Tag Archives: humanity

To Love and Live Free

I went to an opera this past weekend for the first time at age sixty-two. The story was as old as time. The subject presented was one of love and freedom. As we were leaving the house, my wife explained the opera’s synopsis to my son, and he replied that it sounded like a hallmark TV show. When my wife told me of that conversation, it made me smile. My mind immediately thought of the many women on that same rainy Saturday demonstrating at the Lincoln Memorial not far from the Kennedy Center opera house for the right to live free and not be criminalized for terminating their pregnancy. The opera I saw is titled Carmen, who lost her life because she chose to love and live free.

On a spiritual level, I deeply relate to this story. Whether religious or secular, human cultures do a great job transmitting values from one generation to the next. However, I find them very judgmental when a violation of its boundaries happens. The maintenance of these boundaries is the lifeblood and identity of that culture. Every member and generation in that culture must translate those values and borders.

Sometimes we reinterpret the cultural values and visualize new possibilities. Today we possess a global consciousness, and our technology provides an awareness of cultures outside of our birth culture. Today the gatekeepers in our religious and secular societies are working overtime to keep us inside our borders. If you are not old-school, you probably have membership in multiple cultures, and if you are like me, each culture has gatekeepers trying to pull us back into the fold. And one of their favorite strategies is to have you guard the borders to prove your loyalty.

At the opera’s end, Carmen is killed by one of her lovers. Spiritual transcendence is always about dying at one level to get to a new level. Freedom never comes without death. My original religious culture retells the story of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection, and my new culture teaches us to see reality through a new lens. As one of the teachers in this nondual movement loves to quote: “Matter is not what you see, it is a way of seeing”

My spirituality also reflects the insights found in the culture of science and scientist, who may not see themselves as a culture. However, science has its dogmas, based on science but still dogmas. Quantum entanglement is faster than light communication, also known as prayer, and has always been a function operating in my life. However, I now see that there are no walls between what some call God, other people, and myself. I am beginning to understand and live in a reality where the very substance of life is the same for God, all humans, and everything in the universe.

Spiritual transcendence makes possible freedoms at new levels. As we remove separations walled by our old cultural beliefs, new possibilities bubble forth. As we change the way we interpret life, a new reality emerges, kind of like being born again. The Washing National Opera (WNO) has a close relationship with the Ambassador community in the DC area. Most of these good women and men would be considered gatekeepers of their international community. The WNO was also hosting a gala to coincide with the two-year restart of opera performances after pandemic restrictions. The audience was full of embassy staffers, and I hope their takeaway from the story of Carmen was a little more nuanced than my son’s comparison to a Hallmark TV show.

Transcending one’s culture is an evolutionary process. Human spiritual development will continue, and new human cultures will rise and fall. New interpretations of truths will find their way to the light. New boundaries will replace the old ways of seeing, and those that were once criminals will live in new freedoms. To love and live free is a human story, played out every day in every human life.

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National Forgiveness

 

2016-08-06_splash-3-1190007This may seem to be a crazy concept; however, God dropped it into my spirit a few weeks ago. It is staying in the forefront of my mind quite possibly because we are in this political season. As I pondered the concept, I imagined it to be a fully developed doctrine plucked out of the rubble of our current civilization by some futuristic civilization. What my mind can’t imagine is this concept ever being acted on by the human subcultures that exist in the world today.

The act of forgiveness would necessitate a clear violation of sovereignty. Rarely do we think of ourselves as sovereign or relate to other individuals as sovereign beings. The term is relegated to members of royal families and the stuff they own as part of their kingdom. Yet that is exactly what we all are, members of God’s royal family.

Notwithstanding, we live in a reality, that is defined by our awareness of secularized social authority. These various forms include authority of family, of persons over 18 year of age, religious organizations, state and local governments, and their delegated officers. When these various entities exercise their form of authority quite often they come into conflict, and we appeal to a higher authority such as the Federal Government and God.  Therefore, it is that within the reality of our social structure, violations happen and forgiveness is needed. Many judicial proceedings are held every day to keep in-check the lines of authority and to recognize the boundaries of individual rights or what could be described as personal sovereignty.

A violation of national sovereignty could rise to the level of an act of war or a simple snub in diplomatic relations between two nations. Depending on the severity of the violation, what is required is for the collective ego of the violated nation to absorbed the incursion to its sovereignty and be willing to forgive.

What this is not, is an overlooking of an accident between allies, or an act of insurgency by one of it colonized states. What I am talking about is an unprovoked unilateral attacked on the national sovereignty by a nation with lesser or equal strategic power. What makes the situations more difficult is when the offense is witnessed by other sovereign nations. This is where a national ego arises and asserts it standing among its fellow members of nation states.

The reason I cannot imagine the concept of National Forgiveness being executed at this moment in human history is because the individual collective egos (you and me) within a nation-state are very fragile. We live in a world where the love of God for us is constantly in question by every human child. In other words, every child still requires a constant demonstration by God that they are loved. In the face of a foreign sovereign nation’s violation, the collective of individuals turn to God for justification and an overt act to save face and comfort their fragile ego. God on the other hand is looking for mature individuals, people who recognize His presence within, having the strength of spirit to absorb offense and a heart willing to forgive.

The roots of the Judaeo-Christian religion has created a system of beliefs, popular today in humanity, that God chooses to love one child more than others for the benefit of all His human children. Therefore, everyone wants blessing so they can be the path through which humanity is saved.  Everyone desires to be so enriched that others around them can’t help but notice the hand of God in their lives.  If that is not reality, wars are fought to change the status quo. It is within this traditional framework that makes forgiveness between individuals very difficult and the concept of National Forgiveness a pie in the sky fairy-tale. Can this be changed? Does hope exist?

When we examine the roots of traditional scriptural interpretation and the resulting human beliefs today, we can see some areas available for re-evaluation. Again, in the Judaeo-Christian religion three early historical stories (Cain/Able, Jacob/Esau, Ishmael/Isaac) are caught up in this dynamic of who will get God’s blessing. Even the most popular parable of Jesus, the story of the lost or prodigal son has its traditional interpretation trapped in this paradigm of blessing one and not the other.

Luke 11:13 (NKJV)  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

The belief that a parent chooses to love one child over another child may be an experiential reality, from the point of view of human interaction, however it is a misinterpretation of scripture and of God’s nature to think that God would bless one child over another. This definition of dysfunctional love, even though traditional, is a gross injustice and has been used to justify one group of humans mistreating another group.

Humanity is evolving by dropping outdated traditions and beliefs that tend to keep the status quo and serve only portions of humanity. Jesus died for all and scriptural interpretation is growing in the light of what “all” means today. Concepts like National Forgiveness are on the horizon for the nation states within humanity. More and more human children are learning to recognize God’s presence within “all” and His love for “all”. Therefore, as His children mature, humanity’s evolution continues to advance.

The infinite-ness of God is clearly seen in scripture. However, the human inability to contemplate the infinite-ness of God or the infinite-ness within our personal being has causes us to hoard wealth and display it like a badge of honor creating a false reality of God’s blessings. Individual human identity has shifted its roots from the relationship with God, to its relationship with wealth, traditionally interpreted as God’s blessing. Our ability to discern God’s presence is therefore limited to the wealth we perceive.

God loves us all and God is within us all, individually and collectively.  The awareness of that truth makes individual forgiveness and national forgiveness possible.

Luke 15:28-32 (NKJV) “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ 31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”

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Living Unconditional Love, Is Easier Than We Think

 

2016-04-30_water-1502135-640x480When we think about the term unconditional love, we think about God. From our human point of view, unconditional love seems impossible as a way of life. However, we as humans are also children of God and emulating our Heavenly Father is possible if we choose it as so. As sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, we can only make excuses for not living up to our potential as children of God.

God continually demonstrates unconditional love with His human children. If there is such a thing as a “God hack” for loving unconditionally here it is. Do not focus on the other person, but focus on the legal instrument of our relationship. At the core of every relationship between two persons is the will of each. Will, indicates choice and the declaration of ones will is a legally binding instrument.

The human point of view is dualistic, with our will acting as the subject and in this case, the will of the other person, acts as the object. In this scenario, what we humans usually say is that I will love you as long as you love me. We make our will to love others conditional on their will to love us. When we give love, we demand an acknowledgement and an accurate accounting of what was given. If we do not receive, the honor and thanks we believe we deserve for that gift, then we become measured and even withdrawn in our giving of love. In fact, most relationships are built on looking for evidence from the object of our love to determine if we will remain subject to our declared love.

God on the other hand (here is the God hack again) declared His love with five covenants for humanity and has never broken any of them or withdrawn any of His infinite being from us. In fact, every subsequent covenant lavishes a greater understanding to us of His desire to be one with us. God ultimately wants a state of non-duality, or unity in perfect freedom with every human.

The human point of view cannot comprehend love this intimate, so collectively and individually we test the limits of God’s love offering by exploiting, abusing, enslaving, torturing, and killing other objects of His love. We slap His cheek and in the same breathe we ask him do you still love us? What parent would not have a broken heart, if one of their children asked for the power and permission to kill their brother or sister? Yet he continues to love us.

God declared five covenants with humanity. Forget all the earthly definitions of what a covenant is. Even the best human reproduction pales in comparison to how God uses these five declarations to convince us of His unconditional love for all His children. Trust me, every earthly covenant you could study will be conditional and thus moot for this conversation. God’s five covenants as historically recorded in scripture, were made with, witness by, and named after five humans; 1) Adam, 2) Noah, 3) Abraham, 4) David, and 5) Jesus.

At the core of these covenant relationships is the will of God and the will of humanity. God declares His love focuses His action toward the legal instrument. (Are you recognizing the God hack?) In every case, we humans have walked away from our side of the covenant to pursue our personal will.

John 3:16 (NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, ….

Romans 8:31-32 (NKJV)  What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

We as children of God can likewise begin to love unconditionally when we recognize and focus on the legal instruments of our relationships and not on the subjective will of others. Here are a few examples of relationships:  family, boyfriend/girlfriend, marriage, citizens of communities, company employee, parent/child, citizen of a nations, citizen of humanity, and citizen of earth. For each relationship listed, has a legal instrument such as, a passport, a driver license, or a marriage license. For every legal document you possess there is a person, or ten thousand people, or millions of people on the other side of the relationship. This is the same with God’s 5 covenants.

It is easy for children of God to declare love.  This is evidenced by the many legal instruments of relationships in our material world. In the same way, loving unconditionally can be just as easy if we focus our giving toward the instruments of our relationships and not the willingness of others to respond in kind. Remember, It is only when others fail to uphold their side do we evidence unconditional love. Love is kind and does not envy. Unconditional love for a child of God simply declares itself and lives out that love through eternity.

This is what heaven on earth looks like and it is fundamental to the operation of God’s Kingdom. For any person who aspires to hold the office of ambassador with the Kingdom of God, unconditional love is the reconciling structure of the covenants our Father has established with all of humanity. Imagine a world where 10 billion people choose to demonstrate unconditional love towards each other. In this type of world people do not think more highly of themselves but remain aware of the equality of every person to freely exercise their will.

As we focus on the many instruments in our relationships and give willingly expecting nothing in return, we will begin to see what God see’s in His human children. Giving is contagious, even if our giving is rebuffed we turn the other cheek and freely give again. Especially for those who reject or mishandle our gifts we simply pray “Father, forgive them because they do not yet understand what they are doing”.   The Kingdom of God is here now, and we walk in it, as we love unconditionally. We humans are children of God and unconditionally loving our brothers and sisters is easier than we thought possible.

Matthew 26:26-29 (NKJV)  And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

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