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Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

The Incarnation of God, 3: Unveiling Love, the Gift of You

           Love is at the Heart of Creation 

Time held me green and dying, though I sang in my chains like the sea.  —Dylan Thomas

I GREET YOU ON THIS CHRISTMAS MORNING in the Spirit of the Christ, whose birth we celebrate today. Let peace reign in your heart today and throughout the New Year.

Cynthia Bourgeault takes this chapter of her book, THE WISDOM JESUS, home to an unveiling of love.  Recapping the previous two paragraphs for continuity of thought, here is the final installment of this series on the incarnation of Jesus.

♦ ◊ ♦

LET ME BE VERY CLEAR HERE. I am not saying that suffering exists in order for God to reveal himself. I am only saying that where suffering exists and is consciously accepted, there divine love shines forth brightly. Unfortunately, linear cause-and-effect has progressively less meaning as we approach the deep mysteries (which originate beyond time and thus have no real use for it). But the principle can be tested. Pay attention to the quality of human character that emerges from constriction accepted with conscious forgiveness as compared to what emerges from rage and violence and draw your own conclusions.

At any rate, I have often suspected that the most profound product of this world is tears. I don’t mean that to be morbid. Rather, I mean that tears express that vulnerability in which we can endure having our heart broken and go right on loving. In the tears flows a sweetness not of our own making, which has been known in our tradition as the Divine Mercy. Our jagged and hard-edged earth plane is the realm in which this mercy is the most deeply, excruciatingly, and beautifully released. That’s our business down here. That’s what we’re here for. ♦ (Emphasis added)

Unveiling Love

IF MY HUNCH IS CORRECT, you can see how it significantly rearranges the playing field. Our earthly existence, then, is not about good behavior in preparation for a final judgment. It’s not a finishing school in which we “learn what we need to learn,” nor a sweatshop in which we work off our karmic debt. Right here and now we are in the process of speaking into being the revelation of God’s most hidden and intimate name. That’s a difficult assignment, particularly when “success” and “failure” mostly wind up being the complete opposites of what we would normally expect in life. But the most productive orientation for our time here is not to focus on how quickly we can get back to our spiritual homeland, but to give ourselves fully to the divine intimacy being ventured right here and now. We might reassure ourselves that in some conscious (or deeply trans-conscious) way, we have chosen to bear our part in what mystical tradition calls “the suffering of God”: the costliness that is always involved in the full manifestation of divine love. We’re doing it here and now, through the marrow of our own human lives, consciously lived. And these space-time conditions, as fragile and as frustrating as they are, are precisely the conditions which allow it to happen. As the poet Dylan Thomas expresses it in the beautiful lines with which this chapter began, “Time held me green and dying, though I sang in my chains like the sea.” It is the reality of the chains that creates the beauty of the song.

Mediator as Bridge

From a God’s-eye view of creation, the real operational challenge is not sin and evil; it is posed by the vastly unequal energetic frequencies between the realms. How can the sun touch a snowflake? How can the divine radiance meet and interpenetrate created life without incinerating it? This is the ultimate metaphysical koan—to which Christianity proposes as its solution the mystery of the incarnation.

This realization, in turn, opens up a whole new line of insight into John’s statement, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” The Son, in this wider metaphysical context, is no longer the one who bails us out or who rescues us from our fallen state but the one who becomes our bridge between the realms. Recognizing the enormous difficulty of our mission, Jesus comes to accompany us on it, advocating for our human finitude in a way that respects its integrity but doesn’t allow us to get trapped in it. As in the traditional theological understanding (but with a very different flavor), he becomes our mediator. Standing at the confluence of two vastly different orders of being, he offers his own life as the sanctuary between them.

“Become All Flame”

As we have seen already, these great metaphysical paradoxes lend themselves more easily to poetry and metaphor than to the theological scalpel. One of the classic images Christian mystics have used to portray this cosmic mediation is actually very ancient, from the Old Testament. In the book of Exodus (3:1-6) the story is told of how Moses, while tending his father-in-law’s flock of sheep in the Midianite wilderness, suddenly comes upon a bush fully engulfed in flame and yet miraculously intact. The miracle is quickly revealed as an angel of God speaking through the flame. But for the Christian desert hermits later inhabiting that same wilderness, the burning bush became a symbol of Jesus himself: all flame, yet perfectly intact within his finite container. And there were those among that desert fellowship who yearned for that same incandescent ground. In one of the most famous of the desert parables:

Abba Lot went to Abba Joseph and said to him, “Abba, as far as I can I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray and meditate, I live in peace, and as far as I can, I purify my thoughts. What else can I do?” Then the old man stood up and stretched his hands towards heaven. His fingers became like ten lamps of fire and he said to him, “If you will, you can become all flame.

Would it be possible for us, too, to “become all flame”? Could our own lives become such a perfect fusion of infinite love and finite form that light would pour from our being as an actual physical radiance? I have indeed seen this light in more than a few realized masters toward the end of their earthly journeys; it is the fully revealed mystery of human life lived as a conscious sacrament. How we get there is the secret Jesus will unfold for us through the course of his own consciously sacramental life. But our first step in joining him on this journey is to recognize that his incarnation is not about fall, guilt, or blame, but about goodness, solidarity, and our own intimate participation in the mystery of love at the heart of all creation.

♦ ◊ ♦

Life is sacred wherever it is expressed in Nature.  A life lived with love is truly a sacrament.  I love Cynthia’s passionate presentation of the incarnation and life of Jesus.  Speaking of passion,  I was listening to Bishop Michael Curry on NBC’s Today Show this Christmas Eve morning give his Christmas message, which is all about giving the gift of YOU to all those you meet in your daily activities by greeting them with a smile and a kind word or two to make a connection with them for sharing love.  He exemplifies this in his own robust ways.  We each have a gift to give of our Self, which is a gift from Heaven from whence we came into this world.  The gifts of Spirit are always coming down from God out of Heaven.  We need only be still enough and prepared in our hearts to receive and deliver them.  My friend in South Korea, Jae Hyoung Lee, shared this timely message on his Facebook page today: 

How careful are you that the atmosphere in you, that your state inside yourself, is of such a nature that the delicate things of God will not be destroyed? Such things will be destroyed by self-indulgence in such things as resentment, fear, hate, jealousy. All such attitudes produce a coarse atmosphere within a person, where the delicate plant cannot grow, where the delicate plant in fact will be destroyed. The way the world now is the atmosphere is so coarse that the things of God cannot exist here. They must first be placed in a womb, and the womb is provided by human beings, who were created for this purpose. We are the human beings through whom this development needs to take place, and we are responsible for maintaining security.  —-Martin Cecil

There a beautiful hymn we used to sing in choir that speaks of the womb of the Earth for beauty to be born and our crowning role as emissaries of beauty and light.  I’ll leave it with you to hold in your heart during this Christmas Season and throughout the coming year. 

Our God did make the earth a place of beauty, love and light, Where skies and seas and all of life reveal Him with delight. For God did make the earth a womb where beauty might be born. 

The flowers drink the rain and sun above the good brown earth, And do not seem to have to try to fill their life with worth. For God did make the earth a womb where beauty might be born.

And man He made with crowning care to share His majesty, To let His gifts of life appear, His glory ever be. For God did make the earth a womb where beauty might be born.

May your Christmas be a joyful celebration of the gift you are and the gifts of friends and family.  Feel free to share my Christmas message with friends and loved ones.  See you next year!  

Merry Christmas . . . and Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish friends and neighbors! 

Anthony

 

The Incarnation of God, 2: Many Mansions

“The crucifixion wasn’t really the hard thing for Jesus; the hard thing was incarnation.”  

THE PASSAGE ABOVE, attributed to the mystic Bernadette Roberts, sets the tone for this second in a series of three posts on the theme of the incarnation of Jesus, the son of God.  I continue from where my previous post left off sharing from Cynthia Bourgeault’s  beautiful and provocative book, THE WISDOM JESUS, Transforming Heart and Mind—A New Perspective on Christ and His Message.  We came into Being in Heaven before coming into Human form on Earth, and our journeys here were anything but pleasant.  We fell into this illusive world “from a lighter gravitational field to a heavier one.” With this post I celebrate the Winter Solstice and the beginning of yet another solar cycle initiated by the increase of Light.  Enjoy.  

♦ ◊ ♦

“Many Dwelling Places”

We Christians still inhabit a rather small universe, metaphysically speaking. We know that we live here on earth, and some of us may believe that above it is a place called heaven, counterbalanced by a place down below called hell. At very best it’s a three-tiered universe. But the ancient wisdom traditions (now strongly reinforced, incidentally, by findings emerging from modern physics and cosmology) universally suggest that we need to throw this three-story world out; it is far too cramped to contain the vastness of divine consciousness. There are many realms, wisdom teaches: not just earth, heaven, and hell, but countless densities or dimensions of existence, all of which exist to manifest or mirror an aspect of the divine fullness. Jesus himself states this very clearly to the disciples in his farewell discourses in the Gospel of John, when he says, “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places” (John 14:2). He does not mean physical places but rather states of consciousness or dimensions of divine energy (as we saw in chapter 3 with Jim Marion’s recognition that the “Kingdom of Heaven” was Jesus’s way of referring to nondual consciousness). The tradition of sophia perennis (perennial wisdom) pictures this vastness as a “great chain of being” or “ray of creation.” which begins in a pure, high-intensity, invisible, subtle consciousness and “descends,” thickening as it does so, into this world we inhabit: the realm of sharp edges and tables and chairs and human beings crashing and banging against each other in a finite and terribly solid world.

The contemporary Christian hermeticist Valentin Tomberg envisions this ray as a vast energetic cascade, beginning in divine consciousness itself and ending up in our familiar empirical universe. In Meditations on the Tarot he writes:

“Modern science has come to understand that matter is only condensed energy. Sooner or later science will also discover that what it calls energy is only condensed psychic force, which discovery will lead in the end to the establishment of the fact that all psychic force is the condensation, purely and simply, of consciousness; i.e., spirit.”

Like a mountain whose base is solidly on the earth but whose summit is hidden in the clouds, this insight leads us step by step up the ray of creation. Modern physics certainly would have no difficulty with the assertion that matter is only condensed energy; this is officially the Second Law of Thermodynamics. But what about this next realm, “psychic force”? Here the paths divide. This second form of energy is well known to spiritual seekers, but largely invisible to hardcore science; it is the energy flowing through prayer, attention, intention, and will: those more subtle exchanges which science has so far declined to measure but which we know have the power to create demonstrable effects in the physical realm.”

Beyond psychic force, yet another energetic realm awaits us, claims Tomberg, for psychic force is itself only the “condensation” (that is, the densification or coarser expression) of a substance incomparably more intense and subtle: pure spirit, pristine consciousness itself, unmediated by any form of expression. This primordial quality is known by many names in the tradition-“I AM” in Judeo-Christian tradition, wujud (“reality”) in mystical Islam, rigpa (“pristine awareness”) in Tibetan Buddhism. The names vary, but the understanding remains the same. Virtually unanimously, the ancient wisdom roadmaps picture the cosmos as a vast light stream, radiating out from the ineffable Godhead through the realm of primordial intention (known in Christianity as the logos), into archetypal form and energies, and finally into human, earthly becoming. Our life here in this physical cosmos is merely the endpoint of a long journey of what you might call “divine redshift”— that is, the condensation or cooling down of the intense energy of pure spirit in order to make physical manifestation possible.

Down Here on the Edge

So here we find ourselves on this plane of existence, at or near the bottom of the great chain of being. What are we to make of our position? What are we doing “down” here in a world that seems so dense and sluggish, so coarse and fragile and finite? Even in our dreams we move faster than the speed of light, and our mystics and visionaries are perpetually reminding us that in our heart of hearts we remember and yearn for a state of greater spaciousness and fluidity.

It’s curious, when you come to think about it, how virtually all the world’s spiritual traditions see this earthly realm as somehow deficient. Depending on the tradition, our world is either an illusion or a mistake, but in either case we “fall” into it, from a lighter gravitational field to a heavier one. We have seen how the Judeo-Christian tradition upholds this understanding in its primordial myth of the fall of Adam and Eve. Other traditions (primarily the Eastern ones) see this world as a mirage, an illusion to be dispelled. Still other traditions, such as mystical Islam, carry a profound sense of exile and a “nostalgia for the infinite.” Here is not home.

Is there another way of looking at this? I believe there is, and I think that it is actually at the heart of what is intended by that beautiful mantra, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” But it is so spiritually counterintuitive that it remains almost entirely unspoken — at least I myself have never heard it spoken or written about in any of the traditions. To the extent that what I am seeing here is correct, Christian wisdom steps out into unknown territory, leaving even sophia perennis behind.

Here is my take: Yes, this is a very heavy, frustrating, difficult density that we come into by taking birth in the human realm. Because of the binary, finite nature of both the physical world itself and the egoic operating system we use to navigate it, it seems as though we’re always bumping into sharp edges. Life presents us with a series of seemingly irrevocable choices: to do one thing means that we have to give up something else; to marry one person means we can’t marry another; and to join a monastery means we can’t marry at all. Our confused agendas clash both inwardly and outwardly, and we cause each other pain. Our bodies age; we diminish physically; loved ones fall out of our lives. And the force of gravity is tenacious, nailing our feet to the ground and usually our souls as well.  I remember my granddaughter, now five, who from the very moment she arrived on this planet expe­rienced an intense frustration bordering on fury at her inability to move. “What the hell?” she seemed to be saying as she flailed her little arms and legs and tried even at four months old to wriggle herself across the room. I have never seen a child who
felt the constriction of this planet as much as she did. 

Yes, we come into constriction, but is that the same as punishment! I believe not. I believe rather that this constriction is a sacrament and we have been offered a divine invitation to participate in it. 

Remember our discussion of sacrament at the beginning of this chapter! A sacrament reveals a mystery in a particularly intense way while at the same time offering the means for its actualization. And in this sphere of human life, the sacrament is finitude and the mystery is “I was a hidden treasure and I loved to be known….” 

Notice that there is a subtle double meaning at work in this phrase. At one level “I loved to be known” is a synonym for “I longed to be known” (and the phrase is often translated that way). But you can read the words in another way: “I loved in order to be known”– and when you do, they reveal a deeper spiritual truth.  In order to become known to another, we must take the risk of loving that person, and this includes the real possibility of rejection and the even more painful prospect of heart­ break if the beloved is lost to us. It is difficult to risk love in a world so fragile and contingent. And yet, the greater the gamble of self-disclosure, the more powerful the intimacy and the more profound the quality of devotion revealed. 

Could it be like this for God as well? 

Could it be that this earthly realm, not in spite of but because of its very density and jagged edges, offers precisely the conditions for the expression of certain aspects of divine love that could become real in no other way? This world does indeed show forth what love is like in a particularly intense and cost­ly way. But when we look at this process more deeply, we can see that those sharp edges we experience as constriction at the same time call forth some of the most exquisite dimensions of love, which require the condition of finitude in order to make sense — qualities such as steadfastness, tenderness, commitment, forbearance, fidelity, and forgiveness. These mature and subtle flavors of love have no real context in a realm where there are no edges and boundaries, where all just flows. But when you run up against the hard edge and have to stand true to love anyway, what emerges is a most precious taste of pure divine love. God has spoken his most intimate name. 

Let me be very clear here. I am not saying that suffering exists in order for God to reveal himself. I am only saying that where suffering exists and is consciously accepted, there divine love shines forth brightly. Unfortunately, linear cause-and-effect has progressively less meaning as we approach the deep mysteries (which originate beyond time and thus have no real use for it). But the principle can be tested. Pay attention to the quality of human character that emerges from constriction accepted with conscious forgiveness as compared to what emerges from rage and violence and draw your own conclusions.

At any rate, I have often suspected that the most profound product of this world is tears. I don’t mean that to be morbid. Rather, I mean that tears express that vulnerability in which we can endure having our heart broken and go right on loving. In the tears flows a sweetness not of our own making, which has been known in our tradition as the Divine Mercy. Our jagged and hard-edged earth plane is the realm in which this mercy is the most deeply, excruciatingly, and beautifully released. That’s our business down here. That’s what we’re here for. ♦ (Emphasis added)

♦ ◊ ♦

I love Cynthia’s passion and I’m finding her insights enlightening relative to the evolution and transformation taking place in Christian thinking and in the collective consciousness as a whole, probably because I still have a place of compassionate caring in my heart for my Catholic roots.  Not that I’m setting out on a mission to save the Catholic Church.  It’s the betrayed and misled that I care about, and who I have in mind and heart sharing Cynthia’s writings.  Please feel free to wisely share these blog posts with friends and family.  We will find out where the author is taking this consideration in the final series installment, which I will post on Christmas day.  Until then, Happy Solstice.

Anthony

tpal70@gmail.com 

The Incarnation of God

I was a hidden treasure, and I loved to be known, and so I created the worlds both visible and invisible.” — Islamic Tradition

CHRISTMAS IS A YEARLY CELEBRATION of the incarnation of God’s only son, the Lord of Love and Prince of Peace, on Earth. I would like to share with you an insightful view and perspective of the incarnation of Jesus as a fully humanized being, taken from Cynthia Bourgeault’s beautifully written and profoundly insightful book THE WISDOM JESUS.  Its author is an Episcopal priest who has written several books exploring Jesus’ life as a mystical teaching and sacrament. 

Having emerged from a Catholic upbringing myself, and having spent seven years in Catholic Seminary, I do enjoy sharing this author’s vision of what Christianity could be simply by adopting a more metaphysical view and understanding of it core truth and of the One whose birth we celebrate this week.  Cynthia takes us from where we’ve been in our religious path of worshiping God, to where we are now at the threshold of opportunity for a radical shift in our attitude and consciousness, and forward to how we could easily move into a more spirit and love based path to knowing God.  I will share selections from her book in two or more blog posts.  I hope you will enjoy her as much as I do.

♦ ◊ ♦

THE INCARMATION

IN THE FIRST PART of this book we explored Jesus’s teachings as a comprehensive spiritual path. In this second part we will be shifting our focus to consider Jesus’s life itself as a teaching. By “a teaching” I mean a model, of course; all authentic teachers walk the talk. But more than just a model, I want to consider his life as a sacrament — that is, as a spiritual force in its own right. The traditional definition of a sacrament is “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.” But what to my mind this definition does not make sufficiently clear is that a sacrament does not merely symbolize a spiritual reality; it lives that reality into existence.

Jesus’s life, considered from this standpoint, is a sacrament: a mystery that draws us deeply into itself and, when rightly approached, conveys an actual spiritual energy empowering us to follow the path that his teachings have laid out. This sacramental life of Jesus rests on four cornerstones which are both historical events and cosmic realities: his incarnation, passion, resurrection, and ascension. Together they compose the foundation of the Christian mystical and devotional life, and to open oneself fully to the meaning of these great mysteries is to be able to read the inner roadmap of the Christian path. In the next four chapters we will be exploring each of these mysteries in turn. My hope is to move beyond the usual theological and critical-historical explanations in order to follow the living mystical thread that will allow us to appropriate each one of these mysteries as food for the journey.

Since the ground we will be traversing is also the sometimes prickly shared territory of Christian liturgy and sacramental theology, let me remind you once again of my own background here, so that you will know where I am speaking from. While I wear the collar of an Episcopal priest, most of my lived liturgical life has been within the wider stream of Benedictine monasticism, primarily Western and Roman Catholic (although the Episcopal liturgy is in most respects identical), and it is from this perspective (as well as my earlier training as a medievalist) that I will primarily be speaking when I describe the ritual celebrations that unfold these great mysteries. I am less familiar with the Orthodox traditions (except through my exposure to the  Christian inner tradition), but at ease within the Celtic and Oriental Orthodox spiritual streams, whose extraordinary insights I will draw on at appropriate moments. As Meister Eckhart once observed, “There is no being except in a mode of being,” and the Western Catholic mode of being is the stream in which I have primarily come to know what I know. With that disclaimer in place, let us see what we can discover about the first great mystery, the incarnation.

“For God So Loved the World . . . .”

I remember being struck many years ago by an insight from the contemporary mystic Bernadette Roberts that crucifixion wasn’t really the hard thing for Jesus; the hard thing was incarnation.” Crucifixion and what followed from it — his death and resurrection — were simply the pathway along which infinite consciousness could return to its natural state. What was really hard for infinite consciousness was to come into the finite world in the first place. With nothing to gain from the human adventure — nothing to prove, nothing to achieve, and a dangerously unboundaried heart that left him defenseless against the hard edges of this world — Jesus came anyway: that, claims Bernadette Roberts, was the real crucifixion! As we saw earlier, Paul grasped that same point in his beautiful hymn in Philippians 2:9-16. The first self-emptying that Jesus goes through is the self-emptying that lands him in bodily form on this planet, a human being. There is definitely something spiritually counterintuitive about this business of incarnation, and to really get what’s at stake in this mystery is for me the acid test as to whether you understand what Christianity is all about.

Unfortunately, this understanding is hard to come by: not only outside of Christianity, but inside it as well. Make no mistake, Christianity is intensely a religion of incarnation. Millions of people caught up in mass hysteria during the Christmas season can’t all be wrong! But even the sentimental excesses of the season only go to reinforce the point. There is a deeper truth at work here that stirs us in spite of ourselves. Who among us has not awakened in the wee hours of Christmas morning to catch the live broadcast of the Ceremony of Lessons and Carols from Westminster Abbey and thrilled to the sonorous reading of those immortal words from the prologue to the Gospel of John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelled among us”? There is a deep soul-truth here that both contains and redeems our frantic efforts to penetrate its meaning at a more superficial level.

If you were to imagine the great world religions like the colors of a rainbow, each one witnessing in a particular way to some essential aspect of the divine fullness, Christianity would unquestionably hold down the corner of incarnation — by which I mean the vision of God in full solidarity with the created world, fully at home within the conditions of finitude, so that form itself poses no impediment to divinity. There is another beautiful phrase in John’s gospel proclaiming: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son” (John 3:16).  At its mystical best, Christianity reverberates with the warmth of this assurance: with the conviction that creation is good, that God is for us, and that what ultimately gets worked out in the sacred mystery of Jesus’s passage through the human realm is a profound testament to love.

Who Screwed Up?

Unfortunately, Christianity as a religion has never had a sufficient metaphysical understanding of its own core truth. The message gets obscured by its primary interpretive vehicle: the theology of fall and redemption. Virtually all Christian teaching begins from the supposition that Jesus’s incarnation is brought about by the fall of Adam and happens in response to it. “As in Adam all died, so in Christ shall all be made alive” is the classic Pauline formulation of this idea (I Corinthians 15:20). The primordial parents Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and plunged the world into chaos; Jesus came to rescue it. Thus, incarnation is framed from the start within the context of God’s response to a mistake that should never have happened in the first place. This assumption, in turn, deeply colors our understanding of the phrase, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” It sounds like: “God didn’t give up on us; God bailed us out.”

In a more mystical nuancing of this same basic idea, we encounter the theology of “0 felix culpa”~”O happy fault”~ to quote the first line of a traditional Gregorian Advent hymn which expresses this theology particularly clearly. Rather than blaming Adam and Eve, this line of argument claims, we ought to be grateful for them because their mistake set in motion the chain of events through which Christ would fully reveal himself to this world. Without that initial fall there would have been no need for the redemption. In the most subtle versions of this teaching (as in Karl Barth’s Christ and Adam) linear cause and effect are reversed, and we see Adam and Eve falling into this space/time continuum out of God’s “prior” decision (that is, already made in eternity) to reveal himself in human form. Rather than being the cause of the fall, Adam and Eve become the instruments of the ultimate divine self-communication. This is a much more affirmative teaching, which brings the theology of fall and redemption to its most mature expression.

But I would like to push the metaphysical envelope still further and see if we can approach the mystery of the incarnation through a conceptual framework that does not rely on fall and redemption at all but unfolds along an entirely different line of understanding. Instead of a cosmic course-correction, this other approach envisions the steady and increasingly intimate revelation of divine love along a trajectory that was there from the beginning. The best expression of this idea is actually contained in a beautiful saying from Islamic tradition (although its roots go down into perennial wisdom ground): “I was a hidden treasure, and I loved to be known, and so I created the worlds both visible and invisible.” Both the saying itself and the understanding that illumines it derive from a profound mystical intuition that our created universe is a vast mirror, or ornament (and the Greek word “cosmos” literally means “an ornament”), through which divine potentiality — ­beautiful, fathomless, endlessly creative — projects itself into form in order to realize fully the depths of divine love. And remember that “realize” has two meanings: “to recognize” and “to make real.” The act of loving brings hidden potential to full expression, and the more intimate and costly the self-giving, the more precious the quality of love revealed. This subtle and beautiful understanding of creation will also, as we shall see, have something very important to show us about our true work as human beings.

♦ ◊ ♦

We are each one an incarnation of Divine Being.  Our personal incarnations were stressful and limiting, descending from the peaceful Realms of Light and landing in the dark wet terrain of busy embryonic cellular activity; from flying freely in the air of spirit to crawling on our bellies until our toddling forms learn to walk and run.  How we yearn for the freedom we knew before incarnating.  I remember very vivid dreams of flying above the ground at breakneck speed in my youthful years.  Who hasn’t had such dreams?  And I can relate to the thrill a jet pilot must enjoy flying through the air at supersonic speed.  One has to be fit and well trained to fly a jet.  Likewise our human capacities need compassionate care and vital nourishment in order to be fully fit and available in accommodating the incarnate divine beings we are.     

Yet here we are, fully awake and learning how to navigate a multidimensional universe of energy-shaped-and-driven hard and complex materiality only God comprehends.  Being incarnate gods ourselves, we have been gifted the privilege of sharing in Divine Consciousness and comprehending reality that is incomprehensible to the human intellect—for the darkness cannot comprehend the Light in the same way that Light comprehends the darkness.  We incarnate to bring Light into the dark corners of Creation to bring forth a heavenly world here on Earth where we are.  This gives us great cause for celebrating, at Christmas time and throughout the year. 

I celebrate you, dear reader, this Christmas, along with my own Divine incarnation—and my gift to you and myself is unconditional love and acceptance.  May the joy of Love fill you full to overflowing during this Holiday Season.  Until my next post — which will be published this coming Wednesday,

Be love.  Be loved.

Anthony    (tpal70@gmail.com)

Credits: Artistic drawing by Rose Meeker, author of MAGIC AT OUR HAND – Releasing Our Lives into Order and Beauty

 

Tending the Garden of Your Heart

“Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in.” (Psalm 24:7)

As we leave 2019, our world is in turmoil. Our government is under siege from within by its political parties battling over the impeachment of the president. Our Beloved America is on the precipice of the implosion of its grossly indebted and unbalanced economy. This civilization is in the throes of an existential crisis.  Wildfires burn in Australia, as they do every year in California. Let’s face the truth and the facts: the world we have created on this planet is not in harmony with the Earth.

While we are busy with our isolated personal lives, striving to make ends meet, or even survive, and to safeguard our health and our sanity, the health of our natural resources deteriorates from a lack of stewardship and sheer exhaustion from an overpopulated planet—not to mention the state of our hearts and collective consciousness, the real garden we were given to tend and keep. The garden of our hearts here in America is in a state of anxiety, chronic stress and eroding fear.

Wars continue to be waged in the Middle East and could escalate into a U.S. involvement in yet another war with Iran in the wake of the killing of Iran’s chief military commander, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, under President Trump’s direction.  Endless wars have devastated that part of the world; desperation and fear fill the hearts of millions who are starving for a lack of food and/or driven from their homes and homelands living in tents while seeking refuge in countries, some of whose borders are closed to them, while we are building a wall to keep them out.  This is the sad state of affairs in which we leave our world at the end of the second decade of the 21st Century, and launch into an election year of 2020. 

“The gates of hell shall not prevail. . . .”

The title of my last post in the series on the Thymus Gland is “The Windows of Heaven.” Looking at the current global outpouring of hate, fear and anger from out of the heart and psyche of humanity, I am drawn back to the series to take another look at the heart, this time as a trapdoor to hell—a trapdoor that was sprung open once again in our world’s history during the 2016 Presidential campaigns here in America, the historical moment when one individual stepped up onto the Republican platform and announced his candidacy for the elected office of President of the United States.

The tone this one man sounded, and continues to sound, has summoned up legions of demons from out of the collective unconscious, a reservoir where vibrational patterns of unholy attitudes and dark patterns of violence have been lurking and working behind the scenes of human behavior and activity throughout the warring history of mankind, now released into the collective consciousness full-force, nothing hidden in the secret places of the heart. 

This narcissistic leader has gathered resonant substance around him that has formed a “base” comprised of individuals who feel their voices and concerns have not been heard and met, and whose minds and hearts are open to his revolting and insulting rhetoric while they applaud and egg him on—much like the masses in Germany did to Adolf Hitler in the 1940’s.

This is collective insanity. Our nation is not sane, not whole. We are divided along partisan lines, by racial prejudice, by discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender equality and LGBTQ rights issues, and by religious beliefs and socioeconomic class distinctions. Divided, we are falling apart.

The nauseous brew in the collective unconscious has erupted and is spilling over into the sea of the collective consciousness, polluting these hallowed waters and engulfing the sinking ship of humanity in waves after waves of hate, fear and anger. The undoing of the human condition, created by the human mind out from under Divine governance, is underway—and it’s creator is lashing out in wrathful anger because it knows that it has but a short time remaining on this Earth—this “little blue dot” of a planet adrift in a ray of sunshine, as Carl Sagan graphically portrays our tiny but sacred home among the stars. The human condition is being transformed by fire and transmuted by Spirit even as the old earth is giving way to the emergence of the New Earth.

A phrase from the Book of Revelation in the Bible comes to mind:

Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and those that dwell in them. But woe unto the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea. (Rev. 12:2)

OF DEMONS AND SHADOWS

As I turn eighty this new year, what elder wisdom may be mine to offer is becoming more available to me, as experience tends to afford us elders.  In my lifetime, I have wrestled with demons and prayed my way through shadows and dark nights of the soul—not unlike many in the upcoming generation who now have support groups for processing their issues and coming clear of their demons and shadows.  We didn’t have that kind of group processing when we left our father’s house to make a life in the world.  Only later did we begin to have workshops in self-realization available. Even then, I found little encouragement in the wise counsel of the day to “Just Keep moving.” 

In my experience, detoxifying the human psyche can become an obsession, as well as an endless task of dredging up demons out of a bottomless pit. One will never get to the place in Plato’s “cave,” where there are no more demons shadow-dancing on one’s walls, as our “personal” issues and shadows are connected vibrationally by resonance with those in the collective unconscious.  Sometimes one really cannot tell what demons are one’s own to face and what demons come out of the collective. I may get rid of one demon only to have two more move in to fill the void.     

Some say we must face our demons and embrace the darkness. The question I pose is “Who is it that is doing the facing and embracing? The ‘mere human’ or the authentic Self?” My inner wisdom tells me that if the spirit of this world comes and finds something in me, then I have work to do. If not, then I need to let it pass on through . . . and keep moving.  “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” 

YOU ARE THE LIGHT

There is only one way to  come out of the cave and into the light of day. We must open the Seventh Seal at the highest level of awareness and let the Light of our own angelic and immortal being flood our souls with love, and then step into this Light in the center of our turning worlds and assume our true identity as rays of sunshine, sons and a daughters of God. In this center of Light and Love there are no shadows, and you can see things in your world clearly, no longer through a “glass darkly” but for what they truly are: things, just things that cast shadows on the ground behind them.

Things are nothing more nor less than distortions of the One Light of Love. And by “distortions” I mean lower and denser vibrations of the One Light of Love of which all things in the “material” world are made. You are the pure, differentiated Light that shines on things that, due to their density, cast shadows behind them.  Be the Light of your world, and stop the futile effort of getting rid of the shadows in your life.  They are nothing, have no substance, no reality.  The “things” casting the shadows are the disturbances in the heart, the “wounds” that only love can heal.  Let your light shine, your love radiate through your disturbed and wounded heart, and you discover your Self in the process. Expression is the only way that allows the release of your light.

Sometimes that expression of light needs to be a laser beam of rebuke: “Get thee hence! Begone!” The man Jesus faced his demons in this manner. When vocalized, rebuke is a sonic purifier of dark energy.

Shadows are nothing but the absence of light. If you’re dwelling in the darkness of the shadow, you can’t see the Light. There is “this thing” standing in the way blocking your view: this wound, that issue, that person or those people. We blame the wound and the perpetrators for our unhappiness and depression.  How about simply getting around and over the things casting shadows on our path in life and come into the Light where there are no shadows?  The simple acts of forgiveness and unconditional acceptance could get you there.  The word “empathy” is used in many talk shows and television interviews lately.  

I remember from my early years of awakening a parable my mentor used frequently in his seminars. No doubt you’ve all heard it repeated in various talks and articles yourself.  In the parable a man in an insane asylum is sweeping the floor of his room all night long until the sun rises in the morning, when he would stop sweeping and sit down to rest in blissful satisfaction that he had finally swept all the darkness out of his room. Wrestling with shadows can be nothing more than trying to sweep darkness out of one’s heart and psyche. Just turn on your light and let it shine away the darkness.

Switching metaphors for a moment, this little poem has provided wisdom and guidance for me. It’s called “The River.”

I am the River

The River flows. The River flows.

The River flows up to an obstacle.

The River does not stop at the obstacle.

The River goes around the obstacle.

The River flows. The River flows.

I am the River.

The River is Life, and Life is unconquerable.  If you can be overcome by some obstacle in your path, then you are not identified with Life. Your are in ego identity, and ego identity is an obstacle in itself.  Let go of the obstacles and move on with the River, as the River.  Say “I Am the River and I’m going to keep on flowing.” Perhaps this could be a good New Year’s resolution: to stay identified with the River of Life.

The heart lifted upward lets the light of Heaven in . . . and the blessing you are out; cast downward, it opens to the dark shadows in the collective unconscious.  Let your heart be lifted up in thankfulness for Life and for Light as we begin the New Year and decade in 2020.

I leave you to enjoy two excerpts from Handel’s Messiah sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to kick-start the New Year.  

“Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in.” (Psalm 24:9)

 

Blessings for a happy, healthy and new life experience in 2020!

Anthony

Email: tpal70@gmail.com

    

The Historical Reason for the Season

“For unto us a child is born. Unto us a son is given . . . .  And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9;6)

(Click on Handle’s Messiah to enjoy the music)

A question that’s been around for some time now is: “Was Jesus born on December 25th?” The answer, according to Rabbi Jonathan Chan, is NO, Jesus was born in the Spring — “Nissan One”– in March or April, the only time of the year when shepherds would be out watching their flock at night when baby lambs are being born. It would also have been around the year 4 BC, the historical date when King Herod the Great died.  In case you are unfamiliar with the story, he was the king who ordered all the male infants two-years old and under killed after he learned from the Magi that a “king of the Jews” had been born.

(When you have 24 minutes to spare, click on the the Rabbi’s name above to view the entire compelling argument and historical, as well as astronomical and celestial evidence. He’s quite entertaining as well.)

I saw a post on Facebook a few days ago that the “Bethlehem Star” was seen back in June of 2015 for the first time in 2000 years—according to a CNN special report. The “star” is thought to be a brilliant phenomenon in the heavens created by a planetary conjunction involving Jupiter and Venus. There is also conjecture that the Star of Bethlehem could be a super nova, or a “gamma burst” as this clip demonstrates.

Well, there was such a “triple conjunction” on February 25 in the year 6 BC with the planets Jupiter, Saturn and Mars forming a triangle low in the western sky. This is when the “Three Kings” of the Magi saw “his star in the East” and proceeded to Bethlehem to see the newly-born child “King of the Jews” and to bring him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. It apparently took them two years to reach their destination. So, we can remove the three kings from our Nativity Scene as they were not there yet. They can be put there on January 6th, the Feast of Epiphany, which commemorates the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles, as represented by the Magi. 

The Real Reason for the Season

So, why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25th? And what’s the real reason for the Season? Here’s what I found at Space.com:

In ancient times, Dec.  25 was the date of the lavish Roman festival of Saturnalia. It was a time when gifts were exchanged; homes, streets and buildings were decorated; people came home for the holidays and everybody was in a happy, party mood. 

It has been said that early Christians chose the date of the Saturnalia in order to avoid attention and thus escape persecution. When the Roman emperor Constantine officially adopted Christianity in the 4th century, the date of Christmas remained Dec. 25.

The real “reason for the Season,” then, is gift-giving, and in the Christian world, in celebration of the birth of Jesus, celebrated by Handle as “Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”  (from Isaiah 9;6). It is said that after Handle finished composing this masterwork, he exclaimed “I have seen the face of God.” (Click on Handle to enjoy the music)

Thanks to the Romans, we can have a “White Christmas” in December, which we could not have in March or April.  How wonderfully perfect it all worked out!

LOVE IS BORN ANEW IN OUR HEARTS

Meister Eckhart saw the true meaning of Christmas when he penned these words:

Where is he who is born King of the Jews? Now concerning this birth, mark where it befalls. I say again, as I have often said before, that this birth befalls in the soul exactly as it does in eternity, neither more nor less, for it is the same birth: this birth befalls in the ground and essence of the soul. . . . God is in all things as being, as activity, as power.” 

Here’s something I would like to share with my readers during this year’s Holiday Season. It’s from “Daily OM” and written by Madysin Taylor:

Holding the holidays in your heart throughout the year it can be wonderfully transformative. Holidays and joy are two elements of our lives that are naturally intertwined. Traditional celebrations awaken within us an ardent desire to reconnect with the people we care about and to share our abundance. During the holiday season, we feel more driven to actively practice compassion, tolerance, selflessness, and gratitude. When we feel stressed, we find peace in the company of loved ones. And, filled with warm thoughts, we endeavor to ensure that others can share in our celebrations. Yet while happiness and holidays go hand in hand, the serenity and optimism that blossom within as we act on our festive feelings need not be relegated to a few days or weeks each year. We can carry the holiday spirit within us all year long if we make an effort to embrace a celebratory frame of mind no matter what the date.

Holding the holidays in your heart can be wonderfully transformative. Changing your life can be as simple as thinking about the uplifting activities you engage in and the positive attitudes you adopt during the holiday season and then integrating them into your daily life. If you learn to always be as open to wonder as you are around the holidays, the world will seem like a more magical place, whether it is December, March, or August. While holidays represent a great opportunity to reconnect with family and friends, there is little preventing you from reaching out to the people you care about throughout the year. The patience, compassion, goodwill, and tolerance you feel while celebrating can easily become a part of your everyday experience. Likewise, you will soon discover that the generous charitable gifts you give once a year mean just as much during other months and are often needed even more.

To remind yourself of your decision to carry the holiday spirit in your heart, consider displaying some small part of your holiday décor to signify your commitment. Remember that giving, whether your gifts are tangible or of the soul, always feels good, whatever the occasion. However you prefer to celebrate the holidays, practicing the ideals of the season every day means experiencing the beauty of the holiday season all year long.

We just finished watching the Global Citizen Prize television extravaganza this Friday evening — celebrating the world’s most inspiring activists — hosted by the exuberant John Legend.  What a huge release of love and compassion for humanity and care for the planet! What a reprieve from the daily national news! This is truly the “eleventh hour” and there’s so much more to be done to save our species and the natural world. It was so good to see and to honor with gratitude those who are leading forth in this effort and the much they have already done. God’s blessings upon them each one.

I leave you to  enjoy the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s offering of an excerpt from Handle’s Messiah.

And with that, I wish you all and each one a very Happy Holiday Season, a Blessed Solstice, and a healthy New Year in 2020.

Merry Christmas and “May God bless us each one.”

Anthony

Email: tpal70@gmail.com

 

The Music of Christmas

“Silent night, holy night. All is calm. All is bright”

12/01/2012

I wish it were so in the world this Christmas. But it’s not silent, nor holy. All is not calm. Neither is it bright, except for all the artificial lighting and cheerful shopping, stressful as it is.  

In the midst of all the rush and preparations of the Season, the saving grace for me is the joyful and peaceful music of Christmas. My favorite Christmas albums are Johnny Mathis’s 50th Anniversary Christmas Celebration and A St. Olaf Christmas in Norway with the St. Olaf choir.  The Mormon Tabernacle Choir presented a fabulous program a couple of nights ago on our PBS station. For me, it’s the music that carries forward the light of hope and love into the world at Christmas time.

Here’s an hour-long video of the St Olaf choir’s Christmas concert in Norway for your enjoyment.  I just love seeing our youth sing with such love for their beautiful heavenly music. Bonnie and I wish you all and each one a silent, holy, calm and bright Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

The “Place of Creation”

 

80-Year Celestial Gateway Window

Every 2160 years, the Winter Solstice was known by the ancient Mayans as the “Place of Creation” in the heavens. The window of this celestial gateway is open for a period of about 80 years. Since about 1960, then, and for the next 25 years, we are poised on Earth in a powerful and dynamic alignment of our Star with the dark rift in the central bulge of our Milky Way Galaxy and the constellation of Sagittarius.  The image below may help you envision this cosmic event.

(Click on the image to enlarge the details):

In his book Maya Cosmogenesis, Major Jenkins writes:

The Maya understood this dense, bright bulge as a Cosmic Center and Creation Place, a conclusion based solely on naked-eye observation that is, in fact, very true: the center of our saucer-shaped galaxy lies within this bright and wide part of the Milky Way . . . that hyperdense region out of which the Milky Way and everything in it, including us, has poured.

This Day Foretold 12,000 Years Ago

Graham Hancock has researched lost ancient civilizations extensively as his life’s work and legacy and has published his findings in a number of books, the most recent one being MAGICIANS OF THE GODS, The Forgotten Wisdom of Earth’s Lost Civilization, in which I am presently engrossed. His more popular book, FINGERPRINTS OF THE GODS, was published several years earlier. This book, the one I am currently reading, is a compelling read as the author unravels ancient history through the telling of stories of lost ancient civilizations, those that existed in antediluvian times – before the cataclysmic Deluge that wiped out much of the world’s population, both human and animal, and sank the entire continent of Atlantis – as well as those who had managed to survive the Great Flood and took up the restoration of human civilization in postdiluvian times – such ones as Noah and his family, among several other groups of humans who had become hunters and gatherers in a devastated and upside-down world. I am finding it quite fascinating to read stories from legends and actual discovered accounts of the peoples who set out to restore civilization in the radically altered and rearranged geography of the planet.

Catastrophism holds a particular interest in my curious mind. All this to introduce this excerpt from Graham’s book that speaks to the meaning and significance behind the Mayan Great Year calendar as it pertains to us today:

It is not my purpose here to go in depth into the whole enigma of the Mayan calendar, not least since I wrote about this subject at some length in Fingerprints of the Gods. However, my understanding since the publi­cation of Fingerprints in 1995 has moved on, and it is important to be clear that in signaling the decades around 2012 as the end of a great cycle, the Maya were not speaking of the end of the world, as such, but rather of the end of an age– “a time of great transformation and world rebirth” — that would be followed by the beginning of a new great cycle or world age. This, in the Mayan scheme of things, is the turbulent and dangerous time of transition we live in today. It is therefore strange, and indeed somewhat eerie, to find the solar and astronomical coordinates of the exact same 80-year window between 1960 and 2040 prophesied by the Maya to mark a turning point in human history, carved in high relief on a 12,000-year-old pillar in Gobekli Tepe in far-off Turkey.

Gobekli Tepe is an ancient temple-setting on top of a hill in the southern part of Turkey, quite close to Mount Ararat where Noah’s Ark reportedly came to rest as the flood waters receded and revealed dry land to the survivors aboard the Ark. It is believed that Noah and his entourage settled here and established this sacred site where he built an altar to make a sacrifice to the God who had saved them from perishing in the deluge. Resembling a navel, Gobeklitepe is a word meaning “potbelly hill,” a name quite fitting for the geographical location of the re-birth of human civilization after the Deluge. It was first surveyed by archaeologists from Istanbul, Turkey, and again by German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt in 1994, who determined that it was built during the late Paleolithic, when the region was still inhabited by hunter-gatherers.

Rebuilding Civilization

Graham Hancock proposes that Noah, who came from the advanced civilization of Atlantis, brought agriculture and architecture to the people of the region, building this temple to show them how to build with stone and planting seeds he had brought with him on the Ark to show the people how to grow their own food. Noah is numbered among the “Seven Sages” – depicted in ancient drawings as carrying a small basket in one hand, which is thought to contain seeds preserved from antediluvian civilization – who traveled the postdiluvian world bringing ancient technology and agriculture forward to re-establish civilizations and restore the “homeland of the gods” as they knew it on the lost continent of Atlantis.

“Place of Creation”

The prized find among the pillars of this temple site was pillar 43 on the surface of which was etched a partial picture map communicating an “Ancient Cosmic Geography” depicting the Zodiac cycle which the axis of the Earth moves through during the Winter Solstice in its 25,920-year precession (see graphic below).  It shows the Winter Solstice sun in the House of Sagittarius, a prophetic map pointing to our time, 11,600 years in the future, the epoch of 2012, when the 80-year window in which the “Place of Creation” will arrive again.

Graham Hancock brings to light Paul Burley’s insights.  A registered engineer and environmental geologist, Burley’s studies were published on Hancock’s website in 2013 in the form of a paper Paul had written in 2011 entitled “Gobekli Tepe: Temples Communicating an Ancient Cosmic Geography.”

Precession of the Earth’s Axis through the Zodiac belt

Every 25,920 years the axis of our wobbling planet travels through the belt of the twelve constellations of the Zodiac, which form the background behind our sun and around our solar system. This Zodiac belt provides what is called the “House” of our Star, thus we say that our sun is “in the House of ” a specific constellation.  For example, our sun is presently in the House of Sagittarius at this time of the Winter Solstice, which is on the other side of the sun from us. In other words, our sun lies between us and Sagittarius.  At the time of the Spring Equinox come March 20, 2018, our sun will in the House of Aquarius, the “New Age” which dawned back in the 1960’s and through which we are currently traveling, and indeed creating. The graphic to the left, which I borrowed from Graham Hancock’s book, depicts what this looks like: (Click on the image to enlarge the details)

All Things New

The significance of this alignment lies in the access we have while traveling through this 80-year window of creation to unlimited energy and power to co-create a new world upon the surface of our Home among the stars. This is the time for which we have been born into this world, and we have only 25 more years in which to complete our work of renewal. The New Heaven has been created and established in the collective consciousness of a critical number of human beings in the Body of God on Earth over the past fifty-five years. The New Earth is already emerging out of the chaos of the times, for out of all chaos order emerges. Never mind the mass media which makes its fortune airing the chaos in the world. There is much more occurring of a positive, creative and integrative nature under the radar of the media than the negative stuff of this disintegrating mind-made world that is shown on television newscasts and pictured in newspapers. So, my word today is “Take heart and be about the work of rebuilding and re-birthing the New World of order and beauty from out of the New Heaven of love and truth and life.  Let us make all things new again.”

To all my friends and readers who celebrate the birth of the Lord of Love two-thousand-plus years ago, have a very Merry and Blessed Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year in 2018. For all of my friends and readers who celebrate and welcome the return of light to the western hemisphere, Happy Winter Solstice!  Lest I leave out my Jewish friends, I pray you each one had a Happy and Blessed Honukkah earlier this month. To all my followers and readers, my prayer for you is that you continue to . . .

Be love and be loved.

Anthony

Read my HealthLight Newsletter online at LiftingTones.com.

“The Jesus Papers”

My Chorale Pic

“Jars of spring water are not enough anymore. Take us down to the river.”             — Persian Sufi Jelaluddin Rumi

I spent seven years as a young aspirant to the Roman Catholic priesthood and not one class in all those years of seminary training was dedicated to the study of the corrupt political history of the Roman Catholic Church. We were never told the whole truth about the bloody history of Christianity either. Alleged heretics and witches, we were taught, were evil and had to be burned at the stake. Funny how that bit of history didn’t engender fear in us of the Catholic Church and the Pope. But, that was then and things are different today. Or are they? If you don’t get burned at the stake here you spend eternity burning in hell if you dare apostatize yourself and sin against the Church. But first you are excommunicated and barred from receiving the sacraments. It’s still governance by fear, isn’t it?

Now, do not pity me . . . nor judge me too harshly as I pursue this line of inquiry into the mythical story of Christmas and of the life, death and resurrection of the man Jesus, which form the corner stone dogmas of Christianity. I do so out of a deep and abiding love for truth and a compassionate love for my fellowman. I do not like being lied to. I don’t think anybody does. Please forgive me if I step on your beliefs. I don’t mean to cause anyone insult or injury. I do believe, however, that if we do not remember our past, we are likely to repeat it. Perhaps we are repeating it in the Middle East.

A reader made this comment on my last post entitled “Transcending the Christmas Myth”:

“I think it all might help if it leads towards knowing the truth; otherwise it’s just history of the gods and goddesses made in the image and likeness of mankind. These fear-generations would be well left behind with last year’s resolutions.”

To which I replied:

As you continue reading this series of posts, I think you will see that the truth is exactly what I am leading toward. When we know the truth we are freed up from our illusions created by myths. Knowing the truth about Jesus’s life would disturb a lot of people. In the Gospel of Thomas, one of the findings of the Nag Hammadi discoveries, Jesus is recorded as having said “The seeker should not stop until he finds. When he does find, he will be disturbed. After having been disturbed, he will be astonished. Then he will reign over everything.” It is not fear that is generated by knowing the truth about how our beliefs came to be formed by pagan myths of gods made in the images of man. The God of today is still being made in the image of man. Nothing has changed. We need to be “disturbed” out of our illusions. Then we will reign over everything as promised.

Since this interchange, I’ve given some critical thought to what we both acknowledged: that both ancient and contemporary gods are made – fashioned in human consciousness and beliefs – in the image and after the likeness of humans. We project our human attitudes and characteristics on our God: He is jealous, He is vengeful, He is angry, He is loving, He is forgiving, He is a man, as opposed to being a woman, He punishes us when we’re bad and rewards us when we’re good. All human attributes and characteristics.

Now, the suggestion that my post generates fear aroused in me a curiosity about how many of my readers felt fearful reading my post. Even more curious am I about how many Christians really care about the history of Christianity – or of Christmas, for that matter. Probably not very many. Most are content with their beliefs, especially their religious ones. Alas, does it really matter what happened in the far distant past? What really matters is what we are doing now to created a more authentic and kind world, a world founded on truth rather than beliefs.

Over the years I’ve come to understand that it is easier to take candy away from a child than it is to take away a person’s beliefs. I was glad to let go of mine when a friend came along and provided me a worthy and believable alternative: the truth: that God is to be known and experienced and not just believed in. We human beings seem to love our beliefs more than we love the truth.

I wonder, dear reader, if you will allow me space here, without judgment, to explore some information that has come into my hands pertaining to the apparent fabricated “Jesus of Faith” and the factual “Jesus of history” – to the extent that authentic facts are available for exploration . . and fortunately they seem to be. Several books have recently been written by authors who have done the research and explored the historical evidence that what has been handed down to us by our ancestral religious “authorities” has been less than accurate and truthful. In fact, according to one author, it has largely been a pack of fabricated lies designed to manipulate and literally frighten the “faithful” into obedient subjection. And that’s putting it mildly – not intending to offend anyone. (I do intend to provide a worthy and believable alternative as I complete this series of posts. So, bear with me as we move forward.)

The Jesus Papers – Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History by Michael Baigent is one such book – whose subtitle speaks for the theme of the book and the intent of its author. I’m reading it for the second time with highlighter in hand, simply because there are just so many provocative findings in his exhaustive research into historical records – pivotal of which are what he calls “the Jesus papers” that contain letters written to the Sanhedrin by Jesus himself in defense of accusations leveled against him regarding his alleged claim to being divine. Jesus’s answer in strikingly clarifying as to who he was. Here’s the excerpt from Baigent’s book that tells the story of this dogma-shattering historical find:

This figure, the Messiah of the Children of Israel, was defending himself against charges made by the Sanhedrin – he had obviously been accused of calling himself “son of God” and had been challenged to defend himself against this charge. In the first letter, the messiah explained that what he meant was not that he was “God” but that the “Spirit of God” was in him – not that he was physically the son of God, but rather that he was spiritually an adopted son of God. And he added that everyone who felt similarly filled with the “spirit” was also a “son of God.”

The letters referred to here are two papyrus documents found in 1961 that also contained an Aramaic text, along with other objects, that dated the finds at about A.D. 34, which was just after the alleged crucifixion of Jesus. (I will address his “alleged” crucifixion in another post.) The papyrus texts were two letters, written in the Aramaic language that Jesus spoke, addressed to the Jewish court, the Sanhedrin. The writer of the letters called himself “‘bani meshiha’ – the Messiah of the Children of Israel.” The author continues:

In other words, the messiah – who must be the teacher we know as Jesus – explicitly states in these letters that he is not divine – or at any rate, no more than anyone else. This, we can be sure, is some­thing the Vatican would not like to be made public.

While listening to this story, I was struck by the similarity with a very curious incident described in the Gospel of John (10:33-35): in a short passage, it describes the “Jews” as being intent upon stoning Jesus for blasphemy. They hurl an accusation at him, saying, “You are only a man and you claim to be God.” Jesus calmly answers their chall­enge, quoting from Psalm 82: “Is it not written in your Law: ‘I said, you are gods?’ So the Law uses the word gods of those to whom the word of God was addressed.” Is this Gospel reporting some garbled residue of this investigation of the meshiha by the Sanhedrin?

Having discovered these two papyrus letters, my friend showed them to the archaeologists Yigael Yadin and Nahman Avigad and asked their opinion of them. They both confirmed that these letters were genuine and important.

Unfortunately, they also told some Catholic scholars – very likely one or another of the members of the Ecole Biblique, consultants to the Pontifical Biblical Commission – for word reached Pope John XXIII. The pope sent word back to the Israeli experts asking for these docu­ments to be destroyed.

My friend refused to do this, but he was prepared to make a promise that they would not be published for twenty-five years. This was done.

At the time I met him the twenty-five years were long expired, but my friend still refused to release the texts because he felt that releasing them would just cause problems between the Vatican and Israel and inflame anti-Semitism.

In this age of spiritual awakening, these findings should not – and probably do not – shock anyone. I rather suspect that most Christians, and certainly most Catholics, entertain secret doubts about the veracity of church dogmas and their blind faith in them. I do not deny the divinity of Jesus, nor our own divinity as sons and daughters of God – made in the image and likeness of our Divine Creator. I believe that Jesus was a very authentic human being who knew who he was and why he came. He came to bring love back into the hearts of human beings and to restore the connection between Man and our Creator, the Father within. He came to turn people around – the literal meaning of the word “repent” – so that they would see that the Kingdom of Heaven is truly at hand, within us and all around us.

But who factually was Jesus according to historical records? This I will explore in my next post. So, stay tuned. I wish you each one a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017.

Anthony Palombo

Read my HealthLight Newsletter online at LiftingTones.com.

 

 

 

 

Transcending The Christmas Myth

My Chorale PicMany of our cultural holidays are historically based on ancient mythology. Mythology itself is largely based on myths about gods and goddesses who inhabited ancient skies. In those days, deities were brought down to earth and given human incarnations as sons and daughters of gods and goddesses.

The Greeks had hundreds of deities, one for every human and earthly activity, from Apollo the Olympian God of the sun, light, knowledge, music, healing and the arts, to Zeus the very King of Heaven and god of the sky, clouds, thunder, and lightning. They had female deities as well, such as Hera, Queen of Heaven and goddess of the air and starry constellations, and Artemis, Olympian Goddess of virgins and young women, of the moon, nature, hunt and the wild animals. They had Astriaos, Titan god of stars and planets, and the art of astrology.

There was Aphrodite, “Goddess of beauty, love, desire, and pleasure. Although married to Hephaestus, she had many lovers, most notably Ares, Adonis, and Anchises. . . . Her Roman counterpart is Venus.” (Wikipedia)

There was Athena, “Goddess of reason, wisdom, intelligence, skill, peace, warfare, battle strategy, and handicrafts. According to most traditions, she was born from Zeus’s forehead, fully formed and armored. . . .  She is a special patron of heroes such as Odysseus. . . .  Her Roman counterpart is Minerva.” (Wikipedia)

Then there was Ares, “God of war, bloodshed, and violence. The son of  Zeus and Hera, he was depicted as a beardless youth, either nude with a helmet and spear or sword, or as an armed warrior. Homer portrays him as moody and unreliable, and he generally represents the chaos of war in contrast to Athena, a goddess of military strategy and skill. . . .  His Roman counterpart Mars by contrast was regarded as the dignified ancestor of the Roman people.” (Wikipedia)

They had many female deities, such as Demeter, “Goddess of grain, agriculture, harvest, growth, and nourishment. Demeter is a daughter of Cronus and Rhea, and a sister of Zeus, by whom she bore Persephone. Demeter is one of the main deities of the Eleusinian Mysteries, in which her power over the life cycle of plants symbolizes the passage of the human soul through life and into the afterlife. . . .  Her symbols are the cornucopia, wheat-ears, the winged serpent, and the lotus staff. . . .  Her Roman counterpart is Ceres.” (Wikipedia)

Some of these died and rose from the grave.

Dying-and-Rising Gods

Amazing what one can find on the internet. If you look up “dying-and-rising gods,” for example, you’ll come upon this on Wikipedia:

Examples of gods who die and later return to life are most often cited from the religions of the Ancient Near East, and traditions influenced by them including Biblical and Greco-Roman mythology and by extension Christianity. The concept of dying-and-rising god was first proposed in comparative mythology by James Frazer‘s seminal The Golden Bough. Frazer associated the motif with fertility rites surrounding the yearly cycle of vegetation. Frazer cited the examples of Osiris, Tammuz, Adonis and Attis, Dionysus and Jesus Christ.[6]

Gods Born to Virgins on December 25 Before Jesus Christ

If you Google “Gods born to virgins” you’ll come upon this very interesting article, from which I will excerpt a few paragraphs:

There are common themes in ancient religion that make one wonder if Christianity was not the one exception to the rule that societies tend to adopt beliefs, stories, and traditions from one another. True, it’s not always clear whether common themes are a testament to the human exchange of ideas or to the universal imagination of early human thought (parallels may exist between religions on entirely different continents, for example, but that does not necessarily mean one influenced another).But what is clear is where certain ideas in human history did not originate.

Long before Yahweh and Jesus Christ, many religions had gods who were born in strange, miraculous ways, at times to virgins, who came to earth, and (though these are not the focus of this article) performed miracles, taught about judgement and the afterlife, were killed, reborn, and ascended into heaven. True, these stories are different from those of Christ, but the common archetypes in cultures in close proximity to Palestine suggest pagan influences on the biblical story of Christ’s birth.

December 25 was an important birthday for many human gods.

Most Christians understand Christ was not actually born on this date (biblical scholars believe he was born in the spring, because the Bible mentions shepherds in the fields at the time of his birth).

The idea that Christ was born on December 25 doesn’t appear in the historical record until the fourth century A.D.; the earliest Christian writers, such as Origen, Tertullian, Irenaeus, and the gospel authors, are silent on the subject. . . .

Late December, the time of the winter solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere, the shortest day and longest night of the year), was full of pagan European celebrations. The Roman Empire declared December 25 a holiday to celebrate the birth of their adopted Syrian god Sol Invictus in 274 A.D. Some 50 years later, Roman Emperor Constantine officially adopted December 25 as the day for celebrating Christ’s birth.

Before 1,000 B.C. we have the following gods or demigods born on December 25: Horus, Osiris, and Attis. Before 200 B.C. we have Mithra, Heracles, Dionysus, Tammuz, Adonis, and others (see All About Adam and Eve, by Richard Gillooly). Some of these characters, you will see below, were also born to virgins. . . .

Interestingly, in ancient mythology, many gods are born to women with names derived from “Ma,” meaning mother: Myrrha in Syrian myth, Maia in Greek myth, Maya in Hindu, Mary in Hebrew. . . .

The Magi’s star isn’t unique to Christmas – nor is the Magi.

Stars, meteors, and heavenly lights allegedly signaled the birth of many man-gods, including Christ, Yu, Lao-tzu, various Roman Caesars, and Buddha (see Gillooly). This parallels the strange and fantastic events that surround the births of purely mythological figures, such as Osiris in Syria, Trinity in Egypt, and Mithra in Persia. But nothing was more spectacular than virgin birth. . . .

Virgin birth, and a reverence and obsession with virginity, was a common theme in ancient religions before the time of Christ and near where Christianity originated (see “The Ancient Beginnings of the Virgin Birth Myth,” by Keyser). It marked the child as special, often divine.

Two thousand years before Christ, the virgin Egyptian queen Mut-em-ua gave birth to Pharaoh Amenkept III. Mut-em-ua had been told she was with child by the god Taht, and the god Kneph impregnated her by holding a cross, the symbol of life, to her mouth. Amenkept’s birth was celebrated by the gods and by three kings, who offered him gifts.

Ra, the Egyptian sun god, was supposedly born of a virgin, Net. Horus was the son of the virgin mother Isis. In Egypt, and in other places such as Assyria, Greece, Cyprus, and Carthage, a mythological virgin mother and her child was often a popular subject of art and sculpture.

Attis, a Phrygian-Greek vegetation god, was born of the virgin Nana. By one tradition, Dionysus, a Greek character half god and half human, was the son of Zeus, born to the virgin Persephone.

Persephone also supposedly birthed Jason, a character with no father, human or divine. Perseus was born to a mortal woman named Danae, and fathered by Zeus. Zeus also slept with a mortal woman (though daughter of a nymph) named Io, and they had a son and a daughter. He slept with the mortal Leda, who gave birth (hatched, actually) Helen of Troy and other offspring.

Even Plato in Greece was said by some to have been born to a virgin, Perictione, and fathered by the god Apollo, who gave warning to Ariston, Perictione’s husband-to-be.

Some followers of Buddha Gautama decided he was born to the virgin Maya by divine decree. Genghis Khan was supposedly born to a virgin seeded by a great miraculous light. The founder of the Chinese Empire, Fo-Hi, was born after a woman (not necessarily a virgin) ate a flower or red fruit. The river Ho (Korea) gave birth to a son when seeded by the sun. Krishna was born to the virgin Devaka. In Rome, Mercury was born to the virgin Maia, Romulus to the virgin Rhea Sylvia (see “An Old Story,” Chapman Cohen).

The Persian god Mithra was made the “Protector of the Empire” by the Romans in 307 AD, right before Christianity was declared the official religion. Some versions of Mithra’s story, predating Christianity, make him the son of a human virgin. His birth, on December 25, was seen by shepherds and Magi, who brought gifts to a cave, the place of his birth (see Godless, by former pastor Dan Barker).

Well, what do you think? Is the Christmas story just that, a mythical story, perhaps composed after the life of Jesus to explain and support his messianic divinity?

In closing this post, however, allow me this transcending perspective. We hear a lot about keeping Christ in Christmas during these days of commercialized everything. Personally, I believe that Christ was never omitted from Christmas, commercialism notwithstanding.  The Christ is Love, as we each one are in true identity.  Love is born and reborn every year when we celebrate its birth through the man Jesus two-thousand years ago. Love is very much in our hearts and in expression this time of year. I feel it strongly as we spend time with our children and grandchildren this week. I feel it when friends near and far wish me and others a “Merry Christmas,” or a “Happy Holidays.” I don’t think that Jesus would feel slighted by such a seasonal greeting as “Happy Holidays” if he were around. The Love is there so the Christ is there.  So, I wish you each one a Merry Christmas, a Happy Holidays, a Happy Hanukkah if you’re Jewish, and a Happy Solstice if you’re into celebrating the goddess Gaia’s seasons of the year . . . and while I’m at it, Have a Happy New Year!    ~Anthony Palombo

Read my HealthLight Newsletter online at LiftingTones.com where you’ll find many excellent articles. The current feature is on “Artic Ruby Oil and Fat Reduction.”

 

Golden Age and Golden Race

My Chorale Pic

Our “Hero’s Journey” ideally ends with the hero defeating his nemesis and seizing the Elixir of Immortality, his journey’s quest. That quest for Humanity has come full cycle as we travel with our Mother Earth through the Zodiac belt into the beginning of a new cycle with the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.  To seize the Elixir of Immortality, we must defeat the nemesis of our own delusions of mortality hidden from our eyes by the fabricated human ego in which we have misplaced our identity. The delusion is maintained every time we excuse our shortcomings with “I’m only human, you know.” This lie is reinforced by the religions of the world, particularly by the Catholic Church which reminds its parishioners every year to “Remember thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return.” The truth is you are divine and cannot die. The truth is you are a human being, made in the image and likeness of God. The religions know this, yet they view and treat their “believers” as sinners and dust.

The Elixir of Immortality is to be found hidden behind religious dogmas, although revealed clearly and proclaimed loudly by the very Lord whose Gospel Christianity preaches from its pulpits: “The kingdom of heaven is within you.” The kingdom of Heaven is the Elixir of Immortality and it is within us, not in some promised hereafter.  Religion itself is the nemesis humanity must defeat in order to end its quest for a heavenly state where suffering and death are not a part of life on planet Earth.

We are faced once again with a crucial choice that will determine the future of our progeny and the entire human race. That choice is between living in a “Golden Age” that is at hand to be welcomed, stewarded and enjoyed for the next two-thousand-plus years and plunging humanity down once again into the “Dark Ages.” The choice is our’s . . . and we are making it now by our behavior on the planet.

GAIA ASCENDING

The planet herself is moving into a higher vibratory state, driven by ancient cycles of evolution unfolding on schedule within the larger energetic field of the Milky Way Galaxy. The question for us to answer is: Are we with Gaia in her ascension process? If our answer is “Yes,” then she will take us into the Golden Age of Aquarius with little effort on our part. I say “little effort” because all that is required of us is that we live in peace and harmony with one another and with the Natural World. That we love the Lord of God with all and one another as our selves. That we put down our arms and stop warring over the land and its resources that we think will give us security, along with power and control over others. For in truth, there are no “others.” There is only Oneness. There is only Love.

If the answer is “No,” then Gaia will swallow up the world we have fabricated upon her surface and take most of us with it. According the prophecies in The RA Material, Book I of The Law of One, those of us who cannot move with Gaia will then have to be relocated to another third-density planet in the galaxy where we will have yet another opportunity to evolve spiritually and learn what it means to steward and care for our habitat. Planet Earth will go on to fulfill her destiny as a fourth-density planet. Those who can move on with her will return to Earth in fourth-density “rainbow bodies” — incorruptible bodies made of white light that refracts into the colors of the rainbow.

Gaia has been a generous and forgiving hostess to third-density human beings for tens-of-thousands of years. According the RA Material, She has been used to relocate other third-density beings, as well as second-density beings such as some of the animal, insect and plant species on the planet, beings that were left homeless when their planets were destroyed or made uninhabitable, such as Maldek and Mars respectively.  Maldek was once one of our sister planets that orbited where the asteroid belt now lies. Mars’ atmosphere was destroyed by weapons of mass destruction. Those beings who destroyed their planets have been living out their karma on Earth for thousands of years, incarnating over and again in order to learn their lesson and clean up their group karma. Apparently, they haven’t learned their lesson very well yet. They need to repent from their ways and be caused to wake up before it is too late to change and ascend to a higher level of consciousness and being. The Golden Age — the Kingdom of Heaven — is at hand and beckoning us all to enter in and enjoy living in this beautiful and magical world our Mother Earth has created and dressed for us.

THE GOLDEN RACE

Roman poets wrote of the “Golden Age” and apparently mistranslated the words saecula and aetas as both meaning “age,” when in fact saecula may mean either “race” or “age,” and aetas should be translated as “race.” I lifted this information from David Wilcock’s exhaustive literary work The Source Field Investigations, which I am reading for the second time due to its density of interesting and significant historical research.  I would like very much to review this one section on the origins of the idea of a Golden Age in this blog, perhaps over several posts.

Essentially, the first Zodiac Age has historically been a “Golden Age” when life on Planet Earth is in every way a Paradise experience.  Wilcock writes:

The coming of the Age of Aquarius, surrounding the year 2012, is the repetition of a cycle that has already occurred before—a cycle in which everyone on earth apparently had mystical abilities much greater than what most of us now possess, leading them to have perpetual bounty of life ‘untroubled by strife or want . . . a Paradise inhabited by the souls of the blessed.’ [He’s quoting from H.C. Baldry’s 1952 scholarly paper “Who Invented the Golden Age?”]. The pursuit of gold was seen as ‘one of the causes of degeneration from that happy state.’ Unfortunately, our current scientific models are woefully insufficient to explain how something like this could be possible—but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t actually happen.

These “souls of the blessed” are not necessarily a special select group of souls, as Wilcock points out.

It is extremely important to mention that this Golden Race is not some weird and sick Hitlerian vision of a bunch of blond-haired, blue-eyed wunderkinder, or Nietzschean overmen, that everyone else must die off in order to make room for.  Just like the Cayce Readings said about the “Fifth Root Race,” this Golden Race may well be everyone on earth, within a finite period of time—not just a particular nationality or skin color. 

We are the Golden Race. Every human being on the planet volunteered to come here at this time to bring one thing and one thing only: LOVE. Today we celebrate once again the incarnation and birth of Jesus the Christ, the Anointed One of God — the Lord of Love.  He came on Earth for the same reason: to bring LOVE. Apparently, he saw some potential is us because he said that we shall do the works that he did, and even greater works would we do.  He saw sons and daughters of God incarnate on Earth, not white, yellow, brown and black humans.

There are nearly seven billion sons and daughters of God incarnate on Earth today, so there’s a whole lot more potential now than there was two-thousand years ago.  There are some 317 million incarnate souls in the USA. There are 565 million in all of North America and 385 million in South America. That adds up to nearly one-billion souls living in the Americas — one-seventh of the world’s population — and on Google Globe you don’t see any borders between countries.

America is the land of love. That’s what the word means: Loveland. We live in a country that is consecrated to Freedom and to the Spirit of Love.  This is holy ground upon which we walk daily with freedom to be who and what we are.  Let us walk upon its sacred soil with respect and reverence for life. Let us exercise our freedom to bring love into the world. Not just at Christmas time, but always. Let’s be the Golden Race the ancients foretold would arise in the Earth to bring in the Golden Age of Aquarius.

Have a Golden Christmas and a New Year full of love, of peace, and of joy.

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony

Read my Health Light Newsletter online at LiftingTones.com.

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