Ram Dass spoke eloquently of developing a spiritual practice that enables you to keep your heart open in hell. Mahayana Buddhists have the notion of Bodhisattvas, enlightened being who after countless rebirths are ready to enter into the bliss of Nirvana, but who vow not to cross over until they have assisted all sentient beings, to cross over before them.
Once in conversation with a Zen monk, and referencing the Boddhisattva concept, the monk smiled at me and replied, “Yes, but Jesus also was a great Boddhisattva.” In that moment my entire life changed as I realised we are all just ‘walking each other home’, another Ram Dass saying.
Compassion lies at the heart of all spiritual practice, in fact is the absolute validation of our journey. If my journey, religion and practice does not increase my compassion, what’s the point. If my religion makes me cruel, fearful and judgemental what’s the point?
This episode explores the way Jesus experienced compassion and unpacks some of his crazy wisdom that enabled his to say to marginalised and dispossessed people that they were “Blessed”.
This isn’t what you may think.
Karl Marx misread this ascpect and called releigion “an opiate”. He was wrong, It isn’t opium, correctly understood this crazy wisdom is dynamite!
From the times of Emperor Constantine and the Battle of the Milvian bridge 27 October 312 CE, the cross has come to be associated with expansionism, triumphalistic Crusades, patriarchy, and at some level this cross denotes everything that is wrong with the world right now.
It would be sad if we missed the fact that the cross is more than a religious image. It is a deepy archetypal symbol embedded in the human unconscious, and can be wisely used as a symbol of intersection and integration. This video looks at the human cruciform expansion of the healthy ego in the first half of life as we move from the Alpha point of concetion and birth.
In the second half of life, the cross invited the ego to slowly merge with the higher IAM of the true self which is the essence of LIFE that awaits us at the omega point of our dying.
I hope you find the Integration Practice useful as you become the cross you are called to carry
Using ancient Rabinnic Midrash methods in Hebrew Translations Neumann came up with an amazing insight into what neighbour can also be translated to mean. In a world where the old laws and religions no longer inform and modify our behavior there is a need for a New Ethic. No longer a dualistic and shadow projection onto an external enemy -which justifies: wars, genocide, racism and self-righteousness. The new ethic invites us to love our own inner evil and enemy and thereby heal and save the world by saving ourselves.
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Early on in the narrative of Jesus’ ministry, the crowd want to make him King.
Both occasions are after he has miraculously fed them (John 6:12-15) and extravagantly made wine from water. (John 2:23-25). In a publicist’s nightmare, on both occasions Jesus withdraws from the projection and idolization, “because he knew what was in people’s hearts”.
What was it that Jesus knew?
Carl Jung in his work Aion, has helped us understand the psychology of projection which I unpack in this video.
Understanding how we project our own gold out of the shadows of the unconscious can help us understand (if not desist), from falling in love, worshiping the wrong objects, and even from falling prey to scapegoating others when they don’t meet our unrealistic expectations of them.
We cannot blame the devil, nor make Jesus responsible for our salvation.
The Parables were stories Jesus told about God. Could the Gospels be Parables the Church told about Jesus? Dominic Crossan thinks so. What if all our lives are parables we are telling the world and ourselves about LIFE? What is the parable that you are living?
In this episode we continue to explore the public ministry of Jesus as part of his whole life which left us an orienting map for our own journey. What we regard as the miracles of Jesus life were not intended to be the extraordinary and illogical events we have come to believe miracles to be. Instead these moments were the symptoms of an integrated and inclusive life that empowered ordinary people with wonder at their own being and belonging in the world.
Last episode we explored the wonderful Baptism of Jesus, the dove, the voice, “You are my agapeitos” (beloved child).
Why, Jesus could have been the proto Trust (fund) Kid!
How then does the same Spirit, (can you still see the dove?) “offer him up” to the Wilderness where the Devil and the Ravens rule?
This episode explores how our Wilderness times are essential counterpoints to our Baptimal blessing moments. One without the other leads to rampant, inflated egos behind picket fences, or conversely to despairing dark depressions when we recognise we can’t be love and light all the time.
Moving into the second phase of Jesus’ life, the public ministry once more through the lens of it being an archetypal map for ours, Peter considers the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan. The Jordan is a pivotal symbol in the Abrahamic faiths, and water is a universal religious symbol for humankind.
This episode explores those themes as well as looking in the end at what parental acceptance may do to transform our lives, and if withheld do the opposite.
Here is the Podcast link if you’d rather listen than watch…