyche, it will use stronger measures if necessary, all flowing from the nature of its own Being. Many of us have had our psychic doors kicked in, before being hauled off into the Light. A Divine hijacking of sorts!

Initially this crisis event that pulls the mattress from under our sleeping frame is unwanted and perceived as a dark place. Yet, this shadow valley through which we are carried is a necessary stage in our Awakening. For in this place of fear and despair, ego is flushed out and dethroned from its place of control. Often in such a state we believe ourselves to be dying or losing our sanity. The reflex action of ego programmes want us to run or fight, yet we are powerless in the embrace of Divine Love. Like a caring counsellor walking an addict through cold turkey, Presence will be there, though we can’t sense it. Our day has come. We are on our way to a new psycho-spiritual place – a place of freedom and adjustment. A place of health and Self Awareness, the table spread before us in the midst of our psychic fragmentation.

Divine Love has been at this rescue game since time immemorial. It loves nothing as much as going after the ego lamb that has left the security of its flock. Re-centred around the spirit fire of our inner Self, we can rest easy without falling back into the delusions of our sleeping days. Once awakened we know things have changed. We’ve been through the hell of leaving addictive delusion, only to find a Silence in our inner Self, the meeting place of Source and man.

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The Greasy Pole

The Greasy Pole

 

One of ego’s greatest tricks is to present to us a greasy pole to climb. One that promises much, in particular happiness and a sense of having finally made it!

It lies, for our pole of choice is an illusion, one that doesn’t really exist within the Divine scheme of things known as the Queendom/Kingdom of God in Judaeo/Christian parlance. Please let me explain.

Today I heard some news regarding two of my ex-teaching colleagues from Northern Ireland, both devout Christians who have just passed through major health scares.

Tony, a PhD historian used to be in the same dysfunctional Christian sect as me during his early spiritual sojourn. A highly intelligent man, he used to play the drums as we hypnotised ourselves into a sense of awe and detachment during our Charismatic sing songs. Having repressed deep Calvinistic tendencies, Tony finally had enough of the free and easy stuff, moving on to refocus on his teaching career in a local High School. Quickly rising through the ranks he finally achieved his dream job a few years back by becoming the Headmaster of the school, a seemingly fitting place for such a scholarly figure.

I haven’t spoken to Tony for over 10 years, yet today I heard from an old Irish acquaintance that Tony has retired following triple by-pass heart surgery. A sufferer of high blood pressure throughout his teaching career, Tony was  a certainty waiting to happen. The greasy pole usually ignores medical advice.

James, oddly enough was also a PhD, this time in Modern Languages. A lovely man, I have to say, one who avoided confrontation and was nice to everyone, his niceness interpreted as a manifestation of his steady Baptist faith. I remember James fondly, for he carefully navigated my nervous son Zac through the terrors of his dreaded French oral. Anyway, James was perceived by his fellow staff as the cleverest guy on staff, being asked each year by a succession of intellectually inferior headmasters to give the speaker the traditional vote of thanks on speech days! James, I reckon, used big words that not even the distinguished speaker could understand, as they smiled and acknowledged the joke intended by the profundity of the scholars vocabulary.

Again I haven’t spoken to James in over a decade. After my sudden departure from all things educational back in 2004, James conscientiously played the staff development game, rising to the ‘rank’ of Vice-Principal, the position where one does all the work whilst the headmaster basks in the subsequent limelight. Today I heard that James has also retired following a massive stroke a while back, one that he was lucky to survive. I wish him well in his convalescence and future pursuits.

So what is one to make of it all. Well I reckon that both guys were not really teachers but rather gifted men destined for a life in the higher levels of academia – both professor material perhaps in their chosen fields. In other words they had somehow ended up climbing the greasy poles, that would ultimately result in near fatal slides into retirement. Both men were God-fearers, as we say in Northern Ireland, yet may the fear of God have led to overwork and taking on pressures that are ultimately unbearable. May I suggest that our educational systems thrive on the self-sacrifice of such devoted men.

Yet, let us take a step back and consider why we climb our greasy poles of choice in the first place.

Well, at first we reckon that we can get to the top, given the required effort and dedication. The top of the pole beckons with promises of utopian fulfilment. Yet, even for the chosen few who manage to claw or bluff their way to the top, the summit is not as satisfying as it suggested. In other words, they have been taken for a ride! But by whom you may ask!

Let me suggest that there are two forces at work on our tortuous climb to the top.

1) Our own ego

2) The collective ego of the tribe in which the greasy totem pole is pitched.

Ego, as I define it, is our wounded psyche-soul, the ‘I am’ interface with our space-time surroundings. Due to the withdrawal of unconditional love and acceptance post conception and early infancy, our ego’s sense of inadequacy and rejection fervently seeks the holy grail of being loved. The greasy poles presented to us promise to grant us this sense of ‘OKness’, this sense of being whole. If we can reach the pinnacle of our pole of choice, surely it signals that we are worthy of love, by peers and more importantly the original parental withdrawers of total acceptance. Many climb the greasy pole to appease or prove their parents wrong, and ego is the sponsor of choice. ‘I’ll show them.’ resonates in the darkest caverns of our being, the echo-chambers where the voices of parental rejection bounce of our walls of pain. Our our journey upwards ego will be right behind us, like some frenzied personal trainer, who won’t take no for an answer. Indeed the fear of rejection by this driven inner voice just makes things more frantic as we clamber over others to reach our desired goal. The greasy pole is no respecter of persons.

Any group of people who regularly meet for a common purpose, be it a commercial, cultural or psycho-spiritual take on the characteristics of a tribe. As we know all tribes require a chief, who to be loved, only to be eventually hated, as well as a stock of willing victims for sacrificial purposes. Often the chief fulfills the role of collective victim as they fall from their often dizzy heights, only to be replaced by the next in line, who are willing to make the final push for supremacy and Self worth. The failings of the group climb are projected onto the departed CEO who has finally got their comeuppance. Such tribes appear to take on a collective mind of their own. They too operate out of a sense of rejection, driven along by fear of being irrelevant and ultimately unloved. Many of us who individually struggle with Self-acceptance, often join a tribe whose collective ego strength appears to be a safer pair of hands, ones that will surely carry us to the heights of fulfillment and acceptance. May I respectfully suggest that many faith groups also operate at this subliminal level of recruitment. To find Jesus, Yahweh, Allah or Enlightenment is the designated pole summit. ‘Climb with us and you’ll get there’ is the pervasive, hypnotic invitation addressed to our personal sense of inadequacy. Let’s face it, much religious activity is pole climbing, particularly the subtly deceptive ministry games that are played with hallowed frenzy. Our tribal life often comes to an end when we reach a place on the pole and fall off. Appearing as a somewhat tragic waste this momentous detachment is often the first step in authentic Self discovery and the healing embrace of Divine Love.

Yes, pole climbing can be dangerous for our health. Best jump off now and discover that Divine Love operates on the earthed lowlands of  the human psyche, that place of freedom where we remain untouched by the manipulation of ego, both individual and collective. The Nazarene’s nailing to a Roman pole was a message to us all – the pole is the place of death; the grave, our lowest point, the womb of a new beginning.

May Tony and James both enjoy the healing balm of Divine Love in their forced retirements, the poleless landscape where human spirits run free.

PS. Since writing this post I’ve heard that James has passed away. He died on the operating table when undergoing a major heart operation. Such a waste of a kind and talented man.

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The 'S' Word

The ‘S’ Word

 

Let’s face it. Christians tend to be slightly obsessive about their ‘S’ words. I can understand their fascination with the word Saviour even though the Nazarene never actually applied it to Himself. The ‘S’ word I wish to tackle today is Sin. Please let me reassure my readers who aren’t big into sin that I’m not about to bludgeon you or condemn you in what follows. You can rest easy for my old Bible bashing days are well and truly over. No, rather I want to free the term out from its religious wolves clothing and look at it with a cool and hopefully rational mind.

For religious or spiritual devotees there lie two great temptations along the Way. We can either unknowingly make sin, or the fearful avoidance of it the focus of our faith, whilst claiming the very opposite or air-brush it our of our belief system altogether by believing that it doesn’t exist in the Oneness of all.

Both are pitfalls that multitudes of believers or alternative spiritual seekers fall into on a fairly regular basis. Before I go on, I’d better show my spiritual hand by declaring that I believe Divine Love to be the over-riding Reality upon which we are designed to focus. Such a Love does and will have its way for communion with its created offspring, frail desire crazed humanity.

So what is this sin which has launched a fleet of brutal condemning sermons down the millennia? Well, the Aramaic term hataha, as used by Yeshua is rooted in the world of archery. It was shouted by an attendant when an archer missed the target in an archery competition – it also implies that the archer isn’t to fall into despair but instead take another shot. The word can also imply a wrong choice at a road junction – one has sinned when the wrong or inappropriate path is chosen. This certainly leads us away from a morality based meaning as adopted by most religious believers.

Let me dare to explain this concept of sin as a human malfunction, a seemingly natural tendency to miss the target of unconditional love, the very essence of Divine Source itself. In psychological terms may we interpret sin as the default setting of ego, our fear driven protector that always lies close to hand. Throughout religious history sin and evil have been theological bedfellows. Of course we have a common perception of evil that is a world away from the original Aramaic term. For Yeshua and his listeners evil or bisha   suggested a fruit-growing analogy. It was used for fruit that was unripe or alternatively rotten. In other words, the fruit was out of sync with its true programme for ripeness. This explanation can help us understand the puzzling story of Yeshua supposedly cursing a fig tree that hadn’t born fruit at the appropriate time. Seen in this light ego always seems to misinterpret our circumstances within time and space, fuelled by its paranoia of impending doom and destruction.

So what am I saying. Well, I reckon that sin and its twin evil are functions of our ego. This ego or wounded psyche-soul was, in its original state, a gift for protection in our space-time, an early warning system of threat to our physical survival. How did it end up skewed and malfunctioning? Well I believe that the traumas that we all experience in early childhood and beyond have caused havoc with our original psychic default settings. The withdrawal of unconditional love by our nurturers was a massive shock to our developing sense of Self and security, resulting in an extremely over active and war footing based psyche. This fall is, I believe, what lies behind the Eden myth – ‘hath God said….’ is the doubt that enters the human psyche as we are wounded by those who hereto have been our protectors and benefactors. All inappropriate acts of hitting back at perceived enemies stem from the our broken or dysfunctional ego, who has replaced Divine Love based on the early evidence of our infant or indeed womb-based experiences.

Is there any way of escape from this state of hyperactive dysfunction or sin?

I believe so.

The Nazarene came to restore and realign our psycho-spiritual default settings by welcoming ego back into the Oneness of Divine Love.

More to follow.

 

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Feeling Down

Feeling Down

Some days we just feel down. Within our conscious mind there doesn’t appear to be any particular reason. We just feel alone, unloved and most of all insignificant, just a collection of atoms waiting for our inevitable demise. Of course, if this goes on for any considerable length of time, we may be suffering from some form of clinical depression. However, that’s not what I wish to address in today’s wee blog. No, I just want to focus on the bog-standard,  feeling down kind of day.

May I start by suggesting that the term feeling down isn’t just a linguistic accident. It genuinely reflects how we feel. We sense that we’re at the bottom of some psycho-spiritual pile. It’s this sense that I wish to explore further.

Let’s look at this heightened feeling in terms of our dual Self , viz. psyche-soul and spirit essence. Our psyche is the part of us where we feel down. It’s not an area that’s easily understood in our day-to-day sojourn. In its fragmented and wounded state, it operates as ego, that extremely shrewd, defensive operator who seeks to protect us from further attack and rejection. It’s important to realise that ego perceives life to be a ladder. Those at the top (the winners) feel good, while those at the bottom (the losers) feel bad.

Of course, this take on reality is an illusion, but nevertheless a powerful one at that. Most of us see our relational network as this ego ladder. Everyone we meet is subconsciously slotted onto a rung by our inner desire settings. Those above us we desire to be; those beneath we shun, feeling a smug superiority that deceptively makes us feel both safe and valued. Our position on this ego ladder shifts from minute to minute – at a moment’s notice, a glance of disapproval from someone can rearrange our psyche-soul’s pecking order and its associated feelings.

The person whom we admire most on our inner ladder of self is our Model – the one we insatiably desire to be, albeit of course on a subconscious level. They appear to have the safety and power that we crave. Their desire becomes our desire as we inadvertently initiate the cloning process; allowing them into our inner world to mold us in their semi-divine image. Initially, such a possession can be exhilarating, as we perceive ourselves morphing into the one who is all that we are not. The sense of empowerment that flows from our fascination with our relational model seems to cancel out our prior feelings of inadequacy and shame.

However, over time our inner promotion on the relational ladder only leads to further problems. For, as we attach ourselves to the desired persona, our Model begins to sense the vampire-like approach of our life-sucking desire. This usually results in a dramatic shutting off of the emotional pipeline running from our desired hero to our cloned sense of self. Somehow they suddenly perceive us as a threat to their own sense of self, an invading psycho-spiritual cuckoo who wants to take over the nest of their individual being.

Of course, this break in affection hits us for six as we frantically redouble our efforts to share our Model’s elevated rung. Once more, we are pushed back, demoted down the ego ladder to a much safer position for our Model idol. And so our hyper-sensitivity to rejection is further heightened, landing us in a lower position on our ladder self than we initially occupied. Our Model has now become our Model Obstacle, the one to blame for our lowly position. In this way our emotional world quickly shrinks into a frantic battle for approval, a much sought after authentication from our now wary Model. The one we worshiped has morphed into our enemy, a love-hate relationship having been established.

Of course there’s an answer to these ego games, viz. the discovery of our other, authentic spirit Self, that inner Divine spark of inestimable value and worth. Once we willingly detach from ego’s psychic vampire hunt for the blood of approval, we discover another Self within. The Source of All resides within the dark, inner spirit chambers of our being. There the embrace and transfer of Divine affection takes place without rivalry and conflict. We have returned home to find a psycho-spiritual freedom in the embrace and welcome of Divine Love.

So, if you’re feeling a wee bit down today just look within and see if you’re climbing on the old ego ladder of relational desire. It might just be the key to stepping out from under the heavy burden of a Model Obstacle. By letting our Model Obstacle play their own ego games, and walking away, One will draw close to validate and authenticate us. Our spirit Self will be touched by Divine Love, the One without rivalry, the One we call God.

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