John 8.31-59 Some insights into spiritual growth 3

“I tell you for certain anyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (v.34)

Jesus’ mission was to preach the Good News which is: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

In this passage from Luke 4.18-19 Jesus is letting us know that we are slaves, poor, captives, blind and oppressed. The remedy is the “acceptable year of the Lord” which can be understood as the Kingdom of God. Can you imagine there being bondage of any kind in the Kingdom of God? He says: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand (right here right now); repent (change your mind), and believe in the gospel (good news).” Mark 1:15

We find Jesus talking here to believers (v.31) who do not understand what he is saying. Sound familiar? (v.43), “why can’t you understand what I’m talking about?” I’m reminded of Jesus’ statement on the cross “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Luke 23.34

What is the sin we are slaves to? Sin from the Greek; hamartia means to miss the mark. The commentator from the online Blue Letter Bible says of this word; “It is the most comprehensive term for moral obliquity.” Maybe what this commentator is pointing out here is that the word hamartia itself is a morally oblique term. It is very possible this word is used on purpose to describe an amoral condition of blindness or ignorance. That we have not offended God for the simple reason we are unable to reason. We cannot see the target (God) and we have no clue as to how get there. Is this a moral failing or just the condition we find ourselves in?

Some of the synonyms for obliquity are: ambiguous, darkness, inscrutability, murkiness, mysteriousness, and opaqueness. Of course we keep missing the mark because we cannot see the mark. Is it not inscrutable that theologians would take such a morally ambiguous word and create an entire moral system based on the idea that God hates what spiritually blind people do? Of course God does not hate anyone and he is no more offended by our actions then we are of mentally compromised people. We just don’t know what we are doing. And this ignorance has us imprisoned, slaves to our insanity. There are no Venal sins, no mortal sins, no sins of omission and no sins of commission. These theological terms describe only one condition our inability to see.

There really is only one sin from which all our mistakes have their root. We mistakenly believe we are separate from ALL there is. God. We believe in the impossible. We believe in something that can never be. There are not thousands of choices for our happiness there is only one; choose God or we are stuck in our blindness.

Here is what Jesus’ contemporary theologians had to say:

39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”

41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains. (John 9 NIV)

This was said after healing the man born blind.

What we have done is cloak our ignorance in the fig leaves of theological thinking and convinced ourselves we can see. “Abraham is our father.” “We have just one father, and he is God.” said the people. Because of what they were taught they believed they could see.

For many of us our minds are full of theological theories and because we accept them and have called them MINE we are very attached to them. Did you know that your most important possessions are your beliefs? Aren’t we willing to kill for them even die for them? Unfortunately history proves this all to true. With this insight we see that the people in Jesus’ day were just like us. I find it interesting that at the end of Luke 4 and the end of John 8 the people are trying to kill Jesus. Isn’t this something we need to watch for in our lives? How do we react when someone threatens our theology? Do we demonize them? Once we do it is a very short path to the killing fields.

For the past 20 years I ave been a professional caregiver mostly working with people with Alzheimers and dementia. During this time I have been hit, accused of stealing, thrown up on, yelled at, told to leave etc. I would have not lasted very long in this work if I had taken any of this personally. These people no longer know what they are doing. In comparing our intelligence and spiritual insight to the creator of the known universe does it not seem that the human race has a case of Alzheimers? Now into this scenario comes a caregiver, a comforter who tells us we aren’t in our right minds. And why? because we have made a mistake, we believe that we are separate from God. This belief has given us dementia and we now think we are OK. However deep down inside there is a small bit of remembrance of how things used to be. It is this memory that Jesus is speaking to. It is like during those times of clarity when the one with Alzheimers remembers the name of her husband and begins to talk of all the wonderful things they used to do together.

What keeps us a prisoner? My mistaken belief that I can get back to God without help—”I can see.” This is where all of our insane actions (sins/mistakes) come from. I will have more than I need if I steal it. And we have forgotten we are sons of the King. I will have more love in my life with just one more lover. And we have forgotten that God is Love.

This way of interpreting hamartia in the light that God is not offended in any way brings us to a place where we must take another look at the death of Jesus and its purpose. But that is for future posts. Why if God is not offended did all those animals have to be sacrificed and why did Jesus have to be “sacrificed”? Just something to think about. And what of guilt?

Advertisements

Day 35 of The 40-Day Prosperity Plan

Eel Grass 2

Eel Grass 2

Day 35 of The 40-Day Prosperity Plan

“Money is not my supply. No person, place or condition is my supply. My awareness, understanding and knowledge of the All-providing activity of the Divine Mind within me is my supply. My consciousness of this Truth is unlimited, therefore my supply is unlimited.”

How I interpret outward circumstances is my clue to understanding my consciousness. Facts themselves are just facts. The number 4 is neither good or bad, it is just a fact. Four oranges are just four oranges, it is neither good nor bad. If you hate oranges and that is all you have to eat are four oranges good, bad or tolerable? Yes it is our thinking (consciousness) that make it so.

Outward circumstances: abundance or lack of money, persons, places or conditions are just the facts of the moment. Four dollars in my bank account is what ever I make it to be is the same as four hundred thousand, both amounts can be perceived as meeting my needs or not enough. It has been pointed out that there are extremely wealth people who never have enough.

Switching to a higher level of consciousness, outward conditions are not my supply. God is my supply and the substance of God is already supplied to me. There is no lack in God, no limitation whatsoever and it is all around and in me. God always gives in full measure and we continually receive in this moment everything we need.

I see buckets of good in unending quantity full of everything I need for the accomplishment of my desires. God is the source. God is the activity of my Divine Mind working in and through me for the benefit of all concerned.

This is my awareness, understanding and knowledge. I know that my redeemer lives and is living in me.

This is the fact above all appearances. There is nothing I can do about a fact. I can adjust my thinking to this fact, accept it and use it or not. Whether I eat the oranges or not makes no difference, I can be full or go hungry. As for me I will be full and Live in this abundance.

Day 20 of 40 days of Prosperity

Abundance 1

Abundance 1

Day 20 of 40 days of Prosperity.

“I keep my mind and thoughts off “this world” and I place my entire focus on the God within as the only cause of my prosperity. I acknowledge the Inner Presence as the only activity in my financial affairs, as the substance of all things visible. I place my faith in the Principle of Abundance in action within me.”

What is “this world”? All outer circumstances without exception. These outer circumstances start very close to home–my body and my thoughts. My body is currently a 65 year old vessel and extending out to the rest of the physical world with its challenges.

At the moment I’m facing the challenge of my body as applies to my profession as a caregiver. It turns out the position I was looking forward to I must turn down because it involves lifting more weight than I can safely do at this point in my life. I was so excited about and saw as an answer to my prayer for work and as a source of income is not what I thought.

Once again I’m directed inward to the true Source of God within me.

This is also a reminder and inspiration to continue to pursue my other creative activities as ways for the Divine to flow through me to produce income.

My ‘job’ is to keep centered and focused on the “Only Cause of my Prosperity”. This is really the only goal in life from the spiritual point of view; to become one with God. Everything I see now as potential source of income must be surrendered to God. As I pursue my creativity I must remain open to all possibilities. The unexpected has happened many times in the past. I’m reminded of last month when unexpected income flowed in during a very trying time of separation and divorce, finding another place to live with very little income on hand and how everything fell into place. Most of which I had very little to do with except to accept and walk right into it.

Thank you God. You are the Source, the giver and substance of all life. Thank you for being One with me. You are all I need.

Gods perfect work and provision are now on its way to me. There is nothing to keep this from happening because what you want you get. Your desire is for your children to be safe and happy and to live in your abundance and not have a care in the world. You are the perfect source of supply.

I surrender my needs to you and let all my cares go into your loving arms.

Thank you God for all your love and warmth and giving, to me this moment, and for each and every moment through out time.

Blessings to everyone.

Day 19 of 40 days of Prosperity

Day 19 of 40 days of Prosperity.

Ranunculus Yellow macro focus stacked

Ranunculus Yellow macro focus stacked

” When I am aware of the God-Self within me as my total fulfillment, I am totally fulfilled. I am now aware of this Truth. I have found the secret of life and I relax in the knowledge that the Activity of Divine Abundance is eternally operating in my life. I simply have to be aware of the flow, the radiation, of the Creative Energy, which is effortlessly pouring forth from my Divine Consciousness. I am now aware. I am now in the flow.”

It is. Everything is, right here right now, perfect. When Jesus said; ‘take no thought for tomorrow.’ he wasn’t necessarily talking about a literal 24 hours from now. He was talking about the tomorrow that is in the next second. Tomorrow is made up of countless future seconds. If I need not worry about the next second then the next 24 hours will certainly take care of itself.

If everything, every need is Abundantly and Divinely taken care of now, this instant, then it will continue on into the next and the next, on and on and on.

I am not blind to the issues we all face in this world, and I know that all those seeming troubles will be more easily solved through an attitude of surrender to this instant of perfection. If something is going wrong or traumatic our previous instants of surrender will have been good practice during those tough times.

Do I make plans for the future? of course I do. I also have needs and obligations to attend to. My past experience has taught me that all will go easier, smoother and lighter by surrendering this instant and the next and the next……..

As the lesson for today points out; “I have found the secret of life, and I relax in the knowledge that the Activity of Divine Abundance is eternally operating in my life.”

The spiritual life is one of relaxation. Here is a paraphrase from the Message of Matthew 11:28-30, Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Jesus

The proof of this in my life is that at 65 I’m still here and as I look back I can see how God has provided and protected and cared for me every step of the way. I could point out and argue about all the things that may seem negative about the past, or in the present for that matter, but that would be to easy to do. I had lessons to learn, however I’m still in the flow of Divine Perfection–old school theology calls it Divine Providence.

For a rose to produce a flower, every instant until the bloom, must be perfection. This also includes all the instants after the bloom, as the petals fall and decay to fertilize the ground to prepare the ground for the next flower. This is Perfection and Providence at work.

Blessings to all of you.

Day 15 of the 40 days of Prosperity

Orchid photographed at the Balboa Park Botanical Garden in San Diego, CA

Orchid photographed at the Balboa Park Botanical Garden in San Diego, CA

Day 15 of 40 days of Prosperity.

“Money is not my supply. No person, place or condition is my supply. My awareness, understanding and knowledge of the the ALL-Providing activity of the Divine Mind within me is my supply. My consciousness of this truth is unlimited. therefore my supply is unlimited.”

Yesterday I made—what to me was a startling statement; “I am money.” I’m still shocked when I write it today and it makes me feel more uncomfortable the more I think of it. But I decided to leave it in just for that reason. When confronted with statements like this that have that affect on me I will live with it a while and contemplate and meditate on it for quite a while until I can see the truth or falsehood of the statement. Rejecting out right what disturbs me, which I used to do quite regularly, I have found can block the assimilation of new insights. My first thought is that because of all the negativity I have had around money is why the statement jars me and I want to reject it. I’m going to stay with it for a while and get back to ya on the topic.

How can it be that my supply depends on my “awareness, understanding and knowledge of the providing…Divine Mind within me as my supply.”?

Think of an electrical cord providing energy to whatever we connect it to. The wire itself is not the electricity that flows through it. It is the container for the electricity that is in it when connected to the source. Turning on the appliance, if the wire is in good working condition, all is well and good, but if the wire is damaged the appliance won’t work and the electricity may even be dangerous because it will look for a release in uncontrolled directions which could burn down the house or even kill you. The energy doesn’t care, it is impersonal. It just needs proper application through an conscious decision.

In a sense we are like this wire. We are connected to a Source of Power called God and this power is our very life energy. The difference between us and the wire is we are volitional beings and unlike the wire we choose how to use this energy. This is true of every being on the planet. We are connected to “…the Light of the world that lights every one who comes into the world.” However the majority of us are unaware we have this connection until we look for it. So we are unconscious of our ability to use and direct this energy for constructive ends. It is obvious we can’t use something we don’t know we have.

My becoming aware, conscious and knowledgeable of how to use this impersonal flow of Divine power gives me the means to purposefully use it to my benefit. An Awake Consciousness is unlimited because the consciousness of the universe—God—is unlimited. They are the same thing. The Divine Mind is the very consciousness provided to ALL people everywhere at all times. Once we

acknowledge this and know that we can direct it to any Good need we will be in the flow of the Holy Spirits activity in the world.

An electrical wire has no consciousness and can only be used when acted upon by an outside agent.

In our situation we are the conduit and the agent and by our choice we can actually increase or decrease the amount of energy flowing through us, like a rheostat between the source and the appliance. Through correctly applying the laws of this energy we can raise our level of consciousness, awareness and knowledge. These laws are found in all the spiritual literature’s of the world.

God keeps no secrets.

This is called ‘waking up’, ‘enlightenment’, ‘resurrection’, ‘right mind’ and just to be ornery, ‘no mind’.

When we are unconscious we are using this same energy destructively like a wire shorting out the energy becomes undirected and dangerous.

Our Awake Consciousness fixes this misuse of energy so it is once again able to supply our needs in Peace, Safety and Abundance.

Day 14 of 40 days of Prosperity

Magnolia Blossom

Magnolia Blossom

Day 14 of 40 days of Prosperity

“Through my consciousness of my God-Self, the Christ within, as my source, I draw into my mind and feeling nature the very substance of Spirit. This Substance is my supply, thus my consciousness of the Presence of God within me is my supply.”

Everything without exception is made out of something else, that is in its own right, not the thing we see. My desk is made from a pine tree. It is a beautiful solid knotty pine, and blond in color. It has dark brown knots and a swirling light to dark brown grain reminding me of the branches that used to grow from that place. The pine tree itself is made out of soil, air, water, sunshine and unseen to the naked eye chemical reactions of nutrients, minerals, two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen and the chlorophyl that transmutes light into energy joining the earth and sky plus, we contribute carbon dioxide so the tree can give us back some of its oxygen. Maybe one of you reading this contributed to the making of this desk, if you were in the forest next to the tree you are in my desk as well.

All of this and more went into my desk. What else, you may ask?

Someone looked at the tree and wanted to make some money to provide for his family. He harvests it, mills it and then another person, the lumber yard owner, buys it so the one desiring to make a living building desks can also buy it and fulfill his purpose in life. He had the desire long before the tree was even harvested.

My desk was made out of these things but there is more, much, much more than what I have mentioned here. So much more than can ever be listed in all the libraries in the world.

If we look deeply enough I can safely say without exaggeration that the entire history of the human race is contained in this one Pine Desk.

Being true of one pine desk it is also true of everything we see without exception. Including you and I.

At the foundation the woven fabric of the universe is the Substance—as was pointed out in a previous post—the Word/Substance of God.

Everything that is seen is made out of that which is unseen. “Faith is the substance of things not seen…” “It is Proof of what we cannot see…” (Heb. 11.1)

So many people believed they could make something out of this tree. Everyone was motivated because knew they could serve and get paid for their service.

This is the Buddhist teaching on emptiness. Emptiness means to be empty of an individual self. We are all made of the trillions of events that have now solidified into this substance through the consciousness of trillions of events formed into: a pine desk, me and you, this computer, the breakfast I am about to eat,etc., etc.

Energy makes this happen and remember money is energy, I am energy, I am money.

The only One single cause of everything is God. Other than that there is not another cause, all are effects and effects have no power. We tap into this original stream of creativity and it moves and works throughout our being for the benefit of ALL.

Acts 17:27,28 “…though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.'”

Day 12 of 40 days of prosperity

Mandala_Zentangle_26_pt_4

Day 12 of 40 days of prosperity

” I lift up my mind and heart to be aware, to understand and to know that the Divine Presence I AM is the source and Substance of All my Good.”

I am continually brought back to my complete dependance on the Source of my Life. This source, the Divine, God, omnipresent water of life who is ALL Good, ALL the time is the only source of everything.

This Source is not static but in constant circulation. The Divine Energy is always “moving upon the face of the deep” ocean of its infinite Goodness. It is a Divine circle just as the water of the ocean evaporates in the warmth of the sun circulating through the either and pouring down to form the rivers flowing back to the ocean.

So to this energy flows through us as money as we then give it out after it has prospered us it then prospers everyone connected to the particulars of the situation.

Just as water in the rivers and the oceans gives life to everything it touches so to does money give support and growth within the situation it is given. Money is the Good, Divine, energetic, medium given us to prosper, an easy means of energy exchange.

Just think of how much energy you spend to make money. Then with that money you can redirect that same energy into places that will benefit others who are also investing their energy into making the things you want. This is the Buddhist teaching of interdependence.

However I must remember that money is not my source it is a representation of my Source just as bread is not my source of life because “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds (flows) from the mouth of God.”

I lift up my heart and mind in gratefulness for ALL the manifestations of Divine abundance that will flow through me today.

Thank you God.

” I lift up my mind and heart to be aware, to understand and to know that the Divine Presence I AM is the source and Substance of All my Good.”