Transmitters of Energy

Could it be possible that we, as transmitters of the energy of the universe, can enable that energy to multiply as it travels through us?

I like to think so.

First of all, we need to embrace the idea that this energy is a benevolent one, that it seeks our good and the good of all.

Recalling surprising coincidences can begin to show us how that energy can work to make our lives more enjoyable—and give us the desire for more of its miracles.  We may not be able to specifically direct the action of this universal energy, but we can tell it what we want: to be open to its activity within us and its guidance of our choices.

Second, we need to find ways of opening ourselves to its coursing in and through us, ways of inviting it to work its goodness using us as its vehicles.

Soul Moments

May there be each day

in all our lives

some moment when we are called,

nay, brought to the doorway

of our soul’s sanctorum,

where the physical, sloughed off

to reveal the spiritual,

fades for a time in the fog of memory

and our heart’s eyes see

as they have never seen before—

a thin space where truth

waits to be revealed

to the curious and the hungry,

and our heart’s ears hear

the message that only love can bear,

the message that we are beloved.

 

Ann Glover O’Dell

18 September 2017

At The Seashore

At the seashore we ingest a sense of eternity—

the primeval rhythms of the sea against the shore,

the sea as the chaos from which all life came,

the depths of the sea as the mystery of whatever cannot be grasped or

comprehended,

the sea as the mystical power of God.

 

The sea-shore activates our  senses and reminds us afresh of our humanity.

We marvel at the sight of the sea, which has looked the same

to countless generations who have witnessed it before us.

We hear the unrelenting pounding of the waves against the shore, booming

yet calming.

 

We touch the water, the seaweed, the driftwood, and the shells the sea brings

to shore.

We smell the sea, its breeze unlike any other.

We taste its saltiness, full of flavor, full of life, of living creatures.

 

As  our senses sharpen we become aware of the action of the sea:

a constant movement in the ebb and flow of the waves,

a surface that belies an undertow,

the  movement of shells and creatures,

the movement that forces the shells to wear down and break,

the movement that causes friction, shell against shell,

the movement that smooths and polishes,

the movement that makes beautiful

even the fragments.

 

We, too, are worn down by the sands of time and the waves of adversity.

We have been broken by the action of circumstance.

We have become fragmented by the sea of life.

 

As we finger shell fragments, let us be reminded that we are precious to our Creator,

who wants to smooth and polish our rough edges, our painful places,

not to erase our scars but to heal us in a way that gives our scars a

special beauty

and our lives a kind of loveliness that makes others want the healing

we’ve received.

 

Let us submit ourselves to the caress of the sea,

the powerful sea of the Spirit of God,

allowing it to wash away what needs to be washed away,

allowing it to make us fresh and new,

allowing it to smooth and polish and broken fragments of our

lives and make us beautiful again.

 

October 1995

Ann Glover O’Dell

 

LISTENING TO SCRIPTURE

Time and again Jesus instructs his disciples and others in his audience to listen.  “He who has ears to hear, let him hear,” Jesus repeats.  We have come to understand that for Scripture to have the greatest impact on our lives, we must ask ourselves, ‘what does it mean to me?’ Where is it touching me most deeply?  Where am I most affected, and perhaps made uncomfortable, by the Scripture passage?

As we ask these questions, we are better able to see how God might be a part of the situation in the text—and my situation as well.  We are invited to have a personal encounter with the verses we choose to read in the Bible, a prelude to the kind of encounter that God wants to have with each of us.

Look again at the parable of the sower and the soils.  Many interpretations have been given of the various kinds of soil, and even the sower and the grain that finally emerges from the good soil.  But this time you are invited to make your own personal interpretation.

Scripture: Matthew 13:3-8

A sower went out to sow.  And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.  Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away.  Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.  Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Residents of Haven House, a residential treatment center for addition,  were asked to listen carefully as the story was read several times and then share whatever they would of the responses they had and the insights that came to them as they pondered at a deeper level what the story might be saying to them.  All of them related the story to their own stories.

One man noticed that the sower lost a lot of seed but gained a great deal in the end.

Another suggested that we need to plant ourselves around a church family so we don’t wither.

Still another suggested that the thorns in the story represent the wrong people we associate with.

One said it seemed to him that to do good, one has to give up something to gain something else.

Another said we must prepare our heart in a way that we have to prepare soil to receive the good seed.

And finally one said we don’t know how our crop will turn out but we want to be good soil so we can produce a good crop.

What varied and insightful responses!  And all from individuals who chose to listen to Scripture with new ears, and with a heart ready to receive and embrace.

What about you?  I invite you to choose a favorite Bible story and sit with it long enough to let it say new things to you.  I believe you will be enriched by what happens to you.

March 2017

(Note: A number of additional meditations are available on this website under Meditations.)

Ann Glover O’Dell

It’s Our Story!

To see the Jesus narrative as our story does not diminish the life and death of Jesus.  On the contrary, to see ourselves as God’s beloved child, with the capability of engaging in a unique relationship with God, just as Jesus was, can’t help but enrich his story.  To see in the story not only the human/divine nature of Jesus but also the human/divine nature of all human beings is to complete the picture.

Our interest in all classic stories is enhanced by seeing something of ourselves in one or more of the characters.  Both fiction and non-fiction give us opportunities to identify with real or imagined characters, to better  understand ourselves, to see new paths opening up for us, to gain new  tolerance and sensitivity to others’ situations, and to find comfort in sorrow.

The Bible doubles as Christian mythology where larger-than-life characters capture our imagination.  We identify with Abram as he is called to leave familiar surroundings, with Joseph as he is scorned by his siblings, with Jonah as he resents the change of heart that occurs with the Ninevites.  Classic literature and mythology always develop characters who embody some of our own traits.  Otherwise, we could never identify with the tragic heroes as we do.

The soul we credit with belonging to every human being is nothing less than the essence of our divinity, the piece of God planted in each of us, not to give us bragging rights but to give us the abundant life Jesus spoke of, the ability to be the person God begat us to be.

A story presents so many more possibilities if interpreted on multiple levels.  Can we not imagine that God wants us to glean the most possible from the stories told in Scripture?  That God wants us to learn from the stories and characters to understand more about who we are and how He loves us?  Oh, let us imagine greatly!

God’s Beautiful Handiwork

Barcelona architect Antoni Gaudi disdained Christianity as a young man.  As he developed, however,  into a keen observer of nature he began to recognize beauty everywhere.  He came to attribute all to God’s creative energy and sought ways to honor and publicize what he had found.

Project after project repeated his narrative of beginning in the darkness and moving upward to the light.  He sought to demonstrate the natural world in interior as well as exterior architecture, using forms and lines from nature and an extraordinary play of natural light through stained glass.  Magical whimsy became his hallmark as he invited viewers to enjoy the playful fungiform structures and mythological reptile creatures he produced.

May we follow Gaudi’s lead, observe the activity of our Creator’s energy in nature, and see ourselves as His beautiful handiwork as well.

The Lamb of God

“ Behold the lamb of God that taketh away the sins. . . .” The consciousness of man, whereby God can be fully known in the flesh, is the lamb of God—God’s most precious gift to man (and with it his free will). This is what must be sacrificed—made sacred. For genuine intimate communion with God, man must be made sacred, must be transformed into God’s original design—not pre-consciousness but rather full conscious awareness.

This full conscious communion with God becomes possible as man freely offers his conscious will to God. God gives man his pure lamb of consciousness, hoping man will, after having made a demi-god of it in service to his ego, offer it back to God to be re-purified, made sacred, as only God can.

Our task in this God-man relationship is to “behold” our willful ego that can no longer provide for us what we most want— peace of mind and inner joy. “Behold” in ourselves what needs to die—what needs to become the blood sacrifice—the gift to God—made pure and sacred by his power and returned to us in a sanctified relationship—a communion of our spiritual essence with the essence of God. That communion of essences is indeed the holy meal that God wants to share with each of us.
Ann Glover O’Dell
23 December 2014

(note: The story of one person’s transformation experience may be read on this website under BOOK entitled Humpty Dumpty Hatched.)

Seasonally Out of Sorts

We are seasonally out of sorts.

Winter did not come

and spring has usurped summer

o’erleaping gradual emergence

making handsprings of blossom

cancelling whatever June

might have had in mind.

Praise God for liturgically

wedding us to predictable chronology

where Easter follows Lent

regardless of the weather.

And after Resurrection plus five o

praise God again

for giving  feast of fire and air

grounding us afresh on Mother Earth.

Our wings are lifted up

Our spirits fanned to flame

Our breath the breath of God

We see ourselves as burning bush

And repeat our own “I Am.”

 

Ann Glover O’Dell

20 February 2017

The Window of My Mind

I  washed the window of my mind

and sitting on the sill, looked out

for views of inspiration from my muse.

Parades gave me nothing as they passed

and wondered I where else to cast my eyes.

Suddenly a fine wind blew the casement open

and circulated dizzingly within

upsetting applecarts of art work

and opinions collected

during years of trips and education

contributing to theologies tried and true.

This fine wind sifted through it all,

blowing the stale and stagnant

into ingenious incinerators

then distributed assorted rainbows

as it exited toward the sea.

 

Ann Glover O’Dell

13 February 2017

Transformation

Transformation

that large leaped word

that bounds o’er time and space

and new makes the all of me.

An instant only needed

the Spirit took to do its work

within my still frail frame.

The memory repeats its pulsing

through the channels it devised

keeping me aware always

of once upon a time

the moment I became made new.

Ann Glover O’Dell

17 March 2009

Tidings

Tidings of great joy

to you

in you

for you are being born into

a wonder

a grace

a being fresh and new

for you

of you

by you

with you

as you

scarce aware of space prepared

are knitting infant clothes

and humming lullabies

and all the while

know nothing

of the miracle

you are become

Ann Glover O’Dell

26 June 2009

Where is Your Manger?

“Fear Not!  I bring you tidings of great joy!”—tidings too good not to be true—tidings all about you—tidings meant just for you.

“For unto you”—into you—within you—is waiting to be born this day right here in the city where you reside, in the home where you dwell, in this life where  you live—your new bring—the holy babe that is the essence of God—the God-in-you that is your soul—birthed forth into your consciousness.

For within you this very day is the God child you always were, waiting to be born unto you

“And this shall be a sign unto you: you shall find the babe!”  What assurance!  We shall find our babe—no hesitation, no trepidation, no uncertainty.  You shall find the babe—you, each of you, individually, shall find the babe—the babe that is you—the real you.  There is no question about the outcome ifif you want to find the babe—if you follow the signs to the manger.

You shall find the babe, wrapped in swaddling cloths, wrapped very carefully in very special swaddling cloths—the protective, nurturing bands made especially for newborns, for warmth and security, swaddling cloths that only you can provide, swaddling cloths that only you will know how to provide, swaddling cloths that will be  your top priority to provide for this new being which is the real you.

You shall find your babe lying in a manger.  Lying in a manger—a rough unfinished bin—an unswept stable—might we say the unredeemed depths of your being?  Lying in a manger—not just any manger—your manger, your rough bin, your unswept stable, your unsanctified depths.

And this will be a sign for you—you will find your babe lying in a manger—a place not far from here, in a place only you can find, in a place God is leading you to find, in a place you shall find.

Where is your manger?  Your rough bin? Your unswept stable?  Your unredeemed depths?  Just listen.  Listen and look with the ears and eyes of the heart.  Listen for the ache that stirs deep inside you, the longing to feel fulfilled, the yearning to be—to be glad just to be alive—to be free from anger, free from guilt—to be—a new being—fresh and whole and cleansed, to be real, to feel loved unconditionally.

Listen for the ache and go to that spot.  Listen for the message it has for you.  Heed its instructions and you will be led to the manger—your manger—where you shall find all you ever wanted to be—and more.

And then what happened in the story?  We’re told that those who went in search of the manger, after told by winged messengers not to fear, were transformed into laughing, dancing, shouting creatures who praised God for the miracle.  That miracle is you!

Ann Glover O’Dell

23 October 2011

The Zeal of the Lord

 

“The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 9:7)

            Zeal indicates to me great energy, enthusiasm.  The “zeal of the Lord of hosts” says to me that God’s great desire is to bring forth something special—someones special—you and me.

            In spiritual terms this suggests the bringing forth of the new being in each being, the full being, combining both human and divine natures.

Scripture doesn’t say the Lord wishes this were so or hastens to ask man to effect the desired outcome.  No, Scripture says the Lord will do it—will do it through His zeal.  An additional promise from God, suggesting an additional covenant initiated by God.  A covenant with the articulated response on man’s part: that God be allowed to carry out His desire.  The individual  freely chooses to cooperate with the process. God asks us to give permission, just as did Mary in the Nativity story, out of our free will, to let Him use our spiritual womb.

The ‘Savior’ is the part of our personality that transforms us by dying.  The ‘Savior’ is the best we know ourselves to be—the part that needs to offer itself to God in order that God might accept it, purify it, and return it to us as part of the best He knows us to be.

23 December 2014

 

Our Name for God

We can use Jesus as our model in our relationship with God and ponder his use of  “Abba” when referring to his father.  God wants to be the same kind of parent to us as he was to Jesus.  He invites us to use whatever name to call him that will evoke for us what  “Abba” did for Jesus.

Our task is to find that name, invent that name that represents what we need God to be to us.  Then use that name in periods of quiet when we are open to experiencing God in greater depth.  We are to embrace that name as our secret with God.  We are to allow ourselves to grow into the deeper relationship that the name affords

Doxology

Praise to Thee, O Lord, Creator of the Universe,

Who brings forth from your earth womb all life.

Praise to Thee, O God, Sustainer of the Universe,

who gives life the abundance Thou designed for it.

Praise Him who places godhood

in the center of our being.

Blow Holy Spirit, Wayward Wind,

with all thy special power

come stir again the old desire

in us who yearn to flower.

Rain into us the fullness

of the morning dew

made into streams

that penetrate our roots.

Make green the carpet of our days

that we, lured into verdancy,

might sprout new buds

and bloom as never even

once upon a time we dreamed.

Press down upon us sunshine

of the vision in your mind

of who we were and are and yet to be,

always within the firm embrace

of thy mysterious trinity.

Ann Glover O’Dell

30 May 2002

The Call of Grace

What do we make of grace?—

that mysterious component

of the one we call The One?

And ‘the call of Grace’ that beckons our response?

Does ‘grace’ define forgiveness

or contain something more?

Does ‘grace’ include compassion?

And share equal bill with love?

 

Perhaps the call of Grace

an invitation hand-delivered so-to-speak

by Holy Spirit messenger

disguised sometimes as heaven’s hound

full cognizant of needed scent

whose Master has but to loose the bonds

that hinder him from leaping forth

to find the trail and once come near

nip at our heels until we turn relenting.

 

Ann Glover O’Dell

19 September 2016

Poems for Peace (remembering 9/11)

HOW CAN WE BE AT PEACE?

How can we be at peace when

spirit’s doors are locked against it?

Locked and bolted ‘gainst

we know not what for the

unknowing makes us fearful still.

Fearful of whatever lies beyond

paltry presumption of control

beyond concentrated consciousness

that knows so little

understanding even less.

Fearfulness that lies in wait

albeit quite against its will

for frequent fear is nonetheless

predictable and anxious huddling

in its womb is still more

to be desired than any sort

of openness to expectation’s

swaddling cloths of vulnerability.

How senseful that our fear

that chronic lodger

continues welcome with its stale

foul breath and stained attire

when we the landlords

with our legalese

could if we dared

advertise our “rooms to let”

and interview new prospects

always with the veto power

tightly clutched  within our ring of keys.

Ann Glover O’Dell      19 April 2004

 

NOT AS THE WORLD GIVES

‘Not as the world gives’

is your peace you said

yet we would be

content just now with

what the world defines

since such unpeacefulness abounds

we cannot entertain the notion

of a state within

when  all about us

life’s demise looms large.

 

Power plays take center stage

and those rehearsing roles

soon star in great performances

surprising e’en themselves

with prowess and precision patterning.

 

Oh greed where is thy pain

which piercing self to inner well

of generosity so makes our

substance sharing

more to be desired

than much fine gold?

 

Where is the understanding

of that peace not understood

by mortal minds but mandates

light’s deep penetration of the

soul’s storehouse of truth?

Is there a spirit energy

encased within your peace

propelling us

to show the world the way?

Ann Glover O’Dell   20 June 2004

 

BLESS AGAIN!

Oh, One, who once in time blessed

world with your creation

who promised greater blessing

to  begotten and beloved

who blessed with beckoning finger

a journey from the known into adventure

who blessed with ripe womb fruit

the barren and despairing

then tested trust by bid  progenicide

who staged new blessing by surprise deception

dishonor and a wrestling match

who blessed by  rank denial the boons requested

and blessed again with secret benediction

the ones you named your one and only ones.

 

Oh, One, come bless again!

o’erturn the graves of hatred

revive still births of spirit

spill out the coffers’ gold.

 

A Jubilee we seek, we need

where all now cleansed and shining

is ready for the new creation song.

Ann Glover O’Dell   4 June 2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOD’S COMPASSION

As one of the primary attributes of God, compassion is also one of God’s greatest gifts to us.  The more intimate our relationship to God becomes, the more compassionate we become in our relationships with others.

Compassion suggests a great deal more than sympathy or empathy.  Compassion means to passion with, to share the passion of the other—be it fear, pain, sorrow, or despair.  The word has its roots in the womb work of reproduction.  When we are compassionate, we participate in the creative work that each kind of passion produces.

What an opportunity we have each time we allow our innate wombedness to participate with another’s.  Something of God’s goodness is sure to result.

GOODNESS

Goodness includes within it the absence of goodness, else man could not know the nature of the good.

The opposite of a virtue must be present (or presented) along with that virtue in order for the totality of that virtue to be known.  And for any good to be fully known, man must have the freedom and desire to choose it.  Only in the knowledge, experience of its opposite can man fully appreciate, yearn for, and enjoy the good.

The fruit of consciousness enables us to recognize the bitter as well as the sweet in life, and each experience moves us toward wanting that which will satisfy completely.

Without the duality of human existence, God could not hope for man to yearn for the unity that he (God) wanted with man but could never achieve if man had no choice.  Opposites are essential to God’s grand design.  Whether we call the absence of good evil or sin or give it a proper name (Devil, Anti-Christ, etc.) makes no difference.  The looming largeness of this absence of good causes man to name, describe, place blame with such energy—all signifying the enormous influence of and preoccupation with this absence.

Once the good is apprehended, the energy formerly attached to the absence is now invested in and multiplies the good.

Ann Glover O’Dell

29 April 2009

 

Easter Us!

Easter me, O God

Easter all

who sense a never-ending

Gethsemane

Golgotha

or emptiness

relentless in ennui

of  soul.

Easter us

as sure as lilies bloom

ere winter’s past

as sure as sun rise

heralds end of night

as sure as Eden tree

grows from a single seed

in skeleton shadow sown

remaining after all the old has died.

Yes

Easter once again

and again

and again.

 

Ann Glover O’Dell

26 June 2009

A Prayer for Your Spirit

May you experience such peace and comfort as not experienced before;
May you feel such tender embrace from the Father that you look forward to a renewal of the embrace each day;
May you have a larger awareness each day of your own preciousness which is far more than you can think or imagine;
May this time of rest and recuperation become a time of growing awareness of your unique holiness.

(author unknown)

Light of the World–in Me?

I’ve never before thought of myself as being a light in the world, let alone part of The Light of the world. Jews have a legend of the creation of the world that has a holy vessel containing holy Light coming out of the holy Darkness. There is an accident and the vessel breaks. Tiny fragments of Light are released to be embedded in every single human being, in fact in all created beings.

The legend pleases me to think that God would in a sense divide himself among us all, giving us each an equal chance to show forth his holiness. But now I ask myself, ‘What would it be like to be a transparency for inner holy Light? And how do I dig through the debris that no doubt covers mine to let the Light shine free? Is this something I can undertake and effect on my own or do I need the source of Light to help me? Or do it for me?

Jesus said we are the light of the world AND that we have the Kingdom of God within us. Perhaps that is but a confirmation of the ending of the Jewish legend.

I think of star light in the Nativity story and wonder if I ponder that perhaps some divine celestial Light might show me the way to reveal my own.

4 January 2016

Obogs

We are all Obogs: only begottens of God. Each of us. All of us. Every human being who has lived, is living, will live. Matters not what other names we are given or give ourselves. Our obog-ness states the essence of who we are, who God is, and our essential oneness with God, in God, from the beginning.

The “only begotten” used to describe Jesus were words carefully chosen to reflect the nature of God having been transmitted both viscerally and spiritually to man. Therefore “only begotten” are for those of us living under the spell of Christian mythology the most important words we can use to describe ourselves. Obogs. And as we begin to live into the reality within the symbol, we become enabled to appropriate the truth spoken in other phrases by other mythologies about the same reality.

And share that good news with others.

9 January 2010

O Christmas Tree!

Wait a minute before taking down your Christmas tree! It can do something more for you than shine some lights and glitter some tinsel.

In Judeo-Christian Scripture man’s story almost begins with a tree—a garden of trees, in fact. The forbidden one was the one necessary for man to sample to become a conscious human being, able to distinguish between good and evil.

Later, the songs of the Hebrews sang of man as a tree planted by the rivers of water, bringing forth fruit in its season. Over and over tree is used as a metaphor for God’s greatest creation, and the water it needs for life as God’s greatest gift.

There are legends that tell of man eager to return to the first garden in order to sample the fruit of the tree he had ignored, that of eternal life. And the gospels corroborate this by having Jesus tell of an abundant life that God intends for everyone.

Look at your Christmas tree one more time, as a symbol of yourself: richly decorated, if only with popcorn strings and paper chains; the center of your holiday enjoyment; holding treasures wrapped and waiting for the joy of the recipient; a memorial to the idea that evergreens represent life that does not die.

You are a conscious tree, growing in living water (whether you recognize it or not): your life having been decorated by all the people who have had positive influences on you; your lights being your positive influences on others; and the gifts (which must begin under the tree to complete the symbol), all the blessings you give and receive throughout the year.

So, take down your tree if you must, but think every day of the corner where it stood, and be that tree throughout the year.

27 December 2015

(Note: Nine other essays on the symbols of Christmas may be found on this website under Meditations)

God’s Essential Attribute

The ability of God to plant himself within the flesh of humankind was an attribute of God from the beginning, so in a very real sense we were with God from the beginning. The soul that resides in each of us is none other than the essence of God which is and was and shall be, having no beginning and no end.

The God-in-us that was alive from the beginning, and has been alive in us since our birth, needs a second birth—a birth into our conscious awareness. This spiritual birth, much like our physical parturition, involves risk and suffering. As the fetus must make the journey through the narrow birth canal, leaving the warm womb and risking asphyxiation in the passage, our spiritual birth involves the decision to leave the present protective will power of consciousness, trusting something within and beyond us to get us through the confines of this second birth canal.

God is not satisfied until his essence is part of our conscious awareness. Only then can he reveal himself to us in ways that give us the fullness of life he has for us. Only then can he think his thoughts in us and through us. Only then can he infuse us with his kind of creative energy so that our work and play become intertwined, transforming us into beings whose greatest joy is simply being.

(Note: a story of transformation that is available to everyone is found on this website under book)

We Are God’s Christs

Jesus is everyman. Jesus is us.  He makes mistakes.  He becomes angry.  He needs quiet time.  And all the while he is trying to minister to others in the way he believes God is calling him to do.

Jesus truly cares about others, and his compassion is shown in many examples throughout the gospel stories.  He also recognizes his need for companions, for close friends, and for time to examine his own motives and goals.

Aren’t we like Jesus?  Haven’t we set out to make ourselves into the best child of God that we can be?  Aren’t we showing compassion and generosity to our fellows as we are able?  And don’t we recognize our need for community and enrichment and ways to keep our bodies and minds and spirits healthy?

I think yes.

So what is lacking?

What is lacking is our awareness that we are God’s Christs.  We recognize our humanity.  In fact, sometimes it is too much with us.  What we don’t experience and can’t find in all our thinking, reading, talking, acting, and even praying, is our divinity–the experiential realization throughout our entire being that God takes delight in dwelling within us, and that we are useful to God simply by being his holy, cherished Child.

So how do we achieve the goal of experiencing divinity within humanity?  We might begin with a letter to God–asking the genuine questions we may not have ever before put in writing.  See what happens.  My hunch is that God would welcome a dialogue with us.

My experience is that God wants our participation, our cooperation in this miracle of making us know we are his Christs.

(Note: a personal story of experiencing divinity is available on this website under Book)

Doing Vs. Being

There is a way for us to differentiate satisfactorily between our being and our doing.  My son gave me some years ago, after I had been released from my drivenness to do, a most delightful coffee mug.  The inscription reads:

To do is to be –Sartre

To be is to do — Aristotle

To be or not to be — Shakespeare

do be do be do — Sinatra

We had heated discussions about the relationship between being and doing, and I think we never came to a meeting of the minds.  But this humorous mug has given me many inner chuckles.

In social settings we seem unable to find the words to ask another about the current state of his being, the health of his spirit, the care of his soul.  All that seems too personal and private.

So we ask, “What are  you doing these days? Or if we are just introduced to someone, “What do you do?”

Our identity seems so tied to what we do.  Others identify us in that manner and we see ourselves in that light as well.

When we let ourselves become centered in our being, we realize we are so much more  than our activities.  We are a gold mine of insights and ideas, truth and compassion that is far more than we can ever act on.  When we regularly get in touch with our center, it becomes strengthened in a way that more and more keeps us centered–no matter what we are doing.

And this strengthened center is then able without loss of character to inform and affect all our actions.

Ann Glover O’Dell  11-29-2015

 

 

 

 

Called to be Messiahs

messiah= anointed one, messenger, deliverer

Are we ready/willing to be an anointed one? A special messenger? One visited by the Holy Spirit? Not one filled with hubris but rather filled with compassion and patience?

The holiness within us—the soul that is the part of us that will never die—the godness in the center of our being—that holiness yearns to be experienced by the totality of our personality.

Our inner sacrality does not, however, and will not interfere with our free will which is also sacred—meaning that our free will is totally under our control. It will not be compromised, even by the Wisdom Energy of the universe.

The kind of messiahship offered to each of us does not include an outward coronation or temple dedication. Rather it is manifest in the invisible placing of holy oil and the knowledge imparted to us that we are chosen. That we are God’s only begotten in whom he is well pleased. And with whom he desires intimate relationship.

Only then do we realize we have a special message to deliver—the message that is the deliverer– and we realize what that message is.

29 April 2015

Children of the Father

To understand our identity all we need do is look at the Jesus narrative to the prayer he taught his disciples when they said they didn’t know how to pray. In fact, the first two words tell it all. “Our Father.” We are children of the kind of father with whom Jesus had an intimate relationship. Children with whom this father is as well pleased as He was with Jesus at the river baptism. Not well pleased with the ugly, greedy things we say and do. But pleased with the essence of who we are, because the essence of who we are is the essence of God, the essence of the great benevolent energy of the universe. The water baptism is a naming and a preamble to the baptism of the Holy Spirit who enables us to know our essence.

The voice of God speaking on the mountain top when the disciples saw a vision of Jesus along with Moses and Elijah applies to us and all God’s children as well. “This is my beloved. Listen to him” applies to us whenever we speak kindness and compassion. Whenever and wherever that happens, God not only wants others to listen to us. The reality is that others will listen to us. Whenever and wherever we exhibit fruits of the spirit—goodness, patience, gentleness, and joy—others will pay attention. And they will listen to what we say because there will be wisdom that comes from this fruit.

What gifts to wish for!—that we might know ourselves to be God’s beloved in whom He (and we) take great delight and further, that we observe ourselves producing fruit of the Holy Spirit for all who witness to partake of.

27 September 2015

Does God Need Us?

What is the relationship between ‘need’ and ‘want’ in reference to our relationship to God? Is there a sense—a possibility that God wants/needs us as much as we him?

Our ‘wants’ we think can be fulfilled through our own will and effort. And as long as we can satisfy ourselves, there is little impetus for examining what might be beyond us.

If we come to the point where we can no longer give ourselves satisfaction and our wants and needs exceed the material and cultural, a new possibility opens. The possibility that something beyond ourselves might be able to give us something unique and life-changing.

The possibility is always there, waiting for us. Accessing it requires some effort. We must do more than simply consciously want new zest for life. We must engage the Life Force within us and cooperate with it. We must exercise our free will in giving it permission to do whatever is necessary in order to make us ready to receive what we most want.

The fact that we exercise our free will and are not coerced into surrendering anything indicates that God wants us in relationship, that God wants to protect one of the most important gifts he has given us, that God wants our will freely connected to his.

And once we cooperate with our own transformation process and the culmination occurs, we realize God not only wants but needs our bodies, minds, and spirits to transmit his ecstatic energy in the world.

(note: The story of one person’s transformation from the Life Force is available on this website in the book Humpty Dumpty Hatched.)

Fasting

Fasting puts us more in tune with the Spirit of God whose food is not the meat and drink our bodies require.

St. Augustine suggests the ancient directive to wash the face and anoint the head has to do with the inner man even more than the outer—the necessity of washing away whatever stands in the way of our experiencing God and being re-transformed into his image. The anointing reminds us that there is a divinity deep inside us which connects us irrefutably with God.

“Often, too reflection upon the things we need for carrying on this life injures the eye of our spirit and bedims it; and . . . divides our heart.”

Jesus said one lives by the words that come from the mouth of God. How do the words of God come to us? From his Spirit to our spirits. Through silence. Through intuition. Through insights. Far more than any printed page.

Weeping Unto New Life

“Jesus wept” is the shortest verse in the Bible, yet much has been made of it. And many questions asked. Especially ‘why?’

Fr. Thomas Keating makes an interesting interpretation, linking Lazarus’ death and resurrection with the incident involving his two sisters. Not long before Lazarus died Jesus had been in Bethany to visit his best friends. During the evening Martha was preparing a meal alone while her sister Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, listening to him talk. Martha complained to Jesus that her sister was not helping her. Jesus responded that Martha was busy about many things and that Mary had chosen the better way.

Keating says all three siblings suggest various responses to the gospel message and also three stages to deepening individual spirituality.

Martha is the level of spirituality that wants to provide hospitality, serve the needs of others, and show compassion wherever needed. Martha is not condemned but rather celebrated for all she is able to do. Jesus makes the observation, however, that she seems worried and upset with her self-appointed responsibilities.

Mary’s decision to sit and listen to matters of the spirit constitutes a deeper level of spirituality–and a higher level of conscious awareness. This stage actively seeks the Kingdom of God through reading, listening, pondering, and meditating on insights that come from the Spirit.

Lazarus, the male sibling, representing the will, the ego, the rational conscious awareness, undergoes a veritable death experience—the third and deepest level of spiritual transformation. His is the counterpart to the initiation into the Greek mystery religions, where the initiate must travel to the deepest realms of the dead, undergo a transformation, and return to the world of the living.

And Jesus, a key player in the story, as closest friend of Lazarus, represents the part of Lazarus that experiences authentic sorrow. Only then can transformation into a new living being take place.

We see in the two sisters and brother from Bethany three stages in the life of Jesus as well. He was a compassionate provider, meeting the needs of many people on many levels. He chose both solitude and conversation as he sought to deepen his understanding of the Kingdom of God. Finally he experienced death in order emerge a new being.

Our spiritual journey, if we allow it, will take us through the same three stages.

(Note: On this website is the story of one who has experienced all three stages.  The key to transformation is the will giving permission for something deep inside to do the work.  “Humpty Dumpty Hatched” is available free of charge.)

NEAR-SACRIFICE

The story of the sacrifice of Isaac is so powerful that it is never referred to as the near-sacrifice. Abraham’s willingness to give up his son was 100%. The story shows, with two characters and God, what, in the Jesus narrative, is accomplished in one human being. In stories the spiritual must be represented in the physical else there is nothing for the reader to work with in a symbolic way. The physical can be interpreted in many ways and that is what makes a good story.

For Abraham, the son he had prayed for, his life link to progeny, his proof of manhood, the long-awaited delivery of God’s promise—all this as his most prized possession was being asked of him.

Jesus was asked to give his life, his most prized possession—a life lived doing what he thought was most important: preaching, teaching, healing—what he thought God wanted him to do. As all those things were given up, he became, in the narrative, one whose very being was transformed. The story says his being was so transparent and ethereal he could move through a locked door, and yet he could eat and drink as a normal human.

He was recognized in a prayer of thanks. He prepared a meal for his friends (first time ever in all gospel accounts). He didn’t preach or teach or heal. He encouraged his friends to be compassionate. He just was. His being was enough. His being was exactly what God wanted of him. And what God wants of us.

A willingness to sacrifice ourselves results in a near-sacrifice in that only what needs to die dies and the real self is born into our transformed personalities. The stories of Isaac and Jesus are our stories—or are meant to be.

(Note: A book entitled Humpty Dumpty Hatched, which tells the story of transformation of one personality, is available on this website.)

WINNERS VS LOSERS

In all areas of life there looms the competitive force which declares that for there to be winners, there must be losers. The idea that everyone can win seems missing. Even in sports, no game is allowed to end in a tie.

The 1970s produced a number of simulation games which immediately became popular with high school and college students. The name of one game was “Win As Much As You Can.” Players were divided into several teams. Each team elected a representative who would meet with other team representatives in a sort of summit where each would cast a vote for the decision his team authorized.

After the designated number of rounds, scores were totaled and the winning team announced. At the end of the game the players were stunned to discover that the only way they could win the most was to help the other teams win as well.

What causes us to think that for us to be a winner someone has to be a loser? How might we work toward the goal of everyone becoming winners?

A clergyman who was accosted by a parishioner, accusing him of not believing in hell, asked the woman, “Madam, how many people would have to go to hell for you to be satisfied?”

The great Energy of the Universe is a benevolent energy that wills the good, the true, and the beautiful for all. May we attune ourselves to the music of that energy.

Childhood, Adulthood, Godhood

The natural human progression goes from childhood to adulthood. But to fulfill our journey in this life a third phenomenon awaits us. A spiritual dimension. A realization of our godhood—that we are more than flesh and blood mortals. We are both human and divine. We carry within us the ability to become mature adult human beings. And we carry within us the ability to experience our innate holiness.

Full humanity necessitates will, self-discipline, openness to change, and a host of other attributes. The experience of our godhood requires desire. Desire coupled with an agreement to cooperate with the process of becoming divinized.

Just as we must give up some childish ways to become adults, so we must let go of some adultish control mechanisms in order to realize our godhood. Our conscious will needs to know that something beyond its power can give it an experience of the sacredness of the entire personality. Only then is the will able to give up control and give in to the power of the Inner Wisdom which can provide this third dimension.

(An example of the power of the Inner Wisdom and the transformation of personality that it can effect is available on this website in the book Humpty Dumpty Hatched.)

31 May 2015

THE ERA OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Many clergy and biblical scholars are busy researching the cultural context of the four Gospels and the source material used. We even have reports, based on serious scholarship, of what Jesus probably did and did not say. Eager readers seem to want to know what is fact and what is fiction in the four accounts of the life of Jesus.

What seems to be ignored is this new era of holiness. Our individual and collective level of conscious awareness has risen to the point where we are ready for something more. Our inner Self yearns for a new manifestation of the Sacred—a personal revelation.

We have moved into the era of the Holy Spirit. An era to complete the other two. An era in which we are not consumed with research into the written word. An era in which the energy and spirit of the universe is available and eager to move in and through us if we but will it. This energy can reveal to us a truth stronger than words, a new reality that cannot be denied, and potential that is eager to be realized.

Let us consciously invite this amazing phenomenon to come to us, abide with us, and use us as instruments of peace, creativity, and joy.

WELL BEING

I recently read or heard, though I cannot find the source in Exodus (the story is worthwhile nevertheless), that before Moses went up the mountain to receive the law, the people brought to the Lord sacrifices of well-being. No explanation given. Perhaps that is what God wants most from us. Well-being. The sense that all is well in our deepest being.

Would God want us to sacrifice that well-being in the sense of giving it up to be destroyed—as an offering to be burned? I think not. What God wants is to experience our well-being—and for it to be obvious and experienced by others. The prophet says a humble and contrite spirit is what God requires as a proper sacrifice. Not to be destroyed on an altar, but rather given away. We give away our well-being as we give away ourselves in simply being in relationship to others. Our well-being, given to us by God, allows us to give ourselves to God as well in relationship.

We cannot achieve the kind of spirit God requires/desires in order to be at one with his Spirit until we have given up our egos—given permission for all that is false in our ego to be destroyed. The ego is what must be burned on the funeral pyre in order for true well-being to rise like a beautiful phoenix from the ashes. The choice is ours. Always. Our free will is never compromiseds

EASTER

Easter is all about Relationship.

The idea of resurrection suggests the emergence of something that was dead but is alive again.
Nature comes alive again in spring only as flowers and trees stay in relationship to what gives them life—sun, rain, and the fecund soil which holds their roots. The more a plant spreads its roots into the soil, the stronger and more productive it becomes.

The same is true for us. Following the Jesus narrative, something in us must die for us to be resurrected into intimate Relationship with God. The dead husk of our lives must be sloughed off so the kernel of new life can germinate and emerge.

Authentic Relationship with God requires the same as nature requires of her kingdom—something new must emerge. For us that new thing is a being cleansed of anger and guilt which, fresh and new, knows the Ground of its Being, and spreads its roots deep into holy soil. In that rootage we discover the divinity that was always hidden within us and always at our disposal. We become able to walk and talk with God in our spiritual Eden where we experience great beauty and great joy. And all is well with our soul.

(Note: To learn how to give permission to something beyond your control to cleanse you of anger and guilt, see Humpty Dumpty Hatched under BOOK on this website.)

SPRING EQUINOX

The term Easter comes from Eostre, the Saxon goddess celebrated at the spring equinox. The equinoctial feast actually goes back to prehistoric times, suggesting man has celebrated balance ever since his conscious awareness allowed him to recognize the equal length of day and night.

And what fortune that Christianity chose the term to celebrate its highest holy day! Celebrating the balance of humanity and divinity in Jesus. And the potential of celebrating the same in ourselves—in this life.

Imagine! A balance in our personalities–of introvert and extrovert traits, of thinking and feeling functions, and of all the other opposites that pull us in two directions.

God designed this balance for all of us—a balance of work and play, of compassion and introspection, of words and silence, of activity and rest.

And beneath that balance a sense that God was/is/will be intertwining all the traits of our personality in exactly the tapestry design that He always intended.

ANGER

Surely God does not intend for us to be angry. Simply because anger overpowers and imprisons the joy that God has planted deep inside us.

Anger seems to be on the increase as God’s children are killing each other everywhere. And increasing in individual amassing of weapons for the purpose of killing.

Anger seems to arise when there is a feeling of loss of power, of control. It can be something as detailed as a TV set not working properly or can be a general feeling of more than hatred toward a group of people—perhaps coming from a fear that they might become more powerful, might try even to kill us.

What God wants is to eliminate the anger in us—one by one—through a personal transformation experience. Elimination of anger is the only means to our living in harmony with each other, whether in marriage, families, communities, nations.

Anger comes from wanting power, no matter how much we already have. Anger may be a sibling of greed—or surely plays into it. No matter how much power we have, we want more. We want people to behave the way we want them to behave. We want events and outcomes to follow our agenda. We want to be in control.

The drive for power does something peculiar to our insides—both physically and psychologically. It causes negative consequences that actually reduces our power and thus increases our anger.

Anger occupies the space where creativity and authentic excitement for life is intended to live.

We would do well to identify our angry spots and ask ourselves if we really do want to be rid of them. If we do, our Inner Wisdom can destroy what is keeping us from experiencing abundant life. It waits for our permission.

13 August 2014
Ann Glover O’Dell

(Note: my personal transformation story, where anger was destroyed in me and hasn’t returned in 30 years, is contained in the book,  Humpty Dumpty Hatched, which is available on this website.)

I SPEAK FOR THOSE

I speak for those who
once upon a time
or rather
once before time
before our fall
into dual time
the time before
the brokenness of consciousness
when we reflected
the authentic image
of what had begotten us.

We
the once begotten
have need of something likened
to a twice begottenness
for blurred has become
the holy image
and our polishing cloths
are helpless to restore
the depth and luster
of our former selves.

2 March 2015

(Note: Additional poems that deal with brokenness and restoration, duality and unity, and themes of wholeness and transformation may be found on this website under POETRY.)

BEING

The story of the sacrifice of Isaac is so powerful that it is never referred to as the near-sacrifice. Abraham’s willingness to give up his son was 100%. The story shows, with two characters and God, what in the Jesus narrative is accomplished in one human being.

In stories the spiritual must be represented in the physical else there is nothing for the reader to work with as symbols. The physical can be interpreted in many ways and that’s what makes for a good story.

For Abraham, the son he had prayed for, his link to progeny, his proof of manhood, the long-awaited delivery of God’s promise—all this as his most prized possession was being asked of him. And his willingness was all God wanted.

Jesus was asked to give his life, his most prized possession, a life lived doing what he thought was the most important things: preaching, teaching, healing—what he thought God wanted him to do. As all those things were given up he became, in the narrative, one whose very being was transformed. The story says his being was so transparent and ethereal that he could move through a locked door and yet could eat and drink as a normal human.

He was recognized in a prayer of thanks. He prepared a meal for his friends. He didn’t preach or teach or heal. He encouraged his friends to be compassionate.

He just was. His being was enough. His being was exactly what God wanted of him. And what God wants of us.

COMPASSION

We must die to our agenda for compassionateness before we can be transformed into truly compassionable individuals. Whatever goodness and compassion our conscious will has chosen as a worthy goal and has attempted to achieve must be sacrificed in order that God’s agenda may take precedence—i.e., take complete charge in us. What that means—how God’s agenda is made manifest—is that we participate fully in the consent to, the receiving of, and the putting into action God’s desire.

Having been washed of our own agenda—no matter how good and godly it was—there is space in our conscious will for the Spirit, which now has been welcomed more fully in to our soul, to feed God’s agenda into our consciousness, which, through our continued free will, participates with this agenda through its own creativity, energy, and with its own peculiar talents of organization and execution.

Though the conscious will continues to make decisions, flowing in and through those decisions is the compassionate, creative, renewing, transforming power of the Spirit from our soul space that is continually enlarging ever since we gave the Spirit permission to clean house—not a case of suggesting to consciousness what needs to be discarded or helping to carry off pieces of detritus but to take charge and do the job solely on its own Spirit terms.

Ann G. O’Dell
10 March 2009

(note: The secret to giving Spirit permission to clean house is accessible to everyone in the book Humpty Dumpty Hatched, available for downloading on this website.)

 

CONTAIN ME, GOD

Contain me, God
within the fabric of this flesh
within the scope mind and hand
that I may not be spilled
in heedless acts of mediocrity
and rash expressions of a wayward pride.

Contain me, God
that I not reach too high
or think too deep
and miss the treasure
resting in my hand.

Contain me, God
that I may be
accustomed to the crevices
you’ve made in me
and careful how I fill
the spaces that I find.

Contain me, God
that I great comfort gain
in being cup and liquid both
held by thy loving hand.

Ann Glover O’Dell
11 February 2009

SIXTH SENSE

The five senses are perhaps adequate for perceiving our external physical world but too limiting when it comes to experiencing God. Long has man recognized a sixth sense, a possibility of perception quite apart from the other five, yet often even more valid. A tingling in the brain, a notion from an unidentifiable source, a bulb of an idea bursting into consciousness, or something even more difficult to describe. These are the knowings that give us something the other five cannot produce. And yet when linked with hearing, seeing, etc., this numinous sixth sense can permeate and transform them all into sacral vessels of appropriating the grace of God.

(Note: The sixth sense became magnified into conscious awareness as a result of an interview with my Inner Wisdom, the story of which is included in the book, Humpty Dumpty Hatched: A Personal Transformation, available on this website.)

Christianity Points Beyond Itself

Christianity points, as is true of all major religions whose basis is love, to something larger, something more wonderful still. The essence within and beyond the creative energy of the universe. The energy that beckons us to let it move through us in amazingly creative ways. The energy that longs to satisfy the deepest yearnings of our soul.

Organized religion falls prey to the same temptations inherent in all communities in the physical world: will to power and greed. The idea that for there to be winners there must be losers. That there must be rules and regulations, doctrine and dogma in order for belief in and worship of a higher power to triumph.

Spirituality is something else indeed. It speaks of the action of man attempting to access his inner self and the action of the universe helping him do just that.

Physical life is an opportunity to allow the energy and creativity in our spiritual center emerge and function uniquely in the material world through our personality. The energy of the human spirit longs to mimic the activity of its source and thus become in union with the ground of all being, the power behind love.

(Note: an essay linked in theme can be found in “All Our Costliest Treasures Bring” under MEDITATIONS)

A Sign for You

Signs, signals, symbols lie around us everywhere—if only we have eyes to see and ears to hear. The eyes and ears of the heart—the inner self—was what Jesus was talking about. And God has placed peculiar signs for each of us, readily available. All we need do is listen and look with our spiritual ears and eyes.

Probably we will not experience an angel visitant with celestial chorus accompaniment. But the directions to our sign are all around us, trying to get our attention, trying to make us see how much we want great joy, trying to make us understand that God wants us to have just that.

We, as the shepherds in the story, will find our own Babe, lying in the stable of our heart, waiting for us to wrap it in very special swaddling cloths that only we can provide.

Note:  More on the idea of our Inner Babe can be found in “Cradling the Babe,” under Meditations on this web site.

23 December 2014

God Within Us

The ability of God to plant himself within the flesh of humankind was an attribute of God from the beginning, so in a very real sense we were with God from the beginning. The soul that resides in each of us is none other than the essence of God which is and was and shall be, having no beginning and no end.

The God-in-us that was alive from the beginning, and has been alive in us since our birth, needs a second birth—a birth into our conscious awareness. This spiritual birth, much like our physical parturition, involves risk and suffering. Just as the fetus must make the journey through the narrow birth canal, leaving the warm womb and risking asphyxiation in the passage, so our spiritual birth involves the decision to leave the present protective power of consciousness, trusting something within and beyond us to get us through the confines of this second birth canal.

God is not satisfied until his essence is part of our conscious awareness. Only then can He reveal himself to us in ways that give us the fullness of life He has for us. Only then can He infuse us with his kind of creative energy, so that our work and play become intertwined, transforming us into beings whose greatest joy is simply being.

27 December 2009

Preparing

 

Several phrases from early in The Messiah continue to resonate: ”prepare ye the way of the Lord;” “make straight. . .a highway for our God;” “….and He will purify.”

When guests are expected, we make elaborate preparations and attempt to straighten every corner. Unfortunately, however, we are not spiritually able to straighten the crooked paths in our lives in preparation for a personal visit from God. This inability is inherent in God’s plan. If we could straighten our crookedness, we would declare ourselves all right and see no need to seek special action of the Lord.

Only a straight and flawless path is proper preparation for the coming of God. And only He is able to make straight what needs to be straightened and purify what must be made pure before His arrival.

From The Messiah again: “He shall purify the sons of Levi. . . . that they may give an offering in righteousness.” God’s purification of us, as all “sons” of the divine priesthood, enables us to offer ourselves, the totality of our personality, newly sanctified, as a righteous offering to the Lord, the most perfect offering we can give—and all He ever wants.