Love and worship….

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Love and worship. People so confuse the two. I love you, I worship you: very different. Many people are looking for someone who will worship them. That means they are looking for someone to objectify them. Love is not based on subject and object; worship is. In worship—and by worship I mean idealizing an object, not practicing sacred ritual—there is …

Characteristics of Mysticism….

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From Mysticism, by Evelyn Underhill: 1.  True mysticism is active and practical, not passive and theoretical.  It is an organic life-process, a somthing which the whole self does; not something as to which its intellect holds an opinion. 2.  Its aims are wholly transcendental and spiritual.  It is  in no way concerned with adding to, exploring, re-arranging, or improving anything …

Clarity of goals and definitions….

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When we start a conversation we tend to look for common ground. This might be language, activities or anything that we feel will bridge us to the other person. In our desire to connect, we may miss what is actually going on. If what we share is a common language, then we need to check our definitions. Assuming shared definitions …

Warriors for peace and warriors for war….

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It hit me that Tolstoy had it right: War and Peace. We are organized into two teams: warriors for war and warriors for peace. We are playing a big game. There are times when more players are on the warriors for war side and times when the warriors for peace are winning. As long as we remain separate from God …

Systems…

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Everyone uses a system, whether consciously or not.  Our family culture is a system of sorts, with jargon, rules, behaviors, judgements, and mannerisms both overt and covert. This being the case, when we meet someone new we unwittingly compare our system to theirs.  We may not even be aware of it, but we are in fact assessing others based on …

Transformation…

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So much language these days is about change, transformation, on all levels and in all sectors of our lives. The law of change is always working, but in what direction are we going? That depends on what we are doing now. So nothing is static, though we may think it is because it moves so slowly. The transformation I desire …

Human security….

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Human security starts within. The single greatest source of human insecurity is ignorance. Human security is the removal of ignorance; ignorance of who we and everyone truly are. You, the actor, are okay.  The character, the lower self, is in fear for its life.  To be truly secure you must let go of the character. That means not being identified with …

Who am I?….

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Who am I?  At any given moment, I appear to be the furthest thing out that consciousness has enlivened.  So “who I am” changes from moment to moment.  My job is to return to Me and stay there, and not identify with what I enliven. This seems so easy, “just be myself”; however, it requires intense work and Grace. We …

St. Symeon’s discussion….

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St. Symeon’s discussion of contemplative prayer in the Philokalia might serve as a good reference point for the practice I teach. He establishes three levels of attention and prayer. The first level relates to the five senses, with God as Other; the practice makes use of outward props such as icons, statues and formal ritual.  The second level relates to the mind, …