Sunday, January 30, 2011

Esoteric

(Warning – This article may affect you)

I will like to share some thoughts – but I have to warn the readers beforehand that you do not have to take in the things that you see here. Some of them are very easy to understand and some are just…weird, or a bit confusing, but at the end of the day “let every man be fully persuaded”

All of scripture is from God BUT all of God is not in scripture. Let me clarify before I am misunderstood. Paul and Jesus, both who we know to have seen the ‘Heavenlies’ have both used a similar expression “There are things I would like to let you know, but you cannot bear them yet”. In addition to that, John, the disciple who wrote the book of Revelation, was told not to write thing said by the Seven Thunders (Now, that’s a loud conversation). In addition, Daniel was told to seal up certain things till the end of time.

So here is my allusion: It is very na├»ve to think that once you know all of scripture, you have come to know ALL about whom God is, all his ways and what he will do. Well, I’m sure many would not have imagined God sending out a spirit to be a lying spirit, telling Samuel to tell a little fib to King Saul, telling a ‘holy’ man to marry a prostitute, or telling Joshua to destroy a city and kill men, women, children and as the bible puts it “everything that breathes”…even the tiny babies in their cribs. David expresses this thought (that God doesn’t necessarily ENDORSE) when he quoted in the Psalms “Happy shall he be that takes your babies and smashes them against the stones” Psalm 137: 9 (Exclamation MINE!!!) So what am I trying to achieve.

It’s simple, really.
I am attempting to jolt you out of comfort zones of naivety that many God chasers seem to want to be cocooned in, as well as create a realization that there is so much MORE to God to know and DESIRE. That is why I want to say it with all boldness, at this point, that winning souls is NOT the most important endeavor of the God-chaser.

Ok, let me say that again.
Winning souls is NOT the MOST IMPORTANT work of the God-seeker. So, what is it?

The most important “work” is to ABIDE in HIM.

Jesus was about to die when he spoke with all the fervor that men who are about to die seem to have. You see, when you are about to die, from personal experience, your mind focuses wonderfully on what is most important. If you can, read the book of John 15: 1-9 where Jesus gave his ‘dead-man-walking’ nuggets to his disciples. But it worries me that many just read scripture without trying to get a feel for the times when the words were spoken, the mood in the air when things were said, the culture of the people at the time and the implications of the words and actions in the passages. When you think through and immerse yourself IN THAT TIME, you get deeper meaning of what appears to be just words. That is the essence of meditation.

Winning souls, healing, raising the dead, fellowship with man is ALL secondary. Why? It’s all about HIM – and when you TRULY abide in HIM, ALL these things WILL happen naturally. There are times to speak to people and there are times to be silent – and while it is okay to be led by passion and just ‘go out and preach’ at every point, it is retardation to stay there and not come to a place where EVERYTHING you do comes out of alignment and knowledge of what God wants to do at that point. You see, Jesus was effective in ministry not because he was passionate, but because he was abiding in the father and was led to do ALL he did – including healing one man at the pool of Bethesda and leaving the sick multitude behind without healing them.

Oh yes, at that point, he did not “heal them all”.  John 5: 1 - 15

You see, a fruit getting bigger, or ripening or accumulating more juice inside is ALL secondary… it needs to be ATTACHED first and to STAY attached – or in the case of the believer, remain continuously aligned with an unchanging God whose actions and plans are dynamic.

Now, let me attempt to paint a picture of the worLd of this God.

The earth is a sphere – or more precisely, oblate spheroid- with blue seas and brown patches of earth. Now the unseen atmosphere surrounds all that. That is the ‘physical’ as you see it. That realm has its laws – gravity, relativity, inertia and so on.

Now around that spherical ball of earth, can you try to imagine a light PINK ball that completely covers that blue ball? Good.
Now, in your mind, grow that pink ball till earth and its enveloping atmosphere is small and about the size of a little coin. Good. That pink ball is the ‘spiritual’ realm – which is actually a slightly misleading term – because it tends to suggest an ‘other’ sphere – rather than a superimposed sphere. Most of earth’s language is misleading anyway, but I will try to work with this cumbersome tool of language. But now, in your mind, you can see the large pink ball which completely shrouds the little earth ball. Stay with me, please.

The pink ball has its own laws as well. You see, by what we call thought (which has several layers), a spiritual pathway is opened and interesting things can happen. You can mould elements of the pink ball to be anything, from money to limbs to animals to rock – and then you can pull these things into/onto the blue ball...making these "thought forms" tangible and ‘touchable’. Now I am sure many people are thinking of how they can easily make money off the pink ball once they ‘understand’ it – while the skeptics are frowning and waiting for me to spew forth something they can call blatant heresy, and then, they, the proud 'defenders of the faith', can lead me high up to Calvary and have me…er, suspended – but wait a while.

That pink sphere is God’s sphere, his “atmosphere”, if you will. In fact, the pink sphere is God – and ALL things are from God, including what we term ‘good’ and ‘evil’ Isaiah 45: 7 “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things"
Don’t like what you are reading in the bible, then you might want to try another book.

Now, with that as a background, let me JUMP off in another direction and connect it to this concept we are exploring.

Man, has been blinded on two levels. There is a basic blindness that we all have and then there is the secondary level of blindness that we continue to pile up as we live.

What the heck are you on about, dude?

Simply put, the first phase of blindness came from the fall when Adam “chewed”. Now, as the bible puts it, Adam saw that he was naked. Now, think about this, they were not wearing any clothes in the first place. If that thought was re-written, it would be “Adam PERCEIVED he was naked” – and that was why God still said to him “Who told you that you were naked?” Basically, Adam could not see the pink ball anymore. He could only see the blue little ball now and his mind started to adjust to compensate for his new-found reality”. The glory never ‘departed’ from him – he just could not see it anymore. What painfully drives this point home is Genesis 5: 3 “And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.”
You see, all the offspring of Adam from that time were now born blind – having no concrete perception of the LARGER, pink ball.

The second phase and what really re-enforces that blindness is a very “good” thing that comes with certain complications: Learning/Education.
We all feel smart when we can spout Avogadro’s laws or Newton’s laws or the annoying Boyle’s and Charles’ laws that did my brain in knots! There are laws for everything: Ideal gas laws, electromagnetic, thermodynamics, aerodynamics… and that brings a particular thought to my mind that sums it all up.

“By the laws of aerodynamics, bumble bees are not able to fly BUT because bumble bees do not know the laws of aerodynamics – they just go ahead and fly!”

Now, no one can put a finger on who actually did the calculations, but let us assume there were calculations at a time that ‘showed’ bumbles bees could not fly. Now imagine a bumble bee ‘school’ where they learn wonderful things about the complex world of flowers and reproduction and had to do pollen grain tests – and maybe one of them would ask about flight as an alternative strategy for evading predators, and the old bumble bee teacher who had never flown would write on the board (with all the smugness of one who thinks he really knows it all) all the LEARNT equations about why an INABILITY was to be accepted as normalcy.

Get the picture?

So, let me ask you. If a salamander or lizard loses it’s tail, can it grow it back?
The smart Alec will probably laugh at me and reply: Duh, It’s possible by a process called ‘regeneration’, dude – and it only happens among lower organisms, dude!
Now if you lose your arm, can it grow back by ‘regeneration’?

Well, the ‘truth’ you have learnt is that it is not possible, because you have been immersed in ‘Blue ball thinking’, and that is why it will never be possible for you.


Except something changes…


To be continued.

My thoughts on marriage

To my mind, if marriage was a movie, the man would be the pictures and the woman would be the sound, and if marriage were a painting, the man would bethe picture and the woman would be all the colours. Indeed, one can ‘operate’ without the other – but there is a lingering feeling of a lack of wholeness.

Today has been both wonderful and exhausting as a new phase of my life begins. So while I fix me a quick meal, I am glad to back the cooker for a while and type upon my keys a ‘few’ words…because at these points when spoken words fail me, I have come to understand that “my pen is the tongue of a ready writer”.

I think of marriage and how wonderful it is and God knows that by no means do I consider myself an expert. I have known my wife of a few years for over a decade and would I choose her again? Definitely. I would choose her again and again. But before this becomes a treatise on my emotional ‘dambuliarity’ (let he that readeth understand that there is no such word, but rather it’s a word that expresses a thought if you fill in the gaps), I will go on to address the topic of marriage.

Now, If you do not agree with the article, kindly write me a mail. I would really appreciate if it is personalised. Then obtain from me the updated address of my house. Obtain also, if you may, a stamp, which you should moisten and affix upon the envelop – and promptly post it in the trash can. I have chosen to write personal thought – and you have chosen to read my points of view. So, shall we begin?

My thoughts on marriage are: Do not get married to someone if you cannot let them have your password to your mobile phone and email addresses. If you plan to operate in your home anything other than complete openness, perhaps, you should keep up with dating. Marriage is best enjoyed when one realises that it is a willing ‘fusion’ of two parties.

My other thought is this; the most important person in your life when you get married becomes your partner. Ah, yes. People raise eyebrows at the thought that a spouse from the outside takes over the spot of their favourite parent. If you are not ready for that as well, then I suggest you keep living with your parents. Quoting scripture, a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife and they become one flesh. The person who should hold mothers or fathers as most important are their spouses, not their children! But my father/mother is single, you counter. The world is not ideal, and you are not the architect of your parents’ fate. However, this is divine order: The older takes care of the young and weakens over time to be taken care of by the ‘young’. That is the natural cycle of life and honour of parents is a principle that should not be trifled with.

Marriage can be great fun when you are married to a friend, not an individual who comes along to ‘dazzle’ you with his romantic charm over a six months period. That is an easy timescale to wear and sustain a mask, but when you live with someone in the same house for that long, true colours come forth. So I say, if you have known someone for a long time, known and understood the individual’s nature and you can like that person’s company, do not think to yourself, ah, he is too much like a friend or brother. Your partner will be too much like a friend or brother ANYWAY and all that ‘swag’ and ‘jazz’ will wilt under the scrutiny of time.

One of the most enjoyable times, I have come to see, are moments when you can sit with your mate – and just enjoy who they are without words, champagne, glistening dinner lights or romantic music. I tell you what – if I had a partner who made candle light dinners with perfume and music EVERY NIGHT, by the end of the third year, I would be quite worried.

Ah, I just burnt dinner – but a burnt offering of yam, to my nostril, is a sweet smelling savour. I like burnt yams, you see.

Now, let me say this at this point. The man being lord over the woman is a result of the curse. Yeah. In a scenario where the man is the boss and the woman is the underdog, you are seeing the unravelling of the curse God placed on the woman at the fall – “He shall rule over you”. The man and his wife are partners and he may give a final directive, for the purpose of administration which is simpler with one head. However, the concepts and thoughts that shape the final decision must have given ample room for his wife’s point of view. What many men fail to realise is that decisions only based on logic are not always the best – and what many women fail to realise, is that you cannot leave your whole life based on feelings and intuition. There is need for balance – that cursed tightrope!

Borrowing a Chinese saying, ‘the man must have hands of steel well wrapped in bands of wool’

Before this becomes too long, here is a ‘final’ thought. When you get married, men, get ready to die.

That is so true, John, one must be ready to ‘die to the flesh’…

No. I mean die – or in very plain language, get killed. You are the defender and pillar in your home – or you must be building yourself up for that role. I once heard of a bishop who hid behind his wife when armed robbers broke into their home. While it is funny, it is quite an eye opener – that if you have not trained your mind with scenario planning on how to react, you will be caught pants down when life happens!

And beyond prayer or religious meetings, there is a highly important ingredient not emphasised by many. In monasteries, there is the Latin expression, ‘Otium Sanctum’ – which in English, means ‘holy play’. The ingredient I am talking about is PLAY. God has put play in all nature – just check out the pointless prancing of rams and goats or the mischief of moneys and mosquitoes! Play with your partner. Play with your kids – and play is not just about organised outings. Play fight, if you will. Toss a pillow, toss a ball, take pictures of funny moment – for God’s sake, life is already tough enough to be serious or ‘spiritual’(what bullocks!) all the time. Laugh more, take yourself less seriously sometimes and enjoy the wife/or husband of your youth.

Obviously, this is not a complete manual of marriage does and don’t. It’s just the ranting of a writer waiting for dinner.

Ciao!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Passing Through



I touch down briefly and look around. The familiar stink is all around and my eyes are adorned with the attempt at beautifying the filth of this place. I have to give kudos to those who live in this place, making the best of scarce resources – but my assignment hurries me on and I walk unseen by many to the place of destiny.

5mins…

The building looms large ahead. It is a weak contraption covered with paint. The service is about to begin and people stream in in droves. I walk towards the entrance, allowing the breeze to caress my being: it is one of the perks of the job. I stand next to the car park, and soon, I hear a sound that shuts all else out and my gaze falls on the moving hunk of metal. It is covered in paint and is soon lined with others of its kind. I look at the writing behind it.

It reads: Ferrari.

Its form reminds me in some way of some rare amphibian – but this primitive contraption could never equal in design. Now, all of my being is focused on the man who comes out of the vehicle. He is the very reason why I am in this place. His eyes meet mine and from many years of understanding and watching his kind, I can almost smell the loathsome filth of his pride, can see the lack of humility in his walk. I am nothing but an ant to him, shrouded in his bizarre garb of dead plants, purchased with heaps of paper with drawings of other men.

10mins…

I follow him into the building, and watch as the people around almost bow in reverence at his person and usher him towards the best seats. I follow closely. Allotted time is almost running out. I jostle my way past the ushers and seat myself beside my quarry. I know my way around the building, and without his knowledge, I have edge him towards the best seat for the day…and for the moment.

15mins…

A woman comes up to sing a song of worship. The faces of the congregation light up as they join in the worship. I know that true worship heals and for my assignment, I would fall prostrate in honour of my maker, the One who lives forever and ever, the Lamb and all-powerful Lion, the one who was dead and lives FOREVER – I force my mind back to my assignment. All thing should be done decently and in order.

20mins…

I realise the worship will be over as time for this service is short – or has been shorted for a reason. In five minutes the preacher will be speaking. I see the sermon’s topic is ‘Today is the day of salvation’. It will begin in 3 minutes, leaving 7 minutes for what I must do.  The man next to me looks already bored. My duties are clear. All I can do at this point is watch and wait. The preacher begins to speak, passion shrouding him with sweat in the first minute, but…

25min…

The man next to me gets to his feet abruptly and begins to walk towards the door. Behind me, the Preacher bellows, sounding almost frantic as I get up to follow my target to the door “Tomorrow may be too late. Don’t assume there will always be time, friend…” His voice fades into the past.

26min…
The man walks past the usher standing at the door, bringing out his phone in one fluid motion.

27min…
He speaks rapidly into the mouthpiece. There is an important function for the next day, I overhear. Listening in on conversation is a part of my job.

28mins…
He walks towards his ‘Ferrari’ and I follow him, closing the distance rapidly. He opens the door of the vehicle; I am right behind him now.

29mins…
He gets into the car quickly. I walk right past him. I know he drives fairly quickly to beat time. I have watched and known him for a while.

29mins 30secs…
I stand outside the gates of the building, knowing his car will be with me in a few moments.

29mins 58secs…
I hear the other sound I was waiting for as it comes right on schedule. My target hears the truck too late.

30mins…
The lumber truck smashes into the car with all the fury of a tornado, crushing its entire frame. In reality, the vehicle of metal just changes shape. It is only metal. I hear the sounds of bones crushing and the faint snap of skull and spine. The car seat, covered with animal skin, is now covered in blood. A mangled corpse in bits lies crumpled, like old money in tatters, in the crushed vehicle. I do not care about this frame of metal that has been given so much importance. It is simply metal. I do not care much about his clothes made from cotton – plants – purchased with heaps of paper called ‘money’. I do not care much about his body. Important as it is, it is the least important variable at this point.

If I was human, I would weep, but though some angels may come with wings, we do not have tear glands. My eyes stare at the man who looks at me in surprise as light from above bathes us...beckons us. It is time to go. 

He has no clothes on, but he is not naked as he stands before me in his true form without his frail covering of passing flesh. His weak frame shivers in fear and shock before me.  Most of the time, when it was ‘pick-up’ time, humans always seemed surprised and unprepared, drenched in the illusion that the world will always go on.

Beyond that, If I was human, I would weep for this soul that was lost…for all eternity.

Its 33minutes now and I am flying past the Sun to present my target to the SON. My job is done; I go to where I’m from. This world is not my home. I’m just passing through.