‘Let us be silent so we may hear the whisper of God.’ -Ralph Waldo Emerson
‘There is a voice that doesn’t use words, listen.’ -Rumi
‘God came to my house and asked for charity. And I fell to my knees and cried, ‘Beloved, what may I give?’ Just love, She said. Just love. -St, Francis of Assisi
“We must measure our goodness, not by what we don’t do, what we deny ourselves, what we resist, or whom we exclude. Instead, we should measure ourselves by what we embrace, what we create, and whom we include.’
“The whole of humanity, “forms, so to speak, a single living being.” In Christ we form a single body, we are all “members of one another.” For the one flesh of humanity and of the earth “brought into contact” in Christ “with the fire” of his divinity, is henceforward secretly and sacramentally deified.”
Olivier Clément, The Roots of Christian Mysticism, 2nd ed. (New City Press: 2013), 46.
“Even science confirms that there is no clear division between matter and spirit. Everything is interpenetrating. As Franciscan scientist and theologian Ilia Delio often says, “We are in the universe and the universe is in us.” Christ’s very nature mirrors this universal reality, that we are all one, just as he is one within himself.”
-Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation
Presence of Spirit Everywhere, Dr. Ernest Holmes
The Spirit of God, which is Life, is present everywhere. Like the air we breathe, It presses against us. On the mountaintop, in the valley, in the desert, and in the ocean–there is no place where Life is not. Therefore, in whatsoever direction we move, we move in God. In God we live, move, and have our being.
God is one undivided and indivisible Wholeness, one divine and spiritual Presence, our universal and all-encompassion Person. Perhaps it is a little difficult for us to understand the meaning of such an all-inclusive Person, but the very fact that we are personalities presupposes such a conclusion. Our endeavor, then, is not so much to find God, to discover the Divine source of our personal being, as it is to become acquainted with God.
Today, I consciously commune with the Spirit. I know that it presses against me and flows through me. I endeavor to feel this presence as a living reality in my life. Knowing that the Divine Presence is in everyone, I sense that the Spirit is in everyone I meet. I do my best to respond to this Spirit. Seeing It everywhere, I keep my consciousness open and alert that I may better understand the union of all life with its pure and perfect Source.
‘There is no one in this world who is not looking for God. Everyone is trudging along with as much dignity, courage and style as the possibly can.’ -Hafiz
“It’s nice to know we are all looking for God. It’s nicer still to know that we can find God in each other. After all, we’re all doing the best we can, with as much courage and style as we can. […] I have truly found that judgments, which are usually condemnations, are built on assumptions. And assumptions are built on quicksand–they suck up my good sense and my loving heart, so that as I drag someone down, I go down, too.”
-Rev. Katherine Saux, Science of Mind
He who possesses one [of the virtues] and does not offend the others, possesses all; and he who offends one, possesses none and offends all; and every one of them confounds vices and sins.
-St. Francis of Assisi
“(She) is without ambition and (she) has no desire for fame; to become anything of a public figure would be deeply distasteful to (her); and so it may be that (she) is satisfied to lead (her) chosen life and be no more than just (herself). (She) is too modest to set (herself) up as an example to others; but it may be (she) thinks that a few uncertain souls, drawn to (her) like moths to a candle will be brought in time to share (her) own glowing belief that ultimate satisfaction can only be found in the life of the spirit, and that by (herself) following with selflessness and renunciation the path of perfection (she) will serve as well as if (she) wrote books or addressed multitudes.”
Science of Mind:
There is a place where we begin and leave off physically, but there is no place where we begin and leave off mentally or spiritually.
If we do not merge with others in cooperation, in unity, and in happiness, we may be certain that there is something in us that feels it has been rebuffed or rejected.
In truth, the heart, like the Earth, is continually blanketed by ever-changing atmospheres that come and go between who we are and how we leave our days.
If we could only suspend our judgement when clouded in the heart. For many skepticisms are born from conclusions draw while unable to see, as if any kind of understanding will prevent the clouds from coming or going, again and again.
But no clouds last forever.
The Earth and all that grows from it knows this well. So does the heart and everything that grows from it, in spite of all our very understandable pains.
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
50th Anniversary of the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
If you lose hope, somehow you lose that vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of all. And so today I still have a dream. —Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)
“Deep knowing and presence do not happen with our thinking minds. To truly know something, our whole being must be open, awake, and present. We intuitively knew how to be present as babies. Psychologists now say there is no such thing as an infant. There’s only an infant/caregiver.
In the first several months, from the infant’s view, they are one and the same. Infants see themselves entirely mirrored in their family’s eyes; they soon believe and become this vision. Contemplative prayer offers a similar kind of mirroring, as we learn to receive and return the divine gaze.
In his book Coming to Our Senses, historian Morris Berman makes the point that our first experience of life is not merely a visual or audio one of knowing ourselves through other people’s facial and verbal responses; it is primarily felt in the body. He calls this feeling kinesthetic knowing. We know ourselves in the security of those who hold us, skin to skin. This early knowing is not so much heard, seen, or thought. It’s felt.
Psychologists say that when we first begin to doubt and move outside of that kinesthetic knowing, we hold onto things like teddy bears and dolls. My little sister, Alana, had the classic security blanket as a baby. She dragged it everywhere until it was dirty and ragged, but we could not take it away from her. Children do such things to reassure themselves that they are still connected and one. But we all begin to doubt this primal union as the subject/object split of a divided world slowly takes over, usually by age seven. Body/mind/world/self all start getting split apart; we begin to see the basic fault lines in the world—and the rest of life will be spent trying to put it all back together again.
It seems we all must leave the Garden of Eden, the state of innocence and blissful, unconscious union. We can’t stay there, letting mother gaze at us forever. Unfortunately, if that primal knowing never happened at all, immense doubt arises about whether there even is a garden (“God”) where all things are one and good. When family systems disintegrate, people live with doubt and uncertainty. I am sure God fully understands. It is surely why Jesus says, “It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble” (Luke 17:2).
Hopefully, our parents’ early gaze told us we were foundationally beloved. But when we inevitably begin to see ourselves through eyes that compare, judge, and dismiss, then we need spirituality to help heal the brokenness of our identity and our world. True spirituality is always bringing us back to the original bodily knowing that is unitive experience, which is why you cannot do it all in the head!”
are a blessed piece of spirit dust in spirit wind.
[Photo: Krista Tinder/Science Friday]
“True expression rises through us. In this expression, all the conversations and honest sharing that passed through our small tribe(s) over those years permeated (our) consciousness, the way the ocean saturates a sponge. A sponge doesn’t create the water it holds. […] We soak up the deepest meaning from each other and the water of wisdom passes through us.”
“Everything exists as a vibration in time and space. Only the frequencies separates sand from water, soul from dust and me from you. In the boundless order beyond the Universe we are ONE. Only briefly ‘separate’ from each other under the stars, moon and the sun.”
-Super Soul Sunday
Righteousness is not just the private practice of doing good; it sums up the global responsibility of the human community to make sure every human being has what they need, that everyone pursues a fair sense of justice for every other human being, and that everyone lives in right relationship with one another, creation, and God.
- …this discovery is life’s real and highest goal. Our supreme purpose in life is not to make a fortune, nor to pursue pleasure, nor to write our name on history, but to discover this spark of the divine that is in our hearts.
- Last, when we realize this goal, we discover simultaneously that the divinity within ourselves is one and the same in all—all individuals, all creatures, all of life.
God’s passion is justice. . . . As the social form of compassion, justice is about politics [the word “politics” comes from the Greek polis for “city”]. . . . Politics is about the shape and shaping, the structure and structuring, of the city and, by extension, of human communities more generally, ranging from the family to society as a whole. . . . Justice is the political form of compassion, the social form of love, a compassionate justice grounded in God as compassionate.
The Slow Arm of All That Matters
I have fallen through and worked into
a deeper way – one step at a time, one pain
at a time, one grief at a time, one amends at a
time-until the long, slow arm of all that matters
has bowed my estimation of heaven. Now, like a
heron wairting for the waters to clear, I look for
heaven on earth and wait of for the turbulence to settle.
And I confess, for all the ways we stir things
up, I can see that though we can stop, life never
stops: the lonely bird crashes into the window
just as the sun disperses my favorite doubt, a
sudden wind closes your willing heart as the
moment of truth passes between us, and the
damn phone rings as my father is dying. All
these intrusions, majestically unfair, and not of our
timing. So we spin and drop and catch and land.
And sometimes, we fall onto these little islands of stillness,
like now, from which we are renewed by our kinship
with all and that irrepressible feeling resurrects our want to be here,
to push off again into the untamable stream.
Under all the conflicts and dilemmas we face, we can discover over and over that everything, and everyone, in life is connected.
‘Infinite Spirit within me, Gaia, cause me to think and act kindly; constrain my mind to gentleness and peace; guide my thoughts into loving kindness and eternal forgivingness; and cause me in all my ways to follow the path of truth and justice. I judge no person and am judged by none. It is my sincere desire that everything I do or say or think will come into harmony with universal truth and justice. I judge no person and am judged by none. It is my sincere desire that everything I do or say or think will come into harmony with universal truth and peace, with love and joy. Consciously I let go of everything that is unkind and seek to so enter into communion with the Eternal Spirit that I shall reflect to my environment and manifest in all that I do the spirit of kindness, of justice, and of compassion.’
‘As the sun spilled over the face of the [tree], I realized that just as gravity will always pull things to the Earth’s center, the life-force of the Universe will always emanate from its center into the world.’
‘How do trees deal with injustice? They grow a branch whoever they were cut.’
‘Why do I keep running, when I have no interest in moving?’
Science of Mind
“Gandhi said, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’ Let’s use that same formula and say, ‘Be the peace you want to see in the world.’ When we are the peace in the midst of the turmoil, we open up to receive the gifts of the Spirit.
In this peace we are divine instruments through which the all good of God flows to us, through us, and as us.”
(Photo: San Juan’s Lopez Island, Washington, October 2016)
‘Because the space between what we intend and what we do is often great, we keep beginning. Because the gap between what we feel and what we say is often surprising, we keep trying. Because the field between what we experience and what we understand is so vast, we keep growing.’
︶⁀°• •° ⁀︶
So often we refuse to listen, we become obsessed with remaking the world in our own image, rather than opening the spirit of what is. At the deepest level, ours is not to make ourselves heard but to be still enough to hear. As the Native American Elder Sa’k’ej Henderson says, “To truly listen is to risk being changed forever.”’
‘…stop making, stop doing, stop thinking…and just listen…’
‘Life may downsize the things we rely on or how we see ourselves, but our spirit waits like a song in a blanket. No matter how dear the tapestry, there is something more dear in each of us that waits for the blanket to be lifted, so that our spirit can sing.’
‘There are countless stories of people whose lives truly find their meaning after events force them to give up careers that they have been devoted to.Close you eyes and thing of your work as the glass, and how you are as the water.’
‘Today I hold a communion with this invisible Presence that peoples the world with the manifestations of Its life, Its light, and Its love.’
-Science of Mind
‘Blackbird singing in the dead of night,
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life, you were only waiting
for this moment to be free.’
-Paul McCartney, ‘Blackbird’
“I read that McCartney wrote this song about the civil rights struggle after reading about American race riots. He said he got ‘The idea of using a blackbird as a symbol for a black person. It wasn’t necessarily a black bird, but it works that way…Take these broken wings was very much in my mind…it was purposely symbolic.’
McCartney said he penned it in his kitchen in Scotland not long after an incident when the US federal courts forced the racial desegregation of the Little Rock Arkansas, school system.
It is said that freedom begins in the heart.
Many of us are still waiting to be free – – liberated from ourselves – – from our perceived limitations. We yearn for freedom from our patterns of holding ourselves captive and remaining bound to our likes and dislikes, locked in an unwillingness to expand beyond our fears and the past. Freedom from a limiting self-identity is spiritual freedom. Regardless of circumstances, we are called to freedom – – to live from the heart – – in more love, less fear.”
-Rev. Andriette Earl, Heart and Soul Center of Light in Oakland, California
‘We don’t make it to those peak experiences in our lives without help. Life is meant to be lived in relationship and community with others who encourage, support and sometimes even pull us forward into a greater experience that we wouldn’t have reached by ourselves. Every time we interact with another, we are giving Spirit another opportunity to know itself, to love itself and to future itself.’
-Science of Mind
“Every tree, every plant, has a spirit. People may say that the plant has no mind. I tell them that the plant is alive & conscious. A plant may not talk, but there is a spirit in it that is conscious, that sees everything, which is the soul of the plant, its essence, what makes it alive. The channels through which the water & sap move are the veins of the spirit.”
– Pablo Amaringo