Saturday, June 27, 2009

Theodicy - explaining evil in spiritual terms

I don’t believe in evil if it is understood as a force of intention with a consciousness to sabotage the will of God. I understand God to be all-encompassing, so it can have no adversary, only forces within itself that move in different directions. There are ascending and descending energies at work in the universe and free-will allows us to choose at every moment in which direction we will offer our allegiance.

The movement of descending energy is fueled by the motivations of Ego. It revolves around the seeking of immediate gratification and personal gain regardless of the expense to others. It is, by nature, adversarial as it sees the self in competition with others. It accomplishes the work of Shiva the destroyer. While the movement of ascending energy is motivated by a commitment to the greater good. It is more constructive than the consuming forces of the descending leagues because it values contributing to the collective development as the highest aim. But this is not about right or wrong. It is more about darkness and light or moving towards light and straying away from it. Each has a momentum of its own which can up-sweep the soul as it takes steps in either direction. Each has rewards and challenges and each serves the turbulent unfurling of the expanding universe.

I believe that acts which appear to be evil, are more like acts of desperation. My experience has taught me that those who hurt others, are themselves so hurt, that they feel forsaken. And in the darkness of being lost, they take hostage of another soul so as not to be so alone. If the dream of this life has turned into a nightmare, and the dreamer has become convinced that he/she has been cast adrift, then it will resort to extreme measures in an unconscious effort to wake up or mount a protest worthy of invoking divine intervention. When a soul believes itself to be irredeemable or forsaken, it will take hostages… it will clutch and grasp at anything in the darkness in the most shameful ways. When people are hurt or betrayed they become susceptible to conversion to the descending philosophy. But what starts out as self-defense can devolve into the justification for perpetuating the fall of the descending forces. Also, when a victim gets good at playing the victim, or when the ego gets good at making itself superior, the identity becomes invested in perpetuating those dynamics.

Conversely, Some who have been hurt or betrayed choose to give their allegiance to the ascending forces and make meaning of their experience by answering injury with defiant compassion. As their energy is upswept in the movement of ascension, their efforts are rewarded with a satisfaction more expansive than the reaches of individual ambitions. It isn't easy to revert the pendulum from the descending momentum to that of ascension. Those who do, are everyday heroes. These are the people I choose to have in my life.

In my theodicy I have chosen not to believe in 'evil'. Even though some choose to give their allegiance to the descending forces, I trust that they, too, are playing their part in the collective turbulence that is our becoming. But I try to give my energy to those who flow my way as fuel for the ascending navigation of our collective course.

Our spiritual beliefs are a way to make sense of our experience - to make meaning out of our existence and the human condition. Generally, they are meant to be helpful... to comfort, to motivate and to create a constructive framework to our understanding of life.

How does your understanding of evil serve you?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Song of Awe

The song and the poem came as a set after chanting 'Yahweh' with an emphasis on 'awe'. Meditating on Awe was inspired by a sermon by Rev. Jim Burklo - - who is doing a fine job of shinning his light into the collective illumination.


This unexpected audience distracted me from completing my speech. If you are interested in the full message, it can be viewed at my youtube channel -

Friday, June 19, 2009


Some people who love me, had concerns about my having included some pictures of me 'au naturelle' in my blog. As each person made their argument for how these might be mis-interpreted, I made mine for the apt representation of my intimate relationship with nature. I am not responsible for how my freedom of expression is interpreted... if I led my life by such restrictions, I would not be the free spirit that you all know and love.
~But I am responsible for being a respectful daughter to my beloved Mother who is wise and kind and has never asked much of me. So when she said it worried her, it didn't seem worth holding my ground. Therefor, I have taken down the images of nothing-coming-between-the-wind-and-my-skin. But let it be known, I still believe there is no shame in nudity and that it can symbolize more than common eroticism. I meant the images to express freedom and a closeness with nature. And while I have withdrawn the pictures, I do not withdraw my advocacy and promotion of these ideals.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Guided Meditation Hikes...

Connecting with nature is the most natural way to connect with one’s inner mystic. That’s why I call hiking my religion, ~ it is the backbone of my practice as it ensures the optimum calibration for my body-mind-spirit. I have learned that all three levels have a shared metabolism. Walking has a way of metabolizing thoughts and concerns in conjunction with waking the vital energies of our body vehicles. And moving energy satisfies the spirit which is always in search of adventure.

Nature walks are self-inducing meditations, aided by the present moment consciousness they facilitate by waking all the senses to the beauty of the day. My practice has evolved to include a number of rituals along the way to enhance the state of awareness that is so useful in granting perspective on life. I would love to share some of these with those interested so I am planning to offer guided meditation hikes, incorporating rituals from beginning to end as a way of helping others to connect with their inner-mystic.

These adventures will involve mindful silence on the way to the destination point, wind dancing (or just free movement and stretching as your comfort level dictates), and chanting ~ which I will lead with the accompaniment of an East Indian drone instrument. I have some other little rituals in mind as well but I don’t want to spoil all the surprise of the adventure. I’m quite sure everyone will gather something personally valuable from the experience. I have chosen an easy trail with a lovely destination point for this activity, so most anyone can participate. The fee will be 10$ unless a person can’t afford to pay (no one will be turned away and all are welcome),

Please let me know if you are interested and if I get enough nibbles I’ll set a date for it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Spiritual Instinct (avec personal theology)...

My strongest personal evidence for the innate spiritual nature of the human, comes from my early childhood experience.

Since my parents were atheists, I was not baptized, nor even provided a language for spirituality at an early age. Yet I remember praying before I had knowledge of the word prayer. Between the ages of three and five, I used to communicate with the place I called home… the place I came from and to which I had no question I would return. The way I conceived of it was as a place of white light where we were all One.

To this day I understand God as the Oneness. God is in and through everything (as a Buddhist monk once said to me; 'We are fish swimming in God') . We are a part of the Oneness that is God but God is the Oneness consciousness that has perspective on everything. And we are in dialogue with it at every turn. While I do not personify God (except for poetic license), I do understand it as a consciousness, greater than my own, with influence over mine. As a Pantheist, I believe all of life to be an expression of the divine. This universe is Gods masterpiece and our lives are the brushstrokes that compose its beauty. I consider God to be both the artist and the art. Since God is the originating source, it is also the substance of all that emerges from it. I interpret God to be the creative inspirational source composing the cosmos and correspondingly does my spirituality express itself creatively in relation to the divine. This is to say, I identify as a mystic and relate to spirit through art, poetry, music, movement and dreams.

My parents encouraged me to ‘think for myself’. They had concerns about the tendency for religions to provide ‘answers’ while discouraging questions. I find great value and inspiration in the wisdom teachings of the many paths to spiritual evolution. Yet, I am so grateful to be rooted in my own deep personal relationship with the nature of this unfolding Universe because, by it, do I wield a built-in measure for distinguishing what resonates as authentic to my soul’s progress. I am thankful to them for allowing me to evolve my own spirituality… for creating the conditions that would allow me to gather such personally irrefutable proof that we are, in fact, innately spiritual creatures .

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Public Transportation

Living in L.A., I sometimes miss the public transit system of my home town (Ottawa) and the exposure to random strangers it facilitated.

Once, I was on a city bus when an elderly woman embarked from a stop outside a shopping center. She was carrying several bags in the manner of one who is accustomed to such a haul. She sat on one of the front benches, at a diagonal to where I was seated.

I have a mind that is quick to formulate theories about the lives of others, by piecing together fragments of given information, like the way their faces have worn or by their body language or in their expressions of dress. With this woman, I guessed she probably lived alone. Namely, I noticed her shoes were old. And I don't mean several years old... I mean, several decades old. I recognized their vintage to be from the sixties or seventies. They were not stylish and they were worn. She did not appear poor enough to be rendered ineligible for an upgrade. Even a second hand pair would surely be an improvement. Perhaps, to her, they were good enough back then, so why wouldn't they be good enough now? But it seemed to me that if she had someone in her life who was intimate enough to concern themselves with such details, she wouldn't be wearing such by-gone footwear.

The thought of being old and alone is a pretty terrifying thought to most humans. So the natural inclination would be to pull back from identifying with any representation of such a dreaded fate. But instead, for some reason, I felt inclined to peer closer…to lift the veil of 'otherness' and to merge momentarily with her humanity.

Suddenly I experienced there to be no distance between us. I felt I was her and I was quite at home with myself. It was no more scary than being the me that observed her as ‘other’. I felt the space between the particles of air was filled with some connective fluid whose substance was compassion. It was so beautiful! Then the feeling spread and I felt the same compassion and union with every person on the bus. I remember having the thought; 'This must be how Jesus felt.' I was flooded with love and realized we were all held and witnessed by this cosmic sinew of compassion.

It was interesting that I found the door to this state by an intentional rapprochement toward that which seemed a dreaded fate. And by looking beyond fear, I received a memorable gift of spiritual comfort.

For weeks after this experience, I kept trying to re-enter that state. I felt desperate to live there. But I have had to reconcile myself to the elusiveness of its entry point. I'm grateful for the taste I was given and I will keep trying to lift the veil. I will post directions when I find the portal again.

The space between us;

Can we dive in

To reach, to touch?

The space between words;

Is that where the truth resides?

I am peering between the molecules of air.

I am parting the curtain of your flesh.

I am deciphering the fourth dimension of you

For therein lies the face of God.