Tag Archives: culture

Is There A Sense Of Transcendence Active In Your Life?

2016-10-01_ripple-1181181-1279x794Most humans will simply live out their lives playing on the field between the birth and death, end zones. Yet every one of us has within them a sense that there is more to life than this material plane of existence. Many will discover and experience one or several religious systems that claim to provide understanding and solutions that will aid them in their transcending to the next levels of existence.

Today most humans living in the western culture live in societies were obtaining their basic needs (food, water, shelter and clothing) require only a fraction of the 24 hour day cycle to obtain those needs. So why is there not more time devoted to answering our transcendent call? Could it be that our human education has convinced us that our pursuits would be more beneficial if spent elsewhere?

Even though the sense of transcendence is individualistic, we are culturally entangled with one another, and as a member of the human species, there is also a sense of limits and protocol when we attempt to inform others about our discoveries pertaining to the subject of transcendence. This attachment to our cultural groups makes escaping earth’s material hold on us very difficult to overcome. So how does an individual achieve escape velocity?

First, it takes a belief that escape and transcendence are real tangible possibilities.  Then it takes faith, first to seek out strategies, then faith to pursue the goal of transcending. Even after we grow weary on our journey, it requires courage to re-evaluate and re-tool if necessary. This journey toward transcendence moves us form the material to the spiritual plane of existence and experience. It is a lifelong endeavor that affects everyone member in the human species. We are all a part of the same whole.

For many our sense of transcendence has been reduced to the joy we get by having children and living vicariously through the next generation. Then they mature and begin to pursue their life’s journey. Quickly do we come to the understanding that only our personal journey can fulfill our heart’s desire to answer transcendence’s call?  For many this occurs during their midlife awakening, and realization.  During this period, many begin to take seriously their spiritual development and not rely on human tradition to solve their transcendent call.

Throughout our lives, the sense of transcendence continues to reverberate internal to our being. Some answer the call by doubling down on the traditions given to them at birth and others set off and explore the foreign and exotic traditions of other cultures. Regardless of how you choose to answer the call, what are the questions that arise and keep active the call?

Acknowledging that there is a process or a state called transcendence brings little comfort if our lives are not actively pursuing that state. What is the process for achieving escape velocity? Is it available to every human? Is it called by different names in different cultures? So let us say, for discussion purposes we have become born again, awakened or enlighten; am I transcending this game called life? Will the religious tradition, spiritual journey, or cultural path that I have chosen position me in achieving escape velocity?

It is very hard to measure our progress towards transcendence. Even if we compare our journey to the previous generations, we still have no way of determining the success of those generations in the afterlife.  Regardless of the path we are on, we can measure how active that sense of transcendence is in our life. Are we passionately pursuing the unknown? Do we trust in the traditions, myths and legends?

The God of the Christian bible once described Himself as “I am, that I am”. What is the nature of what we call I am? Is it awareness? Are we spiritual beings? What is that relationship to God and others?  This brings us to the question what are we transcending from? Is it our being, our relationship with God or our relationship with other humans? The questions are many and the answers are sometimes few.

Yet, for some of us we are very aware that this current life is not all there is. Many around us allow themselves to become distracted in the everyday drama of life. Many do it to deafen the sense of that internal call to transcend, thinking that if they ignore it, it will go away. Many bury themselves in religious and cultural traditions hoping that it will absolve them from a judgement that will determine if they qualify to transcend.

On my journey as a non-affiliated Disciple of Jesus, I am convinced that my awareness of love and peace within my fellow humans is paramount to experiencing a transcended existence. Quantum science also hints that the observer changes the potential of possibility, into reality. Therefore, if I want a sense of transcendence active in my life and in future human generations, then I must remain consciously aware of the transcending human potential.

Matthew 22:1-14 The Parable of the Wedding Feast

And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said:“The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’ But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ 10 So those servants went out into the highways and gathered  together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and[a] cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

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Evidence Not Understood

CAM00814The material process of evolution implies that things move from a state of simplicity toward more complex state. As attorneys compile evidence to present to a judge and jury the chain of custody must be preserved on all pieces of evidence as they build a case which may be very complex. The bible in the Old and New Testaments implies that all humans are children of God.

However for the humans alive today believing such a complex truth will require an understanding of a lot of simple truths that have been in evidence for over six thousand years of recorded biblical history. For me one simple text of scripture implies the potential condition of all humans.

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

In contrast the Spiritual process of enlightenment moves in the opposite direction of material evolution. Spiritual revelation should strip away confusion and make things more simple and clear. And thus we humans always have two paths that lead to truth. God encodes truth in material reality and reveals the same truth through spiritual enlightenment.

Today some humans participate in the Christian faith for various reasons. I do as well and for me it is all about the maximizing of both human material and spiritual potential. Most Christians believe that the work God sent Jesus to do is intended for all humans. But in practice many Christians interpret and bestow favorable treatment to those people that have chosen to be identified as Christian and bestow a somewhat unfavorable treatment to those who have yet to identify with Jesus. Furthermore within the Christian religious sect favorable honor is rendered based on people’s position in the organizational hierarchy.

In the heart and mind of every human judgments are being made every day based on their beliefs and understanding of which human is truly a child of God. Today people react viscerally to the charge that one person is a child of God and another person is not. Common to western culture and know by other cultures is this belief that some people are counted among God’s chosen people and others are not.

It is these beliefs that shape political platforms and social fabric of people all around the world. There are many battle lines that are that are being fought today and many of them have to do with the interpretation of this single truth. If we are all truly children of God then would we ever find justification to harm one’s own sister or brother?

Is there evidence that the average person could present in their daily response to the many situations that make up the social fabric of our communities? In a normal familial relationship people do not carry around birth certificates to prove their relationships. Husbands and wives do however wear rings. But not everyone has the same skin color or eye color or residential address, or economic status, or cultural language or accent. So can we judge without using the site of our eyes or the hearing of our ears?

 

Galatians 4:1 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all,

 

One easy way to tell whose child someone is by the stuff they have inherited and their use of that stuff. Every culture has inherited something unless it is a new emerging culture and even then it emerges from a previous source of life. This is the testimonial status of Jesus who is the inheritance for all humans. The biblical testimony is that He was the first spiritually born child to introduced humankind to its inheritance. And after two thousand years we humans are still discovering what we have inherited.

The purpose of my words in this post is to encourage a change in our beliefs. Jesus inherited the love of our Father in heaven and that alone should be our identity because it is the totality of what we inherit with Jesus. It is the truth upon which all of Christianity is truly founded. The current social order we find in the world today provides evidence of fact, that humans hold a belief that is contrary the truth of God love for all His human children.

If we who call ourselves disciples and citizens of God’s kingdom we need to understand this single message we have been given to present as evidence. Love alone should be the message and yet people of the world are confused because we the messengers are unable to communicate it with clarity.

It is my hope that the truth of God’s love for all humans as His children, no longer remain as evidence that is not understood by everyone. If God is truly our Father then every human is either our sister or brother and we should treat each other with the equality and respect that our relationship has inherited. Jesus is the “first fruit” and that implies that there is an expectation on God’s part that there is more fruit to be realized. This means that more of the human population needs to understand and relate to one another in this truth.

May the eyes of our understanding be enlightened and may we present truthful evidence that is simple and understood.

 

Romans 8:14-17 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

Galatians 3:26-29 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 

Galatians 4:4-7 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

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Is There Sufficient Evidence That We Are Living Justly?

10-12-2013_1034093_12351166Am I living justly? Most people would not incriminate themselves and would answer to the affirmative if this question was posed to them. We as Christians have this notion that if and when our life is called to be examined we would appear before our Father in heaven with Jesus as our advocate and Satan would play the role of accuser of the brethren. But who has imagined that they would be called as witnesses or to give testimony about the events and the people in their lives? What would the witnesses of our lives say if perjury before God is not an option?

 Psalm 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face

As Americans citizens we pledge to live as one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all. Scripture also states that justice is foundational to God’s Kingdom. Therefore I pose these questions to all of us. Is there sufficient evidence that we are living justly? This should immediately cause us to ask, what proof could I offer to substantiate that I do indeed live a just life?

Psalm 82:2-4 How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked? Selah 3 Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4 Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked.

Psalm 82 calls to all humans to live justly.  It also reveals that as children of God it is in the capacity of humans to be just to one another. As humans we are all members to various ethnic, cultural and religious groupings. But as humans we are all the same and aware that we are children of Adam and Eve. However also dawning on our consciousness is the understanding that we are also children of God. This makes us heirs to some remarkable human capabilities and living justly is one of them.

 Galatians 4:1 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all,

Our lives as members of the Kingdom of God (KoG) should be showing forth the evidence of justice because it is foundational to our Father’s Kingdom. In August of 2013 we Americans celebrated some transformational victories in the laws that made our culture more just for some of its citizens.  But the KoG is about the transformation of our hearts. So. after 50 years we can watch the constraints of laws being removed as we wonder about the conditions of the heart. Has the heart of the American citizen been transformed to where it does not need external laws or will it revert back to living unjust as it did prior the restraints put in place by laws?

Justice for others will always be a big test, a private test that each of us will continually take. As circumstances change will we do justly to one another or will we seek to fulfill the desire of our lust. Justice’s call requires that we constantly evaluate for every “neighbor” in our society and defend those who need help.  Each of us has this call and God’s design and perspective will be measure by which we are held to account.

 If I am unjust to someone because he or she is not a part of my religious, ethnic, social order then I am missing the point of Kingdom living. I want to encourage us all to remain aware of others around us and judge our attitudes, emotions, and feelings we have towards others. Then we must examine the use of our resources, our affiliations and the motives and outcomes of our votes for political and social issues.

This blog is about the evidence of our lives. Does it reflect the spiritual values of the King of our Kingdom? Or does it reflect the material values of the social order and traditions of our culture and religious associations? Is our field of “neighbors” expanding or are we still limited by the legal definition of American citizenship or the denominational lines of our Christian membership. Is justice applicable to all humans equally? Is God’s Kingdom open to all humans universally?

As Americans we believe that before the law all citizens are indivisible with liberty and that we all get equal justice. We also know however that this is a work in progress. But as members of God’s Kingdom do we attempt to live from His perfection or are we satisfied the imperfection of our social order? We are truly Disciples of Jesus and children of God therefore by faith I believe that our lives are capable and do show forth the evidence of our just living.

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

Luke 18: 1-8 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man,5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’” 6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said.7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

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