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While it's often fashionable to dwell upon what might have been, what's usually overlooked is that, really and truly, it couldn't have.

Because, invariably, any romanticized versions of how things "might have been," are based upon fictionalized versions of the past.

You see, most of the time when people think the present could have been different from it is, it's because they think the past was different than it was. Happily, the future can still be anything, when you surrender to the details (and who has to do what).

If we look closely at the evolution of religion over time, we see that there has been gradual growth toward the goal of union with God. Religions continue to change, “Transcending and including,” as Ken Wilber says, learning from old ways and opening to new. Christianity is no different from other religions in this regard. Over the next few weeks I will focus on people and communities within Christianity who were somehow transformed and “got it” at a mature level for their time in history.

Christianity first emerged not as a new religion, but as a reform and sect of Judaism within Judea and the Mediterranean. Wherever Paul, Peter, and other early missionaries traveled, they formed small communities of believers in “The Way,” a movement that emphasized Jesus’ teachings, death, and resurrection as the path to transformation. Gradually the movement grew and took on a life of its own, welcoming non-Jews as well as Jews, becoming more inclusive and grace-oriented, until it eventually called itself “catholic” or universal. By 80 CE, there were Christians as far away as India and France.

The “Early Church” period (the five hundred or so years following Jesus’ resurrection) was a time of dramatic change in culture, politics, and economy. All these changes affected the development of the fledgling religion, shaping liturgy, rituals, and theology. Historian Diana Butler Bass writes, “for all the complexity of primitive Christianity, a startling idea runs through early records of faith: Christianity seems to have succeeded because it transformed the lives of people in a chaotic world.” During this time, Christianity was not so much about doctrines or eternal salvation, but about how to live a better life here and now, within the “Reign of God.”

From the perspective of occupying Roman powers, the Christian sect was radical because it encouraged alternative behaviors that were both attractive to those at the bottom and threatening to the worldview of empire. Rather than acquiring wealth, this new sect shared possessions equally. Followers of The Way lived together with people of different ethnicities and social classes rather than following classist and cultural norms.
Early Christianity is largely unknown and of little interest to most Western Christians. The very things the early Christians emphasized—such as the prayer of quiet, the Trinity, divination, universal restoration, and the importance of practice—have been neglected, to our own detriment. With the schism between what are now the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches in 1054 CE, Christians, in effect, excommunicated one another. Every time the church divided, it also divided up Christ, and both sides of the divide were weaker as a result.
Through these meditations, I will try to reclaim some of the forgotten pieces of the Christian tradition for our wholeness and blessing, hopefully bringing us closer to what it means to be created in the image and likeness of God. Not knowing this early heritage will allow us to cling to superficial Christian distinctions that emerged much later, and largely as historical accidents.

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Be before you become. What does this mean? Read it again dear one. BE.

When you are experiencing life you are not experiencing darkness. Never conclude the next hour, the minute, the next day.

Comparison is a destructive force when all you seek is survival.

Always something more. ASM.

No no no.

As Soon As Syndrome.

As Soon As __________, then I’ll be happy.

You know better, don’t you?

As Long As _________, then I’ll be happy.

You knew better before you were trained worse.

There is something within you seeking to be boundless.

Understand what is less, what you didn’t take the time because of cultural rushing. “And the rest shall BE added unto you.”

Don’t dismiss the ancient if you’ve yet to accept or see the truth is one morsel of it. What we judge we cannot understand. Do you know why most people judge ALL Christian teachings? Or why most people judge ALL Buddhist teachings? Or why most people judge ALL simple teachings?

Fear. We tend to be miserably comfortable with our conclusions. We’d rather conclude our misery than look inwardly for freedom.

http://awaken2now.live

The site is undergoing what I’m undergoing. Deconstruction and starting back at ONE. I know that I don’t know. There’s freedom in that. You haven’t reached your end my friend. Oh heavens no!

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I earned my graduate degree in 1992 with the idea of counselling whoever as predicated on wherever I got a job. (Forever earning, aren’t we?) I began working with teens and little did I know how off beam my perception of reality had (reluctantly at first) habituated in becoming while a teenager myself. After I began working with women, children and the disconnect resulting from a mother’s substance abuse, I recall a pivotal moment, praying to my then largely “problem solving” notion of God to cause me to forget the airy abstractions and theories learnt in school. The arbitrary rules of disengagement with both men and women became the exact opposite of the grace I’d craved from my distantly critical yet extremely abusive father. He was about rules but relationships were nonexistent. One day, an unusual realisation struck me in spite of not knowing what it fully meant. “Why do you take anything personally as a Christian, as a human being, as a prig, prostitute, Buddhist, Hindu, Catholic, Lutheran, Atheist, psychologist, an American, Armenian, low-brow, blue blood, a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, a corn dog and the myriad of millions of other labels that act to metastasise to the “little me”? This very silly image and idea we have witlessly accepted just to be accepted. “I’m Brian!” said I. The guy who’s not sleeping walking says: “I’m breathing!” The second is exceedingly more exciting. Other questions arose over the next several years; the questions may or may not have immediate answers or answers at all. To know that we don’t know is a sort of knowing because the mystery is a forever unfolding glimpse at heaven and destroys the insanity of the horribly senseless suffering of make believing we have arrived at eternal certitude. It’s like claiming explanatory mastery of the ocean by freezing a wave. Words won’t get us there. “Why am I engaged in incessantly trying to help others change and so damned preoccupied with trying to myself change?” The mind that anxiously desires change becomes a static statue while ever flowing dynamism remains willing for the “little me” to wait for the mentally muddled water to clear. Let the sediments sink as this is hardly another time to hurry up and wait again. “Be still and know.” Not, “I’ll be still once I know.” Hog wash! The more we know the less we understand. Pat answers have been the shopworn platitudes Sunday after Sunday so predictably preached that these absurd answers were what put everyone in the pews swiftly asleep. In England during the 18th century, the churches actually hired “Sluggard Wakers” to strike church members atop their skull caps with something akin to an ice pick just to ensure this narcoleptic kind of heretical common herd heard the full measure about molten lead and fiery tortuous brimstone. After all, perfect punishment keeps congregants coming back. My dad used to say, “I’d rather take a beating than listen to him scream one more Sunday!” Well, the Sluggard Waker probably worked around the clock for some needed overtime and would have happily obliged my dad. Clearly, more time, knowledge, trainings, data, platitudes, programs. Treatment plans and unending paper peddling for pay was quite predictable but also wholly unproductive if not unnecessary. I understand that I had to play the game but the clients see through the game like Saran Wrap. Eyesight without insight is like wearing a wig absent a head. We’re trimming weeds while the roots mock our paint by the numbers pattern. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CGT). CBT is a rather Pavlovian drooling dog method of keeping our egoistic identities temporarily off the reality radar by ushering us swiftly back onto the Productive Members of Society rat race wheel of misfortune (PMS). Equal opportunity gender syndrome. Treadmills and treading water are our reasons to be — or ‘do’ rather. Psychology and theology are big busyness as each demands that love is blind as their standard operating platitude. Attraction, not love, is what is actually blind. Nothing sees with such clarity of perception and subjectivity as love. The mind is a good servant but a horrid master. “The Spirit is willing, the mind is weak and dualistic.” The mind, unlike the Spirit or inner life, creates an art form of creating problems that don’t exist. ALL or NOTHING. Either Or. “I’m right, you’re wrong.” There’s only one thing worse than chemical addiction and it is our programmed belief system utterly addicted to our way of thinking. We tell clients what to do or not to do, but rarely how to unlearn and drop years of societal, cultural and religious conditioning. Why? This will shock you, especially if self-identified with the label of Christian. We are told that it is vastly more important during the first half of our lives (first 30 to 40 years or so) to construct an outwardly successful looking container than to dare consider the continually conditioned content that we are often hurriedly, worriedly and unconsciously determined to contaminate our overly domesticated containers with. This all showroom but no storeroom Westernised formula has even been fashionably and witlessly lectured within classrooms and preached behind pulpits. A new coping skill is pointless until the mind is observed as the chatter box and horrible roommate that it actually is. After the 17th century Enlightenment in Europe, we Americans wanted to appear smart too. Per another American slogan: “Protecting Freedom since 1776.” Read that again. As absurd as: “Keep the faith.” We seem to prefer building strong walls rather than creating unifying and universal bridges. Why not share the faith and freedom? The Universal Christ is no threat to anything but separateness, illusion, domination, and the imperial ego. In that sense, Jesus, the Christ, is the ultimate threat, but first of all to Christians. Cart before the creation (or horse) as some joker said.

“Seek you FIRST the kingdom of God within you and the rest will fall into place.” -Jesus (Find it in Matthew 6:33)

We’ll overview the second half of life and the content in just a bit. I’ll post it when I post it. No hurry, no worry.

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Watch it several times. What can you learn?

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Surrendering to who you (are) now prior to any other person, unintentionally or otherwise, labelling and describing you.

It (whatever IT never was) is nearing its end when you start recognising (from day to day) how you are not taking words, gibes, and other’s opinions of you or your opinions of you nearly as personally. Anytime we are offended, it is ALWAYS the egoistic false self that has taken umbrage. It would rather be angry and guilty than be transformed. The identify crisis (more accurate than a midlife age-based meltdown) collapses in an almost direct relationship to the egoistic phoney self’s previously external validations as still born by titles, interest inventories, positions, status trinkets, “what was” and “what should have been” deadwood storylines, places, people’s opinions of the mentally contrived nonexistent self-image and woefully undulating mental ideas you (and it’s kind of embarrassing) used to take seriously. The education, trivia that is increasingly becoming laughable and the whole mental illusionary mime that served its fictionally absurd and ludicrous pseudo-personal aberration until this hoodwinked and hilarious caricature you witlessly imagined as “the little me” was merely a walking and talking mannequin caught up in this makeshift land of Oz.

It’s embarrassing as it is humiliating to the egoistic charade and self-illusion of a nonexistent idea you witlessly and tightly wound into a loose cannon creation concocted from the chaos of being a kid, a temperamental teen, a court jester adult. It’s like saying: “Son of a bitch! This pensively unrelenting horror story I’ve both liked but more so loathed is a freaking joke! Hell! Whoever I thought I was isn’t and I was hoodwinked and I’m waking up! A paradox. Because the mind is so afraid of seeing there is nothing wrong, it will think: “Oh God! If there’s nothing wrong then there’s no hope! Because if there’s nothing wrong than there’s no hope for little me to make it right.”
It is humiliatingly hurtful and it hurts like the hell it always was but LET it. There’s no going back and the good news is you’ll soon SEE that you don’t want to tread decades of water anymore. The jig is up, there’s no crisis whatsoever because there’s no parroting puppet able to pretend it’s an identity. That sucker is gone. That sucker never was. “Be who you is cause if you ain’t who you is, you is who you ain’t.”
It’s easier to fool someone than convince someone they’ve been fooled. Oh my! Defending fear is a sure sign too much salt has begun melting the slug. Now play. No more missing the point.

And yes. You’re not running out of time but into timelessness. Ain’t that a trip? Until then, enjoy here and Now.

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But if you’ve ever observed a heated debate whereby tempers are wildly absurd, one thing that becomes obvious is that one or both sides are unconsciously engaged in defending their supposed position (half believed opinion). The same holds true whenever our egoistically manufactured opinions of ourselves come under question (not even attack). And if we’re content to remain miserably reactive till the bitter end, we’ll justify our incessantly displeased temperament by saying: “The provocation was so sudden and unexpected: I was caught off my guard, I had not time to collect myself! It’s unfair! Tell me what I want to hear and I won’t become unhinged and I’ll let everyone get on without any drama!”

When the true unconditioned self sees the utter absence of the societal psychobabble blarney, yes, when you see that there’s nothing wrong, you’re going to likely experience the most senselessly contrived contrast known to humankind. It’s humilitating to the egoistic charade, self-imagary of a nonexistent idea you witlessly wound into a loose cannon creation concocted from the chaos of being a kid, a temperamental teen, a court jester adult. It’s like saying: “Son of a bitch! This pensively unrelenting horror story I’ve both liked but more so loathed is a freaking joke! Hell! Whoever I thought I was isn’t and I was hoodwinked and, fuck fire, I’m waking up! Because the mind is so afraid of seeing that there is nothing wrong, it will think: “Oh God! If there’s nothing wrong then there’s no hope! Because if there’s nothing wrong than there’s no hope for me to make it right.” Humiliation hurts. LET IT.

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Following on the heels of Augustine, the greatest influence on today’s hell theology via most modern Bible translations came from Jerome’s Latin Vulgate. Jerome translated this version of the Scriptures from a very inferior Latin text in the late 4th century. According to Wikipedia: For over a thousand years (c. AD 400–1530), the Vulgate was the definitive edition of the most influential text in Western European society. Indeed, for most Western Christians, it was the only version of the Bible ever encountered. The Vulgate’s influence throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance into the Early Modern Period is even greater than that of the King James Version in English; for Christians during these times the phraseology and wording of the Vulgate permeated all areas of the culture. What was the problem with Jerome’s Bible? It was heavily influenced by Latin hell-inventing theologians like Tertullian and Augustine. Many of the words used in the Vulgate, such as eternal, redemption, justification, sanctification, sacrament, perdition, punish, torment, damnation, etc., were coined by Tertullian and his contemporaries and came to be associated with concepts foreign to the original Greek. According to historian Alexander Thomson: [The Latin Church’s emphasis on fear-based dualism] was reserved for three great Carthaginians, Tertullian, Cyprian, and Augustine, so to influence the Latin Church it deflected and declined into a system of dogmatic hierarchy and spiritual despotism. But Tertullian was the individual who set this current in motion. …This, then, is the man in the hollow of whose hands lay the clay which was to be molded into concrete Latin dogma. This is the man in whose hands reclined the fate of the word eternal. …Augustine, who later outdid Tertullian and his doctrines, maintained that the whole human race was “one damned batch and mass of perdition” (conspersis damnata, massa perditionis), out of which a few are elected to salvation, while all the remainder are lost for ever. He beheld evil as a force integral in a universe apart from God, while Origen believed that all is out from God, even evil, which God must undo and banish. One who has no place for eons to come* must look on the future as a shoreless eternity. Having failed to grasp what God had revealed concerning the eons, Tertullian had no alternative but to impart to the Latin word eternal that sense which it now bears. *Since no such concept or expression of eternity was ever included in Scripture Scripture by the original writers, periods of time called eons or ages are crucial in understanding God’s plan for mankind. This topic is developed in chapter 14, “Eternity vs. Ages.”] When you realize that the hell doctrine was so late in being adopted by the Church and Scriptures, not to mention the introduction of a host of other vague “churchy” words and concepts, the poorly constructed walls of orthodoxy begin to crumble. It was several hundred years after Jesus and the apostles that men began formulating many new Church doctrines and creeds, many still a part of Evangelical Christian orthodoxy to this day. Had our old English Bibles been translated directly out of the Greek instead of Latin, it’s very probable that the doctrine of eternal torment would never have found its way into our modern Bibles and theology at all. Many of these doctrines were strong-armed into the Church through major dissention and even bloodshed, with intolerant, oppressive Church leaders insisting that they were “led by the Spirit” on such matters. In a sense, how is the Church adopting such major theological shifts so many years after Christ any different than, say, the Mormons or the Jehovah’s Witnesses adopting their objectionable doctrines in more recent times? Hell Discrepancy As the centuries went by, the Bible was translated and retranslated into Latin (mainly from Greek), and more than twelve centuries later translated into English (from Greek and Hebrew) with the advent of the original King James in the 1600s. It’s not hard to see how morphing Church beliefs and language changes influenced each Bible version that came along. In his book, The Bible in English: its history and influence, David Daniell notes that when King James gave the translators instructions for working on his King James Authorized Version in 1604 (a seven-year project), he intended to make sure that the new version would “conform to the ecclesiology and reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and its belief in an ordained clergy.”[19] Since then, it has undergone over 400 more years of translator interventions and theological interpretations. When you think of how many people, opinions, doctrines, misunderstandings, language barriers, as well as political and theological agendas may have worked into the mix in 2,000 years, it’s hard to believe (and shouldn’t be believed) that the Bible has maintained inerrancy or complete adhesion to the original intent.

Ferwerda, Julie. Raising Hell: Christianity's Most Controversial Doctrine Put Under Fire (pp. 57-58). Vagabond Group. Kindle Edition.

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I have never perceived anything that I have ‘become’ fairly good at as either difficult or time killing. Be it playing the guitar and creating melodies and then recording these melodies, or prior to even picking up the guitar, the question of playing the guitar was self-evident. Just as how to live life is absurd when contrasted with the reality that life is living me in spite of me, was the effortless knowing that to buy a guitar was the same as playing it very well. Not very well by comparing but by allowing the instrument to fuse with my soul. No mind was involved. When mind has been involved, there is no playing.

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How do you stop a pattern?

See it.

When you are aware that you have been unaware, this is awareness. Don’t get mad at yourself for falling into it. See it and lose interests in the thoughts that used to give the son of bitch 5 star service.

Have humour whilst observing the silly identity crisis. Recall occasions when you exaggerated your job title or what you actually did or some other cocktail party pomposity and then see how remarkably unconscious and silly you were. It is super funny and only you and Perfect Love knows about it. Perfect Loves loves seeing you laugh. Laugh at the patterned imposter. It will kill it without killing you. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

This is funny so listen and listen again if necessary. There’s a reason for redundancy. GET IT. Enjoy waking up. No hurry no worry.

Simplicity, Patience, Compassion
http://awaken2now.live

I love you
And no, God does not hate you regardless of the brimstone you’ve been handed. Forgive the lies and love the truth. It’s all around you. There’s only One anyway so anywhere you sincerely look, you’ll find it.

Change your perception of God and His or Her love for ALL people and YOU and your life WILL change imperceptibly but radically. Embrace grace. Love has better things to do than hate. Imagine that.

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You can’t love people and have more grace than God? Listen and wake up.

Reformation and food fights got this ALL screwed up. Lord, we like exceptions. Well, we’ve got One.

No one comes to the Father EXCEPT by Me.

Live and love and stop existing now. WAKE UP

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