God and UFO’s

Dear Lightworkers,

In previous posts, we’ve delved into the testimony of a researcher whose conversations with extra-terrestrials (Arcturians) have resulted in a spiritual philosophy and even a new understanding of Jesus Christ.

Today, we go beyond such individual reports to look at how the Church as an institution is accommodating our galactic friends.

Now that the New York Times has produced an investigative report on the Pentagon’s UFO program (see: NY Times on Pentagon and UFO), it is thought-provoking to consider the theological implications of extraterrestrial contact.

The Vatican’s Br. Guy Consolmagno replies to such questions on his blog, The Catholic Astronomer (see: Vatican’s Brother Guy). See also this summary article (Summary Article on ET’s and Interdisciplinary Research).

Consider, too, whether Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus might have been caused by a falling meteor (see article: Falling Meteor on Road to Damascus).

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Sayings of Jesus/Lao Tzu

Persian_depiction_of_Jesus_-_Sermon_on_the_Mount

Selections from Jesus and Lao Tzu, by Martin Aronson:  See larger selection here

Commentary is my own by Jesus Lightworker

Respond to anger with virtue Tao Te Ching 63

Matthew 5:38 Do not resist and evil doer. If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, offer him the other also. 

Commentary: The vicious circle of sin, in Christian terms  — or the deviation from the Tao, according to Lao Tzu’s philosophy — consists in a dynamic of retribution. Anger is repaid by anger, evil by evil. This cycle can occur on larger levels, as in warfare or global strife, or in smaller ways, whenever we hold a grudge or we are motivated by ill-will.  If, instead, we respond to evil with goodness and to anger with virtue, then we demonstrate that goodness and virtue are actually more powerful than their opposites.

By offering the one who strikes us the “other cheek,” we do what martial artists do when they use another’s strength against him. An evil doer comes rushing, with aggression, toward us. We simply put out our hand  — or offer the “other cheek” — at once to submit to the assault and to block it. Because we have cultivated our own inner power, and integrity of virtue, the force of the aggressor is visited back upon him by our own slightest move. Our act, without any motive of resistance or retribution, nevertheless overcomes the adversary.

Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37

The sage is good to people who are good. He is also good to people who are not good. This is true goodness. The sage trusts people who are trustworthy. He also trusts people who are not trustworthy. This is true trust. Tao Te Ching 49

Commentary: If the sage trusts even people who are not trustworthy, who is he or she trusting? She or he trusts the Tao. It is the Tao that brings about the interaction or relationship itself (between the sage and the trustworthy or untrustworthy person). The Tao, the principle of Life itself,  is trustworthy. Similarly, by repaying people who are not good with goodness, the sage trusts the Tao itself, which is good.

If I lose money in a business deal, for instance, because I’ve trusted somebody untrustworthy, I have exhibited my trust in the Tao (or, in Christian terms, in the Spirit and in God), which will repay my good intentions even if I lose one particular deal, or some amount of money, along the way.   Similarly, if I forgive somebody who has stolen from me, slandered me, exploded unfairly at me, or otherwise caused me harm, I am asserting through my forgiveness that the Spirit (or God) will honor my good intentions by setting me free from these very same sins or their equivalent.

That I do not judge the wrongdoer means that I refrain from drawing inferences, globally, about his or her character. I do not enlarge the misdeed by elaborating a drama about the violation (in my own mind or verbally by rumors), nor do I nurse grievances or inflict penalties. Instead, although I may come to some harm, in this particular matter, I open myself to non-judgment and forgiveness from Spirit (or God), in the bigger horizon of my life. Spirit and God are the ground and foundation of my being. Thus, I am liberated to live life fully and abundantly, since my own generous intention is mirrored back by reality.

Why are you afraid, you of little faith ? Matthew 8:26

He who has not enough faith will not be able to command faith from others. Tao Te Ching 23

Commentary: By giving faith, we command faith from others. This principle from the Tao Te Ching suggests that people are naturally drawn toward faith, even if on the surface they may seem to be manipulated by inferior motives (such as the desire for selfish gain, approval, or material profits by dishonest tactics).

Let’s say that you have faith in a humanitarian project. You speak about the project with people who are cautious and who disbelieve that generous intentions may prevail successfully. You make a case, exhibiting faith, regarding the success of the endeavor. Citing examples of humanitarian projects that have been successful, you describe the victories of Mohammad Yunas in micro-financing, of Susan B. Anthony in the women’s suffrage movement, and of Bill Gates in starting Microsoft. All of these benevolent projects began with faith. Your associates, even if they are by nature less trusting or well-intentioned than you are, come around to your opinion, thanks to the attractive force of your faith.

Most people would like to believe that goodness and generosity will prevail, because they worry (secretly) that they may some day be in need as potential recipients of another’s good will. Jesus also counsels that we put our faith in God, the source of goodness and generosity, for anything that we might fear will dissolve at the urging of faith.

With God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26

If there is a good store of virtue, then nothing is impossible. Tao Te Ching 59

How can nothing be impossible? With God or given a good store of virtue? Can the sun drop from the sky? Is that the kind of impossible thing that will become possible with God?  No, or probably not, because for the sun to drop from the sky would be contrary to God’s laws of nature which uphold the universe for the preservation of life; since God is good and principled, the author of life, God will not allow the sun to fall from the sky for that would extinguish life.

That all things are possible with God means that all things are possible, so long as they are in accord with God’s nature, which is generous, life-giving, creative, truthful, free, and radiantly attractive and satisfying. So consider something “impossible”. Ask yourself whether this “impossible” thing would display generosity, virtue, truth and creativity, freedom or peace, joy, abundance, justice–and other qualities or benefits in accord with God’s nature. If so, then move toward this impossible thing. It will unfold, step by step. The impossible will become possible.

Confucius_Lao-tzu_and_Buddhist_Arhat_by_Ding_Yunpeng

Confucius, Lao-tzu, and a buddhist Arhat

 

Croiset the Clairvoyant and the miracles of Jesus of Nazareth

The work of the Dutch Clairvoyant Gerard Croiset (1909-1980) sheds light, in some particulars, on the miracle working of Jesus. In this post, I will address two points.

1. The inner signals and experiences that the healer, clairvoyant, or miracle worker undergoes, in rapport with his subjects or petitioners For this matter, I will compare Croiset’s report with a passage about Jesus’s experience of healing (Mark 5:30).

2. The helps and hindrances to healing or miracles I will compare Croiset’s report with a passage about Jesus’s miracle working and healing in Nazareth (Mark 6:4-6).

The Dutch Clairvoyant Gerard Croiset (1909-1980) was gifted with paranormal abilities, including telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition. He was hired by private clients and police, or detective agencies alike, to find lost children, to weigh in about circumstances and suspects in crimes, and even to offer insight into the historical contexts of manuscripts and fossils.

1. The inner signals and experiences the healer, clairvoyant, or miracle worker undergoes, in rapport with his subjects or petitioner:  Energetic signals (Mark 5:30)

Interestingly, Croiset could feel in advance – upon making contact and receiving a request from someone  – whether he would be capable of responding and assisting in the case. Croiset’s biographer Jack Harrison Pollack quotes the famous clairvoyant, “Whenever anybody telephones and says he would like to talk to me some time, I do not feel a thing. But when a warning feeling disturbs me, I get a vibration which is like a full-up feeling and I expand like a balloon. I grow attentive. Then I know it is not an ordinary call….When somebody with a real problem comes to see me  I see a lot of colors. These colors spin around in me very fast until they form a picture. These pictures shoot out as if they were flashing forward like a three-dimensional film.”

Croiset’s description of his healing rapport with his subjects raises the question (if a speculative one), whether perhaps inwardly, as with Croiset, some sensation or vibration would alert Jesus that the petitioner in question, in need of healing or a miracle, had genuine need of assistance.  Rarely do we learn in the Gospels of any subjective experience of Jesus, involved in his healings and miracles.

In one rare instance, however, we do find this telling description of Jesus’s healing rapport with a woman in need. A woman who has been bleeding for twelve years is healed when she touches the garment of Jesus.  The healing is marked for the healer by a sensation (Mark 5:30): “At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?'”

In this case, Jesus makes physical contact with the one he heals. Usually, in Jesus’s healings, there is no such contact. Inwardly, perhaps, the power within Jesus stirred him, as it did Croisset, when a person with a legitimate need approached him.

2. The helps and hindrances to healing or miracles (Mark 6:4-6): Compassion

Croiset was indifferent to quantitative tests of his paranormal abilities, such those devised by J.B. Rhine, the Duke researcher. Once declining to participate in one of Rhine’s studies — which involved predicting a series of figures on cards — Croiset remarked, “I do not like just to guess cards. I have to be emotionally involved in a case, such as a missing child or somebody in trouble.”

If compassionate interest aroused Croiset’s capacities, by the same token self-interest thwarted them. Croiset was incapable of predicting the future on behalf of his family or in order to secure some financial gain. Conversely, where he and his clients shared a significant problem, Croiset’s abilities were enhanced. Because Croiset had nearly drowned once, he became an expert at rescuing or locating drowning people. He had a special sensitivity to orphans, having suffered as an orphan himself.

In the case of Jesus, it is curious that the unbelief of his own townspeople prevent him from working stupendous miracles. As Mark 6:5 explains, about his work in Nazareth, “he could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them,” because of the people’s “lack of faith” (6:6) and because a prophet (i.e. Jesus) is not honored in his own town (6:4).

A lack of trust or belief, on the part of those he would assist, could thwart that compassionate interest that (as with Croiset) enhances the miracle worker’s success.

In conclusion, like Croiset, the famous healer and clairvoyant, Jesus may have registered somatically a signal to alert him as to the needs of his petitioners (Mark 5:30).  The healing abilities of Jesus may have been enhanced, too, by compassion for the afflicted (Mark 6:4-6).

 

The Lightworker’s Temptation: Who are my Sisters and Brothers? (The Gospel of John, chapter 7)

Gospel of John #39: Text John 7: 1-9 is reproduced below

This passage in the Gospel of John, which emphasizes Jesus’s miracles or signs, shows that Jesus is a lightworker. Possessing the capacity for miracle and prophecy, he guards this capacity carefully. Just as lightworkers, in our own times, must be careful as to their purposes in making use of supernatural gifts, so Jesus here must be careful not to misuse his gifts. His own brothers tempt him to make use of his divinely bestowed powers, wrongly, for the sake of publicity and political gain.

Temptation

In this passage, the brothers of Jesus entice him to go to Jerusalem to “show yourself to the world” (7:4). Since the Jews wish to kill Jesus in Judea (whose capital is Jerusalem), Jesus’s brothers are positioned in this story as the bad guys, who do not believe in Jesus (v.5); instead, they wish to see him killed. Their suggestion that Jesus show himself to “the world” flies in the face of Jesus’s refusal, in the previous chapter, to become a King with a public following on a worldly stage.

Echoing Satan’s temptation, that Jesus should take command of the world as a ruler over many kingdoms, the brothers show their ignorance of Jesus’s true mission. Jesus’s mission is to work miracles, in generosity and by serving human freedom, on behalf of his friends and disciples. But, his kingdom is not of this world.

The Lightworker’s Choice

Like Jesus, lightworkers face temptations by false friends, who may betray them. Even the church itself may label lightworkers as magicians, witches, or subversive entities. Lightworkers must be discerning so as to ally themselves with friends who may assist them to channel their gifts in life-giving directions.

The brothers of the flesh, who are false friends of Jesus in duplicity, stand in contrast to Jesus’s true friends and family in spirit. When Jesus does finally go up to Judea, he stops in nearby Bethany (John 11), where he finds Lazarus, his “brother” in discipleship, and Mary and Martha, his sisters. These friends of Jesus are his true family, because they believe in Jesus’s divine stature and his capacity to do the works of God, even by raising the dead.

Historical Choice Point: Jesus and the Church

Who are the brothers of Jesus in the Gospel of John? According to Matthew, Jesus’s brothers are as follows: James, Joses, Simon, and Judas (Matt 13:55). It is possible that the term “brothers” means natural brothers or instead kin or cousin. The brothers are included among the believers in Acts 1:14.

James, the brother of Jesus, was the leader of the Jerusalem Church, who was martyred in 62 CE. (For the martyrdom as described by the Jewish historian Josephus, see this article: James Marytrdom Josephus.) The apostle Paul (Gal 1:18-2:10) names James among the pillars of the church in Jerusalem. This James may be the same as the James to whom the Lord appeared after his resurrection (1Cor 15:7).

If it is James who is featured among the brothers in John 7:1-9, then possibly the Gospel of John opposes the Jerusalem Church. (For Robert Eisenstein’s thesis on Jesus’s brother James, see this summary review:  Eisenstein on James brother of Jesus).There are three people named James among Jesus’s early followers, named in the New Testament. (See: Three James in NT).

Lightworkers

Like Jesus, lightworkers may stand in a tense relationship toward organized churches. Nevertheless, their true community may be found among their friends, who are doing works of light and love. This community of friends, like the community in Bethany around Lazarus, will sustain lightworkers to perform works of love and light.

John 7:1-9

7 After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He did not wish to go about in Judea because the Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him. 2 Now the Jewish festival of Booths was near. 3 So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples also may see the works you are doing; 4 for no one who wants to be widely known acts in secret. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 (For not even his brothers believed in him.) 6 Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify against it that its works are evil. 8 Go to the festival yourselves. I am not going to this festival, for my time has not yet fully come.” 9 After saying this, he remained in Galilee.

Be like a Child

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Mark 10:14

What makes a beloved childhood adorable, to so many of us, may be the child’s exuberance, creativity, playfulness, and imagination. A child’s emotional honesty is also compelling. While adults harbor complicated infatuations, children respond to kindness with openness and generosity — from wherever it comes. Although children will shrink from cruelty,  usually they keep no record of wrongs (unless their trust is betrayed) nor do they play the victim.  Adults hold grudges, propelled by self-righteousness and victimization.

Feelings flow through children: sadness, anger, or boredom can give way, relatively rapidly, to joy, peace, and rapt interest. If only the hearts of adults were not so frozen over by despair, disappointment, and even (occasionally) deceit, they might regenerate their joy in life,  easily.  Children, attracted by a joyful heart, would visit them, unhiindered, to play games or to rest and to be renewed.

Besides the expressive and emotional qualities of children, which are enlivening and rejuvenating, the miracle of a child is that he or she enters the world already equipped with an intact personality and innate gifts. How do such well-formed persons emerge from invisible dimensions? Biology can trace the material foundations of life, and describe the human person in terms of DNA, without ever touching upon the mystery of the incarnation of life (in earthly and visible from) from a transcendent source (which is heavenly and invisible). Astonishing.

Children generally show a benign indifference to their own limitations — (at least until they are much older or until they are socialized to inhibit themselves). For instance, one child I know draws elaborate maps of neighborhoods in his native city. After doing so, every afternoon, he moves onto singing while making videos of his performances. After these activities, he has a snack and takes a rest. Next, this curious child mops the floor of the kitchen. Fascinated to experience this thing, too, he slides on suds of soap. What may be a chore to an adult is fun and a game for a child. The child reads or acts out a skit. At dinner time, he helps the adults to cook by cutting vegetables.

By way of contrast, consider how adults behave.  Clutching to their talents and contributions, adults develop an identity in the world from which to derive their  self-esteem. In the longer run, this identity may deprive them of spontaneity and joy.

Let us suppose that an adult proficient at maps becomes an engineer or graphic design specialist. Thanks to awards, this hypothetical person gets jobs based on such skills. Once commodified, however, the skill in question is liable to become something clung to for fear of loss. Furthermore, as the engineer in question compares his or her talents to those of others in the field, this act of comparison may tempt her or him to indulge in arrogance or envy.

Once talents are defined, owned, and commodified by people and economies, people can become burdened by their gifts by losing flexibility. The graphic designer with expertise at visual art holds him or herself back from performing songs: “After all, I’m a graphic artist not a musician. And by the way, I will hire somebody to mop my floor and cook for me since those chores are no fun.”

Let us as adults become like children. We shall move to the center of our being– to that spontaneous, creative place. Letting go of ideas of who we are, and who we should be, we dispense with limiting beliefs about our talents and our deficiencies. We explore our joys and interests. Experimental, playful: such are qualities of children. Freedom.

 

 

Come Alive !: The Secret and Life Abundant

Jesus says, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

The Secret, the 2007 mega bestseller by Rhonda Byrne, provokes divided reactions. The basic message of this book — and the accompanying DVD – can be life-affirming. The teaching of The Secret, it may be argued, resonates with the teachings of Jesus in some respects. Both support people to come alive in ways that are natural to our hearts, given our unique talents and desires.

Contrary to the message of the New Testament, however, The Secret can encourage rank materialism, which deviates from moral or generous aims.

Life Abundant

In the New Testament, we are to enjoy life abundant (John 10:10) by making use of our gifts for the benefit of all.  If we follow our goals and dreams, according to The Secret, while envisioning success with faith and right intention, then life will assist their realization. Surely, from a spiritual perspective, our hopes and goals for life — which make us come alive — ought to be respected and nourished. If we come fully alive, then we can assist the world likewise to be alive. The Secret may be a tool toward this end.

Many believe themselves to be prisoners or victims in life. The Secret offers those who feel like victims tools for self efficacy, so that they may chart their own destiny. Similarly, the teachings of the New Testament–for instance, concerning prayer– give us power to decide our fate and our happiness while assisted by an infinite and creative intelligence.

Morally Dubious and Deluded

Some, however, criticize the concept of the law of attraction, which is substantially the message of The Secret, as being simplistic or even deluded. (See, for instance, this critique: Mark Manson The Secret.) The empire behind The Secret, furthermore, has been riven by law suits, arguments, and betrayal, thus seeming to vitiate the message of ethically rigorous and pure-minded positivity, championed by its architects. (On lawsuits, see: Lawsuits and the Secret NYTimes and The Australian Critique Rhonda Byrne.)

Testimonials: Benefits in People’s Lives

Those who are inspired by The Secret, however, attest that its message has helped them to change their lives. Proponents and converts report that they wake up through this book to the reality that they are no longer victims in their lives but instead creators of them. The Secret restores our personal power, as one advocate describes, which is endowed by God.  (See, for instance: How the Secret Changed the Life of Jewel     Manifesting Goals and Spirituality.)

What gives people hope about this message is its affirmative vision of life. What if life is actually amenable, malleable, and responsive to our deepest desires, aspirations, goals and wishes? Whether our desire be for a wonderful love relationship, for financial success, for healing, or for the capacity to carry out a humanitarian project, The Secret affirms that these desires are good and may be realized so long as we remain focused and positive in our approach to realizing them.

Furthermore, if life can be trusted to carry us forward toward self-realization, then we need not struggle by pushing against the current of life. Instead, we may jump into the life stream and let it carry us to our highest good.

Conclusion

The Secret can, indeed, encourage wishful thinking and a superstitious fear of negativity. The emphasis, in the movement around it, on material goals may lead to ethically dubious results.

Yet, in a different way, the message of this book confirms the gospel promise of life abundant. The gospel message says that life is generous and abundant. Our individual goals and dreams may be realized through right intention and faith. After all, God cares for each of us. We are guided, easily and joyously, toward the glory of our own flowering and fulfillment — like the lilies of the field which neither toil nor spin.

 

 

Conversation Snippet: the Bible, the Pope, and the end of the world

Tara believes that we are in the end-times. Her opinion does not matter nor anybody’s opinion. About God and the Bible, what matters is the Truth.

Tara believes we should go to the source for the Truth, not just any source but the King James Version of the Bible. The NIV (New International Version) leaves things out. The Devil has added things to most modern translations.

Tara believes that the Sabbath must be celebrated, regularly, because God said so. The world is in the hands of Satan. People can disobey but God is the authority. Only the few are obedient to God, and reflect Jesus Christ. Discipleship is a lonely road.

Tara believes, too, that the Pope is the anti-Christ, and that the Catholic church devises to take over the world and to make worship of the Pope compulsory.

As Tara says this, her companion, named James, who has been listening quietly, protests: “My relatives are Catholic. Just because you think that Catholics are wrong or misled, that does not mean that the Pope is evil.”

Tara replies, “I don’t care whether your relatives are Catholic. Catholics hold on to human traditions not God’s word. Which Bible are you reading? You must be reading one of those translations, which Satan has filled with lies.  It says in the Book of Revelation: the Pope is the anti-Christ, who will usurp the throne of God and demand worship in place of Christ. Compulsory worship of the Pope is already on its way, in our lifetime.  I can’t say exactly when, but the end times will be soon, in our lifetime. The trouble with these days is that people don’t read the Bible. Modern translations have bent the word of God out of shape.”

James says, “Stop being opinionated. The people who translated the Bible did so out of love, in order to communicate the message of the Bible to people in their own modern languages, in a style that they can understand. You may not like those translations. But honor the fact that the translators are kind not wicked. They performed an act of love.”

Tara brightens. “You think so? So they translated the Bible — even the NIV which leaves things out — in order to help people? You say it’s an act of love to translate God’s word into a human tongue? I see what you mean. Yes. Love. That is an act of love.”

James and Tara come to peace for a moment. This moment of peace is where truth resides, not in their religious quarrels, or within the pages of one Bible translation or another.

“But the King James Bible,” Tara adds, “is the true Bible. The KJV is the one I read and it’s enough to get me out of the mess we’re in. To get me out of this mess. That’s good enough for me.”