01 All religion is based on the premise that if we make God happy, God will make us happy. This has been condensed to the principle: Give To Get, and explained by saying, "If we give to God we will get back blessings by the boat load, pouring over, spilling out." Never mind that God's very own son "was crucified, dead and buried." Or that Baruch (Jeremiah 45) was chastised for looking for favors. Or that Habakkuk (3:17) grounded his faith on, "Though the fig tree does not bloom, and no grapes appear on the vine..." we are told if we do everything just right we will accumulate great merit and be rewarded handsomely in the end. All we have to do is keep the 11 Commandments. That's for Christians. Other religions have different stipulations. The 11 Commandments for Christians are the usual and customary 10 plus "believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as the literal Son of God and our own personal Savior." Now, some would tell you that #11 voids the other 10 because it earns you forgiveness for all of your violations of every one of them. But. When you get to the fine print, you see that not only do you have to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, but you also have to "Live a Godly, Righteous and Sober life," go to church every time the doors are open, where you will hear that you will die and go to hell if you don't come back whenever the doors are open and hear that you are going to die and go to hell if you don't come back... It gets to be tedious, toeing the line all the time, which is what we had to do before we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, and we still have to do it in addition to believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, so what does believing do for us actually? We can't ask the question. We have to bow our heads and take it on faith that the Ones Who Know Everything And Must Be Pleased Or Else know what they are talking about. It turns out that not only do we have to make God happy, but we have to make God's spokespersons happy as well. But. We are assured that heaven is worth every sacrifice in the end. In the meantime, well... Keep your head down and do what you are told. And the closer we examine religion, the less healthy it appears to be. And that is where The Church of What's Happening Now comes in. No Doctrine. No Dogma. No Theology. No Creeds. No Hymns (Books of Doctrine Put To Music). And Worship takes whatever form your joy, thanksgiving, gratitude, wonder, awe, marvel, amazement, etc. in response to the experience of being alive are best expressed in and through and by. The focus of our living in The Church of What's Happening Now is on our life, on our lived experience, right here, right now, moment-by-moment-by-moment, day-by-day, in each situation as it arises. There is only the present moment, the right-here-the-right-now, which transforms, transitions, morphs and becomes the right-here-right-now on and on forever. The Eternal Now. The Eternal Present. With each moment/situation/here-and-now calling for something. Asking for something. Needing something. For each of us to serve and bring forth with the gifts/genius/daemon/virtues that come with us from our mother's womb. We step into the moment, look and listen, see and hear, perceive what's what and what needs to be done about it, in response to it, and do it as best we can with what we have to offer, and that leads us directly into the next moment, in which we do the same things... All our life long. The Church of What's Happening Now. Is built around what we need to do that. Is here to help us find what we need and do that. And that's that.
What are the compelling urges that guide our boat on its path through the sea? Alcohol is a compelling urge. And every other addiction. Fear is compelling urge. And every other emotional obsession. Our life is "nothing but" one compelling urge after another. Things we must-do-have-to-do-or-else drive us, hound us, chase us, without ceasing, and leave us with no time to live at all, existing as we do to serve all that coerces, oppresses and owns us. How to free ourselves from all that owns us in order to give ourselves to that which has need of us-- and in whose service we come alive, at one with ourselves and in tune with the times and places of our living, is the question that sets us free and binds us to ourselves in an eternal dance of dying to all that is not-us, and living to all that is-us, in each situation as it arises, world without end. It is a choice, you see, the only choice, our only choice, choosing the One whom we serve-- in a "choose this day whom you will serve" kind of way. Joseph Campbell said: “The myths by which we live must support us through our personal crises in life. They have to sustain us and enable us to go forward with our lives. When we find what sustains us through those crises, we find our myth. "We have to live out our story in light of a Greater Story that holds things together for us and enables us to make sense of things. "What is it that supports us in the face of total disaster? To know that, is to know your myth. "Our myth is what we tell ourselves about the way things are that enables us to live with the way things are. "What is our mission? For what would we sacrifice ourselves? What is it that 'works' for us? To answer these questions is to find our myth. "The problem is to find within ourselves the thing that moves us, that we are really pushed by.” Abraham Maslow said that people live for five things: Survival, Security, Personal Relationships, Prestige, and Self Development. And Campbell said "These are precisely not the values that a mythically inspired person lives for. "A person who is really gripped by a dedication, by a zeal, will sacrifice all these things for the sake of his or her own passion. "These five values are the values people live for who have nothing to live for. Nothing has seized, caught, or driven these people “spiritually mad.” "These people, aren’t worth talking to." The people who are "worth talking to," are the people who are living their own life, out of their personal affiliation with, and commitment to, living their own life beyond every other consideration. They are grounded upon the bedrock of their own virtues and character, they know who they are and what is theirs to do, and they live to do it in each situation as it arises, in season and out of season, and in all weather conditions. They have chosen to serve what has chosen them. And they are highly worth talking to. Knowing. Living with. Being. If you are going to be anything, Be one of those people.