We Are God’s Word

We are God’s word, just as the world came into being by his word.  God’s word was made flesh in us at our birth.  We are a mysterious incarnation of God.

We are part of God’s creative nature, part of God’s redemptive word to the whole world.

We had no idea what was in the mind of God as He created the world.  Likewise, we have no idea what was in God’s mind when He begot us.  We have not tried to discover the latter.  We have just lived our lives and in many cases let life happen to us.

We have the opportunity every day to dialog with our life and in so doing give God the opportunity to reveal to us important information.  And invite us to transformation.

Blessing

Luke 2: 25-32

There was a righteous man in Jerusalem named Simeon.  He was told he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s anointed.  He went to the temple courts when the parents of Jesus brought him to do what custom required, to make a sacrifice to the Lord.

Simeon took the child in his arms and praised God for his eyes having seen the special child who would be a revelation to the Gentiles and a glory to Israel.

When we embrace our own godchild, we cannot help but praise God for birthing his essence into our conscious awareness.  We cannot help but want to be a blessing to all around us, and a messenger from God to people of all faiths.

Marveling

Luke 2:  “The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about Jesus.”

When you birth your godchild and it begins to behave as the new you, people will talk.  They may not say to your face that they see  you talking differently, doing differently, being different, but they certainly will be talking behind your back.

People who know you, the old you, will surely see something different about you after your transformation.  You become so different that folks can’t help but notice—a different sparkle in  your eyes, a more genuine laugh, and a more relaxed personality.

The change God has wrought in you is obvious.  So let folks talk!

Magi Came Searching

Matthew 2:1  Magi from the east came to Jerusalem looking for the new king.  They had a seen a sign and were sure a new king had been born.  Eventually they found him and worshipped him.

We, too, want a new ruler over our lives, someone who will make our lives all we want them to be.  We haven’t seen a sign, we’re not following a star, we’re not even sure that a new ruler for our lives is predicted.  We just know we want a new one.  One that will bring us peace.  One that knows how to rule with justice.  One that knows how to make things happen.  One that cares about his subjects.

Are we required to see a sign?  Do we need to travel somewhere?  Or is it enough to want?

A Child is Born

Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born . . .”

The prophet Isaiah predicts a child shall be born to us, one who will be called many wonderful names, one who will be a counselor and an agent for peace.

This child shall be given wisdom and understanding and will judge with righteousness everything that is given him to judge.

This child is not born of the will of the flesh but rather born of the will of God.

Look at all things in terms of the kind of spiritual child God wills to birth in us.  Look again at Isaiah and think of this prediction in terms of an individual, unique child born to each of us.  In addition to whatever we believe about Jesus, God wants to give us each a godchild born of the Holy Spirit into our conscious awareness who will change for always the way we think and behave in this life.

Our Godchild

Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born”

…unto us, unto each of us a child is born, each of us is born our own individual godchild.  This child to be born in you and in me is not the same child, just as you and I are not clones of each other.

My godchild is unique just as yours is.  God has different gifts to give each of us in our newly birthed child, gifts that had been designed for us before our birth, gifts we will use to promote love and joy and peace.

This godchild in each of us will be a son, the transformed masculine, thinking, willing part of us, now with new God power, now willing God’s will in us, embracing the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit, imbued with all the creative insight and compassion our inner feminine can provide.

Expecting a Child

What if everyone was expecting something new and exciting to happen in them?  Wouldn’t it be amazingly wonderful if all of us knew there was something new and transforming growing in us?

A baby, wanted and expected, is the most exciting gift a family can receive.  The infant conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit presents a perfect symbol for the new spiritual being God wants to birth in each of us.

We have so much going on in our minds that there are no open passages to hear the angel’s telling of the favor God has found in our essence and His desire to birth in us our own holy child.  No lines open to understand from our Inner Wisdom the assurance that the change in us will be for the better.

God’s eagerness to hear our permission to let Him impregnate us may create in us some crisis that gets our full attention.  Probably, though, God is working through a crisis that we have created for ourselves.

We need not hope for the miraculous God wants to work in us.  That may be too much for our callused minds to embrace.  All that is necessary is that we want the absence of something and the arrival of something new.

Your Bethlehem

Your Bethlehem is your beginning place, the place of your spiritual DNA. 

You are of the house and Lineage of David as well as whatever genealogy your mother and father come from.  You are of royal lineage.  You are of the house and family of God.

Your history begins in your own Bethlehem.  Begins in that place where your soul received life in your tiny body.  Begins where you started to record in your spirit sensations of the physical and spiritual world.  Begins where you began to receive all the love and woundedness you have accumulated thus far.

Hebrew prophets foretold that from Bethlehem Ephrathah, though the smallest of the clans of Judah, would come one who would be a special ruler.  Out of our Bethlehem, the small place deep inside us, will come something that remakes our personality, that becomes the ruling factor in our lives, the new motivation and guiding principle, reigning supreme.

Go to the place of psychic history where your deep woundedness continues.  It is at that place you will experience healing, transformation.

Go down to Bethlehem.  Let yourself experience afresh your deep woundedness so it can dissolve and make room for new love as your spirit is reborn.

Light in Darkness

It is significant that Christmas is celebrated by us at the winter solstice–the point of shortest daylight and longest night.  The nighttime represents our unconscious–the dark, hidden part of us that must birth the new being within us–the Christ into our personality.  This birth comes only after a period of gestation within the unconscious womb.  The long dark winter represents the long gestation period.  The new birth occurs when the darkness is the longest, out of which comes the dawn of a new life.  Only after the longest, darkest period in our lives can this new birth occur.

In the mythological story of the soul–the Christian Nativity narrative–the conception takes place in the spring, the time when nature exhibits her greatest fertility.  Birth takes place in the season when nature manifests no sign of life.  Most vegetation seems dead.  Even light–the source of life–wanes to the point where the days are shortest and the nights are longest.  It seems that light is being swallowed up in darkness, that life is being consumed by death.  But out of this darkness–this womb of winter–comes something new and wonderful–hoped for, longed for, desired above all, yet not dared expected.

Darkness also represents the unawareness of our conscious to the light within us–the abundant life Jesus said he came to give.  Jesus is the physical person who represents the spiritual person of God that wants to be experienced within each of us.  The darkness of our conscious awareness to spiritual matters is such that it does not understand, expect, or even “have a clue” to the inner light that continues to shine in our soul even though we do not see it, do not experience it.  We must finally experience our fill of darkness–become sick and tired–even despairing of looking for some sort of light to warm and illumine us.  We must finally come to the “dark night of the soul” and cry out for light in order for God to be able to make us see and experience the light he placed within us before we were born–the light he begot us with–his own holiness.

Winter is the worst time to have a baby–cold weather, lots of germs and disease going around, little sunshine.  It is difficult for a newborn to get a good start physically.  Winter is the best time for a baby to be born for non-physical reasons: it puts a ray of hope and joy in the midst of our bleak mid-winter–a ray of human light into the short days and long nights of the year’s end.  In the winter of our lives, when the days are short, light has faded from our lives.  We need new light, a new kind of light.

How does birth of a newborn connect with the winter solstice?  Think small.  On the shortest day of the year, in the smallest amount of light, is born the smallest unit of human life.  Solstice and the birth of Christ come together to point us to a celebration, not only of what has happened, is, and will be in terms of the patterns of earth and sun and a special baby born one winter’s night in a cattle stall, but of something that is designed to occur within our individual lives.

Not only do we celebrate the mid-winter’s lengthening of days and the Christ-Child as the “Light of the World.”  We also celebrate the possibility of the coming of a kind of light the kindles a fire within us on the altar of our hearts–a fire that we shall never stop tending because of all that is provides for us: light, warmth, life, joy.

Womb Work

In Genesis we learn that out of the womb of darkness and chaos God birthed Creation.  Out of the womb of the ark, new life began after the flood.  Out of the womb of the great fish Jonah was given a new opportunity for life.

So out of our inner spiritual womb God wants to bring a unique Creation that only we can experience–His own holiness, placed within us before our birth.

In one sense Mary represents a part of each of us–the Virgin Womb–our Spiritual Womb–unused, undisturbed, unfulfilled–awaiting the planting of the spiritual seed–the seed of conscious insemination–our conscious desire for something new to be born in us.

God was preparing Mary’s heart long before the angel came to ask permission to plant the seed within her.  God has been doing the same with us.  And the message is the same! ‘Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’  Each of us is God’s favored one, his special, precious Child, to whom and in whom he wants to communicate great joy.

The physical is always a symbol for the spiritual.  What we need is a spiritual frame of mind to perceive it.  The physical rite of passage from virgin to initiated participant in sexual enjoyment–the fullest possible expression of human physical joy–gives us a clue to the kind of spiritual ecstasy God wants us to experience on a spiritual level.

This spiritual pregnancy is a different kind of pregnancy.  Many biological children are conceived accidentally.  Not so in our spiritual virgin womb.  This conception can only occur intentionally–where our conscious gives permission to have the seed of new life planted.  Our conscious will not only must want new life but must give permission for the incubation period to be as long or as short as needed, and for the birth to take place wherever it chooses.

This is not a nine-month pregnancy.  The gestation period varies with each individual. And birth does not take place in a hospital labor room.  It may take place in your own home, on a trip, or in a distant place.  Your spiritual birthplace can be anywhere.  Your womb will know the time and the place.  You may be, in fact, already on the road to Bethlehem.  I hope so.

 

God’s Message

An ancient Christian theologian penned this couplet:

“Of what value is God’s message to Marie [Mary, mother of Jesus]

if He has not the same message for me?”

God is trying to give us the same sign, send the same message to each of us.  He wants a special birthing to take place in each one of us, each of us being his unique, holy, precious, only begotten child.

I was told by a former pastor that the pain in me had a message I needed to hear.  He sent me home to have a written dialog which revealed that something new wanted to be born in me, and something had to die for the new being to emerge.  The process awaited my permission.  It depended entirely on my consent.  God does not birth himself into our consciousness without our cooperation.

God wants to birth Himself into our awareness in such a way that we possess our own Immanuel, our own internal God-With-Us, God-Within-Us.

God’s signs are around and within us.  If we don’t witness one, God invites us to ask for one, our own personal sign.  The message to Mary is God’s message to us.  He awaits our permission.

 

Your Kingdom

The Magi had been informed in their study that a new king would be born in their lifetime and a special star would appear in the heavens to indicate the birthplace.  They waited and watched until they saw the star.

We are kings of our own kingdom, rulers of individual realm.  We are not watching for a star because we’re not interested in a new king.  We don’t want any competition for our throne.

But sometimes when we’re most introspective, we realize we would like something new and wonderful happening in our lives—we’re not sure what but something that will give us a kind of joy we haven’t experienced in a long time.

We need not look for a star in the heavens.  Our sign is within us, beckoning us to the manger deep in our weary spirits, lighting the way for our conscious awareness to see something new, waiting for us to arrive so the new birth can be witnessed and celebrated.

Don’t be afraid to follow your sign to the place where only you can be reborn.  All you need to do is give permission for the new king, your own benevolent monarch, to be born in you—to give you peace, to make you a co-creator with God in establishing a new kingdom of justice and love.

Hurry!  The world needs the new you!

Ann Glover O’Dell

January 2018

Your New Name

God wants to rename you.  God wants your name to be Emmanuel.  In your heart of hearts God wants you to be able to rename yourself.  And the only way you can authentically give yourself that name Emmanuel is to experience God within you—to such an extent that you know beyond doubt that God is with you and within you.

The Jesus story is our story—the story of each of us as God’s holy child, born to testify to the love and grace of God.  Jesus came to testify to who God is and who we are.  Jesus’ life story showed us the love of God and the divinity as well as humanity within every human being.

Isaiah is your prophet!  He is predicting all the names that will belong to you once your godchild is born in you.

Wonderful Counselor—you will be able to counsel others on how to connect with their Inner Wisdom—on how to participate in the birth of their own godchild.  What a gift that will be that you will have to give others.

Prince of Peace—you will find a kind of peacefulness in your personality that will make you a new person.  And the peacefulness that you experience will be evident to others who will want to know how you obtained it.  You will have opportunities to help others to become peaceful people.

Emmanuel—God with us.  That will be your most important spiritual name.  It means God is with you and you are able to be with others in new and loving ways.  You will be God’s representative to those with whom you come in contact.  You will be able to rejoice with those who are rejoicing without envy over whatever has happened to them to cause them to be joyful.  You will be able to grieve with those who are in sorrow without losing your balance.  You will be able to be compassionate to those who need comfort, encouragement, and guidance without trying to control them.  You finally will be able to be your genuine, original self, full of grace and love, God’s child.

Ann Glover O’Dell

December 2018

 

Godchild

What a beautiful word.  Godchild is primarily a term given to an individual, a young child, whose spiritual life we agree to take responsibility for (and sometimes to become legal guardian of in case of parents’ death). The term suggests a reminder that this individual is God’s child whose spiritual as well as physical being is unique and special.

What about our own inner godchild?  That’s the part of us that God wants us to find and watch over.

God imprinted us at our beginning with his image—indelibly. Frederick Buechner reminds us that we have “the mark of God’s thumb” on us.  The world has covered it with debris of all sorts.  But the imprint never dissolves or disappears.  Just as all mammal infants experience the imprimatur of bonding, our souls are permanently bonded with God.

Our task is to let God destroy the debris, the detritus of our lives, so that what is in our holy place can come forward—so our godchild can emerge and become the motivating force of our new lives, become the all-pervasive essential characteristic in our personality.

What a perfect time Christmas is to ponder our own holiness.

Ann Glover O’Dell

June 2018

God’s Excitement

Is there any doubt in our minds that God wants us to be rid of guilt and shame and whatever obstacles called sin that come between us and an intimate relationship with Him?  God cannot have the intimacy he wants with us as long as anger and “shoulds” rule our lives.  There is no room for the joy He wants to give us.

John Claypool said his notion of God was a divinity who was so excited being himself that He couldn’t help but want to create creatures to share that excitement.  How can God fully enjoy us unless we experience the excitement He feels in his creative endeavor?

Our first step is to want God’s excitement.  Then to recognize that something in us needs to be destroyed.  Then to engage our Inner Force in conversation to determine that is indeed a force for good and one that can take away what is blocking us from God’s joy.  Then to cooperate with that Inner force by giving it permission to do in us what needs to be done.

God wills us to participate in our miracle of transformation.

Ann Glover O’Dell

17 September 2018

Garbage Collectors

I believe we are garbage collectors.  No, we don’t deposit in a dumpster or a landfill.  We don’t even use a trash compactor.  We hold on to it and let it multiply.

A friend who is a committed Christian says he needs guilt in order to get out of bed in the mornings.  He says guilt is his biggest motivator.  Another friend tells me she is attached to her sins and can’t imagine letting them go.

One of my sons as a little boy announced he wanted to become a garbage collector because that was something everyone needed.  On a spiritual level that is what God is (among other things).  A garbage collector.  But He doesn’t steal our garbage from us.  He waits for us to offer it up.  He waits for us to want Him to collect and destroy it.

What would life be without our garbage?  We can hardly imagine.  A heavy burden lifted?  a sense of freedom?  A clean slate?

In the enormous space our garbage occupied will come laughter, peacefulness, creativity, and joy.  And if we miss our guilt and anger and want it back, God will probably help us conjure it up.

Ann Glover O’Dell

20 September 2018

Challenge

Someone disagrees with my conviction that under the skin we are all much alike: we have the same fears, the same shame, the same anger, the same existential angst.

Further, I am certain that each of us has an Inner Wisdom, a force for good that wills us wholeness and can give us blessings we cannot give ourselves.  This Inner Wisdom is available to all of us in dialogue.

I challenge you readers to prove me right or wrong.  First, let me say that the folks I know who have engaged their Inner Wisdom are glad they did.  Two I know who had cancer found the cancer no longer remained the hated enemy but actually disappeared.  My own debilitating illness was also healed.

The dialogue with your Inner Wisdom is not a courageous act, not a leap of faith, not surrender.  Your free will is never compromised.  It is an interview—questions and answers.  Your rational conscious self is in charge at all times and you can end the conversation whenever you wish.

Begin the written conversation with a question, keeping in mind that your Inner wisdom is concerned with your spiritual and physical well-being, not with tangible things you might want.

The first response from your Inner Wisdom might be, “What do you think?” and that simple question may very well cause your mind to begin thinking in a whole new way about something you thought you had exhausted.

As the dialogue continues, you may find there is something your Inner Wisdom can do for you that you cannot consciously do for yourself.  And all it needs is your permission—your unconditional permission to do its work in its own way in its own time.  You decide whether to give that needed permission.

If you do, save your written interview as proof positive later on when you want to demonstrate to others that you initiated something that changed your life.

If you give permission for your Inner Wisdom to act on your behalf, eventually I predict a catharsis will occur in your life, washing away whatever has kept you from experienced your real Self.  And I hope you will report to me so I will be proved right.

Ann Glover O’Dell

7 July 2018

What to Do About Garbage

We know what to do with our domestic garbage: set it on the curb at the appointed time and sanitation workers will take it away.  What about our internal garbage—the kind that seems to increase no matter our attempts at removal?

Perhaps we think we haven’t yet exhausted all our ideas for removing the debilitating mess of resentment and unresolved grief inside us.  Perhaps we think our angry tapes will simply self-destruct if we have enough patience.  Perhaps we’re practicing detachment from our guilt and shame and hoping that will work.

The truth is we cannot by our own power rid ourselves of what has come between us and the Kingdom of God.  We cannot set out on our spiritual curb a container of what separates us from the peace of God.  Our spiritual garbage is none other than what scripture refers to as sin.

The psalmist declares that once God washes us, we become whiter than snow.  The psalmist does not declare, however, that we are able to wash ourselves.  If we were able to cleanse ourselves of our spiritual garbage, we might decide we had no need of God.  God wants us to need him to effect the miracle of cleansing and transformation.  And God wants us to participate in that miracle.

Ann Glover O’Dell

6 august 2018

 

Your Inner Wisdom Awaits You

Your Inner Wisdom awaits your engagement.  Whatever you choose to call it—Guardian Angel, God, Higher Power, Holy Spirit, it is that secret inner part of your personality.  The creative part.  The part that cannot be controlled by your conscious willful self.

Your Inner Wisdom is a force that can do for you what you cannot do for yourself–make you into your original self.  It is always a force for good.  It wants health and wholeness for you and can give that to you if you cooperate.

Your cooperation is required in the form of giving your Inner Wisdom permission to do whatever needs to be done in you to make room for the goodness it has to give you.

You can glibly say to yourself, “Sure, I give permission for something good to happen to me.”

But that is not enough.  In a written dialog you need to converse with your Inner Wisdom until you realize you want a new life with all of your conscious might.  And you need to discover that your Inner Wisdom is a benevolent force.  Then the permission becomes authentic.

You are always in control of the conversation.  And can stop it at any time.  There is no coercion. Your free will is left intact.  The conversation is not surrender, a leap of faith, a courageous act.  It is a dialog—questions and answers.  Begin with any question and listen for a response from deep within you.

You are on your way to experiencing God’s special miracle for you.

Room for a Baby

Sometimes babies are born in the most unusual places: a subway station, the back seat of a taxi, the corner of a crowded restaurant.  We never know where a baby might choose to make his appearance into the world.

The pregnant mother makes all possible preparations, packs a little suitcase for her trip to the hospital, or lays out all that will be needed when the midwife arrives.  A little nursery is made ready, a place for the infant to lie safe and warm.  If there are available funds, colorful decorations are hung to attract the infant once his eyes are able to focus.

But all the time no one knows exactly when the baby will decide to be born—or how much in a hurry he will be to get here.  Sometimes the mother has no time to travel to the clinic or wait for the midwife.  She is not able to make the baby postpone his appearance but rather must cooperate with this child who is eager to become a citizen of this earthly kingdom.  Babies generally have their own time-table and will not be thwarted in their determination.

The godchild within us is indeed one of those with a birthing mind of its own.  We absolutely cannot predict when God will bring our transformed spirit into our conscious awareness.  It is God’s secret, meant to reinforce his design and determination to have his way, to act on his own time schedule.  And it matters not whether we have made any preparations at all.  In fact, our ability to make any preparations is highly unlikely.  This birth is God’s surprise for us, the best Christmas gift ever, whether it comes on December 25 or any of the other 364 days available.

Ann Glover O’Dell

18 December 2017

Be!

When God’s voice said, “Be!”

and all the guilt and anger in me vanished

I began to know as I am known—

to understand in deepest heart

that what our mind has told us we must do

can never be divine directives

because our mind attempts to be God,

not listening for his holy will.

When God said, “Be!”

He gave me new relationship

where tasting, feeling, sensing

takes precedence to thinking and deciding.

When God told me to be

I became a born again as Jesus once described

those apprehending life’s abundance.

 

Ann Glover O’Dell

20 November 2017

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

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.)

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

 

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.

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

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

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.)

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.)

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.)

 

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

Oneness

The dogma that Jesus died for other peoples’ sins doesn’t work. Doctrine says because of his death, we will live forever. How could his death have anything to do with the essence of God present in every human being? How could belief in this doctrine change the fact that God has put part of Himself in everyone? Would God destroy that part of his essence if the personality carrying it did not accept Christian doctrine? I think NOT!

Jesus said he came that folks might experience life in all its abundance. Does belief in Christian doctrine fulfill that mission? I think NOT! If it did, folks wouldn’t be so burdened with guilt and anger.

If we are not in oneness with God as Jesus said he was, we are missing something we are intended to have. The way we get that oneness is not through a belief system. The way we come to experience oneness with God is through having all our mental, spiritual garbage incinerated—purged. And we cannot do that for ourselves. Only a Golgotha experience, orchestrated by the Holy Spirit with our permission, can bring us to oneness with God.

We are all strait-wired into the energy of the universe. Some trash has gotten into the line that must be cleaned out before we can experience our true identity

What Wants To Be Born

What wants to be born in us?  What is eager to be hatched?  A new, guilt-free, anger-free being.  Our real Self.  Our original personality.

A self is born which, when a mistake is made gives an immediate apology because the complementary feeling is immediate and authentic.  We are immediately sorry for whatever misdeed we have committed.  So the apology is genuine and immediately forthcoming.  And even though the event may linger in memory, the wrenching guilt that used to linger, multiplying our not-OK feelings, lingers no longer.

Some scholars say our preeminent problem is that of shame: being ashamed of who we are–and who we are not, ashamed that we are not enough–in any situation.  We can’t do enough, know enough, have enough, can’t be enough–no matter what.  But guilt is the word we use to talk about our not-OK-ness.  And when the guilt disappears, the shame and despair it covers also disappear.

What wants to be born in you?  The real Self, the original you wants to be born–the human creature, begotten from the union of the inner masculine and feminine parts of the personality.  The union of your rational will with your creative intuition (conscious/unconscious) that produces in you the Nurturing Parent, Capable Adult, and Free Child.  The new self (having moved from childhood to adulthood to godhood) recreates our sense of awe and wonder and delight–the same that God experiences within his good creation, pronounced good from the beginning.  The goodness/godness within us is what we are searching for.  And what is searching for us.

The new Child is born–not childish, immature in its ways, but a new child-likeness–an innocence that lives in the world but believes the good will prevail.  That celebrates the good in everyone/everything.  That looks for the redemptive in every situation.  That is able to celebrate wonder and awe and the comic–everywhere.  That experiences joy, laughter, the expectation of every day holding the same excitement and newness that Christmas Day did for us as children.

Dream scholars suggest that when that happens we will dream of a wedding uniting a king and queen.  I say a dream of a dear child is what tells us either that ours has been born or is calling us to allow it to be born.

Our story begets its own fairy tale happy ending.  But ours is not a fantasy.  Ours is a ‘until death do us part’ union, which keeps us grounded in the inner life no matter what happens in the outer.

Invitation to Wholeness

The invitation to wholeness comes in a strange envelope.  Most invitations come in a phone call, an email, or a printed card in our mail box.  But not the most important invitation of all.

Most invitations request our presence and participation in a pleasant gathering of friends and acquaintances–a party, shower, wedding, celebration.  Usually we are delighted to be included and look forward to the event.  We begin to plan a gift we will take, what we will wear, etc.

The invitation to New Life is altogether different.  For one thing, it comes from inside, not outside us.  Secondly, it is anything but pleasant.

The invitation to New Life can take many forms–none of them enjoyable.  It comes as a negative feeling we cannot shake or ignore: a nagging restlessness we cannot satisfy; a dissatisfaction with activities that formerly gave us pleasure; a general feeling of failure; a kind of death gnawing away inside us; a conscious realization that we really don’t like ourselves very much.

Unfortunately an unwelcome invitation seems to be the only way our Life Force can get our attention.  As long as we find our life satisfying, there is no impetus to change.  Only something negative can get our attention.

For social gatherings it doesn’t matter much whether we accept or regret the invitations we receive.  Not true of the Invitation to Wholeness.  The Life Force is determined for us to have something more than the best we have experienced of this life.  It will be relentless in its attempts to get our attention–and our permission to let it do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.  To try to ignore or dismiss this invitation may mean physical or psychological illness.

Would that we all might listen to the message of our pain and cooperate in our miracle of wholeness.

Temperament–Our Personal Wild Card

We all know about the influence that comes to us from both heredity and environment.  But nobody talks much about temperament–the personality’s wild card.

The Greeks spoke of  humours–various phenomena that affected certain organs of the body–lungs, kidneys, liver, heart–and enabled or prevented good health.  More recently psychologists have looked at those humours in terms of temperaments.  The general consensus is that one of these four psychic energy levels dominates in each of us.

Phlegmatic is the least energetic.  Fritz Kunkel calls him the Clinging Vine who has to depend on someone else for meaning in life.  Melancholic has more energy but not enough to dominate, so when he’s overwhelmed he retreats into his shell like a Turtle.  Choleric is the Nero, spitting fire and running the show (guess which one I was!).  And Sanguine shines with creativity like a Star.  The trouble is, unlike a celestial body which needs no audience, the Star temperament needs someone constantly applauding and supporting him.

Our temperament is not inherited and may not even correspond to that of either parent or any one of our grandparents.

We move around from one temperament position to another, depending on relationships and situations.  But rather early in life one predominates and influences our personality perhaps even more than heredity or environment.

These temperaments can be seen to correspond to Carl Jung’s personality traits–feeling, sensation, thinking, and intuition and also to Northrop Frye’s literary genres of romantic, tragic, ironic, and comic.  I found these temperaments to fit with the OK positions (Thomas Harris); Erikson’s psychosocial stages of development; the four basic elements–water, earth, fire, air–and others as well.  We can gain insight into our personalities from pondering these grids, just as we can from thinking about the mottos we have adopted and the games we play.

We may by sheer will power change our mottos and games, but our predominating temperament remains the same.  All temperaments circle the inner region of the psyche, but we are not able to touch the center of the Self (the Original Goodness) without a transformation.  When we freely decide to cooperate with the transformation process by giving permission to an inner power to make us whole, we become this Original Goodness and thereafter no temperament rules our lives.