THE EARTH: The Grace Of Farewell

September 10, 2018

We come home, shut and lock the door, and pull the drapes together. Nature has been shut out. The wind.  The stars.  The rain. It doesn’t matter.  It’s out there. And we are safe inside here. Increasingly, I think that we like to feel separate from nature because we don’t want to listen to her.  We don’t want to know what she teaches us everyday.  We want to be our own men.  We want to determine what happens around us. And we work very, very hard at that.  We construct hospitals to cure everything.  And when something isn’t cured, we blame the doctors. We Must Be In Control Of Our Lives At All Times. But nature doesn’t do this.  Just the opposite, in fact.  Nature gives us a continuous montage [...]

THE EARTH: The Nature Of Dirt

August 12, 2018

It’s funny how the length of time that I have been studying God (62 years) has shaped my mind.  Like water shapes the stone as it runs through the canyon.  A new way, I guess you could say. So as I type up these writings about dirt and soil, on cleanliness, on health, my mind drifts into its own paths of knowledge. And, for me, the concept of dirt really belongs inside our bodies, so to speak.  In our souls. I see a soul as being like a terrarium, when you take a glass container usually used for fish and plant a little garden in it. If we all allowed ourselves to let this metaphor sink in – really sink in – we would have a better time with our lives. This is because one of our greatest barriers in life – barriers to [...]

THE EARTH: The Healing Nature Of Nature

July 21, 2018

Florence Williams begins her book, The Nature Fix, with a very startling story: A middle-aged Japanese business man with a very serious case of cancer decides to go sit in the forest before he turns himself in for treatment. He stays a few months, and when he walks out again, his cancer is gone. The author goes into the chemical affect that cypress has on a body, one, apparently, that changes the nature of cancer cells in the body.  She connects this reality to biophilia: a belief that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life.  In this case, to heal. The book continues as the author travels the world looking at the ways people’s encounters with nature result in physical healing.  [...]

THE EARTH: Creation—The Devil Is In the Details

June 17, 2018

There is a parallel saying to the title of this essay: God is in the details. When God is in the details then he will be revealed through your attention to detail.  Your sacred devotion to your work will return great rewards. But when the devil is in the details, your lack of attention to the work in front of you will result in mistakes, and you will be disappointed in your effort. I’m not using that phrase in the usual way. Instead I’m going on my own path with those words. I’m old.  I get very fatigued when I hear people say things that refer to God, the Father, as one who is aware of every blink of our eyes.  Making God, the Father, out to be someone who sits on his throne able to watch everything at all times at [...]

THE EARTH: Co-Creation

May 29, 2018

When Christianity came along it did one thing: it separated the sea and sky. Or, better perhaps, it separated Heaven from Earth. God, the Father, is in Heaven.  Up there in the wild blue yonder. What is down here on Earth is evil. Because it’s not God. The Father. A real and significant push to overlay this absolute view of God, the Father, onto the ancient Earth-worshiping religions produced very real effects. But whose idea was it, anyway, to make Earth and all that it does not a part of God, The Father? It was God the Father who created Sacred Earth. It was the Holy Spirit who got its inherent wildness under control. Well, under some control at least. The Earth was created to be fecund.  It was designed to go forth and [...]

HOLY SPIRIT: Earth, Wind, And Fire

June 3, 2016

The Indwelling Presence And I have felt A presence that disturbs me with the joy Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime Of something far more deeply interfused, Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, And the round ocean and the living air, And the blue sky, and in the mind of man; A motion and a spirit, that impels All thinking things, all objects of all thought, And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still A lover of the meadows and the woods, And mountains; and of all that we behold From this green Earth; of all the mighty world. (William Wordsworth) We ache to understand our lives.  But where we look for the information we need is in the things around us.  Even in the people we associate with. And, when it is quiet, we want [...]

HUMANITY: Shaping God On Earth

May 13, 2016

We walk around on Earth, bumping into each other and claiming to understand nothing about why we are here or what we are supposed to be doing here. Sometimes we grab onto something, a thought we convince ourselves is a belief in something or an enthusiasm that flashes its appeal at us, and we carry it with us as though it has real meaning. In a way, Christians have it the hardest. We have a book put in our hands and are told, Here, read this. This will tell you everything you need to know to live a holy life. No one actually tells us what is a holy life.  We get a lot on what is not a holy life.  But very little on the is-ness of God on Earth. And so we read the Bible and pretend to “get it.”  We nod our heads at one [...]

A REFLECTION ON LOVE: On Earth As It Is In Heaven

October 26, 2012

Most of the visions of my early childhood were dedicated to seeing God in everything.  It was more than a challenge.  Sometimes it felt torturous.  Trying to wrap my mind around some concepts was hard enough, but seeing them as an expression of God bordered a lot of the time on nearly impossible. But as I aged, I got used to the idea more and more.  I can even say to myself, quietly, when no one is looking, that the AIDS virus is an expression of God.  Death is, after all, in the purview of God.  And AIDS is a means of death. Just a means of death. But, oddly, (not perhaps for me) the one concept in the universe that I never would consider as an expression of God is romantic love.  I would never consider it as an expression of God [...]

GOD 101: On the Marriage Of Heaven And Earth

September 11, 2012

This is a phrase that has dripped into my consciousness lately.  Usually filtered through some larger context of an idea aimed for, but perhaps not quite reached. The Marriage of Heaven and Earth. It all begins, of course, with the concept of romantic love.  I have always smiled benignly when I have read how mystics have thrown open not just their souls but also their hearts to God.  Open themselves up to feel cravings, and satisfyings, the depth of sorrow and the bliss of, well, bliss.  For God. For the air that we breathe, the surging of the ocean, the burning of the forests. I love you, they scream in their words. So I smile.  What else is there for me to do? Thérèse of Lisieux (most definitely NOT one of my favorite mystics) [...]