Category Archives: Emergent

Utopian Hope

The thing that seems to be in most need today is a hopeful view of the future. If you browse any book store and see the type of fiction that fills the teen shelves, you will notice that many of the bestselling stories are very dystopian. If the children are our future, then what we are filling them with is scary. The phrase “Happily, ever after” is another indicator when compared to the beliefs of many this phrase has been relegated to fairy-tale and myth status.

More important is the outlook that some of the owners of today’s future tech companies hold. As Artificial Intelligence technology begins its ascent many of these owners feel free to communicate their fears of a coming dystopian future that they are steering us toward. In the cases of the teen books and the outlook of some tech firm owners, maybe the reason we hear such fearful predictions in the media is because that is what sells as news today.

So how do we change our personal outlook from this looming fear to a future that resembles heaven on earth? One simple solution would have us use the tools of love and gratitude. Love can be defined as the removal of separation between people. Gratitude is an attitude of thankfulness. Fear is the opposite of love, and we can first be thankful that our fear has not totally overwhelmed the reality of this present moment.

Too start, all we need to do is take a simple inventory of the blessings in our life at this current moment. For example if you are reading this posting you are alive. The next thing to notice is that you will probably take several pairs of in and out breaths within the next few minutes. From there quickly exclude of your relationship status, political affiliation, and personal financial status and inventory anything else you like and it will be a blessing.

Hebrews 6:16-20 (NLT) Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. 17 God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. 18 So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.20 Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.

Oh, bird of my soul, fly away now; For I possess a hundred fortified towers. ~ Rumi

 Most of us at times allow thoughts of fear for the future to fly into our minds and obscure our view of the reality at this present moment. In this moment there is abundant life, for the 7.5 billion humans on this planet. Though our definition of utopia may differ vastly, we are all at this moment alive. The portion of the human race that experiences immediate death or extermination is vastly diminished when compared to just 20 years ago.

Historical Crude Death Rate (DR)

Years CDR Years CDR
1950–1955 19.1 1985–1990 9.4
1955–1960 17.3 1990–1995 9.1
1960–1965 16.2 1995–2000 8.8
1965–1970 12.9 2000–2005 8.4
1970–1975 11.6 2005–2010 8.1
1975–1980 10.6 2010–2015 8.1
1980–1985 10

Source: World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision | United Nations Population Division

Secondary to death, fear that our liberty may be restricted, or that we will not have the resources to exercise freedom of choice, presents another looming set of fears. In this present moment humans on this planet are experiencing technological and social advancements and yet many fear that they will not be able to participate in future developments. This fear overshadows our current reality and produces an outlook so dark that death becomes a viable option. Life is changing for the better every day and yet many hold beliefs that society has lost its way and civilization is out of control and everyone is doomed. One such advancement is the awakening of the human global consciousness, aided by communication technology it provides greater awareness about the lives of many people with details on a personal level, and for many this is ‘too much information’ (TMI). The acquisition of any new technology always presents new challenges, but instead of embracing these advantages many tend to dwell on the glass half empty.

Today most humans perform jobs that make life better for all of humanity. Like bees in a hive we actively participate in laying the groundwork for a future society that will be capable of sustaining a greater human population and yet far too many see only, and fear what can go wrong. At this very moment we each love someone or something. We also posses the ability to pray and meditate for their health and well being. Hope has never been at a higher level in human history and more people possess the spiritual tools to make their lives better. At the same time we are fickle individuals who like slowing down and looking at a car wreck and consuming the fear of being hurt and ignoring the fact that just seconds before and after viewing the accident, we were probably exceeding the speed limit as we zipped through life.

My encouragement today, is for us to take time to inventory and then dwell on the good that is our life. Stay present when we are with those we love. Be thankful for every breath and put the fear of not having a next breath in proper perspective. Life may be difficult but compared to the human population 1000 years ago, we are living the utopian dream. Hope is always relative to the time measured for its manifestation. During this infinite moment of now, love is in your heart and breath is in your nostrils and human society is more supportive of our next breath than ever before. At this moment in human history hope and fear are like two wild beast living in the hearts and minds of every human. There is a Cherokee proverb that simply asks which animal will you feed?  Feed love and feed hope that today life will be well with you.

“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”  ~ Dalai Lama XIV

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Love and Material Reality

2016-12-31_cascading-water-1183847-1278x855God is love and God is Spirit.  Each member of the human family is also created in this image or pattern.  Turning water to wine, multiplying food, and healing the sick are all results demonstrated by Jesus of Nazareth while a member of our human family.  Likewise, any person with a deep spiritual understanding also has the capacity to make material reality subject to spiritual law.

Love for example is a spiritual law that is simple enough for any human to exercise, experience, and experiment with. In the same way, that the laws of flight overcome the laws of gravity, love is a law that over comes most laws of material reality. This is the reason Jesus demonstrated and taught the spiritual truth of love as the basic way of living. Jesus used the condition of blindness as both a literal and a metaphorical teaching object. The material reality of blindness is powerless when confronted with the spiritual understanding of the power of the law of love.

Spiritual understanding is simply conscious awareness of an existence beyond this material world. Faith in the possibility of spiritual truth is a start, but it is not until one has a conscious experience with spiritual truth does this material world begin to yield and reveal its weakness. During the holiday season of Christmas there is an atmosphere of love, if one can become consciousness of it. When we allow ourselves to get caught up in the spirit of the season any impediments to our peace and happiness that was erected in the material realm, seem to dissolve. However, most people dismiss such disillusions as Christmas magic.

Because very few of us humans have attained the understanding or awareness of the spiritual realm, we settle for the peace and happiness that the illusions of material wealth and health give. If those that claim to be disciples of Jesus obtain even a little success in the mastery over this material reality, a joy unspeakable would reverberate within their being. To be able to pass on an inkling of this consciousness to their children would be an inheritance fit for a king. Imagine a generation of humans having beliefs beyond what passes as normal religious faith.

Jesus said, “Love others as self”

Yet, He always demonstrated,

“Love others before self”.

So the question becomes how can, any human operate a love that transcends this material reality. First, we must awaken to this simple insight. Jesus said, “Love others as self” yet, He always demonstrated “Love others before self”. Secondly, one must make an effort and assault the common notion that love is a two-way street. Holding that belief as truth will make it impossible to walk on water, disappear through a crowd, or walk through walls. When love flows from God, through you, toward others it is an indescribable feeling. In that moment, we need nothing from material reality, and there for we are no longer subject to its laws.

Galatians 5:23 (NKJV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

We hold beliefs that God is infinite and that we are created in His image or pattern. Yet most religious and scriptural interpretation does little more than give an infinite God the human attributes of a face, arms, and legs. Very few if any appropriate the infinite qualities of God like an infinite conscious, one that does not slumber or sleep, or infinite presence. We lay down to rest the body and our consciousness soars as it returns to the greater realms of what we misname as the realms of dreams and deep sleep.  When we return to the smallest realm of the material reality, we say we are awake, all awhile we are blind and dismiss the greater realms we just left.  We must let go of the belief that the “I” of our being shares the limits of our material body

Psalm 82:6-8 (NKJV) I said, “You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High. But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes.” Arise, O God, judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations.

Luke 6:40 (NKJV)  A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.

We humans were created for so much more, yet we are stuck in our traditions. A box of no escape may be good for building an earthly organizations and protecting its membership, but it will never get humanity to see itself as sons and daughters of God.

Escape velocity is a term of violent revolution for earthlings that have not achieved travel at the speed of light.  Likewise, we humans holding a set of beliefs that exalt the laws of material reality need a violent revolution of love as demonstrated by Jesus in order to become transformed.  We need to redefine the common definition of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. My suggestion:

A Disciple of Jesus is a believer, motivated by the belief that within a single human lifespan, any human could be trained to replicate any of the works of Jesus, and live as the child of God they were created to be. Upon graduation the child of God lives out the remainder of their days in the office of Ambassador to God’s Kingdom.

If humanity is to complete its evolutionary journey and reach its full potential, we need a constant update of our beliefs, as we consistently become more conscious of spiritual reality. Love is the doorway out of a belief system that material reality reigns supreme.

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Humans Evolving Spiritually

2016-11-14_droplets-1384830-1598x1125Human evolution includes the development of that part of us that exist at our core. What makes this evolutionary period unique is our ability to observe on a global scale this process in real-time.   For thousands of years our developmental feedback has also evolved. Where once we were only shaped by our local tribal community, and then molded by patriotic influences of the nation-state. Today there is a global cross-pollination effecting human spiritual development.

More than anything else, religious traditions continue to provide the greatest framework for human spiritual development. They set the parameters for describing the spiritual nature of humanity. The institutions that keep and dispense the parameters are also subject to today’s global evolutionary influences. The questions proposed in this post concerns itself with the limits of human understanding as it relates to the reality of the nature of human spirituality.

Genesis 1:26-27 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Exodus 3:13-14 Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

John 17:22-23   And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

Most, but not all religions define human spiritual nature in relationship to their understanding of God. If that God is infinite then spiritual nature tends to be infinite. Some religions derived their spiritual understanding and practice from a God that is perceived to be finite.

Religious tradition has much to say from both fronts. However, because of its slowness to adapt to the new outside global influences it is losing its ability to shape the moral consciousness of the current and therefore the next generation. Religion had been the go-to institution of society for ethical values. However, Its slowness to adapt has caused secular schools to pick up the slack in human spiritual evolution.

To counter this, there is an emergence of a global consciousness bought on by technology-based, virtual social constructs. Traditional religions are passing on an opportunity by using its resources to defend long-held traditions that they will eventually abandon as human understanding evolves. Technology based schools and technology driven social constructs are by default filling the vacuum by providing new paths to understanding human spirituality and ethical values. Internal to the major religions and yet outside of its hierarchical authority a grass-roots emergence of sorts has been taking place over the last 20 years if not longer.  This emergence has led to a growth of external movements that attempt re-transmit or re-communicate only the revelations of peace and love from the world’s main religion traditions. Members of these technology-based constructs consider themselves no longer affiliated with the traditional institutional culture of these main religious traditions.

Spirituality without judgement is not a new concept, but it flourishes in an environment where there is no requirement for group identity and membership.

Spirituality without judgement is not a new concept, but it flourishes in an environment where there is no requirement for group identity or membership. When group identity is no longer required spiritual understanding expand and evolve. If we live in a world where we change software on our phones every two years, why is it we are afraid to upgrade our beliefs and understanding concerning human spiritual nature? If God and His realm is truly infinite then there is more that we do not understand, than we do understand. Today’s traditional  models effectively binds understanding to that model.  Traditional cultures could provide a greater service to humanity if the ratio between defending beliefs and exploring human spiritual nature were reversed.

Once and individual or a group awakens to the evolutionary waves that are moving through the human species, the resistance to the waves of change decrease. As it relates to spiritual evolution, resistance is futile. However, the developmental journey needs the wisdom of the ages as we chart our unknown course into the future.

It is my hope that both traditional and these new religious social constructs will not abdicate their responsibility to human society and remain engage in the moral and ethical development of humanity’s spiritual evolution. I have no fear because like water, moral and ethical advances will find its way around any blockage and therefore peace and love will prevail. I encourage the non-affiliated technology based adherents that have escaped the limits of major and minor religious faiths of the world, to remain independent.

Our independence is evolutionary for human spiritual development on two fronts. Firstly, traditional institutions of religion are taking notice of opportunities missed when we opted out from them in pursuit of deeper spiritual understanding. Secondly, as spiritual freedom increases so does our ability as a human species to freely and lovingly respond to infinite God. This creativity will only be discovered and experienced as we shake off hierarchical relationships as the only path to seek the face of God. In an environment of pure freedom, prayer and meditation the only judgement that remains are the motivations of our heart. Are they arrogant and presuming, leaning on tradition or are they still and silent, in freedom and humility, soaking in the Presence of God. Human Spirit, locate at the heart of our being, is a manifestation of the infinite and diverse Presence of God.

Spiritual development that is free from hierarchy, doctrines, and practices is evolutionary and its awareness connects to an infinite God in ways inexperienced by the human generations before us. We must remain thankful and respectful to our ancestors who helped us to this point. However, future generations are counting on us to explore and push the spiritual envelope and evolve spiritually.  Infinite God is pure freedom.

John 4:21-24 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

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