Archive | September, 2011

Treasure in Broken Vessels — Many Noble Truths Through Varied Sages

23 Sep

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/treasure/#like-250582

Treasure

Treasure in Broken Vessels

The Many Noble Truths of the Buddha and Jesus Christ

“When I know the glass goblet is already broken every moment with it becomes precious.”Paraphrased from documentary film The Buddha”

2 Corinthians 4:7 (New King James Version)

7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, which the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

Would I experience the Love of God more fully as an ascetic or renouncer? No I would focus only on what I was missing, not getting any closer to God but in total concentration of the absence of comfort or pleasure.  The more we try to mortify the flesh the more we see we cannot transcend the body while existing in this earthly realm.  Deprivation as practiced by some ascetics or mystics and prophets is not necessarily the best spiritual path for the average seeker.  Some austerity is necessary so that we are not consumed by the material world but to isolate and deny our very human bodies the daily necessities can open the door wider to a sense of failure or discouragement.  We must try to find balance in our lives.  At one end is the ascetic, at the other end the hedonist/sensualist.  Most of us flow best in the middle ground with occasional visits to the polar ends.  Separated from our source we yearn to return.

As prophets and/or enlightened beings both the Buddha and Jesus had similar universal themes of overcoming temptation, a wilderness experience with the tempter, both mystics emerged triumphant.  Realization that the Kingdom of God is within us enabled these two very different men, who lived in different time periods, from different cultures, in different parts of the world to have similar spiritual revelations which now have millions of adherents worldwide.

Bliss or self-actualization comes with accepting our interconnectedness with the world, yet not being of the world.  Subconsciously we are all craving with a burning desire to become one with the Beloved.  This craving may lead us down several spiritual and secular pathways during our lifetimes before we achieve our own individual enlightenment.  As a Christian I take refuge in the scriptural jewels offered to me within the Biblical scriptures, yet not discounting other belief systems or spiritual pathways.  As I explore many different faiths side by side with my own I find more similarities than differences.  Like my Buddhist sisters and brothers I find sanctuary in the Love of God, the teachings of Jesus, and various pastors, evangelists, or teachers who have a more extensive knowledge of the Bible than me, who can help me increase my understanding of scripture.  With that said as believers in any denomination we must study the scriptures for ourselves rightly dividing the word of truth so we are not carried away with doctrines of false prophets.  Beware those who misuse and misconstrue God’s Divine Word for their own personal profit and gain.

I can truly say the Bible speaks to me.  What does your holy scriptures say to you?  Like many of the faithful I find comfort in rites, rituals, ceremonies and sacraments of my church.  It’s familiar.  It’s comforting.  If suddenly I attended church one Sunday and everything was out of sequence I would definitely be uncomfortable, wonder what was going on and if I was in the right church.  However too much restrictive structure and adherence to doctrine and dogma can inhibit the spiritual growth of the congregation for this reason many people turn to secular and social organizations that offer morals, values and intellectual growth without the mythology.  Churches, social organizations and clubs also satisfy the need for companionship and fellowship.  As human beings we need to belong to a body of people with similar interests, goals and desires.  We desire a place to fit in and be accepted for who we are as individuals.  Churches, social organizations, clubs, guilds and professional organizations offer a type of safe space or sanctuary where we receive positive reinforcement that enables us to cope with the not so positive chapters in our lives.

Traveling other Pathways

Recently I attended Hindu church service New York City. At first I was hesitant when my girlfriend asked me to accompany her to her service because those old voices of narrow mindedness assailed me causing doubt to creep into my mind as to whether it would be the right thing to do. Also I wondered if it would just be other Indian people and I would be the outsider. Not so, on both accounts. Initially I had only intended to stay five or ten minutes but I was drawn in by the praise and worship music and the words of the guest speaker who had journeyed all the way from India to share wisdom as given by their Guru.

After his presentation there was a ritual very similar to communion in which I shared. I was very glad to have attended this service and look forward to worshiping again with the congregation. My girlfriend did her best to explain what was going on and to share literature with me. As we walked to Penn Station together discussing religion in general and the things of God in particular I felt a peace, calm, and contentedness that I had not felt in a long time.

It is far removed from my Baptist upbringing and Bible teachings but at the same time there are many similarities teachings of Jesus, the Hindu scriptures and the Buddha. After the service my girlfriend presented me with two of the roses that had lain upon the altar, which I duly took home and placed into a vase with water. Several hours later it struck me that one of the redemptive names of Jesus is the “Rose of Sharon”. Wow! My mind immediately went to “The Song of Solomon” the Bible’s romance book. The Song of Solomon explicitly expresses the desire between two lovers but on a deeper level the love of Jesus for his bride, the church.

Hindu, Buddhist, Hebrew, Jewish, Christian, Sufi Muslim all have their mystical sages who are calling us closer to God. Are you listening?

Beloved Transcended

Divine fragrant Lotus Rose petals fell upon the body of the ascended one and the veil was rent from top to bottom.  We his followers make pilgrimage to the Holy City in remembrance of Him.

Excerpt from the poem “One Whisper of the Beloved” by Rumi

In truth, everyone is a shadow of the Beloved –
Our seeking is His seeking,
Our words are His words.

At times we flow toward the Beloved
like a dancing stream.
At times we are still water
held in His pitcher.
At times we boil in a pot
turning to vapor –
that is the job of the Beloved.

He breathes into my ear
until my soul
takes on His fragrance.
He is the soul of my soul –
How can I escape?
But why would any soul in this world
want to escape from the Beloved?

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Liars figure and Figures Lie?

17 Sep

Liars Figure and figures lie?Question Mark

Are Extenuating Circumstances ever an Excuse to Lie? What do you think?

Book Review — Burning Down My Masters’ House by Jayson Blair

Just finished “Burning Down My Masters House” by Jayson Blair. So glad that was over with. I found it very difficult to connect with this book or Mr. Blair. The ravings of a lunatic coupled with manic depression. To put things plainly the book was a bit tedious in its storytelling.

As some of you may remember Jayson Blair, a journalist at the New York Times, made national news in 2003 for fabrication & plagiarism. His lies and deceptions ignited a scandal of ominous proportions that has continued to reverberate up until today.

However it did clearly express a man having an ongoing psychotic break with reality with brief periods of calm. Though I understood the dynamics of working for a racist institution like the New York Times I still feel Mr. Blair brought a lot of woe upon himself by deciding to follow the accepted unethical behaviour of his colleagues but kicking it up a notch under the delusion that he would never get caught or if he did some miraculous savior would appear to not only rescue him but provide much needed absolution. Neither miracle occurred and Jayson Blair became ensnared by his own web of lies and deceit.

Yes I do understand that mental illness is a disease but as Mr. Blair outlines in his book he did have times of clarity in which he could have halted down his ill fated path or early on in that path accepted help from his girlfriend and concerned co-workers.

There were chapters in the book that just did not hold my interest and I do admit skipping over the 9/11 chapter. Being a native New Yorker and in the city when the attacks happened I did not wish to relive the horrendous day of Sept. 11th or the following days of terror, shock and grief forever embedded into our collective memories.

However not to knock the book completely Mr. Blair’s descriptions on the inner workings of daily life at the New York Times were at times eye opening but not totally beyond the realm of believability. Most Black Americans who have worked or currently work at a predominantly white institution can relate to and understand Jayson Blair’s plight and/or sense of entrapment at such a prestigious plantation as is the New York Times.

Over all I’d say this is a book to be borrowed from one’s local library and not for addition to ones personal home library. However Mr. Blair’s revealing words bring up issues faced by Black Americans everyday on jobs where their talents are marginalized and ofttimes ignored in favor of a less skilled and/or less qualified white co-worker.

Holmesian Psychology Behind the Rabbit Hole

Mental Orgasms

Matrix – The Red pill/Blue pill

http://youtu.be/te6qG4yn-Ps

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arcJksDgCOU&feature=colike

Addiction – some habit usually unhealthy that takes over your life, an activity over which you have no control.  For those lost in the throes of prescription addiction there is no escape from the horrors of the mind except via medications freely doled out by more than willing physicians and pharmacists. Drug induced hallucinations for those possessed by insecurities, depression, psychosis and various types of mental illness open previously closed doors in the mind.  The addict seeking to escape earthly pain often unwisely even unknowingly opens portals to new cerebral dimensions, portals that eventually lead to the gateway to Hades.

I find myself walking through Bedlam calmly and quietly observing the poor wretches imprisoned within the only separation of safety between me and they glass with reinforced steel bars.  Until I come to a long hallway on either side a series of rooms each secured with double bolt thick steel doors the only openings a slot in which to slide a plastic meal tray and a small window used by roaming psychotherapists who occasionally looked in upon the inmates deciding which mental miracle drug to dispense to these unsuspecting unfortunates.  Compelled to stop in front of one particular door I peer through the small grimy window only to be shocked yet not too surprised to find my gaze met by my doppelganger.  There I stand frozen to the spot my extremities taking root and branching out seeking crevices with which to penetrate the unyielding door that separates me from myself.

Jesus explained the dilemma of mind altering drugs the best in Luke 11:24-26

New International Version (NIV)

   24 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ 25 When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26 Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”

Sherlock Holmes is one of the most celebrated fictional drug addicts known to most Americans. As played by the late Jeremy Brett, Brett’s Holmes captures the true brilliance of a man possessed by a troubled mind. He is the quintessential eccentric elitist, misanthrope and misogynist. In between cases Holmes uses cocaine to escape from the commonplaces of existence. Subject to long bouts of depression his drugs of choice morphine and cocaine, hence the 7% solution in his reasoning clarified and stimulated the mind. Often this is the case with talented, gifted genius level individuals. They abhor boredom and stagnation; craving constant mental exultation whether through industry, work, artistic, musical or literary projects. When the normal stimulants’ of challenging work are unavailable the well respected and recognized addict resorts to any number of remedies to recreate and/or achieve the same high gotten from recreational pursuits.

Holmes is the atypical functional drug addict. This is not to glorify or elevate prescription drug use above the use of common street drugs; the results from both are about the same. Both types of addicts experience dependence, cravings, reliance, and slavery to substances that destroy mind, body and spirit, eventually leading to death.

Like many possessed of a tortured brilliance only known by members of the “Talented Tenth” Holmes is an insecure elitist. The luster and sparkle of genius seeks to be delivered from the mundane, the trivial and from the insecurities that threaten to destroy a superior intellect.  The trick is to elevate and expand the thought processes and at the same time hoping to eliminate present daily realities of pain and suffering.

Drug addiction is a false cure, a fake hope, phony sanctuary, ever failing to grant rest or repose to its seekers. If the Sherlock Holmes character was updated to these modern times his drug of choice might be Ambien the sleep aid that bridges the gap between conscious and subconscious mind.

Ambien transports ones soul to that place between wakefulness and sleep. It appears to enhance ones innate natural creative abilities.  Users of cocaine and speed often make the same claims. These drugs both legal and illegal offer a false escape from the mundane.  Substance abusers even leave the natural human sexual relationships in order to experience the multiple mental orgasms they cannot achieve through physical sex with a partner. Reality becomes the bad dream. The user finds her/himself caught up in an almost inescapable quagmire.

In one episode Holmes states that, “There’s no escape from the terrors of the mind.”  Many times I secretly wished that life was like Etch A Sketch, that famously popular toy we children of the 60s played with for hours on end. If only life were like that little plastic Neanderthal laptop where with a few vigorous shakes you once again had a clean slate and the ability to start over.

It was a secret desire born out of stress, depression, and hard times to return to a time of innocence and being care free.  However I realized that there was no turning back the clock.  I had to face my inner demons.  I had to ask myself did I want to live the rest of my life in the Twilight Zone when everyone around me constantly telling me I have a gift, a gift that needs to be shared with the world. Also what about my family? What about my beloved autistic brother?  Where would he be if I suddenly was not on the planet anymore?  In addition how could I ignore the calling I knew God had on my life?  The answer is I couldn’t.  Never at any time did God give up on me.  That in and of itself amazed me.  God kept sending people my way to set me back on the path of life.  Even when I wanted to let go of this earthly life and move onto another plane, God said not yet.  I’m not ready for you yet.  You have more work to do on this earth.

No God did not immediately take away all the problems and challenges I’ve been experiencing but He did reveal to me better ways to cope.  Through my gift of writing He has opened doors for me that never would have opened had I allowed myself to sink into the substance abuse quicksand.  Of course there will continue to be bumps and potholes along the roadway but isn’t life somewhat like an obstacle course where the prize for those of us who esteem intellect the ability to successfully negotiate those obstructions by being quick thinkers and thrill in the victory of being an Overcomer?  Enjoy the Treasure Hunt!  Enjoy the excitement of the chase while in your right mind because you’ve been given everything that pertains to life and godliness and you are Empowered to Succeed!

Donations to this Ministry for the Housing Fund can be made in U.S. Funds via money order or bank checks made payable to Deborah A. Palmer. Donations can also be made via Paypal using my email: deborah.palmer280@gmail.com. Thank you and God Bless.Thank you and God Bless.

Male Fallen Angel

Fallen Angel

Limits on Human Forgiveness

10 Sep

 

The Rape of Tamar by LeSueur
The Rape of Tamar by LeSueur (2 Samuel 13)

Limits on Human Forgiveness

Can a pedophile be Forgiven?

My cousin Michael was a child molester. There I said it and there is no easy way to say something like this but his actions cannot be sugarcoated or made palatable in any way, shape or form. Michael sexually molested his niece when she was a little girl. How long the sexual abuse went on I don’t know since I did not find out any of this information until a few years ago. Michael’s behavior towards his children and his mother had always disgusted me but this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Once I found this out I no longer had any contact with him for any reason. Thank goodness he lived in another state so that made it easier to take him off my radar.

Just that piece of knowledge keep hidden within the victim for years, then suddenly coming to light served to reinforce my perceptions of my cousin and the discomfort I felt even as a child then young woman in his presence.

How do you forgive a sociopath? A man with all the characteristics of a Ted Bundy who has sown his seed with women of various races, so much so that at his death earlier this summer the niece whom he raped as a little girl, now charged with contacting said children, could not find them all.

A man so evil who in life created so much discord within the family that his grown children had abandoned him, as he did them; and no one outside of his immediate family saw cause to attend his funeral.

But what disturbed me more? The fact that his mother, my aunt praised him to the hills and constantly sent him money from her meager fixed income or that in recent years he had taken up with some addled white woman with whom he had two more children, one a little girl. Did he take up his sexual perversions with this girl child or as he used to tell us, was he so ill that sex was no longer an issue or a capability. One of Michael’s favorite lies he told his mother was that he had cancer or some other life threatening illness that had him knocking on deaths door. He told this lie for so long that he became like the boy who cried wolf so that when he did pass this year we were like well guess he really was sick after all.

Sickness. We all like to believe that illness does not come from God. God is merciful, kind, compassionate and loving. However God is also a God of wrath and justice. He exacts vengeance upon child abusers and child molesters. “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.” Luke 17:2, Matthew 18:6 & Mark 9:42.

I would estimate that Michael became seriously ill not too long after his last daughter was born. Final justice. God said no, not this little girl. He gave Mephistopheles leave to lay claim to Michael’s evil soul. As in the story Faust, Mephistopheles made good on that claim with another sexual deviant consigned to the levels of Dante’s Inferno.

When informed of his death I felt nothing but a sense of relief and justice had been done. There was no mourning on my part. Yes I do admit my forgiveness is limited. I can forgive crimes against property, hurt feelings, money disagreements, break-ups etc… but I have to draw the line with crimes against children. Pedophiles don’t just harm these children physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. A child’s soul has been stolen perhaps never to be returned. In my book those who commit assault against children will never be absolved.

Mark 10:14

New International Version (NIV)

When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

 

Suffering in the Midst of Healing

10 Sep

Suffering in the midst of healing

Job 19:25-27

New King James Version (NKJV)

25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;

26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,

27 Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!

I Know my Redeemer Lives – Nicole C. Mullen

http://youtu.be/ATBLXyJxyTI

The first part of this teaching is dedicated to a close and dear friend at work whose son has been in the hospital for the last few months fighting for his life. The young man has also been diagnosed with MS. When my friend first told me his son was in a coma and on breathing apparatus my response to him was I will pray and if you need me no matter what time day or night call me. I also emailed him resources from the MS Society. Time passed and nearly our entire workplace banded together in prayer for our supervisor’s son. This young fellow is only in his 20s and the pride and joy of his father. Our supervisor is kind, gentle, fair, faithful and loving Christian man. Of course he was devastated that his boy was so ill. We his friends held him up in prayer, encouragement and support as Moses arms were held up in battle against the enemy.

God had already told me that the young man would live and not die. One day my buddy called me over to his desk and told me his son had opened his eyes. We rejoiced right there at the desk. But the fight is not yet over. The young man is awake, can recognize and grasp his Dad’s hands but cannot yet speak. So now our collective prayer is that the young man will regain his power of speech.

After I emailed my friend resources on the MS Society, I gave more thought as to why God allows sickness and death.  John 11:4 was part of the answer:

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”  Jesus was referring to Lazarus.

Also I thought of John 9: 1-5

John 9

A Man Born Blind Receives Sight
1 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. 4 must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Sickness, disability and even death revealed God’s mercy and compassion as we triumph over them. Sometimes we receive miraculous healing; sometimes we learn to live with a condition other times the Lord takes us or our Loved ones home to be with Him. His power is made manifest in the strength of the human spirit.

Healing is a process.

2 Kings 4:8-37

New International Version (NIV)

The Shunammite’s Son Restored to Life

2 Kings 4:8-37

The record of the daughter of Jairus is a combination of miracles of Jesus in the Gospels (Mark 5:21–43, Matthew 9:18–26, Luke 8:40–56).

The story immediately follows the exorcism at Gerasa. Jairus, a patron of the synagogue, asks Jesus to heal his dying daughter. However, according to Matthew, his daughter is already dead, not dying. As they travel to Jairus’s house, a sick woman in the crowd touches Jesus’ cloak and is healed of her sickness. This is called the miracle of Christ healing the bleeding woman.

Meanwhile the daughter dies, but Jesus continues to the house and brings her back to life, or in his own words, awakens her. In Mark’s account, the Aramaic phrase “Talitha Koum” (transliterated into Greek as ταλιθα κουμ and meaning, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”) is attributed to Jesus.

John 5:4-8

New International Version (NIV)

5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”

I find it interesting that Jesus asked this man, Do you want to be healed? Seems like an odd question since Jesus already knew his condition. Was Jesus questioning the man’s faith? No I don’t believe so because the man had a portion of faith to be close to where the angel troubled the waters. More than likely the man suffered from paralysis and needed friends to assist him. Jesus chose that particular man because he lacked a support system. He needed a friend. Jesus ever merciful and compassionate became that friend. No more did the man have to hope each time that he saw the angel that the people surrounding him would carry him to the troubled water.

Jesus became the Bridge Over Troubled Water. Jesus the conduit between the sickness and the cure. Jesus the Bridge over Troubled Water who lay down his life for us. Our companion in suffering, death and resurrection.

Donations to this Ministry for the Housing Fund can be made in U.S. Funds via money order or bank checks made payable to Deborah A. Palmer or via PayPal using my email address: deborah.palmer280@gmail.com.

A Call to Witness

10 Sep
Black Jesus
Jesus

A Call to Witness

A Call to Witness is a ministry God revealed to me recently in the midst of my trials and tribulations. It is not geared to any one denomination or belief system but to all who hear the voice of God and desire to become closer to the Lord. In fact and in practice God has called me to reach out to those rejected or alienated by the church. A call to society’s unwanted.  We’ve all missed the mark and come short of the glory of God. I help you access some of His Earthly Glory. I seek not religion but a common ground amongst all the world’s races, nationalities, faiths, ethnic groups whose foundation is God.

Habakkuk 2:2-3
New King James Version (NKJV)

2 Then the Lord answered me and said:

“Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.

Donations to this Ministry for the Housing Fund can be made in U.S. Funds via money order or bank checks made payable Deborah A. Palmer.  Donations can also be made via Paypal using my email: deborah.palmer280@gmail.com.

Thank you and God Bless.


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