Tuesday, November 18, 2014

STOP! (for a moment)

STOP! (For a Moment)

Copyright 2016 Don Ray

There is good reason mystics seclude themselves in monastic retreats. Though a functioning society cannot have all its members living in monastic retreats, without question any society in which people were encouraged to seek quiet, alone time with Self  and Source would be a healthier, happier, less violent, and more meaningfully productive society.  ("Self" being that non-ego, individual expression of a greater consciousness that is hard to explain to modern people)

The natural, contemplative opportunity of food gathering, field work, and careful craftsmanship has been banished from our lives, and a poverty of perpetual busyness assaults our senses and batters our souls. We have gradually lost the riches of quiet and healing solitude and lost the ability to be still.

We feel guilty and empty if we dare to be still with God and ourselves. All our contacts and connections never ask “what state of being did you attain today?” The question at the end of the day is “what did you do?”

When we do sit still, we have no thoughts of our own or awareness of the Self because

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Apprenticed to God

Apprenticed to God

Copyright 2016 Don Ray

Oh, to not be productive,  to be liberated from the need to be productive!....to live in a universe of no hunger, fear, or suffering, our potential for creation now liberated to create beauty and life, to explore, to find new ways to express the joy of Unity and to reach toward exciting new heights of Unity.
But it is here, in this world of Darwinian conflict and cruelty, that we learn to create.  Here the children of God are apprenticed to the Creator, learning to create, discovering what we can create, choosing what we will create.
Apprenticed to God,
given examples to inspire, given freedom to ignore them.
This material world pulls our strings of hunger and fears and lusts,
but even as we clumsily plod per those pulls of needs, aversions, and desires,
occasional sparks of creativity still hint at the potential for which we were created.

Copyright 2016 Don Ray

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Material Separation

Copyright 2016 Don Ray

Material separation,
(Sorrow for the rich, warning to those who would follow)
Errands, floor space, moving, arranging, buying, maintaining, shopping………………….soon the time of life is gone, and the opportunity to build the eternal interaction reality of Love is also gone, as we race from object to object, thing to thing, physical chore to physical chore, all the while passing by each other, over and over.
Even in the brief conversations, they must be about the

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Crumbling Temples, Crumbling Lessons

Copyright 2016 Don Ray

Crumbling temples, crumbling lessons
On the train leaving Roma (Rome)
In each of those temples we now see as ruins there had to be a last priest of that cult.  Someone had to face the reality that their center of worship, the center for a worldwide empire, the center of their life, was no more.  Did economic conditions or waning faith of the populace simply mean the priest could no longer make a living?  Was his faith mercenary in nature, and did the lack of paying clients provide opportunity to get out of that stinkin’ job and move on to something better?  Or did he grieve over society’s faithlessness, and mourn their consequent fate?
Was the end traumatic, a violent paroxysm of barbarian invaders, killing the last priest as he tried to shield the altar with

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Courage Walks Alone

Courage Walks Alone

Copyright 2016 Don Ray

At the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure to combat breast cancer

Ten minutes after sunrise, crowds in pink stream in, then shuffle blank faced around the grounds before getting in one of the various long lines to dutifully collect bags of stuff and trinkets and baubles covered with marketing logos of the sponsors.  

From the surrounding neighborhoods people stream in after finding a place to park, most of the pink clad people walking in groups of teams or families, some wearing “survivor” tags, some wearing “in memory of…” tags.  

But an older gentleman walks alone, dignified in his crisp, new, pink-and-white t-shirt.  He arrives alone. He will leave alone, his solitary participation eloquent testimony to the cost of the disease this event seeks to combat.

The droning speaker whom no one hears, the volunteers filling the bags of baubles provided by sponsors, they are all beautiful in their worldly attempt to address a cause of suffering….but it all must ring a bit hollow to the dignified older gentleman in pink and white, who more than festival and frivolous costumes could surely use a hug and that missing familiar hand in his.

Copyright 2016 Don Ray

Friday, September 5, 2014

Science vs religion

Science vs. Religion

Copyright 2016 Don Ray

The beauty of science: it offers a mutually shared faith.

You can see my data and replicate my experiments.

The weakness of religion: you cannot see my god(s), cannot share my ecstatic experience, cannot measure my holy truths.

With science I can give you improved crop yields, transportation, communication, and medical care. 

With my religion I can give you confusing words and obscure names and esoteric creeds, and of course, retribution.

Science will always win the intellectual debate with religion because science’s shared, common, mutually experienced data base is inarguable.  But religion would eliminate even the need for debate if it more effectively shared what it offers as common, verifiable, replicable, mutual experience: love,  hope, healing, forgiveness, and compassion. 

Copyright 2016 Don Ray

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cranial Caucus: confusing conundrums of consciousness

Cranial Caucus

Don Ray

Copyright 2016

Self-awareness, thoughts arising from within the self, objective-external sensory inputs, the self’s filtering and perception of those external inputs, dictated-genetically programmed thoughts and behaviors, randomly firing neurons and synapses, reactions and automatic responses, and somewhere in that cacophony, the whispering of the Holy Spirit?!
Good grief, can consciousness really be so complicated?!  And I’ve not even yet invoked the mysterious subconscious!
Maybe we should introduce a few possessing spirits while we’re at it!….and let’s not leave out addictions, lusts, and hungers, with their concomitant ability to deftly weave our rationalizations of our irrational behaviors. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Jesus' Despair

Copyright 2016 Don Ray

What was it like for Yeshu? ( or “Jesus” as pronounced in the United States for the last century or so)
My God, to have such a clear vision of the human condition, to so perspicaciously perceive the madness of human behavior and priorities, to discern our abject lack of awareness of evident consequences of our actions, surely there had to come a time when such realization brought Him to despair and hopelessness.
His teaching would not become popular.  The crowds disappeared.  No one understood.
Do we hear some of that hopeless resignation in His oft repeated query, “what do you want from me?”  To the blind and lepers and cripples He said this, a seemingly rhetorical question about the obvious, but after a lifetime of seeing humanity seek that which is patently destructive, unhealthy,