Tag Archives: opinions

Book of John Ch 3 

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.[a]

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Pharisees were the folks who knew all the rules and followed them. Back in the day, they were seen as the religious 1%’ers. They were doing everything right, after all. They followed all the Laws and everyone knew it; they tended to be the elite both on earth and (supposedly) in the eyes of God. So when people read this part of the Christian Bible, they are to know that the risk Nicodemus took in coming to talk to Jesus was a big deal. That’s why he had to sneak in. It must have been really frustrating to hear such non-sense about being born again.

Here’s the thing. In Northern Aramaic, to be born again means to change the way you think and behave. Nicodemus spoke Southern Aramaic, so he wouldn’t have understood the slang. (h/t to the Lamsa Bible) How many times have you felt like you went out on a limb in your spiritual practice and were given what sounded like nonsense as a reward for your hard work? I’ve been told that the reason I don’t have lots of wealth is because I won’t take it, but I’m standing there asking for it. How frustrating! What do you mean; I don’t know how to receive?!!? How many times have I been in a class and been asked if I felt the energy shift and thought, “No, I have no idea what you mean.”

What I have learned is that it’s best to ask for clarification when I am in such a situation. I’m not afraid of looking stupid – I’m more concerned with missing the point of a valuable lesson. And if I don’t get it then, I trust that someday I will. Some night, I will wake from a deep sleep and say “Ohhhh! I get it!”

Post Election Thoughts

A lot of people are in fear this morning as we face the consequences of the presidential election. A lot of people are very happy, too. If you are in the first group, I urge you to go to prayer. If you can’t get to a place of love on your own, if your grief is not ready for that, please make a point of calling a practitioner (contact information is at www.cslprescott.org). There is support available to you. And if there was ever a time to engage in spiritual practice, this is it.

As members of the Centers for Spiritual Living, we as a community need to remember a few things. Our primary principle is Oneness. Other important values include diversity and inclusivity. I believe that as Religious Scientists it is our calling to support our friends and neighbors who are of color, who are of other faiths and who are of the LGBTQ community. That support might be a phone call. It might be speaking up when we hear racist, homophobic or misogynistic talk. It might mean staying in constant prayer to know what is really ours to do. When we affiliated with the Centers for Spiritual Living, we agreed to practice the principles and espouse the values of the Centers. These are just a few.

And this is not the end of the world. It might be the end of the world we knew, or the end of our perception of the world we thought we lived in. However, I will point out that Ernest Holmes began defining this philosophy in the midst of World War I, and continued teaching it through the Great Depression and World War II. This is a great time to prove the principles. This is a time for which this philosophy was created. If we let go of it now, we prove that we never really knew Truth. It’s time to practice what we have studied, create that world that works for everyone and see the Christ in each other. Our calling is no less than this.

Elections

Well, today we come to the end of the 2016 Presidential election process. Some are heaving a sigh of relief. Some are still worried about what happens starting November 9th. And some have long since given up hoping for a government that we can respect. I hope, at least, you’re not one of the last group.

This philosophy teaches Oneness. That means, in part, that the government we elect is an accurate reflection of who we are in consciousness as a nation. And what do we do when we’ve created something we don’t like? We learn from it and change the thinking that created it.

So today, I’m offering you a new ballot. It has nothing to do with political parties, agendas or personality. You get to vote for joy or fear. You have a choice between victimhood and active participation in your life. You have a choice between poverty of all kinds or abundance in every area of your life. You vote. And your vote in consciousness gets added to the election. You can’t abstain on this one. You can’t refuse to go to the polls. If you exist, you are voting just by how you are in the world and in your head.

Here’s the good news. If you have trained your consciousness, if you have spent some time discovering your own thinking and learning how to stay positive, then you are not only a super-delegate, you are an executive member of the electoral college. A trained consciousness is always more powerful than an untrained one.

Today, I vote for less victimhood in my own experience and I do that by participating in creating that experience. Today I vote for joy. I vote for an abundance of money, friends, love, and good times. I vote for clarity around my own vision of life and what I actually want to do and be. And I vote for you to join me on this journey.

Party takes on a whole new meaning here, doesn’t it?

Trigger Warnings Part 2

God likes to make sure I have the lesson by giving me a practical application of the things I write about. So soon after I published the last post, I had an experience. I had been invited to see the Rocky Horror Show, which is something I’ve wanted to do since high school. I’ve seen the movie a couple times, but both times was either talking to other people or by myself and so not really all that into it. So we went to the show. I was gifted with a ticket, for which I was very grateful. I let them put the V on my forehead with bright red lipstick. I greeted several members of the congregation (you know who you are!) and laughed and had a great time during the first half. I talked to the producer during the intermission and was dared to wear the V to service then next morning. I was all in on that one – what harm could it do? Plus the producer said he’d make a donation if I did it.

Then the second half started. It begins with a scene in which Frank-N-Furter crawls into bed with first Janet and then Brad. Now, I know this is meant to be a comedy. I know the original show came out in 1975. I know the transvestite Doctor is a character that is meant to be over-the-top sexualized.  But during that scene, I got triggered. The scene (in my mind) exposes the rape culture that we live in. Even though both characters protest, even though Janet indicates she’s expecting her fiancé rather than this stranger, the Doctor engages continues the sexual assault.

Maybe it’s because I’ve worked with children who have a history of sexual assault that doesn’t look like the stranger-offering-candy story. Maybe it’s because of the latest political scandal that exposes a candidate’s attitude towards women as sexual objects. Maybe it’s just because I’m me and have the training and experience that I have, but that scene triggered me to the point that I had trouble paying attention to the rest of the show. I considered leaving but didn’t want to be rude. That in and of itself is part of the cultural attitude that American women deal with and participate in – not speaking up because it might be seen as rude.

As I said in my last post, my opinion is not really the point. The point is my consciousness and what I am able to learn from my experiences. So I didn’t wear the V on Sunday. I didn’t refer to the experience on Sunday because I was still trying to get my balance back. I don’t think less of the others who were there, or who participated in the show, in any way. I just realize that this show is not something I’ll ever need to go to again, and that I can share my reasons if asked.

And at the same time, I can ask that others consider what we might need to change in our behavior and thinking in order to create a world where sexual assault is the rare occurrence rather than the experience of most of the women I know. The statistics say that one in five American women will suffer from attempted or completed rape. Those are just the cases that go reported. Those are just the cases that include actual rape as opposed to catcalling, groping, threatening and all the other stuff that happens. I’m willing to give up certain forms of entertainment in order to let those experiences disappear from our culture.

As always, feel free to comment and share your own experience.

Trigger warnings

I think I should come with a trigger warning. Actually, I think spirituality should come with a trigger warning and as a spiritual leader, I should have one tattooed somewhere obvious. I decided this when I woke up to rain this morning and realized that sitting on the couch and getting caught up with the news was going to be my spiritual practice.

I saw whole bunches of opinions on which charity is most trustworthy if you want to help folks in Haiti now that they’ve been flooded. I saw opinions about the Susan G Komen foundation and whether or not they really are a great help in the search for a cure for breast cancer. And I saw lots and lots of opinions about the latest scandal in the presidential election.

I doubt any of you are under the impression that I don’t have a personal opinion about climate change, immigration, the election or how a person should speak to or about another person regardless of gender. However, my job isn’t to spout my opinion. It’s not unlike my advice: free to everyone and worth every penny.

My job, and my calling in this world, is to look at what my opinion and how I express it says about my own state of consciousness. So for instance: in my opinion none of the current nominees for president is perfect. In my state of consciousness, none of them need to be. Asking for any individual to be perfect is asking for that person to lie to me. If we require everyone in public office to be perfect, we will only have liars running for office. People who are real, people who are willing to get their hands dirty and who admit when they mess up or change their stance on the issues because they have learned new facts – these people are the ones I like and tend to trust. Authenticity is one of my core values; human perfection is not.

Some folks will quote Dr. Holmes as having said two different things about the same issue. Depending on when he was writing, he might contradict himself on a specific issue. If the man had never changed his thinking in the course of his forty plus years in his career, I certainly wouldn’t be teaching this philosophy which is based on the idea that we can change our thinking.

Although I have the greatest of respect for our founder, I don’t know that I would necessarily ask him questions how to live my life and deal with my specific issues. He gives us pointers on how to think, how to examine our thinking and encourages us to actually think for ourselves. He can’t tell me how to be a woman in the 21st Century, dealing with the issues of this particular election. Similar situations, yes. This specific election, no. I can make intelligent guesses based on what he faced in his time and how he handled it.

And that brings me to the trigger warning. In this election and in every part of your life, as a spiritual human being, you will be triggered. As you become more conscious, you will be triggered more. Eventually, you will come to see all those buttons that get pushed as a gift – they show you where your shadow is hiding, where you have healing left to do in your consciousness and where your green and growing edges are. Consider yourself warned by the Chief Button Pusher at the Center for Spiritual Living Prescott.