Monday, July 21, 2014

What are we here for?


As I listen to casual conversations of those around me, and observe the preoccupations of their days, I understand more and more the lamentations of Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Book of Mormon prophets, et al.. So many “good” people seem utterly oblivious to the LAW of their progression and transformation. There is outer work AND there is inner work, but with all the busy-ness and emphasis on outer work—running to and fro in the service of tradition, custom, appearance, other’s expectations, worldly pursuits, etc.—who has time for that “selfish,” nebulous, mysterious inner-stuff? (Or so the thinking too often goes!) But perhaps we should ask ourselves: Is God as tired of all our religious “doings” as He was in the days of Isaiah1? Is He as disappointed with us as He was with the Church at Ephesus2?
from office.microsoft.com

Do we think that God simply hands out attachable wings to high-speed caterpillars? Or are we going to have to do a little cocooning with Him to achieve the requisite transformation?3

Perhaps we can learn a thing or two from Mother Earth. (Have you noticed how much God loves His creations and incessantly refers to them in alluding to the mysteries?) Here is what He said about Mother Earth and the LAW she is abiding:
[V]erily I say unto you, the earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom, for it filleth the measure of its creation, and transgresseth not the law—Wherefore, it shall be sanctified; yea, notwithstanding it shall die, it shall be quickened again, and shall abide the power by which it is quickened, and the righteous shall inherit it. (Doctrine and Covenants Section 88:25-26)
So who are the righteous? Are they not (like Mother Earth), those who are filling the measure of their creation (seeking to become divine beings; doing the will of God) and transgressing not4 the LAW of the celestial kingdom (via repentance and the atonement).

So, let’s ask ourselves:
▪ What is the law we are abiding?
▪ How are we doing with the Ten Commandments5?
▪ How about the Two5?
▪ How about the One5?
▪ How deep is our inner work?
▪ Do we even know what that means?
▪ Does it relate in any way to:
▫ self-discipline
▫ integrity
▫ seeking growth, enlightenment, and transformation with all our heart
▫ the greater good
▫ being still
▫ being tested
▫ understanding parables and symbolism
▫ following the words and example of Nephi:
I, Nephi, … having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, … (Book of Mormon 1 Nephi 2:16)

For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round. (Book of Mormon 1 Nephi 10:19)
Somehow it just seems that too many of us don’t give enough thought and action to the alchemy of our own transformation; that we don’t even evaluate how we are doing, day after day; that we have forgotten the transformative power of  “return and report” at the end of every day.

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1. Old Testament Isaiah 1:10 - 17 ~ Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
2. New Testament Revelation 2:1-5 ~ UNTO the angel of the church of Ephesus write; … I know thy works, and thy labour [service?], and thy patience, … and for my name's sake hast labored [served?], and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. [Personal relationship with ME? Inner work? Discovering and doing My will?] Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. (See “Which Church” post in labels below for greater explanation.)
3. Idea sparked when reading Michael S. Schneider’s, A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science, p. 266. He wrote: “The seven-stage transformation of our elusive inner life, the goal of ancient seers, philosophers and initiates around the world, does not graft miraculous powers onto our familiar Self; it changes us from our core. After all, a butterfly is more than just a caterpillar with wings.”
4. For the truly repentant and obedient, Christ’s atonement cleanses all the transgression to which we are all susceptible.
5. Rule of Law: Ten to One: See http://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.ca/2013/11/rule-of-law-ten-to-one.html

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Coming Déjà Vu ?


I read about the calamities of former days, (as in these brief examples):
Would that I had raised my voice at that moment, that it might have saved me from the pain in which I am. … Woe is me because of the misery of this time! (Papyrus Ipuwer VI; Ancient Egypt) http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/texts/ipuwer.htm

A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God. (Old Testament Jeremiah 3:21)

… there was great mourning and howling and weeping among all the people continually; yea, great were the groanings of the people, because of the darkness and the great destruction which had come upon them. And in one place they were heard to cry, saying: O that we had repented before this great and terrible day, and then would our brethren have been spared, and they would not have been burned in that great city Zarahemla. And in another place they were heard to cry and mourn, saying: O that we had repented before this great and terrible day, and had not killed and stoned the prophets, and cast them out; then would our mothers and our fair daughters, and our children have been spared, and not have been buried up in that great city Moronihah. And thus were the howlings of the people great and terrible. (Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 8:23-25)
I look around and listen to the news and views of today, and I cannot help but wonder if we are in for a latter déjà vu of the headline that might have graced every historical “Extra, Extra” had there been any capacity to print it:
Earth, wind/fire, water clipart from office.microsoft.com

Are we any different than former days? Why have we been asked to study Isaiah1? To read the Book of Mormon? To apply those ancient texts to our day and lives2?

Is it because we, too, have:
▪ fallen in lust with the terrestrial?
▪ been seduced by The Three Temptations?
▪ been distracted by markets, commerce, and careerism?
▪ placed our faith in the visible in place of the invisible?
▪ been seduced by our senses and the sensible?
▪ lost consciousness of the esoteric, symbolic, and mysteries?
▪ followed “idols” (even spiritual ones), instead of the Spirit?
▪ lost our ability to distinguish true from false?
▪ treated traditions as if they were dogmatic truths?
▪ thought outward appearance was sufficient?
▪ acted as if service (of whatever kind3) was always superior to stillness? [Be still, and know that I am God: (Old Testament Psalms 46:10)]
▪ created God in our image?
▪ forgotten why we are here?
Brigham Young said all truth belongs to the gospel wherever it is found. Alma said God grants to all nations to teach His word4; so perhaps we should also be learning from additional prophetic voices outside the confines of our culture, traditions, and norms.

Let us not be afraid of honest, critical, and healing reflection. Let us not be afraid of following the Spirit if it says “No” to the expectations of others and their time-consuming agendas. Let us not be so conforming to the things of mere habit and custom. Let us not fall into the condemnation given to the Church at Ephesus.5

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1. Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 23:1 ~ AND now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah.
2. Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 11:8 ~ And now I write some of the words of Isaiah, that whoso of my people shall see these words may lift up their hearts and rejoice for all men. Now these are the words, and ye may liken them unto you and unto all men. Also 1 Nephi 19:24 ~ Wherefore I spake unto them, saying: Hear ye the words of the prophet [Isaiah], ye who are a remnant of the house of Israel, a branch who have been broken off; hear ye the words of the prophet, which were written unto all the house of Israel, and liken them unto yourselves, that ye may have hope as well as your brethren from whom ye have been broken off; for after this manner has the prophet written.
3. Including, all too frequently, the enormous time and energy sacrifices demanded of members for super-activities, cultural fêtes at temple dedications, camps, jamborees, galas, grand meals, elaborate ward/stake events/activities, extra meetings, fund-raisers, etc., etc., which take
▪ farmers from their fields during critical weather windows;
▪ parents from their children for days-on-end;
▪ everyone from scarce time for contemplation, pondering, meditation, reflection, study, and other forms of important or critical service;
▪ many from the real mission and purpose of their time and lives.
4. Book of Mormon, Alma 29:8 ~ For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true.
5. New Testament Revelation 2:1-5 ~ UNTO the angel of the church of Ephesus write; … I know thy works, and thy labour [service?], and thy patience, … and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. [Personal relationship with ME? Inner work?] Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. (See “Which Church” post in labels below for greater explanation.)

 
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