Tag Archives: Spirituality

revelations

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This week I have been reading the New Testament: The Revelation of John, a series of stories written centuries ago offering guidance and understanding about our lives and how we should live them. This specific excerpt from the New Testament has not yet revealed any clear or illuminating messages to me. Granted, I only got about 12 chapters in struggling with the heavy layers of metaphors and ancient language and was ready to give in and get the cliff notes for the Bible (only $10 on Amazon!) Then a Living Chapters reader recently reminded me that these complicated layers of written revelations “were all written in a specific time-frame and oftentimes in response to a certain situation.”  She suggested that I “try not to take everything that is written so literal.” Basically my message from her was to lighten up a bit. Be open and have fun with this. She also suggested reading something more contemporary.

Well I have found it nearly impossible to take anything I have read thus far in The Revelation of John literally.  So instead of responding literally to the text I am reading this week, I will respond to the revelations that I am receiving myself this week through my own specific time-frame outside of the readings.  In an effort to become more comfortable and loosen up about this material, I will share the experiences of my current here and now. How am I reacting both to the external act of reading “John’s” revelations and to the internal act of creating and reflecting upon my own beliefs through my personal mediation practice.

Literature, philosophy and poetry have always been an inspirational way to reflect upon and come to an understanding about our belief systems.  Learning how others process ideas is a great way to validate or form our own opinions. One of the requirements from my chapter writer this month is to experience a spiritual practice with others in community to witness and open a door to new perspectives and insights.  I look forward to attending a service in a shared setting.  Maybe there I will find some translation for these layered explanations that I am reading in the Bible.  My preference currently though is to be open to exploring the new territory that is within me.  Our beliefs are personal and true to each of us. Right now I find it important first to look inward and be honest with myself about what my own truth and understanding is, what it may have been and what it may grow into.

My first choice of expression for sharing these revelations (and maybe my most fluent way of doing so) is through the creation of an individual visual language that can be read by many and interpreted in different ways.

This week I respond with a series of photographs. These images depict the experience I am going through here looking inward, validating and questioning my own beliefs and philosophy. They also express my feelings about seeking new ideas looking externally, in the shared quest for spiritual growth and knowledge.

Reaching out. Reaching in.

Do my images question what it is you see and believe? Are your beliefs based in organic forms? Are they based on a structure? Do we need structure for organic form to exist?  Do we need organic form for structure to exist? As in photographs, lights, darks, and gradations must be examined and come together in a balanced way for the picture to ever become clear.  This week I have had fun practicing, photographing and playing with the act of seeing all of what is in front of me, inside me and around me.

What do you see? And where do you look? Take a moment to explore around each window and door, you may find it as fun as I have.

3/14/14

Just finding this blog today? Read the prologue for more details on what Living Chapters is all about. Check out the Chapter Summaries Page to get caught up to date.

no gospel here

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Wow. Jesus! were my first words in response to this month’s chapter. The Trinity Task? The Bible? Talk about taking me out of my comfort zone! I am being asked to get down with GOD this month and read the Holy book. I have to admit, I was quite surprised with this existential challenge and even more mystified that it came from my most sarcastic, cynical and atheist friend from high school that hung out with me in cemeteries and played in garage bands. This serious, sensitive and carefully laid out month came out of the same mind that also created the darkest, funniest and foreboding poems, as well as kooky cartoon creatures (including my favorite – the vampire balloon). My history with Seth ensures me that I am in good hands this March.  I trust his instinct and have faith that this experiment can only bring some sort of new enlightenment.

Unlike Seth, I identify as an agnostic. I am more comfortable with the fact that we just may never know or prove that a GOD exists. I choose not to believe that we all will be going to heaven or hell someday after living our last day and taking our last breaths. Yet I do not rule out the possibility of the existence of a God, our higher selves or universal energy source of some kind. Let’s just say my personal spiritual practice has taken its own path and has grown exponentially over the past few years wandering on its own course without a compass, text, or church for it to live in. Although I prefer and have enjoyed the organic personal journey that I have been on. I welcome the opportunity to put my personal ideas and philosophies into context with others. Sitting down to read and examine others philosophies only helps to validate, strengthen or break down my own beliefs and values.

For most of my adult life, I have kept my religious beliefs (or non-beliefs) to myself. The only real strong belief that I religiously preach is that I believe everyone is entitled to their belief systems and/or truths. The only vows I make are not to push my own understanding on someone else and not to judge another who believes differently from me. Preaching and judging, often go hand in hand when it comes to religion or just about anything. I find that doing either of these things to be a waste of time. We ultimately cannot change others. I will not use my energy or time to try to do so.

With that said, this does not mean however that I am not open to sharing my thoughts, opinions and feelings on the topic of faith, religion and spirituality. This will be the first and possibly the only time that I will openly make my beliefs public so I will preface the month’s writings by saying please take my opinions or leave them. It’s no gospel here!

Ok here we go, week one: The Old Testament, Genesis Chapters 1 -11. With a coconut and rum drink in one hand and the Holy Bible in the other, nestled into a comfy Sunday afternoon spot, I began my first Bible study session.  To start off on the right foot, I recited Seth’s highlighted John Cage quote “If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four” said a quick prayer that I would find something useful in this centuries old doctrine.

3/5/14

Just finding this blog today? Read the prologue for more details on what Living Chapters is all about. Check out the Chapter Summaries Page to get caught up to date.