Nostalgia

“Back in the days when I was young I’m not a kid anymore
But some days I sit and wish I was a kid again
Back in the days when I was young I’m not a kid anymore
But some days I sit and wish I was a kid again (and everybody say) (I remember way back when)” [1.]

Can you remember way back when?! As time goes by, I do ponder and reminisce on what really shaped me as a youth. The more I do look back, there is a feeling of wistfulness that seeps through my bones.  I know this can be an adherence to living in the presence of life.

Believe me, to much of this reminiscing can be unfruitful and unhealthy. What I’m trying to do here is put forth more of a “live and learn” platform to help all of us in our growth as human beings. With that said, what the hell did happen back in the day? Good times and great oldies? Dark times of surviving the nightmare? A little bit of both, if I’m being transparent.

Now granted, I come from a white middle class family. With that environment, you are placed right smack in the middle of the “have and have not’s” [2.]. Why I think this is important to mention is due to the fact that you come with a non-dualistic position when it comes to our western culture.  It still helps me today to keep things all in perspective (just throwing out there). On the other hand, it did blind me to privileges that I thought were a given. [3.]

My Pops always provided financially while my Mom did everything else (haha j/k). They were AND are amazing parents.  They brought structure, security and joy throughout my childhood. Forever will be grateful.  Now they weren’t perfect by any means (no parents are, hello).

What I am going to discuss here is just an experience I had, not a critique on my folks parenting techniques. What effected me most, I think, is my parents religious belief. For better or worse, it still shapes my worldview today.  I will discuss one experience that fashioned my youth into where my adulthood stands today.  It’s just one example among many. This experience is definitely one that helped formed my spiritual existence with God.

The Experience:

Chicken pox hit me like a bionic plague apocalypse (exaggeration but still). I was about 7 or 8-years old. It was insanely painful and uncomfortable.  My fever wasn’t going down. My parents decided to perform a “Fathers blessing” before taking the next step in taking me to the ER.

Now, a little background regarding my parents religious tradition. They are members of the L.D.S. church.  In regards to fathers blessings, it came down to the patriarchal order (and in this case, a father’s love). Women are not allowed to perform blessings with the proper results due to not having the “Priesthood” [4.].

Now, did this even enter my mind when my pops was about to lay his hands on me and start to pray? Nope, not at all (I was 7 yrs old, mind you).  In fact, it felt like it was the real “authoritative” deal. So much so, that immediately after the blessing was over, the anguish was gone.  I felt I had a burst of energy and was ready to take on the world. The pain that was so brutal subsidized to a very minor scale. It was very powerful and real…even to this day.

There are many complex and non-binary factors going on here.  I’ll do my best to digest the nuances that come into play.  First, lets back go the patriarchal stance of the father’s blessing. Throughout my childhood and to this day I do resonate with patriarchal order. I mean I live in a country who has never had a woman president. It is imbedded in our culture.

Now I don’t want to be “macro” and say all patriarchal hierarchy order is wrong. It does have its benefits. As in a fathers love for his wife and child, being there to protect ones family against harm, etc. A good father and husband shows the world that masculinity does have its benefits in society. In other words, good leadership NOT authoritative control, can bring about a good social construct.

The other side of the coin is in regards to the damaging side of patriarchal order. In the simplest breakdown, it silences the marginalized and brings about harm to a diverse range of community existence. In most examples, a way of an egalitarian driven society brings about more healing and holistic living within diversity.

Many things have been done in the name patriarchal hierarchy that have been adherence to our social progression. With that being said, even with their differences (patriarch vs egalitarianism or matriarchy) , both social structures can work together for the good of the community. [5.][6.]

Ok, so we got that stuff out-of-the-way, what about the crazy voodoo religious charismatic laying on of hands crap?! This is superstitious mumbo jumbo that has no barring in reality. It was most likely the placebo effect if it was anything at all! These claims are valid to the point where they have caused real damage with people’s well being. For me personally, it does not negate the fact that this was a very real experience for me (among many others). I am grateful for it and what it still does for my consciousness to this day.

If we can experience God through a healing, why not have that be our vantage point for all aspects of transcendence? Apparently that is what my most vibrant expression of God is: the Abba through which Jesus came to show is all about making wounds into remedies.

The nostalgic pathway that still shapes me from my youth is manifested in the man hung on the cross saying father forgive them they know not what they do. It’s not retributive punishment but redemptive forgiveness. That’s speaking truth to power which in turn, heals the whole world. It certainly has healed me. Not in the since of a physical illness but a spiritual awareness (Ephesians 5:14).

I have come to believe some of that came from the “father’s blessing” I experienced, even with its issues (like everything in life)…

“In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.” [7.]

Smoke Signals

“I walked the line, the line I choose,
I see the people in front of me
I climbed the wall, the wall of news,
I watched them show the tragedy.

If you were me, could you defend
the given rights to all of man?
Let’s fuck the world with all it’s trend

They say it’s all about to end.
They say, they say. “[1.]

With the “social media” world we find our society living in today, it really has come down to “they say”, hasn’t it?

It’s either right or left, progressive or conservative, CNN or Fox (with other diverse news outlets) relaying their “accurate” message of current events. Kind of easy to get lost in translation, right? Especially with Americas headlines of late, they seem to be sending smoke signals for us to decipher (gives me headaches).

I can’t help but sense the feeling that news from all spectrums of social media is trying to portray just one thing: “it’s all about to end!” The apocalypse is at hand…

Well, let’s digress and just take a few steps back here, folks. I mean, are we really at the brink of some type of unstoppable force of destruction? Or are we seeing something that was once hidden now being brought into sight? I think the later is the case.

The Son of humanity came into our world to show us the light in darkness. He showed us the way of harmony not destruction. That is what Jesus is all about: SHALOM. The Way of the Prince of Peace doesn’t bring about “Armageddon”, it prevents it! That’s the last “say” in all of this madness.

Interesting that Jesus didn’t come to show us the light in the…light, right? The darkness is there in order for us to grasp the light. Here lies the heart of the matter: we live in a world of PARADOX. We are all tangled up with the good, bad and ugly sides as a species. It’s difficult to achieve a circumference which brings about a holistic balance to our worldview.

This can be very frightening for most. We as humans love being wrapped in the security blanket of “certainty”. Who can blame us? It’s a freaking comfy blanket! Unfortunately, that blanket doesn’t take us where we need to go: TRANSFORMATION. The only way to transformation is childlike (NOT childish) TRUST. Having faith that light will prevail over the darkness is what brings us to reality.

LOVE (reality) is the unfailing essence that brings us out of the grave and into resurrection (literally or figuratively). This starts with the individual then sprouts out to all of the cosmos. No matter how old, young, educated or experienced, BE A BEGINNER. This always bring us to new understandings and growth.

How do we experience the “triple threat” (love, life and light) transformation? Well, let’s look at an example. The butterfly can only come into being when the caterpillar breaks out of the cocoon (yes I went there). This process is not a smooth and clean one. The caterpillar digests itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all of its tissues. If you were to cut open a cocoon or chrysalis at just the right time, caterpillar soup would ooze out (I’m going to hurl).

Our process of transformation can be just as messy! But, we can’t get discouraged! To be set free of our old selves (false selves) we need to LET GO and be transformed into our new selves (original true divine selves). No matter how tough, painful and uncomfortable the transition can be, we need to trust that life is bigger then death. I like this bible verse:

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭

So when we here the various and diverse voices through social media, friends, family, colleagues, “enemies”, etc., let’s remember to be the light in the darkness. Let’s not get trapped in the fear of the unknown but let’s trust that love casts out all fear.

We all have those conservative and liberal juices flowing through our veins (if we are honest with ourselves). That’s ok! All we can do is our best with the obstacles and hurdles we are given. Letting “serving the least of these” be our goal to achieve “peace on earth and good will towards humanity”. I think that might just be the direction to true transformation…

“When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.”[2.]

Jesus Of Suburbia

“Everyone’s so full of shit
Born and raised by hypocrites
Hearts recycled but never saved
From the cradle to the grave
We are the kids of war and peace
From Anaheim to the Middle East
We are the stories and disciples of
The Jesus of suburbia”[1.]

I’m constantly avoiding the trap of following this Jesus of Suburbia. This is the Jesus that so many westerners have come to experience (myself included).

The Jesus I have come to see in my life is not the “genie in the bottle, warrior king, Santa Clause, conservative/liberal and tribal” Jesus that has been so entrenched in our culture. Instead, he’s the lowly suffering servant who washes our feet when we least expect it. The one who we don’t hear in our suffering but always is loudest in the silence.

I guess that’s the paradox of it all. The more I experience the cosmic Christ the more silence is the loudest beacon of his light. This silence is key to letting go of the ego in order for wholeness to humble our existence with creation.

War and peace should not be what his reign is all about. It’s only shalom. Hypocrisy shouldn’t abound with only recycled hearts. It needs to be “yes or no” and not this babble bullshit that holds to a “I swear” response. In other words, be true (keeping it real yo haha), no matter what the consequences are.

This is what SAVES our selves from our false hearts and brings us to our “divine” true being.  It’s a difficult process to go into the depths of Sheol…but in the end its the only way to discover reality.

So lets shut up for a bit and listen to the silence in our lives and see what happens. There might just be some healing yet…

“Lord, I fought against your silence.

God:  I suffered beside you.  I was never silent.

Even if God had been silent, my whole life to this very day, everything I know, everything I’ve done, speaks of Him.  It was in the silence that I heard your voice.”[2.]