Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Perfect Love

The worst teaching in the world is:

You should be afraid of yourself

because, it gives the impression that there is something wrong with you. But doesn't give you any indication of what that "something" might be. It sends your mind on a wild goose chase -- searching for a problem.

It's as though someone says, "there's something seriously wrong with you -- now go find it!" It destroys any feeling that you are OK. It makes you feel you should be somebody other than who you are. It makes you re-evaluate your whole life and question your existence in a negative way.

And, it is so destructive that it seems there is no way to resolve the endless search.

Unless you disregard the question. And accept yourself.

Unconditionally.

The worst teaching in the world is nothing more than a distortion of the best teaching in the world: Love God with all your heart soul and mind and love others as yourself. "There is no fear in love -- perfect love casts out fear."*


* 1 John 4:18. The "Great Commandment" is found in Matthew 22:37-39 and Mark 12:29-31, as well as Romans 13:9.


Monday, September 29, 2014

"It's OK"

Reassurance.

It is one of those things that makes life alright. And, when we reassure one another that everything is "OK," we're reminding each other that the fundamental ground of things is good.

Our concepts, our emotions, our fears and ideologies... none of these can entirely be trusted to keep us grounded.

But, our hearts yearn for solidity at the same time.

And, so, we must give ourselves the credit that we deserve - which is that each and every one of us is a vital piece of the human puzzle, a unique and beautiful Creation of God. Each and every one of us is special and "perfectly made."

There are for one reason or another people who will try to tear you down, and make you hate yourself. Why do they do this!? Because, in their hearts, they have forgotten how good they are.

Maybe it's God's will that we - who haven't lost sight of His goodness - turn to them and tell them...

"...it's OK."

"You're OK."


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Space

I've had many different opportunities to explore various different claims of truth.

And, along the way, met incredible people. And, I am grateful for every single one of them (one of which might be you - who are reading this!!)

I am 39 years old. And, I can remember how exciting CD's were, when they got invented (my first one was Eric Clapton's "Unplugged;" ... still a great album [if you ask me]). And all of the new things that pop up every year, new improvements on the old models, etc. It makes me feel old.

My heart is burdened with the need for safety.

I wrote a poem back in 1996, or so, about "people scrambling for a home amidst the labels" in this world. And, isn't that true!? (I'm glad I knew a few things back then.)

But, as our hearts yearn for safety, we find ourselves disappointed again, and again, and again, and again ... to the point where it begins to become a feeling as though there just isn't safety anywhere -- that it's nowhere to be found except, maybe, Heaven. 

Fortunately, there is safety in space. No. Not outer space (although, I'll leave that topic up to the astronauts...) But, actual space. Maybe you haven't been taught this before but the Name "Jesus" essentially means "God saves," or "God brings into an open, safe space." It is, deliberately, the direct opposite of being confined, being restrained, or being in any way shackled. It is the difference between a crowded, muggy locker room and a beautiful mountain pass on a clear fall day with birds chirping and a trickling stream nearby.

Did you know this?

(Because, for me, the Name of "Jesus" - in the wrong circles - has come to be associated with exactly the opposite of what I just described, which I might suggest is a good way of knowing whether or not the real "Jesus" is anywhere in the vicinity!)

A Jesus that makes people feel confined, closed-in, protective of themselves, frightened of the world around them, frightened of themselves and everybody else they know, frightened of the capacity of the human being to sin, obsessed with darkness, and completely covered in shame. Now, how did this become America's popular notion of Christ!? Where did we go wrong!??




Friday, September 19, 2014

Like Waking Up From a Dream

I look back at my life - all the friendships, good times, bad times... and, that is why we write these posts... to share our insights with you.

People tend to come and go, in life. I have measured out my life with coffee spoons, wrote T.S. Eliot. Sometimes, life is empty. Social. Pointless. There's disenchantment.

But, there doesn't have to be disenchantment. Like we said in an earlier post, life is truly an enchanting, magical ride. And, it is worth all the pain, all the dark times. I could begin to describe the sleepless nights, the grief, the pain. I could begin to fight with each one of you about who has suffered MORE!!!!!!!? But, would that help anybody!? No. It, simply, would not.

We've all suffered. We all will suffer again. But, our goal is to make that suffering less. And, that is a worthy goal. And, when Rebekah and I met, we were couched in the language of evangelical, fundamentalist "Christianity," though our various individual "relationships" with God were quite unique; but, that magic that brought us together has also brought us deeper into truth... and, I think you can see that through our musings, here.

I've never felt so solid, so truthful, so honest, as I do today. I've always been a bit of a dreamer... maybe, an idealist. At times, crazy. At other times, maybe a little too passionate. But, this woman in this photograph here has changed my life. I am finally myself.


Love

We are so accustomed to seeing things in terms of whether or not that is "good" or "bad" that we miss out on what is really there, what is really going on, because of a web of judgments that we place over everything that we experience.

We have categorized people, then those people fall out of the categories that we've placed them in, which makes us get mad at those people - as if they had anything to do with the categories we placed them in. We want to order our world in accordance with a variety of completely arbitrary principles that we have invented in our heads and then not-so-subtly push (perhaps, with our charm? Our personality...?) on everybody around us, so that if they know us, they know our framework of thinking about reality.

But, our frameworks of thinking about reality can so easily distract us from reality that it might be a better idea to drop the frameworks and start actually engaging with reality, so we don't raise our children half-detached from who they are, and the way things actually are. We wouldn't want them to miss out on all the sights and sounds, would we!? Do we have to drill into them our notion of political right and wrong; do we have to throw that web that's on our eyes over theirs!?

Or, could we trust enough to let that which is good actually have authority over them, and come forth within them!? Would we maybe, then, get back to loving, the way loving is supposed to happen?


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wealthy

One's ability to be a good, kind, and helpful individual directly relates to how wealthy he-or-she feels. And, if you're placing your wealth in the material world, you'll never be actual good to anyone but yourself.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Do Not Fight

The temptation is always to fight. But, we do not have to fight.

To be truly victorious in our situations, whether they are internal or external, we actually need to be able to remain calm in the midst of opposition and not get riled up when people suggest that we are wrong, or misguided.

The truth, if we are following it, will always be clear - even in the most unusual situations. And, the truth will always prevail in our hearts, as well. Thus, there is no need to fight.

When someone - or, something - comes your way and asks for a fight, do the honorable thing and simply say, "no, thank you. I'm not interested in a fight. I have higher principles; thank you, very much. If you're looking for someone who wants to get down and dirty like that, look somewhere else. I'm not that kind of person."

Instead, engage with lies and falsehood through calm, honest, truthful, peaceful communication. An attitude of settledness goes a long way toward diffusing even the most heated situations. If something is coming at you that is remarkably dangerous, try to calmly leave the situation, making it imperative that your resolve doesn't waver. Don't give fear a foothold or you will be controlled by it.