Monday, March 21, 2011

A Clear Shining Light


For my burfday a soul friend bought me a deck of cards. This was a deck called "The Christian Prayer Deck." Each day I am invited to shuffle these cards and select one. This morning the selected card read:-

"Merciful Lord, Enlighten me
with a clear shining inward
light, and remove all darkness
from my heart. Repress my
many wandering thoughts."

Thomas A Kempis (13810-1471)

This is a lovely invitation but the last line is not, to this writers thinking good psychology.  Repression of many wandering throughts tends to push them into the very darkness of the heart which Thomas A Kempis is asking to avoid.

You are not going to become a clear shining light through the repression of your many wandering  thoughts.  The wandering throughts are to be silenced but not repressed.  It is through silence that the mind becomes still and you create a heart space where you can be still and know the pressence of I AM.

Simply witness the wandering thoughts without repression or indulgence and the mind will begin to become still and there is then the invitation to be and to express the beauty of your at one ment with the clear shining light of the One Mind.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Jesus or Christ - Persona or Essence

I have a friend on Facebook who asks very sincere questions about his relationship to Jesus Christ. He, like many Christians wants what is called a personal relationship with Jesus.
Like many Christians I have met down the years they see Christianity as Jesus being a saviour and that in order to be saved they must put their faith in him as a person. The same approach applies with the Krishna Consiousness movement only instead of Jesus we have Krishna as Christ.

My personal view, which arises from direct experience of putting on the Mind of Christ (which is a grace and not something I do) is that they mistake the personality of Jesus for the direct experience of Christhood.

Jesus would, I think be, astonished that people worship his personality. Rick Warren in The Purpose Driven Life - What on Earth Am I here for? suggests that we work out and practice Christlike behaviour. What he suggests is that you change the way you think. However, Christlike behaviour has nothing to do with what YOU think. Thought is the very thing that keeps you separate from the experience of Christ. Christlike behaviour is a living stream. It isn`t a learned habit of thinking positive thought.

The Christ within you and me isn`t thought but Love in action. You might think good thoughts and this is to be commended. However, to use a Christian metaphor, you are still eating of the tree of good and evil. You are still using your dualistic thinking to try and behave like Christ. Christ action is non-dualistic - beyond the experience of good or evil. In Christlike behaviour the persona is not something one identifies with - the Father and I are one. This cannot be an experience of separateness.

The nearest relationship to Christ (not Jesus) is silence. It is the reason why one of the most powerful instructions within the bible is, "Be still and know that I AM God." This stillness is the stillness of no mind. It is the fullness of God. It is what is meant by putting on the Mind of Christ.

To study the life of Jesus Christ is to study the path to Christhood that he called each and everyone of us to journey on. To think that Jesus died to save us from sin is to accept that God was somehow annoyed at his human creation - which after all he created in the first place. This cannot be unless you accept that God is NOT Love but some moody kind of oddball who sends his son to be murdered so that he can feel better.
Rick Warren in The Purpose Driven Life says that you can overcome sin. He never says that at the level of Christ Consiousness there has never been sin, meaning separateness from God. Thus there is no need for a saviour because there is no one to save.

This is the same view of the Buddhist who realises nirvana and who becomes a Bodhisattava vowing to save all sentient beings while realising there are no sentient being to save.

Unlike Rick Warren, who advises that God wants you to grow up and behave like Christ, the Christ path asks you to disappear. The way you do this is to give yourself away but not because you want to be saved or because you are guilty of being a sinner. Jesus Christ poured himself away in total surrender to the will of the Father. This is a very different experience to thinking good thoughts and calling it Christlike behaviour.

The path to Christhood is totally radical and transforming. Even harrowing. The ones to teach the Way the Truth and the Life are the mystics of all traditions and none who know what it means to live as I AM. These are the ones who have put on the Mind of Christ and who would be astonished to hear that those claiming authority are inviting you to worship their personality.

The Christ within you and me is universal. It comes through the personality but to worship the personality is like claiming the wave is the ocean. Rick Warren and other Christian teachers I have met are like those who want you to make the wave better and who have never been to the ocean that is Christ Consiousness. They have never put on the Mind of Christ.
Picture - The Shadow of Death - William Holman Holt

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Purpose Driven Life

In 7 Ways to a Wonderful Life available FREE at our website I write about one of the ways as being the way of purpose.

As one who is a Believer in Exile I am drawn to the writings of Rick Warren who wrote the 30 million world wide bestseller entiteld "The Purpose Driven Life - What on Earth am I here for?" This is a great title and a great question.

One of the key aspects of Rick Warren's invitation to a Purpose Driven Life is the idea that God has a plan for each of us. He begins the chapter "You are not an Accident" with two quotes. These are

"I am your Creator. You were in my care even before you were born." - Isiah 44.2a and

"God doesn`t play dice." - Albert Einstien.

Firstly, if God has a plan for you then it has to be understood that this plan has a time line and a time limit. Otherwise it would not be a plan. A plan by definition means something to be completed and must therefore have a time limit.

If you didn`t have a time limit then the plan would go on forever and thus not fall within the limits we identify as a plan. Thus because God is beyond time and yet manifests within time we can`t really say that God sat and individually planned it that way.

A plan is something that tends to be linear. it begins and it ends thus it cannot be of the mind of God which has no beginning or ending.

The idea of God having a plan for your life is very comforting for many people. It invites a purpose even if you don`t. It suggest that God cares and taht you were in the care of God even before you were born. This is an idea that 30 million people feel drawn to examine. It is an idea that will comfort believers who think that God is some mythic being who to quote from "The Purpose Driven Life"

Everyday was recorded in your book.

Thus one is given the idea that God literally has a book with your name on it with an individual plan that is predetermined by your Creator from birth to death. Is this really the why you are here. If it is then were is your free will in all this. For this writer this is simply pouring old wine into new wineskins.

A Creator God is not a planner. A Creator God is Love. Love is not separate from who you are. Love does not plan. Love dances. It dances forever. It isn`t something that ends. It expands. The dance has a structure like music but within the dance and within the music is the intention to become the dance and become the music. You don`t become the dance through planning. You become the dance through surrender. You dance out of time not deeper into the plan which is connected to the idea that you are separate from God.
The dream of the one separate from Love is that God has a plan and a purpose for their lives. This pupose is realised within what Jesus of Nazareth called Life. It isn`t some nice idea of God writing your life script and caring about you. It is a more radical realisation that Life and Love and God and you are not separate. To suggest that there is a plan is to suggest separteness.

Monday, August 10, 2009

God is no laughing matter

God, I have become like
two giant fat people living

in a tiny boat. We keep

bumping into each other

and laughing.

Hafiz - Translated by Daniel Ladinsky

If you were to read the Bible you would often conclude that the God of the bible is a God to be feared. There are accounts in the Old testament in which God tells the Isrelites to slay men, woman and children of other tribes.

What to make of this? This isn`t a God one would want to get on the wrong side of. What do you do if you believe that every word of the bible is the word of God? How do you reconcile the above instruction with the commandment Thou shalt not kill?

You reconcile it by recognising that the bible is a mystical document that charts the evolution of human consiousness. The God to be feared is the God of the early stage of human development. It is a God of projection of the human mind and not the experience of God as revelation.

In later developmens God is not a God to be feared but bceomes not a God of Love but God is Love. This statement "God is Love" is the revelation at the heart of Creation and at the heart of the teachings of Jesus Christ. It makes God a laughing matter. This is why you see a lot of statues of the Buddha laughing. When you awaken to Christ Consiousness it truly is a laughing matter.
You end up as two fat people in a boat laughting not as the picture above shows of the poor fisherman who looks hungry and has his back to the woman gathering flowers and new life as symbolised by the baby.
The instruction to fear God is dead. Long live the new instruction "God is Love."

Friday, August 7, 2009

Return to Oneness

In "A Church not made with Hands" Micheal Roden writes
Christianity, like mysticism, begins with the inner individual and ends when that individual returns to Oneness. No one can really mediate this for a person. No particular group can claim exclusiveness on Oneness. It must be an individual and profoundly personal experience, and yet it rises well beyond any sense of separate self.

The Christianity of a Church made with hands tend to mistrust the mystic. Mysticism places experience of God at the center of ones life. It does not place the belief in God at the centre of ones life. Mystical experience is direct experience. It is certain and does not involve doubt. Why is this. It is because the doubter as a separate sense of self disappears and all that is left is knowing (which isn`t the same as knowledge).

Return to oneness is At One Ment. It is to transcend that sense of separateness which in my last posting I referred to as the experience of orginal sin. Again, to remind you, none of this implies in any way that you should feel guilty. Guilt locks you out of the Kingdom that is the promise of the Master Jesus.

Sinner YES or NO

When I was young I was advised by those in authority that I was what was called, " a sinner." My heart and my head rebelled. Along with this revelation (if that is what it could be called) was the implicit idea that I ought to feel somehow wrong and should feel guilty about this fact.

Fourty five years later do I still feel this way. The answer is a very definite, "No I do not." If you were to ask me, "Are you a sinner Tony?" the answer would be "Yes I am and no I am not." In order to understand this pardoxical answer you would need to know my personal definition of what the word sin means.

To say you are a sinner is to say that you feel separate. There is no need for you to feel guilty about this. You belong to a collective called humanity. This is a fact. Human beings think themselves as being in a body that is born, lives in time and space and then comes to an end when the body dies. This for most people is not something they doubt or even ever question. This, however, is what is sin. In this respect, you are a sinner just as I am a sinner.

I don`t feel guilty about this. For me it is a fact of living on this planet. Except that I long for more. I have a holy longing to feel beyond this sense of separateness which makes me feel distant from that source of Love given many names. One of which is God. This is in no way some kind of punishment. It is the evolution of consiousness in form.

To move beyond being a sinner one atones. One becomes AT ONE MENT.

This is a spiritual experience that Jesus Christ invites one into here and now. It isn`t intended that you feel guilty. It is intended that you claim your birthright of joy. You don`t do this through beating yourself up in anyway. This only adds to the sense of separateness that you feel you already are. Guilt will not take you into the higher reaches of consiousness. It will lock the door to the Kingdom that Jesus Christ invites you into living, not when you die, but right now.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Welcome from one Believer in Exile

This blog will be the recording of a journey. It is hoped that this journey will be a return from exile. I am what can be termed a believer in exile from the invitation from Christ. The title of this blog is taken from two sources.
The blog title "Believer in Exile" is taken from the title of the book by John Shelby Spong "Why Christianity Must Change or Die: A Bishop Speaks to Believers in Exile. In this blog I will be examining ways in which this exile can be made into a homecoming.
The beautiful painting opposite is by Holman Hunt and is entitled Light of the World. The door that is being knocked on late into the day is the door of the heart.