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Posts Tagged ‘soul’

Spark

Spark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Glass Half Full - Glass Half Empty

Glass Half Full – Glass Half Empty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Burn-Out & God

Burn-Out & God

I guess that God knows all about burn-out, having seen so many of us succumb to that particular psycho-spiritual pitfall. The trouble is, most of us recovering religious junkies found God at a young age when we hadn’t yet discovered who we really are, and perhaps more importantly, what God is really looking for in our mutual friendship. Is it any wonder that so many of us ditch the religion and God of our youth to be ‘normal’, and sleep in on Sunday mornings.

I reckon the whole concept of discipleship is partly to blame. To be a follower of the Nazarene is to self deny and take up our cross ad nauseam. Boy, what a life to sign up to. Thousands of church services over our three score years and ten, months spent in intercessory, battling prayer and of course, last but not least the endless voluntary work, known as ministry expected from all good disciples. It all sounds so holy and sacrificial, and if we know anything the Divine is really into sacrifice, especially that of His beloved Son. Some New Testament scholars believe Christianity to be an updated version of Greek Stoicism, and I can see why. Virtue as the highest form of happiness sounds all too familiar to my religious junkie mindset of old. Yes, God is a quality controller who expects from us the high standards of the Nazarene, especially on Sundays.

So where is the flaw in all of this. What exactly is discipleship and is its end result always burn-out. Well, may I humbly suggest that we have lost the Middle Eastern meaning of discipleship. All Jewish Rabbis, at least those of note and a good reputation had their disciples; generally a band of men, who modelled themselves on their master’s lifestyle and teaching. Of course like all discipleship models it had its drawbacks, with rivalry and power struggles always a possibility. Yet, at its essence it was all about following. Yeshua, bar Josef was no different. He asked his motley crew of men and women, to follow him, but was it a journey into dour sacrificialsm? I believe not.

The Nazarene claimed that his yoke was easy and his burden, light. These rabbinical buzz words had a special meaning. Yoke and Burden referred to the general life teaching of a spiritual master. In other words, Yeshua was saying that what he asked of his followers was quite simple and easy to fulfil, in comparison to many of the other yokes and burdens kicking around the Judaism of his day. Peter, James and John and gang were simply to love God and their neighbours in the same way the Galilean did. Just an imitation of sorts, yet not one to be squeezed out of stoical human effort, but one to be channeled from Divine Source, a reflex action of the Love that touches all. The taking up of the cross wasn’t a call to suffering but a call to liberation from the dictates of ego. Such a radical following of the Nazarene, would release the tortured will into the Divine destiny. A letting go to trump all lettings go.

‘I have come to bring life and life more abundantly’ now begins to make sense. A life of realignment and connection with Source, the Love that flows to all, if only we will ditch our old sacrificial thinking. To follow the Nazarene is not to crucify Self, but detach from ego and its incessant, fear fuelled demands. Self is made to flourish and create in the divine economy, not hang on a religious cross and pride itself on its suffering.

So where does that leave all of us religious burn-outs. Well, I reckon that somewhere along the line we have been presented with a form of Christianity whose yoke is far from easy and its burden, heavier than lead. We attempted to slave our way to holiness in the guise of sacrificial love and it back-fired. Our bodies, psyches and spirits had enough and declared so in quite dramatic fashion. ‘Stop’ they cried and so we did, often unwillingly, for the death loving virus within religion is a hard one to shift. Lying in a faithless heap we wondered if we’d ever again feel the Presence that started it all. And of course, in time the call comes, not to stoicism and religious hoop jumping, but to stillness and touch, the compassionate embrace of the Divine Samaritan. The Master has returned.

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Living To Die ~ Dying To Live

Living To Die ~ Dying To Live

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

❤ Dylan

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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 ~ Blessing Or Curse?

Families ~ Blessing Or Curse?

Families, you either love them or hate them! We all have them to some extent and what’s more we didn’t choose them or did we? But more of that later in the series. Due to the human birthing process, in all its wondrously gory glory, we have a mother, father and if fertility and finances allow a few siblings.

So let’s start with the parents, ladies first! Our mother has carried us for up to 9 months before the big day, the day of our emergence into this somewhat crazy, space-time world. Without realising it, a lot of subliminal womb-centred  interaction has been going on between the developing me and my mother. The latest scientific studies seem to suggest that mother and baby share a lot more than blood and essential nutrients. Unknowingly the lady in question appears to be laying down an emotional imprint our her own feelings and state of mind to the little absorber within. It all makes sense to me now, after discovering that my dear mum conceived me out-of-wedlock back in the 1950s of  Presbyterian Northern Ireland. Oh the shame, for a nice little church girl like her to bear in the puritanical atmosphere that undoubtedly surrounded her. It explains the hidden, quiet aspects of my nature and the over-riding desire to explain myself to others. But enough of my own inner blue-print. If each of us could examine the psycho-spiritual state of our mom during pregnancy we’d more than likely see a reflection of our fractured Self, the collective of sub-personalities that give us our personality.

May I suggest that the initial fracturing of our developing psyche begins in the womb, in those miraculous nine months of darkness and maternal connection. The umbilical cord may transfer much more than life’s essential constituents in its downward flow. During the heightened and somewhat terrifying state of pregnancy our mother often finds one of her own sub-personalities coming to her rescue. It provides the strength to get through the seemingly endless period of gestation. Is it any wonder that we may switch to its generational clone for assistance as we face life’s pressures.

Of course, motherhood is , in a utopian world, the source of nurture and unconditional love, the greenhouse that propagates the well-rounded child and hence the well-rounded adult. I stress utopian for, as we all know, mothers are only human, albeit some more human than others! All mothers face an uphill struggle to maintain the flow of love without demand in the face of exhaustion, and a loss of Self. Absentee fathers, either physical or emotionally, leave the poor lady with a Herculean task. It’s no wonder that they slip up from time to time causing a little self-protective tweak to our sensitive psyche-soul. All memories of withdrawal are noted and a protective sub-personality birthed as a result. May I suggest that our mother is the most important sculptor of our psycho-spiritual health. ‘Your just like your mother,’ is more than a male chauvinist slur; it can inadvertently hold a nugget of truth  for  all of us, whether male or female.

Mothers do a great job in general, though some don’t. These tragic cases only pass on their dysfunctional psycho-spiritual traits to their wounded offspring and so the downward spiral of generational flaws continue. Major trauma and its aftermath play havoc with both mother and child. It’s just the way it is in this space-time bubble. The problem is compounded when the mother in question cannot let go of her ‘nurturing’ role in later life. Operating in the dearth of authentic Self, a mom can cling to her mother identity like some badge of honor, a maternal Linus blanket to keep the demons of insignificance at bay. The seeds of psychological dysfunction sown in pregnancy, usually pop us as relational breakdown in the later stages of life when adult children break away to avoid the suffocating atmosphere of a mother, well past her sell-by date. It sounds cruel and uncaring but the new adult must get away for the sake of their own identity, away from the mummy’s little darling apron strings of a lady in crisis.

So what of moms? Well, at their best they are reflections of the Divine Feminine, the Nurturing Spirit of creativity and wholeness. A good mother is worth her weight in gold. A woman to be honored and cherished, albeit from a safe distance as time moves on. The primal bond of motherhood can be a continuing channel of generous authentication or a chain to stop us leaving. Discernment and compassion are required for we are dealing with the soul of a woman who has banked her all on her offspring. Only Divine Love can safely lead both mother and child into their individual destinies, an authentication of Self from beyond, a detachment of all that seemed so critical in the wondrous days of childhood.

In my next Blog, I’ll look at the role of fathers in our psycho-spiritual development. Best ask my son, Zac, what he thinks before I write it!

I’m dedicating this wee Blog to my dear departed mum, Elizabeth, a wonderful, if somewhat stoical woman, who protected me from the shame of men, until the day she died. Till then mum. ❤

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The Big Picture

The Big Picture

Most of us have an eye for detail. We love to poke around the minutiae of life, observing and giving our two cents worth on every issue under the sun. Frankly we tend to stick our nose into all that comes our way, even if it is to dismiss it out of hand in order to maintain a pseudo sense of security and inner peace.

Yes we are daily bombarded by a multitude of ‘issues’ whether relational, social, economic, political, indeed even religious, all demanding our attention. This flood of external and often inner stimuli is a hard one to handle. In our youth we tend to deal with them all, one by one, knocking them each into the ball park without any consequences to our state of equilibrium. The older we get, and especially for those of us who have passed through major life changes, it’s not so easy. Some days the idea of being castaway like Robinson Crusoe sounds very appealing indeed, with only the sea, beach and jungle for company!

So how are we to approach this phase of our space-time sojourn?

Well may I suggest we leave our analytical, belly button-obsessed powers behind and set our eyes on the Big Picture.

All very well, many will say, but IS there a big picture and if so in what Cosmic art gallery is it hanging?

Well, first let me suggest that it does exist and is somewhat accessible to the honest enquiring heart.

The key of course is to discover the Artist or rather let the Artist discover us!

The world’s great, and not so great, religions and spiritual minds have tried for millennia to tie this Artist down.

I reckon though that the Artist has set the whole canvas up so that only glimpses of their essence can be observed by the curious. A face to face meeting with the Artist seems to be on their terms and indeed on their own terms.

For me I see this Artist in the life, death and claimed resurrection of the Nazarene, Yeshua bar Yosef.  It is in the teaching and actions of this man which channel the Presence of the Artist into the darkness of my lonely psyche-soul. Subjective? Yes indeed, but isn’t all of value ultimately subjective. The Nazarene communicates the unconditional Love of the Artist for his Work, those living, breathing psyche-souls that reflect the glories of  His/Her creative urges. In other words, the Artist is 100% for us, committed to bringing us into an awareness of both His/Her Being and our own spirit Self.

The Big Picture?

Well, I reckon that we are the big picture, set high above the pseudo world of ego etchings. All that has flowed out of Divine Creativity is the big picture, that which truly is. When mystics, both past and present are granted a Divine showing, they are seeing both the Artist and Their work. A momentary exhibition that unveils the mysteries of the Ages , even for a split second. The darkness lifts and the Shekinah Glory bathes the weary soul.

So as we travel the highways and byways of our busy lives, let’s remember to look up. The invitation of our open hearts will be answered in the Artist’s own Time and Way. One thing’s for sure though; our meeting will be perfectly placed on the Big Picture’s Divine canvass.

 

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