Posted in Authentic Freedom, God, Oneness with God, Spiritual Formation, The Divine

How “God” Isn’t God.

An excerpt from the Authentic Freedom Weekly Lesson.  Full content available for Basic – Premium Members.  Learn more HERE. 

“He is not God of the dead, but of the living,
for to him all are alive.”

Lk 20:38

God:  The big “G” word.  So much evil has been done in the name of an “on behalf” of “God” that I am hesitant to even use this word.  At the same time, we don’t have another word in our English language that describes that which cannot be described.

When we look beyond the patriarchal interpretation and manipulation of “God” to the mystical Jewish tradition of which Jesus was most certainly a part, God is understood as this:

  • Ain-Sof: Ain-Sof is the Hebrew word meaning “No-Thing.” Ain-Sof is the limitless Nothing out of which all of creation was brought forth.  Ain-Sof is empty, nothing, void; but at the same time, it holds infinite possibility.  Every possible thing, idea, creation, image, etc. etc. etc. is present within the void.  This is the Source of all that is, and is what existed (or didn’t exist) before the BIG BANG ignited the unfolding creation of the universe.  Ain-Sof would be the highest understanding of that which we might now call “God.”
  • Emanations: Because this Ain-Sof cannot truly be grasped by the human mind, “God” distilled/constricted itself so that it could come into material form.  In the Kabbalistic tradition of Jewish mysticism, these progressively distilled emanations of the Divine are represented on the Tree of Life as the Sefirot.  These are the various aspects of the Divine that are involved in the bringing forth of all that is:  Keter (Light), Chokmah (Wisdom), Da’at (Knowing), Binah (Understanding), Chesed (Mercy/Compassion), Gevurah (Severity), Tiferet (Beauty), Netzach (Victory), Hod (Splendor), Yesod (Creativity), Malchut (Creation/The Word). 
  • Formless, Faceless, Nameless: The ultimate Divine cannot be named, has no form and no face or image can capture its infinite nature.  While human beings continue to create God in our own image, God cannot be contained by our limited perceptions or experiences.  In the Hebrew tradition, this truth is lived out in the titles that are used when referring to God, never daring to utter God’s only name which has been described in four Hebrew letters which illustrate the power and majesty of the Divine.  Titles like “Adonai” or El-Shaddai are used out of respect (and fear/awe) of the nameless, faceless Source.
  • Masculine, Feminine and Everything in Between: In the articulation of the Divine Emanations as described in the Kabbalah, the actions of the Divine are defined in terms of “active” or “receptive.”  These Emanations have been given masculine (active) and feminine (receptive) names to distinguish their active or receptive principles.  Those along the middle column (Keter, Da’at, Tiferet, Malkuth) are neutral as they are that which comes forth out of the balance between the active and receptive principles of life.

In short, never in the Hebrew tradition has God been exclusively male – this interpretation is simply a distortion of the patriarchal culture out of which Christianity emerged.  Therefore, Jesus’ understanding of God was not exclusively male.  He is quoted as having called God “Abba/Father,” though it is just as likely he also called God “Amma/Mother.”  While this cannot be proven through scripture, we do know that Jesus found himself to be ONE (John 17: 6-26) with God and in that Oneness, found great peace, contentment and joy.  This “Oneness” Jesus called “Malkut,” inaccurately translated as “Kingdom of God.”  From the perspective of Jewish mysticism, Jesus fulfilled the emanation of the Divine within him by attaining “Malkut” – Oneness with God and the fulfillment of the purpose of the human journey.  This is what Jesus tried to teach his disciples.

Posted in God

What Do We Know of God?

I am giving all credit and honor for this week’s (dot)Love newsletter to my long-time spiritual director, Leanore Rommelfanger. In my session with her this week, she literally blew my mind – and my ego – with her wisdom.   Leanore, this is for you!

What do we know of God – really? The short answer to this question is NOTHING.  To quote Schultz from the 1960’s sitcom Hogan’s Heroes, “We know NOTHING!”  We really, truly know nothing of God.  We don’t even know if God exists.  And yet, for as long as human beings have walked this planet, we have pondered the infinite mysteries of the universe, including life itself.  As we gaze in wonder at the universe, at the miracles of creation, of the beauty all around us, we know that we did not do this, nor could we.  But if human beings didn’t create all of this – then who, or what did?  As we struggle to make sense of the difficulties, challenges and suffering that all seem to be part of life on this planet – we also wonder, who or what is causing this?  Are we causing this suffering by our actions or are they caused by something outside of our control?  Or, as the chaos theorists surmise, is this all completely and totally random?  Is creation simply brought about by a bunch of random particles bouncing off of each other creating life as we know it?

At the end of the day, we will never truly know – at least as long as we are on this side of the veil. Yet this does not stop human beings from trying to make sense of it all. The ancients determined that the world was created by The Great Mother (Creatrix) who birthed the universe through her very self. Ancient tribal cultures give credit to the Great Spirit in the Sky.  Some acknowledge one Divine Being who can express itself in a multitude of ways and forms and does so through what these cultures call their “gods.”  Some conceive of an Earthly and Earthy Source.  Others think of the gods as from above.  Some believe aliens created our world – but if so, where did they come from?  The Hebrews believed in One God who was infinite, who bore many names and who was truly genderless and could express itself as female or male, but who for many became LordJesus called his god Abwoon, which western religion has translated as Father.  Scripture tells us that Jesus found himself to be One with God and it was in this Oneness that he discovered the kingdom of God, what today we might call peace or contentment.  The author of the letter of John, in his (or her) deeper reflection on Jesus’ teachings described God as Love.

Ultimately we define god by our own tribal custom, beliefs and through our own understanding. Most commonly, we are making god in our own image or defining god by our experience of human beings.   I know this idea might be shocking to some – but think about it.  In the Christian tradition alone, there are a million ways in which God is defined – all based on a human being’s interpretation of scripture which can only be interpreted through that individual’s life experiences and the lens through which they have experienced the world.  Some versions of Christianity speak of a fire and brimstone god, one who is judging humanity and waiting to throw sinners into the fiery pits of hell.  Others preach an unconditionally loving god.  Everyone else preaches something in between the two.  Which god is really and truly God?  In the limited experience of being human, we will never truly know.  St. Paul once said in quoting Isaiah(64:4):

However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”
the things God has prepared for those who love him…

 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. 1 Cor 2: 9-10

From the perspective of our tiny human experience, we cannot fathom the nature of God. Even Paul put conditions on God – “for those who love him.”  Only those who love will be privy to the wonder of God – and God is only male.  Sigh.

But, such is the nature of our human condition. Our view and our understanding is limited.  But we still keep trying to define God.  What would happen if we stopped defining God and instead, allowed God to reveal God’s Self to us?

BRAIN EXPLOSION!

GREY MATTER ON MY KEYBOARD.

A big Homer Simpson “D’OH!”

 

What would happen if we got out of our big fat egos and instead of trying to define or explain God, we let God do that for us? I suspect this may have been what Paul was getting at in the continuation of the passage from 1 Corinthians 2:

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Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, God

Reclaiming My Right to Be Excruciatingly Human!

DAMN IT. All these years I’ve been serving (internally anyway) the wrong kind of GOD!!!!!  In my head I know better….and my work reflects that.  But internally, I’ve been serving the GOD of someone else’s making.  ARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!

Hi. My name is Lauri.  I’m a recovering perfectionist.

Trying to be perfect

Maybe that’s all you need to know…..but maybe not. For as long as I can remember, I have tried to be perfect.  The perfect daughter.  Perfect student.  Perfect pianist.  Perfect dancer.  Perfect friend.  Perfect wife.  Perfect mother.  I’m not sure if I was born this way or if it is a product of my conditioning or a little of both.  The Enneagram suggests we are born with our “Type.”  There is no doubt that I am a Type 1 on the Enneagram and that I undoubtedly look at myself, the world and my life experiences through the lens of this question: “How could this be better?”  So there’s that.

I am also acutely aware of how my early life experiences along with my Catholic upbringing fostered the critical nature of this lens. Little messages along the way which have said I’m not good enough, there is something wrong with me, the way I’m doing things is wrong, what my Soul needs and wants is not in line with what society expects from me….and worst of all…..the ongoing message of a jealous God examining my every move and like Santa Claus, keeping a record of all the bad I’ve done in my life – bad for which there will be some sort of punishment – if not in this life, then certainly in the next.

But I’m not bad!

But here’s the thing. I’m not bad.  I’ve never done anything bad.  Yes, in the normal stages of childhood development I fought with my siblings and was likely mean to them at times.  Yes, I became angry at my parents and sometimes grumbled against their guidance.  Yes, in college and early adulthood I made the usual “mistakes.”  But ultimately, I’ve never done anything to intentionally harm another or to do damage in this world.

So if I’m not bad and I’ve never done anything bad, then why have I spent a lifetime feeling so bad? Feeling as if there is something wrong with me?  In response to this deep inner feeling of wrongness, I have done a WHOLE LOT OF WORK.  Healing the pain from past abuse.  Healing trauma.  Undoing negative conditioning.  Reclaiming all the parts of myself that I locked away deep in my subconscious because it might not be “acceptable” in this world.  I have opened Pandora’s Box and have welcomed every single demon therein – meeting it, listening to its fears and concerns and supporting the healing and transformation of all my old wounds so that I might not only feel better about myself, but so I might also feel better about this world and my place in it.

This week while reading the comments of the women and men in my Magdalene Priestess Training I realized there was one final demon to tackle.

My favorite Moses scene is when he throws the tablets to the ground in disgust, rage and disappointment over his people.  This is me everyday!  And yet, I’m just as guilty of confusion, doubt, and running after distractions and shiny objects (hello Facebook).  UGH!  We are excruciatingly human – and isn’t that the point!?  God loves us no matter how dense we can be at times….and this is THE GOOD NEWS.  We are utterly ok exactly as we are in this and every other moment. God doesn’t care.  This is a lesson about Unconditional Love I am still trying to learn.  God doesn’t care if I enjoy a glass of wine.  God doesn’t care if I’m depressed and unmotivated.  God doesn’t care if some days I just don’t give a fuck.  God doesn’t care that on some days I despise the human race.  Because God knows WHO I AM and in the center of all my human frailty there is Love.  Just plain Love.  And Love is who I am even when (maybe especially when) I am excruciatingly human!  

That demon’s name is “GOD”

Now, before you get your undies in a twist, let me explain.  The GOD who I am calling a demon, is not God – but is instead, the god of someone else’s making.  This is not the God who Jesus spoke of who loves without condition.  This is the GOD made up by a hierarchical and patriarchal system who rules by fear, power and control.  This is the GOD who was created to make us feel bad about ourselves, to plant seeds of doubt, confusion and pain in us …. all so that this hierarchical system might control us.  Because here’s the thing – if we believe in a GOD who is always judging us, who is measuring our humanness against us and who is waiting to punish us for that evil, then we will always be afraid.  We will feel badly about ourselves and can therefore be easily manipulated.  You see, when GOD’s love can be taken away, if we have to earn that love, if we will be punished for angering this GOD, then we will do anything to gain the approval of this GOD – a GOD that ultimately has nothing to do with God, and everything to do with humans that want us to look toward them as the ultimate authority so we will do what they tell us; and humans who wants our money.  Notice- the Church is not the only creator of this GOD.  Oh no….they are co-conspirators with every other hierarchical institution which has arisen out of a desire to have power and control over the masses.

The Demon isn’t only in the Church

Oh, and for the record…..a whole lot of “New Age,” “Ascension” and “Prosperity Gospel” people also preach this kind of GOD. You know…the GOD who will only reward us if we “think the right thoughts.”  The GOD who isn’t actually a GOD but is in fact ourselves – because WE are GOD and our life is created by what and how we think.  If we think the right thoughts we will get what we want because WE are GOD.  And if we think the wrong thoughts, then we can expect the consequences of these thoughts because we are GOD and we made it happen.  And if what we have in our lives is not what we want (if we are poor, struggling with illness, experiencing difficulty in our lives) it is because this GOD who is US is punishing us for thinking the wrong thoughts and the solution to changing what we do not want in our lives is to simply think better thoughts.  Or perform magic spells.  Or do the right ritual.  Or light a candle.  Oh wait….there’s more.  We also need to be PERFECT.  If our life isn’t what we want it to be it is because there is some wound in the way and if we clear that wound (fear, compulsion, etc.) then our external life will magically change. Ourselves disguised as a demon disguised as GOD.

(For the record, I’m all in favor of healing our wounds….it is what I do best……but healing our inner wounds is NO GUARANTEE of a change in our external lives.  Jesus never promised EXTERNAL abundance – only the abundance we know within when we are free.  #authenticfreedom). 

THIS is the demon GOD that remains at the bottom of my Pandora’s Box. The GOD that says I’m not good enough.  That I will never be good enough.  That no matter how hard I work to heal my past wounds, fears, etc. I will never be free because this GOD is looking over my shoulder waiting to hand out reward and punishment.  The GOD that has me believing that my life experience will change if I can just figure out what about me is soooooo wrong and heal that one thing so that everything will be good again. DAMN IT.  All these years I’ve been serving (internally anyway) the wrong kind of GOD!!!!!  In my head I know better….and my work reflects that.  But internally, I’ve been serving the GOD of someone else’s making.  ARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!

NO MORE! Today, I reclaim my RIGHT TO BE HUMAN. Excruciatingly human! Jesus spoke of a God who loves without condition.  A God who made me exactly as I am – for a reason and a purpose – and THIS creation is PERFECT.  I am already loved by God.  I don’t have to earn God’s love and it cannot be taken away.  I was LOVED into being and I am LOVE itself – and this version of love swears like a sailor, enjoys a glass of wine at the end of the day, on some days despises the human race, becomes impatient with ignorance and intolerance, grows enraged in the face of injustice, is at times judgmental and self-righteous and is sure that my way is right – or at least better; who loves deeply, burns passionately, gives generously – even if sometimes out of a “need to help or to feel loved,” who hates certain individuals and harbors resentment like Gollum harbors the ring.  Sometimes I’m depressed and unmotivated.  Other days I’m a workaholic.  I have anxiety, suffer with migraines and sometimes have panic attacks.  Like Denis Leary sings, sometimes I’m an Asshole but I can also be one of the kindest people you will ever know.  This is me in all my excruciating humanness exactly like God made me and there is nothing wrong with me and nothing wrong with how I am living my life.  And the parts of my external life which I wish would change (Gawd I’m tired of always having to worry about money and how my next bill will be paid) have absolutely nothing to do with something I have yet to heal, or some thought I need to correct.  SHIT JUST HAPPENS.  This is life.  And God has nothing to do with it and neither do we.  We are here to be human – excruciatingly human and maybe somewhere in that humanness we have the opportunity to discover that in addition to being human we are also LOVE.

 

Posted in God

God is Dead and The Bride Has Taken Her Throne

In meditation this morning, I was given a vision that God is dead and that “The Bride” has taken her throne:

In the vision I saw God (the old man in the sky God). He was old and frail. He was only skin and bones, with a few wisps of white hair on his balding head.  He was struggling to breathe and to hold himself up.  Standing beside the old man in the sky God was a beautiful 40-50 year old woman with long flowing hair streaked with the grew of wisdom.  She was caring for the old man in the sky God.  While comforting him, she placed her hand on his shoulder and gently whispered, “It’s ok.  It’s time to let go.  Your work here is complete.”  God looked up at the woman with gratitude in his eyes.  He took her hands in his and surrendered his last breath.  And then he vanished.  The woman breathed a sigh of relief for God would no longer be suffering.  She then shed a single tear, straightened her shoulders and took his place.  As the woman took the old man in the sky God’s place, the room filled with light and a multitude of people stood before her cheering.  “The Bride has taken her throne.  Thus begins a new heaven and a new earth.  The things of old have passed away and the new is coming forth.  Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Amen!  Amen!  Halleluia!”

Please share your thoughts and reflections on what this vision represents to you. 

 

Posted in About Lauri, God, Oneness with God, Surrender

Only God – The Practice of Radical Self-Reliance

Today’s blog is a deeply personal sharing of a spiritual practice that I have been invited into. It is a practice that has been whispering in my ear for the past several months and only now am I able and willing to accept it.  (Of course I was only willing after being brought to my knees….but that is another story for another day.)

This is a practice of radical self-reliance where I am being invited to release my attachments to all those persons, places, things outside of me where I have sought after guidance, support and love.  In this, there is only one thing left, and that is God.

God and me. Me and God.

As I enter into this practice, I am astonished by all the causes of distraction in my life – all those things I have run to in an attempt to escape the deep pain of everything: loneliness, boredom, isolation, feelings of lack, anxiety, depression, fear, anger, resentment, wrath, lusting after control, the desire for recognition and fame, money, status, power, etc., etc., etc.,.  It’s all there.  And it’s present in everything.  In this practice, I am making a diligent attempt to turn away from each and every one of these distractions so that I can simply be with God.

God and me. Me and God.

In this, I have released every resource I have turned to for guidance. I have let go of everything that promises better days ahead and makes predictions about where we are and where we are headed.  I have let go of the black hole of Facebook except when necessary for personal or professional purposes.  I am continuing to stay away from the fear-based media.  I have ceased making plans, setting agenda, creating itineraries.  I have let go of the compulsive need to frequently check emails hoping for some nicer, brighter news.  In this, all that is left is Me and God In THIS MOMENT.  When I find myself tempted to indulge in these externals, I STOP and turn within to God.

Me and God. God and Me.

As Saints Paul and Augustine both observed, our hearts are ever restless until we rest in God……and rest in God alone. I guess you could say I am testing their theory.

 

 

Posted in Being Human, detachment, God, Inspiration, Surrender

God Doesn’t Care Part II

In saying the God doesn’t care and asking the question, “then why do we?” (Read part I HERE), I am speaking about a specific kind of caring. I’m not referring to the caring and loving acts we demonstrate or show towards others.  I am also not talking about the proper concern we have for our fellow human beings, all of creation, and the world we live in.  All that we do to demonstrate caring, love, compassion, and concern are natural and healthy drives within us as human beings supporting our connection and fostering peace and harmony between us.  These are all healthy expressions of caring and supportive in building a happy and healthy world.  This is the highest expression of ourselves coming forth, arising out of love and grounded in compassion.

The caring that I am referring to about which God does not, is that which arises out of judgment and/or fear and is recognized by powerful emotional reactions. This is the kind of “caring” that we often see in ourselves and in others.  “Caring” that comes through as highly charged emotional reactions to the experiences, circumstances, events and people around us.  “Caring” that causes us to get our “undies in a bundle,” as we pick up our sword and ready for battle.  This is the “caring” that compels us to take up a cause and fight for that cause.  This is the “caring” where we judge something or someone’s actions as bad, disordered, etc. and the “caring” that causes us to build a wall of separation between “us” and “them.”  These are human actions and human responses and a guaranteed path to anxiety and conflict.  When we assign these kinds of attitudes and behaviors to God, we are creating God in our own image, not the other way around.

Unlike human beings, God is neutral. God does not judge.  As the psalmist says, “In you, darkness and light are but one (Psalm 139).”  God is simply being, observing, witnessing, allowing.  When we remember that we are created in the image and likeness of God we also remember that we are called to be like God.  When we accept the invitation to be like God, we then allow ourselves, like God, to simply be, allow, observe, witness.  When we do so free of judgment, this is the way to peace.

Being present to our world from a place of non-judgment and non-reaction allows us to be with the ever-changing circumstances of our lives and of the world around us. Non-judgment allows us to simply observe without the need to react.  We can observe, sit in this observance and discern within ourselves, from a place of non-reaction, as to how we may or may not be called to respond.  In this, we are able to refrain from reacting and find the place of authentic, loving, peaceful response.  I could give you a million examples of (many of them recent) as to how judgment and reaction disrupt our peace, but I will leave you with this:

We know within ourselves if we are reacting from a place of judgment or responding from a place of peaceful awareness. In the former, we feel charged by powerful emotions of fear, anger, wrath, frustration, impatience, etc.  In the latter, we only know peace.

Choose peace.

 

Posted in About Lauri, Being Human, God, introverts, Mystics, Oneness with God, Ponderings, Relationships, Spiritual Direction, Surrender

Only God

a personal reflection by Lauri Ann Lumby

This morning’s blog is coming from a deeply personal place and arising out of a place of fragmented vulnerability….so apologies ahead of time for momentary incoherence. 😉

image credit: www.checorreaphotography.com

2017 has been quite an interesting year so far. The most exciting things have been my soul-discovering trip to Ireland and the “new” things that are beginning to be birthed in my world including a promising business partnership and a burgeoning Magdalene Priestess Training program!

Playing a much more central role in 2017, however, has been the ever deepening and every widening journey of LETTING GO! It seems everywhere I turn I am being invited to let go of that which I used to turn to as a source of familiarity, routine, surety, security and support.  It seems I can’t take a single step without being confronted with something asking for release.  This release has included the need to redefine relationships (the nature of, my expectations or hopes around, boundaries, etc.), to let go of certain hopes and dreams; and more materially, facing the need to find new housing and buy a new car.  The whispering threat under all of this letting go is, “And HOW are you going to pay for that?????”  UGH!

As it all came to a head this past weekend with the resurfacing of my deepest core wound and its source, I knew that the letting go was not about letting go, but was in fact about letting in. Specifically – letting God in.

In this realization, I must give credit and gratitude to my experience as a Spiritual Director (and a mystic). If I did not have the awareness of what the Divine call looks like, I would have been in much more despair than I have been (believe me, I’ve spent many hours on the couch wallowing in my grief, despair and perceived helplessness) and not known where to turn or how to make sense of every rug being pulled out from beneath my feet.  God isn’t an asshole (though sometimes it feels like “He” is.).  When we are being invited to let go….it is always for the purpose of letting in.

So, what does it mean when life is inviting us to release EVERYTHING upon which we have previously based our lives and EVERYTHING we formerly turned to as a source of hope and support? It means that life is supporting us in knowing that in the end, there is ONLY God.  Everything that we know of in our human experience is fleeting and temporary – relationships, jobs, homes, cars, money, belongings, our health and wellbeing, life itself.  It is all temporary and in the end, it all passes away.  When all has passed away….what is left is God.  Me and God.  God and me.  And when Lauri Ann Lumby is no longer, there is only God.

I am also grateful for my spiritual director, Leanore, who supported me yesterday in verbalizing my awareness and affirming the invitation. The purpose of all this letting go is so that I can let God in – to let God in on an even deeper level than I have ever done before.  To let God in so that I might know a deeper experience of God’s love.  To know God as my source of support.  To surrender into God’s hands knowing and trusting that God is carrying me to exactly where I need to be.  Most importantly of all….to do what I tell everyone of my students to do – to make God the number one priority of my life, to give all my energy and attention to God, to be open to receiving and being compelled and empowered by God’s love.  It is not about the temporary and fleeting things of this world, it is about God…..and only about God.

In closing, I want to share these words from Stephanie Azaria’s daily post (quoting one of her writers, Marie DesRoches at www.thecosmicpath.com.  If this isn’t God speaking to me, I don’t know what is:

In 3D I used to “think” of surrender as giving up my way and “doing” what God wanted.  In 5D I Align WITH the God That I Am and allow myself to BE all that I AM – expressing, moving, choosing, loving, breathing, WITH and IN that Presence.” 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, God, Mystics, Oneness with God

Lessons on Loneliness

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I have had many conversations with fellow mystics on the topic of loneliness. As mystics we ARE different from the norm, usually pretty far-left of center. Many find it difficult to relate to or understand us. Others are hesitant to draw near because of the light we shine on the love they are, which they are perhaps not yet ready to be. We think, move, act, believe, see, differently and some find this disturbing. All this is reason enough to feel alone, set apart, even lonely. But there is an even greater source of our loneliness and it is God. More specifically, the call of the mystic, above all else, is to know God/dess, and it is through loneliness that God calls us home to ourselves and home to God. As I recent wrote to a student, fellow-mystic and spiritual sojourner:

Mystics always feel some sense of loneliness and isolation.  It is the other edge of this double-edged gift.  On one hand, we experience God more intimately and as One.  On the other hand, we long for more of this.  It is the “loneliness” that keeps us seeking God, seeking that experience of Oneness.  

Our human inclination is to believe there is something wrong with us for feeling the deep ache of this existential loneliness. We judge ourselves. We wish for this aching emptiness to go away. We seek after the remedy to this loneliness by looking for things outside of us (including other people) to fill the void. What we end up finding is simply more emptiness, for there is nothing “out there” that can fill this void. Instead, we are invited to go into the loneliness for it is here we shall find God/Self. Again, as I shared with my student:

Transformation comes when we realize that loneliness is the GIFT that compels us toward God and that it is GOD we are lonely for – nothing else (which keeps us from looking “out there” for something to fill our emptiness – and emptiness that can only be filled by God). Don’t despair of the loneliness.  Don’t chase after its remedy.  Welcome it and accept it as part of your gift.  

The loneliness and deep sense of isolation that plagues the mystic is in fact, our greatest gift. The loneliness that society tells us to judge and which we therefore are tempted to resist is actually God calling us into an ever-deepening intimacy. It is in entering into the loneliness, welcoming it, becoming comfortable with it that we find God and in finding God we find ourselves. And if more loneliness remains, we are called to remember that it is only God calling us even deeper into the love that we are and to dare to even go there. As there is no limit to the love of God and the love that we are in God, there is likely no end to the loneliness. When we accept this truth and cease from judging, resisting, or trying to rid ourselves of this loneliness, it is here that we find peace.

For support in the journey of knowing Self and knowing the Divine that dwells within, consider the Authentic Freedom Mastery Program. Enjoy the free preview course to see if it might be for you. Click on the image below to learn more and to register:

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Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Death, Freedom, God, Inspiration, Mary Magdalene, Spiritual Formation, teachers, women

Power in the Darkness

After creating and launching three new online courses, including my entire Authentic Freedom and Magdalene Priestess Training curricula, I have been enjoying a creative hiatus. As creative types understand, after massive creative output, one needs time to empty and then refuel for the next creative flow.  I am emptying and refueling by binge-watching the Showtime series Penny Dreadful, and boy am I glad I FINALLY took my creative sisters’ advise in watching this show.  I am luxuriating in every sumptuous character and am captivated by every word, image and storyline.  I LOVE this show and it just happens to be in my favorite literary genre – Victorian Gothic Horror. Penny Dreadful is the story of my life – and the life of every woman and man I know who, like the characters in this tale, have found their power in the darkness.

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Penny Dreadful is the story of Vanessa Ives, a young woman destined to be either the bride of Satan, or the savior of the human race; the men who fight for her victory and the women who seek to destroy her. Penny Dreadful is about Vanessa’s struggle with the power within her that will either become her destruction, or lead her to salvation.  Vanessa’s deepest motivation is love, but she is tempted by that which leads her to darkness.  The dark forces wish to possess Vanessa, while she continually reaches toward the light.  Not always is Vanessa victorious, but it is her humanness that makes her character so compelling.  What if you had the power to destroy your enemies with a single thought and projection of your desire?  What if the price of this is only the price of your Soul – a Soul that longs to believe in a benevolent God, but finding in the human condition that we are ever and always alone?

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Vanessa’s story is our story. The human journey is nothing if it is not a teacher.  Like the seed that must break through its own shell and crawl its way through (seemingly) miles of soil before it can find the sun, life presents us with challenges and obstacles that we must find our way through if we are ever to find our own light.  Vanessa’s story is the story of the honest, the vulnerable, and the courageous who, when confronted with the difficulties of life, find their way through them – sometimes crawling on our hands and knees begging for mercy, other times walking on a bed of burning coals stubbornly moving toward their goal.  And like Vanessa, when we find ourselves on the other side of the darkness, we know freedom and the newfound sense of accomplishment in having vanquished the “demon.”  Here we have found our power – power over our fears, power over our compulsions, power over temptation, power over the darkness and power over death.  And it was in facing the darkness that we have found our strength.

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Power in the Darkness

Power born out of darkness.

Power honed through suffering.

Power that arises on the other side of pain –

Or rather, in the midst of it.

Power at home with death and loss and all measures of darkness –

Depression, disease, despair.

Power not for the sake of evil,

But in service to the Good.

Power that finds its strength in staring down fear,

Standing toe-to-toe with “Satan”

And the obstacles “he” casts in our way.

Power born out of darkness for the sake of the light.

Diving into the shadows, we find our return.

The heroine’s journey –

For only those gifted with bringing forth life can equally midwife death.

The power of what used to be called “witch” but is really

Divine Wholeness finding its place in the world.

Copyright 2016 Lauri Ann Lumby

Find your power through our online courses which empower you through the darkness:

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Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, church, God, Inspiration, Jesus, Lessons, Oneness with God, Raised Catholic

Claiming What is Truly Ours

“We are afraid of her. For centuries we have wanted nothing to do with her. Now she returns into our midst. She is substantively weighted down by a special knowledge. She is saturated with hidden forces. Her one key move is to claim what is truly hers without shame.” – Ellias Lonsdale from his book Star Speaks as quoted at www.thecosmicpath.com.

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 What is truly mine? What is truly mine?  What IS truly mine?

When I reflect on these questions, what comes to me is MAGIC. Magic has always been my inheritance.  The magic of my ancestors.  A dark, intuitive, mystical magic.  A magic that infuses one with the courage and endurance to stare down the darkness of the human condition.  To be present to pain, struggle, fear, failure, challenge, heartache, heartbreak, betrayal and abuse and live to tell about it.  The magic to not be destroyed by the darkness, but to find my way through it.  This is the victory – to not get swallowed up or destroyed by the darkness, but in the darkness to find myself.  And in finding myself, discovering the tools to help others find themselves. 

Life is death and life is pain, this I know all too well. But lying within the darkness is also the light, if we have the eyes to see.  As a germinating seed has to break through its shell and then push its way through the darkness of the earth to find the light.  So too is this our truth – OUR truth.  In order to become the fullness of our potential, we must find our way through the darkness. 

What led me into and through the darkness, ironically, are the same. What led me into and then led me through the darkness is my faith – specifically, the Catholic faith in which I was raised.  Here I met my “God.” Here I was courted by my “God.”  Here I fell in love with my “God.”  Here my “God” betrayed me.  In this I came to know what Jesus knew  – that I too am a uniquely gifted Daughter of “God,” called to be God’s love in the world.  But even more than this, I came to know what Jesus REALLY knew – in order to truly be the “Son of God,” he had to find a new god.  As he was hanging there, dying on the cross, Jesus found a new God and this God was not the God “out there” who had forsaken him, instead, it was the Divine Self within to whom Jesus surrendered his spirit.  The God he “knew” now became truly known.  At the end of our life, there is truly no one there, for all dwells within ourselves and here we have found our way home.

This is not nihilism, this is truth. And yet, we are also never alone.  For within and among us are all the Souls who have gone this way before us.  And with these Souls, and all the Souls yet to express themselves, we are one.  We are together and we are One.  And in our Wholeness, there is God.  The wholeness of who we all have been and all the potentials of who we are yet to become.  The Creative vision of the universe forever and always discovering, creating and recreating itself.  The seed becomes the sprout, becomes the plant, becomes the blossom, becomes the fruit, becomes the seed – the never ending cycle of creation – birth, life, death, the time in between and the cycle starts all over again.

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All of this I discovered through my Catholic faith, or rather, I discovered this in the Jesus that was hidden within my Catholic faith, hiding behind centuries of dogma, doctrine and man’s need to have power and control. This was a Jesus that LIVED – no longer worshipped as he hung broken and bleeding on the cross, thereby making suffering our “God.”  Instead, this was the Jesus who was fully human.  This was the Jesus who loved, who laughed, who knew desire, who sometimes became angry, afraid and despairing and who in this, tasted the fullness of the human experience.  This was the Jesus who was killed by selfish and greedy men who felt threatened by the truth he came to reveal – the truth of a Divine within where true authority dwells.  This was a Jesus who listened to his heart, who came to show people love and who experienced love himself.  And in this love, he also experienced heartbreak – the betrayal of friends, the loss of family and the ultimate heartbreak of all – having to be beaten, tortured and killed while the woman he loved stood watching.  This was the Jesus I came to know when “God” came calling.

This is the Jesus who shows us the way – if we have the eyes to see and the ears to hear – to see and hear beyond man’s need to twist Jesus’ message for their own political agenda, who turned Jesus’ message of love to one of divisiveness and fear. “We are the One true faith and all others are going to hell.”  This is not what Jesus came to teach.  Instead, Jesus only taught love and the consequences of choosing something other than love.  If he learned nothing else by his human experience, it was that we all have a choice.  Choose fear or choose love.  The way we feel within ourselves is then determined by this choice.  Do we allow the inherent suffering of the human condition to destroy us or do we seek out the love hiding in the midst of the darkness?  THIS was Jesus’ magic – the ability to see the love no matter where or how deeply it was hiding.  This, I must admit, is my magic too….even in the days when I am sure the darkness will destroy me, I somehow always find my way through.  This is what I came to learn.  This is what I come to teach.

This is what is truly mine, along with everything that helped me find my way here –

What is truly yours?