I know a guy….
We’ve traveled through one part the Hebrew Bible, The Old Testament, dealing with the Law…how to interact with the God of our understanding and how to get along with others.
The Laws are pretty clear, when taken literally. But as we learned, there is often much more to what was written down. And we like and need that underlying meaning to each Law, it gives it so much more depth and meaning.
So, what do we do now?
If we look at this from a soul point of view, we see how we must learn the basics before we move on the big stuff. The deep stuff.
We learned that Spirit is asking us to be a partner, to remember what is truly important. And part of that is not putting anything before God…..money, people, jobs, things….we are to set these things aside and take time for Sabbath.
Remember that Charles Fillmore quote, the ultimate in Sabbath-keeping is – “within every person there is a church service going on all the time & one needs only to enter in & experience it.”
We were reminded of the power of our words and that everything has a result…so taking the name of God in vain is impossible, therefore, watch your words and your thoughts, be careful what you place next to the words, I AM…
We learned that each one of us in the beloved child, the only begotten; & to let God be God in you. The Truth is that you can do anything, have anything, be anything, for which you have the consciousness, so wanting something that belongs to another will not work.
We are to have reverence for life, honoring all life forms-including plants, trees, and animals – and to remember seven generations out when we consider how we impact them in any way.
And we learned the true sense of adultery.
In the wisdom of Walt Whitman, “the good or bad you say of another, you actually say of yourself.” So, we ask ourselves, ‘Is it true, is it kind, is it needful?’ And remember, if there is no listener there is no gossip.
And finally, we were reminded to Change our desire to have to a desire to be.
I found another set of ‘commandments’ that may resonate with you,
1. Be the best version of thyself
2. Discover serenity’
3. Love selfishly
4. Practice positive reciprocity
5. Find perspective
6. Be grateful
7. Cultivate a rational compassion
8. Choose growth
9. Find balance
10. Know it’s always now
Of course, there are many more…The Native American ones are very resonating…check them out if you wish.
These are things we learn in the first half of our life…1 Corinthians 13:11 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
Now, back to our journey, and to the second half of our life..
The purpose of the Hebrew Bible, metaphysically, is to allow us to grow as Jesus did, “He grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52
When we learn to honor our Creator and get along with others; when we learn to keep in alignment with the flow of divine energy and the working out of divine law, we are ready fulfill the law…
Matthew 5:17 17″Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
So, Jesus, our Way-Shower, is here to take us through the next step.
Jesuit priest, Karl Rahner said that we are “pressured” from within to evolve.
Spirit is creatively at work, urging us to evolve, to become a new kind of human being such as the world has rarely seen before.
Science today—particularly physics, astrophysics, anthropology, and biology—is confirming many of religion’s deep intuitions. The universe is not inert, not lifeless… but is “inspirited matter.” We might call this driving force instinct, evolution, nuclear fusion, DNA, hardwiring, the motherboard, healing, growth, or springtime.
The point is…
What if God creates things that continue to create themselves?
Nature clearly renews itself from within. God seems to have created things that continue to create and recreate themselves from the inside out.
In 1929, astronomer Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) published his findings that revealed the universe was expanding. Many began to imagine that if the biggest frame of reference—the cosmos—was still unfolding, then maybe that is the pattern of everything. The latest evidence shows that this expansion is even happening at an ever-increasing rate! It seems to mirror the increasing rate of change with each new technological and scientific breakthrough.
Isn’t that what happened with Jesus?
He evolved as a human, he discovered his Christ consciousness. And he showed us all how we can do that and more, if we follow the spirit of the Law and discover the Kingdom of Heaven.
The first words recorded in the Bible that were spoken by Jesus, “I must be about my father’s business.” Teaching, healing, perfecting, and loving….becoming his perfect self, was an example for us all to follow. To know we can do that too.
The Apostle Paul writes, ‘the Law served the purpose of guiding us to Christ Consciousness, and kept us under control while we were on the path.’ We know that the journey can tend to have side trips if we are not careful…conscious.
But as long as we stay in Christ Consciousness, we will intuitively choose only the Good.
When we are in complete Christ Consciousness we make choices out of love. We don’t kill, for example, not because the Law tells us not to, but because our innate Christ Nature that sees only love makes the very idea impossible.
Remember what Neal Donald Walsh included in his Commitment…”When you know God…”
When we understand God and consciousness, we will stay true to the spirit of the Law.
Fr. Richard Rohr tells us…Most Christians preconceive Jesus as “the divine Savior of our divine church,” which does not allow for enlightenment; so we to can have the mind of Christ, but instead deadens and numbs our perception. Too often we read the Bible with an eye to prove our understanding of “our” Jesus so that our ideas and our church are right—and others are wrong. We must be honest enough to admit this bias.
Jesus announced, lived, and inaugurated a new social order, an alternative to violence, exclusion, and separation. He went so far as to promise us this alternate reality. It is no fantastical utopia, but a very real and achievable peace. He called it the Reign or Kingdom of God. It is the subject of his inaugural address stating that the scriptures are now fulfilled (Luke 4:14-30) , his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), and most of his parables.
Indeed, it is the guiding image of Jesus’ entire ministry. Most Christians nonchalantly recite “Thy kingdom come,” but this means almost nothing until and unless they also say, “My kingdom go.”
Surrendering our ego driven ‘plans’ and remembering who and what we are and staying in that consciousness.
Challenging the status quo is unpopular. Jesus was killed for opposing the religious and political powers of his time. “It is better for one man to die for the people” (John 18:14) than to question the bottom line that is holding the whole system together.
I’m not sure things have gotten much better….where’s the ‘for the greater good’? Feeding and clothing the needy; protecting everyone from harm…like ending gun violence? Protecting our environment and all life? Where is that?
Marcus Borg writes, “When Christians accept that Jesus was killed for the same reason that people have been killed in all of human history (rather than because he walked around saying “I am God”), we will have turned an important corner on our quest for the historical Jesus. He was rejected because of his worldview much more than his God-view.”
We are strangers and nomads on this earth (see Hebrews 11:13). Our task is to learn how to live in both worlds until they become one—at least in us.
We are a soul in evolution, not perfected, but perfect in our unfoldment. Just as the rose discloses its perfection at every stage of its development, from seed, to shoot, to stalk, to bud, to flowering blossom, to dormant winter plant—so we are perfect in our every level of expression. We uniquely shine forth the perfection of the whole of us in each step of our souls’ evolution.
Your soul is always in process. This means your soul is not a noun, but a verb. It is, in a sense, the conjugation of the verb “to be”—the process of the unfoldment of your inner being.
When Moses heard the fiery light speaking from within that desert bush, “I AM WHO I AM,” it wasn’t speaking its name as a noun. YHWH, the Hebrew name of God taken from that desert experience, was the Hebrew verb “to be,” or “to come into being.”
Being is always in process, not a final result. “I am the perfect unfoldment of Being” was what it was saying. And, having been made in the image and likeness of God, so are we!
You are evolving, you are growing—you aren’t supposed to have it all together! You must embrace your soul, accepting and loving yourself just as you are and not judging yourself.
It’s not either/or in this second half of your life….it’s both/and.
You no longer think in terms of win/lose, but win/win.
It is a very different mind and strategy for life. In order for this alternative consciousness to become your primary way of thinking, you usually have to experience something that forces either/or thinking to fall apart. Perhaps you hate homosexuality and then you meet a wonderful gay couple. Or you meet a Muslim who is more loving than most of your Christian friends. Or you encounter a young immigrant who doesn’t match your stereotypes at all. Something must break your addiction to yourself and your opinions.
It might be called growing up.
FR. Richard Rohr states, “Many, if not most, people and institutions remain stymied in the preoccupations of the first half of life. Most people’s concerns remain those of establishing their personal identity, creating various boundaries, and seeking security and success. These tasks are good to some degree and even necessary. We are all trying to find what the Greek scientist Archimedes called a “lever and a place to stand” so that we can move the world just a little bit. The world would be much worse off if we did not do the important work of ego-development.”
But the discovery of our soul is crucial and of pressing importance for each of us and for the world.
We do not “make” or “create” our souls; we just “grow” them up; unfold them. Much of our work is learning how to stay out of the way of this rather natural growing and awakening. We need to unlearn a lot.
Whether or not we find our True Self depends in large part on the moments of time we are each allotted and the choices we make at those moments. Those CHOICE moments.
Life is indeed “momentous,” created by accumulated moments in which the deeper “I” is slowly revealed if we are ready to see it. Following our inner blueprint or soul and humbly serving others is indeed of ultimate concern. Each thing and every person must act out its nature fully, at whatever cost. This is our life’s purpose, the deepest meaning of “natural law.” We are here to give back freely what was first given to us! It takes both halves of our life to fulfill this calling.
We must live in a new way—a way that is responsible, caring, and nonviolent.
Ken Butigan writes
[This is] the urgency of the great choice we face as a species: will we choose to continue to affirm a culture of systemic violence—or will we build a culture of active, creative, and liberating nonviolence so that we can not only survive but thrive?
So, after the 10 weeks of learning the 10 ‘words’ we find that the only Law we need is this….
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second, like unto it is this, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’ There is none other commandment greater than these