Saturday, December 28, 2013

In Quiet Silence...The Light of Peace

Wisdom 18:14,15, 21. Written 200-199 BCE
 
(14, 15) For while all things were in quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of her course, Thy almighty word leapt down from heaven from thy royal throne, as a fierce conqueror into the midst of the land of destruction.

(21) For a blameless man made haste to pray for the people, bringing forth the shield of his ministry, prayer, and by incense making supplication, withstood the wrath, and put an end to the calamity, showing that he was thy servant.

The first of these passages has been variously used for Introits and Benedictions in the Roman mass for Christmas and Epiphany. The words proclaim the arrival of the Word, the Logos, for which the original meaning, per Heraclitus (ca. 535–475 BC) was, “a principle of order and knowledge.” Later, Logos was used by Stoic philosophers to describe “the divine animating principle of the universe.” And even later, the author of John’s Gospel (ca. 90 CE) called Logos the divine incarnation, Jesus. Isaiah predicts this event: Isaiah 9:6 (701-681 BC) For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

A man, an incarnate human, “the principle of divine order and knowledge,” a vessel for the “divine animating force of the universe” would break through the darkness, “the quiet silence of night,” and put an end to the chaos and destruction by the people on earth… And this person, blameless, praying and making supplication under the shield of his ministry, this human, would infuse Life with peacemaking. This Prince of Peace.

~*~ 

Holy and Compassionate God, Source of Life, Spirit of Goodness, Prince of Peace, may we be quiet enough to allow your light to cut through our chaos. May we, in the example of Jesus, be humble enough to order our worlds with prayer and supplication, rather than noise and defensiveness. May the power of peace so full and present in this season be our Logos in every season.
 
Amen      _/\_Peggy

Sunday, December 22, 2013

FOURTH SUNDAY IN ADVENT: PEACE – BE STILL


The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness
has not overcome it. The true light that gives light
to everyone is coming into the world. John 1:5,9

"Every gift of divine awareness benefits our receptivity for a new and greater gift. Every divine gift increases our openness and longing to receive what is higher and greater. To the extent that God is boundless in His giving, our souls are equally boundless in their capacity to receive." 
 

Just as Mary, in complete trust, emptied herself to receive our Lord, Jesus; when our hearts are open and free from preconceptions, when we desire nothing more earnestly than to be filled with the beauty and grace of God, then the gift arrives; the Christ is born in us…again and again and again.

~Meister Eckhart (1260 – c. 1327) was a German theologian, philosopher and mystic.
 
May you bring the quietness of mind and openness of heart to allow the light to birth new life within you every day, in all circumstances. Peace is the ever-evolving outcome of the integrated mind-body - soul. The grace of God in Life is magnified and expressed by our soul's receptive,"Yes!"
 
Namaste and Christmas Blessings! Peggy

Monday, December 16, 2013

THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT - JOY

What joy we experience at the birth of something new!
When we see a new home or a new car, when
we make a new friend, when we hear a new piece of music that touches us, or when we realize and understand something for the very first time; perhaps something that clarifies some confusion - a new insight. Think of all the ways we can realize something new!
 
Arthur Zajonc is a physicist, author of several books related to science, mind, and spirit and a   Buddhist friend of the Dalai Lama. He is also a  professor at Amherst College and president of Mind and Life Institute. He explained the process of coming to a new idea like this:

Sitting quietly we hold our existing knowledge and its implications. We have thought about the way these puzzle pieces fit together. We focus our attention on the point at which we can think it through no further, the very edge of our understanding or the place we meet the resistance of the unknown. Hold that. Look thoroughly at it in your minds eye and then let it go. Let it go so completely that it doesn't even seem to exist any longer, like turning your back on a wall. Be still. Be empty. Release resistance...completely. Wait. ...And a new way of thinking, a new way of perceiving, a new birth will take place.

Of course, this is the essence of any silent meditation practice and it explains why meditation can allow us to deepen our awareness.

This practice, Zajonc says, is the way Einstein came to his theory of relativity. In almost a sleeping consciousness, his variables came together in a new way..an epiphany or a revelation. Perhaps this is why Einstein says, "“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” He also said, ""A new idea comes suddenly and in a rather intuitive way. That means it is not reached by conscious logical conclusions."

There is a lot more that can be said about this process of  CHANGE....of new awareness, of becoming.
(Hegel) thesis plus antithesis = synthesis or
(Gurdjieff) affirming plus denying = reconciling or
(Whitehead) process of occasions with entities plus prehension of subjective aim = new entity

These scholars describe how change takes place: whether changing the mind or changing the social milieu or creating a new being. New "beings," be they thoughts or people are created by a surplus of directed energy meeting resistance and overcoming it by letting go. What is known reality drives against what is unknown reality and, in the void of unknowing, new reality is born.

And so, from an Advent perspective, we wait in darkness. We embrace quiet. We LOVE by opening ourselves to this process of change. We HOPE, with a certainty that is more like Trust in the unknowing, the darkness. We realize JOY can be found through the process of awareness, the birth of the new coming through these postures: Waiting in LOVE, with HOPE...WAITING for light to break through the limits of darkness. 
 
“Where is he who has been born as king of the Jews?” MT 2:2

“Pay attention now to where the birth of Jesus has taken place. This eternal birth takes place in the soul totally in the way it takes place in eternity, neither less nor more. For it is only one birth and this birth takes place in the being and foundation of the soul....

God is present, effective and powerful in all things. He is only generative, however, in the soul. For all creatures are a footprint of God, but the soul is formed like God, according to its nature. Whatever perfection is to enter the soul, be it divine, unique light or grace or happiness, all of it must come into the soul of a necessity through this birth of divine awareness and in no other way. Wait only for the birth of Christ within yourself, And you will discover all blessing and all consolation, all bliss, all being, and all truth.”

~ Meister Eckhart 1260 – c. 1327 German theologian, philosopher and mystic.
 
JOY IS TO BEHOLD GOD IN EVERYTHING!
 ~ Julian of Norwich, 1342 – 1416 English Anchoress
 

May you be blessed to hold this holy process in your silent, waiting heart, as the baby is created in all the splendor of God's perfect New....may the JOY of Love and Hope be yours!
 
_/\_Peggy


 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Takers and Givers – inspired by Eric Butterworth

I woke Empty
With a hole
In the middle of me
And my oatmeal did not
Even fill it up.

Was it there yesterday?
How could it have gotten so big so fast?

When I walked to my car the cold wind blew through it and gave me chills.

No coat to cover this hole.

At the office people said,
“Good morning!”
And their words floated right
Through the hole to the
Other side.

At lunchtime
I ate a sandwich
Hoping it would fill me up.
My boss popped his head inside the door and said,
“Are you doing okay?”

“No.”

The hole was still there.

When I went home that night
I called a friend
And had nothing to say,
I ate ice cream
It numbed my tongue,
I watched a movie
And fell asleep.

Sometime
In the middle of the night,
In the deep
Darkness of the Taking
I said, “Enough of this hole!”
I reached through my belly
and grabbed the world.
Delicious!
This will fill my hole.

I gobbled it up like fried chicken
Finger-lickin’ good!
It slid down my gullet
And landed inside of me.
Satiated, filled…
…No…..Empty.

Then promptly,
It sucked me in
Inverted me like
A black hole
Vortex
Turned me inside out.
I floated in nothingness
Attached to nothing by
The length of my gut
Omentum dangling like
Rickrack in a low rider,
Tethered
Like an astronaut’s
Breathing gear.
But no breath
Just Emptiness.

Afloat in deep silence
No time to speak of
No me to speak.
No feeling
No form
Exposed, vulnerable
I touched everything
Owned it all
Was at its mercy.

Sensation
Overwhelming threshold
Of perception,
Such pain I could not bear
And thus, did not.

The Universe
On the other hand,
Held me tender
Naked sinew.
In submission
I rested.

And then,
Eternity.

I
Changed…transformed…
Found the lost
Fullness of Grace.

Consumed by the Taker.
Somehow in silence
Redeemed by the Giver.

Silence spoke,
“All is you. You are all.”
Nothing
Everything.

I woke Full
With a hole
In the middle of me

Was it there yesterday?
I don’t remember.

All I know is
Today
When I reach into
That hole
The world pours out of me.


© Peggy Beatty Dec 2010


This is a little different than my usual blog. Its pretty different than my usual poetry too. I wrote this after reading these passages from Eric Butterworth. Its about consumption and kenosis and grace:
 
"The takers are the people who believe their lives will always be the total of what they can get from the world. They are always thinking get, get, get. They plan and scheme ways to get what they want in money, in love, in happiness, and in all kinds of good... but whatever may be their spiritual ideals or lack of any, no matter what they take, they can never know peace or security or fulfillment.

The givers, on the other hand, are convinced life is a giving process. Thus their subtle motivation in all their ways is to give themselves away, in love, in service, and in all the many helpful ways they can invest themselves. They are always secure, for they intuitively know that their good flows from within."
Eric Butterworth

We live in a culture that drives us to consumerism and external fulfillment from the moment we can watch TV. Which is not to say that we aren't made that way to begin with. The "mine" stage of a toddler is certainly about getting what I need from outside myself, and rightfully so. Its a good survival  mentality for a 2 year old. The thing is, when we mature, when we realize that we won't always get what we think we need from outside ourselves, then we learn that our needs are not so plentiful to begin with. We learn to back away from always looking out there with expectation and, hopefully, we realize, that all we need is right here, right now. We draw our expectations into the presence of Now, a time/space intersect. Kairos, the "moment of opportunity,"  that graced moment (moment used figuratively here) when, if we open ourselves fully to life, we realize the paradox of being empty and full at the very same time.

May you find yourself enjoying many moments of opportunity, as you open humbly to the Spirit of the Universe, the flow of life, the arms of eternal Christ...may your taking become your gracious giving as the world flows through you~

Namaste, Peggy _/\_


About Kenosis~

In Christian theology, kenosis is the concept of the 'self-emptying' of one's own will and becoming entirely receptive to God and the divine will. Kenosis, or self-emptying, is only possible through humility and, in a Monotheistic sense, presupposes that one seeks union with God. Or stated another way, one seeks to humbly remove all barriers to Love. Kenosis is essentially the same as non-attachment in Buddhism. Relative to human nature, kenosis denotes the continual redirection of spiritual energies (self will and externally directed neediness) toward Loving humility.  Kenosis is a paradox and a mystery since "emptying oneself" in fact fills the person with divine grace and results in union with God. Kenosis is the process of transcending one's attachments to psychological ego needs.