Unscientific Theories

Troubling facts we don’t want to face:
a) The Bible is not historically accurate. Jesus did not say and do what the Bible says. The New Testament and denominational Christian religions are based on human agendas.
b) That spiritual feeling can be explained in terms of brain physiology. God is not a definitive part of the perceived experience of oneness.
c) My perception and spiritual outlook are very much based in my early life experience and choices made as an adult. I do have emotional barriers that seem insurmountable.

I woke up this morning as a woman of prayer. I was doing spiritual reading. I became conscious of one of my limiting beliefs. I said, “God, here is a belief for you to correct: I totally believe I am a spiritual failure.” Then, I had these thoughts….

If I was living my life as just a negative ego, things would be getting worse and worse for me regarding health and emotional well being. But in fact, I become healthier physically and emotionally every day. If I am living my life in partnership with some transcended consciousness (Christ, Bodhisattva, Inner Self, Higher Power); then I am healing towards a life of greater and greater love, health and emotional well being. For example, if I am just a negative ego, I would still be a drunk. If I am connected to some power more powerful than my ego, then I am able to have sobriety; which in fact I have.

Then I thought: emotional well being is both an effect of love and a channel for the expansion of love. Love is my higher power; it helps me and flows through me. Several years ago, during a “spiritual” experience, I concluded: Love is the predominant mode of existence. I have read that God is love. I believe love is from God but not as a consciousness I would understand; more as a field of energy which can be tapped into or connected with. I call this type of energy “love.” As a function of God; however, it is very far from what religion says it is. It is not the same as the spiritual feeling of oneness commonly defined as enlightenment. In fact, love is a very constant and everyday aspect. When we live in love, which is a choice, we begin to live more and more in a world that I call the realm of the spirit. I think I define it as spiritual because it is non-negative ego. It could be that spiritual is only a state of being love alone; where we don’t use or honor the ego. In this state, we feel transcended simply due to the absence of something which makes us feel bad: negative ego.

God per se is still beyond the transcended state of love alone.

That is my story for today. I am surely wrong in my hypothesis so don’t take my thoughts as your belief system. Drink some fresh juice, get some exercise and some sleep, clean the house and sit in the sunshine!

Lent – Monday after the 5th Sunday

I live in a poustinia, a desert. It is my place for being alone and reflecting. I shuffle the pieces of my remembered past and what ever came to me that day. I find patterns that are new. I hear thoughts I never heard before. I see love where it wasn\’t a moment ago. This is not to say that love shifts but that my ability to see it does.

Some mornings I wake up an atheist; but an atheist with a spiritual path. Some mornings I wake up the most devout of all religious. I shuffle out to the kitchen, sit down with my tea and do exactly the same spiritual path the atheist in me does. My thoughts and feelings waver and shift, but the spiritual path is always laid out for me, no matter my religion for that day.

Yet, I always wake up a runner. There is never a day when I am not a runner. The running never wavers. The most disturbed it ever gets is if some work matter or weather interferes with it. Running is as constant in my life as the spiritual path. For this reason, running cannot be excluded from my spiritual path. Running is integral to who I am. My religion changes, but running never does.

The silence of the runner under a star lit sky, through gently falling snow, around the edge of a pond filled with peepers and croakers, or dancing along the side of a noisy busy road, is no different than the silence of the cloister or the mountain cave.

Easter is within sight. I am taking two days off next week for reflection. The lacing of the shoes and the donning of the cap are my sacramentals. The blue heron and the Kansas meadow lark are my community. The water in my back pack is my communion wine; changed by the liturgy of the run into Life for the world.

Lent – Saturday Before the 5th Sunday

About 10 days ago, I redeemed some points on a credit card and got a free bicycle. It came yesterday, much faster than I expected. Today, I put it together, though the brakes still rub a little on the wheel rim. It is a blue man\’s mountain bike. Very humble if you ask me. I won\’t be proud to ride any where and certainly it is not a flashy road bike which could be used for \”training.\” But I hope to use it to go to work sometimes. I only live a mile or so from work, but any little gas savings seems good.

I was sitting, playing free cell on the computer, thinking how unproductive I seem to be, that is, no great spiritual insights, not enough chores completed. In the monastery, on Saturday nights during Lent, we had conferences, reflections on the Gospels. This brought me to thinking about the Gospels, and this brought me to thinking about the vast Holy Presence of Jesus-Alive-Right-Now. I realized that as I play cards, I can turn part of my brain to God and feel that inner Holiness, Divine Consciousness, that asks nothing and sustains all. I don\’t have to go to a monastery, but I do have to pay attention to that inner Voice.

Thank you Name-Beyond-All-Names for visiting my small self in such a way that I could hear you and expand into Your Son of God Self.

Lent – Desert Oasis of Reflection

Personal statistics: I am starting a new journal today. I buy five-subject college ruled spiral bound notebooks, one after another, year after year. When I start a new one, it feels like New Years, or like a new leaf is turned over or a new phase of life begun. On the first page, my title page, I always put “The Divine Presence is Everywhere;” from the Rule of Benedict.

Today is the anniversary of my personal ground zero. A year ago today, I spent laying in a hospital bed. I had my arm operated on the afternoon before, spent the night on morphine and during the day I was filled with codeine and antibiotics. I couldn’t really maintain consciousness. I had arrived at the hospital room at about 7 pm the night before. I was hungry at that time, but the hospital only had box lunches with turkey sandwiches, a meal I don’t eat. Then, during the night the morphine made me sick, so so much for hunger. Then around noon, I would have eaten. The hospital sent a “vegetarian” lunch: canned tomato soup, grilled cheese, green beans, canned peaches, milk and ice cream. Ummmm, I don’t eat any of that junk either, but I tried to nibble some. Then, I looked out the fourth floor window at a beautiful sunshine day. I realized how divorced my point of view is from the average of society. Even what society thinks is food is not what I think is food. In most areas of life, I am not on the same page as society, food is just an example.

More statistics: I have been studying ACIM for a year and 8 months. I have not been in therapy in that time (a record?). I have read the Text 3 ½ times and been through the workbook 1 ½ times. I’m 50 years old, 5’ 8” tall, 130 lbs, 23 ½ years sober, worked for one employer 4 ½ years, lived in one house 3 ½ years and my new bicycle is sitting in a box waiting for me to apply my mechanical aptitude to transform it from mere parts to a useful machine living up to its full potential.

I have several massive life long projects: the running project, the dieting project, the earning money so I can retire project, the worldly approval project, the hoping someone will love me project, the glorious accomplishment project where I gain life long satisfaction and the respect of my fellows. This is my worldly life. It is a black hole of futility sucking energy out of me. I have had many experiences but seemingly not accomplishing anything.

I have a spiritual life; a life lived in the spiritual realm. It has one project: the God project. The God project is for the glory of God, an appropriate subject for glory, and the only authentic experience of glory. I am determined to know Soul, Christ in me, The Anointed, Conscious Holiness; and I do because of my spiritual practice. Spiritual practice is necessary if only to ensure space for God in your life. Otherwise, the TV never lets God get a word in. The Word is the one thing really necessary.

The Insanity of the Long Distance Runner

I was supposed to go in the Olathe Marathon today, but it was cancelled due to weather. Marathoning is such a balancing act. You spend months planning for a race and doing the training; but you never really know if you will be side lined that day. You never really know how the race itself will come out.

Instead of marathoning today, I participated in the non-marathon of daily training, the insanity of milage. Yesterday, my boss gave me the afternoon off and I got in a 22 mile run before the snow could come. Today, I ran another 11 miles in freezing rain. If you asked me why I run this much, I quite frankly have no idea. It is such a conundrum for me: why? It is insane. I keep myself in marathon shape and enter races. I am not fast, so I come home from races with t-shirts, participants medals and age group awards which I get because there weren’t that many in my age group. Every time I enter a race, I wonder if it is just my ego entering the race and the spirituality in my mind really doesn’t care. My ego has dreams of glory. I have a hotel reservation for a race three weeks from now and tomorrow I will probably go to active.com and enter that race: a 50k. For what?

Today on my run, I was accompanied by herds of robins. They were continuously running up the road in front of me. They didn’t seem to care about the cold or wet. It was quite a peaceful way to spent 2 hours. When I am participating in the loneliness of the long distance runner, I am not alone. When I am out in the freezing rain, participating in the insanity of the milage, I am not a part of the world society thinks is reasonable. If running has any non-ego validity, it is these peaceful moments, disconnected from the world, when my mind is still, that my Soul speaks in non-words. Each moment is a whisper of guidance on the next foot placement. This is all spirituality really is.

The Runner’s Hermitage

I am supposed to be tapering for a big marathon. Since the weather looks a bit messy for the race, I have been focusing more on just running and not worrying about time. So, I ran 3.5 miles this morning. It was clear at 4 am, 37F, damp from rain last night. I decided to go to my secret place, my hidden running room away from the world.

In the park by my house, there is a mile loop that goes down a dirt road and up a cement one. In the dark, I do it with my Petzl light. My world becomes very narrow as all I can see is a short path in front of me. In the dark, you can enter a strange timelessness. In the dark, you can lose your worldly bearings and normal boundaries of who and what you think you are. As you become as nothing human, you feel the force of Life as the predominant and essential component of your being.

In the hermitage, you can inventory your short comings; but there is a Who to heal them. In the hermitage, you don’t have to be what everyone expects you to be and return to the actuality of your truth. In the hermitage, you have no clothes or masks or façade. Your holiness is supreme in and of itself; it needs no exterior objective symbolism. Your holiness explains itself to you in impressions and realizations. I have been trained to think this image is holy:

But what about this one:

In the light of day, outside the hermitage, the runner is \”just a runner.\” In the hermitage, I am still \”just a runner.\” Holiness just is. It is in the narrow dark mystery of the secret running room. It is the the lighted expansiveness of day. A runner is spirit. A runner is Life. Life is the essential characteristic of my being. My soul speaks Life to me.

All human beings are holy; it doesn\’t matter what they look like or do. All creation is holy because God is holy; and there could be nothing else.

Lent – The Marathoner\’s Desert

Intuitive thoughts from my meditation today: The truth in me has sought and found and connected with TRUTH. I, at this instant, am able to experience myself as cosmic: one with the Consciousness and not ego imprisoned. The ego’s prison is the illusion that I am still seeking and will never find; that some little bauble from this world can satisfy me.

I approach the marathon. I don’t want to turn it into an exercise in littleness, which I surely will if I go out with a goal of running a 4:05 in order to qualify for Boston (BQ) or to win an age group award (AG). It strikes me that the heart of my marathon experience is rather fragile. I have a sense that my reward is delicate like a butterfly. The goal is obtained by unraveling imperceptible silk threads of divine life, not smashing the whole thing with a hammer. A BQ or an AG attained lead to disappointing littleness; nothing but a smashed dream of self glory. My marathon can be as cosmic as my spirit is, if I realize that the race itself is only a symbol of a spiritual metaphysical effort to disclose the divine truth of the human soul. The running spirit shows me who I really am. The goal is not the finish line at 26.2 miles, but the moment to moment conscious experience of the flow of divine life.

The cosmic marathon is the marathoner’s desert because it has no baubles, no grandiose thrills; and the delicate slender silk threads of divine life are so easily broken or lost.

Lent – Desperate in the Desert

An unusual morning. As I awoke, I sensed the lights outside winking out. But somewhere, my brain knew that the tea had already been made. So I got up to see and sure enough, the tea pot was hot. In that short 25 foot trip to the kitchen, I thought, why do I get up at 3:10 to do spiritual study and meditation? Why not sleep? What do I think I am accomplishing?

A few minutes later, a hot cup of tea in my hand and a light emanating from my forehead (!), I sat down at my table. I could hear the power company outside, actually I think they had been working all night, so I assumed it would not be long before the power was back on. Actually, at 3:25, it did come back on. Then, I promptly spilled my tea and had to make another pot.

But I was pondering my question: Why do I bother wanting to know God? One thing I like about ACIM is it\’s approach of encouraging me to seek the Voice for God myself (ref WB 124), don\’t just listen to the text. So that is what I did this morning. My thoughts went like this. I thought about how desperately I want to see Christ\’s face. I want to see it in my brothers and everywhere. This face, for which you could use another name like Atman or Buddha or Tao or Self, represents love and safety; and \”making it.\” Making it? My term, making it, is a two faced coin or a two edged sword. It can be positive: I honestly sought God in response to a call from God. The term can be ego based: I earned or cheated or stole the coveted state of enlightenment.

I saw clearly that what I believe is a choice. If I believe the ego\’s voice, then my spirituality is a search for a cheap thrill, and I should go back to bed. If I believe the Voice for God, then my desire for God and journey to God is with Help; and is a pure and holy result originating with Cause. To listen to the ego is to poison and kill what could be the most tremendous gift and extravagant source of wealth: my deep and incredible faith, sustained for years, and sure belief that the All Powerful is carrying me to Himself.

I get what I choose. If I choose God, I get connection and peace. I am immediately there.

Hence, I prostrate before my faith and my choice and Christ: I give myself completely and totally to the desire for God and unabashedly proclaim my undivided relentless pursuit of Love.

I am powerless over this.

Lent – Desire for Jesus

In 2003, August, I got kicked out of the monastery. The story of how this decision was made is not what I am up to at the moment. What I am up to at the moment is Jesus. The day before I left, I was in the office of my novice director (this is not the story of our failed relationship either). I remember telling her I was totally afraid that if I left there I would lose Jesus. In fact, I did lose the nice safe well defined Jesus that they worshipped and pretended to be espoused to (as if anyone could actually be a bride of Christ). But it is true, you cannot keep playing the game if you are not living in their tiny environment without any challenges to the theology.

What I am up to now is connecting with God apart from not only the monastic support environment but also that of the Roman Church or any other Christian denomination. I have dared to study various scholars and come to believe that we do not know what Jesus said and did and that this information is not contained in the Bible. However, I do have faith in a power greater than myself. I am learning to be comfortable with a God beyond all books. It may be conditioning or programming that I have not over come yet, but I still feel determined to have a personal relationship with Christ. I just think that He Himself is forcing me to be honest about it and not relate to the false Biblical delusion.

There is no tried and true method that produces a tangible proof of God. People are comfortable with religion because it provides a material world activity. The problem is that the activities are not based on historically true evidence; but the private control agenda of a handful of men. The material world activities actually prevent me from seeking the truth of God or learning to love the ineffable intangible Presence and Power. My desire is for God alone. My urge is for the pristine pure Love, which I faithfully believe is there. I will never have proof of what I find because it is encountered silently in contemplation. My only hope is that this Love is efficacious in calling everyone to truth beyond this world.

Personal statistics: I ran a short 3.5 miles this morning. Trying to taper for this Saturday’s marathon, I didn’t work out twice. The 40 mph winds must have taken out a power line. I lost power for about an hour. It is back on now, but there is a new pole laying on a truck in front of my house. I have been raw vegan for 34 days. I intend not to splurge until after the marathon. On Saturday I ran 16 miles at a pace of 9 minutes per mile. That kind of speed was surprising to me. I credit the way I am eating, especially the green smoothies.

4th Sunday of Lent

Some thoughts from this week\’s journey in the Lenten desert, deeper into Christ:

– Digesting scripture takes energy. Drinking the pure water of silence promotes detox and rejuvenation.

– The thought battle is: it is ok this time (to food binge), tomorrow will be different.

– I must be a transcended consciousness (this doesn’t mean anything about you who read this). Open the door and accept this. No need to fight the untranscended world, just be at peace in it.

– Self discipline in mental control is necessary: choosing beneficial thoughts or consistently asking for help.

– Thinking of love and that I am being loved. I have to pause and feel this. The idea is tremendous. It fills every cell causing total harmonic vibrations, and redirects every synapse connecting only to peace.

– Where I work is my choice; it is my chosen storefront for spiritual exchange and trade. In accepting my choice, I realize that I also chose to be alive. If I quit resisting being-alive, I could find the gifts of God (joy, love, happiness and peace) everyday. Resisting is a choice that provides unhappiness. I could make a different decision. There is not necessarily any reason why I shouldn’t be happy every day. This new decision would require a new habitual mindset; and could only be produced by mental discipline and effort.

– Conflict: I desperately fear God doesn’t approve of me. But, then I think, “My value is inestimable simply because I am.”

– Conflict: Some much time spent wanting to be as good as others by getting what they have or wanting to be better by having something different. It is only my ego that competes. “Feeling less” is an ego feeling which is untrue.

– I am neither good or bad. I just am. I am joy and enjoyable. There is no such thing as enlightenment. Enlightenment cannot be real because it is not constant.

– I habitually see things from the battlefield. I can choose to see them differently. This is the miracle I ask for: Please help me to see things differently.

– Conflict: I am afraid I am “doing it” (seeking God) wrong and I won’t achieve it. But if I know peace, I know God. I just have to stop and experience it. Related conflicting beliefs: I don’t think I know God. This belief is an unconscious demon; but if you bring it to the light, is disappears. If you leave it in darkness, it darkens all moods and disconnects me from God. Another conflicting belief: I think I have to do something to know God; like fix me. No, really. Just stop. Knowing is automatic in a quiet mind. God is inherent in my being. All I have to do to connect is be quiet; accept peace and I am there. God is the truth of my being.

– There is something or some consciousness beyond myself to whom I can cry out for help; and I seem to make it through my crisis. I like to use the name Jesus, but this someone has never said what its name is.

– I have quiet confidence.

Lent – Experimental Results

The fourth Wednesday of Lent. 29 of 30 days on the raw food commitment are completed and I\’m looking at continuing the commitment. I ran twice today for a total of 8 miles. The second run was in a new pair of shoes. The Olathe marathon is in 10 days. After that, I have a hotel reservation for the night of 4/17 in Willard Missouri. I\’m planning on going in a 50K (31 mile) race on 4/18.

I started my intuitive spirituality experiment 8 days ago: letting go of A Course in Miracles (or anything else) and just listening to God directly. Today I reached one possible result and I will probably go back to using some daily input. I think I do not need input when I am alone in my hermitage. But, I think I do much better controlling thoughts and emotions at work if I have a pre-programmed structure to quickly grasp when interactions with others occur. I realize now that my daily lesson or line of input was giving me something to grasp without thinking in order to keep my equilibrium even under duress.

The work environment is not natural. I have to accept certain stresses until it is truly the right time for me to move out into something else. Because the environment is not natural, I find I need an artificial structure to maintain my balance. I never knew that until today! Having God in my mind all day at work is the result of planning, not accident. It is the result of discipline and effort. Discipline and effort are the result of a desire to have God above all else. If I want IT, I will figure out how to get IT, period.

Why don\’t I quit my job? I firmly believe that if I quit because of disatisfaction, that would be an ego decision and unsuccessful. At this point, if I am \”let go\” I would assume it was because I was ready and my Higher Power had helped me get moving. I don\’t have any indications I am ready to move on.

This realization of the unnaturalness of modern existence extends to many areas of life: like it is impossible to have optimal health in a work environment and in a civilized environment. My life is directed towards alternatives at the fringes of behavior to achieve the most healthy I can; but it won\’t be optimal. It is hard to be totally and authentically ALIVE in most modern situations. I am not out of the envelope of society, but stretching the envelope to encompass healthier living. I am an active promoter of human evolution and the creation of new paradigms.