Maybe not, but then, maybe

Almost anything, from alpha to omega.

Maybe not, but then, maybe

Postby W4TVQ » February 8th, 2008, 9:05 pm

A strange sequence of events has me thinking (and that is always dangerous to those around me).

Peg and I attend a United Methodist Church here, mostly because we really like the pastor.who came the same time as we did. He is not the usual stuffy clergyman type and can be engaged in meaningful conversations that do not necesarily follow the prescribed credal and denominational formulas.

This week, in order to dramatize a sermon series about the origins of the Methodist Church, we are setting aside our usual Methodist service to celebrate the Anglican Mass, Rite 2, and I have been recruited to be a reader (2 lessons) and to ring the sanctus bells.

Point is this: I grew up in the Episcopal Church, high church, bells, incense, chanting, the whole shooting match; for the five years before we came down to Naples for Gainesville I was the sanctus-bell ringer for St. Joseph's EC in Gainesville. And doing this service is making me homesick! I was part of the Roman Catholic Church also for a while, but it never became part of whp I am like the EC did.

Now, i am perfectly aware that what I am talking about is religion, not necessarily spirituality. And that religion moves from man toward God, whereas God in His Grace moves toward us regardless of religion.

Yet I am sensing that religion itself does have something to offer me, and that it may aid and abet my own process of seeking. I wonder, too, if it is not true that ritual in and of itself, regardless of the words in which it is spoken, does not become sacramental and convey Grace to us. Whether it is spoken in Elizabethan English or contemporary English or Latin, whatever, the point is not the words but the ritual itself. Like Bishop Pike, asked if he could say the Creed, I too would respond "No, but I can sing it." No doubt a Wiccan ritual with athame and black candles would have the same effect, were it ingrained in my consciousness as is the Episcopal liturgy. And maybe I am just trying to connect with my own past, which might be nice: I have for the most part buried my childhood deep in my head and have virtually no memories of it. And the memories of it I do have are of the Episcopal Church and the part I played in the liturgical life of the Cathedral in Orlando.

Can't say why I'm posting this here: just to sort it out in my own little head, I guess. Maybe I'll end up going to two churches. Perhaps I could try being a Mormon on Thursdays... I don't mind being weird, I just hope to be productively weird...

Namaste
Art
"I can at best report only from my own wilderness. The important thing is that each man possess such a wilderness and that he consider what marvels are to be observed there." -- Loren Eiseley
User avatar
W4TVQ
 
Posts: 183
Joined: January 6th, 2005, 4:02 pm
Location: Naples, FL

Re: Maybe not, but then, maybe

Postby jenjulian » February 9th, 2008, 3:37 pm

I recently attended a funeral at a catholic church. The atmosphere, music, bells, incense all touched me deeply and it seemed that I was looking through a haze in the air of the church, as if the Holy Spirit was thick in presence. I don't ever remember feeling this in church in my past. So, I think you may have something about what the ritual can do, if you are open to it. I think I would prefer that the mass was spoken or sung in latin, then my mind could stay quiet, rather than ready to argue!

But, I also have these moments in nature, in meditation and sometimes when with a patient. I have to keep church or religion where it belongs, otherwise it puts me in a box that is not helpful to further growth, but prevents it.

As far as Mormon on Thurs, I will say this. I became friends with two young gentlemen who were doing their two years of door to door teaching. I have a younger sis that is mentally challenged and stubborn to boot, very tough years of watching her struggle through life. They became involved with her and I have the utmost respect for the way they live their religion, and treat others as Jesus would. Still don't agree with them, though.
"I am what I am."--Popeye
jenjulian
 
Posts: 137
Joined: July 20th, 2007, 11:46 pm

Re: Maybe not, but then, maybe

Postby W4TVQ » February 10th, 2008, 8:09 pm

I have no doubt that there are "triggers" that can crack open a door and stick a figurative foot in it, to allow Light to ocme through.

Ritual can be one such trigger, which is no doubt why every spiritual discipline has developed ritual in some degree or another. A place can be such a trigger, as well.

Regarding ritual, it is, as we both seem to agree, not in the words but in the ritual itself that the "trigger" exists: the words could be, and perhaps ought to be, in a language that does not place theololgical or philosophical barriers in the way of awareness. Latin is good, but I know enough Latin to be distracted by it. It would be better if it were in Swahili or Klingon so the words did not enter the experience except as sound.

Some places do that for me as well. Some places have a feelng of sacredness about them (which is why so many people gravitate to Sedona, for example). Anna's blog concerning Iceland hints at such a place as well. For me, one such place is the "northpoint" on Kwajalein, facing north towards Ebeye, with the Pacific breaking on the reef to the east and the Lagoon breaking on the same reef to the west. Another such place is the National Cathedral in Washington, where I felt an immediate sense of the Holy the moment I entered the building. And the grounds of the Unity Church here in Naples used to be such a place, but the sense of sacredness has left there now. I find the same thing in great music: after listening to, for example, Mahler's 2nd Symphony or Saint-Saens' Organ Symphony, one simply says, "Oh, in that case, all is well." As if "the Word became music, and dwelt among us."

The end point of it all is that everything is somehow an expression of God, but some such expressions get through to us and some don't, and the ones that don't get through to me get through to you or someone else ... and that is no doubt the way He planned it.

Namaste
Art
"I can at best report only from my own wilderness. The important thing is that each man possess such a wilderness and that he consider what marvels are to be observed there." -- Loren Eiseley
User avatar
W4TVQ
 
Posts: 183
Joined: January 6th, 2005, 4:02 pm
Location: Naples, FL

Re: Maybe not, but then, maybe

Postby Speculum » June 24th, 2008, 6:15 pm

Nice thread. I don't think I ever noticed it before.

I agree with all that’s been said about rituals and sounds and “triggers”. As I see it, it isn’t that the rituals are themselves any more “spiritual” than ordinary, mundane activities, but rather that we become distracted by ordinary, mundane activities, and rituals remind us to Remember.

From what I read and hear of their perspective, the Self-Realized Teachers among us do not need rituals to remind themselves Who They Are because they Know who they are and are always fully Aware of it.

Thus, when we are walking in a rainstorm, we do not need to be reminded that it is raining. We are constantly “reminded” it is raining by the self-evident fact that rain drops are falling all around us and upon us. We are soaking wet, and it is almost impossible not to be fully aware of the fact of it.

Surely, our Divinity (True Identity) is like that (only more so). But we do need to be reminded, perhaps because we have created so effective an umbrella (to stretch the metaphor) that now not only do we no longer feel the rain, but we’re no longer even aware that it is raining!

Just so, in my room and on our property there are here and there devices purposely intended to remind us to Remember. Among them are crystals, a Buddha and a St. Francis statuette, and others. Whenever I pass by them, I make a point of consciously noticing them, and consciously reminding myself to Remember. Similarly, there are brief, private prayers or mantras which I make a point of repeating silently to myself numerous times during the day from awakening in the morning until retiring at night. Again, for no other reason than to remind myself to Remember.

Do some religions and religious institutions misuse these kinds of rituals? Of course they do. They wouldn’t be human if they did not. But, surely, as the Sufis say, to refuse to make use of a tool simply because others have made poor or inappropriate use of it, is the height of folly.
User avatar
Speculum
 
Posts: 151
Joined: March 28th, 2005, 3:28 am

Re: Maybe not, but then, maybe

Postby W4TVQ » June 25th, 2008, 11:53 am

I'm reminded f the time-worn sermon illustration concernng the little fish, informed by his fellows that he cannot survive unless he is immersed in water, swimming frantically about trying to find water to sustain him. I know I'm immersed in All That Is, and it is sustaining me as I write. but as you say, I often need someone with a sign that says "Hey, dummy, you're immersed in what you are seeking." Enter the guru, or the church, or perhaps the message board. Reminders. Like a string tied around the finger: "hey, there's something to be remembered."

I listened again to the tape of "The Simple Way" last night. I know all that stuff, but I still appreciate the reminders. I know all that stuff, and keep on behaving as if the crap the world is telling me were true. Go figure...

Jai Ram
Art
"I can at best report only from my own wilderness. The important thing is that each man possess such a wilderness and that he consider what marvels are to be observed there." -- Loren Eiseley
User avatar
W4TVQ
 
Posts: 183
Joined: January 6th, 2005, 4:02 pm
Location: Naples, FL

Re: Maybe not, but then, maybe

Postby Ihavesayso » July 10th, 2008, 7:39 pm

Earlier this morning, about three hours prior to loging on to this forum, I wrote down these words:

"It is not the ritual that is important. It is what the ritual contributes to our understanding that matters! - Arlo R. Hansen

Peculier, isn't it, that I should voice anything positive that could be construed to have its source in organized religion, when that subject ordinarily leaves me cold?

How do I express the joy I receive from the humor and wisdom I imbibe from the contributors to The Zoo Fence Forum? Each of the above entries are treasures of insight and knowledge.

Oh how well I do express myself sometimes, through "others!"
If God is not your ventriloquist, you're just another "dummy!" - ihavesayso
User avatar
Ihavesayso
 
Posts: 57
Joined: January 3rd, 2005, 7:54 pm
Location: Lodi, California, USA

Re: Maybe not, but then, maybe

Postby W4TVQ » July 11th, 2008, 3:54 pm

""It is not the ritual that is important. It is what the ritual contributes to our understanding that matters! - Arlo R. Hansen

Peculier, isn't it, that I should voice anything positive that could be construed to have its source in organized religion, when that subject ordinarily leaves me cold?"

I know what you mean. "Organized religion" as such seems to me to be a vast wasteland of irrelevance and self-appreciation ... and yet somehow The One manages to peek through it all and get our attention. Mostly, I think, by embodying himself in ritual that supersedes whatever axes the organized "church" may be grinding.

I think my asppreciation of ritual -- of what it is, why it exists, what it does, and how it affects us -- came from the studies I did for my honors thesis in college. My major was semantics, and the resources for that subject are mainly the works of Wittgenstein, Cassirer and Langer. Having labored through those works, I understood finally why "The Word" is so central not only to Christian theology, but to the thinking of any and all spiritual disciplines, and why ritual reveals God to us. It is because we don't write ritual to "get to" God; He "writes" (i.e., inspires and uses) ritual to get to us.

For more on that particular subject, you might want to peer into Cassirer's Language and Myth, or Langer's Philosophy in a New Key.

Jai Ram
Art
"I can at best report only from my own wilderness. The important thing is that each man possess such a wilderness and that he consider what marvels are to be observed there." -- Loren Eiseley
User avatar
W4TVQ
 
Posts: 183
Joined: January 6th, 2005, 4:02 pm
Location: Naples, FL

Re: Maybe not, but then, maybe

Postby nightlily » July 24th, 2008, 6:00 pm

I would have to say, there is a great deal of good in ritual, it gives us focus, like a mantra, in meditation. Group ritual and other church functions are profoundly social, and it is most certainly divine to share within a group this kind of joy, this love of God. When we are physically close to others that are part of that divine spirit, we may find it easier to experience that oneness with life, which is all part of Him/Her.

Primarily, the ritual lets go of thought, and allows us to contemplate more on what we feel. I have done so alone, and the ritual is not so important as what is inside, although there is a great deal of satisfaction from preparing a ritual to one's taste. Use what resonates within you, and trust yourself. There is no wrong in seeking many experiences.
nightlily
 
Posts: 1
Joined: July 24th, 2008, 5:47 pm

Re: Maybe not, but then, maybe

Postby Neo » July 25th, 2008, 2:10 am

ritual helpsto keep me on track, and to get me back on track when i fall off. what scares me is that rititual may become rut. it is always a challenge, until it isn.t.
User avatar
Neo
 
Posts: 29
Joined: January 9th, 2005, 7:03 pm

Re: Maybe not, but then, maybe

Postby anna » July 27th, 2008, 5:18 pm

It seems to me that ritual is another word for mantra, or for prayer, or for any process whereby the mind is brought to a standstill. Even a rut can be useful, if its effect is to shut the mind down from its chatter. Ritual only becomes redundant if the mind can automatically shut down without recourse to any outside influence. After all, it is the mind that is the problem, no? Anything that can control or quiet it seems to me to be a useful device toward quieting and controlling it.

That said, there is, however, the lusciousness of childhood memories that can be resurfaced by childhood rituals rediscovered in adulthood. But that luscious feeling seems to me is only that, a luscious feeling, not necessarily better or worse than other luscious feeling. I think the childhood feelings that we had, and periodically can rediscover are particularly bright and clear because they lack the itellectual overtones of our adult mind, and thus are far more wonderful and precious because of that clarity. That in itself may be reason enough to attend events that re-surface them. Life is a struggle, and we need what we can find to soften its blows. I read somewhere, I think it was UG, that childhood mentality is primarily emotional, and is generated from the thymus gland, as opposed to the head, and thus carries with it enormous feeling and physical sensation. And interestingly, that is the locus of "liberated mind". So Jesus was accurate both literally and figuratively when he stated we must be children to get to heaven. :frog:
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers........Wordsworth
User avatar
anna
 
Posts: 210
Joined: December 29th, 2004, 9:28 pm

Re: Maybe not, but then, maybe

Postby Ihavesayso » July 28th, 2008, 10:19 pm

Is there really any "Place" we can "get to" other than the "Here" where we are? And isn't the planet Earth, our current "Here," a "Heaven" when we consider how hositle to human, animal, and plant life the other planets in our solar system are? Surely the Earth, with all of its varities, abundances, and beauty is the "Heaven" we all ready ocupy. If we make it "Hell," then it becomes so, just for us!
If God is not your ventriloquist, you're just another "dummy!" - ihavesayso
User avatar
Ihavesayso
 
Posts: 57
Joined: January 3rd, 2005, 7:54 pm
Location: Lodi, California, USA

Re: Maybe not, but then, maybe

Postby W4TVQ » July 29th, 2008, 12:34 pm

This raises many "yes, buts" for me. I sometimes question whether I am good "New Age" material, because the idea that we create our own reality, as attractive as it sounds, does not always resonate well with me. Yes, when I am watching a lolvely sunset or walking the boardwalk at Big Cypress Reserve or having a quiet, wonderful evening with my lovely wife, I can call it "heaven." When I walk into St. Paul's (Episcopal) Church on Sunday morning and see the little white candle buring near the altar, signifying "God is here," I feel very close to Him and yes, I can call it "heaven." When I am struggling with the non-stop, 24/7, tormenting neck pain that is my lot, I am not sure I regard this life as "heaven." Nor, I suppose, does the family of the young policeman shot and killed last week here, leaving a young wife and two small kids, because the "justice" system allowed a convicted, re-convicted and multiple-convicted man of proven violence and conscienceless brutality to walk freely on the streets. I question whether the popular idea that "we create our own reality" is not a bit too glib, whether it does not skirt around all the nastiness that we don't want to acknowledge. If the world we live in is a construct of our own minds, Who created Ahmadinejad or bin Laden? Did I do that? Am I torturing myself with neck pain for some unknown reason, purpose not revealed? If the murder of that young police officer was an illusion, it certainly resulted in a tremendous amount of illusory pain in those who were left behind, and will continue to do so.

I'm reminded of the little limerick:
There was a faith healer from Deal
Who said, "Although pain isn't real,
When I sit on a pin
And it punctures my skin
I dislike what I fancy i feel.
'

If this were indeed the only island of life in the universe, then it would be, necessarily, as you say, either heaven or hell as one sees and makes it. But just the other night I was watching Blue Planet and learned from it that the conditions for life do not necessarily include oxygen or sunlight, even here on this earth. In the deepest part of the ocean are thermal vents, actually volcanic vents, emitting superheated water at 700+ degrees (hot enough to melt glass), consisting of sulfides, no oxygen whatever, and they are so deep that not one photon of sunlight ever reaches them, and in that environment life thrives: not sentient human life, but still, life. So life could exist on Jupiter or Venus as well, and probably on millions of other planets scattered throughout the 100 billion galaxies of our unvierse, each of which contains 100 billion or more stars. And if life could evolve here, using oxygen and sunlight, and end up in a sentient, though somewhat stupid, life form called "homo sapiens," then surely it could evolve on a planet with 1000 degree temperatures and a methane atmosphere. Perhaps our next stop in the wheel of reincarnation or the continuing education process we call "life" is Jupiter, or an unknown silicon-based planet with a sulfuric acid atmosphere in Andromeda or even 15 billon light years away from here.

The closest I have come to fnding an explanation for all this is Ruby Nelson's The Door Of Everything, which at least acknowledges that the things we call "appearances" are real, painfully so. I have no doubt thay can and will be transcended, and possibly even within the bounds of this incarnate life; certainly some stories drifting back from the far east (like Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East) suggest so. But until that happens, they are bloody hell to deal with. Even if "we make our own reality" is so, I still have to deal with the reality in which I currently dwell, and it hurts a lot. Whether I made it or not is immaterial to me when the pain screams at me and I cannot move my head. Often, it seems simply chaotic and directionless. I sometimes sympathize with Shaw's definition of "life" -- "One damn thing after another."

Geez: what can I call this post but a bummer? It's what comes out when I get honest with myself and stop pretending to be astute, wise and enlightened. Thanks for letting me share it with you; hope I did not bum you out too much. Remember, this is just In My Opinion, not to say "you are wrong" but only "here is where I am now."

Jai Ram
Art
"I can at best report only from my own wilderness. The important thing is that each man possess such a wilderness and that he consider what marvels are to be observed there." -- Loren Eiseley
User avatar
W4TVQ
 
Posts: 183
Joined: January 6th, 2005, 4:02 pm
Location: Naples, FL

Re: Maybe not, but then, maybe

Postby Ihavesayso » July 30th, 2008, 4:45 am

Well, Art, you did not say anything that I have not felt in your latest post to this thread. When I was first told during my grammar school years, that the desk I was sitting at was really more empty space than solid, I thumped it with my fist and said, “…feels solid to me!” At that time this idea was ludicrous…and today, at times, it is still seemly so.

Yet, the dogma of Missouri Synod Lutherism, failed to give me satisfaction in my quest to find out how “What Is” came to be. After conformation, I was really an atheist who was forced to attend a Christian Church. It wasn’t until I was twenty, that I found agnosticism to be more in keeping with how I saw reality. Today, I find that to be the most honest answer to “Is there a God?” If there is “One,” there is only “One,” and it must be IMPERSONAL!

Shortly after reading your response, this email arrived:

From: "Chris Attwood, The Passion Test <info@thepassiontest.com>"
To: <HANSEN-ARLO@COMCAST.NET>
Subject: Arlo, what does unity really mean . . .
Date: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 2:11 PM

Dear Arlo,

With the emergence of new ways of communicating,
I have recently started writing a blog called "Pipelines
to the Soul." It contains my reflections on the nature
of life and the implications of today's scientific reality that
we are unified at our source.

http://www.thepassiontest.com/chrisblog

At the beginning of this year, before my daughter was
born, I was struck by a new passion. As I reflected on
this exciting new role of being a father, I thought about
what my deepest desire for her is.

I realized that if it could just be possible for her to know
and understand the unified nature of reality, this
knowledge might help her to move toward the direct
experience of that unified value of life.

So I got all excited about writing a book which could
allow me to draw together my own understanding and
experience, perhaps be of some value to others and
serve as a textbook on the nature of reality for her.

Janet was all for it and of course helped me to make
the idea even bigger by including interviews on the
implications of unity with some of her enlightened
sages.

But when we discussed it with our agent, it became
clear the timing wasn't right to propose this book.
So, after some months of just being patient, the desire
to begin writing about the implications of living in unity
just got too irresistible.

And thus was born Chris' Blog, titled "Pipelines to the Soul."
This title is drawn from the quote Janet and I use a lot that
"your passions are like pipelines to your soul, leading you
on to discover your life's purpose."

So, as I follow this pipeline to my own soul, I invite you
to join me (since our souls are connected at the deepest
level).

http://www.thepassiontest.com/chrisblog

If you aren't an expert on blogs, you should know that you
can have updates to the blog delivered to a news reader
on your computer automatically whenever there is a new
article.

One popular news reader is Awasu. You can download
it here:

http://www.awasu.com/downloads/2.3/

Once you have downloaded the program, install it on your
desktop, then open it up. Drag the RSS icon from the blog
to "My Favorites" in Awasu, and then follow the instructions.
The blog will update whenever there is a new article.

Thanks for joining me and I look forward to your comments.

With appreciation,

Chris

Chris Attwood
Co-author of the New York Times bestseller
"The Passion Test - The Effortless Path
to Discovering Your Life's Purpose"

http://www.thepassiontest.com/chrisblog


I clicked on the link an read the four entries Chris has made so far and knew as I read them that here, beginning with the sub-title, “Couldn’t Life Be Better? was my ready-made answer to your post. Mr. Attwood is an astute observer and conveys his convictions in a manner as clear as yours and Stefan’s.

As he says in the fourth entry, which is actually the first of his blog’s, “There are no accidents in a purposeful Universe. I was drawn there because it was meant to be.”

And so it is!

Arlo
If God is not your ventriloquist, you're just another "dummy!" - ihavesayso
User avatar
Ihavesayso
 
Posts: 57
Joined: January 3rd, 2005, 7:54 pm
Location: Lodi, California, USA

Re: Maybe not, but then, maybe

Postby Ihavesayso » August 3rd, 2008, 10:08 pm

[quote="W4TVQ"] When I am struggling with the non-stop, 24/7, tormenting neck pain that is my lot...

Oh Art! Look at the idea you have fed to your sub-conscience mind, i.e., "Universal Mind," "Unified Force Field," "God," etc., "...tormenting neck pain that is my lot..." Since you have accepted non-stop, 24/7, tormenting neck pain as "your lot," you cannot expect to get other than this from "Source," as long as you continue to feed it this idea. "Source" cannot reason deductivly; hence, it cannot distinguish what is "real," from what is immanginary, nor has it any method of knowing how painfull this "constant condition" is to you.

The most difficult idea to assimulate is that ",,we already are experiencing what we are attempting to attract into our reality, because, as in your case, if you affirm your freedom from this "being your lot" as being so, while you continue to experience the constant, tormenting neck pain, your conscience mind will scream at you, "Oh yeah? You're nuts," and the pain will continue!

Yet, in order to induce "change," we must be willing to accept all conditions we are experiencing as being OK, just as they are, for resistance lends your energy to the condition you want to change, making it stronger. What a catch twenty-two, eh, Art?

One method out is described in the following "Message From Veronica," that appeared just a few moments ago in my email inbox:



Changing Negative Experiences

"In the physical one creates everything. The responsibility of one's reality can be overwhelming especially if one is feeling defeated by circumstance. There is not a single person who wishes ill upon themselves, however, in the storm of negativity it is imperative to get to the center of the difficulty to determine exactly what thought process brought you to this unfortunate place.

The first item to investigate is how your energy has participated. Of course the acknowledgement of that can be difficult especially if one is interested in their victim hood.

Secondly, the consideration of a remedy thought process that would begin to reverse or ease the current situation. This again can be problematic if the individual in question is comfortable in their current energy patterns.

Lastly, the patience required to change a negative reality can be disappointing. However, it is imperative to consider the weaving of thoughts that have created this unfavorable place. The worse it is, the more time it took for it to be created.

Patience again is essential as one proceeds to unravel a reality that is no longer valid.

Start then with yourself. As your energy changes + the alignment of better thoughts proceed, the surrounding environment has no other recourse than to change with you. Places, People + Problems will alter as you re-create yourself.

--VERONICA

I hope this helps.
If God is not your ventriloquist, you're just another "dummy!" - ihavesayso
User avatar
Ihavesayso
 
Posts: 57
Joined: January 3rd, 2005, 7:54 pm
Location: Lodi, California, USA


Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 0 guests

cron