Thursday, April 27, 2006

Beliefs and Opinions: Fear of the Mystery

"God will reward me if I blow myself up and take innocent people with me."

"Making money and having things is what makes life worthwhile."

"Everything that happens is good, even when it's painful. God loves us."

"Life sucks. Get whatever you can while you can. No one else cares about you."
Living with the Mystery may be difficult. Having answers is so much more reassuring. It really doesn't matter that much if the answers are even right or true; we just find it easier to have something to hold onto. When we don't have answers it's too easy to find ourselves in a state of spiritual free-fall.

The Mystery is empty. There is nothing to grasp. It does not justify you or your life. It's puzzling. The Mystery is one gigantic shrug: "I don't know."

Where would we all be without experts and authorities, so willing to tell us how things are and what is true?

No wonder so many of us take the easy way out, living life within the confines of the beliefs and opinions of our parents, our schools, our society, our religion. It gives us the illusion that we know what's what. Doing what we are told is "right," and not obeying the rules makes one "wrong."

Sometimes we outgrow a particular set of beliefs and opinions, and trade it in for a different set that seems more "true." A thinking adult can have difficulty swallowing what passes for traditional truth. So a different truth takes over the top of the list, today's flavor. It's like changing one's clothes: "I think I'll be a fundamentalist instead of a communist today."

People fight each other and even kill each other over beliefs. Why? How can it be that important to try to prove that your beliefs somehow are truer than the other person's?

What is the underlying compulsion that makes us need beliefs? Even the belief that nothing is true is just another belief. Hell, even the belief that all is Mystery is still nothing but a belief. Another out of countless beliefs.

What do YOU believe? What is the truth? Who or what holds the top position for you in the judgement of what is true? And who or what is at the bottom for you, the most ridiculous and false and naive and foolish?

When will you get tired enough of the belief game to question the game itself?

Why do I need to believe? What would happen if I stopped?

Try it. Stop believing, if even for just a moment.

Watch your feelings as you do so. Be prepared for some disorientation, some uneasiness, perhaps some quite disturbing TERROR!!

No wonder we hold on to our beliefs and opinions for dear life, fight to the death with those who disagree or doubt what we take as self-evident truth.

Try for the next week to stay with the thought, "Only the Mystery is true. Everything else is an attempt to capture a truth and the security it brings by forcing the Mystery into a tight little box, thus creating only at best a partial truth, which, since it is partial, is also partly false."

Maybe what you believe is true, but it is also false. There is another truth which disagrees with yours. You know what it is, because you don't like those who believe in that contradictory truth (which you believe to be false).

"I have a soul."

"I don't have a soul."

"I know what a soul is."

"I don't have any idea what I'm talking about."

What happens when you give up your beliefs? What is left? What will hold and support you?

Give up your cherished beliefs, enter the Mystery, courageously and attentively.

Then you will begin to know what it's like to be an orphan.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Listen to Mystery: Episode 2 - The Hymn of the Pearl

The second chapter of "Mystery: Dancing in the Dark" is the Hymn of the Pearl. Listen to this ancient poem/song from the first century AD, as it tells the story of the soul, or of us. Leaving home, our source and origin, on a mission to retrieve the mysterious Pearl, from the "snorting serpent," the soul becomes forgetful, and takes on the characteristics and habits of its surroundings. What has the soul forgotten, and how will it remember?

Learning to recognize the Mystery as contained in our dreams, hunches, symptoms and addictions, we may come to see them as messages, from our "home", our origins, which aim to help us to remember who we really are, and why we are here.

You may also find it helpful to use the Guided Meditation as a way to quiet your mind and to develop the ability to observe your active inner world.

Listen (4-25-06; 20:48/9.5 MB)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Using Meditation to Explore the Mystery

If you wish to explore the Mystery, which resides both outside and within, a regular meditation can bring a quiet space into your daily life which allows you to observe the process moving inside you. A guided meditation provided here will help you find 10-15 minutes of peace in which you can observe.

Listen to the meditation (4-13-06; 16:24/7.6 MB)

Friday, April 07, 2006

Gospel of Judas: An Exercise

Try this:

Say "I am Judas. I have betrayed the highest spiritual Principle by accepting materialism as my only god. I was loved and trusted and taught by this highest Principle, Who saw me as a good person, deserving of love and salvation. But I accepted the riches of the outer world and its politics and laws instead, and in doing so, I brought death to this highest spiritual Principle by calling attention to It from those who hated It and wanted to destroy It. Now I am guilty and the Principle is gone from this world."

Then imagine your highest Self, the highest spiritual Principle within you and within the world, saying to you, "No, that's not true. You did not betray Me. You played the role that was necessary and which I asked you to do. I needed you to reveal Me to those who hated Me and wanted to eliminate Me. There was a purpose behind it. It was all part of the plan. You are still loved by Me, and have never stopped serving Me.

Receive My thanks and My love, and let it flow into that place inside you which has tormented you with guilt. Know that you did what was right, and called for, and it fulfilled the task for which you were called. I am still with you, and because of your deed (turning away from Me and sending Me to My death) I was able to be reborn and to show the world that I am always there, even after death."

What would that be like for you? Is there such a place in you who feels guilt at betraying the best and highest spiritual Principle that you know of? What if your turning away or substituting materialism for spirituality was not an error or a bad thing, but in fact exactly what was necessary, both for you and that mysterious Principle?

Gospel of Judas: Food for Thought

Hailed as the most important discovery concerning the origins of christianity in the last 60 years, the "Gospel of Judas" has seemed initially to make one surprising point. After two thousand years of unquestioned belief, the idea that Judas Iscariot, one of the disciples of Jesus, betrayed Jesus by identifying him to the authorities so they could arrest him and torture and execute him, has been turned upside down.

Now, according to this newly translated and seemingly authentic text, Jesus in fact is supposed to have chosen Judas to perform this act, not of betrayal, but of the greatest service to Jesus.

"You will be cursed by the other generations -- and you will come to rule over them," Jesus tells Judas in the text.

I'm no expert on christianity, but I am certainly interested when something happens during my lifetime that claims to change Judas from a cursed traitor into a "special" disciple who was in fact serving his teacher and the greater good.

This is nothing less than a complete "enantiodromia", where something suddenly has changed into its complete opposite.

Taken as a sign, we see a cursed and rejected evil being, one who gave up his special trust with Jesus supposedly for the money, suddenly now in 2006 raised from the depths of absolute despised outsider-ness to an honored position of sacrificial service to Jesus and his teachings, performing the single most key act in the story of Jesus and his fulfillment of his destiny (other than Mary's giving birth). And he is portrayed as having done this at Jesus's request, and with the knowledge that doing so would lead to his being ostracized and hated for eternity. (See his depiction in Mel Gibson's "Passion of Christ" for example)

Whether you are christian or not (and I am not except in spirit), this seems worthy of some reflection. What could it mean? What does it possibly say about our time right now?

What could Judas represent in us, that has been "cursed" but "will come to rule"?

What could it be in you and in me that has seemingly for all time only been worthy of denial, banishment, cursing, or rejection? And what is this in each of us that has now reached the moment when it can be revealed that this rejection and banishment was in fact a mistake, a misunderstanding because we did not have the whole picture (represented by Jesus's knowledge of his purpose and destiny, and the role required of Judas)?

What would it mean for you and for me if such a radical shift in perspective is now suddenly here upon us?

Isn't it worthy of our time, thought and discussion to wonder about this mysterious happening?