Chapter four ended with a question “Is Christianity about requirements? Here’s what you must do to be saved. Or is Christianity about relationship and transformation? Here is the path follow it.”
We touched on this question just as the evening ended, but did not get a chance to fully discuss it. Thinking about it today I was thinking that my big problem with a God of requirement is then God becomes a God with an ego. Requirements mean that there is judgment. Examining my mind I discovered all judgments come from, fear and a feeling that I am lacking in some way, they all come from my egoic mind. It is ridiculous to think of a God that feels fear or a lacking or has an ego. When within my spiritual self it is all about love. When being in connection with God and all living things love truly is without requirements.
If anyone is reading the blog these days you will notice that I have been writing less and less this is partly because there has been less and less of a response, but mostly because I am finding it more difficult to find other reading materials or personal stories that relate to what we are reading. Heart of Christianity is more intellectual/academic unlike Tolle who is more philosophical/psychological.
Great discussion last night and so civilized. I am not sure what I can add to the evening’s discussion, we discussed all the sections I had highlighted. I am a big fan of Aldous Huxley and I often return to The Perennial philosophy when looking for inspiration. I remembered he had written something on faith so I looked it up this morning, and was surprised that he was basically saying the same thing as Borg by describing the four different types of faith. It was interesting because it was so similar, but also so similar it is not worth repeating. Then I came across something totally unrelated but I thought interesting. Throughout the book Huxley writes about 1944 society as if he was writing about present 2014.
I have already read this chapter, a couple of times, but plan to read it a third. It is one of those chapters that you could read over and over and always get something out of it. A coupe of weeks ago I wrote about the different faiths that Marcus Borg discusses and the importance each faith had for me when I was worried about my health. I still have problems with faith as belief and look forward to what others have to say about it next week.
For those who were not at the group last night it was decided that we would read The Heart of Christianity – If you can please read the first chapter by Jan 6th. I am very excited when Anne suggested reading this book. I have mentioned it a couple of times in the blog. It had a huge impact on me when I first read it and is one of the reasons I so like EHP. I hope everyone has a great holiday.
I am so thankful to Anne for suggesting I get baptized during the Monday night group. I am so grateful to Anne for the baptism she gave me. I have seen a number of baptisms, but I have never witnessed a baptism as beautiful as the one I had. I had something planned that I wanted to say, but I was so moved by the experience what I had written did not seem important anymore. Sometimes there are no words for the depth of what we feel within.
But a very kind and loving debate. I think it is wonderful that the group can debate, as we do, yet always with mutual respect, acceptance and understanding. There are not many groups were the ego would not take over, especially when discussing things so personal.
We can do it all over again next Monday night, but this time with the Cat. The Inner Purpose is so important it deserves two weeks and the Cat to guide us.
There was a lot of open sharing at last night’s reading group. As Rob2 said, opening oneself up and showing your vulnerability brings the group together; compassion and loving kindness flow.
The conversation moved naturally from the review of what the book has to say about stillness, feeling the presence of God and the remedial effect that can have, toward the kind of situations where it is very difficult to be at peace; where in fact, something the very opposite of peace, something more like active intervention, is called for.
Still from Ingmar Bergman’s 1972 film Cries and Whispers
The conversation focused for a time on how we cope with perceived injuries and the particularly excruciating challenges of dependent children who can’t seem to find their way to adulthood and self-reliance. How are we to cope with the anger we feel when others break their promises to us, or the worry and frustration we feel when children seem never to be able to leave the nest? Continue reading
This weeks exercise is to consciously allow the diminishment of the ego when it happens without attempting to restore it. Meaning if someone criticizes, do not try and repair your hurt through the usual defense and
I felt like we did not really finish our discussion on labeling last night, So I have a question about it, What do you feel are the dangers of labeling others, ourselves or by someone labeling us?
Thank you to Rob2 for suggesting that the website homepage slideshow include a picture of the Toby Dancer stained glass window. In my mind, there’s probably not a better representation in the building of the radically welcoming Spirit at work at EHP. Continue reading