Jesus is Love

By: Woodrow Lucas

If you’re looking for the real Jesus don’t just look in the Gospels.  Jesus was beautiful in the Gospels,  but he was not yet perfected in the Gospels.  If you’re looking for the real Jesus, open your heart to love, and then imagine the most loving person you can imagine and then look up to the sky and say, “Jesus please show me the real you.”  For Jesus is pure love in human form.  1 Corinthians 13 closely approximates the real Jesus, but this Pericope below which is a combination of 1 Corinthians 13 and original thought also approximates him to some degree.

 

Jesus is love.  Jesus loves you more than you love your self.  Jesus receives your worship and praise, not because he needs it, but because he knows that it is what you are created to do.  Jesus judges nothing about you, but he loves you exactly as you are.  Jesus will correct you, but it is always for your good.  Jesus knows all things.  Jesus believes all things.  Jesus believes in you more than you believe in yourself.  Jesus always serves.  Jesus always protects.  Jesus enjoys religions and viewpoints that do not believe in him as Lord and Savior, as he loves diversity and is not intimidated by those who do not see him in his fullness.  Jesus loves all creation.  Jesus redeems all things.  Jesus comforts all people.  Jesus rejoices not in suffering, but Jesus rejoices in your joy.  Jesus always reminds you of the best about yourself.  Jesus always understands . Jesus never fails.  Jesus will ensure that you make it to eternal wholeness and happiness.  Jesus died and rose to guarantee you an eventual place of rest with God.  Jesus is Love.

Storms

By: Woodrow Odom Lucas

Storms exhilarate us,

Storms terrify us,

Storms can change a life in so many ways,

Storms can destroy years of work,

Storms can bring much needed rain,

Storms enthrall us as we revel in the sounds and sights of motion,

Storms set us aflame with deliverance,

Storms recalibrate our sensibilities,

There is a storm coming,

A storm of charity and peace,

A storm of justice and mercy,

A storm of truth and enlightenment,

A storm of awakening and recompense,

A storm of forgiveness and amends made,

A storm of technological innovation,

A storm of science and faith coming together as the partners they were intended to be,

A storm of awareness of all the dimensions that surround us,

A storm of explosive creativity and ingenuity,

A storm that evolves the face of humankind,

And reveals its Savior like never before.

Selah

The Conundrum of for Profit Healthcare

By: Woodrow Odom Lucas

There was a point in my life when I thought that capitalism was the source of all of the pain in the world.  I would castigate family members as greedy hoarders of wealth.  I would quote pro socialist and pro-communist literature.  I would tout appropriate bible verses such as Paul’s avowal that “The Love of Money is the root of all evil”.  But as I have aged, I have very much softened on the idea of Capitalism and its ills.  And really now believe  that some hybrid economic system which blends the ambition of for profit creativity with a social welfare state that tends to individuals who have more difficulty thriving in free market enclaves .

 

However, when it comes to Healthcare, I often feel the “pro Fidel Castro” side of my personality vying for dominance over my greater moderation.  So tonight I thought that I would explore with you, just what my misgivings are surrounding what I term, “The For Profit Healthcare Imperative.”  As I journey through and out of severe and persistent mental illness many of my favorite providers charge me for their services.  And I have no problem with them charging me for their services as I believe they do impeccable work and deserve to be remunerated for that work.  Similarly, I have no problem with people getting rich, and hope to one day be one of them.  It doesn’t cause me any pangs of anger or outrage when I see Louis Hay a billionaire, or Joel Osteen as a multimillionaire.  I believe that these people of faith and healing are popular because their messages create joy and healing, and that popularity makes them rich through the sale of books and the preponderance of speaking engagements that they receive.

 

But I think that something is devastatingly wrong when hospitals intentionally keep people sick, just so they can have a higher census.  I think something is radically awry, when pharmaceutical companies create subpar products which will not alleviate symptoms as much as others they have tested because of the higher profits they will yield with the less helpful meds.  I just spent 2 years working in for profit healthcare, and while the people were very nice, it often felt like we were selling cars instead of trying to bring people to a state of health and wellness.  I think that really is one of the big misnomers about for profit healthcare; this idea that you can run a healthcare company in the same way that you run a real estate firm or an antique business when PEOPLE’S LIVES AND QUALITY OF LIFE ARE AT STAKE.

 

If you run a health care company and you do not prioritize people’s health and wellness over your profit margin, you will invariably end up sacrificing people’s wellbeing for your bottom line.  But the really unfortunate irony of for profit healthcare, is that if you do as you ought and prioritize people’s health and wellness over your profit margin, you will very likely go out of business.  And so now we see that “The For Profit Imperative” in healthcare creates a system of winners who are providing subpar care to patients and clients and losers who are providing excellent care but who can compete with those who are doing unethical things for the sake of profit.

 

EF Shumaker wrote a book entitled “Small is Beautiful.”  Perhaps the problem in the “For Profit Imperative” scenario is the same as the problem in de facto free market competition.  When unregulated entities become too large, they begin to dominate the industry often with problematic business practices, whereas smaller more excellence driven providers are too small to generate the kinds of economies of scale to stay competitive.

 

So what’s my solution?  Well one solution may be to force all healthcare initiatives to operate as 501-C3’s consequently negating the kind of wall street graft that can enter in when they become a publicly traded company and also keeping operating profit as a priority that is clearly below successful healing and health and wellness.  And so here is my take home.  Healthcare is a vastly different industry than real estate, or automobiles, or utilities because people’s suffering and recovery from that suffering is sacred and should always be prioritized above any sort of fiscal bottom line.  And a free market economy that rewards company’s for prioritizing health and wellness over profit will be a free market society of healthy people, but a free market economy that rewards prioritizing profit over health and wellness will be a society with a quality of life index similar to a 3rd world nation, which is exactly the scenario in the United States.

 

Namaste and God Bless!! Woody

A Note on New Year’s Eve

A Note on New Year’s Eve

Many times in life, we take for granted the simple processes that God has set in motion in our bodies.  Things like breathing, falling to sleep, resting in our minds, waking up, and moving our bodies come easily to most of us in our youth and so we tend to take these things for granted.  But when illness arises and these processes become less automatic, then we begin to see just how fragile we are as beings and just how fragile our consciousness can be in the cosmic schema.

In consideration of our apparent fragility, even in the face of the paradox that our spirits are indestructible, time is something that we need to consider as a formidable ally.  In truth, time is merely a construct of relative motion.  Our days are a function of the earth spinning on its axis one time.  Our years are a function of the earth revolving around the sun one time.  But it is my belief that this construct is so vital to our earthly lives and our enduring sanity that God not only honors it but has given it to us as a gift. No matter how arbitrary or random our holidays or measures of time may seem, it is important to remember that God honors them.  God honors the winter solstice.  God honors Kwanza.  God honors Christmas.  God honors Hanukkah.  God honors Halloween.  No matter what the celebration, no matter how idiotic the purpose of the celebration may seem, you can trust that God honors our attempts to mark the passing of time with celebration and to give ourselves opportunities to pass from one phase of life to another.

So as the New Year approaches, consider with joy, that God honors this idea of personal resurrection that we have termed “the New Year’s resolution.”  So as the New Year approaches, consider with joy, that God really might do something spectacular for you as you pass from one year, 2014, into the next, 2015.  As the New Year approaches, consider with joy, that the passing from 2014 to 2015 might just be the most miraculous and painless rite of passage that you have ever experienced and that 2015 might just be the year that all your dreams come true.  Be Blessed and Enjoy!!!! Woody

Jesus the Christ an End to Karma

By:  Woodrow Odom Lucas

Some believe that Karma and Reincarnation are perverse concepts that cannot cohere with the notion that Jesus is our Lord and Savior.  But I, a Christian, believe in Karma and reincarnation too.  I believe that many souls come back to the earth sometimes as many as several thousand times before they learn the lessons necessary to escape karma, the law of sowing and reaping, and move out into the heavenly and cosmic bliss.  The bible confirms the notion of reincarnation in a couple places.  Implicitly, in Jude wherein Jude is talking about false prophets and says, “for certain intruders have stolen in among you, people who long ago were designated for this condemnation as ungodly, who pervert the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” Jude goes on to say that these false prophets were foaming out their own shame, which implies that they had lived shameful lifetimes in the past which they are now working out.   And then the bible explicitly supports the notion of reincarnation, in Matthew 17:12 where Jesus refers to John the Baptist as Elijah reincarnated and says, “but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but they did to him whatever they pleased.”

The bible implicitly confirms the notion of Karma wherein Paul says in Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.”  Now I believe  that several sages from non-Christian religions have transcended karma through devotion, renunciation, or some other path.  But these people are definitely in the minority.  This is why Jesus says in Matthew 7:14 “For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  Now some Christians believe that in Matthew 7:14, Jesus is referring to the “narrow few” who find Jesus and give their lives to him, but this could not be talking about salvation through Jesus, because in most cases Jesus finds us through a preacher or a movie or a revelation that moves us to give our lives to him, we do not find Jesus.  Did Jesus not say in Matthew 18:12 that he is willing to leave the ninety nine to find the one lost sheep?  And did not Paul say in Romans 10:14, “But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him?” If we need a proclamation by another to bring us to saving faith in Jesus, then how could we be searching for Jesus before this happens?  How can we search for a name or a character with whom we are not yet familiar?   No in Matthew 7:14, Jesus is talking about the few wise master souls who have learned throughout the ages to transcend Karma without explicit faith in Christ.

Karma is a construct created by God to eventually be transcended just by us living life, from one life time to another and learning the lessons therein.  But I believe that this takes so long in most cases that many Eastern sages are spot on when they refer to the process as Samsara or in some definitions, “ignorant suffering.”     Now some replace the notion of reincarnation and karma as the way in which God executes his/her justice on the earth with the notion of eternal hell.  Some believe that we are so wicked as human beings that we all deserve to be in a state of torment for eternity and that the only way to be freed from this deserved punishment is receiving what Jesus Christ did for all of us on the cross into our souls and declaring him as Lord and Savior.  In us declaring Jesus as Lord and Savior and receiving his act of atonement on the cross we become free from the just punishment of eternal suffering and are freed to live lives of sacrifice, mercy, compassion, and victory.  I view this eternal hell notion to be problematic because it is too extreme a point of view.  Human beings are neither totally evil nor totally good, we are always some mixture of the two.  And our works are not totally evil or totally good, they are always some mixture of the two.  So to claim that we all deserve the exact same penalty, based on the exact same anatomy, living itself out in perfect disobedience errs on the side of extremism and does not aspire to Paul’s advice in Philippians 4:5 to let our moderation be known unto all men.  The only way that a human being could deserve eternal suffering is if they sowed eternal suffering, and because no human being has ever lived long enough to sow eternal suffering it is impossible for any human being to reap eternal suffering.  Even if one was to extrapolate in such a way as to say that perhaps one person sowed suffering in another person, and then that person in turn sowed suffering to another person, and then that person to someone else, even if we say that one person caused enough suffering to last several billion lifetimes, it would still be a limited amount of suffering that they had coming to them and would consequently not be eternal.

Now there is another version of the eternal hell point of view which depicts human beings as the victims of a cosmic struggle between God and the devil, in which we all unfortunately “belong” to the devil and so unless we give our lives to Jesus and allow him to “save” us from the devil’s bondage we will have to suffer eternity in the merciless torments that the devil conceives for us.  I believe that this point of view is delusional.  If the devil were truly in charge of the earth and the cosmos, things would be much worse.  A child would not be able to leave their house unless armed with a gun to fend off murderers and rapists. And while there are enclaves of experience on the earth that are actually this dismal, devastated circumstances like these are not in the majority but rather the minority.

So, again I believe that Karma and Reincarnation are much more subtle and accurate ways to understand God’s justice in our lives than the eternal hell/eternal heaven dichotomy.  This is not to say however that I do not believe in hell.  I believe that hell is a place and/or consciousness of torment that people enter into both during and after their earthly life times.  I believe that there are various reasons why people suffer hell. Jesus suffered hell to save us all.  Some suffer hell as a learning process.  Some suffer hell because the devil deceives them into it.  Some suffer hell because other human beings impose it on them.  Some may suffer hell because they died violently.  But the truth about hell is that number one, it rarely conforms to an exact system of justice, number two, it always eventually works toward our good, and number three, IT IS ALWAYS TEMPORARY AND NEVER ETERNAL!!!

Now in this discussion, I have asserted that Karma and Reincarnation are very real manifestations of reality, that hell is a very real but temporary manifestation of reality, and that eternal hell is an ultimately useless delusion.  But the title of this discussion, is “Jesus the Christ an end to Karma.” In the book, Autobiography of a Yogi, many of the gurus in Yogananda’s account would take on the “Karma” of their devotees to accelerate the process of their devotees’ liberation.  What if we all had a “Grand Guru” or a “Grand Master Soul” an “Ancient of Days” who helped to create us and knows us better than we know ourselves.  Now what if this, “Son of Man,” saw our suffering as we kept living the same mistakes over and over again, lifetime  after lifetime.  And what if this “Mediator between God and Man” decided to become born among us, a being like no other, a little lower than the angels, in the form of a servant.  And what if he through the strength of his character was able to bear all of the karmic justice that had been generated or would ever be generated?   And that after bearing that karmic justice in his life and on a cross on which he was sacrificed, he mastered this karmic justice, so that through belief in him one could transition from the system of karma and reincarnation to the system of abundant life through Christ?  What if these questions that I am asking, are really statements of truth?  What if Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that through him we can transcend the law, Karma, and operate in the Mother’s/Father’s unconditional mercy and grace at all times?

It is my supposition, that Jesus can free us from the law of karma to inherit supernatural mercy and show supernatural mercy and to inherit supernatural grace and show supernatural grace.  Jesus is our way out of samsara.  And even with him as our Lord and with him as our new system of justice, the journey will not always be easy.  And given the implications of Matthew 6:22 there is a slight chance that even with Jesus as our chosen guide and Savior we might have to live more than one lifetime.  But I believe that Jesus is not just a better way, he is the best way, and I would choose him over the exact justice of Karma anytime.  Thank you Lord Jesus for your saving sacrifice on the cross and your victorious resurrection from the grave.  Please save every last one of us in such a way that we surrender our lives to you instead of trying to do it all by ourselves.  We need you Jesus and Karma proves that is almost impossible for us to do it by ourselves.  Give us your Grace Lord Christ!! Give us your Grace!!!!

 

Adam and Eve – The Dangers of Pride and Extremism

Genesis 2:16 – And the Lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”

The Genesis story surrounding the way in which Adam and Eve, the first people, were deceived into eating fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and were subsequently cast out of the garden is one of the most fascinating accounts of our origins in the history of sacred sharing.  In this blog post, I offer a subtly novel interpretation of what happened in this Adam and Eve account.

The age old question concerning the literal validity of the Adam and Eve account is ostensibly, “If Adam and Eve were the only two people in existence at the dawn of creation, who did their children marry as they sought to create offspring?”  Personally, while I believe that it is possible that God created other human beings after Adam and Eve in some other context to be the partners for their children, I give a lot of credence to suspicions which this question creates regarding Adam’s and Eve’s literal identities, especially when one considers the first part of the Genesis account in which it states that “So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”  I tend to believe that Adam and Eve were more likely metaphoric archetypes for perhaps entire cycles of human experience, wherein highly advanced civilizations rose and fell, than they were two actual human beings, but I believe  that the “lesson” of the fall is the same whether Adam and Eve were allegorical or literal.

Now there are several components to the story of Adam and Eve which are widely accepted across theological and religious substratum.  For instance, both Eve and Adam thought that Knowledge (human observation, technological advancement, human prowess without the assistance of God) was a way through which they could bypass the “trust” necessary to inherit eternal life as exemplified by “the tree of life.”  So in a sense, Adam and Eve like many of us did not actually want the easy path to life of simply trusting in and obeying God and thus asking their Savior if they could eat of the tree of life, but rather Adam and Eve thought that in and of themselves through this “fruit of the knowledge of Good and Evil” they could conceive of a scaffolding of their own creation through which they could make their own narcissistic climb toward divinity.  Adam and Eve were assisted in this self-aggrandizing delusion by “the serpent” who could have been indicative of a very intelligent race of dinosaur or reptile at the time, or “the devil” of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish mythology.  Most Muslims, Jews, and Christians would concur that it was Adam and Eve’s pride to be like God without God that brought about their disobedience and subsequent fall into shame and banishment.

I agree with all of the more common interpretations that Adam and Eve as “metaphoric archetypes” did in fact fall prey to pride and that pride came before the fall.  But I am not sure that God banished them from the Garden simply as a function of God’s instinct to punish as a consequence for disobedience.  Rather, I believe that Adam and Eve or to put it more literally the society that Adam and Eve allegorically describe experienced the punishments of the fall, namely death, toil in childbirth, and angst in tilling the soil as an ontological consequence not of their disobedience but rather as a consequence of the content of the fruit which they ingested.  In a phrase, God was not lying when he told Adam and Eve that they would perish if they ate of the fruit, whereas the serpent was lying when she told Adam and Eve that if they ate of the fruit they would become like God.

So what was in this fruit?   What was in this fruit of the knowledge of Good and Evil that was so toxic to the soul?  We all know that having a healthy understanding of what is healthy and unhealthy, beautiful and ugly, kind and mean spirited is good for constitutive mental health.  So what could be so toxic about “the knowledge of Good and Evil?”  It is my belief, that the society which Adam and Eve reflected was a very nascent and infantile society in the schema of creative evolution and that while the tree of life which came from trust in God was healthy milk for the infant, the knowledge of Good and Evil was much too complicated a source of nourishment for such an infantile society.  For the continuum of Good and Evil is not some two dimensional set of contrasts like black or white, or tall or short, but it is an infinitely complicated undertaking of discernment which involves infinite dimensions of being.  For instant, if one individual sees a person who is caring for their children with deep kindness and compassion at 4pm, that individual would say that said person is obviously good.  But if another individual sees that same person at 1am the next morning trying to date rape an under age minor at a “gentlemen’s social club” in Arkansas, the second individual would in no uncertain terms declare that the same person was inoperably evil.  Which person would be right?  How many of us personify great good and great evil in the same work day where one minute we are working diligently, the next minute we are defending people the company is exploiting, and yet then in the next minute we are gossiping about the divorcee in the cubicle down from us about the black eye which she got from her ex-husband the night before.   The knowledge of Good and Evil is a real substance, but it is a substance that it takes eons to truly grasp and the society of Adam and Eve could not handle such that knowledge even more than we can, when we assume that we can grasp it absolutely.

So we know that there were at least three consequences of this “forbidden fruit” for the society of Adam and Eve and these were: 1) Death 2) Toil in Childbirth 3) Angst in caring for the earth and farming it for food.  In this blog post, I suppose , that there was at least a fourth consequence which undergirds and coheres the three other consequence, and this consequence is the “delusion of extreme  thinking.”

I will examine the notion of extreme thinking first in reference to the three initial consequences.  First I will approach Death.  Death truly is a disease of the mind, as Jesus said that “the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy but I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly.”  The extreme mind sees life as either in existence or out of existence as part of some horrific dichotomy of being.  The moderate mind realizes that death is merely a transition from one dimension of being to another, and once the moderate mind masters this idea then the moderate mind is able to move from dimension to dimension without the pain and horror of earthly decay.  Second, I will examine  toil in childbirth.  In order for childbirth to be painful one must believe in the extreme supposition that all we are is our bodies and that there is nothing else to us.  So that having one body come out of an already existent body must be painful, because there is no mediating agent.  The moderate mind realizes that there is much more to us than what the eyes can easily see and so the other dimensions of who we are can mitigate the pain that what we see in the dilation of the cervix must cause to an extreme consciousness.  Third, let me explore the notion of “pain and toil” in tilling the earth.  The extreme mind sees us as separate from the earth so there is an us them dichotomy of us over and against the earth.  Whereas the moderate mind, realizes that we are only separate from the earth in certain senses and that we are much more one with the earth than we are separate from it.  Once the moderate mind begins to master our harmony and oneness with the earth, then tilling the soil is no longer as difficult or painstaking.

To further elaborate on the pernicious effects of extreme thinking, I will explore 5 age old questions:

This is the first question:

“Is our world objective as in a function of something outside of all of us or is our world subjective as in a function of our thoughts, faith, trust in love, etc?”

Many individuals believe that the world is purely objective and is a function of visible matter which we can understand and negotiate through the five senses, whereas others like Deepak Chopra or  Helen Schucman the author of “A Course in Miracles” might say that our world is purely subjective and that belief 100% dictates the reality of what we experience.  In my opinion, this question is an example of extreme thinking at work.  There are obvious times when our life feels very objective, for instance if someone hits us with a car and we become paralyzed from the waste down.  But then perhaps, the subjectivity of this experience enters in when after we have been told that we are paralyzed, we realize that our spirit can reorganize our matter to a point of healing and we “heal” ourselves of the paralysis.

This is the second question:

“Is any religion evil while any other religion is good?

The idea that Jesus is Lord and the comments that the Christian scriptures make about all who don’t confess him as Lord and Savior going to eternal hell, creates a natural tendency among those of us who believe in him to use him as a litmus test for good and evil religion, as in all religions who claim that he is Lord are good and all of those who do not are evil.  On the other hand, given all of the atrocities which have been committed in the name of Jesus by Christians in recent centuries, many people of non- Christian religions reverse that dichotomy and claim that all Christian religions are evil religions of dominion and all non-Christian religions are equally good reflections of the Divine.  All of these false dichotomies are examples of extremist thinking, whereas the moderate mind realizes that in every religion there is truth and falsehood, perhaps in varying degrees, but still at least some percentage of truth and falsehood and never an absolute attribution of evil or good.

Will humanity ever be easily categorized into “good” and “evil” enough that there will be a “grand” apocalyptic war of good against evil at the end of all things?

This question is a great example of extremist thinking.  At face value it seems to merit our allegiance, as it has seemed that humanity has studied war more than peace.  But in order for there to be a “FINAL” war of the good versus the evil and for this to somehow usher in some final age, the war cannot be some combination of evil and good people fighting against some other combination of evil and good people, the just side having perhaps a little more good than evil, instead this war  must have a scenario where all of the evil people all get onto one side and all of the good people all get onto another.  This is impossible for two reasons.  First of all, no person is fully good or fully evil every person is a combination of evil and good.  So at best this final war would be a war of people who are mostly good against people who are mostly evil.  But what are the chances that all of the mostly good people on this planet would gather together against all of the mostly evil people?  Mostly evil people usually hate other mostly evil people and so it is highly unlikely that they would be able to cooperate long enough to fight against the mostly good.  Similarly, mostly good people are often non-violent, so what would motivate them to fight at all?  Lastly the delusions of difference like race, or greed, or the destruction of the environment that Maya has used to deceive human beings into war, usually entails the mostly evil deceiving a mixture of people who are just easily deceived and never entail the evil combining forces against the good.  Similarly, the mostly good are usually divided against each other by some delusion of political adherence or religious orientation, so they are unlikely to unite either.  The idea of a grand apocalypse is obviously a result of extremist thinking.  The moderate mind realizes that God is much more likely to redeem all human beings into a state of heaven on earth than he is to create some grand final conflict which would force him to make evil people even more evil and good people more good and yet still willing to fight violently.

The story of Adam and Eve when viewed as allegorical metaphor suggests that it is possible that we as a humanity have existed in advanced states before on this planet and that what destroyed us was two things, number one our pride to think that we could become like God without God and number two our willingness to operate in the reptilian mindset of “extremist dichotomy.”  Peter tells Christians to let their moderation be known unto all men.  Let us all embrace moderation, balance, and subtlety not just in our actions but in our thoughts, our perceptions, and the way in which we embrace the world.

Namaste and God Bless You!!

Woodrow Lucas

We All Believe in Jesus

We All Believe in Jesus

In the earthly realm we can become obsessed with the ideas of identity, separation, distinction, and uniqueness.  We often hate and persecute each other based on these four concepts.  But in the heavenly dimensions, the higher dimensions, which encompass this dimension but which also go beyond it I do not believe that they define the ideas of identity, separation, distinction, and uniqueness in the way that we do, I believe that although the realities of identity, separation, distinction, and uniqueness exist in the heavenly realms, they are much more fluid and beautiful and profound than we have come to understand them and operate in them on the earth.

Now, that being said, I still believe in Jesus as truly unique among beings.  I believe in him as more than a master soul and yet he was a master soul.  I believe in him as more than a prophet, and yet he was a prophet.  I believe in him as more than a social activist and yet he was a social activist.  In truth, I do not believe that he is any in way separate from the Mother-Father who sent him, or the Holy Spirit that testifies of him and yet though he is not separate from these entities, he is still in some sublime mystery very much distinct and unique from them and still very much retains the identity which he had as the Creator of our universe, the man who lived and made mistakes among us, the man who died so that all of us could know wholeness, and the man who ascended to heaven in his earthly body.  Now many great men and women have ascended to heaven in their earthly bodies from every culture in the world.  And many great men and women have done profound miracles and have learned to do incredible things with their bodies such as teleport, heal at will, speak telepathically, create material things out of the ether, levitate, affect the weather, create life, move objects without touching them to name a few, and most importantly rightly prioritize the ego so as to become living embodiments of love and awareness.  But still, I do not believe that any of these incredible souls are like Jesus.  Jesus is something so profound that he defies description and yet he embraces any loving description of him.

And yet, there are times in my life when I have been confused about how great souls like Ghandi, Babaji, Black Elk, and so many other women and men who learned the ways of love to accomplish profound feats on this planet could have done so without esteeming Jesus with the esteem that I have for him.  But every time I lack understanding concerning this, God reminds me, “My son you are on the earth and the earth is a place of polarities and extremes sometimes.  It can very easily become a place of rigid good and evil, strict and unmerciful right and wrong, prejudiced and unjust black and white, archaic and unenlightened high and low, and cruel and imbalanced rich and poor.  Look beyond the polarities and extremes that you see my son, and it is there that you will obtain the understanding that you are looking for. “

And so to understand how others can seem to know Jesus much better than me without having the esteem that I have for him, the metaphor of a ruler comes to my mind.  Measurement is one of God’s greatest gifts to us, as are science, and observation, and technology, and human thought and understanding.  There is no reason to juxtapose science, observation, technology, and the beauty of human science against God, as all of these are gifts from God.  No matter what culture or history they derive from, they are always gifts from God.  The problems begin when we begin to lose a sense of priority concerning these gifts.  If we begin to prioritize science and observation over God, then we truly begin to go into the condition of functional insanity wherein we are worshipping a gift as our solution as though it can ever be a true solution when separated from the one who gave us this gift.  It is the same thing with our anatomy.  All human beings are divine beings who possess several things to include but not limited to an ego, a self, a soul, a spirit, and a body with organs, cells, chakras, meridians, and countless other components.  But if we began to prioritize our consciousness such that our self or our ego have higher priority than God or our spirits then again we begin to have problems.  There is nothing wrong with our ego or our self, these things just must be rightly prioritized.

So again, the ruler, a beautiful symbol of the incredible science that we have begun to develop is how I understand the phenomenon of individuals who seem to master their souls far beyond my current mastery without esteeming Jesus as highly as I do.  The ruler is a measurement of the unit measure of a foot and is comprised of 12 smaller measurements termed inches.  Now you know how close you are coming to the full measure of a foot, by how many inches you traverse along the face of the ruler.  If you traverse 3 inches then you have traveled one fourth the way to your destination and so on and so forth.  It is the same thing with esteem for Jesus.  The extremes of “I believe in Jesus or I do not believe in Jesus” are inappropriate polarities that will often bring confusion.  Rather it is in the measurement of the ruler that we begin to understand.  Some people do not believe that Jesus existed, but may view him as a nice idea, I would say that these individuals have a belief in Jesus measurement of about a `1.  Some people believe that he was a really nice guy but not really much special to him, I would give these people a belief in Jesus measurement of a 2.  Some people believe that Jesus was a great soul who God sent to show us what the human soul could accomplish, I would give these people a Jesus measure of maybe an 8.  And some people believe in Jesus as the Son of God who was, who is, and who is to come I would give these people a belief measure of about a 10.  I believe that perhaps to get a belief measure of a 12, you would have to know so many things about Jesus that you might have to have travelled to heavenly realms before you could know enough to get a 12.

Now these belief measures are only measures of belief in Jesus, they are not measures of goodness or maturity or loving inclination.  But these measures demonstrate that just because someone does not view Jesus as the Son of God does not mean that they don’t believe in Jesus.  Similarly, I believe that many souls are so on fire for love, that it does not take much belief in Jesus for them to become and do extraordinary things.  I think that for some souls, just believing in the idea of love will enable them to accomplish a lot.  So now extrapolating to more general understandings, WE ALL ON SOME LEVEL BELIEVE IN JESUS.  If you believe in the beauty of love, then in some way you also believe in Jesus because Jesus personified love. If you believe in justice, then because Jesus invented Justice you believe in Jesus.  If you believe in the beauty of a mother breast feeding her baby, then you too believe in Jesus.  WE ALL BELIEVE IN JESUS.

All of this being said, I still believe that there is something really special about confessing Jesus as Lord and Savior, reveling in the beauty of his sacrifice on the cross, embracing his resurrection from the dead and his subsequent ascension back into heavenly realms, and giving everything that you are back to him, the author and finisher of your faith.  I do not believe that giving your life to Jesus makes you better than anyone else, because there are too many dimensions of good and evil that comprise us to really ever get a good gauge of who is better than who.  I do not believe that giving your life to Jesus saves you from eternal hell, because I believe that eternal hell is a pernicious delusion that stems in part from our reptilian tendency to theorize and imagine over linearized extremes instead of God’s beautiful multidimensional moderation.  I do not believe that giving your life to Jesus assures an easy life, because although receiving his cross heals you and protects you from a great many things, you might be chosen by God to endure a cross so that others do not have to.  But I do believe that giving your life to Jesus, gives you a journey in life that is so unique and tremendously beautifully that when you finish it, you will be glad that you took it.  And lastly, I truly believe that there is something so unique to Jesus as our creator and God who is both one with and distinct from his creator and God that we will all come to one day know him in the fullness of who he is.  So if you are an atheist and you are convinced that there is nothing at all out there save what you can see, just rest assured that someone loves you whether you know them or not, and just accept that if you have ever wondered at the beauty of a sunset, then you too believe in Jesus.

God Bless and Love Always,

Woody Lucas

He Was A Man

He Was a Man

When I was a young minister, I came across a man who was addicted to alcohol who was living on the streets.

The man said with a slur in his voice, “Hell is just a disinfesting place!!!”

As I have told several people over the years, this man’s proclamation forever changed the landscape of my consciousness.

He set in motion a profound transition from believing in eternal hell to believing in Universal Reconciliation.

But what was his reward?

He must have walked in the prophetic, just like I do,

He must have had a loving heart, just like I have.

He must have been destined for greatness, just like I am.

So why when he, an older African American Male who was obviously going through tribulations and trials, made his avowal did I not run to him and grab him and begin to pray that whatever the enemy was doing to derail his destiny be reversed and he be lifted high up on a hill so that men might see his good works and glorify their father in heaven?

Why, all of these years, when I have told the story of this man, have I treated him like a prop or a supporting character in my story rather than a man of his own, with his own hopes, dreams, and aspirations?

I remember reading the way in which Yogananda would sometimes talk about Indian Peasants in Autobiography of a Yogi, it was in this similar manner as if they were props or supporting characters in some grand Yogi’s story rather than women and men with their own hopes, dreams, and aspirations.

Or have you ever noticed the way that the people who were healed by Jesus in the Gospels were rarely given names, they were often just “a blind man” or “a demoniac” or “a lame man” as if they were little more than props in the story that the disciples were telling about Jesus and themselves,

But right now I assert to you that that man that I met was a man!

He was a man with a destiny and the prophetic anointing to see beyond eternal hell and show me a more excellent way!!!!

And so now I pray, “Lord God, please forgive me for all of the people that I have treated like props or supporting characters in my story.  Please help me to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that every homeless man or woman I bless has a name and a life and a destiny and a story and an anointing, help me to see them Lord God!! Help me to truly see them!!! And Savior please bless that man who changed my life so many years ago, please heal him of all that ails him, please set him high on a mountain of ease and comfort and joy and happiness, please bring him abundance, and please restore him in every way, that I may meet him again, high and lifted up above all humiliation and shame, and I may glorify my Father in heaven!

The Power of the Son

Some folks point to the cross as Jesus’ crowning achievement, as though the cross legitimized him or validated his claim to be the only Son of God and the Messiah of humanity.  In reality, it was the fact that Jesus’ was the indisputable Son of God that gave the cross its significance.  Thousands of oppressed people throughout the Roman Empire had been crucified during Jesus’ lifetime.  What made Jesus’ sacrifice so special was not that he died in a violent or humiliating way, as thousands of other human beings had done.  Rather it was the fact that the oldest Divine Being in existence save The Father in heaven and The Holy Spirit was humble enough to not only live as an infantile human being, but he was willing to be humiliated by one of the most cruel agents of torture and control in history.  And he did this so that he could transform it into an agent of healing for the planet.  When a person ponders the cross of Jesus with true humility and gratitude, they are accessing possibly the most powerful source of wholeness and empowerment in the Universe.  The blood of Jesus, the cross on which he was crucified, the stripes that he bore in his body as Isaiah prophesied he would, and the power of his resurrection are the four most powerful living symbols in existence for the healing of the spirit, soul, and body.  Right now in this century there are Christians and non-Christians, most of whom are unknown to the western imperial consciousness who are teleporting, speaking telepathically, miraculously healing at will, levitating, manipulating matter, regenerating, and living indefinitely.  But when the true power of the cross, the blood, the stripes, the resurrection, and the Son of God himself are revealed to all humanity in their truth rather than under the guise of fear or domination, then the miracle working power and the blissful ecstasy of every human being on the planet earth will operate on a level that the creation has never experienced.  There is no such thing as eternal punishment.  There is no such thing as God’s wrath.  There is no such thing as Karma.  There is no such thing as creating your own reality.  There is no such thing as any other demonic delusion that would cause human beings to be afraid or believe that there fates are in the hands of anything besides a loving God who will ensure that they all come to know true healing and salvation through the risen Lord.  There is only Jesus and his infinite love for us all.

Holy Spirit,

Thank you for your love.  Thank you for communing with our holy Father to give birth to the greatest entity that any human being could ever imagine, the Lord of the Prophets, the Sage of all Sages, the King of Kings, the Ancient of Days, and the only true hope for the planet earth.  Holy Spirit, please destroy the demonic delusions and forces that keep those of us who believe in him on a cross of futility, fear, dysfunction, and hatred.  Holy Spirit please heal the body of Christ such that for the first time in modern history the true Sons and Daughters of God are revealed to the creation and all manner of injustice, cruelty, and misery are forced to evaporate beneath the light of our revelation.  And Holy Spirit thank you for all of the people from non-Christian religions who have reflected the light of God as the world has writhed in confusion and fear.  Thank you for their incredible faith, power, hope, and love.  Now please reveal to all of them the mysterious epiphany of Jesus of Nazareth, not the prophet, not the sage, not the master-soul, but rather the living God who was, who is, and is to come.  Amen.

 

3 Warriors

3 Warriors

“Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdelene…” John 19:25

John chapter nineteen verses twenty six and twenty seven is the famous pericope in which Jesus tells his disciple John that his mother Mary is now John’s mother and he tells his mother that his disciple John is now her son.  Because of the male dominated tone of scripture and the way in which males have dominated the narrative surrounding Jesus for centuries this pericope has often been interpreted as a moment wherein Jesus passes on his responsibility for his mother to John.  What is unfortunately and often missed in this pericope is the idea that Jesus was giving his mother Mary who had obviously been an incredible ally to him later on in his ministry charge of John.  We often only think of John having the authority in this pericope as Mary’s caretaker.  But I posit that this pericope is just as much about Mary looking after John as it is John looking out for Mary.  Similarly, our focus on this pericope belies something monumental in the verse that precedes it.  In John chapter nineteen verse twenty five, the gospel writer speaks of Jesus’ mother Mary, her sister Mary, and Mary Magdeline as standing near the cross.  I posit that this incredibly short mention of the “three Marys” is of colossal importance given the cosmology in which Jesus operated.

Here in this verse we see that when all of Jesus’ disciples besides John had either denied or abandoned him, these three women of low stature had the courage to stand and endure the shame, misery, and humiliation of the cross right along with him.  This fact is prodigious at face value because it unearths the courage that these women had and their strength to “stand with Jesus,” a strength that eluded all of Jesus’ followers writ large and all of his most intimate allies save one.  But when one applies the light of Holy Spirit inspired revelation to this text, something even more amazing reveals itself.

James 4:2 states among other things that “ye have not because ye ask not.”  I believe that this is a statement about how God works in the world.  Ephesians 2:8 states, “For it is by grace that ye are saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”  This implies that it is through our faith that grace is activated as a tangible manifestation in our world.  God works through the prayers, love, and compassion of human vessels.  Without our love and prayers, God usually does not move.  There are times when God intercedes without the mechanism of our faith and prayers, but most times it is in the love that we have for each other that God lives, breathes, and moves on the earth.  God exists and is omnipotent all by himself, but it is my belief that it when it comes to moving on the earth God works through us in most cases.

Bearing in mind that it is through our faith that God works, when we revisit the near presence of the three Marys to Jesus with this understanding something incredible comes to the light of our consciousness.  Though Jesus came from Divinity and went back to Divinity, everything that he did on the earth, was a function of the faith of those around him.  When there was no faith, Jesus could not do many miracles.  Mark 6:5 clearly stipulates that “He could not do any miracles there, except lay hands on a few sick people and heal them.”  This verse is in reference to Jesus’ inability to do many miracles when the people had no faith.  This alludes to the interdependence that Jesus had with the people who he blessed.  Jesus was interdependently operating with the Jewish people as he blessed them.  This notion dismisses the Jews as a “passive” and “pathetic” people who Jesus came to bless and save, and reveals them as strong, assertive, and active participants in the miraculous love of God.

More importantly this idea that Jesus operated interdependently with the Jewish people that he blessed, begs the question, “If Jesus needed another human being’s faith to work his miraculous power, then whose faith enabled him to perform his greatest miracle, ostensibly his resurrection from the dead?”  Herein, is the importance of the three Marys to the entire gospel narrative and the fate of humanity revealed.  It is my supposition that given that his disciples, save John, were cowering in fear and that no one defended Jesus during his prosecution and subsequent crucifixion, it was in fact the love, power, and soundness of mind of these three women that enabled Jesus to give the world “the sign of Jonah” and consequently redeem all things.  It is my supposition that without the faith and courage of the three Marys that there would have been no resurrection and no ensuing redemption.  When we take off the blinders of chauvinism and enter into the perception of the Kingdom, we see that it was in fact to three women of low stature that we owe a supreme debt of gratitude.

This reality encourages us to never stop fighting, never stop praying, and never stop believe that God surely uses the “low things” of this culture to bring about massive blessing of cosmic consequence.  This reality also enables us to acknowledge that it was the love of the most persecuted people of Jesus’ day, namely women, to which we owe the grandeur of salvation. In light of this I am moved to pray, “Mary, Mary, and Mary you were three incredible women, no doubt.  But you were also three of the most important prayer warriors in history.  Thank you for your love, commitment, power, and perseverance.  Please enable all of us to follow your example and to never stop fighting and never stop striving for the beauty that is immanent to the faithful.”