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Posts Tagged ‘religion’

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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Little gods

Little gods

 

The major religions claim that we are made in the image of God, or the  Divine Source. Most of their adherents walk around believing it but without much of a clue as to what it may mean. I guess that sums up most of our metaphysical  beliefs. We just believe them and continue merrily on our way.

In this new little series I thought I’d look at two aspects of the Divine that we can reflect in this space-time reality, viz. creativity and compassion. Today we shall look at creativity.

I guess it’s pretty obvious that Source must be a creator; by definition we wouldn’t be here unless it had done its thing. And what a creation it’s come up with. Surrounded by our man-made concrete jungles we’ve lost touch with the wonders and simple complexities of the Natural Order. To gaze and ponder on a wondrously blue dragonfly is to touch base with a drop of the Mystery that is God. Multiply such experiences by a thousand fold and we are closer to believing that there is a purposeful Designer somewhere out there, perhaps even within.

Yes, Divine Source, this Transcendent Creator is full of intelligence, an intelligence bursting with the passion of expressing itself on the canvas of space-time. Creating is part of the Divine DNA – it can’t help itself, dancing its way through the virtual-reality fields of Being. And, its masterpiece is us, those little humanoids that populate planet Earth. Like a mischievous Rembrandt, the Artist has placed something of Himself in each and every one of us.

One such aspect of this Spirit brushed image is our own ability to create. Like the Divine, we too can’t help ourselves. We have been hot-wired to create. Each of us has been equipped with a well-spring of creative energy with which to express the wonder of our individual perception of Being. Such creativity, brings a flow and sense of purpose to our daily lives. Show me a creator and I will show you one that has phoned Home. In the act of creating, we know we are linked to something much bigger than our psyche-soul; in releasing the energy within we are opening up a conduit with the Divine, a pipeline back to Source.

May I suggest that much of our internal angst stems from a blockage of this creative flow. Stuck in the rat-race we work to survive, often in jobs that call for little or no creativity at all. As we take our dutiful places within the production line of our material world, we yearn for the fields of freedom, space where we can be Me. If this sums up your particular situation what can be done?

Well, I reckon that we all have a little creative project on hold within us. Swamped by the pressures of supposed ‘life’, it lies waiting its release. It lies bubbling under the hardened rock of our ego demands and fear-based control. Getting in touch with our creator within is the first step to release. Being brutally honest with ourselves in the silence of contemplation enables us to hear the whispers of our liberator. Once we know what we really WANT to do, will is on hand to energise our escape from the confines of our non-creative life. As we take the first steps towards our creative project, power flows from somewhere deep within. It is the energy of Divine Passion, released like a caged tiger on the plains of ordinariness. With one leap we are free to be a more authentic version of our Self. Once complete, a new creative surge will present itself to carry us even further forward.

I’d better make clear that this new creativity may or may not be part of our daily 9-5 job. If it is, then much  workplace stress will disappear. If not, then it will find its river course in another slice of our space-time existence. One ounce of creativity outside the workplace will enable our psyche-souls to bear the load of much hum-drum grind. Yet, once experienced even the predictability of our regular jobs may begin to change. For, once the creative genie is released from the lamp of ego boredom, anything is possible.

So, may I suggest that as we set out along the path of creativity, we are on a journey that will inevitably lead to a meeting with the Creator of all creators, the Source I Am. To jump on the creative train is an act of faith or trust, one that can take us to places that we can’t imagine – a place of inner Knowledge and Divine encounter.

Now where DID I put that manuscript?

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Inner Core

Inner Core

 

It’s been a funny few weeks, with my health scare and all. Last Wednesday I saw my friendly maxillofacial surgeon who confidently informed me that I had a case of solar keratosis rather than fully fledged lip cancer. Still wants to take a lip biopsy to confirm his diagnosis but it’s all good news, at least better than it was at my clinical dermatologist’s. Certainly a weight lifted off me and my good lady Zan as we walked from the clinic with a spring in our step. I’m still listening for answers within. Why now is the big question, as I’m on the verge of launching my new book! Is there a connection, a little thorn in the flesh perhaps to keep me grounded in the One I purport to write about.

This has got me thinking again at the power of the psyche-soul. The slightest sign of bad news and its off on one. Like a little defense force it pumps us full of fear, narrowing our inner world down to the goal of survival. Useful I guess for our Neolithic ancestors who ran when an enormous big beast jumped on them from a great height. But today? I suspect that we all have a psyche-soul that’s a bit oversensitive  and paranoid about making mistakes. Having left us open to the primal wounding of infancy, it’s not gone to make the same mistake again. Like some form of psycho-spiritual AWAC , it’s all too ready for signs of danger on our ground of being. Ready to launch counter strikes by our fighter sub-personalities at the drop of a misperception we fly on the wings of feeling.

So when my clinically cool dermatologist mentioned the word ‘pre-cancerous’ my personal little airforce sprung into action, stunning both body and soul into a form of lockdown. The border crossing through which spirit-breath flows and energises our everyday life is closed with immediate effect. ‘No time for this spiritually minded stuff,’ the psyche soul declares. ‘This is an emergency, code red.’

Yet in Reality it isn’t of course. It’s just a blip on the world of form. It just doesn’t feel like that as body and soul conspire to rule our conscious world, pumping it full of dreadful scenarios.’Take tour pick,’ it kindly offers. ‘ All will end up in the big wooden box – oblivion, with no beyond.’ Such a cheerful chap this psyche-soul, armed with its sense of impending doom. What power to sway and send us down the corridors of despair within seconds of its ‘Warning, Warning’ red light.

So how are we to stay sane, equipped with such a potent battery of survival powers. Well of course it’s not the whole story. Behind this little ‘me’ lies another, one from One, the Divine Spark that needs no defending. Non reactive and constantly at peace, this Self gets quickly overlooked in the frantic fray that follows an AWAC warning. Battlestations are where it’s at, but deep within we’re undisturbed and gently pulsating to the calming energy of Divine Love. So it’s all about which layer of reality we plug into. Unless we are a walking, talking Spiritual Master, our psyche-soul early warning system will always kick in. It’s what we do about it that determines our future level of peace.

Psyche-soul tends to see itself higher up the spiritual plane than it really is. It’s a ‘me’ tool for our space-time experience, a self for this world of matter and form. It was not created to control, but to be the junior dance partner in the Waltz of Being. In other words, its perceptions must be seen in the Light of a higher knowledge. The AWAC of psyche-soul isn’t the be all and end all of  perception. It’s limited in its range of Reality perception. No, for a genuine overview of our Being, spirit breath must come into play.

And how do we achieve this when all hell breaks loose? Well, we need to look within, beyond the emotional skirmishes of consciousness, to the place of peace, that dwelling place of Source. Passing down through the layers of fear we’ll find the eye of the storm – the stillness that whispers ‘Enough’. Walking in solitude, meditation, prayer; all help us leave the chattering fears of our AWAC behind. In Silence we touch base with Headquarters and the One who really knows.

So maybe that’s why we’re here in the first place. To walk through this induction process of awakening; to discover in the realm of soul that we are much more, a little drop of the Divine Ocean having its human experience.

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Families ~ Blessings Or Curse?

Families ~ Blessings Or Curse?

 

In the first post of this little series I looked at the pros of cons of mothers on the development of our fledgling psyche. Interestingly most folk have kept their comments to themselves after reading it. Perhaps I have unearthed a pain not yet reading for the Light. Perhaps the post was way off mark. Anyway, today I wish to look at fathers and how they influence our psycho-spiritual makeup.

Contrary to popular myth it was the women folk who ruled the roost within the human communities of ancient times. The warrior Amazons of folklore representing a hidden truth that the modern male prefers to ignore. Somewhere in the dark annals of history a shift took place and men rose to the top of the tribal pecking order, at least in theory if not altogether in practice.

Today we again live in a time of flux where the relatively recent social order is once again shifting. Women are once more emerging from under the male dominance of social norms. It is difficult being a mother and indeed a father in such a whirlwind of social change, no matter how beneficial it may prove to the future of mankind.

Having said this, I wish to look at fathers in light of the traditional Middle Eastern take on fathers, one that prevailed in 1st century Palestine at the time of  the Nazarene. Such social norms greatly influenced the religious take on God, pushing the concept of the Divine feminine to the edges of acceptability or into the so-called heretical realms of goddess worship. Yeshua’s contemporaries perceived God as a Father due to their belief that fathers were the source of life. This Divine Source  was by their definition in control as of right. The One who provides the gift of life wields the authority to govern it. Middle Eastern fathers were thus perceived as governors in their own home and as such to be honoured and obeyed.

This model of fatherhood was left unchanged by the developing Christian movement as it spread westwards. Today our Western view of fatherhood is slowly changing but vestiges of the old hierarchical order still cling to our daily family affairs.

So what of our fathers? How have they shaped our psycho-spiritual development. Let me first start with the negatives. Absentee fathers are the plague of our modern world. Willing enough to sow their seed in an act of sensual pleasure many ‘dads’ aren’t so keen on hanging around for long. Many of our inner feelings of abandonment and loneliness can be attributed to the absence of an authenticating male parent. No matter how well our single mothers pour their love and nurture into our fledgling psyche-souls there is a wee gap. At the risk of appearing sexist, I believe that fathers who run away are depriving their kids of something deeply valuable. It is one thing to be loved by a single parent; it’s an altogether different level of assurance to have two parents, both present and engaging in a mutual love. The world appears to be a safer place for those of us fortunate enough to have been raised in such an environment.

Of course many fathers hang around but might as well have left. Fathers who are severely dysfunctional imprint disorder and confusion onto the psyche-soul of their deeply observational kids. Violent mood swings or emotional apathy are vicious psychic wounds that remain with us well into adulthood. Unaware of how messed up our fathers really are we give them the benefit of the doubt by believing ourselves to be at fault. Our childhood reasoning goes something like this: “If I take the blame, then  dad will love me”. Such faulty programming goes with us into life as we seek the approval of further father-like figures, whether future husbands or work-place bosses.

Of course some fathers are dysfunctional in an altogether way, attempting to micro-manage the life of their child.  Discipline and training are the cover stories for what in essence is a form of bullying. The bullying dad who makes his son or daughter do the right thing is a deeply insecure individual, most likely a victim himself of past parental abuse. In this camp we often find the religious zealot who believes that it is his duty to instil the fear of God into his offspring. Nothing of course is further from the truth, but many fathers use God as their cover story for emotional and often physical abuse.

So enough of the bad news! How can a father aid our healthy psycho-spiritual development. Well, obvious as it may seem, he must be a man who is secure enough to change and admit his own frailties, even to his children. If he has frozen on his own path of discovery he will do the same to his kids. Above all he will be a channel of unconditional love, even as one who sets out boundaries for his children. The children must know that they are loved not because of their performance but just because they are.  If dads can convey and model this to their young families then they have sown a seed within their children’s psyche that will bear much emotional health in adulthood.

A father who understands the keys of human development and adjusts the manifestations of his love to suit his child’s stage of maturation is a wise man indeed. For the loving boundary setter of early childhood must morph into the dependable supporter as his growing child sets of on their own journey of Self-discovery.

Above all, the father who believes and trusts that Divine Love is within and authenticating  the life of his child has the right idea. At times of suffering and pain, the good father will be helpless. It is in such times of turmoil that there is nothing left to hold onto but One who is All in All. It’s not easy to believe, for the pain of fatherhood can be psyche-shattering at times. As I stood over the open grave of my wee baby son Ben, back in 1984 I gave him over to the One from whom he’d come. It was as painful as hell but it was the only way. To do otherwise would have been a one way trip to insanity.

So, if  you’ve been deprived by a lack of input or indeed damaged by abusive acts of a loveless man what is one to do? Well, the best plan is to call a spade a spade and get those inner memories out into the open. Left in denial they only fester away and manifest in mental health issues or physical illness. Find an external authenticator, one who can reprogramme those inner tracks of hurt with unconditional love. For some of us this requires therapy or the listening ear of a deep friend, for others serious reading and a willingness to delve into that place of rejection that we’ve never wanted to visit.

May Abba,  the Cosmic Parent of the Nazarene and all mankind, guide us on the Path of inner healing and peace.

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Where Does God Hang Out?

Where Does God Hang Out?

 

Ever wondered where God hangs out? Now I know that God is everywhere, but what I’m trying to get at is where does the Divine hang out with us. Where do we really experience the intimacy of the One who fills all in all.

When we observe those who believe in a Divinity, it would appear that for many it’s a sacred building wherein lies the Reality of Transcendence. For each Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, millions worldwide head to their local, Mosque, Synagogue or Church in their search for God. An alien observing our religious practices would have to conclude that the Source has instructed It’s followers to meet up with It in the dedicated structures of ‘holy’ buildings.

I once remember sitting at the back of  St. Mary’s Basilica, in the historic city of Krakow, Poland, with my eyes focused on the isle in front of me. A recovering Protestant like me couldn’t believe my eyes. For on a regular weekday morning, a steady stream of teenagers would walk into the cathedral and immediately drop to their knees, making the sign of the cross as they devotedly stared at the altar. Back in Northern Ireland it was a Herculean task to drag a hormone tossed teenager into a church on a Sunday morning outing! Of course, Poland is still a Catholic fuelled nation, one whose identity is closely tied in with its faith of choice. Nevertheless, it was the perception of the young folk concerned that God somehow hung out here more than anywhere else that slightly disturbed me.

The danger for all religions is that a place and its related rituals, be it group prayer, worship via song, sacramental acts of remembrance or the sermon-homile become the only place for Divine contact in the eyes of their adherents. More worryingly is the underlying programming that one must  attend and support the associated institution in order to keep in touch with the Divine. Holy texts, tradition and guilt are all used to keep the faithful on the hamster-wheel of religious attendance.

Unsurprisingly the Divine may touch the hungry soul in such an environment. If the individual in question only looks for Divine Love in their hallowed environment of choice then that is where It will manifest from time to time. An act of mercy, rather than the outcome expected for putting the attendance penny in the slot of the religious fruit machine.

Many of my old Christian friends often look at me with saddened eyes before asking if I don’t miss the regular meeting together of the saints on a Sunday morning or Wednesday evening in my church of choice. My answer tends to shock them a little; it’s always an emphatic but hopefully humble no. I’m afraid I’ve attended too many Christian circuses in my time to appreciate the spiritual nuances of being in a sacred building doing my sacred stuff. I have to be honest; churches tend to give me the creeps.

Here in Lincoln, we have one of the most striking Gothic Cathedrals in the world. Tourists come by the coach-load to pay their £8 and see the ecclesiastical wonder that meets them. Yet, it does nothing for me, failing to touch any sense of the Transcendence within. Lincolnshire, being a very rural county is peppered with endless little Anglican parish churches, striving to survive the ravages of time. Occasionally I will go in to have a wee peep. Again nothing but the ghosts of times long gone, war memorials to the fallen brave of our past military misadventures. Not a spark of the eternal grabs my open heart.

Of course many folk find solace and meaning in their shrine of choice. For many ritual is faith and faith ritual. Yet, I’m afraid, no longer for me.  I’ve left behind the past scenes of my holy encounters, the waving arms, the rock fuelled worship, the teaching times of human wisdom. Yet, let me make clear that I’m not here to judge my fellow travellers, only to point towards another way for those tired of their building devotion. So where is this place where I and Spirit touch. If not in the purpose-built sanctuaries of man then where?

Well, let me answer with a simple little illustration.

This morning as I left my local paper shop to jump into my car I had an encounter. An encounter with Other, via the most touching of forms. Suddenly I spotted a mother duck crossing the road in front of me. Walking with great confidence and assurance she was followed by her three, little, fluffy ducklings, eyes devotedly fixed on their mama in front.

‘There’s mimesis for you my son,’ whispered my inner Voice.

‘See how it’s done! Follow me.’

Enough said.

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The Leadership Game ~ 'Feed My Sheep'

The Leadership Game ~ ‘Feed My Sheep’

 

OK, I’ll say it! Religious or spiritual leadership can be one, big, psycho-spiritual game.

Hiding behind my Mac’s screen, for personal safety reasons, I’d better attempt to explain my somewhat provocative statement before Pauline Bible verses are hurled in my direction. So, here we go:

Leadership within a religious sect can take one of two forms.

1) Official

2) Charismatic.

Sometimes these two forms can merge, conjuring up an extremely potent spell of leadership magnetism, one that is difficult to remain uninfluenced by.

If we belong to an institution with a religious bent, then it is argued that for it to run ‘properly’ it needs leaders; someone to take charge and get things done. Of course most folk who attend such an institution are only too happy for someone to tell them what to do, albeit in the name of God. Expectations may be relatively low, with folk just turning up being the desired goal of the leader in question. The way into institutional leadership varies from sect to sect . It may require a theological degree and rigorous training in the social skills required. This helps reinforce the religious expert/lay person divide  which keeps most institutional religion running along nicely until the lights are turned off.

Charismatic leadership is more to do with who the leader is rather than his official position within the faith group in question. The ‘leader’ is the one who appears to know God more than we do,  that fellow member with a little something extra that we can’t just put our finger on. Such a leader attracts followers, either officially or unofficially, like a magnet draws iron filings to itself. If operating within a loose fellowship of adherents it will be very clear to all concerned who this person is, as folk tend to hang onto  their every word. Indeed this charismatic individual may eventually be appointed as an official leader as the fellowship seeks to set up shop in the spiritual marketplace of institutionalised religion. The gifted one morphs into the official one and the stage is set for the problems of type 1 leadership. the hamster wheel game of keeping the Jesus show on the road and the pennies rolling in. The Charismatic movement that swept the socio-religious world of the 60s, 70s and 80s has generally gone through this transformation, with New Churches now being as institutionalised as the historic denominations that it once eyed with zealous pity.

So, what is going on behind the public persona of the religious leader? What hides itself behind the Archbishop’s colourful clobber, or the sweat drenched suit of the bulging-eyed fundamentalist preacher? What drives the idealism of the leader in training to jump into the religious pool and save those hell-bent on destroying themselves? Is the role of the Divine Lifeguard not a noble one, indeed a response to the call of Divine Love itself?

Interestingly, many of our religious leadership models have been taken from royal-priestly sects, mainly those within Judaism and other Midldle-Eastern takes on religious practice. The link between priesthood and royalty in the form of the High Priest-King only reinforces the belief that only one wise enough to convey the Divine Mind is qualified to rule. This twin-like model has flowed down into our religious mindsets, largely unaffected by the radical deconstruction of the Nazarene’s own teaching.

On entering a religious community as fledgling converts, we are bowled away by the certainty and authority of the communities leadership. We fall in love with their official position or their dynamic charisma which seems to press all our psycho-spiritual buttons. Finally, after years of Self doubt and experimentation we have found a belief system and indeed a father/mother figure who appears to provide security and a sense of familial belonging. Re-playing the inner, family tapes of our childhood we attempt to do it properly this time, seeking the favor of both leaders and their Divine sponsor, through numerous acts of compliance and commitment. We love being in a group with ‘strong leadership’ – one upon whom we can pin our Utopian desires for wholeness and health.

But what of the leaders, those who have responded to the ‘Divine call’ to step up to the leadership plate. What makes them tick? Well ,may I humbly suggest that they seek to heal their inner wounds, to please their ‘Father’ in heaven and receive the parental authentication and affirmation that they may have missed out on during childhood. This is not to condemn my leader friends, for we all seek to fill this psychological hole in many and varied ways, but to bring some light to commonly admired religious leadership aspirations. Such inner pain, overlaid with a draining sacrificial model of Self hatred and giving, can keep us running on the leadership treadmill for many years, like some sacred form of the Duracell bunny. Yet, eventually of course the power eventually runs out we lapse into institutional apathy or depart through illness or ‘loss of faith’. Yes, religious leadership usually takes a heavy toll – one that the Nazarene never intended for us. If our addiction to the position of scribe, scholar or Man/Woman of God doesn’t eventually destroy us it might just destroy those whom we love, our family, those who have stoically carried the heavy burden of our religious ‘calling’.

So, didn’t the Good Shepherd ask Peter to ‘Feed My Sheep’?

Well, if the Gospel accounts are to be believed it would appear so.

In my next Bog in this series I’ll attempt to explore this Divine call by considering mimetic desire and it’s role in drawing others into their own experience of Divine Love. The ‘non-leadership role’ of each and every one of us.

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Hi Folks

Here’s one of the most potent and possibly disconcerting chapters in my recent book ‘Way Beyond The Blue’ for your perusal.

It’ll give you a flavour of the way I think and write.

If you want to read more, I’ve added the wee link to Amazon at the end!

❤ Dylan

 

 

 

Chapter 32

Yeshua Sayings That You Rarely Hear In Church ~ 4

‘For you took away the “key of knowledge”. You yourselves didn’t enter and you hindered the ones entering in.’

In this provocative, yet deeply perceptive statement, Yeshua bar Yosef once more turns the full force of the Divine spotlight onto the prevalent religious mindset of His day, indeed, onto the hidden mindset of all religious systems throughout the ages. The sacred skeleton in the cupboard can no longer remain dressed up in the pseudo-respectability that it cleverly attempts to clothe itself in.

So what exactly is this key of knowledge that Yeshua claims Judaism’s religious top brass were holding back from the common people? Well, in order to answer such a crucial question we need to examine the context of the Nazarene’s debate with His Jewish elders.

Yeshua has just fired both barrels at the number of excessive laws extrapolated onto the Torah by the Jewish Scribes. In other words, He was confronting the timeless issue of religious legalism that always reduces the big, spiritual picture to the minutiae of pietistic duty.

Yet, in the ensuing discussion, Yeshua unearths a much darker and sinister problem that lies as the foundation stone of all religious systems viz. violence and its accompanying hypocrisy; the hidden elephant in every holy of holies. The revelation of violence, lying at the heart of our commonly perceived route to holiness, is, I believe, the key referred to by the Galilean prophet-teacher; the key that opens the door to a totally new perception of the Divine Nature.

In first century Palestine the construction of tomb memorials to the prophets of past generations helped consolidate a much threatened, Jewish national identity, in the face of Roman oppression and occupation. The religious authorities in Jerusalem appeared to honour the pioneering spokesmen of their embryonic faith whilst paradoxically honouring their forefathers who’d murdered them. Yeshua decides to go straight for the sacred jugular in exposing the blatant hypocrisy of His fellow debaters by claiming that all prophets throughout human history, (Abel to Zechariah), had been murdered by the status quo religious representatives of their day.

Yeshua’s previous declaration that we cannot serve two masters appeared not to have registered with His supposedly learned audience. The religious violence of the past was repeatedly being hushed up, indeed, literally whitewashed over on the victims’ grand memorial tombs. A good gloss has always been painted over such religiously motivated murders.

The Nazarene, ominously a prophet Himself, dared to expose the violent spirit that continued to underlie the religious game since the dawn of human history. He well and truly succeeded in flushing this destructive genie out of its shiny, sacred lamp, thus determining His own particularly tragic, yet deeply prophetic destiny.

You are sons of your father who was a murderer from the beginning’ elsewhere exploded the early Jewish myth of a violent, angry God, the father in question being the Satan or Adversary of skewed human desire. No wonder Yeshua’s listeners immediately attempted to respond with violence, ironically proving the truth of His claims regarding their dubious spiritual parentage.

The murder of Abel, the first brother, is a telling prototype of all future religious rivalry and its resulting violence; the striking out of sacred jealousy birthed by a dysfunctional perception of the Divine. A founding murder misinterpreted as the result of a Divine rejection; a subtle mechanism that regularly keeps the religious show on the road.

‘For God and Ulster’

This paramilitary group’s slogan for war in my deeply divided homeland of Northern Ireland, says it all. The Divine has been mistakenly woven into the very fabric of human violence since Cain lashed out at his innocent sibling. Jealous of Divine approval, the sons of God go to war, carrying their dualistic Deity deep within their wounded, love starved psyches.

No matter how effective the cover up, the violence at the heart of religion will, given time, always rear its ugly head – like a jack-in-the-box that must eventually pop up. ‘Look how they love one another’ has become the taunt of non-believers worldwide as they witness the often bloody rivalry at the heart of all sacrificial religion.

As we all know, this radical revelation of religious violence by Yeshua quickly resulted in His own tragic, but not totally unexpected murder. Dressed up in the guise of politico-religious expediency; the Satanic genie had hit back in its time-honed modus operandi. Further unmasked through the Crucifixion of its Divine whistle-blower, the stunned violent godfather quickly struck back by insidiously dressing the risen Victim in violent apparel of His own. A perverse but deeply effective diabolical counter-play: a Father and Saviour Son who’d dispatch non believers to a place of eternal torment for their non-belief. A violent God now ridding Himself of violent men.

May I suggest that, like its Jewish predecessor, the religion of Yeshua also does a tomb job on its quickly dispatched prophets. Is this key of knowledge still important in our walk with the Divine? I believe so. The nature of religion, no matter what the brand, is still essentially the same; under its respectable Jesus layer lurks a hidden sibling rival that negates the very message of the Nazarene viz. a Divine Love that unconditionally welcomes and accepts all.

Thankfully, Spirit Breath, the inner Voice of such a Love can always be heard, whispering, far from the violent battlefields of religious systems, the fractured, dualistic world of them and us. Let’s constantly be on our guard; may we never mistake the Way of the whitewashed Tomb for the Living Way of Yeshua, the Lamb Victim, slain before space- time began.

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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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Free Will?

Free Will?

Let me go ahead and say it!

Nothing can ultimately keep us from Divine Love – how can it?

‘Well, for starters,’ you may reply, ‘what about free will?’

Well, I agree that will appears to be an extremely potent weapon in resisting the Irresistible. Like some scurrying, little mouse it imagines its escape to be final before turning a corner to find its unfriendly, feline hunter one step ahead of it. Please let me explain.

Free will may not be that free after all. I appear to be free to choose what kind of coffee I’ll order when sitting here in this Lincolnshire, coffee shop. Shall I go for a latte or a soya cappuccino? No I think that I’ll go for an Americano with a little skimmed milk! Decision made. But is it that simple? Have I really made a decision or has the devious subliminal advertising of my surroundings influenced me. Has the choice of my coffee-drinking companion unknowingly influenced my own, preferred caffeine-fueled fix

Of course, apart from cash issues, such hidden influences don’t really matter in the overall scheme of things but with Divine Love it’s a totally different story. Either we are free to finally say NO to the Divine Presence or we can’t. Let me humbly suggest that we can’t.

Now of course it’s at this point that I will upset many of my Evangelical Christian friends for their whole raison d’etre is choice and free choice at that. Jesus died for our sins and we have a choice whether to accept God’s forgiveness or not! If not, well I wouldn’t like to be in your hell-bound shoes!

The reasoning behind this goes something like this. The Divine has granted us the power of free will, one that can refuse the very advances of the Love that gave it in the first place. Now there is something a bit off about this. If Divine Love, knew that the gift of free will would cause some of his beloved creatures to walk away from its very essence, straight into a godless eternity then would its granting constitute an act

Free Will?

Free Will?

of love? Rather, would it not be a somewhat, sadistic, ticking time bomb that would ultimately get rid of the apples of the Divine Eye?

I used to believe the free-will narrative on things but after my own rollercoaster life experiences, no longer.

No, will is, I believe, an illusion of sorts, one that helps us skip merrily through life believing that we are our own boss and that nobody tells us what to do. Yet, it lies, for within the human community, we are all influenced by the pull of the skewed, imitative desire of those around us. Pulled this way and that, we individually believe that the desires which regularly bubble up from our psyche-soul have their origins within, in other words, they stem from Me. Bouncing around the bouncy castle of life we’re oblivious to the frustrations and turmoil that haunt us from beneath – the controlling puppet strings of another’s passion and psychological needs. Their object of desire becomes ours and the subconscious battle for supremacy commences.

So, all a bit depressing you say! Well yes, if those around us are the only ones drawing us into their somewhat crazy desire fields. Thankfully there is a way of escape though, and that is to be drawn by the mimetic pull of Divine Love. Desire was birthed in the Source of All. It is the desire expert, the past master of its healthy default settings, the settings that tune us into liberty and life. This realignment with the One of our beginnings is the path of true freedom. Exchanging the hooks of contagious acquisitive desire, we involuntarily lay everything down, as we’re finally drawn into the Divine Embrace, like a prize salmon that’s had its final fling.

Some will be drawn into this awakening experience during their space-time sojourn, others will discover it post the illusion of death, or perhaps, as some Eastern philosophies suggest, on the space-time merry-go-round of a future life. Yet none will be cast out or expelled. To believe otherwise is to crown Free Will as the god of space-time and beyond.

In the Divine Presence, will, whether free or not, shall melt away, unnecessary in the Ocean of Divine Love. A homecoming where two have become One. The mystic catches glimpses of it and yearns for more, no longer interested in the matrix of desire.

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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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Heading back

Heading Back

Well, it’s nearly upon me. My unavoidable return to my home town of Ballybrigg that is, after having lived in the relative psycho-spiritual freedom of Lincoln, England for the last 5 years. After escaping the religion-political tribal mix that permeates my old homeland, I’m heading back to attend my wee sister’s wedding, an amazing tale in itself that I’ll share with you all some time.

I guess it’s a bit like a ex-combatant returning to the battlefield that scared him for life. The wounds are healed to a large extent but the memories still remain. At times my previous life in Northern Ireland seems like a dream, at other times it appears in nightmare form, though thankfully these nocturnal replays are now few and far between. I’ll meet up with a few safe friends and relatives, eat, drink and be merry at the wedding and observe how my body feels in the somewhat claustrophobic environs of Ballybrigg, the town where nothing seems to change as the locals happily sleep walk through life.

My wee son Ben is buried there in a municipal graveyard on the outskirts of town. I guess I will go pay him a visit and shed a tear for a life shortened by the mystery of cot-death. Standing on the wind-swept hillside of the Irish burial ground will bring back many memories. My prayer over his little white coffin as I committed him to the God of my 1984 belief system. The handful of Irish dirt that I through on his lowered coffin, reminding me of the fickleness and transience of this space-time existence.

Of course in hindsight I see that Ben’s short life and unexpected death proved to be the painful catalyst for my escape from my sect of choice. Without the tragic events of that cold, January afternoon, I wouldn’t be sitting today in this English coffee shop and writing about my impending return to my homeland; like many inhabitants of Ballybrigg, I would never have left the cultural whirlpool of evangelical religious belief and political smugness.

I’ll be visiting my old family home that has been rented out to a lovely lady called Janet. Apparently the garage is crammed full of my old furniture and stuff that men tend to accumulate over the years. The ping-pong table where my son Zac and I spent many hours, honing his skills for competitive tournament play. The tables and chairs that were the focal point of our dining room, where we regularly worked our way through the pain of religious burn out over Zan’s beautiful home-cooked meals. The memories will come flooding in but the time has come in the Divine plan, for me to return and face my old haunts.

Life is so full of circles. Perhaps, as my Eastern friends suggest, existence itself is one big circle. Anyway, most of us usually have to return to the place of previous joys and pain in order to recognise how much we’ve changed and to what extent we’ve been healed and grown closer to the Light.

So, if you are the praying type I’d deeply appreciate your prayers for a ‘successful’ trip. For those of you who’re into healing energies, please send as much as possible. My short time in Ballybrigg ought to be interesting. Hopefully, I’ll spot one like the Son Of Man walking with me in my psycho-spiritual, Irish version of the ‘Fiery Furnace’.

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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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Two In One

Two In One

‘Experientially, we’re all both paradoxically unsaved and saved.

Just depends on whether we’re presently tuning into the fear fuelled illusions of ego or the perceptive inner Voice of Spirit Breath.

A duality within non duality if you like.’

Dylan Morrison

I don’t know about you, but some days there seems to be a lot of little me‘s kicking around inside this person that I call Me.

No wonder we get stressed out as our inner selves fight and argue like a bunch of  schoolyard kids fighting over the last candy bar.

Often our inner world reflects our outer world and all its conflicts. When we appear to have enemies without we have enemies within and vice versa. Bizarrely it appears that there are no boundaries as far as relational tension is concerned.

So what comes first? The outer or the inner?

May I suggest that our inner community of little sub-personalities birth or attract our outer sources of conflict. Please let me explain.

Our internal family of me‘s comprises the ‘ego’, that collection of little defenders, linked to our autonomic fight, flight or freeze nervous system. They perceive themselves to be the protectors of an illusory self that doesn’t really exist. These little guys or gals aren’t evil, just highly dysfunctional, misinterpreting the signal from our outer world that bombard them on a daily basis. Like some gang of Japanese soldiers who believe World War 2 to be still raging in the jungles of the pacific islands.

I reckon that this little inner defense force was recruited in infancy and early childhood when we encountered trauma for the first time, usually the withdrawal of unconditional love from our parents or other trusted adults. But that is a topic for another day.

So where does that leave those of us who claim we have been ‘saved’ by the person and mission of Yeshua bar Yosef, known in Christian lingo as Jesus Christ. Well let me first say that there are many facets to this restoration or ‘salvation’ to use a much overworked and clichéd religious word, dripping with much misinterpretation. Whatever this experience entails, it is indeed most certainly that, an experience. Anything that only resides in the conceptual grey matter of theological argument is not what the Nazarene was all about. Our restoration or realignment with Divine Source must be an experience, something that I believe we can feel in the caverns of our inner world. Now of course many will recoil from subjective experience, choosing instead to place their trust in the doctrinal statements of a head based faith.

Such a retreat from the subjective experience of Divine Love would be an anathema to the Nazarene and his Jewish contemporaries. The God connection, whatever it is, must, if anything, bring a subjective realignment to our total selves; body, psyche and spirit, including our central nervous systems.

Simply put the Nazarene welcomes and reconnects our ego gang of misguided defenders with the Source of All, the one referred to by him as Abba. The experience of homecoming is a standing down of our ego army, an acknowledgement that the illusory war is over and that it’s safe to lay down the weapons of self-destruction.We awaken to a new reality; that All is well and shall be well. Nothing, not even the perceived threats of our inner or outer worlds can separate us from the embrace and sustenance of Divine Love.

Ego, in all its fragmented parts is welcomed into the Home of Divine Love to meet the One that it claimed to protect for all those angst ridden years – namely our true Self, that spark of the Divine Fire that is truly us. Under the guidance of a reformed Will the two inner communities can grow into One. This is the essence of space-time salvation or wholeness healing.

Of course the stored memories of conflict can still reactivate false alarms, causing our ego components to man the psychological ramparts but still, things are different. We can quickly return to barracks realising that the threat is a phantom threat, a trick of a mind that defended itself for many decades.

So paradoxically we are dualistic creatures, often switching between the default settings of ego and Spirit. Yet as we grow in the Way of the Nazarene, we shall see that in Reality All is One, the Presence in which we live and move and have our being.

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Ego Skies

Ego Skies

Some days we awaken to sunshine and the reality of the Divine Love that pulsates within us. Most days we exit our slumbers to feel a cloud lie over the landscape of our being; a psycho-spiritual layer that is neither joyous nor depressing, just ordinary. Living in these apparently physical  bodies in the midst of a soul filtered reality, ordinary usually seems the norm. Yet high above the cloud cover of our day-to-day lives lies a great Mystery, a Source whose desire has birthed our oft plodding journey from birth to old age and beyond.

So why are things so ordinary and often boringly difficult?

Well I reckon that Divine Love has allowed it to be that way. Please let me explain. The cloud cover in question is the sunscreen of ego, that which mischievously blocks out the Timeless Rays of Divine Source. To permanently live in the manifestation of the One we call God would be to burn up, leaving only the spirit spark deposited in the oyster shell of our sense of Being. Allowing ego to do its thing is actually a blessing in disguise. Of course ego doesn’t see its power plays being utilised and integrated into the Divine Will. It believes itself to be a rebel who will one day do away with Source for good, creating a well-rounded and independent human being. Yet even this delusion is allowed for it drives ego in its frantic efforts to be free.

No, Divine Love, is quite happy for us to pass many of our days under the cloud cover of ego’s ways as we journey through life.

Why?

Well, given time and space ego will drive us to our knees, exhausted by its efforts to control and regulate our psycho-spiritual health. At the appropriate time, our personal cloud will break, if only temporarily, to allow the shocking Light to break into the dark, lonely caverns of the Soul. Ego is powerless against the Light, the contact of Source and sourced. Once touched by the heat of the Divine Fire, there is no longer a mundane, boring life struggle, for we have seen what lies Beyond.

As ego recovers to spin its yarns of superheated imagination and spiritual delusion we can afford a wry smile. No longer are we trapped under the power of its ‘ordinary’ spin, for now we know. We are not ordinary. We are the offspring of Ultimate Reality. Such a knowledge cannot be learned or accumulated from religious or spiritual texts, nor their interpretive dispensers. It has to be experienced.

Thankfully, Divine Love is content to wait its time. No frustration lies within the Heart of the One we call God. So let’s embrace our ordinariness today as we experience our ego spun illusion, knowing that we know better. We have seen as we are seen and carry within us the eyes of a New World, that referred to as ‘The Kingdom/Queendom’ by the One who claimed ‘I Am the Light of the World’. 

Have a great day! 🙂

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The Tribe

The Tribe

Throughout human history the tribe has been both the context and safety zone for the individual. Without any choice of our own we are born into a tribe, a collection of families and individuals under a common banner, labelled by some distinctive characteristic that separates us from the other.

In my own case I was born into the somewhat politically and religiously obsessed tribe that goes by the name of ‘The Ulster Protestant’. With its heady mix of a strong work effort and a distrust of the Church of Rome, the Ulster Protestant is a strange wee creature. His or her love for duty and a shrunken world view make for an insular and somewhat claustrophobic life experience.

And yet the members of my old tribe don’t realise it, at least until they escape from the disputed ‘Six Counties’ for a career abroad or indeed a two-week break to the cheap sun-drenched Spanish holiday resorts. Bizarrely though the old defensive and somewhat self-inflated sense of being something special among the sons of men quickly re-establishes itself, once back in the gold-fish and tense dual-tribed space known as Northern Ireland or The North.

The Ulster Protestant is usually a decent but somewhat emotionally frigid creature who takes great security from the wealth and prestige accumulated by having the right contacts within the often hierarchical society based on the God down model and fear of lack. No wonder the Ulster Scots made great frontiersmen in the Old West – Daniel Boone and all that.

When it comes to religion the Ulster Protestant loves his God with a guilt-driven zeal or abandons himself to an earthly vices or strong language and very strong drink. The former half of my old tribe are constantly on a war footing to try to bring the latter half back into their god-fearing, church based fold. When one of the other tribe, the Roman Catholic, Irish Nationalist jumps ship and sees the evangelical Light, the Ulster Protestant jumps for joy, for such a conversion only reinforces the predominant view that God is truly on our side, for God and Ulster and all that.

Many of my old friends have managed to hang in there with the tribe, albeit the Christian Charismatic version, with their bubbly love for all; at least all who believe as they believe. Raise the issue of serious theological doubts and the back door will be opened for one’s ushered escape.

So how weird are our tribes?

They promise much but eventually after years of containment the human psyche-soul screams out for release. At least it can do. If the sedative of tribal acceptance is stronger than our desire to find our Self, then we remain, to be buried and laid into the ground of our forefathers.

The transpersonal crisis that cuts through our psychic equilibrium is often the critical game changer in our identity setting. Such an experience often shows the world view of our tribe to be erroneous or somewhat lacking at best. The painful energy of such an event often projects us into a whole new view of both life and God.

The god of the tribe is left behind as a totem representation of the tribe’s perception of itself and its raison d’être. The god around whom we dance the illusory dance of victory each Sunday morning in somber suits or trendy Charisma.

Living outside a tribe is a somewhat scary experience and yet one where we are not alone. Here in the desert of our Being we find One that draws alongside – One who knows what it is like to be hung out to dry outside the city walls of the Tribe.

So, which tribe do we presently associate with? Which rituals and identity games provide us with a pseudo-sense of security and well-being, the benefits of being on top in the human rankings. If we look carefully we shall see the bars of our prison with its inviting open door. The courage is given. Enough said.

 

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