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Monday, March 28 2011

       Here's something that first moved through me in written form nearly ten years ago.  The first half you may recognize as an expanded version of the cosmos story I shared last week.  The second half tells the rest of the story.  While the narrator is younger in this piece, the story still speaks to me.  Perhaps it will also speak to you.




Cosmos and Growth


        Stories don’t have to be totally factual to be true.  Cosmological stories, my favorites, are especially hard to prove.  But the cosmos is in us –- and so are the stories.  Here’s one about the universe and how we evolve in it.





        In the beginning, there is no-thing.  Pure being.  The silence of God.  This void, because it is the silence of God, is quite fertile.  The emptiness is full.  In an attempt to name this emptiness that cannot be named, physicists might use the term “singularity.”


        From the fertile void flares forth a great blossoming, an explosion of love, the energy of God.  Love is a name by which God is known.  This energy of love first shows itself as an ecstatic expansion of light, then heat.  Creativity and destruction dance ceaselessly together, as love gives birth, gives death, gives birth again.


        Time and space are born.  As the original burst of energy slows and cools, at precisely the right rate, it becomes the universe we see – the stars and planets, the rocks and trees, the animals and humans, like you and me.


        The universe is growing and alive.  It’s very intelligent and, I think, wise.  Because its essence is love, it is not neutral (as some people think), and it certainly is not malevolent.


        In this story, love and everything in the universe is trinitarian in nature.  Uniqueness, oneness and relatedness are fundamental to all that is.  Every person and every blade of grass is one of a kind (unique and individual), one with the universe (all originating in the singularity of sacred emptiness) and forever connected in a web of relationship with everything else (the ultimate internet). 


        Relationship is a never-ending dance of uniqueness and oneness.  We are each so different and yet have so much in common.  We are one and we are two.  Whether we care to or not, we are all dancing with the paradoxical mystery of oneness in two-ness and two-ness in oneness.  We dance, not just with our partners, but with everyone and everything. 


        How often do we open our hearts to the music and soften to the rhythm?


        So, in this story of cosmos, Pure Being (the Nameless No-Thing) becomes Love, which becomes the beloved.  All creation, including each of us, is the offspring of Love.





        Human growth mirrors, in reverse image, the path of the universe.  In this story, our growth has three stages, each wonderful in its own way.  And naturally, since it’s human, our growth is not particularly tidy or orderly.  We move back and forth among the stages, willy-nilly, true to our nature. 


        The stages are really tasks.  The first task is softening to love – letting ourselves be loved.  When we soften and open to the ever-present energy of love, we are healed and made whole.  Like daisies basking in sunshine, we blossom, each in our own unique way.  For a long time, as a psychotherapist, I thought this was the whole story. 


        The next stage is the movement from being loved to being love.  While the first stage heals the wounded ego, the second stage expresses soul.  It’s not about “me” anymore.  It’s about becoming light – shining, radiating, warming.  Naturally and effortlessly, a healed presence becomes a healing presence.  The light of love flickers at first, then grows more steady.  Have you noticed how some people seem to glow?


        Surely, I thought, this must be the end of the story.  It can’t get any better than this.  But no, like in the late night commercial, there’s more!


        The third growth movement is toward the experience of pure being, a movement from being love to being no-thing.  Mystical traditions in all religions speak of a silence, a sacred emptiness, where separation from God ceases.  All attachment and ego identity disappear.  Every thing is gone, and all things are possible.  The universe blossomed from this profound peace.  It’s where all miracles originate.


        At first, during times of meditation, I had only glimpses of this quiet place.  At some point, I can’t pinpoint just when, glimpses became visits.  Never boring, visits now are irregular and unpredictable, and usually don’t last long. (How good can I stand it, after all?) 


        We are the visited, not the visitor.  More than we seek, we are sought.  Sacred silence finds us, and we remember.  We never return from such encounters unchanged.  We may seem the same, but we’re not.


        Some people spend a lot of time in no-time, unself-consciously one with God in the silence of pure being.   It’s become home for them.  Eventually, in this story, it becomes home for all of us.


        Alpha meets Omega.  The end and the beginning are one.






Posted by: AT 11:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, March 20 2011



A Cosmos Story


       In dealing with mysteries like the nature of the universe, most spiritual traditions resort to story, which is my favorite way to speak about that which can't be defined.  In group Thursday night, we played with cosmological stories.  Here's one I like.  As with all big stories, it is, at best, a partial truth.



       Once there was no time, no space, no thing – only Sacred Silence, an intelligent, fertile, creative emptiness.  Suddenly, from this deep quiet, there emerged an explosion of LOVE.  This explosion marked the beginning of time and space and led to the creation of matter and all things. 


       In this story, LOVE is the first expression of Sacred Silence.  Everything in the universe is an expression and manifestation of LOVE.  And the intelligence of Sacred Silence permeates it all.


       Eventually, humans arrived on the scene – bringing curiosity, the capacity for awe and an inclination to wonder.  We humans yearn for the unseen within the seen.  Restless at heart, we search – hungry to know the LOVE we express.


       We create meaning and share stories.  We melt into quiet and remember.

Posted by: AT 02:21 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, March 12 2011




       On the Ash Wednesdays of my childhood, I remember receiving an ashen cross on my forehead as somber words were spoken:  "Remember, man, that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return."  It was a powerful ritual that stayed with me all day long, as did the ashes.


       Since then, I've come to see Lent as a time of remembering and a time for preparation – preparation for resurrection. And I've come to see resurrection as an uplifting, a lifting of the veil that tricks us into feeling separate.  Resurrection transforms us.  It returns us to oneness – and to the spaciousness from which we came. 


       Honoring the season in group Thursday night, we gathered in a circle and anointed each forehead with a fragrant oil and these words: 


       "Remember, you are a unique and beautiful word in the vocabulary of God.  You are, already, that which you seek.  Whatever you hunger for is within you now.  Prepare for resurrection."



Posted by: AT 02:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, March 06 2011


Two Thoughts


       In my sense of the universe, each of us is a word in the vocabulary of God.  If so, how can we think that one expression of God is better than another?  I'm invited to let go of judgment and striving.  As Richard Moss says:  "We are, already, that which we seek."



       As we allow our hearts to expand to true spaciousness, we find that we are bigger than any problem we can have – and, perhaps, bigger than any problem the world can have.  LOVE is the solution.


Posted by: AT 12:15 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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