My friend also wrote:
My answer to that question is, YES. But ALSO we can take them figuratively and symbolically. The creation stories are rich with numinous inspiring symbolisms, esoteric nuggets. But to some extent there was a literal creation. It’s a BOTH / AND spiritual question, my friends, not an EITHER / OR.
Just like the question, “Was Jesus an historical character, or was he a mythical-spiritual character used for wisdom-teaching,” — the answer is BOTH / AND. Yes, and YES. Anyway, interesting articles this week (below). Check out Biblical Archaeology’s new streaming TV channel! Wonder if we can get it on our Roku….
Enjoyed the articles in this week’s CT Pastors clergy newsletter (link below), especially the Pre-Marital counseling section. So many of us originally become ordained to officiate a wedding, and there is much wisdom clergy can convey before the marriage!
Also very insightful (to me, at least) is the opening blurb how people get infected with a life-long aversion to the Bible, or to religion. I have met people who are so burned from childhood experiences of religion being shoved down their throats that they have a terrible bad taste in their mouth to all things religious. As clergy, we must ever strive not to be the source of someone’s life-long bad taste to religion, scripture or spirituality! I think this is also why so many say “I’m spiritual, but not religion,” because they just don’t trust organized religion. Since our network here is alternative clergy, alternative spirituality, and thus non-mainstream, we probably encounter more “burned” or bad-taste-in-their-mouth people.
Besides ordaining ministers, Rabbis, and other clergy, our Seminary also runs an online Mystery School with many fun lessons. One lesson is based on the life-changing book, Inner Christianity: A Guide to the Esoteric Tradition by Richard Smoley.
A current member just answered the Chapter 4 question, “What is the central mystery of Christianity?” as follows:
For one to enter into the Kingdom of God, one must step past the constraints of the “I” and understand that the “I” is ultimately the same in all of us. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22) “God has only one Son. If all His creations are His Sons, every one must be an integral part of the whole Sonship, so the Sonship in its oneness transcends the sum of its parts.” …that there is an underlying unity of Being of which we are all part.
Don’t feel bad if you get agnostic from time to time! Doubting is a necessary thing according to the great philosopher and mathematician, Rene Descartes.
In the course of our homeschooling today (annoying Cartesian math for 8th graders!) we looked up Rene Descartes for the fun of it. Up came a bunch of his famous quotes — for once not the “I think, therefore I am” quote.
Agnostics, skeptics and spiritual seekers will appreciate his words.
If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.
I tried to think of when this doubting of all things might have happened to me. Then I remembered as a young college student my jaw dropping over the Mithras-to-Jesus similarities. Birthdate, Roman-style worship, 12 disciples, etc. I was already upset by the absence of a God-the-Mother and God-the Daughter, and suspicious of all the (wonderful!) pagan elements in Judeo-Christianity. The Mithras stuff and Acharya S’s exaggerated correspondences pushed me into full doubt-mode for a short while. I had to rise up from either / or belief and mature into both / and. As in, yeah, Mithras, Jesus, Dionysius, Adonis, were probably the same — and Horus the Light of the World. Then there is Helios, El, Allah with the “EL” name of God hiding in there. Adonis is similar to Adonai, also. Paganism, Monotheism, Gnosticism, ALL of it. It is the same. They are BOTH true, this AND that and that and this, too. There is no black and white, no either / or in spiritual truth.
Then again, I will probably never grasp the Truth with a capital T. I really like the title Gnostics gave to Mary Magdalene. She was the Woman who knew the ALL. Gnostic knowing is spelled with a g. She gnew it in her marrow, it was the ultimate gnowing.
Just rambling here…
One of our Seminarians told me today that Huston Smith died on December 30th. I somehow missed it in all the craziness of the news lately. All those losses in 2016: Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Prince, George Michael, Mohammed Ali — and also Huston Smith. I used to get a Religion-in-the-News email “newsletter”. Since everyone seems to prefer news delivered by Facebook or blogs these days my inbox doesn’t get newsletters anymore.
We use Dr. Huston Smith’s famous book, The World’s Religions, in our seminary training program — as do countless colleges and universities.
Huston Smith sat at the bedside of his firstborn child, watching her life ebb away.
“I have no complaints,” Karen Smith told her father. “I am at peace.”
During their last moments together, Karen told her father that she was thinking of angels. She told him not to cry. She told him how much she loved the ocean.
For esotericists, clergy and ancient wisdom practitioners, PRAXIS (spiritual practice) is everything. Here’s a quick lesson from Eckhart Tolle teaching the spiritual practice of people watching. Fun.
Tolle addresses people looking back at us. As ordained clergy, teachers and/or public speakers we sometimes flip out when we think “all those people” will be “staring” at us. (laugh)
Tolle explains how to eliminate that fear by realizing — convincing your fraidy-cat brain — that “even the attention of 100 people doesn’t add [or detract] anything to who you are in truth.”
Who you are in truth. Right.
I also liked Tolle’s point about dogs being easier to trust / love than humans because there is no big fat ego — human mind — in the way to clash with our own big fat ego!
The Practice of People-Watching
Yay. God-the-Mother is coming out more and more in various religions. The Mormons have always believed She existed, and a Heavenly Mother has been in their doctrine all along. But they have told their leaders not to preach sermons about Her (due to persecution, being called a “sex cult” back in the 1800s). Now that is changing. Pretty cool.
God Has a Wife! (and Goddess has a husband) — as we’ve been saying here on this website since 1999. Here’s our 2006 God Has a Wife! slideshow for more images of Her…
The moon is the closest it’s been in 69 years and thus is called a SUPER MOON. It actually appears larger, see image.
Be sure to get out, or at least sit by a window and experience her special light. Put some jewelry, talismans, prayer beads, knotted prayer rope or rosary in your windowsill to absorb the light of the super moon.