Saturday, January 29, 2011


“Sin” – all the evil done by humankind – is at its core a result of humans trying to provide for their own safety, security, well-being and happiness at the expense of others.  Sin, or evil, springs from the root of fear – fear of not having enough.  Enough money, food, shelter, clothing or resources to survive.  Or enough power over others to be able to procure from them what seems necessary for personal survival.  All this to preserve the separate physical body that we have identified with. 

I love this quote from Eknath Easwaran over at Blue Mountain Center of Meditation:
To be truly secure, we must begin to find a source of security within ourselves. Even the bravest among us have many fears. Behind the attachment to money or possessions, for example, you will always find the fear of loss. Attachment to prestige brings the nagging fear of what others think of us. The thirst for power feeds the fear that others may be stronger. Every self-centered desire brings the fear that we may not get what we desire.
One could make a Sears catalog of these fears, but all stem from one fatal superstition: thinking of ourselves as merely physical creatures, separate from the rest of life. As our sense of oneness with the rest of life deepens, we step out of the world of fear to live in the world of love.
What would our world look like if we realized the truth of the interconnectedness and oneness Scripture pictures as “a many membered body” (1 Corin. 12:4-27), who are “members one of another” (Eph. 4:25)?   “That there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another” (1 Corin. 12:25).  What would it look like if we actually lived the more excellent way of LOVE that Scripture goes on to describe in I Corin. 13?

Fear blinds to the truth that we are all connected and that what is done to one affects the whole.  Fear prevents us from seeing that when I harm my neighbor, I am harming myself, for if “…one member suffer, all the members suffer with it…” (1 Corin. 12:26).  Fear is what prevents us from living in love. What if we could set our fears aside and see the truth of the appeal to love our neighbors AS we love ourselves?  What a wonderful world that would be…the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


There is an ancient story that tells of a student monk who began to laugh during group meditation and prayer.  The other students, horrified and embarrassed for the monk, hoped that he would stop laughing.  But his laughter grew louder and louder, until the other monks could not help but wonder what the master would do in the face of such irreverence.  But to the amazement of all the other monks, the master pronounced the laughing monk enlightened!  At first, this story seems difficult to understand.  But the monk laughed because he saw through the veil – he saw that everything is wonderful! Everything does work together for GOOD! It may seem cliché, but everything IS just the way it is for a reason and a purpose and God is working it all together for a higher good, even what seems bad to us from our limited perspective.  We begin to see that suffering and sorrow, although very real, are only for a season, and that everything is perfect and as it should be.  This is the peace that passes all understanding.  This is freedom.

When the veil of illusion that obscures the truth is removed, we will see that there was never anything to fear.  We will see that it was only our limited perspective that gave us sorrow and made us cry.  We will see that even death has no sting, but really is swallowed up in victory!  Once the illusion is seen through, we can emerge from bondage to the fear of death to live in glorious freedom! 

Read the complete article here.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


For quite some time I have been coming  into the realization that "there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all" (Col. 3:11).   One Scripture I had trouble integrating with this wonderful truth is Acts 4:12,  which says there is only one name under heaven by which men may be saved.  But I have come to understand that both God and the Christ are called by many different names in Scripture.  As a matter of fact, depending on how they're counted and what is included, there are over 120 names and titles for God  and over 700 titles and different names for Jesus in the Bible.   Have we missed the proverbial forest for the trees?  Could there be ONE God that humans, with our limited perception, have called by many different names down through the ages?  I was delighted to read the following excerpt from "The Mystics, God -Realization Through the Ages" by Swami Abhayananda.  He makes this point more eloquently than I ever could:

"Often, men take the names of God, which accumulate over the centuries to represent separate and distinct entities, and then pit them one against the other.  This was true of the early poets and mythologizers... As soon as one tribe or civilization absorbed another, it established its own name for God as the superior, and relegated the subjugated people's name for God to an inferior position.  In this way, a polytheistic mythology accumulated in no time, peopled with all manner of anthropomorphized gods.  This, however, is the work of the priests and mythologizers, not of the seers.  As one mystic put it: "With words, priests and poets make into many the hidden Reality, which is but One."

"...It is often seen that those who have only a cursory knowledge of mystical philosophy become confused by the many different terms used to connote the Absolute by peoples of differing languages, and fail to penetrate beyond linguistic differences to grasp the common significance of words like "Brahman," "Purusha," "Tao," "Godhead," etc.  But, just as, in various languages, the words, pani, jal, agua, eau, and water, all signify one common reality, so do the above words of various linguistic origins connote one common invisible Principle.  All of the mystics of whatever time or cultural tradition have experienced the same one, indivisible, Reality; yet, because language is infinitely variable, they have called this One by various appellations.

"The understanding of the one Reality expressed by the authors of the Upanishads and the Gita is expressed in a remarkably similar manner by Lao Tze and Chuang Tze.  This should not be surprising, however, since everyone who is graced with the transcendent vision experiences the same eternal Unity.  What Lao Tze and Chuang Tze saw and wrote about is precisely what all other mystics have seen and wrote about.  Their language is different, but their meaning is the same. 

"As the 15th century Islamic saint, Dadu, put it, "All the enlightened have left one message; it is only those in the midst of their journey who hold diverse opinions."'  
The entire book can be read online here.

Monday, January 10, 2011


The following is a transcript from an interview in “ONE – The Movie in which Wayne Teasdale beautifully addresses the spirit in which Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

"It is not those who say Lord, Lord who will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but those who do the will of the Father.  And what is that will?  He illustrates it in Matthew 25:40 when he talks about the final judgment and how to be saved.  He says that then the King will say, meaning God, Come ye blessed of my Father, and inherit the Kingdom that was prepared for you from the beginning.  Because when I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink.  When I was naked you clothed me, when I was a stranger, you welcomed me, when I was imprisoned you visited me, when I was sick you consoled me.  

"When, Lord, when did we do this?  When you did it to the least of my brethren.  It doesn’t say anything about faith in himself, faith in Jesus.  Now, the Scripture scholars tell us we only know six sentences Jesus actually spoke – maybe even less than that.  And to say…they will always bring up this I am the way, the truth, and the life.  Okay, let’s take a peek at that, and illustrate that in spirit rather than in the letter. If God is love itself, infinite love, and Jesus is the incarnation of that love, he is come to reveal the essence of that love through his actions more than his words.  That by being loving in that way – that selfless way – that is leading to the mystery of the Father, who is infinite love itself.  To the extent that he is teaching that, illustrating that, he is the truth of that reality.  And to the extent that he embodies that – that is the way of life.  If a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Jew, an animist, an atheist, achieves that level of love in their life, not only do they know God, they know Christ…because Christ and God are that love.

"So you see this kind of narrow kind of interpretation leads to a kind of ossification of understanding.  And I like to say narrow is the way that leads to eternal life, but it’s not narrow-mindedness.  It’s love in action – you, know, it’s much deeper than that.  And they don’t talk about love too much…they talk about, you know, do you know Jesus Christ.  Well, do you REALLY know Jesus Christ?  In that deeper, Biblical sense of intimacy with the Divine – do you embody that?  Do you incarnate that?  Do you radiate that?  I think that’s closer to what Christ was talking about – to what the gospel was talking about."

The entire movie is available to watch online for free here

Sunday, January 9, 2011


by M. Scott Peck, M.D.

Just as there are discernible stages in human physical and psychological growth, so there are stages in human spiritual development. These stages will be discussed here in general, for individuals are unique and do not always fit neatly into psychological or spiritual pigeonholes.

Chaotic, Antisocial. Frequently pretenders; they pretend they are loving and pious, covering up their lack of principles. Although they may pretend to be loving (and think of themselves that way), their relationships with their fellow human beings are all essentially manipulative and self-serving. They really don't give a hoot about anyone else. I call the stage chaotic because these people are basically unprincipled. Being unprincipled, there is nothing that governs them except their own will. And since the will from moment to moment can go this way or that, there is a lack of integrity to their being. They often end up, therefore in jails or find themselves in another form of social difficulty. Some, however, may be quite disciplined in the services of expediency and their own ambition and so may rise in positions of considerable prestige and power, even to become presidents or influential preachers.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


In a post from 2009, Neale Donald Walsh said, “As we look around the world we see potentially eruptive situations at every turn.  All across the globe danger lurks.  People misunderstand each other.  People mistrust each other.  People in some cases despise each other.  People hold each other down, suppress each other, violate each other’s rights, bomb each other’s homes—and defend themselves against others doing the same. Why?  Because they do not understand the most basic truth about life…and about themselves:  We are all one.  There is no separation.  Of anything from anything.  All things are part of a Single Reality.  There is only One Thing, and all things are part of the One Thing There Is. Our failure to understand this is the greatest cause of the ongoing dysfunction of the human race.” (Emphasis mine. Read the rest of his post here.)

I pray, as Jesus did - that WE ALL MAY BE ONE...