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

Lessons on Loneliness

sadwomanpixabay

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:

authenticfreedommasterycourseiconmotherhouse

 

Posted in world changes

Readying for the New World

Yesterday, while sitting in meditation, my spirit journeyed.  I journeyed to the garden where I usually find myself when I know I have journeyed to the “Upper World” and where I meet with my spirit teacher.  Typically, this garden is abundant with life, the trees and the fruits and flowers on the trees vibrant and glowing with life.  In this garden, the colors are electric and far more vibrant than anything we can see in this world (except perhaps in the movie, “What Dreams May Come.” )

upperworld

Yesterday, however, the garden was markedly different.  Instead of being vibrant and glowing with color and life, the garden was dying.  Everything was grey, drooping and dying.  I wept at what was once vibrant and alive, now crumbling in death. I asked my spirit teacher, “What does this mean?”

What she told me is that the dying, lifeless garden represents the world in which we are currently living – a world that is dying from the abuses of power and control and the fear that rules it.  I nodded my head in agreement.  Yes, the world in which we are currently living is dying.  What I was also shown, however, is that this dying is soon to come to an end as beneath the dying world lives the vibrant and glowing world that I had seen many times before.

dyingforest

Again, I nodded in agreement as this is what I have myself been feeling about the current struggles which plague our world and which seem to be increasing in severity, frequency and ridiculousness.  The temptation, in the face of all this chaos is to get caught up in the fear, to react to the fear and power-driven actions with defiance and rage.  Instead, and this was confirmed in my journey, the response is to WAIT and WATCH and HOPE and more importantly, to KNOW that what we are currently seeing in the state of our world is the final death throes of a fear-based world clinging to its final breath.  And the empaths, Superheroes, Mystics and Prophets know this to be true – as we literally FEEL the chaos of the world plummeting to its own death and collapsing upon its own self, getting ready to implode as the world watches in fear.

Again, the invitation is to NOT get caught up in the fear, but to receive these experiences as confirmation that the old world is dying so that the new world may come forth.  And while we await the dying world’s final breath, we are invited to hold it in gratitude and love for what it has taught us and for the experiences we have had in a world ruled by fear while at the same time, holding in love our vision for the new world –

vibrant, abundant and glowing with life

peaceful and harmonious

governed through cooperation

ruled by love

 

Posted in Discernment, Empowerment, Freedom, Holy Spirit, Mystics

What is your Magic? Part 4 – the forgotten charism!

In today’s blog we continue exploring the charisms, magic, spiritual gifts with which you have been uniquely gifted to experience meaning, purpose and fulfillment in your life and through which you are called to serve the betterment of the world.  In today’s blog, I explore a charism that is not listed among the twenty-six identified by the Catherine of Siena Institute.  This charism is not explicitly stated in scripture, but is instead lived in and through the many women and men portrayed therein.  Those embodying this charism include: Eve, Rebekah, Miriam, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, David, Solomon, Esther, John the Baptist, Mary, Judas, Mary the Magdalene, Paul, Peter, oh yeah…..and Jesus.  🙂

www.richardstodart.com
www.richardstodart.com

So too have we seen throughout history, men and women endowed with this charism:  Francis of Assisi, Hildegard of Bingen, Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Siena, Joan of Arc, Oscar Romero, Gandhi, the Founding Fathers, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Gloria Steinem, Dorothy Day, Mother Theresa, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, etc.  The list goes on an on of great people who stepped from out from the fold and said or did something that caused a radical turn of events.  These are the people that DARED to see and speak the truth in a world immersed in denial.  These are the people who rocked the boat, stirred the pot and got society to see its shadow so that it could then be brought into the light.  These are the rock n roll change-makers because they DARED to see the truth, say, and do something about it.  Of course, no one really welcomes this bunch, in fact, all of them have been criticized, condemned and persecuted, even killed,  for daring to hold up the mirror to a world in denial and holding the world accountable to its “sins.”

We know who these people are and we understand the uniquely creative way in which they have been gifted to find meaning and purpose in their life and through which they are empowered to work toward the betterment of the world.  So, what are we to call this unique charism?  I can only think of one word appropriate to this benevolent, albeit challenging gift:  I hereby identify the unnamed charism as the charism of:

Shit-disturbing

And to all the shit-disturbers out there, I offer the following poem as both an affirmation and a gesture of thanks!

Shit-disturbers

“She doesn’t play well with others,” they said;

Most often by those with markers of red.

“Follow the rules, toe the line,

Then in our eyes, you will shine.”

“When words of authority are duly obeyed,

Only then will you make the grade.”

But what’s one to do when the truth inside

Screams, kicks and shouts when you tell it to hide?

Rolling, twisting, churning about

 Promising unrest until you let it out.

Peace only found when truth given voice.

It’s not like I really ever had a choice.

It seems I was made to show and tell.

I can’t help the truth is their version of hell.

Copyright 2014  Lauri Ann Lumby

Posted in Mystics, Oneness with God

Mystics are Not Normal

Hee hee.  I love reading the words that people “google” that end up leading them to my website.  Every once in awhile, these words stir me to write more on the topic for which they are seeking.  Today, the phrase that struck me was, “Mystics are not normal.”  Therefore, this will be the topic of today’s blog.

The Ecstasy of St. Teresa
The Ecstasy of St. Teresa

No We Are Not

Normal, that is.  🙂  You probably already have a pretty good idea that you might be a mystic if you are reading this blog, and if you don’t already know, here are a few clues:

  • Mystics see the world through a different set of eyes
  • Mystics hear with a different set of ears.
  • Mystics sense and have most likely had experiences or encounters that suggest there is a world beyond our own.
  • Mystics may have a fully developed relationship with a world beyond the world that we can touch, taste, feel, hear and see with our physical senses.
  • Mystics tend to be heaven-bent on bringing heaven to earth (or whatever their unique language is for making the earth into a loving, peaceful, abundant place).
  • Mystics are changemakers, shit-disturbers, way-showers, pioneers, and prophets.
  • Mystics are NOT received favorably by those who prefer the status quo or by those whose life, power, wealth, status, etc. depend on the current paradigm or way of being.
  • Mystics can often see the truth beyond illusions, hear the truth beyond the words and possess a vision of the highest potential of humankind.
  • Mystics are often also prophets – they are able to read the sign of the times and “predict” the direction in which things will continue to unfold.

In her introduction to the Poems of St. John of the Cross, P.J. Kavanagh defines the way of the mystic as “this search of the soul for union with God, and of God with the soul. (Peers, 2000, p. 17)”  My experience is that this is what ultimately distinguishes a mystic from others who might be wearing the costume or speaking the language of a mystic but who in truth have no interest in God (remember, my definition of “God” greatly transcends the “Old Man in the Sky.”)  An interesting note about normal, however…I’m not sure if it is because we have many more ways of connecting than our ancestors did, but it seems to me as if there are an enormous number of mystics walking the face of Mother Earth today.  Mystics, it seems, are coming out of the woodwork and those who have been asleep are waking up.  With the arrival of the so-called “Indigo, Crystal, Rainbow, etc.” children, it seems as if this is what God/dess intended.  The mystics I know have been planted with a vision of a new earth and are driven to work toward making this vision real.  As such, I sometimes wonder if being a mystic will soon be the new normal.  I guess time will tell. 🙂

Lauri Lumby has worked with hundreds of men and women in their journey of waking up to their highest potential and has helped them to birth their Soul – the uniquely creative way in which they have been gifted to find meaning, purpose and connection in their lives and the way in which they have been gifted to serve the betterment of humankind.

Posted in creativity, God, Inspiration, Mystics

Mystics, Madwomen and a Rock and Roll God

The journey of the Soul, I have learned, comes in fits and starts.  Sometimes seemingly stagnant, sometimes dead and lying in the grave, sometimes dancing naked in the streets – a journey that we want like heck to control, but one we must instead learn to surrender to.  After taking a huge step forward yesterday by moving through one of my biggest fears (public speaking), I found myself writing poetry again.  Who knew that this was what was waiting for me to get over myself?  I’m sharing one of the fun poems that came out of yesterday’s creative burst.  After playing with this poem, ask yourself, “What is lying in wait for me when I move through that next big fear?????”  (PS  Thank you Rob Zombie, Motley Crue and Disturbed for being today’s muse!)

RobZombie

Rock and Roll God

You may have your god in flowing white robes, hands in pious prayer, basking in his golden hue.

My God wears black leather,

With long, flowing hair,

An electric guitar strapped across his chest,

Pounding out tunes and serenading me with:

Believe!

“Shout, Shout, Shout at the Devil”

And

“Living Dead-Girl”

While calling me forth from my grave.

copyright 2013  Lauri Ann Lumby

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Book, Inspiration, Mystics, Spiritual Practices, Uncategorized, world changes

How to Change Ourselves so WE Can Change the World!

Yesterday, I responded to the current political debacle (the government shutdown) and complete failure of our government to do what WE hired them to do, by issuing an invitation, “If we want the world to change, WE need to change ourselves.”  In today’s blog, I remind us of how we can change ourselves so that we can see real and enduring change in the world.

changing ourselves/changing the world
changing ourselves/changing the world

Not Just Some Pie in the Sky Idealism!

The tools for personal change that I will share with you today are NOT just some pie in the sky idealism preached by vagrant prophets from far-off lands.  While the following tools have been tried, tested and proven to be effective by thousands of years of yoga practitioners, mystics and ascetics, we NOW have the proof of science to verify what contemplative men and women have known all along, mindfulness based practices:

  • decrease anxiety, fear and stress
  • increase physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing
  • decrease violent behaviors
  • help us to cultivate empathy and compassion – the building blocks of healthy communication and harmonious interpersonal relationships, and communities.

(If you need the science to convince you, simply Google Richie Davidson, Andrew Newberg, Jon Kabat-Zinn and Thich Nat Hahn.)

STEP ONE – Seek out a mindfulness practice that works for you! 

There are as many forms of mindfulness based practices as there are fish in the sea!  A Zen-inspired sit works for some, but not for all.  Mantra or Kirtan brings some to a state of inner quiet…but it isn’t for everyone.  A rosary or string of meditation beads may help some to focus, but others will need something more engaging.  Take comfort in knowing that if you haven’t yet found your meditation style, keep looking, there is sure to be one out there perfect for you.  Maybe it is something as simple as gardening, cooking or being in nature.  Some find running and aerobic exercise mindful.  And please disregard the ridiculous Western notion that mindfulness has a goal and that if you don’t experience a complete state of bliss any or every time you failed.  Your job is to simply SHOW UP.  And, the key to cultivating and maintaining a mindfulness practice is to find one that WORKS FOR YOU!  (For a wide variety of mindfulness based exercises, check out my book, Authentic Freedom – claiming a life of contentment and joyWhile the context is Christian Contemplative Prayer, the exercises are universal.)

STEP TWO-Identify and root out your fears

In conjunction with cultivating peace and love within us through mindfulness practices, the greatest gift we can give to ourselves in our journey toward change is to OVERCOME OUR FEARS!  FEAR is the number one obstacle to peace, contentment, love and joy!  Fear creates all the perceived separations favored by our wounded world:  prejudice, discrimination, racism, sexism, nationalism, etc.  Fear is also the root of all of our non-loving and self-centered behaviors – gluttony, lust, wrath, envy, greed, sloth and pride.  Fear causes us to seek outside of us for its remedy and makes us believe that happiness will be found in things, money, power, fame, status, power, control, other people, etc. etc. etc.  Fear also keeps us silent and ignorant of the truth that seeks to be known within us and that seeks to be expressed in the world.

STEP 2.5

In my book, Authentic Freedom, I reveal what I have come to know as the seven core fears that plague humanity, along with their resulting compulsions:

FEAR:  “There is not enough”

Compulsion:  Gluttony

FEAR:  “I have nothing to contribute to the betterment of the world”

Compulsion:  Lust

FEAR:  “I can’t” (be my most authentic self)

Compulsion:  Wrath

FEAR:  “I am not loved”

Compulsion:  Envy

FEAR: “I am not able to express my truth”

Compulsion:  Greed

FEAR:  “I do not know” (my truth, my path)

Compulsion:  Sloth

FEAR:  “I am alone/have to do it alone”

Compulsion:  Pride

You can start your journey of overcoming fear by NAMING the fears that are currently at work in your mind.  I have found that naming the fear is 99% of the journey…..like they say in classic horror books and movies, “Once you name the demon, it no longer has power over you.”  😉  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog where I will explore in more detail how we might move through the fears once they are named.

Lauri Ann Lumby

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Being Human, God, Inspiration, Mystics

The Mystic as Grump – Guest Blogger John Backman

A big thank you to guest blogger, John Backman, for this contribution to the discussion on contemplatives and mystics.  (See John’s bio, etc. below.)  In this post, John highlights the mystic’s drive toward “making things right,” and the grumpiness that comes over us when things just aren’t right.  Right on John!  🙂  And just for fun, here’s a little music to accompany your reading! 

John Backman
John Backman

The Mystic as Grump

Apparently I am a mystic. I know this because I am cranky.

This is not your basic cranky: the kind that comes when the house is a mess (again) or I spill food on my good pants (again). This is more of a restless cranky—a vague sense that something is out of order, has burrowed under my skin, and needs to be fixed.

I felt this occasionally during our daughter’s teenage years, when I’d suddenly find myself resenting her for no reason.  Something about her manner had transgressed my personal boundaries, though I didn’t know what or how. My wife thought I was imagining things. Yet over the next week or so, the issue would slowly crystallize, and we’d all see it. Daughter and I would talk it through, we would both change our behavior as needed, and for a while, at least, the world was right again.

I feel this at work too. Something is amiss—perhaps there is an issue no one sees, or the gap between what we say and how we act is hurting our effectiveness, or no one is picking up on hidden resentments between employees. It hasn’t taken shape yet, but still it unsettles me. I might say something, but no one else seems to notice. I move through the world bitchy for a while. Then another person notices it, and then another; before long the problem becomes visible, and together we make it right.

There’s something in here about justice, and something about the canary in the coal mine.

You might know the canary story. To test the air quality in the mines, coal miners would carry a caged canary with them. Since canaries are even more sensitive to toxic gases than humans are, they would die when levels of those gases reached dangerous levels. Hence the birds served as an early-warning system: if the canary was still singing, keep mining; if not, get out.

In her series on mysticism, Lauri points out that “the mystics are kind of a living barometer, forever measuring the sorrow, pain, joy and ecstasy of what it is like to be human.  While it often feels like a rollercoaster ride, there is a purpose to the living barometers that mystics are.” The purpose, she writes, is to lead the world to love. And that is true.

But there is something else as well. When I read the sacred texts of Judaism and Christianity, I can’t help noticing that this God is zealous for making things right—for justice, to use the biblical term. “Making things right” can take many forms: clearing up a conflict between father and daughter in a way that both can grow…penetrating the veil of niceness in a worship community to address the long-standing pain beneath…opposing a political leader as he moves from popular icon to ruthless oppressor.

So maybe part of being a mystic, who strives to live in the heart of God, is sensing—early and often—when things go out of whack: that delicate tipping point between in-balance and off-the-rails. Maybe the voice of the mystic is designed to sound the alarm, to sing like the canary in the coal mine.

Apparently this is not a new idea. After drafting this article, I ran across a blog post from Keswick House Publishers about the research of Elaine Aron  into highly sensitive people. The post included a paragraph whose last sentence struck me with its synchronicity:

“Being sensitive carries its own set of perks, not just for the person him- or herself but to society at large as well. Many highly sensitive persons are artistic and creative, and because they are so attuned to other people’s emotional states, they can be excellent caregivers, perceptive therapists, and thoughtful friends. They may also serve the role of the canary in the coal mine.”

Sensitivity comes with the mystical territory. Maybe this brand of crankiness does too. Perhaps it reflects the passion of God for uncovering what is out of balance—and making it right again.

About the Author

John Backman, the author of Why Can’t We Talk? Christian Wisdom on Dialogue as a Habit of the Heart (SkyLight Paths Publishing), writes extensively on contemplative spirituality and its ability to help us dialogue across divides. As a blogger for Huffington Post Religion and an associate of an Episcopal monastery, he has written articles for numerous faith-based publications, both progressive and conservative

Posted in Gifts of Contemplation, Inspiration

Loneliness and Longing

Flipping through my journal yesterday, I came upon a poem I wrote that was inspired by a line from Rilke, “You are the partner to her loneliness.”  The “You” to which Rilke is referring is God.  Here is my poem as it speaks to my own longing and the longing known by every mystic and contemplative in their spiritual search.

excalibur

Partner to My Loneliness

You are the partner to my loneliness.

Loneliness like the red-draped Excalibur eviscerating my soul in excruciating emptiness and pain.

Loneliness that is the longing that cannot be fulfilled

neither by coin, nor task, nor present company.

A longing that drives me to seek

beneath every shrub

under every pew

up on every shelf

around every corner

and through every door

. . . all for naught.

For the remedy to this loneliness is not to be found in the world of men,

neither is it to be found in my bed

nor in my mind

nor in the fleeting approval of others.

This longing is only fulfilled in you.

in the quiet recesses of my soul where life has cut a trail

made of the pain

of my unfulfilled hopes

and unsatisfied dreams.

It is only here, when wedded to you that I find my bliss

and know that I am home.

– 2013  Lauri Lumby

Posted in Gifts of Contemplation, Holy Spirit, Inspiration, Raised Catholic

Mystic Manifesto

What does it mean to be a mystic in the modern-world?  What do we have that Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Francis and Clare didn’t have?  How are we called to be mystics in a world that often judges belief and faith to be frivolous and naïve?  As a contemplative, raised Catholic, trying to find my place, I often wonder….

Crue

4:30 wakeup calls

Just for the record, in no way, shape or form, do I boast about Jesus ringing my doorbell at 4:30 in the morning and paying me a little visit (see yesterday’s blog).  In fact, rather than tell the tale, I’d rather run into the darkest corner of the room and hide behind the couch or beneath the dining room table.  For you see, I’m the last person Jesus should be visiting.  I’m not a Jesus Freak.  I’m not a bible thumper.  I will never ask you to change your beliefs or inquire over whether or not you’ve been saved (mostly because I don’t believe there is anyone who is NOT saved).  I’m imperfect and flawed just like everyone else.  Yes, God is my Source, Jesus is my dude and Shekinah (the Holy Spirit) drives my purpose.  But other than that….I’m just plain Lauri.  I color outside the lines.  I listen to heavy metal music.  I have a few tattoos.  And I swear (kind of a lot).  But, for some strange reason, Jesus got planted into my heart and he keeps showing up.  So, what am I supposed to do but pay attention, listen and act…in most cases from a place of incredible insecurity and fear.

Mystics, Tramps and Thieves

Just a little play on words…..and a reminder that mystics (people who talk to God) are a strange and Motley Crue (another play on spelling).  While many are familiar with St. Francis and Clare who talked with God, Joan of Arc who was instructed by angels and saints, Teresa of Avila who had ecstatic experiences of the Divine…no one really talks about the mystics of today.  Who are we?  We are the weirdos who, even in the midst of the post-modern era, the supposed age of reason, with science guiding our steps, still talk to God.  But more than talking….we listen.  And how do we listen?  We listen through a deep dedication to our spiritual practice which may or may not look very traditional.  While my spiritual practice might look pretty traditional (a little scripture, some meditation and contemplation and maybe even some chant), the modern-day mystic is not limited by the trappings of institutions.  While there are mystics within the hallowed halls of sacred institutions….some of us are simply running amok in the street and in YOUR WORLD!  One mystic that I know hears God in nature.  Another in his art.  Another through her music.  Another through his encounters with people.

Being the Body of Christ

But even more important than talking and listening to God, a mystic is known in the way that they serve.  In most cases, you will not see us wearing a collar or a habit, but you might recognize us in the wide-eyed look of generosity shining back at you through our eyes.  What you might not know about mystics, is that we have no choice but to serve.  For service, you see, is the natural result of paying attention to God.  Once you open that door and let the flame of the Spirit in…..she sets you on fire…most especially your hands, heart and feet.  With the fire of God’s love aflame in our hearts, we have no choice but to share that fire in the world.  The mystic’s dream is to embody God and in doing so, to set the world on fire with God’s love…healing, transformation, empowering…and look out if you come anywhere near a mystic….because you can’t help but be compelled to seek your own inner fire and in doing so, finding yourself.

A Mystic’s Prayer

In closing, here is a beautiful poem by Rainer Marie Rilke which speaks to the Mystic’s call to serve…and what I might call the Mystic Manifesto:

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.

I want to free what waits within me

so that what no one has dared to wish for

may for once spring clear

without my contriving.

If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,

but this is what I need to say.

May what I do flow from me like a river,

no forcing and no holding back,

the way it is with children.

Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,

these deepening tides moving out, returning,

I will sing you as no one ever has,

streaming through widening channels

into the open sea.

Posted in church, Discernment, Inspiration, Mary Magdalene, Oneness with God, Raised Catholic

The Magdalene’s Response to the New Pope

Sometimes blog posts seem to come out of nowhere and simply fly out of my pen or from my fingers onto the keyboard in a way that seems as if it is coming from somewhere beyond me.  I care not whether this experience would qualify as “channeling” or simply a function of my creative imagination.  What matters to me is if it speaks a truth that resonates for those who are in need of these words.  So…..these words, “from the Magdalene”  are for my Christian (including Catholic)  brothers and sisters who are called to the mystical/contemplative path in response to our wonderings about the new pope. 

fleurdelisblack

Lauri,  I call you now to bring a message to your Christian brothers and sisters during this time of radical transition….

With the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the election of Pope Francis, Christians of the world have many questions.  My message is specifically for those who are drawn along the mystical path….and this message is a reminder of the value of DETACHMENT.  In particular, I am inviting you to detach from assigning any meaning, interpretation and/or judgment to this new pope, because, in the end, his reign has no bearing on the path to which mystics and contemplatives have been called.

Christianity was inspired by and has its source and direction in the Oneness modeled and lived out in my Beloved, Jesus.  Yet even before the time of his death, this message was received in multiple ways and disseminated as such.  What was ONE in Christ became separate in man.  In the Christian faith, this separation has been lived out in what might be referred to as the Institutional Church and the Mystical church – two very different ways of experiencing Jesus’ message – one directed toward containment, the other toward expansion.  Where the Institutional Church seeks to define God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit intellectually and express it in definite and static terms through doctrine; the Mystical church seeks to know God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit through direct and personal experience – experience that proves to be dynamic, infinite and ever-changing.  The tension between these seemingly opposite perspectives has existed since the beginning of time and will cease to exist only when all perceived separation has been transcended within and between all of humanity.  While this task may be possible for some, in this lifetime, it is not likely to happen for all.  As such, we are required to live within that tension.

The newly elected Pope Francis,  may or may not succeed in healing the wounds brought about by the Institution’s attachment to fear, power and control, though I am quite certain that particular hot-button doctrinal changes will not be part of his agenda.  This is not, however, to dissuade you from continuing to exercise sound discernment in your own personal beliefs and choices.  The ultimate authority, after all, exists beyond any political or religious distinction and instead, resides within your own heart.   It is within the quiet and peaceful places in your heart where God will guide you and it is to this inner authority that mystics give their allegiance.

So, in this time of change, I invite you to embrace detachment and to become the observer.  Watch and wait and remember that for the Mystical church, what this pope may or may not do in his reign has no bearing on your call to seek Oneness with Christ, within yourself and with all of creation; or on your ability to be and live as LOVE in the world.

Yours in Love, Light and Oneness,

Mary, called Magdalene.