Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Gospel of Thomas:

For God's kingdom dwells in your heart and all around you; when you know your Self, you too shall be known.

You'll be aware that you're the sons and daughters of our living Father. But if you fail to know your own Self you're in hardship, and are that hardship.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

speak of the devil...

Pop Occulture has a very interesting post about universalism and the role of satan. The comments are equally interesting. I plan to do some reading on the subject in the next little while. I think a trip to the book store is way overdue.

Anyways, I know a fair number of you are universal reconciliation subscribers and I'm curious as to your thoughts on satan and hell and demons and all that jazz.

I haven't given much thought to the concept of Satan in the last while, aside from occasionally wondering if he was doing a fantastic job of driving me away from the faith. Lately I've been thinking that the concept of satan as I understood it is just far too simplistic and one-sided, like so many things. After all, the bible says that a rainbow is a promise, but education will reveal it as the refraction of light through water droplets in the air.

I think that the simplistic, good guy bad buy themes of the bible serve their purposes, but as most of us here know, there are about a million shades of grey, and that many explanations for life as we know it.

Isn't it so much fun to speculate? I love being a free agent.

Monday, October 02, 2006

footstool

Riding in the back of my parents' van yesterday evening gave me the rare opportunity to lose myself in the sky as we drove. I used to love doing just this, but these days I am always the driver.

The sky is a magnificent thing, regardless of the weather. Pondering that fantastic dome, the atmosphere, the color, watching the wind move the clouds..... something about it. On the one hand it looks like it could be the logical outcome of millions of years of scientifically explainable occurences, but then on the other hand, it looks like a vast and mystical environment created by a vast and mystical god. Sometimes when I look at the sky, I feel the way a goldfish must feel staring bug-eyed out of its bowl. Goldfish, like humans, are always trying to get out.

There was one cloud in particular, that looked like a giant boot. An enormous steel toed workboot. I imagined that God was indeed an enormous old man up in heaven, and he was walking across the sky, and then I thought about that verse in the bible that calls earth "His footstool." If earth is merely a footstool, then what must heaven be like? Heaven is a throne, supposedly, and I will find out in the event that I'm lucky enough to make the cut.

Sometimes I wonder, and this was one of those times, if I'm completely wrong about everything. What if God is exactly what I was taught in sunday school, and there really is a place called hell, and if I don't submit to the nicene creed I am going to go there forever? What if that's true? My common sense tells me it can't be, my logic tells me it's ridiculous. My brain says that the Christians are missing the point, and my heart seems to agree. But lets face it, I'm dealing with 25 years of solid indoctrination, and if it's possible for anyone to be wrong, then it's also possible for me to be wrong.

That's when I prayed. I'm doing the best I can, I said. I'm really trying to find you. I am using every faculty at my disposal, faculties which you provided, I might add? Are you really my Father, and do you really speak english? And do you really love me, but not so much that you would keep me for eternity despite my confusion about matters theological? Is the bible really your words? Because the bible says that if I seek with all my heart, I will find you. And here I am, trying my darndest to find you, but it seems that the harder I look, the cloudier the water seems to be.

God was silent. At least, He didn't speak any english. In my heart I felt peace. I felt that the clouds were beautiful and the sky mystical and that they were just as they should be, and the big boot melted away and the sun went down and then it was night, and night is the best time because that is when you can see the stars.

I guess it all boils down to intuition, and listening to your heart. And I think I need to stop comparing my current thoughts with my upbringing. After all, I will never feel that way again. the mind once stretched can never return to it's previous proportions, or something like that. If you know who originally said that, please tell me, because it's one of my favorites and i can't remember where it came from. But it's so true. I can't forget all that I've learned, and I can't reverse the process that has gone on inside me. So for me, all of my fundamental upbringing and theological learning is in the past. I can't go back there, at least not with any conviction. Perhaps this is the unforgiveable sin of christianity, the point of no return.

But my heart does not indicate danger, and I'm not sad or frightened. When I pray, I pray with all sincerity, and when I seek, I seek with all my heart. Surely that piece of God inside me will somehow lead me to truth.

right?
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