Infants

 

By: Woodrow Odom Lucas

 

As I survey popular culture these days, I see a tinge of the macabre that I find disturbing.  As if unhappiness and misery are the archetypes of present and future which are inspiring our current cadre of artists and writers.  And sometimes I wonder, if the folks who see us moving toward a grand apocalypse, or “last days” do not have some cogency to their arguments.  But then I consider those generations when one disease like Polio or the Flu wiped out potential millions, or I consider a time when those who had my DNA were locked in ships to suffocate on their own feces, or I think of a time not so long ago, when an entire religion of people was systematically exterminated by individuals claiming to believe in Jesus, and I remember that times are no worse now than they have ever been, they are just different, and different can be frightening.

 

Still, the problem of human ignorance and human destructiveness do confuse the more optimistic of spiritual people.  “How can Namaste be true when we treat each other so harshly?”  “Are all of us really trying the best that we can, because it sure doesn’t seem like it?”  “Why does it seem like Science and Religion two of the most powerful tools through which humanity can transcend are mired in confusion, extremism, perfectionism, and hubris?

 

Some might say that the answers to these questions are buried in the mystery which is inherent to our conditions, and in most cases I would agree with them.  But this particular problem, the problem of human malady and ignorance, I believe has an answer.  We as human beings are invariably infantile.  Human beings are infants compared to other creatures on the earth.  We are infants in the grand scheme of things as it concerns God and our ultimate destiny.  And we are infants in our own personal journeys toward what we are destined to become.  There is no one on this earth in my opinion no matter how powerful, no matter how evolved who is more than at most a young preemie in the grand scheme of things.

 

And so understanding ourselves as infants makes since of quite a bit.  It marries our infinite potential for love and our divine spark, Namaste, with our penchants toward cruelty and malevolence.  It also helps us understand how all of us from the worst of us to the best of us share the same destiny of reconciliation with God .  We are infants and ultimately all of us are doing the best that we can to make since of a reality that is so very new to us, when placed in perspective.  As much as I disagree with what comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth, he becomes palatable to me when I remember him as an infant, just trying to figure it out like the rest of us.  We all really do have the divine spark, Jesus really has reconciled us all, we all really are trying the best that we can, and when we reach maturity as the Sons and Daughters of God that we are destined to become, the Creation will know light and love that transform the very fabric and nature of reality.

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!!!!

 

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.”

Oh Death Where Is Thy Sting?

By: Woodrow Odom Lucas

Born into tragic reckoning,

We understand that all the bliss we have is but a moment in Creation,

Elation and tragedy come to nothing beneath the last breath our body takes,

And death opens wide to swallow us into that great mystery.

Born into tragic reckoning,

We try and create a memory that lives beyond our present breath,

But that memory is hollow compared to the touch of loved ones,

We grow and live knowing that someday we will lose our parents and friends to that dark dominion,

And yet does death still sting as before?

Born into tragic reckoning,

A man lived in sorrow, hoping and reaching for a better tomorrow,

Born into poverty and oppression,

A man refused to accept the limitations of his age and grew to become like no manner of man that has ever existed.

Born into tragic reckoning, a man grabbed the hand of God and demanded life,

And when it was his time to die he embraced the abyss,

Three days later he rose from death’s clutches and said, “I am that I am.”

The great dream of tomorrow beyond the sting of loss is real and it is rather the sensation that things end which is mistaken.

For there was and is a man, who will ensure that tragedies are transformed into triumphant reconciliation.

For there was and is a man, who guarantees that even in the height of despair there really is no end and all mysteries give way to beginnings of blessing.

Oh Death, because of a man who was, who is, and who will be where is your sting?

Or sorrow where is your victory?

For death can rule no soul.

So into the great beyond, go with courage dear sister, go with courage.

But There Are Stars

By: Woodrow Odom Lucas

One day a father’s father died.

He wept and walked with his son that night.

As they walked, his son asked, “How do I become a man?”

The father responded, “Follow me to a cross and I’ll show you a

Man.”

“Who is he?” the son asked.

“He is the king of kings.”

“How do you know?” the boy questioned.

The father told his son to look up and answered with tears in his

eyes, “night sky is dark, but there are stars. Bright orbs of light that mock the night. And life is dark but there is Christ, he quenched the sting of death and brings blind sight.”

“But Why?!” the son demanded.

“There is no why, just what!”

“Believe and know why night can’t stop sun’s light.

Believe and know why death can’t sting God’s might.”

Believe and know why sorrow cannot last and suffering must fade.

Believe and know why broken hearts are best, yet hearts of steel can’t rise.

In these dark days of doubt and lies.”

My son, in these dark days of doubt and lies.

Just know, night sky is dark but there are stars, bright orbs of light that mock the night.

And life is dark but there is Christ, he quenched the sting of death

and brings blind sight.”

He is the author of truth and craftsman of joy.

Confidant to whores yet sovereign master over strife.

And soon he’ll come to judge the dead and rule the just.

He’ll set things right.

But now my son, right now just lift your hands, let his love grab

hold, and let nothing in this sordid lie of life distract from that embrace.

In these dark days of doubt and lies.

Believe and know why night can’t stop sun’s light.

Believe and know why death can’t sting God’s might.

He is the author of truth and craftsman of joy.

He steals the sting of death and brings blind sight.

Confidant to whores yet sovereign master over strife.

He is the king of kings, the Christ.

Believe on his name, my son, he’ll make you a man.

Believe on his name and live forever.

The Most Magnificent Miracle

By: Woodrow Odom Lucas

Imagine for a moment the reality that we are truly spinning around in a dark universe.

Imagine for a moment the reality that we are truly stranded perhaps on an island of beauty in a perilous solar system, inhospitable to our humanity and only generous toward man made motion.

Imagine for a moment the reality that we are truly spinning around in a dark universe, with black holes and dead stars and asteroid belts and planets that we cannot yet inhabit with human skin.

Imagine my friend, the utter mystery of our condition and the unknowable and unfathomable questions that result from knowing the nature of our DNA.

Imagine for a moment the mysterious reality that all life on the planet earth is some combination of four molecular bases of adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine.

Now extract yourself from any idea of God saving any of us.

Now extract yourself from any notion of what happens after we die or whether or not God forgives us for our sin.

Now extract yourself from all self-centered notions of your own success or individual happiness.

Now imagine for a moment, a Jewish man born in Bethlehem and raised in Galilee.

And imagine for a moment a Jewish man, full of doubt and fear being told by his mother that he was the savior of all mankind.

And imagine for a moment that this Jewish man tried to live a life worthy of his Holy Father’s confidence.

Now imagine that this man faced peculiar opposition from most people as he made his outlandish claims about being the Son of God.

Now imagine for a moment that violent death according to some leaves the soul of the perishing in a suspended state of torment.

Now imagine for a moment a government that engages in the hideous practice of crucifixion as a strategy to maintain order and dominion.

Now imagine for a moment the hideous experience of anyone enduring crucifixion by having their hands and feet nailed to wood, there abdomen pierced through, and their legs ultimately broken.

Now imagine a man, who knew very little violence, being subjected to this violence.

Now imagine a man, who for the good of his people voluntarily embraced this hideous violence.

Now imagine this man who died violently actually coming back to life after he had been dead and buried.

Imagine for a moment the reality that we are truly spinning around in a dark universe.

Imagine for a moment the reality that we are truly stranded perhaps on an island of beauty in a perilous solar system, inhospitable to our humanity and only generous toward man made motion.

Imagine for a moment the reality that we are truly spinning around in a dark universe, with black holes and dead stars and asteroid belts and planets that we cannot yet inhabit with human skin.

Now imagine that we are much more than human bodies with skin and that we are meant to live eternally in bliss.

Now imagine that man, that man who died violently on our behalf and rose in the greatest mystery known to man, giving birth to infinite possibility.

Now rest easy because God loves you and your destiny is miraculous to say the least.