February 09, 2022


Roan Mountain Sunrise 06/25/2010 Oil Paint Rendered — Roan Mountain Highlands, Carver’s Gap, Tennessee
The people who killed Jesus
and the people who did not listen to Jesus
were the same type of people,
separated only by their station in life.
They were out for what they could get
by any means necessary.

Jesus had a better idea for them
than they had for themselves,
and they had nothing to do 
with what he had to say,
and put an end to him saying it.

"Do unto others
as you would have them
do unto you,"
was not original with Jesus.
The idea has been around 
from times long past,
and is recognized for its value
in a wide range of cultures,
yet, it's application is 
radical in every age.

Jesus took it to heart,
and lived to exhibit it
in his way with other people.
He was quite out of place
in a society where money was 
the most important thing.

Money is still the most important thing,
and it takes a significant 
shift in perspective
to want everyone to have
the same opportunity for education
and jobs, and quality of life,
their skills and training allow.

No stigmas, no prejudices, no bigotry,
no bias, no favoritism, no discrimination...
Liberty and justice for all.

The depth of the rage and ruthlessness
against that simple statement is appalling. 
Two thousand two hundred and twenty-two years later
and we are no closer to the realization
of social justice
than they were in Jesus' day.
And the Supreme Court's buy-out on civil rights
is a clear and telling signal 
that money calls the shots and sets the course,
Constitution or not.

Money killed Jesus.
Money owns the game.
And there is no end to the damage
a half-dozen billionaires can do.

Which leaves the rest of us
exactly where we have always been,
working uphill against all odds
in the service of grace and compassion,
justice, equality, truth and freedom,
no matter what
as those who would be who Jesus was,
exhibiting the spirit of the Christ
in all that we do,
as long as life shall last.



Pyramid Lake Panorama 09/27/2009 Oil Paint Rendered — Jasper National Park, Alberta
The spirit of Christ--
and "Christ" means simply "The anointed one,"
and we are all "anointed,"
or "called,"
to be who we are,
where we are,
when we are,
how we are--
is nothing more than our original nature
shinning through.

What keeps it from shinning through
are fear, hatred, anger, greed, and duty,
with duty being the shoulds/oughts/musts
of family/tribe/society/culture.
Fascists, for example,
cannot be other than they are
because of the company they keep.
They talk of freedom,
but they cannot be free to be themselves.

Most of the population of the world
in any age is that way,
forced to be who they are
because of the company they keep,
or because of fear, hatred, anger and greed.
Or a combination of all of the Enemies of Soul.

"Soul" is another name for our original nature.

We are here to exhibit/express/enjoy/serve our Soul,
our Original Nature,
who we were born (anointed, called) to be
in the time and place,
the context and circumstances,
of our living.

When we are all doing that together,
it is a festive occasion,
and the radiance of the wonder
is an experience of the Numen,
of the ineffable magic
created by our being who we are together
that stuns us into "esthetic arrest,"
"slain by the spirit," so to speak,
by an experience beyond words.

Artists of whatever form
occasionally achieve a similar experience
of the wonder of who they are
through the revelation/sense 
of being connected through their art with another
while being alone.

They are experiencing being connected
with themselves-as-other
because they cannot possibly be the source
of "this," of "that"!

In being so completely ourselves in this way,
we are as the moved in the presence of the mover,
when, in truth, we are One,
and One with Everyone and All Things.

And William Blake could say,
"If the doors of perception were cleansed 
everything would appear to man as it is, infinite."

Which is a level of truth 
that would definitely get in the way
of being able to pay our bills.
So our survival depends on achieving
a healthy sense of distance between
ego consciousness and soul awareness,
so that the two remain two
and do not merge into One.

"I" and "The Other" live together
as "moved" and "mover,"
with the "I" being as much of "who we are"
as we and our circumstances can tolerate
in a dance with Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How
in each situation as it arises.

Getting the ratios right is the aim of life.
Getting close is amazing.

And that is what we are living for.
But the distractions keep getting in the way.
And the dance goes on.


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.

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