April 09, 2021


Fir Forest 05 06/20/2016 Oil Paint Rendered — Roan Mountain National Forest, Carver’s Gap, North Carolina
Learning to be alive
in the time left for living
is a simple matter of
transforming your relationship
with yourself
and with your life.

You've been doing it all wrong.

Reconciliation is a two-way street.
We have to reconcile ourselves
to the world,
and we have to reconcile the world
to ourselves.

Here's the catch:
The world is not going to change
until you do.
When you change you,
you change the world.

And everything flows from 
the shift you make within
to begin seeing what you look at.
Starting with you.

What we see depends on
how we look.
More specifically,
on what we look for.

How much time do you spend
looking for beauty
in yourself and in the world?

What is beautiful about you?
What are your most beautiful features?
Where are you stopped and astounded by
something beautiful that you do?

Spend the rest of the day
looking for the beautiful things about you,
for the beautiful things you do.

And notice how you make this difficult
by interfering with the process
with judgment,
and censorship.

Seeing has to be just seeing!
Seeing beauty is seeing beautifully!
Take judgment,
and censorship
out of the way
and everything is beautiful.


Start seeing beauty everywhere you look!



Sparks Lane February 2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
The problem with theology
across the board,
around the world,
throughout the cosmos,
is that God is right
and we are wrong.

In the Old Testament,
Abraham turns all of this on its ear
with his declaration:
"Shall not the Judge of the Universe do right?"
Judging, as he did,
"the Judge of the Universe."

Job should have taken the same tack.
We would all be better off.
By the time Job came around
theology was firmly in place,
and held there by the power of those
who held the power of God in place
with their interpretation
of who God was/is and what God wanted,
which is always what they wanted
God to want.

The interpreters of God are God.
In obeying them,
the people are not obeying God,
but who God's interpreters say God is.

Jesus said it best:
"Why don't you judge for yourselves
what is right?"
They (the interpreters of God) killed him
for that.

It doesn't pay to mess with 
Those Who Know Best!

The current ideas of God
are held in place by those
who kill those who have different ideas.

How do you think orthodoxy came to be?
The martyrs were all heretics, don't you know?
Orthodoxy torched the flames
that burned people at the stake.
Orthodoxy determined what was heresy
and what was Revealed (to Orthodoxy) Truth.

And now we have this wonderfully consistent
and systematic theology declaring who God is
and what makes God happy.
It is a miracle!
We got here by murdering the opposition
to Orthodoxy's way of seeing things.

God is who Those Who Know Best say God is.
And they say God is right
and we are wrong.

That's wrong.

"Why don't you decide for yourselves
what is right?"

How would we know?
We would begin by living out of 
the center of ourselves!
Feeling our way along!
Trusting ourselves to be corrected
by the results of our deciding
what is right and what is wrong.
Observing everything.
Forcing nothing.
With self-transparency
and self-awareness
and self-correction
leading the way,
like a "wheel turning 
out of its own center"--
a gyroscope maintaining
balance and harmony
with itself and its environment,
being true to itself
within the context and circumstances
of its existence,
reflecting its way into
new realizations
and new ways of seeing and doing
what needs to be done,
in each situation as it arises,
constantly deciding anew
what is right
and serving it with the gifts,
daemon (sounds like "diamond"),
and vitality
that come with us from the womb.

God couldn't do it better than that!



Gray’s Lilly 06/25/2010 Oil Paint Rendered — Roan Mountain Highlands, Carver’s Gap, North Carolina, Tennessee
We need a better way of thinking about God.
Which means we need no theology at all.

We are God's way of becoming conscious of God.
We are mirrors which reflect God
to each other and to God.

This is not theology.
This is awareness dawning.
Only those who are stirred by it
to reflect and consider
their own awareness dawning
will find this helpful. 

Everyone else will find it to be heresy
or meaningless. 

The only kind of God-talk that is helpful
is the kind with a life of its own.
It cannot be argued or debated,
it can only be heard or not-heard.

Think of God as the right kind of silence.
The kind of silence that is vibrantly alive
with realization, awareness, insight, illumination,
recognition, creativity, comprehension, wonder,
amazement, vitality, fascination, and the qualities
and characteristics of life aborning.

God is life in the silence of being.

And so it is said, "Be still and know that I am God!"
And the "I am," is as much the knower as the known.

If this stirs something to life in you,
let it do its work--
allow it to work you over,
separating you from all the theology
you are weighed down under,
faithful to Meister Eckhart's observation:
"The final leave-taking is leaving God for God."

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

One thought on “April 09, 2021

  1. Thank you, Jim, for this kind of perspective ✅ will approach my day differently now👍🙂

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android


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