Hacked By NeT.Defacer ~Kurdish Hackers~
(For part 1, click here )
Part 2: Mother Kali
Enchantment was in the form of a Sanskrit chant, Akal Mahakal – words that mean undying and the Great Death.
Starting in the fall of 2013, I began reading everything I could find about Ramakrishna, a fascinating Hindu guru who had devoted his life and worship to Mother Kali.
Hinduism has a pantheon of fabulous Goddesses, each manifesting a particularly wonderful characteristic that is her ‘power.’ Mother Kali is another matter. From Wikipedia, “The name of Kali means ‘black one’ and ‘force of time,’ she is therefore called the Goddess of Time, Change, Power, Creation, Preservation, and Destruction.”
Encountering Mother Kali has given name and form to the time, change, power, creation, preservation and especially destruction of the past couple years. First, Kali Ma came after my imagined future, and when she was finished with that she turned to my entire past. The present isn’t just the only reality: it’s the only reality I’m allowed to keep.
In January 2014, an act of kindness and generosity to a beloved person resulted in some very painful outcomes. Google “gaslighting” and you’ll find out how awful it can be – for me, so painful that I saw a grief counselor. She called it soul-rape. Thankfully, her words provided insight for me, and her acknowledgement of the profound pain was the healing I desperately needed.
During that year, all assurance of my imagined future in several loving relationships died.
Meanwhile, my aging mother was swiftly sliding downhill. Living alone in a senior apartment, she was nearly blind, severely deaf, tethered to oxygen 24/7 and prone to lung infections. She wasn’t eating fresh food unless I brought it over. She began to exhibit unfounded fears, and when she began to see angels and have heavenly dreams, we felt her death approaching. Mom told me that if Dad (who died in ’65) came to her dreamtime, she would leave with him.
Realizing and agreeing she could no longer live alone, we re-purposed our guest room and brought her into our home. All indications were that she was ready for hospice care. She had long been ready to leave this life. At first a little disoriented and saddened by the loss of her ‘freedom,’ her appetite returned and she slowly began to re-awaken.
Having Mom in our home/workplace was a balancing act on a knife blade. Near deafness and LOUD TV do not combine well with a musician’s sensitive hearing and no desire for the noise of commercials or news talk. Ahyh devised a compromise where she could watch her TV without limitation: a lightweight wireless headphone system. Plenty of volume for her and no raucous television for us – it seemed perfect.
Ramakrishna worshipped Mother Kali in the girls and women who came before him. He saw the Mother in all life. I decided to see the Goddess in my mother.
Mom gained weight and strength. Her fears left her. Then, she began to create panic-worthy events two or three times a day, like the terrible crisis of missing a cell phone call from Walgreen’s. By September, having her in our home was destroying my work. We were in the process of launching a revised, updated and user-friendly website and I was rarely able to contribute.
Frustrated, my three brothers and I had a conference call. We agreed they would try and keep her mind more occupied by calling her much more often. One thing Mom could still do was talk on her cell phone, made for the hearing impaired. I suggested they each set an alarm on their cell phones to call her at least weekly, they did…and things got MUCH worse. I could hear Mom’s cell ring from across the house, and I could clearly hear every word spoken, two rooms away in my office. With the door closed.
Mom was telling my brothers (and anyone who called) a tale of torture: we made her stay in her room all day and only allowed her to come out for dinner; we forced her to wear headphones because we were too selfish to let her have her TV the way she liked it; she wasn’t allowed to have guests; I refused to take her to see her friends or her sister; Ahyh resented her; she was sure I stayed busy because I didn’t care; I was jeopardizing her health because I refused to get along with her oxygen provider (a condescending jerk) – and the big one: she was sure I was stealing all her money.
She smashed my heart to smithereens. When I told her, she confronted me for listening. “I hear you without listening, Mom.” “Oh,” she said, “But I was just making conversation!” She started to cry. “Shitting on your daughter is not ‘making conversation,’ Mom.”
Reeling, I left the room. If Mom is telling people untruths about me, what lies has she told me about others? Have I responded to or acted on ‘just making conversation’ lies my own mother has told? Scenarios from life back to my earliest memories swirled through my brain.
Now, because I could no longer trust memories so tied up with Mom’s, my past was rendered confusingly meaningless.
Thanksgiving Day 2015, Mom had three oxygen crises. First, her concentrator ‘wasn’t working.’ Her oxygen level was pretty low, so I checked everything. Finding nothing, I changed her lines anyway and turned the concentrator off to let it re-set. Meantime, I hooked up her tank system, made sure it was functioning and suggested she rest and let her oxygen build back up. She was relieved. I went to take a shower.
Minutes later she was pounding on the bathroom door. “My tank isn’t working,” she whispered, frantic. I threw on my robe and ran dripping to her room. It was perfectly fine – but it only operates when in use. She had removed her cannula and because she wasn’t using it to breathe, the indicator light wasn’t on.
The concentrator had re-set, so I suggested we try it again. She agreed that if it was working now, she could rest better using it instead of the tanks. I hooked her up and waited. Within a minute, her oxygen level was normal. She was ready to watch one of her TV shows so I left to finish my shower and maybe dry my hair.
Twenty minutes later she was frantic again. “There’s water in my oxygen line!” Thinking ‘yeah, so?’ I saw a couple of droplets, but the concentrator water-saturates the oxygen for the comfort of the patient. I reminded her there was always a fine mist of water in the lines, and because her lines were new, the water wasn’t dispersing the same way just yet. “How is your oxygen level?” I asked. “Fine,” she replied.
Ten minutes passed. Out of the blue she said, “I don’t know why you panic about these little problems, Libby. It’s just oxygen.”
Words flew out of my mouth. “Mom, I can’t do this anymore. I can’t be your full-time caregiver. The oxygen is just too much for me to deal with, and I have no life at all. We have to figure something else out.” Words flew out of her mouth, too – “Well! If I’m too much of a bother, I’ll just move back to Saddlebrook!” [senior apartments]
I wanted to let her go.
Almost every night, I was listening to a chant, Mirabai Ceibi’s “Akal Mahakal.” I listened on auto-repeat, breathing along to the incredibly soothing repetitions. My soul was soothed by the undulation of the music…and the ideas behind the ancient words.
After more conference calls, research and a visit from my brother John, by December 7th Mom was relocated to Southern Manor, a lovely assisted living facility about 12 miles from me. She had friends there already, but of course, she hated it. And me. But John was cool, so he inherited all further responsibility for her money. Thank God.
On Christmas Day 2015, all the relatives were gathered to visit her. Mom decided to bad-mouth me in front of everyone. The center of attention, she said she was glad to be out of my control and relieved that I wouldn’t be able to steal her money. I asked, “Mom, can you hear me? Because I don’t think you can see me, sitting here beside you.” She responded by pulling her hearing aids out of her ears and handing them to me. “Clean them, then.” I cleaned her hearing aids, handed them back, and left.
Still, I went to visit three times a week. She kept telling her tales, and all her friends gave me terribly dirty looks. I helped arrange her room, did errands for her, took her to the doctor, etc. When I had the chance, I brought her grandkids to see her.
Our last real visit was February 12, 2016. It was the night of Southern Manor’s Valentines Day celebration. Mom was weak from lung infection or possibly pneumonia. Nobody was sure. It was the first time she had gotten dressed all week, and her first bit of appetite. We had a lovely dinner and I walked her back to her room. I asked her if she was still mad at me. Sleepy, she told me she was never mad at me. She was angry because the angels left her. She was angry because Dad never came.
After she was in bed, by pre-arrangement and Mom’s approval, I met with the staff of Southern Manor and signed the hospice documents.
Late in the night on February 22nd, Mom pulled off her oxygen cannula and went back to sleep. During rounds, the night nurse found her curled up in bed, feet and hands entirely blue. The nurse said Mom awakened, wide-eyed, and told her in a strong, happy voice “God is calling me!” When I arrived a little while later, Mom was deep in morphine sleep. She roused and told me she loved me, then said her sister Betty (who died previously) came to get her, even though she wanted Dad to come. “That sounds like what Betty would do,” I said, and she smiled, “Yes, it does.” That was the last time we spoke.
Early Thursday morning February 24th, the family stood around her bed and watched her shallow, extremely labored breathing. She was drowning and it was awful. Then, there was a shift in the atmosphere. Mom lifted her left hand (she was right-handed), closed her mouth, half-smiled and we all knew: she’s gone.
In my soul, I know Dad took her by the hand, and they danced into the Light.
Did Mom have a Great Death? What does death have to do with undying? Is she really Kali? What does this mean?
Coming soon! Part 3 of Undying and the Great Death,Or How Not to Title a Blog
For nearly 30 years, my spiritual life has been the lighted path of Christ…in my own intellectually curious, religiously open-minded sort of way. For me, the possibility of my own resurrection and ascension has compelled much of my seeking and writing.
The word ‘undying’ fits nicely in my spiritual interests – the ‘Great Death’ not so much. Since I’ve been handed a plateful of dying and death in the past years, I have followed my curiosity with lots of reading, research, thinking and meditation. In the halls of dying and death, there’s plenty of wait time.
What I’ve discovered is that the ‘Great Death’ is resurrection and ascension, and want you to know about this ‘Great Death,’ because even the ‘good death’ is in short supply these days.
Let’s define our terms.
Generally understood, the good death is when you can die without suffering. The best good death is in your sleep – my grandpa went out that way in his favorite recliner. The good death is subjective, though – it’s only ‘good’ for the one who dies. It’s often a big surprise for loved ones.
Undying means perpetual or lasting forever, never ending or immortal. In the language of A Course in Miracles, undying equates to real, as illustrated by ACIM’s enigmatic summary statement “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the Peace of God.”
The Great Death is a little more complicated because it requires the application of will. St. Paul wrote about it in his letters to the Romans, Colossians, Galatians and Corinthians when he discussed ‘dying to sin’ and being ‘born again.’ Jesus clearly demonstrated the truest death to sin (the small ego-self is the sinner) in the Garden of Gethsemane, fully surrendering his human ego, sweating blood and all, saying “Not my will, but Thy Will be done.”
The ‘born again’ part of St. Paul’s sermons has been seriously misrepresented by American Christianity, though. Re-birth isn’t something to merely believe; it must be lived. And while the Great Death often accompanies physical death, the true purpose of the Great Death is to be ‘born again’ while living, a re-birth to Divine Consciousness that both includes and transcends physicality.
In various forms, I found the Great Death to be a common idea among religions and cultures.
So, how did I came upon strange ideas like undying and the Great Death?
It was pure en-chant-ment.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Undying and the Great Death,or How NOT to Title a Blog.
It’s pretty clear that I’m an unusual person. Strange. What follows truly happened – at least in dream and vision reality, which often feel more real and true to me than ‘regular’ human life. There’s lots of talk out there about parallel worlds, alternate realities, walk-ins – all different ways of describing shifts (sometimes abrupt!) in personal time-lines. I got to see a different time-line for my own life, with the Divine Assurance that God has been busy morphing the Plan to bring me to goodness every single minute, because Romans 8:28 is true: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Lovers of God by every name, it’s true for you. It’s true for our beloved planet, too. God’s got us. Be Divinely Assured, dear ones.
(the following is an excerpt from One Becomes One)
God’s Alternate Plan
God gave me a glorious dream-vision at the moment of my birth on January 6, 2007.
In the dream, the family never left Florida. Gil and I divorced at about the same time (2002) as present reality. Gil gave me the little house (with all the debt, naturally) in South Fort Myers on Winged Foot Drive where Joel, Laura and Isaac lived nearly all their lives. I had written I Am Liberty, and it was somewhat different but substantially the same. I had more local support and success with the book in Florida and gave seminars and talks, but still had a full-time job with a good lawyer friend in Bonita Springs.
Lucid within the dream, I realized that I was witnessing God’s alternate plan to bring my fulfillment.
My house on Winged Foot Drive was sadly in need of painting and repairs, large and small. Joel did what he could to help me maintain the place but Gil was of no help, paying the minimum child support Florida law would allow. In the dream-reality, Gil maintained his relationship with Joel through their common interest in kenpo karate, a very positive thing for Joel. Laura’s relationship with Gil was also solid, although they often butted heads. Isaac’s relationship potentials were nebulous, unformed.
Mom had retired to Tennessee, the same as present reality. It was Joel and Laura who were the most different. In the dream reality, Joel was settled and self-assured. Laura was free, personally and creatively, and her enthusiasm for life was intact. In the Florida scenario, they never lost what they considered to be their home. Joel had attended Florida Gulf Coast University, worked in the business community, trained and taught at the karate dojo. Laura had completed art training and was doing spiritual portraits part-time and office work for rent.
Very coherent in the dream, I reflected deeply, certain that God was showing me these alternate outcomes for Joel and Laura because they are still open. I was saddened that the benefits of maintaining their early home and a continued warm relationship with their father were not present reality. Concurrently, Joel and Laura live happy lives in present reality and we have the blessing of Gabriel. I wondered how to blend the goodness of the two realities. Anything is possible with God. I prayed it could be so.
In my dream-office one busy workday, I was having lunch with one of my metaphysical students but she was being a nuisance, hanging on when it was time to go, asking too many personal questions. The next day I found her walking around my house with a measuring tape and notebook when I got home from work! She seemed almost angelic, but her presence was unsettling. I asked her to leave.
Next morning a young attorney came to the office to see me. He was a friend of my ‘stalker’ and apologized for her intrusiveness. He promised me she was a wonderful person and asked my forgiveness, which I gladly offered. No harm done! Leaving, he asked for my card and I handed him one, which startled my dream-consciousness. My business card looked much the same as the card I carry now!
In the dream, the following day was a Friday and Gil’s weekend with Isaac. I was heading off to host a seminar on Saturday in Naples, Florida. The house was empty for the weekend.I planned to stay in Naples Friday and Saturday nights and go home Sunday morning, but I changed my mind and went home Saturday after the seminar. I needed solitude. I arrived home to find the house wide open and surrounded by cars, lights and people, a Home Depot delivery truck and a JC Penney van parked in the driveway. My eyes met my stalker student at the same moment she saw me – she with a wide smile, standing next to our handsome attorney friend. She ran to me, calling “You’re back way too soon!” as my mind flashed on the home makeover TV show.
Reading my mind and now face to face, she hugged me and said “Not quite, but you do have a great admirer because I Am Liberty!” She and the attorney went on to tell me all about a JC Penney executive who had been astonished by this I Am Liberty book he found in a new-age bookstore in Naples, and wanted to do something wonderful for me. He was grateful that I had been the catalyst for his spiritual awakening.
My two new best friends walked me around my little house. I was stunned speechless. The nasty old carpets had been removed and a beautiful wood floor was nearly completed in the living and dining rooms. My tiny kitchen was completely re-done with new appliances, cabinets and a tile floor. The beautiful wood flooring extended to all the bedrooms with tile in the two bathrooms and new fixtures still in boxes. My angel (I never knew her name) took me inside the JC Penney van and showed me the new beds, bedding, window treatments and furniture yet to be installed in my home. All of it was beautiful and precisely my taste. There was even a new state-of-the-art washer and dryer!
Walking to the west side of my house, the attorney pointed to the new heat pump and my dream-eyes filled with tears. We had limped along with an antique unit for 10 years past its useful life. My attorney friend told me during the next week the house would be painted and the roof would be replaced.
In a wondrous rush now familiar to my consciousness, my dream-self knew everything was going to be all right and God was fulfilling His promise of abundance…through I Am Liberty – just like my present life, but much different. I stood and wept, humbled.
Rounding the back corner of the property, I gasped in amazement to see a newly expanded screened porch over a yet-to-be-completed small in-ground swimming pool! Isaac would be so happy, I exclaimed, and I was too! A grill and patio set still in boxes were around the last corner and a landscaping truck was parked in the side yard. The friendly face of the landscaper said “Good! Show me where you want these trees planted!” and I pointed out places for mature royal palms, grapefruit and tangerine trees and three large oaks for shade. I was so grateful that the condition of my house would no longer be an embarrassment!
Just then my angel whispered “Are you ready to be known?” Returning to the front lawn, there were TV news trucks and reporters with microphones ready.
At that moment in dream-reality, I was awash with incredible love for my blessed present life, my extraordinarily wonderful husband and the combined incredibility of the possibilities before us. I could feel, see and understand God’s providential nature. He has planned and calculated to bless me with abundance beyond my imagination, because in both realities I was living my life surrendered to His Will.
I woke up coughing and spluttering, eyes crusty and watering, ears and nose full…still sick. The clock said 12:13 am, the exact moment of my birth 51 years earlier.
I couldn’t stop thinking about the dream all day. Time and space are so puzzling. The problems of being in the world are overwhelming, but maybe there is a way to solve them by stepping back through time and re-thinking the decision points that led to the problems. It was a warm day, so I sat in the Sun on the top step of the front porch, praying for sinus relief.
Gazing out at nothing in particular, I saw a tiny shimmering door, and behind the door was a different outcome to the trivial decision I just made: do I sit in the sunshine or fold laundry? In the outcome through the door I saw myself folding laundry, but having decided to fold laundry, I was not seeing the vision of the door! I realized that my life would be profoundly different if I had not seen the door vision.
Just then, I was attracted by another shimmering door and my consciousness rushed to see: behind it I was a little girl, just six years old. I had written my first book titled “The Baby that Flyed.” It was plain to me that babies could fly because they were close enough to heaven to remember how. Every page was elaborately illustrated and I felt my child-like satisfaction as I read aloud to Mom and Dad, who were utterly captivated. Little Libby felt their shining pride, complete with hugs and kisses. It was clear that this moment created the thread of self-confidence that bore me through the painful process of writing and publishing I Am Liberty.
My consciousness returned to gaze at nothing in particular, and I could see hundreds, maybe thousands of miniscule doors shimmering together in a hologram of decision points, the information system that collects, projects and maintains the continuity of time and space I perceive as ‘my life.’ I had the clear knowledge that many decisions are still open possibilities. It was plain that I could jump to any point, open any door, and see what was contained there. If I determined to do so, I would be able to see how today might be different by following threads of possibility. I thought about bad decisions I had made and wondered if I had the stomach to see how things might have turned out had I made the right decision, and then I wondered if any decision is really good or bad. My life proved that God makes all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. Still, there have been many times when I did not follow the voice of intuition.
I made a tiny decision to see more, and there was an expansion. I saw the hologram of my lifetimes piled up together like compact discs stacked one upon another, and I was aware of the continuity of my consciousness. CDs from other people’s consciousness sliced through my stack of holographic lives, interwove themselves in mine, coming together in myriad ways, hundreds and thousands of lives intersecting my own in countless sparkling doorways and in lengthier ‘songs’ where our space-time CDs merged together for a while. Time travel was a simple matter in this amazing holographic reality.
Dryly, I wondered how to actually use the knowledge of my space-time visions. Was there anything here that could help my husband? He was so miserable being sick, hating the cold gray Tennessee days, angry about Gil, missing his brother, mourning the loss of his band, his friends, the goodness of his former life…and I wasn’t enough to fill that void.
National debt. Government-imposed austerity. Banksters getting away with economic murder vs. the people who are suffering the consequences of crimes.
Dear friends, we all know the world is one mixed-up muddled-up place; problems galore and few solutions. The only ‘solutions’ we hear sound more like left-wing, right-wing name-calling and blame-gaming. Most of our collective problems have one source: greed. The love of money, it turns out, is indeed the root of all evil.
God had a pretty good idea we humans would act this way! Back in the time of Moses God laid out a practical plan to deflate greed and maintain compassionate economic fairness. For a long time, the Hebrew people practiced God’s big idea with a high holy-day (holiday), feasting and merriment. But even Jews don’t practice it today.
But God was on to something that could really save our individual and collective butts! It’s time to grow up and trust that our Holy Parent might know a thing or two about economics…and people.
Let’s give God’s plan a chance. Let’s Jubilee! ~ Libby
Atonement gets plenty of attention in the Bible. “The Bible’s central message is atonement; that God has provided a way for humankind to come back into harmonious relationship with Him.” (Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary) The atonement is the entire purpose and subject matter of A Course in Miracles. Atonement for one’s deeds is a central tenet to the teachings of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Do you even know the meaning of the word?
Atonement can mean ‘the making of amends or reparation for an offense of injury; satisfaction.’ It can mean ‘the reconciliation between God and people,’ often seen as the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. In Christian Science, atonement means ‘the exemplifying of human oneness with God.’ Charles Fillmore, founder of Unity, defines atonement as “reconciliation of God and man through Christ; the uniting of our consciousness with the higher consciousness.” We have our atonement through Christ, and for this purpose Jesus demonstrated “the way.”
The word actually defines itself: at-one-ment, perfect reconciliation between you and God, united in consciousness as one mind, fully becoming the Christ by following for yourself, in your own unique manner, the way, the truth and the life of Jesus the Christ.
Tragically, the pure idea of atonement became attached to the ancient image of blood and gore: the sacrifice of animals on the altar to God, which morphed into the son of God being the blood sacrifice that would atone for all of us…Please – blood sacrifice is not what atonement is about. Atonement is about humility and renunciation of whatever it is that separates us from God. It’s time to detach old, grotesque ideas from your understanding of the atonement. Surely we’ve grown up enough to realize that blood sacrifice isn’t the way to God!
Atonement = At-One-ment. Not separate: whole. Oneness with Source, the Creator of All-that-Is, the cosmic Father-Mother. One with all beings and all beingness.
Translated as the ‘Day of Atonement,’ Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year for Jews. Even Jews who do not otherwise observe Jewish holidays observe Yom Kippur, much like secular Christians observe Christmas and Easter if nothing else. Yom Kippur happens in the early fall, the final day of a week-long celebration beginning with Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. The intervening days are called the Days of Awe, ‘awe’ meaning humility before the awesome power of the Almighty. Yom Kippur (atonement), is commanded by God in the Law of Moses as a day of being humble before God as a people. The Jews of the Old Testament sacrificed a bullock (male calf), two goats and a ram or lamb on the altar of God in atonement for the sins of the people. The rituals were elaborate and followed to the letter. What most people don’t know is that animal sacrifice was common among hunter-gatherers way before sacrifice was written down as a ritual in the Old Testament writings, so perhaps God was simply using an already-ancient custom to symbolize a spiritual truth.
Yom Kippur is approached with fasting, prayer and rest. It takes serious personal reflection to commit to the Day of Atonement because this is a time commanded by God for personal forgiveness: everyone forgives everyone else for all slights and harms and misdeeds and misperceptions. After the ritual of personal forgiveness, the Jewish congregation speaks together three times: “May all the people of Israel be forgiven, including the strangers who live in their midst, for all the people are in fault.”
We need atonement, for all the people are in fault.
The Jubilee Year
Every 50 years (give or take) on Yom Kippur, the joyful shout of trumpets announced the Jewish year of Jubilee. The Jubilee year was actually a two year period of magnified atonement, restitution and restoration, during which even the land was left uncultivated so that Mother Earth herself could rest. Debts were cancelled, slaves were emancipated and land that had been sold reverted to the former owners. Woo hoo! The Jubilee was a time of joyous introspection, rest, renewal and celebration. The Jubilee year is actually a command from Yahweh given to Moses on Mt.Sinai for the benefit of the Israelites, an extension of the idea of the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week during which Jews were commanded to rest and focus on their God YHWH. The Jubilee year allowed God’s people and their land to rest and begin again, liberated from the bondage of debt or slavery. You can read all about it in Leviticus, Chapter 25.
Yahweh was trying to establish a systematic program of forgiveness for the people, a kind of re-set button to prevent the extremes of poverty and uber-wealth we see in the world today. Yahweh was offering humanity a gift of profound grace with His command, teaching us to extend the concepts of times for activity and rest, forgiveness and humility into all aspects of our lives, including the life of our Earth, our families, communities, and even nations. Sadly, the practice of Jubilee generally died out during the Babylonian captivity of the Hebrew people, and there is no longer any agreement about when the next actual jubilee year might be.
However, it is becoming very clear: if we do not act voluntarily to forgive debt (use Yahweh’s system), the human-created greed-machine system will do it. With violence.
Let’s declare a Jubilee Atonement!
Atonement is a matter of consciousness, not time – so any time is the right time. What if we simply declare the Jubilee RIGHT NOW? Since the Jews haven’t called it in centuries, we could begin a Jubilee that lasts until “Israel [Israel means ‘he who wrestles with God’ or in other words, me and you!] is cleansed from all guilt of fornication and uncleanness, pollution, sin and error, and dwells with confidence in all the land, and there will be no more a satan or any evil one, and the land will be clean from that time for evermore.” (Book of Jubilees)
What would your life be like if you were not a slave to debt? St. Paul to the Romans 18:8-10 (NIV):
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Like it or not, St. Paul’s view in Romans is quite similar to the Muslim view of debt. The longest ayah (book) in the Quran is the ayah of debt. Muslims are strongly encouraged to buy only what they have money for, agree to a fixed price and avoid interest. Muslims believe that people in debt speak lies, break promises and will find it difficult to enter Paradise.
Pause for a moment and think what would your life be like…no mortgage on the house or loan on your car(s), no credit card bills, the IRS off your back, no medical bills or college loans, no payments to parents or friends or poker buddies, nothing owed to the title loan company…
Did you feel a sense of longing? Do you feel like it would be easier to love yourself, love your family and even love the world without the stress of being a slave to debt?
Could you be able to relieve others of their debts to you? What about those loans to people you know will never pay you back? Could you actually forgive your debts and debtors?
The ladder of debt forgiveness could extend higher and further: what if all banks forgave all loans and every loan the banks owed was also forgiven, all the way up and down the line? Could it work? What if the US government forgave all loans to states and cities? What if every country forgave loans owed by other countries? What if we all just declared do-overs?
What if we actually had the courage to use God’s Jubilee Year re-set button?
As I write, a hopeful sign that people are getting the message has emerged: there are movements in the United States to boost the economy by forgiving all student loan debt, and we have at least one Presidential candidate who gets it!
But don’t wait. Everything begins at the level of you and me. Robert F. Kennedy said “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation… it is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is thus shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
Send forth a tiny ripple of hope today. If someone owes you money and you are doing okay without it, forgive the debt! Suggest the forgiven party to ‘pay it forward’ and forgive another’s debt. Can you feel the healing potential inherent in this idea? Can you feel the ‘pay it forward’ sweeping around the globe?
Part 2: Forgiveness
Have you learned how to forgive? When you’re keeping score or holding a grudge, you keep yourself and the other in bondage, attached to the past and unable to move on. Forgiveness offers freedom from bondage to the past. Did you just think of someone? Forgive! Remember, all the people are in fault, including you. Expand your mind and think of more you could forgive. Maybe you could forgive your ex for being such an ass. Maybe you could forgive your parents or your neighbor or the guy who cut you off in traffic. Maybe you could forgive your former boss for laying you off when he had no choice. Maybe you could forgive the politicians or the media or the terrorists or the Wall Street bigwigs or the corporate lobbyists…this forgiveness thing can (and must) be extended: religions must forgive other religions, nations must forgive other nations, races must forgive religions and nations – none of us are free when we live in bondage to our communal past, to ancient hurts and out-dated ideas.
Our deep desire is the perfect freedom of being forgiven. But real, lasting forgiveness has another requirement.
Part 3: Humility
The alcoholic knows the drill: Alcoholics Anonymous makes sure of it. Just like the alcoholic, we all need to make amends or reparations to be deserving of forgiveness. We need to humble ourselves, apologize and come clean before the person we harmed. Humility is not the American way, but it is Yahweh. It is the way of the Christ. Jesus humbled himself and became a servant to humanity and remains so. As head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis needs to apologize to abused children and Catholic parents and American Indians and Africans and Jews to make the Catholic Church deserving of forgiveness. The United States of America needs to apologize to Iraq and Afghanistan (among numerous others) for bombing their women and babies and calling it collateral damage. We need to apologize to Mexico for demanding their money-producing crops and their people for low-wage employment and then punishing them for answering our calls. BP and Exxon and hundreds of other corporations need to apologize for having so little regard for the Earth and for humanity. Wall Street and Congress need to apologize for creating such a financial mess.
We need to see remorse, shame and responsibility to be able to forgive.
Humility is cleansing. It purifies the soul. Humility restores relationships, from the individual to national to global.
Part 4: Sacrifice
“What is the real meaning of sacrifice? It is the cost of believing in illusions. It is the price that must be paid for the denial of truth.” (A Course in Miracles)
In the spirit of the symbolism of the Hebrew blood sacrifice, I pray:
Holy Yahweh, I offer myself upon Your altar of at-one-ment. I accept your gift of grace. My offering to You is my stubborn bullish nature. I offer my dual goat nature, my arrogant ego and my shadowy scapegoat. I offer myself as the lamb, humbled, cleansed and purified. Together with Jesus the Christ I atone for the sins of the world. I apologize for us all, Yahweh. I choose to see through the illusions. I will not deny the truth. Father-Mother, forgive us for we know not what we do. Amen
As above, so below
Isaiah 47:11 says “But evil shall come upon you, which you will not know how to charm away; disaster shall fall upon you, for which you will not be able to atone; and ruin shall come upon you suddenly, of which you know nothing.”
Disaster has befallen us for which we are not able to atone. Ruin is upon us and we certainly seem to know nothing. We need God’s wisdom. We need God’s inspiration. Albert Einstein said “A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels.” We need You, Yahweh.
Take heart! A Course in Miracles says “There is no order of difficulty in miracles. One is not “harder” or “bigger” than another. They are all the same. All expressions of love are maximal.” God (by any name) can do this “save the world” thing – all S/He asks is that we follow the system put in place for us.
American Indian prophecies point to the current human predicament, and all agree that by a return to the ways of “the people,” our Earth and humankind will not only survive, but thrive. As a culture, “the people” do not share our concept of personal ownership or possession. One practice that is common to almost every American Indian nation is called a “giveaway,” and if you attend a powwow or any other ceremonial event, you may witness a giveaway. Giving is central to being an American Indian, a way of giving thanks, bestowing honor, teaching about relationship, distributing goods for the survival of all and for maintaining balance within the community. The American Indians lived a heavenly life of giving and receiving. I’m for returning to the ways of “the people.”
Until then, why not try God’s cosmic re-set button?
Let’s be free. Let’s Jubilee!