God has no Grandchildren

Years ago I had an exchange on social media with a friend of ours – Peggy Payne (she’s a wonderful writer, so check out her books). Here’s two of my responses…

1) Hi Peggy, I’m with you and the Gnostics. The Divine is not a head game of information and doctrine. God, Reality, Consciousness (whatever we care to call it) is a first-person experience. No one can tell us about it. We have to experience it for ourselves. That is why it can be said, “God has no grandchildren.”

2) Hi Peggy and company, The statement “God has no grandchildren” did not come from my poetry. I am not sure where it came from. If I read it, heard it or thought it. Where ever it came from, I believe it to be true. “Mystery school and libraries” sounds like a conflict; but I don’t think so. Spiritual truth lies in paradox.

I was reminded of this exchange recently and the phrase, “God has no grandchildren.” At a meeting last week, someone referenced this line from a Rumi poem, “Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” I think we’re using different words, but talking about the same idea.

Here’s Rumi’s poem in its entirety…

Who gets up early to discover the moment light begins?
Who finds us here circling, bewildered, like atoms?
Who, like Jacob blind with grief and age,
smells the shirt of his lost son
and can see again?
Who lets a bucket down and brings up
a flowing prophet? Or like Moses goes for fire
and finds what burns inside the sunrise?

Jesus slips into a house to escape enemies,
and opens a door to the other world.
Solomon cuts open a fish, and there’s a gold ring.
Omar storms in to kill the prophet
and leaves with blessings.

But don’t be satisfied with stories, how things
have gone with others. Unfold
your own myth, so everyone will understand
the passage, We have opened you.

Start walking toward Shams. Your legs will get heavy
and tired. Then comes a moment of feeling
the wings you’ve grown, lifting.

Saying Grace

I don’t say grace very often,
perhaps I should.

Acknowledging death,
as I am given life.

Plants no longer face the sun,
animals no longer breathe the air.

Am I aware of this sacrifice?
Have I put it to good use?

To see the Divine in every face,
to know God is closer then my breath.

That would be a start,
one meal at a time.

-Mike

I am not I

Recently, my wife Nancy posted this quote on her Facebook page… “If only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies, how very different our ideals of beauty would be.” To which I commented, “That’s what will be left when our bodies fail us.” That exchange reminds me of the following poem from a book, “Iron John,” that I read 5 years ago…

I am not I…
…I am this one.
Walking beside me, whom I do not see,
Whom at times I manage to visit,
And at other times I forget.
The one who forgives, sweet, when I hate,
The one who remains silent when I talk,
The one who takes a walk when I am indoors,
The one who will remain standing when I die.

Every Man has His Own Vocation

”Every man has his own vocation. The talent is the call. There is one direction in which all space is open to him. He has faculties silently inviting him thither to endless exertion. He is like a ship in a river; he runs against obstructions on every side but one; on that side all obstruction is taken away, and he sweeps serenely over God’s depths into an infinite sea. This talent and this call depend on his organization, or the mode in which a general soul incarnates in him. He inclines to do something which is easy to him, and good when it is done, but which no other man can do. He has no rival. For the more truly he consults his own powers, the more difference will his work exhibit from the work of any other. When he is true and faithful, his ambition is exactly proportional to his powers. By doing his work he makes the need felt which only he can supply.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

God is Always Ready

What did Mike write?God is always ready,
but we are very unready;
God is near to us,
but we are far from Him;
God is within, but we are without;
God is at home, but we are strangers.

- Meister Eckhart

Johannes Eckhart was one of the greatest of Christian mystics. He was born at Hochheim in Thringen, Germany, in 1260, and entered the Dominican order when he was 15. Later he became a distinguished professor and taught at different universities. Eckhart had a beautiful and powerful style which made him very popular in his own time. Unfortunately this led to accusations of heresy. Eckhart defended himself by saying that he believed in the indivisibility of God. And he was merely expressing his experiences of his profound contemplation upon God. The public eminence of Eckhart protected him from any harm but after his death many of his works were condemned and suppressed. Perhaps because of this he became a marginalized figure. However recently his works have attracted interest of God seekers both Christian and non Christian. Eckhart’s sayings speak with the authority of one who has experienced mystic union.

Heaven on Earth: from Ego-self to True-self.

What did James Say?

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In this short audio (less than 2 minutes), James describes how we can experience Heaven on Earth. We have the divine pattern (paradigm*) within us, this Seed has all of our potential. In the darkness of our Earth-bound life, the Light pulls on us. In our attraction to the Light, we can break through our ego’s shell (false-self) and realize our true-self. And then we can experience Heaven on Earth.

*The original Greek term παράδειγμα (paradeigma) was used in Greek texts such as Plato’s Timaeus as the model or the pattern that the Demiurge (god) used to create the cosmos.

 

 

Unitive Consciousness: Once a Man, Twice a Child

What did Mike write?The first half of our life is the building up of our ego. The second half of our life is the breaking through of our ego. Essential for our early survival (much like the egg is to the bird), our egos must later be cracked in order for our inner spirit to fly. For that to happen, we must experience the pain of living. But this pain is not suffering for the sake of suffering, rather it is suffering for the sake of transformation. Our cage has to be rattled so we are no longer comfortable. Our assumptions about who we are and the world must be challenged.

We have three choices about pain in this life. We can try to avoid it, we can try to deny it, or we can let it transform us. The avoidance and denial of pain is usually accomplished by diversions and addictions. Accumulating more than one needs, drinking and eating too much, working and partying too much, climbing social ladders; craving more and more of what doesn’t heal us or satisfy our real hunger. This is why the Buddha recommended the Middle Path. And also why the Bible warns, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” The rich man, like the bird in the gilded cage, never learns to fly.

Or we can let our pain transform us. In that space of unease, we take our first steps across a threshold. Leaving our ego’s cage, we fall through the darkness and discover our true self, our soul. And then, with our newly discovered selves we can rise into the light of unitive consciousness. This falling and rising is called the Pascal Mystery in Catholic theology. By falling, we find out who we are and our unique purpose (where the world’s needs and our deepest desires meet). By rising we rediscover our connection to each other and the world. This re-cognition of unitive consciousness (our second childhood) is our glimpse of Nirvana or Heaven.

James on the Searcher’s Roadmap Show

James Alston will be interviewed on the Searcher’s Roadmap Show, Monday August 1 at 9:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time). It is an hour show that can be accessed 2 ways.

You can go to http://www.blogtalkradio.com/renford/2011/08/02/searchers-road-map-radio-show (which is the RBR Network).

You can also call in at 347-838-9142.

There are 50 phone lines. (Those without a computer or who are not online can listen this way.) Also, anybody with a question can call this number as well. They will need to hold down the “1” button on their touch tone dial to flag Cecil McDaniel (the moderator), so they can ask a question.

James Alston

From form to the Formless, from Adam mind to Christ mind.

What did James Say?

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This 5 minute audio is packed! James starts with the concepts of the first-fruits and the engrafted Word. The Word that was breathed into Adam; but then we forgot our true nature. James describes unconsciousness as like being dead. But by getting our priorities right (putting Spirit first), we rise again into consciousness. We move from form to the Formless, from Adam mind to Christ mind.

We’re here to help each other back into full consciousness. Like bridges over troubled water; Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Muhammad (and all the great prophets) came back and walked with their brothers.

And finally, the nothingness of evil (resist not evil). We don’t give power to evil. And we shouldn’t export it by trying to fix other people. James points out how some of our Muslim friends have misunderstood jihad. The Prophet meant it as an internal struggle (not fighting other folks). And see how this relates to the last scripture quote below, “for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”

John 1:13 King James Version (KJV)
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

James 1:18-21 King James Version (KJV)
18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of Truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

Real inner knowing.

What did James Say?In this 2-minute audio, James discusses the power of real inner knowing. Beginning with a reference to Psalm 127 as the foundation, he creates a modern-day parable which compares the Internet to our connection with the Divine.

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