The traditional interpretation of Jesus' story is mankind is sinful and needed a savior. Some denominations teach that we are born with original sin, inherited from Adam, and there is no hope of being sinless. The sinless part is important because God can't tolerate sin and must punish the sinful. This is where Jesus comes in. He is a human sacrifice for the sin of the world. So the manger picture is a reminder that this child was born to be killed as a sacrifice to God for the shortcomings of mankind.
What if we missed it? What if that isn't what Jesus' intended as his message?
Read more Faces, vases and mangers
I survived the Ridgecrest California earthquakes of 2019. Actually, the aftershocks are ongoing and I'm feeling one as I type this post. Hopefully, the big stuff is over and we can get back to normal life. The earthquakes caused lots of damage but much of that can be repaired. What is more profound than broken glass and cracked walls is the impact on the human psyche. I've lived in California for 19 years and have experienced many minor earthquakes. I've felt a little shaking, swaying in my chair, heard a boom or even heard stuff rattling in the room. If there was someone in the room I'd ask them "was that an earthquake?" we would compare experiences and then go back to whatever we were doing. What happened in Ridgecrest was not like those minor earthquakes.
Read more Cavemen and Earthquakes
Your brain is a great separator. It separates stuff into categories. It separates good from bad. It separates likes from dislikes and desires from repulsions. We need it to survive. We need the thinking mechanism of the brain tool to keep us well and safe and fulfilled. It is not however a good tool for waking up, enlightenment, satori, salvation, being born again or any other way of describing the experience of heaven on earth or nirvana. You can't discover ultimate truth with a conditioned brain.
Read more Correct tool for the task
What you are is not just your story. You are the source of your story. You are the consciousness that is aware of your story. Jesus would say you are spirit and flesh, source and manifestation. You are already complete exactly as you are including everything you think you are not...
Read more Perfection
When you embrace my divine wisdom you are mindful and have the capacity to see clearly. You will come to experience the reality of who and what you are. That reality of oneness will set you free from the bondage of the egoic illusion of separateness. (FST)
Read more Flip Side
"The world as it appears to us now is, as I said, largely a reflection of the egoic mind. Fear being an unavoidable consequence of egoic delusion, it is a world dominated by fear. Just as the images in a dream are symbols of inner states and feelings, so our collective reality is largely a symbolic expression of fear and of the heavy layers of negativity that have accumulated in the collective human psyche. We are not separate from our world, so when the majority of humans become free of egoic delusion, this inner change will affect all of creation. You will literally inhabit a new world. It is a shift in planetary consciousness. The strange Buddhist saying that every tree and every blade of grass will eventually become enlightened points to the same truth. According to St. Paul, the whole of creation is waiting for humans to become enlightened. That is how I interpret his saying that “The created universe is waiting with eager expectation for God’s sons to be revealed.” St. Paul goes on to say that all of creation will become redeemed through this: “Up to the present. . .the whole created universe in all its parts groans as if in the pangs of childbirth.”
Read more A new world…
How aware are we? To be ourself is to be fully aware. We are awareness. We are not an it or a thing or a body or a mind or thought or emotions or a brain or even the “I” of “I am.” We are the “amness” or existence or beingness that manifests as awareness…
Read more Pointers to the formless: a world in motion
From the contemplative point of view, being lost in thoughts of any kind, pleasant or unpleasant, is analogous to being asleep and dreaming. It’s a mode of not knowing what is actually happening in the present moment. It is essentially a form of psychosis. Thoughts themselves are not a problem, but being identified with thought is. Taking oneself to be the thinker of one’s thoughts—that is, not recognizing the present thought to be a transitory appearance in consciousness—is a delusion that produces nearly every species of human conflict and unhappiness. It doesn’t matter if your mind is wandering over current problems in set theory or cancer research; if you are thinking without knowing you are thinking, you are confused about who and what you are. “Waking Up” Sam Harris
Read more Pointers to the Formless: lost in thought
To be awake is to be free of the dream. To be enlightened is to live as a transparent form emanating the eternal light from within. To be conscious is to be aware of the awareness you are. To be free is to no longer identify with ego and discover your true self.
We use words like transcendence and transmutation and transfiguration to describe in concepts what is the emerging of the formless within the illusory world of form. We let go of our identity with form, ego, body, mind and the person. We wake up to see the form, body, mind and person as manifestations of our true self.
Jesus described this awakening of consciousness as being born again. Isn't that description appropriate for waking up, being enlightened, becoming conscious and finding freedom? We are born again of water (entry into the physical realm) and spirit (awakening to the true self). Jesus described awakening as salvation. The word he used in its various forms was "sozo." This word means "to make whole."
Read more Pointers to the formless: BOREDOM
If you are a “spiritual” blogger, you have to write a Christmas post, right? If life has reached a critical stage, then there must be an event, right? If the pressure gets too high in the nuclear reactor cooling system, then “it’s gonna blow!” (Cue the dramatic music and images of a frantic control room trying to turn the correct dial in the right order to avoid disaster).
Read more Pointers to the Formless: a child is born