Each week, whether from habit, or custom, or need, we encountered the heart of Christianity, a ritual with the power to cleanse all human beings, even atheists. Confession and Absolution:
We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we from time to time most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, Against thy Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation upon us.
And then the Absolution, and then the Prayer of humble access:
But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy.
I read that it is by Archbishop Cranmer, with no Continental reformation source.
Am I pupating? Or are mine the twitchings of a fly whose wings are removed? Beware New Age types talking quantum physics, but my best analogy is that I am both, like light being a wave and a particle. My choices have got me Here, and when I look about myself, seeing past the illusions which have appeared to make my path bearable, I see how bad the situation is. And I have Now, this moment, to start again, to try new things, with God dwelling within me.
Julie, a Quaker, found her Anglican worship far too busy. Kneel, then sit, then stand, then kneel again, all these words. The vicar says “Let us pause for a moment” and the silence lasts five seconds. But then she did only do it the once. As I lived with those words, sometimes drifting off in a reverie, and memorised them so that they might come to mind, I saw different facets of that truth. Now, returning to it, I find beauty in it, and truth, and hope.
It really does depend how you look at it. What is bad at the moment? That, and that, and that- Misery and dismay. Or, I stop looking, and drift, and the days pass, somehow. The other way I still find difficult- what is good in this situation? This is more painstaking, more difficult. It is my only way out of where I am now.
Quakers have a different focus on our worship. We sit in silence listening for the leadings of God- God within, just as Cranmer recognised. Then with the guidance and example of the Quaker community, and testing our own leadings within that community, we grow in God’s work, building the Kingdom of Heaven here on Earth.
Strange how the New Age can so closely parallel rational scientific academe. Shokti explains the Mayan calendar. He cites authorities, a Swedish biochemist who must, by that job title, be trustworthy. He then explains a great deal of precise detail, going back 16.4 billion years (2.7 billion years before the Big Bang, as currently understood). One age started 41 million years ago, with the first monkeys. Shokti writes,
The ancients drew up calendars and astrological systems after long and detailed study of the patterns of the universe, patterns which repeat through all things including us and the details of our lives.
All these ages, not just the latest, end on 21 December 2012, just as a week, a day and an hour end in the same moment. Shokti discusses how this knowledge has been used to make predictions: but predictions of alien contact during the Galactic age were in error because these ages mark advancement of consciousness and spirituality, rather than external events. At the end of the ages, all life may know its oneness with all things- as Blake said, for everything that is, is holy.
What is the result? My own work is on balancing the value of intellect and feeling within myself, and Shokti’s is wider:
This involves giving the inner world of feeling, thought and imagination the same importance we give to the outer experience of relationships, work and commerce.
Actually, if rebalancing I need to give more importance to the outer experience of Relationship, and I do not gain this idea from a Mayan carving. But because I believe in the human result, the possibilities of spiritual growth and understanding, I can be gentle rather than dismissive with the doctrine, precision, and understanding of causes.
The photograph is of an art work in the public domain, and I support the argument that any picture of a public domain art work should also be public domain; and it is available in the same form in many places on the web. I got it from Outlook India.