Thursday, August 26, 2010

Creation (cont) - Redemption

If humanity knows who they are as Godly, spiritual beings, they will know the truth and the truth will set them free.

The creation story written in Genesis was written following the exodus, the freeing of Israel from Egypt. Thus, it is a story of new life as a function of liberation from suffering and slavery. The exodus story is also a story of redemption, as God’s providence was, for the 3rd time historically, extended to the Israelites in covenant at Sinai. God asked for a promise of faithfulness from the people in this covenant, binding both parties to equally engage the promise. God has proven loyalty and love and asks for the people to return this commitment. He tells them who they are: “…the chosen, the priestly, the holy ones.” God’s essence is revealed as the people realize their Godliness (this is salvation), the covenant is agreed upon and sealed with a meal (the sharing of life) and a sign (the Sabbath) – a day of simply being one with God.

If we go back in time, the covenant at Sinai was preceded by two other covenants, the first was with Noah after “40 years” of flooding destroyed the land, God promised to restore and retain creation to Noah and Noah’s family. The second covenant was with Abraham, to whom God promised grace and everlasting faithfulness and that he should be “The Father of All Nations.” And now, we are here at Sinai, the people are bound in covenant; the people are redeemed or rebound to God as God’s people. These covenants become simultaneously increasingly specific with respect to the relationship of the parties and increasingly collective/inclusive with respect to humanity. We can also see that out of each of these covenants something or someone or some people are redeemed and something new is created: a new creation, an extended family, a community of priests – chosen and holy. As creation evolves, as humanity evolves, so does the understanding of the relationship between humans and God evolve.

Finally, the covenant agreement repeats itself through the sacrifice of Jesus, who, once again presents the people with an image of who they are respective to God, and this time it is love. Jesus completes the circle of the realization of what it means to be holy, which is to be people of love; to be priestly, which is to understand your relationship with God in love and to extend that to each other. And, most importantly, this is what it means to be truly human, as Jesus was; and Godly, which is loving and holy. If humanity knows who they are as Godly, spiritual beings, they will know the truth and the truth will set them free. They will be redeemed and renewed at the very same time. With the mind and heart of Christ, humanity will be redeemed and reborn – the new creation.

© Peggy Beatty 2010

Photograph: Taken near Conception MO.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

— Wendell Berry, The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry

Psalm 90: In the morning, fill us with your love."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Groaning of Creation - Our Role: co-creators or destroyers

Humanity, of all creatures, has the ability to understand itself both as a creature and as a spirit force, a divine emissary. This leaves us in a unique position to augment the forces of love and life (God) or to disregard and/or pollute and destroy them. When I say this, I am not simply referring to our relationship to the environment, but to our relationship to all humanity, our relationship to our community, our relationship to our families, and our relationship to our self/our relationship to the spirit of God within us.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Romans 8:22

The groaning of creation as pertains to humanity is nested within the creative flux and flow from source through spirit to form and vice versa. It is this: the balance of planetary “Godliness” has been drastically altered by humanity and humanity’s self centered, egoistic needs of security, control, power, esteem, fear. Some of these are instinctual impulses, remnants of earlier humanity and living conditions. Some are exaggerations of our self-knowledge. In any case, defense of these needs turns us away from our divine inheritance as co-creators of life with God. Defense of these needs is evidence of our identification with our physical selves, rather than our spiritual selves. Thus, theologian Anne Primavesi suggests that as the spirit awakens humanity “it animates the gift of perception within us, opening our eyes to how things really are. It gives us the gift of epikeia, the ability to respond with sensitivity to the presence and reality of other living beings, creating relationships and exchanging energy.”

Anne Primivesi, From Apocalypse to Genesis: Ecology, Feminism and Christianity (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1991), 260.
This is a continuation of a discussion of what is meant by, "The groaning of creation." See previous blogs for the whole Kreation Kielbasa.

© Peggy Beatty 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Every object well-contemplated creates an organ of perception in us..."

...From among the lesser ancillary organs of the animals, light has called forth one organ to become its like and thus the eye was formed by the light and for the light so that the inner light may emerge to meet the outer light." Goethe

Awareness - Insight - Enlightenment - Contemplative seeing/knowing - Nondual thinking - Open perspective Expansive Vision...

The organs needed for insight are fashioned by attention and immersion in the object of contemplation. With every repetition, the cycle of attention and formation is at work fashioning the organ for contemplative knowing.

In addition to the organ of cognition, understanding requires the light of intelligence. The Greek philosopher, Empedocles wrote, "The eye is the lantern of the body."

The light from the sun must join with the light of the mind for insight to arise. And that light must be suited to the observers level of experience. "Whatever is received, is received according to the mode of the receiver." Thomas Aquinas. "Religion at the more mature levels invariably learned an alternative consciousness, which was necessary for wider seeing and addressing the great dilemmas of life." Richard Rohr

Mechanistic thinking (dual perception) is inadequate for understanding holistic phenomena. Richard Rohr in the Naked Now tells us that the dualistic mind (the either/or thinker) cannot understand holistic concepts such as love, grace, forgiveness, faith, hope. Deep understanding ("knowing") of these concepts requires holding them, together with all the goodness and trauma that is inherent within them, in complete acceptance (the peace that passeth understanding). This awareness, this enlightenment is "salvation."  It is the by product of illuminated seeing or nondual thinking or third eye perception. It is achieved by changing the way we think!

The fruit of transformation, organ formation, and illumination is Ralph Waldo Emerson's "true naming," or Goethe's "true theory." The Greek word, theoria means "to behold." Emerson said, " Insight is a very high sort of seeing, which does not come by study, but by the intellect being where and what it sees." To "behold" is to hold together as one, sometimes disparate circumstances or feelings.

"We must teach not in the way philosophy is taught (with dualistic thinking), but in the way that the Spirit teaches (nonduality). We must teach spiritual things spiritually." 1 Corinthians 2:13

Mother Teresa never tried to convert a Muslim or a Hindu to Catholicisim. She told the sisters their job was not to talk about Jesus but to BE Jesus. That is the true message of Jesus. He shows us what we CAN be, if we are willing to love unconditionally. Unconditional loving requires a nondual perspective; an ability to hold the tension of opposites. That means we will love and we will suffer for doing so. But "we have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16) "We are the lights of the world!!" Matthew 5:14.

Adapted from
Arthur Zajonc, Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry (When Knowing Becomes Love). Professor of physics and interdisciplinary studies, Amherst College.

Richard Rohr, Naked Now. Franciscan priest and author, Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, NM

© Peggy Beatty 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Creation - the groaning glorification

The dynamic and unfinished nature of creation in linear time (history) is embodied in this story of emergence and regression of form. One form dies so that another may come to be. It is a continuous birthing process of new life potentialities carrying both old and new survival information into the future of the cosmos. This is the emanation of created form, the embodiment of God.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Romans 8:22

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory. 2 Cor 3:18

The formless aspect of life is Spirit. Spirit, that ether of divinity that miraculously holds us together, unifies us in life, moves us to adapt (make life from) to conditions that, for all intents and purposes, look deadly. It is Spirit that creates the eternal flow of tzim tzum, the becoming and returning to God. Theologian, Catherine Mowry LaCugna notes that “not only are we constituted by our relationship to God, but God is constituted by relating to us.”(1) This speaks of the codependence of creation and humanity and source, God, the essence of all that was and is and ever shall be. We are in fragile balance, each sustained by the other, because we are different iterations of the same, whether evolving through time and space or manifesting through a multidimensional present. The spirit moves and breathes through all, guiding the process toward a balance. This is the groaning of the unfinished, delicately balanced web of life, the process of the glorification of God; the becoming.

1. Catherine Mowry LaCugna, God for Us: The Trinity and Christian Life (New York: Harper Collins, 1991).

© Peggy Beatty 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Creation - out of silence, emergence

When silence finds its fullness, it comes to word. Wisdom 18:14. "When night in its swift course had reached its half-way point and deep silence embraced everything, the eternal Word leaped from the Heavenly throne" silence burst into song... The Music of Silence, D Steindl-Rast

One star against eternal night
Deep and vast beyond
Shines a gurgling gaseous promise.
Floating in a churning sea of ultraviolet
Purple, blue and indigo
Within is cloaked a core
of infrared incendiary fervor.

Here, there captured in the timeless ether
Spewing fire balls that
Hiss and moan creative juice,

Waiting for intention
To coax such wild passion
Into graced design.

Deep within the womb of timelessness
A spark of Yes perseveres
To be made known.

Holds an eye toward all things new
And yields a savage heart to love’s caress.

Round and round the cask is crafted slowly
Then is poured the molten Soul.

A star

A light

Infernal need, divine desire
Aching flesh amalgam
Answers into cosmic destiny

The birth
Of one who will not be unseen.

A star

A light

A Soul

Encased in flesh and bathed
In spirit blood
Issues from the black unknown.

Essence of the flame within.
Cool indigo beams light years
Through eternity, illuminating Truth.

As in a fleeting moment
Emerges evanescent Being.

Peggy Beatty Dec 2009

© Peggy Beatty 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Creation Theology cont. – Physical - Historical

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Romans 8:22

In God we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28

Creation, the generation of life, the development of ecosystems, the emergence of form, the evolution of creatures is a process which began, to the best of our awareness, with a cosmic event, the big bang, in which all potentiality came into “being” 13.7 billion years ago. Over the course of approximately the next 10 billion years, primal stars emerged, relationships began as fundamental forces – gravitation, nuclear, electromagnetic, elements condensed – gasses, metals, galaxies organized and planets came to be. On earth, organic molecules generated life-sustaining relationships, the sun and earth’s moon created atmospheric conditions conducive to life-promoting balance. Life emerged 3.9 billion years ago as the first cells differentiated, totally dependent upon the delicate conditions of planet earth for survival, and in communion with each other and the surrounding primordial “soup.” One million years later evolving cells solve the problem of depleting earth chemical metabolism by incorporating photons into their life cycle and using them to loose oxygen into the soup. A powerful oxidant, oxygen proceeded to disassociate (oxidize) everything, from rocks to metal, to carbohydrate food sources to cell membranes, Blue green algae oxygen waste was threatening to destroy life, until a new innovator adapted to the saturated oxygen atmosphere by learning to use oxygen to fuel metabolism. Thus came our current photosynthetic – oxygen cycle – the gift of respiration that plants and animals cooperatively hold in glorious balance. Adaptation by new forms of life through selfless death of others has been a part of creation throughout the creation of the formed universe. We are made of the same elements as the stars, which also have a life span. This is cosmic groaning. Cells live and die in order to keep our bodies alive and healthy every second. Creation groans as she lives through unpredictability, resistance and death on all levels of physicality.

© Peggy Beatty 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Creation Theology - Thoughts, consciousness, stillness, mystery with Oprah and Tolle on pure consciousness

In God we live and move and have our being." Acts 17:28

continued from previous posts...
Creation takes place in both the realm of matter through historical time and in the formless realm, which involves the action of what we call, “spirit.” The latter may be sensed/perceived from without (sound, shared thought, perceived energy) and from within (intuition, compassion, empathy, passion). Both impact our being at a very primal soul level, a level that is being created or at least awakened, and made more perceptive/receptive.

Our inner sense of creation, or consciousness can manifest as both intellect and emotion. We can only say that “creation begins simultaneously at the creation of time” as a function of our awareness of this fact. In fact, it is our awareness of ourselves in time and as form that gives rise to what we call history. The triune nature of God speaks of the simultaneous existence of source, spirit (formlessness), and form. Thus, creation may take the form of physical world, it may be thought, and it may be awareness (consciousness). Creation beyond form and thought moves into the realm of mystery. The most important thing to know about mystery is that it is real and to accept it without trying to define it. When you do this, you will realize you are mystery.

"God's first language is silence." John of the Cross

© Peggy Beatty 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Creation Theology - Chronos, Kairos, Source-Spirit-Form

Help us to find God. No one can help you there. Why not? For the same reason that no one can help the fish to find the ocean. One Minute Wisdom, Anthony de Mello1

In Him we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28

There are at least two aspects of creation and being that must be dealt with in any interpretation of God’s being/doing. One is the temporal aspect, the emergence of matter and the historical evolution of matter (construction and destruction) in time (chronos). The second is the eternal or matter-less, which exists at any given point of time in multiple dimensions beyond our definability (kairos). The eternal moment (the "Now") takes into account everything that is not matter in physical time, but certainly pertains to that which is matter evolving through history. Why? Because in an eternal sense, all matter is a fleeting representation of itself. All matter is really more space than form, and is form only as a function of energy and perception. It is in each (now) transcendent moment of chronological time that all potential exists for both that moment in chronos and all moments in kairos; in all dimensions, even those we are unable to understand. In addition, creation can pertain to forms which are not material, such as thought, sound, energy sensation, light. A thought is most certainly a creation that takes definition, and thus, it is different than Creator/mystery/source.

Creation, takes place in both the realm of matter through historical time (chronos, immanence) and in the formless realm (kairos, transcendence), which involves the action of what I will call, “spirit.” Spirit may be sensed/perceived from without (sight, sound, shared thought, perceived energy) and also from within (intuition, compassion, empathy, passion). Both impact our being at a very primal soul level, a level that, we might say, is being created or at least awakened, and made more perceptive/receptive.

© Peggy Beatty 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

Creation Theology- General Aspects of Creation

Help us to find God. No one can help you there. Why not? For the same reason that no one can help the fish to find the ocean.  Anthony de Mello. One Minute Wisdom. (New York, NY: Image, Doubleday, 1988).

In Him we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28

Creation is God manifest: physical creation and spiritual creation. Source emanates and infuses all that is, but at the same time, remains source. In a Trinitarian paradigm, all three God concepts exist at once: form (incarnation), formless (spirit) and source (Father). All matter is a fleeting expression of energy/spirit. We perceive form, but the reality is all is energy/spirit. In the same way, the physical universe as we know it, is God’s expression of God’s self. The name “Yahweh” can mean, “the One who causes to be.” “I Am” simply means I am everything; I am what is. We, all of creation, formed and formless, live within God and are of God.

© Peggy Beatty 2010