Going deeper than the spirit of the times

darla.Girl.Flower

There is a spirit of the times in which we live. It is a mash-up of all the prevailing narratives that influence and govern how we see ourselves, the world, God, and all of life. But there is also the spirit of the depths. This spirit is timeless. This spirit is eternal life. This spirit is harmony. This spirit is freedom. This spirit is love. This spirit is beyond all words and description. The spirit of the times holds us down. The spirit of the depths lifts us up. What the spirit of the depths reveals within us is folly to the spirit of the times… a divine madness. This is ultimately why Jesus was crucified. The spirit of the times would not accept the spirit of the depths. They said Jesus was crazy. He was… the kind of crazy we need.

 

(Photo by Darla Winn)

Real vs Processed God

So, I’ve been thinking about the issue of real vs processed food, and how this relates to the religious mindset. It seems to me that the religious outlook takes what is otherwise real, natural, and life-giving, and makes it artificial, unhealthy, and damaging to your health. For example, processed foods are usually high in sugar and high fructose corn syrup. These provide a lot of initial energy, but they are basically empty calories with no essential nutrients. Likewise, the religious mindset often keeps people very busy doing a lot of stuff. It’s generally a high-energy enterprise. I know this well; I kept people busy in religious activities as a Senior Pastor myself. One of the eye-openers for me was realizing that despite all the things our church members were doing, it didn’t seem like people’s lives were being transformed at the root level. I realize now that this was largely because the message lacked the essential spiritual ingredients for which no amount of religious busyness could compensate. Processed foods are addictive because they are high-sugar. It gives you that feel-good lift or jolt. When people are “emotional eating” it’s usually processed foods because it makes you “feel good.” Likewise, there can be something addictive to the feel-good or pick-me-up aspect of organized religion. There can sometimes be a pseudo-security that people derive from associating with a large group of people who believe and do the same things, and maintain a surface-level appearance of religiosity. In other words, everyone is playing the same game and it supplies something that people continue coming back for. There’s a way it makes them “feel good,” even if their inner reality or the reality of their daily lives are in disrepair and chaos. I’m not saying that all churches or religious groups display these characteristics. I’m mostly speaking from personal experience and what countless people have shared with me from their involvement in organized religion.

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry.” In other words, what Jesus was, what Jesus lived, what Jesus revealed, what Jesus demonstrated… is the real stuff, the good stuff. The point Jesus continually made is that all of that is available within you through the life-giving Spirit. The bread of life is within you! What sense does it make to take the “bread of life” and start adding artificial ingredients to it?

Bringing heaven and earth together as one.

DarlaPoetry

Consider the possibility that there are two dimensions that represent what we commonly refer to as “heaven” and “earth.” There is a clear demarcation between the two. They have completely different properties or attributes. We want to bring the attributes and power of heaven to earth here. What messes things up is how our mind separates or divides these dimensions into regions or locations. Our mind tells us that earth is down here and now, and heaven is up there and later. To make matters worse, religion created an imaginary “God” in the sky to be in charge of it all, and to enforce a system or rules and regulations to govern it. This entire narrative is blocking the way. In actuality, when all this gets sorted out properly what it looks like is Jesus. What I mean is, these two dimensions are not locations, as in the earth below and heaven above. Instead, these dimensions come together in the life-giving Spirit expressing in the earthly realm. This is why Jesus said, “I am the truth.” In other words, “I am the truth of heaven, I am the truth of earth… as one.” Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is ruined.” Sound familiar? This is what we are doing now! We have divided and split up things in a way that will never work. The only solution is to bring them back together as one. This was the reality depicted in the Garden of Eden; and this the objective expressed in the words “on earth as it is in heaven.” What is this? It is God’s presence… the life-giving Spirit moving into creation. It is God’s presence… the life-giving Spirit IN YOU moving into creation. “Heaven” and “Earth” become one in and through YOU.

(Photo by Darla Winn) 

My heart opened wide today

I saw this video, and it opened up my heart. Suddenly I became aware in my deepest feelings that we are all one, and it is love that makes this real and tangible. I wanted to cry. I was touching what is real and true, and it felt beautiful and powerful all at once. Maybe it was so powerful because it was so beautiful. The video is what triggered this opening of the Spirit within me. At first it seemed I was watching this beauty and power happen outside myself in the scenes depicted in the video, but then I realized I was connecting with it because that beauty and power is within me and recognized what it saw. It was familiar to my deepest innermost being. Do you get that? That beauty and power I felt is in me, and it’s in you, and it’s in all of us. We need to start taking some risks to give expression to it in our own words and in our own way. That thing you feel deep inside you – you know it’s real and true! 

Finding Heaven

Darla.Free

Let the narratives of this world, including the religious mindset, die off in you. Turn within yourself to the Spirit of the depths, and find your Heaven there. 

(Photo by Darla Winn) 

Dethroning sky “God”

Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” This is the essential truth that Jesus wants us to get. There is not some “God” located somewhere, out there, up there in the sky as a separate entity from us. That is a false God we created that has been given validity and rules over people through religion. Jesus was not too fond of the God of religion. If you’re looking in the sky for God, stop and start looking inside yourself. When Jesus made this statement, the religious leaders grabbed stones and wanted to stone him. Let this be a hint that if you speak the truth of you and God as one within, than the religious crowd is not going to be too pleased. The universal Spirit of God runs through all of us. Jesus said, “If you see me, you’ve seen the Father.” This is the kind of confidence we must have. In other words, we acknowledge that the essence, nature, and being of God constitutes our fundamental Self. God is not some Thor-like superhero riding the sky. We know we’ve gotten it when we can speak the same words as Jesus. You might say it this way, “When I go looking for God, I don’t have to go looking any farther than within myself.” The source of all is within us. What “being Jesus” means is having the confidence to speak and live this. If people get upset and accuse you of saying you are God, than you know you are on the right track. Of course you’re not claiming to be the sum-total of all that is God, but it will sound like this if you are truly embracing and living what Jesus taught and demonstrated. The reason people have difficulty with this, is that they have been sufficiently convinced through religion that they are bad, sinful, inadequate, worthless, etc. Too often Religion beats people into submission to a false God of judgment and condemnation. Jesus lifted people up into the truth of who they are.

Sorting out what Jesus meant – two different dimensions

Jesus said, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.” You’re missing it if you think that Jesus is saying something about how he is divine and you are just human. That’s not it. Time and time again, Jesus points out that there are two different dimensions to operate in. One dimension keeps us tied down to the mindset, understanding and reasoning of the world. Religion falls into this category. It’s the heady/mental religious/worldly dimension. I wrote a lot about this dimension in Notes from (Over) the Edge. It’s a dimension characterized by dualism, and we have created a false God to rule over it. What Jesus was about has nothing to do with any of that mess. There is also a “heavenly” dimension. We have access to that dimension in and through the life-giving Spirit within us. You do not access this dimension in your head or through religious thinking. Instead, you access it very naturally through your deepest feelings. In involves turning toward what is real inside you. It rises up from a place deeper than your everyday thoughts and emotions. The “Kingdom of God” that Jesus spoke of is inside us, and we birth it out of ourselves and into the world when we speak directly from that “heavenly” dimension that is within us. 

You don’t have to die to get to Heaven

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Jesus said, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.” You’re missing it if you think that Jesus is saying something about how he is divine and you are just human. That’s not it. Time and time again, Jesus points out that there are two different dimensions to operate in. One dimension keeps us tied down to the mindset, understanding and reasoning of the world. Religion falls into this category. It’s the heady/mental religious/worldly dimension. I wrote a lot about this dimension in Notes from (Over) the Edge. It’s a dimension characterized by dualism, and we have created a false God to rule over it. What Jesus was about has nothing to do with any of that mess. There is also a “heavenly” dimension. We have access to that dimension in and through the life-giving Spirit within us. You do not access this dimension in your head or through religious thinking. Instead, you access it very naturally through your deepest feelings. In involves turning toward what is real inside you. It rises up from a place deeper than your everyday thoughts and emotions. The “Kingdom of God” that Jesus spoke of is inside us, and we birth it out of ourselves and into the world when we speak directly from that “heavenly” dimension that is within us.

(Graffiti by Banksy) 

2000 years of confusion (about Jesus)

There were times when the people of Jesus’ day stood right in front of him, and heard his words audibly, but could not make sense of him or his message. Why? Because they were trying to process it through all their heady religious and worldly understandings. Many of these people were learned scholars, and they couldn’t make heads or tails of Jesus. You cannot access the truth Jesus taught with the religious mindset. All you’ll do is twist Jesus’ message into something religious. We’re gotten quite good at this – we’ve been doing it for a couple thousand years now! After all this time, most of the world is not any closer to understanding Jesus. What Jesus taught was not a belief system or a modification of their old thinking. The message of Jesus was: drop all that and start all over again. Therein lies the challenge. Most people wont do that. They have too much riding on all the stuff they think they know – identify, status, security, comfort, pride, etc… Jesus once said, “Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me!” We know how to listen with our mind… the mind that has been conditioned by religion and all the false narratives of our world. But to really hear Jesus, you have to listen with your heart. In other words, you have to turn inward and listen to the deep feelings that bubble up from within you. From where do these deep feelings come? The source is the life-giving Spirit within you. Stop all that religious stuff in your head! Stop being tossed to and fro by all the false narratives of our world! Get out of your head, and open yourself to that familiar voice your heart knows deep within you. Quit trying to be smart. Find that childlike part of you that naturally connects with what is real and true. 

That other way of knowing

Darla.LittleLight

Consider the possibility that there are two dimensions or layers from which we approach God and life. The first dimension is in our head, and is the worldly/religious mental understandings and mindset. This dimension is conditioned by the external cultural and religious narratives that we take on board and follow. The second dimension is deeper than the ordinary activity of the mind and the coming and going of human emotions. This layer is the Spirit-Self, which bubbles up from our deepest feelings, and is most naturally accessed by turning inward to what we intuitively feel deep inside is real.

This is a different way of knowing something. This sort of “knowing” goes like this:

I know it
I don’t know why I know it
I know it as more certain than anything I am certain of
It is inexpressible, but I will put it in my own words

(Photo by Darla Winn)

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