That Sense of God

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Being Gnostic has helped me in many ways to incorporate and understand things like Paganism and Unitarian Universalism and so on.

Recently, I became aware of GOD. GOD, as in the Absolute, Unknowable, Beyond-of-the-Beyond that I’ve experienced at various points in my life. And to be aware of GOD is difficult, as it requires focus under most circumstances.

To suggest in this case that God is not the Ultimate Satisfaction would be bonkers; God is Everything we could ever want and more, beyond even those things, beyond Peace, Fulfillment, and Happiness.

Why in this lifetime God has seen fit that I would be deprived of the Holy Eucharist is not something I yet understand. Attempting to say the Eucharist myself is met with some effect but not what I need.

But perhaps this, too, will find a true and final resolution, and I will be deprived of Christ’s Body and Blood no longer. I do have the sense of, “Just a little more; just a bit further.”

The difference now is that I sense God being IMPRESSED upon me. That’s new; that’s not been here before.

And so to God the Unknown Father, I say, “Thank You.”

Steve

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Manga, Musings, and the Mind…

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A Red State Mystic has written recently about the sort of crashing down of our 90s utopia. He also clarifies what he means by this, and he points out some very startling realities that we’re facing in this era.

The 90s did have some awesome music and styles. The 90s did see an era of good writing, great video games, and inventions such as the Tamagotchi. Sailor Moon was created and ended in the 1990s.

I sit here at age 27 and wonder if my life has really come to this point and stagnated. Given, I’m actually involved in the inner life, which is more involved than the outer life in many regards, but still. I sit here and ponder a very important question: am I being sincere with myself?

Life is meant to be lived. This much is true, and I’m not denying it. But at the same time, I also know that wherever I go, there I am.

I want to create peace in myself, here, in this small town. I want to create happiness and fulfillment in this small town, to find that unshakeable core of the God-man Jesus Christ at my own center, and then, and only then, do I want to go out into the world, to live life- because only then will life be worth living. Only then will my own ability to encounter anything and everything be real.

I’m holding on to something, and I can’t tell what it is. All I know is that my life is fleeting, my years are fleeting, and I can’t help but wonder why I’m not experiencing- and have never experienced- what society says I should.

Do people really have that much faith in society? Do people really follow cultural memes so well that they aren’t bothered by the world around us? There’s an increase in lack of authenticity among people in our society.

Or maybe I’m just becoming an adult, and this why so many people fight growing up- because being an adult means you die on the inside, walking around as a hollow husk of a human.

Damned alliteration.

I’m drawing again. My manga is up. I plan for it to be a kind of subtle evangelism, dispersing ideas Christian and mystical in a user-friendly form. You can visit the link below.

Super Yummy Angel Cake

Beaux

How Oddly “Conservative” of Me!

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Under most circumstances, I don’t like to have all kinds of labels attached to me. For many years, I understood labels as being nasty constrictions on the True Soul which underlies all things, and that to label ourselves was to become “attached” to something in the world, to some aspect of our transient selves.

Laying aside the Buddhist dogma and focusing on things from a practical angle is also an option.

The reality is, practically speaking, that we must necessarily identify ourselves to others in some way if we are to live in the world. This same rule does not apply equally to a monk living in a monastery among other monks.

But I am not a monk. Have I considered it? Sure. But I am not a monk, and I cannot live my life as one.

Perhaps the middle road of labels should be taken as well- accept labels when they are useful, as in social situations, but do not sit around and twiddle your thumbs thinking about the label when you are not socially engaged. Labels are simply reference points of convenience; use them as such.

The preface being said, I’ll get to my point- under normal circumstances, someone might label me as being “progressive” or “liberal.” This holds especially true in south Alabama.

I found myself on the other side of the spectrum concerning a recent situation (early 2009) that happened in, of all places, the Episcopal Church. A woman Priest by the name of Ann Holmes Redding claimed to be both a Christian and a Muslim.

They defrocked her.

(Wait for it.)

AS THEY VERY WELL SHOULD HAVE!!!

There you are, the “conservative” statement that I was planning to make the whole time.

Whereas I feel that a person can identify with the Beauty, Truth, and Holiness of a given religious tradition that is not one’s own, and in many cases, one can adopt certain practices from that tradition and its culture that are congruent with one’s own, I think that it is also intellectually dishonest for someone who is a representative of a particular tradition and not merely a lay practitioner to try to represent multiple traditions.

The situation of the layman varies from this. Depending on the religious tradition, a layman may be able to practice more than one religious tradition. Layman represent the tradition, but not in the same way that the Priesthood does.

True, I think that the core of religious traditions are the same- the internal essence remains the same across most of them, the Holiness, Love, and Bliss that are God.

But think of it this way: Alabama elects Jane Doe to be our Senator, so she goes to the US Congress to represent Alabama.

Not Georgia.

Not Florida.

Not California

ALABAMA.

Now, some might argue that the political situation differs from the religious one, but the point I’m making is that this Priest came from a specific religious “territory” but was attempting to hypothetically represent two different religious “territories,” which in this case are separated by a wide gulf of theological opinions and commentary.

Another situation that is similar but offers a solution is the Kevin Thew Forrester, an Episcopal Bishop who has a decade-long history of practicing Zen Buddhist meditation. Having reading his statement on the matter, the difference is that Forrester was led full-circle to the mystics and contemplatives of the Christian Tradition; in essence, he took a method, found it in his own tradition, and went on his merry way. The so-called “lay ordination” he received merely means that the Buddhists recognize that he’s trying to alleviate suffering in the world, and what could be more Christ-like?

The difference is remarkable, as well- the Zen meditation isn’t exclusively owned by Buddhists, and that particular practice is not incompatible with Christianity, as meditation is a huge part of the Christian Tradition (unbeknownst to many Christians themselves who would argue otherwise.)

This is not about “my God is bigger than your God” or “my religion is better than your religion,” in case you’re wondering. Rather, it is a matter of integrity and consistency; it is a matter of the preservation of certain traditions that we already represent and finding fulfillment in our being representatives of that tradition without having to take on the traditions of others as well.

There. I’ve said my piece.