Friday, October 27, 2006

the surgeon's blade

have you ever found yourself confessing your deepest truths to someone? Have you ever been so honest with yourself in the process that what was hidden in your heart suddenly seemed to crystallise into your awareness as if you were looking into a mirror for the first time?

Some people have a gift for carefully slicing open the soul and exposing what lies within. Some of these gifted types will either do the slicing out of mean and spiteful hatred or they will do it with great love and gentle kindliness.

So if you need to be honest and make confession, try to find those who can do the slicing open of your soul with the blades of love and kindness. These people are the true geniuses of the world because they demonstrate the mercy of God as much as they require the brutal truth.

Some would call them "Jesus with skin on" :)


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Eye of God?

I received this chain email today. (a heads up for those who don't yet know - I HATE and despise email chain letters! Please don't send me this kind of crap. The commentary on this one is a rare event only because it for once inspired a blog entry ;)).

So anyway... when I saw this picture my instinctive Crapola Meter swung into hyper-alert with all dials whizzing into the Red Alert zone almost instantly! ;)

Which of course... made me do what I always do when I receive a "new" chain email that may not have any basis in fact... I head over to to get the background on it.

Well the photo is indeed "real" but only in so far as yes... that Nebula is out there in the galaxy and yes... we CAN sort of see that it looks like an "eye" from our perspective. But... NASA have no records of calling it "The Eye of God" and the picture IS actually a construct of many parts anyway so it's a representation of what it might look like not what it actually is. What we see and what it actually is could be two entirely different things.

So it is with God. What WE assume and think we know about Him is quite different to what and who He actually is. We assume too much of the wrong stuff and too little of the right stuff. Humanity is clouded by its own desire to be god to be able to see God clearly.

Anyway... why do we need to see the Eye of God anyway? What is it about us that requires us to have this kind of information? Why do we even need to be so assured that God is watching us in such a concrete and physically identifiable way as suggested by the above image?

Faith is by its very nature a subterranean thing deep inside the psyche/heart/soul/being. Faith by itself can never be proven either way, true or false. The test of Faith is that there is hope beyond reasonable assumption and evidential experience that that hope is being made reality in the here and now.

Faith requires that we experience God for ourselves, not through objective means - although reasonable intelligence demands a fair bit of objective truth in order to move across the threshold into the stuff beyond objectivity - but that we feel and know the reality of God expressing Himself within us.

That's where Faith becomes a life-changing thing and not a mere superstition. Real Faith doesn't NEED to see physical evidence of God because the evidence of God is already made real though personal experience of Him.

And real experience of God is very deeply personal indeed! It's an incredible journey of discovery and relationship based not on traditional external expressions of faith - unfortunately expected by far too many - but on inter-personal dialogue and simply KNOWING Him as a real person.

Thing is... that experience of God is less than likely to come via external means. No pictures of "god" in the sky will ever MAKE someone believe in God - you have to already believe in God to "see" Him in these pictures! You construct God from out of the physical world through your own Eye of Faith which is highly personal and subjective and either true or false - who knows? Not for me to judge really!

God is Relationship - the most intimate kind.

You can find God in this picture though. Not His eye or a picture of Him - but you do see his handiwork in the amazing wonder and simple complexities of the universe and for me, my Faith says that makes Him real enough :)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Questions part 2

I seem to be coming back to this theme regularly of late.

The art of asking the tough questions!

When I need to dig deep within and ask myself tough things, I listen for my gut to give me the answer I seek. Most of the time that works for me.

I've even tried that trick called "Muscle Testing" that Martin spoke about awhile back. I did find however that I tend to cheat at that. I'm not sure yet whether I totally believe in muscle testing but truth be told, it's probably more than likely that I just don't like the 'answers' I get when I do it! *bemused smile*.

I have learned throughout this process of discovery that there are many different ways to ask the same question though. All those different ways of asking the same thing will, invariably, give me entirely different answers! So confusing and frustrating that! It also makes it extremely easy to cheat and ensure I get the answer I really want to hear rather than the one I really need to hear.

So guts, mucle, heart and magic all require a certain linking ingredient. What that ingredient is, I'm not entirely sure yet. Perhaps its Discretion! I don't know!

So? I've established that I trust my gut best to answer the really big and deep questions in my life. I've also established that I am not particularly courageous asking these questions in the first place and now I've learned that the way I word these questions can change the answer and consequently the outcome too!

It seems the road to being honest with oneself is a rocky one.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Simplicity rules

You know! It really IS the most mundane and taken-for-granted stuff in our lives that has the most extraordinary revolution of idea and innovation behind it.

Take for example the humble snap-lock sandwich bag! A very utilitarian article found in most western kitchens. Have you ever really LOOKED at the nifty little sealing function on that simple plastic bag?

I mean the sheer genius behind that concept blows my mind! Who thought of that?

That basic, simple but revolutionary idea has taken the plastic bag to new heights of usefulness and practicality! :)

We take these things so much for granted. We fail to acknowledge that there are amazing minds hidden away thinking and dreaming of new ways to build on old technologies; making the magical, a mundane utility, and the mysterious "Thing", simple to understand.

The ability to create simplicity from complexity is a rare and valuable skill. If you see that ability in someone then don't take it for granted. Tap into their gift and be prepared to learn an amazing amount of stuff in a very short time! :)

So, to all the designers, the artists, the inventors, thinkers, idealists; to the men and women who create the future and make life easier than yesterday...

........I dips m' lid to yer and thankyou from the bottom of my snap-lock bag! :)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What really IS a Soul Mate?

I've been wrestling with this concept for some time now, trying to figure out just what that whole idea actually means.

The Soul Mate idea is entrenched in New Age philosophy and beyond. Even people from traditional christian backgrounds accept some kind of possibility that there is a person that is our complete and ideal "match" out there.

I think... and I have to qualify this by saying I'm not really sure yet... but a Soul Mate doesn't have to be someone you marry or are romantically involved with, although that seems to be the goal of most people - to meet and marry their Soul Mate.

I don't think of my husband as my Soul Mate though. We love each other very much. We're good friends and we have a lot of things in common (16 + years of marriage to each other notwithstanding ;)), but as far as that connection thing between hearts/minds/emotion/souls... *shakes head* Nah! We are more your pragmatically married types I guess! ;)

I might go so far as to say that I'm not even sure the whole Soul Mate thing even exists if it's all just about the whole perfect match thing! Ugh! The idea that there is just one other soul in the world right now who is your perfect other half? Pretty limiting in my book! And not really that much fun when you think about it.

I mean you'd have to believe in Fate and Destiny and all manner of other pre-determinate philosophies in order to accept that you'd find "The One" in your lifetime! Being single could take on a whole new perspective if that were the case and airlines would be FULL all the time with single people scouring the world looking for "The One", their perfect match, their Soul Mate!

Ouch! How sad and sorry are we if we put all our energies into that kind of search, when there are lovely people (like my husband) living practically right next door and with whom we can spend many happy years enjoying the company thereof. :)

But if perchance that a Soul mate is someone with whom you can share your mind and your heart on a level beyond romance and sex and all that - a meeting of hearts so intimately tuned into each other and connected? Then hmmm? Perhaps, I could go with that idea. :) So a Soul Mate could be your best friend, your sister, your brother, your Mum even! And yes! Even your husband or your wife. :)

And if this is the case, then perhaps we have more than one Soul Mate surrounding us! Perhaps it is such that we are actually surrounded by Soul Mates; people with whom we can easily connect on a deeply intimate and loving level whether we are also romantically involved with them or not!

So maybe a Soul Mate is really someone who fills your life with love and laughter, joy and wisdom, dignity and respect, incredible delight and incredible intimacy of thought and emotion - then that person is just as much your "match" in life as anyone else you love deeply.

Now that is COOL! :)

For me though... the jury is still "out" on this concept and I'll no doubt spend many more hours wondering about this theme. It fascinates me.

Monday, October 16, 2006

alien wisdom

“To resist the influence of others, knowledge of oneself is most important”

Teal'c – Stargate:SG1 episode “Stronghold”

Absol-blimmin'-lutely! :)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

trust and sacrifice

I've been asked by the universe to kill my Isaac!

Now... before you go calling Interpol ;) Let me s'plain!

Okay... religious education lesson first!

In the bible the story of Abraham and Isaac tells how God asked Abraham to go to a distant mountain and sacrifice his one and only child, Isaac.

Now Abraham was an old, old man. He had been promised the world - quite literally - by God, that his decendants would be as numerous as the grains of sand on a beach. He and his wife Sarah - who was biologically beyond child-bearing age - eventually did give birth! Quite the miracle huh?

So you can imagine that Abraham was pretty much dotty about his wee boy. Loved him like nothing else in the world mattered. Here in this child lay the potential of that extraordinary future he'd been promised.

And now?

Here was the same God telling - demanding - that he kill his beloved son in an act of worship. To sacrifice his one and only son just as all the other religions in the region occasionally required as a part of their worship rituals.

And Abraham did as he was told. He trusted God implicitly to do the right thing by him no matter the circumstances or the immediate consequences. He knew that matching God's wisdom is much like an ant trying to understand human wisdom! Unfathomable and mysterious in the extreme (from the ants perspective that is ;)).

In the story - Abraham was about to slaughter Isaac (can anyone imagine that kind of heartbreak?)... when God intervened to save the child and provide another alternative for the sacrificial rite of worship instead. Who knows what might have happened though if Abraham did not trust God so well! The whole of history would have been quite different I think.

Okay! So what does this have to do with little old me in the 21st Century?

I don't have a child by the name of Isaac and nor would I dare consider actually killing anyone, let alone one of my children! I would not believe in a god that asked me to do such a thing (which makes Abraham all the more remarkable to me really).

The "Isaac" I do refer to though is my deepest held desire/fantasy/thing/person/wish/assumption that I cling to with all my heart, soul and mind.

My "Isaac" is the one thing - the one deepest held belief and desire I have - that I will not give up.... and yet...I'm being asked by God (and the cosmos if you will) to do just that.

It is not an easy thing.

And so now, I am to travel in my heart to that secret "mountain" to commune directly with my God, sacrifice my particular "Isaac" and TRUST Him to know what He has planned in all this.

He will either make me follow through and actually kill this beloved thing off inside me OR he will intervene at the last minute and provide an alternative out. There are a million other possibilities besides I cannot even begin to imagine!

I have always trusted in my God. I have always believed that He has my best interests at heart. But this is a tough call! He's asking me to do something so extraordinarily hard - I don't know if I want to go there.

Can I trust Him enough to know that everything will work out fine even if I have to kill off any hope of attaining that one thing I wanted so much?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Priceless is the hugging heart of One Man

I was sent a link to this cool clip today.

I confess I knew nothing about the Free Hugs Campaign despite it being in my own country (one of the few drawbacks of not listening to regular news and current affairs shows... you can miss the soundbytes on the really genuinely cool stuff :))

Apparently 'Juan Mann' (pronounced One Man) has had some controversy over his Free Hugs Campaign. He was ordered to stop hugging strangers in the street and buy Public Liability Insurance!


People get touchy about touch!

It's such an intimate thing to physically touch another... and the hug is probably the ultimate form of touch you can do without sex necessarily being involved.

But as this brilliant article says...
There's something uplifting about this story. Along with the video, you get the "warm and fuzzies" and find yourself cheering this guy who reminds us of the simpler pleasures; of the sweetness that life and letting others fill it can bring.

We live in a world where violence and violent acts are becoming normalised. The producers of the new James Bond film see fit to cut the superspy smoking a cigar but not images of him killing people with a smoking gun. We are shocked and appalled at sexual imagery and intimacy (Margaret Whitlam's comments about Janette and John Howard holding hands, for example), but take death, pain and the destruction of human life in our stride.

Yes! We do tend to tolerate violence and the art of cruelty and yet we crave the power of loving touch whilst at the same time frowning upon any public display of it.

We're desperately confused about this. We have over-simplified touch in the violent forms of its expression and yet over-complicated touch in its loving and peaceful expressions.

Juan Mann could change the world and clear up the confusion perhaps, with a hug. There is a gentle and wonderful hope in that. So... for once there IS a Good News story to celebrate and embrace - literally! :)

I'd like to be Juan Mann too :)

Thanks to GBC for showing me the link to that clip (and some of the articles too :))

(HUG) :)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

She died the other day

Michelle has died.

Nearly two years ago, this young woman who has lived all her life in this community had a small lesion on her lip that would not heal.

A biopsy was performed and she was diagnosed with malignant melanoma.

She was only 35 years old (or thereabouts).

In February of 2005 she had that lesion removed and I wrote about it in my old blog.

Things looked up for awhile and all seemed like it would be okay.

But it wasn't.

Michelle discovered another lump under her tongue. This time it was so inconceivable that such a beautiful woman should have to suffer this fate! She had most of her tongue cut out and part of her jaw and throat over time as well. They did everything possible to get her well. She has two young children afterall.

Sadly, nothing much else could be done.

She suffered in silence, the grief evident in her face as her life ebbed away each day. The family went quiet and cloistered themselves as best as they were able in a small community.

She was so extraordinary! So beautiful, so gentle and wise. She loved to live and live well. She was devoted to her husband and her children. She loved hot rods and fast cars, motorbikes and makeup! She was a woman of faith and courage. She had more skills than you could poke an oil soaked dip-stick at! She could even teach boys how to maintain a motor-bike all while looking like she belonged on the cover of Vogue!

Michelle was probably the most inspirational and amazing acquaintance you could ever have the pleasure of knowing. Sadly, we never became closer than that - although I longed for it. I admired her so much.

And now she is at peace and resting with God. I'm grateful for that - there is no more suffering or pain for this girl anymore.

I just hope her husband and her children will be able to remember their beautiful Michelle with joy, instead of sadness, because that was her greatest gift - Joy. She seemed to inspire the air to create it whenever she was there.

CU girl! I loved you from afar - make no mistake! I thought you to be one of the most beautiful women that ever lived, inside and out.

God speed.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

How well do you know the back of your hand?

This is a throw away line we use often here.

"I know these streets like the back of my hand"

"I know him as well as I know the back of my hand"

I don't make a habit of studying the back of my hand. I kind of "know" it but don't really study it that closely on a regular basis. If you asked me how many spots and freckles on had on there I couldn't tell you. :)

My point is... can we ever really know something or someone as well as we claim to?

My feeling is that once we "think" we know something - or someone - what or who that something/someone is, tends to become "invisible" and we forget to study it or keep on "knowing" it [or them] with any depth or further interest.

You see - we humans tend assimilate just enough information to get our own desires met and once we've done that, we can become somewhat absent-minded about any further need to keep on learning and knowing because we believe in our core we don't need to - we think we already "know"!

People grow and change...endlessly. Things we once assumed were just so become either more so or less so... often. What we once believed can no longer be believed... more often than we think. What we once thought was true is sometimes proved otherwise... or not - which can surprise us too.

Life is a never ending journey of discovery and process. Once we make the assumption that we "know" something in its entirety, we are doomed to be forever wrong in that assumption.

And that is part of the fun of life and living!

To be proved wrong occasionally, is much, much more worth it than being proved right time and again! Being proved wrong forces us to re-evaluate and re-invigorate our processes of discovery. It makes us less sure of ourselves and thus less inclined toward arrogance and pride.

Being proved right can simply make us all the more certain we indeed know the back of our hand! :)