Theophany

A theophany is a manifestation of God. My Lenten journey through the desert reminds me of a theophany. Well, silence Itself is a theophany.

I was just walking around the crummy chemical plant where I work. It struck me that there was nothing that is not a manifestation of God.

Crap…I must be in love; with everything!

Personal statistics: I have been raw for 10 days. I got up at 2:45 this morning for prayer, then at 4 ran 6 miles in a blustery north wind, 19F. I am on my way to get my lap top out of the clinic, so I will be in communication this weekend.

Ash Wednesday – First Day of the Journey

6 am –

ACIM: “If you behold disaster and catastrophe, you tried to crucify him (the Son of God, all of us)…The world you see but shows you how much joy you have allowed yourself to see in you, and to accept as yours.”

WB lesson 107: Truth (Christ) will correct all errors in my mind.

I begin by asking Him Who journeys with me to be in my awareness. I make my pledge to let His function be fulfilled through me. Then, I let Him lead me to inner peace. Today belongs to truth (Christ)

As I pray and meditate this early morning, I realize I have thought errors, darkness to bring to the light, for truth to correct. First, I see a world of catastrophe. It is my projection of my self hate. Hating myself is a correction which only truth, and not me, can perform (a miracle). Second, I don’t allow much joy because, well, I’m not sure I have any idea what joy is. I look around and see silliness passed off as joy and I want nothing to do with it. Yet, joy is an aspect of Love. So, I can’t know Love if I don’t allow joy. Only Christ can correct this error.

Correction a) I hate myself because I think I am crap.
Correction b) Joy is stupid.

As I read on in the text and turn inward, listening to truth and offering my errors, a miracle perception change occurs: I have eyes not of the body. With them, I can see that all is pure light, infinite love, holy innocence and constant peace.

Thus, I take the first few steps on my Lenten journey. I drop 2 heavy rocks of errors and walk free deeper into the heart of Christ.

It is early morning. My computer is mad about something and I am taking it to the shop today. Tomorrow at work, I’ll be able to post further reflections.

Lent Pre-startup Review

Lent Pre-Startup Review:

What do I want?
What are my means for getting it?
Who is my Guide?
Who am I listening to?

ACIM: “Think but an instant on this; you can behold the holiness God gave His Son (all of us). And never need you think that there is something else for you to see.”

Love, not just unconditional; but outrageous. To express my love and give it meditation time, I am making a Lenten booklet. I am copying out pieces of the ACIM text as I go through my 40 day journey and illuminating the book with colorings. I may add personal notes, who knows what all.

Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras. Are you pigging out? It is wiser to consider more carefully before going into the desert, on a journey. Lent is not for penance but for celebration. I am celebrating the greater awareness of Christ Reality coming into focus for us.

In the church, today is “Mardi Gras” or “Fat Tuesday.” The church liturgical year abruptly switches from Ordinary Time to Lent. Today, people are gorging on meat and chocolates and perhaps alcohol. Tomorrow they will straighten up and begin their time of penance. They will walk the stations of the cross, thinking of how Jesus suffered and how they themselves are sinners in need of reconciliation. They will bury the “Alleluia” and not mention it again until the Easter Vigil.

My Lent is not about suffering or sin. It is about going deeper into Christ. The only death is the one of my ego’s thought system. I’ll tell you the secret now: let go of your ego and you will know God. Nothing needs to be done but relinquish every ego thought. OK, so a true and complete surrender requires a Guide. I have Jesus and the Holy Spirit; as Voice and Teacher and Guide. You can call them something else; but their function is what matters. Are you listening to Them?

I ponder my Lenten journey and ask myself: Why be reserved or reticent about Christ? Why not fling your entire self on the Holy Presence? What do you have to lose? Why go on ignoring Power? Why go on pretending you are human when you are really spirit? Let go. Enter the realm of the Spirit. Flow towards the Light. Be light.

There is only one Life and we share it. Doing anything with whole hearted love is as alive as you can get. Because Love is Life, that is what we have together. Magnificence is shared through life. My only real life is Christ. It amazes me how much Christ wants to pour out through me into a world where no one understands (too busy I guess). But there He is now, present as utter Love and completely unknown. Does my desperate and vociferous desire for Christ shock you? May it shock you out of complacency.

Personal statistics: I bought a new printer today. I\’m extremely happy about that.

Lenten Feasibility Study

I share with you my prostration; 40 days of magnitude. I thought about Lent and how it is a special environment for 40 day intensification of the spiritual journey into a desert of Christ alone. If you read this blog, you know I routinely seek Christ. What more could I possibly do? I actually don’t know. A prostration is a journey and a journey is a prostration. We always stand with Christ in ineffable prayer.
I live with Christ; the keeper of my soul.
My journey is deep into the Love of Christ.
Christ’s laughter fills my heart at every waking moment;
Making Love Real; giving all to me.
Forever He whispers His love and wisdom and light;
Truly I sense Him as a beacon of hope and direction.
I am loving Christ; Visibly and Passionately and Demonstratively.
Honoring Christ with Body, Mind and Spirit;
Creation is Love’s witness.

I begin the journey with these personal statistics:
Catholic, engineer, female, solitary, spiritual athlete.
ACIM Workbook: Ash Wednesday is lesson 107 on my 2nd time through.
ACIM Text: about 20.VIII on my 4th time through.
Raw vegan commitment: Ash Wednesday is day 8.
I am 50 years and 1.5 months old.
I have 23 years and 6.5 months of sobriety.
I have been out of the convent for 5 years and 6.5 months.
I have worked at my current job for 4 years and 5 months.
I have lived in a small Kansas town for 3 years and 5 months.
I run 50 miles a week and lift weights.
First marathon of my 50th year is the Olathe Marathon on 3/28.

These statistics will not diminish, but increase during Lent. Probably no new ones will surface. There is no end of my journey, only an attempt to intensify my relationship with Christ. You, my friends, are with me in Christ. No one can escape Christ. The Love of Christ is mandatory as life is spirit and Spirit is life. I hope to know you there and join with you as we step into eternal bliss together. Audacious and bold; I cringe not at my forthright conviction. Ride the demons down. Fill your camelback and join me in the desert where Christ is. Leave behind littleness and sloth; casting it off as so much filth. You my friend are my light. I will follow you deeper into Christ.

In the desert, you cannot afford luxury. Useless trappings of status must be left behind. In the desert, you must become hard, efficient, attentive. The only thing in abundance is Love. Love is expansive, pushing out from your heart in all directions. Love is Spirit, your water, your food, your blood, your thought. In the desert, become the one thought of Christ. Trim all else. The glory of Christ is your only option for survival. Come. Your Love awaits. Beyond the beyond, He calls and guides.
How deeply would you allow yourself to love Christ? How vibrantly would you allow your heart to throb for Christ? Consider quietly. Gather your passion. Could it be that Christ is real?
May I be unreasonable about the whole thing!

Running Spirit

I arrived in the city about 8 this morning. I figured I would go to the fellowship and then run. I had a car full of running clothes. As I sat outside the fellowship, the north wind gently rocked my car. I thought I might cancel my long run because of the wind.

After the meeting, I was driving to the park. My mind itemized my clothes and my Gu and water and the wind. It struck me….how completely terrified I am of the long run. Not just this long run, but all of them. It struck me that every weekend, I fidget around worrying about weather and running locations and the like. Then, the door of my inner being opened and a light shone in my mind: I am terrified to be a human being period. It was awesome to ponder the depth and to want to explore further.

I got to the park. I didn’t know if I was doing my long run or not, but I put my water on the car and the Gu in my pockets and got started. I would run a lap and then see. The course is east-west, so its only half into the wind. You wouldn’t think it was that bad: 25F, sunny, wind at 20-30 mph.

My mind was still thinking about fear, and the totally of my life’s fear. I was exploring inward. That is the beauty of a long run on a flat dirt path that loops for 2.7 miles. There is plenty of time to think. I returned to my one single question: who is it that gets me out of bed in the morning since I am terrified of the world? I see people all around me, eating and watching TV and perhaps not getting out of bed. Here I am, not only out of bed but a marathoner doing a long run on a bitterly windy day.

I turn the corner and head into the wind for the second half of the loop. The wind, has switched from an embrace at my back to sharply probing gusts at my face. I am dressed perfectly except for my head. I have to pull the nylon up over my face. I feel the wind’s fingers trying to reach in and challenge the fear. I am a little whiney about it. I survive the first lap. I look in my car to see if the other face mask is in there. It is not, but I decide on another lap.

The second lap, the wind doesn’t seem to be bothering me. The third lap, I notice that there are 3 or 4 other runners doing the same as me, long runs. At that moment, a peace descends on me. The thought of us 3 or 4 runners patiently doing our long distance running in this little park seems utterly quiet and holy. The park is sandwiched between the Missouri River and a RR track and a busy road. The busy people in the cars are quickly scurrying to their next event. At least three of them get speeding tickets today. But there in anonymity are these 3 or 4 runners; together experiencing the secret and mystical world of long distance.

This picture is a microcosm of my life. I really am not going anywhere with my life. I do the daily deal in a circle; and what I am contemplating is all that really matters. The thing that gets me out of bed is greater than me. It is my truth: love, peace, vision, intention, joy, innocence. In other words: Christ or spirit. I am a spirit. I have not lost the point of being alive: learning to be spirit rather than human.

After 4 laps, I figure I’ve been out there 2 hours without any major problems, might as well do 6. After 6 laps, I decide I’d hate to waste coming this far, might as well do one more. After 7, I decide to do a short lap to cap the run at 21 miles. Then….I get in the car and drive home. Simple as that.

Christ

It seems good to share beautiful passages from A Course in Miracles.

-The Holy Spirit’s vision is no idle gift, no plaything to be tossed about awhile and laid aside.
-…you see glimpses of the face of Christ behind the veil…
-…the Son of God is innocent…
-Together we will disappear into the Presence beyond the veil, not to be lost but found; not to be seen but known.

The main thing I have learned from ACIM is to look beyond the physical world, beyond the veil of illusions and dreams, to The Christ, The Son of God, The Self, residing in everything; but importantly in everyone. The Christ is joy and love and innocence. I can see Christ with inner eyes and the faculty of knowing rather than perceiving.

The most difficult thing to learn is that the physical world (including my body) is an illusion, a dream. It does not exist except in dreaming minds. In fact, the illusion I see is entirely my projection of my dream. If I see sin, I have to accept it is a projection of my self hate and fear of God. Sin cannot really exist in a dream. Hence, I have no need to judge (mentally attack) anyone. All I need do is practice seeing Christ, not with physical eyes, but with inner eyes. There are no separate people, only one light of Christ which we can learn to see.

The goal of ACIM is peace. If I quit my mental attacks and look beyond the physical to Christ, I will have peace. The reason I hang in there with ACIM and its counter-cultural teachings is that I see myself making progress in seeing Christ. My daily consciousness is no longer a continuous hateful commentary on everything and everyone. There are many difficult concepts in ACIM. Many seem foolish or outright idiotic.

I take my spirituality seriously. God is not a side light for Whom I carve out a few minutes. God is the main point from Whom I’m torn away to attend my dream world. I keep practicing the Presence even at work. I think about how little I give God; even a couple hours a day seems small to me.

Joy and Love – My Nerdish Understanding

Here is my thesis (my own personal thought, not from a book): Joy is the Fourier Transform of Love.

Corollary: Joy is the spiritual etheric medium which supports creation.

1. God is Love. But divine Love is not the same as the typical human love. It is an abstract. It is purely a constant Truth, Idea or Thought. Constants are extremely difficult to perceive with human senses precisely because they are constant; but they can be known. God wants us to know Him and wants to communicate with us and wants us to know His Love. He provided a way for us to know Love.

2. The only real things are the things God created. Love is real, being of God. Creation is real being in the medium of joy, a pure transform of Love. Love transformed into joy supports creation. Creation is not the ego world. Creation exists; and we have a way to live in creation through the Holy Spirit.

3. We seem to live in a world. The world is made of energy, vibrating waves forms. Since this energy responds to thought, we can say it is formed, shaped or made by us. Hence I call it the ego world an illusion. The ego world is not creation but our world’s wave forms are still carried by the medium of joy. How to get out of the ego world and into creation is another blog.

4. A Fourier Transform is a mathematical operation that transforms one complex-valued function of a real variable into another. The new function, often called the frequency domain representation of the original function, describes which frequencies are present in the original function. The analogy of the Fourier Transform to the DIVINE Fourier Transform goes like this:

  • Love is the complex-valued real function.
  • Joy is defined as the new function which exists in the frequency domain because it is a perceivable energy.
  • Creation is the frequency domain.
  • The Holy Spirit is defined as the functioning operation that transforms.

5. The Fourier Transform is a mathematical operation. The DIVINE Fourier Transform is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the operating transformer Who brings Love into the world as joy. Creation does need an operating medium. That medium is defined as joy.

6. Love is a constant, not a harmonic frequency; hence it cannot exist in a frequency domain world without being transformed. The way Love reaches us is via the divine Fourier Transform which changes Love into joy; and joy is something we not only know but is innate to all creation (see corollary).

7. God is Love. His Love is filtered through a divine Fourier Transform so that we can experience it as joy. Love is the all pervasive constant of God; the only thing He is. Joy, though the supporting medium of the frequency domain, is a constant for us. Hence, to know divine Love, seek and experience joy.

Now, by seeking and experiencing joy, I do not mean physical dimension, but inner peace. Inner peace is also the topic of another log blog.

Get it? No, Spirit Flower, we need much more explanation. I agree; but it is time for me to go to bed.

Spiritual Workout

Sometimes I hesitate to blog when I don\’t have magnificent enlightening things to say. Today is such a day.

This morning’s spiritual training was a seeming disaster; that is, I had to work at it until I let go of my small self. For a running analogy I liken it to a nasty set of speed intervals. Each speed lap leaves you bent over wanting to collapse or throw up, yet your time was incredibly slow, the day is incredibly hot and you become hateful of your coach. Spiritually, I kept approaching the light; yet each time, I knew Its Love was slipping off my mental shield and falling lifeless at my feet. I was not feeling inspired or uplifted. I wasn’t getting any comfort or pleasing feeling. I knew that somewhere in my small self, I had decided to keep Love out today; yet knowing this, I could not let go of my decision and let Love in.

So, several times, I approached the light and tried to calm the inner screaming and let the light in. My Coach, the Holy Spirit, stood quietly and patiently waiting for me to get tired of my small self and let go. Eventually, I had this tiny thought, “If no one had ever taught me what illumination was supposed to feel like, what would I be looking for right now?” Bingo! With this thought, I quietly slipped into the now. I realized that peace was here and Love was here right now. I did not have to seek for anything, just sense the strength of peace now. I let go of my preconceived notions, which belong to the small ego mind.

God I want God! Feel my urgent cry. Christ must be my life; He is all I want. It is as simple as that.

Just because I can’t “feel” God doesn’t mean I give up on the spiritual practice. I can understand why some people just give up on spirituality. Divine Connection is always there, but I have to let go of my ideas in order to have That. Feeling good or inspired is not always what I get out of the deal.

Living non-spiritual is unhappy for me, so I keep working out, keep doing the intervals, keep hating my Coach, the Holy Spirit. Lifting weights is not that fun either, but I do it. Dieting is not that fun either, but I do it. God is not that fun, but I do it.

Reflections – Fasting 122 Hours

There is a difference between a secular solitary and a monk eremitic. The secular solitary is alone just to be alone. The monk is alone to be alone with God. By secular, I do not mean atheist. By monk, I do mean spiritual; the monos who is one heart with God. The secular solitary may say prayers. The monk is the prayer.

I am a monk. The point of my life is God. I am not traditionally consecrated into a religious tradition. I am a monk in the world; self styled. I learned about being a monk from Benedictines. I learned about it from books. Most of my monastic practices are traditional: lectio divina (spiritual reading) and contemplative prayer. Anthony was an early Christian who famously started the tradition; leaving the city and going out in the desert to live with Christ and fight demons. But most Holy Rules for monks advocate the structure of a monastery. I am the variety who left the monastery and went to the Poustinia to live on my own. The lack of religious validation is a cross I seem to bear; a relic of my Benedictine teaching. I have no trappings, like religious garb, or title, or hairdo. I look very ordinary and do not generally speak publicly of who I really am.

You might say, “But you are an engineer.” I would say, “I don’t have a desert cave or a monastery, so I work for a living.” You might say, “You are a runner.” I would say, “I am running to God. I run in the Spirit.” Alone, I am not constantly busy, not even reading all the time. Often, I just sit and contemplate. I spend hours in lectio. I listen. I am silent. I am being still and waiting.

I live in a Poustinia. Poustinia is the Russian word for desert. It was traditional for Orthodox monks to go to a hermitage. A Poustinia in the West is a place for someone to go and seek God. It is a place of silence and solitude and prayer. Although looking like a house, inside it is the Mount of Carmel, the Mount of Tabor, the cave of Jesus tomb, the cave of Elijah, the Bodhi tree of Siddhartha, a Tibetan mountain peak, an ashram of one in an Indian forest. The Poustinia is the agony of the cross where Jesus cried, “My God my God, why have you forsaken me?” The Poustinia is the river of baptism and the mount of transfiguration where God cried out, “This is my beloved Son, listen to him.” The Poustinia is a prostration at the foot of the cross, and before the Glory of God. The Poustinia is the wild shouting, “Hosanna” and “Maranatha.” It is the place where I have chosen to go.

My Poustinia is also in my heart, my consciousness; my inner temple where God dwells eternally. I go to work and the store and the marathon and other places, but my life is always hidden in the inner temple, known only to Christ. The light of Christ shines out. If it was me that lived in the world, not Christ, there would be no light for others and I would be a dreadfully sickened person. This is not so.

In the Poustinia, there is the darkness of Mother Theresa, the great faith of pilgrims crowding Lourdes. There is Eucharist and Adoration and Reconciliation. There is no football or election campaign or financial crisis. The monk’s material needs are minimized, being filled by God. Music is a type of veil, hiding the soul from God; or a covering which prevents the mind from being totally exposed to the divine light. The news is a distraction, diverting thought from the divine Presence and from prayer. TV is programming; filling the mind with something other than Christ. The monk’s food will often stray into nothing but spiritual texts; eating the words and being satisfied with God. The Poustinia is not often ecstatic. Usually it is just a desert, just a silent place, just faith. With the darkness of God’s silence and the blinding light of faith, the monk waits and watches and listens and prays. This is the life of a monk in the world and what I have embraced as my vocation.

This leads into my response to your question, “Why am I telling you about being a monk?” There are cosmic and eschatological reasons for the eremitical life, the silent life. At a minimum, the conscious contact of one person with God is a gift for all; whether they know it or not. Christ is a cosmic consciousness remembered for all and given to all. It is because I feel the inner light of Christ beaming out to all creation. I wanted to offer Christ consciousness as a gift; and remind us of spiritual realities beyond normal day-to-day life.

One person alone praying seems so worthless. No evangelization is attempted. The works of charity do not take place in the physical world. Purpose is carried out metaphysically and spiritually; perhaps not seen but deeply known. No trace of the hermit’s healing hands are found, but surely they were there. No sound of the hermit’s prayer was heard, but surely a blessing was received.

In my silence and my fasting, I have found the well of praises for Christ my life. These praises gush forth uncontainable. My dam has broken. My reservoir empties. Peace be with you.

Reflections – Fasting 100 Hours

The hermitage, the fast and the long run are mine today. I have a sense of humility about it because nothing seems to have been accomplished. I existed in worldly uselessness; yet conscious of continuous divine communication. I prayed, but the divine communication was unperceived, seen only by faith and heart.

Running, fasting and solitude are my cross; unexplainable to the uninitiated. These are gifts I carry; vertical aspiration and horizontal expansion. Carrying the cross, I am the tool of Spirit. I seek not crucifixion, nor sacrifice, nor suffering. I carry a cross of joy in Spirit, peace in all directions and love at its heart.

Running, fasting and solitude have emptied me today. If not for the four days of juice, the 17 miles in a hilly frigid park and abstinence from the world; I might be fat, dumb and complacent. Fasting prepared the raw materials. Running threw me over a cliff, where the gentle embrace of solitude became my cushioned fall and endless immersion in light.

The fasting was the furnace. The running was the pounding and shaping by the divine hammer. The solitude was the quenching. I have become a tempered soul under the hand of Divine Love. I was refined from a pile of dirt to fine gold. I was transformed from an iron bar to a tempered steel sword. I was etched with beautiful designs and mysterious symbols. I am lovingly oiled and polished and placed in a sheath worn at My Lord’s waist.

There lies my humility, again I notice. I am carried at the side of Love, never withdrawn for violence, beauty forever hidden. I am an accessory, an accoutrement. His Presence requires my service, but my purpose is hidden away from what I appear to be. My silent unused position is a kind of prostration which I gladly offer.

What a strange reflection today. It is nonsensical, meaningless puffs of fantasy, musings of a spiritual drunk, the ravings of a mystical fool.

Christ the life of my soul.
My life hidden in Christ.
Christ lives, not I.