Saturday, July 14, 2018

“Let it Be”: Paul McCartney and his Mother, Mary

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be

And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be
As we walk through the day, seeing with our body’s eyes, we tend to react to negative situations with conditioned responses, imposing the past taking away any chance for a peaceful day.
That is why I love “Let it Be;” it is a gentle reminder to step back, take a breath and just let things be as they are.  This is a very powerful teaching, echoing Jesus in Lesson 268, Let all things be exactly as they are.

Let me not be Your critic, Lord, today,
and judge against You. Let me not attempt
to interfere with Your creation, and
distort it into sickly forms. Let me
be willing to withdraw my wishes from
its unity, and thus to LET IT BE
as You created it. For thus will I
be able, too, to recognize my Self
as You created me. In Love was I
created, and in Love will I remain
forever. What can frighten me, when I
let all things be exactly as they are?

Let not our sight be blasphemous today,
nor let our ears attend to lying tongues.
Only reality is free of pain.
Only reality is free of loss.
Only reality is wholly safe.
And it is only this we seek today.

For me, the “it” in “Let it Be” has two references.  When I face a  negative situation, I can say to myself, “Let it Be, meaning, just let go of what the body’s eyes are seeing; and in that moment, I can experience “Let It Be,” meaning, let me experience seeing with Christ’s vision, moving from “it” to “It.”

As I listen to the repetition of the phrases, I hear “Let it be,” and then I hear “Let It Be,” freeing my mind.

This brings to mind one of my favorite poems, “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams (1883-1963):

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

Indeed, so much depends on seeing things exactly as they are, seeing with Christ’s vision.

If God’s Voice assures you that salvation needs your part, and that the whole DEPENDS on you, be sure that it is so.  (Lesson 186)

Salvation of the world DEPENDS on you, and not upon this little pile of dust.  (Lesson186)

There is a way to look on everything
that LETS IT BE to you another step
to Him, and the salvation of the world.
(Lesson 193)

Finally, here is Paul McCartney’s account of writing the song
from Barry Miles, “Many Years From Now.” 

Paul McCartney said he had the idea of "Let It Be" after he had a dream about his mother during the tense period surrounding the sessions for The Beatles ("The White Album") in 1968. According to McCartney, the song's reference to "Mother Mary" was not biblical.
“I had a dream I saw my mum, who’d been dead 10 years or so, It was so great to see her because that’s a wonderful thing about dreams: you actually are reunited with that person for a second; there they are and you appear to both be physically together again. It was so wonderful for me and she was very reassuring. In the dream she said, ‘It’ll be all right.’ I’m not sure if she used the words ‘Let it be’ but that was the gist of her advice. It was, ‘Don’t worry too much, it will turn out OK.’ It was such a sweet dream I woke up thinking, ‘Oh, it was really great to visit with her again.’ I felt very blessed to have that dream. So that got me writing the song ‘Let It Be.’”

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Mask of Personhood

To the Ancient Greeks, theater was a form of entertainment taken very seriously.  People would come from all across the Greek world to attend the popular theaters held in open air amphitheaters. In their glory days, some amphitheaters could hold crowds of up to 15,000 people. The theater was a place where politics, religion, the human condition, popular figures, and legends were all discussed and performed with great enthusiasm.
The origin of the dramatic arts in Greece can be found in Athens, where ancient hymns were sung in honor of their gods. These hymns were later adapted into choral processions where participants would dress up in costumes and masks.

The starting point of modern western theater is often credited to the Greeks. Highly decorated masks. These masks were constructed out of lightweight wood.  There were two holes for the eyes, large enough for the actor to see the audience but small enough so as not to allow the audience to see him.  The shape of the masks amplified the actor’s voice, making his words easier for the audience to hear.

The wooden masks were called personas, from the Latin, per, meaning “through,” and son, meaning “sound.”  

This is the origin of our words, person, personality, personification, and persona.  Our personality is a mask we wear, a mask created by our conditioning, well in place by the time we are five years old.

I appreciate so much Mooji’s use of the words Person and Isness.  In our Personhood we are projecting the egoic-mind, seeing “out there” what is first “in here.”  When we experience our Isness, we can see through the duality and relativity of our Personhood, our mask, our masquerade, and see a true reflection.

This is so well expressed in a poem by Juan Ramon Jemenez (1891-1958), I Am Not I.

I (Person) am not I. (Isness)
I (Isness) am this one
walking beside me
whom I (Person) do not
whom at times I (Person)
manage to visit,
and whom at
other times I (Person)
who remains calm
and silent while I (Person)
and forgives,
gently, when I (Person)
who walks where I (Person)
am not,
who will remain
standing when I (Person)

Let me give a PERSONAL example.

Booth my father and mother had little expression on their faces.  My father was usually stoic, and my mother seemed to have a suffering, but almost expressionless, face.
As a child, I would search their faces to see what they were thinking of me.  To this day, I need to be aware of this conditioning.  When I encounter a PERSON with an expressionless face, I usually have a negative reaction.  I have learned to be aware of this conditioning and ask for help to see through the mask to his or her Isness.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Receptivity is the Key

After all this time, it has come down to one thing for me:  receptivity.  

How often during the day, can I step back, be present, and listen for the Voice of the Holy Spirit, speaking to me all through the day?

These passages are excellent reminders for me.

from A Course in Miracles,

Lesson 49, God’s Voice speaks to me all through the day.

It is quite possible to listen to God's Voice all through the day without interrupting your regular activities in any way.  The part of your mind in which truth abides is in constant communication with God, whether you are aware of it or not.  It is the other part of your mind that functions in the world and obeys the world's laws.  It is this part that is constantly distracted, disorganized and highly uncertain.

The part that is listening to the Voice for God is calm, always at rest and wholly certain.  It is really the only part there is.  The other part is a wild illusion, frantic and distraught, but without reality of any kind.  Try today not to listen to it.  Try to identify with the part of your mind where stillness and peace reign forever.  Try to hear God's Voice call to you lovingly, reminding you that your Creator has not forgotten His Son.

from the Bible, Luke 6:11

Give us today our daily bread.

from A Course of Love, The Addendum,

A.11  What you are finding is receptivity.  You are coming home to the way of the heart.  What you gain by sharing with others is a situation in which you “learn” in unity through the receptivity of the heart.

A.12 Am I telling you not to question?  Not to enter discussion?  I am only telling you to receive before you seek to perceive.  I ask you not to receive as one who does not have what another has, as this is not a passing on of information that you do not possess.  I ask you merely to receive in order to learn receptivity, the way of the heart.  I ask you only to pause, to give the mind a rest, to enter a realm foreign to the mind and yet beloved to the heart.  I ask you but to give yourself a chance to let the relief of not having another task to apply your effort to fill you.  I ask you but to give yourself a chance to forget about approaching this as one more self-improvement exercise, or one more objective to accomplish.  Only in this way do you come to realize you are already accomplished.

A.13 Through receptivity, what your mind finds difficult to accept, your heart accepts with ease.  Now you are ready to question what you must.  Now you are ready to hear the answer that arises in your own heart or from the voice of the man or woman sitting next to you.  Now you are ready to hear all the voices around you without judgment, to enter discussion without an agenda to attend to, to not be so anxious to say what you are thinking that you forget to listen.  Now you are ready to let understanding come without the aggressiveness of going out to get it.

A.14 You are patient, loving, and kind.  You have entered the time of tenderness.  You begin to hear what your feelings are saying to you without the interferences and cautions of your thinking mind.  You begin to trust and as you begin to trust you begin to extend who you are.  True giving and receiving as one begins to take place.  You have entered Holy relationship.

A.48 Go forth not as complete works of art but as permeable energy, ever changing, ever creating, ever new.  Go forth with openness for revelation to happen through you and through all you encounter.  Go forth joyously on this adventure of discovery.  Be ever new, ever one, ever the beloved.

A.49 Bring your voice to this continuing dialogue.  This is all that is asked of you.  This is the gift you have been given and the gift you bring the world; your own voice, the voice of Who You Are.  This is not a voice of separation or of the separated self but a voice of union and of the One Self.  It is how union is expressed and made recognizable in form.  It is what will usher in the new and change the world.  It cannot be accomplished without you—without your ability to stand in unity and relationship as The Accomplished.
A.50 Behold brothers and sisters, You are The Accomplished.

This is my daily affirmation:

I am in the world, and not of the world.
I am a body, and I AM Spirit.
I am human, and I AM Divine.
I am form, and I AM formless.
I am a person, and I AM Isness.

I AM God's Son, complete and healed and whole,
shining in the reflection of His Love. (Who am I?)

I will be still an instant and go home. (Lesson 182)

And in that instant I will experience Isness.
And in that experience, I will be receptive, receptive to the still, small Voice for God speaking to me all through the day, telling me where to go, what to do, and what to say, to whom.

Friday, January 13, 2017

How Sarah Young was “Graciously Guided” to write, “Jesus Calling.”

Soon after posting a Blog entitled, “We Are  Now, and We  Always Have Been,  Graciously Guided,” (1/7/2017)I was guided to read Sarah Young’s Introduction to her book, “Jesus Calling.”  I was fascinated by how she was “graciously guided” all along the way to writing her book.

These are the “signposts” that led her along the way, step by step.  I have simply excerpted these passages that pointed the way for her.

I firsts experienced the peace of God in a setting of exquisite beauty.  I was living and studying at a Christian community in a tiny Alpine village in France.

A few months earlier my brother had asked me to read Francis Schaeffer’s, “Escape from Reason.”  Schaeffer’s teaching drew me to this pristine place.

One night I found myself leaving the warmth of our cozy chalet to walk alone in the snowy mountains.  Suddenly I felt as if a warm mist enveloped me.  I became aware of a lovely Presence, and my involuntary response was to whisper, “Sweet Jesus.”

The following year, back in the United States, I had another encounter with the Presence of Jesus.  Alone in my room, I felt waves of desolation wash over me.  So I began walking the streets of Atlanta aimlessly.  I glanced at some books in an outdoor stall and was drawn to “Beyond Ourselves” by Catherine Marshall.  That night as I read the book, I no longer felt alone.  That night as I read the book, I felt an overwhelming Presence of peace and love come over me.  I knew that Jesus was with me.

During the next sixteen years I lived what many people might consider an exemplary Christian life. 
I was ready to begin a new spiritual quest.  It started with delving into a devotional book, “The Secret of the Abiding Presence” by Andrew Murray.

My days started alone with God, equipped with Bible, devotional book, prayer journal, pen, and coffee.  As I waited in His Presence, God began to reveal Himself to me. 
During that same year, I began reading “God Calling,” a devotional book written by two anonymous “listeners.”  These women practiced waiting quietly in God’s Presence, pencils and paper in hand, recording the messages they received from Him.

The following year I began to wonder if I, too, could receive messages during my times of communing with God.  I decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I believed He was saying.  Soon, messages began to flow more freely, and I bought a special notebook to record these words. 

I have continued to receive personal messages from God as I meditate on Him.  The more difficult my life circumstances, the more I need these encouraging directives from my Creator.  During the years that I have been listening to God with pen in hand, I have found themes of His Peace becoming more prominent in my writing.  

I have included Scripture references after each daily reading.  As I listened to God, Bible verses or fragments of verses often come to mind. I have interwoven these into my messages.  

These messages are meant to be read slowly, preferably in a quiet place.  Remember that Jesus is Immanuel, God with us.  May He bless you with His Presence and Peace in ever-increasing measure.