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
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…
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
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
Jesus used a few different words that are translated as "knowing" or "to know" in the Christian bible. In the original language the Greek words can be translated as other than "knowing" or colors of knowing. Sometimes Jesus "knew" something as an observation or an understanding or a perceiving. Sometimes his "knowing" was like our modern expression of how we would describe our relationship with form. He "knew" concepts just like we do. But sometimes he used a special word. This word (translated as "to know") is a word that implied intimate experiencing. As an example: "Adam knew Eve and they had a child."
This kind of intimate knowing is why the formless manifests as form to know the formless.
And they said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven
Read more Pointers to the formless: KNOWING
When we think of the Thanksgiving holiday maybe we think of turkey and dressing and pies and pilgrims. Maybe we think of historical traditions and sharing meals with Native Americans on a cold day when food was scarce. Maybe our minds have those mindful thoughts, but deeper down we have a connection to the formless that bubbles up into our form. The structure of life is a manifestation of eternal life. The formless takes form so the formless can know the formless through form. Take our families as an example.
The "warm feelings" of "graciousness" and "thanksgiving" are really the formless manifesting as form as a result of how the "world works" for the human form. We have parents and siblings and extended families. The warm feelings of the season are really something that we sense from beyond form. We have "blood connections" to our families. This may seem like a physical, scientific fact of human procreation but on a deeper level it is a sharing of like energies that take the form of procreation.
Read more Pointers to the formless: Thanksgiving
The mind attempts to go deeper and deeper looking for the indivisible root cause. It believes there is always a singular truth to any circumstance. It creates an absolute paradigm of "good" and "bad" so it can manipulate the next moment to bring only "good" and exclude the "bad." Seeking truth from this perspective will bring us to truth but it is an indirect path. We look through our electron microscopes to discover the indivisible and the root cause that we believe will allow us to predict every moment, but what we find is randomness. The indivisible doesn't exist. Cause and effect don't work. We even create concepts to describe what we can't understand like quantum and relativity. The indirect path brings us to paradox.
The direct path is paradox. When we follow the pointers to truth, we find the end of our minds. Paradox takes us beyond our minds where truth can be experienced for what it IS. We can take the long way around the mountain by the path of the mind or take the shortcut through paradox.
Read more Pointers to the formless: PARADOX