without Love

Those of us who participate in the Lutheran tradition of Christianity are familiar with the writings of Paul of Tarsus.  Scholars agree that 1 Corinthians, a letter which many theologians use to document the moralistic demands of Biblical scripture, is of Pauline authorship .  Then, as today, morals applied to the individual lifestyle simply did not apply to corporate or government authority.  For example, “Thou shalt not covet” is fine for you and me personally but is irrelevant in government, business conduct, and world affairs.  However, when we surrender the assumed authority of “I, I, I” and “me, me, me” and “American nationalism” to the greater authority of a spiritual governance, then we become an integral part of that entity and we are required by that particular collective conscience to abide by “commandments”.

If we look at Paul’s obvious denial of self in 1 Corinthians 13:2, “without love I am nothing”, and through the eyes of the mystic Paul translate this verse to convey the realization of “ego” death and subsequent spiritual resurrection such as that described by the author on the road to Damascus, can we see that the “saved” Paul was equating Love and Jesus the Christ to being identical entities?  Love was not an adoration or emotion but rather, an indwelling truth.  Paul lived within the corporate body of Christ, not viewing love as a passive reaction to goodness, but as an active participant in the community of Jesus, a part of the universal essence which Christians choose to name God.  Like Paul, we are not the controlling egocentric machinery with an inner core of spirituality.  No, we are merely a cog in the greater machinery of the Universe, the Oneness.

Without Love (Christ), who is my true nature and of which I am merely a dependent part, I am nothing.  Without Love I am a free-wheeling cog spinning out of control through this life with no purpose or usefulness to the machinery.

1 Corinthians 13:2New International Version (NIV)

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide

Dhammapada 17:3

and Buddha said:

“Overcome anger by love, overcome evil by good.”  Dhammapada 17:3

God’s messengers to the world, a struggling humanity ruled by ego, clearly state the essence of Spirit is love as expressed by peaceful, nonviolent existence.  When personal ego no longer rules our behavior or thinking, the Kingdom replaces the incessant “me, me, me” demands of ego.  We are then free to love humanity with unimaginable compassion because “I” am no longer the center of the universe.  Take heart knowing that few of us achieve this state of bliss; however, it is the journey, the trek with the mystics that strengthens and matures us into God’s love for his creation.  This God experience occurs through us.

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DREAMERS

“Imagine”.  Just allow yourself for a minute to imagine a better world.  What would be in your better world?  Hatred? Bigotry? Injustice? Cruelty? Intolerance? Oppression?

No, probably not.  Everyone in your better world would have enough food to eat, clean water to drink, decent shelter, and resources to provide for the family.  The people of that world would not fear their government, their military, or their neighbors.  No one would be a billionaire and everyone would have sufficient finances to live a clean and comfortable life.

In that world the earth and its resources would be cherished and valued.  Fossil fuels would be a relic of the past.  Everybody’s air would be clean, clear, and pure.  Waterways and skyways in this better world are free of human trash.  The elements of nature flourish in their natural state of being.  Animals are not hunted  and killed for sport.

The world’s religions would realize that all faiths have a piece of the God puzzle.  Diversity in worship would be embraced and celebrated by Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu in solidarity with the One called Spirit.  Religious hypocrisy and persecution is non-existent in this better world’s profession of faith.

The world’s richness is shared by all of humanity.  None go without.  Countries do not vie for power or prestige.  There is no reason for war or killing.  Each culture values its heritage, its traditions, and its history, but, none is elevated above the validity of the other.

Individuality is respected and promoted because all humanity understands that each creature is created uniquely within the framework of God’s presence in all, though all, and within all.  There is no separation from God or from each other.  What is done to my brother or sister is also done to every presence on earth and the Oneness of God’s world order.  We live in unity within the Kingdom.

You may say I’m a dreamer, but, I’m not the only one.”  John Lennon

Join us.  We are the dreamers who will save our earth and civilization from the destruction that awaits if humanity does not come to terms with what it has become.  Having succumbed to the will of human ego and self-absorption, the fate of our habitat is spiraling rapidly into a fiery and final demise from which there is no return.

Do not believe the religious soothsayers who claim that scriptures foretell of a restoration and rebuilding after the final destruction and therefore welcome a worldwide catastrophe.  They are dead wrong, because they live in a dead theology.  They are dead.

Join those who live in Oneness, in Spirit, in Truth, in Unity.  The dream is eternal even as the flesh is death.

1 Corinthians 15:55

55 O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory?

the Sword vs ego

Jesus of Nazareth was a man depicted by the early writers of Christian scripture as peaceful, compassionate, yet revolutionary.  His followers, calling themselves “the Way”, lived communally, healed the sick, and preached love.  In today’s society they would be  labeled a band of misfits and rabble-rousers, a gang of runaways and losers.  They did not fit into the religiosity of the Jews nor the submissiveness demanded by the Romans.

The book of Matthew attributes the following words to Jesus:

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  I did not come to bring peace , but a sword.”  Matthew 10:34

Those who translate the Bible literally as the inerrant and infallible word of God have great difficulty explaining this “violent” Jesus who is described in other verses as “the Prince of Peace.”

We can, however, better understand this verse when studied in the context of Jesus the spiritual essence of God rather than Jesus the man.  The stories, the parables, attributed to Jesus convey a veiled spiritual axiom which is the intended message to his followers.  Others, the Romans and the Jewish elite, could not grasp the meaning because they did not see this simple, Jewish peasant as a messenger of God .  This verse of Matthew in terms of the mystic’s experience does not propose a sword to inflict physical wrath but rather a figurative sword to slash away the restraints placed by human ego upon the brotherly love and compassion inherent in the Spirit.  It is a sword of soul liberation.

Also to be considered are the meanings lost or misinterpreted  in translations.  Consider the following:

The Book of Kells, a Celtic illuminated manuscript copy of the Gospels, uses the word gaudium, meaning joy rather than gladium which means sword, rendering the verse in translation: “I came not [only] to bring peace, but joy”.[4]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_peace,_but_a_sword

 

WISDOM

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Our world today is a far cry from what is described by the mystics as unity with the universal Spirit which some of us name God.  We humans have taken the path of least resistance in life following trails of arrogance and self-absorption.  It is infinitely easier to look at human suffering, turn our backs to it saying the starvation crisis in Africa is not my problem or the genocide in Syria doesn’t affect me.  Our lives become a chorus of continuing “me, me, me; what’s in it for me?”

Ethan Walker lll in his book “THE MYSTIC CHRIST” asks the question:

“And what is wisdom? 

and he answers,

Wisdom is knowing we are all one.  Love is what it feels like, and compassion is what it acts like.”

Referring to the author’s definition we should shamefully agree that truly what the world needs now is love and the resulting compassion.  That compassion needs to be expressed not only to neighbors and family, but also to famine and genocide victims on the other side of the earth.  That’s what is missing.  We do not see ourselves as one existence in unity with the total complexity of God’s creation.  We run wildly to and fro attacking brothers and sisters who worship differently, follow unfamiliar traditions, practice unusual customs.  We cannot see beyond our noses far enough to embrace the world’s diversity.  We lack creation’s wisdom.

 

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