Lessons on The Journey: First Things

Warning: Potty-Talk ahead . . . watch where you step.

During or shortly after going through the big disconnect you find yourself “free” from the matrix, from the structures you had once been so much part of. In this exhilaration a wide range of possibilities begin to emerge and you find yourself faced with a plethora of options. A very natural tendency is run ahead with abandon and plunge into something that appears to resonate with you. Or, with equal zeal, you delve into building a “right model” of what you have perceived.

Might I suggest that when you feel those urges that you take a moment, breathe deep three times and pause. Maybe even take a cold shower. For what is coming to you is a mixture of things; mostly from the Matrix and your Ego that has been influenced by the system.

The best thing, the First Thing is to do . . . nothing.

Unplug. Enjoy the free Sundays (or whatever the “orthodox” holy day of gathering was). Sleep in, put down the Bible (or whatever your “holy” book is . . . or was) and read the Sunday comics section of the newspaper. Don’t go to any “religious” meetings, gatherings, conferences, revivals . . . Don’t “Do”. Just “Be”.

Do nothing. A prophetic friend of mine once uttered humorously that “There is ‘something’ in ‘nothing’”. Just let that sink in for a moment. Might I remind you of Elijah’s’ cave moment? We get scared of the silence. We do anything, ANYTHING to keep busy, to keep that noise going because we are scared shitless of quieting down and being in that silence. That Silence that says to us “Be Still. Be Still and Know. Be”.

Go for a walk in the woods or by the ocean. If you live in an urban setting then go to the park or go to the museum or a gallery. There’s a world out there of infinite diversity in infinite combinations. In each encounter The Divine has a grand revelation for you that will become visible as you open-up by not doing, just being. You will begin to see Yeshua in people and places that you would have never imagined or expected when in the RM.

This mode of “not doing” is a process. Give yourself Grace. If you find yourself getting “caught up” in the old habits of “do-do”, just relax and let it go. (Yes I know, a load of pun in that . . .). Speaking of “process”, which is what one also does when getting rid of the “do-do”; This is the natural way of getting rid of the waste (the toxins) that one does not need. A whole new paradigm of Detox on that. And that is what you will find as you learn to relax into just being. You start to detox. From the RM, the system . . . your Ego. The false expectations. The performance syndrome. A whole load of crap.

Next time I will unpack a little bit more on “How you leave your current place/situation/paradigm will influence how you enter the next”. And if there is time, start to look at another process called “deconstruction”. Don’t panic! 

Relax, breathe and do nothing.

Remember: There is something in nothing.

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Lessons on The Journey: Detox Part 1

As with many aspects of the Journey, the one of Detox is an on-going process. I suspect it is one that will last my entire life. I’m o.k. with that . . . mostly.

As it is such a big topic, I will be doing it in parts in the attempt to do it justice. I am not the first to do so, and where I can I will share links to those who have also touched on the subject. I much appreciate the perspectives they bring to the conversation.

As such, I would like to start out with a quote from my friend Martin Scott. I met Martin many years ago when I was in a particular paradigm of the RM. Martin is one of those people who can easily move between and in/out of traditional and not-so-traditional realms of ekklesia. His is one of the few prophetic voices I pay attention to. Back in the early days of the beginning of my Big Disconnect from the RM,  Martin started a series called Transitions. You can start Here and glean what you can.

One of the first things that Martin shared that struck a very deep chord within me was this: “How you leave your current situation determines how you enter your next situation”

And when you are in the Big Disconnect and starting to Detox this is VERY IMPORTANT to remember. Because when you are detoxing you are eliminating waste from your system. Not only the poison from the wounds, misuse and abuse you received at the hands of the RM. But also from your own crap and what you put forth whilst in the system. In Detox you start to deal with your Ego, the false self, the shadow (Jungian paradigm here). I call it the “cringe” factor. The stuff that makes you want to “Have another beer and a second banana-nut muffin” as Brené Brown says. (Yes, she’s another source I’ll quote from time to time an link).

In this there will be some dark times on this road. It can be daunting at times. Even painful. But Jung said learning to embrace our shadow is a good thing. If you can’t handle that maybe Teresa of Avila “Interior Castle” metaphor will work for you. Or Young’s “The Shack”. You will eventually be able to relax in the dark, embracing your shadow. Because you will come to find that you are not alone. Yeshua is there with you right smack-dab in the middle of it all. Helping with the detox. Bringing healing.

“Where can I go from you oh Lord? Even if I go down to lowest depths (where there is no light) Lo, there You are. The night is as day to You.”

Shalom on The Journey. There are many who walk with you . . .

Lessons on The Journey: Breathe

Lessons on The Journey: Breathe

Before we go to much farther, something very important needs to be addressed.

You will find healing.

Having gone through the “Big Disconnect” or maybe you’re still in it and most likely one of the main causes is that you have suffered (and have seen others suffer) spiritual abuse.

You will find healing. Breathe!

You are not alone. The system may have kicked you out or forsaken you. Folks you once thought of as “friends” have disappeared, forsaken you or even out-right attacked you.

But you are not alone. You WILL find healing. Breathe!

You’ve been hurt. You may feel like Neo in the first “Matrix” movie where he is in the his office building trying to get away from the agents. He says to himself; “Why is this happening to me? This is crazy! I can’t do this!”

If may feel like that you are lost, that you are alone. But you are not!

You feel hurt, angry, betrayed even. You might even really be pissed at God.

That IS okay. You WILL find healing. Breathe!

Papa is there with you, walking with you and will bring you through this. It may seem like your whole world has been turned upside down and all of the familiar, comfortable foundations have been pulled from beneath your feet. It has! But The One who creates all worlds and has set the True Foundation has you in Holy Hands.

Be prepared for something marvelous and wonderful!

You WILL find Shalom. Grace and Love and Freedom like you’ve never imagined.

Healing. And Growth! Not comfortable at times as you come to grips with your Shadow.

But remember, there is no place that Papa does not dwell. In the beginning the world was dark and formless and the Spirit brooded above the waters.

Breathe!

You are being birthed into a new world.

As a child, take one step at a time.

You WILL find healing.

Breathe dear one, Breathe. And remember:

Not only is Yeshua the author and finisher of our faith;

He is the only one who has written himself into our story and us into His Story.

Lessons on The Journey: The System

Lessons on The Journey: The System

This post will be most likely be the only “linear” part of “Lessons on The Journey” as all others after this will not be presented in any sort of order. In fact, you will most likely find that the path is more spiral in nature. But that’s another topic. What follows may not bring any of those “Ah Ha!” moments and I admit is very systematic (pun intended). But it is none the less crucial in helping avoid “magical thinking” later on down the road when you encounter various forms of The System. It also will help you define your “BullShit” detection when encountering the more twisted structures.

IT’s Everywhere! Eeeeekkkkk!

The reason why I wanted to start with “The System” is that it is prevalent everywhere. Those who have experienced the “Big Disconnect” from the RM and who have now entered into Detox run the risk of being side-tracked (caught up in an eddy) of system-bashing; endlessly railing against real and perceived evils of the system (using it as a pseudo scape-goat) and thus unwittingly becoming very jaded and very, VERY cynical. Getting caught up into these eddies is bound to happen from time to time. Healing doesn’t happen in these places. Which is not a good place to be.

The Good, The Bad and the Really, REALLY Ugly.

The Good is that system, organization & structure (SOS) have their purposes. I am very thankful for them when I ride/drive in a vehicle, fly on a plane, and kickback on my favorite couch in my house. SOS is very welcomed and needed for traffic lights, waste water treatment and surgery procedures.  Life itself is very organized (and also very chaotic; which will be filed under Paradox. Something we will go into some other time . . .). Everything tends to organize, either itself or it’s environment. Including us Humans. It’s natural. It’s Organic (an oft currently over-used term now-a-days, but none the less real).

The Bad is that systems have their limits. When that limit is reached, things break down. Cracks begin to appear. A larger system may have a farther distance from its core to its limit, but larger systems tend to be more complex. The more complex, the greater the break downs and cracks become fissures. When it comes to human designed systems, which are very often out of harmony with the rest of creation, the magnitude of the potential disasters when the limit is reached are far greater.

. . . and the Really, REALLY Ugly

“RESISTANCE IS (almost) FUTILE.”  In the Star Trek Universe, the Borg are the ultimate enemy to everyone. They are cyborgs; a mixture of human and technology. Parts of their bodies have been augmented or even totally replaced with computer technology, electro-mechanical devices and various artificial sensors. Theirs is a hive-mind collective, with the masses being controlled by a select leader. All individuality, all diversity and authentic relationship has been eliminated. There is only the collective and its needs to be served. This is what happens when The System morphs (or perhaps mutates is a better word) at this point. Everything becomes centered around perpetuating the system; Keeping it going. Feeding it. Serving it.  Sacrificing to it or for it. The System begins to take on an identity of its own.  This is nothing new, really. You can see examples everywhere: Corporations, Institutions, Governments are all subject to this mutation. They form their own unique collective matrix to maintain the status-quo.

Neo Visits The Shack and Realizes that He isn’t in Kansas Any More.

(ya think maybe I could mix more metaphors?)

So what is one to do? Perhaps like Neo in “The Matrix” you have begun to suspect that there is something going on but just what isn’t exactly clear. You’re tempted to take the blue pill and wake-up, believing whatever you want. After all, who can change The System?

In the story “The Shack”, one of my favorite passages reads thus:

[Jesus] “Mack, the world system is what it is. Institutions, systems, ideologies, and all the vain futile efforts of humanity that go with them are everywhere, and interaction with all of it is unavoidable. But I can give you freedom to overcome any system of power in which you find yourself, be it religious, economic, social, or political. You will grow in the freedom to be inside or outside all kinds of systems and to move freely between and among them.”

[Mack] “But so many of the people I care about seem to be both in it and of it!” Mack was thinking of his friends, church people who had expressed love to him and his family. He knew they loved Jesus, but were also sold out to religious activity and patriotism.

[Jesus] “Mack, I love them. And you wrongly judge many of them. For those who are both in it and of it, we must find ways to love and serve them, don’t you think? Remember, the people who know me are the ones who are free to live and love without any agenda.”

So the ultimate goal of The Journey is not to tilt at the windmills of the system but rather is about learning to live well loved and loving others well. That is where true freedom begins.

Lessons on The Journey: The Big Disconnect

This is the first in the series of “Lessons on the Journey” which is based on my experiences, lessons learned and battles fought in my escape from the RM (Religious Matrix). It is not a railing accusation against ekklesia, worship, fellowship or anything such as that. It is a frank and OPEN sharing of my journey. It is a tale of a spiritual maturing, one that has been defined as the transformation from Confident Arrogance to that of Thoughtfully Uncertain.

You are invited to comment in the spirit of Love, Grace and Respect. This does not necessarily mean that you have to agree. I believe that we can agree to disagree and not sacrifice relationship nor civility.

The Big Disconnect

Like leaving home for the first time, going off to a far away city that you have never been to before. Like taking an unexplored path for the first time. Like a roller coaster ride that makes you question your sanity. Like all those crazy stories and movies you’ve ever read or seen where the main character wakes up to find that the world that they had know had somehow mysteriously dissolved and they have truly, truly gone over the rainbow, through the looking glass and down the rabbit hole. This and so much more was what I’ve experienced in “The Big Disconnect”, the journey away from the box of religious performance, the systematic and “organized” RM that always demands more perfromance, more doing, more sacrifice. More, more, more. All the while using GSF (Guilt, Shame & Fear), all be it most of the time subtely, to get you to do “the more”. All the while, sucking the life out of you. It substitutes Formula for Faith, Rules for Relationship and Dogma for Dynamic Spirituality.

This is where the ride begins, the descent into the rabbit hole and the crossing of the threshold in the wardrobe into that other world. Once you start, you cannot turn back. You won’t really want to, though at time you will have to battle those ghosts who want to call you back. Be ye warned.  Blue pill, Red pill. It’s your choice.

The Little Red Book

The Little Red Book. I was young when I got it, no more than ten years of age. The little red book was given to me, but I do not remember from who. I think it was a “gift” handed out out a church wedding. Within the little red book were verses pulled from scripture, all out of context and arranged in a flow that talked of sin, God’s anger and wrath at us for our sin with damnation assured to be followed by hell unless we got in on the “safe side” of God by accepting His divine “Get Out of Jail – Free” card through Jesus. Jesus who died to take our deserved place because God was royally ticked and someone had to pay and to appease.
My friend Jesus! Thank you! But this free pass was only good for one shot; you had to “keep on the sunny-side” by doing good, following the rules and supporting the program that the experts said was very important. After all, you had to keep on the stern but “good” side of this God who saw all and watched from above. At the end of the little red book was the “sinner’s prayer” and a place to sign your name, indicating that you had accepted Jesus Christ ( the free “Get Out of Jail” card). God must indeed be very powerful to read that scribbled signature in that tiny little red book from so far away.

I felt better. I felt safe. No one wants to burn so I signed the pledge. Being the typical young child, I eventually set the book aside and went and played and did my homework and tried to do what my parents and teacher asked. I wasn’t a bad kid. Oh sometimes I did stupid and selfish things like everyone does in their life. But all I wanted to do was play, have fun and be loved and accepted.

After some time had passed I found the little red book again admist the clutter of toys, books and other things a young boy collects. I would read that little red book again and become fearful that I had “lost my salvation” and that God was pissed at me again because I ad forgot about the rules and the program. I was sure that there was a very hot place awaiting for me as my “Final Destination”. After all, that’s what the Rules said, that’s what the Program ( and those who ran the Program) said. That’s what the Little Red Book said. So I would pray and repent and promise. I would go through a performance on inner spiritual gymnastics until the Religious Taskmasters of Guilt, Shame and Fear were appeased. I would be fine and do fine. I was “safe”. All at the tender age of ten.

And that Little Red Book?

It has haunted me, tormented ever since. Again and again.

Quite the burden for a ten year old, eh? Or for anyone at any age really. “Salvation” born of Guilt, Shame and Fear is not salvation. It is a cruel taskmaster that terrorizes.

Love is the true catalyst of transformation. Love is the alchemy of salvation. Love is the Light that heals and guides. Love is the only Way that can bring us out of the darkness of Guilt/Shame/Fear into the Light. Love in the heart, in the core of who we are is the way. That is where we must be led from. Not the ego-mind. The heart filled with Divine Love instructs the mind. Not a little red book of dried ink on paper with no light or love.

Oh Divine Source, fill me with Love, Light, Grace and Truth. Yeshua, let me be informed and formed by Love. May Love be my Guide, Friend and Companion. Take from me that little red book and give me relationship.

“I want to know what Love is, I want You to show me. I want to feel what Love is, I know You can show me.”

“But the Greatest of these is Love”

“Oh dear! I’m afraid his little red choo-choo has gone chugging off the tracks.”

“Look at him, he’s gone loopie!”

“Ah, another victim of ‘New Age’ influence. Tsk-tsk.”

“He’s Too Pagan.”

“He’s Too Christian!

“He’s Too Liberal.”

“He’s Too Conservative.”

Ah, and so it goes. Sad day that so many have fallen upon labels and dogma. I can understand. It’s easier to do so rather than spend the time and energy to really get to know someone, to explore their realm, to get out of my comfort zone. Because then I might really have to love them. I might really have to be vulnerable and risk being misunderstood, being labled . . . being challenged.

But all I know is God and the Mercy of God. The farther along I get in The Journey, the more of The Story I experience the more my Paradigm gets shifted. The more I see the “fingerprints of Christ” everywhere, on everyone. I mean EVERYONE. Whether they realize it or not, acknowledge it or not. I’ve begun to realize that it’s Papa’s job to do the paradigm shifting, not mine. My mission is to know, to experience Papa’s Love more and to live out that Love with all others; learning to Love others in like manner.

And so I love my conservative orthodox friends here. And I love my liberal ecclectic and unconventional friends here. I love my fellow “christian” friends here. And I love my “pagan” friends here. Papa has blessed me with all of them and has used their paradigms to free me up. To let go of the false security offered by dogma and labels. To let go the fear of opinion, of not having “right” opinion, perspective, info . . . whatever.

All I know is God and His Mercy. Papa’s Grace and Love.

And that it is for and in everyone. EVERYONE. It’s His business to bring that into transformation in each person . . . in HIS time. It’s my privilege to see and to call that out in everyone I meet. For that is the Way of Love.

And it is the Greatest.