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Conversations with God #16…A Folk Tale

This is a folk tale.  Perhaps even a myth.  As with all folk tales, there is a kernel of truth in it.  But the story itself is not important, and it’s certainly not to be taken literally.  What’s important is how you might apply it in your life. What would you ask for if the Savior of the world granted you 3 wishes?  This isn’t some magic genie.  It’s Jesus!

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Good Morning, Lord!  Can we go to the High Mountain today?

Yes, let’s go.  I knew you were going to ask.

So, my son, today I ‘d like to play a game.  Well, not really a game.  It’s pretty serious, but I already know the outcome, so it will all be well when we’re finished.

You know the story of Aladdin and the lamp, right?  Well, I’d like to grant you 3 wishes.  Anything you want – except there are 2 criteria:

  • If you wish for something that you already have, but don’t know it yet, then I will tell you.
  • Your last wish cannot be for 3 more wishes.

Deal?

Well, sure, Lord, but you’re going to have to give me time to think.

Ok – but, my son, you do realize, don’t you, that you’ve spent your whole lifetime preparing for this.

Yeah.  Well, I guess so.

Ok, think away.  I’ll wait.  But you do need to get ready for work this morning.

Ponder, Ponder, Ponder…..

Ok, Lord, I think I’ve got it figured out.

First – I wish that you would always be my friend and companion and accompany me on this journey I’m on.

Ahem – criteria # 1.  You already have that.

Ok.  Whew.  That’s cool!  So, I’ve still got 3 more wishes?

Yep – 3 more wishes.

Ok, well, then, wish # 1 – will you promise to help me recognize and reconcile any hypocrisy that might arise in my soul from here on out?  I hate hypocrisy.  It’s probably my greatest fear, and I know I’m not immune to it.

Yes, my son.  That’s a good wish.  Consider it granted.  I will always help you.

Great.  Thanks.  Now, wish # 2…will you promise to help me to effectively both learn and teach others about the true nature of love as the power that motivates, organizes, and sustains all of creation?

Done!

Ok, now for wish #3.  I guess I have to ask if you will grant 3 wishes to my wife.  That’s my third wish.

Again, done!  But she’ll have to ask for them.  I have to say, though, that’s kind of sneaky.  It almost violates criteria #2.  But, I guess as long as you don’t coach her…

Ok, that’s cool.  I’ll let her know. “…coach her?”  Really??!!  Don’t you know me better than that?

But, son – you could have asked for anything…anything!  Money, security, health…anything.

Lord, you knew already that I wouldn’t ask for those things.  And I couldn’t ask for wisdom, or knowledge, or power.  Those would all be shortcuts, and I wouldn’t have earned them, developed them.  I wouldn’t have grown.  And they would be your gifts – not mine.  And I couldn’t turn around and share them if I didn’t have them to give.

What about eternal life, then?

Well, Lord, I already have that, so, you would have told me so anyway (Criteria #1).  So I eliminated it pretty quickly.  And you’ve already promised so many things – love, sustenance, peace…you know – the whole “consider the lilies” parable.  Nope, I think these are my wishes.  Sure hope they’re good ones.  I don’t expect to have another chance at this.

All right, my friend.  You have done well.  Now, let’s sit down and take in the view from this High Mountain.  Let’s see what work needs to be done.

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And God said, “I am”…

God said, “I am”.

And it all went downhill from there.

Why?

Because we immediately began trying to figure out what that means.

And then we began to write it down.

And, of course, when something gets written (stone tablets, anyone?), it become solid.  Solid truth.  Unchanging truth.

But, contrary, to popular opinion, God is not unchanging.  Neither should our knowledge of Him be unchanging.

Oh, there is an unchanging element of God. But it is that he is constantly changing.

How is that, you say?  After all, we have the scriptures that say He is an unchanging God, the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Yep – He is unchanging in that He is always changing.

And as soon as we think we “know Him”, we’ve put Him in a box, and now He’s not God anymore.  He’s something else.  He’s whatever we have made of Him.  We have created God in our own image – a graven image.

You see, we are the manifestations of God.

Imagine being perfect, complete, whole.  Imagine being omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient.  Imagine being “I am”.

Really – go ahead.  Think about it.  Think hard!

Would there be any experience in that type of existence?  You already are everything!!

But God is a creator.  He created, and that creation is a (the?) manifestation of Him.  And that creation is always changing.  And it is through this creation that God experiences Himself. It is through that creation that God loves, for He is love.  And WE are part of that creation.  We are God, and He is us.  And, heaven knows, we are always changing.

But are we…really?  If we are God, and He is us, and He is unchanging, then how are we not, likewise, unchanging.

My head hurts!

So, there is a point to all of this.  According to the Gospel of John, as recorded in chapter 17 of the King James version of the Bible, “…this is life eternal, to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent”.

So, I pretty much accept as fact that it behooves us to seek to know God, and to know Jesus Christ.  Not Jesus the man, but Jesus in His Christhood – in His perfect love, without fear, without jealousy – in His “I am”.  I accept that fact so much that it is the declared, before God and angels, goal and purpose of my life.

And this is a good thing.  As long as I realize that I can never intellectually know God, and I can never fully know God, except as I experience Him.  And any experience of God is impossible to put into words.

Yet we try.  And when we do, we put Him a box.  And then we tend to try to force that box on others.  And then we get angry, or fearful, or threatened when someone else’s box doesn’t look the same as ours, or because they reject ours.

And now that we’ve become fearful, we’ve lost the love.  We’ve become separated…from God, and from each of the other unique manifestations of His creation.  And this separation manifests itself on the personal, family, community, church, national, and global levels.  That is why we don’t have peace.

Thus…

It is so important to realize that none of us know God completely.

It is so important the we cultivate a sense of gratitude for what we might have learned without thinking that our knowledge is more complete or more perfect than anyone else’s.

It is so important that we practice recognizing that every person; every animal, every tree, every flower, every rock, is a manifestation of God, and thus has God in them; and that when we fail to love them, we fail to love God Himself.

It is so important that we allow God to manifest Himself to us – and through us – in any way He chooses; and that we recognize the love in all of that great manifestation that we call creation.

It is so important that we do not create of Him a graven image of our own choosing, or of someone else’s choosing.

It is so important that we love Him in all of His glory, in all of His creation, manifesting through our own creation the very love than animates His creation; that it is through this perpetual web of creation that all things continue to be.

For this is how we keep His commandments, and this is the means by which men shall know that we are His disciples.  This is what it means to “Take upon us the name of Christ”.

Perhaps then, when God says, “I am”, we can truly respond with “I know”.

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A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit #2

Jesus is love.  As such, He is the Christ.  Jesus no longer has the capacity to not love.  He has evolved beyond such.  The fact that He has evolved beyond the capacity to not love suggests that we, too, must eventually evolve beyond the capacity to not love.  I choose this path.

Right now, in our state of progression, that is not the case.  We maintain the capacity to not love.  As a matter of fact, we cling to it as if this capacity is the path to salvation; to eternal life.  No, we still have to choose to love.  Christ does not choose to love, He just loves.  He just is.  It is the very definition of His being.

How can we evolve to the point where we no longer choose to love, but love is simply our state of being?

I have spoken of this before, and as the days, weeks, months, and years pass; as I continue to learn; as the truth and perspective of the glory of creation continues to distill upon my soul; the truth of this continues to solidify.

We must strip ourselves of jealousies and fears.  We must free ourselves from the 4 C’s of the natural man; of the ego.  These 4 C’s?  As I’ve stated before – they are, progressively, comparison, competition, contention, and control.  Ultimately, we must realize that as long as we continue to seek to exercise control over the choices of others, we cannot be love.   This, the desire to control, is the grand, ultimate symptom of the ego, or the natural man.

Again, and as I have said before, this is the allegorical fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  These are all characteristics of the fallen man.  Even the idea of the “fallen” man, though, is allegorical.  We haven’t really fallen.  We are just at this stage in our progression.  We are only “fallen” in comparison to our destiny, our true selves.

We cannot make room for love as long as we seek to control.  The driving source of this desire for control is fear.  Fear of what?  Fear of death.  Fear of pain.  Fear of not being good enough – of being less (comparison is where it starts).  Fear of not being loved.

The manifestations of this desire for control?  They are jealousy, judgment, and guilt, in all their myriad manifestations – arrayed across a great spectrum from the most subtle to the most overt, and leveraged across that spectrum in a desire for power.

If we are to make room for love, we must first recognize these characteristics that stand in the way, and then we must begin to reject them.  Actually, we must first embrace them – love them – as and essential part of our progression.  By embracing them, by loving them, we can learn to understand them, and then we can love them right out of existence.  Ironic?  Indeed.  But if I hate them, I am simply continuing to foster the desire for control that is the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  No, I need to learn to love these things in myself, and in others, as part of my progression and as part of their progression.

I must have a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

I must stop fighting, and embrace.  I must stop trying to control, and encourage.  I must stop comparing, and competing, and contending, and be at peace. I must believe in the real teachings of Christ – the teachings that He condescended from His ascended, divine state to bring us, and to seal with His death.  To not believe these things is to deny Him, and to deny all that He did for us.  I choose to believe.

The atonement is not some magical event that took place in the garden and was sealed on Calvary.  The atonement is the essence of creation.  Christ taught the atonement throughout His ministry, and He continues to teach it to all who will listen.  The atonement is our inheritance, our destiny, the measure of our creation.

The atonement is at the heart of the allegory of the two trees.  The tree of life represents our becoming one with God, with each other, and with all creation.  The tree of knowledge of good and evil represents separation.

No, indeed, if we are to have eternal life, we must know God.  God is love.  We must know Jesus.  Jesus – the Christ – is love.  To know them, we must embrace them; we must embrace their creation.  We must not fight the fall, we must embrace the fall that we might ascend beyond it.  Fighting – resisting – only perpetuates comparison, competition, contention, and control – and leaves no room for love.

In short, we must have a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

The glory of this creation that we are a part of is beyond our current ability to comprehend.  But the more I surrender to it, then the more I understand that all the fear, all the stress, all the jealousy, and guilt, and judgment is totally unnecessary, and actually prevents us from knowing God; from knowing Jesus; from taking hold of the eternal life that we are already in the middle of.

Indeed, Jesus is love.  As such, He is the Christ.  Jesus no longer has the capacity to not love.  He has evolved beyond such. The fact that He has evolved beyond the capacity to not love suggests that we, too, must eventually evolve beyond the capacity to not love.  I choose this path.

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Whispering Souls

Wow! So much this morning. There is no chastisement or judgment in Him. It’s just not there. He wants our souls to “whisper to each other”.

This is huge. What does it mean to “whisper to each other’s souls”. First, you must be close. There can be no separation. Whispering is intimate. It is sweet. Whispering implies trust. It also implies exclusivity, but that’s not part of it.  Whispering is peaceful.  It is almost child-like and innocent.  Whispering, if you think about it, is quite beautiful.

Today, our souls, mine and Jesus’, whispered to each other.

I whisper, soul to soul, with my wife. There are some in my life with whom I can whisper, soul to soul, but very few. Not family, and I can count the friends on one, maybe two hands – and even then, not all the time – only in special moments.

But today, I whispered souls with Jesus, and it was…no – it IS…sweet.

We have created an image of Jesus – the Christed Jesus – of Him being superior – the only begotten son. He wrought the atonement, he was crucified, and resurrected, and now He “reigns”. He will be our judge.  He will execute the destruction, and thereby the salvation, of the world.

This is not Him. The crucifixion has become a wedge between us and Him. We can’t let that be. It is a twisted, warped outcome that is not what was intended. Oneness was His intent – that we may become one – all of us, including Him, with each other. Yet, we allow our image of Him to separate us. Some are good, some are bad, but none are good enough – not as good as Him.

This is not Him. He “atoned” for our sins in the Garden? The only “sin” is not loving each other. Oh, it pained Him, indeed, but not the way we think.

I pondered over the wounds in His hands, seeking to understand.  He whispered to my soul, and I to His.

He longs to whisper to our souls. Each one, one on one. And once we have learned to whisper soul to soul with Him, perhaps we can learn to whisper soul to soul with each other. Without fear.  Without guilt.  Without judgment.  Without control.   And with each great, glorious, beautiful, unifying whisper, he brings about the true atonement. Today.  Ongoing.  Inviting.  Independent of time or space or form.

This IS Him. And I learned today that in knowing Him – in whispering souls with Him – I can know myself.

As He said, and I have already recorded, “I AM the purity that you seek.”

“…That YOU seek, He said!” I seek Him! He IS the purity that I seek – the very same PURITY that I SEEK! And today, I got a glimpse of that purity…of Him…of myself…even of each of you…, when I whispered to His soul, and He whispered to mine.

Perhaps if we can learn to whisper to each other’s souls…

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Train Songs…and Love

Livin’ full is damned risky

But I never knew no other way

And lovin’ can get awful tricky

When you ain’t got the courage to stay

As another stop falls behind me

And another lone whistle blows

I’m tellin’ you mister, in case you don’t know

That train songs

Yeah, all those train songs

Got nothin’ to do with trains

“Everybody Knows that Train Songs

Got Nothin’ to do With Trains” – Shiloh Rising

 

Think about every train song you ever heard.  They’re never about the coal or wood ash in the car, or the smell of diesel, or the ceaseless noise, or even the scenery flashing by.  Train songs are always about going, or leaving, or wishing you were going or leaving.  They’re about passing relationships with people who don’t know you.  Train songs are always about being somewhere else, or being someone that you’re not right now.  They’re about fresh starts.  They’re about forgiveness.  They’re about finding peace…peace this is very elusive.  They’re about sustaining hope that you haven’t already messed up this life beyond redemption.

Train songs are, in a sense, an illusion, a distraction, a metaphor.  Kind of like love.

See, loving others is hardly about the other person.  It can’t be.  If it were, the saying that, “Some people are just really hard to love” would be true.  But it’s not true.  Not really.  To truly love, the object of your love doesn’t matter.

No, loving others is all about you.

In order to love someone – to truly love them…unselfishly, completely, with no thought of what that person can do for you…one must be at peace with themselves.

YOU must be love.

Most of us go through life looking for love in all the wrong places; seeking for forgiveness to be granted by some outside power; hoping for that elusive train that will transport us to a new creation.  We look to Christ.  We look to God.  We look to the philosophy, or the religion, or the guru of the day – hoping to find peace…to find love.  We want them to fix us.

But the love we seek is inside us.  And when we finally learn the truth, it will be that we already are everything we seek.  God’s will for us is that we become (or realize) what He already created.

There are plenty of examples, of course, of those have learned this truth.  The ultimate, though is God Himself.  God IS love.  We are His creation; and extension of Him.  He is in us and we are in Him.  How can God create something that He is not?  Therefore, WE ARE LOVE.

Yet, we keep looking for that train that, once we get on it, is going to change us.

 

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I’m lazy.  I want to love people, but I don’t want to have to work at it.  It’s too hard.  One must be constantly vigilant.  Can’t tolerate judgment.  Can’t tolerate fear.  Can’t tolerate guilt.  It’s all very difficult and frustrating, because I’m constantly failing.

So, one day, I was praying, and sharing this feeling with my friend, and it dawned on me (I think this is called revelation, or inspiration), that it would all be so much easier if I could just become love.  Then, it would just be natural, right?  I could just be myself, and everything would be perfect!

So, I began praying, “Lord, help me become love!”

The answer?  It sent something like this…

“Ahem.  Scoot – you already are love”.

So, there ya go, I thought to myself.  See how you are?

So, Lord, how come I don’t feel like love?

“Well, we do have some work ahead of us.

There’s that whole garden thing,

and the forbidden fruit, and tree of knowledge of good

and evil, and the illusion that it created that knowledge of good

and evil will help you become as the Gods”.

Huh?!!! I said.  You mean “Knowledge” is not the key to salvation?

“Yeah – it’s still all about knowledge.  Always has been.

But it’s not that kind of knowledge that leads to life.

You see, it’s knowledge of me that is the key to eternal life,

and therefore the antidote to death.

And, I AM…LOVE!  So, knowledge of ME is knowledge of…what?”

Oh – I get it.  It’s knowledge of love!

“And where is that love?”

I guess it’s inside of me (I said, sheepishly).  So, it’s the knowledge of me, the true me, the me that is your original creation, the me that is already love, that I need to seek.  The knowledge of me, of you, of love, of creation, of eternity…it’s almost like we’re all one and the same.  It’s like we’re not separate.

“LET THERE BE LIGHT!!!!”

Lord, though, can you help me figure this out?  I understand, but it’s hard to let go of all this old stuff; to get through the illusion, the veil, and really learn about us – together – one – love.

“My son, I thought you’d never ask.”

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View from a High Mountain

I approached the Lord this morning with a touch of anxiety.  I said, basically, “Lord, I know I try not to ask for much other than for you to teach me.  But today, I need you.  I need comfort.  Will you comfort me?  And, will you teach me what it means to be my “ascended self” as you counseled me last week?

None of the following was “vision”.  I did not perceive any of it with my eyes, or with my hands.  I felt it with my consciousness.  It was not in technicolor, but that does not mean it was not real.

He was there.  He said, “Come with me.”

We went to “a high mountain”, only it wasn’t really a high mountain.  It was more of an attitude, a perspective.  It was “leave all things behind, and behold in purity”.  He said “What do you see?”

I said, “I see love.  I see…I feel…harmony in all things, in all creation.  I see perfection, unity…I see love.  And it includes all things.  It is all things…it is all creation.”

I knew that this was accurate.  I knew that I had answered correctly.  I knew that He was satisfied.  There was also the suggestion of “See, you already know this”.  There was more, much more, but it was implied, not specific.  After all, there is much detail in “It is all things…it is all creation”.

The presence of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother unfolded.  They were just there.  They welcomed me gently, without great fanfare.  It was peace.  They were peace.  It was familiar.  They were familiar.  I knew that not only were they there, but Jesus was still with me, and there were many – a close inner circle, which in my mind meant the great prophets, but there were also great concourses of beings with them.  They just were, and I knew it, but it was simple, peaceful…it just was.

Heavenly Mother spoke to me – I think largely because I was drawn to her.  I am more easily drawn to women.  I trust them.  She gently, gradually, mind to mind, confirmed what I “saw” from the high mountain.

She made it clear that all people are included in the peace that we felt.  It was the peace of all creation, all existence…all dimensions, all time, space, being.  It doesn’t matter what they might be doing, or might have done; this peace is theirs if they wish to include themselves.  She asked me if I would invite (name withheld – but someone with whom I struggle), and I said, without hesitation, “Why, of course!  No one should be excluded”.  This spontaneous, sincere, love-filled response pleased her, and it pleased me, and I knew it was truth.

I think much transpired during this visit.  It contained little detail.  It just was.  It was good.  It was peace and love and harmony and unity.  I knew I was one with them.

As I continued to contemplate my view from the high mountain, I understood, once again, that love just is.  We can choose it, or we can reject it.  If we choose it, we are one with God and all creation.  Love just is, and it is not.  It is not judgment.  It is not fear.  It is not rejection or conditional.  It is not “maybe – if you do this and this and this”.  But it is free will…agency, if you prefer.

All scripture is true, and it all teaches this love.  There is much scripture that is not canonized.

All commandments are love.  There is nothing that does not fall within its rule.

Lastly, what does it mean to “Be my ascended self” as Jesus recently counseled me?  It means to trust the things I have been taught.  The source of that teaching is unimpeachable.  I have asked sincerely, and it has been given in purity.  Furthermore, it means to act…in love.  It means to know the God in each person that I meet, and to love them without fear.  And it means to share with those who will receive.

I offer these things in love and purity, which is the name of Jesus Christ.

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Loving Jesus

I said, “Lord, who are you…really?”

He said, “I am the purity that you seek.

I have no need to exist.

I simply am”

For the past year or so, I have been practicing approaching the Lord without ego.

It takes a lot of practice.  It may always take a lot of practice.

Approaching without ego, in my case, means not asking for forgiveness, or protection, or saying “I’m sorry”.  It means being very, very real…and transparent…and saying “this is me.  I’m imperfect, yes, but I don’t expect you to fix that.  It just is.  I just am.  And I accept your love, as it is offered, in spite of that and any feelings of unworthiness that I may continue to harbor.”

More recently – within the past week or so – I’ve been trying to approach with even greater purity.  Something in me tells me there is a key here, that I can know Him better if I can strip myself even more of those nasty “jealousies and fears”, and expectations, and needs – except perhaps on behalf of others.   I’ve gotten better and better at trusting that, “something tells me” knowledge.

This morning, I processed the following thoughts:

I want to love Jesus not because He is the resurrected Lord, even if He is.

I want to love Jesus not because He is the source of salvation, even if He is.

I want to love Jesus not because He has the power and desire to protect, or grant righteous desires, or purify, even if He has that power.

I want to love Jesus not because He died on the cross, or wrought the atonement, and saved me from my sins, even if He did.

These reasons all seem kind of selfish to me, like I love Him because of what He can do for me.

No, I want to love the Jesus radically, without condition, and not for what He has done, or can do, or will do for me.

 

No, I want to love Jesus because of who He is!

 

I want to love Jesus because He is infinitely kind and patient.

I want to love Jesus because He is the very manifestation of grace, which I define as the willingness to love and accept someone for who they are…now!

I want to love Jesus because He is integrity, and honesty, and purity, with no deceit in Him.

I want to love Jesus because He listens without judgment and with complete empathy, and I somehow know that.

I want to love Jesus because He is that friend with whom I can share anything and everything.

I want to love Jesus because He is the perfect example of the pure love of Christ.

I want to love Jesus because I have become very, very comfortable with Him, with whatever presence we can work out together, with His voice, and with Him abiding in me.

I think that, if I can learn to love Him in this way, I can truly know Him.  I also think that, somehow, if I can learn to simply love Him for who He is, His being will somehow reflect back to me.  Not sure how that would work, but something tells me that it does.

And I’ve gotten better and better at trusting that, “something tells me” knowledge.

I think that’s called “Faith”, by the way.

I think if I can learn to love Him in this way, maybe I can learn to love others in this way – for who they are…now…and not for what I think they can do for me.

I think if I can learn to love Him in this way, I can become love.  And that is the great desire in my life.

I guess, when you look at it that way, I’m still being kind of selfish.

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