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sirguessalot last won the day on July 16 2011

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  1. My guess...the first "death" is referring to what we call "childbirth"...and the "second death" is referring to what we call death. To "die before you die" is the gist of a common invitation at the root of all good religion...an invitation to practice silence and stillness as a minimum foundation for service. Radical periods of silence and stillness are the most direct and "effortless" way to "taste death and live". Short of that...injury, illness, being near death or simply aging, tend to force us into such deeper layers of self-discovery. The adult religious folks who miss this are the ones who cause trouble....reacting out of some sort of premature terror. But same goes for the doctors, scientists, and other adults in charge. To be made whole by contemplating our "second death" (which we simply call death) is to be prepared to be "born again." To see our inevitable death as a second birth prepares us for our final spiritual experience in this life. It also prepares us to serve and be in fellowship with those who are ill, injured, aging and dying. We taste the same states in order to relate. This is a baptism of fire. It hurts. Period. This is key practice to stimulate things like longevity, wisdom, love and sanity.
  2. i was under the impression that "the apocalypse" was the only one written "by" Jesus. haha
  3. Seems to me that in the seasonality of life, autumn arrives for everyone who lives to see it. The midpoint of life is a "God-given" rite of passage into deeper reflection. We have never had as many elbows in our road to reflect on as we do now. With this comes a season of regrets. A season of noticing patterns. A season of humiliations. A season of beginning to reap what we’ve sown...even if we didn’t know what we were sowing. Some have called it a “Wilderness Stage.” The way we respond to this varies, but a common response is fight or flight. It is also a strong invitation to enter that wilderness and change the way we see our selves in the world…again. Maybe even prepare for winter. Where words like redemption and atonement become useful again. We spend the entire second half of life healing (or not) from all the damage of the first half…physically too. But if we are to turn lead into gold to some greater degree in this life...this is when it naturally begins. Harder to start in winter. Sadly, much of society and culture seems mostly geared to eternal summer and spring til the end. Very little to support or prepare for the shifts of the second half. “Permission to transform/grow up” does not come cheap, if at all. Especially when the grown-ups in control are neither. I thank God these forces (the seasonalities and such) seem stronger than society or culture. So we find our way through the seasons anyway. As if “God springs forth in a desert.” … Anyway, here is what I remember from an old “Spiritual Geographying” exercise I learned: Be still. Breath. Simply note the 3 worst times of your life and the 3 best times of your life (or 5 or more of both depending on age). Reflect. Notice the relationships. Some share it with everyone. Some share it with a friend. Some share it with God alone. That sort of thing.
  4. to add...most of my conversations/encounters occur in dreams or meditative states. some of the most profound and vivid experiences happened while practicing guided visualizations specifically designed to help dying people talk to those who passed before them...as a way to help them die well. in fact, such dreams and encounters naturally increase as we near our own death...thus, the practices.
  5. i certainly do, E i've not only experienced very "haunted" conditions, but have studied all manner of such things in the context of end-of-life care. i am quite convinced that relationships do not end with the death of the human body, and our capacity to have those conversations is neither supernatural nor strange, but rather extra-ordinary and quite simple. Healthy and sane, even. Overall, i'm mostly with Roy on all this. Death may be more like birth than we realize. Most of us typically came out screaming bloody murder the first time, too. Natural misunderstanding.
  6. Thanks for that, Steve. For me, any more...any demand that "you must say it this way" or that way...any deathgrip on words like that seems like the result of a very early stage of human faith. What can be described as magical and mythical faith involves a dependence on the "supernatural" power of specific words and sayings and stories (even holy canons)...mistaking the finger for the moon. Such mistakes even occurs in secular contexts. When someone says "that is not (fill in supernatural myth or story), it is really just the moon. Which is made up of ___ and ___, etc...". What we call the moon (and the things it is made of) existed long before we called it the moon, let alone any other name in any other language. likewise, perhaps the one we call Jesus Christ has a name that is above all names. And we also have names that are beyond all names. And it is not that we will ever find "the right name"...but that the actual shape of things IS the name. NO words required. Although once we get this. we are free to use language without being enslaved by it. What about the Word of God? Could it be referring to the actual universe (which includes the Bible)?
  7. seems like a regular enough topic that we keep revisiting here to call it important. vital. sacred. whatever. like a fire that will not go out. just keeps smoldering. maybe the smoke is like a prayer in God's nostrils. i'll offer another ember. i agree with the types of monks and nuns who cared for the ill and dying throughout the histories of hospital and hospice...that unforgiveness is a type of suffering. or spiritual pain, if you will. like an inner illness or dis-ease. and it tends to really heat up and glow as we near the end of this life...whatever unforgiveness remains. it is not that we decide to forgive or not to forgive, but more like we are kinda stuck with the pain of unforgiveness and are lucky or blessed to find our way to the other side of it. if violence, injustice and crime impacts us like an injury against our will...perhaps our unforgiveness is more like the result of a wound. even if we imagine or exaggerate the "sin"...the suffering of not being able to forgive is felt. even practicing forgiveness is no guarantee that we find it..though it does make us more accident prone to fall into such radical grace. so yes, of course we do well to forgive...i pray we experience such mercy. sometimes i wonder...does "the unforgiveable sin" Jesus spoke of have something to do with the pain of unforgiveness? (apologies for all the resent emails from all my edits...i think i'm done)
  8. Supernumerary Rainbow...Oh...My..God! :B) you mean the illusions are true? :blink:
  9. yep, abundant honor to that which we think is less honorable. like how a valuable way to see the health of a thing is to look at the waste. and how it can be said that the seat and root of all spiritual practice is the arse. :B) one of my favorite ways to describe things like psychological shadow-work and dream-work is "processing crap" i post this as an avid composter and fan of all things alchemical.
  10. Catnip is quite friendly to people too.
  11. ive never been able to agree with your strategies on all this, sudo. you seem to avoid the majority of data and gobs of direct experience. not likely to perform a wide range of injunctions to test the theories you reject. yada yada. but i do respect your right to kvetch and crusade about a thing in hypertext. you obviously feel its important. good luck. regarding the "soul"...it may be that there need not be some sort of psychological or biological pathology or imbalance to start noticing the countless voices within each of us. it seems more like a natural outcome of the human experience. already happening in each of us. i would go as far as to suggest that the first century "tongues" experience may have involved practices of accessing this inner "burning bush" via voice dialogue as a form of healing art during a revolutionary reawakening of jewish healing arts. also, dreaming is a nightly baptism in the psyche. and dreaming practices make us accident prone to wake up more in the dream and interact more effectively with the contents of the dream. some say that dreams are not real. if not, than what is it? some say that dreams are not important. if not, than why does the body keep doing it? subjective sciences. i dare ya. regarding haunted houses and the afterlife and such...its too late for me not to remain an enchanted agnostic about it. i dont hold it against those who deny the existence or validity of this ongoing occurance wide range of exotic phenomenon such as this. but i can suggest that one is more than just kvetching, you may do well "put to your money where there mouth is" and actively go there...seek it...do it.
  12. wow, e. what a gift. off topic...i suscribe to a board game blog written by an Erik Arneson on about.com. I often wonder if he is related.
  13. yep. yep. yep. :) and thanks for telling. what a beautiful house. inspired me to riff a sec... nightmares seem like the most helpful kinds of dreams. practicing dreaming to engage them more clearly and memorably helps even more. lucid dreaming even more. like lightning a menorah to illuminate the darkest corners of our house. consciously talking to voices of the self. wrestling with our shadow is another important kind of dream. like jacob's. "love your enemy." it is also not uncommon for the body to be telling us about health issues using people and things in dreams. and dreams only become more and more significant and full as we age. more vivid and meaningful. Peter said "old men shall dream dreams"...why? had they forgotten or something? a culture of superstition that fears the arts of dreaming well probably embeds the insanity it claims to heal. one of the richest legacies of judeo-christian life and history is the dreaming arts.
  14. funny. many of the kid and adult players i knew picked "chaotic evil" for their character alignment. and many of them actually played that way. "hack and slash"...like many of the popular video games today. as the game master i liked to play the good aligned monsters to either thwart or help them. the monster manual template even helped me design my own pantheon of angels. children playing God using game theory...go figure. gee, thanks Asimov and Tolkien.
  15. this thread is gettin rich...i was a dungeon master long before i was a twiggie...the original monster manual had entire pantheons of demons (chaotic evil) and devils (lawful evil) but no angels...although it included a few good aligned spirit beings...like sphinxes. ... one of the last word studies i did before parting with twi was on some KJV NT occurance of "superstition"...something-daimonia in greek...meant "fear of demons" or something something clicked and i saw the superstition in twi. nowadays i see the histories of psychology and consciousness in bible stories about demons...so i use various types of meditation, prayer, dreaming practices and jungian shadow-work to illuminate the hidden archetypes of my own soul. there are notions in hospice education that caregivers ought to prioritize the contemplation of the inner life as a way to make peace with your demons/devils/shadows whatever. its almost like a complete reversal of superstition...where instead of fighting or fleeing demon enemies, you invite them to dance. we seek a transformation of lead into gold. likewise with suffering...instead of fighting or fleeing the flames...we learn to walk in the fire.
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