Monday, August 25, 2014

Keys to the Kingdom: BEing & DOing AS Jesus in the world

This post rests on the previous post: On this Rock: Direct Revelation from God
and these two major assertions:
  1. from my perspective, what is important to Jesus and his disciples, is living in spiritual reality, in God-consciousness, in the reign (kingdom) of God, while we live our lives here on earth.  NOT just Heaven when we die - Here, Now.  This is Most of what Jesus talks about in his ministry: the Reign (Kingdom of Heaven) God.
  2. from my perspective, The ROCK on which Jesus will build his assembly/congregation is Direct Revelation from God. - Jesus says Peter is Blessed BECAUSE Peter tells Jesus what his "Father who is in the heavens" revealed directly to Peter, spiritually. - Jesus tells Peter, on this rock (Direct Revelation from God) Jesus will build his assembly/congregation

Ok, regarding the Keys to the Kingdom, as spoken of in Matthew 16:13-23:
from my perspective, we can look to other scriptures to help understand what Jesus is saying about the KEYS.

2 chapters after the famous Peter and Keys to Kingdom scripture, Matthew addresses Jesus talking to his disciples - so the keys are Clearly not All about Peter

Matthew 18:18-22
“I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will bee loosed in heaven.
“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.
For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

This really needs to be read in context, the whole chapter is here
Here are the verses with the most recent context, before and after (Mat 18:15-22):
'And if thy brother may sin against thee, go and show him his fault between thee and him alone, if he may hear thee, thou didst gain thy brother; and if he may not hear, take with thee yet one or two, that by the mouth of two witnesses or three every word may stand. And if he may not hear them, say it to the assembly, and if also the assembly he may not hear, let him be to thee as the heathen man and the tax-gatherer.  'Verily I say to you, Whatever things ye may bind upon the earth shall be having been bound in the heavens, and whatever things ye may loose on the earth shall be having been loosed in the heavens.

'Again, I say to you, that, if two of you may agree on the earth concerning anything, whatever they may ask -- it shall be done to them from my Father who is in the heavens, for where there are two or three gathered together -- to my name, there am I in the midst of them.'

Then Peter having come near to him, said, 'Sir, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him -- till seven times?'  Jesus saith to him, 'I do not say to thee till seven times, but till seventy times seven

Then let's look earlier in this gospel - Matthew: 9:
2And they brought him a paralytic as he lay in the pallet, and Yeshua saw their faith, and he said to the paralytic, "Take heart my son, your sins are forgiven you." 3But some of the Scribes said among themselves, "This man blasphemes." 4But Yeshua knew their thinking, and he said to them, "Why do you think evil things in your heart?" 5"For which is easier, to say, "Your sins are forgiven you", or to say, "Arise and walk?" 6But that you may know that The Son of Man has authority in the earth to forgive sins, I say to this paralytic, "Stand up, take your pallet and go to your house." 7And he stood up and he went to his house. 8But when those crowds saw, they were awestruck, and they glorified God who gave authority like this to the children of men.
Jesus Healed and Loosed people from sin (being out of alignment with God)
- for Jesus, healing and being let-loose from sin was the Same Thing.

When one sees the context of these Matthew quotes, it makes much more sense how John's Resurrection info is related:
John 20:23:
Jesus came and stood in the midst, and saith to them, ‘Peace to you;’ and this having said, he shewed them his hands and side; the disciples, therefore, rejoiced, having seen the Lord.  Jesus, therefore, said to them again, ‘Peace to you; according as the Father hath sent me, I also send you;’ and this having said, he breathed on [them], and saith to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit; if of any ye may loose the sins, they are loosed to them; if of any ye may retain, they have been retained.’

Jesus is revealing himself to his disciples for the first time after his resurrection: immediately he calls his disciples to the same work he has done, he gives his disciples the Holy Spirit, along with the authority.  He sends us to do this reparative work, as his Father sent him.

So let's put it all together:

  • Those who are IN spiritual focus, God Consciousness, the Reign of Heaven - standing on the Rock = Direct Revelation from God.
  • Those who are on the Rock, are given, therefore, the KEYS to do God's will in this world - to move/open heaven and earth (spiritual and physical reality) according to the Direct Revelation received from God

Jesus gives his disciples Power and Authority to spiritually act in this world,
as Jesus hands and feet, carrying on his ministry to the lost, to the broken, to those who need God's hope, mercy, grace… in this world.

Jesus sent his disciples to act in the power of the Holy Spirit:

  • to say, to choose, to heal, to assist folks back to alignment with God, to lose or to bind, to open or to close
  • to REPAIR/RECONNECT to God and Wholeness,
  • to BE and DO, AS Jesus in the world, and to continue to do the work he was called to do.

With these KEYS
Jesus Equips us to do as we are called by God;
and there is much to be done.

Let us continue,

On this Rock: Direct Revelation from God

Direct Revelation from God is
connecting with, relating to, receiving from and worshiping God in spirit and truth

Jesus said in John:
God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship (kiss) in spirit and truth (reality).
See here about meaning of worship.
See here about meaning of truth.

God is Spirit, we must relate to God as spirit, not as flesh;
spiritually, not physically.

Because we are taught to see through our physical eyes,
and hear through our physical ears,
and understand through our physical/rational mind,
we don't understand what Jesus is talking about most of the time, in the bible.

One can not apprehend God or spiritual reality through the body, emotions, mind:
From my perspective, it is like "trying to get to heaven on the end of a kite" (as the song says ; )

From my perspective, we are taught to have a physical focus, a body focus;
and not taught that there even IS a spiritual focus,
and certainly not HOW to attain that spiritual expereince.

This spiritual practice is the focus of the ministry I am called to,
so I am excessively passionate about it ; )

It is frustrating to me that the wheels of the Christian religion, by-and-large,
work Against this spiritual focus,
which is the CORE of Jesus' message (the Reign {Kingdom} of God/Heaven),
but that is the way of the World.

SO, for example, on the physical, when viewed through the body,
our Christian walk looks like a PROCESS of transformation
- and it IS! ... from a physical perspective.

But, IMO, the SPIRITUAL REALITY is what is key
- and in spiritual reality, Right NOW is our wholeness, our rest, our power and our glory:
in our spiritual reality it is all NOW!!!

Almost no one can hear what Jesus said, what Paul said, over and over and over.

Jesus said:

- the reign (often translated 'kingdom') of God is within you: NOW

- seek ye the reign of God, and all these things shall be added to you: NOW

- Fear not, little flock, because your Father did delight to give you the reign: NOW

Paul said:

- in him we live and move and have our being: NOW

- (God) did raise us up together, and did seat us together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus: NOW

- at all times the dying of the Lord Jesus bearing about in the body, that the life also of Jesus in our body may be manifested: NOW

IMO/E, when one begins to read the New Testament with the distinction that we are spirit in a body (Paul says spirit vs flesh)
and pays attention to the past, present and future tense (useful to read the literal translation for this, IMO)
it can be absolutely life altering.

Of course to start to let the message get through to us:
we must be willing to let go of all the preconceptions and programming (which is not easy!)
and be willing to ask God to assist us to will and to to do God's good pleasure:
receiving God's blessings for us and leading for our lives directly as spirit from Spirit; spiritually, not physically.

But the labor is worth it;
the message God has for us Really Exciting
... one might say it is Good News!

Just one example of the core necessity of spiritual focus versus physical focus, and I will stop.

I notice in Matthew 16:13-23:

Peter gets spiritually focused information
'Happy art thou, Simon Bar-Jona, because flesh and blood did not reveal it to thee, but my Father who is in the heavens.'

Jesus says, of this spiritual information, and those who operate through this spiritual information:
'upon this rock I will build my assembly, and gates of Hades shall not prevail against it; and I will give to thee the keys of the reign of the heavens, and whatever thou mayest bind upon the earth shall be having been bound in the heavens, and whatever thou mayest loose upon the earth shall be having been loosed in the heavens'

To be SURE we get the point, that it is NOT about PETER, rather it is about living on the ROCK of our spiritual information: revealed to us by Abba who is in the heavens: Direct Revelation from God:

Peter goes and says a physically-focused thing to Jesus,
and Jesus corrects him strongly FOR his physical focus:

'Get thee behind me, adversary!
thou art a stumbling-block to me,
for thou dost not mind the things of God, but the things of men.'

Amazing, to me - it continues to amaze!
It is right there in black and white, but most of us have trouble seeing it, because (from my perspective) on so many levels we have been socialized differently.

may we be given always more open
eyes to see and ears to hear what Spirit says to the people of God.

thanks for playing!

 this doesn't address: what are the KEYS, see here for more ; )

Saturday, August 2, 2014

"Putting on the Mind of Christ: The Inner Work of Christian Spirituality" by Jim Marion

I love this book, it is one of my favorites of all time.
I have re-read it several time in the last dozen years, and I continue to say hello to parts of it.
I bought a case of them and shared them all, and keep buying more to share.

From my perspective, Marion doesn't help much with the HOW of spiritual deepening (although he takes a shot at it)
- I have very effective tools for that, so that doesn't matter to me.

But, while many Christians seem to be sitting around waiting for the heaven train,
Marion inspires us with the Big Fat 'why bother' to do our spiritual work, spiritual deepening, discipleship...

Marion encourages us with the purpose of all of our spiritual evolvement (and in the case of this work: true Christian Spirituality):
to experience (as Jesus did) non-dual consciousness (Oneness),
in Jesus language: “the Father and I are One”.    

Although I personally disagree with some details of Marion’s book,
I am Thrilled to see the idea of this evolvement being encouraged within Christianity.
And I am encouraged in my own spiritual ‘progress’ as well as my 'challenges',
by Marion's sharing about many fellow travelers ahead of us on the path.    

Marion is writing from a Christian perspective,
overlaid on the work of Ken Wilber – who outlines the developmental stages we go through psycho-spiritually regardless of religious or spiritual background.

Although I am grateful to Wilber for his breakthrough work,
I personally prefer the flavor of Marion's presentation of this wisdom.

in Life! Wendy

Info from Spirituality and Practice: Book Review

Info from Amazon:

Customer Reviews

Editorial Reviews Below:

Ken Wilber, from the Foreward
"A pioneering book, a truly inspired revelation, and a gentle guide to the deepest terrain of our own souls."

Bo Lozoff, author of
"It is encouraging to see a book that reminds us that true spiritual development is neither easy, safe, nor comfortable."

"an adventurous study of Christianity which opens the mind and searches the soul."

SMV News - Feb. 2001
An important book, which will both challenge and inspire those already actively engaged in the process of 'putting on the mind of Christ'.

Science and Medical Network, Network No.74, December 2000
an illuminating book that brings the Christian mystical right into the present.

From the Publisher
At a time when many are turning away from organized religion and dogmatic Christianity for their own uncharted "life in the wilderness," Jim Marion shows how standard Christian terms and concepts illuminate a genuine path of inner development, one that requires a fair degree of effort.
He says if you expect to get to "Heaven," there are no priestly chauffeurs who will deliver you unwrinkled to the pearly gates. You'll only "get there" on your own volition, and in order for it to mean anything, you need to do it while you're here, alive, on Earth, wondering what life is all about.
You don't have to be Christian either. Marion draws on various spiritual and metaphysical traditions--Buddhism, the Yaqui teachings described by Carlos Castaneda, Native American shamanism--and the insights of several mystical mavericks to make his case. You'll get to "Heaven" in stages, as you unfold your inner process, and he sets out the typical experiences and travails you're likely to encounter. He charts a develpmental model for inner spiritual unfolding, and uses well-chosen excerpts from scripture and other sources to make his points. This is Christianity the way Christ meant it to be done.
This is not a book about theory, or one man's speculation about how you might get there. Jim has done the hard work: the meditating, the inner scourging, the questioning, the despairing, the life of the committed monk--he has done his tunnel work, burrowing through the great mountain of the Self to the other well-lit side where you can rightfully put on the mind of Christ.

From the Inside Flap
What does it mean to follow the path of Christ today? For Jim Marion, former Catholic monk, mystic, and attorney, if you want to join the Christ in the Kingdom of Heaven, you must do so while living as a human on the Earth. It's not something that automatically happens to Christians after death, nor can the Church do it for you. Indeed, says Marion, inner spiritual growth has always been the true essence of Christian practice.
"Putting on the Mind of Christ" is the ardent expression of a modern mystic reporting his spiritual experiences within a "Christ-focused" framework. Neither evangelist nor theorist, Marion is a Christian practitioner--he's simply done what the scriptures advise. For Christians who are disaffected with contemporary Christianity there is another way--Marion calls it the "old original way"--to experience the true spirituality of Christianity.
Drawing upon his own rich mystical experience and deep understanding of scriptural models, Marion shows the reader how to emulate the developmental stages of the Christ--how to put on the mind of Christ to achieve spiritual illumination and communion with the Christ. Provocative and pioneering, transcendent and grounded, "Putting on the Mind of Christ" may permanently alter the landscape of 21st century Christianity.

About the Author
I have written Putting on the Mind of Christ to share with you, the reader, some of the things I've learned in my many years of following the Christian spiritual path. I also wanted to provide you with a modern map of the way to what Jesus called the "Kingdom of Heaven." The map I have drawn is based on the writings of Christian saints and mystics, on the work of modern psychologists and psychiatrists, on the work of "consciousness studies" pioneers like Ken Wilber, on my own mystical experience, and on the New Testament and the words of Jesus himself.
„Putting on the Mind of Christ‰ is the first book to clearly describe the entire Christian spiritual path. Step by step, from the consciousness of infants, children, and adolescents, „Putting on the Mind of Christ‰ will lead you to the highest level of human spiritual and psychological inner development--the consciousness (or awareness) that Jesus called the "Kingdom of Heaven." In the Kingdom of Heaven there is no separation between us and God nor are we separated from each other. Jesus' public ministry and his Death and Resurrection were designed to show us the way to this inner Kingdom; and that way is for us to develop our own consciousness, step by step, into that awareness.
I hope you will enjoy reading the book, and that you will learn as much in reading it as I learned in writing it for you.

Book Description
A former Catholic monk and modern mystic asserts that the path of Christian spirituality is difficult, and that individuals, not the Church, must do the work of preparing themselves for the Kingdom of Heaven. Marion believes the "Kingdom of Heaven" is actually a state of mind that any practicing Christian--those doing the hard inner work of spirituality--may attain. Marion uses his extensive knowledge of scripture to document his assertion that "putting on the mind of Christ," or achieving the same degree of spiritual illumination as the Christ, is the original and true goal of Christianity.

Pope Poo-pooed by GOP for Being too Jesus-like

I was encouraged to read this morning:  Pope Poo-pooed by GOP for Being too Jesus-like.

Jesus was not popular with the power-brokers - religious, economic, political, even social and familial.
We have the gospels, which spell this out very clearly.
But, it is hard to remember and engage this reality, as we are steeped in our Christian-culture overlay, through which we live, read the gospels, experience God.

I am really grateful for Pope Francis for being Light in this world, and for helping to shed light on this disparity between the way of power and the way of God, so clearly.
As the essay concludes, and it may serve us to grok:
I suspect Pope Francis really doesn’t care if the U.S. Congress honors him this way.  Kind of like Jesus probably wasn’t hoping to be honored by Pilate.

Jesus was not run by the world, the flesh, the devil - rather he did what he saw the Father doing.
We are called to follow Jesus: to let-go of being run by the world, the flesh, the devil - rather to do what we see the Father doing.

And, of course, when we also do what we see the Father doing,
we also inevitably and quickly come up-against the domination systems of our world
- inside us, in our lives, and in our world.

In case we haven't noticed lately, domination systems do Not Mess Around.
Empires - in any arena (religious, economic, political, even social and familial) - do not become 'king of the mountain' through 'live and let live', they get there by utilizing 'the cross', early and often.

Empires of this world are playing the physically-focused game, and playing it to WIN.
Jesus was playing a completely different game, a spiritually-focused game, and playing it to WIN.
Jesus called this game, this focus, this spiritual-reality which he spoke of incessantly, the Reign of God (the Kingdom of Heaven).

Jesus was crystal-clear that we cannot play both games, we can not serve two Masters.
Jesus operated through the Reign of God, always - it was the secret to his spiritual success
and it cost him everything in this world: followers, friends, and eventually his life.

He called us to do nothing less.
For example:
25And great crowds went with him; and, turning round, he said to them, 26If any man come to me, and shall not hate his own father and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, yea, and his own life too, he cannot be my disciple; 27and whoever does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
 - Luke 14 (Jesus was hard-core, this whole chapter is an inspiration in living the spirit-focused life)

We have the gospels, which spell this out very clearly.
But, it is hard to remember and engage this reality, as we are steeped in our Christian-culture overlay, through which we live, read the gospels, expereince God.

We die daily.
The the world, the flesh, the devil have less and less hold on us
- inside us, in our lives, and in our world.

We live and move and have our being in God.
This becomes more and more our conscious reality, and we live as spirit in this world, in Glory.
Bringing more and more Light - inside us, in our lives, and in our world.

Amen, Wendy