We just finished a lengthy lesson; The Journey to Oneness. We’ve been looking at the three stages on the spiritual journey since the early part of the year. We’re finished now. Sort of. One quick appendix to the lesson. Should finish in 2-3 weeks. Potential pitfalls that derail us on the journey. Have a listen, Doug […]
Putting in a lifetime of religious energy and focus... only to find we completely missed the point. I can't imagine many regrets more painful. Let's not do that, shall we? Have a listen. If we don't get the starting point right (which I suggest we haven't), all our energies will be for naught. We'll miss the point.
We become like the God we worship. That’s a good thing… if our Story about God is healthy. But from time to time, it becomes quite toxic. When that happens, we need to do some rethinking. So lets… Abraham is the father of all Jews, Christians, and Muslims. He started this whole thing off hearing […]
I get distracted. I bet you do too. Emails, car repair, conflicts that need to be resolved, books that need to be read. And sometimes when we get distracted, the things we deem most important can get away from us. And that's true for you and me. And it's true for the whole of Western Christianity. We get distracted (a lot). And when we do, we miss the really important stuff about our faith.
If we don't think about the end of a thing, we rarely get the beginning or middle right. If we don't think about where a journey is going, we rarely point ourselves in the right direction. A lot of words are said in the our religion. A lot of energies are focused. A lot of interpretations of what is the right and true way to be Christian. But if we say those words, focus those energies, or make those interpretations without reference to the whole point of the spiritual life, odds are we won't get them right. And look around,
History is a funny thing. People tend to remain the same, but cultures don't. As Christians, we have missed an important part of our history. We started in a Middle-Eastern, Hebrew worldview, but around 325 AD, we migrated into a Greco-Roman one. And scriptures written in one worldview, don't always translate well into the other. In this lesson, I suggest that Jesus' story about the sheep and goats didn't translate well at all. Since it has been so influential in the way we Christians see our world, we ought to have a second look at it.
We long for a world (albeit an impractical one) where everyone gets along and there are no wars or suffering. We comfort ourselves about not having this as our reality by turning Jesus into a "poet". His words are often interpreted almost as if they were dreams or lofty goals. When Jesus describes "eternal life", we think of it in a similar manner as being something supernatural and not available in the present. But the phrase "eternal life" should actually be translated as "life that springs from the eternal" and part of this is the journey from two-ness to one-ness.
I’m going on a walk. (details). The purpose of the walk is the ancient practice of solitude. It is one of the contemplative practices we talk about that works with the deconstructive process that is part of the Journey to Oneness. Have a listen, Doug
In this lesson we talk about some of the texture of the life required to develop the interior fortitude we need in the further reaches of the journey. More on the curriculum of virtue, and the demands of limits.
There's more to say about the first way-station on our journey to oneness. We Americans have a certain disdain for tradition; "the way it's always done." This has made us who we are and has many, many benefits. But every gift has a dark side.
"False-Self." We use that term a lot at NRCC. It has to do with making the negative effects of framing the ego as the self. Self, it turns out, is too expansive a reality to be contained in the thoughts we think, the feelings we have, the personalities we were born with. Building our lives on this foundation, doesn't bear up over a lifetime. And yet, as we're talking about the journey into the life Jesus lived, we realize an important stop on the journey, is to position our ego-self strongly. That, it turns out, helps afford us the mettle
Jesus was hard to understand. So hard, it got him killed. Let's be real... he was kind of weird: - speak to the mountain, and you can put it in the sea - love the people who hurt you - and so forth So what's a follower of Jesus to do?
When I was a kid, I got rewards for memorizing the ancient proverbs. Here’s one that is still stuck in my head… A hoary head is a crown of glory, if it is found on a man or woman who has walked the way of righteousness. I didn’t know what “hoary” meant. (That wasn’t the […]