Monday, March 15, 2010

The Word

No trumpets sound when the important decisions of our life are made. Destiny is made known silently.

Agnes de Mille
Now don't worry. I'm not trying to convert you to anything.
And he [the Lord] said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind and earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
-- I Kings 19: 11-12 (KJV)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John I:1
When was the last time you heard the word? It only comes from listening. And it only comes when you need it, otherwise you're on your own. It doesn't come with any drama. In spite of what some angry, befuddled preachers are trying to tell us, the word is not in the hurricane, "the Lord was not in the wind." The word is a quiet voice with more authority than an earthquake.

We may pray for a miracle but if we don't get one it means we don't need it. But sometimes the word comes when we ask for it. Calmly, without creating our own whirlwind, we may hear the still, small voice telling us what to do when faced with a bunch of choices, which way to go or which way not to go. (Socrates lived with such a voice his whole life.) And it always comes as your voice and no one else's, that is, it comes exactly in the way you need it. It's not intuition, a hunch or gut reaction, although those things are often valuable. It's more like a quiet voice whispering in your mind. The voice may say something you would never consciously think of yourself. or even know about.

One day I was faced with having to do a particularly nasty and gruesome job. I didn't want to do it. I put it aside and rested. While I was resting I said quietly to myself, Why do I have to take care of this awful stuff? And in a moment the still small voice in my mind said "Because you are the only one in this organization who knows how to do it." I didn't know that, but that was the answer. So I went ahead and finished the task.

That was just one example of the many times the word has been there for me when I needed it. I think the greatest and most life fulfilling wisdom is already there in the word, waiting to be asked and listened to.

Unfortunately there is a reverse side to this coin. Some people hear voices that tell them to go out and do destructive things, and for some strange reason they believe it's the voice of God talking to them. The word is a word of truth. It does not tell people to speak against goodness, to influence erroneously, to rob, kidnap, murder, blow up buildings or themselves. "the Lord was not in the fire" The answer to that kind of madness is to know that you can tell a tree by it's fruit, as the saying goes, to be able to recognize a right word from a wrong one and to develop a good defense made of strong moral fibre. That is something that one should learn in school but, alas, these days it's only to be wished, I guess. If by any chance you start hearing those voices take yourself immediately off to a shrink but otherwise pay no attention to them.

You can always ask "Is that the right choice?" and listen for the quiet answer.

DB - The Vagabond
Sunday Puzzle Answer

The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.
A secret word opens the treasure chest.
Can you discover the secret word?

I'm found at MacDonald's.
I'm good for a view.
I don't take to camels.
But I might be on your shoe.

The secret word is -- EYE

Old MacDonald had a farm
Good for viewing
Can't get one through a needle
To put your lace through

There were no winners, alas.

(This is not a contest.)

Hold your breath, Spring is coming any minute

Given the resources and opportunity, what one thing do you want to do in 2010 that you've never done before.

You have the Winter to answer. Answers will be posted on the first day of Spring.
Only 21 responses so far.

DB - The Vagabond


Cathy said...

I just hope this won't be misconstrued, and bravely forge ahead. Am I correct in assuming you believe your instinct is a spiritual deity bringing you a message, direction, something along those lines? (I tried to put it politely, I assume you don't think the Christian God is talking to you). But DB isn't it rather unfair to the human in not recognizing his undeniable inner "twinge" or voice or just instinctual gut reaction? It reminds me of people who think aliens built the pyramids - how insulting to the human spirit! Anyway I re-read this a few times and enjoyed it, as it dared me to think about why people obey that "gut reaction" or as most call it, their inner voice, and why we evolved one.

Cathy said...

To answer your Winter Question, I'd like to be successful in convincing people this is 2009, which in truth, it is.

That corgi :) said...

I think the Word (Jesus) comes to those actively seeking him and looking for him and have a heart for him because that is what His Word says. And The Word comes to me all the time, not just when I need it and I AM NEVER ON MY OWN; he is right there with me. I have to remember though there are times my mind is cluttered to the things of this world (often useless) and it drowns out my hearing the Word. But he is always there for me and he is always talking to me. And I'm not worried about you converting me, DB. I already know the Truth and the Truth has sent me free and the Truth has given me hope and that is good enough for me :)


DB said...

Oh Cathy, thank you for this comment. It gives me a chance to clarify what I think In fact I may post my reply as a comment on my entry.

In a previous journal I wrote how we have to start knowing ourselves as part of the universe, not separate from it. We are so used to thinking "heaven and earth" or, in other words, the earth and everything else as if the earth was somehow a distinctly different entity from the stars and planets, galaxies and solar systems. That kind of thinking also has produced the anthropomorphic God. Not the gentleman with the white beard, but an intelligent being that is somehow separate from us and who occasionally appears to do something. What is left out of that equation is divinity itself. If there is no solid, irremovable connection between the creation and the creator then there is a flaw in the fabric. The human being, as part of creation, part of the universe, has many nonphysical, nonmaterial tools to use. The Word is one of them. What makes it different from intuition or gut reaction is that it is not based on what we know. Let me put it another way. Thee's an old joke which says "If God had meant us to fly he would never have given us the railroads." The double humor of that is that some people think the great white father with the beard decided to give us railroads as a gift to humanity. But it was humanity that gave us the railroads and the planes and the space ships. Those humans could not have done it without the principles involved, those principles had to be discovered, but they were always there, they didn't come down from heaven in a thunderclap of godly benevolence. The fact that they always existed, as well as many other principles we have yet to discover, means the intelligence, or mind if you want, that holds those principles is always with us and it exists everywhere in the universe because it is not separate from the universe any more than we are. Being an ever present intelligence means that thinking people can tap into it at any time. The results may not be instant, maybe because we have some dust in our own heads that needs to be blown away, or it may be that the answer is more complicated than we thought. But when the answer comes from the universal intelligence it does not come as a roaring lion, but quietly and silently because it is true just like the solution to a complex mathematical problem. What intelligence could ever be greater than universal intelligence? If we allow ourselves to be a part of the universe and not rely on a false security of isolation what's to stop us from achieving everything? "The kingdom of heaven is within you" it also says in the big book, which can be said the universal intelligence is within you. That's the divinity we can and should always be connected to.

I struggled with this response. I hope it clarifies my thinking.


Valerie said...

I thought of eye while I was going to bed last night. I was thinking of the wrong MacDonalds. I was thinking of McDonalds, not MacDonalds. I went to bed thinking of the puzzle and thought of eye before I drifted off. I was wondering how Old Macdonald had an eye on his farm, but now I get it. Ugh. You have a wonderful week, hon. xox
Now off to read your post...

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Well done, universal intelligence is revealed like peeling the layers of an onion. How we use the knowledge is based on our values and morals. Love the line about thunderclaps :o)

Big Mark 243 said...

I don't know if your response clarified anything or not!! I am still a little confused by it all, which is not to say that I won't give it a go!!

The de Mille quote captures it perfectly. Even in my small and completely insignificant life, it is in the quiet that answers have come to me. Whether they have been correct or incorrect often had depended upon what inspiration drove me to prior to the question.

I like what Nietzche said... 'Is man merely a mistake of God's? Or God merely a mistake of man's?' The answer is ultimately unknowable. What drives us to believe in a higher power? Is it profound logic or a cultivated behaviour to level the field for those who aren't as smart or strong as others? I think that the answer is unknowable, collectively.

I do think that each individual should strive to find out what it is that moves them, and go out from where they find themselves. The world is a tool to help us in that search and it directs us in a soft, barely audible voice that only the individual hears.

Even in the examples of the negative that you give prove rather than disprove, that we all are being spoken to. What we hear is up to us.