A DANCE OF FULL CIRCLES. PENTACOSTALISTS ARE SHAMANS MADE NEW.
FROM SHAMANS TO RITUALISTS TO WORD BELIEVERS TO PENTECOSTALISTS; AND BACK AGAIN. THE GREAT SPIRITUAL TRUTH OF OUR TIME
We see Pentecostalists with arms raised in ecstasy. They are singing and dancing as they praise God and as they seek to be infused with the very spirit of God. They make happy noise. They cry out in tongues. Near them is a shaman woman. She stares at us as she holds her sacred drum. She beats her drum to the rhythm of God and Earth, to the rhythm of the trees and all the beasts of the woods and fields. She too makes a happy sound. She too cries out in her own ancient tongues. Here is a great truth that we forget at our peril. Many are the paths to God; many are the spiritual and mystical ways; many are the sacred and holy ways: but ALL when undertaken in the spirit of inclusivity and love, in the spirit of ONENESS with ALL, in the humility of the true spiritual pilgrim, are true and holy and sacred ways. This is the great lesson of our times. ALL is ONE, and ALL travel together when we ALL rejoice in each other’s ways. There is no true spirituality, no mystical touching of the most sacred, no spiritual awakening into the true meaning of our awareness of God, where there is no inclusivity. As the spiritual history of our planet Earth unfolds, as the sacred story of all our lives unfolds, there will be a folding in of our spiritual and sacred and mystical selves as we truly become ONE. Oneness is the key to our inner spiritual healing, to the spiritual healing of our communities and nations, and indeed to the spiritual healing of all the flora and fauna, of our Planet Earth, of our Gaia.
Shamans became ritualists.
Ritualists became Word believers.
Word believers became Pentecostalists.
Pentecostalists are Shamans made new.
THE WORD ONLY LIVES THROUGH US, OUR EVER-CHANGING SELVES.
OUR RELIGIONS’ SCRIPTURES OFFER US GREAT TRUTHS. BUT NONE ARE CONSISTENTLY TRUE.
A man is studying with an extraordinary intensity the text of his Bible. He even has a powerful magnifying glass to help him read, and with hope perhaps even understand the text. Behind him is the figure of woman. She comes from another, much earlier time. She looks at us and she smiles. For she knows the truth. She knows that although the text of the Bible can never change, we are always changing. We will always, and we must always, understand the Bible and all sacred text in the light of what we are, what we have become and what we one day will be.
Amongst the great ‘gifts’ in humanity’s possession are the sacred scriptures that have been passed down to us through almost countless generations. They are indeed gifts. But they are NOT treasures: NOT if they bring us into conflict with the adherents of other scriptures, NOT if they excuse us from thinking for ourselves, from seeking God and the heavens within our own souls and in our own precious words; and absolutely NOT if they lead us beyond temptation into the treacherous ‘comforts’ of religious exclusivity. Scriptures have been handed down as if they are the final word in humanity’s pursuit of religious and spiritual truth. But they are not. The world’s different scriptures clash. We do not even have original texts. We just do what we can with the earliest extant versions we can find. We treat these Words of God as the unchanging Words of God. Perhaps they are, in a sense. They are unchanging, in the same way that the text of a Jane Austen novel is unchanging. But in the meantime, over the centuries, the world has changed, and more importantly, we have changed. Our spiritual and sacred purpose on our Planet Earth is not to remain true to ancient thinking. Our purpose is to remain true to the higher spiritual and sacred purposes of ourselves and our fellow men and women. We as human beings have evolved physically over the aeons, and we continue to evolve mentally and spiritually into the aeons that lie ahead of us. The great and profound reality of our time is that we are rapidly becoming ONE world. Our thinking, if it is to be truly spiritual, truly of sacred worth, truly touching the mystical, has to be embracing and inclusive. We have ourselves and our world to be healed. We are NOT spiritual museum keepers, we are spiritual pilgrims on a spiritual and sacred way towards each other, and thereby through each other, unto the heavens and God. We are changing. We must ensure that we change for the better, by changing together.
The unchanging Word of God
Only lives through us:
Our ever-changing selves
WHAT WE ARE IS OUR INNER SELF. IT IS ALL WE HAVE WHEN OUR TIME COMES. IN A SENSE IT IS OUR ETERNITY.
A young person stares into a mirror and sees his own face staring back at him. We wonder what he is thinking as he contemplates himself. We wonder if his thoughts will enlighten his reflection or cast it into shadows. There is never a moment in our own lives when we are not living in some way our eternal lives.
We might try, and indeed often we do, to draw a line between our inner selves and our outer persona. It is natural, it is understandable. But our inner life, our emotional, mental and spiritual life – our actual spiritual being – is ultimately what we are. Everything we do will in some way reflect and make manifest our inner selves. It has been said that when we are young, we bear the face we are born with, but as we age, we bear the face we have made for ourselves. We have long accepted that true beauty is more than skin-deep. We must also accept that true ugliness is also more than skin deep. Here we are not talking of matters cosmetic. We are talking of matters spiritual. And it is these matters spiritual that constitute our ultimate inheritance beyond the grave. What can we take of this world other than our dreams our memories our loves and fears, our passions and rages, our hopes and loves? We are what we think. We shall be what we think and feel now. When we die, it is not so much a matter of our ascending up to some higher plane; it is more the physical plane slipping away from us, being shed by us. What are our dreams? What is our sense of our spiritual pilgrimage? What are our hopes and fears? What passions do we feel and what compassion do we encompass? All that is mystical and sacred and beautiful and true awaits us. But only if our inner life, our inner being, that is our true selves, can respond. There is no eternal hell. But if hell lies deep in the shadows of our souls, regardless of how we might have appeared to the outside world, then we shall, at least for a time, find our own hell. That hell will indeed be ours. We will have been owning it for too long in our physical life. Our spiritual awakening, our spiritual unfolding to OTHER, to everyone around us, to the planet, our Gaia, to spiritual life that can encompass the mystical and the sacred without our even being aware if it, is the key to our being ONE with ourselves, with all we love, and with all our fellow pilgrims. Our spiritual awakening, our spiritual unfolding to OTHER, to everyone around us, to the planet, our Gaia, to spiritual life that can encompass the mystical and the sacred without our even being aware of it, is the key to our being beautiful, and to our radiating beauty outwards to the world and inwards to the very heavens.
What we think is what we are.
What we think now,
Is the world beyond this world
We shall one day inherit.
We must beware.
We must be aware.
THE POWER IS NOT IN THE WORD. THE POWER IS IN GOD.
AND GOD FOREVER TRANSCENDS WORDS.
A page of the Bible is open. The words are not clear, but a spray of flowers lies upon the Bible. The flowers have no words, but their language is the language of Creation and of God. In the darkness a priest holds high the Word of God. But both Bible and priest are shadowed. Only the spray of flowers seems eternal and true.
Our spiritual journey, our eternal mystical quest for meaning can never be categorised, can never be systematised. To seek the spiritual and mystical Truth in ancient words, that belong to other cultures and other languages, and for which we do not even have the original manuscripts, is to seek merely for some sense of certainty that we end up favouring over truth itself. We might claim that it is God’s Word that stirs souls, but it is not. When matters spiritual stir us, draw us, guide us, there is something far deeper and something far far beyond categorisation that is awakening us. We need to understand that the Truth of the Universe, the Truth of Creation, the Truth of the Mystical and Sacred, the Truth of our ultimate spiritual pilgrimage of awakening, lies beyond our ability to categorise or define within the confines of our language. For our world’s languages evolved within a three-dimensional, physical plane, and the Truth of the Spirit, the Truths of the Mystical Sacred Ways to God, are always multi-dimensional, always ONE with the ALL, always infinite and eternal in their compass.
Even the greatest pilgrims and proponents of our various faiths are awakening us only when they are themselves touched by the indefinable infinity of the ONE, only when their inspiration transcends their own understanding.
We also need to understand that we all come closer to God, we all touch the infinite and enter into the mystical realms of spiritual awakening when we love, and when we are suffused with kindness. Our deepest and highest moments have nothing to do with understanding, nothing to do with the categorisation of Words, and everything to do with our spirit being touched with the great and Universal Spirit of the Sacred ALL. We only touch God’s Truth when we touch for a moment our eternal ONENESS with OTHER. And in those moments, words will always fail us. And in those moments, we at last transcend words.
It isn’t God’s Word that stirs souls.
It is God.
It isn’t God’s Word that’s true.
It is God.
It’s not us who bring others to God.
It is God.
LOVE GOD, FOR ALL OF GOD'S CREATION IS GOD
A beautiful meadow of grasses and wild flowers stretches into the distance where the ground rises into misty hills. There is a rock bluff almost blue in colour. The sun is setting behind the bluff. The day is ending, but the sun’s light is still radiant in the sky, and still brightens the meadow of grasses and wild flowers. This is God’s creation we see before us: tranquil, beautiful and at peace. The light of God holds us, and we are held by God. The day ends, and the light is the promise of another day.
The ultimate source of everything – the eternal and infinite Mind of ALL – is what we call God. This ultimate source of matter and mind, of everything we are and everything we hold dear, is at once distant and all but unknowable. It might seem impossible to love God, when God is seemingly so distant. Yet God is ALL. God is everything. At one level we might say that God is the logical principle that determines everything by providing or being the sense of everything. At another level, God is in everything and is everything, and that is as close as one can get to anything. When we love another, we love God in them, and we are opened up to the spiritual purpose that suffuses the entire cosmos. When we contemplate a beautiful flower or a majestic tree, we are opened to mystical and sacred in flower and tree. It is unavoidable because ALL is mystical and sacred and deep-set in spiritual meaning and purpose, and EVERYTHING. It might seem hard to find God, but in fact it is much harder not to find God. For God is ALL. Find ourselves, and we find God. Find love for another person and for the grasses and trees and mountains of our Mother earth, our Gaia, and we find God. The presence of God in unavoidable. Our purpose is to awaken spiritually to the reality of ‘God with us’. Our sacred and mystical path – our sacred and mystical quest – is into awareness of ALL of God’s creation that is presented to us here on our Mother Earth, our Holy Gaia.
An ancient Zen poem reads as follows:
Sitting quietly, doing nothing,
Spring comes and the grass grows by itself.
ALL that can ever be known, ALL that can ever be sought upon our holy and spiritual quest for the truth of God and ourselves, can be found in the single leaf of a tree, or in the infinitely small movement of a blade of grass at it responds to Spring’s Call.
Love God if we will.
Love all of God’s creation
Because we MUST.
For ALL of God’s creation