Saturday, April 17, 2021

BLACK AND BLUE

Black lives matter.

Blue lives matter.

All lives matter.

Not all lives know they matter.

Not all black lives know that they matter.

Not all blue lives know that black lives matter equally.

Not all black lives have reason to trust blue lives.

There are black lives that are also blue.

There are blue lives for whom black lives matter greatly.

For all of this to matter and to matter equally many of us are feeling bruised.

Many of us are feeling black and blue.

Until all lives know that they matter, and that they matter equally, I dedicate myself to letting black lives know that they matter to me.

I dedicate myself to letting blue lives know that they matter to me.

I dedicate myself to letting black lives know that it matters to me how they are treated by blue lives.

I dedicate myself to letting all lives know that they are a part of the one life, and hence they matter.

Black, blue, all. You matter.

It matters to me that you know it matters to me.

And so I am feeling a bit black and blue right now.

And I am okay with that.

It is a result of letting all life matter to me.

It is a result of watching black and blue collide. Of watching blue killing black and black berating blue and even blue careening against blue.

It all leaves me feeling bumped and bewildered and bruised.

It is a welcomed cost of living in an internal reality in which black lives matter. In which blue lives matter. In which all lives matter.

Until all lives know that they matter I will continue to say it. Write it. Shout it. Vote it. Demonstrate it in every way I can.

Black lives matter.

Blue lives matter.

All lives matter.

If you are reading these words you matter.

Whether you know it or not, you matter.

It is important to me that you know that.

You matter.

To me.

All the time.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

BEYOND GOD

Calling God, God, is a control mechanism.

Years ago, I was sitting in a twelve-step meeting when a rather surly older man began his sharing with “my higher power, whom I choose to call God… well, because that’s his f------name…”

There was a stunned silence in the room as he droned on about something that no one even heard. The silence was followed by a cacophonous roar of laughter that continued for several minutes. All these years later I do not remember this man’s name, what he looked like, or not an inkling of what he shared. I vividly, however, remember what he chose to call God. And why he called it that.

The only time I ever use the term God is when I need to for vocational clarity. I do not concur that God is a f------ name for what I might call Source. My favorite term for this pervading Oneness is ALL. The name God falls flat from my head down into my solar plexus. ALL resounds in my heart, throughout my body, and radiates out to touch, well, all.

I personally feel that the term God turns Allness into a controllable object in our minds. It names a concept that, by labeling in this way, we keep at mostly at bay. By centuries of collective agreement God is up above us in the sky. It is beyond and apart. We beseech it to come down and clean up our messes when our other control devices have failed. The unconscious problem with that beckoning is that “God” as a concept is at the root of the messes we are making.

You have your God and I have my God. Those Gods are sometimes in agreement, and mostly are not. My God is better than your God. My God is the way, and yours is not. My God has a favored religion, a political affiliation, a favorite sports team, and hates all of the same people that I do. God, if we are honest, has a personality disorder and is in severe need of anger management.

God needs therapy.

Or perhaps we need therapy as a result of what we have made of God.

In the words of the Hebrew God “oy vey.”

The problem with that theology is that we in fact made God in our image and likeness.

And then we call it truth.

The God of our image and likeness gives us license to judge, belittle, dehumanize, and send to hell those with whom we disagree. We damn those who dare to have a different God than we do. Those who may not use the name God. F------ or otherwise.

The audacity.

God as a super-object in the sky has little to do with our reality down here. We set it up that way. Then we get to do all the heinous things we want and then scream up and out to God to save us.

We get to pick and choose what is God and what is not.

You do not have that luxury if instead of God you have ALL.

If ALL is ALL, then everything is indeed the image becoming the likeness.

If ALL is ALL, then every encounter is a relating within the ALL.

If ALL is ALL, then creation and all beings are permeated with and ever-within IT.

If ALL is ALL, then we each are called to become ALL in how we show up, pray, and relate. We are responsible to the ALLNESS that is within us. No screeching up and out to God. No using God to cop out of what we are ourselves are required to become and transform. No using God as an excuse for denigrating and dehumanizing those “Godless” others.

And perhaps scariest of all we must give up the control that comes from limiting ALL to just God.

If ALL is ALL, then there is something beyond this God thing. And it cannot be controlled.

Beyond God, there is ALL. ,br>
Carl Jung said to label something is to limit it.

German mystic Meister Eckhart prayed “God, rid me of thy name.”

For me ALL is transcendent of a label and rids me of a name that has been polluted for centuries with dualistic theology.

Now, clearly you get to call Source whatever name or term works for you. I only offer these ideas as my response to what happened for me when I dropped God and opened to ALL.

A radical, mystical, monumental, miraculous, and uncontrollable experience of ALL happening not in my head but in my heart and body.

Releasing the name of God opened me to the experience of It.

I found that beyond God and the concepts relative to it was a whole new experience of Something far vaster and greater than any name could ever capture. By attuning and tapping into ALL my consciousness expanded and literally burst the boundaries I didn’t know I had built to keep that God away.

And I found that I did in fact want to keep THAT God away. The one that drowns Egyptians and murders the only begotten. The one that favors a party and sends hurricanes to a different coast. The one that creates eternal punishment schemes and sends the few and righteous to an eternal glory, you guessed it, up and out of here.

When I had the courage to go beyond God I found ALL.

Maybe that is what is really meant by the great beyond.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

MELTING

MELTING I believe that my melting is finally complete.

I am typing these words on the precipice of a second Easter spent mostly in lockdown. As I do so I am contemplating my favorite symbol of this holiday season.

No, it is not a cross.

It is not a tomb with a stone rolled away from its entrance.

It is not white trumpet-like lilies, and it is most certainly not sugary peeps or chocolate eggs.

As I am typing these words an embodiment of this symbol just literally and synchronistically fluttered by my office window.

My long favorite symbol of this holiday season is a butterfly.

When I say that my favorite symbol of this holiday season is a butterfly, I actually do not mean so much the finished flying form. I am referring to the butterfly as a process of becoming. From caterpillar to chrysalis to emergence to flight. And integral to this process is an unavoidable melting.

Did I mention that I believe my melting is finally complete?

I was born on an Easter Sunday at White Cross hospital with a Grand Cross in my astrological chart. Though it has been decades since I identified with the Christian religion the symbolism has remained a map for my sacred journey upon this planet. My personal adventure has been one of repeated crucifixions and resurrections. I have hung upon many crosses of my own making. I have died repeated deaths. I have risen from the graves of my own faulty self-images over and over again. In so many ways everyday has been for me an Easter day. And in these latter years of this incarnation the patterns and the transcendence of those patterns have never been clearer.

And now I find that my cross these days has butterflies all around it.

I deeply appreciate that for all we think we collectively and individually know science does not fully comprehend the process by which a caterpillar is transformed into a butterfly. The worm-like creature spins a chrysalis from within and around itself, a cocoon that appears to be its tomb. Once encased it melts into a goo-like substance that contains what are called imaginal cells. These cells are independent of what the caterpillar physically was. Yet what those cells are is what the butterfly is becoming. This developing creature forms out of the melting, eventually growing wings that beat against the walls of the cocoon until they are strong enough to begin to crack the encasement away. This needed strength that breaks away the tomb is also what is necessary to allow the being to then take flight.

I so relate.

As an extreme introvert I have always deeply valued my time in solitude. I need cocoon time. It is not a preference. It is necessary for my sanity and my serenity. Too much stimulation exhausts me quickly. Crawling around in the external realm quickly leads me to an impulse to spin a chrysalis around me, and to tuck into some always precious quiet time. I got over the fear of melting and going to goo a long time ago. I know that allowing the inexplainable process that happens for me in beingness time always leads to nourishment and renewed strength. I always recognize when my wings are ready to fly once more. I feel it. It is unmistakable.

So, as I face the second Easter in semi-isolation, I feel a renewed and renewing appreciation of what I have gleaned from an extended time in my personal chrysalis. I admit that even for this extreme introvert this pandemic distancing has pushed my edges. I have been blessed from the beginning of this global crisis to see it as symbolically as I have literally. I have known all along that we the earthly family have been prompted and beseeched to go into our private cocoons and to let a melting happen in terms of the unsustainable ways we had been living. We have been cosmically called to go to goo. Some have heeded this call. Many have not.

I for have one have heeded the call.

So, as I honor the Grand Cross pattern of my incarnation, I do so as I let the butterfly process continue to happen within me. One name for this butterfly process is resurrection.

And I do believe my melting is complete.

I feel the imaginal cells of my True nature stirring inside of me. I am gently yet steadily beating my emerging wings against the confines of my earthly nature. I feel my strength gathering, and I know that soon a transformation will be completing. I will be ready to fly forth at higher levels of consciousness. I will still be able to land when I choose. It will not be the end of my ongoing Soul emergence. Yet I will be a new kind of creature not from changing myself but from letting myself be changed.

By letting myself go to goo.

As tomorrows dawn awakens me to Easter Day, I am grateful for the patterns and pathways that have led me from White Cross hospital to Evangelical Christianity to New Thought spirituality to the chrysalis of my own inner being. A great melting has taken place. A welcomed if painstaking metamorphosis has in many ways rendered me unrecognizable.

Resurrection is occurring.

I honor those who will look tomorrow upon an empty tomb and who will choose to worship a risen Lord. I truly do embrace all paths to the Awakening we are each called to.

As for me I will be gazing upon butterflies and knowing that their splendid and mysterious trajectory is my own destiny.

And it all began the day I decided to let myself melt.