What is Dual Counsciousness? Not Consciousness at All

The essence of non-duality, or spiritual oneness in spiritual now is that what we must in understanding it, consider that its opposite cannot exist; and, if we insist it does exist, we are put into, or we place ourselves into a sleep, where all we think we see is only real to us; where the very basis of realty, Truth, is true for all, not different for each of its separated parts our consciousness or identity here as we see it in this world.

In Truth, truth is true. If we try to separate anything out from it, it cannot be true. We cannot be real if we have decided duality is real. There is no way to live in a dual world without believing in illusions. Even our breathing here is dual: in and out. We do seem to live, although only to ourselves. Only non-dual pure consciousness is real. Well, almost. Duality on the other hand establishes by its nature an un-real thought system. A dream. The reason dreams are so powerful, while illusory, is we continue to live in the Power we have never left, the mind of our Creator, within a loving Father, which art in heaven, where HeShe has never not been and always will be. Where, hold onto your seats, we are dreaming we are in our own world, a world kind of a mess (chaotic at best, cruel and vengeful, at worst,) because God did not create it. Fear not about this. Our Father is holy and His holiness is bestowed on His beloved child, what we really are, dwelling in His mind eternally safe, as we awaken to where we have never not been, heaven, His Kingdom he shares with us. As it is in Heaven, so it is in earth, our holy mind joined forever with the One Holy Mind.

To awaken we do need help, which He lovingly provides. At least one of us, split off, who fully recognized what he is, demonstrated we can do the one thing we think impossible: to not look outside ourselves to project onto, but look within and see we are the Light, the Light is strength that makes us all invulnerable. Strength through love for one another. I can love for you if you cannot find Love in this moment. Yes, to cut through the dream of untruth, we need our daily bread as we stand together as the “we” in we-ness to take this bread and share with all those as holy as he. And we as he, whether or not we know this. Seeking is enough, as He who speaks for God, speaks to us every second, as he uses time we made to separate from Him, for us.

We give now in our holiness, forgiving ourselves, as in that holy instant we forgive everyone, in a dream where we thought we were alone and found ourselves belonging to all who are born of All to give to all. Now we live. Living in His world where the only temptation can be believing we might lose our holiness and think the impossible again: He seems at times to have left us. But as I look into all their eyes as we join together in his name I can now only say: Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory, for you are dear child exactly that One. Amen.

It is God’s strength in you that is the light in which you see, as it is His Mind with which you think. ACIM. 92
Bob Pajer©

Book Review: “Hearing God in Conversation – How to Recognize His Voice Everywhere, 2016 by Samuel C. Williamson.

Reviewed by Bob Pajer

“God is always speaking to us, and he wants us to hear him. The first time I heard him in my bedroom—and I really did hear him—I wasn’t looking to hear from God. I thought he was a hoax. But he spoke anyway because he longs—God himself longs!—for conversations with his family and friends.” So Samuel C. Williamson speaks to his readers in “Hearing God in Conversation. How to recognize His voice everywhere.” 2016 Kregel Publications.

Despite the “we” connotation, I share with Williamson the idea God wants a relationship with all His children.  That is of course as I understand God, dualistically.  Meaning I can’t really see or hear God, but I do get a sense of God’s presence in my mind, a presence that applies to everyone: of all colors, cultures, ethnicity, nationality, those who are in trouble, those who suffer, all who hunger, all who have made decisions that have taken a violent twist, those who believe they have a path to God (and others who don’t), all who thirst for Oneness with Him, all who don’t…….everyone.  God’s world, unlike the dream we dream as a world, is inclusive.  God loves His creation no matter what I see as the world. God weeps for His children and their insanity of leaving their home in Him — all thoughts in a separated dualistic world.  In truth, “God is, and we cease to speak.” (A Course in Miracles.”, ACIM.)  I think the “we” means we and God cease to speak, for speaking is a lesser and very limited form of communication.  God has better ideas.

The problem in hearing God’s voice is that He can’t speak to us. Not because He does not want to communicate, but because He doesn’t speak. Speaking is our thing, not God’s. Communion is God’s connection to us, and it is silent. We can’t bring God into our world, the one we make up to keep God out. Or, to try to get Him to come down hear and make nice. God is God and we are a part of His mind, where communication is perfect. We have chosen separation from God and there’s no way to connect with Him in a world that has made this choice.  And God cannot lower His power to meet join us where we only seem to be.

God is, and we cease to speak. My relationship with God is silence. Like the rests in music, which are equal to the sound in music. Take the rests out of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, perhaps the greatest musical work given to us, and there is just chaos. God’s creation needs silence, as a part of communication. We, His children, decided not to speak with him ever again, in separation and continue this way as long as we think we can have our way of specialness in a made up world of insanity.  Alas, God has other plans of course. God suffers our decision not to communicate with Him and lets us rest, like sleep off a bad hangover.

All dualistic statements, put forth, hopefully, to help us return to our original state of mind, which is non-dualism, pure consciousness, holy perception, and Oneness, where neither ends of this false dichotomy  mean anything at all.

The key to separation from God is duality. We even breath duality here: in and out. Nothing in this world is non-dual. However, what we think here, while dual thinking, can open our minds to non-duality, and our state of Oneness with our creator, a state that has always been, has never not been, and will always be.  We only dream otherwise. And God’s plan for salvation through the Holy Spirit is the only non-duality there is on earth, or in our dream of where we are. God will never come to us, we must go to Him. According to His plan. The Holy Trinity is set up for exactly that and nothing else.  In a Oneness beyond our imagination, in a dualistic insane thought system, lead by the ego, we think otherwise, but it does not matter.  The Holy Spirit’s role is solely one:  to bring us home. Again, us being everyone.  No need to worry, there is no way to exclude yourself, nor anyone else.  Because this is God’s will, it will be done. “Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.”  Noting that Jesus says in his prayer, simply, “in earth”, not “as it is in earth.”  Because it isn’t.

We are in a state of mind, whereas if you are breathing in this world, you are dreaming a dream of separation. That is a real bummer for the only connection there is in the universe: we to God in unity with Christ and, while we seem to be here, the Holy Spirit, who does speak to us. In fact, He does whatever he decides, in order to get our attention, for which the Holy Trinity was formed, as God’s Answer to our decision to do something we, in reality can’t do, separate from our Source.  Jesus said, John 14:16, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—“ Which means I believe, Jesus knew we haven’t direct contact with God, but we have for as long as we need it, His Voice, His Redeemer, Corrector in the Holy Spirit. Who speaks to us according to God’s plan, but through Christ in our own hearts. And by our own means we will hear His voice through Christ and know it is His Voice. The important point is that Voice is already in us. Christ and God are One, in all of us — every person on earth, and that is Jesus’ message made clear, we are, above all,  to love one another to hear it. To see one another as remaining how God created all of us, as a Son/Daughtership of God, Christ. We are all His Children in Him. Everyone an integral part of All. We will all return to Him, as we get our unified act together.  Which, again, Jesus means in his prayer, “in earth as it is in heaven”, a dual thought in itself, but praying for non-duality.

If we are not listening and being vigilant of the works of the Holy Spirit it is difficult for us to think we have communication with God. That is why the Holy Spirit focuses on our only function in this world, forgiveness, seeing the world of the Holy Spirit in each other. The dangers of thinking, wondering if we are hearing God, are well put in Williamson’s book. I believe if we hear truth we cannot not know it is truth, for truth is true. For all. God does communicate with us. In A Course in Miracles, Jesus tells us, “Revelation is intensely personal and cannot be meaningfully translated. (My italics.)  That is why any attempt to describe it in words is impossible. Revelation induces only experience. Miracles, on the other hand, induce action……….Revelation is literally unspeakable because it is an experience of unspeakable love.” I believe these are Jesus’ words. And he is laying out the roles of each part of the Trinity, that is One.  Jesus is in charge of miracles.  The Holy Spirit is in charge of communication between God and the Son. Should you believe you are on the receiving end of revelation, enjoy the experience. But I think we should all know we are “out of communication” with God, a blank spot in, as we perceive it, creation being the most intimate of realities, God’s love for His children.

Separation from God is impossible.   But , if we think we got it, so powerful is the Mind of God, where we find we can think what we want. Yet Life teaches us the consequences of our thinking, from which no thought goes by without an effect. Every instant of wrong-mindedness is corrected by the Holy Spirit, through our relationships in this world that we have chosen to stake out a life.  Suffering often is a part of correction, not by God’s choice, however, but by ours.

In 1987, I remember the day and moment when I awakened to a clear message from somewhere. I was just beginning my conscious intent to find a spiritual path. I had begun hanging around with a bunch of people who had everything I wanted:  compassion, faith, hopefulness, and goodness — and they were all happy, it seemed as apart of living a forgiving way of life.  Sin was not a part of their lives, although mistakes were dealt with by amends, change. At times they laughed irreverently, as though God had a sense of humor. They never took themselves too seriously it seemed, but they were clearly serious about Jesus’ teaching, although they never referred to that as such. They were truly about the Father’s work in their lives. I saw them cry with grief. But even that turned grief into love. There are no big deals , they would say. One said to me one day, “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.” Lovely, I thought. Their forgiveness practice was more about overlooking mistakes,  while holding a steely glare at what you are: God’s perfect child, within God’s plan for salvation, in the light because darkness cannot be. I simply wanted what they had and just had to figure out how to get it for myself. They were all beyond what I had known as religion. I came to know they all had a common way with a spiritual goal: a spiritual program which with their own concept of God, and above all they walked the talk. And should they miss that, they could always choose again. And I watched them do exactly that. And everyone was welcome, even if you had your last meal with as a bottle of whiskey and something out of the trash can on the street. Above all, however, as I stated earlier, they were all happy, an experience of happiness that would follow them into their darkest moments. In their words, “life can deal you a card at anytime, which you alone would have to deal with, but you will never be asked to deal with it alone.” Or, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” Or, simply if something’s not right, you will know, and you can choose again.” “Everyone is welcome.”

So in order to follow them, to have what they had, I decided to embark on a spiritual program. The first thing that came to me was, “read the Bible, Bob” So I bought the whole Bible on tape.  To follow through with my plan I made a vow to listen to one tape a night before sleeping. Starting with Genesis, I liked the “And it was good” part. Then it came to Adam and Eve, and what I heard was the so called fall of man — what I think now to be the fall of God as well.   Man and God have fallen together in Genesis, at least according to man. Man into disobedience, God into anger and condemnation. The latter to the point of kicking this poor naked man and his wife out of the garden, place two angry angels at the gate, and tell man you are no longer wanted here. I stopped reading and sadly said to myself, “You (?) have got to do better than that to have me go on with my intent to read the Bible and become spiritual.” And I went to sleep. I did not think about who I might be addressing my comment to.

When I awakened (good word to describe what happened) I hear a voice  sort of not a voice. Perhaps my voice saying some things. I was not sure I wanted to listen. But it seemed to keep talking and I did not seem to be able to turn it off. Deeply personal and very pointed at Bob. The voice told the following story to me as I lay there still half asleep. It was an intense moment but peaceful. In the best way I can tell you, as I don’t remember the words exactly, it went on to tell me this:

Adam, where are you? God was really saying, in the phrase, “Where are you?, knowing of course exactly where Adam was, in your relationship to Me?  Now Adam was still in the middle of God’s gift of Creation. He had it all, yet there was nothing to have. Having did not mean anything but Being. God gives all, I pondered later. There’s nothing to have. There’s nothing to search for, there’s nothing to become. We are. As He is. There are no words. Just an outpouring of love, which we cannot, and will never understand in a dual world. So already the ego god is right on the edge of becoming real.   for us. Adam is in God’s heart. Adam now makes our mistake, the mistake we make everyday we breath here. Fear enters his mind upon a decision to hide something from someone. He could have said, “God I messed up. Made a mistake. Temptation was too much for me. Sorry, but I know I don’t have to tell you that because You don’t condemn.  And perhaps laughed a bit at the silly idea that God would now stop loving him. Instead he hides some more, God finds him again and Adam makes the one fatal mistake he never had to make but thought he did because he changed his mind about God. This, now new god suspects his guilt. Calls it out and Adam gets really scared now and blames his wife. (At this very moment couples therapy started as a real business) As guilt entered his mind it did a few things we live with today. What I did, God will not forgive. God now becomes what he is not, and so does everyone else, all very suitable to the ego: a condemning and punishing something out there that is going to find us and kill us. If we’re lucky because the pain of separation is so great it is almost beyond most of us who feel separation. Adam of course senses all this and his blame of his wife is meant somehow deep down in his expanding ego, the answer. Blame the other person. I am never really lost until I blame someone else. Its enough I blame my self, but when I put it on another of God’s children, there are serious consequences to come, which we minimize, or don’t see at all. We think we think apart from God and everyone else. That is what dualism is. And there were consequences. Without a merciful God we are lost. We become God.

Fortunately God always loves his children, there is nothing we can do to change that in any way. God will simply not change His mind about us.

Not all of this was unfolding in that moment upon awakening in 1987, but most of it. I had to think it many times and have many, many more experiences to connect the dots and fill in what I was being taught. Butt the Holy Spirit, who I’ve learned with always answer, if I ask. That is His job, open to everyone.

So the story has come to mean to me, that this happened in God’s child’s mind, as it unfolded God changed for this human being. And it changed because Adam forgot to laugh. You can’t change God, although Adam got scared, as we do. If you do try, you will seem to change yourself, and all of your relationships as well. We cannot think of God one way and our brothers and sisters another way. Jesus message is simple yet always unequivocal. Practical and not esoteric. It is the message I saw in my friends. Adam thought that God would punish him so he brought God down to our level and made him into a punishing being who would take away our eternal connection to Him. A frightening thought and a mistake. I believe it is being corrected, but not by us. God put Adam asleep, it says in the Bible, and he was never awakened there. We I’m sure will hear somehow come to know how this will take place, as we let go and let God. The Holy Sprit is with for this purpose. As Jesus tells us.

Was it God who spoke to me that morning in 1987. Well, God is in everything. However, its easier for me to see it as one moment when I asked for something, something very beautiful. Although I did not know the beauty of it until I seemed to hear it. The Holy Spirit will answer every call to beauty and truth here. That is His function. He knows everything about us. Don’t ask me how that can be so, but it is. And he knows everything in God’s Mind, because we are there. All are called to this in their own personal way.

Our author has a beautiful message he tells us in his own way. Whenever I hear a brother say he’s listening to God, I have the deepest respect for the thought. No matter how he tells it.

I don’t agree with how it came, I do agree with Williamson’s message on the other hand, but not all of it. I doubt its God speaking with regard to Christianity. God is not a Christian. He is everyone. If we listen carefully, God is in every Yoga class, (see Appendix B, p. 208.) as well as St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle, WA and His message is always the same, forgiveness is your only function in the world you made and it is your only way home to me. I think God would also tell us, we haven’t done anything that will change His mind about His children in their dreams. The end of suffering is not a loss and when we all awaken we’ll just know dreams aren’t real. Not that we don’t suffer, but that is not of God. We could choose otherwise, but don’t. Perhaps He would also say, you are exactly as I created you and the only thing you have ever done that matters is love, for that is the only truth, even in your made up world. Love matters. God would say if he spoke, I will keep your eternal home safe for you. “Surely goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life, as these cannot be hidden, and you will  choose to find your way to dwelling in my house forever.”
Review by Bob Pajer ©

I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

I am grateful today to open up my heart to God’s love.

My life and will in His care have offered me a glimpse of the wonder of His grace. What need have I to cling to specialness?  : the urge to wander alone in the dust of past pain, the struggles of bony fingers clinging to death and dying. Now are the thirst for His Word, already on my lips loose me from the terrifying fear of aloneness? He is here. He has come as I asked. What suffering can but seem to say “I suffer at your hand, brother, for I will to be apart from our Father.” Let me say instead, “Yes. There is one who has all power, you, as you rest in His Oneness. Today let us rest together in gratitude we have never been separate, but rather in the unity of His holy will.

Should we chose to listen, music touches the soul, awakens us to what is now, where God is and we cease to speak.

…”thou shalt not want.”

For a long time I took this to mean sacrifice, something I seemed to want but I should not have. If I were to get “it”God would be angry and punish me. Actually the Psalmist is telling me “thou can’t  …” want.  That have already been given all by All .  Everything God is, I am, save one thing:  I’m not God.

God asks no sacrifice.  He/She only asks that I remember who I am  and be happy, as He created me.  “I am as God created me.” I shall not want, for I have everything    And everything is All, forever. I need to look out at the world and say this very truth to everyone.  Love comes easy.  Grievances not so.

However, God never lets us off the hook with our nonsense. What I want in the world I made God interprets gently and sees to the steps I must take to change course. What I want I don’t need, can’t have, or would discard if I got it. It is that way with wants.  It is why I “shall not want.” The everything forever is all described for us in the rest of the psalm.

 

 

 

 

Decisions Follow Beliefs

Should we think that Buddhists don’t believe in God we also must think about whether we Christans believe in God, as we so fervently proclaim. For we have made, not a God who is by nature One And Every Being: in whom we are and as Love. In fact God is Our Love as It is and forever encompassed in His. But in our dream here we believe in His Love not at all, if we consider Its eternal existence. The God we Christians form is but a mirror of who we think we are: false. Just the thing the Commandments guard wisely against. Only a God of Love would make what we do in this world in the name of God impossible. Put false gods in front of this belief and God sort of disappears. A false God is a separation. We can’t keep some of God and expect a part of Him. For when we try that, everything becomes false and a we enter a dream like state where everything becomes an illusion. Our separateness is an illusory dream, a seeming decided self, while God remains indivisible. Our natural state is oneness, unity, with the Christ within us. Where Christ is God is.

The world we made in a dualistic thought system that is is a separated world, in fact a world that can’t exist, except in our minds. No matter how we may try, this ego thought system, or false god, has no meaning, nor does it ever intend to ever restore our unity with God. It does not know how, nor does it ever want to know. God has other plans, however. She recovers Her children through the work of the Holy Spirit, Who know us and completely knows God.

“The contemplative’s inner stance is not one of being swept downriver along with everything else. The contemplative’s repose is not a passive state but an engaged, silent receptivity, ‘an ever moving repose,’ as St. Maximus the Confessor calls it. [2] Like a riverbed, which is constantly receiving and letting go in the very same moment. Vigilant receptivity and nonclinging release are one and the same for this riverbed awareness as it constantly receives all coming from upstream while at the very same moment releasing all downstream. [3] from Richard Rohr. Sep. 4, 2016.

1] Christian Wiman, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer (Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 2013), 23.
[2] St. Maximus the Confessor, Quaestionis ad Thalassium 64, in Patrologia Graeca 90.760A, Martin Laird’s translation. See also Augustine, Confessions 1.4 (trans. Chadwick, 5).
[3] Martin Laird, A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness, and Contemplation (Oxford University Press: 2011), 79.
Adapted from Richard Rohr, Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi (Franciscan Media: 2014), 191-192.

Somatostatin, each note in a musical piece ends the very moment the next begins seeming serially, yet always in the previous and next moment together. Thus music provides a wonderful reflection of the flow that holds the rhythm of Gods world together. Nothing stops. There is no ending.

Love has no opposite. Oneness is its time and place. “Now” is its expression of peace, the peace of God. I need not go anywhere. As I am there. Forgiveness reflects in this moment. I need not search any longer, or farther. Be here now, I’m told. “Forgiveness is the only way to God here.” Certainly Jesus’ only teaching.

Bob Pajer

This material holds a copyright.  Please request permission to quote it directly, good brothers and sisters  ©

 

The Reflections of God

I am here in this world for one reason. That reason is salvation through forgiveness. I would not be here except for the problem of separation from my Source, which in itself is an illusion. For God is indivisible. All other things that seem to happen here are only part of this same notion: I decided to separate from God. No matter this isn’t possible. That it can seem so is real to me. I can make dreams seem real because my mind is forever joined in the only Power in the universe: God’s mind with all minds through Christ mind. Christ and God are One. We, everyone here, hides from Christ, otherwise we would not be here, although He does not hide from us. The decision to separate is ours and can be set right at any moment, since it is ours. In our illusion of separation, there is no way to God, however, other than forgiveness, here in this world. Forgiveness, itself an illusion is the only reflection of God’s love, here. All human suffering stems from not accepting it, for it is God’s gift to His son (daughter) through the Holy Spirit. It’s acceptance is our way to seeing God, the “pure of heart” in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.

How does it feel to be separated from Source? First of all, I carry a truckload of guilt about it — guilt is entirely from my decision to separate and the continuing thought I have actually done it. Separating was the original “sin” Christians believe occurred as we turned away from God into separation and the illusion of ego. It was corrected the instant it occurred, corrected by the Holy Spirit, Who continues to awaken us to its correction.

I believe everyone who takes a breath in this world carries the same guilt. There are myriad ways in which we mask and package our guilt, and just one way to remove it: through accepting God’s plan for salvation, forgiveness. Guilt is the only block there is to God’s love and our partnership with God as co-creators with Him. God’s plan is grand in scope and yet simple: (1) unmask it by shifting our minds, now in bondage to self, to admitting we harbor guilt and when we see it in ourselves, give it up, I. e., giving it over to God, over and over, in its many forms, anger, fear, shame, grudge, resentment of any kind can be met with forgiveness: when we think we see an attack coming from a brother or sister, acknowledge it as a mistake, a separation from God, but don’t react by your own wrong teaching of yourself or the other person. Don’t teach anger is real by joining in with a counter-attack. No attack is real unless we make it so by attacking, which will always be an attack on one’s self. It is only bodies that seem to be affected by an attack in any form. I do not mean to diminish the body’s importance to us. However, bodies are ego wrappings which are not our True Self, which is of God and cannot be harmed. “I cannot be harmed”, refers to our Self, the Spirit of which we are apart which is in Truth eternal. All of our fear rises from our belief we have separated from our Source. Yet we need a body to prove this is so to “protect” ourselves from the consequences of all separation thinking. That it is temporary? Well, we’re working on that. While God has other ideas. Treat the body with the greatest respect you can give to a holy gift of God, which is, no matter what we think it’s for, our Our Father’s time honored device He uses to communicate with His children. God would never leave us bereft of His gift of Life He so freely bestows on us. Yet, we can lie to ourselves. So, the ego would have us believe the body represents its finest hour, all bedecked with the glamour of a secret purpose it will never fulfill, not knowing what it is itself. God, on the other hand, simply uses it for the only holy purpose there is in this world, re-establishing communication with and among His children, who think they have left Him. Our ego’s reaction is always the same in thousands of hidden forms, repeating the same thing over and over and believing in a different searched for and sort after result. Insanity,of course, for what could possibly better than what God gives so freely? Even if whatever that may be would be possible.

We are all equally children of God. We all experience the same harvesting of guilt (sin) and yet all have the same interest, salvation: the coming home to God just as He created us. God is Love and He created us in His Love, which never ceases to shine upon us. Although we can keep it from shinning through us. (ACIM)

Our second concern in God’s plan for salvation is simply giving up our mistakes and wrong mindedness. To give up something doesn’t mean to stop it. We alone can’t. We are capable of doing anything God can do save one thing. We cannot be Him. We cannot create ourselves, nor parent ourselves: We can try, however and that is called rightfully, “playing God.” Or, trying to be insane. Which it makes logical sense to think that is what separation from God is.

Ego madness, nor any form of ego, can correct itself. Although it insists it can. And make us believe it. So our third concern is “Let go, and let God.” Or, be still and know that I am God. Peace, good brothers and sisters.
Copyrighted 2016.
Bob Pajer.

Of Endings and Beginnings: A Memoir of Discovery and Transformation, by Robert Speigel

Robert Speigel’s book is in a way not to be enjoyed. Who can enjoy the sadness of a world gone mad, bent on destroying itself. A world that cannot contain collateral damage to its children, brought into the it to suffer and die. A bloodbath, where we are all overcome by a selfish and complicated thought system that affects, no traumatizes many of us. The ego wants us dead. And its good at getting what it wants. It is after all its most magnificent achievement, death, hidden well among its glimmering trappings of an existence that isn’t, but convinces us it is. This book is a story of salvation. Taking the definition of that so Christian word to mean “something that saves someone or something from danger or a difficult situation.” (Merriam-Webster) Speigel shares with us his life experiences, enduring the pain while certain his calling through it all is to teach peace.

While approaching the subjects of horror, hatred and war with a detachment that causes him to stuff his pain in a part of him he learns in childhood, only to learn as an adult all are still with him. Ideas leave not their source. His early age “adjustments” are all the while hiding behind a set of made up “beloofs” (a term he uses to hide false beliefs from a false self.) Safety nets in a young mind are needed to survive. But in doing so there’s a price: he finds he can’t hide hurt within the ego’s delusions because its own delusions are made not in our best interests, but for the ego’s own survival. He speaks for all of us who try this. Speigel discovers the only way to face false beliefs is to expose them to the light, light which like the beliefs themselves resides in us. They are not where they seem to be. Not “out there” where the false self seems to be. We make up an “out there” so we can play the mind games we do. Spiegel tells a compelling story about how he, with the help of others, finds a way out. The process he adheres to is in itself moving and fascinating. However, his outlook is on life, gained from experience. In the process one sees the very core of his personality to be caring and compassionate. A loving human. He says,

“I apologize for placing these images here. (The pictures of Nazi death camps showing the worst known atrocities make by man to date in history.) They are abhorrent to me and make my stomach turn in nausea and disgust. They represent the depths to which man’s inhumanity to humankind can slip. I am firmly committed to my new belief that I am not a victim, and there are no other victims either. I am one hundred percent responsible for my life, and I hold others to be one hundred percent responsible for their lives. I believe that life is difficult and we are all here to learn to overcome difficulty. I believe that it is our suffering that develops us into the people we are meant to be. I try to teach these simple spiritual constructs to my clients so that they might be empowered to recover and change.” (page 67)

Our author recognizes the truth in this because of his own suffering and eventually realizing that healing must come from within. All the darkness, the demons, the mis-thoughts, the ego thought system that believes salvation is in grievances and resentments, (there’s a beloof for you) are not our true Self. Adam got us into a troubling thought system that requires us to buy into all of it, which makes it appear at times there’s no way out. But there is, by owning our own darkness. Adam couldn’t, for he makes the one fatal mistake: he blames Eve and she blames the serpent if you recall. Blame leads to guilt and more pain. We can transfer it, or transform it. Spiegel, unlike Adam decides on the latter. It requires we keep our faith in one wonderful thing about all of us. We are already what we’re supposed to be, love. With all of our nonsense here, God has not changed His mind, and He never will. We are all His perfect children, no matter what beloofs we come up with. And in the very depths of our insanity we know this to be true. Everyone. Yet, we just have to see it where it is. There is no “out there.” Trying to change the “out there” is like attending a movie we discover we don’t like. To see a different picture we don’t normally believe we can change the image on the screen to one we like better. The projection, our only choice is to leave or change the film, up in the booth. We take the film out and destroy it, not necessarily by ripping it apart but just seeing the truth in its place. The only place where true change takes place. It takes as much as it takes, before we realize it is our projection that makes our perception. Our illusions come from a sick mind. They do not make our minds sick, merely reinforce them.

As a professional therapist, in the midst of some terrible cards he has been dealt, Speigel uses the cards to perform the difficult work it takes to heal. The ride can be rough, he shows us, the way narrow and the end, well, sometimes seeming to be not there at all. We are created in relationship, which is the only place our true being can do what it is supposed to do, extend love. Desire is a major defense with a double edge, but we can help turn it about to our benefit if we engage in what we’re made for, relationship.

We can ask to take this ego alien journey with someone beside us, other than the ego, because the ego will always be there, convincing us over an over its way is the easier softer way.

Because it is one of my guides in life, I end this enjoyable review with the following, a quote from Victor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, in which he tells his story of being a prisoner in a Nazi prison camp. Just by chance he discloses he is a doctor without being saying he is a specialist in Psychiatry, and as a result he is saved to care for his fellow prisoners. The woman he speaks with below is about to die in the gas chamber:

“This young woman knew that she would die in the next few days. But when I talked to her she was cheerful in spite of this knowledge. ‘I am grateful that fate has hit me so hard,’ she told me. ‘In my former life I was spoiled and I did not take spiritual accomplishments seriously.’ Pointing through the window of the hut, she said, ‘This tree here is the only friend I have in my loneliness.’ Through that window she could see just one branch a chestnut tree, and on the branch were two blossoms. ‘I often talk to this tree,’ she said to me. I was startled and didn’t quite know how to take here words. Was she delirious? Did she have occasional hallucinations? Anxiously I asked her if the tree replied. ‘Yes.’ What did say to her? She answers, ‘It said to me, ‘’I am here — I am here — I am life, eternal life.””(page 68) Man’s Search for Meaning Viktor E. Frankl
Robert Spiegel is a professional therapist who recognizes his worth with with proud humility, I suppose one of the traits he would want for his clients. Listen as he describes his practice:

“My practice is rebirthing in a way that I could not have imagined. I am re-energized and experience a joy in my life that was not possible since being born into such shock, grief and fear. I complete my two-year Internship and take a year off before deciding to enroll in the next certification training, the Person Transformation Intensive Leadership Training.” (page 128)

Humility isn’t possible without love. It allows us to see what we are and where we are. (A trait Adam lacked for the moment when God sake him where he was. To share this with us is Robert’s great strength, in his belief he is not a victim and nor is anyone else. If we seek help it means we are in relationship that is a requirement for healing. Trusting the other person is paramount to growing with that person. This is because in the final analysis we do not heal alone. It is for everyone and for us. It is about the “giveness” part of forgiveness that we heal. In my opinion forgiveness is the only way to God (Enlightenment) available to us here. It is, once again calling on Adam, what he missed and we don’t have to.

Thank you for a wonderful book, Rob. I hope there’s more coming.

Review by Bob Pajer

Book Review by Bob Pajer: The Atonement of God – Building Your Theology on a Crucivision of God

“For the cycle of retaliation and violence to end, one party must be willing to forgive.  Violence is like a whirlpool that spins faster and pulls deeper with every new act of violence.  When one is violent — even “righteously” violent -in response to an insult or injury, this violence leads only to more violence which threatens to drown both parties.  “The only effective way to stop a whirlpool is to introduce a fixed point.  A whirlpool dissipates quickly when it hits a rock that refuses to whip.”

(In a footnote, p. 147, the author of , The Atonement of God, J.D Myers, comments, Mark D. Baker references Bernard Eller who borrows the image from Soren Kierkegaard.  See Brad jersey and Michael Hardin, els., Stricken by God? Nonviolent Identification and the Victory of Christ (Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans, 2007, 306)

J. D. Myers has written a bold new book about the cruxifixction of Jesus, bold in the sense that Jesus died not at the hands of our Father, as a sacrifice for our sins, but to show us how to forgive and not that God requires blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. “Instead, in the context of Hebrews 9:22 reveals the exact opposite, and also reveals some deep and amazing truths about the grace of God in our lives… God always forgives sins freely and that He does not need or want blood, but instead wants us to live life in the freedom for which we have been set free.”

If Jesus is real, and he is, I would want him to be perfect in God’s eyes. God is perfect, and as His/Her children, we are. However, hidden underneath our fear, which is made up by a mighty “power” joined together using God’s mind, us. If we could strip away all fear there we would be, perfect, holy children of God there and we would again know ourselves.

We have place ourselves in a difficult situation. Life is not difficult, but what we do and inflict upon ourselves appears difficult, sometimes impossible. Yet, because of our decision to make up an opposing force to God, which cannot be, the effect of such arrogance is difficult. The only way out of the perplexing situation is, using the same a Higher Power to change how we understand God. Believe me, He will have it no other way.

I try not to define God. Well, I can’t actually. I can, using the same conceptual method to defy Him, understand Him or Her through my own beliefs. I ask and I do receive. This understanding can lead to truth only by practicing forgiveness here, where I find myself. The solution to sorrow and sadness, upheaval and impermanence is given us. See your brother and sister differently, with love, and you will see yourself as you are.

The reason I start my review of J. D. Myers book, The Atonement of God, this way is I would not now want any other explanation for my belief in a power greater than myself than God is perfect and as His/Her children so are we. That I believe is Jesus message in the Resurrection, leading from the crucifixion. Jesus tells us in A Course in Miracles, his second coming, which we have been waiting for, this very thing. Don’t focus on the crucifixion, it is an extreme example he used to tell us a story about the illusion of sin, guilt and death. The rest of his message is in our Resurrection.

I call the Higher Power I’ve come to understand, God. Although I call the Holy Spirit the same, a Power given by God to restore me to sanity in a world I made that appears to be insane. I know, its a tough word “insane” because we lock up the insane and treated them as the outer fringes of society. But I must ask myself, what is more insane than living a life where I must everyday work so hard to believe in illusions, where I am constantly, relentlessly trying to make the unreal real? Isn’t wonderful Jesus came back to us to tell us we don’t have to do this and that is the meaning of the crucifixion.

I would not want the God of my understanding to be anything less than perfect. Simply, God is, as St. Anselm said, “greater than that which cannot be thought.” I’m not too certain about the rest of Anselm’s theology, but this I get. Nothing exists over God. He is at the top of the spiritual chain that has no borders and cannot be contained, for there isn’t a top and there isn’t a bottom. God can and does, always, give His/Her whole being to us. Nothing is left behind. Everything grows in the unending giving. He wants what we know as each other to do the same. Of course, we seem to have other ideas, which can only be illusionary. God has no opposite because His/Her love is all encompassing.

In coming here, and I believe his coming is the same coming we do, Jesus did for us that which he also did primarily for himself. Like the cabin attendant says on Alaska Airlines, if that oxygen mask comes down in front of you, put it on first and secure it before helping your child next to you, so you can help him/her. Jesus, at some point in his life, perhaps culminating in the Transfiguration, made the decision to no longer separate from God (separation is a decision on our part) and to place himself on the path to Atonement, which can only involve us. No one can heal alone. He would now practice no longer listen to two voices, as most of us do, the ego and God, or just the ego, and listen to only one voice, God’s. I am far from a Biblical scholar, but my guess is that’s what happened. He returned to His natural state of mind. God’s mind because that’s the only mind there is.

Jesus became what all of us will become and some of course already have, inside and outside the Christian faith, non-dualistic. After all Jesus was not a Christian and I believe at some point in his presence here he became a universal figure, pure of heart, as St Paul said of himself, “I live now not I but Christ lives in me”, (Gal. 2:20). In my opinion, that is the most profound statement in scripture. Jesus has come to us again to say to us, that is true of you and me. Perhaps in the Hassidic community Jesus could be considered a zaddik. Although there were many who felt he was mistaken in his message. There’s a problem in that message for us: it is our most feared fear. That we are not in this flesh, the Word was not made flesh, because it can’t be. More than that it is true and we all know it because God leaves His mighty calling card within us, right were it is in our face every day. God’s plan for salvation is of course perfect. The Word comes through the Holy Spirit, from God to us, while it resides exactly where God put it. Flesh is used to convey it, yes; but only because its our choice to have flesh, not God’s.

God did not create flesh, give it free will and decide we went too far and sent flesh incarnate to save us by pardon. Not my God. Who only knows the only thing He created that can be and must be extended on into infinity without end. Jesus came here and found his way to tell us this through his love, not sacrifice.

I believe his message was completely true in every respect, so much so that he was an intolerable threat to what we all know deep down but are terrified of recognizing, while we are as God created us, we have insanely decided otherwise. We can do that, but there is a price for us. For will always will be bothered by the truth, which God has built His altar to, in us. to break with Him, our “truth” now becomes: we know better, and God knows better. For that we gin up a vengeful god and your sure to fear he is going to get you for opting out. “God, it sounds like you’ve got something good going up there, but I think my way is OK for what I’m doing. Thanks. But no thanks. On second thought, maybe later. (I might want to see my options open here.)”

No wonder we need to sleep, which God does not do. This is monumental work.

What is so important to me about Jesus is that he says in a Course in Miracles that he is no holier than me, but to be sure I don’t think I am holier than anyone else in the world. That blows my mind. The reason being it blows my mind is because I was taught by my teachers, the Trinity is a mystery, don’t try to understand it. A mystery is a mystery, you can’t understand mysteries. But be sure of one thing, you are not in that Triangle and don’t even think how you might possibly be. The truth is, I am in it. Always was and always will be. I am, like Jesus, God’s son. You are like Jesus, God’s Son or Daughter.

Yes, its not what I was taught at St. Jerome school. “Forgive them, Father, for they know not…..” Of course they know not because knowledge does not exist here in this world. Knowledge, like Love and Truth, has no opposites. So none can be where they are not. Not because there are threats to them, but because each is embodied in God’s Law of cause and effect, which we don’t adhere to in the world of illusions we spend so much time making up.

But Jesus is among many wonderful things, persistent and patient. Jesus embodies and shows us the path back to God, our home we’ve never left (but in our minds). Not by sacrifice, but by love which requires no sacrifice. His message is, we are in “a deep ego trance” a term used by Greg Mayers in his wonderful book, “Listen to the Dessert — the Wisdom of the Dessert Fathers and Mothers.” due to “separation” from God. We forgot what God said and then took God for the lesser power: “Mark 10:9

“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

The delusion of separation drives us crazy. Yet, we need not suffer so, because there is no separation. Who can separate from the All Powerful? Our whole struggle is thinking we did, are doing, and the guilt we lay on ourselves is unbearable.

In this regard Jesus’s message is simple. He was our scapegoat and anyone who comes here with his message of course is one as well. We do kill people as they get close to it.

While simple, Jesus’ message is unequivocal. He says that in A Course in Miracles. Therein lies the problem for those who have come to this world. Its enticing. Its attractive and its, we think our world. In a sense it is, because we made it up. Yet even that is impossible. Separation is impossible and it is impossible to make any sense out of how we did that. As Jesus says in A Course in Miracles, the ego loves questions like “how did that occur”, because there is no such question to begin with. It always has a foolish answer because that is a foolish question. Why did I separate 10 minutes ago is a better question because the recency of it may help me to think truthfully about separation. The question that follows best is, how is it possible to separate from God? Is God weak in some areas? Does God allow his love to have loopholes we can slip through? Adam could have asked such questions, but decided not to.

J.D Myers writes an insightful book. The Atonement of God, Building Your Theology on a Crucivision of God is a wonderful book that exposes all the Catholic church misunderstandings of Jesus’ message, in particular the meaning of the crucifixion. It is, however, not close enough to the unequivocal Jesus. The non-duality of Jesus, Jesus himself teaches us and so beautifully describes in A Course in Miracles.

I believe we cannot find the message in the cross without a full understanding of the problem, the separation. The base point has to be there is no separation. Of course that does change our view of the world, heaven and God. When we admit it never happened we find ourselves in a world of dreams, sleeping because we cannot exist without God, which isn’t possible. We cannot leave God’s mind and go somewhere, unless we fall into a sleep that allows us to have our way. Freud called dreams “wish fulfillment,” referring to our sleeping dreams. However, the Course teaches we are not awake to begin with. Preposterous? Well not more preposterous than the world we live in, which is for the most part crazy.

So to fully understand Jesus’ suffering we have to see that he didn’t suffer the way we think of suffering because he knew there is no suffering. Bodies can be torn to pieces and we can be made to cry out in pain, yet if that moment were received by God in truth, in God’s loving hands we come closer to eternal life, which is what we are, what suffering? He also knew there is no sin, guilt and death, the unholy trinity he came to expose. For us? Yes, in a sense, because although we think we’re separate form one another, an effect of the thought of separation, we are not. His extreme example on the cross was indeed for everyone. A terrible mistake for those who were involved and not courter attacked, but exposed to truth, as Myers intimates in his book (page 142).

God attacks no one. Myers so correctly says that instead God shows us the truth. There is no need for sacrifice. All are called, although few choose to listen.

J. D. Myers gives us an interpretation of the story of Adam and Eve in the garden from Genesis. I believe this interpretation has been around for awhile and I was happy to see it told in the author’s book because it makes so much sense. The mistake in the garden was unfortunate for all of us because it changes, as Myers says our view of God. One cannot blame a brother or sister and not change our concept of God. The last we hear of God is in his asking Adam where he is. Of course God knew, but He was merely asking where he was spiritually, which of course already knows. How do you feel, Adam? Adam, now because he decides to listen to a tiny mad idea, oppose God by, instead of saying, “I messed up”, at which point he would have been reminded that God does not condemn, He overlooks, to remind us of the truth in case we’ve forgotten. So it was not even a matter of God’s forgiveness, which He doesn’t do because He doesn’t condemn. The fatal mistake, the only sin there is, the forgetting God never condemns, therefore, forgiveness is not even an issue, Adam makes. And, just as Jesus, through his own salvation, saves us (because we’re all connected in Spirit), we are affected. We seem to go on doing the same thing as Adam, not own up, blame your wife (or vice versa of course). Myers tells this same story, which I heard after asking the Holy Spirit, how does He/She explain an angry God when anger is insane. The answer I received was the same one Myers expresses. Blame is blaming God. Even though we think we’re just blaming our brother or sister, we forget that God created this person out of His perfect Love. The audacity of blame is incredible. Yet not sin, for God always overlooks in order that we may learn once again. I am never really lost until I blame someone else. Emphasis on really. I’m lost most of the time anyway.

Perhaps this was the beginning of marriage therapy.

It may be obvious to the reader I don’t believe there is a devil. Our author seems to. I do not believe in sin and our author seems to. I do not think Jesus died, because he came to dispel that, along with sin, guilt and the devil. We make up stuff here. The ego loves to persist in its teaching of its own way to salvation: blame, attack (now or later), it is capable of only two things, suspiciousness and viscousness to carry out its teaching, which does not teach at all. The ego needs a devil and guilt to run its show. It simply does not know what its doing, except that it wants me dead. So I try to live as though I don’t have an ego. At times that idea might last for about 10 seconds. But I am perfectly capable of choosing otherwise when I want to Making a devil within and then trying to use that idea to convince myself that I can after all be harmed from without, is part of the ego’s plan for salvation.

Jesus’ real message in providing us with an extreme example on the cross is to jolt us out of our illusions. Brothers, he might say, have at it, it feels terrible, but not as terrible as you must feel and will feel, but truth has taught me I cannot be harmed, I can but crucify myself. And, I am going to do that. I am right now free, as you look at me suffering. Your are not free, and perhaps you think far from it. Yet I see you only as God created you. And that’s what glory is. I will not my glory go. It is my whole (holy) purpose for being here. “I am not a body, I am free.” Jesus says in A Course in Miracles and he says for us, for we are the same. I will now teach you that your only function in this world is forgiveness. Not the false forgiveness thing you talk about, you already know that does not work, but “I forgive you brother/sister for what you did not do.” (ACIM) Your have no problem here other than separation, the solution is atonement through God’s plan for salvation. I will always be here to show you how to atone, not for your sins, because you can’t sin to begin with, but how to walk in the light with me, to proceed to our Father. I need lovingly wait for you because I can’t proceed alone and God is incomplete without you. (ACIM) Your ego hates the word inevitable because your return to your Father is inevitable. And the only way to come to Him is through forgiveness, letting go of your ego, here. When we know we can’t be harmed, Jesus’ demonstration on the cross, we can’t attack and any defense becomes an attack on ourselves and this truth.

Jesus says about the crucifixion in A Course in Miracles:

“I elected for your sake and mine, to demonstrate that the most outrageous assault, as judged by the ego, does not matter. As the world judges these things, but not as God knows them, I was betrayed, abandoned, beaten, torn, and finally killed. It was clear that this was only because of the projection of others onto me, since I had not harmed anyone and had healed many.” (ACIM, Page 87)
…..

Jesus goes on to say, we are not asked to follow his extreme example and in that sense it was done for us. But his teaching is imbedded in its purpose —
“The crucifixion cannot be shared because it is the symbol of projection, (anger is projected, only love is shared here and continues to grow in us. We think that our projections go out of us, aimed at our enemies outside us. That is their intention. However, there is no outside of our minds, so each stays exactly where we put it, within our minds, to fester on and on. “Ideas leave not their source.” (ACIM) Thus the sayings, harbor a resentment, cherish a grudge. Language is interesting in that it belies its true meaning in just what it says.) but the resurrection is the symbol of sharing because the reawakening of every Son of God is necessary to enable the Sonship to know it wholeness. Only this is knowledge. (ACIM.)

“The message of the crucifixion is perfectly clear:

Teach only love, for that is what you are.”

“If you interpret the crucifixion in any other way, you are using it as a weapon for assault rather than as the call for peace for which it was intended.”
I highly recommend J. D. Myers book because it begins the process of exposing the false messages of Christian teaching using the Bible as a false god.

I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.

Slow Kingdom Coming – Practices for Doing Justice Loving Mercy and Walking Humbly in the World, by Kent Annan

Kent Annan describes the challenges facing everyone in our decisions to love one another as Jesus loved us. In this case, by being with people who have suffered calamity or have somehow become disjointed from a world that struggles to take care of itself.

There are pitfalls for the giver in a world of separation, as ours certainly is: the enormity of it all, feeling ones on privilege, racial differences, self-centeredness, wondering if we are truly answering God’s call, and more. I would like in this review to propose we look differently about our spiritual work, the power of our own holiness in this world, and how our intentions in truth affect our lives and the lives of others’ lives.

Annan says, “We long to know God, to love God and to be loved by God. Jesus gave the beautiful vision of finishing our life and then hearing from our loving Creator, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’ (Mt 25:21 NIV0. We don’t hear these words because we earned them, but, we hope, because we accepted the infatuation of grace to participate with God in the kingdom coming. And we can commit to practices that ensure our efforts help others well and also transform our own lives.”

And goes on to say, “Who we are determines how we act, how we act determines who we are as do justice, love, mercy and walk humbly in the world.”

What Annan does not make so clear is that the problem in this world is a seeming separation from our Source. What follows is the madness that we think we have separated. Doing anything here that involves attempts at compassion and goodness will always be problematic until we heal the madness and guilt that follow our separation based decisions, which like separation are illusions.

Alas, the world we live in is a sad place. In fact its a blood bath. It is understandable we must do better. And so far, we see only through the lenses of our daily choices to separate, unable to see the world of forgiveness Jesus taught us to see and love. We haven’t dropped our desire to make something that cannot be: an earth unlike heaven. And those who help others can be prone to selfishness and fear, just as we plod along in the rest of living here, practicing ego ways, not God’s way.

There’s a wonderful saying in the book Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson’s description of the alcoholic: “We can’t keep it unless we give it away.”

The alcoholic suffers terribly from self-will, “self will run riot”, Wilson calls it. Also, because of this condition, Wilson goes on to explain, he/she is totally unable to form true partnerships with other human beings. In a separated state of illusion (like most everyone in the world) the alcoholic has chosen to medicate the pain of such a state with excessive amounts of booze.) The underlying factor in this narcissistic illness is he/she is completely incapable of Self-identity, finding one’s true Self, a power greater than ego-self, where help lies and salvation is possible.

However, in Alcoholics anonymous, the still sick alcoholic can very successfully save others who are just as sick. To heal, they have learned to bypass and overlook such great odds stacked against them to get sober by letting go of all they think they know about themselves, how flawed they are, how sinful they were taught they are, and, by focusing on the other person’s plea and call for love by giving away their own healing, and in the process remembering what and who they really are, children of God. “They can’t keep their gift of sobriety, unless they give it away,” as the saying goes.

Thus, we can keep and grow in our mission of love simply by giving it away. Our own recognition (re-knowing) of who we are comes from the process of giving away God’s own gift of Creation. We are co-creators with God. In our own recognition of our true nature we grow by giving our true nature away. The alcoholic, a broken and sick person forgets his/her brokenness by giving away the healing of it, a healing that is fully and freely given him/her by others who have experienced the same process and know they must give it away to keep it and continue growing. No other notion about giving and helping is required but this. One is likely to say, I am only helping you for one reason, to save myself.

True, there is a program of 12 Steps to see that this occurs, if practiced. But for the most part this process of giving to receive, and receiving to give plays out miraculously in the the sober alcoholic’s new life, right from the beginning. This is certainly Jesus’ way. It is the way of all true giving. We don’t have to fret about what we think about our motivation. Our thoughts aren’t real anyway, regrettable but not real. We can give and give and give this way without feeling any pangs of concern, because we are simply doing it for the gift we already have. The only way to give is not through what we hope God will think of us, and what we should not think about ourselves, but by receiving the great gifts of giving through its very nature of receiving.

From the quote above in Annan’s words, “Who we are determines how we act,…” makes no sense at all. Would God create such a being? If so, it would mean God does not know what He does or wants. It is we who know not what we are, or what we do. God knows very well. He is perfect and He creates perfectly. No mistakes. God does not make junk. Nor, people who are bent on suffering. Nor, does he make sin we must atone for through some sacrifice of our own holiness. That’s impossible and it is what Jesus meant in his message.

Jesus came here to take away the sins of the world. Not because sins are real, but because sin, and its accompanying guilt, are unreal. We continue to long for, to know and to love God’s peace because, we think strangely, it is not what we want. Yet, no one can stop loving God. No one can fail to know God. The Kingdom is here, is now and always will be, the moment we accept it. We just look the other way of course. But that is not God’s weakness coming through. It is purely our decision, which, made without God, is meaningless. We are as God created us. This has never not been, nor will it ever be. We are eternal beings. Jesus brought us this message, through an extreme example, the cross, which he does not ask us to do. On the other hand he does suggest there’s a better way. Sin is not real. I am. Hell is not real, heaven is. Nothing is real, outside of God. We are all in this together. He is truly, “Our Father…”. Unfortunately, we live our lives desperately trying to prove otherwise. The world is made on this basis, not as God created it. This is the message we can carry to those we help as it grows in us and them.

It is lovely to say, as Annan says, “….we accepted the infatuation of grace to participate with God in the kingdom coming.” We can’t ensure our efforts will do anything we think we might see. Our lives will always be transformed by giving (for-giving.) That is all you can do with love, for that is what we are. It is its reflection which allows us to experience God’s love here. What we are doing does transform us, when we let go of the results because “…the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in my, He doth the works.” John 14:10. Even when we appear to make mistakes in our thoughts about our motivation. Or, things seem to go wrong. Nothing happens in God’s world by chance. It is all what it is, love and fear. Love is real. Fear is not. So we do not have to prove anything to God. He does not have to prove anything to His children. All we need do is accept His love. It needs nothing from us but to give it away.

Later in the book, p. 72, Annan delivers a quote by N. T. Wright, regarding a recalibration Paul may have had, “The God of Israel called me, like Elijah, to step back from this zeal and to listen to him afresh. When I listened, I heard a voice telling me that the messianic victory over evil had already been won…saved by grace and marked out by faith, apart from ethnic identity and works of Torah….”

I believe this says a great deal regarding our relationship with God. What a wonderful transformation of Paul. It is in melding our partnership with God and with each other that we are able to begin seeing true partnership. I cannot hate my next door neighbor and think I love the person with whom I live. There is only One relationship. It is open to love only in its transformation from what we think we made and the Kingdom itself. And this transformation cannot take place outside the mind that exists in God’s mind. It is important, however, to recognize we haven’t done anything, because God was out of our minds — it seemed that we were out of our minds, and His. The Holy Spirit deals with all our seeming and mistakes by dismissing them. The battle is already over. Be grateful it is the only thing God asks of us. To remember this. He will take care of the rest and already has.  This, I believe is true, humility.

“You can’t keep it, unless you give it away.” Keep what? Of course the alcoholic thinks first of sobriety, not drinking and leading a committed life of practicing spiritual principles. That’s true. It is actually the committed life of practicing spiritual principles that helps him/her hold on to sobriety that must be given away. For all of us, it is the works God does through us.

As I read this book, I felt a bit frustrated the author spends so much time, examining, analyzing, searching for ways to somehow do better in the eyes of God — as he is already doing the only thing one can do with love, what we are, extend it. We needn’t be concerned about confessions, “messianic victory over evil” for that is God’s territory and He has already won the battle that never could take place. Don’t let guilt detract us from our work. I am inspired by Annan’s words to work harder to fulfill Jesus’ commandment. I don’t want my seeming faults to get in the way. God has given us a Corrector, who knows us, we what we think and what God thinks.

Thank you, Kent Annan, for sharing with us your wonderful journey into giving it away.

I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.

 

 

Wallow a Bit

Wallow A Bit

Let the darkness come.
I called it
Not for peace and understanding
But to wallow a bit.

Maybe to ask just this:
I’m lost again,
Help me find Our way.
Walk with me again,
On that path you showed me,
Through the woods
Where the ocean opened before us
Smashing its power upon the rocks
That only seem to hold greater Purpose.
Yet will become
The sea’s
Very floor, in time.

Where you say, “You will yet know
Peace, my brother.”

And, where you teach that
All is mine to give, lose nothing
And gain everything.

You say, “Love is like that,
Yet beyond all my thoughts
Of nothing,
That have no meaning in time.”

It is our choice, time; not God’s.
Yet, it is now we awaken and watch the show before us.
By the mightiest invitation ever known.

RGPajer