reflection: spirituality and faith

poem: thinking of God as compared to knowing God (a repost of my original poem from September 2019)

Poem: Thinking of God as Compared to Knowing God
Sitting in church on Sunday
the great gathering of believers:
the woman with a pistol in her purse,
the espoused white supremacist family man,
the patriarchal church elder who fears gays
All believing Jesus is their personal savior,
who looks like them,
likes and dislikes the same people as they,
and judges all as to the meritocracy of heaven
which is not here and not now
What bad theology,
what past dogma or creed,
what misreading and poor preaching,
what age-old council of churchmen
has brought them all to this small, limited God
Yes these gathered souls
think of God rather than experience God
distracted by the ten million things that separate us
many of which have been elevated to idolatry
including personal power, control, and violence
How have we reduced God to being so small and limited
how has God’s awe inspiring presence and love
escaped our experience of each moment,
this God who is as close as our next breath
and limitless as the great Cosmos spinning about
Creator of the Cosmos, breath of our lives,
our Beloved and beloved of God,
the Universal Christ of grace, love, and our only true hope
for authentic community in our true diversity
in the anti-empire, anti-dominant system of kin-dom
Unless and until one turns out towards and enters into
the Universal Christ mystery and opens to its’ radical
consciousness that rewires each of us on the physical, cellular,
neurological, and spiritual levels, Christianity will remain

a personal cerebral exercise rather than Eternal Life together as Beloveds

Herb Stone
here & now working poetry
September, 2019
images “Eye of the Universe” from Hubble Telescope
and “Guns in Church” unattributed

Reflection: Richard Rohr on our apocalyptic times and our need for a stabilizing spiritual practice over the next four months (and always)

Reflection: Richard Rohr on our apocalyptic times and our need for a stabilizing spiritual practice over the next four months (and always)

(with thanks and respect to my patron saint, Gertrud Nelson for sharing Richard’s words with me)

“We are without doubt in an apocalyptic time (the Latin word apocalypsis refers to an urgent unveiling of an ultimate state of affairs). Yeats’ oft-quoted poem “The Second Coming” then feels like a direct prophecy. See if you do not agree:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.


Stand as a sentry at the door of your senses for these coming months, so “the blood-dimmed tide” cannot make its way into your soul.

If you allow it for too long, it will become who you are, and you will no longer have natural access to the “really deep well” that Etty Hillesum (Dutch author of the Nazi persecution of Jews in Amsterdam and who was killed in Auschwitz) returned to so often and that held so much vitality and freedom for her.

If you will allow, I recommend for your spiritual practice for the next four months that you impose a moratorium on exactly how much news you are subject to—hopefully not more than an hour a day of television, social media, internet news, magazine and newspaper commentary, and/or political discussions. It will only tear you apart and pull you into the dualistic world of opinion and counter-opinion, not Divine Truth, which is always found in a bigger place.

Instead, I suggest that you use this time for some form of public service, volunteerism, mystical reading from the masters, prayer—or, preferably, all of the above.

You have much to gain now and nothing to lose. Nothing at all.
And the world—with you as a stable center—has nothing to lose.”

photos: Gertrud Nelson, my patron saint
Richard Rohr (who I read widely) with my dear, late friend and spiritual teacher Jeff Blake

Thank you God for friends and teachers like these💓

Reflection: A rally call for all to join together and seek the higher Way of Life for all beings 

Reflection: A rally call for all to join together and seek the higher Way of Life for all beings 

There is no ‘good’ or ‘better’ Empire (note: see my definition of Empire below.)

Using the Empire’s power and control, which always ends in violence, to create a better Empire, is a liar’s and a fool’s mission ending in loss of liberty and oppression and death. (note: the current president’s ‘make america great again’ MAGA cry is a prime example of the presiding idea in that he proposes we build a ‘better Empire’.) 

The Empire must be dismantled, abandoned, and ultimately given up on the altar of Life. In it’s place, there is the alternative, narrow, hard, seldom taken path of Life! The authentic community, neighborly community, kin-dom (which disciples of the Universal Cosmic Christ call the ‘kingdom of God’, but has many names) is our one true hope in the face of the Empire’s darkness and death machine.

Jesus, the son of man, in his Good News (gospels), described this path to Life very well. It is grounded in radical grace, radical love, humility, mercy, distributive justice, faith, peace, and hope! For those not religious or spiritual, these values have expression in secular life as well.

Those of us not ‘liars and fools’ and who value Life and liberty equally for all, over oppression and death, must respectfully put aside our perceived differences in culture, tribe, cause, etc. and come together collectively as one peoples whose purpose is to resist the Empire and dismantle it and to be the architects of the alternative, Life-and-liberty-giving, authentic community!

Beloveds, joining together here and now, dedicated to the true Way of Life, persisting in our cause and actions, we shall overcome the Empire’s darkness and death in these challenging times!!  

Shalom, Shanti, Salaam, Peace

(I use the reality of ‘Empire’ a lot in my writing. Here is what that represents to me: the Empire is a way of ‘life’ and death that relies on it’s raw power and and its’ methods of controlling others to remain in power and control, and the Empire is always ready to institute violence and death to accomplish that’ sole mission. The means (power and control) justifies the ends (power, control, and violence). Examples of Empire in history are The Roman Empire (which murdered Jesus, Christians, and countless others in its’ reign) and the Nazi Empire (which murdered Jews and countless others in its’ reign). Today we see our own nation in the Empire building business of the current president and his administration and base, exercising its’ raw power and control to justify its’ continuance in power and control and its’ use of violence to further those ends in its’ violence towards and murder of our siblings of color and others. The Empire  threatens Life and liberty, and it must be dismantled.)

Reflection: God by whatever name vis-a-vis American partisan politics

Reflection: God by whatever name vis-a-vis American partisan politics

Consider this beloveds: God, by whatever name you call God, does not give a big fig about American partisan politics of either party. In the Cosmic picture your personal partisan political beliefs just are not that big a deal in any way other than they are soul killers. Only your ego makes you think they are so important which then is idolatry because you are identifying God as being like you and liking the things you like (like being a Republican or Democrat) and disliking the things you dislike such as the opposite political party. Balderdash! You are defining a God much too small. According to God come down to man, the Son of Man, Jesus, and his manifest Universal Cosmic Christ consciousness, as the Son of God, God has a plan for us, and it was Jesus mission as taught through the Gospel message which involves the singular politics of God’s kin-dom (Kingdom) vis-a-vis the human Empires of this earth. God’s kin-dom plan opposes the partisan, divisive, oppressive politics of the Empire of man and is, in fact, an alternative community vision of man grounded in neighborliness, radical grace, and radical love for one another. And Jesus, the Universal Cosmic Christ, manifested this vision on earth and taught this lesson in the ‘good news’ of his Gospel message expressed so well in the Beatitudes, his highest commandment, the Sermon on the Mount, and his teaching of the disciples to pray. God’s politics is neither personal nor partisan; quite the contrary it is universal bringing all together for the good of all beings. Get over your small self and the Truth will set us all free!

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
September 17, 2020