A friend recently started a Facebook conversation…
How Do You Answer The Question, “Are You Blessed?”
Here is my answer, as a meditation on Easter and understanding the passion story as a lesson in a Believers opportunity to experience Resurrection Life in the Here And Now!
First, this is not about religion. I am not a fan of organized religion except that it may help get people to the place where they graduate to a higher form of relating to God. Religion and Faith are two VERY different things.
Religion generally fails in every incarnation, variation, or variety due to the flaws of men who misunderstand, misinterpret, or corrupt the true teachings of their faith for some personal gain.
Faith is personal, individual, and always learning. I would say most people have faith in something, whether it is themselves, luck, nature, the goodness of the world, the badness of the world, the idea one person may have that they are cursed is even a kind of faith. No matter what one believes, hard times make us stronger, and good fortune is best when shared.
The human spirit tends to grow toward the light, love, and goodness as a person matures. We move toward purification of spirit through every major life event. Even in the “dark nights of the soul”, when trials make us stronger – or when suffering s “the refiners fire burns away flaws to reveal the gold that is within”
I believe we all need some kind of mental construct to make sense out of the things that happen in our lives. The idea that everything that happens is pure coincidence is not acceptable to me. This seems self-evident in nature and in the human experience.
Having studied the origin and progress of human spirituality through the ages, it seems abundantly clear that Egyptian (AFRICAN) spirituality and teachings are the foundation of almost all world religions. This makes sense because we all came out of Africa. Christianity borrows heavily on the parables, wisdom, and teachings of ancient African beliefs.
People have always wanted to believe that their people group, tribe, or nation was special. They want their ‘religion’ to be about them, and their own kind. So that has led to lots of variations. Formal Christianity in the form of Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant and Coptic flavors all depend on a messiah story that was borrowed from AFRICAN spirituality.
African lore has the oldest known story of a virgin birth of a savior to a BLACK Madonna. This story was eventually co-opted to produce a BLACK/ARAB Christ, who has since become pictured by most of the world as an emaciated Caucasian.
BUT JUST TO BE CLEAR:
I don’t like to identify with what the word Christian or Christianity has come to represent in this day and age, in much the same way that the life of Christ taught people to move away from what organized religion had become in his day.
I won’t deny the power of God and love of God that is shown in what I believe to be the story of Christ, which I believe is based on the life of an actual living god-person. Sadly, this story became fossilized in early Christian literature.
The EXACT same Holy Spirit said to have descended on Christ when he was baptized is the EXACT same Holy Spirit that was offered to me as a helper (guardian angel???)
In this knowledge, which is born of faith, have received a gift beyond understanding of acceptance into the family and work of God. I have been given a Spirit of Love that was in Christ. I am become a Christ who is alive and working in the world today to model and teach God’s love as often as I can.
Even if you don’t believe that Christ was an actual person, you can still learn from the stories of Christ – corrupted as they may have been by the aspirations of the early church to create a legend…. These stories still stand as a testament to the wonderful lesson in love, teaching forgiveness, offering a lesson in redemption for self and others through accepting a death of ego, accepting that we sometimes take accusations we don’t deserve, that it doesn’t pay to fight them, that it is good to declare the truth, that we may end up spending time in hell for it, and that we can then experience a resurrection to becoming one who reigns with God in a state of awareness of the holy and constant service toward the highest and best calling of the human spirit.
My faith experience leads me to claim the same ego death and resurrection, even aspiring to and sometimes in my best moments accomplishing a state of deity, living out the power of the being that I was created to be, which is a little “g” god – as can every believer – according to the bible.
Consider the following verses:
I said, “You are gods, And all of you are sons of the Most High.
Even in your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid.
If he called them gods to whom the word of God came–and the Scripture cannot be broken–
Having once been a natural man, I was an ungoverned animal spirit until transformed by grace and study and divine works, arriving at a state of being that is the sainthood and priesthood of all believers…
Later, being gifted again with a nearly incomprehensible filling from the Holy Spirit… I came to know that I was born to become a god – or at least a god-in-the-making whose life and behavior is today, in concert with others who believe, the exact way in which God is present in this world, here-now.
So… all that having been said first… I can share that do believe in a Creative, Generative, Powerful Force for Love which I call God.
For me, God is a pure spirit who is pure being who created us as a mirror images of the one original self. I believe this Creative Force is interested in seeing creation including mankind and womankind – be aware of what is Holy and have an understanding of what is the highest and best and most rewarding thought and behavior in every department of understanding, wisdom, will and desire in order that we all may cooperate with that God in ongoing acts of Creation ( or Co-Creation if you will ).
I am not a lieutenant, nor an emissary, nor an adopted child. I am become grafted into the Tree of Life… Made One with the Creative Power that is I AM. Left Here to Tend The Vineyard While God Goes About Other Business…
BUT – Organized Religion generally, as far as I am concerned, almost always falls short of actually teaching the spiritual growth and maturity that we are capable of. The will to power, control, and exercise of greed and patrimony corrupt the underlying truth of many faiths. Is Easter really about the sunrise breakfast? Or the empty tomb? Must we see and think and believe like the church teaches?
Jesus said, in his time, that the Pharisees were searching the ends of the earth to make disciples, but that their rules made their disciples twice as much a son of hell as they were before… That too is scripture.
So… am I blessed? That was the question after all…. Now I Can Answer
There are times that it is hard to maintain an attitude of gratitude in this world. But when the dark cloud or blind spot passes, and I find that having survived something that might have killed my person or broken mind or spirit, It becomes clear truth that there is a power inside me greater than my own. So, knowing this, YES, I AM BLESSED. Far more Than blessed!
With God, I can say I AM HOLY – And So Can You.
I think it would be sad to have to try to deal with life thinking everything was random, coincidental, and only having the animal powers and thoughts that occur without achieving a higher awareness of ones place in the grand plan of of a Loving God.
May You Gain A Deeper Knowledge And Ability To Live The Resurrection Life And Enjoy Fellowship (Oneness) With The God Inside & The God Beside…
OK – I’m DONE…
(I guess some form of heavy thinking is a mixed blessing that comes from too many grad school philosophy classes and research papers lately.. lol – but it does seem to me that this is a huge question and deserves a well thought out answer from each living person. This small novel is my answer : )