Quick Thought on Gifts

When I was a kid, I remember asking my Mom why we give gifts at Christmas. She told me it was because the wise men gave gifts to the baby Jesus. Of course, that was enough for me at the time (as long as I got my presents).

Now I see that Christ is in everyone, and we still give gifts to Jesus.

Feeling better

I wanted to let you know that the news I got back from the doctor wasn’t as bad as I had feared. But now, losing weight and lowering my cholesterol has become a priority.

Doldrums

People usually associate doldrums with summer. My personal doldrums usually don’t happen in summer, but in autumn or winter. The loss of sunshine and warm weather tends to affect me deeply. The last week or so, I haven’t meditated at all, and it’s wearing on me.

Any sailing ship can experience virtual doldrums just by taking the sails down, and for someone on the mystical path, that’s what it’s like when you stop taking the time to center yourself in This.

I’m feeling a certain inner resistance to getting back “on the wagon.” Why is it that part of myself wants to be miserable? I think it’s largely that resistance to change. There’s a lot I need to change, particularly in matters of food, sleep, exercise and personal discipline, things that I’ve struggled with now for … decades. I’m getting blood results back tomorrow. I may well find out I’m “pre-diabetic” or worse.

My teacher points out that the test of spiritual transformation is how it works out in the world of everyday life. Anyone who knows me knows that in spite of my high ideals and longing to awaken, I’m sleepwalking most of time. Sometimes, though, I just happen to be aware of it.

So I know what’s going on. My ego wants to hang on to the discontent rather than move on, change, and relish every moment as the sacred present. Doldrums. Yuck.

Talking about God

Reading a post by Coleman Fannin is like viewing a lunar eclipse. They don’t happen all that often, but when they do, they’re beautiful. And as moonlight is reflected sunlight, Coleman’s posts are often reprints of posts by other bloggers. In his March 29 post, he shares Real Live Preacher’s post on when his teenaged daughter tearfully told him that she no longer believed in God.

It’s a moving story. It reminded me of several things, first of all that I didn’t become a “believer” until I became a doubter. I was twelve when I became agnostic, and unlike his daughter, I didn’t feel I could talk about it with anyone then.

Another thing is that his daughter longs to “feel God” within her heart. There are different levels of feeling, to be sure, but she’s on the right track, that intellectual belief is not what it’s about. On the other hand, neither is emotional feeling, which comes and goes by its nature. Being is what’s really important, the sensing of being in the Ground of Being, and That being within us, but even this sensing comes and goes as well, until we reach that level of divine union called awakening or theosis.

Another thing that struck me was how important the conversation is. If there is one thing that the Emergent movement (er, conversation) has in common, it’s a desire to share the love and knowledge of God through conversation and authentic listening.

Paradoxically, in our speech we can only share our concepts, our feelings about where God is in our lives, and those are not only limited, but inevitably misleading. God cannot not be there, though our belief in, or feeling or awareness of This Presence may not be there. The Absolute absolutely is.

But speech is entirely relative. I find that talking about God becomes increasingly more difficult, because I sense that everything I can say reflects such a truncated “truth” that it’s essentially a lie. “Quit flapping your gums about God,” Meister Eckhart said, and for good reason.

The Real Live Preacher said, “My daughter doesn’t believe in God right now. Why do I feel so happy?” and ends his post with the confidence that she’s finding her way, and glad that she could talk with him about her doubt. I would suggest that there’s something there as well, that although she cannot feel God right now, she’s never been closer, that nothing has changed with the changeless One. My teacher once said “God doesn’t care if you believe in him or not.”

Where can I go to escape your spirit?
Where could I flee from your presence?
If I climb the heavens, you are there,
there too, if I lie in Sheol.

If I flew to the point of sunrise,
or westward across the sea,
your hand would still be guding me,
your right hand holding me.

Wow! and the Tetragrammaton

It occurred to me this morning that the link between all who love God, in all religions, whether theistic, non-theistic, pantheistic or panentheistic, is the sense of Wow! Encountering the holy Presence, no matter how That is understood or named, leaves you in a sense of awe, humility, joy and love. Or too put it more simply, the sense of Wow!

The name of God in the Bible is Yahweh, spelled by the four Hebrew consonants YHWH (the Tetragrammaton). Although the Hebrew letter “w” in modern Hebrew is pronounced “Vav,” it was originally pronounced “Wow.” Those four letters in the sacred name of God were pronounced:

Yod, Heh, Wow, Heh

Three of them sound like exclamations in English: Hey! Wow! Hey!

Even laughter is calling on God: Heh-heh!

Wow!
What else is there to say?