Prayer and the Skeptical Mind

Attentive readers will have noticed that a new menu item— Prayers  —has recently been added to the Yeshua21 Blog.  In that same vein, a new booklet has also been uploaded:

A Collection of Christian Prayers from Yeshua21.Com

This small collection of prayers, from a variety of Christian sources, is for sincere skeptics and honest critics whose hearts remain open. The idea is to hit the ground running—to begin participating in the Christian tradition in a meaningful way, here and now, with a view to authentic awakening.  We are multidimensional beings— body, soul, and Spirit —and contemplative prayer can facilitate the realization and integration of all these dimensions of our being.  Such realization is prerequisite to:  1) the possibility of authentic self-knowledge, 2) the experience of meaningful, abundant life, and 3) the possibility of political healing and cultural renewal.

Christian believers don’t always appreciate how lame— how phony and how inauthentic —prayer can seem to the skeptical mind.   But even dyed in the wool skeptics can change if and when they grok the possibility of awakening to the deeper and higher aspects of their essential humanity.  As multidimensional beings, ignorant of our true nature, what we long for is the realization and integration of all these dimensions in Christ.  When this is understood, the sincere skeptic and honest critic may, in fact, be open to a variety of spiritual exercises, including contemplative prayer and meditation.  See, for example, the section on The Jesus Prayer (pages 7-9).  See also the extended excerpts from Narcissus and Goldmund (page 11) and from The Illuminatus Trilogy (page 13).

==> Download eBooklets

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Meditating on the Stations of the Cross

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As we meditate on the fourteen Stations of the Cross, perhaps we should ask ourselves whether or not we, too, are willing to take up our cross as Jesus did?  Are we willing to: 

  • drink that cup and be baptized with that baptism? (Mark10:38-39; Matthew 20:22-23; John 18:11)
  • present our bodies a living sacrifice? (Romans 12:1)
  • give up our preferences and submit to God’s will for our lives? (Philippians 3:7-9; cf.Luke 22:42)

Can we really honor the passion of Christ–really celebrate “the resurrection and the life” on Easter–if we are not also prepared to accept with thanksgiving his suffering and death in our body?

“Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.” (Luke 9:24).“

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit…

When we become willing to take up our cross—willing to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holding nothing back—we find there is no necessary conflict between the hardships of life and the joy of our salvation.  The turn of events continue to unfold— time and chance happens to us all —but the gift of God is with us always; the kingdom of heaven is within us; among us; at hand.  It is, in a very real sense, spread out upon the earth (as is sometimes said) while remaining necessarily invisible to closed hearts and unsurrendered minds.  Rest assured, the Way of Life and the Way of the Cross coincide.  For when, by the grace of God,we become ready, willing, and able to relinquish control of our life on the horizontal plane (being crucified with Christ), we simultaneously receive the earnest of our inheritance (which is the power of the Holy Spirit) and awaken to the vertical dimension, being raised with Christ in newness of life even NOW (Ephesians 1:13; Colossians 2:12).  Whosoever will may come and drink of the water of life freely…

“The Now is no mere nodal point between the past and the future. It is the seat and region of the Divine Presence itself…. The Now contains all that is needed for the absolute satisfaction of our deepest cravings…. In the Now we are at home at last.”

~ Thomas Kelly, “A Testament of Devotion”

–>  More on The Stations of the Cross


Traditional Stations of the Cross Prayer and Meditation Cards
(Available on eBay)

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Revisiting “The Divine Presence ‘I Am'”

Getting to Know Jesus in the 21st Century was written in the Spring of 2012 and was first shared on this blog in late June of that same year.  A little over a year later, The Divine Presence “I Am” appeared a rather provocative work, in the eyes of some, but one which has since come to light as a kind of sequel to the original.  It remains the most sustained effort to date, in the context of this blog, to point to the living Reality that IS Christ-in-you in conjunction with a close reading of scripture.  Moreover, because of the very pointed criticism that its initial publication sparked in some circles, it was reviewed and edited rather carefully in the months that followed and has, in fact, been revisited a number of times during the intervening years.  As such, perhaps it is not too soon to say that it has in a rather important sense stood the test of time…

In any event, it has seemed possible and appropriate of late to edit it once more and publish it in PDF format so that it can, indeed, take its rightful place as the sequel to Getting to Know Jesus in the 21st Century.  Without further adieu, then–here, for immediate download, is…

The Divine Presence “I Am”

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In the Spirit of Saint George

In the Spirit of Saint George

Almighty God, who gave to your servant
George boldness to Confess the Name of
our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of
this world, and courage to die for this faith:
Grant that we may always be ready to give
a reason for the hope that is in us, and to
suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus
Christ; who lives and reigns with you and
the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Amen

–>  St. George Prayer Cards on eBay

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A Good Friday Meditation

Are we willing to acknowledge that the cross of Christ is our cross, too?

Are we not called to:

  • come and dietake up our cross? (Matthew 16:24)
  • drink that cup and be baptized with that baptism? (Mark 10:38; Matthew 20:22; John 18:11)
  • present our bodies a living sacrifice? (Romans 12:1)
  • give up our own priorities and submit to God’s will for our life? (Philippians 3:7-9; cf Luke 22:42).

Jesus says,

“Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it” (Luke 17:33).

And Paul writes,

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

As such, are we really honoring the passion of Christ– indeed, can we truly celebrate “the resurrection and the life” on Easter –if we do not also accept with thanksgiving his suffering and death in our own bodies?

–>  The Cross (Frithjof Schuon)

galatians 2 - 20 crucified with christ

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Christfulness Meditation, The Jesus Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.

(Be Silent and Listen)

Guided meditation by Ole Skjerbæk Madsen, music by Atte. Published by In The Master's Light.
For more information please visit www.inthemasterslight.net and www.christfulness.net
See also CD "Christfulness - Music for Meditation" with music by Torsten Borbye Nielsen

–>  In the Master’s Light

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I Surrender All

the lens of the separate self3It’s difficult not to see ourselves and our lives through the lens of the separate self–i.e. the egoic mind that is preoccupied with “my good” and “my evil” on the horizontal plane.  But we also have the mind of Christ and the power of the Spirit and, by virtue of this vertical orientation, have the option of “walking in the light as he is in the light” (I John 1:7).

I Am Crucified with ChristOf course, the egoic mind— the little control freak that is naturally reluctant to relinquish its throne –co-opts this verse and turns it into a legalistic burden. But when we truly take up our cross and present our bodies a living sacrifice — holding nothing back — we find there is no necessary conflict between the exigencies of life and the peace of Jesus.  The turn of events ebb and flow– time and chance happeneth to all –but the gift of God is with us always.  The kingdom of heaven is at hand; within us; among us–spread out upon the earth (albeit, invisible to the carnal/egoic mind).

define-kingdom-of-god

As such, the Way of Life and the Way of the Cross are one.  When we are ready to relinquish control of our life on the horizontal plane (i.e. to be crucified with Christ) we cross the the threshold of eternity NOW (being raised with him in newness of life).  Whosoever will may come and drink of the water of life freely…

“The Now is no mere nodal point between the past and the future. It is the seat and region of the Divine Presence itself…. The Now contains all that is needed for the absolute satisfaction of our deepest cravings…. In the Now we are at home at last.” (Thomas Kelly, “A Testament of Devotion”)

–>  Now is the Accepted Time…

The Water of Life

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A False Dichotomy

the intersection between reason and faithThere is a tendency in fundamentalist and (some)  evangelical churches to set up a false dichotomy between science and faith–as if faith in God precludes a serious study of evolutionary biology (for example) and vise versa.  This same mentality also attempts to coerce people– through threats of hell and hopes of paradise –into believing in a factually inerrant bible (which they then use to bolster the authority of their personal opinions–most of which were arrived at through a similar process of coercive sectarian conditioning).  How much better to read BOTH the book of scripture AND the book of nature (and  to read both BOTH critically AND devotionally).  Experience suggests that both of these– when approached with an open heart and mind –point us to “the living Word” which speaks within the heart of every human being.

“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” ~ John 5:39-40

–> Reading the Bible in the 21st Century…

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Trinitarian Panentheism

This short video introduces the idea of Trinitarian Panentheism…

in him we live and move

While we should never confuse the map with the territory, it may be that this point of view will help to provide some people with a “map” that more adequately orients them to the REALITY that is the mind of Christ and the power of the Spirit.

This young man appears to be a protestant, but is appealing, here, to a certain strain of Orthodox theology which distinguishes between God’s essence and his energies (ala Gregory Palamas and Maximus the Confessor), but which finds its roots (he says) in Clement of Alexandria, St. Irenaeus, and Athanasius the Great.

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Gnostic Accents

gnosis org handsmclThe  following pages have recently been posted under the Interfaith Accents menu.  Since a few Facebook posts to that effect seemed to generate a lot of interest, it seemed good to post them here, as well.  Be sure to check ’em out! 🙂 Each of the following are (so-called) “gnostic” or “proto-gnostic” texts which point to  The Divine presence ‘I Am’.  These pages offer selections only, but also include links to the complete texts and other documentation on various sites around the web:

The Gospel of Thomas (selections) (includes link to parallel translation)

coptic got1

The Gospel of Truth (selections) (includes link to YouTube audio) gospel flower truth

The Hymn of the Pearl (selections) (includes link to mp3 lecture)

dragon-pearl2To begin to become familiar with a bit of the larger context in which these text may be understood, follow the link below: –>  Gnosticism: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

good bad ugly 3

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