Intersect 3-17-15

Living in the Mystery, pills part 1
One of the big reasons people claim they do not believe in God is what I call the Endless Loop of Creation Problem. If we were to write the ELCP as a computer program, advice it might look something like this:
define God=Creator
let God create Everything

Do you see the problem here? The very first line of the code actually creates God as the creator. Until God is somehow created, medical nothing else can come into being, yet if God is the creator of everything, and nothing comes into being until God creates it, who or what created God in the first place? Hence the endless loop. If there was a time when there was nothing, and God created everything out of nothing, where did God come from? The atheist position is that God had to come from somewhere, which implies something created God, or even if God created God’s self, there is still something out of which God could be created, which means there was something that existed before God.

This endless line of “where did that come from” questions causes many people to conclude God cannot exist, or if there is a God, there is still something even more powerful which created God, and something more powerful still that created the thing that created God, and so on and so on. I’ve been there. Most of you reading this column have probably at least struggled with the ancient question, where did God come from? Answering that question poorly has created an entire industry: Ancient Aliens. God is an ancient alien who came here and either interbred with the indigenous, primitive species, or seeded the planet whole cloth as an experiment in genetics. Either way, God is an alien humanoid.

It shouldn’t surprise us that the people who wrote and are described in the Bible struggled with this problem, too. Where did we come from? It’s probably one of humankind’s oldest questions. Trying to answer it leads us to all sorts of crazy conclusions, all colored by our limited understanding of reality, and our self-centered insistence that all life in the universe must look like us—including God. This is an unimaginative, short-sighted answer to the questions of the nature of God and human beings.

There is a better answer, an ancient Judaic answer. When asked why God did this or that, the ancient Rabbis in their playful wisdom often answered simply “It’s a mystery.”

It’s a mystery. If we’re going to believe in a cosmic singularity—God, then certainly much of God’s activity is and must be mysterious. We are human beings. Our experience in this universe is like that of a newborn infant. We’re still crawling around trying to figure out which switch makes the lights turn on at night. Trying to define the nature of God is way beyond the scope of our ability now, and it was even more beyond the scope of the ability of the authors of the Bible. Yet, they did a remarkably good job of describing the mystery in beautifully poetic language. God is eternal. God is spirit. God is human. God is nature. The conclusion our biblical ancestors came to is profound in its simplicity: God is. Everything else is commentary.

Meditation: I open myself to a mysterious experience that defies logic and reason.

Intersect 3-16-15

Monday Meditation
Mysterious and motivating
Force of the Universe:
Connect us to your love.
Flow through our souls
like bolts of lightning
through the dense electrified blanket
of a highly charged summer sky.

Energize our being
with love and compassion, ampoule
focus and clarity,
joy and lightness of being.

Help us tread gently
through this life,
ever more aware of
the precarious nature
of our relationships
to each other,
to our precious planet,
and to you,
our always-present,
Mysterious One.

We don’t know how you work,
We just know you are.
We feel your presence
within and all around,
changing us,
shaping us,
conforming us
ever more and always gently
into the image of perfected humanity,
as it was seen in Christ
so long ago.

Help us achieve a greater state of being,
and always,
to recognize the Christ-like nature
within everyone.
We are all part of the very being of God.

Our ancestors called us your children,
because we are indeed
created from your very being.
You are in our DNA.
You are our DNA.
We can never be separated from you,
we can only falsely believe
in separation.

But separation is a myth.
Nothing is separate.
Nothing is apart or alone.
The truth is our Oneness of being,
with you,
through you,
from you,
with each other,
through each other,
from each other.
We are One
and One is all.

With our attention focused on Oneness,
life looks different.
The world looks different.
Through your eyes we see love.
In your passionate embrace,
we feel love.
Focused on you
and our intimate,
unbreakable bond with you,
we are love.

Dis-integrate our distractions
and our barriers,
and awaken us to our integration
with your very being,
God of all Being.

For all who suffer:
the oppressed and the oppressor,
the patient and the healer,
the politician and the proletariat,
dis-integrate our barriers.
Open our minds and hearts,
and make our lives—
our ordinary,
everyday lives,
extraordinary.
Amen.

Intersect 3-10-15

Evolving to Spirit, seek part 1
A new fossilized jawbone was recently discovered in Ethiopia. This discovery pushes the arrival of our species back on the evolutionary ladder by almost half a million years. This discovery is exciting for a number of reasons, health not the least of which is as a reminder that evolution is a very, viagra very slow process.

I find this story particularly timely, because I have found myself, perhaps like many of you, growing impatient with a world that seems ever more intent upon complete and utter self-destruction. I look around the world and see new forms of slavery and abuse, and wonder what happened to all the progress we made in the 1960s? Did we actually make any progress, or have we been fooling ourselves? Is there no relation to evolution and the way we treat each other as a society? Our tools have changed, but have our habits and instincts? We still kill each other over little patches of land or control of a resource. I find it hard to believe we can’t do better after three million years.

The historical record shows we have undeniably evolved physically and mentally. I just wish our spiritual evolution—the part of us that makes us loving, compassionate, forgiving creatures, had kept up. If the pace of our spiritual evolution was the same as the pace of our physical evolution, I think we would be completely different beings, inhabiting a completely different world right now.

To be clear, I do not think we are physical beings that contain a spirit. That is dualistic thinking. There is no duality, there is only One and Oneness—but coming to that realization requires spiritual evolution. This is the sort of evolution exemplified in highly enlightened and connected beings like Moses, Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed (in chronological order).

Spiritual evolution is our ability to connect with the something greater than ourselves we instinctually and historically call God. This is not separate from our physical nature. This is not an alien architect. This is not a white guy with a beard in heaven. Those concepts are evidence of how little we have evolved spiritually. As we have naturally moved into new physical and mental forms, our ability to understand our interconnectedness with each other, with our planet, and with the Infinite Fundamental Force of the universe seems to have been stunted.

I believe we are deeply within a new phase of human evolution, one that is more about our spiritual connection to each other through the realization of our Oneness with God. This movement towards love meets with resistance form the establishment, because it distributes power equally among God’s people (which is all of us) and removes power from the hands of the wealthy few who have enslaved every single one of the rest of us. It is an evolution that helps us perceive God as the force that runs through and creates everything, rather than as a being who looks and acts all too human. It’s an exciting time to be alive, and one in which finally, inevitably, we might realize the incredible lightness of being that comes from awakening to a much more evolved state of being.
 
Meditation: I am awake to the love I am. Help me awaken others.

Intersect 3-9-15

Monday Meditation
The Glory of God
ignites us all into loving action!
We are moved
to transform our world
because God’s love
has transformed us.

We know that
none of us lives in a vacuum.
We understand that
God’s love is the essence of all life.
We see God
in everyone’s eyes, hospital
and share God
through each other’s hearts.

God is all,
and God makes us one.
One people of love.
One people of compassion.
One people of courageous

Intersect 3-6-15

Reclaiming Our Personal Relationship With God, sildenafil Part 3
Once we realize our Oneness with God, something amazing happens: We begin to understand how important it is to consider the welfare of others. Spiritually awakening to our Oneness somehow unites us with the rest of humanity. This might seem contradictory at first, and certainly much about believing in God is contradictory, or as Paul might say, even foolish. I don’t think we’re fools to believe in a conscious force greater than ourselves. Belief in a Supreme Consciousness (notice I don’t use the word being) keeps us humble. Awakening to the energy of the Supreme Consciousness within us opens our minds to a bigger picture about the interconnectedness of humanity. Realizing God is within, as intrinsic to our being as the blood coursing through our veins, compels us to serve others rather than nervously hoarding resources for ourselves.

Fear is the only reason humans hoard and refuse to share. We are afraid there won’t be enough to go around. We are afraid someone will get more than us. Jealousy makes us afraid we are less worthy than our neighbor. Fear of others drives us to create nuclear weapons instead of nuclear energy. Fear is the great ha-satan of our era. The only way to overcome this fear is to recognize our intimate interconnectedness with and interdependence upon each other. We are one, in ways our postmodern minds don’t want us to admit. We are connected in a weird, mystical way. Many of us are starting to realize this. Lots of us don’t want to admit it—it seems “backwards” to believe in God, or to sense anything mystical in this world of high technology. But where does inspiration come from? Where does creativity come from? What is that endless well of invention we call human ingenuity? What is the something more that continues to drive us to create, to explore, to journey beyond the known universe?

It’s more than the chemical reactions of cellular evolution. There is a force that creates and drives change. There is a force that constantly moves everything that exists toward a state of perfected love. In the 21st Century, perhaps God may not be the best word for that creative, loving force, since the word God has been depicted as a human for so many millennia. We can change our concept of God. What we cannot change (and wouldn’t want to change anyway) is the fact that we are part and parcel of God’s creative love.

The creative love of God gives us enough creativity (and enough resources) to solve any perceived crisis. There are enough resources for us to create affordable housing, so that no human family ever has to live on a cold, freezing street. No child should be denied an education—a real education, not a series of “standardized” exams that only prove we all have different gifts, and that the idea of “standardization” is an affront to the beautiful diversity of humankind. There is enough love to help people in impoverished areas create clean water. There is an abundance of creativity and resources in this realm. What we too often lack is the will to change things. Recognizing we are personally connected, driven by, and created from God is a powerful way to become a change agent in this world.

We are called to participate in the unification of humanity. No matter our skin color, gender, sexual preference or belief system, we are one species, one race, one people of God. We are beloved, always and forever. Accepting that fact will change us, and our world, forever.

Meditation: Change me to love. Teach me to love. Love me into change.

Intersect 3-5-15

Reclaiming Our Personal Relationship With God, shop Part 2
The oldest religious systems we know of were about worshipping the gods. For the most part, viagra humans worshipped these gods out of fear. The gods were judgmental, and if they thought we did something insulting, they punished us with famines, floods, plagues, earthquakes and other generally unpleasant things.

Unfortunately, after several thousand years of human evolution, after the enlightenment and the revelations of Einstein, Hawking and other cosmologists, our religions are still about worshipping and pleasing God or gods, for the most part out of fear of retribution. Let me illustrate how little religion has changed:

The oldest recorded religious system we have comes from ancient Sumeria. Their belief was that Anu, the king of all the gods and creator of the cosmos, dwelt in heaven. He was the ultimate judge and jury, both for the transgressions of humans, and for the actions of the other gods. Anu was part of a ruling TRIAD including Enlil and Anki. Sound familiar? To be fair, the Sumerians created an entire divine family, but these three shared the majority of power. Yet, even the idea of a divine family is reflected in the Hebrew Bible. Check out the story of Job, where God consults the divine council. We seem to take our religious ideas and repurpose them. We give things new names, but we never really change the system. Religion today is still too often about fear of retribution by a God sitting above the heavens with a council of other divine beings—whether that council includes Jesus and Mary or groups of Angels.

For some reason, humans insist on worshipping mythological beings, rather than working to experience the Divine Love that is the substance of all being. We refuse to believe that we can be One with God, just like Jesus, just like Buddha, just like Mohammed and Moses and Lao-Tze and many, many others throughout history. Instead, we ignore the lessons of these enlightened masters and worship the masters themselves.

I think we’re finally starting to make some spiritual progress though. The popularity of authors such as Richard Rohr, Marcus Borg, John Spong and others gives me hope that at least some of us are rethinking what it means to be a person of faith. Now that we are starting to realize the religious rut we’re stuck in, now that we are beginning to understand the hyperdimensional aspects of reality, perhaps we can start to look at our enlightened spiritual mystics with new eyes. Perhaps, rather than exalting Jesus and Mohammed and even Buddha to god-like status, we can start to study and learn from their teachings.

To be like Jesus, to learn from the stories about him, is to become One with the Divine Mind within us all. The Gospel isn’t intended to exalt Jesus to some exclusive Divine status. Understood in their proper Jewish mystical context, the stories are parables meant to enlighten every human being on the planet. Although Christians call it by a different name, Jesus’ connection to God is the same as Buddha’s state of Nirvana. By any name, enlightenment is enlightenment, and no matter which teacher we follow, work is required on our part. It is only through mass enlightenment that the war and terror of our world—the very systems that keep us imagining gods of punishment and judgment—will ever be defeated.

We can reach a higher state of consciousness. If we spent one-tenth the time on our spiritual growth that we spend on technology, in very short order this world would look very, very different. We owe it to ourselves, and each other, to transcend the myth of crime and punishment in the afterlife. Getting beyond the idea of a divine being that exists outside us is the first step in becoming creatures that are incapable of harming each other. Becoming love forces us to realize we are all love. We need an internal change of heart, the very change of heart Jesus exemplifies and makes clear we are more than capable of achieving. This change requires us, though, to believe not that God is punishing and judgmental, but rather that God and I are one.

Meditation: Today, I will accept Divine Love from the Infinite Eternal Source. I will see Divine Love in everyone. I will give Divine Love to everyone. 

Intersect 3-3-15

Reclaiming Our Personal Relationship With God, buy viagra Part 1
Think about the Bible stories we grew up with. Whether or not we consider ourselves religious people, medicine we know most of these stories by heart: Noah’s Ark, Moses and the Burning Bush, The Journey to the Promised Land, The Birth of Jesus, The Ministry of Jesus, The Death and Resurrection of Jesus, etc. Yet, as well as we know these stories, we seem to have forgotten their connecting thread: Our relationship with God is meant to be personal.
 
In the Bible, God speaks to and through people like you and I, people who are changed and motivated to change by their encounter with the Divine. God speaks to and through Moses, even revealing the greatest information in the universe to him: I AM. God speaks to and through Jesus, whose entire ministry is an attempt to teach and convince people that God wants to speak to and through them as well.
 
The stories in the Bible (at least the ones that are spiritually motivated) are about a humanity that is greater than we ever dared to imagine: a humanity that finds unity through the understanding that there is something bigger and greater than us, out there, somewhere, yet also smaller than us. Universal Love is within every one of us, knitting us magnificently together like a living, breathing quilt of love. If we could only remember that we are each imbued with the ability to directly connect to the Infinite Universal Power, our worldview would change completely. When we understand our personal relationship with God, we understand our personal relationship with each other. We are manufactured from the very fabric of God—as is everyone else. We need to get back to this absolutely fundamental understanding of God and our personal relationship with the Divine if we are ever to live in a world of peace and love.

We could so easily be living in a world where we share our resources—both material and intellectual with each other. This is the world Moses imagined. This is the world Jesus died hoping to create. This was the world the early church tried to establish, harkening back to an even more ancient Jewish ideal from the 8th Century, BCE.

If humans would embrace the idea that each of us is made from love, to love, we could accomplish astounding things. If we spent as much energy loving God and each other as we do creating fighter jets, missiles, and nuclear and biological weapons, we’d be traveling through the stars making contact with other civilizations. We would be warping space-time and stationing food replicators around the planet, literally creating an endless supply of food out of nanoparticles. There would be abundance for all. We wouldn’t just tolerate each other’s differences, we’d embrace them with the understanding that every single one of us is a small portrait of God. We could be working together as a single species—one loving people, drawn together by an awakening that we are more than individuals, and much more than the sum of our individual parts.

To move the world forward, we need to reclaim our personal connection with God. This connection reminds us that God is love, and that any ounce of hatred, disrespect, fear, loathing, or discrimination we see in the world (or in the Bible) is of human, not Divine origin. If we truly have a deep, personal relationship with the Divine, then we become all about Universal Love. We become the instruments of God’s Love in this hateful and hurtful world.

A personal relationship with the Divine does not require obedience to a leader or an institution—why do you think Jesus rejects the title “Son of God” every single time someone tries to foist it upon him (other than the fact he probably knew the title was treasonous)? It’s because Jesus didn’t want to become the person everyone felt they had to bow down to. He was fighting the religious hierarchy of his time, because it put a wall between the people and God—literally. The only people allowed into the Holy of Holies, the place God was most present, were the highest of the high priests. Jesus recognized this was a terrible idea, and certainly one that flew in the face of his Jewish traditions.

The stories about Jesus remind us, in an exceptionally powerful and moving way, that we are all destined sons and daughters of God, no matter our skin color, no matter our gender, no matter our sexual orientation. God is love. We are love. Anything that suggests otherwise is a lie.

Meditation: Open my heart to realization of Oneness with you, my loving God, and through you with love to realization of oneness with my brothers and sisters around the world.

Intersect 3-2-15

Monday Meditation
God of endless wonder, there
we are astonished
by the revelation and realization
that you are not a being
sitting on a magical rocket chair in the sky, drugstore
judging and condemning based on human ideals, sildenafil
but rather that you are a force—
the force of love
that is and is within all things
great and small.

We too often live in fear.
We too often speak words of hate,
and build walls of distrust.
We have created you in our image,
and made you judge and jury,
accepting of a narrow few.
We have made you a god
who is always on “our” side,
not realizing that when we truly know you,
there is no “us” or “them,”
there is only you,
the eternal love of the universe.

Our fear of others
(and our fear of you)
keeps us away from love.
We find too few ways to connect with you,
the eternal essence of forever.

You love us into being.
You connect with us in ways
we have trouble describing,
and are still grasping to understand.
Yet, if we open our minds
and our hearts,
you teach us the ways of love,
which expels distrust,
pulverizes fear,
and fuses our souls with your very being.
Love fuses our souls
with every state of being
and non-being.

Creative God,
show us your face
in every flower and every stranger.
Let us feel your tears?in every drop of rain
and every cry of sorrow.
Help us see the beauty of the world
and each other,
with overpowering gratitude.

Stir our souls
and give us the courage? to create
a world of compassionate beauty,
in response to your beauty
which always compassionately surrounds us.
Amen.