Two All Saints Day Odes

Sometimes when your internet goes on the brink do not get frustrated, but rather breathe.  Breath deep and realize that God is everywhere, that God is in you, that God makes it rain and when it rains the wind reminds you that you are alive.  The bustling of the leaves on the trees in their beautiful technicolor vibrations remind you that all is well and that Jesus is Lord; and that because someone this wonderful is Lord, you will be just fine, that through it all you will be just fine; and once you have done that then call At&T or Comcast or the Dish Network and deal with your issue.  For technology is beautiful, but it is only a tool to help us do what we will one day no longer need technology to achieve.  There is soon coming a consciousness, a wondrous consciousness where we will all agree and disagree simultaneously, where we will fly with the birds even as we embrace gravity.  There is soon coming a consciousness, a wondrous consciousness where we realize that we are all each other and yet distinctly ourselves.

Now there are two groups of people who have been very instrumental in ushering this consciousness into being.  They are not the only groups who are helping to usher in this consciousness, but they are definitely among those who are making the daydreams of our Savior a reality and our childhood wishes real.  These two groups of people are Evangelicals and Catholics.  Evangelicals and Catholics do not agree on some things, but they do agree on Jesus and on holiness.   And in truth they are the two extremes of the Christian construct.  They are the two arms of the Lord through which he captivates the hearts and souls of women and men.  In truth all one really needs to get through this life in at least some modicum of comfort is a higher power.  All one truly needs to find the healing that one requires is a belief in something higher, a master soul, a higher self, a loving deity, a kind and merciful ancestor. Communion with something such as one of these will get one through.  But Jesus works through everything and everyone.  Jesus is something and someone so profound that you truly cannot go through life without experiencing him in some way or another.  Jesus is not only a master soul or a loving deity he is the mediator between The Creator, The Father, The Source, The Mother and all of creation.  Jesus is the fabric of creation itself and he is the creator of Creation itself.  He is something and someone so profound that you might need lifetimes and millennia to fully grasp him and become like him.  And so these are two Odes to a profound Catholic and a profound Evangelical who have furthered and further the reality of Jesus in our lives.  On this Day of Days, All Saints Day, Praise God and his Grand Wizard, the man, the God, the mediator, Jesus the Christ.

 

Ode to Billy Graham

By: Woodrow Odom Lucas

Dear Billy, I do not agree with some of your concepts,

For the book that you used is great, but is sometimes too convenient for the subtle mind,

And yet brother, you burned with a fire of love that is unprecedented,

Your fire for the souls of my sisters, your fire for the souls of the confused and broken,

Your love for this earth and her buried treasure of insight was inspiring,

For we do not even understand the grass,

We do not even understand the very nature of the soil that gives us life,

We do not even understand the trees that help us breathe,

How then can we fully understand the God who maintains the entire universe and universes beyond us.

But Billy, you understood enough to see Jesus.

You understood enough to see Jesus.

What more can we ask of a prophet?

What more can we ask of a soul?

You saw Jesus Billy,

And because you saw Jesus, we see Jesus better,

Thank you and Love Always…….

 

Ode to Pope Francis

By: Woodrow Odom Lucas

Dear Saint Francis,

Saint Francis you are named after one of the greatest Saints who ever lived,

The Man from Assisi,

I remember the joy of Christmas Eve in the large towers of the Episcopalian edifice,

I remember the sound of Lucy, the blind Catholic Sage who comforted my soul,

And Saint Francis, Pope Francis, one day I will remember you.

You, a Pope with the humility to take the earth into this next age of wonder,

You a Pope with a mantle of genius like Pope John Paul before you,

For you my brother, you my dear brother will do greater wonders than Vatican II,

And the world will quake beneath the flood of your wisdom,

Thank you Pope Francis,

Thank you for your vision,

Thank you for your sacrifices unto God,

Thank you for your church,

Thank you for your people,

And thank you for the wonders to come,

In Jesus Name, Amen.

Oh To Be Alive in Such An Age

This short yet sublime poem by Walt Whitman is one of the most moving and inspiring that I have ever read and speaks to the incredible possibilities of Jesus’ love and the wondrous joy of the Aquarian Age that we are in and that he secured for all of us.  Enjoy!!

Oh, to be alive in such an age, when miracles are everywhere, and every inch of common air throbs a tremendous prophecy, of greater marvels yet to be.

The Cross

In ancient times there walked a man named Quetzalcoatl,

He was a humble man of great power,

And he healed his people.

In this moment, there is a woman in Papa New Guinea who is crying out to the ancestors for her children, begging them to take away the pain that her children feel, the pain that she cannot escape, the pain that drives her every day to walk as a humble woman of great power.

In ancient times there walked a man named Quetzalcoatl,

He was a humble man of great power,

But he stumbled on his journey and came into great shame,

But he endured the shame so that he could heal his people.

Some time ago, there lived a man.

A man like no other.

A man who cried out to his Father, day and night, begging him to heal his people.

And he walked with great pain.

So much pain that he wished to take out his own eye or cut off his own hand just so that he could be released from it.

And this man had a purpose.

His purpose was to die and rise.

And this was not unique, for many had died and risen before him and many would die and rise after him.

For there are saints who know the secret of endings and beginnings.

Saints like Yogananda.

Saints like  William Seymor,

Saints like every woman who knew that no one would affirm her or remember her as she tapped into the holiness within to heal her people,

For there are saints who know the secret of endings and beginnings,

And for these saints, death is but a moment and life is a glorious voyage where the limits of the mind and nature mean very little.

For they have found the secret of the Onk,

The symbol of life and death and power.

The symbol of man and woman joined in an infinite symphony of becoming.

In ancient times there walked a man named Quetzalcoatl,

He was a humble man of great power,

And he healed his people.

And some time ago there walked a man.

A man like no other.

A man that cannot be reproduced for his image is eternity.

For he is the beginning and the ending, for he is the Onk.

And this man walked with great pain and suffered great misery.

And this man walked with great joy and great light and great comfort.

Death and life together in one man.

And this man kneeled in a garden and begged Our Father.

“Father if it is possible, then let this cup pass from me, but nevertheless not my will but thy will be done.”

And in that moment he secured the reality of his reality.

And in that moment he secured the reality of our reality.

For in that moment he chose to take a symbol of hatred and cruelty and restore it to the mystery of endings and beginnings that it was intended to be.

For in that moment he chose to become the life that he had created, the life that he always was.

And though the pain was great he saw us.

He saw us frolicking in celebration, encouraging and affirming each other with the electromagnetic fire of praise.

And sometimes some souls find the beauty of the cross, the Onk, the reality of endings and beginnings and a great delusion comes upon them and they forget its reality.

For the cross was not meant to separate but to bring all to fullness.

For the cross was not meant to condemn but to restore.

But these souls will soon find their way.

For the reality of the cross is inevitable.  And all will receive its healing.

In ancient times there walked a man named Quetzalcoatl,

He was a humble man of great power,

And he healed his people.

In this moment, there is a woman in Papa New Guinea who is crying out to the ancestors for her children, begging them to take away the pain that her children feel, the pain that she cannot escape, the pain that drives her every day to walk as a humble woman of great power.

And this woman is on The Cross and she suffers for us all.

She suffers in courage and beauty and life and death and destruction and rebirth.

And soon one of her ancestors, an ancestor greater than time herself will look upon her from his cross and he will say, “My Child today you will be with me in Paradise.”

And when she rises, when she rises from her cross, she will see him high and lifted up in an ecstasy like none other, and she will see every poet who committed suicide because she could not bear the pain, and she will see Muslims and Jews locked in an eternal embrace of unconditional love.

And from her perch, this Eagle, this Eagle of God who walked the cross for all of us, she will look down and see the beauty that she enacted.

And Jesus will say to her, “Daughter Isis, the earth is now a paradise, let us go down and embrace it together!!”

Mother Sky

By: Woodrow Odom Lucas

There was once was a time of great light,

But the Lord loved darkness too,

For in the shadow of darkness there was mystery,

And in this mystery he placed the treasures of the cosmos.

There was once was a time of great light,

But too there was darkness,

And in the shadow of the dark,

There was mystery,

Beautiful mystery that comforts the man who has lost all hope and fears tomorrow,

For in that mystery, he knows that something else awaits him.

There was once a time of great light,

But the Queen of all things decided to make a dark place,

And in this place, she made mystery,

Wondrous mystery that reminds the woman living on the streets, desperate for a home, that something else awaits her.

And so there was once a place of darkness,

Beautiful darkness, shrouded in the glory of mystery,

And the Lord decided to make a sky to begin to unfold her treasure,

And she called the sky, “Mother Sky”

And then she gave Mother Sky a child to watch over,

And Mother Sky called her child, “Earth.”

And time passed and Mother Sky and her child The Earth, danced in a reverie with all of the creatures of the cosmos.

And one day, The Earth, spoke to her mother, Mother Sky, and said, “Dear Mother, I love you and I have enjoyed our repast but now I ask that you give me children.  Now I ask that you give me children dear mother so that I can nurture them as you have nurtured me.  And so Mother Sky said to the Lord, the Lord who served the Lord, she said, “Lord Jesus, my child, The Earth wishes to have her own children, is it possible?”

And Jesus said, “Of course my daughter!! For with me, all things are possible!! Your daughter can have her children, I will call them HUMANS.  And they will be like me, but first they must master the mystery of my darkness, and then all will be one.”

There was once a sky, her name was Mother Sky and she had a daughter, Mother Earth and Mother Earth had many children called HUMANS and they were glorious creatures all of them, every one.

These humans loved everything about them.  They felt the rhythm of God in all they did and they began to create like the God that made them.  But always, they seemed tormented by the combination of darkness and light.  And they could not comprehend why their mother, Mother Earth would bring them storms and pain and earthquakes, or why Mother Sky would sometimes refuse to rain, or why the God who made them all allowed them to suffer cruelty either from each other or from the misery of their own fragile forms.

And so HUMANS became frustrated and a bit bitter and began to find reasons for their suffering.  They began to create constructs of Good and Evil.  They began to label the sick and infirmed as weak and the cruel and ruthless as strong.  They began to develop machines, good machines that reflected God, but machines which also caused them to forget about their mother, Mother Earth.  And they began to become more cruel toward each other and to harm their mother, the very mother who asked that they come into being.  And as their cruelty increased so too did the incredible mystery begin to flee from their darkness, such that their darkness stopped being a place of treasure and rather became void, abrasive, and painful.

And so Mother Earth cried out to Mother Sky, “Mother, what shall I do?  If I do not do something to help these children they will destroy each other and me in the process?”  and Mother Sky looked to the Lord, the Lord who serves the Lord, and said, “Jesus, you gave us all life.  Surely there is something that you can do?”  And Jesus said, “Dear Child, I love all beings.  And some time ago my Mother, the Mother of me as I am the Father of you sent me to The Earth to visit your grandchildren.  And I died on a cross to save them.  But they have misinterpreted the meaning of my sacrifice and have made it sacrifice.  They have been deceived into seeing my cross as a source of separation rather than realizing that it was my gift to them all so that they would receive treasure from the darkness rather than feeling the void that they feel now.

So now dear daughter Sky, I want you to rain down upon them.  But do not just rain water, but every time you rain, rain down the mystery of my unconditional love for them and for all creatures and of my father’s unconditional love for them and for all creatures and this will save them.   Daughter Sky, I do not want you to rain destruction upon these children, rather I want you to rain my Spirit of Life, my Holy Spirit down upon them so that they may know of their beauty, the wondrous beauty within them that will help them to comprehend the darkness and not run from it.  Daughter Sky I want you to rain, my child.  I WANT YOU TO RAIN!!! Rain down upon them daughter Sky!!! Rain down  the reality that they will not perish and that I have destined all of them to live with me and each other in harmony.  Rain down upon them daughter Sky.  Rain down upon them that it is not up to them but that I have already secured their fates, and that their fates are good.  Rain down upon them daughter Sky that it is not upon to them and that they cannot destroy themselves for they did not create themselves.  Rain down upon them daughter Sky.  Rain down than none of them will perish or writhe in torment.  Daughter Sky, scream out to them with thunder and whirlwind that my love for them is so great, that whether they choose me or not, I will always be there for them; I will always be there with them guiding and nurturing until they understand all things.  Rain this down upon your grandchildren Daughter Sky and this will free the Earth and her children.  Rain down this one truth Daughter Sky.  Let them know with Thunder and Whirlwind that I am real and that I will love them forever.  Have no fear daughter Sky, for all of this, all of this is part of the glorious mystery of my darkness and I know how this ends, and it ends happy my daughter.  It ends happy!!!”

And so Mother Sky began to rain as the Lord had told her to do.  And as Mother Sky rained down upon the soul of WOMAN.  And as Mother Sky rained down upon the soul of MAN.  A great trumpet was heard throughout the land.  And the very DNA of the human fabric began to sing a new song.  And there were miracles so many miracles heard like thunder throughout the creation.  And WOMAN and MAN embraced the darkness and in that darkness they saw the mystery of their own Divinity staring back at them.  And in that moment, the Holy Mother-Father in Heaven wept tears of joy, for the victory of their Son was secure and THE DESTINY OF THE COSMOS WAS FULFILLED!!!

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

Prophets of Another Definition

Prophets of Another definition

Lord God, thank you for your prophets of another definition,

Who could not fit within the space of this world’s extreme decisions,

Who rage on fire brightly and then quickly leave this realm,

Who walk in the ways of Rumi and the wisdom of Anselm,

Who bring a different vantage on this journey we all must take,

Who question all of our answers and their own souls sometimes forsake,

God thank you for Michael Jackson,

Thank you for the Doors,

Thank you for W.H Auden,

And Allison Fitzugh as she soars,

Thank you for every soul that burned and then found it to be too much,

All the beauty all around them that they could not embrace or touch,

Lord thank you for every prophet for whom this life was a violent dream,

So much so that their precious wills to live began to burst at their seems,

And I know that I shall see them again but before that moment comes,

I commit to heeding their message in a way that heals your daughters and sons,

I will do what they did not and I will make my peace with “this”,

And I will help myself and others to on this earth retain your bliss.

A More Excellent Way

The 2 posts uploaded on this blog tonight are in honor of the Apostle Nelia Crank

1 Corinthians 12:31 “…..And now I will show you a more excellent way”

When I was in graduate school I was having coffee with a good friend of mine praying to Jesus and a Muslim man overheard us praying and was moved to join in our conversation.  He expressed how Islam had a very high view of Jesus and that the Koran described him as the prophet who would come to judge the world.  The man was such a kind and generous soul and I felt an instant connection with his spirit.  Sometimes as I notice some of the judgment and condescension that I almost involuntarily have felt toward Muslims and Islam recently, God speaks to me.  For instance, lately, so as to stay “anointed” and “hopeful” during some times of transition that I have been experiencing I have been attending some very conservative Christian charismatic churches.  There is something about the love of Christ that many conservative Christian charismatics have for each other and others that inspires me.  Their love for Jesus is captivating; their devotion to God is moving, and when I praise and worship the Lord with them, I am often lifted to a place of bliss and healing that is transcendent to say the least.

But as weeks passed in me attending these churches there were some unsettling changes in my consciousness.  I began to experience an unhealthy fear of religious paradigms that I had once embraced.  Tribal religion began to seem like nothing more than superstition.  Islam began to feel like a pernicious deception.  People who followed the way of “awakening” and “enlightenment” seemed like followers of deceptive spirits and witchcraft.  Judaism began to feel like a dead and useless religion; and the social gospel began to feel like a humanistic contrivance.  I have always struggled with the pathologies of extremism and perfectionism, but it felt like an involuntary inertia was beginning to undermine the moderation and hope that I had fought so desperately to incorporate into my consciousness.  Oddly, at the same time I was seeing “Coexist” bumper stickers constantly and it seemed like everywhere I went I was encountering a person of the Islamic persuasion.  I discerned the signs and knew that once again God was speaking.  And so one fateful Sunday as I was struggling to get my youngest daughter ready for Sunday Service, an awareness came over me and I decided to let go.  I skipped church and concluded that there was a more excellent way.

There is nothing wrong with attending church.  I believe that it is healthy to attend church.  Yet I also believe that it is healthy to find our communion with God in ways other than church or religious fellowship.  When we are in times of transition, religion can seem like our only anchor and sometimes it is, but we must always be careful not to lose ourselves and our own convictions in the esprit de corps of its ranks.  God made each of us different.  God made each of us unique and there are truths and understandings that God created each of us to grasp.  Every one of us is beautiful and every one of our journeys are meaningful.  There is no suffering that any of us experience that God will not one day work toward our good.  There is no darkness that touches any of us that we will not one day be grateful for.

I am, among other things, am a prophetic Evangelistic of the Lord Jesus Christ.  That is what God created me to be.  I love Jesus and I truly believe that he died for us all and that all people will one day have relationship with him.  But the paths that we all take toward that destiny are totally unique to us.  The more excellent way that I speak of is a way of witnessing Jesus that does not categorize, judge, or fear anyone but that rather opens our soul to the beauty before us and as we witness that beauty our admiration is so intoxicating that people come to feel the Savior that we have grown to know and love.

God created Islam not darkness.  Jesus is present every time a tribal leader offers a sacrifice to the sky.  When anyone meditates they do so through the power of the Creator.  People suffering have not brought all of that suffering on themselves.  Everyone human being has the divine spark of God within them; and no human soul created by God will ever know the horrors of eternal torment.  Love is the more excellent way.  Love is a more excellent way than fear mixed with love.  Love is coming to our planet in a way like never before.  Selah…..

5 Categorical Tendencies of Judgment

The two posts uploaded on this blog tonight are posted in honor of The Apostle Nelia Crank

To say that judgment is terrible or unforgivable is problematic because in labeling judgment or those who judge one is exercising judgment one’s self which inexorably and unfortunately leaves one in the same compromised position as those whose judgment one is critiquing.  That being expressed, judgment is one of the most dangerous and ultimately painful thought patterns for a person to experience.  This is most likely at least one of the reasons why Jesus articulates in the gospels, “Judge not lest ye be judged.”

While I believe that there are potentially an infinite number of ways to understand and define judgment, there are five ways in which I have discerned that we have a propensity to judge ourselves, God, and others.  They are as follows:

1)      Labeling:  I define labeling as taking a behavior pattern which one is observing in another person and generalizing and reifying that behavior pattern into a character definition.  For instance, if a woman has a tendency to be sexual and perhaps operate carelessly in her sexual encounters at times, to label such a woman as “promiscuous.”

2)      Vertical differentiation:  Every human being in existence is on a journey of personal evolution toward wholeness and full divinity.  Vertical differentiation is the tendency to oversimplify this evolution to linear categories of development based on limited characteristics of assessment and then position oneself as higher than another on that continuum.  For instance believing that because one believes in Jesus that one is automatically higher than another based only on that characteristic of development  or believing that because one has received an “awakening” to the beauty of nature, the existence of God, or many of the sublime realities of the universe that one is “higher” on a continuum than someone who does not seem to have received that same “awakening.”  More specifically, imagine a yoga instructor who has a loving disposition toward everyone she meets and assists others to commune with beauty through the discipline of yoga and meditation observing a mother who is constantly screaming obscenities at her children.  To the extent that the yoga instructor does not consider how the single mother may have fought against the bitterness of an extremely difficult childhood to believe God for a miraculous deliverance from suicidal ideation and cocaine addiction to at least provide her children with a stable environment and basic needs and looks at the single mother as a less evolved being, the yoga instructor is engaging in vertical differentiation and subsequently judging.

3)      Generalization:  Sometimes in life we can have negative experiences as a result of the insensitivity or cruelty of other people.  When we have these experiences we can be tempted toward unforgiveness or bitterness toward those individuals.   Such responses are human and are to be expected.  But if we harbor this unforgiveness and bitterness for a long period of time we can begin to experience a deluded perspective where we begin to see this individual over and over again in others who seem to have similar tendencies.   Furthermore, sometimes individuals wrong us and they consider themselves to be part of a group or social category.  When this happens we can begin to generalize entire social categories to be like an individual who wronged us and we can begin to typecast these social categories as evil.   I define this phenomenon as generalization.  For instance, if one perhaps has been wronged by a Catholic individual in one’s youth.  If one does not process the pain of this experience through compassion and understanding reflection toward one’s self and the offender then one can begin to see all Catholics as evil and the entire religion as “fallen” or “backward.”  This happened after World War II with Japanese and Germans.  This happened in the cold war with the Russians.  This often occurs between Capitalists and Socialists.  This happens with marginalized groups toward Europeans and vice versa.  And this is happening with Christians and Muslims now.

4)      Projection: All of us have a best self and a worst self.  Most of the time we operate in some sort of fusion of our best and worst selves until God is able to purify us and transform us into fully healed and whole beings.   The Christian word salvation means to heal and so all of us must at some point in our existences experience the “salvation” or healing of our selves into fully integrated, whole, and divine beings.  Sometimes the universe alerts us to aspects of ourselves that need healing, but instead of cooperating with the process of integration, we deny that we need this healing and suppress the evil within deep into our subconscious aspects.  When this happens we begin to secretly hate that aspect of ourselves that we have suppressed.   That hatred not only manifests itself as guilt, shame, and self loathing but can also result in us hating the suppressed aspects of ourselves in others.  So what we have suppressed and hate about ourselves we begin to hate about others.  This results in what I define as projection.   Projection is when we judge and condemn others for having characteristics that we ourselves possess.

5)      Offense:  In life all of us get hurt.   The experience of being wounded is common to every human being who makes the human journey.  God inevitably heals all wounds, but in the interim between obtaining a wound and God healing a wound we can become very “tender” and sensitive.  Sometimes an individual can do something, often unintentionally, that aggravates our wounds.  In that state of pain it is very difficult to operate with compassion and see the scenario clearly.   In this state of partial delusion, we can be tempted to condemn a person as evil or immature because they inadvertently irritated a wound that has not yet been healed.

There are surely other forms of judgment than offense, projection, generalization, labeling, and vertical differentiation but these are the forms of judgment that I have observed most often in myself and others.  Jesus Christ died on the cross for a multiplicity of reasons, but one of those reasons was to experience judgment once and for all for us all.   As a consequence, we can rest assured that none of us will be trapped in any consciousness of judgment forever.  Judgment is a state of consciousness and being that must and will eventually disappear from existence.  In the meantime, hopefully an awareness of these categorical tendencies will accelerate the process of liberation from judgment for us all.        

Misery and Miracles

Misery and Miracles

There are times in our journey where we say, “I Trust You Lord,”

We say, “I Trust You Lord,” and when we step out on faith, a Monsoon of misery discovers us,

And as we are drowning beneath the sheer confusion of the storm, Jesus says to us, “Why did you doubt?”

And we answer, “You know why I doubted, there is a fucking monsoon of unbelievable crap that I never could have imagined surrounding me!”

And he says, “Yes, there is.  But have you considered?  If I would allow this misery to surround you and suffocate you in this moment, Imagine what unbelievable joy and blessings and happiness I have for you on the other side of it?  So I asked you why did you doubt, because you began to focus on the misery more than the miracles which will surely follow it.”

And then we say, “Yes Lord, I see.  Now please give me the faith to walk with you toward the other side.”