Wednesday, March 11, 2015

We can't pin-down the Way, any more than we can pin-down Love, Truth, Life...

Ethics, Ideals are not the Way.
No good thing is the Way.
Not friendship, honor, sacrifice…

Sometimes we are called to let-down, fall-short, betray;
and some times we are called to die for our friend.
Jesus let his friends down at the very moment he was laying down his life for them - penultimately.

Our unique leading in God is our ultimate Way
- not physically-driven, theory-laden, feeling-good: doing-right, loving, etc

But in this process, we must be willing to let-go of our attachment to or resistance to 'good' or 'bad', to doing ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in our own or in other’s cultural estimation.

This seems backward, crazy, and scary,
and it IS the Way.

A whole lot started with Abraham, so let’s start with him.
Abraham is the Father of 3 great religions, the dominating religious paradigms of the West.
Abram was called out from his family, his home, his tradition, his life…

Did his family, his tradition appreciate this?
Did Abram appreciate this?
probably not…
And we see he followed his call slowly, jerkily - most of us do the same, if we follow at all.

Following God is about following the Living God, in Real-time.

It is not about following rules.
It is not about complying with physically-perceived 'good'.
Rather it is about following God. Period.

A more extreme example:
Abraham was called to sacrifice his son,
not just a person,
not just his child,
not just his long-awaited heir

Abraham was called to sacrifice all this
AND the representation-of, the container-for All Abraham’s (and Sarah's) dreams
and the perceived channel for All God’s promises to Abraham.

Abraham was called to sacrifice Everything,
Abraham was called to sacrifice far, far more than it would have been to sacrifice himself.
And he did it - well, he was willing and acting - it totally counts, from my perspective.

Abraham was Hard Core. 
Who among us would do such a thing? 
To follow God’s leading right against the tide of all that seems Good, and all God’s Blessings to us…
Letting Go of Everything.

The bible stories tell us this same story over and over and over.
Then there is the obvious - Jesus.

Jesus tells his disciples, I am going to Jerusalem to suffer and die,
and Peter says - oh no you are not;
and Jesus says - get behind me Satan.

We can all relate to Peter here, even Jesus can relate to Peter. 
I believe this is why Jesus replies so strongly against this temptation dangled by Peter. 

Peter is not (in this moment) just physically-focused and therefore missing the mark, sinning;
he is trying to block God’s will in the world,
tempting Jesus from his unique calling.

But, Jesus is not swayed,
Jesus will follow his Father right into the jaws of ignominy, of torture, of death, of hell.

Jesus was Hard Core.
Who among us would do such a thing? 
To follow God’s leading right against the tide of all that seems Good, all God’s Blessings…
Letting Go of Everything.

I was tempted to say Jesus was the end of the story, but no, he is just the end of an age, and the beginning of our age.
In our age we have so much permission to inhabit the Kingdom of Heaven, the Reign of God, Christ Consciousness, spiritual reality…
We have:
  • So much modeling about what it is to follow God, to build our lives on the Rock of Divine Revelation, spiritual senses…
  • So much freedom to choose spiritual-focus or physical-focus, Grace or Law, Spirit or Flesh. 
  • So much support and modeling in the bible and in so many ‘witnesses’, we have tradition and ritual, we have the leading of the Holy Spirit.
But, we also have a Lot of Resistance,
a lot of Push-back,
a lot of Powers and Principalities of this world adding friction to our path...

We have a lot of justifications and alternate accommodations to hide-behind,
excuses to not follow God’s leading of us
through the Light and the Darkness, through birth and death.

Because that is where we will inevitably go:
Jesus says: If you will be my disciple, pick up your cross and follow.

Being a disciple of Jesus is no walk in the park.
We are called to be Hard Core
- this is not just for the Giants of Faith, the Matriarchs and Patriarchs... every one of us is called to be Hard Core... becoming Spiritual Heroes in our own right.

Who among us would do such a thing? 
To follow God’s leading right against the tide of all that seems Good, all God’s Blessings…
Letting Go of Everything.

But, that is not the whole story, it is still not done.
The point of this post is - we cannot do any of these things willy nilly or by theory.

We can't pin-down the Way, any more than we can pin-down Love, Life, Truth.
The best and highest good in our thoughts and actions - in our minds, in our culture, in our religion - are not enough...
Not. Nearly. Enough!

We cannot just die whenever we feel like it, just let go and Give Up;
because sometimes we are called to live, to fight for life - for our own and others:
  • Sometimes we are called to lead. and other times to follow.
  • Sometimes we are called to be empowered, to shine our Light and shift our world; and other times to have humility, to accept, submit and quietly wait in our prayer closet until…
  • Sometimes we are called to be playful and open, receptive, trusting as children, gentle as doves; and other times wise as serpents, acting strategically.
Ecclesiastes pointed out there is a time for all things,
  • but in Following God it is not a structured thing - like accommodating ourselves to the earthly seasons.  
  • It is a spiritual thing - accommodating ourselves to God’s step by step leading.

This is the narrow way - the narrowest of ways!
Way, way, way beyond any moralizing, ethics, ideals - beyond any external obedience, even of the strictest order.

We are not just called to die,
or to live what we think love is,
or to follow any rule we may devise.

Laws, rules, systems are Not the Way.
We follow a Living God - up and down, all the way, and all around.

There is no structured, outside-us, formalized, idealized way to do it.
As much as we wish this were so, act like this is so, are told by ministers and moralizers that it is so - but, this is just not so.

Therefore, we cannot just Give Up, die, submit, obey outside authorities.
We cannot coast in any trajectory, inertia ruling us. (As much as I would wish this were so!!)

We cannot do something just because something is a Good Idea,
or it looks like service or like love,
or we think the bible says it,
or it suits our personal ethics,
or even because God led us that way yesterday…

Because each day anew;
TODAY, if you hear God's voice, harden not your hearts.

Rules are for children, and we are called to be adults
- and to follow the Father, as Jesus did, every moment.

In this Way we will go where we never imagined.

We will experience highs and lows,
we will expand and contract,
we will let go and we will fight,
we will die and we will rise.

To paraphrase Paul:
we learn to be in Joy with both little and much,
with seeming success and seeming failure,
with social derision and general acclaim…

We die to All our own and other people’s ethics, trajectories, hopes, dreams, visions, beliefs, expectations, ideals.
And we do it daily.

Who among us would do such a thing? 
To follow God’s leading right against the tide of all that seems Good, all God’s Blessings…
Letting Go of Everything.

We will.
We will rise to Life, Abundant.
We will choose to live in Alignment with our Source - our God, our Truth, our Light, our Love, our Life, our Way.

So, let’s do it Now.

Blessings in your Unique Journey,

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Is Love the Way to Live?

I am ALL for Love of God and others, unequivocally, as the practice of followers of Jesus.
And, I think that is Just the Beginning of the practice of following Jesus.

From my perspective, Love is where we Start, as spiritual children.
And from there, we learn to follow where God leads us, hear the voice behind us saying: this is the way, walk ye in it; see God moving in the world and we move too...
As disciples of Jesus, we learn to follow the Father in each step, as Jesus did.

The early church, as we do, had lots of churning about this.
Grace great! Love, great! Leading of Spirit, great!
...but what about the Law?  How do we Live?

Well, they pretty much decided to chuck the law, almost completely (see Acts 15).
But then in Practice, they kept running into real-life expectations, social norms, general human drama - predictably - and things got muddy.
Even the Pauline letters, which were constantly ringing the bell that we are beyond sin and no longer under law, have been known to throw some lists of do's and don't's around - just to try to get things in line.

What went awry?
Well, from my perspective Paul himself tells us - Rules are for Children.
It is spiritual Adults who have the spiritual ears and the spiritual muscle to Perceive the individual leading of God, and Do it.
Spiritual adults can have spiritual perspective and can generally follow spiritual leading.

But, before that, the body/flesh physical perspective tends to hold sway. Because that is how the world operates.
Therefore, spiritual kids still need the general guidelines - which boil down to:
Love God with all you got
Love your neighbor as yourself.
My point though is - figuring out what is and what isn't sin, is really not our calling. This is for spiritual beginners - think kindergarten.
Our calling is to Grow Up in God: Deepen spiritually, open to our soul senses, practice following (as we practiced learning to walk, by falling down ; ) ...
so we can be led in our own unique Way - our ministry to the world - as Jesus was.

Sometimes, when we see the bigger picture, when we start playing the bigger game, we get new perspective on the old challenges.
From my perspective, as many say - Love people, and trust Jesus to lead them where they need to go.
Meanwhile, let's each of us say hello, ourselves, to Jesus, and deepen our real-time soul-relationship with Jesus, today. Let's let him spiritually lead us, uniquely in each step, now.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Neutrality: spiritually focused, in this physical world

What do I mean by Neutrality?

Neutrality is
a Practice,
a way of BEing,
a Blessing of God.

Neutrality is
being in the world,
but not of the world.

Neutrality is
not being carried-away-by our own (or others) survival instincts, emotions, sexual impulses, controlling tendencies, thoughts, expectations, judgments, ego… 

Neutrality is
Not being run-by the body/flesh and it’s agenda.
Rather, it is being spiritually focused, in this physical world.

Neutrality is
a way of being that makes it easier to Be:
  • here, now, 
  • in present-time, 
  • experiencing God and spiritual reality;
  • staying-with the challenges, the intensity of bodies and life.
Neutrality is
a choice, to let go of attachment and resistance,
as well as the “buttons” in our system that have us re-act instead of act.

I believe one of the essential distinctions that can help us understand ourselves, each other, the world, the bible, the message of Jesus, and the leading of God for each of us…
is the difference between Body/Physical and Spirit.

Although Paul spoke of this a lot, as did Jesus,
generally, it is not an essential part of our Christian mindset or our spiritual practice.

For most folks that I know, the practice of Neutrality
is the beginning of experiencing / distinguishing beyond the cacophony of the physical/body - senses, thoughts, expectations, actions...
As opposed to the experience of spiritual reality - soul senses, mystical experiences, divine leading, spiritual shift.

Before Neutrality,
we are tugged all over by all the stuff I listed above, and much more!

Neutrality is a safe place for active soul-opening,
a whole new WORLD of spiritual Amazing-ness:
  • the Fruit of the spirit that Paul lists is just the beginning of our blessings.
  • the Adventure of communing with God and being led by God, makes the excitement of this world pale in comparison.
  • the enjoyment of Life, Abundantly! that Jesus promised us is here for the taking.

Neutrality is Completely not Apathy - far from it.
It is the beginning of getting our free-will back,
and from this place our ability to choose to follow God begins. 

because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to vomit thee out of my mouth
So, is Neutrality being lukewarm?
I hope you can see that they are SO not the same, in my language.

When I read the Message to Laodicea, in Revelation 3, what I hear is a church that is lost in physical-focus, pretending to be spiritual, but not:
‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked
IMO, this is a physical vs spiritual sentence.

From physical focus/identification, we can get ground-down:
  • “life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone”
  • “life sucks and then you die”
But, in spiritual focus/identification, we are in Life, Abundantly!:
walking with Jesus, in alignment with God…
Operating in the Kingdom of Heaven /  the Reign of God
is ANYTHING but boring… one gets nowhere near lukewarm - tepid.
(And to get here, I believe Neutrality is KEY.)

Each week I watch dozens of folks play the spiritual game;
Over time, I have watched hundreds of folks do it.
It is an EXCITING way to live!
(if anything, a bit too exciting at times ;)

I hope this helps understanding about what I mean by Neutrality.

And that there is spiritual passion which is different from physical passion
BOTH ARE GREAT - But, which do we chose to follow?

From my perspective,
we can savor life IN the body/world,
but not OF the body/world,
with Neutrality as our practice.

Blessings on your path!
; ) Wendy