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Posts Tagged ‘healing’

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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Matrix Messiah

Matrix Messiah

 

Hi folks

I’m delighted to announce that my latest book, ‘Matrix Messiah’ has just become available on Amazon. It encapsulates much of my thinking about the Nazarene and what following Him is really all about. I humbly offer it to you as the fruit of my life, with all its ups and downs.

‘Matrix Messiah lifts the lid on the subconscious matrix that most of us miss, the subliminal puppet-master of our day-to-day relationships and actions. Discover why certain people get under our skin; why we feel trapped by life; why inner peace continually eludes us. Spiritual writer, Dylan Morrison, examines the radical mission of Nazarene prophet, Yeshua bar Yosef, through the complementary lenses of Girardian mimetic theory and transpersonal psychology. The result? A key of knowledge, a long time hidden, yet deeply practical revelation that frees us from the gravitational field of interpersonal control and cultural manipulation. By exposing the roots of our individual psychic fragmentation and society’s ever increasing violence, Matrix Messiah brings a much needed message of hope and reintegration, for religious and non-religious alike. A therapeutic insight into the Galilean holy man; one that will challenge the prevailing world views of Christianity, atheism and just about everything else in-between.’

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Curve Ball

Curve Ball

When we’re floating along the calm ocean of spiritual experience we imagine it to be plain sailing all the way. We are mistaken. When we reach a plateau of Awareness and inner peace we believe it to be the summit. It isn’t. When we’ve hit lots of home runs and are confident of our spiritual strike rate, we are suddenly taken aback by a curve ball. And so it was last Tuesday! I’d better explain.

For the past two summers I’ve ‘suffered’ from a chapped and often cracked lower lip Initially my local doctor, said nothing to worry about and gave me a hydrocortisone cream to settle it down, which it did for a few weeks. It didn’t last, so I resigned myself to the fluctuations of a lip problem that was probably minor in nature.

Until last week that is when my doctor sent me to a dermatologist who within seconds diagnosed my lower lip as a victim of a precancerous skin condition. In  her pristine white coat and emotionless face she delivered her conclusions with cold efficiency. My poor wee psyche was stunned, spluttering a few irrelevant questions in her direction to try to gain a foothold in my quickly vanishing inner equilibrium.

Being a bit of a hypochondriac, a story in itself, I was programmed to hear doctors proclaim, ‘Nothing to worry about Dylan’. This time the old tapes didn’t roll, replaced instead by a clinician’s non-bedside pronouncement. After hearing the gory details of what non-treatment could result in, I was referred to a maxilla-facial surgeon here in Lincoln, who would more than likely recommend an innocent sounding procedure known innocuously as a lip shave!. it is a misnomer – the removal of my lower lip’s surface layer of skin and the creation of a new lip by stretching excess skin from within my mouth to create a new smiling me.

On the way out my dermatologist friend finally added a ‘nothing to worry about Mr Morrison’, as she handed me a tick box form to record my irrelevant impressions of my consultation experience. Too late the damage was done. My old sub-personalities who see death behind every lamp-post had kicked in, transmitting pictures of a grieving Zan  and a  whining wee black doggy frantically looking for her departed master. Oh, the power of fear! It truly is awful in its vice-like grip on our sense of being.

A week later, I’ve regained some sort of perspective on my new pre-cancerous friends living on my lower lip. They are messengers – transmitters of a call to growth and healing. How bizarre that a prodigal prophet should have his lips tell him something isn’t right. Sounds like a bit of a sick Cosmic joke, but there it is for all to see. Time to break camp, leave behind my spiritual ease and take the next climb up Jacob’s ladder, that stairway to heaven that leaves no stone unturned.

I’m listening to my body and the inner wisdom that I believe is there for all of us to tap into. As I seek to journey into my core Self, frantic, fearful little messages try to knock me off course with threats of an early demise. Flap as they will, this is a time for growth, for an expansion of consciousness, for a new awareness of how much we shy away from our destiny as images of Divine Love. So, I’m listening and waiting. All is well and shall be well, is my mantra of choice to steady the ship of my fragile psyche-soul, as we navigate the unknown seas that stretch out before me. To be honest, I was expecting such a catalyst to further growth and the healing of old memories that lie within. Recently, I’ve had a number of incidents with ‘officialdom’ of various shades, that have released an anger deep within me that I thought had been dealt with a while back. I should have known that Divine Love, the surgeon of my soul would come along and do a lip enhancement, to remove the roots of anger that so easily sharpen my words for war.

My desire is to open all to the prescriptive gaze of both Self and Source. I’m seeing it all as a rollercoaster ride, with its ups and downs but one that will serve me well. My good friend and zen student, Matthew Sammut, has encouraged me to write of my journey through this little Shadow Valley in order to encourage others. Either all our God talk and spiritual experiences help us or they don’t. I choose to go within, to a realm more real than the clinician’s black and white pronouncements. There I hope to hear the messages waiting for me on my inner Voicemail. The roots of my anger and damaged lip, and the Wisdom to do what needs to be done.

I’d value all your prayers and healing energies along the way. Let’s see what Divine Love conjures up from the curve ball pitched at my mouth. Hopefully a more authentic and compassionate Irishman whose words heal and restore rather than wound his fellow-man.

Blessings to you all

❤ Dylan

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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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Home

Home

 

Someone once said ‘Home is where the heart is!’. For the first 54 years of my life that home was the little seaside town of Ballybrigg in Northern Ireland – but no longer! Please let me explain.

Raised as an Ulster Presbyterian, later to become a somewhat zealous member of a Charismatic Christian sect, I always felt completely at ease with the religion-political ethos that hangs over this beautiful little piece of God’s green Earth. Even the rain and the predictable, grey skies, mixed with the nightly news of murder and  spiralling atrocities didn’t shake my conviction that I was at home. I felt totally secure in the bubble of  my small tribe, one that believed itself to be a little  special in the eyes of the great Creator.

That is until two dramatic events changed my life forever. The sudden death of my 5 month old baby son, Ben, back in 1984, was the first seismic shift that turned my cosy inner world upside down. It launched me on my journey of freedom from the pseudo-safe belief system of my sect of choice. Nothing would be the same again, especially in the realm of religious devotion and group commitment.

The second shift in my sense of belonging was my stress burnout back in 2004, when I walked out voiceless from my place of work, an educational microcosm aka a school, for the very last time on a dull winter’s afternoon. Later, lying in my bed and weeping like a baby and doubting my sanity, I knew that another Linus blanket had been ripped from my grasping hands. I was no longer, Dylan Morrison, the Math teacher and pastoral Year Head. I was just Dylan, the broken man, drifting on the ocean of shattered dreams.

In hindsight, both these ego shattering events were the final two nails in my Northern Irish coffin. Paradoxically, a sense of psycho-spiritual claustrophobia slowly smothered me during my slow but sure recovery from my breakdown or ‘breakthrough’. I sensed that I no longer belonged and could not continue with the mask of conformity within the middle class environs of my pervading Protestant culture. Something was dysfunctional and I felt it, for the first time in my Ulster sojourn.

Of course my sudden departure from Ballybrigg, back in July 2009 still took me by surprise. Having bought a small apartment in Lincoln, England as a holiday home, on the spur of the moment, during a visit to see my son Zac, I didn’t expect that it was to become my new home and the birthplace of a new blogging and writing career. Yes, the Divine can step up the pace when it needs to. One minute we’re there and now we are here!

Last week, as I returned to Ballybrigg to attend my sister’s wedding and deal with some outstanding property matters, I  was apprehensive to say the least. Yet I needn’t have been concerned. For as I drove down to Ballybrigg from Belfast Airport, I felt a deep detached sort of peace within. On the outside nothing had changed in the five years since my departure; no new development, the same triumphalist wall murals on the working class gable walls. It could easily have been June 30th 2009, when I drove out of Ballybrigg in the opposite direction for our short holiday in England.

I sensed a bubble of sorts surrounding and protecting me from the cultural memories, people and persons that threatened to knock my new psychic equilibrium for six. It just didn’t happen. My time was enjoyable in a quiet, contained sort of way, my contact with old friends and family extramely encouraging. Even my visit to my dead son’s little grave was ok. As I stared at his little moss marked, sullied gravestone I wanted to shed a tear but couldn’t. I just seemed so detached and apart from this scene of  past burial and fervent prayer. A husk of memories remained, but ones without the  bitter sting of bygone years. Surprising myself, I quickly jumped into my car and headed off to meet the living. The shocking truth was that my wee son Ben, no longer touched me on that barren grave-filled, Ballybrigg hillside. Both he and I had moved on.

So will I return? Yes, if I have to for social or business reasons. Will I be rushing back, hankering for the old ways, the tribal dances of the Ulster Scots and Catholic Nationalists. No. In my soul, I am now an observer of these tribes, the blood of a more distant country running through my veins. A transfusion of sorts has taken place. My life now flows from another realm, one only observable by the inner eye of spirit sight. A place where tears are wiped away and distilled into the essence of a felt transcendent joy, an all-consuming ocean of Divine Love; the place I now call Home.

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Into The Desert

Into The Desert

Sometimes the only place for recovering religious junkies to go is the desert, far from the somewhat maddening crowd of religious and spiritual discussion, the marketplace of conceptual takes on Ultimate Reality.

Many of us have been so over-stimulated by religious or spiritual thought that we have to pull back from the psycho-spiritual games that are commonly played out in their respective worlds. Yes one can have too much truth, or at least too much perceived truth. Our poor wee brains eventually go into shutdown mode in order to maintain our sanity.

This I believe, is the reason that so many religious and spiritual seekers eventually put the shutters up and move on into a more normal state of being, a place where the confused dust of inner turmoil can settle once more on the journey home.

Playing our theological and esoteric mind games, our ping-pong matches of Socratic discussion  can be great fun for a while, but eventually the soul screams, ‘No more!’.

Strange as it may seem, it’s at this point that we are closest to finding the One who lies behind our psycho-spiritual desire. Yet, we are gently asked to take a detox journey, one far from the hustle and bustle of established religion and East-West gurus.

Our destination is the desert, that inner place of aloneness where all true Friends of Divine Love have pitched their camp at one time or another. Here the discussion and arguments are stilled with only God and our inner Self for travelling companions. Thankfully Divine Love doesn’t bombard us with a multitude of words nor indeed Bible verses. Those days are over. No, we have been led into the wilderness where nothing gets in the way of true communion except the dregs and remnants of our previous take on reality.

As we lie there, shattered and contemplating the healing touch of atheism, or at least that of agnosticism, we sense  a gentle Presence wrapping itself around us, One initially without words, One content to just be in the company of burnt-out humanity, the scorched soul of religious and spiritual war games.

This desert, this place without the outer support structures of certainty and belief, is strangely our closest port of call to the Transcendence that we call God. For here, bereft of our religious drug of attack and defence, we lie open to the gaze of One who fills All in All. We are seen for who we are; human beings who really haven’t a clue about what makes us  tick or indeed what makes the Divine tick.

Here man shall not live by words alone but by every Breath of Spirit that wafts around our tortured Self, the battered victim of the religious quest and its salesmen, the spiritual experts. To be honest such experts are as screwed up as the next man; they only disguise it with their beatific smiles and got it together body language.

Here we get a chance to touch base with Source, to let our Transcendent Parent come within, in the overwhelming glory of Immanence. Here in the desert our life changes, for time and eternity, whatever that is. When the desert has done its thing in the river of Divine purpose, it releases us back into the crazy world of man, even that wackiest of worlds, the hearts and minds of our fellow seekers and believers, those caught up in the psycho-spiritual twister of belief.

Divine Love isn’t afraid of deserts.

Are we?

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