Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Brian’s Reflection: Thursday, September 29, 2011

I like not to know for as long as possible because then
it tells me the truth instead of me imposing the truth.

Michael Moschen

I’m old enough to know that if I’m caught up in “imposing the truth”, I’m shutting out Life. Is it a characteristic of youth to need to exert control ….. to put parameters around Existence so as not to feel overwhelmed?; so as to be able to manage? Is this what lies behind prejudice, and control, and tribalism, and all the other things that prevent people from seemingly being able to enter into Oneness with all things? Is this why Jesus, and other great spiritual teachers, tried to teach the Unitive Way ….. with not much success?

I guess it’s not as simple as that. Churches are full of older people ….. but I don’t see that these older people are much better at being open to the truth Life has to teach us. As a matter of fact, I would say that most of the people I know who are open to being taught by Life aren’t part of “organized” religion.

Well, I’ll think more about that. But I have to say that in the last few years of my life, I have less and less interest - or need - to “know”. I want to listen to Life. I have this deep sense that I have missed so much in trying to “master” Life. That I have diminished my life by trying to “impose the truth”.

I feel like I have become a child again, holding off for as long as possible, expecting marvelous things.

Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pick the Strawberry

Wisdom of the Tao

There is a Taoist parable. A man, running from a tiger, comes to a cliff. He grabs a vine and climbs down. Halfway down, he looks up: the tiger is waiting - his Past. He looks down: another tiger at the bottom - his Future. And one white and one black rat are chewing the vine - Day and Night, for mortality looms.

He looks, and there on the cliff is a lush, red, ripe strawberry. With one hand, he reaches out, plucks the strawberry and eats it.

You get it, right?

Pluck the strawberry! It’s the Reality you have.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, September 27, 2011

God exists ……… right???

Brian Orrock McHugh

Both the question and the answer are …..complex.

Question: can God exist without conscious human minds? My answer: No. For better or worst, as the old song goes, “You can’t have one without the other”. If this were not the case, Jesus would be unnecessary.

We can look back into History and concoct various explanations for the “existence of God”. All are interwoven with cultural and intellectual development. Slowly, we have been working towards an understanding of God which is not based on a God who fills in the gaps of Ignorance. To my mind, this is great progress. God surely cannot be a by-product of anything, especially Ignorance.

Does God exist apart from us (human beings)? No. Not in this manifestation of the Universe.

Is God currently being diminished by the present economic, religious, and political state of the World? Without a doubt. The more human beings are trashed, demeaned, insulted, the more the concept of God is devalued. The same thing can be said about the relationship between Science and God.

God is reported to have said, “Your ways are not my ways, nor your thoughts my thoughts”. We’d best pay attention.

My thought: God and Human Beings create each other. We are not separated. We cannot exist without each other. And if we would know anything about “God”, that knowledge must come from within each, in a relationship of Love.

Things for pondering.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Brian’s Reflection: Monday, September 26, 2011

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've
planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.

Joseph Campbell


Brian Orrock McHugh

It’s been a month. And I have felt like hell through it, believe me! Howard (my surgeon) said it would be hell, fixing 2 abdominal hernias one the size of a softball and the other twice as big, having to clear out the mesh and adhesions from the last supposed “fix”, laparoscopic, which didn’t work. All that inner reorganizing worked well (Howard has the reputation of a god around here), and by 2 weeks it was ok. No MRSA caught in the hospital, Thank God. However: 4 weeks of totally exhaustion, 24/7 headache, bouts of breathless gasping for air, numb lips, and (ugh!) a nauseous stomach into which any calories had to be forced. (I lost 15 pounds.) Howard said it could be Fight/Flight adrenaline tension, after the terrific assault on this aging body … and the fourth time the gut has been slashed open on the same fault line.

After tests that showed no blood issues, and an xray showing no blockage, I called Howard and said, “I would like a tranquilizer; my body needs help to cal down.” Bless his heart, he took my advice. Today, after two days of Ativan, I feel 100 % better, and was able to take the two liurgies and preach today. So, we are on the way ….. but I shall remember my dear body’s warning!

I had lots of prayers …. which for me are whispered expressions of love and blessings that filter through the One Consciousness in which we all share, carrying mysticons of peace and love. Thanks! I am on the mend ….. and thinner, a disgusting bit of vanity on my part.

This month’s journey has also reminded me of Campbell’s wisdom. Thinking one can go back to the “status quo” is a fantasy. Many of us get trapped in the dark unhappiness of that delusion, from youth to old age. I know that my four weeks (perhaps a bit more) is a “heads up”: Life is God, and God has more for us that we can “ask or imagine”.