John Shelby Spong helps expose and dispel religious ignorance and fundamentalism. He is a truly visionary Christian. He was recently interviewed for The Weekly and shared some invaluable insights.
sometimes I want to go down
into another town
and just sit around for awhile
and wonder what will happen
if I just happen to
would you even care
if I was stuck in
a place that I
found in my
does it really matter
I sometimes want to try
to think of a story
that I can dance in
that I can do
anything, I’m honestly
not really picky
I’ll just do whatever
would you even care
if there are boxes
with lists about us
sometimes we go somewhere else
and don’t even exist anymore
is that what we dream of
will I still have
can you reach me
in this mess
no matter what comes my way
be more loving
through my words
for the well-being of all
May every breath
awaken every heart
may every step
return all beings to safety
may every bite of food
nourish all families
my every bring of my eyes
return the earth to peace
may everything I hear
be the sound of consciousness awakening
may everything I see
reveal the growing pains
of the divine’s highest destiny emerging
into the beauty of human form
may every interaction I have
reveal the truth of my being
and even when I encounter those
who don’t treat me the way I intend to be
I can just remember
their actions don’t have to symbolize
anything about me
instead their actions symbolize
how tremendous of a healing journey
they may be on
and may not even know it
and so even when I encounter others
who do not act in accordance with my intention
it doesn’t have to symbolize anything about me
it simply symbolizes how deep of a journey they’re on
and even when I encounter beings like that
I can use it as an opportunity to set another intention
and simply say
may I be
for myself and them
whatever appears missing in this encounter
and then instantly
I am no longer lacking
or needing someone else to change
because I can always intend to become
for myself and others
what seems missing in the encounters I have
for the well-being of all
as I am now.”
(from The Essential Key of Intention)
This is an excellent and inspiring documentary about Eckhart Tolle and his work, spreading the gospel of the Now.
The Way of the Dream is an in-depth documentary about brilliant psychologist Carl Jung’s work on the significance of dreams. Presented here in four parts, you will get priceless insight into the dream world from Jung’s personal friend and fellow psychologist, Marie-Louise von Franz. The series was filmed in 1987, but this presentation includes new introductions and commentary by Jungian analyst Marion Woodman. The Way of the Dream is truly incredible and it is really sad that people do not realize the importance of dreams. Dreams are truly “the language of the soul.”
“Like all of us, I have the impression that our culture and civilization is in a final stage, that it has entered a stage of decay. I believe that either we shall find a renewal, or else it is the end. And I can only see this renewal coming out of what Jung discovered, namely in our making positive contact with the creative source of the unconscious and with dreams. These are our roots. A tree can only renew itself through its roots. For this reason my message is to urge everyone to turn back to these inner psychic roots because that’s where the only constructive suggestions are to be found — how to come to grips with our enormous dilemmas: the atom bomb, overpopulation. This is the best way of solving all our problems which appear insoluble.” – Marie-Louis von Franz
In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus said, “The Kingdom of the Father is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it.”
“If those who lead you say to you, ‘See, the Kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the Kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you.”
In this excerpt from his book, Son of Man: The Mystical Path to Christ, Andrew Harvey describes Jesus’ vision of the Kingdom of God which is not about the afterlife, but a new form of society here on earth.
[The radical message and vision of Jesus] menaces both of the predominant modern visions of political organization — the “socialist” and the “capitalist” theories of society.
The socialist vision is “undermined” because the center of Jesus’ ideal society remains God, Kingdom-consciousness, and the living experience of love through communion — and not the State or some vague feeling of “fraternity.”
Capitalism, both in its historical and contemporary “globalist” and “nationalist” forms, is questioned because its frank advocacy of competition and blatant celebration of power and wealth betray all of Jesus’ beliefs about how human beings should live.
Any political vision, in fact, that is not primarily a mystical vision of transformation betrays the fullness and majesty of what Jesus had in mind; any mystical vision of transformation which does not also attempt forcefully to be a political one also betrays his vision.
He urged those who followed him to give generously to beggars, to lend money without expecting any repayment, and to give without anticipating any reward. The Jerusalem church after his death practiced a form of ownership-in-common, which may well reflect Jesus’ own beliefs. A kind of mystical “communalism” may be the best analogy we have of what Jesus intended for a society that reflected the egalitarian compassion of the Kingdom.
If everyone was equally welcome at the table of love, and love’s healing resources were to be shared equally with everyone, why shouldn’t wealth and land also be similarly equally distributed, so that no one need be poor and that everyone could have the chance at a decent life, and not at the expense of others but in admitted interdependence with them?
It is at least probable, even likely, that Jesus’ practical picture of the Kingdom on earth would have at its heart a vision of as equal as possible a distribution of wealth and property and access to, and control of, the sources of power.
As the mystic realist he was, Jesus would have known that mystical inner-communion had to be reflected, as exhaustively as possible, in the actual day-to-day relations of society at every level, and that the holy equality of beings to the all-loving eye of God could not simply be “experienced” but had also to be implemented in the life of the world.
To someone who has not seen the Kingdom, the games of power can seem sad but unavoidable rituals in a mostly evil world that needs hierarchy and power elites not to crumble into chaos. But to someone to whom the Kingdom and its glory has been revealed — and to whom the glory of the human spirit and soul have also been revealed — no arrangement deserves to be fostered that does not constantly encourage and inspire the transformation of the human into the divine human and does not constantly invoke the potential splendor of the new world, one in which the glory of God and of the Spirit and of the love between them would not only be honored but actively reflected in every law, every transaction between beings, every concerted “social,” “religious,” and “political” action.
When Jesus said “my Kingdom is not of this world,” he did not mean that it belonged to some purely ethereal realm: he was in not any way an escapist. What Jesus meant was that the Kingdom had nothing to do with this world, the banal, violent world created by human greed, ignorance, and folly; the Kingdom was the hidden soul’s reflection in reality and not the reflection of that blind false self that had — goaded on and inspired by evil forces — largely made human history. To make the hidden reflection of the soul “real” was the task of the life that Jesus came to “give more abundantly,” of the new being he was trying to inspire into action, and of the living and very heteroclite (“deviating from common rules or forms”) community that sprang up around him.
In the Gospel of John, when the Pharisees (religious elite) ask Jesus if he is the son of God, he replies, “It is written in your own scriptures that God said, “You are gods.”
We are all the divine children of the Spirit. We must bring the Kingdom of the Spirit into reality. “It will not come by expectation.”