10 February 2013

mOrNinG mEdiTaTiOnS fRom LaSt wEeK...


Finally it seems that I will make the time to write again on this blog... mainly because we have a solar panel which able us to charge the computer anytime... I will try to post some of my morning meditations... it´s more like what comes into my mind at that time... what my spirit is wandering or wondering about ...
Writing here it´s simply a way for me to process those times in the mornings...

30th January – God wants community not religion


In my opinion the “Good News” that Jesus came to announce  was not just about “not going to hell” or “salvation” , but it was and is more about a personal relationship with God, it was more about the practicalities of loving others, loving ourselves and therefore loving God... here and now... the learning journey of life...
Life after death, or what some call “salvation”, was the fruit of Jesus´ life, death and resurrection... It was a promisse for all... God´s Grace revealed for all human kind... salvation is a gift ... “ a gift of faith , so no one may boast about it...”...
Dogmas, morals and religion are human. Those who create them are the ones interested to have others bound to the idea that if they wouldn´t be part of their  group, they were “damned”, excluded and rejected... or if they wouldn´t live life at a certain standard of “right” and “wrong”, or “good” and “bad” they would end up eternity in “hell”... or if they wouldn´t attend certain meetings they were not accepted by God... and yes, they use the name “God” to fulfill their agendas...I´m sure Jesus was familiar with this... He knew what it was to be “damned”, excluded and rejected by the religious authorities of that time...
Jesus´ message, in my opinion, was that God wants to relate to each one individually. God wants community rather than religion. God wants us to live in community with one another, with all creation and with God, the Bigness, The Divine...
What a Great new it is to know that God loves us no matter what... that God, this incomprehensible and mysteriuos being, this presence that is all over us, and in us, and in every living thing around us that have the breath of Life... This God actually wants to be relate with us, all of us individually, not in meetings of any sort, but in our simple and unnoticed daily life...
God speaks all the time and in so many ways, if only we dare to listen...
“Heaven” and “Hell”, who are we to determine or say anything about it...

31st January – God. An experience, not a concept...

God... what does that mean?
Well, actually, the fact that we attempt to speak or write about God is already limited as we can only express anything in our limited language, and therefore in our limited view of reality...
I´m writing in English, which is not even my mother language... I will not attempt to say who or what God is...
You see how limited language is, I don´t even know if I should use “who” or “what”, like “He” or “She”, or “They”, or even “it”...
Lets admit it, we are limited...
The whole idea of the existence of a God has to come from a personal experience.
Those who believe in God simply because they were born into a certain religion, tradition or culture, may never have experienced God, they just believe what they were told...
I´m not here speaking about a supernatural or charismatic experience only, this sometimes can be mistaken by a simple emotional experience... I´m speaking about something we don´t even know how to explain or describe to others, something that is deep in our hearts, something we can´t deny, but it´s there, rooted in our heart.
Some people don´t believe in God at all, some, sadly, because they were born into a certain religion, tradition or culture ... Because religion is human and is made of humans, it´s very easy to see hypocracy and contradiction, it´s easy to become sarcastic about the whole idea of God and religion. I don´t blame those... I was there myself...
Unless we experience something we can´t understand or even describe, lets call it “supernatural”, we are alien to any idea of God.
The truth is, throughout human history, many have experienced the supernatural... and it´s there... it´s here...
Some may call it “God”, or “Angels”, or “Ancestors”, or “Fairies”, or “spirits”, or “energy”, some may personalise it and call “Jesus”, or “Khrisna”, or “Budha”, or “Mohamed”, or “Allah”, or “Jehova”, or even “aliens”...
And indeed, it is alien to us... weather they are green and live in spaceships, that is one interpretation...
I´m not here wanting to offend anyone or the belief of anyone... whatever you call God, it is your experience and I respect it... if you don´t believe in God, it is also your experience and I respect it... 
In my opinion, we may use different names, but we may be speaking about the same...
If any of these experiences are peaceful and fill us with Love, not fear, I would say they are from God.
It´s up to those who experience it to develop a relationship, to live life with love for themselves, for others, for all creation, and for “God”...
If it is a “God” experience, that person will never be the same... his/ her life will be one of faith, faith in that experience, faith in that voice, or thought, or image... 
it will be a life of Love, rather than fear; of Forgiveness, rather than bitterness; of Mercy rather than revenge; of Compassion rather than indifference; of Joy rather than sadness; of Patience rather than stress; of Hope rather than hopelessness; of Sharing and Producing rather than only taking and consuming; of Justice rather than injustice; of Sacrifice rather than selfishness; of Humility rather than pride; of Goodness rather than evil; of Peace rather than violence...
If one lives such a life, who are we to say they are not of God? Even those who say they don´t believe...
Of course we experience fear, bitterness, feelings of revenge, indifference, etc... at some moments in our lives, for these are human feelings...
Aren´t we often struggling between what we want and would like to do and what we actual end up doing ? This shows me there is something beyond my human nature...
The way I see God, by my own experience, we are not to feel blamed, nor guilty or condemned by those feelings or actions. We are to recognise them, and change, or let the experience of Love change us... every day, every step on this pilgrimage of life... 

1st February – My way is not the only way

What about those who experience God in a certain way and think that everybody has to experience God the same way?
That´s , I believe, where so many divisions come from... between different religions and between different denominations within the same religion.
It may start with a name, and that in itself varies among thousands of languages that exist.
We have a report from Moses, more than a 1000 years BC, an hebrew raised by Egyptian royalty. He had an experience of God, something supernatural... he was shepherding in a desert place, when a bush got on fire, but without burning. He recognized the supernatural and he heard a voice coming from that bush. When he asked for a name, the answer was “I AM” or “I Am who I am... some translate it into ” I am the one who exists”, and Plato, in his Parmenides, where he treats sublimely of the nature of God, says that nothing can express God´s nature, therefore no name can be attributed to God. 
I agree with this.
God is . God exists. I guess that´s what God meant when Moses asked for a name.
Do we need to have a name ? We just need to know God is God.
To some God is revealed in “Holy Scriptures”, assembled and written by humans, and inspired by the Divine (some say that, and I know some have different opinions), to others God is revealed in Nature or Creation (for me that´s the first, and available to all, “Holy Scripture),  to others God is revealed in humanity, in our glories and weaknesses, to others in the poor and needy, to others in art, to others in healing, to others in prayer, in meditation, in contemplation, in silence, in songs and worship, to others in supernatural experiences like dreams, visions and images, dreams , angels, apparitions, to others through prophets and enlightened people...
This last one can create a problem of division too, because those who follow prophets usually have the idea that theirs is THE prophet...
I remember this movie I watched about Leo Tolstoy, and it was really interesting to notice how Tolstoi was so different from his disciples... Tolstoi was all about Love and justice...his disciples were following him everywhere writing down every single word he would say and make it into a “rule”, or dogma, or something like "God´s own words"... with his sense of humour, Tolstoi would often say that his disciples were more “Tolstoians” than himself... It was really well done the way they portrayed this dynamic between "gurus" and followers...And that can say a lot about most religions or movements which started by a certain charismatic person, which eventually dies, or goes away and a movement goes on... Another example is Francis of Assisi who ended up abandoning his own "Franciscan order" before he died... There is also a joke that says that when Jesus is coming back, the first thing he would say is “I´m not a Christian” (sorry if I offend anyone, but I hope you get the point)
Anyway, no matter which way , if one has a revelation of God, the characteristics and nature of this God should be the same... otherwise is OUR image of God, and not God´s...
The main message we receive from a Divine revelation should be the same - that we are to love ourselves, and others and therefore God... God is all about Love... if we would agree with that, we wouldn´t need to be divided in our personal opinions...
What divides people are mere human interpretations, rules and laws of “rights” and “wrongs”, religion, ideologies, etc...
Where the Spirit of God is , there is freedom... And this freedom leads us to an honest and open relationship with God... We don´t need rules when we have a relationship... It will be the Spirit of God in us who will show us if we need to change... and actually, it ´s not a matter of “need” but it is more about what would be the best for us or others...
With God there is no accusation , no guilt... conviction, yes, when it´s needed... If we are open in this relationship God will simply show us when we are living in love or not... And Love is what transforms us and changes us...
Those who are forgiven much, are the ones who love much... Only when we are shown love, we are able to love back and show love to others... That is the great work of the Spirit of God in each human being...
This should be ultimately what we seek when we seek God...
So, no matter which way one experiences God, that is his/her experience... If we all seek and experience Love, we should not be divided.
We cannot force anyone to Love, or love in a certain way, for we´re all unique, and so is the way we love...
God treats each one in a unique way..let us treat each other the same...
What God reveals to me, may be only for me, or for a certain period of my life...I cannot share a personal revelation with others as if it was for them, for that may be a burden for others... For example, if I feel God is telling to fast once a week, or to give away all my bellongings... Most definitely that will be for myself at that time... I will not make that a rule for all my life, or make it a rule for other people´s lives, even if God would tell me that out of a burning bush...
I´m saying this because we should be very careful when we share what God puts in our hearts...some things are for many people, but others are only personal or temporal , and they should stay that way...
That is why it´s so important to develop a relationship, so we can always be open to listen what God has to say...anew...

I end with a beautiful passage from Jesus ´disciple, John

My loved ones, let us devote ourselves to loving one another. Love comes straight from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and truly knows God.
So, my loved ones, if God loved us so sacrificially, surely we should love one another.
No one has ever seen God with human eyes; but if we love one another, God truly lives in us. Consequently God’s love has accomplished its mission among us.”

and the next question is "What is ´to Love` then ? "


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