Archive for May, 2007

What color is your God?

May 31, 2007

  In mid-March of this year, I attended the Field Licensing Intensive at Unity Village – a week of exploration and learning, bonding with classmates and making new connections.  One of the workshops presented by Rev. E. J. Niles was entitled Exploration into our Consciousness of God.  Using the concepts of Spiral Dynamics as her base, Rev. Niles illustrated and discussed the evolution of our understanding and awareness of “God” from the Instinctive-level God of the early Stone Age to the Integrative-level God that has begun to enter our awareness today.At each level of consciousness evolution, how we view and speak about God has shifted, changed, expanded, morphed.  To me today, it seems that we as a species are holding an amazing array of ‘views of God’ – more views at one time than at any other time in our past.  We find elements of your Egocentric Red God – Power god – warrior – concerned only with “his” own people – guiltless.   We have your Mythic Blue God – separate and apart from humans – ethnocentric – a god of law – patriarchal; then we have your Scientific Orange God – universal – humanist – giant within waiting to be empowered – requiring no dogma – embracing materialism and pragmatism; and then there’s your Sensitive Green God – both masculine and feminine – relativistic – god of the downtrodden – honors multiple mystical paths – against war unless for righteous cause; finally, we have your Integrative Yellow God – universal – god of systems, integration and paradox – manifests “godself” through evolutionary process – fosters the ‘magnificence of existence’ – god of all religions and peoples.  Whew!!!!  Are we sure that the statement—we’re all praying to the same God—is true?   And yet, when I talk with Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists and scientists about what God is, somewhere in their answer they each talk about  a knowing—an experience of something greater—that is able to transcend culture and language.   In her book, Lessons in Truth, Unity author Emilie Cady writes “…God is Spirit, or the creative energy that is the cause of all visible things.”   Rev. Niles ended her presentation with this statement from Robert Kegan: “God is the name we give to the ceaseless, restless, creative flow of energy in the universe.”Could it be that all the discord and confusion in our world today flows from our desire to normalize our understanding of that knowing, that experience?  If that is so, it would seem to me that our primary task as fellow travelers on this amazing planet is to find in our own God—whatever color that God may be— this creative, causative, ever-present energy, without adornments of culture and language and to allow that energy to flow. 

I choose love

May 18, 2007

Reflections on an article by Ken Wilber

May 16, 2007

I stumbled across an column written by Ken Wilber entitled – what else – An Integral Spiritualityon Beliefnet.  In it he sets out”…. seven general items [or currents] that regularly recur in humanity’s attempts to know God…”  He adds that “….these similarities would seem to suggest, among other things, that there are spiritual patterns at work in the universe, at least as far as we can tell, and these spiritual patterns announce themselves with impressive regularity wherever human hearts and minds attempt to attune themselves to the cosmos in all its radiant dimensions.”   If this is so, does that mean that we humans are “hardwired” for spirituality?  Wilber would suggest yes and that the variety of expression of that spirituality are based on a number of factors, including but not limited to perspectives, such as first-person, second-person and third-person perspectives, and levels of consciousness and development. 
The “integral” spirituality that Wilber articulates would be one that “…claims to leave nothing essential out.  It would be a spirituality that in principle could be recognized and even practiced by believers in all the world’s religions without abandoning their own essentials.  If would be inclusive and comprehensive….”
If this integral spirituality is possible, would it not also include, in addition to the accepted practices of prayer, meditation, yoga, contemplation, modern psychological and psychotherapeutic measures?  Would it not “….transcend and include science”? 
So what are these seven general currents or similarities that recur in almost all great wisdom traditions?  As Wilber states in his column, “this is not the last word on the topic, but the first word, a simple list of suggestions to get the conversation going.  Most of the great wisdom traditions agree that:
1.  Spirit, by whatever name, exists.
2.  Spirit, although existing “out there,” is found “in here,” or revealed within to the open heart and mind.
3.  Most of us don’t realize this Spirit within, however, because we are living in a world of sin, separation, or duality – that is, we are living in a fallen, illusory, or fragmented state.
4. There is a way out of this fallen state (of sin or illusion or disharmony); there is a Path to our liberation [or wholeness].
5.  If we follow this Path to its conclusion, the result is a Rebirth or Enlightenment, a direct experience of Spirit within and without, a Supreme Liberation, which
6.  marks the end of sin and suffering, and
7.  manifests in social action of mercy and compassion on behalf of all sentient beings.”

If these 7 patterns or currents make sense, we might just have a starting point for dialogue.  We could debate the details without calling into questions the foundation of our various “traditions.”  I believe he’s on to something!

More on this in later postings!

Lessons from the Maypole

May 8, 2007

Just as some instruction before actually dancing the maypole help us to create a beautiful pattern and a powerful experience.  When we actually dance the maypole, we discover key lessons that will move us through life with grace and ease.  Here are some of the lessons that the maypole dance has taught me – applying them to the broader experience that is my life is the fun part!!!!!

Lessons from the Maypole

* In order todance, I must have at my center, Source – God – Universe – Spirit (the pole) that connects my heaven and my earth* Only if all thoughts and ideas (ribbons) are connected to that Source can there be a maypole dance

* A individual cannot effectively dance the maypole alone* There are many patterns that can be created in the dance and we get to pick ours

* Diversity makes a more beautiful weave* Music and laughter always make the dance more fun! 

Tomorrow’s lesson

May 5, 2007

The title of tomorrow’s lesson is “Lessons from the Maypole.”  The subtitle might be “The Golden Rule.”  It’s interesting how those to concepts got hooked together in the “daily word.” 
The elements of a maypole would be the earth, the pole, the brightly colored ribbons, the flowers, the dancers, and the rebirthing time of year.  The Golden Rule can be found in almost every major religious tradition and directs us, teaches us, commands us to be aware of each other – of all things – as though they were us – honoring each individual as unique and of worth.  In dancing the maypole during the first days of spring, do we find a joyful, active, colorful way to represent that interaction, that connecting weave, that glorious sense of oneness, the powerful connection between earth and sky, the ability to hold unity and duality in the same space?  Maybe.  Let’s meditate on that and see what emerges tomorrow!

Are we listening?

May 5, 2007

A quote from Quantum Listening: From Practice to Theory To Practice by Pauline Oliveros:   “Listening is the key to performance. Hearing is the passive basis of listening. Hearing is involuntary. Hearing protects us from unseen dangers. We can hear without listening. (Unconsciousness) We choose to listen inwardly or outwardly to the past, present or future. (Consciousness) Listening actively directs one’s attention to what is heard, to the interaction of the relationships of sounds and modes of attention. We hear in order to listen. We listen in order to interpret our world and experience meaning. Our world is a complex matrix of vibrating energy, matter and air just as we are made of vibrations. Vibration connects us with all beings and connects us to all things interdependently. We open in order to listen to the world as a field of possibilities and we listen with narrowed attention for specific things of vital interest to us in the world. We interpret what we hear according to the way we listen. Through accessing many forms of listening we grow and change whether we listen to the sounds of our daily lives, the environment or music.” 
How often am I hearing, rather than listening – deep listening?  And when I’m really listening, how many layers – how many dimensions – can I recognize? 

Hello world!

May 3, 2007

Well, I have finally taken the leap – blogging – now we’ll see what comes forth to share!  The next day or two will be spent learning how to use this site and then watch out World!!!