Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Book, Forgiveness, Relationships, Spiritual Development

Spiritual Growth and Our Changing Understanding of the Divine

Below is an excerpt from my book, Authentic Freedom- Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy.  Authentic Freedom provides a comprehensive path and protocol for supporting our inner spiritual development, integrating the contemplative practices of the Judeo-Christian tradition with knowledge of the chakras.  Learn more HERE.

Buy it now on Amazon

 

In the beginning and middle stages of spiritual growth, it is helpful to perceive God as intimately personal and human-like and as something distinct from us.  At the same time, these personal images of God do not begin to touch the vast nature of our Divine Source.   Eventually, to truly embrace the fullness of the truth of Oneness, and of love as our true nature, we have to look beyond these personal images to something more infinite.  Looking to the deeper translation of the term Abwoon that Jesus so frequently used to address God, we begin to get a glimpse of the vastness of the Divine.

O Though from whom the breath of life flows and is present in all forms of vibration and light.           (Prayers of the Cosmos, Neil Douglas-Klotz)

It is difficult to grasp the transcendent, indwelling and infinite nature of God with our human mind, and so we have to reach beyond our minds to the lived experience in order to grasp this truth.  The writings attributed to John best express the fullness of this lived experience.  It is clear through these writings that the author had a deeply personal and experiential relationship with the I Am.  It is through this experience that the concept of God as love itself is most clearly articulated.

God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.  In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world.  There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.  We love because God loved us first.       1 John 4: 16b – 19

As the author of John experienced, God is love.  Applying this expanded understanding to our existing relationship with God, it stands to reason that if God is love, it is in fact, love that created us.  As such, the love that is God lives in and through us.  In this way, not only are we loved, we are love itself.  Love is, in fact, our rightful inheritance, our true nature, our identity.  We are able to live out of this true nature when we remember that we are One with God and hence, one in love.

HOLY VIRTUE – Compassion

As we accept the truth that we are One in love with God we become content in the love that we are and we no longer feel compelled to seek that love outside of us.  This love-filled contentment invites us to explore the rewriting of our fairytales.  As we (the protagonist) come to know the love that is deep within ourselves, we exponentially increase our ability to live in the truth of this love.  Knowing that we are comprised of love, we no longer need to build defenses around ourselves, and the fortresses around our hearts begin to disintegrate and we find that we can trust ourselves and others.  Understanding that conditional love can never be a source of fulfillment, we no longer find ourselves compelled to seek the handsome prince or beautiful princess that will be able to give us our happily ever after.  Love, we remember, is who we are. As we grow in this confidence, we are able to go out into the world reflecting the love that we now know within ourselves.  It is here that we shall experience the truest expression of the virtue of compassion.  It is here that we shall find our happily ever after.

Authentic Freedom is also available as an online course, facilitated by Lauri Ann Lumby.  Learn more HERE. 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Freedom, Jesus, self-actualization

Scripture as a Manual for Ascension

For the past 26 years I have studied scripture.  Beyond the scholarly, historical, contextual, sociological and theological applications of scripture, I have explored scripture through the practices of contemplative meditation and prayer.  I have also studied the Kabbalistic (the mystical branch of Judaism) interpretation of scripture.  With all of this, I have come to believe that scripture is much more than an interpretive history of the Jewish people, and much, much more than an historical account of Jesus’ life and teachings. In fact, to a true historian, scripture is neither of these.  Instead, as the Kabbalists would suggest, and which Jesus seemed to teach and demonstrate:

Scripture is an instructional guide for the evolution of human consciousness.

In more popular terms, scripture is a manual for ascension (self-actualization).  (Read here by ascension isn’t enough)

In order to approach scripture as an instructional manual and guide for the evolution of human consciousness, we first have to remove it from the trappings of patriarchal conditioning and control.

  • We have to move beyond the image of the Divine as the “old man in the sky” whose approval we have to earn and who will punish us for our human transgressions.
  • We have to move past the interpretations that mean to control us through intimidation and fear, threats of punishment and eternal damnation.
  • We have to keep scripture in its proper place, written in a specific time for a specific audience for a specific reason.
  • We also have to understand the literary genres which are in use – myth, allegory, poetry, song lyrics, reflective and interpretive history.
  • We have to take Jesus off the pedestal and we might even have to (gasp) stop looking to him as having saved us from sin or death and instead look at how he teaches us how to live!
  • We have to forget the idea that Jesus came to start a new religion or start a church. Jesus was a Jew and he remained a Jew.  His followers were practicing Jews until they were kicked out of the Temple.  Then they continued their Jewish practices in their own home, adding Jesus’ teachings to the mix.  None of what we now call sacraments were original to Jesus – these were all Jewish practices which the later Church decided to make their own.
  • Finally, we are invited to examine scripture as the Mystics, Prophets and Kabbalists would have (another topic for another time – was Jesus in fact a Kabbalist?) – through meditation and prayer, seeking out the message for each of us as individuals, along with the universal message of LOVE.

When we look past the patriarchal, fear, power and control trappings of scripture, we find a book that describes through myth, metaphor, allegory, story-telling (of people who may or may not have lived), poetry, song lyrics, and the remembered teachings of Jesus, how to evolve our human consciousness from a place of fear to an attitude and experience of LOVE.  Through scripture, we are invited to move beyond the natural fears and limitations of the human experience so that we can remember our truth nature as:

 

One with the Divine (Love)

One within ourselves

One with each other

One with all of creation

 

This experience of Oneness is the “salvation” that Jesus attempted to bring. Jesus had come to experience this “salvation” (authentic freedom) within himself, which he then attempted to teach others.  Using the manual that had been given to him (Hebrew scripture), he tried to show his friends the way.  After his death, his friends tried to remember what Jesus had taught them, created their own written interpretations of his words, and then went out to share this with others.

The true mission and intention of Jesus’ message got lost somewhere along the way. But in this case, what was lost is easily found.  When we follow the formula above, we are able to see the “ascension manual” hiding in plain sight.  To illustrate this, I have taken a passage from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians and reinterpreted it in a language that we might more easily understand:

 

Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters,
you have no need for anything to be written to you.
For you yourselves know very well
that the day of transformation will come like a thief at night.
When people are saying, “Peace and security,”
then sudden disaster comes upon them,
like labor pains upon a pregnant woman,
and they will not escape.
But you, brothers and sisters, are not in ignorance,
for that day to overtake you like a thief.
For all of you are children of the light
and children of the day.
We are also of the night and of the darkness

But we are not blind.  We see and we know.

Therefore, let us not remain blind as the rest do,
but let us stay alert and attentive.
For the Divine did not destine us for punishment,
but to gain freedom through what Jesus taught us,
who showed us the path,

so that we may live in freedom as he did.
Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up,
as indeed you do.

 

Here are Paul’s original words as translated in the New International Version – Catholic Edition.

Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters,
you have no need for anything to be written to you.
For you yourselves know very well
that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night.
When people are saying, “Peace and security,”
then sudden disaster comes upon them,
like labor pains upon a pregnant woman,
and they will not escape.

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness,
for that day to overtake you like a thief.
For all of you are children of the light
and children of the day.
We are not of the night or of darkness.
Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do,
but let us stay alert and sober.
For God did not destine us for wrath,
but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep
we may live together with him.
Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up,
as indeed you do.

1 Thes 5: 1-6, 9-11

If you are interested in learning more about finding the ascension manual hiding in scripture, take a look at my Authentic Freedom online course.  Click on the image below to learn more.

Authentic Freedom online course

Or read my book Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy.  Find it on Amazon.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Choose Love Revolution, Lessons, non-violence, Spiritual Development

Acknowledging My Own Racism

Racism is a hot topic these days.  As it shows up in our media and our politics, we are reminded of the prevalence of racism in our country and those who suffer as a result.  As the topic of racism emerges front and center, I hear many white people arguing, “I’m not racist.”  I would suggest that if we need to defend our racism, we may, in fact, be racist.  As an awakened human being, I would like to say I am not racist.  However, when I am completely honest with myself, I am aware of the subtle ways in which I am, in fact, racist – not because I want to be, but because it was how I was conditioned.  The good news is that I can acknowledge the subtle ways in which conditioned racism comes out sideways and begin to do something about it.  I would invite you to also reflect on how racism may be present in your life, and what you might be able to do about changing that.

Acknowledging my Racism

As a white person of European descent,

If I don’t acknowledge my own racism,

It cannot be healed.

Ashamed am I to admit the subtle presence of racism within me –

The things I don’t mean to do, but come out anyway

because of my white, middle-class conditioning:

Making judgments based on what I think I am seeing

with nothing but conditioning forming that judgment:

 

What I’ve seen on TV.

Heard from family or friends.

What’s been portrayed in the media

 

The ease with which I’m tempted to judge a race

based on the singular action of a morning hold-up;

One man’s desperate action

unfairly coloring my view of an entire population….

 

Not really, but sometimes.

 

Ashamed am I of the vestiges of racism

that somehow took root in me by no fault of my own.

Knowing better, yet still aware of when the racism slips through.

 

I don’t mean it – but there it is:

The averted gaze

The skip of a heart beat

The racing mind

Anxiety

Clutching my purse more tightly toward me

Looking for an exit plan

 

For no reason other than the lies I’ve been told

And a few negative experiences…

 

But it was a white man who raped me;

and white men who have betrayed and abused me.

So why the unfair judgment of men of color

when life has shown me it’s white men I should fear?

 

Ahhhhhh – the power of conditioning.

 

But I now understand I can choose otherwise.

As a self-aware human, I can move past my conditioning by:

Acknowledging it.

Seeing it when it arises in me.

Choosing otherwise.

And in the process, healing.

 

In my heart of hearts, I wish I could be completely free

of the subtleties of racism – because I know better.

But I humbly acknowledge I may never be completely free.

Even so, I am committed to doing what I can

for my own sake and for the sake of all those

who have been unfairly judged simply because of the color of their skin…

 

I know as human beings we are ONE,

and it is only fear that divides…

and when we heal that fear,

we find that only love remains…

And I choose love!

 

Copyright 2019  Lauri Ann Lumby

 

Become part of the Choose Love movement.  Learn more HERE. 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, New World, world changes

The Walls Come Tumbling Down

As  the evils and corruption of the world continue to reveal themselves, heralding the end of the world as we have known it, it is time to come together with the REASON WE ARE HERE – to assist in the bringing forth of the NEW WORLD.

It is for this purpose that Authentic Freedom (dot) Love was made, along with the services we provide to support you in:

1) Navigating the death throes of the world in its collapse
2) Detaching from the instinctual desire to “fix” things.
3) Holding TRUE to your vision of a new, gentler, more loving and tolerant world. 

Please join us!

Join and participate in the Authentic Freedom Community, there are many ways to join!

  • Subscribing to our Blog.  It is always free!
  • Following us on Facebook.
  • Enrolling in a class or two (or three).
  • Subscribing to our weekly Authentic Freedom lesson by registering for a Basic Membership.
  • Increasing your involvement with a Plus Membership which gives you access to our Private Social Network.
  • Connecting with other leaders in the human evolution movement by joining our Teacher’s Circle with a Premium membership.

We are here because we long for a more loving, more compassionate, more tolerant, more accepting and gentler world where the needs of all are met for the common good and where all of humankind can once again live in harmony, peace and understanding.

If you have found yourself here, you are either just beginning to hear the rumblings of your Soul, or have already come to know that you are among those who are being hospice to the dying world while midwifing the new world that is coming into form and are looking for people of like-mind with whom you can share this challenging and exciting calling!

We are changemakers, wayshowers, sh.t-disturbers, mystics and rebels. And here we are safe to question, explore, discover, be empowered and supported for our own unique giftedness and for how we are called to exercise these gifts in our world.

Join us and help us be hospice for the dying world while simultaneously building a new world for ourselves and for the generations that will follow. 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, church, Raised Catholic, Spiritual Formation

Re-Visioning Church

(What We Used to Call Church)

Having been raised Catholic, completed nearly 12 years of Catholic school, receiving my ministry training through the Catholic Church and then working for 15 years as a pastoral minister in the Church, I have had a front seat view of all that is magnificent as well as malevolent within Catholicism.  The final conclusion I have drawn is that for the past 2000 years, immediately after the apostles discarded Jesus’ embrace of the feminine in favor of the patriarchal and hierarchical status quo, the Church has needed to be reformed.

I used to believe this reform could come from within.  I have since learned otherwise.  I also used to believe that perhaps the answer was a whole new church altogether – as was the result of the Protestant Reformation, and more recently in Evangelical Christianity and even closer to home, in the off-shoot Catholic denominations.  While a more traditional form of “Church” might work for some, I have increasingly come to understand that as we grow toward union, anything that separates – religion, denomination, even atheism, will not serve.  Instead, the awakened world is looking for a way to connect that is accepting of all beliefs, and embraces the Truth that is inherent within every single belief system – even those which has grown past the idea of “the old man in the sky god.”

Enter Authentic Freedom…here we provide everything that Church was originally intended to do, only without doctrine, dogma or any form of prosthelytizing:

Education

On-Going Spiritual Formation

Social Network/Community

Individualized Support

Empowerment

Publishing

Authentic Freedom (dot) Love is a community of women and men who are responding to the calling of their Soul to discover their own unique giftedness and how they are called to find fulfillment in these gifts while being supported and empowered in the use of these gifts in service to the betterment of the world.

You can become a part of our community by:

Subscribing to our Blog.  It is always free!

Following us on Facebook.

Enrolling in a class or two (or three).

Subscribing to our weekly Authentic Freedom lesson by registering for a Basic Membership.

Increasing your involvement with a Plus Membership which gives you access to our Private Social Network.

Connecting with other leaders in the human evolution movement by joining our Teacher’s Circle with a Premium membership.

Authentic Freedom has come about because we long for a more loving, more compassionate, more tolerant, more accepting and gentler world where the needs of all are met for the common good and where all of humankind can once again live in harmony, peace and understanding.

If you have found yourself here, you are either just beginning to hear the rumblings of your Soul, or have already come to know that you are among those who are being hospice to the dying world while midwifing the new world that is coming into form and are looking for people of like-mind with whom you can share this challenging and exciting calling!

We are changemakers, wayshowers, sh.t-disturbers, mystics and rebels. And here we are safe to question, explore, discover, be empowered and supported for our own unique giftedness and for how we are called to exercise these gifts in our world.

 

Join us in whatever way you are able and welcome!

With love,

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS

Authentic Freedom (dot)Love

 

 

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom

Buh Bye Facebook – Join the AF Social Network!

Authentic Freedom is now offering our own PRIVATE and SECURE Social Network where you can connect with other like-minded people.  So long Facebook!  Hello FREEDOM!  Join us HERE or learn more by reading below:

Authentic Freedom (dot) Love is a community of women and men who are responding to the calling of their Soul to discover their own unique giftedness and how they are called to find fulfillment in these gifts while being supported and empowered in the use of these gifts in service to the betterment of the world.

We are coming together here because we long for a more loving, more compassionate, more tolerant, more accepting and gentler world where the needs of all are met for the common good and where all of humankind can once again live in harmony, peace and understanding.

We are changemakers, wayshowers, sh.t-disturbers, mystics and rebels. And here we are safe to question, explore, discover, be empowered and supported for our own unique giftedness and for how we are called to exercise these gifts in our world.

Join us HERE or keep on reading to learn more!

Membership Levels

Basic Membership: provides you access to our Authentic Freedom weekly lesson, along with unlimited access to all past lessons.  The A.F. weekly lesson provides exclusive inspiration, nourishment, support and personal empowerment for your own journey of self-actualization through Lauri’s trademarked Authentic Freedom protocol.

Plus Membership: includes access to the A.F. weekly lesson plus membership in our private, safe and secure social network.  Here, our community of like-minded change-makers gathers for support, inspiration, information sharing, encouragement, companionship and friendship.

Premium Membership: This is our highest level of membership in the Authentic Freedom community.  Here you will have access to the Weekly Authentic Freedom Lesson, our online Social Network and be welcome to join our exclusive Teacher’s Circle.

The A.F. Teacher’s Circle is for those who are “boots on the ground:”

Being hospice for the dying world

while

Midwifing the new world as it is coming into form.

Our Teacher’s Circle Zoom gatherings are a place where we can let our hair down, be naked and vulnerable as we provide for each other a listening ear, a compassionate heart and the generous nurturing and support we so readily offer to others.  We meet once monthly via ZOOM video conferencing.

Basic Membership
$13 / month
* A.F. Weekly Lesson
Plus
$15 / month
* A.F. Weekly Lesson
* Secure, Members-Only Social Network
Premium
$22.50 / month
* A.F. Weekly Lesson
* Secure, Members-Only Social Network
* Teacher’s Circle- Monthly Zoom Calls
Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy

Expanding Our Offerings – Coming Soon!

Here is a sneak peek of what we are hard at work creating and making available soon!  A huge shout out to Kim at Leadas.love for the backend work.  Watch this blog and your emails for the big REVEAL! 

Authentic Freedom (dot) Love is a community of women and men who are responding to the calling of their Soul to discover their own unique giftedness and how they are called to find fulfillment in these gifts while being supported and empowered in the use of these gifts in service to the betterment of the world.

We are here because we long for a more loving, more compassionate, more tolerant, more accepting and gentler world where the needs of all are met for the common good and where all of humankind can once again live in harmony, peace and understanding.

If you have found yourself here, you are either just beginning to hear the rumblings of your Soul, or have already come to know that you are among those who are being hospice to the dying world while midwifing the new world that is coming into form and are looking for people of like-mind with whom you can share this challenging and exciting calling!

We are changemakers, wayshowers, sh.t-disturbers, mystics and rebels. And here we are safe to question, explore, discover, be empowered and supported for our own unique giftedness and for how we are called to exercise these gifts in our world.

Authentic Freedom (dot) Love supports you through:

Education

On-Going Spiritual Formation

Social Network/Community (coming soon!)

Individualized Support

Empowerment

Publishing

 

Authentic Freedom is the life-work of Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS who created the Authentic Freedom protocol which supports women, men and children in overcoming the unhealed wounds, fears, and societal conditioning which might otherwise prevent them from being their most authentic self – the person they were born to be and whom their Soul is calling them to be!

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS
Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS

 

The Order of the Magdalene Priesthood Training and the Order of Melchizedek Training programs are our flagship offerings – for the serious student who is interested in being supported in their journey of self-actualization and vocational empowerment.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Academy

Authentic Freedom is Becoming a Learning Community

Authentic Freedom is becoming a learning community.

In addition to my blog, my books, and online courses, the “new” offerings will include:

  • A weekly Authentic Freedom lesson
  • A social network (something like Facebook right on my own website!!!!!)
  • A monthly teachers circle

These offerings will be available through paid membership tiers running from $13.00 – $22.50 per month.  All but the social network option are already available but will now be streamlined and easier to access with a more purposeful vision.. Watch this site for updates and announcements on how to join!

The social network option will allow us to GET OFF FACEBOOK!  Hurray!  This will insure greater privacy and a more secure community of women and men who are serious about their inner work and who want to connect and build community on that level.  I am really looking forward to launching this option (SOON!).

If you have any questions, or need additional information, please let me know.  In the meantime, I welcome your prayers of support as I continue through the internal and external symptoms related to “upleveling.”  It has been doozie!  “Hello Trickster, the fact that you are here tells me something magnificent is happening!”

Authentic Freedom (dot) Love is a 25 year labor of love (blood, sweat, tears, heartache, ecstasy, fulfillment and joy) which began with my own search for meaning and fulfillment. Beginning with my Catholic upbringing and from there through nearly every spiritual tradition known to us today, the meandering path of my journey has brought me to one universal truth:

LOVE

Through this journey, I have discovered and been called to develop tools which supported me in coming to know this love and through this love, coming to know my unique giftedness and how I am called to find meaning and purpose in my life through the engagement and use of these gifts – first for my own fulfillment and then in service to the betterment of our world.

The mission of Authentic Freedom (dot) Love is to support you in doing the same.

Through our many offerings, we support you in coming to know LOVE and how to choose this LOVE over our culture’s fear-based conditioning. In addition, you have the opportunity to discover your own unique giftedness and how you are called to find fulfillment in these gifts and to feel supported and empowered in the use of these gifts in service to the betterment of the world.

Education

On-Going Spiritual Formation

Social Network/Community (coming soon!)

Individualized Support

Empowerment

Publishing

 

 Learn more about our philosophy of education HERE. 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Discernment

Seeing through a Lens Clearly

As I ready for an enormous expansion of my work in the world, I find myself tempted by the ghosts of my past. Insecurities I thought I had healed.  Unfounded worries and fears.  Afraid it will not produce the fruits I am hoping for (by fruits I mean gathering and forming a community while supporting members of that community in coming to their own wholeness).  While sitting in meditation this morning I was confronted with an unexpected ghost….one I definitely thought I was done with:

PROFESSIONAL JEALOUSY!

(Ugh!  Lauri Lumby being excruciatingly human again!) At first, I was tempted to condemn myself for still hanging on to this old demon. The demon that makes me cringe every time I am compared to someone doing “similar” work.  Or when I see someone I judge as undeserving getting ANOTHER publishing contract.  These thoughts have made me feel so petty, jealous, and like such a baby.  “Lauri get over it!  Who cares that ___________ keeps publishing books which all say the same old crap!?   Who cares that _____________ is Oprah’s flavor of the week!  Who cares that _________________ has absolutely no education or experience in this field and yet keeps getting publishing deals and speaking engagements on the topic?!”

But then, in my meditation it hit me! There are many authors with whom I do not have these kinds of reactions or feelings.  Instead, I celebrate every time they publish a new work or book another speaking engagement or public interview.  Bill Plotkin, JK Rowling,  Cynthia Bourgeault, Jean Yves-LeLoup, Barbara Marx Hubbard (who sadly recently passed), Rabbi Michael Munk, Tau Malachi, Mary Sharrat, Maggie Stiefvater, Dennis William Hauck, are all authors whose work I cannot get enough of and I hold a party every time they publish a new work.  My demon of “professional jealousy” does not show up at all for a single one of these authors.  This realization made me pause.  Why do I have (what I have interpreted as) professional jealousy over some authors but not for all?

If I had to identify ONE THING that all of the authors above have in common…..it would be INTEGRITY. They write within their own field of expertise.  They ARE experts in their field.  They are writing from their heart and their soul.  They are not writing with the intention of appealing to the masses (though for some their work does).  Instead, they are writing what THEY want to read.  Their works are intelligent and wise.  They are impeccable with their word and they are staying in their own lane.  And most of all, they are not trying to blow smoke up anyone’s ass!

Then it hit me. What I have been judging as professional jealousy isn’t jealousy at all!  Instead, it is ME seeing through a lens clearly.  What I have called jealousy is actually my superpower of discernment seeing what is truth and what is falsehood.  What I have called jealousy is simply my ability to read people and their truer intentions.  I’m seeing the person behind the persona.  The truth behind the lies.  The reality behind the illusion.  The capitalistic drive that tempts people to leave their integrity behind in favor of a big fat check and the possibility of fame.

Now, before you call me an asshole with a capital A (which sometimes I am which is why Denis Leary and I are friends!), I am also aware that what I am seeing in my discernment is ONLY FOR ME! What is true for me is not necessarily true for others.  We are all on our own path and if the words of _______________ speak to you, then cool!  Their work just doesn’t speak to me.  I want grit.  I want depth.  I want to be challenged in my growth.  I want to grow.  I want to learn.  I want to expand my knowledge in the areas of my passion – human development and spirituality.  And I want to be entertained (Thank you Maggie Stiefvater!.).  I also recognize that as human beings we are all at different stages in our journey and that we all need resources that reflect our current stage of development.  I mean, let’s be real…..I had a book of Tau Malachi’s on my shelf for 10 years before I could read it!!!!  The same is true of my copy of the Sefir Yetzirah.

I’m just glad that as I ready for this next stage of expansion, I can now set aside my own self-judgment over what I’ve been calling professional jealousy and OWN my ability to see through a lens clearly.

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Empowerment

Unraveling from Outside Perceived Authority

When they (the temple police) had brought them, they had them stand before the (religious) council. The high priest questioned them, saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this (Jesus’) name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.”

Acts 5: 27-29

BOOM! In one sentence, the apostles make it clear who it is we are truly called to “obey.” We are not called to obey human authority – only God.  But here is where it gets dodgy. Whose God and whose interpretation of God are we to obey?  That answer is also clear, but we have to dig a little to find it.

Let’s go back to Jesus. In Jesus’ world, there were two authorities – the Romans who created and enforced the civil laws and the authorities in the temple who created and enforced the religious law.  There was also a third “authority” – that which arose out of Jesus’ cultural conditioning – things like prejudice against women, people of other beliefs, homosexuality, etc.   Jesus, however, obeyed none of these. As his ministry expanded (or rather, his understanding of his ministry) he obeyed them even less (see MT 15: 21-28 for an example of this). Even as a child, Jesus displayed a tendency toward obedience only to God:

Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business? But they did not understand what he said to them.   Luke 2: 41-50

Paul spoke of Jesus’ obedience in this way:

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.

Phil 2: 5-8

Jesus obeyed God….period. And we are invited to do the same.  Yet we live in a culture that tells us otherwise.  Instead, we are taught from a very early age, all of the outside authorities we are meant to obey – our parents, our teachers, our peer group, our priest, our religion, our boss, the rules of the corporation for whom we work (written and unwritten), the laws of our community, state and nation, and the worst of all of them – advertising!  Many of those who are placed in positions of outside authority are good people with our best interests in mind.  Some are using their power to manipulate and control others for their own selfish gain. Some rules made by these outside authorities no longer make sense in an evolving world.  Some still make sense, but maybe no longer within the context in which they were formed.

But when we have been conditioned to look outside of ourselves for guidance and direction, how are we to know what is God speaking to us and what is the outside perceived authority? Again, Paul provides a clue:

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