Man with a Plan

He was a teacher of Life, with a capital L—the important stuff. Oh, he loved his family, even had a profession and friends, but only a few wanted to hang with him. He was from another world and sometimes things got spooky, like when he knew what they were thinking. It took courage to stay with him, and a desire to see beyond what they could see with their physical eyes.

Life was hard, but he didn’t seem to care. He wouldn’t listen to their rants and he kept talking about love and forgiveness, beauty and joy. “Let me show you,” he’d say, and they’d sit together in a circle around a fire and listen to his stories. He seemed to be asking them to ignore the problems they had, to live and think in a whole new way, to express thanks to God for everything, even their suffering. Someone always stomped off when he talked of giving thanks for their suffering. “I will not!” they’d shout. “If God loved us, these things wouldn’t happen!”

“This world,” he would say with a sweep of his arm, “is not the real world. This is only a play, created by all of your thoughts. Only those who believe in this world are born here, for we are what we think, what we believe. How could you be born elsewhere when this is what you believe?”

“Close your eyes for a moment,” he’d say. He told them stories, which unfolded in their minds’ eyes. “Love and peace are gifts of your Father. Once you open your minds and hearts to what I am showing you, you will go and show others and they will go and show others. My work is your work. This is how the world will be healed of war.”

“The world will be healed of war?” one man asked, astonished. “How is that possible?”

“Love is irresistible and magical. It spreads in waves and when the wave hits, hearts and minds are made anew. Does this answer your question?” he’d ask.

“It is an answer, but I’m not sure I believe it.”

“Stay with me,” the beautiful, glowing man said, smiling. “And you will see it.”

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“Come Unto Me”

Come Unto Me

Come Unto Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice how the old woman is gazing back at the life that she is leaving…

then passes through the veil of death into the open arms of the Savior.

This is how I want to go. 🙂

The “Come Unto Me” bronze sculpture took more than a year to make its first appearance. Unveiled in the 2000, the original life-sized bronze monument stands in the grand foyer of the Spilsbury Mortuary in St.George, Utah.

It has become a scenic attraction, in addition to a comfort to countless families at a most tender time of their lives.

It portrays the spiritual journey from mortality to immortality: an aged woman’s body, returning to its prime, and back to the arms of our Savior.

Death is not the end. We all have an eternal destiny, as “Come Unto Me” portrays.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16    (KJV)

From “The Gospel of Mary Magdalene,” Commentary by Jean-Yves Leloup

I’m reading THE GOSPEL OF MARY MAGDALENE, translation from the Coptic*, and commentary, by Jean-Yves Leloup. Mary Magdalene’s testament to the words of Christ was one the men of the early Catholic Church excluded from the Bible. (She was a woman.) Some of the dried parchment papers of her text are missing; thus, her witness account is incomplete and Leloup’s book is not long. It is powerful, however. The author’s insightful commentary, as you will see below, tends to ‘bring one up short.’ Books that help us understand both how far we are from oneness with God/Love, yet how much potential we have to become so, should be in everyone’s library.

Of note, it was a pope long ago who labeled Mary Magdalene a prostitute; this portrayal of her is written nowhere in the Bible, and the Catholic Church officially retracted this inaccuracy years ago. Leloup considers it possible that  the meaning of Mary Magdalene being ‘healed of seven demons,’ is an account of when Jesus Christ brought Mary Magdalene’s seven chakras** into alignment, as they were created to be, when a human becomes one with the Divine. Regardless, the two were obviously close, as she is the first person he speaks to after His resurrection.

Anyway, as the book has ‘brought me up short’ in every section, I thought I’d quote this paragraph and perhaps share the experience:

“Happy are those who are able to remain sensitive to the misery and suffering of others. The future belongs to the pure and gentle, not to the rigid purists of all our fundamentalism. If the latter have the purity of angels, they also have the pride of demons, like all grand and petty inquisitors who shed blood in the name of purity, religious faith, traditional values, or race. The greatest crimes against humanity are always committed in the name of goodness and the need to preserve integrity and purity. We have yet to fully appreciate the danger and delusion of purity without mercy.”
~Jean-Yves Leloup

Succinctly and powerfully said, don’t you think?

*English translation by Joseph Rowe
**Circular, spinning points of spiritual energy in our bodies, arranged from the top of our heads to the base of our spines

Angel Notes on Easter Weekend

Angel says NoI’m slowly reading Edgar Cayce on Angels, Archangels and the Unseen Forces by Robert J. Grant. I had a long wait the other day, though, and got to read for a couple hours. One interesting idea from the Cayce readings is that God created all souls to have free will; we all knew then that we were of God and we created in relationship with God.

God’s Number One, Lucifer, began to envy God and started playing around with creation. I guess it was pretty thrilling and he began to move away from God, taking with him souls who wanted the same independence. Some souls didn’t go—they are who we call angels. Some moved away a little but still could feel God. The ones who fell farthest are us, the people of Earth. We are aware of our ‘deal with the devil’ now, aren’t we?

Grant says there is a great debate about whether or not the ‘falling away’ was part of God’s plan. Cayce said it was an unintended error and God wants us all to come home. Apparently, the creatures of mythology (giants, centaurs, etc) were real. They were the bodies created by the first souls who followed Lucifer into darkness. There was no way for them/us to sense God’s light in those bodies, so our human bodies were designed with seven spiritual centers. These can be activated safely through spiritual practices such as meditation, so that we may find our way home. After a while, Jesus Christ came to Earth to experience being human, activate the centers, and show us how to get home, for which he was killed. Many of us are thinking of Him this weekend. Continue reading

Honoring Christ from Our ‘Inner Temples’ A Guest Post from SRF

Paramahansa Yogananda, author of the spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi and founder of Self-Realization Fellowship, encourages us through his writings and talks to look beyond the material celebration of the holidays, to focus also on the spiritual celebration: our connection with the Divine, which resides within each one of us.

The following quote by one of Paramahansa Yogananda’s foremost disciples, Sri Daya Mata, president and sanghamata of SRF from 1955 until her passing in 2010, is shared here with permission from SRF.

“Doesn’t almost everyone feel aglow with happiness at Christmas time? There is a deep spiritual reason. It isn’t just the pleasure of exchanging gifts and loving messages, and doing for others. [Paramahansa Yogananda] said that on the birthdays of great ones such as Jesus, there is tremendous rejoicing in heaven. Vibrations of that celestial joy permeate the atmosphere. Those who have open and loving hearts are stirred by it, and those who strive for deeper attunement through devotion and meditation fully participate in that sublime celebration. The degree to which we are in tune with heaven’s joyous recognition of Jesus’ birth depends upon the effort we make to commune with Christ — not just in the outward spiritual festivities in his honor, but in the inner temple of deep meditation.”

– Sri Daya Mata (fromSelf-Realization Magazine, Winter 2006; Self-Realization Fellowship, Los Angeles, CA. All rights reserved).

An Explanation For Why We Humans Suffer, from “Autobiography of a Yogi”

I am reading a worldwide bestselling book, Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahansa Yogananda, the beloved guru who came to America in the 1930s to establish the Self Realization Fellowship (as in the Realization that we are made of light); and to show that the universal threads of the teachings of the great masters of the Eastern world are one with the non-manipulated teachings of the extraordinary master of the Western world, Jesus Christ.I first read the book when I was 23. I was astonished, on the one hand, by the stories of the Indian swamis, saints and gurus who, among other things, appeared in two places at one time, levitated, and manifested objects from ‘thin air;’ on the other hand, I was struck by the rigorous discipline and profound devotion to God that was prevalent in India. (Attendance at our American weekend church services is mere fellowship in comparison.) Reading the book again in later years I thought, “Is there any human who loves God more than Paramahansa Yogananda?”

I have long struggled with accepting that all the suffering in the world is an aspect of God’s teaching plan; and with the idea that Mother Nature (who, at the very least, provides us all with our sustenance) is an illusion. Every time I stand in awe of a sunset, make friends with a critter, or hug a tree, I am blessed. I want to share a passage from the book here because it is the best explanation of what is real and what is not that I’ve ever seen: Continue reading

Oh, Those Spiritual Mysteries

The sacred symbol, AUM, courtesy of http://www.bbc.co.uk

Do you ever wonder about spiritual mysteries? I’ve grappled with the idea of our world and our very lives being a delusion. What does that really mean? (I have lots of questions.)

I’m reading, ‘THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST, THE RESURRECTION OF THE CHRIST WITHIN YOU,’  by Paramanhansa Yogananda, and have realized early on that most, if not all, of my spiritual questions will be answered within the pages of this beautifully bound two-volume set. Paramanhansa Yogananda was sent to America by his guru to illustrate that the spiritual experiences and wisdom of the masters of the East is the same spirituality and wisdom of the true Jesus Christ. As P.Y. writes, he quotes from the King James Bible and the Hindu Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, showing how the sacred teachings are the same.

Here I’m quoting from the book about delusion:

“There are two manifestations of the darkness of delusion: one is maya, cosmic delusion, “that which measures the Infinite;” and the other is avidya, which means ignorance or individual illusion…Maya is the mass hypnosis of God by which he makes every human being believe in the same illusory ‘reality’ of creation as perceived by the senses; avidya gives individuality of form, experience and expression (it supports the ego or I-consciousness).

…The light of God shines within the darkness of cosmic delusion, but man, the perceiver, suffers from two blinding maladies: the limitation of his senses, or individual delusive ignorance, and the cosmic delusion, combined.

…In meditation this darkness of sensory dependence goes away and intuition prevails, revealing oneself as light in the magnitude of a whole universe of light.”

Aha! An explanation of why we see or not see what is.:)

Have you ever chanted the sound, AUM? I have and it’s powerful, clearing, even spine-tingling. AUM in the Bhagavad Gita is the Holy Ghost (or Spirit) in the Christian Bible. From the SECOND COMING OF CHRIST:

“The designation in the Hindu scriptures of this “Holy Ghost”as Aum signifies its role in God’s creative plan: A stands for akara, or creative vibration; U for ukara, preservative vibration; and M for makara, the vibratory power of dissolution…So the Aum or Holy Ghost creates all things, preserves them in myriad forms, and ultimately dissolves them in the sea-bosom of God to be again re-created—a continuing process of renewal of life and form in the ongoing cosmic dreaming of God.”

Each letter of the sacred sound, AUM, means something: creation, preservation and dissolution. Isn’t that interesting? I safely downloaded a one minute audio of the sound, AUM from: Meditation Music. (Audio 2 is great). Even one minute of this cosmic sound is healing.

Reflection on Good Friday

My mom, who was raised in the Lutheran church and isn’t Catholic, asked me to attend a Stations of the Cross service at a local Catholic church yesterday, Good Friday. She says I am not as happy as when I regularly attended church, which is true in some ways. I do miss the fellowship and the messages of those priests who work so hard at making Christ’s loving ways and messages pertinent to today. (Obviously, I don’t miss the dark side of the church.)

I did not want to go because recounting Jesus’ beatings, his blood loss, his falls, the nails through his hands and feet, the sword to his ribs and the profound suffering of his mother, is hard if you don’t return on Easter Sunday to celebrate His triumph over death and the misguided ways of the world. But I went because she is my mom and moms tend to know what we need, even if we don’t want it.

I hadn’t been in years, but it seemed to me the message of the day was more direct, more terse than I remembered. The needs of all suffering people, the homeless, the hungry, the addicts, the dominated, the ill, the devastated, the elderly, the poor, were addressed in this way: Those who cause great suffering for others should stop; and that the suffering-Jesus knows who we are and why we suffer and is with us, all of us.

This is hard to admit, but I realized while in the church that my worldview of established religions has become cynical and how easy it is for me to feel that I don’t need a faith, that I know about the stuff of God. ‘She who knows, knows not,’ was the message sent and received. It is been a while since I felt open, contemplative and humble at the same time. Mothers do know best.